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Athens to Atlanta Roadskate A2A 2007 Inline Skate Report (Friday)

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After Rolling in Randolph's 50 very hilly miles, I knew I had better get some last minute work in on my skate boots (more on this later). After some smoothing with stone grinding bits, I used marine epoxy and black silicone to do the best I could to put my old Verduccis back in shape...a reasonably smooth footbed shape, that is. Once I finshed that, or thought I had, I set my mind to another obsession...decorating my skate frames. I wasted countless hours devising various methods and schemes, but in the end settled for something close to what I had envisioned and let it go for another day, another year. (Trying out some new stuff here with pics...please forgive.)

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On Friday, we headed to town not knowing whether we would do the social skate or not. Last year I fell and didn't hurt myself too much but apparently my right frame was bent in the shock of it all. I only changed frames just before the Tour to Tanglewood, thanks to a loaner to be purchase from Skatey-Mark. I remember the first day I skated on straight frames again! My times at the park were effortlessly better. So we decided to park between the park and where the awards ceremony is usually held. We got our stuff on as if to skate, and headed over through the park to Skate Escape, where Patricia and Colleen were handing out glow stuff and blinkies and candy.  Lots of people had their Roadskater.net jerseys on and that was much fun.  

I only wish the photos had not been so blurred or flashed, but what can you do when it's getting dark and you have moving subjects? Sometimes you get lucky by following the motion with the camera....

 

I had a battery to hand off to Eddy,

...which had been rolling around the shelf in the back window of my car for many months, undetected where it had wedged into a little nook there. I knew Danny was riding down and I was looking forward to seeing him again too. The night skate is never that hard, but it was a very humid night, and I was really losing tons of sweat. We had made a pact not to have any "fun," no sprinting, no power moves, nothing dangerous or heart challenging. We pretty much stuck to that except I may have gotten a bit stupid at one point near the end. The best thing about the night skate is that you see the course from Highlands to Virginia to Park to the finish. This is extremely valuable when coming through two days later with 84 miles or so in your legs already. I think some races have been won at the Friday night skate, actually. After the blur and buzz,

 

back at the park I made us late for the official finish by taking some photos of the skyline...

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Looks like I took two minutes doing that. I like the last one best, but the second one has several Eddys or one blurred Eddy skating the path, which is fun. Dan and I were talking about cameras while Eduardo was skaytn the path.

So we finished and hung around late chatting until the bus was leaving...

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...and it was all very nice and easy and fun. We skipped the burritos and decided to go to the cars, get stuff, and leave one. We decided to leave Elizabeth's car in town. 

On the way out of town, I was thinking, "can I stand another Wendy's Junior Hamburger in the name of saving money?" We turned left onto Ponce de Leon and noticed that Eats was still open. We figured they were closing almost immediately, but we actually went past, turned around and went back. Open until 10 p.m. 

In the parking lot, Elizabeth mentioned there was a guy looking strange as he went through the trunk and back seat of a car. She wondered if he was up to something or if that were his car.

I was focused on jerk chicken inside the restaurant.

As we went around to the front, though, she mentioned it again: "You know that guy was looking really guilty. I think he's up to something." I said, "Do you want to go do something, take another look?" She said something like, "No. It's probably just my imagination." Neither of us thought to talk to the manager, but later, she said while we were waiting on the food, she was really wanting to go back out there. 

We had a great meal and listened to some woman complain about not wanting to be trained like an animal. Then we figured out our own conversation and left entirely happy with our food and the time. I remember thinking we did pretty well to be leaving town at 10 having eaten. 

So we got in the car and started along home. Just past Druid Hills, I said, "Hey is that back window open just a bit, or the door ajar somehow?" "Uh oh. That little back vent window has been smashed." So we went back to the restaurant, where the staff and manager were wonderfully nice, called the police, waited well over an hour, and talked about what wasn't stolen. We went through all of my stuff that was miraculously still there. We listed things that we luckily had not brought with us.  

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When the officer arrived, we said it was a mystery to us and that the person must have gotten scared before getting to open the trunk. Sighs of relief, late for sleep, but no worse for it except for sleep. 

Back at Elizabeth's place, we started getting our stuff out with the mind of having it inside to pack things the next day for the race. That was when we both realized that Elizabeth's stuff, her CamelBak, heart rate monitor, $30 of PowerGels, skate tools and much more was not in her house, not in her car, but had earlier that evening been put in my car and now was gone. I had stayed very calm about the car window. I knew we'd get it fixed eventually (we thought about not fixing it until Monday and just not keeping anything valuable in the car, leaving it at Athens in the city deck).

But when we realized her beloved red HRM and the CamelBak like mine we bought together for A2A several years ago were gone, that was a pretty bad moment. The worst was when I came back down to the lot and saw her sitting akimbo in the parking lot in grief.  

Yes we had been amazingly lucky! And I felt bad for how lucky I had been. Skates, helmet, wrist guards, camera, photos, still there. The worst thing is when you think nothing was taken and it's just a broken window, but then you find out it wasn't even your stuff taken! And it's a problem where money could fix some of it, and you don't have much, and no amount of money will fix the rest, and the feeling of being violated, even if by someone who really is desparate, they must be, to do that across the street from the Police station in full view of cars at a traffic light. 

So we took what was left back up and I looked for any possible way to make it seem better. "Look Elizabeth, I brought five extra pair of wrist sliders in case anyone needed some. Pick some out!" and "Hey look, when you bought gels I did too. and I bought extras. I have at least 24. We can have a gel draft like at the NBA...take turns picking flavors." And, "Uhh. I started to bring my 3 backup HRMs but only brought one. If we can get my 725i screen to come back you can use the Axiom, or maybe my strap will work with your old one? Or maybe someone will loan us one?" 

We finally called it a night, very late, and knew we'd have to give up one of the best parts of A2A for us...seeing skateyfriends from near and far in a whole day of wandering around Athens, getting coffee, cokes and snacks, looking at skates and wheels, hearing the rant, making our yearly Roadskater.net/inlinenc A2A photo, and having not so great dinner with oh so great friends. 

We decided that if we could sleep, we'd sleep as late as we could, no matter how late, then deal with it all. Because I didn't expect to sleep well the night before A2A.

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