Category Archives: Cycling

Where the sidewalk didn’t end


Today, for no particular reason I decide to set a new cycling record. I decided to ride to the end of the paved area of the Silver Comet, which their website assured me existed. It gives the impression that the end is in the 37 mile area. My previous record was 60 miles.

Much to my surprise, the paved area did not end at 37 miles, which is a little beyond Rockmart. It keeps on going in fine order, I assume to the Alabama border, which will be a ride for another day. I make it out to the 40 mile mark before I realize how late it’s getting.

I prefer using the die in place method of setting distance records; it’s going out a long way in one direction and then back.

I wound up going a little over 80 miles, averaging 15.2 miles an hour, with an average heart rate of 151, which is surprisingly high for a ride that lasted over five hours. I have the heart rate monitor set to mute, but if you go far enough over into your maximum, which I did when I came across a sharp hill at mile 38, it beeps at you.

I spent the last 20 minutes or so in darkness as I underestimated the daylight. The forest canopy does a good job of eliminating ambient sunlight.

On the whole, it was a pleasant and scenic ride. The one exception was when I ran out of water for a 20 mile period and that brought all of the symptoms of fatigue very quickly. Once I got some more (at around mile 11 on the way back) I felt much better.

Below are some photos I took with the camera phone on the ride.

A very large factory that seems to make concrete forms. It’s somewhere around mile 12.

More of the above.

I have no idea what road this is.

A very long and chilly tunnel. I need to take some more fiddler photos here.

This one wasn’t on the ride, but I did see it yesterday and found it funny.

First ride on the new bike

So, I’m not feeling sore or congested anymore, so I take the new Fuji out for a spin. It felt good. For anyone curious, I went 33.5 miles at 14 miles an hour, with an average heart rate of 140. The handlebars are going to take some getting used to, as is the braking, but on the whole, the road bike is a pleasant change from the hybrid.

The last man on earth


Having biked the past three days in a row, I had planned to take today off, but late this afternoon I felt full of energy and decided to go. Being a true American, I decided to push myself into breaking a personal record. I went to the end of Conyers and back and then to the other side of Avondale and back, which is a bit over 54 miles; a new record for me.

I rode the last hour in total darkness due to my late start . Happily that part was mostly on the bike path, with very little on the open road, so it was relatively safe.

As I was riding in the deserted darkness, the air cooled (down to sixty degrees), the number of cars declined and the wind blowing over the helmet created a dull roar. The perceptible environment gradually faded away. Coolness numbed the skin, wind dulled hearing, and the darkness removed much of the visual realm. I developed an overwhelming of isolation. There were no people out, very few cars, and no active signs of the human hand. All I could think of was that I was the last man on earth.

It was a gripping and powerful feeling I’ve never felt before.

Photos from the long ride

I’m a bit tired after my little 53 miler yesterday. The above photo is from somewhere along a little-used side road near Stone Mountain/

The above is the castle of Oakhurst (near Decatur). The below is some stenciled graffiti I saw underneath a railroad bridge in Decatur.

Yet another new record

I went 53 miles, and returned in total darkness. Happily no wrecks though. From Avondale to Stone Mountain to Lithonia to Decatur to Oakhurst to Avondale to my house. Some interesting photos to come, it was a pleasantly introspective ride as well.

April is Ground Awareness Month

After I first started biking I had exactly one minor fall in 18 months. In the past three weeks, I’ve had two fairly serious (multiple places of bleeding and bruising) falls.

This one was more my fault than the last one: I had stopped at what I thought was a four way stop, but it turned out to be a two way stop. Oddly enough, the woman who almost hit me (which caused my sudden braking which caused the fall) had stopped at an area where there was no stop sign.

The two photos are the opposite ends of my trip today.