Category Archives: road bike

Flandersox

flandersSocks

 

I’m starting to get a little addicted to buying weird cycling socks. Here are some “Flanders” in bright yellow. Are they talking about the Tour of Flanders? I’m guessing they are. Mainly I bought them because the logo reminds me of the old progressive breakbeat dance music record label Rampant Records. They used a similar logo on the B-side labels of their 12″ vinyl releases.

Socks are def a little easier to collect than vintage bicycle water bottles.

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Water Bottle Cages vs Fancy Socks

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I finally broke down and bought some water bottle cages. People who have ridden with me know that I have a “thing” about keeping bottles on the bike. I don’t like them rattling and rumbling around. I don’t like the extra weight. I’m just not a fan of using my bike as a hydration transportation unit. The Camelback has been a great solution to this issue, HOWEVER, since I have recently started riding with a little more advanced group, I have noticed I am the only one running a hydration pack and baggy shorts. I’ll solve the shorts issue later, but for now the hydration pack issue is solved. Along with the cages and bottles, I’ll also be running a very small under seat bag, with a tube, tire lever, patch kit and 2 c02 cartidges. Even with two full bottles and all the repair gear, I’ll be carrying less weight than when I use the Camelback, since I carry a grip of tools and a pump in there. I’m going to be travelling lighter but definitely riskier if I flat. I’ll take the chance. BONUS LEVEL: cages were $4.79/ea…70% off list.

The cages look pretty rad, but I tossed an empty bottle in one and I already feel goofy riding with it. This is what my bike will feel like to me when I have both filled bottles in play:

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In other “new gear” news, I got some rad socks. I am assuming that Davis Bicycle Club is purely fictional, but I love the font they used. I really bought them for the “On Your Left” though…bikey people will get it. Get it?

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Gatorskins Finally

contiUltraThe Continental Ultra Sport tires that came with my road bike finally reached the point where I could legitimately justify replacing them.  One of the top rules of being a LOW BUDGET SOUL RIDER is that you don’t replace parts for sheer vanity.  You replace them when they wear out, or you break them. So Mote It Be. The rear tire actually had threads showing through, so I figured I was good to finally get some Gatorskins.  I’m not going to lie…I have always loved how they look, and I’ve wanted a set forever. All the reviews I read said that the Ultra 4000 was better, or at least more preferred by the high performance set.  But the Gatorskins still seem to have a zillion tons of hipster market penetration due to their supposed high anti puncture reputation. The final component that needed to come together for me to plunk down the dollars was a good deal.  REI happened to be having an anniversary sale, so I was able to find them for $37.99/ea! Not the super cool foldable ones, the steel bead ones, but that is fine with me, I don’t need an extra tire that I can stick in a pack or jersey pocket at the moment.  I opted to go with 25c instead of 23c…hoping to get a little more comfort without gaining too much rolling resistance.  I’m sticking to my polan of only riding the fixed gear during the week, so I won’t really know how they ride til this weekend.

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Seat Swapper

I’ve been wanting to swap the seat out on Scotty for a while, and last week I finally got around to finding a saddle that had the right price ($15) and also a ventalation oval for the taint. The new unit is actually a bit less “race” and bit bore “comfort” as evidenced by the slightly larger size, and higher squish factor.

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Of course I would love to have a Selle Italia, but let me tell you how that will work for me. As soon as I get a saddle with a price point higher than $100, I’ll end up crashing or worse, the bike will just fall over when I lean it against something, which will result in a giant gash on the rear corner. I dunno, maybe not…the orig saddle that came with the bike didn’t get torn and it’s been over a year.

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Overall it ended up looking pretty rad, but once I actually performed the install I kind of realized that I am more interested in how it performs than how it looks. Really hoping that the ventalator will help me go a few miles further each ride, because usually the taint is ready to stop before my legs are.

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The new saddle has a higher profile than the last so I had to lower the seat post a bit. Since I was going to be messing with the seat post I figured I would take it out and inspect the seat tube. While pulling out the seat post it felt like freaking sandpaper against sandpaper. I guess the shop I bought it from neglected to pull a very small film of grease on the post before installing it, which is something that I like to do to help prevent the post from getting locked into the tube. This isn’t a big problem with aluminum to aluminum, but I still think it is a good practice, si I sorted it out before the reinstall.

