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:
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.
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.
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!