APRR WebLog Archives: August 2003

Friday, August 29, 2003

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to introduce to you the Weblog’s first technical paper, written by APRR’s Yong H. T., through his own expertise and opinion. His paper hits home to APRR, as at least four of us had a direct and self-impacting experience from that of the topic of his words, during last year’s A2A. Please read this paper carefully, and take its contents to heart, because I, as one of the casualties of Rhabdomyolysis during last year’s event, can attest to the severity of its consequences.

The Proper Intake of Sodium-Concentrated Fluid for Events of Physical Extra-Endurance Exercise - Such as A2A
By Yong H. T., MD, PhD.
(Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist)

In physical endurance events and extreme exercises of physical endurance, the average athletic body loses about 1.52 liters of fluid per hour. An amount of fluid loss was initially determined through a scientific study; where, the participants were marathon runners and had participated in the Boston Marathon (26.2 miles) race [Buskirk & Beetham, 1960]. In that initial study, the amount of fluids that the participants had consumed was not carefully monitored. However, it can now be surmised that the actual loss of fluid from their bodies was even greater than reported.

Today, a number of subsequent studies have found that the amount of fluid loss through the body (i.e. breathing and perspiration/sweating) can fluctuate with changes in ambient temperature, humidity, training adaptation & acclimation to the environment, as well as in an individual’s own body weight. From the various studies, and through a medical perspective, three factors must be taken into full consideration for the proper replacement of a body’s fluids:
1. The VOLUME of fluid taken into the body,
2. The extent of OSMOLARITY of this fluid with the body, and
3. The proper BALANCE of ELECTROLYTES within the body itself.

VOLUME: A proper volume of fluid intake is necessary in order to maintain an adequate circulation of blood, as well as to perfuse body organs and systems for their proper functions.

OSMOLARITY: Is the concentration and/or density of molecules or ions that are dissolved in a certain type of fluid.

ELECTROLYTES: Are both ions and anions. They are integral in providing osmolarity, and maintaining the "excitability" of its muscular and nerve systems.

The composition of the human body is approximately 70% fluid. These fluids are distributed into two major compartments:
1. Inside the body’s cells, and
2. Outside of the body’s cells.

The osmolarity in each compartment maintains the correct volume of fluid inside that particular compartment. If the osmolarity outside the cells is low, water will therefore be drawn into the cells. If excessive water enters into a particular cell, that cell will expand and burst (like a balloon). In this situation, excessive intake of pure water, by endurance type athletes, has shown to result in frequent hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood stream- which in turn adversely affects cellular osmolarity). Hyponatremia in turn may cause abnormal electrophysiological functions of muscle mass and the nerve system. Rhabdomyolysis (Rhabdo) is a result of this situation. Rhabdo is the literal destruction of those muscle cells that are associated with frequent electrolyte disturbances (i.e. hyponatremia). If the amount of dead or dying muscle cells are massive enough in number (as they enter into the bloodstream), then the body's kidneys will become adversely affected, if not clogged. Interestingly, a greater incidence of hyponatremia has been found to occur in women than in men.

The only way to minimize the risks of hyponatremia is through the proper replacement of fluids that are known to contain high concentrations of sodium. Published in the August, 2003 issue of British Journal of Sports Medicine, Twerenbold and colleagues studied the prevention of hyponatremia by comparing the effects of various concentrations of sodium, within drinking fluids. In this study, thirteen female athletes performed three segments of running exercises. Each exercise segment had a duration of four hours. During the exercise, the subjects consumed one liter of fluid per hour. The intake of fluids for this study were as follows:
1. One trial running exercise with a high concentration of sodium (680mg/l),
2. One trial exercise with a low concentration of sodium (410mg/l), and
3. One trial with only water - as a control.

The results of the above study revealed that liquids with a higher concentration of sodium (680 mg/l) permitted a lower incidence of hyponatremia (i.e. 46% of the participants), than did the liquids with a lower concentration of the same sodium (410 mg/l) (i.e. 69% of participants). The intake of water, exclusively, resulted in the highest incidence of hyponatremia (i.e. 92% of the participants). The study therefore concluded that a replacement of at least 680 mg/h of sodium is recommended for similar endurance activities.

Unfortunately, there are no liquid products on today's market that approximate this level of sodium concentration. The closest product known to be offered to the public is that of Gatorade, which contains a 458 mg/liter concentration. In terms of preventing the effects of hyponatremia, Gatorade, and the various other sports drink products are never the less superior to the consumption of pure water, exclusively. Moreover, the various commercial products contain the benefit of carbohydrates, which refuel the muscles.

Since the commercial industry's highest sodium concentrated product, Gatorade, does not approximate the body’s ideal concentration of sodium, one solution is that of a homemade remedy. Such a remedy can be created very simply and easily. The following is the established correct formula: Add two (2) grams of table salt (sodium chloride, equivalent to 793 mg of sodium) to one (1) liter of water.

It is not currently known whether an even greater concentration of sodium would be more beneficial for athletic endurance events. There may never be a single type of fluid that best fits all athletes. Athletes who are less well trained, are female gender, or those with a larger body surface area generally require a greater sodium intake than those who are well acclimated, male, or else lean in body mass.

Since the concentration of sodium found in perspiration (i.e. sweat) is about half of the serum sodium concentration, and the body has additional water loss through breathing, the sodium concentration taken into the body should not exceed that of half-normal saline. In other words, when making a homemade remedy, do not use more than 4.5 grams of table salt in each liter of water (i.e. over twice the stated amount).

