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Posts Tagged ‘Kirkwood Sunday Ride’

aTLANTA BY BIKE DRAGON*CON DECATUR BOOK FESTIVALThe boys and I decided to embrace our inner freaks & geeks this weekend on our bikes to catch the Dragon*Con parade (freaks) then riding seven miles along the Stone Mountain and Trolly Line PATH  to the Decatur Book Festival (geeks). After a hearty breakfast at Le Petit Marche  we met up with Graham, Megan and Patrick and Lisa from the Kirkwood Sunday Ride to roll downtown.  

Dragon*Con Parade

Dragon*Con Parade 2011 Atlanta By Bike Peachtree Street.

Riding down Peachtree along the Dragon*Con Parade Route- thanks for the photo-bomb Patrick!

All I can say is WOW!  As we approached Peachtree St. from Edgewood Ave. I began to get the sense that our 9:30 arrival was probably too late- and that suspicion was confirmed as we turned onto Peachtree to see both sides of the road lined 10 feet deep with people.  I had taken Liam to the parade in 2001 and there were probably less than 3000 spectators- my guess today would be upwards of fifty thousand.  We rode our bikes along the entire parade route and it was spectacular!

Dragon

Ethan's Dragon*Con Parade Fist-Bumps with Chainsaw Hand guy- Ouch!

Finally carving out a spot on the corner of Baker St. and Peachtree for the parade’s final turn we had a great view of the entire procession;and what a procession it was!   Starting out with Lonnie Anderson as the Grand Marshal (she still looks good!) followed by a 90 minute march of characters from across the world of science fiction and the imagination.  As cyclists, it is not often that we get to see people dressed more uniquely than ourselves. My personal favorites were probably the Georgia Ghostbusters or possibly the Ghetto Stormtrooper, while Liam’s was the guy cracking the whip from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.  Ethan, who had positioned himself up front to get maximum fist-bump exposure from every passing character, said his favorite was the guy with the Chainsaw-Hand.  Yes- he got fist bumps from the guy with the Chainsaw-Hand along withabout 300 others!

I have always wondered why there was an asterisk in the Dragon*Con name.  After an exhaustive online search bore not the slightest clue. Graham said he thought it was because “Everyone is a star“.  ‘Nuff Said. 

Decatur Book Festival

Departing the utter chaos of the Dragon*Con parade aftermath we were able to filter through and completely by pass the gridlock as we picked up the Stone Mountain/Trolley Line PATH at Jackson Street.  As it meandered out of Candler Park we headed East along College Avenue and into Decatur Square in under 30 minutes from Downtown Atlanta.   The book festival was much larger than I thought it would be and we made lunch of Giro’s and lemonade our first order of business. 

There was a great selection of local and regional authors- Ethan picked up a copy of the new Skippy John Jones book and as we went to get it signed by the author we were told the line was closed.  Bummer.  I found a very handsome hardcover of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which I have never seen before.  Liam did not find anything that tickled his fancy.  

It was a book festival- that pretty much says it all! 


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Grant Park Criterium, Georgia Juniour Cycling Crit, Atlanta Bicycle Races, Racing, Cyclist

HUGE Junior Field- Can you find the kid wearing a heart monitor?

This past weekend was the um-teenth annual Grant Park Criterium– a plus/minus 1 kilometer lap race around a closed park loop.  Racers ride the course for either for a designated period of time or a specified number of laps before the finish.  This was also Liam’s first “real” race requiring a USA Cycling  Junior’s racing license.  Leading up to the race I felt the compulsion to totally overload Liam with my admittedly limited and probably incorrect knowledge of bike racing, tactics and strategies.  For this year’s Brownwood Bike Rallyin nearby East Atlanta, we elected to focus on just one skill: cornering.  This race had nearly 40 juniors ranging in age from 10 to 17 years old- there were even several teams on hand.  Despite my desire to vicariously recapture my youth or being “That Dad”, our strategy became simply staying with the pack.

Junior Cycling Races Atlanta, Grant Park Criterium, Georgia Pro Races

Liam and Finnis amping up before the start!

