Sweet Onion Cyclists News
Vidalia, Georgia
Oct-Dec 2001
Updated 1/25/02
On line at last, January 1, 2002!
Happy New Year!  Since this edition of the Sweet Onion Cyclists News is three months rolled into one, it is sort of long, but all so good!
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Here's what's in this Newsletter:

Past Events: Articles: Coming Events:

The First Annual Claxton Individual Time Trial Results
Report by Abe Glaser
October 28, 2001 was a brisk and nippy morning.  As they say in the South, it was "a bit airish".  Billy Blanton wanted to ride, so he arrived about 8:00 am.  Billy was early so he could open his store, The Bike Shop in Statesboro.   After a short warm-up, Billy took of on the 10.5 mile route.  Abe Glaser was positioned at Hwy 169 to block traffic as he entered the main highway.  As expected, Billy was hunkered down and moving very fast with the wind at his back.

Pegi Boatwright (who owns Gailey Trophy) was the sponsor of the event.  Pegi graciously provided hot coffee, donuts, biscuits and PowerAde for the ride.  Pegi’s company also provided the trophies.  Royce Smith was there to help.  Royce could not ride this day due to a physical problem with his feet.

Excitement was high as Billy Blanton came into sight for a blazing fast finish.  The wind at his back he never let up as he powered to the finish line hitting 30 plus MPH at the end.  Billy’s time was the time to beat.

As the time grew closer to 10:00 AM, the stating time for the rest of the Time Trialers, they began to arrive by the carload.  The Smith boys were there early and many more from the CBTC. Mike Erickson and Doug James from the Sweet Onion Cyclists arrived.  Thanks to Mike Erickson for providing three radios so the home base could stay in contact with the road blockers.  The radios helped in finding our lost rider later in the day.

As you can see below, riders were placed in their own age group. This gave the riders a way of knowing who they would compete against.
The wind never died down, but gusted from time to time.  As in all races, strategy counts.  The start was fast with the wind to your back.  The backstretch proved to be tough, riding into the wind.  Those who were wise enough to conserve their strength for the final run with the wind to their back had some great finishing times.  A few riders had high speeds in the low thirties.  The crowd cheered the participants as they approached the finish and excitement ran high as we found that the favored riders would not be the top dogs this day.

Most of the group drove to Harry’s Barbeque for an after-ride lunch with friends and the jokes and banter made it a great way to end the day.

Cyndi assists Gary at starting line, Pegi is the time keeper

 Participants Listed in order of departure.
18-29 Men  Daniel Smith 32.08 19.61 
30-39 Men Chris Burke 34.01 18.52 
Doug James 33.21 18.61 
David Smith 39.00 16.15 
Shan Venable 31.47 19.82 
Steve Haynes 33.05 19.04 
40-49 Men  Ray Maddox 29.55 21.06 Third fastest man
James Jackson 31.19 20.21
Alfie Cofield 40.39 15.50
Gary Beall  28.04 22.45 Fastest man tied for high overall
 Donnie Arrington 34.18 18.37
40-49 Women Cindy Jackson 28.04 22.45 Fastest Women Tied for high overall
50-59 Men  Billy Blanton 29.17  21.51  Second fastest man
Mike Erickson 32.09  19.60
Bob Ventura 35.45 17.62
Mike Sasser 36.06  17.45
50-59 Women  Sharon Ventura 36.13 17.40  Second fastest woman
60-69 Men  Art Wagner 32.05 19.64
Ken Laidlaw DNF Got lost
60-69 Women Terry Laidlaw 39.00 16.15  Third fastest woman
 Official Time Keeper - Pegi Boatwright

Volunteers -  Mike Chumley, Winona Chumley, Abe Glaser, Royce Smith

 Special thanks to Pegi Boatwright and Gailey Trophy Co for PowerAde, pre-ride snacks, do-nuts, coffee, and for Sponsoring this event.

 Special thanks to Alfie Cofield for removing sand from roads.
 Special thanks to Rehobeth Baptist Church for allowing us to use their rest rooms.

The Benton Lee Ride... from a stoker’s (limited) view
By Ann Erickson

The morning of September 29 dawned Bright, Brisk & Breezy.  Everyone in the parking lot had their layers on, as it was one of the first really chilly days of autumn.  We climbed the hill from the river just after 8 a.m. and the sun, in a cloudless blue sky promised us a gorgeous day.
Riding through fields of sunflowers and cotton ready for picking made one feel “right with the world”. Even the truckloads of pigs passing occasionally made us smile - as we wondered what exciting pig-happening was on the day’s schedule.

It didn’t take very long for us to begin peeling off those layers, tho – and thanks to the sag wagon, where we stored them, we were able to shed a few items at each rest stop until everyone looked like a regular cyclist!

Learning to ride on the back of a tandem hasn’t been too difficult at all.  I guess that’s because I have a great teacher. 

