Atlanta WBL Ride #1- Idea to Reality…

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RIDE #2:  Saturday, Dec 14th, 9:30am   40 Mile Route


WOW is the word that comes to mind when I think about yesterday.  Couple reasons:  1. the very chilly (and windy) forecast.  2.  the 42 other cyclists that showed up anyway to join me in kicking off our 1st ever ride.  3.  when I looked at both groups at any given time during our 35 mile ride and saw an organized double pace line.  4.  when I recall all the comments, at-a-boy congrats and excitement from everyone about this Series.  Yeh, it was a great day.

photo 2We had 2 groups, based on overall avg speed; those who could avg 16 and above for Group 1 and everyone else in Group 2.  Since the object is to ride a true winter pace, we could have easily ridden much faster than the Group 1 avg of 16 and Group 2’s avg of 14, since the vast majority of the route is pancake flat.  But, my Ride Leaders (Carlton Fields, Cristy Smith, Jim Walsh and Carlos Paez) did a great job of leading each group.  Pete Wicker of Outback Bikes, did a Tour de France style effort of driving the SAG vehicle.  Oh, guess who needed the SAG vehicle at mile 5?  ME!!!  I popped a front spoke but since I brought an extra set of wheels (Thank You, me), the change was quick.  Then, Pete got in front of me and I did a little TdF motor-pacing right back up to the group.   Only thing missing was him handing me a bottle and  doing the proverbial sling-shot move to propel me forward.  Maybe next time.

On the way back, the headwind certainly was the focal point and made us all realize just how easy we had it going out.  A little more effort was needed to keep the groups together but it seemed the traffic lights did more damage than the wind.  Towards the final few miles, I had several riders tell me they really liked knowing the SAG vehicle was always behind us, just in case.  That peace of mind it gave them was priceless….well, it was for this ride, cuz (in other words, me) sponsored this ride to make it free to the public.  Just a small token of giving back from what I have been so blessed to receive.

With any new event, there will always be some tweaking that is needed; this Series is no different.  Here are a few changes going forward:DCIM100GOPRO

I quickly realized that having added an additional website and Facebook page, was costing me more time (which I can’t figure out how to squeeze out any more) and duplicating my workload.  My effort to be efficient (on my time) will really come into play now, as I am about to dive head first into planning my 5th annual Jackson County Brevet charity ride for June 14th, 2014.  Being a one-man-show for my coaching business, I just have to get smart and efficient as possible.  Therefore, this week, the Atlanta WBL Facebook page and Atlanta WBL website will be ending.  Going forward, all information relating to the Atlanta Winter Bike League will be posted on its own ‘page’ on this Blog (click on “Atlanta Winter Bike League” just below my logo) and on my Facebook page.  I really appreciate your understanding and flexibility on this.

Having the goal of keeping each group ‘together’, some traffic lights did their darn-dest to split us up.  With a couple of lights, those at the front entered the intersection when green but as the last person was rolling through, it was red.  To keep our goal of obeying traffic laws, going forward if the light turns red, whatever part of the group has not entered the intersection, they will have to stop and then re-join the group.  Bottom line, we need to practice what we preach.   Literally…

Since this was our 1st ride, the majority of the check-in process seemed to happen after everyone arrived and had suited up, so to speak.  Going forward, all communication will stress that as soon as you arrive, we need you to check-in first, and THEN go back and get ready.  This will allow me to keep everything ‘on time’, so that we can start riding at 9:30.  I also realized I needed to come fully dressed and ready to ride…even before I get out of my car upon arrival.

During the Ride Announcements, I explained how we were going to rotate off the front.  But, one thing I failed to mention was that everyone should get the chance to lead and rotate, if nothing else, to keep sharp in their skills, but also to allow those without as much (or no) experience, to learn.  Therefore, going forward, there will be a 10-minute limit to pull on the front, before you need to rotate.  Most everyone has computers, so this will be very easy to control.  Again, this suggestion came from a few riders who wanted to experience the rotation process….but didn’t.

HOW COULD I FORGET!!!!!  To our surprise, the U-Haul business, which is where I will always be set up near (just look for my banner), allowed us access to their bathrooms; this was totally unexpected.  As long as we are respectful and ask to use the restrooms, I think we will be able to enjoy the ‘real deal’ for all our rides.  If we have any money left over, after we pay our SAG expenses, I think I am going to send that U-Haul crew a catered lunch as our expression of sincere thanks.  What do you think?

Thank you for making our 1st ride a huge success…and continuing to help us spread the word to your cycling friends.  Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ my Facebook page to help stay in the loop.  

Coach Robert…


4 responses to “Atlanta WBL Ride #1- Idea to Reality…

    • Hey Matt,
      YES. The week after each ride, I’ll do a Blog post that includes the link, so that the route can be downloaded. Dec 14th route should be up by this Thursday.

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