electrical bike Brent Tucker rides bike 357 miles in mountain journey
Intense warmth. Cat naps within the woods. Trails coated in roots. Thunderstorms. Excessive climbs of seven or eight straight miles going uphill, at midnight. A backpack crammed with simply the necessities. Moments the place neither coronary heart nor legs had been prepared.
Brent Tucker coated 357 miles on his mountain bike in 4½ days. It was a type of experiences of a lifetime, aside from one factor: Tucker desires to do it once more.
“It was pleasing and horrible on the identical time,” Tucker mentioned of his participation within the Trans North Georgia Journey 2020. “However I might do it once more.”
The Trans North Georgia Journey is a “bikepacking” endurance trip for mountain bikers. On its web site, TNGA refers back to the occasion as not a race however an “journey.” There isn’t any entrance price. There’s additionally no prize, no place finishes. Individuals’ occasions are recorded and documented “just for comparability.”
It’s termed an “unsupported journey” in that contributors should pack all the things they could want alongside the way in which, and many of the manner is off the overwhelmed path. They will cease on the occasional city they move and seize a fast chew to eat, however mainly they’re on their very own, together with navigating their manner by means of the mountains of north Georgia.
Tucker has gone from zero to 350 in a brief span. He’s gone from “largely” highway biking to mountain biking. Highway biking, he discovered, turned tiresome, what with all the time having to look ahead and backward to verify no vehicles had been going to hit him. He discovered using by means of woods and forests was far safer.
Tucker, 55, joined the West Alabama Mountain Biking Affiliation round 5 years in the past.
“I form of did each all alongside, however I simply most popular highway bike for a very long time,” he mentioned. “But it surely’s positively a special recreation (mountain biking). You’re maneuvering up shorter, faster hills, roots, rocks, the occasional snake. That’s the factor. You simply maintain rolling. You don’t put your foot down.”
By day, Tucker works at Good Financial institution in Tuscaloosa within the treasury administration division. In his off time, one in every of his buddies, endurance athlete Tracy McKay, steered Tucker attempt Skyway Epic, a 60-mile endurance trip in Sylacauga. Tucker did simply that two years in the past.
“I assume that was my gateway drug to the massive ones,” Tucker joked.
It was McKay, too, who talked Tucker into attempting the TNGA, the place greater than 72% of the path is unpaved.
Tucker’s bike weighed 21 kilos. He added one other 24-25 kilos in his pack with restore instruments for the bike, a bag to sleep in, water, a water filter, spare tire tubes and a pump, plus meals sufficient to gas 2,000-4,000 energy between stops for meals at roadside eateries.
The race began in Clayton, Ga., and ended on the Alabama-Georgia border on the Silver Comet Path. Riders began at 8 a.m. Aug. 15. They had been allowed eight days to complete. He and McKay, who was his using accomplice, completed Aug. 19 at 8 p.m.
They rode 75 miles that included a 6-mile climb over gravel on day one earlier than they stopped to get a cat nap.
Their purpose was to complete in 70-80 hours. They ended up in 108. Riders self-navigate with digital units and paper map backups. Navigating triggered some delays, one of many causes Tucker desires to attempt all of it once more. Subsequent time he’ll know what to anticipate.
“We are going to do that one once more due to what we discovered by means of this expertise,” Tucker mentioned.