2014 Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium: Pt. 1
Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium: Pre-Race and Women's Elite/1/2/3
I Seven Reasons Why Women's Cycling Matters, According to Becca* Schepps aka "Sunglass Hut":
Side Note: This list was commissioned by MFS on VERY short notice. Which means Becca basically had to write this list while attending and competing in Speed Week, a week-long series of bicycle races, of which AOCTC is a part. In summary, this list is a “living document,” a rough draft, a first draft, just a start, a work in progress, etc.
- Because women are important.
- Because women’s racing is exciting to watch.
- A woman who rides has nice legs, a nice ass, and looks better in lycra, jeggings, jorts and jongs.
- Most Professional Women Racers don’t get paid to race, so when they race it’s because they love racing and not because they love getting paid—because, like I just said, they’re not getting paid.
- Because women like Mara Abbott, Maura Kinsella, Abbey Mickey, Marianne Vos, Evelyn Stevens, Allison Tetrick, and so many more, can ride 99.9999999% of men into the ground. They can suffer more, endure more, generate more watts, go faster and generally crush basically everyone on earth, including men, except for like their male endurance athlete counterparts.
- Because women’s racing is finally getting developed at the junior level, and that can be seen and felt in the races. Up until recently, women only found cycling because they wanted to get in shape or because they did their first triathlon or something. Meanwhile, young men (i.e. boys) have enjoyed access to fully functional, fully established junior programs for year and years, and years. Road Cycling is an endurance sport which means cumulative time practicing/riding plays a huge factor in making you better. That’s why all the amazing women cyclists currently racing are like 30-something-plus—they found cycling in their mid 20s, after college, and realized they could excel and got strong and developed to be powerhouses over a few years. But now, because some young women (i.e. girls) finally have access to junior development programs, we are finally getting into cycling at an early age, which means we have those early teen years to develop and get strong, which means we can finally have long and stunningly impressive careers like our male counterparts. All in all I believe this will make women’s racing all that much more exciting in the years to come.
<li”>If you look at the average watts from Speed Week over the past 5 years in the women’s field, I can personally guarantee it has increased by 30+ watts over that period. That fact alone speaks to the level of competition in the women’s field. We’re talking strength and power. Shit is getting fully real.You know, I'm glad that Manual for Speed is trying out the idea of a sustained and substantive interest in Women's Cycling I really am, but it’s ridiculous that this question even warrants being asked in the first place. I mean, why is men’s cycling important?”- Becca* Schepps
II A Brief but Complete List of Facts About Athens; the Town, the Race, the Spectacle! by Jered Gruber:
- Winter Bike League is a World Famous Group Ride. Every Saturday, starting with the first Saturday in December running through the middle of February, 50–150 riders ride between 60–120 miles. The rides start short but gradually lengthen and quicken. By January, each ride finishes with a 6–10 mile Attack Zone with money on the line, and more importantly, a chance to be written into Athens cycling history. Thank you, David Crowe. For more information.
- I met my wife, Ashley, while riding my bike up the most miserable hill in Athens (Baxter) on a sunny day in February, 2008. She was crossing the street in front of me and a couple of friends, we said hi, continued on, but for some reason, I turned around and went back to talk to her some more. It was a major stalker move, but it worked out well [obvs!]. So the next time you make eye contact or exchange pleasantries or simply connect in some way with someone you fancy, and, as you continue on your way, you have this feeling that “something significant just happened,” turn-around, go back, talk some more, get a phone number, take a chance!
- One of my best friends, Thomas Brown, met his wife, Morgan Patton/Brown in Athens as well. They went to the now defunct Farm 255 restaurant for their first date. Shortly after, he proposed to her next to a forgotten baseball field in the grass along Bob Godfrey Road while on a bike ride. They were married on January 4th of this year at the Foundry Inn in Athens by the Reverend Phil Gaimon. Athens is for lovers.
- Only one rider from Athens has ever won Twilight: Rebecca Larson. That could change this year with the likes of Thomas Brown, Morgan Brown, Ty Magner, Frank Travieso, Brendan Cornett, Andy Scarano, John Murphy and Jordan Heimer.Almost ten years ago to the day, Cesar Grajales (born in Colombia, Athens resident), slew the Lance dragon atop Brasstown Bald in the Tour of Georgia. If anyone important reads this - please, bring back the Tour of Georgia. Please?!?!?!??!”
- Almost ten years ago to the day, Cesar Grajales (born in Colombia, Athens resident), slew the Lance dragon atop Brasstown Bald in the Tour of Georgia. If anyone important reads this – please, bring back the Tour of Georgia. Please?!?!?!??!
- The University of Georgia has a student population of 34,500-ish.
