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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

When is it too cold to ride a bicycle?

Joe Elam breaks his 40 degree rule. Ben Eavenson is blissfully ignorant.
Here in North Georgia we rarely get cold enough weather to really ever make riding outside completely out of the question. A serious roadie will always give the proper consideration to any ride in any temperature if the right people are committed to being there. Some don't even need other people to be there. Some roadies actually like the solitude that cycling provides. For you non-cycling males it's like the solitude derived from mowing the grass (riding mower) on a nice autumn day. You can just settle down in your "nothing box" and ride. The difference being that we roadies actually get some exercise.

This weekend temperatures were going to start out in the 20's. Who wants to ride a bicycle when it's 27 degrees and blowing? Plenty...here's the list: Joe Elam, Ben Eavenson, David Latty, Stephen Sisk, Trace Nabors, Benny Bohanan and many more. I sarcastically dubbed us the "Real Men of Genius".

David Latty the organizer/route man.
When you're standing outside the car, wrapped up in your winter cycling apparel, everything seems completely sane. "It's just a little cold but we'll warm up after we get started." Joe prayed for us and we shoved off. Within 100 meters we began descending the first hill. HOLY SNOW CONE, BATMAN! My joints started hurting. My forehead was stinging. My chin was...missing. Has your face ever been so cold that when you talk it sounds like you're drunk? "No zir, Mizzter Ovvizzer, I haven bin drinking." That's how it was for the next hour. We actually looked forward to the hills because at least then we could generate some heat and ease the wind. We made it to Lula where Ben had a mechanical problem with his bike. I think his bike was trying to bail him out of this ridiculous polar excursion but it didn't know that we bring along our own bike mechanic. Silly bike.

Joe reattaches a broken cable in Lula, GA.
We pressed on as the sun came up higher in the sky. As we passed houses on one open rural road I could see smoke coming from some chimneys. I thought about how warm it must be in there. I thought about how warm it must be back in my bed at home. I thought about hot chocolate and warm biscuits and soft fleecy clothes. I thought about how great it would be if I could feel my pinkie fingers. My thoughts were interrupted when a sweet old lady swung open her front door and yelled, "Y'all can come in here if ya need too!"

After about an hour of torture we all began to warm up and have friendly conversation. Subjects vary on a ride like this. Trace and I debated the effects of frostbite and questioned the actual need for pinkie fingers. I argued the merits of the pinkie fingers and further stated that given the choice I'd rather loose my pinkie toes. The fact is who would know...if you have no toes.

In the end the ride was a success. The frost bitten Real Men of Genius made it home with all appendages in tact. I'm glad Joe broke his 40 degree rule but I doubt he'll do it again. Hey Joe, we finished in 40 degrees, does that work?

On Sunday it was 55 degrees at 2:30pm so I called a Family Biking Day!

Family Biking!!

Thomas and Jessica Pattillo

Parker and Jill Mashburn
 I ran the trail in pursuit of Erin Grace who is getting better and better at negotiating the roots. Then I took on the trail myself for a "Daddy Lap" on which I was taken down by some slippery leaves in a corner. My helmet saved my cranium but did little to stop the impact on my shoulder. So after trail running/pushing the girl for an hour and then my crash and burn I was done. A trip to my favorite burger joint Cheeseburger Bobby's was all I needed. The weekend was complete and my body was shutting down for the evening.

Family biking is not ALL about the biking.
And now here's a little message for the loser's who did this to the bridge at Gainesville College:
Stupid is as stupid does.
My Dad once told me that I could have fun as long as I didn't destroy anything. Especially if it didn't belong to me. Whoever did this and spray painted the dock evidently has no Dad. At least not one that's worth anything. Whoever did this probably needs a hand up...after they get a back hand. Whoever did this should have to stand and watch something they enjoy broken to pieces and then made to earn a new one. Whoever did this should stop believing popular society's lie that loser's are rebels and rebels are cool. Whoever did this should take control of their life and strive to be a winner. They could start by fixing this sad act of vandalism and keep fixing things until they've created a new, winning pattern for their lives. Whoever did this is on a wide road to nowhere. What a stupid thing you did. I hope it haunts you unless or until you make it right. My children and I are very disappointed in you.

January 21st is the WLA Run Road Atlanta! I'll be helping the folks there put on a 5K, 10K, and Fun Run at the famous Road Atlanta race track. It's not cycling, but it's going to be fun!

Thanks for reading!


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