Bryan's post on Facebook is a classic: How I killed my bike on the NCBC 600K. Bryan, doing his first SR series, hit a pothole so hard that it put wrinkles in his top tube and down tube. I've never seen the likes of that before. Here's what he said:
When you're in a paceline going 20+mph and everything's fine it's a great feeling. But when something goes wrong it happens fast. We were riding to the right of the white line on a shoulder. The rider in front of me dodged left all of a sudden to avoid a massive hole where the shoulder just sort of disappeared. Before I knew what was happening I nailed it head-on. Hard. I think I came very close to going over the handlebars. I'm not really sure how I didn't crash.
Here's his bike in happier times:
Bryan rode his crippled steed another 200 miles to a successful finish. His summary:
"Epic.... I learned a lot about distance riding. Mainly that the brain is the toughest muscle in the body. When it starts cramping up it can end your ride, but if you can overcome the mental challenge you can get through all kinds of adversity!"
Bryan may have killed his bike, but Glenn killed somebody's Ford Explorer. Knocked both axles slap off the sucker. Like the T-shirt says, "One less car." Glenn doesn't have a blog, so you'll have to get him to tell you the whole story the next time you ride with him.
Check out this great stream of consciousness post from Gary (above) on the NCRandon list:
Good turn-out. Medal ceremony. Way to go, Fearless Leader. Time to go. Short light. Ron. Sheep. Sprinkles. Nice sculptures. Rain. Wet feet. BobO. Angier. Don't stop. Erwin. Jerry. Wet people. Sun. Battlefield. Dog! Wade. Detour. Stedman. Cheesesteak (bad idea). Cedar Creek. Andy & Janis! Bumpash "road". Sridhar. Ammon. Ian. Fire tower. White Lake. Dry people. Ham&cheese. No shoes no shirt, OK. Riviera. NC53 (blah). AlP. Sridhar. Black River. Northbound cyclists. Rocky Point. MikeO. Burger. More northbound cyclists (JohnO, Chet and others). Motel 6. Shower. Cheese pizza. Wake up BobB! Rocky Point. "Y'all are special." Two expresso beans. Black River. Jacket on. No more antiques. NC53 (blah). Nature break. Cloudburst! White Lake. Lin Osburrito. MikeD. Turkey/cheese sandwich. Bryan's modified frame geometry. Latte as big as my head. 45 minute snooze. Vance, Maria, BobO. Martin? Jacket off. Lin, BobB, Sara, Gary. Fire tower. Sara & Gary. Bumpash road. Rain. Bumps. Heavy rain. Bigger bumps. Lin. Cedar Creek. Can of Pringles. BobB. Stedman. Bryan&JohnP. Chex Mix. AlP. BobB, Sara, Gary. Wade. Soggy toaster pastry. Yum. Battlefield (authentic civil war era pavement). Erwin. Maalox. Old Stage -- wake up, legs. AlP. Buies Creek. Slog up to Angier. Check out the park. Final water stop. Rawl's Church -- 12% holy crap. Funky sky. Rain. Weather delay on church steps. Northbound cyclists. Resume. Stiff wind from north, briefly. Raven Rock Unramble. Lin&AlP. New Hill. Ron. Rain, thunder, lightning. Funky clouds. Weather delay at Harris Teeter. Northbound cyclists. Resume. Alan, Dorothy, AlP. Ian! Lube chain. Tums. Pasta. Pizza. More pasta. Ice cream. Shower. Bed.
First timer Tim (above) spent some time with me on the porch at Langston's before striking out from White Lake at 2 a.m. Let's see how things went for him after he left us:
After 2:00am I decide to get back on the bike and head on solo with intentions of finding a quieter place to sleep. An hour later I'm dead tired, got to lay down. I find a church with a secluded side porch. I'm so tired that as I pull up to the driveway I try to unclip but can't muster the energy to pull it off so I tumble over on the asphalt. Dang, that's first time the Ridley has hit the ground. Busted mirror, blood oozing from my knee, I hide the bike behind some bushes and crawl up on the porch and set my alarm for one hour. Watch the moon going in and out of the clouds. Beep, beep. I get up at 5:00, still dark but lots more clouds. I slowly limp along, I'm nauseous and can't eat. Gonna be a bad day. Oh yea, more rain as I approach the next control at mile 290. There is John just sitting there dry as a bone wanting to know where I've been. 7:00am. Our other friends show up a little later. They are all getting coffee and food but I pass and head on my way not feeling very well. At mile 316 the sky gets really dark, I'm approaching a small town, Erwin and I find shelter on main street. Nice bench under a large awning. Some serious lightning and heavy rain. I'm still not feeling well and I stand up and walk towards the street thinking maybe a bolt of lightning wouldn't be so bad after all, then the sky lit up and instant bam. I turned around back for the bench. God is being humorous...
Speaking of humorous, there's nothing funny about the following account from a rider I won't name.
I got a newspaper and went to back to try to have a movement. No luck, so back on the road. Next stop was Erwin. I used my bandana and the diarrhea started. I also got a bottle of water from a vending machine. I stayed on the bike after that, but just was really slow. I sort of felt nauseous from time to time, but didn't throw up. I got to Angier and got some towels at the gas station beside the McD's. You know those ones beside the windshield wipers. I went behind the dumpsters and had another diarrhea case.
