Sweet Onion Cyclists News
Vidalia, Georgia
March-June 2002

Sweet Onion Century 2002 a Great Success!
by Abe Glaser

Abe and Jeff arrived at Southeastern Technical College early on Saturday May 4.  It was cool and crisp and hardly any wind.  The sun was not up yet and they knew it would be a great day for cycling.  The previous four days held rain and high winds but that seemed to have passed as the two Glaser’s put up the EZUP from The Bike Shop in Statesboro.
STC was the new Headquarters since Mr. Hardy; the principal at Toombs County High School had made it clear that the Sweet Onion Cyclists were not going to use his campus without some school club sponsorship. 

It had been a very trying week for the Sweet Onion Cyclists involved in making the ride a good one.  As the guys put the table under the EZUP, everything seemed to come together.  Thoughts of road marking maps and route descriptions were going though their minds.  Terri, Jeff’s wife was making last minute deliveries to rest stop volunteers.  She was thinking of the food, drinks and all the other things that make Rest Stop Coordinators go crazy.  As it turned out, much of the ride success hinged on Terri’s coordinating the rest stop staff and getting enough food and drinks to the rest stops at the right time.

Riders began showing up prior to 7:00 AM.  Libby Kimball checked in to handle registration.  After a fretful preregistration that saw just 96 preregistered riders we were uncertain how many walk-ups we would have but Terri was prepared for them.  Club members were surprised to have so many people show up and register the day of the ride.  The final tally was 151.  Cyclists from as far away as Kansas and Winter Park Florida came to ride the Sweet Onion Century.

The Hazlehurst gang arrived, Ray Maddox, James and Cindy Jackson, Rudy and his wife Vena Infierno.  Vena would play an important role as a SAG driver later.

The Pecan City Pedalers were checked in. Jim Anne Bret, Tom Clure and Linda all from the Albany area.  The Claxton area brought their riders.  Club member Royce Smith and Alfie Cofield and Mike Chumley rode the 100 route.  Speedsters, Paula Johns and Paul Hibbs from Statesboro were there. Doug James and Jude Becket arrived with Lamar Martin.  Dan Brown and Ben Mosley were ready to ride.  Club member, Rebekah Arnold came by to help with the ride.

At 7:10 a.m. it was discovered the route maps and descriptions had not been printed.  {editor's note:  yeah, I forgot. While Libby and Teri sweated great drops of blood (mine), I flew home in my little red Miata to print the route cue sheets and a few maps, and got back just in time for the 8:00 a.m. start}.  There were a few ticked off riders who were almost ready to head out, with or without the maps. {Thanks to those who helped mark the routes, it turned out that only a couple of complainers were left at ride end, and they only wanted maps as souvenirs from an otherwise perfect ride.  Your editor's cup overflowed with praise from happy riders}.

Dan Brown gave some last minute ride instructions and Andy Miles made the invocation for a safe ride.
Three of the McIntosh County High School Students completed the 100-miles
An interesting aspect of who the cyclists were became apparent when a check for six riders showed up from Macintosh High School in north Georgia.  The six were high school seniors who made pledges to raise $1,000 each for a classmate with cancer.  These kids, five boys and a girl, were not accomplished cyclists but made a commitment to go for 100 miles!  The kids showed up with some parents and a teacher to attempt the near impossible.  Two of the kids were seen pushing their bikes up the first big hill before the first rest stop at St. Matthews Church.  You will agree this was not a good sign. In the end, the Kids from McIntosh County were a big surprise.  Three of them rode the whole 100 miles!  Two rode 70 miles and one made it 40 miles.  This was an outstanding effort from some dedicated kids.

The routes this year were different.  Since the club had to relocate the headquarters to Southeastern Technical College, the stage was set to make some changes.  This year Toombs County was repaving roads countywide and this led Lamar Martin to speculate on changing the routes to incorporate these smooth new roads.   This meant figuring out the mileages and where to put the new rest stops.  Lamar was up to the task.  After several trial runs by bike the new routes were laid out.  Instead of a 25 there was a new 31-mile ride.  The 50, the metric century 63 miles and new full 100-mile century were set and the County would pave even more of these roads before ride day.

