Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tour de Georgia, Sunscreen, Jittery Joe's...

We were fortunate enough to visit the Tour de Georgia for a third year in a row. Very exciting event with lots of spectating and camaraderie. It's exciting to see so many people riding their bikes everywhere in North Georgia. What's more, we noticed a remarkable number of riders when we were en route from start to finish, whom we presume, were just out riding - not particularly because of the Tour.

It was nice seeing Ford Motor Company pick up the sponsorship after Dodge dropped it. It would have been even better had everyone been driving their Hybrid Escapes, had they had a new Hybrid version Focus Wagon or Mazda 5. Maybe next year they'll be that far along. Which made me think about the carbon impact of all the driving. All the team, support and media vehicles... all the people (like us) that drove to the events... and all the extra fuel burned due to bikes on top.

We rode our bikes twice last week in pursuit of carbon offsetting ("Cut40"). Lovey rode the Scooter one day ("Cut10"). Together, it would take us a month of riding three days a week to offset the extra fuel we burned driving from Tampa to Dalton, GA and all around (and back). We did take the step of loading our mountain bikes on a rear carrier, instead of a roof rack. We averaged about 27 mpg in the Subaru Forester, which is only 3 mpg better than I average around town with nothing added. And when we rode the Circle the Bald (Owl Creek was STEEP !) I'd say we were getting about 2 bananas per mile... hard cranking (and thankfulness for 34t cassettes).

Oh Sunscreen... almost forgot. Tons of people standing around in the sun. Waiting at the start, in the middle and finish. I assume that those waiting at key locations (autograph alley and finish line) had to stand there for close to three hours. In the sun. No shade. Very few applying sunscreen from my observations. And if they did, most did not reapply as recommended. Us, we used a big 'in the way' umbrella. Probably the only one being used. And maybe I'm a goof, but we didn't have the discomfort of the parching sun, and we didn't have to slather ourselves in chemicals we can't pronounce (let alone predicting effects).

Now consider this, money was being raised on a ride with Greg LeMond (3 time Tour de France and World Champion, now retired and showing it). The money was for the Georgia Cancer Coalition, which made several speeches during the event. They didn't mention sunscreen once, nor did they talk about nutrition. Seems everyone is interested in finding a cure, though nobody wants to discuss prevention. Seems to me that most of us will wait until something's broke before trying to fix it. For most things, an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure. We'll keep using our umbrella, sunscreen clothing, and eating our vegan diet. It's all about choices...

And about choices, get over to Xtracycle.com and check out their S.U.B... don't know whether to call it a Sport Utility Bike, or Sensibly Utilized Bike. I've ordered the Lightfoot Electric Drive for mine and should have the 'soon to be reincarnated' Specialized Shark Cruiser, now dubbed "Dorsal", ready in weeks. Lastly, a little digg for my friend Micah Rice of Jittery Joe's Coffee - Great Job Guys... and congratulations to Floyd Landis on his, as Dave puts it 'Trifecta of Racing', including his first TDG win. You can read about Jittery's team and other TDG happening on thebeanteam.com website. Bye for now ! Oh - Don't forget to Ride to Work !


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