Plus I don’t (usually) have a SERIIOUS control issue.  I trust my husband to take good care of me & make good judgements!  I am learning that going up hills are slower than a regular bike and that going down hills are really fast & fun (if you don’t think of what a crash could do to you – but maybe that adds to the safety factor!).  The few things that bother me such as getting my “sit bones’ in condition and knowing how & when to shift my weight will dissipate as I become more experienced.  But I DO wish I could see better.  Ever heard of a tandem-designed periscope?  Since Michael does all of the steering and shifting I am free to do lots of things with my arms…….exercises…..hugging……and taking pictures – a few of which are attached
I had determined to ride about 30 miles and then Michael would trade the tandem for his Trek (which was riding in the sag wagon) and I would finish out the ride as Abe’s passenger.  Abe faithfully stopped every few miles near the end to ask if I still wanted to continue.( He was so faithful to serve us like this only 2 days post-op on his poor thumb).  Well, can you believe that I went the entire 50 miles?  It’s my longest ride on record!  (Of course we had only had the tandem about 6 weeks at this point). The last 1 ½ to 2 miles began to get me, but I could smell victory & wouldn’t quit.  Riding down the hill into the parking lot was great fun, and planning that “pose” that would generate peals of laughter took away the fatigue.  As usual, the comraderie around lunch was the best part of the ride!

Driving SAG
by Abe Glaser

Driving SAG gives us a different view of cycling.  Being a cyclist is not enough to know how to do this job.  Knowing what the cyclists need is important and knowing which cyclists will need help is essential. The stragglers are the ones who need SAG the most.   Many are new to cycling or some may have not ridden lately.  These two types of riders are in danger of heat exhaustion or just plain fatigue.  There is always the possibility of mechanical failure, but generally, bikes kept in good condition do not have problems on bike rides.  Preventive maintenance cuts the failure rate down dramatically. 

Learning to drive safely is paramount for SAG drivers.  It is most important to give the cyclists a wide birth when passing.  SAG drivers must also watch the oncoming traffic.  There can be no passing on curves.  Trying to pass on cures compounds the difficulty of keeping away from the riders and heading directly into oncoming traffic.  In any event, it is illegal to pass on a curve.

SAG must stop often enough to make sure all riders have liquids and or food.  Most cyclists will not ask the SAG vehicle to stop.  I think cyclists feel that is wimping out.  Part of the job of a SAG driver is to just be there when the riders come along  so they can stop and rest for a few minutes.  Just two to five minutes of rest and a cool drink will refresh the cyclist and he can get back out there and ride.

On an unforgettable day of BRAG in some blistering heat (above 95 degrees) I had gone about 70 miles and was close to the end of the ride, but was so sore and tired I just sat down by the side of the road, took my shoes off and leaned back.  Along came a SAG truck and out jumped this nice lady who asked me if I was OK.  I said yes, I was OK, but she could see I was not well.  Without asking, this woman got down on her knees and started massaging my feet!  I tell you, that was heaven on earth!  The lady filled my water bottles and saw to it that I was up on the bike and able to ride before she left me.  I made it into camp with a smile on my face.

Next time you see a SAG driver, wave to them - they deserve to get acknowledgement for a job well done. 

Are you interested in Lights for Night Riding?
A Revue
By Abe Glaser

Several of our club members own lights for riding at night.  Some of us have tried various inexpensive lights with mixed results.  Most of the best lighting systems are very expensive, starting at over $100.00 and can run as high as $300.00 or more.  At the other end of the spectrum are the inexpensive lights in the $20.00+ range.

Recently while surfing the Internet I found the web site of the Middlebury Bike Club of Vermont.  This club has been experimenting with lighting systems for several years and has come up with a very functional and inexpensive way to build your own set-up if you don't mind tinkering and tweaking.

The heart of a lighting system is the battery pack and Jim Arnold of the Middlebury club, has done a good bit of research to find out what works best for the money.  Jim has tried many different battery types and feels the best bet is six rechargeable D cells, duct taped together to fit in a water bottle cage.

The bulbs Jim uses are MR16 ESX-FG 12V 20W 120 .  This small spotlight throws a tremendous amount of light for its size and weight. Since the Middlebury Club rides in 24 hour races, they need lights that last a long time and can throw lots of light, especially on the downhill runs in the woods.  The system is inexpensive enough to allow two lights on the handlebars and one on the helmet.  Get ready for this: the amount of light is awesome when you consider how little it costs!

Charging the lights can be done with a standard outlet charger but you must be careful not to overcharge.  You can also use a charger that utilizes the cigarette lighter in a vehicle without fear of damage to the battery pack.

For the Sweet Onion Cyclists, CBTC or Noname Bike Club who may wish to commute or do club rides at night; one light is enough and at the most two.  I invite you to visit the Middlebury Bike Club web site at www.bikeclub.org. Scroll down to the link for the lighting page or go directly to the lights page, www.bikeclub.org/lightspa.htm.  You will find a detailed article and excellent pictures.

