Tuesday, February 1, 2011

St. George Island or Bust!

Feeling a bit nostalgic, I thought I'd write about my greatest cycling accomplishment before it's replaced by greater deeds.

Back in 1989 through 1991 I lived in Griffin, Georgia.  Griffin is a small town south of Atlanta better known as the birthplace of John Henry "Doc" Holliday than as a cycling mecca.  During those years American Greg Lemond was winning the Tour de France and cycling was alive and well in the United States.

Local bike shop owners Jim and Stuart Ogletree supported cycling in Spalding County and it was great fun.  There was the Spalding Sprockets local bike club, avid cyclists, the Griffin Century, and even a female Olympic cycling hopeful in our midst.

In the summer of 1990 several of us decided to ride our bikes from Griffin to St. George Island off the Gulf Coast of Florida.  If I remember correctly, we were Edwina, Harvey, Jim Ogletree, Pat, Sam Cobb, Stuart Ogletree, and myself.  There many have been a few others whom I can't recall.  We planned to cover the 320-mile distance in only 2 days.  We left Griffin early on a Saturday morning and stopped for the night in Bainbridge, GA after 200-miles on the first day.  The final 120-miles to the island were covered on the second day.  We were well trained, and everyone had a great ride.  The most amazing thing for me was after 2 days and over 300-miles in the saddle, Edwina, Harvey and I were able to sprint up the bridge incline to the island.  The layers of dried sweat and salt that covered my body both days was also pretty amazing too, albeit kind of gross.  It was summer after all!

View Larger Map
Day one - Griffin to Bainbridge.

View Larger Map
Day two - Bainbridge to St. George Island.

The route on the maps is probably not the exact route we traveled but you get the picture.

Hopefully, that awesome experience will be replaced this fall with memories (and pictures) of my first successful Ironman.

Edwina did attend the U.S. Olympic trials but didn't make the team after having succumbed to food poisoning.

What's your greatest achievement in fitness?