Sunday, November 28, 2010

Carthage Coffee Run 201K Permanent / Nov. 27 2010

Winter's just about here. It ain't freezing yet, but it ain't far off. It's the time of year when you start the ride in the cold and freeze your buns off for a half hour until you got a good sweat going. Stop at a store, take a 10-minute break and repeat the cold / warm-up cycle all day long.

But no complaints otherwise on a fine day to ride Branson's Carthage Coffee Run on U.S. Bike Route 1. The route, which starts in Durham, near Southpoint Mall, is bookended by Bean Traders coffee shop in Durham and the Coffee Court in Carthage, a shop whose name reflects its proximity to the county courthouse on the town square.

Branson's route is relatively new. Here's a write-up by Bryan from early October. As the name suggests, expect a healthy dose of Bike Route 1. If you've ridden the Lake Loop, you've done Bike Route 1 from Raleigh to the Virginia border. Here's your chance to see a big chunk of the southern end of the route in North Carolina. That includes a dozen miles or so on Old U.S. 1, a two-lane road that parallels the modern four-lane version, and a dozen miles or so on Lower Moncure Road. You'll also see downtown Sanford, and the Temple Theater, dating to 1925, in Sanford's historic district.

The Temple was built by Robert Ingram, the owner of Sanford Coca-Cola Bottling. I'm guessing this building right down the street is where Mr. Ingram once had his shop.

The roads were quiet all day long and navigation was easy. There are no really challenging hills on the route, but there are plenty of rollers to get your attention, especially between Sanford and Carthage. The Coffee Court in Carthage serves lunch, so it's an ideal turnaround point.

One interesting feature of the permanent are the 15-mile alternative routes you can take from the start or to the finish. You can opt for 751, a road with a narrow shoulder that carries significant car traffic in the afternoon, or the American Tobacco Trail, a converted rail bed with a mix of pavement and packed dirt that slices through the woods to New Hill, on old U.S. 1. Our group of four -- Branson, Lynn, Bob and myself -- chose 751 heading south in the morning, when the road was quiet, and returned on the Trail, for what I like to call the "recovery" portion of the ride. Yesterday, there was very little recovery going on -- we hit 21, 22, 23 mph on the unpaved portion of the trail when we decided to close the gap on another cyclist. Our victory was hollow and short-lived; after we sat up to congratulate ourselves, he passed us again.

Here's a short look at the Trail...

We capped the day with coffee at Bean Traders, listening to techno Christmas music before packing 'er up after another great day on the bikes. 

1 comment:

Rob E. said...

Caught be surprise on the ATT. I thought, "Was that Mike?" I guess that answers that.