The 100-mile route would leave STC and go to Uvalda, then to the Montgomery County Courthouse in Mt. Vernon.  The ride would go north to Lothair-Soperton and then a long straight run on Hwy. 46 to Oakpark.  From Oakpark the route took the riders south on Hwy 86 to Lyons and then back to STC.  The 100 had seven rest stops.  Word has it that Royce Smith could be seen wading in Wildwood Lake on the 100-mile route.  This is a great way to cool off if the gators don’t get you.  Then again what gator would try to attack Royce Smith?

63-mile riders followed the 100-mile route to Mt. Vernon and turned right on MLK Blvd. Just past the railroad tracks.  The route continued south west on Petross Road and winding up at the Abundant Life Church.  From there a short ride through suburban Vidalia streets to STC.  The 50-mile route took riders to Cedar Crossing Road and then to the last rest stop for them at the Abundant life Church.

A lady was seen climbing the hill up to Hwy #1 where she would turn right and go to the first rest stop for the 31 milers.  This poor thing was grinding away in what seemed like a very big gear and a suggestion was made to shift down to the granny gear make it easier to spin.  The lady was quite upset with the suggestion since she was in the lowest gear of the second chain ring and there was no granny gear.  It seems her husband gave his wife an older Cannondale with down tube shifters and two big rings in front.   Since hubby was flying on the 100, the wife was left to fend for herself and if looks could kill, this writer would be dead.  A lame comment was made that she could hammer her way down to John’s Country Junction with a nice fast downhill but it is doubtful that she was elated to hear about the change in the terrain and just ground her way up to the turn.

The Sweet Onion Century ride offers a Century Club coffee mug to all those who complete a century, metric or full 100.  As a result of this policy an overwhelming number of cyclists go for the extra mileage to get their cup!  Fifty-three cyclists went for the 100 and twenty-eight did the metric.  More than half the participants rode for the mug.

The Salvation Army provided their Cook Wagon and Nelson and Jane Hodges did the honors.  Jane took the orders, meat or veggie and Nelson slung the burgers.  This husband and wife team helps us every year.  The Hodges’ are not club members but pitch-in and help because they want to.  Nelson was happy to get some extra special libation during his hot stint cooking.

As the riders checked in after the ride the comments were favorable.  Even some of the riders that were unhappy about the lack of maps and route descriptions congratulated the registration people for a great ride.  The well marked routes on excellent smooth roads and the well stocked and staffed rest stops pulled us out of a jam.
Abe presents check for $2000 to Patricia Dixon for the local United Way
The Sweet Onion Cyclists thank Patricia Dixon and all the United Way Volunteers.  Without them, there could be no ride.  This year our club was able to present the largest donation ever in the amount of $2,000 to Patricia Dixon and the United Way of Toombs, Montgomery and Wheeler Counties. 

Thanks to our sponsors and to Jeff Glaser who got most of the contributions.  Please thank our sponsors personally when you patronize these establishments:  Cintas, BB&T, Threlkeld Ford, Shoney’s, Mac Jordan, Meadows Regional Medical Center, Savannah Luggage, Southern Co., Vidalia Communications and Zaxbys. 


Thanks to Terri, Libby, Lamar, Mac, Rebekah, Mike and Ben.  There are always the few hard workers who make it happen for all the rest of the riders.

Editors note:  Thanks to Abe for leadership and more than his fair share of the work in pulling this great ride off.

Be sure and read Jude Beckett's story about the 2002 Sweet Onion Century.  Jude is such a talented and humorous writer, you'll want to read all her cycling adventure stories at www.run4istrun.com under the link, "girl with a bike".

A Cyclist Crossed the Road

A cyclist was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and
said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess."

He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke
up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful
princess, I will stay with you for one week." The cyclist took the frog
out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket.

The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a
princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the cyclist took the
frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a
beautiful princess and that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. 
Why won't you kiss me?"  The cyclist said, "Look I'm an bicycle rider. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."