Even this proved difficult given the massive spread of ages and abilities.   I limited my sideline ranting to “Get out of the big ring” as he went by one time- Liam has a tendency to want to mash big gears despite the benefits of our constant “spin-it-to-win-it” mantra.  For him, riding in the big ring is the cycling equivalent of talking with your mouth full- not wrong, but something to improve on.   

Liam rode a good race, making some places on a few kids and losing a few to others.  In the end he finished about mid-pack saying to me as he approached from the line “I need to train harder!”

Sorella, Atlanta Women's Cycling, Atlanta Bike Racing, Grant Park Criterium

Our very own Brigette Killion taking 3rd place! (Team Sorella)

Brigette K., one of our fellow Kirkwood Sunday Riders participated in her first race ever and stormed the podium with a 3rd place win in the Beginner Women Category!  We joke that we found Brigette on the side of the road- which we did on a Sunday Group Ride when she had a flat earlier this spring.  Brigette bought a road bike to replace the hybrid commuter she had been riding when we met.  Since then there has been no stopping her!  Good job Brigette- I cant wait to see you in that fancy new Hincapie Jersey.  It also a cycling tradition that if you win a race, you are supposed to wear the medal on every ride for the next 30 days- don’t let me catch you riding without it!  You are awesome!

Thanks to Graham M., Megan L., Brent G.  Jules T., Kieth O.  for comming out to support the Kirkwood Sunday Riders participating in the criterium!  A special thanks to Paul B. for being race-hag with the food & drink!  Good showing everyone! 

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As cyclists, one of the primary benefits of being on the bike is to be outdoors- in many instances this means sun exposure.  Not being judging or critical, but we cyclists wear funny clothes; often the same funny clothes on each outing (hopefully with a washing in between).  The same gloves, the same tpyes of socks, similar style shorts and jerseys, even sunglasses and helmet straps are all contributors to cyclists developing some of the most unique tan lines of any sport- the bike tan.

Lance Armstrong Tan Line Cyclist Tan Bike Tan The boring scientific breakdown of the tan line phenomena is that tanning is produced by the release of melanin when the skin is exposed to ultra-violet light- typically sunlight.  A tan line occurs when different areas of the skin are exposed to varying levels of UV light, resulting in divergent levels of melanin production and a darker skin color in the area receiving higher UV exposure- lighter color on the less exposed areas.  I am not going to expound on the merit of sun protection here- we all know that it is a good idea, but tan lines happen regardless of your SPF choice.  This is the fun and quirky topic of exploration on today’s blog, abundant and useful medical advices is available elsewhere.

Kirkwood Atlanta Intown Cycling Biking Group Ride Bik Cyclist Bicycle Tan Line

The Tan Line Lineup: Brigette, Paul "Whitey", Jen, Sean, The Other Jeff

This week’s Kirkwood Sunday Ride embraces our differences- crossing color lines to explore what each rider’s tan line means to them.  I found that it was different for nearly everyone. For some it was a badge of pride, for others a source of discomfort to be casually explained away.  Some were too white too technically have a tan line at all.  In the end we CAN just get along!  We had a terrific ride today with only one crash and one flat in the group of about  15 riders- all made it back home safely.  The pace was fast today in all groups and everyone was back at La Petit Marche for a yummy brunch by noon- we also had a great opportunity capture a picture of our own tan line lineup!  Enjoyed it guys- thanks a million!

Further Reading: Galendara reflects on her century ride and tan/grime lines. 


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Yes, it can be done- an entire weekend in Atlanta by Bicycle!  The boys and I lined up our weekend activities and decided that we were going to do them all by bicycle- all over the city.  We pulled up google maps and determined that it was about 5 miles to Piedmont Park where we would hit the pool; this despite my long-running and completely justified phobia of public swimming pools.  Afterword we would head over to the Atlanta Streets Alive event in Sweet Auburn; all by bike.  Sunday would be our usual Kirkwood Sunday Ride– a loop around intown Atlanta.

