I had the fortunate experience of witnessing the tour roll into Ellijay this past weekend. We were about 1/4 mile from the traffic circle as they were entering the downtown area. The whole thing is pretty cool. The police, all the different motorcycle escorts and photographers, the team support vehicles and the bikes. As the riders came in, there was a break away group of 10- 12 riders that held a 3 -4 minute advantage over the peloton. These guys came through and it is awesome how they ride through in perfect unison and form and its like they glide as they go past at approx. 30 mph. The sound of nothing is what I remember. There is hardly any noise as they roll past. The sound of the tires rolling on the asphalt is all that I heard. They came in and were gone in seconds. The Peloton was more impressive. A short line of 4-6 riders out front in single and double formation, and right on their tires was the mass. 3- 6 riders wide, tire on tire. Again, very little noise. They were riding so tight to one another. I was standing right next to the road, 2-3 feet from the inside riders. As the Peloton approached, before it reached me, I felt this mass of energy roll over me. As the Peloton reached me it swept behind me and I was inside of it. This was the large draft effect the bikes create. It seemed like the mass was so large it was being pushed out in front of the group as well as around the sides and behind the Peloton. It was incredible. It felt sort of like like wind but not really like wind. It really felt like you were inside a mass of energy. As they swept by me and as the rear of the Peloton left it felt like it wanted to pull you along, the tail end of it was like a very strong, steady gust of wind. Almost like that wind was trying to keep you inside the bubble, the mass. Incredible. Those guys riding in that thing must literally be getting sucked along the course within the Peloton. Great experience.
It was all so fast and was over in moments. It was like a silent, colorful train rolling by. Really cool. Great motivation to want to go out and ride, and thats what we did, foo's !!! Hit some sweet single track! The Pinhoti Trail, off the Bear Creek trail system. We did about 26 - 27 miles, parking at the bottom of the road and climbing our way up the service road and then into the the Pinhoti Trail. Great climbs, very hard, long climbs but equal in the great downhills.