Sunday, June 5, 2011

BRAG Day One ..... Rest Stop Rituals.......

This year, instead of JUST giving a day-by-day description of the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia, I plan to focus on one specific area of the experience each day. So far I've thought of ONE thing to write about, so we'll see how this all plays out tomorrow.

Today's blog topic is all about the rituals pertaining to rest stops.

Before I get to that, however, I want to say how incredibly cool it was to ride a bicycle down Peachtree Road in Atlanta on a Sunday morning. I'm guessing that's pretty much the only time it would be safe (possible?) to do so. Peachtree Road, by the way, should never be confused with any of these OTHER streets in the Atlanta area:

  • Peachtree Avenue

  • Peachtree Battle Avenue

  • Peachtree Battle Circle

  • Peachtree Center Avenue

  • Peachtree Circle

  • Peachtree Drive

  • Peachtree Hills

  • Peachtree Industrial Boulevard

  • Peachtree Memorial

  • Peachtree Park

  • Peachtree Place

  • Peachtree Road

  • Peachtree Street

  • Peachtree Valley

  • Peachtree Way

  • Peachtree-Dunwoody Road

  • Old Peachtree Road

  • North Peachtree Way

  • West Peachtree Place

  • West Peachtree Street 

  • I tried the Rozmo method of snapping photos from my bike while I rode.  I wanted to include a picture of the Atlanta skyline, but apparently what I DIDN'T do was make sure my camera was in the "take a photo" mode instead of the "shoot a video" mode. Feel free to insert your own personal image of the Atlanta skyline in the blank space below:

    There was one photo op I was willing to stop for, though, and only for my Sweet Girl would I have stopped my bike, leaned my bike against a tree, and ventured up to a fence to take a photo.

    This is the home of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind. Sweet Girl and I have been to the museum before, but it wasn't open when I went by this morning. Sweet Girl is a big fan of all things related to Gone with the Wind. I think she might have been a Southern Belle in a previous lifetime. I, on the other hand, would have been one of the rebellious girls whose fathers disowned them and left their fortunes to a bunch of cats.

    Now to my rest stop rituals. Disclaimer: These are just things that I do personally. This is in no way meant to imply this is what everyone DOES or what everyone SHOULD DO. It's really just meant to take up space in a blog post. Full disclosure here.

    The first thing I do is find a tree, a fence, a post, or a building that I can use to lean my bike against. Some people just throw their bikes down on the ground, but I don't like to do that. I didn't even like to do that with my OLD bike, and I certainly don't want to treat Jezebel that way.

    People have their own rituals. Some folks call other riders (or heck, folks at home, I guess) on their cell phones at rest stops. I wanted to get a photo of the people in line for the porta-potties, but there weren't enough people there yet to form a line. BRAG riders are the model of efficiency when it comes to porta-potty lines. It doesn't matter how many porta-potties there are, there is a single line of people waiting. I don't know who first came up with that idea, but it must have been a UGA graduate. At non-cycling events I've been to, there will be a line of people at EVERY SINGLE PORTA-POTTY. How upid-stay.

    The above picture shows one of our devoted volunteers, diligently making PBJs for hungry riders.

    After an outbreak of a pretty severe intestinal illness among BRAG riders in 2000, BRAG has provided hand washing stations (with soap) at every rest stop. Now if we could just convince some of the riders to remove their filthy riding gloves before approaching the food table.

    Another tireless volunteer.

    Bike mechanics are at most of the rest stops to make minor adjustments or simple repairs on the route. Little did I know when I snapped this picture that later in the day I would be waiting at the mechanic's tent to have my front derailleur adjusted. Glad I had that $20 bill in my bike bag. I don't carry much cash on my bike, because we don't usually need money along the route.

    It was a hard ride today, very hot and hilly. Rozmo and I did the Hammerhead option (additional miles) on purpose, but we misjudged where the Hammerhead rejoined the regular route. Instead of riding an additional ten miles, we rode an extra fourteen. I was three-tenths of a mile away from 70 miles, so as a newly inducted member of the even-number club, I rode down the road and back to get 70.

    Temperatures are supposed to be in the triple digits every single day this week. I pray I can stay hydrated.

    1 comment:

    DJan said...

    I look forward to your description of this event. It does seem awfully hot, but I know you will drink plenty of water!