Royce Smith and Mike Erickson have expressed some interest in building these lights.  Jim Arnold has graciously sent a set of three lights with two different chargers, an ohmmeter and all the wiring for our club to play with to see if we can use this type of lighting system.  Jim has built one light so we can observe the finished product in action

Mike has said he would like to give it a try.  Are there any club members that would like to get together for a light building session?  Please e-mail me at abe@letsride.net or call 912-537-9999.

The Shrimp Ride to Shellman Bluff
November 3, 2001
By Mike Erickson and Royce Smith

The purpose of the Shrimp Ride was to prepare ourselves for the Cruisin’ In the Country Century on Nov 10th. The original idea came from Andy Perkins, but David Perkins did much of the planning and he enlisted Alfie Cofield to write a cue sheet.
The majority of the group met in Glennville, but Mike Erickson, Mike Chumley, Alfie Cofield, Terry Carswell, and I decided to ride to Glennville from 20 miles away.  Mike Erickson, Terry, and I departed Hagan at 8:00; Mike Chumley and Alfie left Bellville at 8:30.  After Mike Erickson and I met at 8:00 AM in Hagan, we rode a mile to join Terry at his house. Terry’s wife, Nancy, snapped our picture before we left. My intention and assumption was that we would take it easy on the ride to Glennville, but Mike Erickson kept the pace high. We set a brisk clip and were in Glennville by 9:15. 
Mike’s average was 16.1 mph. Terry remarked that the pace was "a little faster than he was accustomed to". One of the most remarkable things that happened on the way to Glennville was the German shepherd that chased Mike. That canine matched Mike’s speed at 28 mph! Pretty fast for a big dog.  The poor animal was too tired to chase Terry and me.
We arrived at Hardee’s in 1 hr and 15 minutes. We had breakfast and waited on the others who began arriving at 10:00. Cyclists assembled in the parking lot while Terry took pictures. We mounted our bikes and departed shortly after 10:30. Abe Glaser drove his truck, and Kelli Perkins and Grandma Perkins drove David’s SUV. Abe Glaser and Kelli Perkins provided excellent SAG support the entire trip. Abe is experienced at driving SAG, but Kelli maintained contact via radio with David for direction and instructions. 

Before departing Hardee’s I cautioned the others about Ed Jewel. I told them to ignore the age of the man and the bike. I warned them about Ed’s speed, and he rode exactly as I predicted – chain in the big ring, elbows in the aero bars, and a constant 20-mph. He was off the front of the pack before leaving the city limits of Glennville. Only Mike Erickson and Mike Chumley could stay with him. I did not see Ed again until we stopped at the garrison post at Fort Stewart.

David, with daughter Kelli and Grandma Perkins

Mike Erickson’s comments about the initial miles upon leaving Glennville: “Mike Chumley and I took off towards the front of the pack. I looked up and Ed Jewell was pulling away from the entire group. When I finally caught up with him, he was cruising at 20 mph with his bike just a clanking away. Apparently, there's something in his front wheel that's making noise and according to Ed, "Been that way for years".”

The first leg of the trip took us over Hwy 144 through the Fort Stewart reserve. Hwy 144 to Fort Stewart is flat save for one hill south of Glennville.  Motorists seem to respect the Army police who patrol the reserve, so they maintained the posted speed limit. Hwy 144 is not a busy highway, but the traffic we encountered was careful when overtaking us.
The Fort Stewart entrance on Hwy 144 is 25 miles away from Glennville; it was a good place for an informal rest and regroup stop. A half dozen cyclists were there when I arrived, and Abe and Kelli arrived in the sag vehicles soon afterwards. We took the opportunity to refill our bottles from the water cooler as Terry took more pictures. David, Andy, Jason, Alfie and I had scouted the route to Hinesville on Oct 20th, so we knew that the Army would not allow us to enter the base.  Due to our previous scouting ride, we knew the route around the base into Hinesville.

Mike Erickson played the role of “mother hen” and kept a watchful eye for anyone falling behind. He doubled back several times to draft others back into the pack. Below are his comments about the ride to Hinesville: “The ride to Hinesville was great fun. There were a couple of pace lines that I tried to pull together. I'm not sure if they hung together after they linked up as I turned around to go back and check on Royce and James Roberts. By the time I caught up with the front group, they were at an unofficial rest stop near one of the entrances to Fort Stewart. The Fort was all buttoned up ~ no ride through there this year!”

