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����������������������� Southern Bicycle League provides a range of activities and benefits that help riders of all levels to learn and get more out of cycling. The club’s extensive ride calendar lists both volunteer-led and registered rides in and around metro Atlanta and the southeast. There are also several overnight tours conducted over the course of the year. In addition, club socials allow new and old members alike to meet in a casual atmosphere to exchange cycling stories and par-

ticipate in programs to help their cycling knowledge. All members receive the SBL’s monthly magazine, FreeWheelin’, which features an extensive ride calendar, registration forms for rides throughout Georgia and the southeast, along with information on fitness, technique and upcoming events. Additonal rides and more information is online at www. SBL also conducts the annual Wilson 100 each September. The new course, out of Senoia, cov-

ers rural countryside and offers options for all levels of riders. If cycling is already an important part of your life, or if you’re just getting started and want to learn more, you are encouraged to join SBL and get involved. There are rides, tours, and volunteer opportunities for cyclists of all levels, from beginner to advanced. You’ll learn more about cycling in Georgia, get a monthly magazine filled with upcoming rides, and make some great friends along the way.

Join now! Simply fill out and return the membership form below, or use a credit card to join online at

���������������������������������������������� ❏ Individual Annual

Name ___________________________________________ Address _________________________________________ City _____________________________________________ State _______________________ Zip________________ Phone ___________________________________________ Email ___________________________________________ Do you want your name and address listed in the SBL Directory? ❏ Yes ❏ No Yes! I’d like to volunteer: ❏ Special Activities Committee ❏ Public Affairs Committee ❏ Safety Committee ❏ Tabling at events ❏ Organize overnight tours ❏

❏ Web site ❏ Wilson 100 ❏ Graphic Design ❏ Publicity ❏ Ride leader ❏ Photography

the SBL offers a $5 discount off annual dues to New members of other bicycle clubs. Please give the name of your other club affiliation(s) and member number.

Comments and/or suggestions for club activities or events:


Membership ...........................................$ 25.00 ❏ Family Annual Membership .......................................... $ 38.00 (includes unmarried children to 21)

Print Membership ❏ Optional Contribution Number

(top line of mailing label)

❏ New ❏ Change label

SBL Operations Supporter .................... _____

❏ Optional Contribution

Public Affairs Supporter........................ _____ ❏ less Club Discount ........................ _____

Total Enclosed ......................................... _____

$10 of SBL Membership dues are used for a one-year subscription to FreeWheelin’

NOTICE: THIS APPLICATION IS A CONTRACT WITH LEGAL CONSEQUENCES. READ IT CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING. In consideration of my membership, I agree not to hold the Southern Bicycle League, Inc., or any of its members, the board or directors, or volunteers liable for any injury or damage, however caused, which may result from participation in any event sponsored by the League. Further, I pledge to abide by Georgia traffic law and ride in accordance with the standards of courtesy and safety as subscribed to by the League. Signature _____________________________________________________ Parent/Guardian if under 18 ____________________________________

February 2012 Volume 41, No. 2 Southern Bicycle League Call for subscription questions and general information or send change of address requests to: P.O. Box 920067 Norcross, GA 30010-0067


From the Editor / Teresa Sylvester

FreeWheelin’ Staff


The President’s Column / Joanne Massey

PUBLISHERS Teresa Sylvester Richard W. Waggoner


Those New Year’s Resolutions / Arlen Gray


Gainesville Greenway / Brent Buice


Bike Camp ‘12 / Richard Waggoner


Ye Olde Ride Calendar


My Favorite Place to Ride / Jerry Cheek


The Literate Velocipede / Robert Berry


The Feast of Purification / Richard Waggoner


Let Freedom Ride / Neil Norton

EDITOR IN CHIEF Teresa Sylvester 678-641-1570 LAYOUT AND DESIGN Richard W. Waggoner 770-622-2490 ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE Russell Colton 678-410-6801 ADVERTISING Bo Ingram 404-512-1581 SOUTHERN BICYCLE LEAGUE, INC. P.O. Box 920067, Norcross, GA 30010-0067

CONTRIBUTIONS The SBL welcomes unsolicited contributions of interest to bicyclists from members and non-members. Letters and articles should be sent directly to the editor (Teresa Sylvester, emailed to with subject “FreeWheelin Copy”). Original articles are preferred, but reprinted articles may be considered. In such cases the source of the reprinted article must be clearly identified.

SUBMISSION PROCEDURES Articles should be received by the editor no later than the 5th day of the month priov r to the issue date (i.e., March 5 for publication in the April issue). With the exception of artwork and short notes or letters, all material should be submitted with a hard copy and on disk or via email. All disks will be returned upon request. If articles are not submitted on disk or via email, publication may be delayed. We may edit submissions for length and/or clarity. We prefer that ads and ride applications be forwarded digitally in a PDF format, but a hard copy is acceptable.

REPRINTS AND ARTICLES USE IN OTHER CLUB NEWSLETTERS Material in FreeWheelin’ may be reprinted by magazines, newspapers and cycling club newsletters for informational purposes, provided that the author, the SBL and FreeWheelin’ grant permission. Material may not be reprinted in commercial publications unless written permission is obtained from the Editor in advance.

RIDE REGISTRATION/APPLICATION FORMS Ride registration forms should be submitted to advertising at Free Wheelin’ (USPS Publication # 1077-8535) is published monthly by the Southern Bicycle League, Inc., 6 Avondale Road; Avondale Estates, GA 30002-1319. $10 of the $25 annual membership fee is a subscription charge for the magazine. Non-member subscriptions are available for $20 per year. Periodical postage paid at Decatur, GA and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes and membership applications to SBL, PO Box 920067, Norcross, GA 30010-0067. The SBL Executive Committee meets at least once a quarter. Any paid member in good standing may attend the meeting. Should you wish to attend, please contact Joanne Massey, for the next scheduled meeting.

THIS MONTH’S COVER: Many of our Presidents were cyclists; strange but true! Design created by Richard Waggoner. FREEWHEELIN’

February 2012


So, it really is February 1, 2012. Year de’ leap. An extra day to train? Wow. December and January have been a blur. Santa came and went. 2011 came and went. I have just a few more days before I add another digit to the age which seems to correlate to one MPH slower on the bike. I’ll have to work on that one this year or pretty soon I’ll just be walking! I’ve been steadily trying to keep up with what is going on in our cycling world and find it is getting harder and harder to keep track because there is just so much. This is a problem that is good to have. There is advocacy, racing, trail building, trail boycotts (why, oh why, Yargo – I long for thee....), club chapters, organizational alliances, beginner classes, newly formed teams, new rides, better tours, and the list goes on....... Local advocacy is booming. Augusta will be the home to the 2012 Georgia Bike Summit in fall. It’s newly formed advocacy group, Wheel Movement, will be the primary host with Georgia Bikes. Augusta is my home. I grew up on its southside. I am sad to report


February 2012

that it feels like one of the least bike friendly places I know. In 2011, Augusta lost two doctors who were struck by an automobile while riding their bikes. One was with a group ride with friends and one was commuting to work; two of life’s most harmless activities ending in tragedy. This is what prompted the founding of Wheel Movement. Kudos to the people who don’t just complain but step up to do something about it! There is an interesting online article in the January 5, 2012 edition of the Augusta Chronicle discussing the upcoming Summit along with comments sent in by the readers. These will give you some insight as to the mindset there. Although it appears that more folks are moving towards acceptance of cyclists on the road, there is still a vocal group who has obviously lived too close to the nuclear plant for many years. Last month we read about the advocacy activities in Columbus and this month there are exciting things going on near Gainesville to help get more folks on bikes than ever before by giving them separate and safe paths that actually have real destinations – recreational trails versus transportation improvements, hmmmmm....two in the same? I am very excited about the upcoming Bicycle Dreams movie showing. The reviews are fabulous and sounds like even your noncycling friends would enjoy the show. It may even motivate them to get a bike! Forward them one of the posted reviews from Amazon and mark your calendar for February 22,


2012 at Plaza Theatre to view the movie with lots of cycling friends: “Bicycle Dreams comes the closest I’ve seen to capturing the essence of the human heart. The drama, the pain, and the incredibly intimate moments captured on camera make for a documentary of stunning insight. The film isn’t about cycling, it’s about the human condition.” Then, if you still need more fun, come out to the Southeast Bike Expo, an inaugural event at the Horse Park in Conyers, on the 25th and 26th. There will be lots of bikes to demo, vendors to meet, new stuff to see and test out. I can’t wait to see what this is all about. Come by the Southern Bicycle League/FreeWheelin’ booth and say hello. The SBL is planning to be all over the cycling community this year supporting cyclists of all shapes and sizes. We are a proud spon-

sor of Bike to the Capitol in March. Our Meetup group is consistently offering new rider and new skills classes for beginners. We are joining BRAG in hosting a fun social ride at Frankie’s Italian Restaurant off the Silver Comet Trail in March. And, of ocurse, FreeWheelin’ is always present to get your stories out, cover your racing team, help promote your event, show off what your club might be doing for the cycling community. We want to be a key part in your cycling community to get the word out so continue to send us your articles, photographs, and other information and let’s spread the word of what is happening in the southeast. If you’ve done a great tour, been helped by a local bike shop, found a great product, had an awesome race result, or know a great story we want to hear it and spread the word. Send us the info at

