Monday, April 21, 2008

KENNY LEFLER tour de georgia trip reports

our intrepid southern sojourners, kenny and lu

[if you know iowa racing, you'll spend some time with this photo from the author of these reports, iowa citian ken lefler]
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Fri, 4/18/2008 11:43pm TDG trip report 1
Wow that sucked. Lu and I are safely in our crappy hotel room outside Indianapolis. We rode 375 miles all but about 40 miles in pouring rain. At one stop I didn't think Lu was going to quit shaking. The rain was not the hard part either. The wind was almost the worst I have ridden through. This wind comes in a close second to North Dakota when the wind broke my windshield. Tomorrow is another day and maybe it won't be cold, wet, and windy. I will check in tomorrow if the hotel has internet. We hope to be in North Georgia tomorrow night.
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Sun, 4/20/2008 2:57pm TDG trip report 2
Oh yes what a difference a day can make. We woke to more rain we packed up and rode over to local Bob Evans for breakfast. From our window seat we could watch the rain. Lu was looking out the window and saw a lighter looking sky, she said which direction is that. I said that is the direction we are headed. She said "Sweet" We suited up and headed out into the rain. The rain quit by the time we were on the south end of Indy. We got about 20 miles south of Indy and the sky opened up to a beautiful blue. The clouds circled in and out most of the day, but it never let any more then a mist come down the rest of the day. The terrain south of Indy gets better and better the farther south you go. We rode through Louisville and then over to Lexington. Then we headed south to Knoxville. This is where things get good. It was not all hugs and kisses with the Leflers thou. You know I love my wife and I think the best of her. She is a very smart women but sometimes things slip through the cracks on her. Why she didn't figure out that our route would take us right through the Tail of the Dragon, (318 curves in 11 miles) I'm not sure. I have ridden it before but I wanted to ride it on the new BMW. It was every bit as much fun this time. The GS handled great. I had one big KTM give me a try but we dropped him. The rest of the run south was good and now I am typing this from a nice fleabag hotel in Gainsville, Ga. We found a nice Mexican place and now I am drinking a Captain and Coke and adding up the miles for the day. I was smarter this year and brought along a bottle of Captain, with the dry counties everywhere down here it is a good idea. You can get a Coke at any fleabag hotel in America. Tomorrow we will head for Savannah. I had to hold this and send it today since the fleabag had never heard of internet let alone high speed wireless. Our digs tonight and tomorrow are much better. I will report more later after we do some site seeing and food and drink.
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Sun, 4/20/2008 741pm TDG trip report 3
Oh what a beautiful day. The day started dry and sunny. It was 57 degrees at the hotel this morning and it did nothing but get warmer and warmer. We kept taking off layers as we went. I was down to boxers under my riding pants and a T-shirt under my coat. The liners are put away until we return north. The roads were much better then I thought they would be. The north Georgia mountains are great but there are areas of Georgia that are not so pretty. We did mostly two lane roads and some interstate near Savannah. The two lanes were great, rolling and tree lined. The interstate was prettier then any two lane I have been on in Iowa. We checked in to the hotel and then did some site seeing. Lu took some time out to critique the Pope on his mass style. You will need to ask her about that. We went to Forsyth Park. This was mentioned often in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It was cool. Then we rode around to get the lay of the land. Downtown was good. Music and food all around. We stopped by the Moon River Brewing Company and had a good meal. I had a couple of their IPA's and they were good. Then I heard the saying I have waited a life time to hear. "Would you like a ToGo cup for that beer" "Excuse me" "Welcome to Savannah, you may take any drink ToGo as long as it is in a plastic cup" What the hell is wrong with our city? We made it back to the hotel, that is several steps up from the last couple of night, even with a couple IPA's in me. I will be working the captain the rest of the night. We made it back in time to do a friend a favor. Some of you may have heard me tonight. I called in to Kim's radio show and gave him a report on the race. He emailed me the other day and told me he could not go and it would be great if I could be the roving reporter for his show on this one. I think it went well. I talked to Jason a few minutes ago and he is ready for bed and ready for the race. He sounded good. He says they have a good team for the Team Time Trial but he is not sure, with the short distance, that there will be good gaps between the teams. It may all lay out in the mountains. I can't wait. Tomorrow we are going to the Pirate House, it is a famous sea food place here. Then it is the race and more site seeing. I will report back tomorrow.