Even though sodium is extremely important for endurance events, you must consider it equally important, if not mandatory, to consume foods with a high carbohydrate value. These foods must be consumed before, during, and after the endurance event. By properly doing so, you will: 1) maximize the storage of muscle glycogen; 2) prevent hypoglycemia; as well as, 3) optimize post-event repletion of endogenous carbohydrates. But keep in mind that a high-fat concentrated diet has not shown to benefit an athlete's performance. Only a diet with a high carbohydrate value can properly maximize such performance.

In summary, it is strongly recommended to drink plenty (at least 1 liter per hour) of salty water, preferably containing 793 mg of sodium (i.e. 2 grams of table salt) in each liter of water, and to eat sweets before, during and after exercises. Do this especially for physical endurance activities, such as A2A.

(As a footnote): A slight overload of sodium is a much lower risk to the body, as well as less dangerous, than is a deficit of sodium. Regarding potassium, many people are generally misled about the balance of potassium, as read on container labels.

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Yong H. T. at an APRR event.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 02:16 PM EDT [Link]

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Wednesday Night - August 27, 2003
By Peter U.

Out of the night gathered about a dozen APRR skaters to the tone of Zorro, as the Carter Center parking lot was WET. Thomas P cautioned us about skating in rain. “During a race is one thing,” he said. “But skating at night and through turns, while traversing both dry and wet roads – could cause some of us to wipeout.” Beth D, who was not even in skating attire, convinced several of the skaters to grab a burger at the Vortex. And true to his German mindset (to skate in rain, slush, and snow), Uwe B suggested that the dozen or so skaters drive over to Decatur, where it was considered to be dry. Though none of us were takers.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 04:56 AM EDT [Link]

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Monday Night – August 25, 2003

Where has August gone ??? I don’t know, but we’re already talking about Labor Day Weekend. That of course means the U.S. 10-K Classic! If you haven’t yet participated in this awesome, but challenging event, here’s the scoop: The thing to do is to NOT eat anything between now and Monday! WHY ??? Because at the end of the U.S. 10-K Race, you might as well have just skated into a Publics grocery store !!! This is EXACTLY what is offered to you! Basically an open, FREE-FOR-ALL grocery store in the White Water parking lot !!! And you think that you’ll NEED a massage from the cashier ??? There’s lots and lots of massage tables and masseurs and masseuses waiting for YOU !!! (Especially since the skaters arrive far PRIOR to the thousands of runners.) And you tell the bag-boy that you THINK you need to refresh your energies in some Hawaiian type waterfalls, California type waves, and Caribbean type pools ??? There’s the world of White Water at your TENDER FEET !!!

But August must still be here! ”It’s just a little bit humid for me,” stated Clayton L. Conversely, the tempo of Autumn must somehow be coming-on fast. “It’s getting dark early… The day seems to be shorter, but it still feels like June & July weather,” Chuck O. replied to Clayton, though continued - "it’s still so hot... What’s up with this?” With a normal big smile pasted on her face, Cindy S. called our attention to A2A, which is merlely on the other side of the calander page. (And if September is anything like August, the page will be quickly turned.) Cindy was very excited about what she had to say. And you should be too !!! For as little as $15, you can send a piece of your mind to a mentally unsound A2A skater. Without Paul Kennedy, Mark Day, or Carl C. around, Beth D. then snagged the golden leadership key. And a similar one was handed to David S. With Kristie K. tagging along for her second time, the brilliantly lit planet Mars once again made Beth and David's golden leadership keys glow more peachy: our adventures on the Atlanta streets became unlocked in the gleam of an excellent skate-night.

Last 30 miles of A2A This is a MUST DO if you’re wanting to participate in A2A !!!
Contact Brenda C. for add’l. information: www.bcarlton@sprynet.com

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Following Beth on the group skate that she led.
We went here, there, and just about everywhere.
“How’s everyone feel?” she’d frequently ask.

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Nancy’s a hoot !!!
Here she is talking on her cell phone, as she always does while skating real fast.
And she’s talking real loud, as she always does while talking on the cell phone.
– enough to get her point across fast to who ever is on the other end of the line.
So here she is talking to Frank, real loud and fast, as she skates past his house.
She’s telling him that he had better get his (…ass…) outside (…damm quick…)
– so that he can see her flying by.

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The Krog Street Tunnel - Lisa & Mims.

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Bill had just made a shotgun sprint down Woodward Ave.
Your guess is as good as mine that he’d like to do it again.

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Taking a well deserved break at the GA Dome.
Beth had been pushing us pretty hard.
But the skate was far from over !!!

Sorry that I'm not able to provide any photos of the SEGWAY Scooter that several of APRR raced around the GA Dome pedestrian area. But the digital camera batteries had no where near the juice like that of the SEGWAY. The demonstraition to us of the SEGWAY, provided by Mike H., with the Ambassasor Force of Downtown Atlanta, was overly amaizing. So much so that many of us wanted to take off our skate boots and trade with him. "If I wore your Rollerblades, I'd fall," he said.

Mike was able to simultaneously go back and fourth without even holding onto the SEGWAY's handlebars. Moreover, he went briskly down the small hill beside the GA Dome - backwards, stopped instantly (and didn't even come close to falling), then simultaneously went forward. He then spun the vehicle around like two lovers dancing into the wee-hours of the morning. Out of disgust, we got sick watching him. Interestingly, he was as much interested in obtaining a hallogen helmet light (like the ones that many of us were wearing), as we were in obtaining the unique scooter that he had. "SEGWAY has a light that you can put on this thing - - but it costs too much," he blushed.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 10:09 PM EDT [Link]

Please Click On the Archives Button Above............................................^
To Switch Your Helmet Light On
That You May See All Kinds of People
Skating Out From The Now Dimmed Entries

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I ask each reader for his or her continual help & support. If you become aware of a misspelling, a misidentified person or some other such thing, please email the correction to me! I want to make the change. After all, it's YOUR Weblog.