Most recently the staff at FreeWheelin’ was invited to attend an awards ceremony with Frazier Cycling to say a few words about our magazine and the mission of the SBL. Mostly, I just like being around this fantastic youth cycling team and be a part of their camaraderie, enthusiasm, and dedication to the sport of cycling. After thanking their sponsors, the coaches got into what really makes this a stand out group for youths interested in cycling. First of all, the room was filled with adolescents (and younger) who were alive with enthusiasm and anticipation of the night’s awards. Funny how the girls all sat up front and the boys all sat at the back of the room. It’s nice to see some things never change! Then, you quickly understand why this group is special in our community. Frazier Cycling has crowned 6 of its members with National Titles in cyphotos courtesy of Candice Todd cling and the coaches

were most recently awarded the official title of “Coaches with Distinction”. Several of the older riders have stepped up as ride leaders and Assistant Coaches for the younger squad. I especially liked the fact that the awards did not solely focus on who was the fastest sprinter, best climber and best bike handler. There were awards for the toughest rider – the one who is always out there ready for the epic ride, the best teammate – who will sacrifice their win for a teammate to do their best effort, the best sportsmanship award – the one who always has a smile on their face, and the leadership award – who carries the load and shares their talent and knowledge. It is important for these kids to know that it’s not all about winning. Then, there was some lighthearted fun that also establishes this group as more than a team but also as a family. I especially liked the best crash award which had something to do with - continued on page 23

Neil Norton has been a member of the SBL for more than 13 years and a Let Freedom Ring ride leader for 10. He live in Decatur. Candice Todd is a professional photographer and supporter of Frazier Cycling. Her work can be viewed at www.Candisnaps. com.

Jerry Cheek has been a member of the SBL for many years and is an avid road and mountain bike rider and resident expert on everything. Brent Buice is the Executive Director, Georgia Bikes! -, 706.372.9529. He writes a column for us each month on the plans and doings of Georgia Bikes! which recently sponsored the new bicycle friendly legislation and the three foot passing law. Keep up with us at: and Robert Berry is our regular No-Bike Rider. He offers us a needed alternate perspective to the wonderful sport we’re all just a bit loony about. Mr. Berry has worked as a reporter for the Atlanta Journat-Constitution as well as a creative director for such marketing firms as Jack Morton Worldwide and the George P. Johnson Company. Robert can be reached at

February 2012


same goal as the SBL to inspire more people to ride more often, and they are looking forward to a closer relationship as the building blocks of the organization. You will have a choice as to what Chapter you would like to belong. Each Chapter will offer addition perks that will only be available to that particular Chapter. Thus far, here are some of the Chapters we are launching: I believe Albert Einstein once said, something to the effect of “life is like a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”. There may be a few of you who can do a long track stand for several seconds, but eventually, you too will need to press your pedal forward and start moving that bicycle forward or you will fall to the ground! Just because it is February and cold, keep moving folks. Either get to that spin class or bundle up and go for a walk or a run or join us diehards, (some say crazies), who will ride even when it is 8 degrees. I guarantee that you will be much happier if you keep some level of fitness this Winter so you don’t have to start from scratch in the Spring. Speaking of continuing to stay in motion, your SBL leadership certainly keeps moving through the Winter to bring you more value for your membership and to build the most incredible SBL organization than one can imagine. I am so proud to work with such a passionate, hardworking, honest and dedicated group of fun bicycling folks.

I bike Ansley, GA - Atlanta Cycling I bike Vinings, GA - Atlanta Cycling I bike Cobb County, GA - Free Flite Bicycles I bike Cherokee County, GA - Free Flite Bicycles I bike Decatur, GA - Bicycle South I bike Sandy Springs, GA - Peachtree Bikes I bike Buckhead, GA - Peachtree Bikes I bike Ellijay, GA - Cartecay Bikes More and more Chapters will be added across Metro Atlanta and beyond. We are in discussion with many Bicycle Clubs and Bicycle Advocacy groups who are very interested in becoming Affiliates of the Southern Bicycle League as well. Some of our Affiliates include BRAG, Georgia Bikes, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, NARC and

We are putting the final tweaks into our SBL Mission Statement which will more clearly define the Southern Bicycle League. Our Advertising Manager, Bo Ingram, is working diligently with the SBL and Freewheelin’ team to make it possible to offer a gorgeous glossy printed version of Freewheelin’. Stay tuned for more on this development. We will continue with the digital Freewheelin’ and are getting positive feedback of the excellent quality. Thank you Richard and Teresa! Behind the scenes, the website is being completely revamped. We got a sneak preview a few days ago and it is fabulous, easy to navigate and sharp. You will love the extensive improvements. And how about our new logo? Won’t that look great on our SBL Jersey? The Jersey design is in development and we will let you know when we are ready to launch it. We are actively contacting bike shops to become SBL Chapters. Bike Shops have the 6

February 2012


Bike Alpharetta. Some upcoming events we have in store for you include Bicycle Dream, which benefits Georgia Bikes, Frankies Ride to the Border in conjunction with BRAG and other bicycle affiliates, the Pine Mountain Ride, Covington Century Ride and the Wilson 100. The SBL is a generous sponsor of the Georgia Bike Ride to the Capitol in March. Please attend this all important event. It is so exciting to see thousands of Georgia bicyclists converge from all directions on Atlanta, the Capitol. In closing, please feel free to contact any of your SBL Leadership and/or Staff with your ideas, input, and articles.

Southern Bicycle League Linking the Bicycle Community Together The SBL Board is PRESIDENT.............Joanne Massey 404-375-6789 VICE PRESIDENT.....Lindsay Ballow 404-394-1144 SECRETARY............John Cowart TREASURER...........Angela Liguori 908-962-6298 MEMBERSHIP.........JosĂŠ Rodriguez 678-612-8962 WILSON 100..........Margaret Bokros COVINGTON 100...Philip Wu 404-668-8393 SPECIAL PROJECTS..............Walt Massey 404-375-6789 WEB SITE...............Chris Barnash 404-384-3042 ADMINISTRATION & DISTRIBUTION ............................Julie Barnash 404-384-4886 STREETS ALIVE......Bob Dallas 770-331-4040 EVENT COORDINATOR.....Joel Peacock 678-232-1023

February 2012


So, here it is February already. We have already seen our usual cycle of miserable winter days alternating with delightful balmy days when there is absolutely no good excuse to get out on your bicycles and RIDE! How are you doing? I’m not measuring up well at all. Perhaps sitting down to write my February article will give me that boost to make myself just a tad more honest about riding regularly myself. We all know that one of the very best ways to to maintain our skill levels is to ride regularly. We all also know that even when there is no good excuse not to ride, we can find ourself sitting on our chairs, finding this and that that we “need” to do and then oh oh, it’s dark outside - we have only done really necessary chores around the house - well, maybe a few computer games... Possibly the hardest thing of all is to “just do it.”

out, there are a few things to take care of with your bike. Always check the tire pressure. Fully inflated tires are less prone to punctures. I have had friends who deliberately ride on soft tires because it is “more comfortable”. OK, but it is a lot less comfortable to have to walk home, or call for someone to come get you when you have a flat. If you must ride on cushy tires, at least carry a cartridge that will inflate your tire enough to get you home, or, be radical and carry a patch kit, and a “frame pump”; that’s a pump that can clamp to your bike frame, and some hand degreaser because it is usually the back tire that goes and you have to deal with the chain in order to get the back wheel off in order to get the flat tire off, and... Isn’t it simpler to just put a little air in first? If you really want to do yourself a favor before just getting out there, consider if your bike has had a spring tuneup - or at least ask yourself how many months it has been since you have taken your bike in to your local full-service bicycle shop for a checkup. You may find yourself slightly surprised by the comfort and confidence you will feel as you ride off after the tuneup. Our bikes can get out of tune so gradually that we don’t even know it until it’s put back into harmony with itself. A periodic tuneup is an investment well made - always in the spring, and,

Before you “just do it” and roll your bike


February 2012


depending on how much you ride, also in the fall. These observations, of course, do not pertain to riders who know all about how to keep their bikes in good shape and regularly tune things up. I know at least two guys who do this... out of a rather large group of friends who ride. How are you about riding in the rain? That is a condition in which well-inflated tires work for your best interests. But, is it comfortable to ride in the rain? When I do it, I love it. There is something totally refreshing about having those fresh raindrops hitting my face, and something energizing about traveling through the rain to my destination. I did more of it when I was still working full time. For the most part, I now bike in the rain when my car is in for service. Every

- photos courtesy Fred Boykin

time I do it, I remind myself how wonderful it is - riding in the rain. Riding in thunderstorms is definitely to be avoided if at all possible. If you are caught by a surprise storm, seek shelter as soon as you can. Stand some distance away from your bike, particularly if it is a steel frame model. If possible, get into a space where you can bring the bicycle inside and close the door after you. A carport may not be totally safe, If you pull into one, definitely be sure to have the bicycle some distance from you. I have made it through many thunderstorms safely, but cannot recommend it. I was really dumb to try it; or well, ill advised, not following my own best understanding. Of course you would never stop in a thunderstorm with your bicycle under a nice tall tree, would you. Don’t do it.

for batteries of the right size and freshness, and it has several options for illumination, with 350 lumens - and that is enough for cycling. Oncoming motorists will see your headlight and realize you and your bicycle are headed toward them, and also realize that they may need to pause before pulling a left turn into their driveway. I also use this light because of keeping chickens. It is great to have a bright light for walking across the chicken yard and it is necessary for checking out the coop before closing the door on the “girls” for the night. There need to be only chickens in the coop at night, and here in Decatur we have possums who would like nothing better than to have the coop door

closed on them and all those luscious hens. One of the other co-op members now uses his bike headlight for the same purpose. So, get a really good headlight and find how many varied uses are are for it besides merely having it on your bike. Meanwhile, here I am with admittedly tattered New Year’s resolutions about bicycling. Yes, I know all the good reasons why I should keep bicycling, but I have slacked off. I will here and now renew my intention to ride regularly. After all, the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia is in June and the MS-150 is in September. Yes, I will renew my resolution to ride regularly. How about you?

