Bike building doesn’t offer up a lot of natural holidays. We can build every day of the year (we don’t), and still have work to do. So when most folks were packing in around a table to pass the turkey and stuffing this year, we were boarding a mostly empty flight to Atlanta.
This time of year we’re looking to ride where it’s warm, where it’s mostly flat, and where you might not think to find good riding. Georgia, specifically Athens and Augusta, is something of a secret cycling gem. The locals know how good it is, but you don’t read a lot about its flowy, endless single-track or its labyrinthine red clay roads.
We found the Georgia woods perfect for Evergreening, free of the rootys and rocks that make our New England woods so challenging to ride. For the first time in as long as we can remember, we never felt compelled to stop. Local mountain bikers take such good care of the trail systems, and there are so few momentum-sapping obstacles, that it was only fatigue that forced us to take a break. This kind of riding is really good for the soul, endless, twisting paths through gorgeous woodland, long, straight roads of firm, dry, red clay.
On the road, we found drivers universally courteous, and even on the edges of the cities, the mixed terrain riding was outstanding, ribboning along rivers and snaking under highways.
We flew back the Monday after the long weekend. There were, after all, more bikes to build, but Evergreening Georgia was as worthy a way to spend Thanksgiving as we could imagine.