Ah, the joys of long distance cycling.
My man Geof (sleeping beauty above) chronicled his long trek to his first SR series on his blog. Lots of great pictures to go with those crazy words:
We hit the scotchman, ice up. talk to half drunk townies and roll about 4:30ish? it's nothing but pedaling to sunrise. tranquil in the night. love it. except for-wait up! lost something! i go back and find my camera in the road. of course the battery flew out. found. works! back to pedaling. we see a hint of light, then rain. mist. as if it weren't kinda epic already. tired. chet is chanting coffee!coffee!coffee! it is forever to steadman, but that's where we gotta go to see an open store-40 miles. the rain breaks but the skies don't and when we leave steadman it's raining again...
Over at irrelevance, Vance (above) likes to go long. Buried in all those words are gems like this from (I believe) another first-time SR finisher:
Number of folks in pickup trucks who revved their engines loudly as they roared past us, thereby letting us know that their genitalia are much larger than ours: 10
I always wondered why they did that. Now I know...
On her blog, Lanterne Rouge, Sara (above) details the droppings in her drop bag:
What’s in Your Drop Bag?
So, I’ve been too busy preparing and training for the 300K, 400K, and 600K over the past 5 weeks (wow!) to write about the rides! The Morrisville-Wilmington-Morrisville (N.C.) 600K was this past weekend and one of the novelties of 600K and longer brevets is the drop bag - a small bag you can pack with stuff and the organizers will drop at a predetermined location.
Here’s what was in my drop bag this weekend, which was brought to Wilmington for me by Jerry P., one of this weekend’s awesome volunteers:
Shower Kit (wow, that shower was amazing)
Clean, dry change of riding clothes (it rained, so the dry clothes were glorious while they stayed dry)
Fresh contacts and solution
Eyeglasses (just in case)
Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss (I haven’t been so excited to brush my teeth in a long time)
Mini foam roller
Two tennis balls in a sock (these last two items might sound odd - they are self-massage tools, really wonderful for mid-ride muscle releasing and cramp busting - they were great for my back/neck)
Yoga strap for stretching (actually didn’t bother)
First aid kit with a variety of stuff, including lots of advil and biofreeze (luckily did not need anything)
Food for the return trip
Sunscreen (to refill the mini bottle I carry on the bike)
Extra cue sheet (just in case)
Spare Advair (just in case I forgot to pack it on the bike)
iPod w/ some morale boosting and mind relaxing stuff on it (didn’t need it this time)
Treat - ginger snaps and chocolate cookies (didn’t feel like I needed those either)
Tire (actually in Gary’s drop bag)
That’s it! Ok, so it wasn’t the smallest bag. :) What’s in your drop bag?
Here's a report from Biker Bob (above), who completed his first 600 and needs one more event for his first SR. Read through his account and you'll see he calls into question my weather forecasting abilities:
Mike assured us that we probably wouldn't encounter rain until late afternoon. However, only about 30 minutes after leaving White Lake the familiar rain showers began.
Bob, that forecast came with a money-back guarantee -- the check's in the mail....
Meantime, "Doc on a bike" Keith (above) provides us with the five stages of rain riding:
Denial: No, that wasn’t a rain drop. I think water just splashed from my water bottle onto my leg. Or a drop of sweat onto my arm. I think those spots are normal on this section of pavement and those little ripples in that puddle are just bugs moving about. Maybe I just imagined the whole thing. NO WAY it could be raining!
Anger: why the hell does have to rain? The weather channel said it wasn’t going to! IT was supposed to rain, but not here and not now! Damn them! Damn meteorologists don’t know anything! Stupid damn rain!
Bargaining: OK, so it’s raining, but I’ll be happy with the current light drizzle, but just don’t let it get any heavier, or at least not a thunderstorm. Yeah, just don’t let it get any heavier I won’t complain. At least not thunder and lighting, OK?
Depression: Oh, hell, I’m wet, my feet are wet, and I’m miserable. It’s never going to stop! I should have put my fenders on and brought my rain jacket. Rain is just the absolute worst thing to happen during a ride. What am I doing on a bike? I should be using a BOAT! I’m such an idiot for not planning for it. Oh, who cares?
Acceptance: Well, so what if I’m wet and it’s raining? I’m still moving forward. And at this point it doesn’t matter if it keeps raining since I’m already soaked. Yeah, I can take this. Bring it on! No problem.
Congratulations to everyone who participated, finish or no, and to Al for the series. And a special thanks to all the volunteers this year. Those are the folks who make each and every ride happen. At the risk of forgetting someone, they were: Maria, Bob, Jerry, Mary & Tom, Mike O, Branson, Andy, JayJay, Tony, Dorothy, Carol, Joel, ... if I left you off, please holler, because you deserve credit.
And a big hand to the 13 (!) first-time 600 participants -- Ian, Maria, Tim, John O, Biker Bob, Martin, Geof, Albert, Bryan, Vance, Terry, John P and Jim (again, hope I got everybody).