What's Cool In Road Cycling

Roadside Dave: Georgia, Stg 2

Day 2 successfully complete for yours truly along the roads of Georgia and another awesome day – fine riding, fine racing, the most beautiful cycling scenery ever, a real PEZ-fan, and a talk with the boys at Mavic, More inside!

For me, the course was ridden half full speed, half, well, half speed, amidst the crew of the Discover Adventures tour group. But for the pros, it was another tough day of racing, with the Lion King himself, Mario Cipollini, taking the stage.

Livin’ the life – riding through Callaway Gardens.

Earlier in the day, I had the ridden the course awaiting the pros, complete with about five miles through the very, VERY impressive Callaway Gardens, after a long stretch of relatively flat roads. There’s a resort in there somewhere, and I am told there is a golf course, too, but for me, the riding through the impressive foliage was amazing enough. Twisting paths through tall trees, with only a golf cart or two to be seen, I thought to myself as I rode the scenic twisting path that some of the peloton today would had to have picked their heads up at some point and reveled in the undeniable beauty of this Georgia gem. After the Gardens, the fairly large rollers started, but they weren’t enough to let the early break of the day survive, and it ended in a bunch finish.

As I rode the impressive course, I watched the sun jump in and out of the branches around myself and my tour mates, peppering us in mid day glory as we made a fair tempo around the gorgeous layout that is Callaway gardens.

The ride ended for me at the end of the Gardens as I saw Brandon (yes, Buc Nasty, brother of Joe-Bob) outside the Atlanta Cycling trailer, tempting me with air conditioning, cold drinks, and 311 on the stereo. Deciding that seeing the last 20 miles or so of the course from the comfort of the back of the Ford seemed like a good idea, I packed it in and jumped in the car. With the double stage tomorrow of a 50 mile road ride, followed by what I am told is to be a tough 18 mile time trial, I settled on saving the legs and heading for the stage finish. Besides, I am facing inevitable death in the mountains come Friday, so I had best make the best showing I can before departing this new found group of friends.

Livin’ proof – Actual PEZ-Fan Tommy!
Oddly enough, as I was close to finishing what was to be the last of the miles for me today, I happened upon Tommy, who rode up on our group as we left the forest and apparently recognized my Evil garb. “Are you the dude who is here writing for Pez Cycling?” he asked, “Yes,” I replied. “I love that site!” he said. Cool. After familiarizing myself with this faithful Pez fan, I made quick introductions. “Everyone, this is Tommy, he’s a local and he’s gonna jump on with us for a while.” The Discover Adventures crew jumped right in in welcoming him, and off we rode, with one more in tow. Soon thereafter I lost all sight of the group, and was in shorts and a T-shirt, heading for Columbus.

Upon arriving and watching the exciting stage finish, I made off to contact Scott Hodge, one of the hosses on the Mavic (pronounced ‘Mah-veek’, to settle the argument) neutral support providers on the Tour. Talk about hard work, Mavic is here in Georgia providing their trademark service to the riders, repairing anything the riders may need if their team cars are nowhere to be seen. If ever there was a crew of boys and girls to be accused of busting their asses to help a race, then let Mavic be first, and let them be guilty. These guys are making the nut each and every day, up at 5, washing the cars, trueing wheels, getting all their eggs broken to make glorious repair omelettes all day long on the Tour. Their bright yellow is as synonymous with neutral support as it is with the leaders jersey in the Tour de France. Scott’s been with Mavic a few years now, handling any races in the south east US, while being a licensed USCF wrench when the yellow armada isn’t calling on his services.

So, I’ve lived another day on the Tour de Georgia, complete with sun, miles, incredibly hospitable southern culture, and fine food. Great roads and courtesy make a fine pair, and I am looking forward to the days to come. Keep reading, and keep riding.

For more ‘tour-of-the-tour’ information, contact
Discover Adventures toll free at 866.44.ACTIVE or visit their specific webpage for the 2004 Dodge Tour de Georgia Tours. Reservation deadline is Friday, March 26, 2004.

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