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Mon, 4/21/2008 609pm TDG trip report 4
Very nice day, it was like being on vacation. We woke up late, ate a small breakfast and did some touring. The giant cemetery is somewhat famous so we rode through it. Not all that impressive. I have seen better. The people here are into their ghost stories. We rode down to where the riders would roll through town on their way out to a loop in the country. Jason was sitting on the back cruising. Then we ate at the Pirate House. It was good. Then we went into full tourist mode, we did a carriage ride around the city. We sucked in some history. We had a couple of beers by the river then headed out to Tybee Island for a walk on the beach. We figured if we were this close to the sea we should do the deal. We walked and then sat on the beach until I was burned enough. We then rode across the street to gas up. Just by coincident we were right across the street from the host hotel for the teams. Just as we were gassing up who would drive up in full force to gas the team cars. It was Rock Racing. I will say this Micheal (my balls our bigger then your) Ball does pump his own gas or at least he stood out there with the credit card. I was spitting distance from cycling's new bad boy. Back to town we did some shopping and now we are going to dinner. Oh did I forget to talk about the race. It was somewhat forgettable but we did watch the finish. They only rode 70 miles so not even a good warm up. We talked to Jason right after. He had barely broken a sweat. He said "I feel great, it is like the pedals are not even there". He wanted to ride back to the hotel on Tybee Island but Bobby was not into it. He wanted to get back so they could go for a real ride. We are on the move again tomorrow so we will see what the hotel has to offer for internet access.
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Tues, 4/22/2008 659pm TDG trip report 5
It was another great day on the road. This time we decided to go to the start town since it was on the way to our new digs. We will get into that later. The start towns I don’t find all that interesting. You get the same speeches from the mayor and the head of the chamber of commerce. Then the prayer, we are in the south, then the color guard. The some local sing the National Anthem then they go. It is always a neutral start so not much excitement. It was OK this morning and we got to see Jason come up to sign in. He gave me cool CSC cycling cap because my face and head looked like a lobster. The boy worries about me. I am working the sunscreen. Then we headed to a sprint town, again since it was right on the way to Augusta. These are not all that exciting either but it is entertaining watching the townies have fun with the race. I was impressed to see the race organization let United Bank have a rolling announcer work the race. He rolled up about 15 minutes before the race and let everyone know what was going on. The other little fact is this guy was about 100 times better then the idiot that they have at the finishes each day. We will talk about that later as well. One entertaining note at the sprint town, the official was talking to a couple of people following the race. They said they were going to beat it to the finish town and watch the finish. She said “Oh you need to get there early or you will have to walk forever. You will never make it now”. I just quietly laughed. We have been doing this for 4 years and it has never been a problem. This time we rolled into Augusta and following the GPS we rolled up to a perfect legal parking place right by a cop at the 50 meters to go sign. I talked to the cop so he would keep an eye on my motorcycle and then asked him where to eat. He did us right. Then we watch the race on the big screen and made fun of the idiot announcer. The day went well for our boys and JJ Haedo won the day. Now let’s talk about Dave Towne or Towlie, or something like that. He is maybe the worst announcer ever. They have him announce every big race and he sucks. He has a tiny bit of race knowledge but not enough to help anyone and I am of the opinion that bad info is worse