2005 Cheaha Century Challenge Comments
"This was my 3rd century and without a doubt the toughest day I've ever spent on a bike. Rode with my son Mitch who is a much better climber and kept me from giving up. This was the best organized ride we've ever done. Thanks to all the volunteers who made it a memorable day. We'll be back next year!"
"Great event! The event staff were awesome, the volunteers were friendly and plentiful, the route in the National Forest was beautiful (you can't get lost!), and finishing first female (6:12)was an added delight! See you again next year, God Willing!"
" Another great ride. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped in so many different ways -from cooking, to serving, to marshalling the course, to handing water out on the road, to holding my bike, etc., etc. - and a major thanks to Mike Poe for his leadership in pulling all the sponsors together to make this a reality. What a great community event! "
Baton Rouge, LA
"After reading over the comments, I can only add that I am looking forward to next year. I see the event getting better and better. I am excited to be involved in a sport that has so much to offer the regular guy like me. To the volunteers along the route, thanks for making me feel good with a smile and encouragement. As for the ride itself, that which does not kill you will make you strong-I suppose. Thanks Mike Poe and NEABC!!!"
"This is the second Cheaha for me and I am even more impressed than last year with the organization and planning that went into the event. At the end of, what was probably 12+ hour day, your incredible staff and volunteers continued to smile and cheer this tortoise along to the finish. Thank you all for an exhausting, and yet wonderful, weekend and I look forward to seeing you again next year. "
"I echo every comment made and can't wait to do it again sometime...on my motorcycle!"
"A friend (for which I am reevaluating) told me I should do the ride for the fun of it and that I should experience it at least once in my life. Thanks friend.... To those who doubt whether Lance Armstrong is one of the greatest in our lifetime, try riding this course just to have an appreciation for what he and all those other great riders accomplish, day after day after day. Getting back on my bike the day after was the last thing I wanted to do. To the guy from Chelsea who said he was talking to himself and answering himself, that was me saying "I'm coming." Thanks to all the volunteers, this was truely an incredible experience. Lastly, I heard the course was flat, see you next year. "
"The event was great. Before the ride, I didn't think there were any tough hills in Alabama. Wrong again."
"I had heard that a Bear lives up in Mount Cheaha who loves to eat bikers. He didn't eat me! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to beat him. Very well organized and run. "
"Great Ride! I will do it again next year. Thanks."
"Thanks to all the volunteers who make this one of the great rides in the Southeast. Mike, you and the NEABC have created the premier cycling event in Alabama and probably the best weekend of events in the South for amatuer cyclists. Thanks for all the hard work."
" I thought that this was a great ride. This was my first time and I loved it. I hope to come back for many more years. "
"Absolutely the most well organized events I have ever participated in! Great century ride! Enjoyed the wonderful breakfast and lunch as well! Thank you to all of the organizers, officials, and volunteers! I will attend next year and bring more friends to share the experience! Great turn out too! Thanks everyone!!! It was a fun day!!!"
Lisa G. Geyer
"Beautifil weather and a nice warm up for the season. Volunteers were friendly, helpful and vocally supportive! Riders of many different skill levels so there is always someone around to ride along. To the guys I dropped in the paceline into town....sorry, but I was having a REALLY good day. Of course, I will be back next year."
"What a beautiful and challenging ride. I loved it and really think that you guys did an outstanding job with everything. The volunteers and SAG support were amazing. I'll be back next year. :)"
"Great Ride and Weather - The support was the best! You can bet I'll bring a 39/25 next year."
"Thanks again for organizing a great event. Tho my time was slower than previous years, the day was beautiful and everyone was super nice and you did it again. How could I not be happy?"
"Great support Thanks that the gods of rain stayed away. Chip rock was not too bad - might be better than slick in the rain - Yippee."
"OUCH!! Great Ride!"
" I lived in Nances Creek, Alabama until I was 12 years old (then moved into Anniston). I romped and stomped all over those mountains and hiked and climed all over Mt. Cheaha until I left for college in Iowa - where its hard to dream of mountains. There is nothing like peddling down Hwy 9 through your childhood memories and then tackling your childhood mountain on a bicycle. Thank you all for making it happen. To be sure, you've been making it happen for over a decade, but I finally came around this year. Can't wait to see you next year."
Born in Anniston -- Currently living in Atlanta
"Great Ride! Unbelivable how well organized and supported."
"Very well supported. Great rest stops. Great views. Very challenging."
"Very well done! Much praise to the volunteers and support cars and motorcycles. Everyone of the volunteers was happy and cheering. Really made my ride seem 'professional'"
"Can you say "Reality Check" This was my first Cheaha Challenge and it was great!! I couldn't ride as far as I wanted to but I set a baseline for next year! The volunteers were great and the support along the ride was outstanding! I have never seen so much food and drinks at the rest stops, it was unbelievable!! I'll be back next year! Thanks to all that were involved!! Ya'll did a great job!!!!!!"
