First Day of Spring, 2010

First Day of Spring, 2010

Flowers, and bikes, are out in Georgia



Georgia Spring Ride

Yesterday was the first day of spring, here in GA.  A day I longed for since we had such a cold, wet winter with very little riding.  It was obvious winter was taking its toll on many by the flaring tempers, depressing moods, roads with few if any bikes.  NOT a pretty sight, for sure.  Then one day I noticed little green spikes popping out of the ground, even though the temperature was less than comfortable.  I knew it was the daffodils popping up, since they have been there for years and always give me a hint that winter was almost ready to leave.
 
My friend, Trish Schmidt and I watched the weather for a week and it continued to get better.  Emails and phone calls were flying back and forth, planning the ride on the first day of spring.  Fingers crossed, prayers said that Mother Nature would be good to us and give us the 71* temperatures and clear skies the weather guessers were talking about.  The plan was to meet at Jerry’s Waffle House at 6:30 Saturday morning for coffee and to discuss our route again before KSU at 7:00.  Our friend Jerry frequents the same Waffle House several times a day to feed his caffeine habit.  That’s why we call that particular greasy spoon, “Jerry’s Waffle House”.
 
Saturday morning arrived along with temps in the low 40s and a slight breeze.  That’s OK.  No rain in the forecast for that day and they were still talking up the 71* temps.  Funny how your brain gets so geared up for temps in the 70s that it forgets it’s still 40* at 5:30 in the morning.  I started to get dressed and put on a couple t shirts, decided not to wear long johns or heavy winter jeans.  I opted for summer boots since I still had 71* stuck in my brain, but I did wear thick socks.  Luckily, I threw my chaps in my bag, hoping I wouldn’t need them.  I took the liner out of my winter jacket… since it was going to be 71*, remember.  Kept all my winter gloves in my bag along with my fingerless gloves, but wore my lightweight cold weather gloves.  Wore my balaclava since I knew the wind-chill would be cold on my face.  6:00 arrived; I hopped on my bike and took off to meet Trish. 
 
The ride over to Waffle House was better than a shot of B12!  It was chilly, but bearable and I could feel the promise of warmer temps.  Very few cars and no bikes on the road that early, so I could almost let my mind wander to the road ahead of us later that morning.  I arrived before Trish, went inside and got my coffee.  I don’t know what it is about Waffle House coffee… certainly not Peet’s, but it sure is good on a day when you’re waiting to hit the road.  It’s almost like it HAS to be Waffle House coffee.  Trish got there and the smile on her face said it all.  We were of like minds, which was… GREAT ride over, can’t wait to get on the road and watch the sun rise but I sure do hope the temps rise fast. It’s COLD out there.  She did the same thing I did when dressing for the ride.  That’s what happens when the brain gets on one track and isn’t thinking logically.  WE should know better.  As we went over the route our excitement grew and we finished our coffee in record time.  Out the door, on the bikes and down the road we went.
 
Thirty minutes into the ride, as we stopped at a light, we both broke out into hysterical laughter.  WHAT were we THINKING when we were getting dressed?  It was FREEZING and we were both shivering. Trish hadn’t packed her chaps so I didn’t want to put mine on and have her suffer alone.  I’ll use that one for a long time, for sure.  Another thirty minutes and we had to stop at a gas station to thaw out.  It was quite comical.  It’s turkey hunting season here, we were out in the country so there were a lot of hunters in the store when we walked in laughing and shivering.  It was obvious they thought we had lost our minds, since we were laughing and not cussing at the cold morning.  Grabbed more coffee, mostly to hold and thaw out our fingers so we could shift and brake.  Then Trish decided to put on her rain gear, to block some wind and I felt safe putting on my chaps, glove liners and heavier gloves.  The sun was finally coming up and we knew the temps would rise soon.  On the bikes and down the road we went, a little warmer and more comfortable for sure.


Georgia Spring Ride 


The part of GA we were riding in, is mostly very tall pine trees.  They do a fantastic job of blocking the sun on blistering summer days but turn the roads into refrigerators in the winter/spring.  For miles we were freezing again because the sun couldn’t reach us through the pines.  Again, more laughter when we stopped for gas.  The fresh air was making us giddy and took away all concerns of hypothermia.  Finally, we made it out of the pine forests and could feel the heat from the rising sun.  More bikes were appearing out of side roads and the smiles were all in place.  Spirits were renewed and we were on the bikes heading southwest toward Montezuma, GA and one of our favorite places to eat… Yoder’s.  It’s a Mennonite restaurant and the food is amazing!


 Georgia Spring Ride


By the time we got to Yoder’s and started to peel off the layers of cloths, it was like renewed freedom from shackles.  With only a long sleeved t shirt and vest on, I could move my arms.  Without the chaps, my legs and hips could move freely as well.  The spring was back in my step.  As usual, the food was thoroughly enjoyed.  We could have stayed for desert, but we were anxious to get back on the bikes and ride through this part of GA.  It’s mostly dairy farms, peach and pecan orchards and open pastures so the sun was able to warm us up and no jackets were needed.  I can’t tell you how welcome that freedom was.  The peach trees were in bloom so we could see acres and acres of pink, promising sweet fruit this summer.  As we passed by dairy farms the “GA perfume” was almost over powering.  Most people don’t appreciate that scent, but I find it welcoming for some reason.  Maybe it reminds me the time to plow my little garden is close and I’ll soon be enjoying the fruits of my labor.


Georgia Spring Ride


As we made our way northeast and back home, more and more bikes were on the road with smiling folks riding them.  The mood was getting better as the temps were on the rise and the sun was shining brighter and brighter.  There was still a nip in the air, but the promise of warmer days ahead was strong.  Spring came in like a lamb… we can only hope it doesn’t leave us like a lion.



Georgia Spring Ride
Left: Trish's 2006 Honda Shadow Aero 750
Right: Elaine's 2004 Honda Shadow Aero 750

Elaine Morris
Dacula, GA March, 2010