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kestrel
04-24-2006, 08:12 AM
While watching the race from various locations in the Ga. mountains, I noticed many SEROTTA bikes in the groups of riders that were enjoying the race and the great rides available in the area. Anyone have any memorable rides to report that might help others plan for next year?

a100mark
04-24-2006, 08:20 AM
It's a great pre-ride on the day of the Brasstown Bald Climb. The 36 mile loop takes you around the bald, giving you challenges such as a 15% grade on one part. It's a $20 ride and all the proceeds go to SABA so they can continue to purchase and maintain trails.
It's funny, on the ride I was actually suprised that I did not see more Serotta's. I did however see alot of BLUE bikes. What do we know about them?

Argos
04-24-2006, 08:28 AM
I went to the ToG two years ago with a friend of mine and did a 4 day package with www.discoveradventures.com.

It was excellent. It was their first time doing a group of that size (about 30) and it was flawless. Prior to that they had oly done groups of 8-10 as a max. Everything is taken care of, you get great access to the race, you ride and see the best parts, they make sure you are at the right place at the right time, you do not have to carry anything with you, and the places they had lined up for dinner where great.

On the last night of the race, we even got to go to the post race team banquet. I got to talk with Jacky Durand (My personal Highlight) as well as see all sorts fo crazy dancing from the likes of Salvatore Commesso and others.

It was a fantastic time and Tom ran a great tour. I highly recommend them.

kestrel
04-24-2006, 08:29 AM
I got one of their free hats at Hogpen Gap as they came through in the promo car. A company out of Norcross, Ga. Here's the link to the website:

http://www.rideblue.com/

Thanks for the info. on the ride, I remember that one from last year....

Spinsistah
04-24-2006, 09:01 AM
Metro and I went to the Tour de Georgia this year; in Chattanooga I had the opportunity to chat for a brief minute with Dave Zabriski and Tom Danielson. Said hi to Floyd Landis. It's so easy to get close to these guys, I thought it would be difficult. I also got autographs on a Discovery jersey I won in the Trek Lucky 7 game last year from Popo, Ecky, Danielson, Bruneel, and someone I've yet to get a name for in Dalton. This was the first pro tour I've been to and what struck me is how small these guys are, even if they're tall in stature, they weigh nothing.

Keith A
04-24-2006, 11:32 AM
This was the first pro tour I've been to and what struck me is how small these guys are, even if they're tall in stature, they weigh nothing.This is the same observation that I had after seeing my first pro tour which was back in the late 80's when the Tour of America (I think that is what it was called) came through Orlando.

zank
04-24-2006, 11:53 AM
I just got back in from our trip down to Georgia. My buddy Joe and I got to spend some time with SamIam. We had an absolute blast. Thank you very much for your hospitality, SamIam!!!

The riding was just amazing. We got down there Thursday night. On Friday, we watched the group roll out of Dalton and then drove to the finish in Dahlonega. What an awesome sprint. We were right on the 90 degree left corner at the top of the hill with 200 meters to go. Popo lead the group through and we could see the sprint on the big-screen TV.

After the jersey presentation, we jumped on our bikes for a quick ride. Decided to ride up Woody Gap in the opposite direction as the race went. We headed out of Dahlonega on 19 North. Stayed left at the "Rock Pile" and climbed to one the nicest views I have seen in a long time. We were then treated to an awesome descent back into Dahlonega.

Saturday was the big day for us. We drove to the bottom of Brasstown Bald hoping to catch up with a group ride in the morning. But, we couldn't really figure out what was going on, so we went out for our own ride. We knew we wanted to be back before the caravan got to the moutain at 3:00. Our plan was to go over Neel's Gap and then over Hogpen Gap. After going over Neel's, we ran into some really hard rain and a bit of road flooding. We were at the 25 mile mark and decided to just turn around and go back over Neel's. I was a little bummed to miss out on Hogpen, but now I have something to look forward to next year (we will be going back!). After going back over Neel's, we got to Jack's Gap. Jack's didn't seem so bad when we went down it at the beginning of our ride. Well, I certanly felt it as we headed to the bottom of Brasstown Bald. Neither one of us had the legs to take on Brasstown. But, we had a ball watching the pros do it. We tried to stake out the steepest part of the climb we could. We also lended a "helping hand" to some of the fellas as they were clearly in the pain locker.

Jason McCartney is a freakin monster. My new hero.

I highly encourage anyone who is interested in seeing this race to make it happen and bring your bikes.

William
04-24-2006, 12:09 PM
....Jason McCartney is a freakin monster. My new hero.

I highly encourage anyone who is interested in seeing this race to make it happen and bring your bikes.