"My second Cheaha Challenge. The weather was much nicer. The support was great. One suggestion: For those of us who'd prefer not to get off our bikes at the rest stops, offer food (bananas, sandwiches) along with water at the roadside. Thanks!"
"Completely Awesome! Anniston and the Criterium set the tone for a fantastic event that continued to get better and better thanks to the volunteers, course, and the amazing beauty! Next year I plan to bring my family for the entire weekend. Everyone should be very, very proud."
"What a challenging ride! I really picked a doozie for my first century. The climbs were mind-numbing for a flat-lander like me. I really appreciate the organization, enthusiasm, and helpful attitude of the volunteers. The scenery was awesome, when I was lucid enough to notice it. Will I do it again? Not until my post-ride amnesia kicks in, and only after I've done more training. Thanks for a great experience! "
"Without a doubt, this has to be the best value race I have ever attended. Well organized, great support, large numbers of smiling volunteers, great traffic control SMOOTH ROADS!!, I look forward to coming back next year."
"GREAT CENTURY AGAIN THIS YEAR. WOULD BE NICE IF WE COULD HAVE COLD GATORADE AND WATER. HWY 9 STOP WAS THE ONLY PLACE I FOUND COLD DRINKS. EXCELLENT JOB BY ALL VOLUNTEERS."
"The organizers of other rides should take lessons from you guys. You have the best rest stops, great traffic control, and the sags appeared to be right on the spot. The food was great and the people could not have been more friendly. I'll be back!!"
"This was my first ride in this race and I HAD NO IDEA! If I had known I would have trained! What an absolutely beautiful course. The views were awesome and the people were great. Thank you guys for putting on a great event."
"A simple unbelievable ride and course, with angelic volunteers and undaunted supporters. The toughest ride I have ever participated in, and I will be back with new recruits. I am hoping my twin girls can join me in about 13 years!"
"This was my first time out. I completed 47 miles and it was rough. I am 45 years of age and 100 pounds over weight. I did some prep for this but not enough because I got a late start. But it was an awesome experience and I will be back. I just wanted to thank the support folks. They are awesome and I could not have done this without them. I also want to thank the other riders for their support. As I was riding out those more advance riders would give encouragement as they were heading back to Piedmont and I was just trying to get to my turnaround. I would also like to thank my brother Keaton for his support and encouragement. Look out Keaton, one day I maybe the guy who yells "on your left" just before I pass."
"The best run event I have ever attended. Loved the spirit of the volunteers. "
"It's a long drive for me but well worth every minute. The route is excellent for getting in some climbing early in the season. The volunteers were the most supportive and helpful of any ride I've done. I hope to get back again!!"
"This was my first Cheaha Challenge and it was without a doubt the hardest ride it's ever been my privilege to be a part of!!! everyone was nice, friendly, and knowledgeable. P.S. I'm tired and going to bed."
"Most excellent ride, well staffed. I really appreciated that there were volunteers at all the intersections on the parkway to warn visitors to beware of cyclists. The SAG stops were staffed with very pleasant and friendly workers. Thankyou also for sending out plenty of reminders and information the week before the ride. I think that I will ride it again as long as I develop some ride amnesia, right now, I don't think that you could convince me to ride it next year. It is truely the hardest Century that I have ridden."
"My first Cheaha - certainly a ride to remember. And, what an enthusiastic, well coordinated team you guys have - you should be proud. Best organized, best food, best traffic assistance and control, best T-Shirt, best SAG - I blew a tire and received support inside one minute. Congratulations and Thank You!!"
"Here I sit like a wounded duck. I just finished 102 miles of pure Hell. Hated life after the first 30+ miles. Hated my pure existance after the 50 mile rest stop. I sweat, spit, cramped, cursed, spoke to myself (and even answered), had many conversations with God, had hot spots on my feet, cursed the fierce headwind on the last 25 miles, but hey, I'll see ya next year. I had a blast!!!! Can't wait."
"Great support, as usual. The trip back in on Hwy 9 seemed much safer, probably because the police were patrolling everywhere. If there's any way, you have GOT to keep the criterium on the Saturday before the Tour de Georgia, that was some of the best racing I've ever seen. The Jittery Joe's-Colavita sprint was AWESOME."
"My first Cheaha Challenge. Fantastic ride with outstanding support. I will definitely be back. Thank you for putting on a super ride."
"This has to be the best organized event I've ever attended, and the rest stops were excellent."
Pell City, AL
"This being my first ever organized cycling event, it left an impression on me that will last a life time! I plan on riding in more events and personally can only hope that they are as well organized as this event was. I'll be back next year and will plan on many years to come!"
"This was a very professional and highly organized event. Mike Poe did an awesome job managing over 300 volunteers. The volunteers were awesome! This ride is truly one of the best rides in the country and it definitely lived up to its name as the toughest ride in the south. Great job to everyone involved!"
"This was my first time to do the Cheaha Challenge although I have intended to try for several years. The course was beautiful, the enthusiasm of the volunteers and their support was excellent and the post-ride food was delicious. I plan to come back next year. Thanks for a great day."