Sunday, March 2, 2014


Baldwin called me up mid-last-week to coordinate borrowing my tracker for the impending Huracan and, while he was at it, invited me on a road ride with him and Eddie and whoever else was interested in attending. He called the ride "Serenbe", but that word had no meaning to me. It was a road ride though, heading south out of Atlanta, so I had a good idea what to expect. How long? 70 miles. I'm in!

I met him at his place at 9:30 Sunday morning. His girlfriend was coming back from a jog and really burning it down to get back in time for us to leave and we were worried we'd miss the start but everything worked out and we made it over on time, no problem.

The start was apparently in the haircut district. There were barber shops and salons all down either side. Somebody was set to film a movie over the next few days too.

Filming Something

There were orange cones set up everywhere and trucks full of equipment were coming and going. The security guard told us they'd start filming on Monday. Now, watch, for the next year or two, every movie I see, I'm going to be scrutinizing to see if it looks familiar.

Eddie sent Mark a text... "Give me 10 minutes..." I could see Mark's mind groan as he read the text. Heh, heh. Mark is punctual and values punctuality. I like to BE punctual but I think I value it less than Mark does.

TWENTY minutes later Eddie appeared with two Faster Mustache riders in tow and we headed south.

This was the one opportunity I had to take a photo before the paced ramped up prohibitively.

Roll Out

We followed the Airport ride route for a while, then turned right off of it into who-knows-where. I know it was somewhere in South Fulton County because there was a sign proclaiming South Fulton to be the home of Cam Newton. I had no idea he was from around here. I guess you learn something new every day. I remember passing a dirt road named Newton Drive right after the sign too, which seemed appropriate.

Dirt ended up being the theme of the day. We wound around down by some river, probably the Chattahoochee, given how wide it was and followed dirt roads along it for miles and miles. I struggled more than I expected to and fell back a few times. Ugh. When we got off the dirt we passed a gas station with a church on the right and hung the next right after that. It all looked very familiar.

Me: "This reminds me a lot of the Silk Sheets."

Eddie: "It should, that's where we are!"

The gas station we passed was Charlies and the church was where we usually parked when we'd ride out there. Ha! Small world.

The sheets weren't so silky though. The road was cracked and rough and gravelly. Or maybe it was just me. I was not in the best of shape. Bad sleep for the past two weeks, the last time I rode was 4 days earlier, but the worst of all... cherry pollen. This time of year always kills me. The cherry trees bloom and they're so beautiful, and then the pear trees follow them and they're even more beautiful, but my lungs hate them and would burn them all down if they could. It's not so bad that I really notice unless I'm trying to do something that requires a little heavier breathing, and then I wheeze and hack and it's like those trees are reaching out and strangling me.

Excuses, excuses...

We eventually rolled into the community of Serenbe, which is kind of a walking community like Vickery Village up in Cumming. It's a little more spread out though, and a bit more scenic. Someday they plan on building about 30 miles of hike, bike and horse trails out there. Man, that would be nice. I meant to take a photo of the Serenbe sign but I was barely recovered enough from the last little hill to pull out the camera. This photo of the street will have to do.


On the way in there was a guy in a Prius who kept slowing down suddenly and then would creep along so slowly that it was difficult to stay up riding behind him. One of the guys suggested that we pass him and the other was like "No, he's driving a Prius, can't pass a Prius." I was too tired to say much at the time, but what came to mind is "Of course you can pass him. The only thing more pretentious than driving a Prius is riding a bicycle." Duh :)

We stopped at the Blue Eyed Daisy for coffee and a snack.

Blue Eyed Daisy

It was packed and half of the people there looked like they'd been out riding. Most of the cars parked on the street had bikes hanging off of them.

While parking my bike, I noticed that I'd lost one of my water bottles earlier on the dirt. Dangit. I didn't really need anything to eat. I'd brought two packs of little chocolate donuts along with me, but they had Zapps potato chips and I figured maybe I could use the salt, so I did order a plate of those. I forgot though, Zapps plain potato chips have notably little salt on them. They were still good but I was a little disappointed.

There was literally nowhere to sit inside, so we sat outside at a picnic table. It was in the 40's and windy and while it's comfortable while you're moving, sitting around in it isn't all that great and we all started shivering pretty quickly. I have this great little wind shell though, and I was glad that I'd brought it because it made all the difference in the world.

Funny side story there... That morning I'd woken up several times before my alarm went off, only to go back to sleep and have a quick dream about getting up and scrambling frantically to get ready for the ride, always having misplaced something or forgotten some important thing that I had to go back for. I guess my subconscious mind knew something though because when I finally did get up and get dressed for real, I was missing one knee warmer. I had everything else, but I was missing just that one. In the end, after tearing the house apart in vain, I reluctantly ended up wearing my fleece-lined running tights instead. I was worried they'd be too warm, and they were pretty warm on the road, but sitting there at that picnic table, I was glad I had them.

So, after a few chocolate donuts, some good chips, and just the right amount of bone-chilling weather, we hit the road again, back toward Atlanta. The ride out was circuitous but it was pretty much a straight run back into town along highway 29.

Eddie is like 2 or 3 levels of rider stronger than me, maybe 4. I could sit on his wheel, but even that took some doing. Mark saw that he was pushing it a little, and bridged up right away. The other two guys fell off and only caught back up when we hit some stop lights. Eventually we started taking turns and I took my turn when it came up, but it was really tough. Eventually I found myself staving off cramps and it was all over. Mark had to drop back and pull me back up a few times.

I'm not sure what was going on, really. I was drinking plenty but I was also super full feeling, like nothing was making its way through my stomach. That happens when I eat bacon or some other fatty meat in the morning before the ride, or even the night before, but I hadn't. Weird. Anyway, it was a struggle and a half. One would think from all of this complaining that in retrospect I wouldn't think of it too fondly, but for some reason, no, I remember it fondly already.

When I got home I napped for hours. It was that wonderful, body feels heavier than it is kind of nap. Oh man, so good. Sooo goooood.

Today I feel good too. I might even go spin the legs out for an hour or two later on.

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