Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tar Heel 200 . . . Well, Blue Devils Too, February 20, 2010

When Jack informed me two weeks ago that he and a couple of his riding buddies wished to ride the Tar Heel 200 today, how did he know amid the streak of poor riding weather we’ve been experiencing of late that today would be a perfect weather day for riding? As it turned out, I just couldn’t resist riding along.
Even these cowgirls whom I’d just passed couldn’t resist hitching up for a ride today along Stedman-Cedar Creek Rd.

Nine enthusiastic randonneurs turned out for the Tar Heel 200 Permanent and would experience a thirty-degree temperature warm-up under mostly sunny skies.

The route was new to four riders and it would mark the longest-ever ride for one: congratulations, Steve!

Also, quietly taking care of business,

Janis records her R-11 today! Congratulations! We’ll celebrate next month when you bag number 12!

It was too cold to pull off the gloves to take pictures until we reached the first control. But it was just in time to catch the smack talk which began in earnest. Apparently, the fact that the name of the route included “Tar Heel” provided just enough spark and the fact that we are fast approaching March . . . All North Carolinians know what that means . . .

Wayne drew first blood,

exhibiting his UNC cycling jersey. It escalated from there with Steve showing off his Duke jersey.

Order was finally restored when Alan jumped in . . .

. . . with his official NC Randonneurs jersey. Alan won the jersey contest as determined by the highly partisan judge. Thanks to all the contestants for their show of team spirit and good sportsmanship.

After collecting their prize money, all of the contestants made nice and rode together for the next 111 miles without incident. No one got sprayed with HALT!

Wayne and Steve are even seen hanging out together dining on scrumptious convenience-store gourmet in downtown Stedman over a gallon of vodka.
Speaking of jerseys, here’s Bob with the original wool jersey that will never go out of style. If it weren't for this jersey, there would be no retro!

Bryan shows his wool as well, including wool cycling cap. Until just now, I didn't know that Mt Dew was Italian.
Now something for our loyal RTP readers: a little quiz about randonneuring. The reader is asked to pick the statement from the following pair which truly characterizes randonneurs. For true randonneuring aficionados, this will be easy. For others, we’ve provided helpful hints in the form of pictures. We’ve also phrased the questions in such a way that novices can respond correctly.

Statement one: Randonneurs prefer to ride in pelotons.

Hint: Is this a true peloton or merely a double paceline?

Statement two: “Preternaturally calm and lushly-bearded randonneur types” has been used to describe our species.

Hint: This is a picture of preternaturally calm and lushly-bearded randonneur types.

If you chose the second statement which accurately describes some randonneurs, you are truly an aficionado of the sport! The actual quote comes from here:

If New York City were truly bike-friendly there would be a "freak-out tent" at least every ten blocks, and they would be staffed by preternaturally calm and lushly-bearded randonneur types who would gently talk you down after distressing encounters such as this.

For your effort and undying devotion to the sport, you win a free on-line subscription to RTP. All you have to do is log on occasionally to receive all of the updates.

Andy alerted us the fact that there have been upgrades to River Rd in Bladen County, namely, an asphalt shoulder. Could it be that there are plans to resurface this stretch to the Tar Heel Ferry Rd turnoff?

This is what it would look like if it were paved!

As compared to this . . .

Note that Mike still prefers the “old” pavement here to the newly paved shoulder. I noticed most riders did.

Returning to Benson, everyone is in a festive mood. Thanks to Jack (in yellow) for orchestrating the ride.

Thanks for the company today, guys.

Let’s ride!


skiffrun said...

A fun picture-book read.

Well-done and thanks!


(my verification word: "skedona")
That ought to be a real word; it certainly looks and sounds real.

John Morris said...

Hey Steve, way to go! Glad to hear some Dookies are still riding in NC this winter. Congrats. John M.

Biker Bob said...

Nice ride and thanks for the photos. I learned something else to bring in a repair kit - a few zip ties would have helped Alan secure his flopping headlight. I've still got a couple more early 70s Kucharik wool jerseys (short sleeve) that I will break out when the temps get above 60.


bullcitybiker said...

Great report. Bonus points for not mentioning the Wolfsmack. Congratulations to the first-timers!

ricksva said...

Speaking of the NC Randonneur jerseys and t-shirts, when will the next order for them be placed? I want one!

dean furbish said...

Hi, Vance! Information for ordering NC Randonneurs jerseys and tees is here: