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A2A Last Minute Stuff

Cat Brother's picture

OK, off to find Atomic Fireballs, and a few more things

1. How MUCH do you need to label your Ziploc bags for the checkpoints? First AND last name, or what? Eebee, I read how someone stole a bunch'a your stuff one year, do I need to double up for theft?

2. I'm at the Days Inn on Finley in Athens. Anyone else?

3. OK, so my hotel's in Athens, but all the Friday night stuff happens in Atlanta. So, should I just drive on thru from Charleston to Atlanta? Or is there a bus that goes Athens to Atlanta, late Friday afternoon? Drive to Atlanta, do the Fri nite stuff, then drive back to Athens? My head, she hurt.




eebee's picture

I'd put first and last

I didn't have any stuff stolen from the checkpoint boxes, but I have heard at least three people complain that it happened to them. One of them I know for sure it happened to because she knew the person who took it! The others...perhaps they put their stuff in the wrong checkpoint box to begin with. I don't think there are malicious skaters out there deliberately stealing people's supplies, but I do know there may be some delirious ones who might kill for a gatorade on the second half of the course. I had a camelbak stolen out of a car trunk after the Friday night skate one year after leaving the car parked around the side of a restaurant building. I lost my beloved heart rate monitor, all my gu's and gels, and my favorite skate tools. But that's not what I meant about the rest stop supplies. I usually write my name on a ziplok, or put soft cooler bags with a blue ice in there with my drink, and stick big labels on the outside with my name on it. As I said, I don't think there are malicious skaters out there, but definitely some confused ones, and having your name on your stuff may eliminate someone thinking it's up for grabs. There is a special A2A Friday bus from Atlanta to Athens after the night skate, which would suit your situation perhaps. This is not a public bus service. I don't think there are any. Are you already signed up? There should've been a space to book your seat on that bus when you registered. The bus is usually present somewhere around Skate Escape and Piedmont Park after the FNS. I'm not sure if you can get on that bus if you're not signed up. I'm not signed up yet but I'm not even sure I'm going to the FNS this year. We will probably be in a cheap 'n' cheerful hotel down the road from downtown Athens. The logistics of how to get where and how to make sure you have transportation from Atlanta on Sunday evening can cause a headache! You may want to sign up for A2A email list-serv and ask someone for a ride. I am still in ostrich-mode myself. Not really sure about any of it right now. We have had success leaving a car in the parking deck next to the Classic Center in Athens - just make sure not to leave it overnight.
roadskater's picture

Buses, A2A, parking, driving

Thanks for the questions. The A2A.net site is a good source of info and the email list you can sign up for there is too. But we like to help as well of course, with our opinions, right or wrong. There's a Friday night bus to Athens after the Friday Night skate. You could leave a car in Athens (parking safely and legally of course) and ride the Friday bus to Athens, pay for two nights in the hotel, and walk around or skate Saturday without a car. That's one good way to do things. There's a very early Sunday morning bus to Athens still I think, and you could show up or stay overnight to catch that and leave your car in Atlanta. For earlybirds or those who like to be awake a long time before skating, this seems a good option. There's a Sunday evening bus to Athens that leaves right after awards usually, but I don't know if it always waits. This is another good way to go, but we like to hear all the stories we can AFTER A2A while they're still fresh with enthusiasm and pain, so we hang around and (usually) go to Cowtippers after awards. Sometimes we've gone elsewhere, but I've enjoyed it most going to Cowtippers with a big group of self-satisfied or commiserating skaters. There's also the method of leaving a car in Atlanta Friday, driving another car to Athens Saturday and leaving it in Athens Sunday morning. When last I checked (but you should check the signs in the garage or wherever you park of course) you could leave the car overnight and I think up to 48 hours, but best to retrieve it late Sunday or at lunch or so Monday (there's a nice Indian restaurant on the main road by the college in Athens that we try to go to when we can, but not the night before skating 87 to 90 miles). Another thing that works for a trusting soul is to see if anyone needs to drive your car from Athens to Atlanta on event day as a way of helping the event or a volunteer for the event. This worked one year for us. Our car was with us when we left and when we arrived. Good luck with it all and get as much rest as you can this week! Drink lots of water and I guess it doesn't hurt to eat carbs and avoid fat (after my Tue Nt pizza, I say).
Cat Brother's picture

Yes, I signed up for the

Yes, I signed up for the Friday night bus, but I figured I'd leave my car in Athens, at the hotel, on Friday. So, how to get to Atlanta Friday evening, for the FNS and stuff? I've got the ride back to Athens...
roadskater's picture