Our rest stop at Fort Stewart lasted about 15 minutes. Alfie Cofield is always concerned that he will be dropped; it is his habit to slip away to get a head start. David has learned Alfie’s tricks, and he left with him. Alfie’s and David’s sneaky departure was our signal that our rest time was over. We hurriedly mounted our bikes to catch them. The intersection light at the garrison post stopped us and allowed Alfie and David a mile head start.  Alfie and David were out of sight before the reminder of the pack left the intersection. I got away from the intersection first; my pace was just under my anaerobic threshold as I worked my way closer to Alfie and David.  I did not have to look, but I knew Mike E., Mike C., and Doug were close behind. I caught Alfie and David about the same time the chasing threesome caught me. We greeted Alfie and David as we coasted by.

Some of the best pacelines form without a word being spoken; it is part of their beauty.  The four of us fell in line as well as any squad of soldiers at Fort Stewart. Mike E. moved to the front, and I slipped in behind him. Mike C. and Doug rode behind me. Even though I knew the route, I was willing to ride in Mike E’s draft and give turn instructions from second position in the paceline.  We hammered in unison to Shoney’s. I suffered at the end of the day due to the energy I spent in that paceline, but it was a thrill for me to ride with the speedsters for a few miles.
l-r are Terry, Royce and Mike
Mike Erickson’s comments about running down Alfie and David: “Royce, Mike C., Doug James, and I caught up with them, then formed a pace line for the last 5 miles into Hinesville. We set a smooth steady pace that approached 26 mph all the way in. The four of us arrived so far in front of the rest of the group that we had time to put up our bikes, run inside the restaurant, grab toothpicks, and act like we'd already eaten. I think we were the only ones who were amused.” Mike’s comments about the ride after lunch at Shoney’s: “Lunch was kind of slow. I don't believe the poor waitress was ready for us. Many of us just had soup or salad from the salad bar. After lunch, the foursome paceline set up and pulled out first. We stopped at a service station where the rest of the pack passed us. They didn't even bother to slow down, so off we went again in pursuit. They were tough to catch. After what seemed like 5 miles or more I finally caught them. James Roberts said, "Here he comes, there he goes", as I passed the group. By this time, I was totally out of water. 
I could see someone in my rear view mirror gaining on me. It was Doug James. Abe pulled over and I grabbed one of my Gatorades then took off to catch Doug. The two of us rode on and didn't see anyone for what seemed like 20 miles. We were beginning to worry that either we were lost or something happened. We stopped at McDonalds by I-95 where I bought two bottles of water. After about 10 minutes, the rest of the group came on by. We all stopped at the smallest church in the USA for another group shot. The final run to Shellman Bluff was uneventful.  Royce put on an extra 20 miles to round out the day to an exact 100 miles. Most of us arrived at Speed's Kitchen about 30 minutes before they opened. Not finding a restroom anywhere nearby, several of us, who wished to change, ducked under the barbed wire fence to change clothes. It was good to get out of our damp riding clothes and a more than a little adventuresome to bare our bottoms to the breeze.”

The following list made the day memorable for me: riding from Claxton with Terry and Mike E., good starting location in Glennville, good route, good company, sag vehicle with water and Gatorade, tolerant motorists, great weather, no flat tires, no bloody
accidents, riding in a fast paceline with Mike E., Mike C., and Doug J., riding in a slower paceline with James and Ervin, seeing Abe back in the saddle, seeing Mike E. pull James back into the pack, Terry's pictures, well-planned rest stops, logging 100 miles, presenting Ervin with a bandanna, hearing Alfie's recollection of riding in Elon's paceline, delicious boiled shrimp, and having dinner with my favorite girl friend.

Comments by Doug James:

I thought the ride was really neat.  It was different than our normal ride-in-a-loop rides.  I was very disappointed in Shoney's, but then again I do not like long lunch stops.  I cramped-up noticeably after the long stop.  I like the $5 a head for snacks idea.

The length of the ride was good, fellowship good, and route interesting and different.  It was good to see Ervin there (I love seeing the young ones at the rides.)  It was good to see James, his bother, and son there as a family.

Supper was great.  I would not say that it was spectacular, or better than others that I have eaten, but it was a good ending to the long day.  Sag was awesome!  I could not speak any higher about Dave's family or Abe's contribution.  They were right on top of us, took care of us, and helped us through the route.  I was very impressed.  I wish that we could have that caliber of sag on all of the rides.....or pretty sag drivers like Dave's daughter (just remember your driver's license next time!)...no offense Abe.

Overall, I give it two thumbs up.  Dave did a great job.

- Doug

The cyclists who attended:
No Namers: Terry Carswell, Mike Chumley, Jason Cochran, Alfie Cofield, Andy Perkins, David Perkins, Ervin Roberts, James Roberts, Nick Roberts, and Royce Smith.
James, Nick, and Ervin Roberts and Jason Cochran are cyclists from Glennville. These fellows are now riding with us due to David Perkins’ efforts.

