What's Cool In Road Cycling

Roadside Dave: Finale From Georgia!

Lance Armstrong was happy to have won the Tour, I was happy to have finished an abbreviated version of it. Greetings unto you, the faithful reader. This will be the last on site Georgia report, followed by a brief recap.

Jens Voight poses with Dave. Come on, you’d have done it to
if you saw Dave!

I can’t see straight, even though I have my glasses on. My legs feel as though they’re connected to a convection oven, running continual heat through them. I am trying to enjoy the people watching in Atlanta’s airport, but I can’t seem to hold a line of vision or a thought for more than a few brief moments. I need to eat something, but the thought of regular airport food repulses me and the mere idea of ingesting another Clif Bar from my backpack makes my insides want to launch a full-scale revolt. I won’ tempt it. My body has thrown several coups this week alone; I don’t wish to incite another.

After having ridden the beautiful course of the Tour of Georgia, I have a new found respect for the pro’s and pro racing. I’ve done my thousands of miles and 60 some odd races, and you could on some days accuse me of being a fair cyclist, but to actually race on this course, balls out, everyday, is something to admire. I barely got through 2/3 of it, taking several breaks along the way, and skipping the Brasstown Bald monster. Therefore, I say kudos to you, pro racers. If next years edition is indeed 10 stages, then I wish you all the luck in the world.

Only a few hundred miles of Georgia pavement under Dave’s legs,
but a lifetime of fun/pain…

I hope some of you pros hurt as much as I do. A Sierra Nevada rider whose name escapes me just walked by in the gate area, and actually he looks alert and comfortable. Damn him.

Our last day on the Discover Adventures tour was a doozy. I swapped out the 27 off my bike because I heard that the course was mainly flat to slightly rolling. Whoever told me this is a liar. I think it was Buc Nasty, actually.

Proof they actually exist: Buc Nasty & Joe Bob.

Finally, I give you a picture of Buc, the jedi mechanic, and Joe Bob, the wonder driver. These two guys were both excellent help and company during the week, and I’ll miss them both. As the lies about flat terrain became truths about huge hills, I began to realize the error of my ways in both swapping the 27 for the 25, and for trying to hang with Vic The Missile. After 10 miles of beatings for me and a warm up for Vic, I was alone, left to fend for myself out on the open course, where the temps again sniffed 90 degrees and the wind was viscously on my nose the majority of the time. I was irritated at my own incompetence and I was chafing like mad in my chamois, as I put it on when it was still a little wet from the shower wash I gave it the night before. Delirium began to set in slowly but surely, as each roller reduced me again to a useless pile on two wheels. “Good morning, class, today we will learn about squares. A square is a four sided shaped with four perfect 90 degree angles. I will demonstrate by my pedaling technique. Watch closely.”

Had Dave made it even part way up Brasstown Bald, he’d have been rewarded…

The only respites came in the form of the spectators lining the course, awaiting the arrival of the pros, who were closing the maybe 45 minute gap I had on them. I pushed and pushed where I could, and trying to conserve on the climbs in the intense heat, gladly accepting the encouragement and applause from the kind folks along the roadside. At the 50 mile mark, the end began to rear it’s ugly head. I had another 27 miles to go, but I was spent beyond spent. I had nothing. The legs, instead of growing stronger over the whole week, had somewhat peaked midweek and were now useless. The heat climbed in between my eyeballs, the sweat had me blinded, the late night transfers had taken any reserve energy I had, the wind had me demoralized, and it was a matter of a vote in my internal senate to determine my immediate future. The votes were tallied, and unanimous. I fumbled through the Cytomax gels in my rear pocket, retrieved the cell phone, and dialed up Buc Nasty and Joe Bob. As luck would have it, the boys were nearby, and I was swept up by the Atlanta Cycling trailer somewhere on Spot road. I rarely have had a greater appreciation for the interior of a Ford, and for air conditioning.

We hustled it to Alpharetta, and enjoyed the finish. I chatted again with Hodge of Mavic, Kirk Albers of Jelly Belly (who made me feel a little better by telling me that today was not an easy stage), and a few other folks I had met through the week.

Then, after a brief hotel stop complete with Chip’s wonderful idea of buying a mini keg of Warsteiner, we were off to the after race festivities at the Metropolitan Club. Sponsors, racers, riders, local luminaries, and support crews all mingled and ate volumes of pork and swayed mindlessly under the musical influence of a jazz trio playing in the corner.

Nearing shutdown, my screen started to go dim and I grabbed a shuttle back to the hotel. I took a shower for 45 minutes without moving, and crawled into bed. Ted Arnold tells me I missed Salvatore Commesso dancing like a madman, and I failed to hookup with Hodge for that beer we had promised ourselves all week long.

So, it’s all over. I forget the total damage I did to myself. I know it was several hundred miles, 5 mountains traversed, and about 4,376 bananas. However, I wouldn’t have traded the experience for the world. Thanks to you all who have read, and thanks to those out there around Georgia for your support of PEZ. It was really great to meet so many actual PEZ-Fans at the race! It’s good to know we’re making our mark, and you folks are responding to it.

Oh, and Thad, you owe me one.

You can email Dave at [email protected]

Special Thanks to Discover Adventures for putting up with Dave! Check ’em out for some great ideas on bike touring:
Discover Adventures toll free at 866.44.ACTIVE or visit their specific webpage for the Discover Adventure Tours.

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