CHEAHA CHALLENGE

 JACKSONVILLE, ALABAMA    May 20, 2018




            


 

 


2017 CHEAHA CHALLENGE & ULTRA RIDE REPORT

We can’t possibly give enough credit to Ride Director Brooke Nelson and her team in putting on the impressive weekend Gran Fondo Cheaha Challenge & ULTRA! With a grim weather forecast, Brooke sent out positive vibes across the universe and came up with a perfect day for this extremely tough ride, challenging the century riders with 9,714′ feet of climbing and the ULTRA’s with 12,835′!

Saturday’s first BIKEXPO was a great success and we predict huge growth in the coming years. TREK’s Timothy Wakefield joined the ABCS/Glassner Autumn Challenge booth to display our 2017 Grand Prize, the TREK Emonda ALR5. Folks were also able to check out the YETI cooler provided by State Farm’s Thomas Waters and enjoy an ice cold Aquafina water by Buffalo Rock plus purchase Glassner and ABCS Primal Wear jersey gear. And when the “deluge” began, we sure appreciated the canopies provided by Academy Sports!

Photos by Bonnie Traphan & Billy Ritch

 

The Pre-Ride Party with live music and buffet by Classic on Noble was great fun and the huge tent saved us! One of the awards presented by Director Brooke Nelson was The Spirit of a Champion Award  and is a way to recognize a cyclist who inspires us by cycling despite physical limitations and/or illness. This year’s award went to Brian Smith!

 

 

 

 

 

With 838 registered cyclists, 550 were signed up for the 100-mile Challenge & ULTRA! The Saturday night rains subsided just in time for the 7:30 roll out of the ULTRA’s on Sunday morning and pretty much left everyone alone throughout the day.

By 8:00, all waves including the Chief Ladiga Cruisers had begun their ride of choice, including ABCS Support Staff Kathy Thornton, Marsha Burt, & Sarah Churchman.

The ladies at the start!

…and their finish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, at JSU Headquarters, preparation had already begun for the cyclists’ return with live music and a fantastic lunch layout by Cooter’s Rib Shack. This event truly had the feeling of a Gran Fondo!

With impressive finish times, Brendan Housler (4:24) and Kat Sweatt (4:57) were the first male and female Century finishers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First male ULTRA finisher was David Winston (6:03) with Judah Sencenbaugh (7:30) as the first female.

As always, both ULTRA and Century finishers are listed to the right on this page. If you have any corrections, please let us know: bamabackroads@gmail.com


Special shout outs go to ALL cyclists who pedaled the 155 miles to support Smile-a-Mile on Saturday and to these Awesome Eight who managed a Cheaha Century or ULTRA on Sunday!

Greg Caldwell, Demetrious White, Bo Bozeman, Kathy Welch, Taylor Dawson, Chris Cole, Gabby Moody, and Prince Whatley


We were very proud to award 14 cyclists with their 4th 2017 Centurion medal and patch!

Allen Yates, Brock Tate, Emeterio Hernandez, Greg Caldwell, Jamey Clements, John Ballew, Roger Larsen, Taylor Dawson, Thomas Fluker, Lain Hawk, Terri Sullivan, Larry Murphy, Jeff Brobst, and Richard Akers


Congrats to Don Mroczko, winner of the Four Corners Gallery unique and personal framed remembrance he will soon receive with his photo and a Cheaha Challenge finisher’s medal.


A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to the many volunteers who helped over the weekend!! Billy Ritch, you are always there when needed!  Tracey White, Marsha Burt, Terrie Hinton…we are big into photos here with the Series and couldn’t recognize everyone the way we do without you! Amy White, Kathy Thornton, Sarah Churchman, Kathy & Althea Yburan…absolutely top notch organization in checking in hundreds of people, awarding medals, patches, ULTRA shirts, Cheaha caps and so much more.  YOU ALL ROCK!!!

HIGH FIVES to Robert & Bonnie Traphan who do so much behind-the-scene work in making our sign-in process go so smoothly and for riding the only tandem in the Cheaha Challenge!


PHOTOS

We have posted hundreds of photos on our BamaBackroads Facebook Photo page and will be adding to this page too!


PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

Steve Justice, after hours of posing in front of the mirror!

 

HOW IT FEELS TO FINISH THE CHEAHA CHALLENGE ULTRA!

Jud Davis and Rachel Leaberry


PRE- AND POST-RIDE PHOTOS BY TRACEY WHITE:

 

Click on the photo to view. Hover over each photo for cyclist’s name

ON-ROAD PHOTOS BY TRACEY WHITE

View Tracey’s photos by clicking on the above picture. See Tracey’s site for you next photo shoot!  tjwhitephoto.com

 

AWARD PHOTOS BY MARSHA BURT:

Click above photo to see the album. Hover over most pics to see names.

AWARD PHOTOS BY TERRI HINTON:

Click on photo to view. Hover over photos for cyclist’s name


ROUTES

Cheaha Century

Cheaha 24 Mile

Cheaha 44 Miles

Cheaha 62 Mile

Cheaha 84 Mile

Cheaha Ultra

RSVP to the Cheaha Challenge Ride with GPS event to enable premium features such as spoken turn-by-turn directions and offline download capabilities.


 

Comments about the 2015 Cheaha Challenge:

I have no idea how much work and planning it takes to pull off such an event. But I do know if it looked effortless and was operationally smooth, that does not just ‘happen’.  Thank you for keeping us safe and moving along.
You and your team of sponsors and volunteers did a great job.
Thanks from the middle of the pack,
Chad Hathorne

Comments or questions?  Write us at bamabackroads@gmail.com

 

4 Responses to CHEAHA CHALLENGE

  1. Joe Patrick says:

    One of best supported rides I have ever participated in. Great job and thanks to the entire community for their efforts!

  2. Randy Jensen says:

    This was my first Alabama Backroads Century Series event. I did the 100 mile Challenge. The course was everything advertised, plus more. The Horseblock mountain climb is a leg-drainer going out and a will-breaker coming in. Can’t say enough about the volunteers and community support of this event. I’ve never peddled an event with this big of a welcome mat laid out by so many local and state volunteers, community leaders, emergency response providers and law enforcement. I felt safe and taken care of the entire time! Better than that, I felt loved by every cheering bell-ringer along the way. Southern hospitality at its finest! Thanks for everything! I’ll be back.

  3. Greg Caldwell says:

    Was amazed at the support that this ride provided! From check in, the rest stop volunteers, to the state trooper support this ride was awesome!! Will be back for more!!

  4. Matt Butler says:

    This has to be the best organized most well supported ride in the state, possibly the South.

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