On Tuesday I braved the frigid temperatures (Hello! 20 degrees is fricking cold on a bike!) and did the 4th annual GA rides to the Capitol. You can click on the link if you want to read more about it but the gist is that this bike ride is organized to raise cycling awareness in the Atlanta area.
You can also read my blogs about the past years I have done the ride here: 2006 and 2008.
Particularly funny is in 2006 Steph commented how she wouldn't ever feel comfortable riding in metro Atlanta on the road. Well, if you read this blog at all you know for pretty much the past 2 years Steph and I have ridden all over metro Atlanta on our bikes. In fact Steph is going to be a wheel chair bike escort for the Georgia ING half marathon and has been familiarizing herself with the course this past week. She also has a pretty great post on her blog on exactly why the ride to the Capitol is necessary. Not sure why she didn't mention that in her post but I'll do it for her.
At the very least I think we should make the Atlanta area as bicycle friendly as we can manage. If cycling doesn't speak to a desire to "go green" or "get fit" in you maybe it will speak to, if you are anything like me, the quickly diminishing size of your wallet. Riding a bike is always cheaper than a car and all the cost involved with operating and owning one (insurance, maintenance, gas, purchasing etc). And considering the traffic in Atlanta (hello! 400? 285?), the 20+ miles you drive from the burbs to work would take you about the same time on a bike--given the appropriate bike lanes and such. Now, I haven't ever done the commute myself (on a bike or in a car) but I have heard you can spend an hour and a half just sitting in your car on 400, inching your way into the Atlanta city limits. Surely you can do 20 miles in an hour and half on a bike. Heck, there are some people in this world that can almost run 20 miles in an hour and half. Also, instead of getting your bp up because you are pissed off about sitting in traffic you get your heart rate up and get all these great endorphins that make you feel high. Well, unless you almost get run over by one of those pissed off people who had to sit in their cars for an hour and half in Atlanta traffic- then you might have a little heart attack yourself. Which probably isn't so good for you. Cortisol, or something like that. . .
Anyway, my point of this post is not to be political. I just wanted to encourage people to go out and ride a bike cause it is fun! Also, I for one, would like to be safe while I ride my bike on the city streets that I pay taxes to maintain. Lastly, I wanted to encourage those in the Atlanta area to play hooky from work next year and join us.
Do not be intimidated.
This ride is very pedestrian.
Heck, a guy on a unicycle rode the 20 so miles from Roswell city hall to the Capitol. There were all kinds; time trial bikes, roadies, fixies, mountain bikes, tandems, unicycles etc.
Okay here are some pictures from this year's event:
Me and Steph getting ready to roll:
Our not so genius idea to keep our tootsies warm with plastic bags over our socks.
Did not work. At. All.
For about the first hour of this ride I thought for sure I was going to lose several digits. I was painfully cold.
Some of the North Atlanta Multisport Club members that let me ride with them and pretend like I am in the club when really I am not.
But if you are in the north Atlanta area and looking for a tri club please feel free to come check them out and join. They are the nicest, most supportive bunch of people.
Like I said. All types. Hello Easy Rider.
What you can't see is his spectacular handle bar mustache. I tried to get it but he turned away at the last second. I was feeling stalkerish snapping his picture but really, do you wear a football helmet as bicycle helmet, sport a handle bar stache like you are in a barber shop quartet and wear that outfit to ride your bike through downtown Atlanta if you don't want to be noticed?
I think not.
Cyclists converging on the Capitol from the east, west, north and south metro Atlanta areas.
Yep! I took that picture while rolling.
Everyone dismounting at the Capitol to hear the speeches, get some shwag (I got free socks! I put them to use!) and have a snack (best Fig Newtons I've ever had).
The best part of any ride: Apres beers with great like-minded people!
Jamie, Greg, Courtney and Steph at Cerviche in Roswell.
Total ride for us was around 47 miles.