It’s been a few days but BRAG is over for another year. This is the second year Adam and I have completed “Big” BRAG (the organization has several shorter rides throughout the year), and it continues to be the best family trip we have ever had. Biking and camping may not sound like a “vacation” to many people, but for Team Rudd, the balance of riding in the morning, making camp by lunch, and chilling with friends for the rest of the day (napping, drinking, eating, exploring new towns, and shenanigans) is a welcome adventure.
Adam and I joined Team Paparazzi (a friend pulled us into the mix) last year and continued with those fabulous people again this year. Teams of more than 10 people get a free custom team jersey when they register for BRAG before a certain deadline. Paparazzi is also associated with Team Olde Blind Dog, a group that rides out of Olde Blinde Dog Pub in Milton, and both teams joined forces this year to make the super team of PapaDog. Team PapaDog definitely continued their BRAG-winning streak even though BRAG is not a race and there is nothing to win about it; many winning efforts were made through the week including the Team Rudd win of movie trivia (did you know that Michael J. Fox’s middle name is Andrew? I did!), and my layover day century ride. Of course, PapaDog also had the best low country boil luau of all BRAG time, cementing our win early in the week.
Being on the bike for a week was a great respite from the miles on foot in May, with 3 weeks in a row of intense long races. Riding keeps the body and heart healthy, but also provides a great active recovery from the beating I take with long running miles. Considering my push towards the Yeti 100 in September, my main goal is to get there prepared, healthy, and not burnt out; miles on the bike is a great way to achieve that. I highly recommend BRAG and any of the shorter rides throughout the year for those wishing to have an active vacation with some quality endurance training. I’ve spent very little time on the bike since Ironman last September, and this ride re-ignited my love of the two wheels. I’m planning to get at least one ride a week, preferably two, for the rest of the Yeti training cycle.
I want to make clear, BRAG is event for every type of rider of every age on every type of bike. There are rest stops every 10-15 miles allowing you to go as fast or as slow as you would like. Some people finish each day before lunch; others finish by dinnertime. If you are at all interested in learning more and think you may want to give it a try, message me any time! In addition, there are shorter 3-day rides in the fall and spring you can try to see if big BRAG is for you. In October there’s a 3-day ride from Chattanooga to Atlanta which we plan to do; come join us!