Yes, we are in the 21st Century, but there is a new Century coming to Blairsville-Union County, Georgia – The Georgia Mountain Metric Century Bike Ride! On May 16th, 2015 a 23 mile epic cycling experience will be available to all interested bike riders throughout the Southeast. This inaugural ride is designed as a spring tune-up ride before the yearly Six Gap ride in the fall. The Georgia Mountain Metric Century Bike Ride boasts of over 2,000 feet of climbing and will ride through the scenic Trackrock area and roll through the beautiful countryside crossing the “big 3 gaps” – Hog Pen, Unicoi, & Jacks Gap.
The Georgia Mountain Metric Century has the potential to be huge for ecotourism in Union County. As a matter of fact, Dahlonega boasts that the Six Gap Century Bike Ride brought 2,426 cyclists from 30 states and 4 countries for a $1.35 million economic impact in 2013. For the inaugural year of the Georgia Mountain Metric Century, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Union County 4-H program to help build mountain bike trails, family riding trails, and expand youth outdoor education programs.
To take on an event this large requires a lot of support from the community both in business sponsorships and in volunteer hands. Randy Denniston of Blairsville Bikes and Hikes, along with the support of his wife and avid bike riding friends are coordinating this epic inaugural ride, but your help is needed! Whether you can volunteer for the entire day or for a few hours, it provides a huge help to the riders and organizers and will be fun for you as well. Group organizations are welcome to help too, whether you are a part of a civic club or a religious organization the more community support, the better. For more information about sponsorship or volunteer opportunities please contact Randy Dennistion at Blairsville Bikes & Hikes by calling 706-745-8141.
If you would prefer to be a rider in this inaugural Georgia Mountain Metric Century ride, here’s the route beta:
The Valley Route – Being only 23 miles, do not let it fool you into thinking it’s not a challenge. Only 2 miles in you have to climb Town Mountain. It’s a short, but challenging climb. The route will continue through the farmland of Union County with some nice views even though no big mountains are scaled. You will ride through the picturesque Trackrock area before the loop will bring you around to the back side of Town Mountain where you get to climb one last time before heading to the finish. With over 2,000 ft. of climbing in 23 miles, it’s no cakewalk.
The 100k: The course will follow the Valley Route out of town and over Town Mountain. Ten miles in will be the warm-up climb, Craig Gap, for the big climbs to come. The course rolls through farmland to the base of Hog Pen Gap (this is the reverse loop of the 6 Gap Ride). You will go up the “short” side, with grade exceeding 10+%. The long fast descent on the back side will bring you to the base of Unicoi Gap. Grades are not as extreme as Hog Pen Gap, but the climb is a lot longer. Settle in for the longest climb of the day. At the top you have over 5,000 ft. of climbing in and have only ridden 35 miles. Down the fast, short descent to the base of Jack’s Gap, you will roll up to another longer climb with sharper grades toward the top and Jack’s Gap will get your attention. At the bottom, after the descent, the course will follow the Valley Route back to the base of Town Mountain. Up and over and to the finish, you will have over 7,100 ft. of climbing in for the ride. Lots of elevation in a short course will make it a challenge even for the best climbers.
Thank you to the sponsors of the Georgia Mountain Metric Century: Bill Potts Insurance, Blairsville Bikes and Hikes, Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce, Blairsville Downtown Development Authority, Blood Mountain Cabins & Country Store, Cabin Coffee, Comfort Inn, Dr. Paula Boyle, GnG Bakery & Café, Law office of Cary Cox, Marin Bicycles, McDonald’s of Blairsville, Mountain Crossings, Mountain Eye Care, Odom Springs Winery, Paradise Hills Resort & Spa, Pet Paradise, Pro-Therapy, Season’s Inn, The Bearding Bottle Shop, The Sawmill Place , Ugly Mug Café, United Community Bank, West Dentistry and Zaxby’s.
To register for the Georgia Mountain Metric Century Ride you can go to www.epicsportsmarketing.com or www.Active.com. For more information about sponsorship or volunteer opportunities please contact Randy Dennistion at Blairsville Bikes & Hikes by calling 706-745-8141.
For more information about the Blairsville-Union County area or for help planning your next trip please contact the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce, 1-877-745-5789, www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com; or contact Tobie Chandler directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.