BRAG 2013 Day 6: Party in the Park and the BRAG Awards

“The wind giveth and the wind taketh away,” my stoker says to me as we ride south into a southerly headwind. It’s the last day of BRAG and we fear it’s going to be a long one as we have 60 miles to go. Yesterday’s tailwinds are today’s headwinds and we are struggling to maintain 15 MPH.

We leave Brunswick at around 7:40 and we are some of the last to head towards St. Mary’s, our end spot. We have one more climb on these tired legs and it’s a good one, the Sidney Lanier Bridge.

There’s no traffic and it’s the perfect place to stop for a photo op or two.

It reminds us a lot of the bridge in Savannah that bikes are allowed on once a year, but you can ride on this bridge any time you want.

Fortunately, the winds die down as we leave the coast and we are able to pick the speed up a bit. We hit one more rest stop before we head for the finish.

The porta-potties have been very clean and well-stocked this year. It’s always nice to have that hand sanitizer in them for obvious reasons.

Soon we approach our finish city.

And roll across the finish line, where BRAG is throwing a party.

Here’s the end-of-the-road lunch that we pedaled 420 miles for. The best things in life are free, frozen, or fried.

It’s one of the nicest celebrations we can remember at the end of BRAG. On the drive back to Cordele, we stop in Douglas so that we can hit Holt’s Bakery one more time for an award-winning dessert. As you can see, Eve orders her food to match her outfits.

And speaking of awards, it’s time for the 18th edition of our BRAG Awards, in no order whatsoever, as voted on by our panel of expert riders and eaters. Here we go!

Best hotel room: Holiday Inn Express, Waycross. A room so hip we thought we were at a Hotel Indigo.
Best hotel customer service: Holiday Inn Express, Douglas. They put fruit, cookies and nuts in the lobby every afternoon just for the riders.
Best free beer and popcorn: Embassy Suites, Brunswick. Of course it was our only free beer and popcorn, but it hit the spot.

Embassy Suites, Brunswick.
Embassy Suites, Brunswick.

Best hotel breakfast: Embassy Suites, Brunswick. Cooked to order eggs and waffles.
Best lunch: Fried chicken at Holt’s Bakery in Douglas. We eat fried chicken about twice a year. We were glad this was one of the times.

Fried  chicken at Holt's.
Fried chicken at Holt’s.

Best dessert: Anything from Holt’s Bakery in Douglas. If you missed this place, go there the next time you are in Douglas.

One of the many bakery cases at Holt's.
One of the many bakery cases at Holt’s.

Best lunch surprise: Willie’s Wee-Nee Wagon, Brunswick. It’s where the locals go for hot dogs and pork sandwiches.

Willie's in Brunswick.
Willie’s in Brunswick.

Best dinner: Cordelia’s, Lake Blackshear, Cordele. We still had our car, so we were able to make the 12-mile drive.

Prime rib at Cordelia's.
Prime rib at Cordelia’s.

Best BBQ: Pit Stop, Tifton. We had a lot of BBQ this week, and this was the best.

Ribs at Pit Stop BBQ.
Ribs at Pit Stop BBQ.

Best free dessert: Flying Cowboy, Douglas. A free ice cream cone with every meal!

The best things in life are free.
The best things in life are free.

Best host city: Douglas. Everyone told us how glad they were that we were visiting.

They really like us.
They really like us.

Worst host city: Brunswick. They didn’t seem too happy to see us.

Best rest stop attraction: Crime and Punishment Museum, Ashburn. We go to jail, but got out on bail.

They let us out on bail.
They let us out on bail.

Best rest stop snack: Fresh Georgia peaches. As Rachael Ray would say, “yummo!”

Want a bite?
Want a bite?

Best overnight attraction: Agrirama, Tifton. We spent an hour going thru the old buildings out back.

Agrirama in Tifton.
Agrirama in Tifton.

Most unwelcome visitor: Tropical Storm Andrea. We only rode for an hour in the hard rain, but others spent all day Thursday in it.

Soggy clothing dries in Waycross.
Soggy clothing dries in Waycross.

Best sightseeing: Day 1, Cordele to Tifton. Crime and Punishment Museum and the World’s Largest Peanut!

We ate peanut butter all week at the rest stops.
We ate peanut butter all week at the rest stops.

Most scenic ride: Purist Ride on Sunday. Pecan trees and Lake Blackshear. Go do this ride the next time you are in Cordele.

Pecan groves on the Purist Ride.
Pecan groves on the Purist Ride.

Best climb: Sidney Lanier bridge on Day 6. It was tough on tired legs, but the reward was worth it.
Toughest day on the bike: Brunswick to St.Mary’s. Headwinds, heat and traffic at the end made it even harder.
Best Six-Pack Carrier: Three bike jerseys!

Don't try this at home.
Don’t try this at home.

Best Beer Bargain: Fat Tire, $5 a glass at the Hilton Garden Inn, Tifton
A $10 beer in Atlanta.
A $10 beer in Atlanta.

Best birthday story: Cupcakes in Tifton. We will leave that story for another blog.

There's a story behind these cupcakes.
There’s a story behind these cupcakes.

And speaking of other blogs, you can follow our Atlanta dining adventures on our Friday Date Night blog, which is where we write when we aren’t writing about bike rides. Look for our BRAG food video, which will come out in about a week. Thanks for reading this year and we hope to do this again at BRAG 2014.

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