The Jim Kruse Century May 25 & 26, 2002
By Abe Glaser

The ride this year began for some Sweet Onion Cyclists as they arrived at The James home in Statesboro.  Abe Glaser got there early in the afternoon of the 24th and a bit later Mike and Ann Erickson made the trip from Vidalia. The James’ son Charles has grown up to be quite a Spiderman fan.  His Grandma has spoiled him rotten and he had to show the guests all his “stuff.”  McKala, the baby is no baby anymore and makes her presence known.  She is affectionately referred to as the “Queen.”  You can figure out why on your own. Caroline, Doug’s wife, prepared a fine dinner of chicken and vegetables.  There were many oohs and ahs from her guests that included Royce Smith, Pegi Boatwright and Jason Cochran as well as the other houseguests.

The Saturday ride time was 8:00 AM.  Doug and Abe decided to ride over to Mill Creek Park since it was only three miles from the house.  Mike and Ann chose to drive the van over since they were going to The Bike Shop after the ride. It was still cool when the riders began showing up but the forecast was for high heat.  The weatherman would not be wrong this day. Sweet Onion Cyclists attending were Dan Brown, Libby Kimball, Ann and Mike Erickson rode their Cannondale tandem, Abe Glaser and Mac Jordan.  Club Members from far off Savannah, Claxton and Statesboro were speedster Harry Hutson from South Carolina, Royce Smith, and Doug James and Nancy Norton from Metter.  Mike Chumley and David Perkins were also in attendance. The Hazlehurst gang of two was Ray Maddox and Rudy Infierno.  Rudy’s wife Vena was there to shop and have lunch if the two of them got back in time from the Century ride.  Some day she will get a bike and see how much fun she is missing.

The Southern Cyclists were amply represented although they manned the headquarters table and rest stops all day.  Paula Johns seemed to be in charge but I bet she would question that statement.   If you have never helped put on a cycling event, you don’t know what stress you are missing.  Paul Hibbs, Eleanor Schneider, Paula and John Parrish were certainly there and there efforts are sincerely appreciated. John Parrish did a magnificent job of marking the roads.  Yes he used a lot of spray paint but you could not complain about not seeing the marks.  They were marked far before the turns and way out into the lane.  If you missed the mark on Saturday you must have been watching TV.

All the rides were new this year even though some of the roads were the same as before.  The Southern Cyclists have a full 100-mile century and it is as flat as the Statesboro area can be.  The fifty-mile was very beautiful.  Due to the rains the trees and grass were lush and the riders drank in the wonderful countryside. The roads themselves left something to be desired.  The pavement ran about 2/3 shake and bake and 1/3 smooth.  This was a pity since the entire ride was so well done.  There was one stretch of the 50-mile ride that Dan and Abe rode together that just about shook the bikes apart. Oh yes, they were going pretty fast on a nice downhill run hitting 33 and 38 miles per hour.  OK so quit complaining already!

The rest stops were well staffed, stocked and in the shade.  Porta johns were available and in some cases bathroom facilities were available inside buildings.  The SAG drivers were out there and the riders were never all alone.

The 25-mile riders got in early and had their Subway lunch provided by the Club.  The 50-mile group got in and finished up their day with sandwiches, cold drinks and great stories.  The Century riders were a whole ‘nother deal.  Sure the faster riders got in early but the ones who were pushing it trying to beat the heat had their work cut out for them. It got hot out there.  The temperature was at least 95 degrees and that can make it very hard to ride and finish 100 miles.  It always comes back to eating properly, drinking enough and enough training.  Many riders have a century in them but they won’t let it happen because they think they can’t.  Most of the time if you think you can and follow the rules to keep from getting heat exhaustion, you can do it!

Some of the riders who completed a century were: Ray Maddox, Rudy Infierno, Mac Jordan, Libby Kimball, Royce Smith, and Mike Chumley.  Mike and Ann Erickson rode the 50 on their tandem.  Dan and Abe rode the fifty.