Days are already getting longer, and that is good for us bicyclists. Even so, remember that visibility to others who are on the road is always crucial. Turn your flashing tail light on even for day rides. Keep your head light with you in case you are unexpectedly late for your return ride. I recently had an opportunity to buy a new headlight and am having fun with it. It is rechargeable, which I find convenient - don’t have to fish around

February 2012



February 2012


February 2012


Thanks to funds from the federal TE and RTP programs, Gainesville is looking forward to completing a major Greenway project this spring. reports: It’s all part of the city’s Midtown Redevelopment Plan dating back to 2001. The project includes stream restoration, new multi-use trails, sidewalks and midtown parking to replace slum and blight. [Gainesville Special Projects Manager Jessica] Tullar said eventually the project will provide alternative transportation all the way down to Gainesville State College. Instead of driving, a student could get on a bicycle and ride to class.

debating a federal transportation funding bill early this spring, and many members of Congress are aggressively seeking to remove or significantly de-fund TE, RTP, and SRTS funding, which makes up a tiny percentage of the overall transportation budget for the nation, yet provides long-term health, recreation, environmental, and economic benefits to Georgia’s communities. Without these funding sources, our communities will continue to experience snarled traffic, dangerous levels of obesity, and poor air quality. Make sure your Congressional representatives know that you support dedicated fund-

“There is a greater master plan that connects all of the existing trails, the Rock Creek Greenway, the Midtown Greenway now under construction and those that are planned by the county,” Tullar said. “Eventually it will connect with Longwood Park and go all the way down to Chicopee Woods. When we get Phase One completed, folks can go from the lake through downtown to MLK and turn around and go back.” “It’s nice to see some of the taxpayer dollars coming back to our community and being transformed into a visible amenity,” she added and more money is now available. “The city has secured additional transportation enhancement dollars to help fund Phase Two of the Midtown Greenway which will connect from Martin Luther King down to Industrial Boulevard.” Tullar said the city received $500,000 in transportation enhancement funds and recently applied for another recreation trails grant for $100,000 for connection from Industrial Boulevard the Airport. You may have seen our previous posts or email alerts about the threat facing the TE and RTP (as well as Safe Routes to School) programs. Congress will be drafting and 12

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ing for bicycle and pedestrian projects in Georgia!

15th Annual

Tour de Pike

Saturday March 17, 2012 Enjoy the scenic beauty and smooth paved roads of historic Pike County with its turn of the century towns and villages. Pike County is only 50 miles south of Atlanta, but a world away in hospitality and southern charm. The terrain is gently rolling hills. The ride will pass horse and cattle farms as well as peach and pecan orchards. Riders are able to visit each village and have the opportunity to visit the historical sites located here. SAG vehicles will sweep the ride to offer assistance or a ride. Refreshments will be served in each village. All pre-registered riders will receive a guaranteed “T” shirt of your size. Tour de Pike proceeds have provided scholarships, food baskets for the needy and donations to other charities. th

Entry Form

$25 if postmarked by March 9 ; $30 after March 9th and on day of ride. Make checks payable and mail to: Kiwanis Club of Pike County, P.O. Box 1204, Zebulon, GA 30295 or by credit card at For information: call Don Collins at 770-567-3033, or see, or e-mail Don at:

Last Name: ___________________________ First Name:_________________________ Address: _____________________________ City _____________ State ___ Zip_______ Preferred Phone: ___________________ E-mail_________________________________ Age___ Male___ Female___ Please check T-shirt size: S ___ Med ___ LG ___ XL ___ XXL __ Check distance:

__ 8 mi. easy; __ 18 mi. easy; __ 33 mi. moderate; __ 66 mi. & __ 100 mi. stren.

Waiver/Release form: In consideration of this entry, I waive any and all claims against the Kiwanis International Foundation, The Kiwanis Club of Pike County and their respective officials, sponsors and volunteers, Pike County, Pike County Sheriff’s Dept., State Patrol of Georgia, as well as the cities of Concord, Molena, Meansville, Zebulon, and Williamson and their respective officials, for illness or injury which may result in death directly or indirectly from my participation in the 2012 Tour de Pike Century. I understand that bicycling or in-line skating can be a hazard, which could result in injury or even death. I am in proper physical condition to participate in the event.

Signature: ______________________________________ Date:____________________ Parent or Guardian sign below if entrant is under 18 years of age on March 17, 2012

Signature: __________________________________ Relationship:__________________

For more information or an application go to: Make Checks Payable to: Kiwanis Club of Pike County Mail to: P.O. Box 1204 Zebulon, Georgia 30295 For more information contact: Don Collins @ 770-567-3033 Event start times: registration - 7:00 AM ; bike ride - 8:30 AM Event starting location: Strickland Store in Concord, GA 30206 February 2012


Who the devil picked this road for us to ride upon? We’d turned right for a second time after crossing the Silver River and were jolting down a road that might have once been paved and flat, but was now a maddening jumble of ancient concrete, hard pack dirt and gravel. The surface changed constantly from potholes to washboard to sand and back. Now we’re stopped on the shoulder of the road while Andre changes the flat that was coming inevitably. We’ve also discovered that his tire is significantly scarred and we’re trying to decide if it’s better to go back to home base, or keep going forward and hope that his wheel holds up for another 35 miles. We’re on the second day of riding for BikeCamp ‘12 and, despite the outline above, the riding has been wonderful. This is the second year that a few buddies and I have headed for warmer climes in the heart of the winter and spent a long weekend in the Ocala, FL region. This year, we’ve scored ourselves a nice cabin in the Silver Springs State Park with plenty of room for all and a working kitchen. The kitchen feature is especially good as several of us consider ourselves quite the chefs and thus manage to eat pretty cheaply and well. The terrain is, compared to the Atlanta area, uniformly flat (well, a few low rollers) and the weather,

this year anyway, is great. The only drawback is that none of us is a native to the region and we’re dependent upon websites like BikeGPS and MayMyRide and a few club websites for routes. This means that we never quite know what to expect at every turn. We’ve experienced everything from beautiful smooth roads, wide and equipped with wellmarked bike lanes to narrow county roads that might have been paved sometime back in the Hoover administration. But hey, we’re out here logging miles, the sun is out and we’re having a ball. Thursday was our first day of riding and we managed to log 61 solid miles on mostly quite back roads, through a lot of horse country. This was kind of the shake out, see where we stood day and we made it a sort of out and back - out 30 miles and back the same way. This also helped keep us from going astray, something that has happened to us often as a result of downloading other peoples maps. Seems like there’s always some little detail that they forgot to tell you about, right? Oh, we didn’t mention that the turn was at the end of the dirt road where the Methodist church burned down 47 years ago? Golly. The only dicey weather we experienced this year was the day, Friday, that we pedaled the road from hell. We awoke to a cloudy sky and light mist - a perfect morning for renting canoes and paddling up and down the Silver River itself. We practiced our Lewis and Clark boating skills and annoyed numerous alligators, cormorants, egrets and - monkeys! Yes monkeys; it seems that so many of them have escaped from zoos, circus’ and private owners and taken up residence in the Florida wet lands that they’re now accepted as, almost, natives. They definitely make enough noise to be certain that you don’t miss them.