then no info. He is the king of misinformation. He also has all these little saying that just annoy me. Things like: Charge of the light brigade, Hurricane of Pain, The Gladiators of the Road, It is ON like Donkey Kong. He makes up words like “W” does, my favorite today was Motification, I think it means some sort of motivation to get KOM points. He was talking about the chase today and they pulled back 15 seconds in 5 k he said that the field was Vaporizing the lead. He is an idiot. I wouldn’t let him announce Kent Park let alone a big time Pro race. Now the good news. Our hotel tonight, although not great has internet access. It is stolen from the hotel next door, but we have it. It is also 5 blocks from the great food and entertainment area of Athens Georgia. Lu and I are enjoying a couple of cocktails before we walk downtown to eat. I will have more tomorrow guys and girls. We are staying here two nights. Tomorrow our friends the Danielsons are coming into town. They are very nice people and we have gotten close over the last few years. They are also possible race winner Tom Danielson’s parents.
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Wed, 4/23/2008 935pm TDG trip report 6
Yes boys and girls it is another beautiful day in the peach state. Lu and I walked to downtown Athens from our hotel and spent some quality time in a local Mexican restaurant where they mix the margaritas by hand. We sample several just to test the consistency. I like Athens. That is just a blanket statement but I stand by it. Very fun town. We enjoyed a few cocktails in the hotel and then slept well. Today we had several things to take care of and it all worked out perfectly. A good breakfast of Country fried steak, I would die if I lived down here. Everything is fried but you have to try it your in the south. I don't know if I have ever talked about the sweet tea line and my thoughts on it but there is such a thing. As you travel south you will hit a line where they will ask if you would like sweet tea. It is some where in Missery. Then as you get farther south they just quit asking. In Savannah I asked for unsweetened tea, they looked at me like I was sick. We made a nice ride up to Gainesville and found a spot to park. Guys I did not do as well on the parking space today. I parked at the 150 meter to go sign. We did the expo since I think if they took the time to set up I should do a run through then we watched the race on the big screen. It didn't take long before our friends the Danielson's showed up. We had a couple months worth of catching up and some talk about wine then the race was heating up. It was not a hilly stage so those all lay out about the same. There is a break of 4 or 5 then near the end the pack sucks it back and they all come in together. Today they had a hard down hill finish with a couple of hilly circuits. While we were standing there watching on the big screen Kevin Livingston walked up and stood by us. He is the technical director of the race. I asked him why they always have that Dave guy announce and he laughed. Then he said haven't I met you guys before. I said yes that we were from Iowa and that I had followed his career for since he was about 14. He said yes that Jason had introduced us the year before. The racers were drilling it for the circuits and they dropped some pretty stud riders. Jason was right in the mix so no lost time. I talked to him right after and he said that the finish was pretty sketchy. Talking to Terry Danielson, he said that is exactly what Tom said as well. We did some more catching up with the Danielsons and then we headed back to Athens. We had a couple of chores to do. Our friend Lisa designs play grounds and Athens has a huge one. We paid it a visit and took several photos for her. Then it was laundry time. There is only so much room on the big GS and it was necessary to hit the laundromat. Our time there made me think. First I hate it there and avoid it at all costs, that said this was a good visit. It made me realize that some times on these trips it is the people you meet that make the trip. The young guy that was running the place was a joy. He was maybe thirty years old and he owns a laundromat. He clearly worked his butt off and he knew 90% of the people walking in that place. He kept it clean and helped several of the people that came in. He was a motorcycle rider and had his crutch rocket parked out front. I was impressed and that says a lot at a laundromat. Now it is more Captain and the Daily Show.
PS I have been hearing rumors that there is a special guest mechanic at Open Shop night at my house tonight. Just remember all my tools need to hung back up where they belong. I will know if they are out of place.