The Jim Kruse ride offered a 60-mile ride on Sunday.  Abe was fortunate; he was able to spend a second night with the James family and ride on Sunday.  This was a ride to allow the Southern Cyclists of Statesboro to get out there and enjoy the route.  The club members had served as volunteers for Saturday and this was their turn to roll the blacktop.  A sag vehicle was available and one rest stop was positioned to serve the riders going out and coming back.

Abe hooked up with friend Jon Dillard who confessed he had not been on his bike for a year!  John did just fine and he promised to get back into cycling because he missed it and all his biking pals.

The Sunday route was different from the Saturday ride.  This time there was 2/3 smooth and 1/3 shake and bake.  This was much more satisfying and not so jarring as the day before.

About 200 riders participated in Saturday’s ride and about 50 showed up for Sunday.  The Southern Cyclists had their stuff together for this ride.  Thanks for putting on a good one!

Florida Trails Expedition
by Dave Sanderson

Harry Hutson at mural next to the Withlacoochee Trail during previous S.O.C. trip

This invitation from Dave Sanerson is highly recommended by Harry, Flem, Mike, Ed, Veronica and Lamar who participated in a similar ride on the Florida trails. 

Any parties interested in a four-day trip to ride some of the Florida Trails need to contact Dave at 826-1843. Plans are underway to leave Savannah early Monday, September 23 for Winter Park, Florida. Once there, we will ride the West Orange Trail and spend the night in Winter Park. The next day we move on to Inverness and take two days riding the
Withloochochie State Trail. Then on the next morning, drive to Tarpon Springs and ride the Panellas Trail. Distances will be determined by the group that agrees to take the trip. The idea is to have four people and four bikes per car. We will take as many people who wish to make the trip in as many cars as can be filled. Gas expenses will be shared by each car group. Motels room reservations will be made by with room mates, splitting the cost between the roommates. We will return to Savannah on Thursday or Friday, September, 26 or 27 (depending on the groups decision). The distances riding will be about 30 miles a day plus or minus a few miles. There is no extra charge for the trip, that is, no fee charged by bicycleSAVANNAH, LLC. Your meals will be on your own, and a recent trip revealed some nice places for lunch and dinner.
Call Dave at 826-1843 to make your reservations.


Should I lock my bike?
A good question and a good answer.

This question from a new rider on RAGBRAI is one most of us have had to deal with.  Do we lock our $1,000 plus bike while on rides?  Do I want to ride with that heavy old lock on the bike?  What would we do if our bike were stolen?  How would I get home?  We have all asked ourselves these questions.  Here are some answers from a forum on Bicycling Magazines website.  http://www.bicycling.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000684.html

I just moved to Iowa and RAGBRAI seems to be a big hit with bikers. I have already signed up. However, I am concerned about protecting my bike. Therefore, this is a question for anybody that has ridden on a weeklong ride. Should I carry a bike lock with me and lock my bike at all stops or when I am not in view of it?

Response # 1
I carry a lock but depending on your accommodations for the night you probably won't need it. My experience has been, everyone on RAGBRAI is in the same boat, the bike is the thing. Nobody messes with them (well, except the occasional drunk) Bring a lock just in case.

Response #2
You are usually going to see bikes ripped off in the first or second over night towns, or when ever we are in over night towns that have over 10,000 people. That's not always the rule, but these seem to be the riskiest times. I had a bike ripped off 6 years ago and it was locked up. It was in the first over night town. There were 4 of our bikes locked together and leaned up against a building. They clipped the cable and took 3 of the 4 bikes. Punched in the guts then kicked in the nuts would best describe my feeling.

The cops said most bikes ripped off in the first couple days are targeted bikes. People come in with Ryder trucks and know what they are looking for. They walk around and scout bikes they know they can part out or sale out right. They nick the bikes, put them in a Ryder truck and when they are happy with their booty they head back to Omaha, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Chicago, Des Moines, Madison, or where ever their evil little carcasses came from. I'm not a violent person by nature, but I don't think I would have any trouble participating in a public stoning if they ever catch any of these evildoers. I have never heard of anyone getting his or her bikes ripped off on the route. I think it's mostly because there are TONS of state troopers and sheriffs on the vehicle routes and bad guys tend to avoid the good guys if they can help it.  I have to admit; I am little more leery this year than my other prior 16 Ragbrai's. I bought a brand new Trek 5200 last fall that I am passionately in love with. I know with my luck I’m going to become the first guy to get his bike ripped off out on the route.  The only advice I would give is.

