Saturday, May 31, 2014


My brother called me yesterday and invited me down to the ATL to ride with him and Baldwin. Sounded good to me. I've been spinning my legs out on the Silver Comet all week, but I haven't put in any real effort in a long time.

Mark had to take his daughter to swim lessons at 11 though, so we needed to meet him at his place, ready to ride, at 8AM. When my alarm went of at 6AM I got a little flashback from the MTB racing days - alert and awake, ready to execute. It was a good memory. Someday I'll make more. I hope.

Breakfast was a chocolate iced honey bun and a 20 oz Gatorade. More good memories there.

I got to the ATL earlier than I expected and took some surface streets to Mark's place rather than the highway. I sort-of know my way around downtown, but whenever I try to get from 10th street to Mark's place, I inevitably end up confounded by one-way streets, dead-ends, or streets that start off looking good but then curve off to the left or something. Today I figured it out though. Woohoo!

John and Mark value punctuality and we rolled out punctually.


I had no idea where we were going.

No idea at all.

Mark called the route "Buckhead" and it was marked with all these little B's with arrows hanging off of them. It was apparently the famed "Buckhead Bellyache" route. I'd heard of it long ago. It was alleged to tear riders' legs off. There was a murderous group ride out there that I never managed to make. I feared it.

Some of the hills were good work. I was feeling good though. Mark struggled here and there, but apparently the last time he'd been on a bike was that Dirty Sheets ride we'd done a few weeks back. Ha! Yeah, that would do it.

The ride took us through Buckhead and Vinings.


A truck put a really close pass on us over the Depot Humps. Whoo! Close indeed. We caught another rider at the top and then got split up by another truck heading down to the railroad tracks. Me and Mark had to pass the truck and regroup with John and the guy we caught before the truck would finally pass us all. It sounds contrived but it felt intuitive at the time.

We rode back across the the Hooch...


...back through Buckhead and eventually into Atlanta. Somewhere in there a minivan pulled out in front of us and John had to dodge it. I kind-of suspected that it might pull out and had time to get into the drops but John was still on his hoods and it was sketchy.

Easy miles! About 30 of them as it turned out. It didn't feel like 30 though. We took it just the right kind of easy. I'm not sure it counts as "any kind of real effort" but now I kind of feel like doing more rides like that.

I'm riding with Billy tomorrow. Ought to be another good ride, unless he puts the screws to me too hard. Lets hope that he doesn't.

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