It’s gonna rain today so I won’t get to give it a proper test, but hopefully we’ll get some miles next week and see how it goes.

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Brake Upgrade

Got some new Clarks’s Brake Pads for my road bike. I decided I had to after riding my buddy Jay’s bike and realizing that his bralkes were a zillion tons better than mine. The pads that were on my bike were still the stock OEM jobbies, which I knew would be one of the first parts I’d replace. Ended up looking pretty rad. BONUS LEVEL: Since the spokes hadn’t been tightened, wheels trues since I got the bike about a year ago, I figured it was about time. Sorted them out…add a little stiffness.

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Super Fun! Terminus 5c Resurgens by Atlanta Bicycle Coalition

Saturday I participated in the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition TERMINUS 5C RESURGENS bicycle challenge in Atlanta Georgia.

The Terminus is not a race.  The object of the event is to ride your bike to all 5 of the participating bars and complete a mental or physical challenge at each location, for which you are awarded points.  Although it is not a race, there is a time limit, and everyone needed to be back at the after-party location by a set time to begin draining the complimentary keg of beer.  There was small entry fee for ABC member and a higher entry fee for non-members which got you into the event and a one year membership.

At the start of the event you received your map/manifest/score sheet which revealed the bars everyone would be riding to.   Most of the people who participated probably knew where all of these places were, but since I’ve been out here in Flowery Branch for so long I did not, so I did a little prep work finding the actual street addresses of all locations.   Then I plotted what I thought would be the most practical route and settled in to wait for the noon start.

My first stop was Octane Westside.   For each location you stopped at you received bonus points for buying something, and although I had already had some pre-ride beers, I kind of thought that I might skip a beer here and opted for a bagel instead.  The challenge at this location was about local artists/art.  You were given a stack of 10 numbered photos, and a list of artists, neighborhoods and streets. You had to match the right artist, neighborhood and street name  to each photo.  I’m not going to lie, I straght up guessed my answers, the only actual art in the set familiar to me at all was by R.Land, who has a very unique and recognizable style.  Downside (for me) was that you had to ID the artists by their twitter usernames, and I did not know any of them.  Using context clues I guessed as well as I could, and actually ended up doing -okay- at this challenge.  Better than I thought I would anyway.

The next stop for me was Villains in midtown.   I opted for a Fat Tire here since part of the loot for Fat Tire went to ABC as part of the events fundraising effort. The challenge here was a TRUE/FALSE quiz on Georgia Bicycle Law.   I did -okay-, not perfect.  I answered wrong about there being a law against “Tall Bikes” as I thought it was a trick question…I did not know that tall bikes were enough of a problem that there would actually be a law against them.   For bonus points you could draw a bicycle villain and make up a bio about him/her.  Here is mine:

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My villains name is BUSTA SPOKE.  His villain superpower is “riding one gear taller than everyone else, always.” What put him on the path to evil was being made fun of by riders with super expensive bikes and fancy riding kit, so he devoted his life to being a LOW BUDGET SOUL RIDER, going twice as fast for half the price with three times the style. LBSR represent!  I didn’t get the full bonus points but rather a 90/100, which was fine by me.

The next location was Elliot Street Pub.  I grabbed another Fat Tire and headed to the outdoor area for the Bike Jousting challenge.  Here you had to ride an adult tricycle and joust with an opponent, using pool noodles that had been dipped in water soluble paint!  They had a bunch of gigantic overclothes you could put on if you wanted, some home-made “armour” and a bunch of masks.  You got different levels of bonus points for different masks.  One of the best masks was the white unicorn, but I opted for the gorilla.

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My opponent fought bravely, but on the first of three passes I landed a really good blow so I ended up winning the challenge.  As part of winning, I was eligible for the extra bonus points, which required writing a haiku to one of the folks who staffed this location, or maybe just a haiku in general.  I dunno I was kind of feeling the beers at this point. Anyway, I wrote what might be the worlds worst haiku and read it aloud to my opponent, who was also celebrating his birthday.

Happy birthday dood
We jousted like true white knights
A timeless battle

This challenge was so much fun I actually opted to stick around and see the next competitors, who upped the ante by riding two people on each trike, one driver and one jouster,  using two pool noodles.  So funny!  They also wore some of the crazy gigantic overclothes to guard from the paint splatter.  This challenge more than any other seemed made for photo opportunities and if you were for some reason not having a good time yet, you would be by the time you finished this challenge.  Easily my favorite challenge of the day.  My score was perfect!

