Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Georgia Century

You're not
in Indiana anymore.

of Spanish moss
hang like tangled hair
from the trees.

Palm trees...

Towering pines...

Palmetto leaves...

No, not in Indiana today.

We're in Southern Georgia
for the first annual
Ride for the River.

 The Altahama River.

Never heard of it.

But it's huge!

It's watershed covers
1/3 of Georgia
from Atlanta to the Atlantic.

And today
we are biking
to help
protect the Altamaha.

I suspect it needs help
as we start the ride
under the spewing plumes
of the paper factory.

We've brought our bikes
from near and far.

I, myself,
rented a Trek
for the weekend.

We're tuning
up the bikes
for the long ride ahead.

Pumping up
the tires...

Stocking up
on drinks.

One last pit stop...

I'm not sure
I can pull off
a century today.

Can I start
on the 62 mile ride
and change my mind?

They tell me no.

From the very start
the hundred milers go left
and the 28, 48 and 62 milers
go right.

Make your decision.


What the heck!

I'm going for the century.

We gather
for the 8:00 start.

...and we're off!


It's 31 degrees.

Right away
there's a head wind.

Not sure I can do this century
fighting a head wind.

But by mile 13
a recumbent rider
bikes up...

- want me to pull you
for a while?

Well, yeah.

I've never drafted
behind a recumbent before.

It's surprisingly effective.

This, by the way, is Bob.

I spent the rest of my day
with Bob.

It's a perfect ride.

They have SAGs
every 15 miles or so.

Beautiful weather.

(after it warms up)

I find myself
taking off clothes
right and left.

We cruise by
Fort Ben George...

We watch
musket practice...

I get a glimpse
of the salt marshes
leading to
the Atlantic.

At the far east
end of the ride
we cross the great
Altamaha River.

I want to stop
and explore
the marshes...

...but we have
many miles
yet to go.

I get thirsty

(no Diet Cokes on this ride).

Bob has
mechanical trouble.

The road gets rough.

We both want to quit.

80 miles is The Wall, he says.

By mile 90
we get our second wind.

We're spinning by
long lines of pines.

Up the last hill...

We hit the town of Jesup.

Butt sore.

Just a few more miles to go.

Follow the arrows...

Finally to the car.

We can rest.

101 miles today.

We're not the last car
in the parking lot...

...but it's close.

I'm tired...
and I ache all over.

But now I can say...

...I've biked
a Georgia century.


  1. Helen, I still don't know how you can stop and take all those pictures and still ride over 100 miles!!?? I always enjoy your photo stories. Congratulations on the Georgia century!! Dan Koch

  2. 100 miles easy peasy =D but Georgia looks cool! hope you get to explore a little!

  3. Wow! I love the way you tell a story with your beautiful pictures and just a few words. 100 miles!! Congratulations! Peace, Stephanie

  4. Beautiful telling.

    Would not have made it w/o your support.



  5. Great story, Helen!! Thank you so much for creating and sharing it. It was such a pleasure to meet you and talk about the Altamaha on Sunday after your ride. The Altamaha Riverkeeper sincerely appreciates your sharing the beauty of our watershed with others. And to your readers: Howdy from coastal Georgia, y'all.
    -- Sonja Cox, Altamaha Riverkeeper

  6. The Wayne County Board of Tourism is excited about your blog and pics, and are thrilled that you enjoyed your Georgia century. We invite you back in March for the Southern Pride Ag Ride through the agricultural area of Wayne and Appling County. Hope to see you then!

    Heather Altman