I think I'd park in Atlanta but there are buses from Athens

Yo cat brother, unless you really very much need that car on Saturday to drive the course or something, I would take the car down early to Atlanta midday Friday and find a really nice spot to park free or a really nice safe garage spot for not free. Then I'd do the night skate (or not if I didn't feel like it), eat a burrito and meet some skaters. Then I'd get on that bus with my stuff and have a nice simple ride to Athens. Once in Athens most things are obtainable within walking distance, though not everything of course, and not so much at a discount. There are some buses: http://roadskater.net/catching-ride-taking-bus-athens-atlanta-and-back But then you'd need to get from their depot in Atlanta to Piedmont Park. It just seems like you might spend a lot of time running around from place to place one way, or just be without your car for a day the other. Good luck though whatever you do, and I will have some Roadskater.net jerseys with me at the statue of Athena for you to try on (or not) and purchase (or not) but mostly they're sleeveLESS so the way to wear that is either with a black longsleeve under (in some tech fabric) or with arm warmers so you can ditch them later in the day (talking about if you wear it during A2A. I have a couple of the Tangerine sleeveLESS in Medium and Large, and a couple of the eXtra Small sleeveLESS in manly magenta or passionate pink as you prefer. No pressure to wear one in a photo or otherwise.
eebee's picture

Random packing thoughts

  • Pull out old list of rest stop distances (www.a2a.net), and plan what drinks/food to put in what rest stop box (based on this year's consumption during long-distance training).
  • Hydropack: 1 spare wheel, 1 tool, Power Gels, something salty (flavor-blasted Goldfish?), water in bladder, Ibuprofen, paper towel in a ziploc. Dry socks in ziploc if forecast says rain. ID, phone, some form of money. CAR KEYS if parking in ATL!!!
  • Saturday Athens bag(s): Caffeine/pills/inhaler/alarm clock/other overnight essentials, Sunday skate clothes, overnight items, arm-warmers/toeless socks, Sunday post-skate clothes & shoes. SKATES/HELMET/PADS/HRM. (Finish line items/entire bag to go on truck at start line). 

Other things other people might need: Camera, batteries...


What else?

Cat Brother's picture

Looks like it may be

Looks like it may be rain....I won't quit, but this kind of sucks. Can anyone else weigh in on getting from Athens to Atlanta Friday night, if you're staying in Athens abd have only one car?
eebee's picture

Too far ahead for accurate rain forecast

In my experience, unless you're living in a monsoon area, an accurate prediction of rain this many days ahead of time is not likely. Accuweather.com is still my preferred precipitation forecast, if only because they update their predictions at least every half hour, if not more often. It's up to you as to your decision to skate in the rain, since it's your body and your bearings :-), but I wouldn't take the weather forecast as gospel just yet. I'm actually more concerned about the looming arctic front that may or may not make it down to Georgia by Sunday. Either way, there are lots of systems present, which to me, would indicate that the mets can't tell for sure which one is going to behave which way until much closer to Sunday! This was meant to be reassuring...:-)
skatey-mark's picture

A2A forecast

The forecast is improving for Sunday. Although I agree with eebee that any attempt to forecast more than 5 minutes into the future seems like a crapshoot at best. http://www.accuweather.com/us/ga/athens/30601/forecast.asp?partner=accuw... We've gone from 'rain' to 'rain possible'... Maybe we'll have a window of dry weather Sunday morning & afternoon... :-) I've got my "rain wheels" ready to go, just in case. But I'm hoping I can leave my "dry wheels" on there. - SM -
Cat Brother's picture

Man, y'all got 'rain

Man, y'all got 'rain wheels?' Looks like I'll miss the stuff tonight, hope to see you at the statue tomorrow. I'll have my acupuncture/herb kit with me, so anyone gets last-minute sick or hurt, give me a yell.
skatey-mark's picture

Rain wheels

Yup! I'd definitely use some grippier wheels if it's going to be wet. Either decrease the hardness or go with a wheel specifically made for rain. I bought some MPC Storm Surge wheels a while back. I used them for the first time at Tour to Tanglewood this year. They seemed okay. I'm not sure if they were any more grippy than "normal" wheels though. If anything, I'd go with a softer wheel. (So maybe 83a if you normally skate on 85a wheels.) More important is the bearings I think. I put greased bearings in my rain wheels, as opposed to oiled bearings. Grease is a little slower, but it's better at keeping the water out. - SM -
roadskater's picture

