May 17, 2020

From Gerald R. Lucas

Ride for David covid-19: day 65 | US: GA | info

David, I’m happy to report that the First Annual David Morse Memorial Ride was a complete success. I wish I could tell you dozens of riders showed up share some stories, lift some glasses, and ride some miles, but I only recently realized that it was, again, this time of year. It’s been for years that you’ve been gone. This was your friend Daniel’s idea; maybe next year we’ll organize something better. Maybe in Florida. Still, even though I was solo, the ride was lovely—one I think you would have appreciated.

I started late-morning, heading west. The bike’s external temperature read 82.5°F, which felt cool at speed. Waze took me west on GA-80, which turned out to be lovely two-lane road, especially the further west I rode. I ate up the 60 miles to Talbotton pretty quickly; my first photo stop.


As the temperature climbed, so did the elevation, but both pretty subtly. Next stop was Hamilton, just at the foot of F. D. Roosevelt State Park. Soon, I was climbing up the Pine Mountain Range as the road started heading back east. Callaway Gardens would be just north, but I continued on GA-190 east that runs on the top of the mountain and through the state park.


Clouds began to creep in, but they, like the trees, gave a bit of relief from the sun. GA-190 was pretty magical, curvy and high, like Georgia’s own bit of the Smoky Mountains. I rode at a leisurely pace finally seeing some other riders also enjoying the day. My next stop was at Dowdell’s Knob—a favorite hang-out of FDR’s and the highest point in the Pine Mountain Range.


After a bit of rest—I watched two guys flying a drone for a few minutes—I rode the rest of GA-190 and checked out Manchester (nothing to report). I wanted to go to Warm Springs, but that will have to wait for another day—maybe when I can finally check out FDR’s Little White House. I think, too, that next time I return, I’ll ride both ways on GA-190.

It was sliding into the afternoon, so I set Waze to take me to Thomaston, where I’d make my final sop before heading home. The road from Woodland to Thomaston was also curvy, and obviously was descending as I headed east. The temperature was higher now, but not unpleasantly so. By the time I reached Thomaston, I was starting to get a bit tired, having covered about 150 miles since starting out.


I have a theory: my body just starts to get tired when I know I’m nearing the end of my ride. I don’t think it matters much how long the ride is, but the very fact that I know I’m headed back, I unconsciously give my body permission to start winding down.

I arrived home in another 40 minutes, or so, completing the 167-mile ride. Like I said, David, it was a good one. I thought about you a few times throughout the day, mostly while humming Steely Dan in my helmet. I like the idea of celebrating your life this way, rather than dwelling on the injustice that robbed us of you. Rest in peace, my friend. We’ll do this again next year.

Leica Camera Information
Camera: Leica M (Typ 262). Lenses: Leica Summicron-M 2/50mm (Typ IV), Leica Summicron-M 2/35mm ASPH (Typ V), or Voigtländer Nokton Classic 40mm f/1.4 MC. Processed with Capture One Pro.