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Old 06-15-08, 08:39 PM   #1
BluesDawg
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Brag 2008

Another Bicycle Ride Across Georgia is in the bag. BRAG 2008 is the 15th BRAG I have ridden. I must like it. I sure do. What is it about this ride that keeps me coming back?

Is it the challenge of waking up every morning to pack my gear and get on the bike to ride 60 or so miles?

Is it the chance to see parts of Georgia that I might never get to see and to see them in a way such that I can see the sights, smell the smells, feel the terrain and notice the small things?

Is it the chance to meet so many new and interesting people, all linked by the common experience of doing the ride, if nothing else, and often finding they have much more in common?

Is it seeing so many of the friends Iíve made on past BRAG rides and having more fun together?

Is it the joy of finding great food in the unlikeliest places and eating it with abandon and without guilt?

Is it running into other riders from my home town throughout the week and seeing that they are having a great time too?

Is it the strange pleasure of getting up on a mid-week morning on layover day, knowing I could just stay in camp without riding, but deciding instead to hop on the bike and ride 100 miles on a 95 degree day just because I can?
(BTW, wore the 50+ jersey on the century and got several good comments)

Is it having the honor of being part of the wackiest group of ďnot quite rightĒ BRAG riders, Team Occisus Via, with our silly camp decorations and road-kill tributes and our shared understanding that life is far too important to take seriously?

Is it the reaffirming realization that even at age 52 and with whatever problems and shortcomings I might have, I can still ride a bicycle 420 miles in a week through whatever hills, road surfaces, traffic and heat the week may throw at me?

Is it the great feeling of getting back home after the week is done to the welcoming arms of my wife, my bed, my kids and my dogs?

Yes, itís all those things and more that I donít really understand or know how to explain.

Next year's BRAG will be a North Georgia route, my favorite kind. I'm planning to be there. I know it won't be easy with some big mountains to climb (before the ride starts), but I'm planning to be there to do it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluesda...29169572/show/



















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Old 06-15-08, 11:14 PM   #2
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Looks like a great time. Thanks for sharing.

I spent a summer working in Atlanta some years ago (early 80's) and took my bike w/me. On the weekends, I took it up to North Georgia and rode around in the hills. Very pretty country.
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Old 06-15-08, 11:39 PM   #3
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Looks like another week of good fun was had by the BRAGsters. Great pics too.
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Old 06-16-08, 09:19 AM   #4
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I think it has something to do with that communal wall Blues Dawg. One of these days I am going to do one of those rides. For now, I just do my trips solo. I am assuming that's you in the one pic.....standing with someone with...what is that an Auburn bike Jersey??????

Uh...go Dawgs
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Old 06-16-08, 10:40 AM   #5
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Sounds like everyone had a great time.

There are so many good across state tours that it's hard to be able to ride all of them. I hope to put BRAG on my list one day.
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Old 06-16-08, 10:56 AM   #6
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When I read these reports, I realize I'm missing out on some great experiences by not being in good enough condition to do these things. I admire you for your dedication in participating in this event for so many years.
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Old 06-16-08, 11:53 AM   #7
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Having just completed my 4th 7-day ride (AIDS/LifeCycle), I can fully relate to each of your "Is its". The riders who particiapte in multi-day rides form a great community, as they are woven together in one fabric by intent and determination. To those of you who think you can't do these rides: Go for it. You will find that becuase "it's a ride not a race", the pace can be very relaxed. Support is wonderful and it is a moveable feast of food and performance art that will keep you going. Sometimes the hard thing, the right thing and the fun thing are all the same thing.
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Old 06-16-08, 01:45 PM   #8
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+1 on the 'if you have not tried it, don't say you can't do it' .. i have only done the Bike Across Kansas but hardly trained at all. I made it and had fun too. Wish I had taken my newly acquired Linear ,,but that is past histroy.
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Old 06-16-08, 06:13 PM   #9
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So BD, after 15 years and given that you are now 50+, how does the ride compare to when you were in your 30s? It is tougher than back then? Harder on Day 5? Harder to get started in the mornings? More nagging pains along the way? Just as fun but takes a little longer? Not much different at all?

If the 38 yo BD saw the 52 yo BD on this ride, would he be impressed?
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Old 06-16-08, 08:52 PM   #10
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Some unusual bikes on that ride? That's a strange one in the third pic, behind the guy in the light blue jersey.
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Old 06-17-08, 12:38 PM   #11
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This was my first BRAG and it was a great experience. Great routes, well organized and lots of fun. However, being 58, I chose to stay in motels rather than camping. I'll do it again next year, God willing.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
So BD, after 15 years and given that you are now 50+, how does the ride compare to when you were in your 30s? It is tougher than back then? Harder on Day 5? Harder to get started in the mornings? More nagging pains along the way? Just as fun but takes a little longer? Not much different at all?

If the 38 yo BD saw the 52 yo BD on this ride, would he be impressed?
Not all that different, really. I'm a little slower than I used to be, but I have more endurance. I am geared a little lower, but I still average about 15mph as I've always done. I have maintained my record of never walking a hill on BRAG. I probably have fewer nagging pains now because the bike is better dialed in. Ribby has been wth me on all but the first of my BRAG rides.
I don't party as hard or as late as I used to. I still notice and flirt with the ladies, but I don't try to connect since I'm now married.

I think the 38 yo me would hang out with the current me. I'd probably offer a tow in exchange for a beer.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:08 PM   #13
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Some unusual bikes on that ride? That's a strange one in the third pic, behind the guy in the light blue jersey.

That is a Pedersen bike. The rider is a member of my bike club. He says it is very comfortable and climbs very well. Not too aero, though.
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Old 06-17-08, 01:14 PM   #14
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This was my first BRAG and it was a great experience. Great routes, well organized and lots of fun. However, being 58, I chose to stay in motels rather than camping. I'll do it again next year, God willing.
I plan to keep tent camping as long as I keeo going. Moteling is too expensive, too much hassel and you miss too much fun in camp for my tastes. I can set up or break down my tent and gear in under 5 minutes. On really hot days I find an air conditioned place to hang out until late afternoon. By bed time, the tent is cool and comfortable.
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Old 06-17-08, 04:13 PM   #15
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I plan to keep tent camping as long as I keeo going. Moteling is too expensive, too much hassel and you miss too much fun in camp for my tastes.
Plus, it's really hard to find a Motel that has hanging possums and squirrels over the bed.
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Old 06-18-08, 05:18 AM   #16
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BG-hopefully you're still able to keep up with the 50+er's the next week or so.

Did they have the talent show again this year? Seems like you've posted pictures or stories in past years of you guys jamming away on stage one night??
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