Metter cyclists: Elon Flack, Nancy Norton, and Doug James,

CBTC: Ed Jewel and Shari Laist

Sweet Onion Cyclists: Mike Erickson, Abe Glaser, and Lamar Martin

Several of the pictures in this edition of our Newsletter are borrowed from Terry’s pictures which are posted at http://y42.briefcase.yahoo.com/nonamebike/
Look for more pictures of this ride at the above link, and look for pictures entitled Shrimp Ride 001- 012.

A Review by Abe Glaser

Several computer programs are available to keep track or your cycling statistics.  CYCLESHEET 1.01TM  is unique in that our own club member, Royce Smith, wrote it.  So why would anyone need this program?  It has been a year since we last visited the program, CYCLESHEET 1.01TM.  Let’s have a look.

Most of us are trying to improve as cyclists, even if we cannot be a racer.  We look forward to reaching the next cycling goal of greater annual miles, faster average speed, and longer road trips.  The simplest way to keep track of your data is to buy a small book and enter the data you need and do the calculations.  Your cyclocomputer will give you most of the information you need.

This method is fine for the casual cyclist.  For those of us who “Live to ride,” to borrow a phrase from Harley Davidson TM, we need more info and quicker computing.  This is where our computer comes into the picture.  Computers can do the math very fast and in a spreadsheet they can crunch the numbers as quick as you can press a key.  If you are busy and you want to get on with the day, the CYCLESHEET 1.01TM Program takes all the drudgery out of the calculations, saves the data and can be viewed any time the computer is on.  You will find that you will enter the day's ride information as soon as you return from the day's ride.  It becomes such a habit you will enter your statistics before you look for the day’s e-mails.  First we check the day’s ride and how it has affected the monthly average MPH.   After a glance at your monthly and life statistics we move on the total miles for the month.  Perhaps aafter a comparison of this month with last month you are ready to face the rest of the day.

It is surprising how the mind brings you back to these statistics during your day.  You will compare this day with other days and try to determine what happened to make this day better or worse.  The data makes the difference.  If you don’t have it handy, you probably will not track it, hence you will never know the statistics.

The cost of CYCLESHEET 1.01TM is only $5.00!  This is not a fee, this is a giveaway.  The author, Royce Smith, does not make a profit on the sale of his program.  The intent is to make it easy for cyclists to keep track of their statistics, so the cost is super low.  You just pay for the disk and postage!

Check below to get all the information from this little gem of a program which is a must for every cyclist.


CycleSheet is a spreadsheet template that works with Microsoft Excel 97.

After returning from your bicycle ride, enter the miles and elapsed time into CycleSheet.xls template.  This information may be obtained from a cyclo-computer attached to your bicycle.  The formulas in CycleSheet 1.01 will do all the calculating for you.

Explanation Of Calculations

TOTAL = The total number of miles, time, and average speeds of all rides during this month.
AVG.  MONTH = The monthly average of miles and time spent cycling during this month.
YEAR to DATE = The total number of miles logged year-to-date.
BEST MPH = The highest average speed achieved on a ride during this month.
LONGEST RIDE = The longest ride in miles during this month.
No. of  RIDES = The number of times you rode your bike during this month.
Avg. Ride Info = The average length in miles and time for all rides during this month.
LIFE MILES = The number of accumulated miles from previous years added to the current Year to Date total.
Test =  Cell range A41-AI41 is necessary to calculate monthly mileage averages if a user begins entering data in some month other than January.

Entering Data
To enter the miles and elapsed time from a ride on February, 17th:
1. Click on the left/right scroll arrows at the bottom of the spreadsheet to move to the month of February.
2. Click on the up/down scroll arrows at the far right of the spreadsheet to move down to the 17th day.
3. Click on cell E19 under the heading marked Miles.  Enter the miles in the following format: nn.n or nn.nn.  For example, if the distance of your ride was 25.4 miles, enter 25.4.
4. Click on cell F19 under marked Time.
5. Enter the elapsed time in the formula in following format: hh:mm:ss.  For example, if the elapsed time of your ride was 1 hour, 35 minutes, and 28 seconds, enter 1:35:28 in F19.  Use a colon to separate the numbers as the example illustrates.
6. Click on another cell under the Miles column to enter more information.
7. Save your worksheet before closing

To Enter Life Miles
1. Click on cell B41.
2. Click on the Formula Bar at the top of the spreadsheet.  You will see the formula =SUM(0+B34).  Substitute the number of miles you have accumulated in previous years for the zero in the formula.  For example, if you have logged 5000 miles in previous years, the formula will be the following: =SUM(5000+B34).
3. Press the Enter key.
4. Save your worksheet before closing.
You will have to enter Life Miles only once a year; CycleSheet will provide a total thereafter.

CycleSheet computes monthly averages by the number of months that have entries.  For example, if you have entered mileage for January, February, and April, and you have not entered any mileage data for March, it will divide the Year to Date total by 3 instead of 4.

Add a comment to a cell in the Miles column for each ride.  Enter information such as the names of your riding partners, the route you took, or weather conditions.  The Comments option is located in the Insert menu, or you may Right Click on the cell to Insert Comments.

