SCOUT TROOP 204
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
Cycling Merit Badge 2008
Taking a break, Perry, Ryan, Daniel, Andrew, Christian, Mr. Doug, Mr. Tim, Peter, & Austin
Welcome to the Cycling Merit Badge. Doug Clark is 204's most serious cyclist and has volunteered to help out with all phases of this merit badge. Mike Hawes and Pete Luxbacher have also volunteered to ride with us to provide excellent adult supervision.
The current version of the Cycling Merit Badge Pamphlet is 2007.
The merit badge consists of the following minimum rides: (2) 10 mile, (2) 15 mile, (2) 25 mile and one 50 mile, for a grand total of 150 miles. Our current schedule goes into the first weekend of December but may be extended if we have bad weather. Due to the basic incompatibility of skinny tires and slick asphalt, we will try to avoid riding in the rain.
All of our rides will be on the Silver Comet Trail. This is a eight foot wide path for cyclist, in-line skaters, walkers, runners and in some places even horses. In Georgia this trail runs from Mavell Road in Smyrna to the Alabama state line where it becomes the Chief Ladiga Trail and continues to Aniston, AL.
The temperatures Saturday, December 6th, should cover a 25 degree spread With temperatures in the low thirties at the start of the ride to the mid fifties at the warmest.
This is no reason why we cannot still enjoy our 50 mile ride. Just one extra layer maybe two will be all you need. Once you get moving, you will stay warm. We just need to provide enough calories to keep going. On the bright side, there will probably not be much traffic on the Silver Comet until we are drawing near the end of our ride in the afternoon.
We will start cold but be fine after five miles. It is really a mental thing. We are capable of enduring a lot more than we realize. The concept here is to cover the distance comfortably and efficiently. I strongly believe that we can do so if we instruct the boys correctly. Once we get going we will be unzipping and venting to shed excess heat.
Since we have a SAG vehicle, the boys can strip off extra layers as necessary when we rendezvous with the chase van. Make sure your name is in all clothing to avoid confusion at the end when recovering excess clothing from the chase vehicle. I will be bringing a stuff sack to place what I shed inside. That way it will be easy to recover and hopefully the van will not look like an explosion in a clothing factory. The most common problem is actually overdressing for the cold, as the exercise creates heat and you can get sweaty quickly. Once you sweat and get your clothing damp, the constant wind chill of riding will make it hard to stay warm. Remember, sweating is a bad thing. One of the most important things is to keep the stops relatively short as you tend to cool rapidly when standing around and damp and you really feel the cold when you start riding again. So staying together to minimize stop times will be important, otherwise we will be spread out over miles by the end of the ride or the front runners will be frozen solid.
Everyone should have full finger gloves and hats that cover their ears and fit under their helmets. A good pair of wool socks is a good idea too. It is always the extremities that get coldest. NOTE: Try on your helmet with the hat you intend to wear before you show up for the ride Saturday. Helmets will still be required to ride.
For layers, following suggestions:
Heavy winter jackets should be discouraged in favor of a couple of lighter jackets.
Thanks to Michael French and Douglas Clark for their expert advice on this subject and all other aspects of our riding fun.
Cycling Merit Badge Riding Schedule (revised 11/20/2008)
CMB Ride 1 10 mile
CMB Ride 2 10 mile
CMB Ride 3 15 mile
CMB Ride 4 15 mile
CMB Ride 5 25 mile
CMB Ride 6 (make up)
CMB Ride 8 (make up)
Silver Comet Access Map. This map shows where chase vehicles can meet riders.
Silver Comet Satellite Map compiled from Google Earth