Can I ride down with you next year??? :confused: ;)


Sounds like a blast. :banana:


William

Jeffie
04-24-2006, 12:22 PM
This year marked the 3rd year that a few of us have made it down to Georgia to watch what is usually a critical day for the racers doing the Tour De Georgia. Stage 5 is a serious climbing stage as shown in the attached stage profile.

We decided to ride to brasstown from Helen this year and it was a nice ride up despite the rain in the beginning. I did something I've never done before and will never do again: wait 60 minutes for a crappy hotdog at the top of brasstown!

I was expecting to see Danielson out front but it wasn't to be. He made no time up on Floyd and Floyd ended up winning this edition of the race..

The ride back down to Helen was good - I only passed two cars coming down Unicoi ;-)

I ended up eating dinner in Helen and then driving to Alpharetta for the Cancer ride on Sunday. Info here: http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1298053&action=ct

I woke up Sunday morning and drove to the finish of the stage and then rode with a group of about 10 other cancer riders to the start (about 18 miles away). It was actually a pretty nice ride.

We got to the start of the cancer ride, which was also the start of the stage for the pro's, and I got lots of good pictures...

I was supposed to ride on the "red" team, which was being led by Greg Lemond but they didn't have a medium jersey so I elected to take a medium white Jersey and ride on Mari Holden's team. Mari is a world champion and it was an honor to meet her.

The pro's took off and then Lemond and his red team started about 10 minutes later. We then started about 5 minutes after the red team and the "blue" team led by Steve Hegg started 5 minutes behind us.

Within 10 minutes we were passing many "red" team members. Turns out, the 12-14mph pace that we were supposed to ride was more like 18-20 mph. Lemond's group was riding faster than our group but even our group was dropping people.

At about 9 miles from the finish all of the teams came back together. I believe the intent was to have us all ride into the finishing loop as one cohesive "team". HA! It started off pretty mellow - like 15-17mph, then it was like 19-21mph, then we got on the finishing circuit and it was like full gas 25+mph.

So, I'm riding on the circuit near Lemond and Hegg and some guys are attacking. My head is down for a minute and when I look up to see who's on my left, Lemond is right next to me. He looks over and I say "12-14mph huh?" He puts his hand on my shoulder and says "what can I say, I can't keep these guys from riding fast". We hit the 180-degree turn and Hegg winds it up big time. About 10 guys go off the front and I try to bridge up. I'm starting to realize I'm not going to make it and so I look back and see a small group coming. They catch me and I look to see who it is. It is Lemond, Lemond's son Jeff, and two other guys. So, here I am, in a group of 5 guys and I'm watching Lemond drive it. It was surreal. We rotated through about 2 times and then Lemond had enough and pulled off. I can honestly say, it was one of the neatest moments I've ever had on a bike. How often do you get to ride in a pace-line with Lemond???
Not only was it a great ride, I raised about $1500 for the GA cancer coalition.

It ended up being a day I'll never forget!

Jeff

kestrel
04-24-2006, 01:30 PM
Keep'em comin' guys, great stuff!

Zank, I was on the same corner watching the finish live and on the big screen live. Standing right at the edge of the crossing before the 200m signs on the opposite side from the blacksmith.

SamIAm
04-24-2006, 02:08 PM
I just got back in from our trip down to Georgia. My buddy Joe and I got to spend some time with SamIam. We had an absolute blast. Thank you very much for your hospitality, SamIam!!!



My pleasure, I had a great time. Let's make it an annual event. I will do some better planning next time.

As an aside, I can't get over how much Zank looks like Lance Armstrong. I am serious, he is a dead ringer.

All in all bicycle fellowship is a good thing! :beer:

Keith A
04-24-2006, 02:11 PM
Jeffie -- Thanks for sharing that with us!

zank
04-25-2006, 06:53 AM
Keep'em comin' guys, great stuff!

Zank, I was on the same corner watching the finish live and on the big screen live. Standing right at the edge of the crossing before the 200m signs on the opposite side from the blacksmith.

We must have been standing right next to each other. Man, what a finish, eh?

kestrel
04-25-2006, 07:21 AM
We must have been standing right next to each other. Man, what a finish, eh?

Nothing like a live bike race. I really enjoy the tour, etc. on the tube, but nothing beats being there, seeing, smelling, and almost sharing the action. The added plus of doing some of the Ga. climbs before the racers is thrilling. People on both sides hollering or heckling the riders as they labor up the road. Standing around making conversation with like-minded people for two, three, or four hours waiting for a snipet of the race to whooosh through. I can't wait to return next year. When the Tour de DuPont and Trump past off the radar screens, it left a big "roadtrip" void in my cycling life, Georgia brings it back!

Thanks all, I love reading these personal accounts.