The groundhog definitely saw his shadow on yesterday’s 200K. How could he miss it? Out in the Pacific Northwest, rides were cancelled for snow and ice at elevation. Here in the Tar Heel state, the sun blazed after an icy start and the afternoon temperatures made the ambitious climb to 60.
Tony Goodnight has done a great job hosting our two early season rides. An appreciative crowd of 20-plus riders showed up for yesterday’s 200K or 300K.
The field included five or six riders from Raleigh, and Brother Rob from Charlotte, who is pedaling his way back into shape this season. We also had a guest, Chris from Ohio. He’s an exceptionally strong rider, and he was one of the five riders in our little peloton, which formed after Wes and I struck out ahead of the others at the 55-mile mark in Landis.
For a while we had a sixth member, Joel, but he went his separate way at mile 80 to complete the 300K. I enjoyed Joel’s company while it lasted. He spun a wonderful tale of his rich family history of beekeeping. You’ll recall that I received a pound of Richard’s Gold at the Jan. 1 ride, and he gave me another jar yesterday. Which means I’m all set for making dessert crepes. C’mon over. Richard is a terrific booster for randonneuring, and you can always count on him showing up at the start to cheer on riders.
We also had Lin and Jerry helping out with pulls. Lin has been riding the best carbon randonneuring frame I’ve seen so far. It’s a Trek Pilot. There’s room for 25 tires with fenders, and the rear dropouts have eyelets.
Lin has it tricked out with Brooks leather and bar end shifters. Very sharp. But not as sharp as Lin’s old beater pick-up truck. He must be living right. Speaking of Jerry, he’s doing a NCBC talk on PBP tomorrow. Definitely worth checking out, and I know he’ll do a fine job representing the local riders.
Our little group began to show signs of wear at the century mark, especially after the four-mile stretch on busy Hwy 64, one of the only choices for crossing the Yadkin River. However, Chris found his legs toward the end of the ride, so much so that we jokingly tagged him with the “Sandbagger” moniker. He was in fine form with several strong pulls back into Lexington.
We finished a few minutes after 4:00 and waited on Branson and Paul to roll in. Being in Lexington, aka Hog Heaven, we had a post-ride barbecue feast at Jimmy’s, which Branson noted served vinegar-based Eastern cue, rather than the Western style which is the trademark of Lexington. For $7, I got a big plate of chopped pig, French fries and red slaw, plus all the hushpuppies and rolls I could eat. It don’t get much better…
As I headed home, I got a call from Susan, Rob’s wife, wondering what time she should start worrying about Rob. I told her there were no worries – he was probably in good company with Sridhar and a few others. That was indeed the case. Rob himself called about a half-hour later to say he was safely in. A big congrats to the Bro!
Another great day on the bikes.