Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends…
It’s AthFest? D’Oh!
I arrived in Athens on Friday night only to find out that it was AthFest weekend. AthFest is a weekend-long party for which some of the downtown streets are shut down, music stages are erected, and artists set up booths to sell their wares. Oh, it also makes parking a pain.
My plan for Friday night was to go to the 40 Watt Club for The Whiskey Gentry / Cracker show, which for this incarnation was flipped to be the Cracker / The Whiskey Gentry show.
I clearly have not been seeing enough shows lately because I forgotten how late Friday night shows start. The show was schedule to start at 10:00pm, and there were three bands on the bill. Cracker took the stage some time after 11:00pm and put on a really good show. I’m not sure what time The Whiskey Gentry took the stage because after doing a two-hour bike ride at 6:30am that morning I was in no condition to stay out until 1:00am or so. With much chagrin I exited the 40 Watt Club before The Whiskey Gentry took the stage.
One Night In Athens
I woke up Saturday morning and drove out to where the fifty-mile ride I was planning to ride started. I’d downloaded a map a cue sheet and was looking forward, with some nervousness, to doing a long ride in a place I’ve never ridden before. But as I arrived at the starting point I just didn’t feel comfortable leaving my car for four hours in an unfamiliar high school parking lot with no other cars around. After some deliberation I decided to follow my instincts and delay my ride for a day.
With a newly-found time block I returned to the hotel room and relaxed for awhile, doing some reading, before finally rallying to go to downtown for lunch. I wandered downtown for about an hour, learning why the city is not called “Flathens”, before stopping into a restaurant for a few beers and lunch.
After lunch I wandered over to Creature Comforts Brewing for an enjoyable few hours of beer tasting, music listening, and watching the afternoon thundershowers pass by while I was safely inside. Creature Comforts has an amazing space and I highly recommend that you go there if your schedule permits on your next trip to Athens.
At 4pm the tasting time was coming to an end so I returned to my hotel room where I proceeded to take a 2.5-hour nap, only to be awakened a few times by torrential rain storms that were passing through Athens.
Waking again around 7:30pm I started thinking about what I was going to do that night. I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t craving more beer, and I wasn’t looking forward to dealing with AthFest again. I sat in my hotel room’s bed wondering why I’d stay there another night. I couldn’t think of any good reason, in fact I thought of a couple of better reasons to drive home, so that’s what I did.
I checked out of my room and drove home, arriving back in East Atlanta a little after 10:30pm.
Sleeping in my own bed allowed me to start my Big Sunday early in the morning.
Another Ride, Another Flat
Yesterday was an incredible day to go out for a ride, the temperature was pleasurable and the humidity low. On my non-existent training schedule this was to be another fifty-mile ride, the one I bailed on the day before.
After a few false starts, like turing around a block into the ride to return home to put on sunscreen, I was off! Maybe it was the weather but I was having a good day turning the pedals.
About a quarter of the way through the ride I felt my right shin feeling weak, as if I’d given myself shin splints walking the day before; this is not a usual feeling for my legs so it concerned me a little. I considered cutting parts of my ride out to shorten it to guard against injury, but I was having too good of a day and decided to press on.
At the point where I could either take it on home and finish the day riding around forty-two miles, or make a right turn and extend it to my targeted fifty miles, I chose the latter. I should recognize the pattern that it’s when I through caution to the wind that interruptions arise.
My ride’s extension took me up Clifton Road, where I hit my first pothole of the ride as I cruised around the golf course. Thankfully, the bike was unscathed.
Potholes 0, Paulie 1
After this short scare I gained some more confidence in my bicycle as I cranked the pedals harder. My shin continued to nag me I shrugged it off because at this time I was committed to riding fifty.
In the forty-fifth mile I was riding down Austin Avenue just before it turns into Lake and WHAM I hit another pothole. The part of the street was in deep shade and I was wearing sunglasses so I never saw it. (I’ve driven past it twice already and still didn’t see it that well.) I thought that the cycling gods were on my side because I hit this pothole at a slowish speed and thought I’d once again gotten away unscathed.
A block later the rear tire let out a PFFFFFT. The rear wheel’s defense tried its best, but this pothole got the better of it.
Potholes 1, Paulie 1
I’ve gotten quite good at replacing the tube in the rear tire.
The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful, save the tiring of my right shin. I wonder how this is going to affect today’s ride. In fact, I have put off today’s ride until after work so that I I’ve my body a little more time to recover from yesterday’s ride.
I Think That I Won Sunday
Fifty miles on the bike was followed by a short nap, and then followed by mowing of the ITP Estate’s lawn. Feeling heady for getting chores done I then proceeded to wash the M6 after finishing up the mowing. Who am I?
I finished my day by stopping by Performance Bicycles, which was a madhouse since it was the last day of their big sale, to pick up a couple of things. I bought two pair of cheap sunglasses (to replace the expensive sunglasses that have lost their nose pads) and new gloves. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any socks.
I then met up with my boss for some beers and dinner at The Olde Blind Dog in Brookhaven. Two beers and a reuben sandwich were my only real meal of the day yesterday — and I earned it!