This past Friday was one of those rare days when both Debbie and I had off-days at work. Therefore, we were able to saddle-up the tandem and join four other members of the LM cycling club for a 50-mile ride from the Budweiser brewery in Cartersville, Georgia. The club typically tries to have some type of group ride every other Friday to coincide with our company’s 9/80 work week off-Friday.
OK, so what’s a 9/80 work week? The 9/80 is one of those unusual work schedules where two 40-hour work weeks are spread over 9 days instead of 10 such that you work eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day on the Thursday before an off Friday. Given that I spend about 12-hours at work on all nine of those days and work a few hours from home on the off-Friday and weekends, having the option of staying away from the office for 3-days every two weeks is pretty nice.
Anyway, we headed out of the house at 7:25 for the 35-minute drive to the brewery for the 8am ride start, noting the goal was to beat the heat and be off the road before noon. I think we rolled-out of the parking lot around 8:20am and planned to follow the markings for the 48-mile version of the annual Beautiful Back Roads Century (BBC) that start and ends at the brewery each September.
The BBC route is what I’d call “tandem friendly” in that there’s not a lot of elevation gain and most of the climbs are the kind you can power over while riding out of the saddle without losing much of your momentum. I think some of our riding mates were a bit surprised at how well we clipped along as this was the first time Debbie had been with me with this particular group. But, getting back to the subject of this blog entry, before there was a BBC there were several different variations on the “Brewery Ride” that began about as soon as the brewery opened back in 1993. This has created a lot of different routes for rides that leave from the brewery. Having ridden many of these different routes, this can sometimes leave me (and others) scratching my head when my memory is based on riding the “old” routes instead of the most recent BBC routes. To be honest, the route we rode on Friday was probably the easiest variation, as most of the other routes we’ve ridden in the past included a lot more vertical elevation gain, some of it coming in big chunks.
In closing, it was really a great day on the bike and even a front flat about 5 miles from the end of the ride that interrupted a really nice, fast section of road that lent itself to some fast TT-like sustained speed didn’t spoil the day. I think we may have been delayed by 10 minutes for the repair given I’d used my last CO2 carts a week ago on our Ventana and had to rely on my extra-small Blackburn frame pump. Note to self: get thee to Wally-World’s sporting goods section and pick up a 25-pack of 12g carts @ .56 each!