Mountain Biking Weekend

Somewhat unexpectedly, this weekend was a holiday weekend and ended up having 2 mountain biking trips to North Georgia. On Friday, I called Ben to see if he wanted to ride on Saturday, and he did. I convinced him to try out Stanley Gap so we drove up there first thing on Saturday morning. We took almost 2.5 hours do do the 17.2 mile loop created by riding from the parking lot on the road to the start of the trail, riding all of Stanley Gap, then riding the Flat Creek Loop. Here's the elevation and a map: The entire time we were riding in the clouds, and I used one of my few pictures from that trip as my 365 photo of the day for that day: "Through The Clouds." It took about 15% longer than my last trip there, but we both had a good time, a Samuel Adams Winter Lager each at the end hit the spot afterwards, and Ben promised me he would do some mountain biking without me every now and then. We're hoping to make our mountain biking trips a regular thing and slowly increase our mileage each time, so hopefully I won't break a collarbone again this year and we'll end up doing 60+ in a day by the end of this fall. Once home, I caught up on the internet and then headed out for a monthly bike ride/pub crawl that you can see a little of here. Sunday was a day of rest, but thanks to Deepali mentioning it in IRC on Friday at work to remind us, Seth and I had Monday - President's Day - off! We came up with a plan and even though nobody else chose to join us, set out at 8:30am for some bike riding and zombie defense training. I took a few more pictures than Saturday which you can see here, but this ride just wasn't quite as awesome. Seth and I took different routes because he wasn't feeling the ridiculous "East-West" loop at Fort Mountain and I for some reason was. It was more stressful than it was fun, consisting of a 1000ft elevation drop over about a mile towards the beginning of the ride and a lot of climbing at the end that had me thinking "you have got to be kidding me" every time I came around a turn and It looked steeper than what I had been riding. For extra fun, the parking lot was the highest point of the trail. I tend to prefer to do some of the climbing towards the beginning of a ride. The map itself looks a little scary due to all the contour lines: But the elevation does a slightly better job of explaining: And a view of the big descent at the beginning helps a little bit more: (The blue line is Fort Mountain and the other lines you see in the distance are other trails in North Georgia that I've ridden.) About 2.5 hours after starting, I finished the 14.2 miles and decided that never again would I need to ride a mountain bike at Fort Mountain. It was good to do once to experience the decent and climbing, but having to take breaks going downhill to rest my hands and having to walk for ~10 minutes at a time uphill just isn't that fun. The views and old mining-industry related scenery just didn't quite make it worth it. This makes 2 new trails I've ridding this year, so I'm slowly moving towards my goal of 10 new places, and it's time to figure out where in North Georgia to ride next! After all the riding, Seth and I went to the Sumac Creek Shooting Range near Cisco, GA to practice our zombie defense skills. We finally got My dad's .22 sighted in so that the scope is usable at 100yds, shot Seth's Mosin for the first time, put a few rounds through my Grandfather's Enfield, and played with a few other things. All in all it turned out to be a pretty good weekend, and if you'd asked me what I was doing for the weekend early Friday afternoon, I would have had no idea!

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