Next up was Radial Cafe.  It has been years since I have been to Radial, but I knew the location from when I used to live right down the road a bit.  Since I knew where I was going, I took the opportunity to stop by my secret parking spot in 04W and grab a quick beer and Red Bull from my party cooler on the way. T his would turn out to be an unwise move as we’ll see later.

The challenge at Radial went like this. You have one chance to lower a big magnet into a pile of pieces of bicycle chain.  Then you have one minute to toss those pieces into cups of various sizes and point values.  I grabbed a quick beer to get the receipt bonus points and then dove in to the challenge.  Unfortunately I did not do well.  No…let’s be truthful here, I failed miserably, coming away with NO POINTS at all.  I stuck around afterwards to watch another competitor to get a gauge of how well others were doing, which was a mistake as we’ll see later. As soon as I saw one competitor get 300pts, I was on to the next and last challenge.

The final stop for me was Midway in East Atlanta.  First things first…I got a beer for the receipt bonus.  Unfortunately the place was swarmed busy so it took a minute to get served.  Well, it took about 10 minutes.  Not a big deal and I am not mad at them, there was only one lady working the gigantic bar so I just settled in and was patient.  But time was passing, and it was already  about 4:40pm.  I figured this was no problem since the after party location was only about 10 mins away and the cut-off for turning in your score sheets was 5:30.  I had almost an hour.

So I headed outside to the challenge which looked like a fun one.  The Grocery Getter challenge involved 1 minute of stuffing a messenger bag with as many items as you could, each item having a different point value.  Then once the bag was packed you had to ride your own bike around a short course that required navigating a very sharp almost 180 degree turn without any dabs from your feet off the pedals.   Some of the items you could stuff into the bag were a laptop, a six pack of PBR, a pumpkin, a bunch of flowers, a yoga mat, a half gallon of water, and the mandatory bicycle tools.  There was also a bicycle frame and fork which you could carry around your neck for 200 bonus points.

This challenge looked pretty fun and everyone was having a good time.  The only downside for me was that I wished I’d have not spent extra time at the last two challenges, or stopped by my car for 10 mins, as there was a waiting list to complete the challenge.  I put my name on the list and waited, and watched a few people have a blast competing.  But time kept passing and by 5:05 I knew I wasn’t going to get a turn and still be able to make it to the end point by the required time to turn in my sheet.  I decided that I’d rather get some points than no poinst at all by missing the cut off, so I went ahead and bailed without waiting for my turn, which I am sure would not come til after 5:30.  Oh well.

The after party/awards was at Mother on Edgewood.  There was a free keg for all the participants and we all went to work polishing it off.  There was about an hour before the awards, so I had some brisket tacos which were delicious and I highly recommend if you visit Mother.  Everyone was in good spirits and it was evident that whether you won anything or not, the event was a success.

There were a bunch of give-aways and winners.
It was pretty cool that there were not just overall winners but also prizes for the top scorers at each stage. I was one of a 4 way tie in the Joust so I got a rad set of bikey drink coasters.

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The overall winner received a super cool vintage Miyata bike which I am pretty sure was donated by SOPO (I may be worng about that if so, let me know).  I had actually been chit chatting with the overall winner, one of the folks from The Spindle,  before the prizes were awarded.  The Spindle has a unique concept towards commuting bicycle clothing and sturdy but fashionable gear. Click that link to check them out.

Terminus 5C was the most fun day of riding I have had all year.  I am not fit enough to compete in an Alleycat race, but having to visit locations that were not revealed til the day of gave the event an Alleycat feel.  Because it was not a race though, even if you made to just a few locations, you still had fun and knew that your entry fee was going to a good cause.  Mid October is a great time for this event as it was not broiling hot which would have made it nowhere near as much fun.  Since I live so far out from Atlanta it has been kind of tough to make friends with a lot of intown bicycle people, but at this event I talked to more people than any other ride I’ve been on all year.  I really hope there is another event like this next year, I will definitely participate and this time I will make sure to bring a few friends along.

STRAVA STATS: 18.9 miles, 809ft climbing.  Add me to your Strava Friendlist.

To everybody that had something to do with making this event happen, thank you so much it was a blast!