If you take-off & go skating - we most definitely should know about your adventure! Please briefly write about it and email your work to me! A photo or two are not necessary - but would always be a nice touch.


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Posted by marcstpierre @ 08:40 PM EDT [Link]

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Our Goo Goo Dolls Skating Adventure
On Friday Night – August 22, 2003

We met as usual at the Carter Center parking lot – as we ordinarily would. And there was only one question to ask: “Where is everyone ???” There were only a handful of us, and each of us knew that so many in APRR were quite simply missing-out. We waited until 7:30 and that was that. We took-off to skate straight to Centennial Park to see the Goo Goo Dolls perform “On the Bricks.” And with all the luck in the world, we were able to run-into Ken O. within the masses of people.

For all of you who did not go – sorry – but you indeed missed-out !!!

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Eatin’ & drinkin’ lots and havin’ a grand-ol’ time.
(Mark, Chuck, Brenda, and Mark)

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Unfortunately, these clouds frightened some of us away.
“I just hope you don’t get caught in the rain,” offered Mark D.

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There was lots of food offered. Lots!
And the food tasted oh- sooo… good !

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Typical scenery at the Goo Goo Dolls concert “On the Bricks.”

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Marc’s newly made friend, Misty.
Buying her multiple margaritas did the trick.

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Chuck, Brenda, and Mark

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“… and I don’t want the World to see me,
Cauz’ I don’t think They’d understand.
When everything’s Made to be broken,
I just want you to Know who I am…”

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It was only after the exciting concert ended that
the excitement of the skating evening began.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 07:59 PM EDT [Link]

Friday, August 22, 2003

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Wednesday Night – August 20, 2003

Tonight seemed to be fairly low-keyed, but everything else came across as pretty much normal. In other words - Fun. I had intended to skate with the fast group, but still had my bearings and wheels spread-out across the parking lot asphalt at the conclusion of the announcements. (I had been there plenty early, in fact I was one of the first persons to have arrived, but my mouth kept talking & talking.) Before I could even say “Helter Skelter,” both the Speed Group (with speed-skaters, Michael and Nick from Memphis Tenn. on board) and the large Intermediate group had already vanished into thin air. The Recreational Group was more considerate of my total disarray. I’m glad I was able to tag along with the “Rec. Group,” led by Deb C. - as we all seemed to have had an easy-going but fun time on our way to the Georgia Tech campus.

Goo Goo Dolls - Don't forget about meeting-up at the Carter Center on Friday evening at 7:00. Bring a pair of sandals or spare shoes to take with you as we skate together over to the Olympic Park.

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I’d like you to meet my new friend, Marjorie.
“Oh but you can call me Sister Happy,” she kindly said.
“I’m so happy to see all-U out-here tonight.
I hope you-all have a nice time out-there a-rolla’-skatin’.”

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Our Mother Goose Deb inspects all her young-uns
and ensures that they’re all safely in the same line.
Without people like Deb, people like me would end-up
all over the place. Fortunately, I only had to be
reminded twice to stay out of on-coming traffic.
“Cars just don’t like that,” Jenny R. cordially reminded me.

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Jennifer “Knows” how to correctly drink water from the
Student Center drinking fountain at the Georgia Institute
of Technology. - - Being on the grounds of such a
prestigious engineering school, she has determined that
the best drinking method should be a sophisticated one.
The only problem with this methodology to her madness
is that she could never figure out why her Camelback
water bladder never became full.

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Kevin and Andrea seem to make an ideal couple!
I was able to meet them for the first time, here at the GT
Student Cntr. I then discovered why I hadn’t remembered them –
It’s been a year since Andrea has last joined us.
Later in the evening, when Andrea had pain in one of her knees
from a non-skating related accident, and Kevin went to fetch her
car for her, I was able to spend some time with Andrea until he
returned. If you haven’t met her - - she has some wonderful
stories to tell. We’d like to see her come back soon.

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For those who haven’t skated through Georgia Tech recently,
you wouldn’t believe the huge following that APRR has now acquired.
In one area of GT, huge throngs of people lined just about every street,
presumably for us. “It’s awfully nice having a bunch of 20-year olds
cheering us on,” remarked Jenny R. Where as, Zdenka M. got a huge white
flower from one of her fans. And Jennifer H. was literally overrun by them.

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John must have a hole in the hose to his Camelback.
If not a hole, he drools awfully bad.
Looks like you’ve gotten a good workout tonight John !
He once told me that there’s no other place he’d rather be.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 04:29 PM EDT [Link]

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Monday Night - August 18, 2003

Something tickled inside of me that tonight’s skate would be different than the previous handfulls of wonderful skating nights. It was so much hotter, and far more muggy. Although temperatures were reported to only be in the mid-80’s - the lower 70’s had already become our standard for pleasure. Rob B. “Brown Dawg” and singer/saxophonist, George S. joined APRR for the first time. And commin' way-down from the Tennesee hills this evening was ultra-speedskater, Michael C. and his friend Nick. Michael announced that he had actually been with our group before, but it had been a long time. Ok, Michael, we don’t mind initiating you again. Drop And Give Us 50 !!!

