This past Saturday was the 9th annual Brownwood Bike Rally. This is an event put on every year to benefit the East Atlanta Kids Club. The day includes a bike rodeo, health fair, a fun festival area, and a bike race. Being that this is for a great cause (and always a lot of fun), the event has been a staple on the LITESPEED-BMW race schedule for the past several seasons. This year the team had Colby Millen, Jeff Blau, and Charles Rossignol all racing (Doug Ollerenshaw, the defending champion, mis-read the schedule and, unfortunately, missed the start). The members that did make it to the start line on time were all confident they could still put on a good showing. The course is about a 1-mile loop that winds through the neighborhood of East Atlanta. Its about 75% on the street, while the remaining takes to the trails of Brownwood Park. While there are one or two road bikes in the race, most of the riders choose to ride cyclocross bikes to help them manouver the trails a bit easier.
Around 20 riders took the start on this fine May day. By the end of the first lap, the selection had been made and it appeared this would be the group fighting out for the finish. LITESPEED-BMW had two riders in the group of four – Charles Rossignol and Colby Millen. Colby took charge and led the group for the next several laps, setting a fierce pace on the front. This allowed Charles to sit on the back of the group, save energy, and keep his eyes on the other two riders in the break, Brady Rogers and Bob Kuhn. On the 5th lap, Colby ended up having a flat tire on the dirt section. Game over for him. With one of the strongest guys in the group now gone, Brady decided it was time to put in an attack of his own. This attack blew the group apart. As they came through the start/finish line, Brady had a 10 second gap on Bob Kuhn, with Charles another 5 seconds behind Bob. Well, they say bad luck comes in pairs, and the next rider to experience it was Brady. A dropped chain (which would later come off again) sent Brady from 1st to 3rd in a matter of seconds. Now, with two laps to go, this race was going to come down to Bob vs Charles. Bob still had that few second gap on Charles, and Charles knew if he could be with Bob at the finish, he could unleash his ferocious track sprint to take the win. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite catch him and Charles had to settle for 2nd place. Not bad for a guy who has taken the last two years off of racing! Although we just missed out on the top step of the podium, it was a great day for the team at a race that benefits a great cause!
A little bit about the East Atlanta Kids Club – East Atlanta Kids Club is a nonprofit, out-of-school -time mentoring and enrichment program for under-resourced girls and boys ages 7 to 17. The club was formed in 1998 by local residents hoping to give youth who otherwise have limited after-school and summertime options a safe and stimulating place to play, to learn and to express themselves under the supervision of caring adults. Our program began with a dozen youth and a handful of community volunteers. We now offer a rich variety of educational and recreational activities and mentoring opportunities to more than 100 youth each year, free of charge. If you would like to help out, more information can be found at www.eastatlantakids.org.