Piedmont Park

We set out to the Piedmont Pool around 11:30 and by the time we rolled through the gates at around noon, the heat even had me considering a dip in the public waters.  My phobia of public pools is born mostly from my being accustomed to swimming in the vast, uncrowded and COLD waters of Lake Ontario growing up.  The St. Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands remain my vision of ideal aquatics to this day.  I would actually feel refreshed and cooled after a dip- not just wet and covered in a film of chlorine and sunscreen.  My phobia grew after moving to Atlanta and after being goaded and guilted into the Candler Park Pool by my ex.  No sooner had I tentatively ventured in than a kid next to me aspirated some water while being dunked then proceeded to vomit a viscous neon orange jet of vomit into the pool.  It was Cheetos.   I had watched him scarf down an entire bag before  cannon-balling his siblings moments before.  Now it floated in a glowing orange slick as people lept from the pool.   It took me two years to venture in again.

We arrived at the Piedmont pool to find a friendly foreign student worker who informed us that the pool was closed due to “contamination”.  Even through her hard-to-place accent (South Africa?) I could read what she was telling me: some kid had dropped a deuce in the pristine and over-chlorinated waters of the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s newly renovated and immaculately kept aquatic gem.  Scenes of Bill Murray in Caddy Shack donned in a hazmat suit and ceremoniously coaxing a presumed turd into his skimmer at the bottom of a hastily drained clubhouse pool immediately popped to mind.  No Baby Ruth in this pool.  I also learned from some nearby moms that this was a not infrequent occurrence.   A phobia is defined as “An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something”.  I am thinking that my phobia may not be so extreme or irrational…

So we left Atlanta”s version of Bill Murray hunt down his Baby Ruth and headed over to the new Piedmont Park extension that I first learned about during my volunteer as a ride leader for the Atlanta Beltline Bike Tour.  I recalled from the tour that there was a water feature similar to the fountains at Centenial Olympic Park.  The boys had a blast running and jumping through the fountain for a couple of hours and I enjoyed some time in the sun (too much it turned out) and we headed over to Sweet Auburn on our bikes. 

Atlanta Streets Alive

We rolled down Jackson street and came into Atlanta Streets alive just below its Western end at Boulevard.  The boys thought we were sneaking into Area 51 as we passed the police and barricades while an SUV (from Cobb) did a halting and angry u-turn at the street closure- I liked it already.  I have to admit that I was expecting a little more action, but then we got into it- the streets were ours!  No buses, no SUV’s from cobb or anywhere else- there was no immediate vehicular danger to our lives while astride our bikes in the middle of Edgewood Avenue- a normally bustling corridor connecting the heart of downtown Atlanta and the Little Five Points neighborhood.   There were a few skateboarders, a lady desperately trying to set up up some sort of bike challenge course, LOTS of Atlanta Bicycle Coalition volunteers (thanks Katherine!) and then it hit me- the streets were not closed, but they were open. Anything was possible on the paved canvas- not just not getting hit by a car! 

Soon we careened toward downtown just to check it all out.  We took wide arcing swaths out of the street- no on comming

traffic.  We waved at shop owners and a hipster selling used books off a blanket.  We filled our waterbottels with ice-cold water from one of the stations and noted how quiet it all was.  The boys took turns astride the painted bull in front of a Georgia State University campus building.  I chatted with  Chris, the owner of Loose Nuts Cycles about themerit of bamboo bicycle construction and the merit of me winning the Linus Bicycle they are giving away next month (it will be mine).  We turned around and headed again from whence we came- stopping in at the Sweet Auburn Market for some unsalted but freshly roasted peanuts which the boys and I ate curbside . 

All in all it was a fun event and I am glad we came.  If I had any input (which I soon might) I would suggest trying to connect the street opening the full length of Edgewood Avenue- buying into the vibrant and creative energy that is Little Five Points to the west would spill the entire length of the route to downtown.  Think L5P halloween parade on bikes…I like it.  A longer and freakier route! 

Kirkwood Sunday Ride: Kickin’ It Intown

First I just have to say that I am secretly proud of how much our little Sunday Ride has grown!  It started out last year as a solid group of 4-5 Team In Training riders for a nice Sunday recovery ride after harder training for the Tahoe Century.  There are now over 120 members in the Kirkwood Sunday Ride Group on Facebook (join if you like!) and we are now regularly having 15-20 riders show up to ride their bikes every Sunday. 

