The first race of the year had me making the 12hr drive South to the mountains of Nothern Georgia to partake in the epic Southern Cross. 50 miles of paved/dirt fire roads with about 6000ft of elevation gain would certainly be enough to sort out the strongest riders. I was super excited to try out my new 616 stainless steel race rig, and it didn't disappoint. At 18.0 lbs, it's light and fast enough to hang right in there with the guys on CX bikes.
Thanks to the hospitality of the Livingston's, I had a sweet place to set up base camp for a week of training. The sun, warmer temps, and the smooth Georgia roads made getting in a big week almost easy! A couple highlights were the "silk sheets" group ride, an epic mountain fire road ride with Eddie O'Dea, and the classic 6 gap road ride. 6 gap is a famous ride that starts right near Dahlonega. It goes over 6 huge climbs and does some of the same roads that were used in the Tour of Georgia. The area is beautiful and the roads are dialed. It's a ride you have to do if you're ever in the area. Unfortunately the weather wasn't so good that day... temps in the 30's and rain. I started at the Hiker Hostil, right where the 5hr energy road team was holding their training camp. One of the riders came out just as I was suiting up. He looked at me like I was crazy. I guess it's not everyday you see a guy on a mountain bike with bagel wrappers over his shoes and a shower cap on his helmet ready to do a 100 mile road ride through the mountains in the rain by himself. But hey, I'm from Michigan, this stuff doesn't phase us. So get out there and get those miles in. The season is almost upon us! Thanks for checking in.