kenny lefler tour de georgia trip report 6.5 959pm
I almost forgot, Lu and I tuned into the podcast of the Kim West Cycling show tonight and it was great. I liked the show and I didn't sound like an idiot. I recommend it highly. Isn't technology great. I am on a motorcycle tour of Georgia and I can listen to a radio show from Sunday in my hotel room.
[thanks, kenny!!]
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Thur, 4/24/2008 933pm TDG trip report 7
We had one mission today and that was to eat breakfast at a Waffle House. I had two reasons for this. The first and most important reason was Waffle House is one of the sponsors of the Tour De Georgia. The second reason was the Waffle House is a southern icon. Down here they are like Starbucks in a big city. If you have never been to one, it is a classic experience. Today’s Waffle House was at an exit to a large interstate. Waffle Houses are small establishments with a classic old lunch counter and a few tables everyone I have ever been in is very close to the same. This one proved two of my earlier theories. First was the sweet tea line theory.
Our waitress, and I am not kidding, was named Opal. There are a couple classic southern waitress names, Flo, Opal, and Pearl. Lu asked for iced tea and then corrected herself right away saying “Sweet Tea”. Opal said “Hon’ you don’t have to say sweet tea that is what I would get you’all”. Opal called everyone that came in either Hon’ or Sweetie. The second theory was that it is all about the people you meet. I had a blast watching the 4 people that ran this place work. First thing that had me laughing was that the other three people behind the counter were trying to teach Opal proper southern speak. Opal was not from the north, she was from so far south and so far old school that they could not understand her. This was an issue because this Waffle House barked their orders. They did not give the order slip to the line cook they barked them to him and he was a magician. It was an open kitchen, no secrets here. He worked it to a tee. I was fascinated with his prowess. Opals inability to say words like onions was hurting his efficiency. We left our Waffle House and rode 150 yards over the interstate where we were dead in front of another Waffle House. It reminded me of the old Lewis Black comedy routine where he talks about the end of the world when he sees a Starbucks across the street from another Starbucks. We made our way to Road Atlanta. We have a parking theme going here this week so it was time to continue that theme. This one really surprised me but after reflection it is not out in left field. They were charging for parking. I pulled out my wallet and the man at the gate said motorcycles get in free. It gets better guys. We got in the line of cars that were being flagged to a parking spot. The truck in front of us wanted to go forward and the parking lady yelled at him that he had to park over there. She made him turn then she looked at me a said “You can go where ever you want” I was in heaven. The deal is that Road Atlanta in a motorcycle track. It is the home of two motorcycle racing schools and they clearly have a special love of the vehicle. We found a parking area right above the team cars and called it home. Now to the race. I personally think that the Team Time Trial is one of the coolest spectacles in sports today. This did not prove to be so today. The first problem was that the riders were not allowed to use their TT bikes. They had to use conventional racing bikes. I do not know the reason but it was rumored to be to even the playing field for the domestic teams. I think this is a crook since what domestic team, racing here, doesn’t have TT bikes? The other problem was that it was only 10 miles. It needed to be at least 3 times longer to open any real time gaps. Jason predicted the finish perfectly the night before stating that it would be a toss up between the High Road, Slipstream, Astana, and CSC, but that no one would open a gap. That said it was pretty cool. The hill off the start was a killer. It was cool watching the different styles for the race. Some teams tried to keep everyone together while others clearly did the “you go balls out for as long as you can pull then we will see you at the finish”. The venue was pretty neat as well. The people came out and the venders were there in force as well. Tomorrow is the stage into Dahlonega. Jason has won this stage and done quite well the other years he has been here. Two years ago the announcers renamed it the Jason McCartney stage. It should be fun. We are going early to watch on the big screen. I look for a break. Now it is time to make the guys that came down last year jealous. Lu and I are at the cabin in the woods. We emailed Peg earlier in the week and told her you were all losers and it was only going to be Lu and I. I told her that if she had a larger group that needed the space we would change cabins. She put us in Maple. That is all the way at the back and the view out back is amazing. I love old barns and there is a beautiful one out in the field behind the cabin. The cabin has a four poster bed and a Jacuzzi tub in the corner. Lu and I went to our favorite restaurant, The Cobb Mill. I Strayed from tradition and did not have the Jambalaya pasta, I opted for the Pollo Rose. It was a chicken breast grilled with a touch of rosemary then tossed with Fettuccini Alfredo with red onion, sautéed mushrooms and bacon. It was so good that I could not order