Jim and Peter, hunting monkeys for breakfast! 14

February 2012

Later that day, the sun came out, the roads dried up and off we went on the bikes. The cue sheet we had for Fridays ride was a bit am-


The author, breakfast chef

biguous for a few of the turns and we had to finish the outing by asking friendly natives (not monkeys) for directions. We got back to camp, nevertheless and concluded, since we’d had several flats by now, that it was time to seek out a local bike store and stock up. It also might be a good idea to solicit some advice about routes and roads. We were in luck. Just outside of downtown Ocala we found Brick City Bicyles. There is some question as to why Ocala is called the Brick City, but some believe it’s due to a fire back in the early part of the 20th that caused much of the town to be rebuilt with bricks. Didn’t look to me like there was an inordinate number of brick buildings about, but whadda ya gonna do? Bricks or no bricks, Brick City Bicycles is a gem. It’s owned and operated by a group of bike loving friends and they welcomed us into their shop like we were family and invited us to join them the next day, Saturday, for their shop ride. This definitely became the highlight of the trip as we were finally with people that knew where they were going and what roads to take. Sure, we had a few shake and bake experiences, but even these were a vast improvement on our earlier routes. The group that rides from Brick City are also strong and experienced riders that maintained a tight double pace line throughout the 63 miles and knew just how to work together. They integrated us easily into their crew and made us feel that we’d added to their day, rather than making us feel, as some groups do, that they were just tolerating us for the sake of business. After the ride we hung around for


some socializing and some Starbuck’s coffee (one of the teams sponsors). Brick City is owned and operated by Todd Frobish, Jennifer Newman, Scott Wiessner and John Murray. The shop is located in downtown Ocala at 514 S. Magnolia Ave., (352)3699400 and you can find them on the web at These guys are also mountain bike riders and told us about a great trail system not far from the city. Todd owns the Ocoee Yurt Company in Ducktown, TN and has ridden our own Six Gap C several times. He is planning to ride the Chilhowee 100 mountain bike event this coming season, so you don’t want to write these folks off as flatlanders by any means. He’s invited the SBL to come visit him at Ocoee Yurts next time you’re in the Ducktown area - www. I would also, forsooth, take a brief segue here to say that this is a clear example of why your own local bike store is so valuable. Yes, they may have the best wrench(s) in town and your favorite brand of bike, but they’re also a wealth of information about where and what and when and who and how in your local riding community. They can make all the difference between having a harrowing, frustrating riding experience and having a sublime time on your steed. That is something that you can never find online or in a big box store and they all richly deserve your

Our last day of camp this year was Sunday, January 29 and we’d decided to head up to Gainesville for this ride. It kind of put us on the road towards home and has a lot of routes laid out by the local clubs and schools. Our plan Sunday morning was to pack up the cabin and check out and then have breakfast in town before hitting the road and it was a lucky thing that we did. Had we arisen early and made breakfast in the cabin as on previous

have landed us right in the middle of it all. Luckily for us, we got to that section of highway just after they’d closed it off. All we had to deal with was a lot of traffic and a long, rambling route on back roads to get into Gainesville. We knew the accident must be bad but didn’t learn the terrible extent of it until the following day. As it was, we experienced a great, final 51 mile ride through the country. There was one section of about 9 miles of old gnarly road that felt like torture, but most of it was terrific. One thing to bear in mind when riding in Florida - there is always the wind to deal with. Once in awhile you get a great tailwind and tear down the road like you have a motor. But it often seems to be in your face, or else is a serious crosswind that tosses you about like a piece of paper. A few of us felt that it somehow manages to blow in every direction at once, although this concept was disdainfully debunked by our team engineer, James Murray. He curled his lip at us. Regardless, wind or not, heading down there in the dead of winter to log those early miles seems like just the prescription to a successful riding season and I heartily recommend it. By all means, seek out a friendly local bike shop as well, to get the inside scoop on what and when and where to ride. Buy a tube or three from them - it’ll more than pay for itself. - photos by James Murray Bolton

mornings - oatmeal and fruit, a very manly feast, eh? - we’d have been on I-75 at least 30 minutes earlier. By now many of you have likely seen all the coverage of the terrible accidents, resulting in death, injury and mayhem that happened there that morning. Thirty minutes earlier would February 2012


W E E K LY R I D E S Monday Weekly DUNWOODY 20 6:30 pm 6:30 pm (3NE Dunwoody) Moderate. The Dunwoody 20 Monday night ride will continue from a new location that is close to the Weaver’s residence. The new start point will be at the Kroger center near the Los Rancheros Mexican Restaurant at Jett Ferry Road & Dunwoody Club Drive. This is about a mile from the Weaver’s home. The route will be almost identical except for the new start/end point (at the shopping center) and we may make some minor route changes depending on the time of year (daylight). Dinner to follow at the Mexican restaurant. Wheels down at 6:30. Bring lights during the winter & Ride on... For more information, email Allen Echols & John Cowart at a4catall@aol. com/, or call 404-447-5234/404-216-5357. STONE MOUNTAIN: IN THE BACK DOOR 6:30 pm (1E - Avondale Estates) Moderate. Any one who rides to the mountain needs to know this route. We take a back route out to the mountain and back avoiding the path as much as possible. A friendly group of riders at a moderate pace. Meet at Avondale Pizza Cafe afterward. Meet in the parking lot of James Joyce Irish Pub on College Ave. in Avondale. You will need lights for the winter rides. For more information, email Dave Williams at, or call 404-2944800.

Tuesday Weekly MELTON’S APP AND TAPP 6:30 pm (1E) Easy Moderate. Enjoy the most social and unusual SBL ride. Over the bridge, around the lake, through the woods, cemetery and seminary and park on the short (12) mile option. Need any more enticement? Then try the 21 mile long option. What a blast! All are welcome. Join this social group at Melton’s App and Tap after the ride. Meet in the parking lot for Melton’s at the corner of Scott Boulevard and North Decatur Road in Decatur. Head and tail lights are required from October through March. Helmets required at all times. No ride if raining. For more information, email Mike, Larry or Joanne at, or call 770-3091992, 404-636-7226 or 404-375-6789.

Rides and tours sponsored by the Southern Bicycle League are recreational events held solely for the social enjoyment of our members and guests, and are not to be considered competitive events, races or tests of speed and/or endurance. SBL rides and tours are normally open to all riders 14 years of age or older who can operate their vehicles in a safe and legal manner. Riders are expected to obey ap-

EST Nov-Mar. Join us for a 20 mile ride around Buckhead and Sandy Springs. Low traffic, painted route at winter pace. Ride ends with DST. Store located at 4335 Cobb Pkwy, 1/2 mile north of Chatt. River. 770952-7731 or For more information, contact Atlanta Cycling, Inc. For more information, email at, or call 770-952-7731. SEE & BE SEEN 6:30 pm (3NE - Mellow Mushroom - Dunwoody Village, 5575 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd) Moderate. Meet at the Dunwoody Village Mellow Mushroom (parking lot to the right of the entrance), 5575 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, Dunwoody Route: 23 Miles Regroup at key points along the way Join in for dinner & drinks after the ride at Mellow Mushroom.

Wednesday Weekly NORTHSIDE MAGIC 6:00 pm (1NW Buckhead) Moderate. Join Beth, Richard and The Bad Jeff for a weekly jaunt through Atlanta’s magical (expensive) northwest residential areas. We will do a different ride each week. For those who like the Fox and Hounds Chase, Buckhead Bellyache, Stella’s Gap, we will do them all. Dinner and drinks after the ride. Meet at the Depalmas Italian Cafe, 2072 Defoors Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 (Defoor’s Ferry Road at Collier Road.) From I-75 North, exit at Howell Mill and go north. Left at the first stop light on Collier Road. Right on Defoor’s Ferry Road. Depalmas is in the first shopping center on the left. No ride if raining. Head and tail lights required during from October through March. Helmets required. For more information, email Jeff or Richard rmadro@mindspring. com or call 404-441-2103, 404-256-2630, 404-226-4477. For more information, email Jeff at, or call 404226-4477.

ATLANTA CYCLING - VININGS - “WINTER LOOP” 4:30 pm (1NW) Moderate. 4:30pm 16

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Use the website to submit your ride! Register at and list your ride for free plicable traffice laws. The ride leader may bar from participation any individual who rides in an unsafe or illegal manner. SBL Ride Leaders are volunteers, and are not employees of or paid by the Southern Bicycle League. They plan and direct rides and tours as a service to the cycling community, generally at their own expense. Please consider this should you wish to make comments or suggestions about their rides.

Thursday Weekly ATLANTA CYCLING - VININGS - “WINTER LOOP” 4:30 pm (1NW) Moderate. 4:30pm EST Nov-Mar. Join us for a 20 mile ride around Buckhead and Sandy Springs. Low traffic, painted route at winter pace. Ride ends with DST. Store located at 4335 Cobb Pkwy, 1/2 mile north of Chatt. River. 770952-7731 or For more information, contact Atlanta Cycling, Inc. For more information, email AtlantaCycling. com at, or call 770-9527731. DECATUR WONDERFUL EVENING RIDE 6:30 pm (1E - Decatur) Moderate. Back after a brief Hiatus. This ride winds through Decatur and Atlanta going through Candler Park, Druid Hills, Morningside, Peidmont Park, Ansley, Sherwood Forest and back. Starts behind CVS at W. Ponce de Leon and W. Commerce in Decatur. Park in the bank parking lot and line up in the drive way next to Mellow Mushroom. For more information, email Dave Williams at, or call 678-637-7823.

Saturday Weekly SUWANEE CREEK SATURDAY RIDE 8:30 am (2NE - Suwanee GA) Moderate. Suwanee Creek Bicycles Saturday morning shop ride. New route is 22 miles. No Drop ride that meets at the shop in Brighton Station 1175 Buford Highway Suite 105 Suwanee, GA. 30024. NOT a training ride. 15-18mph adjusted on attendees pace. Mostly low traffic route through neighborhoods in Suwanee and Sugar Hill with a few climbs, a sprint and some good company. No ride if raining. Helmets required. For more information, email David Luney at miatastuff@bellsouth. net, or call 678-525-3908. - Saturday continued on page 18

R I D E CA L E N DA R F E B RUA RY 2012 Use the website to submit your ride!

To list your ride in FreeWheelin’ and on the SBL website, register at: Ride Leaders and Bike shops are urged to use the “Ride Leader’s Calendar” link. You can enter multiple dates for regular rides (really handy if it’s daily, weekly or monthly) and you’ll have the option to return and make changes or updates at any time. For those entering a one-time ride or annual event who don’t wish to register, use the “submit” link in the “calendar” section. There are no options to make changes later with this link. Your ride needs to be entered by the first of the month for publication in the following month’s FreeWheelin’ (i.e. Feb. 1 for the March issue). February 11 is the deadline for the March ‘12 FreeWheelin’ calendar. Post your rides on for an immediate web listing.