Cells with a red triangle in the upper right corner contain a comment.  You may view this comment by placing the cursor on these cells.  You may change the comments in any cell by Right Clicking on the cell and choosing the Edit Comments option.

Nearly all cells containing a formula are locked and password protected. If you attempt to view or change protected cells, MS Excel will display an error message. Click on another cell, and the error message will disappear. CycleSheet passwords will remain secret.

If you have entered values in a cell under the Miles column and a value in a cell under the Time column and later decided to delete them, you will see the error code #VALUE!, in the corresponding Avg. Speed cell.  To eliminate this error code, RIGHT CLICK on the corresponding Time cell.  Click on the Clear Contents option.

Royce Smith makes no warranty, representation, promise, or guarantee, either express or implied, statutory or otherwise, with respect to the CycleSheet Template, user documentation, or related technical support, including its quality, performance, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose.

Royce Smith or the CycleSheet Template is in no way affiliated with Microsoft Excel or the Microsoft Corporation.

You may copy the CycleSheet 1.01 template as often as you wish for personal use.  You may not loan, rent, lease, or otherwise distribute it.

If you want a calculation that is not in CycleSheet 1.01, e-mail Royce Smith at royces@bulloch.com  and request it.  If you need help, send your questions to the same address. You may contact Royce by mail at 404 South College Street; Claxton, GA  30417. Phone: 912-739-8889.

Join Royce on the second Saturday in November each year for the Cruisin' In The Country Century held annually in Claxton, GA.   Visit the website at http://web.infoave.net/~royces for a registration form, directions, comments, etc.  Visit the Guest Book to see what others have had to say about this ride.  Read on for a report from this year's ride.

Cruisin’ in the Country November 9-11 2001
By Abe Glaser
This year’s Cruisin’ ride started the same as last year for Abe Glaser and Dan Brown.  The two members of the Sweet Onion Cyclists met at Dan’s house after work on Friday and headed over to Claxton to spend the night in the gym and visit with old friends.
Abe and Dan found MJ Lowe, her cousin and friend Terry set-up with sleeping bags so the guys settled in next door and near the rest rooms.  Royce Smith and Pegi Boatwright had planned for 600 riders but it looked as though there would be more than 800!
After checking in and getting the ride packet and wristband thoughts began to lean towards dinner.  Abe and Dan decided to try a local restaurant in Claxton and the pizza place was close by.  When they arrived an invitation was sent from the back room to join the Coastal Bicycle Touring Club for a private party. 
Abe and Dan accepted and found the CBTC feeling not much pain and having a great time.  The libations were freely passed and the group had a good time.  Don’t ask any specifics about the evening because few of them will remember.  So much for riding a bicycle for health purposes.

Among the CBTC in attendance were the headman and chief conspirator Franz Froelicher, the Smith boys, Dan and David plus several others who looked familiar but are too fuzzy to recall names.  See the picture for the participants.

After dinner, our cyclists returned to the Rec Department and sat in on the annual bonfire to chew the fat with old friends.  Doug James, wife Carolyn, son Charles, new baby and Doug’s brother from Michigan were there in a travel trailer.  Nancy Norton and Elon Flack from Metter were in attendance.  Our friends from Norcross Georgia, Bill and Barbara Carter were hunkered down by the fire.  It seems the Carters spend more weekends in South Georgia than they do at home.  Everyone was warm and chatting with friends and new friends as the evening wore on.

Royce and Pegi were telling the campers about the people from California who came sponsored by the Leukemia Foundation.  It seems as though these folks had taken up one motel and the whole floor of another and parties were going on there.

Leroy Fender was there from Jacksonville, Florida.  The Pecan Peddlers had their regular contingent from Albany, Georgia.  There were so many bike riders from all over the country it is hard to mention them all.

Around 11:00 PM it was time to go night night and our pals said their good-byes and headed for their sleeping bags.  It was chilly that night and the guys were glad they had opted for the warmth of the gym.

There was stirring at 5:30 and by 6:30 most riders were up and ready for the breakfast prepared by the Claxton Lyons Club.  On the menu were scrambled eggs, sausage patties, grits biscuits, bagels and blueberry muffins.  Orange juice and coffee rounded out the meal.  A good meal could be put together for $5.00 or less.

Several more Club members arrived after breakfast.  Libby Kimball, Jeff Glaser, Mike Erickson, Lamar Martin and Ben Mosley checked in.
A Tour Easy and 3 Bike E's in a neat little row
Dan, Abe and Ben decided to ride together.  Dan and Abe were to switch back and forth from Dan’s Bike E and Dan’s Tour Easy.  Dan graciously offered to let Abe try out his beloved bikes due to Abe’s sore hand from the crash six weeks prior.  The recumbent bicycles would allow Abe to do the metric century (64 miles) and keep the pressure off his hand that was very stiff from the cast and still very sore.

