Thursday, October 16, 2008

Riding? Well, Yeah...

Where have I been? Hanging out with these turkeys.

My little boat has been swamped between work and living, but even so, I've gotten in lots of riding in the past few weeks, and life is good, if busy.

I snapped that turkey shot at a poultry farm about two weekends ago on a really fun ride from Raleigh down to White Lake, a 100-mile backroad jaunt, to hook up with Brother Tim for the last day of Cycle North Carolina and a high-speed run through the coastal plain to Oak Island.

By the way, here's what passes for a henhouse these days.

The best part about that ride was just deciding to go, generating a good google maps cue sheet in about 20 minutes, packing light -- and putting on the lights -- then hopping on the bike and heading out the door on a cycling adventure. The first 20 miles was slightly urban, through Raleigh and Garner, and then I was out in the wilderness of rural N.C. and loving every minute of it. My cue sheet didn't let me down, although occasionally things didn't match up and I'd have to stop for a quick study of a sign like this one.

Also things got a litttle confusing whenever I crossed a county line. Like this one. The names are changed to protect the innocent, I guess.

Traveling without maps, I turned on to a 3-mile section on the cue sheet and came face-to-face with the Dreaded Dead End sign. What the...? A 3-mile dead end? No way. I took it because, well, I didn't have a clue where else to go. Two miles in, there's the "Road Ends" sign. Oh shit. But hey, I wonder what this dirt driveway does? Well, what do you know, it connects to another dirt road that takes me out to my cue sheet road. Nice! And here's the end of it. That sand was deep. It just about took me down twice.

And so it went, a fun day rattling around in my head and on my bike.

I caught up with the Bro and Rich and Paige and Nina and Chuck and had a fine time in a high-dollar White Lake singlewide that I'd rented for the night.

And the next morning, Brother Tim ramped up the pace until I cried uncle as we motored to the finish. He was looking good and riding even better. They string that "Danger" tape around him everywhere he goes.

Last weekend, I joined some Gyro riders for a fun Lake Loop. Another blazing day on the bikes with those guys kicking booty all 130 miles at a painfully fast 19.6 pace. I got spit out at mile 126 or so. Hey, I'm starting to enoy the view from the back.

I won't bore you with the details, but if you want more the Gyros have posted several ride reports on their forum. It was a fun day all around, with lots of my Gyro buddies -- Mario, Derrick, Ed, Steve, Chris, Mike D (did I forget anyone?) -- and rando buddies Wes and JoeRay who hung in there like pros and finished with Steve and Chris. The hat's off to everybody who rode that day, including some who had not done that distance before. I was good and wasted when I got home. It felt great.

Here are the obligatory dam photos....

And the boys heading out....

Last Sunday, I did 43 miles with Jerry as part of NCBC's Fall Rally. We hit it out early and mostly chatted as we rode into a pretty good headwind. Always fun riding with Mr. Phelps.

Wednesday, I did a 30-mile night ride with the Gyros and got to see how the edelux compared with several other lighting systems. The verdict: It kills em.

This weekend, we have a 200K perm scheduled, the Showdown at Black Creek, with about 10 riders. I'm hoping this will be a social event, not Hammer Time, but hey, I'm just along for the ride, I'm hanging with the party.

Weekend after that, it's off to Clarksville to do the Annual Lake Loop with Brothers Rob and Tim. We've done this for the last three Boydton Days. There's always a good barbecue sandwich to be had at the festivities, and a heaping helping of brotherly rivalry out on the road. Should be another fun day.

So riding? Well, yeah.

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