As everyone stood around during the announcements, each looking dumbfounded, the determination of who was to lead each skate group was almost non-existent. As if we were still in the 1980's movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off: "Anyone?... Anyone?... Anyone?..." Bill D. eventually stepped forward, but soon asked Mark Day if he could instead combine his now obligated slower group with the massive intermediate group. “No, you’ll need to go ahead and lead the group... Besides, you’ll learn the roads better that way,” replied Mark. Mims R. wanted a fast group to be created by somebody - but everybody still seemed to look dumbfounded. “We’re Rollin,” rang-out Mark Day’s voice, and the gathered mass of skaters inched its way out of the parking lot - - following our most legendary leader. “Boy it’s hot tonight,” came a disgruntled statement from within the rolling group.

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These cool, big, purple, honkin’ 84mm spin-spin's were all too quick
to leap straight off the stagnant ground (well, ya’-know… a stoplight),
and hop aboard the most hottie, petite, pink, huggin’ peddle-peddle
anywhere to be found. Both Amy and Chuck O. got a kick out of the
pre-arranged engagement.
“Pink and purple match so well together,” they both said.

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Sam was obviously checking his equipment.
And as for Don – well – I’ve no idea.

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Bryan mentioned that he has enjoyed reading the weblog.
Oh, here’s Bryan now.
He’s of course waving to himself through the weblog.
And waving to his mother, and his sister, and his dog,
and his hamster, and his cousins, and his colleagues at work,
and… … … and who ever else has been reading the weblog.

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This deep-space image, recently taken through the Faint Object Camera (FOC) of the Hubble Space Telescope, and obtained with joint permission from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in Pasadena, California, and through the Space Telescope Institute Council (STIC) of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) captures a Chuck like object speeding through the outer reaches of our vast Cosmos. Detailed analysis of what all the various colors mean and if there is any presence of water or life sustaining material, associated with the object, is currently underway. However, it is already widely being debated within the scientific community as to exactly how fast this Chuck object is traveling and where exactly it is heading. One professor of Astronomy Sciences, in the Department of Astrophysics and Chemistry, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has perhaps one of the best hypothesis’s of this Chuck phenomenon. “We can’t exactly say for sure what it is that is generating so much of the necessary energy for this very little known object to sustain its continuous acceleration of its unknown velocity, however we do know that the kinetic energies being utilized as well as the object’s potential to systematically regenerate these energies - seems to be endless.”

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This WOULD HAVE BEEN a very “nice” group photograph
at the Piedmont Park 14th Street Entrance, but Thanks Bill B.,
Thanks a lot. Thanks for ruining the photo for us.
We sure do think that you’re a really nice guy.
(You can see that Bill is smiling much more loudly-
than everybody else.)

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Introducing Rob “Brown Dawg.”
Clicking on his email prompt gave my computer its most recent
big and bad virus. He attempted to contact APRR through the
Comments option of one of the weblog entries.
- - I immediately wanted to kick his butt.
Well… now after seeing him… I’ve wisely changed my mind.

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With temperatures in the mid 80’s, and after having skated for
the past several weeks in temperatures far more comfortable,
Lisa said it best – “I’m so hot that I’m breathing through my stomach !”

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Caroline B.'s story is something to the effect that she once was
a Georgia Peach, and then became a New York Apple, was an
Apple for a while, and now wants to become a Peach again.

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What IS this ???
An escapade of skaters, sponging-of the Phillips Arena escalator ???
If Corbit were still around, he’d at least skate down the center of
the dang’ thing. Try not to fall asleep guys !!!

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George was the absolute highlight of Mark’s skate - - and of the entire evening. “We’re going ta’-go and see the people camp-out at the Dome,” Mark had announced a little earlier in the skate. So we did. And while there, George kept eyeing the crowd of thousands and thousands of people. You could tell that something was on his mind. “I was wanting to try-out for the American Idol Contest,” George eventually revealed. “But I didn’t want to wait in line.”

“Why don’t you sing for us?” a few of the skaters asked of him. And so he did.

George absolutely, totally, and without any doubt - - BELTED-OUT our National Anthem. As we stood around him, we all froze in total shock. Each of us was not only at awe from what we had just experienced, but our bodies had begun to involuntarily tremble. You could also easily imagine that every soul within the Georgia Dome, as well as the throngs of people standing in the long lines outside of it, came to a complete standstill.

George had just sung the most beautiful, most pronounced, and most touching version of the song that any of us had truly ever heard. “You should hear him play the saxophone,” his mother softly commented to us, when she and his father picked him up from the Carter Center at the end of the skate.

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Standing over throngs of people auditioning to become the next American Idol,
Bill thinks he sees a beautiful woman without a top on
– but it’s really a guy.
Jeffery is amazed by the number of people auditioning for the thing
– even with tops on.
And George wishes he had not skated tonight
– but stood in line to audition, knowing that he’s The Tops.

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Sam easily picked-up two American Idol contestants,
Mandy and Lisa.
Mandy sung for Sam and me a Mariah Carey song.
Our ears hurt for the rest of the evening.

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Clayton, Chuck, and Mark kick-in their afterburners
and shove-it into overdrive down Trinity Ave.

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Chuck O.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 11:18 PM EDT [Link]

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Skaterboy Bruce & His Woman Michele’s Lap & Lei Party
On Sunday – August 17, 2003
By Michele R.

This shin-dig started out as a mild-skate from Michele’s house in Tucker to Stone Mountain. With a few skaters, a couple of beautiful bikers, and perfect weather… we were off by 9:40am… and rolled back in before noon. It ended-up being a Hot pace! Then, the party really started !!!

