Sunday, March 23, 2008
Fleche Team NC-DC
Team NC-DC has just wrapped up a successful 2008 fleche ride from Raleigh, NC to Ocean Isle, NC, a 240-mile, 24-hour trek through the lowlands and wastelands of eastern North Carolina. The team was comprised of DC-Rand members -- Lynn Kristianson and Bob Sheldon as a tandem team and Lothar Hennighausen -- and NCBC members Jerry Phelps, Byron Morton and Mike Dayton. Both contingents kicked equal shares of booty.
I'm fresh out of words, so I'll let the photos do the talking.
Here's the team test of our reflective gear. We had to dock Jerry a week's pay. Photo taken at sunrise on the causeway bridge heading to Ocean Isle. Only two miles left. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
A flounder for breakfast? Actually, Gordon, the designated driver for the DC crew, is set to carve into the world's biggest pancake. Our ride started at Big Ed's restaurant in downtown Raleigh.
Here's what Jerry got. Those sausages remind me of something...
Byron does a few last-minute calisthenics. Too late, pal!
Here's Bob "Ice Man" Sheldon riding the pine at Boyette's convenience store.
Even after 12 hours in the saddle, Lothar can manage complex mathematical equations, converting kilometers into the equivalent number of minutes.
Byron managed to snatch the Best Jersey Award away from perennial winner Jerry Phelps.
Upset by the upset, Jerry immediately fires his wardrobe designer.
Lynn did a masterful job of hunting down meal stops. We had lunch at Janice's Country Kitchen in Walstonburg. Formerly Johnny's Gas N Go.
No question about it -- the best restaurant in town. The pork barbecue sandwich special was a crowd favorite, which means nearly everybody ate high on the hog, although Lynn opted for grilled cheese and Byron got the burger. A warm piece of pecan pie was the unanimous choice for dessert.
Byron at Janices.
Lothar at Janices.
Lynn at Janices. Dig that crazy wall art. I think he's holding a bowl of Lucky Charms. He's certainly wearing one. Meantime, Lynn's wondering what happened to that detailed timetable she prepared. By dinnertime, Team NC-DC was three hours ahead of schedule.
Did I mention we had lots of blue sky? I'm mentioning it now because nearly every action shot I took looked just like this: all sky, no guy.
Here's our happy tandem couple, Bob and Lynn. The best thing about having a tandem along is that they can navigate like nobody's business. And the one time there was a slight bit of confusion, Lynn whipped out a cell phone, called up the nearby control and had us back on course in mere seconds.
Jerry on the move.
Byron in action.
For dinner, Lynn made reservations at the Stoneleaf Cafe in Wallace. Folks we're talking a three-star, candlelight meal. I mean, we had class coming out the ass.
Don't believe me? Okay, here's a photo of the actual candle.
The group shot of a sated team.
Even though support between controls is not allowed on a fleche ride, we hired this guy to ride shotgun for us. It really helped out with the dog situation. This is a portrait of the Pender County sheriff. They take their sheriffing pretty seriously down east. The sheriff's office served as our 22-hour control.
Here's what folks look like at Hour 21 of a fleche. Not a pretty picture -- especially with that thumb in the photo.
Bob can't decide which he wants more -- the crutch or the bag of chicken.
Here's Lothar doing a scene from a movie classic, "The Coneheads."
My favorite shot. The sun's coming up, there's a view, and the crew is 2 miles from the finish. Life is sweet.
Here's the team at the finish. Jerry surprised us all with those great Team NC-DC t-shirts. I think poor Lynn fell asleep before the shutter could snap shut. And clearly the photographer forgot to say cheese.
Thanks to all for another great day on the bikes.