* If you don't have a second steed and you need to buy some time, Trek usually has 10 or 15 bikes on the ride you can test ride for a day. You might be able to pluck their heartstrings for a day, but probably not 2. See you on the route. I'll be the one in black cycling shorts and eating tons of homemade pie.

Preview Ride in Metter
By Abe Glaser
It was cold and overcast as about 30 cyclists converged on the parking strip in Metter.  Nancy Norton had worked out the details and the approval of several bike clubs to come join the fun.  Originally the idea of Steve Smith, CBTC, Coastal Bicycle Touring Club, Ride Director, and the ride was planned to start at 10:00 AM so the Savannians could get to Metter without breaking their alarm clocks to make it on time.

This became a club ride for the Southern Cyclists, the Coastal Bicycle Touring Club, the BoroBike Club, the NoName Bike Club and our own Sweet Onion Cyclists.  Members from each group showed up as well as some new folks who rode their first long group ride.

Dr. Nancy Norton had some maps of the new Metter route on hand and showed the participants a change in the main ride that would take the group out and back for around 34 miles.  The route, though unmarked was a fun ride at a leisurely pace.  Since the day was overcast at times it was cool and made a good training ride for preparation for the big ride in Metter soon to follow.

An after ride meal at JoMax Barbeque topped of a very good day of riding.

Cycling stories from Don True

If you think you have had some crazy things happen to you while riding you bike, get ready to read some really crazy stuff from Don True.  Just go to his web site and read on…


Hi Abe, 

Link up all you want. 

I'm glad you've enjoyed some TRUE stories. 

You must read on............ Christmas in Dover is really the best story of all. 



Cycle Utah, Spring 2002
by Lamar Martin

There is a complete review of this ride, including specifics of getting there, accomodations, transfers, the equipment I used (and a rating of how it performed) and a lot more pics on our website's Bicycle Adventure Stories/Photos page.  Please check it out by clicking on the Cycle Utah 2002 banner.

This 6-day van supported bicycle event is one of Adventure Cycling's most popular events and for good reason. Where else can you see such a variety of terrain, from desert to red rock canyons to alpine forests, and in a single  day of riding experience a high temperature of 100+ then sleep in a tent under a starry sky and awake to 30 F?  The terrain, while challenging, is all on nicely paved roads with good shoulders most of the way, and takes you from 2800' to over 10,600' and back to 2800' in just 6 days.  Along the route you visit two National Parks (Zion and Bryce Canyons), a National Forest and a National Monument.  The route is only 266 miles but with our excursions at Bryce Canyon, and exploring Zion, I ended up with 319 miles for the trip.

I highly recommend this trip, and feel it is correctly rated as an "intermediate" difficulty event. There are certainly some tougher rides than this, yet you will feel a great sense of accomplishment.  The 

A red rock natural arch

Click images for larger views.
A desert view
Road though alpine forest

Fending off father time.
Submitted by Abe Glaser
We are all getting older and once we get past age 30 it seems as though we are on the downhill run.  Those of us in our 50’S+ need some extra help to stay fit.  I found this article on the Internet that may help us older folks keep up with the training schedule we have.
Some simple but important changes in our lifestyle can make a difference in our performance and the overall quality of our lives.