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Georgia Proposed Bicycle Legislation HB689 Meeting – What I Saw

HB689 is a bill proposed by 3 Hall County Georgia lawmakers (Rep. Carl Rogers and supported by Reps. Lee Hawkins and Emory Dunahoo, all Hall County Republicans) that would require all bicycles in the state to be tagged and registered for a $15 fee, would limit riders to 4 at a time single file with 50 feet of space between groups, and would allow authorities to deem any road they they see fit to be off limits to bicyclists.  Needless to say there is huge opposition from the cycling community. Tonight there was a public meeting about the bill which I attended.

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The room packed out completely, I would estimate about 300 in attendance.  There was a brief introduction and then people from the audience were allowed 3 minutes to speak. The first speaker delicately took the side of motorists, and genuinely seemed concerned for the safety of the cyclists and herself. Then the cycling crowd began to rock the mic one by one.

The most exciting part of the meeting happened when a gentleman named Robert Wilhite spoke at length very passionately and got the crowd fired up, then was asked to stop speaking as he was over his time limit.  He tried to make his closing point but was asked again to stop, to which the assembled crowd started chanting “Let Him Speak”.  Mr. Wilhite did sit down but the crowd continued to voice their displeasure with him not being allowed to close.  Then a security gaurd stepped over to Mr Wilhite, who had sat down and was complying with the instruction to not conclude his speech.  But for some reason, as the crowd got more and more vocal, the security gaurd ended up removing Mr. Wilhite from the meeting.  I doubt he was arrested as he was complying with their demand. I hope he wasn’t anyway.

More speakers took to the mic and there were some very good points raised.  Two speakers actually raised the point that I had hoped for all along, which was that we as cyclists need to realize that we aren’t always setting the best example, and that there are loads of cyclists out there who take the “Share the Road” mentality to mean that they can just ride however they want to and motorists should deal with it.  This is a horrible attitude and does not promote a sharing atmosphere at all.  Examples were given about how cyclists could be more courteous and also how their actions could be interpreted as smug and defiant.  It was great when someone pointed out that almost every cyclist in the room was ALSO a motorist and that we have all witnessed bad form by cyclists when driving.  You may not like that but it is true.  Each commentor that brought this up left the room with words of encouragement to NOT be that kind of cyclist as it ends up contributing to the polarizing effect.

One of my favorite speeches of the night was by a lady who I believe represented a tourism organization in Lumpkin County. She made excellent use of her time by providing examples of how fantastic the Six Gap ride is to Lumpkin County financially, citing 2600 riders in attendance from 31 states. Then explained that since this legislation has been introduced that she has been fielding messages from out of state participants who are concerned that they’ll have to tag thier bike in order to participate in the ride at risk of being ticketed. It really made an impact on the room when the issue got down to losing dollars because of legislation that was not well thought out.

The speech with the most impact though, happened early on in the meeting.  A man used a visual aid to illustrate the group ride that he was in this past weekend which had 32 riders riding 2 abreast.  The length of the entire group was 111ft, a manageable length for a car to pass providing the road allowed for it to be done safely.  Then, with the help of another participant, he brought out a visual aid of that same ride adhering to the specs of the bill…no more than 4 riders to a group with 50 ft between each group. People started applauding as the visual aid kept unrolling and unrolling, eventually stretching across a large section of the front of the room, representing the 638 feet that the group would now consist of if adhering to HB689.  No single moment of the night illustrated the absurdity of the bill as well.

Several other great points were made by advocates of the cycling community, including one great suggestion that the pocket cycling guide from georgiabikes.org be given out with each new bike sold in the state.

Another interesting moment happened when Jim Sysfan spoke.  Mr Syfan is a local businessman and has been largely regarded as the source of getting the representatives to write the bill.  He began by apologizing to the crowd if he had gotten any of us upset.  He made a comment that resulted in a heckler from the crowd shouting rudely, trying to make a point that money was some sort of factor in Mr Sylers influence.  The heckler would not reveal; his identity when pressed, and truthfully, it was probably for the better.  Mr. Syfan continued, and was obviously very nervous in hostile territory, but tried to make a point that the reason for his involvement was because he was concerned for the safety of the cyclists.  Unfortunately he was not able to strongly make his point and ended up coming off like he was backpedaling  on his stance.

I left the meeting before it concluded, and at the time of writing this I am happy to see that  Rep. Rogers concluded that the point of the bill was to get everyone together and begin a dialogue, and that since that process has been accomplished, nothing more will be done on HB689 and the bill will be pulled in the morning.

