RECAP: Atlanta WBL Ride #3 (Burrrrrr)



When I took our furry 4-legged boy outside at 5am this morning, I was surprised that it didn’t feel bitter cold; there wasn’t much wind.  I was hoping that would be the case for the ride and it certainly was.  I honestly had no idea participation expectations since the start time temps were ‘felt like’ 30 degrees.  My first comment at the Ride Mtg was, “You are CRAZY!!!”  Even 30 degrees didn’t keep 75 riders from staying home; they were here and ready to ride.

I have to apologize for no images for this post.  They were buried into some very toasty winter gloves and I would have had to take them off to use my iPhone.  NOT happenin’ today.  If you have any videos or images from today, make sure you post them on our Atlanta WBL Facebook page.

Oh, speaking of gloves, make sure you read the very last topic of the post, as they are my TOP 3 BEST WINTER RIDING APPAREL TIPS.   Everyone who has jumped on these will rave about them, just as much as I still do.

Several new folks stepped up and volunteered to help as Ride Leaders (RL), for which I am INCREDIBLY thankful for.  Currently, we trained 8 RL’s and 7 were there today; our lone RL was in the midst of moving and literally couldn’t find which box his bike apparel was.  OK, he was off the hook.  I could have loaned him some of mine but my bibs would have looked like knickers on him.  Saved from embarrassment!!!

I was able to ride with the 1st and 2nd groups but helping bridge a few back to the pack when their light fell off, kept me from connecting up with our 3rd group…which I REALLY wanted to do.  Next time.  It was cool to see our RL’s in action, as they rode along side a few riders and helped them out on a few things.  I’ve spent about 3 hours with each RL on the bike, covering countless topics about what I am convinced makes a great and effective RL.  They have invested their time so in return, I have poured into them so many things about riding in groups and it is very rewarding to see them in action.  I hope you take time to thank your RL on every ride.  This Series would not exist without them.

It’s still our intention to have a 4th group, or what many would refer to as our D group.  A couple more RL’s to step up and get trained and then we can officially launch this much needed group.  If you are one that would ride in this group, stay tuned as we’ll get this started as soon as humanly possible.  Make sure you ‘FOLLOW’ our Atlanta WBL Facebook page so between this Blog and FB, you won’t miss the upcoming launch date.

I had a great suggestion by one rider today to post the projected speeds for each ride.  How come I hadn’t thought of that?  I failed to remember his name; not sure he mentioned it, as when he rode up along side me, we began a very long conversation about my Jackson Brevet charity ride and how that whole thing came into existence.  He is part of Emory University, which is pretty cool, because all the net proceeds from our ride goes directly to THE KELLY WILHITE APLASTIC ANEMIA RESEARCH FUND at Emory University.  $0.90 of every dollar we donate goes DIRECTLY to clinical research to help advance out-dated treatments for Aplastic Anemia.

In a nutshell, each ride we add 20 minutes ride time from the previous one.  Regarding speed, we add 1/2 mile an hour to each ride.  Today, the 1st group’s goal was 17 avg; they nailed it- great job to RL’s Carlton and Scott.  That means our Jan 2nd ride the target will be 17.5mph average.  Same formula for every group.

Anyway, going forward, you will see, not only all future ride dates, but you will also see the ride time and average speed goal, too.  Remember, the average speed is the average for the entire ride, not the actual speed at any given time during the ride or the fastest actual speed.  It’s an average.

I LOVE interacting with riders wherever I go; it’s like a drug to me.  Now that I have a great pool of RL’s, my goal for each ride will be to start the the 1st group, ride for a while, drop back and ride a bit the the 2nd group and then do the same for the 3rd (and future) 4th groups.  I get asked all the time about riding with ‘slower’ riders and if I get bored or not.  Are you kidding?  I’ll never forget my first road ride 19 years ago and that keeps me grounded and humble.  About mile 8 of that ride, I honestly thought I could physically not finish and told my buddies to ride back and get the car.  They refused and I had no choice but the pain I felt was off the charts.  210,000 miles later and I still can’t believe it.  I remember how my  buddies poured into me with some good riding perspectives and that catapolted me forward.  Now, it’s my turn and that privilege will never get old.  Giving back to the cycling community is what puts a ‘pep in my step’..or should I say pedal?

Date:  Sat, JAN 2nd, 2016
Time:  9:20am Ride Mtg and 9:30am roll time.
Ride time:  2 hrs 40 min.
Ride Averages:  Group #1- 17.5mph avg, Group #2- 15mph avg, Group #3- 12mph avg

Speaking of giving back, here’s the recap on all your chances to win FREE coaching sessions, etc.

  1. Bring a Friend:  for every cycling friend you bring to the ride, your name goes into a drawing.  If that friend comes back again, you only get credit for their 1st time.  At the end of the Series, the winner of the drawing will get $250 FREE private one-on-one coaching from (me).  To get your name entered, you need to bring them with you and find me before the Ride Mtg starts.
  2. Ride The Series:  for this option, you need to ‘Check-In’ before the Ride Mtg for each ride you attend.  Participate in a minimum of 8 rides, and your name gets in the drawing.  At the end of the Series, the winner gets $200 FREE private one-on-one coaching from (me).  If I didn’t get your info today at the ride, you need to email me ( your participation today so I can log that.
  3. Ride Trivia:  each ride, I’ll be asking questions from past Blog posts I’ve done on cycling topics.  1.  you will learn some great insights you probably won’t get anywhere else, and 2. you’ll get a chance to win.  How cool is that?  Don’t think that because you have been riding for years or that you have raced bikes, that you can’t still learn.  NOBODY knows it all; that includes me and you.


When I worked in the bike shop scene, I had the opportunity to try so many items.  When it comes to winter apparel, these are BY FAR my absolute TOP PICKS.

  1.  Craft Windstopper base layer:  You need to know that I despise wearing a bunch of layers, so Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 3.58.36 PMhaving very little ‘natural’ insulation, I knew this would be a challenge.  On today’s ride, I wore my fleece-lined winter long sleeve jersey and my Windstopper as my base layer.  That’s it!!!  This thing is a grand slam, so if you have little or no tolerance for cold, then this baby is a MUST!!!  It’s worth every penny.  $90
  2. RavX WindX Glove: I have worn just about every ‘style’ and brand of winter glove, from $25 to   Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 3.57.24 PM$200+.  When a friend/bike shop owner heard me complaining about winter gloves, he handed me these and told me it would be the last winter glove I’d buy.  “Yeh, right” was my immediate response.  He was RIGHT!!!  $27  

My only hesitation on sharing this glove is that I have the great fortune to work with a cycling apparel company, to design the best winter glove on the market.  Yes, the WindX will keep your fingers toasty and keep them from sweating but there are still some design issues I have with the glove.  It will be out on the market come winter 2016.  Keep your eyes peeled for these babies!!!

3.  Plug Your Shoes:  Just about every road shoe has ventilation holes in the soles.  They are designed to give better airflow and reduce foot sweat during the hot season.  But, this nasty hole allows that winter cold air to get inside your shoes, even though you may wear neoprene booties, etc.  All you have to do is take some duct tape, fold it up several times and shove into this hole.  Next, take a 2nd piece of duct tape and cover the entire hole area on your sole.  You will be shocked at how much warmer your feet/toes will be.  I had a cyclist share this tip with me many years ago and it still astonishes me every time I forget to tape up this hole, remember to do it and then feel how much warmer my feet are.

Don’t hesitate to post on Atlanta WBL Facebook page any pictures or video you get from any ride you do.  Love to hear your feedback on the ride, too.

See ya next year (Jan 2nd)!!!

Coach Robert…


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