OK HYPERthetically

OK all, here's a HYPERthetical, assuming it's wet Sunday morning, since ye opened said can o'worms. If you had some unused ILQ classic baseline ordinary but new but also not worn-in bearings, would you use those or some run-in but still seemingly good ones If the latter, would you use 3-in-1 oil, white lightning teflon wax, or some other easily obtainable grease (obtainable in greater Athens, say)? I'm thinking I'll probably use the bearings in there now and use white lightning, but I may carry some 3-in-1 and some white lightning, or stash them at a rest stop. I've heard of some putting Vaseline on the outsides of the bearing shields to try to keep a bit more water out, but don't know if this is effective. Also timv has a secret formula that involves (possibly) use of said material. Questions abound!
skatey-mark's picture

grease, oil, etc

Well, the forecast keeps going back & forth between rain & no rain. I'm still holding out hope for no rain, which is what the latest hourly forecast at accuweather is predicting. (Although probably a wet start.) I *might* take out my oiled bearings and put in unused ILQ9 bearings. Those use a light grease in them, so might be a way to hedge your bet. I'm worried about getting my bearings wet first thing and maybe have more resistance in them even after the roads dry out. (I'd still be using my "dry wheels" if it looks like the rain will stop early in the race.) For my greased bearings, I use plain old white lithium grease that I picked up at home depot ages ago. At my current rate of usage, it should last about 500 years... :-) I finally have a good way to get the grease into the bearings! I recently ordered some "hobby syringes" that are made for putting glue or grease into small toy parts, etc. I used one when I re-greased my rain bearings the other night and it worked great. So I think here's my plan for wheels/bearings: If the forecast calls for the rain to stop by 7am, I'll have oiled bearings and "dry wheels". If the forecast calls for rain at the start, but stops by 8:30, I'll have unused ILQ9 bearings and dry wheels. If more than 1.5 hrs of rain, I'll go with greased bearings and rain wheels. As for new vs "broken in" bearings, I don't think it'll matter much. The new ones will be broken in within 10-15 minutes. Or, the old ones are probably still fine to use. In fact, if it's wet,I'd probably go with the old ones and save the shiny new ones for another time. - SM -
roadskater's picture

Significantly Slick New Mint 85a Wheels?

Do you think a set right out of the package would be especially slick on the first two turns out of Athens, if it's wet? After the first L, then R downhill, then bend R under the stoplight, it's all good for awhile. I'm toast by the next turn anyway! Thoughts on spanky new mint 85a wheels? Should I skate all night to scrub them in? You know me. Looking for a reason to either 1) be awake doing something useless, or 2) lie awake wondering if I should coulda woulda done something better than lie awake.
skatey-mark's picture

Minty slickness

I think they'd be okay, but of course I'd hate to say that and have you slip and fall...  I put a fresh set of mint 85as on this week, but skated 10 miles on the ATT to scuff them up a bit before A2A.  


I wouldn't let it stop me from using them, I'd just be extra aware going around those first couple of turns...


- SM - 

roadskater's picture

My Gut Instinct is to Go Mint

My gut instinct says I agree, and I might be found scuffing them a bit. I appreciate the advice and it should be guilt free, even if there's persuasion mixed in! If it's a torrent, I'll likely set up old flat Hypers with fresh basic classic bearings. But anything short of that I am feeling I'll go mint and white lightning, maybe carrying a tiny wd-40, some 3-in-1 and/or the wl lube. Something about the wax and teflon of white lighting suits me this time, so far.
roadskater's picture

Some Useful Data from Eebee on A2A Stops and Gaps

This is a quick post of some data from eebee and modified by me. I added 3 to the stops past the detour. The detour is really only 2.4 we hear. I thought it better to overestimate. I left out any water only stops, real or imagined.
#    Mi     Gap Location  
S    00    15    Athens
1    15    12    Hwy 330/82
2    27    11    211/Dee Ken
3    38    18    Dacula Finish  
4    56    18    Atkinson Rd   
5    74    07    Silver Hill Ch  
6    81    09    Steel Works    
F    90    ---    Piedmont Pk

Benjamin11's picture

Shoot, I would have loved to

Shoot, I would have loved to see that before the skate. ^^^ :) It was a lot of fun!


eebee's picture

First time?

Hey Benjamin11! Was this your first A2A? Glad you had fun! If you write an account of your race, please post it here. I'm looking forward to reading other skaters' A2A stories.

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