Mark D. went to the kitchen, to create eatable platters of art; Bruce immediately hit the pool; and everyone else seemed to become either pre-occupied with the contents of the blender or what to do with 2-dozen ears of roasted corn. As burgers were being tossed on the grill, more and more people filled the already occupied deck. At one point, when Michele pushed for people to head to the pool next door, it was asked “…Are you trying to say that the maximum weight load on the deck is 30 skater butts?” Bet you can't guess who asked this ???

There was plenty of food (both vegan and non), lots of fruity drinks, time to chit-chat with folks you either knew or didn’t know, splashing in the pool, fun games, and even a birthday cake for Michele... Who now we all know - does not like to have her birthday celebrated… But we can say she’d had a positive life-changing event. Hey guys... Let’s do it again next year !!!

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(Photo by Michele R.) The male Skaters and beautiful women Bikers
who lapped Stone Mountain and then got leid.

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You are blind if you don’t see Erik M. in this photo.
(Owen M. and Clowe M.).

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(Photo by Michele R.) Everything that Mark conjured up
was creative and artful.

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We have all wondered what super-fashion model, Greg looks
like without his helmet on. You can read all about his similar
behind the scenes appearances in the tabloid magazines at
a grocery store check-out stand near you.

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A very, very typical image of Michele & Tori.

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Watch out Mark, Paul is tossing candy lei’s - -
and just like the aimless direction of Paul’s skating,
they’re going all over the place!
We had to be quick and on our toes to catch them!

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Bruce demonstrates just how mean tasting his roasted
corn truly is. Although two dozen ears of corn lay siege
to the grill, it was by far not enough.

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(Photo by Michele R.) Michele’s deck continued to become
more and more crowded. There was not a soul on deck
that did not have a wonderful time. Thanks Bruce and Michele
for the successful gathering of old and new friends.

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Mims reads the stringent rules for the up and coming games
portion of the party. After Bruce’s tasty pina’ coladas,
the enforcement of the rules became far more relaxed.

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Michele demonstrates for us what Paul K’s sweet lei’s are all about.

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Yong H. T. “on the deck.”

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Bruce’s pina’ coladas seemed to be nothing but alcohol.
So Cindy offered to dilute them just a little with some ice to crush.
Mmmm….. now it’s perfect !!! The blender never the less had
lots of use throughout the event.

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Mark is looking for his umbrella.

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Jenny and Cindy retreat from Michele’s crowded deck to
find refuge at the neighbor’s house.

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(Photo perhaps by Mark) It was not formally announced until
much later in the party that it was actually Michele’s B-Day.
Happy Birthday Michele !!!

Posted by marcstpierre @ 08:54 PM EDT [Link]

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Bruce & Michele’s Lap & Lei
On Saturday – August 16, 2003

After laying Zoysia sod all morning, and pouting to myself that I was not lapping Stone Mountain on my skates instead, I finally decided that I’d had enough. I could at least go and say hello to my friends, and witness them laying around- while wearing lei’s, or perhaps lapping around the drinks table- while holding tall cups with tiny umbrellas stuck in them. So I dropped the wheelbarrow and drove all the way from Woodstock to Stone Mountain (imagine if you will the distance between LA and New York).

I ended up driving by the house several times, as I searched for a hodgepodge of parked cars. I then looked for the 1494 address on each mailbox. Well, this has to be it. I knew that it was now 2:00 PM, and I knew that I was slightly late for the 9:00 AM get-together, and I also knew that I had never printed-out the Evite sheet – but shoot, everybody’s already gone. Hey wait a minute, “There’s somebody inside,” I said to myself as I pressed into the bushes to peer through the dark windows. Michele came out after I had waved to her. “Oh hey Marc, what can I do for you?” – I apologized to her for being so late. Then a smile came across her face that stretched from one ear to the other. “Marc darling,… (continued smile)… It’s Tomorrow.”

The Evite address for the Lap & Lei, on Sunday, August 17, 2003, is as follows:

The contact phone number is as follows:
(770) 491-8394

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(Photo by Michele R.) Marc was clueless as to where everyone was.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 12:31 PM EDT [Link]

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Wednesday Night - August 13, 2003

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(Image by David S.)

The Carter Center parking lot became much like a Wild Game observation stand. Tourist-like skaters anxiously searched in all directions for unique cows – as if having freshly stepped off a guided tour bus. No one dared to realize that we’d need to tromp through the urban tumbleweed to find em.’ Clayton L. warned of young urban locals, who have been known to set traps and throw objects at us. We thought of the ol’ days and of scary Indians. No problem. We’ll just gather-up cow chips along the way and toss em’ back at the bastards. And Jenny R. gave us the scoop that we can now send personal adds for A2A participants – to wish them luck or bit of encouragement. Her only request was that it stay “clean.” (Ok ya’ll, let’s not forget to please the lady and take off our skate boots and spurs after tromping through this-a-here cow pasture.)

With such a long wagon train of skaters, David S. announced his plan to split us ranchers into two different pioneering groups. David’s "Lazy ‘S’ " group was to go “straight there,” along his normal route to Colony Square. And Beth D’s faster, “Circle ‘T’ ” group was to meander its way to Ranch Rendezvous. But once having arrived, it was to David’s dismay that two prospectors, dressed in city-type suits and wearing tall hats, informed his Lazy ‘S’ group that a gathering of skater types had already been seen scavenging the area – but were long since gone. So with a clanging of the cowbell, the disappeared Circle “T” cowboys and cowgirls came-a galloping back, and we all circled around the chuck wagon for a feast of colorful stakes and some good-ol’ cow tipping fun. Mmmmm, this art is good !