Congratulations Georgia cycling community, you have done yourselves well!  Let’s all do our part to make the roads safer for cyclists and motorists alike. 

dontread

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Flowery Branch Criterium 2013

IMG_0034Headed over to downtown Flowery Branch to check out the first of two weekend criteriums that are part of Dingo Race Productions Dingo Days of Summer Series. I only found out about this race 3 days ago from the local Flowery Branch newspaper. I was hoping that the event would be well attended and go rain free because I’d love to see this be a yearly thing. I also thought it would be interesting to see some actual FAST people blaze around  a course made of streets I am very familiar with.

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Shooting was tough. I’m not anywhere near an expert photog, but I have a Canon point and shoot with “the most manual features you could get on a point and shoot” at the time I bought it. It has enough control over shutter speed/f-stop, & ISO that I can -sometimes- get some neat shots where the background shows the motion and the riders are in focus. Today that was hard though because overcast sky just screws with the camera, ugh sooo bright.

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Pretty sure this was the start of the cat4 crew.

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Tried to get one of those fancy arty shots you see from the big tours when the riders are small but the countryside is huge and beautiful, but hey, this is the FB so it didn’t really live up to the quality you see in the bike mags, aight?

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Found some giant old industrial cement blocks to stand on which allowed me to get a sort of overhead angle of the back stretch. The pace at this section was usually pretty tame as the riders had just come up the only real upgrade of the day and then hooked a 90 degree turn just before here, Strategy seemed to be planned here then applied just before turn 4 and the front stretch, which was blazingly fast. I may not be totally on point here but from my perspective that is how it was going…

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Both shots above from the same corner. For the second one I was laying down because I wanted to get the whole police building in the pic. That place is so Mayberry/Andy Griffith-esque.

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There was a somewhat gnarly manhole cover right in the middle of turn 1 which I am suprised nobody bailed after hitting today. Pretty sure these are the cat3 riders possible mixed with another class. Girl on the front was absolutely mashing it. Stupid white overcast sky.

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Really wanted to get a shot of a long string of riders across the storefronts of the whole block of downtown, but this was about as close as I got. I overheard the owner lady of Sample Pleasures saying that she wished she would have had more notice that this event was happening.  The Calliope Sweets folks and Liberty Candy folks seemed super stoked about the race and the foot traffic it was creating for them. I would love to see this race become an annual event in Flowery Branch, but to do so, Dingo Race may need to think about having some things happening alongside the event that will draw some non-bike people to check it out. One thing that may be helpful would be a printed handout that explains how crits work, primes, the different categories of racers, etc. It was super cool to have a handout explaining all the different kinds of races at Dick Lane Velodrome at one of the big events I went to there. There were still a decent amount of spectators today, but the event does have the ability to grow.

IMG_0112Overall I had a  good time, and I would like to have stuck around to watch the Pros, but I had to bail. The schedule may have been able to been tightened up a bit as there seemed to be a lot of time that passed between races. This gave the riders lots of time to warm up on course, but for spectators if the action isn’t supplemented with something between race action, it can get a little long.

Good job Dingo Race Productions and THANK YOU for bringing an event like this to Flowery Branch. I never dreamed I would see a bunch of road bikes hauling ass up Main Street in a real actual race here, so rad. Hope everything goes well up in Oakwood tomorrow and come back again next year.

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Wind Battler, Charleston Park Cherry Poppin, & St Patty’s Day Hillbombing

First weekend of 2013 where the temps here in Georgia were reasonable enough to allow riding in shorts and short sleeves.

I started it off Friday afternoon with a Wind Battler.  Truthfully, it was not very fun.  Tried some new roads that turned out to be pretty lame overall.  The whole time I was fighting a crazy headwinds it seemed, and I had no energy at all.  The tailwind on the ride back to the car didn’t do anything to redeem the ride. It was so bad that later I went out to Little Mulberry Park to just have an easy spin and try to shake the bad vibes. Ended up riding there after dark, which was fun. At a certain point I kept seeing “leaves” in the middle of the trail, then I noticed that they weren’t leaves at all, they were frogs or toads (dunno which).  Managed to actually get a decent camera phone shot of one, which kind of made a crappy day of riding a little better.

