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  1. #1
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    6 Gap Century/ 3 Gap 50

    Hi
    Does anyone have any information or know where to find additional information on this ride? That is besides what is listed on the Dahlonega city website.

    Thanks in advance.

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    What would you like to know? Perhaps I could help...

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    I'm looking for more detailed information: Gap elevations, length, and any kind of route map. I've done some searching online and the info below is the only real information I come across, other than someone's ride report from several years ago. It's not very specific.

    Thanks.

    "6 Gap Century and 3 Gap Fifty Mile Ride

    Sunday, September 24, 2006 (7:00 AM - 5:00 PM)
    The Ride of Your Life! The Dahlonega/Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce is proud to sponsor the 18th annual Six Gap Century and Three Gap Fifty bike rides through the mountains.

    The Six Gap Century
    This ultra challenging route takes you up down six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains. Test your stamina with more than 10,700 feet of vertical climbing over the 100 mile course. Elevations for the six gaps in this ride range from 2,949 feet to 3,490 feet. The toughest climb, Hogpen Gap, tests even the toughest riders, averaging a 7% grade for seven miles, with sections as steep as 15%.

    The Three Gap Fifty
    This alternative route offers half the gaps and half the distance, but is nevertheless a demanding and challenging course. Elevations for the mountains on this ride range from 3,109 feet to 3,280 feet. "

  4. #4
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    Here's a discussion of the different Gaps covered on the ride:
    http://www.bikesbl.org/modules.php?o...5397a55524bc57

    Here's a map with some other references as well:
    http://www.sadlebred.com/maps/6gap.pdf#search='6%20gap%20century'

    This one has a ride profile:
    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=131842

    They've just changed the Dahlonega Chamber website so I'll have to do some digging for you...

    HTH,
    Dave

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pedal Wench's Avatar
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    There are some good route maps here: http://www.atlbike.org/modules.php?o...download&sid=4

    On his main site: www.atlbike.org there are some good forum discussions on many of the gaps, as they've been doing a bunch of training rides up there.

    Any specific questions we can help you with?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pedal Wench's Avatar
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    http://www.teamvega.net/?q=node/8

    or

    http://www.bike4one.com/rides2004/sixgap.htm

    or this report from a guy in Tallahassee

    A DESCRIPTION OF THE RIDE

    The course consists of an "approach" from Dahlonega followed by six climbs
    with some rolling hills between the gaps. Each climb culminates at a "gap",
    or mountain pass. The climb is named for the gap. There are refreshment
    stops at each gap and an extra one about half way up Hogpen (gap 4). (There
    may be more, but you won't need them.)

    The approach is rolling, with some very sharp (but short) hills. It's
    roughly comparable to a loop around the Havana Hills race course in Gadsden
    county. You want to be very careful with your energy on these first few
    miles. It is easy to get caught up in the moment and push hard enough to
    effectively ruin the rest of the ride before you even get to the first
    climb. Forget the group - ride your own pace and get warmed up. You
    absolutely have to ride your own ride on the climbs anyway. Keep in mind: a
    ride like 6-gap is more about energy management than anything else. You
    have only so much, and you're going to need a lot of it on the latter part
    of the ride.

    Gap 1: Neels

    This is a seven mile climb of moderate grade. Use it to get your legs and
    CV system running well and to get the feel of what it's like to go up hill
    for an hour. Watch your energy output rate (preferably with a heart rate
    monitor) and keep it moderate. There will be plenty of opportunity to push
    harder later in the ride, should you find the workout inadequate.

    The descent from Neels is fast but straight enough to be relatively safe,
    with good pavement. (For the 3-gap folks, the left turn to Wolfpen Gap is
    easy to fly by if you are not looking for it.)

    Gap 2: Jacks

    After some fairly good Havana-hills-like rolling terrain, this climb goes
    for about 3 miles at a moderate+ grade. This is where you get the
    experience of making a long climb that is not the first long climb...

    The descent from Jacks is long and moderate - let it fly. Beautiful scenery
    and lots of free miles on this one. It takes you all the way to the start
    of the climb to Unicoi Gap, no hilly stuff in between: just descend and
    start the next climb.

    Gap 3: Unicoi

    Unicoi is about 3 miles of moderate++ climbing. The main problem with
    Unicoi is that it is unshaded and can be very hot facing into the sun.