The link for information on the Cow Art Display is as follows: Atlanta Parade of Cows 2003

(Yet another special entry – with lots of photos. Sorry Brenda, the ones of you “Jockey Riding” the "Big Bull" for us didn’t quite turn out. We could tell that that one gave you great pleasure.)

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Donald had become the point man in our search for cows.
We owe much to Donald for his self-sacrifice to us while our
cow patrol platoon hurled down the 9th Street Hamburger Hill.
“This hill was made to go up, not go down,”
later remarked one of the lady pioneers.

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A bittersweet victory for this gang of cowboys and cowgirls.
The first cow we sighted, and now we’ve got her by the horns.
It didn’t take a long rope to lasso this baby, nor did it take the
use of matador needles, it just took the implementation of a well
sought-out strategy by Rodeo Dave.

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This Ranger Cowgirl and her cowboy entourage had staked-out the range
long before their counterpart skaters ever made it to Ranch Rendezvous.
The cow herd was no match for this yipin’ an hollorin’ gang of marauding
bandits. Cow by cow succumbed to the aggressive like skaters as if being
relentlessly attacked by an overwhelming swarm of horse flies.

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After conquering each cow, the cowboys and cowgirls performed
ruthless rituals, stolen from Indian lore of victory buffalo dances.

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Got Milk ??? Terrance was actually more than eager to replenish
his bottle with high octane, Delta Cowjuice. Be careful Terrance,
the stuff out of that cow’s udder is nothing more than kerosene.

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“This Is So My Cow!” Brenda cried out to Mark,
as she spotted the purple and yellow cow from
way the other side of the pasture.

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After patiently waiting for the longest time, and once Brenda’s eyes
were safely turned away, Zdenka reclaimed the grazing field’s most
prestigious inhabitant. “Quick, take the picture,” Zdenka hastily
whispered and gestured. “Here comes the policeman.”
Zdenka and I then realized that if discovered, we’d rather take a
noose to our necks and hang from the town’s big ol’ peach tree
– than to live and face the un-arguable wrath from Ms. Brenda.

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Beth sees the Mooing In The Rain Cow as her perfect match.
It took a long time to find the match, but this one seemed to be just right.
(Every one of us wish your future to become more sunny, Beth.
You’re indeed a survivor! And we’all want you to stay around !!! )

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Clayton says: “We’re mooo-vin’ on to the next herd… They’re-a-waitin’ for us.”

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David, Bonnie, Charlie, Zdenka, Marek, and Uwe study the Atlanta
Downtown Cow-nnector Cow.
The general consensus was that no matter where you go in Atlanta,
it’d be faster and easier to just skate there. How true. How true.

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As she strolls down the Ralph McGill hill on her way back to the Carter
Center Ranch, Zdenka is overjoyed after seeing so many colorful cows.
She knew there was a good reason to leave Eastern Europe and head
west to the New World – to a freer and more fertile land.
I mean – where else can you be free to graze all evening long,
and never have your fill ???

Posted by marcstpierre @ 02:35 AM EDT [Link]

Monday, August 11, 2003

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Monday Night - August 11, 2003

There were so many inline skating events announced that they'd take up this entire weblog entry. Beth D. pointed out the Big Apple Roll, in NY, and Mark D. seconded the enthusiasm. He offered us a tip that we can get by on a $500 shoestring budget, on just about any one of these out of town events. I soon believed to myself that if I traveled to all of them - I'd perhaps be offered a discount. Heck with the discount, LET'S JUST GO !!!

David S. led his group on a Preparation Tour for his up-coming Cow Art Skate. "Wednesday should be a lot of fun," he hinted to us. But it was Paul Kennedy who swept us off our boots with a "kinder, gentler adventure skate." Adventure was not as much of a summary word as "Eventful." We skated all over the place (and only Paul had the map). "I've no clue where we are," surrendered Erik M. It became even more eventful once on known ground at GA Tech. "Look, look at this audience! - This is increadible !! - We've never had anything like this before !!! - They're going crazy clapping and cheering for us...," was soon heard from APRR while near the Student Center. But "Eventful" was still the main dish, as skaters tasted the ground everywhere. Even George W. took a spill. "I've never been down that one before," he justified to us. But by the end of the Paul Tour, the Southern Gentle Man was quick to spell-out that the night's adventure was "GRRREAT !" (with 3-R's).

(This is a special weblog entry, as there were so many photos to be shown. Below is a mere fraction of the ones that turned-out! )

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Greg ensures that his equipment is fine-tuned.
He keenly knows that skating gear maintenance is
almost as important as his precious, young son - River.

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Russell, you're cheating! We know you are...
We're sure of it !!!
Here it is folks, the newest definition of drafting...
but then again, Carl doesn't mind.
Anything to make Carl stronger -
is exactly what his lady ordered.

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Erik learns the consequences of eating too much asphalt pie.
Cindy adds some sweets to butter-up his spinning head,
but it's basically too late. He's already got an aggregate stomach.
Careful Cindy, if he tosses his cookies, they'll be chunks!

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There's not a guy in this world who wouldn't want to put Brenda
in his pocket.
And there's one thing about Brenda that most every guy already knows -
that her smile is almost as big as her heart.

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If there's a true reason why we skate at night, this is exactly it !!!
There's a certain amount of pleasure in crossing over MLK Jr. Drive
via the covered pedestrian bridge - the one prohibited to skaters -
and Mark, Marek, Uwe, and George each know about this pleasure
all too well.

