Wednesday, June 8, 2011

REPORTS FROM THE FIELD

Our friend and riding companion John Bryan is currently participating in the 2011 version of Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG). John does most of his training in his home state of Florida, which has helped him more than acclimate to the warm temperatures of Georgia. In fact, he may be getting to cool down somewhat as he ventures across Georgia. John has been kind enough to send along some images of the ride thus far.

This past Sunday John and approximately 1100 of his newest buddies left Oglethorpe College in Atlanta on their cross state tour to Savannah. John provided the following descriptive itinerary of the trip before he left.

I leave here on Friday, driving to Savannah, Georgia.  Saturday morning, they will put my bike on a truck and me on a bus.  The bus and the truck will take us to the starting point at  Oglethorpe College, just north of Atlanta, Georgia.  Sunday, bright and early, I will join about 1100 other people on the week long adventure they call BRAG.

Sunday, we ride to Oxford, about 55 miles.  Part of what makes this kind of ride special is that you have nothing to worry about!  You get up, eat breakfast, ride, clean up, eat, nap, eat again and the next day repeat.  It is absolutely the best mental break from work you could ever have!

Monday, it’s on to Milledgeville, another 63 miles.  We ride through Porterdale and Monticello, stopping for the night at Georgia Military College. 

Tuesday, we ride 48 miles to Dublin.  We go through Toomsboro and Stephensville community.  We travel in Baldwin, Wilkinson and Laurens counties, stopping for the night at Dublin High School.  Most of the miles are on back roads that are lightly traveled.  Usually, we ride in to BRAG HQ at the end of the ride, typically a school, and then from there ride to a motel.  Camping is available and space in air conditioned gyms is usually there, but motels are much nicer.  Brother John’s Luggage service takes our duffel bags from motel to motel.

Wednesday is a layover day in Dublin.  We have the option of riding 45 miles, 56 miles, a century or nothing.  It’s a good day to do laundry!  All these small towns go all out providing entertainment for the BRAG riders.  Unfortunately, the closest motel we could get is about 5 miles from BRAG HQ, so we will end up riding a few extra miles.  But that is pretty typical on BRAG.

Thursday is a 73 mile ride to Metter.  BRAG HQ is at Metter High School.  Metter has live music planned for us in the downtown park.

Friday, it’s 61 miles to Hinesville.  WE pass through a bunch of counties, including Bryan County (my namesake) and then Ft. Stewart. I spent a few weeks at Ft. Stewart years ago, as a 2d Lt., inventorying weapons in the armory.

Saturday is ride’s end.  We get a break and ride only 36 miles to Savannah.  We have the end of ride barbeque feast and then head home.  Saturday is always kind of a sad day for me.  Early in the week, the idea of riding 400+ miles is so daunting, but by Saturday, I’m sorry to see it end.

BRAG is a well organized ride through parts of rural Georgia I would otherwise never see.  You ride at your own pace.  If you want to ride at 20+ mph with the young maniacs, you can do that.  If you want to enjoy the scenery and meet some new friends, you can do that too.  I’ve ridden BRAG twice before and love it.  It’s hard to explain to my non-riding friends, but I think my wife understands.  It’s a challenge, but it reminds us that we can do amazing things if we really want to.

 

Today, I received 3 images of his ride thus far…

BRAG 2011 participants

(BRAG 2011 participants)

The square in Monticello, GA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Zeke’s ancestral home on his Mom’s side – Monticello, GA)

Bryan figuratively out of gas...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Bryan figuratively (I hope) out of gas!

Where in the World is Cross Country Stan?

The short answer is I don’t know! I’ve not received word of the cross Canada travellers since they were in Moose Jaw! Hopefully, we’ll here from him soon!

Thanks to both John and Stan for sharing their ride tales and images with us!

Additional Inspirational Ride!

Check out the Velo Hobo to follow the exploits of local Cherokee Natives as they retrace the Trail of Tears on bicycles. The riders left the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina for their trip along the northern route that so many of their ancestors were forced to march and where many of them died. Check it out to see how these folk of all ages are experiencing this ride of a lifetime.

image

- Zeke

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