Ride Review: Shady Dale with Hoefer Cycles

Rolled outta bed early, fixed a flat hopped in the car with Eddie and rolled down to Shady Dale, GA to do some riding with our good buddy and talented frame builder, Donald Hoefer. 

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At arrival we’re greeted by the barking and howling of the smallest group of farm dogs you done ever seen. Shortly after the screen door slung open and out burst, Jesse, Donalds wife and overall sweetheart with a warm greeting. After a short tour of the chicken coop and Donalds cock stand off with the rooster: he lost by spur to the thigh. 

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One last snack check and we were off to blindly follow Donald, as we always do. He’s known for his incredible sense of direction and a charming sense of adventure. My best riding buddies don’t talk much. We spend our time inside of our heads and outside of our bodies, somewhat meditative. The crunching miles of loose, chunky gravel beneath our knobby tires. The breeze forcing limbs of trees sideways. The crashing of leaves fluttering against each other are only disrupted by the reeling of White Industry hubs. Not much was really said within the first 20 or so miles. Most of the dogs that chased us didn’t even bark at us, it was eerily peaceful and the continued silence, welcomed. 

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From short, punchy open roads that branded our tan lines to shaded gravel checkered in evergreens to young overgrown single track carpeted in bright green ferns, it was a perfect mix of terrain with very little road. After rallying up some tenacious climbs and nerding out on photographing the rad handmade, custom built machines I’ve had the pleasure of riding alongside, we got to a fishing pond and filled our bottles at the public filet station.

After Eddie approved of the sprayer-born agua, we peacefully grazed on snacks ranging from homemade trail mix, Clif Bars and meat sticks we finished out the last 15 miles. 

We were chased by about 15 or so dogs on this trip. Most were quiet, waiting for us around corners or at the top of unforgiving hills. We also saw: 3 rat snakes, countless deer with 2 fresh fawns, one baby bunny and acres of horse, cattle, goats and other farm animals. And just like that were had looped back to the house for some refreshing brews, recaps, app checks and an abbreviated farm tour.

After Eddie approved of the sprayer-born agua, we peacefully grazed on snacks ranging from homemade trail mix, Clif Bars and meat sticks we finished out the last 15 miles. 

Donald is an incredible frame builder and I’ll be doing some work with him in the near future and I’m extremely excited about it. Till then check out his work here

Donalds personal Hoefer and Edwards custom Stinner are photographed below.




Route Info by wahoo. I started later into the ride to honor Donald and Jesse’s privacy:

{Rte coming soon}


Daily stats:

2500ft climbing

46mi 

top temp 39C/103F




sharif hassan