Washington was a rejuvenating stop. Seems like half the town came out to meet us and everyone was friendly and welcoming. After a restful night at the beautifully restored Fitzpatrick Hotel on the main square (thanks again to Wheel Movement and the owners of the Fitzpatrick! http://www.thefitzpatrickhotel.com/
), we got on the road to the hip college town of Athens, home of University of Georgia.
|Thanks to our amazing hosts at the Fitzpatrick in Washington, GA|
Thursday was a short day in the saddle. After lunch we jumped in the van to shuttle Jane and Chelsea to the Atlanta airport. They managed to beat some crazy wind and weather on their flight to Missouri to attend our Grandpa's memorial service on Friday. The service was attended by a full house of family and friends and was a wonderful tribute to the life of Glenn Waller.
Jeanie, Stephanie, and Darlene headed from the airport back east to Athens for a reception with Georgia Bikes - a statewide advocacy group - and the local group BikeAthens. We discussed our trip and some of the bike projects currently underway in the Athens area and across the state, and enjoyed hanging out with local bike enthusiasts. We had to make a stop at the Grit on a prior recommendation for some delicious vegetarian grub. Our stellar hosts were Basil and Sky Campbell, members of BikeAthens and owners of a beautiful and very sustainable home on a veritable small farm, complete with bee boxes, solar panels, and an extensive garden. Their son Dimitri rode all the way to Atlanta with us the next day, and Basil helped us out by driving the van for us in the early part of the day. Thanks to the whole Campbell family for all you did for us!
|RASR with leaders of BikeGeorgia and Bike Athens|
|It's spring already down south!|
|Basil's bees were buzzin'|
Before leaving Athens on Friday morning we stopped into Barrow Elementary to give our now standard presentation to about 65 4th graders. Stephanie had them so captivated they could hardly hold all their questions to the end! Amazing what 4th graders come up with. After Stephanie told them that our van follows us one kid asked "how does it do that?" Another highlight was in response to our mention of riding through Death Valley one kid asked "has anyone ever died there?" They were all very eager to tell us their own exciting bike-riding stories. Elementary aged kids are so fun. Thanks to Andy Pittman with northeast Georgia SRTS for helping us connect with a local school.
|Barrow Elementary 4th graders|
Riding into the metropolis of Atlanta on Friday was, as you might expect, eventful. The first half of the day was spent on rural roads out of Athens, riding headlong into gusty 20 mph winds and a few short rain showers. As we reached the Atlanta suburbs the roads got progressively bigger and busier and the drivers seemed to get angrier! We did our best to stay in a tight group and take the lane as is our custom when there's no bike lane or shoulder, and survived. After 5 miles of detour thanks to yet another google maps hiccup we met Doug Fallon of BikeRoswell who did an expert job of leading us through the exciting streets of downtown Atlanta. We met our gracious Atlanta host Jeffrey Wisard, member of the Atlanta Bike Coalition, a couple of miles from his place for the home stretch.
|Thanks Basil for driving for us and Dimitri for riding to Atlanta!|
|In memory of Grandpa|
It was an exhausting day - 75 miles in strong winds and on lots of busy roads - so we were relieved to finally make it to Jeff's and refuel with a large and delicious italian dinner with Jett, also of the ABC, and his wife Beth (Jett and Beth were winners and 20th anniversary grand finalists on America's Funniest Videos - so cool! Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O15DXv3Vwg
). Thanks Jett and Beth!
|Awesome dinner with Jett, Beth, and Jeff at Osteria|
Yesterday was our day off in Atlanta and Jeff was an amazing host. He made us an excellent breakfast, let us take over his place for our weekly cleanup tasks, introduced us to lots of awesome biking friends and ABC members, and toured us around downtown on bikes. We had dinner and a meet and greet with ABC, topped off with a bit of late night dancing to keep our legs moving on our day off. It was great meeting all of the ABC members that came out - thanks for supporting us and our cause!
|Jeff making amazing carrot cake pancakes|
|Typical day off - bike shop, van cleaning, laundry|
Sadly, our day off was bittersweet because we had to bid farewell to our dear team member Darlene. We will miss her endless sunshine and photography skills every day henceforth. Keep on rolling Dar and we'll see you in California. It'll be another first for the books.
Week 4 begins with the famous Silver Comet Trail and three short-ish days to Birmingham. We've already celebrated mile 1,000 and are at just about the quarter point in our trip. Hard to believe - time has flown - though it also seems like we have done so much and met so many people already. And almost without realizing it we're getting really strong and the miles and hills are getting easier.
So glad you survived the roads of Atlanta. It must have been those carrot cake pancakes and a good night's sleep at that lovely Fitzpatrick Hotel. San Francisco is just around the corner.ReplyDelete
What was your route between Athens and Atlanta? You're definitely right about the ATL drivers' attitude towards cyclists.ReplyDelete