22nd Annual Athens to Atlanta Road Skate

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Friday & Saturday/Race Day

It was a beautiful day for a road skate/race as about 700 skaters lined up for the start of the 87 and 38-mile events. Not even the prospect of a 10 to 15 mph headwind could dampen our spirits. The Athens county police tried, by missing the start, threatening to hold the pace lines up about a mile out of town. However the green lights where with us, and like a 700-car processional, once we had an intersection we weren't giving it up.

Team Rainbo training sessions, aka "The Pain Train", and these new 84mm wheels really made a difference this year as Tom Grosspietsch and I seemed to sail up the hills, at least for the first 45 - 50 miles. Most of the second half of the course Tom and I hung together picking up or dropping other skaters. Until about mile 64 where I fell behind on a downhill and couldn't make up the 15 - 20 yard gap. What with the headwind and the "horse" that was pulling our small group at the time I ended up hung out solo for the next 15 miles.

Once on with a pack that caught up to me at check point six it was smooth sailing into Atlanta. That is until about mile 83 when something odd started to happen. Looking down, there was my front wheel hanging by half an axel. I had heard a rattle building all day, even stopped to make sure everything was tight. Side forces must have stripped the axel out of the frame; I tried two other axels in the front position but neither would stay tight. So I finished the final four miles on nine wheels, generating sparks now and again as my toe would tip a touch too low.

What will wheel trouble and wind I came within 3 minutes of my best time, Tom did tie his best, both times having been set with solid tail winds. Tom looked happy so I'd say that we both thought we skated well today.

Nina summed the day up best, when she stretched out on the grass just after finishing and said, "Do I have to wait another whole year to do this again?"

It's that kind of event.




"I'm about to do what?," says Tom's face.
While Nina, Goetz and our gal pal from South Beach parties past are all smiles.
While Nina, Goetz and our gal pal from South Beach parties past are all smiles.
The Levites attend to the high priest of A2A.
The Levites attend to the high priest of A2A.
Dan Berger, here in spirit as well as in kudzu.
Dan Berger, here in spirit as well as in kudzu.
Team Rainbo in Athens, Bob, the Bobarazzi and Tom
Team Rainbo in Athens, Bob, the Bobarazzi and Tom
Finally I capture a shot of skating's other master photographer. Sorry Blake, it was early, my hand was still shaky.
Finally I capture a shot of skating's other master photographer. Sorry Blake, it was early, my hand was still shaky.
Nina throwing down
Nina throwing down "victory through skating" about 5 miles outside of Athens.
The front half of our early pace line. Tom you must be expecting to be skating until dark, why else the blinky light on your helmet?
The front half of our early pace line. Tom you must be expecting to be skating until dark, why else the blinky light on your helmet?
Once again skating with Allen Hooker. Holy s--t Allen, you're number 4 on the DuraSkater ranking. Nice work, dude.
Once again skating with Allen Hooker. Holy s--t Allen, you're number 4 on the DuraSkater ranking. Nice work, dude.
Tom easily moving uphill, after the pace line was chased by a pit bull pulling 10 yards of heavy chain. That dog easily ran 3 miles with us swinging that chain along the road; sometimes as close as 3 or 4 feet from us, twice cutting through the line to run on either side of the road. My what a competitor.
Tom easily moving uphill, after the pace line was chased by a pit bull pulling 10 yards of heavy chain. That dog easily ran 3 miles with us swinging that chain along the road; sometimes as close as 3 or 4 feet from us, twice cutting through the line to run on either side of the road. My what a competitor.
Yes you're seeing right, the road is closed ahead. No asphalt, only curbs, the first half of the clay was packed hard enough to skate on, maybe about 100 yards...
Yes you're seeing right, the road is closed ahead. No asphalt, only curbs, the first half of the clay was packed hard enough to skate on, maybe about 100 yards...
then it was skate along the 18
then it was skate along the 18" curb until you reach a concrete barrier. I don't think my wheels are rated for climbing.
Tom on a flier, I followed, as did several others. We never looked back.
Tom on a flier, I followed, as did several others. We never looked back.
1 gently rolling hill and a couple of skaters up ahead to catch.
1 gently rolling hill and a couple of skaters up ahead to catch.
Herb says
Herb says "Hi" to Greg Major and wonders why Greg isn't skating.
38 mile finish, now it's on to the
38 mile finish, now it's on to the "second half".
After Dacula this is our entire pace line.
After Dacula this is our entire pace line.
Presently we're rolling at a pretty good clip; I'm in a full tuck as I shoot this.
Presently we're rolling at a pretty good clip; I'm in a full tuck as I shoot this.
Look closely into this photo, yep that's the road dipping away and heading right back up again.
Look closely into this photo, yep that's the road dipping away and heading right back up again.
A bit of street-sign humor just before the big Silverhill drop. Fashion (or safety) advise for the well-dressed masochistic skater.
A bit of street-sign humor just before the big Silverhill drop. Fashion (or safety) advise for the well-dressed masochistic skater.
I believe this is the last shot of the three-man pace line pulling away from me. Leaving me to think that I better put the camera away and start skating. Allen picked me up just past rest stop six to save my aching back.
I believe this is the last shot of the three-man pace line pulling away from me. Leaving me to think that I better put the camera away and start skating. Allen picked me up just past rest stop six to save my aching back.
Like to see sparks while you skate? Try skating with no toe wheel. About mile 83 my left skate decided to divest itself of some excess weight.
Like to see sparks while you skate? Try skating with no toe wheel. About mile 83 my left skate decided to divest itself of some excess weight.
Tom McCue looking at the finish line for something like the 11th time.
Tom McCue looking at the finish line for something like the 11th time.
Nina and Goetz at the finish. Nice style Goetz.
Nina and Goetz at the finish. Nice style Goetz.
Travel buddies ready to go again.
Travel buddies ready to go again.
Rockford travel buddy, and team A-R member, Dr Dan showing off what that one silly calorie in Diet Coke can do for the male form.
Rockford travel buddy, and team A-R member, Dr Dan showing off what that one silly calorie in Diet Coke can do for the male form.
Rockford buddy Kurt, looking happy after a great day on the road.
Rockford buddy Kurt, looking happy after a great day on the road.
Rockford buddy, Marcy - just looking great.
Rockford buddy, Marcy - just looking great.
Nina accepting no substitutes.
Nina accepting no substitutes.
The only thing uglier than this bedspread is the black from my boots coming off on my feet.
The only thing uglier than this bedspread is the black from my boots coming off on my feet.
Whoops for Eddy.
Whoops for Eddy.
Firstplace finishers in the 87, 52 and 38 mile distances. Eddy gets his second winner's plate in one 24 hour period.
Firstplace finishers in the 87, 52 and 38 mile distances. Eddy gets his second winner's plate in one 24 hour period.
Bob H. picking up his booty. For shaking his booty out on the road.
Bob H. picking up his booty. For shaking his booty out on the road.
Nina the same.
Nina the same.
Goetz and Kai chilling in chilly Atlanta. See you next year folks.
Goetz and Kai chilling in chilly Atlanta. See you next year folks.

Friday & Saturday/Race Day




Copyright 2003 Bob "Bobarrazi" Ryan