    The descent from Unicoi is great. While the climb is relatively short, the
    descent is over 10 miles all the way into Helen. The grade is steep enough
    to be fun, but the pavement is good and the curves are well banked so again
    this is not particularly dangerous. There may be a lot of traffic, the only
    "down side". But the roadway is wide enough to accommodate autos and bikes
    in most places. Stay aware of the traffic behind you.

    At 1445 ft above sea level, Helen is the lowest elevation on 6-gap, thus
    explaining why the descent is so long. (Dahlonega is 1880 ft.) And you WILL
    pay a price...

    Gap 4: Hogpen

    This is the big one. Seven miles at a steep grade, averaging around 7% but
    with some sections well above that. There are also a couple of false
    summits. There's a rest stop at mile 4, with 3 to go. (The mile markers on
    the highway actually correspond to miles on this climb.) Try to skip the
    intermediate rest stop. If the weather is hot, though, you may need to just
    get some fluid here.

    The descent from Hogpen is dangerous. It is very steep. There are sharp
    blind curves at the end of steep strait sections. The pavement is bad: old
    chip-seal, broken in places, and loose gravel possible anywhere. The road
    is narrow, and the camber of the turns is not adequate. The grade is such
    that speeds in excess of 50 mph are possible just using gravity.

    Someone said that if you don't brake, you won't flat: well, tell that to
    all the people who have flatted on, say, our St Marks Trail. You can also
    come up on wildlife, potholes, stopped leaf peepers, wet roadway, loose
    gravel, pavement cracks, hickory nuts, crashed motorcycles, motorcycles
    ascending in your lane, and any number of other hazards that require a very
    rapid change of plans. Bad stuff CAN happen. I have personally seen
    everything in my list above on the 6-gap course. It is unwise to descend at
    a speed that allows for no margin of correction.

    It is also unwise to brake too much, especially to ride the brakes. You
    want to avoid heat buildup in your rims - eventually, this will cause a
    blowout by melting your tube. (If you have plastic rim strips, failure will
    occur at a much lower temperature. Change to cloth rim tape before 6-gap.)
    And keep in mind: the heavier you are, the faster gravity will accelerate
    you and the more heat you will put into your rims when you slow down.

    There's no simple recipe here, just make sure you control your speed to
    something that gives you some wiggle room in case of unexpected events.

    Gap 5: Wolfpen

    The second toughest climb on 6-gap. About 2.5 miles (depending on where you
    define the beginning) with grades on par with Hogpen. The roadway is shady,
    however, which is great if the weather is hot. (It's been known to sleet up
    here, if the weather is wet.)

    The Wolfpen descent is twisty but on good pavement with good camber to the
    curves, so not too dangerous. It is often damp, though. Stay out of the paint.

    Gap 6: Woody

    The descent from Wolfpen takes you only down to Suches, home of the highest
    elevation school in Georgia. Consequently the climb up Woody is a paltry
    1.5 miles of moderate grade. From the top of Woody it's a 15+/- mile
    descent of mild grade all the way back to Dahlonega. Try to have enough
    energy left to enjoy it.

    HOW TO SIMULATE A CLIMB IN FLORIDA

    IMO: The only way to get a feel for climbing in Tallahassee is on a flat
    road. We do not have seven mile hills. Hills around here are great for
    building climbing strength and technique, but they can't give you a feeling
    for the long sustained effort required for the climbs in the mountains.

    Here is how to "feel" the climb to Neels Gap:

    On a 20 mile stretch of relatively flat road, assume a climbing position on
    your bike (hands on the top of the bar, loose grip, elbows out, chest open,
    head up) and start a 20 mile time trial. Using your heart rate monitor,
    maintain a steady heart rate at a sustainable level for the entire 20
    miles. Let's say 85% of your maximum sustainable effort. OK, that's Neels.

    Hog Pen: 30 miles at 90%

    Wolf Pen: 15 miles at 90%

    Etc.

    The entire 6-gap effort can be simulated by riding about 130 miles in
    Florida, making long sustained efforts of appropriate length. (Except, this
    simulation is harder on your butt than 6-gap, and it's a lot less fun.
    Plus, there's essentially no way to simulate the descents.)

    ADVICE

    It's all about energy management.

    Stop at the top just long enough to get supplies. Rest on the bike going
    downhill.