Fending off Father Time: Stay-fit advice for aging athletes
By Matt Fitzgerald

Stretching specific muscle groups will help you avoid imbalances in your flexibility
In a USA Today article that appeared on the day of Michael Jordan’s return to regular-season NBA competition, an exercise physiologist talked about various physical aspects of aging that can deteriorate athletic performance. I found this article quite interesting. But it did not satisfy my curiosity completely. As an athlete myself, I wanted to learn about the measures one can take to counteract the effects of aging. So I called up Dr. Ed Burke myself and asked him what advice he would give the 38-year-old Jordan, and other athletes in his position. Here’s what he had to say.
Stretch more and better
    Loss of flexibility is a natural effect of aging that can be counteracted through a program of daily stretching. However, quite apart from aging, the repetitive movements involved in practicing any sport for a long period of time results in muscular imbalances that get progressively more extreme.
    These require targeted efforts to loosen and lengthen only those muscles that have become short and tight, because stretching all muscles equally will only take the imbalance to a higher level.
    Burke encourages every athlete, but experienced ones especially, to identify their short and tight muscles and devote special efforts lengthening them through stretching.
Rest and recover more
    Unless they continue to perform training sessions that match the intensity of workouts they performed when younger, older athletes cannot hope to perform near the level at which they were able to perform in their mid-twenties.
    And while many older athletes find that they can continue to perform these tough workouts well into their 40's, Burke says they cannot do them as often. Older athletes need to allow themselves more time to recover between their most demanding training sessions. The extra time may be given to outright rest, active recovery, or a combination of both.
Pump those antioxidants
    Free-radical damage, also known as oxidative stress, is now known to be one of the primary components of aging. Unfortunately, athletes are even more prone to free-radical damage than non-athletes. For this reason, they need to be especially vigilant in consuming antioxidants, those vitamins and vitamin-like compounds that protect against and repair such damage.
    Vitamins C and E are especially helpful to athletes, as controlled studies have shown they can dramatically reduce post-workout muscle soreness in the short term, in addition to minimizing long-term oxidative stress.
Practice nutritional recovery
    A large body of clinical research also has shown that consuming the right nutrients in the right amounts immediately after exercise can enhance recovery substantially. According to Burke, water, electrolytes, carbohydrate, and protein are needed most to rehydrate the body, restore muscle glycogen, and repair tissue damage.
    Since most athletes experience appetite suppression after exercise, Burke recommends getting all of the needed nutrients by consuming one of the sports drinks on the market that is designed especially for recovery. Choose one with a 4-to-1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein, as more protein will retard the flow of nutrients into the bloodstream and less will result in a less pronounced insulin spike, hence slower restocking of glycogen stores.
Train more efficiently
    Believe it or not, there are actually advantages to getting older, even for athletes. One of these advantages is accumulated knowledge of one’s own body, particularly as it reacts to various types of training.
    In other words, the more experience you have in training for a particular sport, the better able you become (supposing you pay attention) to determine which exercises, drills, workouts and training patterns work well for you and which ones are less effective, or downright counterproductive.
    Use this knowledge to your advantage. Design a training program that minimizes the less useful training and maximizes the stuff that gives you the greatest performance bang for the training buck.
Flex those muscles
    The older you get, the more important strength training becomes. One of the more crippling effects of aging for athletes is the gradual loss of muscle mass, and the loss of strength that it entails. Athletes in sports that don’t require tremendous strength are particularly susceptible, says Burke, as they tend to try and get by without resistance training.
    When you’re young, very often you can get away with it, but the older you get, the more important it becomes to train for strength specifically, no matter which sports you do.
Go to bed
    Another thing that many athletes try and get by without is sleep. In fact, chronic sleep deprivation is an epidemic in American society.
    Researchers have shown that sleeping too little leads to a host of problems from depressed immune function to decreased mental functioning. And according to Burke, skimping on sleep is also harmful to athletic performance, because during sleep the body secretes human growth hormone (HGH), which is a powerful agent of recovery and adaptation to training.
    Less sleep means less HGH and therefore less freshness for the next day’s workout. Treat yourself to an extra half-hour or hour of sleep each night and you’ll feel 10 years younger.
Hurry, HURRY, Step Right UP

In just 36 hours, Ed Jewell, Harry Hutson and Lamar Martin are leaving for St. Louis, MO for the Katy Trail 2002 Ride.  We still have room, and would love to have one more person join us.  We leave Saturday morning, June 22, so call or email me right away and join us.  Lamar@letsride.net  or phone 912-538-8444.  This is America's longest completed Rail-Trail (225-miles) and the trip is one of the best supported, most inexpesive rides ever, including BRAG.