I have to admit that today’s ride had me feeling a little frustrated- mostly with myself.  We split the ride into two groups (A & B) earlier this year to keep everyone riding at their own comfort level.  This works out well when we are going to Stone Mountain and nearly everyone knows the way- but if we do something different like we did today I am realizing the importance of ride leaders or cue sheets.  We had neither today so everyone went in one group which was fun- but agonizingly slow.  We had three flats and a crash- and lots of waiting for the group to coalesce at stop lights.  As a result we had to cut the ride short (15 miles after 3 hours) and we had riders peeling off to head back. 

I don’t think that anyone wants to ride out to Stone Mountain EVERY weekend, but if we are going to vary the route it is going to take some (gasp) improved planning and coordination to come off smoothly.  This probably  means that we will have to have some folks volunteer to lead each ability group if we are not doing Stone Mountain, and may have to develop cue sheets so riders can catch up if lost or due to a mechanical.  My frustration hit mid-ride when it became apparent we were going to have to cut it short- so my apologies to everyone if I was a bit of a grumpy bear.  My appollogies too to Bridgette for causing her to wreck her new bike into me- I hope that your toe is okay!  🙂

An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something:

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Linus Bikes Giveaway Contest  I wrote yesterday about the raffle tickets I purchased at Candler Park Market in the hopes of wining a 2011  New Belgium Cruiser.   I am pretty sure I am going to win it, but just in case, there is now an official backup plan.   It seems that this summer is the summer of bike giveaway contests- this one is particularly juicy.   Loose Nuts Cycles in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood (and on my ride route) is holding a contest to give away a hip new Linus 3-speed Roadster– perfect for commuting or pedaling the Atlanta streets in style.

Loose Nuts is a small and quirky bike shop (my favorite kind) situated just north of the Atlanta Zoo on Cherokee Avenue.  I have had the occasion to stop in for parts and tools on several occassions and the staff is always knowledgeable and helpful.  Earlier this spring after big-ringing it up the hill on Glenwood Road near their shop my bike developed a creak in the bottom bracket…so I stopped in and owner Chris Travel threw my bike in the stand to take a look.  For those of you who ride alot, you know this NEVER happens at a shop!  Chris complimented my vintage 8-speed Dura Ace groupo and quickly determined I had cracked a chain ring bolt with my manly brute strength.  I was on the road again and creak-free in under 10 minutes. 

In thier never ending quest to bring stylish and affordable commuter bikes to Atlanta,  Loose Nuts Cycles added Linus bicycles to thier stable of commuter oriented bikes in May of this year. According to the Linus website- Loose Nuts is the only authorized Linus dealer in the fine state of Georgia. So if you wants one- you should stop in to check them out- something tells me that these finely crafted beauties will look just as stylish on the street as they do on the sales floor.  

The giveaway:

Linus bike giveaway Loose Nuts Cylces Atlanta

Entering to win is simple: just visit the contest page on Facebook [here].  You will be asked to “like” both Linus Bikes and  Loose Nuts Cycles.  Enter your name, e-mail and presto!  It took me like 30 seconds.  Note: there is an invitation to enter the contest on the Linus bike page, but building the social following of  the individual shops is one of the goals of this give-away, so be a nice person and follow the link above.  Better yet, stop in and say “hi” to the guys at Loose Nuts next time you are in the ‘hood!

Phone: (404) 228-5555
Address: 452 Cherokee Ave “A”,
Atlanta, GA 30312
Email: Kareem@loosenutscycles.com
Chris@loosenutscycles.com
Twitter: @LooseNutsCycles
Facebook: Loose Nuts Cycles
AIM: LooseNutsCycles

HOURS

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Closed
11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

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Kirkwood Sunday Ride, Blessing of the bikes, Atlanta Intown Rides, atlanta beltline, Stone mountain bicycle,

We have all had some close calls on our two-wheel adventures: spills, accidents or worse.  Please join the Kirkwood Sunday Ride for our first ever Blessing of the Bikes & Ride to the Rock. We are getting started early and will be finished by noon- so you still have the rest of the day to do stuff. Get righteous and ride!

