Monday, September 7, 1981

78. Back to Marietta

Day 78:  Monday, September 7, 1981
Duluth to Marietta

Start of Atlanta bicycle race
And they're off!
I slept in this morning - didn't get up until 7:15.  This time it cost me - I missed the ride portion of the Bicycle Morning, and didn't get a T-shirt.  But I did get to watch the criterium.  It was on an L-shaped course almost a mile long, the two outer legs being on streets adjacent to the Lenox Square parking lot.  Dale Stetina was riding for the Panasonic-Shimano pro team, but the Osborne brothers, two Atlanta amateurs (Jay is only 19), were the local favorites.  It was a timed race lasting 80 minutes, with cash primes.  Jay Osborne pulled ahead after just a few laps, but soon rejoined the field.  Dale moved out in front about a third of the way through, and lapped the field at 65 minutes.  Just after lapping the pack, he suffered a flat tire - but the free lap rule was in effect, so he rejoined the field on the next lap with no penalty.  Three riders were battling for the lead:  Dale, one of his teammates, and a biker for another team.  Dale and his partner managed to hold the lone biker back, and the Panasonic team captured first and second (Dale) place.

Riders in Atlanta bicycle race
After 32 years, don't ask me who's who.

At the race, I met a bicycle mechanic, his wife, and his son, and we ate lunch together, then rode to Piedmont Park to catch some of the 8-day Atlanta Jazz Festival.  The mechanic suggested a scenic route back to Marietta, where I was to rejoin Mary for the trip home, and mentioned the steepest hill in the area:  a 20% grade on Cochise Drive.  Of course, I had to try it.  The hill was only about 300 yards long, but I had to stop twice on the way up to catch my breath.  It was definitely the second steepest hill on the trip - after the driveway up to the hostel at Grand Lake in Colorado.

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