Over two hundred cyclists traveled through the heart of Dawson County last weekend to participate in the fifth annual ‘Shine Pedalers Metric, a bike ride hosted by the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Northstar Bicycle.
Cyclists participated in the full metric, a 100 kilometer (62 mile) ride, or a half-metric, a 50 kilometer (31 mile) ride. The rides started at 7:30 and 7:45 a.m., respectively, and finished at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville.
The metric ride took pedalers up Burnt Mountain, where spectacular views took whatever breath they had left. Half-metric riders toured the Amicalola Falls State Park on their less strenuous trip.
The ride featured five SAG (support and gear) stops for the metric riders and two for the half. The stops were sponsored by volunteers who kept riders energized and hydrated throughout the ride with snacks like trail mix and bananas, energy drinks, flat coke, mustard and pickle juice.
The mustard and pickle juice were for cramps, something previous riders suggested as one thing they would like to have at the stops.
New to the ride this year was a competition between themed SAG stops. Cyclists voted on the winners: Denise Ray won with her Hawaiian themed stop at the top of Burnt Mountain, and Carol Tyger won the half-metric award for her Australian theme.
The titles of King and Queen of the Mountain were awarded to the first male and female to reach the top of Burnt Mountain. Tracy Saine, 45, of Dahlonega and Christine Grant, 48, of Gainesville were the first to reach the top. They were part of the Northstar Bicycle team.
After the ride, cyclists were treated to a BBQ lunch, refreshments and an opportunity to tour the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame as well as the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery. Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers supplied free custard to all of the participants after the ride.
“Our fifth annual ‘Shine Pedalers Metric was our best one yet! This event is an excellent way for our office to showcase our beautiful community to cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts,"Chamber President Christie Haynes.
Cyclists from all over participated in the race: Holger Schneider from Flowery Branch, originally of Germany, and Keith Hager from Cumming, originally of New York, were among the first to gear up ready for the race.
Schneider, 51, was participating in the half-metric, and said his main goal was to finish in the first group. Hager, 54, rode the metric and said he had only recently moved to the area three weeks ago.
“I was just looking for a good ride,” he said.
The chamber worked hard to make it just that.
Since the first metric in 2012, the event has grown by leaps and bounds- the inaugural event saw 80 participants.“Our fifth annual ‘Shine Pedalers Metric was our best one yet!” said Chamber President Christie Haynes. “This event is an excellent way for our office to showcase our beautiful community to cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts. With slight changes to the route, we were able to better ensure rider safety and offer even more beautiful view of our county.”