SBL RID E CLASSIFICATIONS Rides are categorized by distance and terrain. Unless otherwise stated, pace will be left up to each participant. The level of difficulty of each ride is the judgement of the individual ride leader. It is the participants’ responsibility to ensure that they are physically capable of completing the ride. Contact the ride leader if you are concerned about whether your skill level is appropriate for a particular tour. ATB refers to all-terrain-bikes or mountain bikes. These tours are very strenuous and cannot be done on a road bike. Helmets should be worn for off-road rides as well as for road rides. BEGINNER rides are designed for the beginner rider. Distance is short and the pace is slow. No one will be left behind. EASY rides are for the casual or infrequent rider. Distance is generally less than 10 miles with few hills and pace is slow. Ride leader explains map, ride procedure and safety. Leader sets pace for slower riders. MODERATE rides are generally from 10 to 30 miles with possibly a few hills and pace is optional. Ride leader may set a faster pace than for EASY rides. STRENUOUS rides require more experience and better conditioning than EASY or MODERATE rides. Distance is 30 to 60 miles. Be prepared for any type of terrain, weather or road conditions. Pace is optional. VERY STRENUOUS rides are 60 miles or greater, and riders should be capable of riding all day over any type of terrain and still complete the ride before dark. Pace is optional. TRAINING rides are extremely fastpaced and recommended for competitive riders only. Slower riders can expect to be dropped and left on their own.

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Saturday Weekly ATLANTA CYCLING - VININGS “ SIX FLAGS” 9:00am(1NW) Moderate, Strenuous,Training. 9:00am DST (Oct thru Mar 10:00) Please join us for a 40, 50 or 62 mile ride on rural roads following an out and back painted route. Lunch following next door. Store located 1/2 mile north of Chatt. River at 4335 Cobb Pkwy. Atlanta Cycling, Inc. 770-952-7731. For more information, contact AtlantaCycling. com. For more information, email at, or call 770-952-7731. ATLANTA CYCLING - VININGS “VININGS LOOP” 10:00 am (1NW) Easy, Moderate. 10:00am year round. Please join us for a moderatedly paced, 22 mile ride through Buckhead and Sandy Springs on a low traffic, painted route. Ride re-groups after long hills. Lunch following. Store located 1/2 mile north of Chatt. River at 4335 Cobb Pkwy. Atlanta Cycling, Inc. 770-952-7731. For more information, contact For more information, email at, or call 770-952-7731. CCC DEWBERRY CHURCH WINTER RIDES


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10:00 am (3NE - Gainesville, GA) Moderate / Strenuous. Various loop routes from Dewberry Ch, on Hwy 284, Clarks Bridge Rd at Glade Farm Rd. Possible lunch stop, depending on route. Go West off I-985 at exit 24 six tenths mile and turn right at TL onto Limestone Pkwy, Hwy 129 and go one and six tenths miles to Clarks Bridge Rd, Hwy 284 and turn right at TL. Dewberry Ch is on right just before mile marker #7. No ride in precipitation, or if high predicted to be below 45 degrees! For more information, email Lloyd Unnold at UnnoldL@Charter. Net, or call 770-654-7886. SAM’S FREIGHT ROOM RIDE 2:00 pm (1E - Decatur, GA) Easy. 2:00 pm Sam’s Old Freight Room Ride (1E - Decatur) Let’s continue the tradition. An easy 11 mile ride through Avondale Estates, Oakhurst and Decatur. Mainly on quiet residential streets. Special attention given to beginning riders. Leaves from E. Howard Ave. across from Farmstead 303 Restaurant (formerly the Freight Room, ne’ the train depot) Afterwards the group will go to a local establishment for refreshments and socializing. Ride leaders are Harvey Whiteman, 404-377-5947, Lynne Rosner 404-3782903 and Alan Capsuto 404-286-5338. For more information, email Lynne Rosner at

FREEWHEELIN’ For more information, email Lynne, or call 404 378-2903.

Sunday Weekly ANSLEY MIDTOWN RIDE 10:00 am (1E - Ansley Mall) Moderate. Join the gang for a 17 mile tour of midtown, encompassing Virginia Highlands, Emory, Candler Park, Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, and Little Five Points. No ride if raining. Meet in Monroe Drive side of the parking lot of Ansley Mall, intersection of Piedmont Rd. and Monroe Dr. Meet at a nearby coffeehouse after the ride. For more information, email Ray at, or call 404-316-6432. RACE TRACK RAMBLE 10:00 am (2S - Hampton Train Depot) Moderate. Join us for a ride from the Hampton Train Depot (20 East Main Hampton) over the lovely back roads of Henry,Fayette and Spalding counties. Great route for beginner and intermediate riders. Park next to the Train Depot. Helmets required. For more information call Winston at 678-773-4000. For more information, email Steve Tillander at, or call 404-2812951.

D A I LY R I D E S Saturday, February 4 VALLEY BROOK BACKSTRETCH 10:30 am (1E - Valley Brook Baptist Church) Easy. Valley Brook Backstretch [ recurring event ] 10:30 am (1E) Easy Moderate ride** every other Saturday** Enjoy a 12 mile tour of North Dekalb neighborhoods while rolling along at conversational pace. Lunch follows at Meltons. Meet at Valley Brook Baptist Church. One block off Lawrenceville Hwy on North Valley Brook Road, just east of Home Depot. For more information, contact Mike Roper at 404-292-0212 For more information, call 404-292-0212.

Tuesday, February 7 RICK’S BREAKFAST RIDE 8:00 am (1E - STARTS IN AVONDALE AREA) Moderate. WAKE UP WITH RICK with this 25 to 30 mile ride from his home at 747 Livingstone Place, Decatur (Avondale). Fill up with breakfast at the mid point of the ride. Helmets required. For more information, call 678-468-5374.

38 Helmets required. For more information, contact Rick at 678-468-5374.

Use the website to submit your ride! Register at and list your ride for free. Your ride MUST be renewed on the site annually.

Tuesday, February 14

Saturday, February 18

JACK’S TUESDAY LUNCH RIDE 9:30 am (Decatur) Moderate. Ride starts at 9:30 AM from the North Dekalb (Fmly Market Sq.) Mall parking lot on the east side of Macy’s near the Macy’s Auto Center . To get there from I-285 take the St. Mountain Freeway exit (exit 39A) towards Decatur. Go 2/10 miles to the first exit (North Druid Hills Rd/ Valley Brook Rd.). Keep right at the fork and go 1/10 miles to Lawrenceville Hwy 29 and turn left. Go 100 yards and turn right into the North Dekalb Mall parking lot (we meet on the left of where you entered the parking lot). We eat at one of the many restaurants in the Decatur area. If it is raining, or below 30 degrees, we will NOT ride. For more information, visit our website http://jhgraves., or email Jack Graves at, or call 770-491-0991.

Valley Brook Backstretch 10:30 am (1E - Valley Brook Baptist Church) Easy. Valley Brook Backstretch [ recurring event ] 10:30 am (1E) Easy Moderate ride** every other Saturday** Enjoy a 12 mile tour of North Dekalb neighborhoods while rolling along at conversational pace. Lunch follows at Meltons. Meet at Valley Brook Baptist Church. One block off Lawrenceville Hwy on North Valley Brook Road, just east of Home Depot. For more information, contact Mike Roper at 404-292-0212 For more information, call 404-292-0212.

Friday, February 10 MT. ARABIA/PANOLA MTN. 1:00 pm (2E) Moderate / Strenuous. 7,000 Acres of Natural Wonders The PATH Foundation, in partnership with DeKalb County, Rockdale County, and the Arabia Mountain Heritage Alliance has developed an extraordinary trail system through 7000 acres of greenspace southeast of Atlanta. The Arabia Mountain/South River Trail network meanders through football field sized rock outcroppings, colorful fields of wildflowers, rushing streams, and towering pines as it makes its way from the Mall at Stonecrest into Panola Mountain State Park and beyond. The trail system is already twenty miles long with several additional segments scheduled to open in 2011-2012. Expect hills For more information, visit our website view/arabia-mountain, or email Kelly Bilak at, or call 404 831 4247.

Saturday, February 11 NEW WING DING 10:30 am (1E - 1W. B. Bryant Tech Center 2652 Lawrenceville Hwy. De) Moderate. New Wing Ding [ recurring event ] 10:30 am (1E) Moderate Join Rick Cooley on this scenic neighborhood ride with 9 ,12 and 20 mi. options. A rolling ride along Residential streets. Good food and drink at the Country Cafe afterwards. Meet at DeKalb’s W. B. Bryant Tech Center 2652 Lawrenceville Hwy. Decatur 30033. 1/2 mi. inside I 285 exit February 2012


Sunday, February 19 ABC FUN RIDE 10:30 am (1E - Village Coffee Shop in Little Five Points) Social, Easy. Designed for beginning cyclists, those new to group riding, or the cyclist who is looking for a slow, socially oriented jaunt through our intown neighborhoods. Experienced riders will share knowledge and answer questions to help folks feel more comfortable riding with a group on the streets of Atlanta. Faster riders may race up hills but will wait for the group at the top. Our motto is fun for everyone! Meet in Little Five Points (corner of Euclid and Moreland Ave.) in front of the Village Coffee Shop. Helmets required. No ride if raining or below 32 degrees F. For more information, visit our website, or email Pam & Ira Jacobson at poedesign@charter. net, or call 404-273-0289.