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An organized skate requires an organized break,
neither of which regularly occur on a Paul Skate.
If I had my big camera, we'd make a postcard
out of this rare moment with Paul.
Just look for the golden halo and you'll find our
blessed & worthy leader.
Wonderful job tonight Mr. Spin Doctor!

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Oh, Hey there Lisa and Nancy!
These two lovely ladies are "checking-up" on a cute,
but handsome young man.
(Georgia Tech Student Center)

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This is THE photo from which to base an entire book
on speed skating at night! No Doubt !!!
Both Beth and Bill are steadily traveling over 20 mph,
down the heart of Peachtree Street.
Though you'd never know it from their fine-tuned grace.
But then again, we'd all EXPECT Beth & Bill to author this book.
I'll want mine to be an autographed copy.

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Ladies & Gentleman and children of ALL ages...
Let me present to YOU the Happy Happy Quadrettes.
Please give them a warm & embraced welcome as THEY show to you
an energy like NO OTHER! Sit back in your seats and relax, cauz'
when they get finished here tonight, they'll want-ta turn around
and DO IT AGAIN and AGAIN !!!
- Paula, Lisa, Beth, and Nancy (in front).

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Our own Jim skated to Baskin Robins for a double dip of "I scream."
By the end of the night, you could easly easily tell that each scoop
came with lots and lots of raspberries. (Note: 1 scoop = 1 fall)

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Yep, I was right. Although the Paul Skate is well over
(and most everyone has already gone home to wet their bed),
the Happy Happy Quadrettes are far from finished.
(I'd personally like to think that they're doing all of this for us men -
who're from the nearby Planet Mars, tirelessly watching
these Venus beauties from straight above.)

Posted by marcstpierre @ 08:28 AM EDT [Link]

Saturday, August 9, 2003

Our Brooks Century
On Saturday – August 9, 2003
By Brenda C.

Skaters and bikers were rolling into the small town of Brooks, GA to pick an option of 25, 45, 65 or 100 miles. For an August day in Georgia, the weather was quite comfortable. It was most unusual though, as we were surrounded by fog. It was a bit of an eerie feeling to be rolling-out in fog, and I even thought perhaps I should get my blinky light - a friend to all of us on Monday/Wednesday night skates.

Six skaters from APRR and two APRR bikers rolled-out in a pack along with ~200 riders. Rodney S. & Scott J. arrived later - unfortunately having to skate solo. The pack of eight APRR folks hung together until the turnoff for the 45 mile option. Hardcore skaters Bruce B. and Mims R., along with biker Brenda, choose the 65 mile option. The day heated up as we rolled, but we took our time at the sag stops to enjoy an assortment of pastries, fruit, and various energy bars. Bikers, as always, were amazed at the speed and fitness of our small, APRR group.

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The fog surrounds us as Mims, Bill, Mark, and group listen intently
to announcements. I don’t ever remember us being that focused during
the pre-skate announcements on Monday/Wednesday nights.

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Mims, Mark, Bruce, Bill, Lisa, and Ken look sharp
as they maintain their paceline.
I bet all those bikers that APRR passed - were thinking to themselves
that they should increase their own workout routine.

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Sag stop #1 at mile 17… and we’re still looking and feeling fresh.

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Ken is enjoying the day, while he makes a quick adjustment.

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Mims & Bruce are having a watermelon treat at mile 38,
located at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
While we didn’t get to skate on the track, we did get to skate
around the huge complex.

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Fast skaterboys - Mims & Bruce are having a great time
with their converted ice packs at mile 54.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 09:57 PM EDT [Link]

Thursday, August 7, 2003

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Wednesday Night – August 6, 2003

The rain gods had been purposefully spilling buckets of water throughout Atlanta, throughout the day. It was not until early in the evening that they finally depleted their resources and permitted the sun gods to come-out, in order to begin to dry-up the well made mess. By the time 8:30 PM rolled under the hands of the recently awakened sun gods, it was indeed time to skate! Mims R. and Brenda C. created a whirlwind of excitement about this weekend’s Brooks Century, held in Fayette County, and David S. grabbed a large share of the excited pie for a recreational skate. Not to be out done, Mims agreed to lead one at a medium pace. (Yea, Right!)

(Medium Paced Skate) initially headed toward Inman Park. “Wow, look at that big house,” exclaimed Elizabeth D, as the group skated down Elizabeth Street and passed the old Candler Mansion. Lisa B. was also excited, but for a very different reason. She was wearing for the first time her new pink boots. After breaking away from the MARTA station, the “medium paced skaters” picked-up speed by taking a non-stop Delta Air Lines flight down Oak Dale Street, en route to the Emory area. Then Uwe B. offered-up some true German transportation, as the pace-lined skaters hopped aboard the German (ICE) bullet train and express-traveled all the way down Briar Cliff Road to St. Charles Ave. It briefly made a stop in Highlands to de-board some passengers, but then proceeded on under the beautiful half-moon and brilliantly lit Martian planet. “I’m feelin’ blister’s commin’ on,” remarked Lisa. “My shoes must not be laced-up right.”

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After extensive, and long hours of continuous, non-stop, and never ending communication through Matchmaker.com, Lisa B.’s new pink boots eventually discovered the technical, well-worn, and never retiring boots worn by Uwe. The two pairs of boots were instantly a true match made in heaven, as both are related to extreme longevity, prestigiously found only in the Guinness Book of World Records.

