Katydid and I participated in a bicycle ride today that was appealing for many, many reasons. First of all, it was only about 30 minutes from my house, so we didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn. Second of all, it was in our home county, where we both grew up and graduated from high school.
It was the first time this particular ride had been done, and that's always an iffy proposition. Do the organizers know what they're doing? Have they thought of the gazillion things that could go wrong? Are they prepared for the number of cyclists that might turn out on a chamber-of-commerce-weather day in Georgia in May?
I don't think the ride could have been run more professionally. Roads were well marked, the routes were absolutely gorgeous, rest stop volunteers were friendly and helpful (example: I heard a woman ask for a cup late in the day, and a volunteer said they were out. Then I heard the same volunteer say, "But we'll find you one." I didn't see the end of the encounter. I hope they didn't "find one" in the trash. Ha ha), and police officers were EVERYWHERE, even late in the day, to assist cyclists in crossing major roads and intersections. It was so cool to have them stop traffic to allow us to cross without stopping, even when Katydid and I were the only cyclists in sight.
The route started out flat and fast, and I should have known it wouldn't stay that way. (I actually DID know it, but I wanted to pretend the information I had was wrong and we would sail along averaging 16 mph for the whole ride. Wishful thinking.) It seemed that all the hills were at the end, or maybe we were just tired. We rode by the house where I lived from age 12 until I got married, we rode within sight of a little house where Sweet Girl and I lived during a separation from my ex, and best of all we rode across the bridge that Jason and I jumped off on my 17th birthday (separate entry coming for that). I kicked myself all the way across the bridge when I realized I had left my camera in the car. I specifically wanted it today because I KNEW the route was going across that bridge. Damn it.
The t-shirt is noteworthy too. The route map resembles the outline of a lion, so the ride was dubbed "Tame the Lion." If I didn't have the shirt on, I would take a picture of it, so you'll just have to trust me. You can see the logo here and picture it on a white t-shirt. It's all about the t-shirt, mind you. You can see the actual route we took, uploaded from my GPS, below.
Excellent, excellent ride. I hope this one becomes an annual thing.