Tuesday, February 21 RICK’S BREAKFAST RIDE 8:00 am (1E - STARTS IN AVONDALE AREA) Moderate. Wake up with Rick with this


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25 to 30 mile ride from his home at 747 Livingstone Place, Decatur (Avondale). Fill up with breakfast at the mid point of the ride. Helmets required. For more information, call 678-468-5374.

Saturday, February 25 BIKING BLECKLEY METRIC 100 8:30 am (3SE - Cochran, GA) Easy / Moderate / Strenous. For more information, visit our website, or email Cochran-Bleckley Chamber of Commerce at cbchamber@comsouth. net, or call 478-934-2965. NEW WING DING 10:30 am (1E - 1W. B. Bryant Tech Center 2652 Lawrenceville Hwy. De) Moderate. New Wing Ding [ recurring event ] 10:30 am (1E) Moderate Join Rick Cooley on this scenic neighborhood ride with 9 ,12 and 20 mi. options. A rolling ride along Residential streets. Good food and drink at the Country Cafe afterwards. Meet at DeKalb’s W. B. Bryant Tech Center 2652 Lawrenceville Hwy. Decatur 30033. 1/2 mi. inside I 285


exit 38 Helmets required. For more information, contact Rick at 678-4685374.

Tuesday, February 28 JACK’S TUESDAY LUNCH RIDE 9:30 am (Decatur) Moderate. Ride starts at 9:30 AM from the North Dekalb (Fmly Market Sq.) Mall parking lot on the east side of Macy’s near the Macy’s Auto Center . To get there from I-285 take the St. Mountain Freeway exit (exit 39A) towards Decatur. Go 2/10 miles to the first exit (North Druid Hills Rd/Valley Brook Rd.). Keep right at the fork and go 1/10 miles to Lawrenceville Hwy 29 and turn left. Go 100 yards and turn right into the North Dekalb Mall parking lot (we meet on the left of where you entered the parking lot). We eat at one of the many restaurants in the Decatur area. If it is raining, or below 30 degrees, we will NOT ride. For more information, visit our website Sports/28048, or email Jack Graves at, or call 770491-0991

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- continued from page 5 front wheels, loose skewers and funny noises.....there was a lot of laughter and denial but obviously a lot of good shared moments. After the demonstration of the proper number pinning technique on both regular sized people and mini sized riders, and the onset of some type of competition, we had to head home. You don’t want to compete with this crew! It was, a grand time and again reiterates the importance of getting youths on bikes and working towards making a safer and better environment for them to ride. This is one of the elements that Cathy Frazier mentioned is one of their hardest obstacles for the team – finding a safe place to train that is welcoming and excited to have them be a part of their world. This is where the SBL and other teams and

clubs can hopefully join forces to improve the image of cycling in the eyes of the noncycling world – to include motorists, business owners, large corporations, schools, etc. If you have ideas or have contacts interested in volunteering to further the cause, please contact me. If you have a kid that wants to ride a bike, be competitive and be part of a fun and successful team, contact Frazier Cycling at Oh, did I mention they are starting a masters squad. More on that next month. I will end this editorial with an excerpt from the Frazier Cycling website written by Keith Suderman which so fantastically sums up this thing we all love to do.... Latest bike adventure...the Winter Bike League. I ride with a juniors’ racing club called Frazier Cycling. I know, I’m not a junior or a racer - but what better place to learn this sport. Anyway, this week, a handful of the racers, plus me, drove to Athens, GA, to ride with the Zealots. Apparently, Athens is home to

two professional teams and the UGA college team, and WBL is how they stay sharp during the off-season. It’s longer than any single ride I’ve done, as fast as my fastest ride, less “nurturing” (Frazier works hard to ensure that the slowest person survives; Zealots do not...). I started the ride near the back but realized that little speed changes near the front became crazy yo-yo-ing at the end (all 130 of us were in one double paceline). The multibike crash immediately behind me reinforced the issue. So I started playing the passing game and worked my way up to the front third. But my inexperience and lack of endurance started to tell as we reached mile 40, and by mile 60, I was clinging to the end of the paceline and learning some things about what road racers call “suffering.” Well-named activity, that suffering... It was a relief when the fast guys broke off the front for the final sprint and left the pace-setting to the mortals - I even managed to move up into the pack as we were coming into town. I’m not sure why we call this fun, but, aside from the hunger (I’m having another midnight snack right now), I seem to be no worse for the wear. See ya on the road.....and in the woods! The season is fast approaching!!

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pressive view of the Dam. You ride another seven miles along another river that is full of boulders and white water before you turn on to Yellow Creek road. In about five miles you are at the base of the monster climb and it is a grunt to get to the top. At the top the Appalachian Trail passes across the road then you have a breathtaking descent of about two miles. From there it is only a mile or so of flat roads back to the car. This is a great ride but you have to be on top form to enjoy it. Everybody has one you know, a favorite place to ride. I am not talking about a favorite ride but rather a place you go to ride. Maybe it is a vacation spot or maybe it is just around where you live but this place will have multiple rides of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty along with low traffic and courteous drivers. It will be your slice of cycling heaven. Let me tell you about mine and some of the rides we do there. Just before the turn of the millennium our group of friends had taken up mountain biking and we were spending some time at Tsali in Western North Carolina (WNC). I really enjoyed the area and while in a bike shop I spied a book of road rides in the WNC area. The book was written by Jim Parham who lives in the area and after studying his book I came up with several rides that varied in length from 20 to 45 miles. Remember, this is in the mountains and the first time we rode them we had no idea how tough they would be. Our first ride was Yellow Creek Gap, a ride of 42 miles with about 7,000 feet of vertical climbing. (all elevation gains were taken from DeLorme Topographic program) The kicker was at the end of the ride you gained 1,000 feet in 1 3/10 miles which is VERY steep! That said, this was a beautiful ride with part of it going along the Little Tennessee River from Lake Fontana to Deals Gap. Deals Gap is where the famous Tail of the Dragon starts on Hwy 129. The Dragons Tail has 318 curves in 11 miles. From Deals Gap you drop about two miles and go by Cheoah Dam which is where they filmed the scene in The Fugitive where Harrison Ford (or a stunt dummy) jumped to escape Tommy Lee Jones. You drop down beside the dam and at the bottom you turn, cross the bridge over the river and have an im24

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Another ride we do in the area is The Road to Nowhere. When Lake Fontana was built during WWII the government promised the locals they would build a road on the north side of the lake so they could access old home places and graveyards that were cut off by the lake. The government stopped building it so the road just stops. The locals (at least the older ones) are still upset about that and along the ride you will see a billboard about the “Broken Promise.” This ride starts in downtown Bryson City, only goes 7 1⁄2 miles then you turn around and ride back. Don’t let the shortness of the ride fool you though, it is constantly up and down then you have to turn around and ride those same hills back. DeLorme says this ride has 5,000 feet of climbing in 17 miles!

you just have to stop and admire the view. The first time we rode this I told my wife, Donna, that we needed to buy some land here. (several years later we did but that is another story) In the years since we have ridden this loop many times and it is still one of our favorites. Along this ride is a small campground called The Outside Inn and that is where we now stay when we go to this area. When we are in the campground we often see other riders passing by as this ride is a favorite of the local cycling scene. We have added variations to this ride by exploring more local roads and we even have a variation that goes over six ‘Gaps.’ A variation has us riding into Franklin, North Carolina.

Bryson City is a delightful place to visit and hang out. The Great Smokey Mountain Railroad has a station here and there are several good restaurants. It is always pleasant to have a good meal after a hard ride and both things can be satisfied here. While in this area there is a wonderful 20 mile ride that starts at East Swain Elementary School and travels through part of the Cherokee Indian Reservation. This is a fantastic ride from a scenery standpoint and it is not as hard as some of these rides. Another ride in Jim Parham’s book is the Burningtown Loop. It is a twenty mile ride that is relatively (for the mountains) flat and has more great scenery. There are several Kodak moments where FREEWHEELIN’

photos courtesy of Kay Delaney

One of the things that make this area “My Favorite Place to Ride” is the town of Franklin. I know this sounds corny but Franklin has enough size to have a Wal-Mart, K-Mart and a Lowe’s but it still has that small town feel. There are numerous good places to eat but the best one (in my opinion) is Café REL. Café REL is a French restaurant that is located at the back of a large convenience store and gas station. Yes, you read that correctly. If you let the location fool you, which we did for a few years, you will be missing out on some of the best food around. Not only that but it is competitively priced. If you go make sure to carry cash as they do not take plastic of any kind. There are a lot of retirees living in the area as well and there is a large concert venue along with other cultural happenings. The Outside Inn is only 10 miles from Franklin and it is an easy drive (as well as ride) to get into town. There are also several large grocery stores in town so if you are camping it is easy to get potables and comestibles. Franklin is easy to get to from the Atlanta area. Just go north on I-985; this changes to US 23/GA365 at Gainesville. US 441 comes in at Cornelia and this continues on through Clayton then to Franklin. Since it is mostly four lane roads (a short, three mile stretch of two lane north of Clayton) it is only a two and one half hour drive from the Perimeter. It is a pleasant drive through valleys so it gets you to the mountains without going over mountains. For me this means it is easy to get ‘away’ without going too far. As a tourist area Western North Carolina has numerous facilities at which to stay. There are several hotel chains in Franklin, Bryson City and Sylva as well as ‘Mom and

