Thursday, October 28, 2010

Too Much Time on My Hands.....

It is entirely possible....

Not probable, merely possible....

That sometimes I have too much time on my hands.

This is about cycling (and insanity), so if you want to leave right now, I will understand. Actually I won't know the difference, so feel free. Just don't tell me because sometimes I'm sensitive.

I was thinking one day about all the times I've ridden in BRAG and all the little towns we've gone through. I started wondering how many different counties in Georgia I have ridden through as a part of BRAG. [By the way, if you click on the link above that says "BRAG," as long as you do it before the "Picture of the Week" gets changed, you will see a hilarious picture of Katydid and me at the UGA Bull Evaluation Center two weeks ago. I didn't know people bothered to evaluate bull, but apparently you can get a degree in it at UGA.]

I looked online for a clickable map of Georgia counties, but I didn't find one. To be honest, I didn't find one on the first page of Google results, and frankly I don't go any further than that. If it's not important enough to come up first in my search, it's not worth my time.

I found a pretty good map of Georgia and printed it out, then I began to color in the counties that BRAG has gone through in the years since I started riding it in 1992. The BRAG folks made it immeasurably easier for me by having a database of all the routes since BRAG began in the early 1980's (I think).

I was about halfway through this tedious invigorating task when I found that two of our counties were misspelled on the map. I wouldn't have used it if I had noticed that beforehand, but I was damned if I was going to start over. For the record, it's Wilkinson County, not Wilkerson, and it's Spalding County, not Spaulding. They probably got confused because there is also a Paulding, but really. How much research would it have taken to find out the correct spellings?

Georgia has more counties than any other state in the country, with 159. If I had been forced to guess (who in the world would have cared enough to ask that, I have no idea), I would have estimated that I had ridden my bike in approximately half the counties.

I can explain those three counties up on the northern border. In 2002, BRAG took a northerly route across the top of the state, but I was taking courses toward my doctorate that summer and only rode the first and last days of BRAG. I have no idea what made me so responsible that particular summer. They say it was one of the most beautiful routes BRAG has ever taken, and I'm sorry I missed it. Clearly they will have to repeat parts of that route if I am to color in those missing counties.

I can speculate about that tiny little county up in the northwest corner of the state. Because of its location it would almost HAVE to be the beginning point of BRAG, and I'm guessing there aren't any towns with enough facilities to accommodate all the different "needs" that BRAG riders have. Where they once slept in tents and ate food cooked over a campfire (I may have made that last part up), now they expect restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, and massage parlors in any of the towns through which we pass. (I may have made up the part about massage parlors.)

That is probably the same case as the block of counties in the southwestern portion of the state. Towns there aren't very big, and they are probably too far apart to satisfy the spoiled tastes of many of the BRAG riders. I don't know why or how they became so spoiled. Why can't they just rough it in their RV's like we do? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I'm hilarious.

What I CANNOT explain are those isolated little counties where we have ridden in every single county surrounding them, but we have somehow missed those counties altogether. Were we boycotting them intentionally, or was it just a quirk? I also wonder if the BRAG folks make an effort to visit a county if we haven't gone through there before? I guess I could ask them, since we exchanged roughly 42 email messages today alone.

It is possible that I missed a couple of counties, and this doesn't take into account the counties I've ridden in on rides other than BRAG. I may have ridden in one or two of these on weekend rides, for which I didn't have the list of counties passed through. It's probably pretty accurate, though. And according to this map, out of the 159 counties in Georgia, there are only 25 in which I have not ridden my bicycle. 

There may be some road trips in our future.

I'm going to email the BRAG folks again tomorrow and propose a route for 2012 (since the 2011 route is already tentatively laid out, and I don't think I have enough pull to undo all the work they've already done).

This route should enable me to hit all the counties in Georgia that I have missed in 19 years of riding BRAG.

And it shouldn't take us more than two months to accomplish. 



Anonymous said...

I LOVE that you used crayons!

KatyDid53 said...

You crack me up! I might have to challenge a couple of those counties that are still white. Like Banks County. Oh, yeah . . . we didn't ride that day!

Bragger said...

Neena - Even sadder, I colored in the map AT SCHOOL. Your taxpayer dollars at work. Crap - you live IN my county. Those really ARE your taxpayer dollars. Shhhhhh......

Katydid - I'm thinking we had to have hit Greene sometime on a weekend ride. Didn't we do the Lake Oconee thing?