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Saturday I met up with a few riding buddies at Charleston Park. It was the first time any of us has ridden there, and according to the SORBA forum posts about the trail, it isn’t actually officially open yet.

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This was the maiden voyage for Mershon’s new GT Zaskar 29er w a 2×10, and about the third time out for Jay on his Cannondale.  The trail system (about 5.5 miles) looked pretty rad from the map and and we were all pretty excited. I figured we would do it at least twice.

Right away there were issues.  The first 1.5 to 2 miles of this trail are exactly the kind of terrain none of us have been riding at all through the winter.  Lots of quick dips and sharp short but very steep climbs. We all headed in a little over zealous, and the trail quickly knocked us all down to size.  Brian hasn’t been riding much at all through the cold season, and Jay and I have been doing lots of road work with long but gradual grinders of climbs, so short bursts of quick energy just killed us all.  About 2.5 miles in Jay has a big problem with his shifting on the rear, which we could not work out via a trailside repair (more on this later).

The trail started to get a bit  more likeable at this point…longer swoopier sections without so much of the rapid ups and downs.  Jay was at the same place I was the day before though…just no energy coupled with mechanical issues…so by mile 3 it became pretty much a mission of just getting back to the car.  We stay together when riding a new trail for the first time so we stopped a lot to get the group back together.  Mile 4 to 5 was a blast…really wicked downhill sections and I was jumping everything, being an ass powersliding into turns, and hllering a lot. yeah I like to holler when I ride. Must be the beers.

Once we made it back to the car, it was decided that we would transfer to the much more tame Haw Creek, just to log a few more miles. I’ll head back to Charleston Park for a double or triple at some point but today was not the day.

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Haw Creek was just flat, loads of loose dirt now that our area has stopped being the rain planet.  Jay had a corner get away from him on his singlespeed rig and ended up with the first and only blood of the day. Brian opted for a single loop, Jay and I did a double.  Haw creek is ridiculously  short and tame, but hey, we’re not pros and we’re not trying to be.  We’re okay with that.

I did the second pass at Haw Creek on Jay’s mis-shifting Cannondale, thinking I could dial it in while riding with the barrel adjusters, but it just wouldn’t work. After the ride, once we got the bike on his car rack, he noticed that the top cog on the rear was BENT!  Check out how the cogs are squashed together at the bottom of the pic compared to the top.  I have never seen that before. Well, now I have. The folks at REI said they had seen it a few times when jay took the bike in to have it replaced.

All in all, in spite of the troubles, it was still a pretty fun, but short day of riding.

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Sunday, I headed to Jays hut for what I thought was going to be a casual chill road ride,  just to get past the  record setting amount of beers I drank from the night before.  Turned out to be quite a bit different. Couldn’t help laugh that I had actually done all my weekend drinking before St. Patrick’s Day proper. There would be no beers today. I did manage to wear some green though.

We headed out and about 2 miles in Jay says “Around the corner is a hill I have wanted to do but last time I tried it I didn’t make it.”  So of course we headed that way.

It was a pretty decent hill, and it set the tone for the whole rest of the ride. Since we were going UP a lot, we were also going DOWN alot, which meant a bunch of rad hillbombing around Roswell GA.  Lately I’ve been digging geting tucked down aero as I can in the drops and hitting light speed on descents, then staying in the big ring little cog as far as  I can powering up the next side.  This ride had a zillion sections just like that.

We eventually crossed to the other side of the Chattahoochee River and headed down a cool side road towards a ranger station/park entrance.  It was on this section, just towards the end of the road, that we encountered the sickest climb section of the day.  It was hellish, and I had to resort to the full granny.  It was only about 1/4 mile, but it was 8% avg grade and at the tail end a series of lengthy grinders that left you with just enough of a descent to catch your breath before you hit the wall.  After that, the Welcome Center / Ranger Station provided a much needed break.

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The way back was awesome though, more crazy highest gear spun out hillbombing in the drops.

All in all it was a great weekend of riding, and it looks like this summer I will actually be able to count on doing some rides with Jay and Brian, as opposed to the last few years which have been pretty much solo.  It’s hard to find folks for me to ride with because most people are waaaay faster & fitter than me, and those that aren’t tend to be waaaay slower.  I’m somewhere in the middle.  I’m not quite at the level yet where I can confidently join up with one of the local group rides, but I’m def ready to step things up some and start riding the big boy roads and trails.

Easing in as I would say.

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