Pop’ style places. There are also quite a few campgrounds that cater to RV’s as well as tent campers. We have stayed at several places over the years but we have settled on one in particular, previously mentioned, the Outside Inn. The Outside Inn is owned by Ralph Abrams and his wife Anita. Ralph is a retired Pan Am pilot and Anita is a retired Pan Am flight attendant. They have a very low key establishment that is ten miles from downtown Franklin along our favorite ride, the Burningtown Loop. Several of our rides start from the campground with others being a drive to the start. The campground is situated on bottom land of Burningtown Creek and is mostly flat. There is room for about 15 RV’s and numerous tent sites. The shower and restroom facilities are kept spotless. The creek wraps around most of the campground and it is not very deep. One of our favorite things to do in the summer after a ride is to take our folding camp chairs along with our favorite adult beverage and sit in the middle of the creek. The shade from the trees along with coolness of the water makes for a pleasant way to while away a few hours. The secret to this place is where it is located. Most campgrounds are located along major routes so traffic noise can be annoying. This place is off the beaten path and that is what we look for. It is very quiet and you will see as many bicyclists traveling by as you will see motorcycles. That said, if you are the type that has to be plugged in to the modern world this place is not for you. There is no internet and cell phone coverage is spotty. They do have a landline if you have to make a call. A lack of modern

‘amenities’ is what makes it appealing to me; when we go we leave our cares and worries at home and get some serious relaxing done as well as some serious bike riding. A couple of years ago, in our exploring efforts, we started driving to the Dillsboro and Sylva areas. They are two small towns next to one another about a thirty minute drive from the Outside Inn. Dillsboro is also a stop on the Great Smokey Mountain railroad. From the local bike shop in Sylva we got directions for a couple of road rides in that area that also have turned out to be spectacular. One that we do frequently rides along the Tuckaseegee River from Dillsboro to Cullowhee. Cullowhee is where Western North Carolina University is located and ride is about 22 miles with most of it flat, along the river. At Cullowhee you have a 3⁄4 mile climb that is pretty steep but then the rest of the ride is along the other side of the river. Over the past few years as we got to know the area better we became more and more obsessed with riding here to the point that this where we do most of our riding. To ride in this area then have to come back to the Atlanta area and have to deal with heavy traffic and snotty drivers is almost more than we can stand. In this short article I have dealt exclusively with road rides and have not even gotten started on telling you about our mountain road rides; that is a topic for another article. I just wanted to share with you the reasons that Western North Carolina is “My Favorite Place to Ride.”

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As FreeWheelin’ Magazine’s Senior NonRiding Columnist, I certainly come into the biking world by the side door, if not the back, gear-greasing, darkened but for a single 40-watt bulb service door, pretty much entirely. I only understand the biking world from one step away, as a visitor, not a participant, though I like them, they are universally congenial (except for my bosses at FreeWheelin’, and smart, and they have great thighs and have nice dinner parties. (When I am around my biking friends, I always look for the remote and the DVD collection and the martini shaker, but in the meantime, I rifle their home libraries. I may not ride, but I like reading about riding. And, it’s always fun rifling around other people’s intellectual stuff.) This is not a new thing. In my dissolute youth, bikes kept popping up in literature. For a time, I was a complete devotee of Henry Miller, the much-reviled (the US Postmaster banned his Tropic books for years, until a landmark freedom of speech case) – and Henry was universally a bike lover. From his Parisian life to his rather gorgeous Big Sur life to his more placid suburban California life, the one thing he was an advocate of – outside of, well, all the things I cannot mention in FreeWheelin’, (but, which, I must say, influenced the rest of my life with women in an ineffably terrific and probably terrifying way – who let a teenaged kid the license to read Henry Miller?) – was his relationship with bikes. 26

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Miller, habitué of the really serious and yet uplifting parts of the Parisian demimonde of the early 20th century, loved bikes as both sport and metaphor. In “My Bike & Other Friends,” an older Miller sets out a long-term love of bikes, from the races in the Paris of his own youth, the riders, the bikers, the technique, the élan, the heroworship, all the stuff that would come to fruition for millions of people decades later in the Tour de France, the admiration for the Lance’s of that world, and whoever occupies your own bicycling dreams. But, as a non-rider, what Miller also did for me was create within his earlier Paris books a world of exotic, French riders at various ‘Dromes around the Citi. (I can virtually smell the Beaujolais Nouveau, cheese, and weird meat platters at the end of these races. Oh, and, have you seen the London Velodrome, opened this week, six months out from the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games there, pictured, on the right? A delight.) Miller’s cyclists were sophisticated, snooty, elegant riders on sinecurved wooden tracks, where wheels, rubber, sweat, wine and accidents that appealed to a kind of mano a mano competition quickened the heart – perhaps not as quick as his general lust – but certainly leavened it with a genuine fanship of a sport, a relationship with steel and rubber and speed that exceeds – and elementally – makes much more artistic and literary sense than, say, the marvelous literary and artistic achievements of NASCAR documentarians. (Read, pretty much none.) Something about the roar of an engine on a circle course cancels out literature. You need to be Kerouac – who, notably, almost never drove himself – to capture the romance of cars, so long as they are driving across country, and not round and round. But, even that said, I can’t think of lots of great books about cars outside of dystopian stuff, like J.G. Ballard’s Crash. It’s the difference between baseball and football. Baseball is about the narrative, the characters, the art of the ride, the field, the infinite, ever-expanding road. Football is about the gridiron, the penalties, the potential for injury at every turn, thank you, George Carlin, who does a classic routine about this. Baseball is for poets, football for statisticians. But bicycling is for writers. FREEWHEELIN’

If you happened to see the very literate, very charming and thoughtfully literate CBS Sunday Morning the other week, you might remember the wonderful segment on the Wilmette Bicycle & Sport’s Shop, Inc, a Chicago institution that is almost the positive side of the coin to Thornton Wilder’s classic play. There, generations of Midwesterners have passed down the legend and lore of bicycling in a single geography, almost the hallmark of a great novel. See the link, below. Better yet, see the CBS segment itself. And, great novels have indeed historically happened on top of the bicycling experience. I am an unabashed friend of all things ex-pat Americana in the early part of the last century, but, as riders, isn’t this the most lovely, manly and yet undulatingly feminine and poignantly beautiful sensation? “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” - Ernest Hemingway Even that essential American writer, Mark Twain, was an aficionado extraordinaire, you can hear the sardonic twist in his tobacco-stained voice here.... “Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.” --Mark Twain

Twain, as he admits there, always seemed a tad better suited to gin in a ceramic cup and a cigar to me, but he was a goer. He gave the two-odd-wheels – back when they were called a “penny-farthing” a spin, and more power to him. He wrote: “Suddenly the nickel-clad horse takes the bit in its mouth and goes slanting for the curbstone defying all prayers and all your powers to change its mind -- your heart stands still, your breath hangs fire, your legs forget to work.”

But, that’s just the tip of the bicycle book rack. There is a lovely review, and, if I may quote Amazon, where “there are some big wheels at work here (...) William Saroyan, W. Somerset Maugham, Ernest Hemingway, P. D. James, Iris Murdoch, Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov, and Dylan Thomas are among the many who spun the bicycle into their work, sometimes as a mere prop for conveyance, sometimes as an object of adoration, and sometimes just because its tires were there to kick. This sprightly and comprehensive anthology of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry is filled with so many delights and surprises that it manages to create a literary traffic jam.” Don DeLillo, the hero of a certain dark world of Postmodernist fiction, has an antidote to the travails of contemporary culture – he likes to “ride the bike and listen to really loud music,” it’s said. Absent the bike, I’m with you, Don. And, there are lesser lights, but nevertheless... “If I am asked to explain why I learned the bicycle I should say I did it as an act of grace, if not of actual religion.” - Frances E. Willard David Foster Wallace conjours up his past, or our collective past, out there on the great plain of American fiction, in a scene right out of Samuel Beckett or Sam Sheppard:

“They seemed very intent, flying past the outcropping and darting jaggedly off on a course, on their way to something urgent. The sound of them, the insects, made Marathe think of playing cards in the bicycle spokes of the bicycle of a boy with legs. Both men were silent. This is the time of false dawns. Venus moved east away from them. The softest light imaginable seeped into the desert and spread into the strange tan vistas around them, something heating just below the ring of night. His blanket of the lap was covered in burrs and small spiked seeds of some species. The U.S.A. desert began to rustle with life of which most remained hidden. In the American sky, the stars fluttering like banked flames above a low-resolution seepage of glow. But none of the pinkening of genuine dawn. David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest. A place where bikes meet stars. Good job, Foster Wallace. On the Theory of Relativity, Einstein – possibly the most concise writer of all, the book outlining the Theory is what they – physicists – call “elegant” – tight writing, brilliantly done – credits the most amazing scientific finding to his wheels: “I thought of that while riding my bike.” - Albert Einstein (For me, who is somewhat physically challenged, another delightfully inspirational quote that helps me keep my balance on lots of levels – while it encapsulates E=MC2 – succinctly, and on two wheels:) “Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Even the ultrauberurbanite writer Norman Mailer, as a well-known legacy at his Writer’s Colony in Provincetown, has a pretty strict rule, it’s the bike way or no way when you are there to put fingers on keyboards. The colony was entirely bi-wheeled. Now, one can only imagine Norman on a bike, but it’s solid advice, see the link, below. It’s a tradition on the avant-garde of literature and art, (see the brilliant review in these pages by Richard Waggoner, my boss, of CBGB’s Punk Auteur and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and his magnetic Bicycle Diaries. - smoke being blown bere -rww) And, it’s a living literary medium. There are all kinds of bike-lit clubs around the country, it seems. In California, birthplace of ev-

erything unreal, there is the “Bike Writers Collective.” The culture of bike lit has taken on a global reach, with books like It’s All About The Bike, (a kind of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) from the international rider Robert Penn, who – thanks Amazon critics, has written a – “book (that) is more than the story of his hunt for twowheel perfection. En route, Penn brilliantly explores the culture, science, and history of the bicycle. From artisanal frame shops in the United Kingdom to California, where he finds the perfect wheels, via Portland, Milan, and points in between, his trek follows the serpentine path of our love affair with cycling. It explains why we ride.” Yet, the natural go-to here for both literature and it’s contemporary cousin cinema is, of course, Vittorio De Sica’s The Bicycle Thief ”. But, that’s cinema, though it structured the bicycle as an elemental part of existence that most of us start out our quest for mobility, for life, for a narrative that guides us through this world, as no other. You don’t near get what you get from a bicycle – even as a non-rider with an appreciation for metaphor, as I am – from a MARTA train or anything running on 285. Poems about your BMW? Nope. A dreamscape about a Range Rover, hand on the iPhone, other hand on the wheel, third hand on a bagel? Not out there, where would you get that fourth hand to type? But, the bike is still the stuff of magic. It’s a delight to see, especially on a rainy and especially warm evening like tonight, when no actual bikes are much on the road, but they are there, certainly alive in the mind. It’s the kind of night to curl up with a good book, propelled with two wheels sometimes, or a good movie like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – or, there is the odd, yet popular Baguette Sisters bicyclist race brought to you by an Internet-invented Marcel Proust, a literary “broadcaster” of a fictional competition that never occurred. <<<Richard, feel free to cut this Proust thing, it’s a little out there, the link is the PG13 thing, below..>>> Or, you can just enjoy how bikes and their influence on popular culture exists out there every day. Tonight, in the 17th gazillion Republican debate, Ron Paul just challenged his - continued on page 30 February 2012


gets to add an extra day every four years, including this one!

Middle English Februarie, from Old English Februarius, from Latin, from Februa, plural, feast of purification. First Known Use: before 12th century February is a special month. It often suffers from abuse and slander coming as it does, in the depths of winter with the weather often at it’s very worst. It is also the shortest month of the year, generating a certain amount of derision of the “runt-of-the-litter” variety. And yet, looked at from an alternate point of view, February can be seen as unlike any other month of the year. It’s has many special qualities. The first thing that comes to mind of course, is Valentine’s Day on February 14th. What other month of the year encourages you to snuggle up with your Wooly-Bah-Lamb and celebrate the god of love? We focused on this very topic last February and learned that an awful lot of riders met their soul mates on the bicycle. The 14th is also, you might know, International Condom Day - I think I’ll just move on to something else from here. February is especially important to us here at FreeWheelin’, honoring not only the Groundhog (just another name for our beloved Marmot) but several of the FW staff birthdays as well. The Superbowl takes place on the fifth of the month and Mardi Gras on the 21st followed by Ash Wednesday on the 22nd. Tu B’Shevat is on the 7th day of the month, celebrated in the Hebrew culture as the New Year for Trees - whatever that is (perhaps one of our readers can enlighten us). The Second month is also when we recognize American Heart Month - Wear Red Day on 2/3. Hometown company, Bronner Bros. hosts the International Hair Show - 2/1821. William Henry “Tippecanoe” Harrison was born on the 9th of February and was the shortest serving president, lasting only 32 days. Let us not forget William Tecumseh Sherman, 2/8, the Union general much beloved here in Georgia. And only February 28

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February is also the birth month of quite a few of bicycling luminaries. Antonin Magne, two-time winner of the Tour d’ France, in 1931 & ‘34 was born on the 15. Freddy Maertens, twice World Road Race Champion, arrived on the 13th and Cadel Evans (you’ve heard of Cadel Evans?) on the 14th, Valentine’s Day. Maybe that’s why his voice is so oddly high. And, of course, February is President’s Birthday month. George Washington was born on the 22nd and Abraham Lincoln on the 12th. The celebration day has been merged into one, falling on the 20th now, which effectively and cruelly deprives the postal workers of another day of rest. This is only justice, in light of their desertion of the USPS cycling team - hah! What you probably didn’t know is that many of our former president’s were bike riders themselves. That winter crossing of the Delaware River? Washington actually rode a bike across. This is why it looks like he’s standing up in the boat in all the paintings, which would have been a bad idea. You should never stand up in the boat. It was hard to see the bicycle behind the boat, of course. And Lincoln, during the dark days of the Civil War, kept the lights on in the White House by pedaling an early form of the stationary bike, hooked up to a rudimentary generator. He had to do something to work off all that nervous energy, caused by his nervous nelly generals. If you doubt my veracity, take a look at the picture here. The Washington Nationals have begun to celebrate this presidential athleticism with a contest of their own. During the seventh inning stretch, the four presidents seen on Mt. Rushmore engage in tandem bike races. Evidently the competition gets pretty fierce, with Teddy Roosevelt, so far, having a worse record than the Mets. You will note that he was not born in February. Here’s the website where you can learn more about this FREEWHEELIN’

Bicycling makes you hungry! exciting challenge - http://blog.letteddywin. com/2011/04/03/tandem-bikes/. Finally, February is the turn-around month. As our friend Arlen Gray notes, the days have finally begun to lengthen once again and we’re getting a few more of those days where the weather will seem almost springlike, only to turn nasty the next. But it does herald the coming of spring and the coming of the new riding season. It is, like the definition says, purification time. This is the long-mile logging time when we get together with a few other hardy souls and put in time on the saddle, getting those legs and lungs ready for serious efforts later in the season. You then consume purified PowerBars, for the feast part. If we’re lucky the Marmot will not see his shadow this year and we can all begin planning all the exciting rides we’ll be doing soon. Although it’s still cold and gloomy for now, before you know it you’ll be able to put away the tights and the trainer and relish the freedom of unconstrained spinning down the road.

The tenth Annual Let Freedom Ride had its best attendance ever. Ridden from the Dekalb County Courthouse to the MLK Plaza, we were joined by many clubs, but most notably, the fine fellows of MACC (Metro Atlanta Cycling Club) who sponsor the ride with their leadership and presence. The weather for this ride is always unpredictable but this year conditions were perfect with no rain or ice and temperatures in the 50s. Our numbers were sufficient to take a lane on Ponce out of Decatur toward Boulevard. Often, this ride has the feeling of being in a parade as many passersby will cheer us on as we shout in return, “Let Freedom Ring”. We also cheer the many service projects as we pass.

it is never quite known what will happen as we gather in front of the new Ebenezer Baptist Church. We gather for our photo and try to depart promptly before the crowds of the parade start closing in and make departure close to impossible.

Our approach to the MLK Center is dramatic and magical as we pass the sculpture of Dr. King’s profile on Boulevard/Freedom Parkway, slowly coast down the path through the center of the MLK Plaza through throngs of people and police and pass by the statue of Ghandi to arrive at our destination in the center of the Plaza. Because of the parade, activities, and speeches,

This year we had a very poignant moment when one rider asked that we stop by the home of Mrs. Howell whose husband, George Howell, had recently passed and lives very near the MLK Center. He was known for his pro bono work as an attorney and was an avid cyclist. We gathered on her porch for support of her and in memory of her husband. We continued back to Deca-

tur through Cabbage Town and picked up the old trolley line on Arkwright through Kirkwood and back to Decatur via Oakview Rd. This ride has become a fantastic tradition and hope you will join us next year at 10:00 AM at the old DeKalb County Court House on Martin Luther King Day. - photos by David Crites

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- continued from page 27 Republican competitors to a 25-mile bike ride to demonstrate his health. Me, I’d love to watch that race, from my sofa! Or, read about it the next day. In the meantime, read on, riders! Ride on, readers! 155821562X lessons?cmnt_all=1

2012 BRAG RIDES WinterRide February 21 – 26 St. Mary, GA

Spring Tune-Up Ride April 20 – 22 Madison, GA

Bicycle Ride Across Georgia June 2 – 9 Chattanooga to Clayton

Georgia BikeFest October 12 – 14 Columbus, GA

Visit for details. Send an email to if you would like to receive our monthly email newsletter. Join us on Facebook: Search for Bicycle Ride Across Georgia and join the group.

P. O. Box 871111 Stone Mountain, GA 30087 770-498-5153 vtp_b_3 http://www - The London Velodrome, at right


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February 2012


FreeWheelin' - February 2012  

FreeWheelin' is the magazine of the Southern Bicycle League.