Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Who Rocks the Atl?

I do!

So, you know how I volunteered to be a bike escort for the ING 1/2 Marathon? Well, the group is doing two fun rides to get escorts used to the course and allow the racers to practice on the course. These fun rides are Sunday, March 15 and Sunday, March 22 at 7:00am. The actual race is Sunday, March 29.

Do you see a problem here? I take Grammy to church on Sundays. Attendance at these fun runs would require 3 weeks in a row of rescheduling for Grammy. Not very fair. So, I emailed the escort coordinator and he said that I can still escort if I go down and ride the course at least 2 times. OK!

So, the plan was to go do the first lap last Friday. Annika was home sick, so we rode the course in the car. It was painless and except for the gas wastage, I think we did a good job. I was able to pull over several times and make notes on the course so that I would be prepared on my bike.

Then, Sunday came along. Time to try it on the bike after I took Grammy to church (minus Annika because she was still sick).

I parked at Centennial Olympic Park. It cost $10. Don't park at Centennial Olympic Park on a Thrashers Game Day. Park at Georgia Tech or Marietta Street instead. I took a picture so Doug would know I made it.

Here is my very fancy cue-sheet holding device. You can't read it, but I have every turn listed on this piece of paper. You can even flip it down to see the other side of the ride. Pretty snazzy, huh?

I emailed Doug after lap 1 so he'd have an ETA. Then I saw these guys. They offered me a job. It sounded good until I saw the two very large ladies that the guy had to take all the way to the World of Coke. On a recumbent. Whew!

I took a finishing photo before heading home so Doug would know I wasn't dead.

Mission accomplished, sort of.
I corrected my cue sheet and emailed it to the coordinator who sent me last year's cue sheet.
Not the same. The differences are not major but it will be interesting to see which is the correct route. At race speed, no less.
So, today is my last Wednesday off before I go back full-time at work so I drove downtown again (parked on Marietta St this time - only $5) and did another two laps with what I think is the correct route. My phone apparently keeps only 4 emails at the time so I couldn't look at the one the coordinator sent. I spent 10 mins in my car trying to figure it out with a map, but no dice.
I have to report several things from my downtown riding experiences:
  1. Downtown/Midtown/Little 5 Pts/Ga Tech/Va Highlands/Piedmont Park is way more bike-friendly than Roswell.
  2. I only got honked at once during the two rides and that guy was from out of state. I think he did it just to let me know he was there because he didn't look angry and had plenty of room to pass me.
  3. No one yelled at me on either ride. No yelling at ALL. One guy gave me the "hey baby" once over, but that was kind of nice. No one ever gives me the "hey baby".
  4. In-town riding is easier because the cars treat you like a car (which is the law, people). Some of this may because the traffic moves slower so I'm about the same speed as the cars, even from a dead stop.
  5. Once you start acting like a car, it's not so scary.
  6. There are some beautiful areas of town that I never get to see.
  7. I really want to run the whole ING marathon just so I can see that much more of the city from the ground.

That is all. Huge biking victory for me. : )


Wes said...

Very cool Steph! You are going to have so much fun!!!

skigator93 said...

Here's a parking suggestion for future use. Park at the State Bar building (you know, the old federal reserve building that we purchased with the involuntary 4 year assessment on our bar dues?).
Parking is free there with your State Bar Id card (you do still have it, right??!). They also open the State Bar parking deck on days and nights when there are special events at Philips (Thrashers, Hawks, concerts, circus, etc.) for State Bar members only. Free of course. The only caveat is that it is a pain to get to during events because of police traffic direction.

Here's the linkage:

Tara M. said...

Darn it. The poster above beat me to the tip about the Bar garage. Might as well use the bar card for something beneficial to you.

Dogwood Girl said...

Yay, you! Why didn't you call me?