Posts Tagged ‘Fall Bycycle Riding Atalnta’

Atlanta Bicycle Coalition Jails Ride Kirkwood Sunday Ride Atlanta By BikeABC’s training ride this month is hosted by the Kirkwood Sunday Ride (facebook page).  Instead of our usual start at Manuel’s Tavern, we’ll be meeting at Le Petite Marche in the Kirkwood Neighborhood (map below).

We’ll still ride past multiple incarceration facilities, a landfill, and along the little known McAfee Road. Of the three, only McAfee poses a threat to you – with 6 steep hills packed into a straight-as-an-arrow 3.3 mile stretch. This ride has some great lightly-traveled sections of road, yet never ventures outside of I-285.

Driving directions:  East on I-20, exit left on Maynard Terrace, right on Memorial, then left on Howard.

Ride starts at corner of Howard and Hosea Williams.

Riding directions from downtown Decatur:  ride south on N. McDonough, right on Oakview, right on Hosea Williams into Kirkwood retail district.  Start is across Howard from the BP station.

Transit: Closest MARTA stations are Candler Park and East Lake – transit directions. (Enter the address “1963 Hosea L. Williams Dr., Atlanta GA 30317” into the destination field).

Ride at 9 am, then plan on staying on for post-ride bike talk and brunch at Le Petite Marche.  Order off the menu, or take advantage of the “Cyclist Special” — served by our own volunteers!.

This no-drop ride has an A and B group.

For more information email David Southerland david@perimetergo.org or call 404-933-4541.


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Six Gap Century Three Gap Fifty Cylcing North Georgia 3 6Today, I had my ass handed to me in 11,230 different ways. For many cyclists, completing a 100 mile bike ride or century, in a single day represents a significant milestone- a true notch in their belt.  In January of 2010 I set the goal of completing my first century ride with Team In Training that June. With a lot of time in the saddle and encouragement from friends, family and teammates I completed that century ride- and about five others since. 

Six Gap Century Three Gap fifty 6 gap 3 gap 2011

Out of the Gate

Like many goals reached, their attainment reveals more possibilities- opening the doors to the potential for further accomplishment.   Century rides are no different; and while completing any century is a big win- I have since learned that there are Centuries…then there are Centuries.  Throughout Georgia, the Southeastern US and perhaps the entire East Coast no other Century holds the position of the Six Gap Century held in the mountains of North Georgia near the beautiful town of Dahlonega.  Riders who successfully complete Six Gap proudly wear the coveted jersey back on their local rides- to the envy of fellow riders.  In the cycling community, little else trumps the prestige of earning a Six Gap jersey.

Cycling Parent: Fear and Doubt
Liam Earns Polka Dot Jersey – North Georgia Mountains
A Day of Cycling in the Gaps: North Georgia Mountains

My Six Gap Century attempt was not preordained.  In reality, I was shamed into it.  As a test run I completed the Beautiful Back Roads Century in Cartersville, GA the previous week.  At 100 miles, the BBRC is a Century…but not a Century of the caliber of Six Gap-  it would allow me to gauge my fitness level in anticipation of the big ride in the Gaps the following week.  Even with riding an extra 16 miles due to a missed turn, being chased by dogs and experiencing a mechanical that left me riding the final 30 miles in a single gear I still finished- though admittedly not as strong as I would have liked.  Still, I had signed up and paid for Six Gap.  At the very least I could do the 3 gap fifty mile option, right?  I had done this ride and written about it on numerous occasions- I knew I could do 3 gap with little  trouble.

Bike Ride North Georgia Six Gap Centruy Three Gap Fifty 2011 Cyclist Bicycle

I hate you Brigette. Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

As 3000 riders departed the massive parking lot of Lumpkin County Highshool, some for the 35 mile Valley Ride, others for the 3 Gap Fifty and others for the 6 Gap Century I was still undecided as to my route option.  Did I have it in me to do the full ride?  Could I climb the dreaded Hogpen Gap?  On the medical side- could my patched up knee handle the strain of 11,300 feet of mountain climbs?   While discussing my quandary The previous night my friend and fellow rider Brigette,  simply looked at me and said “Rule #5”.   She may have added “bitch” in there too.   This statement refers to cycling humor website Velominati who keeps a set of rules for cyclists.  Our group has taken to slinging these rules around on group rides as both corrective action and as a source  humorous motivation, or just plain ridicule.    Rule #5 is “Harden the F up“;  and is the cycling equivalent of the Triple Dog Dare.   With this bit of healthy humiliation masked as encouragement coming from Brigette,  I was resigned to doing the full Six Gap. 

I am not going into a blow-by-blow of the ride in this article.  It was hard- perhaps the hardest thing I have ever done.  After 60 miles of riding, Hogpen gap did in fact “rip my legs off and beat my soul with the stumps” as fellow rider Graham likes to say.   I got off and walked twice.  I stopped at every rest stop.  The climbs at Neal’s, Jack’s and Unicoi gaps were fine and long- I cursed and swore as Hogpen and Wolfpen gaps inched slowly beneath my wheels and my legs turned into stone.  I screamed down the backside of each one and let the breeze cool my saddle sores, drying the sweat into a salty crust in my hair.  I wondered if the end would ever come- and 9.5 hours later it did.   My friends were waiting for me in the parking lot- asking what took me so long.   I have my six gap jersey and no one can ever take that ride away from me.. but I might let you touch it if you want. 

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While admittedly awesome, I will not be needing this in Atlanta!

One of the benefits of living in Atlanta is that I get to ride my bike all year long without affixing studded tires or a ski-front wheel apparatus.   Admittedly though, those dog-days of summer in July and August have a negative impact on my training- there is a pronounced dip on my milage chart that is just sad to look at.

The simple truth is that I am a delicate northern flower (a.k.a
yankee) and I just don’t fare well in the blaring heat and humidity in Atlanta as I discovered on several rides this summer-  I even puked on an indian grave known as The Rock Pile on a ride in north Georgia after seeing spots in my eyes during the precding climb.

Needless to say, i am grateful for the arrival of fall.  The cooler weather has found me on my bike more in the past three weeks, than the previous two months combined.  This afternoon I felt like a million dollars on a ride out to Stone Mountain (35 miles round trip).   If I didn’t have to be home to meat the boys i would probably still be out riding.  It was that nice!  Fall is also a time when there is typically less excessive, more food, shorter days and an inherent inclination to begin packing on the pounds for the coming winter hibernation.   I am going to try and avoid that this year to the highest degree possible.    I am down to my lowest weight in years and I don’t want to have to burn it all off again this spring!

I am excited about my personal goal of crossing the 2000 mile mark on my bike for the year.  The odometer currently sits just between 1700 and 1800 miles, so even if i just sack-it and only ride 100 miles each month for October, November and December, I can still make it.  In reality my monthly average has been closer to 200 miles, so who knows, I might even hit 2300!  We shall see.

It will also be time soon to come up with an training and event schedule for 2011 that will build a solid foundation for the Ride Across America in ’12.  I may need to solicit some professional help on that front, but I am thinking a base of 6000 miles for the year (500 miles per month) should suffice.  I am already strongly leaning toward doing the 2011 Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) if thy don’t do another stupid loop-route as they did this year.  I definitely need to focus on some multi-day rides that will let me acclimate to the repeated daily output I will need for the big ride.

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