- I’m a graduate of UGA. I started riding bikes when I went to UGA.
- When you come to Athens, make sure to pick up the Flagpole. It’s Athens’s free weekly magazine.
- If you ever have the chance to ride a bike through campus in downtown Athens, do it. Seriously, you will thank me.
- The Dowds. There are countless cyclists that have John and Barbara Dowd to thank for the chance to race their bikes. John and Barbara are the patron saints of Athens cycling. Dear John and Barbara, thanks for everything.
- There are three bike shops in Athens. I won’t rate them, because I love them all: The Hub, Georgia CycleSport, and Sunshine.
- There are basically three main ways to leave Athens by bike (like, while on a ride): Jefferson River Road, Nowhere Road, Colham Ferry Road. Question to ask yourself: Is it Now-here or no-where?
- About 40 miles outside of Athens, near the town of Elberton (known as the Granite Capital of the World), is a granite monument called the Georgia Guidestones. It’s on a hilltop in the middle of nowhere, and it looks Stonehenge-y. It’s worth reading about, if only because it’s weird. It’s worth riding to because, like I said, it looks Stonehenge-y, and its in the middle of nowhere, and there is great BBQ at the gas station in Bowman, which is the place to stop on this ride.
- The area around Athens has a bunch of covered bridges, the most famous and most best is Watson Mill. It’s a well-traveled route for Athens cyclists.
- Athens also has a LOT of dirt roads – mainly to the south of town. They’re generally hard-packed and great for riding. There’s one stretch of dirt that’s over 25 miles long—no pavement (well, almost no pavement). This stretch also includes a creek crossing, which I, along with many others, have crashed in.
- At the corner of South Finley and Dearing Streets is an oddity: The Tree That Owns Itself. It’s a white oak tree, which “owns itself.” The Wikipedia entry to this is somewhat disappointing. It’s full of truth and facts. You can’t touch the tree on Finley because it owns itself. That’s all you need to know.
- Separating downtown from North Campus is the cast-iron gateway known as ‘The Arch’. There’s a superstition around it that says if you’re an undergrad and you walk underneath the Arch, you won’t graduate on time. Editor’s Note: This is superstition was verified by MFS while conducting an interview with Nancy Denson, Mayor of Athens (see formal portraits below).
- Twilight was the first nighttime race in the US in over 60 years when it was run for the first time in 1980.
- It started with 40 racers, and has grown to offer eight separate race classes with around 150 cyclists competing in the main event: the men’s criterium—an 80k, four-corner crit around downtown Athens.
- VeloNews calls Twilight the ‘Criterium Not To Miss’. Editors Note: VeloNews is a “cycling” publication.
- John Murphy holds the Strava KOM for the fastest lap around the Athens Twilight course – 1:06. That’s 55kph. Brendan Cornett is second at 1:07.
- Best hipster bar: Manhattan.
- Best rooftop bar: Georgia Theater.
- Best date place: The National.
- Best place to get married: The Foundry.
- Best place to go at 3 in the morning after drinking all night: The Grill (also doubles as the best milkshake) Editors Note: We ate there, we can confirm the thing about milkshakes, they are in fact pretty dam good, the rest, the part about it being the “best place to eat after three.” we can’t confirm, but yeah, it makes sense.
- Best beer bar: Trapeze (Travel+Leisure called it one of the best college bars in the US).
- Best bar for a good time: Toppers (better known as downtown Athens’s strip club).
- Best bar if you want to get wasted and puke in the bathroom after Twilight: Firehouse.
- Best bar for non-college kids: Normal Bar.
- Best music venue – toss up between 40 Watt and Georgia Theater. I’m going with the 40 Watt. Rolling Stone called it one of the best clubs in America last year.
- Best BBQ: I think it’s a tie between Butt Hutt and Dawg Gone Good BBQ.
- Best Mexican: Sr. Sol.
- Best Three Restaurants # 1: Cali n Tito’s, it’s South American-ish.
- Best Three Restaurants # 2: Kelly’s, it’s Jamaican.
- Best Three Restaurants # 3: The Grit, it’s vegetarian.
- Best bakery: Independent Bakery—hands down. The owner, Thomas Leonard, is a long-time cyclist in Athens, and his bakery is fantastic. It’s also very close to where most rides meet in Athens (The Hub/Five Points)
- Best coffee shop: Jittery Joe’s. It’s not really debatable. Anyone that supports a professional cycling team for that long will get my nod for a long, long time. Editors Note: MFS recommends the Crackacino.
- Best mid-ride store stop: there are a lot of options, but I think I have to give the nod to Bowman.
- Best restaurant to eat really, really well? Five & Ten. It’s the big deal restaurant in Athens and rightly so.