Leroy Fender and friend Brian from Jacksonville, Florida rode with the Vidalians for a while but had to move on down the road due to the slow pace.  Leroy and Brian had to drive home to Jacksonville after the ride.  Ray Maddox, Gary Beall, James and Cindy Jackson and Rudy Infiero passed the trio on their way to a Century.

Ben, Dan and Abe rode together and Abe and Dan switched bikes at each rest stop.  It became apparent that the SPD pedals from Abe’s bike on the Tour Easy did not fit Dan’s shoes and the Bike E did not fit Abe so well.  About half way Dan took the Bike E and Abe took the Tour Easy.  The ride went much better after that.  All there riders were out of shape so they rode along at some slow cruising speed that will not be mentioned here for fear of embarrassment.

One highlight to be mentioned here:  Abe did bond with that yellow Tour Easy.  The downhill burst of speed was incredible.  At one point, Abe rode on the rear wheels of a young guy and girl for a mile and they could not shake him.  As they approached a short downhill Abe checked the speedometer and it read 19 MPH.  Abe decided to see what this puppy could do so he kicked it.  His last glimpse of the speedo reading was 25 MPH as he hammered passed the two young hotties.  Their look of surprise is forever etched in his mind as he slammed passed them and powered his way up the next hill!
Abe being the mother hen that he is had to pull over eventually and wait for Ben and Dan to show up.  Lack of time in the saddle started to take its toll and by the last ten miles it was hard to keep on but there was a will to finish and the three cyclists did make it in to complete their metric century.  You will notice the violation of the, “No Pee,” zone as two of our club members ignored the DOT road sign just south of Reidsville.  These guys could have been ticketed if the local gendarmes had caught them.  Oh well, this Vidalia group is a wild and risky bunch!

Even with all the extra riders and the glut of riders who did not pre-register, the ride turned out well.  Pegi made sure there was enough to eat in rest stop food.  Pegi bought every cookie in Evans County the night before.  All rest stops were stocked and well run.  Even the rest stops that were closing still took good care of the riders. 

SAG vehicles were well marked and ever present for any assistance.  At one point at a rest break between rest stops, an SUV pulled up with a bike on the bike rack and out jumped Mike Chumley asking if we were OK.  We did not recognize him at first since he was wearing a suit.  Mike had finished his century and was on his way to a funeral.  Mike still had time to help his friends if he was needed.  What a guy!

The shadows were long as our guys pulled into the Rec Compound.  They were glad it was done and another Claxton ride into the record books.  Hopefully, next year they would be in better shape.

Dan’s lovely wife Bonnie showed up in time for the barbeque dinner, which is part of the ride and joined the members in a fine meal again hosted by the Claxton Lyons Club.  Veronica Nance had set up her massage table and several grateful riders partook of her fine massage therapy.

Bonnie hung with the guys for the Saturday night as the bonfire heated up again and everyone shared stories of the ride.  It turned out that there were 870 registered riders and it was stress management time for Pegi.  She handeled it like a pro and everything that could be done got done, even without the help from the Evans Chamber of Commerce that was expected.

Royce and Pegi will institute a program for next year where there will be a pre-register cut off date.  Wind shirts and caps must be embroidered and this takes time.  All pre-registered riders will be guaranteed a wind shirt and if you complete a century you will get a century cap.  If you do not pre-register, you will not get these items.  Please be aware of these new rules.

The wind shirt is as beautiful as it is functional.  It does indeed cut down on the winds effect on your body when it is cold.  The Century cap looks great and those who earn one should be proud to wear it.  Let’s all do our best to ride for a century cap next year.

Vidalia Christmas Parade, December 1
by Lamar Martin
The Vidalia Christmas Parade is one of the Sweet Onion Cyclists' favorite annual events.  This year was no exception, although club participation was down some from last year.  Still, with Mike and Ann on their tandem, pulling the kiddie trailer, Abe on his Cannondale pulling the Wheelie trailer, Ben on his beautiful red road bike, and me on my Tour Easy, we took up over 100' of the road as we rode figure 8's all along the parade route.  By the time we reached the Deli Factory for our annual post-parade lunch, we had pedalled over 14 miles!  You wouldn't believe how much fun it is, so please join us next year!
Also participating, but not shown is Ben Mosley
The beautifully decorated and professional looking signs that 
Ann made for each side of the kiddie trailer read,
"Share the Joy, Share the Road" 
with our web page and logo.
Lamar and Santa Bear on the Tour Easy, with our club logo 
on each side.  The cool looking antique fire truck with calliope playing Christmas carols followed us in the parade. By the end the beautiful old truck was running hot,  backfiring, and lunging at us!