the cheese cake. The warm rolls soaked in that garlic butter pushed me over the edge. Right now I am sitting on the porch; all southern homes have porches, continuing my quest for poor heath. It is a good thing it doesn’t count while you are on vacation. I am drinking a beer and smoking my last Guantanamera straight from Havana Cuba. Thanks Braden. Note to the guys, they have not repealed the no alcohol law yet but at the Cobb Mill you may bring your own bottle of wine. Now the porch thing, all southern homes have porches. Even the nastiest trailer has a porch built on. I call these Trailer Concealers. Thanks Renae. I saw the nicest trailer concealer ever today. It was the full length of the single wide trailer, redwood, with plants hanging every where. It was a very nice touch. It clearly cost twice as much as the trailer. The cabin lady has made the leap to modern times and although I don’t think you should interject technology with this beautiful setting, I will walk up and tap into her wireless to send this.
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Fri, 4/25/2008 650pm TDG trip report 8
Todays stage was from Suwanee to Dahlonega. Sorry guys I don't have many good southern human interest stories today. Lu and I stayed at the cabin and ate breakfast here. I spent some time this morning taking a few pictures then we headed to the finish. The start town was too far away and I don't like the starts anyway. Yesterday we came down highway 129. It is one of my all time favorite roads. Lu does not share my enthusiasm for this stretch of road. It is the section near Vogel State Park, and it rocks. It is not quite as twisty as the Dragon, but it is damn twisty and the road surface is perfect. She feels like she is on a roller coaster and it makes her sick. Yesterday was an all-time first for me. I was passed by a truck on this road and I let it go. First the truck clearly had a mission and was crossing the double yellow just to make the corners. I will not do that, that is how motorcycle riders get killed. Second I knew it would push Lu over the edge. When we got back to the cabin she asked if there was any other way we could go to Dahlonega. I looked on the map and said yes. Today we rode over Wolf Pen Gap and then Woody Gap. She said it was not any better. The race was good, we rode into town and we were to meet Sherry, Jason's mom. We made one pass through town and and made a turn. Sherry was standing right in front of us. Timing is everything. Jason's brother and sister with their significant others were all there as well. Aaron, Jason's brother, and his girl friend Jennifer met us in the bar and we got prepared for the finish. The bar was giving away pint glasses if you bought the Terrapin Beer I had several glasses so I had to talk Sherry into flying them back for us. I just can't get anything else on the bike. We made our way up to the big screen and found that they had issues with camera two so all they had was a camera on the break of 4. A gentleman standing beside me had internet access on his Crackberry so he filled us in. The break was caught right on the last climb and the studs of the race rolled it in together. Trent Lowe took over the lead. The Slipstream boys are at the front 1,2,and 3. Levi is close but so are several others. The lack of individual TT makes things really close. I talked to Jason tonight and he says that he doesn't think anyone can climb with Levi. Sevilla can climb but all he will do is help Levi at this point. He is 53 second down. Jason says that Trent Lowe looks good and he looked good at the last race as well. He is taking his break right after so he will go deep. I asked him if he was going to climb with those guys and he said we will see what happens. He said the Inigo can rock the house for his team. Tomorrow will be fun. My times on top of Brasstown have always been fun. Even the year it snowed up there was great. The atmosphere up there is great. It is worth the trip alone. Tomorrow it could be rainy and we are leaving right after the stage to head back towards Iowa. I hope we are not starting in the rain and ending in the rain. That would leave me with a bad feeling toward Iowa.
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Sun, 4/27/2008 1238am TDG Trip report 9
Wow, Brasstown Bald Mountain never disappoints. This is what racing is all about. Today we got up early and packed our possessions. We left our stuff with the cabin lady and we rode up to the base of BTB Mountain. Cars were already 3/4 of a mile down the road. We decided to make a roll by then select a spot to park. I got to the base and told the ranger that I was going to make a u-turn. He said go down the road beyond the cones. If I let you do it I have to let everyone do it. Even if he was a dick, he did me a favor. We got to the end of the cones and there was a motorcycle parked on a grassy area right below the BTB mountain sign. There was space for more so we dropped off the road and pulled up.
It was perfect and as close as you could get. We took the bus to the top and planned to walk down. We took our coats, warm pants, and our chairs. We have been up there in the snow and we have been up there in blazing heat. You just don't know and the forecast was for rain. We set our chairs up then we spotted Micheal Lange's parents. Micheal races for Jelly Belly and he is have a great TDG. We were dead in front of the big screen and that was the spot.