    Be prepared for weather. I guarantee there will be some.

    You can't have too low gears. Take all you have.

    DISCLAIMER

    Descending is never safe. Any time you are going 30+ mph in traffic there
    is danger to be assessed and managed.

  7. #7
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    Here's one for ya... If you have google earth you can 'fly' the 6 gap...
    http://www.bikesbl.org/modules.php?o...ad39a3d3526919

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    Thanks for helping me out, Dave & Pedal Wench.
    I've been able to find useful info on the links that you guys provided.

    Are either of you planning on riding? I see that it is in your neck of the woods, Dave.
    Also, do you recommend any must see's or do's while in the Dahlonega area?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pedal Wench's Avatar
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    Must do in Dahlonega? Carbo load!!!! (Got my eye on a Moe's burrito!)

    You know -- there is one thing that the report I 'borrowed' touched on, but should be stressed. The split for folks doing the 3-Gap 50 comes up VERY fast on the descent from Neels. Be careful of riders around you trying to make that turn. Watch for people hitting the brakes, or cutting across to make the turn if you're continuing straight for the 6-Gap 100. The turn is just past the driveway for Vogel State park. Look for the signs.

    One other tip. On most of the gaps, the Appalachian Trail crosses right at the top. So, just before the top, you'll see a little green sign with hikers on it. That means you just have a 1,000 feet or so to go.
    Last edited by Pedal Wench; 08-31-06 at 03:42 PM.

  10. #10
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    I won't have a problem there.

    Mental note made. I'm sure it's going to be pretty hairy. More than likely I'll be one of the ones cutting left, since I don't have great climbing legs yet. The guy I'm going with is doing the 6 Gap, I'll have to stress it to him.

    Thanks for the additional tips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GotSnow
    Thanks for helping me out, Dave & Pedal Wench.
    I've been able to find useful info on the links that you guys provided.

    Are either of you planning on riding? I see that it is in your neck of the woods, Dave.
    Also, do you recommend any must see's or do's while in the Dahlonega area?
    Yep, I live on the ride route... I may ride up Neels and do Hogpen, but I wasn't planning on doing anything 'official'. Dahlonega is pretty much 'Mayberry', everthing of any interest is pretty much on or near the square. There are a few decent restaurants, PW mentioned Moe's, there is also Pueblo's on the square, and a couple of italian places as well. Rick's reataurant is closed, but Rick is cooking in the Crimson Moon. The biggest problem you're going to have is that with all of the cyclists in town the restaurants fill up pretty quick, it makes for some pretty long waits. There are usually some cycling specific venders set up on the square on Sat. There is one bicycle shop in town now, but he's out by Walmart, maybe a mile or so from the square.

    Disgression is definately the better part of valor when it comes to this ride. Last year my brother (mr. triathalon) came up from FLA to do it, I tried to talk him into just doing the 50 miler, but he insisted on doing the century. It took him over 10 hours to get thru it, and he was pretty much toast...

    Have fun, and be safe... especially on the decents...

  12. #12
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotSnow
    Also, do you recommend any must see's or do's while in the Dahlonega area?
    There's a Pearl Izumi outlet in Dawsonville with a pretty good pizza place next door.
    Wag more, bark less

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    Senior Member Pedal Wench's Avatar
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    Actually, any specific names for the Italian places in Dahlonega? We're looking for someplace with huge portions and cheap prices. Cyclists before a big century, go figure...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Wench
    Actually, any specific names for the Italian places in Dahlonega? We're looking for someplace with huge portions and cheap prices. Cyclists before a big century, go figure...
    Caruso's is pretty good, Piazza is better, but more expensive. They are both right on the square. For what it's worth, depending on what your pre-ride carbo load or post-ride recovery routine is, Caruso's also has the Dahlonega Brewery...

  15. #15
    ... . Tmax1's Avatar
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    I heard this 6 Gap was "sold" out. Is this true? Or can you show up and register? ~jg

  16. #16
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    I don't know, you'd have to call the chamber 706-864-3711. Last year the cap was supposed to be 1500 riders, I've heard rumors of between 2000 and 2200 having ridden. I wouldn't just show up, if they say they are full, you might ask to be reserve listed or whatever, that way you have something to fall back on...

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    Hey Tmax1-

    You can still register online. I did this past Thursday and I received my confirmation today.

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