You may recall there was an impromptu August D.I.C.E. tandem weekend hosted by Roger & Eve (aka, Team Straussky) where the Sunday ride on August 7th re-visited the host city for the 2010 Georgia Tandem Rally. There was also the March PEACHES Ride that began in Rutledge, Georgia which visited many of the same roads used for 2010 GTR and the various rides from Covington. It’s a great area for cycling and tandem cycling in particular, on par with some of the riding near Cartersville, Georgia closer to us about 40 minutes Northwest side of Atlanta.
There was a nice turn out with six (6) tandem couples and three (3) single bikes. Sadly, one of the couples had just returned to tandem cycling and were out on their brand new Cannondale RT who really didn’t get to ride with other tandem couples given the wide disparity in riding levels. Thankfully, a friend of theirs joined the ride on his single and we’re fairly certain that he spent the day riding with the Serrano’s. Perhaps another one of the single bike riders — Vernon — may have have accompanied them as well.
Once again, I would really like to hear some ideas as to how we might interest more PEACHES members to turn out for the monthly rides. I’m somewhat confident if more members attended PEACHES rides we’d have a lot more folks finding new friends to ride with and more ride options. Really… Just something for our Georgia Tandem Club list members who are reading this to think about.
Getting back to the ride, we were iffy on even making it out to Covington. However, we woke up early enough to make the 65-mile drive in time to be there for the 9:00 AM start with only one “oops”: forgot my helmet. You know, what’s weird is that I’ve only forgotten to bring my helmet to two PEACHES ride since becoming a member of the ‘gang’ back in August 1997. The first time was at the March PEACHES ride. What are the odds? Must have something to do with heading over to Walton County and the Covington / Rutledge areas. As before, while riding without a helmet doesn’t really bother me or make me feel “exposed” given that I didn’t even own a helmet until the late 80’s, what I do miss when I’ve forgotten my helmet is my mirror!! I probably glance into my mirror several times a minute when we ride and do so without even thinking about it as part of “scanning”… the same technique most of us (hopefully) use when we’re driving. Well, with that mirror missing I had no idea who was on our wheel, setting up for a county-line sprint, or falling back and that makes for a very different riding experience. Sure, I can turn my head and check my peripheral to see who’s where, which is what I did, but it’s no where near as effective or frequent as scanning with a rear view mirror. Beyond that, when we’re riding and I sense that a car is coming up behind us, I always get a bead on the car using my mirror and am nearly never surprised once the vehicle passes us: none of that today and it makes for a very different experience as well… not in a good way. But I digress.
The weather was nice — more in line with what we’d expect in late October, not mid-September — but overcast until noon. We both started out with wind vests and arm warmers and I stuffed my wind vest into a back pocket at about the 10-mile mark. I think the temps were in the low 60’s when we started and may have snuck into the low-80’s by the end of the ride.
We had a couple store stops and, without or unofficial road captains — Linda & Eric, aka, Team WoodGood — we found ourselves spending a bit more time at the stops than we typically do which was something of a double-edge sword: the more casual stops were quite pleasant and long enough that silliness broke-out, but also made our legs ache a bit once we finally got going again: good thing it was a friendly pace… for the most part.
As mentioned earlier, the route we used was a collection of familiar segments of other previous charity rides, PEACHES outings and the Georgia Tandem Rally with a couple new twists, if only heading East on a road that we previously took West. There were several essentially uncontested county line & city limit sign springs with just one exception: I have no idea what came over us. However, in answer to Roger B’s question: No. It’s not the first body part across the line it’s the front wheel. Pretty sure it was a photo-finish on that one.
Not too many anecdotes from the ride to share. Our only real excitement came early in the ride when for some inexplicable reason I allowed our front wheel to drift off the edge of the asphalt and took Debbie on a short grassy off-road excursion through a shallow ditch before returning to the asphalt without incident.
Upon our return to Covington, it was on to Amici’s Italian Cafe for lite lunch with the long-group before heading for home. Debbie and I split an Italian sub with crispy fries on the side (a yummy sandwich) while lusting over some of the pizza pies that our friends ordered. Thankfully, I’ve learned that even the best-looking pizza doesn’t always sit well, so it was easy to resist mooching for leftovers with an eye towards having an Olde Towne Tavern & Grille pie in the near future. Debbie ducked into Scoops to indulge in a little ice cream treat along with some of the other folks and then we were off for our 65-mile trip back to our side of town.
Just a great day!!! Note, several of these photos were taken by Team Bireley and pinched from their FB account for this update.