Meet the Team
A Letter From Your Ride Director:
Dear 6 Gap Family,
This letter is long overdue. I am the ride director for 6 Gap. I come from Asheville and remember doing this ride in the early years. I remember Tour of Georgia racing our same roads. The history we have on these roads is special. I am so excited to be a part of the next 34 years of 6 Gap. To that point, I wanted to give you some incite to “Why I ride?”
In this “post” COVID world my thoughts wander to why I make the choices I do. I often wonder “What is the point?” in general. I know this sounds dark and scary, but it is an opportunity to see our world differently. I know that I appreciate a sunset or sunrise…(UHG Not a morning person) more than I ever have. The one thing I fought racing a bike was “TIME” and the one thing I want back now retired is “TIME”.
“TIME” is such a master, like the pavement when you crash, “TIME” doesn’t care, but its “justice” is cruelly fair. Yet, it is fair in the least. “TIME” waits for no one, and you can use your “TIME” as you see fit. We all ride with “TIME” as our friend or our enemy.
I can tell you now that “TIME” is a gift. The events of the last year have proven that over and over again. We all have seen how we use our “TIME” with a different lens. I spent months with my father in quarantine hearing stories of his “TIME” in the Army with a perspective of entertainment and education that I never had as a child rushing to go on to the next thing. This “TIME” with him was a gift.
Sometimes gifts are just that, but sometimes they make you think. As a Marine, I always understood my father’s service, but I had never listened like I listened last year. Hearing him made me think more about WHY. I had fallen for bicycles hard at the age of 8. The freedom of riding with the wind in your hair and conquering the world on your own terms was in my blood at birth but the whizz of the wheel gave it life I had never known. I remember riding everywhere I could go and knowing it made sense. Sports came into my life with all of their rules. The rules just seemed too much, but bike racing was simple, no rules just cross the line first, I was hooked on a lifelong passion. (Had I realized how many rules there were before I fell in love…this would be a very different story. LOL!!) Was this my WHY?
My passion grew with my Mother convincing me I am everything I can be as long as I have faith. Armed with my faith I rode more and more…Was this my WHY? Then “TIME” came for its justice. My mother became very ill eventually losing her fight with “TIME”. I rebelled into bike racing. Every pedal stroke became a way to remember her every win her celebration and every loss a failure. Yet, there was a peace in riding with my heart on my sleeve and her memory in my mind. My racing took me everywhere and made me amazing friends. I thank her for that gift, of knowing there is “More than myself” at stake.
“More than myself” was something that stuck with me. I became a Marine, (Sorry ARMY Rangers, I just couldn’t do it…LOL). I learned I could rely on and trust others to achieve a mission, a goal, nay a purpose. This carried true when I left the military and raced bikes. I could count on my teammates to make us all better than ourselves. I saw this at weareprojecthero.org where we used cycling for PTSD and other injuries for wounded vets and injured first responders. For the first “TIME” in my life, I realized that bicycles could do so much more than victory or defeat.
So why am I telling you all of this? Why am I writing this long letter? Am I wasting your “TIME”? I am telling you this so you will know my past, so we can all build a future together. This ride has been a part of Dahlonega and Lumpkin County for 34 years. Hell, I rode this ride in the ’80s. Everywhere, I go people know about 6 GAP. “TIME” and we have given Lumpkin County 34 years and more opportunity than we could ever understand. Cycling is my lifeblood only helping others rivals the passion I have for what bicycles do in people’s lives…Freedom and Independence!!! We have the chance to create the next 34 years together and bring this world-famous ride to the next level all while helping this community move forward to be everything, they believe that they can be. Your support and fundraising efforts not only help the Lumpkin County Leadership and youth mentorship programs but it help Ranger Gold Star families take the next step in their journey with “TIME”.
I make you this promise as we go forward together, as you trust me to give you a great, fun, and safe event I will trust enough to listen and work hard to make this a ride that we all can believe in. To that end, we, your 6 Gap family, want to know why you ride. In short, I ride to remember, accomplish, and achieve for those that need my faith. I don’t know my WHY, but I know that pedals have been my peace in times of trouble, so what is your story?
Robb serves as the Executive Director for the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce and the Six Gap Organizing Committee. Originally from Ohio, the Army brought him to Georgia, where he has served at Ft. Benning. He stayed in Georgia after retiring from the Army and has since worked as an executive for a variety of non-profit organizations.
Mea is a wife and mother of 2 teenagers and an Army Veteran. After moving to Dahlonega several years ago, she began volunteering for Six Gap. She attended the Leadership Lumpkin County program that the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce offers. During the course, she started her own marketing company Creative Constellation and was offered the position of Marketing and PR for Six Gap. She happily accepted and has since enjoyed being a part of the Six Gap Team.