(We all love you Lisa and Uwe… You’re near and dear to our hearts! APRR could never have as much character or prestige without you !!! )

(Photo 2)
Oops! The camera’s LCD states:
“Warning! You have replaced the dead batteries- with dead batteries.”

Posted by marcstpierre @ 02:39 PM EDT [Link]

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Monday Night - August 4, 2003

It might as well have been raining throughout most of Atlanta’s suburbs. Large clouds ringed Atlanta. That is – Ringed Atlanta. Wonderful temperatures, next to no wind, and a gorgeous sunset were witnessed from downtown. A fantastic skate night indeed ! Mark Day offered the announcements and reminded us that we'll need to order skin suits and jerseys now, to get em' before A2A. Chuck O. informed us of yet another century type bicycle event that we’ve been invited to skate in. And James was most happy to join our large group for his second time.

(Slower Skate) There were two skating opportunities, Paul Kennedy, and David S. - - Paul felt lazy and offered an intermediate skate, which left promptly on time. David’s slower skate waited for Marc St. Pierre to slam wheels onto his all but vacant old frames. But the group soon got off and skating, leaving the Carter Center parking lot void of chatter. Later, while in the Midtown area, David came to a crossroads in his skate agenda. “I’m sorry I’m so disoriented,” he said. “I wanted to go that-a-way, but it doesn’t look good. So may be we should go down this way instead.” The quite large group of skaters then toured the Georgia Tech campus, got lost in its Student Center bathrooms, and then made its way to the Olympic Stadium. “I just love goin’ to Turner,” exclaimed David, “It’s always so fun!”

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On your mark, get set, and skate, skate, skate!
This group looks fresh, but by the time they went home
for a good night’s sleep, they were very tired indeed.

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Lisa and Zdenka (from the Czech Republic) are very much
interested in the T-shirt from Russia that Stephanie happily
wears. The front of the T-shirt displays an extensive map of
Russia – all the countless roads that Stephanie had skated.

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Lee downs a well-deserved bottle of refreshment
after bagging Georgia Tech’s most demanding hill.
The GT library couldn’t be more rewarding!

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Bill glides effortlessly up Marietta Street.
Skating is completely natural for him.
He’s done this type of thing before,
and before, and before, and before…

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Bob has got SKATEAGILITY !!!
Although he’s FLYIN’ totally backwards, what you can’t
see is that his legs are crisscrossing like electric sheers.
Totally amazing !!!

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A couple of informed skaters!
Keeping up on the latest headlines offers
Ann and Jeffery great skating gossip.

Posted by marcstpierre @ 11:58 PM EDT [Link]

Monday, August 4, 2003

Our Covington Century
On Sunday - August 3, 2003

This year’s Covington Century was enjoyed by all eleven participants from APRR. “It was nice – It was comfortable,” Mims R. stated. Though he'd been around the Century block a couple times before, this year was his first 100 non-stop miles of the Covington event - peddled on his bike. The weather appeared looming, the air was indeed moist. But temperatures were pleasant in the upper 70’s. Where Erik M. was hard-pressed to get his act together, Bruce B. broke one of his cardinal biking sins. He was several minutes late to the event (no problems though, with his Ferrari of a bike, he more than made-up for lost time). After wanting to ride the event on his bike too, Erik had to quickly resort to the skating method. Teamed with Don S. and Bill G., the trio knocked-out fifty- with Erik coming in at a record time for himself. As usual, Nancy G. and Thomas P. did their own little thing, as did Jim M.

Arriving much later than Bruce (and far less worried) - - Lisa M., Chuck O., and Marc St. Pierre took to the scenic, rural roads after turning-in their registration forms, which were never completely read. No problems though, a big official on a big motorcycle kindly provided them the big details of what was written in big lettering about not being able to skate on the county’s roads in the presence of the big Newton County Sheriff. After joining up with Jim at one of the event’s water holes, Chuck blasted away like a hill-billy shotgun to hunt-down Erik and Bill. Afterwards, it was home-cooked eat'in time !!!

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A group of most happy campers.
Heck, if they have their skates on – they’re always happy.
Marc, Lisa, Jim, and Chuck (in rear).

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Lisa and Chuck - These two’ve-got-HILLABILITY !!!

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Chuck sees everything as being Eddy Matzger chalk lines.

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Chuck and Lisa drink-in the Newton County beauty.
There was one pretty scene after another throughout the event.

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Lisa... we ALL know that you are hot and thirsty.
And we all KNOW... that the jug was just lying there.
But the sign says DON’T... snag the valuable water !

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Jim makes the grand tour of downtown Mansfield.
He noticed that the town had two buildings and a railroad track.
Though the railroad track had some pretty tall grass growing over it.

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“You-must-a-missed tha-turn several miles back that-a-way,”
Lisa hears him say. She pontificates if it’s even worth going that far back.
“The 100 mile route is only seven miles up ahead,” she reported.
“I think that’ll be quicker.”

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Chuck thinks its funny that Marc St. Pierre darn near killed himself while
drafting behind Mark (in center) and his bicycle.
And then running bare-footed, with his injuries, the remaining mile and a half
to the finish area. While pacing above 28 mph, Marc’s frame unexpectedly
sheered completely off his skate boot - - completely destroying the boot,
itself. Before even being able to react or realize what was happening,
Marc had chest-dove toward the relentless asphalt - just missing the bicycle’s
rear tire along the way.
(Thanks Mark and Pierce for all the wonderful assistance, and thanks Nancy G.
and Thomas P. for the ride offer.)

Posted by marcstpierre @ 02:32 PM EDT [Link]

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