It did not take long before Jason was off the front with a small group and it was fun watching. Jason's mom and the rest of the family made it up and we were all very animated. Jason has hundreds of fans in the Georgia area due to his breakaways every year. Several of these people have met me, maybe because I can be a little animated in these situations, but lots of people were stopping by to say nice job. The Danielson's were there to cheer Jason on as well.
Jason did his job well and was clearly driving the break up every climb. He took both the KOM's at Hogs Pen Gap and Unicoi Gap. That was enough to get the jersey for the day and the tour. I think this is the third time he has won that jersey. His real job was to work the other teams over so Bobby, Bradley, and Inigo could have a go at it later. He was caught on the up hill before the BTB climb.
When he rolled by Lu and I he smiled and gave me the high sign. He was doing good.
The battle up the hill was laying out great and no one suspected that the young High Road rider was riding into the lead. That is what makes bicycle racing so fun.
Levi and Trent were looking at each other and just let him go. He was pegged as the High Road overall guy so I don't really know what they were thinking. Last year Levi took his ear piece out on the climb. I thought it was a crappy move since the stage should have been Tom D's. Someone had to stay with Brackavic and since Levi could not hear his director he attacked and Tom was the good team guy and stayed with Jani.
I would think it was super funny if that is how he lost the race this time. If he thought once again he knows better then the director and was going on his schedule. That would be really funny. Either way the young climber took over the lead while the big names were looking at each other. I do feel a little bad for Trent since I think he is a good guy.
I think that High Road owes Jason a big thanks since the Slipstream guys had to bury them selves to keep Trent in the game.
Wow I love bicycle racing.
After the broom wagon rolled through we headed down the hill. The only way is to walk it. They hold the cars for a long time and the line to get on the buses is huge. The walk down sucks but we endure it. We jumped on the cycle and picked up our stuff. Our plan was to try and ride as far North as we could before we shut it down. This is not all bad.
The first great part of this, is just up the road 40 miles or so. There is a section of Highway 64 in North Carolina and into Tennessee that is one of the prettiest rides in America. It is all along the Ocoee River and Lake. The road is twisty but not so twisty that it hurts Lu. There is a rock cliff on one side and the river on the other. You are winding through the mountains with the beautiful colors. I love it.
Then you hit the interstate. This is not all bad either. It is one way to make time. We roll through Chattanooga and then up the mountain. We stopped at the top for gas and something to drink. The guys that know me will like this. I did not eat today and after our walk down BTB I was getting a little shaky. Believe it or not even a fat guy like me needs food.
Here is the good part I was so hungry I almost ate at McDonald's. Then I got a hold of my senses and bought some crackers to get me by.
The start down the mountain did not go well. The road was a parking lot. The other lane was a ghost town. It took about thirty minutes but we finally got past the hold up. It was a 45 MPH curve that a semi hauling Twelve packs of Miller Lite did not make the turn. The semi was totaled. There was a scrap truck full of broken twelve packs loaded with a skid loader.
The road was covered with beer and it smelled like Beer. The other lane was shut down for miles. Now back to the cool part.
I like rolling into big cities at night. We rolled through Nashville just after dark. The lights of the city were cool, but what I like it the riding through city traffic. I would not want to do it every day, but it can be fun and on the bike it is a rush. I play it like a game and I love the higher sense of your surroundings that it requires. You have to watch every thing, you have to know the other drivers habits, which ones use there turn signals, which ones are on the phone, which one is going to change lanes and kill you. Then you light it up. We ran through town fast enough over, it would be go to jail.
The section after Nashville is the only part I hate. It is all tree lined and looks like a deer heaven. I spent my time looking for a deer sweeper. I would find the car or truck that was moving pretty good and ride his bumper. I am working on the thought that he will hit the deer before I will. We made it to Cadiz, Kentucky. We ate at a Cracker Barrel. I am still working on my bad health. Then we checked into the Super 8.
That's all for the TDG. Tomorrow we are going to roll through St Louis and see Lu's Aunt and Uncle then make the dash home. We are close enough now that it will be an easy run in.
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Mon 4/28/2008 550pm TDG Trip report FINAL
If you have not guessed, Lu and I made it back from the land of fried foods and Gravy. This is a true story, that is the red neck way to start a story, We were at a fast food restaurant in Kentucky yesterday morning. I know, Ken at a fast food restaurant? I will do it in an emergency. When Lu gets hungry it is an emergency and this was the only option. Now back to the story. This guy was pissed because the breakfast combo did not come with gravy. He didn't understand why none of the options had gravy as a side. They gave him a Styrofoam container of gravy and he seemed to be happier.