Club meeting Tuesday, January 8

Please bring your significant other and join us for dinner, fellowship and a just a bit of business.  The meeting will be at Marios in the back room, 6:30 p.m..  We meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month-please include it in your planner.  The location varies to keep it fun and tasty. 

Pelican Point Ride
3rd Annual Pelican Point ride January 21.  Ride from Claxton for 80 miles or meet in Glennville for 60 miles.  Be at the Pelican Point Restaurant by 5:00 PM.  Get ready for some sho nuff good seafood buffet or order off the menu.  Prices are about $20.00 to $22.00 per meal and worth it.  Meet your non riding spouse or ask them to ride with us.

Dogs Attack Barney Bonfield
by Lamar Martin
As you may know, Barney Bonfield the sports announcer for our local radio stations and the morning show DJ for WYUM Radio 101.7 FM is a cyclist.  Barney was attacked and seriously injured when attacked by 3 dogs while riding in Montgomery County.  The attack occured on Conway-McDonald Road, the road which connects the Soperton shortcut (near Rabbits Truck Stop) to Thompson Pond Road.  These dogs have presumably been put to sleep.  This is a nice country road but if you ride it, do be careful because there may be other unpredictable dogs there.

Several of our club members, including Abe Glaser, Andy Miles and Ed Jewell have had more than their share of dog attacks. Their experience proves that it is not only the big dogs who can hurt you.  Just ask Ed, whose $12,000 medical bills, broken bones, and a slow, painful recovery, were the result of a small dog who caused him to crash his road bike.  Andy has also gone to the ER for minor abrasions and bruises caused by a small dog who got in his path and caused him to fall.  Even a squirrel, a cat or crooked stick lying on the road can wipe out a cyclist, so make sure they are out of your path.  I know this article is about dogs, but please think about this:  Recumbents - only half as far to fall, and you'll probably slide feet first, face up; not bad when you consider the hands first, face down dynamics of an upright!

Andy has also been bitten on two separate occasions.  Most recently, it was a white bulldog on Old Normantown Rd, that wouldn't stop biting until a neighbor came to the rescue.  Andy had stopped when he saw the dog charging, which is generally recommended if you cannot outrun the dog.  However, if you try this, it is imperative that you keep your bicycle between you and the dog.  In Andy's case, the dog was too fast.  The owner of that dog has subsequently built a pen for the dog in the backyard.  The other attack happened on Hwy. 86 near the Blueridge Community.  This one bit through Andy's shoe and into his foot.  I think this dog is still loose, so if anyone has trouble with him, please let Abe or me know.  This stretch of road is one of the most scenic for bicycling and we as a club need to make our routes safe from dogs with a history of chasing or biting.

The closest I have come to being bitten by a large dog, was on Sawmill Rd between Ailey and Higgston.  I just happened to be drinking from my water bottle at the time and squirted some in the dog's face.  Dan Brown was a short distance behind me and said he thought I shot the dog.  I too was amazed!  The dog froze up and tumbled head over heels for a long ways before skidding to stop!  I have also used HALT spray with success on one occasion.  The trick is to get the stuff on the dog's face so he licks it.  It is pepper spray.  Unless he licks it, it won't work.

Metaphysics teaches us that fear attracks the very thing we are afraid of, so basically I try to visualize a charging dog stopping, and I praise him for stopping, even before he stops.  It works.  Maybe it is just my talking to them, saying "Good Dog", putting lots of emphasis on the "Good", or maybe we really do manifest what believe?  In any case, it has been working for me for the past two years and I no longer panick when a  rottweiler is headed for me, I don't carry the pepper spray, or reach for my water bottle.  I simply thank the dog for being a good guard dog and for staying in his yard!  Jeff Glaser uses a similar attitude and a stern voice to stop dogs that are charging. Please don't laugh at me if I have to report next month that a doberman bit my face off while riding my Tour Easy (half as far to fall, but also closer to dog's teeth).

The dogs that make me jump out my skin are the ones in the back of pick-up trucks going 60 mph, who wait patiently until they're right in your ear before barking!  The shear shock of it makes me cringe.  I have some particulary colorful words of praise (NOT) for those fur bags.  In fact, they are usually a mile away before I am able to have another nice thought.

Here is my favorite dog story: Several years ago, while I was riding my MTB on a dirt road in Vidalia, I was struggling to stay upright on a gravel and sand downhill when a small dog got between my front wheel and the bottom bracket.  I felt sorry for the dog, but his much larger friends were also hot in pursuit so I kept cranking.   It seemed like the pedals made 4 or 5 revolutions tossing the dog to and fro until he finally bounced out.  I couldn't believe what had happened, until I finished my ride and saw the puppy poo poo on the top and sides of my bike shoes!  It was clearly the grace of God that I didn't fall down or get bit, and I never cease thanking Her for it.

I would like to make this a regular feature of the Newsletter.  If you have funny or serious dog stories to share with our readers, please send them to me, lamar@letsride.net.  Thanks!