Riding This Week


Chainbuster MTB Racing Series - Georgia's friendliest MTB racing. 6 & 9 Hour Endurance racing for solo or teams.

Dirty Spokes - Duathlon and Trail running series. Love these guys. First class events.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Baxter's 1000

Thursday evening my wife sprung it on me. I knew it was coming. After spending the entire spendable Saturday prior to this one riding my bike in Athens I was completely out of brownie points and excuses. So when she asked me to spend this Saturday watching our kids and the Pattillo children while they go shopping all day I quickly said, "Of course! I'd love to!" Not really a lie at all because I love them so much but I said it with a little more passion because, as they say, I may be dumb but I'm not stupid.

The question quickly became, "What am I going to do with these four kids all day?" My Facebooking friends at Baxter's Multisport posted the answer on Friday. They were helping the Marines Toys for Tots charity by having the 1st Annual Baxter's 1000. From 7AM till 7PM you can show up, donate, and then run as many miles as you like in order to help meet the 1000 mile goal. And you get a super cool Christmas sweatshirt! I'll show it to you later.
Molly runs for Toys for Tots.

My plan? Take them there and make them run until they cry. Then whatever else we do for the rest of the day will be just fine with them.


You don't think I'm capable of such diabolical forethought? Well here's a little inside information for you people; that's what I do. I make a plan. If I have no plan I'm not happy. Spontaneous is not in my vocabulary. Also I'm a little, shall we say, surly. I'll make a quintessential crabby old man when I grow up. And on top of that I subscribe to the old school way of treating kids. You see when I was growing up and we went somewhere without enough beds the kids slept on the floor. My birthday party took place at my house and not every person who came got a gift. We got 1 hour of TV and then had to play outside with our imaginations. Consequently I'm not a coddler. In the real world there are winners and losers. My kids will learn that good things come to those who work hard. So on this day, before we move on to "make it up as you go" type of fun, we're going to run for charity.

Now before you go calling DEFAX on me it wasn't bad at all. They had a great time. The trick to teaching them lessons isn't in making them do something they don't want to do. It's letting them embarrass themselves by complaining and then rubbing their noses in it once it's over. To that end, I didn't tell them they could walk a puppy while they run. I didn't tell them there were free donuts and hot chocolate inside Baxter's. I didn't tell them that they would get award certificates and be treated like angels for participating. Instead I let it all play out. I challenged them to help me run 5 miles and that's all I said.

Erin Grace Pattillo walking the dog.
I think the puppies made the whole running thing fun. Well... obviously it did. EG and Ellie had a dog the whole time. Thomas was too focused on the task at hand to want a dog tripping him up. Molly (my oldest) was focused too. She and I plan on competing together in a Dirty Spokes Duathlon at Fort Yargo in a few months so she was thinking about that.

We ran and walked while listening to Christmas music being blasted out across the field. Once I figured they were tired we headed inside to tally up our totals and get some foodage.

Thomas, Molly, Erin Grace, and Ellie ran 2 miles each.
 Baxter's is a cool place. They have massages and a fruit smoothie bar and triathlon stuff and cycling stuff. Nathan O'Neal was there working on bikes and sporting a really cool Oakley beanie. He's very excited about putting on some races in Gainesville next year. I'm looking forward to that too.

We fled the scene and headed to Gainesville College for some fun. My plan was to let them go where ever they wanted and I would jog behind them. EG is still figuring out how to ride so I knew I could jog and help her get around. We went here and there, stopping to play and then moving on. I was carrying my backpack full of drink and tubes and stuff. Then they decided it would be fun to ride the trail. But not the "normal" way. They wanted to ride it backwards. Somewhere about half way I began to feel 40 years old. The combination of the TforT miles, the back pack, and pushing EG up every hill began to take its toll.

Back in the truck and on the way home we made this little hip hop video. I expect it to go viral pretty soon.

Once back home I turned the kids loose in the back yard and began the recovery process. After a hot shower I was ready to sport the new Baxter's 1000 sweatshirt...from the couch.
Don't you wish your husband was hot like me?
 Anyway...I felt the day was highly successful for many reasons. Not the least of which was to re-build my depleted supply of brownie points. Because I'm going to need them if I want to go do a GAP's ride or WBL on New Years Eve Saturday morning. I was glad to help Baxter's support a great cause as well. And as far as the kids go...they'll probably forget and lessons I taught them by tomorrow.

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.  ~Charles Dickens
Thanks for reading! Have a great Christmas!!!


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