Anyway I just have a few thoughts and comments on the week. We rode a good 600 miles yesterday and after our walk down BTB mountain I can barely walk today. It was a good thing my job today was to read through the 200 emails and answer all the voice-mails at work. I left the office maybe twice to pee. Yesterday we rode home through St Louis so we could see Lu's Aunt and Uncle. They are getting up there in age so not to be too morbid, but we may have only so many more chances to see them. They are great people. They are very fun to talk with.
We found the rain again as we left but it only lasted about 50 miles and we were back to sun. We were riding along and still about 55 miles from home and I realized that it was time for the Kim West Radio Show. I pulled it over to a gas station near Salem Iowa and called Kim from the dumpsters out back. It was pretty funny because they put me on hold and the hold music was the Kim West Radio Show. I tuned in just in time to hear him reading my report from the night before. He said he thought we were still on the road and would not be able to call in and his producer said I think he may be on hold right now. Timing is everything. I gave him my thoughts on the race and Lu and I rolled it home.
I really enjoyed this vacation and going back to work today really sucked but what do you do. It was nice to sleep in my own bed and not live out of a bag. That is the only real issue with the motorcycle. Things are tight and you have to do the repack thing every morning. It was so nice to be in one place for a couple of days just so I would not have to pack again. A 600 mile day on a motorcycle is a pretty good day. Some of you know that I do some admittedly stupid long motorcycle trips, but I do these solo. It is one thing to run 1680 miles in a day but it is another to drag Lu along with me. 600 is as long as I will push her. She did great and never said a word about the rain and such.
I have taken the Lisa DeShano attitude about that type of thing. If you don't know Lisa you should. She is an adorable person and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. The other day Jim was talking to her and he was complaining about the weather. Jim is a Cat 2 racer and he needs to ride most days to compete and he, like a lot of people, was tired of the cold, rainy, windy, generally crappy weather. He turned to Lisa and said what do you think Lisa? She calmly said, in that sweet Lisa voice, "I can't complain about the weather I choose to live here".
I think those are words to live by. Lu and I have perfectly good automobiles but we choose to travel by motorcycle or bicycle so I can't really say much about the cold, rain, and wind.
Here are my thoughts on the race, I hope they secure a sponsor for next year and continue this race. I love it. I love it in Georgia and I love the race. I think the powers that be need to realize that someone like LuAnne and I would never have gone and spent a week in Georgia if it were not for the race. I have grown to love the state, but lets face it there are 10 places I would have chosen to go to before Georgia. We spent fat cash for the week.
We met some great people while we were there and the fan base that Jason has built is fascinating. We talked to several people on Saturday that really told the tale. The first was the motorcyclist we parked by at the base of the mountain. He asked who we were cheering for and Lu said Jason. He said Jason McCartney, he is always a threat.
The next was a guy sitting in front of us at the big screen. He heard us talking about Jason and turned around and told us he was at the start of the TTT. The announcers introduced Jason as, Jason (I Love Dahlonega) McCartney.
The next was an older gentleman that was staying at the cabins we were staying at. He asked if we were at the race and I said yes we rode down from Iowa to watch Jason McCartney. He about jumped out of his shoes. He said "Do you know Jason". I said that I did and that I got him into this crazy life of cycling so I thought I should see him through it. He was beaming. He said he had followed Jason's career for years and just loved him. I loved it.
It sounds like Atlanta was pretty normal for a last day circuit race. It was good to see the High Road guys finish it off well. I like Greg Henderson as well. We met him after the San Francisco Gran Prix one year. The whole Health Net Team came to the bar after and all Jason would say was "Watch out for the Kiwis, they are dangerous". We did lots of shots and I had to agree.
That is all I have for now. Thanks for listening.
.....
and i want to thank kenny and lu for their fine reports, and for the great telephone reports. i can't wait for the next report, and next year, kenny, i hope to be there with you. thanks for giving my radio show such a great kick start!

4 comments:

Mark Guthart said...

Hey Kenny and Kim - thanks so much for the great reports. Keep them coming! They're a hoot to read. :)

Mark

the mostly reverend said...

he's a natural...and the first reporter for "the kim west cycling radio show."

john said...

Kim - This blog just might turn into something. And I can't make the pod cast thing work for your show. I need to get to know some more teenagers.

Baumer01 said...

Ride home safe Ken and Lu. Can't wait to see more pics and here more human stories. Ken maybe Lu should have her own blog for the Pope.