Many thanks to Tim for letting me post his ride report of this weekend's 600K? He wrote it for a Wilson cycling group, and says he didn't mention many of the rando riders, but you know who you are....
I've included the one picture I took of Tim during a dinner stop in Rocky Point. He's the sharp looking fellow in the foreground. John and Byron are in the background. Enjoy!
Fifteen riders lined up for this ride Saturday morning. I was a little stoked for this one because I’ve been climbing a lot of hills over the last couple months getting ready for the 1200K. This was going to be a little easier on the fat guy so my challenge was to ride through this one without sleeping just in case I was faced with doing so on the 1200. I also ordered up the hot weather because again I would see the heat in California and I needed to be over the shock before then.
We’re off to a relaxed pace through the hills near Jordan Lake and parts south. As the hills flatten out mid-morning the headwind takes its place. Nothing like 185 miles of constant headwinds that gradually increase the closer you get to the ocean. Who needs hills? We have a peloton of 9 riders, doing double file, at 1 mile pulls. This works really well all morning. We’re keeping a sane 17/18 pace to keep the group together. Just after noon we’re cruising into White Lake and temps are like mid 90’s. We stop for lunch, Subway. Heat has taken a toll on a few riders and shortly after White Lake, our group dwindles down to 6 riders as we head for Wilmington in a single pace line to limit furthering wind and heat damage. Heat becomes less an issue near Wilmington as I can feel a bit cooler breeze coming off the ocean. Not much but it’s noticeable. In Wilmington, Joel, who pre-rode the route is manning the control and is making frappe coffee drinks, and flat toasted sandwiches, along with sliced watermelon and other snacks. This ranks very high in the best rando control stops of all time. We chill a bit but everyone seems anxious to get back on the road and enjoy some tailwind before it decides to call it a day.
This is obviously more fun on the return. We’re in Rocky Point as the sun sets and cooler temps feel nice as well. We eat dinner there, plus mandatory ice cream. Dayton takes a pic of my thousand yard stare as they call it. I actually felt much better than that pic portrays. We cruise from there back to White Lake. Mostly nice roads but the last 20 mile stretch back to White Lake is bumpy, straight, and a stupid sign every mile you get closer to White Lake. 20 miles to White Lake, 19, 18….. It’s always the most grinding stretch of this 600k, and I’m getting headachy from being in a pace line staring at red tail lights dancing across the road. Finally I let the group go a bit just so I can clear my head. A few miles later I decide to catch the group and take my pull. I’m cruising 18/19 for a couple miles when Ed zooms by on a mission. I think his mission was to reach White Lake before midnight or he was just sleepy and needed to wake up. Whatever it was, he has us cruising 23mph, 240 miles into the ride. I take back over, 20/21 for a mile or so, Dayton and Rick play the game a bit as well, and then Ed throws in another 23mph effort. We slide into WhiteLake control at 11:58pm. I guess we succeeded in whatever we were trying to do. That was fun and it woke me up as well. Now we are at Jerry’s Pub and Espresso. I had requested a little recovery brew and Jerry came through even in a dry county. He had the espresso machine going as well. Mary was also passing out chocolate covered espresso beans to-go bags. Another control stop that ranks among the best ever. After a brew, subway sandwich, and 3 espressos, a fresh kit from my drop bag, I decided to finish this thing while my comrades hit the sack for a couple hours of shut eye.
I ride out solo at 1:00am feeling great, enjoying a continued tailwind easy cruising 17/18mph. 255 miles down, only 120 to go. Zeppelin pumping in through the ear canals, and all was good. Somewhere around 3:00am, the wind died, and the sleep monster attacked. Cruising speed died as well. Meandered off the road once and walked a spell. Finally I lay down on a church porch for a few minutes without sleep. Cruised another hour or so then laid down again for a 20 minute nap. Mosquitoes found me and woke me up. Bastards! I cruised into Wade around twilight. I survived the night, though it wasn’t pretty. I’m getting my legs back a little now and the sun rise helps to clear the cobwebs. On to Stedman and Erwin. No real food since dinner, just a banana and c-store stuff. There is a McD’s in Angier, but with only 37 miles to go, I became more interested in the finish line before the sun bake rather than a hot meal, so I opted for more c-store stuff and off I go.
We are riding a 5 mile portion of the Raleigh Iron Man course Sunday morning, so I was gonna time my ride to cross paths with Kinnie if possible. She forwarded me her out of water expected time and I needed to cross the section around 9:45am, but I was a little too fast getting there and exited the course around9:20am. I did cross paths with a few hundred other cyclist including Chris who was riding my old Giant TRC bike that carried me for my first ever double century ride. All the spectators kept reminding me I was going the wrong way. I wanted to yell out to everyone that I was on mile 360, back from the beach!!!
I arrived back at Al’s place in Morrisville at 10:40am. 375 miles in 28 hrs and 40 mins. A 600K PR for the fat guy. It was a little early in the day, but I enjoyed some of Al’s home brew. Jerry arrived back with the drop bags 10 minutes later, and riding pal Ian who also pre-road the event stopped by. As he got out of the car he noticed the drop bags. “Drop bags are for sissy’s” he proclaims. Nuff said.