Tuesday, September 30, 2014

6 Gap or My Name Isn't Muffin

This weekend, Muffin rode the 6 Gap Century.  Meaning, he rode 104 miles over 6 of the steepest mountains in North Georgia with more than 11,200 feet of climbing!  My sweet muffin has always loved exercising and cycling (heck, he even ran a marathon for fun), and I couldn't imagine him without a bike.  When we first started dating, I worked at a book store that was next to his bike shop.  Some really great memories from that summer are of Sunshine Bicycle and Daniel passing time there until my shift was over.  His love of cycling is such a huge part of who he is, and I am in awe of his athletic abilities.  6 Gap was the ultimate challenge and I honestly know it is his stubborn streak and will power that got him through such a difficult ride!

 The day started at 4 am. This chick is not a morning person, so the first few hours of the day were a sleepy haze!  Luckily, I packed enough Diet Coke to wake me up so I was able to help him pack his jersey with snacks and get him all situated!

Muffin is ready to ride!
6 Gap has over 3,000 riders, and I truly haven't ever seen anything like it.  There were cyclists from 18 countries and the oldest rider was over 70 years old!

Cyclists taking off!
After the riders were gone, Daniel's mom and I took the "short" 2 mile walk back to our car.  We then set out in search of breakfast.  Dahlonega, where the race starts, has the cutest downtown area!  We found a local café and had a great breakfast.  

After breakfast, we had a hard time deciding what to do!  We originally planned to just shop around the town, but Daniel's dad, via a phone call, suggested that we go meet Muffin at Hogpen Mountain (aka the hardest climb of the entire ride) and offer some encouragement.  

Robin, Daniel's mom, and I had quite an adventure heading out to the course to find him.  3 GPS attempts and 1 dog chase later we were in place!  We chose to be at the bottom of the mountain, and it's a good thing!  The course signs were missing and it was a left hand turn where the riders could definitely use a road block.  We "worked our street corner" (hahaha) and directed traffic for a few hours waiting on Daniel to get to us.  In that time, we saw a couple of riders get picked up in the service vehicle.  One wrecked in a curve and the other just couldn't keep up the pace of the ride.  I felt terrible for them!

Blurry, I know!

I also had my sign while we were directing traffic.  I didn't hold it for all to see, but it was visible and leaning against my legs.   I got lots of great comments from riders on it!  I had some requests for muffins and many told me "Hey! My name's not muffin!"  I ended up deeming the 6 Gap ride the official Muffin For A Day ride.  Everyone was my muffin and got some encouraging words :)  My mother-in-law got the best praise though!  We had a gentleman tell her that she was his favorite girl for directing traffic...but apparently that's also what he tells all his ladies.  Cyclists are definitely characters!

After Daniel passed us (throwing out unwanted items to me as he turned) we packed up and headed to the finish line.  They finally replaced the directional sign and we felt safe to go!

There is honestly nothing like watching him pass the finish line!  I was so proud for him and knew he must be bursting with excitement!

After the ride was over, Muffin got a leg massage and a huge spaghetti dinner and we headed home.  He then got a second dinner at our favorite pizza place at home!  Muffin burned more than 6,000 calories and definitely needed to load up on carbs.

His first ride since the race is today.  If it were me, I would've taken the whole week off.  Then again, nobody has will power like Muffin does!

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