2009 Hooch Dual Sport Results
I’ve been riding the Hooch for 10 years now, and I enjoyed this years ride just as much as ever. I never tire of the Forest Service roads and trails in the North Georgia mountains, and there are a lot of other folks that feel the same way.
We always have a large group of Florida riders, who come to get a taste of the mountain hills, lush forests, and cascading mountain streams. Even though the tough economy pushed our attendance down from last year, we still had a very good turn out with just over 90 riders.
The weather couldn’t have been better. Temperatures were mild, and the skies were only partly cloudy. There have been days in the past when we began the morning ride with temperatures dipping below 40 degrees, or in a morning fog so thick you could cut it with a knife.
This year I rode in the afternoon arrow crew with Dennis Blanton, and my son Curbe. The great thing about arrowing the afternoon route is we don’t have to leave camp quite so early as the morning crew. We can easily arrow the route and then loop back to the lunch stop in a reasonable time. After lunch we can ride at our own pace most anywhere we want and make it back to camp in time to shower before the hot water runs out. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. On Saturday, lunch was served at Cooper Creek Store on Hwy 60, in Baxter, GA. The folks there have been providing lunches for us as long as I can remember, and it’s always been great! They are some great folks and are always happy to see the 2-wheeled crowd. On Sunday, we dined at the newly remodeled Van-Zandt’s store in Dial, GA. In the past year they have totally remodeled the store and put in a great snack bar. I can attest that their barbeque chicken sandwiches really hit the spot.
On Saturday, we saw a lot of traffic we haven’t seen in the past. As we rode past the Fish Hatchery on Rock Creek Rd. I thought I was at Lenox Mall on the day after Thanksgiving. The road was lined with parked cars for a quarter mile in both directions, and except instead of carrying shopping bags, everyone was carrying fishing tackle. We found ourselves in the middle of the annual Fishing Rodeo. Also there was an off-road bicycle race or rally going on, as we saw numerous bicyclists along the Forest Service roads.
Saturday night is always a special night. The Skeenah Creek Campground, not to be surpassed by the great lunch stops, provided a super Barbeque Pork dinner, complete with all the fixin’s right down to the peach cobbler. The gathering for dinner then transitioned into our evening raffle for some really great prizes donated by GARTRA Sponsors, which included Pirelli Tires, Scott goggles, a Motion-Pro tool set, AFX T-Shirts, and 3 ride jackets donated by GARTRA member Ron Westergren.
A very special thanks goes to John Medicus, who worked tirelessly (that means without getting tired, not without tires) to organize the Hooch. It wouldn’t have happened without his efforts and expertise. Also thanks to all the other volunteers that worked at registration, on the arrow and sweep crews, and with pre-rides etc.. GREAT JOB!!
If you’re reading this and haven’t tried Dual Sport motorcycling, it’s a fantastic opportunity to see places you won’t see riding a cruiser or a motocross bike. It’s also about meeting up with some new faces, having a really great time, and building some life-long memories.
Bruce Dreher, GARTRAX Editor