8:00 AM

  • Moment of Silence & Remembrance
  • Nondenominational Blessing of the Bikes  led by Rev. Susannah Davis, Kirkwood UCC
  •  Preride caffeine uptake

9:00 AM (SHARP)

Ride to Stone Mountain! We will have 2-3 ability-based groups departing Kirkwood Station just outside of downtown Atlanta in the Historic Kirkwood community and riding 30-35 miles to Stone Mountain; roughly following the PATH route.  All groups will be no-drop, meaning nobody gets left behind!

To view the Atlanta PATH Foundation maps of the route click [here].  This is not the exact route, but if you are for some chance seperated from the pack, it will help get you home! 

This ride will not be supported, so please prepare accordingly. It should go without saying, but HELMETS ARE A MUST!

Post-ride brunch will be held at hip and yummy Le Petit Marche in Kirkwood Station, voted the “Best Breakfast in Atlanta” by Yelp.  Bring your appetites!

Find the Kirkwood Sunday Ride on Facebook [here]-stay in touch!

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Okay, the rapture didn’t quite come off like as predicted- unless the world ended and everyone I know is just in hell- a very distinct possibility.  If you are a frequent visitor to the Team Eddie blog, you probably had a clue that yesterday’s  Atlanta Cyclist Disapears post was a bit of a hoax.  Funny enough- it has been the single most popular post ever  for this blog with over 500 hits as of this writing…and counting.  I find it a little sad that topics about cancer, family rides and other subjects which I find personally fulfilling were all beat by news of a goofy disapearing cyclist believed to have been raptured….go figure!  Ethan and I did have a fun time staging the bike and clothing for the photos though! 

Not related to the Apocalypse –  but after an unusually cool and wonderful spring in Atlanta the weather is now starting to turn hot.  Being a delicate northern flower; I wilt easily in the heat. From this point on I will need to start to orient my riding to the early morning or after sundown.  Does anyone know if there is a way to acclimate to the heat?  I just can never seem to get over it! 

Saturday Ride 5/21/2011

The boys and I were going to push for 50 miles today- but we got started a little later than planned and by noon it was too hot to finish a full fifty.  We got a nice section of the Intown Loop completed, the boys always love whistling and whooping as we go through the Krog Street Tunnel, so this route is always one for them.  We made a shot stop at the Jackson St. overpass at Freedom Parkway to check out the impressive view of the Atlanta skyline before heading down Century/Argonne to Piedmont Park.  The boys had not seen the new park extension  that I was able to preview during the BeltLine Tour , so we detoured from our route through the park to go check it out.  The new fountain feature was full of kids playing in the water- but neither Liam or Ethan felt like disrobing to run through the fountain in their Lycra. 

Kirkwood Sunday Ride 5/22/2011Post Rapture Ride to the Rock”

We had a great group of 15-18 riders today for the Sunday ride- but things went a little screwy from almost the get-go.  Megan experienced a derailleur issue and turned back by the Columbia Seminary.  From there Liam rode with the “A” group and I never saw him again until the finish.  Ethan and I rode out to the mountain and waited to meet up with the the main group, but after 20 minutes decided we had missed them and headed back for home.  It turns out that they did two loops around the mountain and we were nearly back to the starting point when Patrick called to let me know that Liam was with them and they were just leaving the park.  

While riding down Oakview, just outside of Oakhurst village Ethan exlclaimed that he had gotten his water bottle while mounted- something we had been working on.  This news was followed by a large crash- Ethan falling off his bike!  Ooops! I circled around to check him out after his second crash in as many weeks- he was fine.  I asked him how it felt to go over the handlebars and he replied “I didn’t notice going over the handlebars because I was concentrating on crashing”.  He is a tough little kid.  In striking the curb he flatted his front tire.  For the first time ever, I had left my Co2 inflator at the house, so while we had a spare tube we had nothing to fill it with.  We practiced the art of walking home.

Liam came in with Steve from the fast group (thanks Steve!!!) a short time later and we all enjoyed a post-rapture-post-ride brunch at Le Petite Marche!  A lovely weekend of riding to  be sure! 

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