Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Lewis Grizzard and Catfish Memorial Ride....

Today's bike ride was in the hometown of Lewis Grizzard, a humorist and longtime writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Catfish was the name of his dog.)

One of my favorite stories about Lewis came from his (fourth) wife after his death in 1994 (I think). A huge UGA football fan, one of Lewis' final wishes was that his ashes be scattered on the 50-yard line in Sanford Stadium. His wife attempted to do so, but her efforts were blocked by UGA officials, citing concerns that they would be overrun with people wanting to do the same. I can just see the little piles of ashes accumulating on the 50.

Lewis' widow somehow managed to gain entrance to the stadium anyway, ashes in tow. I'm pretty sure someone simply turned a blind eye, thus skirting the rules and allowing Lewis' last wishes to be honored. It was the off-season, however, and there were no lines on the field. She couldn't tell where the 50-yard line WAS.

I'm not sure who her companion was (and I'm way too tired to look it up, but feel free to do my research FOR me if you're so inclined, and thank you), but he said to her, "Honey just scatter the ashes. Lewis will find the 50."

Katydid, Rozmo and I have done this ride a number of times, and it is in a BEAUTIFUL part of the state. It passes by numerous horse farms (in fact, a rest stop is at one of those farms) and features some very rural roads with scenery that makes you glad to be alive and on a bicycle.

A cold front came through yesterday, and this morning's temperatures were the lowest we've had since last spring. It was the first bike ride this fall where we had to wear layers, and we never unlayered the whole ride. Well, I did take off my ear warmers, but my jacket, jersey, and long-sleeved t-shirt stayed for the entire ride. It eventually warmed up to the 70's, but by that time I was wet with sweat underneath, and I still couldn't take any of my layers off for fear of becoming chilled in the wind.

Wind. There's a comforting thought on a bicycle. Not.

The winds were relentless. Brutal. Infuriating. Not even Lewis Grizzard could have found a nice or funny thing to say about the winds today.

The route map said the ride was 62 miles. I checked my cycling log from last year, and I KNEW it was more like 66. But still I got the idea in my head that we might be pleasantly surprised to finish at "only" 62 miles. Wrong.

I would love to post the four pictures I took on today's ride, including the one of the yellow and purple water tower. See, this ride overlaps some of the same roads we were on for the Wilson 100 in August. At the end of the Wilson, when a purple and yellow water tower comes into view, it means you have reached the end of the ride. The finish is in sight. You have survived again. On TODAY'S ride, however, the purple and yellow water tower that is usually such a comforting sight was an indication that you still had another 20 miles to ride. Oh, and please turn into the wind for those last 20 miles. Thank you.

Alas, in "transferring" the pictures from my camera to the computer, apparently DELETED them. No, they aren't still on the camera card. They aren't in the recycling bin. They aren't on the computer. They are lost in cyber space.

Trust me. They were very nice pictures. Not award-winning, but nice.

Lewis would have been proud. Catfish would have drooled.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I haven't thought about Lewis Grizzard in ages. Thanks for the fun story about his ashes.