Indoor camping proved to have the disadvantage of a continual flow of traffic to the restrooms all night long which GOG said it sounded like the paddles on a Mississippi steam boat! Whoosh, kawoosh! Never the less it provided a dry and warm place to get some well need rest. It was an early rise due to the lights being turned on for all at 6:30 am. The first piority for MT was coffee and a bite to eat. The only place in site was a Hardees, it would have to do. After knawing on some indiscribable biscuit and ingesting some caffine it was time to hunt down an unsuspecting draft line. With yesterdays success at taling a 19-20 mph peloton, GOG quickly spotted a target group. MT easily followed GOGs lead and coasted into the trailing position. This group was a bit inconsistant as the varied between 16 and 20 at very unpredictible times and was frustrating to follow but did get them to the first stop at the 15 mile point. A short break and the another persuit, this time the group was not willing / able to maintain any speed and soon broke up leaving GOG and MT on there own. They were cuising the flats into the finish at 19-20 mph. There was little but farmland and bouges to look at so the focus was on the speed and maintaining the 18mph avg for the day. Finally Surf City was in view and the only thing separating the riders from the finish was a drawbridge which halted all traffic both ways as ships passed. Once the gates lifted it was on in to the finish! First task was to prep the bikes for transfer back to Cary, then shower then food and beverage.
After eating chicken dinner that was part of the "end of ride party", it was off to a beach front bar for some beverages. It was 2 hours before the buses loaded for home so there was no rush and it was a nice view from the outdoor seating at the bar.
The ride was very enjoyable, challanging and a wonderful experience. GOG and MT look foward to next year and introducing others to the experience.
Tomorrow's ride with the sunday group will be 8 days in a row and also be wiegh in to see if anything was lost. MT guesses that she will have a gain. GOG may record a loss.
Calories consumed: Kevin - 3000 Theresa - 2500
Calories burned: Kevin - 4200 Theresa - 3500
Day 6 Dunn to Kenansville - 62 miles
After 12 hours of rest and sleep the legs stopped rebelling and felt like the had a bit of energy in them. Rosie's coffee was all that was needed before beginning todays trek to Kenansville. The roads were flat an meandered thru the farm land ready to harvest tobacco, cotton and beans. MT could bearly see GOGs back fender because of the sun low on the horizon and what ever chemical they sprayed on the crops, made her eyes burn and water as if she had been peeling an entire bag of onions in a smoke filled kitchen. She held on to the pace as GOG slowly escalated it to a respectible 16 -17 mph. GOG was anxious to pick up the pace since the route was so flat, so he hooked on to a passing draft line with MT in tow. Now it was easy to maintain a 18 - 20 mph pace. The first stop at the 12 mile mark had promised b-fast but only delivered the predictible granola bars and bananas. Oh well purhaps a good lunch will be the reward at the end of the days ride, MT was craving a Harrison's quality hamburger and fries.
MTs eyes had stopped watering so GOG eyed a target pace line in the distance and started to reel them in pushing close to 24 mph. MT stayed with him down one incline and part way up the next, then just when GOG was about to latch on to the tailend of the slipstream MT tried to pull out her hanky and lost it behind her on the road. She pulled over and then walked back to retrieve it. GOG reluctantly abandoned his persuit and made it known to MT how close he was was to the pack. It was clear that GOG was in the spirit of the race rather than the ride. He continued to express his disappointment as they continued into the next rest stop. Here the local church had hot dogs and baked goodies for whatever you wanted to contibute.
Now with a bit of fuel the two once again discarded their pride and scouted for a pace group so they could do a bit of wheel sucking. MT was looking to redeem herself from GOGs earlier disappointment so the animal returned as she fought to hold on to a group going about 19-20. This took them all the way into the last rest stop at Warsaw, which went all out with free homemade goodies and lemonade.
For the final 11 miles this winning strategy held true as GOG and MT found a poorly formed pace line and hopped on. It was apparent they needed some leaders to keep the 19mph pace going, so MT pulled up an incline and set the pace for a short burst with GOG releving her from the post once she declared her turn was up. She swung in behind him and they took those who could hang on the rest of the way into the finish.
The Duplin Co convention center opened it's doors to the campers. With rain looming GOG oppted to lock in a space inside the expo center. After a few brews and a shower it's off to dive into a seafood buffet. It's hard to believe tomorrow is the final day of biking.
Calories consumed: Kevin - 2400 Theresa - 2100
Calories burned: Kevin - 4600 Theresa - 3800
Day 5 Sanford to Dunn - 60 miles
There is just one thing to say about todays ride - pathetic! There were times when GOG and MT were giving everthing the had and looked down to see the odometer register 12 mph! There was little focus on scenery or observIng anything notable because every movement caused unfamilar pain and nothing else mattered but getting to Dunn! At the 8 mile mark MT spotted a cafe with plenty of bikes surrounding it, which meant A. The food was good, B. The service was slow. The cafe owners called in local help when the masses arrived and were planning to take a vacation from the one days proceeds. The food was good and the staff did a great job getting everyone served and on their way.
Once on the road the agony tore at GOG and MTs attitude, not much was said except the essential "car back" or "clear". At the first rest stop, Raven Rock park, they met up with "Crash Eddy" from the OMV wednesday riding group.
The roads from this stop were in desparate need of some recovery tax money and this intesified the riders pain. After 40 miles and a bit of Aleve relief the pace did pick up for brief spurts where the terrain flatten out a bit. Then at 50 miles GOG wanted the pain to end so he continued into Dunn while MT had to make a brief stop at the final rest stop so she could make it the remainging 10 miles to Dunn. GOG had just settled in the pampered zone when MT made her arrival. They both moved slowly and were in need of "fissy yellow beer" so they caught the early bird special at a local Mexican restaurant.
As they returned to camp at 5:30 they were ready to turn in and lick their wounds and hope for a bit of recovery sleep tonight.
Calories consumed: Kevin - 2800 Theresa - 2100
Calories burned: Kevin - 3725 Theresa - 3200
Day 4 Thomasville to Sanford - 98 miles
The intent today was for an early start, however MT was not leaving on empty tank. Not to mention the temp was causing the eyes to water and fingers to go numb. GOG was given explicite instuctions to find the first place with hot food. Within 1 mile he pulled in to a grill that was already serving to a number of cyclist.
This turned out to be the best b-fast all week and a great price performer. They could not finish the very large portions ( were is Cope when you need him). However it stole 1 hour off the days cycle clock. The riders were met by a bright sun whose warming rays were held at bay by the earlier movement of a strong cold frount. Now fully fueled it would be 22 miles to the first stop. The hills where relentless, GOG took count of no less than 12 Lystras, a handful of upchucks and several Nicole's rollercosters thrown in for good measure. The Richard Petty museum was host to the first stop.
At that stop GOG overheard another cyclist commenting "I thought I was doing terrible until I looked at my Garmin and it showd we were doing over 10% on some of the hills!" Not being Nascar enthusists they use the bathroom facilities and moved on. The next stop featured a homemade pasta bake off with each creator proadly laddling their secret reciepe. A single plate sampling 3 of the 5 choices was consumed by GOG and MT.
With bellys topped off, water bottles refilled the two rider thru their leggs over the bikes and roles back on the route. Mile 37 marked the early decision point for the 75 or the century route. GOG arrived before MT and looking back with a breif pause as MT clearly indicated there was no choice but to turn and fouced GOG to make the right to the 100 mile point of no return. There was a 4 mile repreve until the hills returned like a treadmill during a stress test. The hills were expected now as each creek crossing signalled the beginning of another climb. On top of that the head winds on more than one occasion blocked the riders momentum down hill forcing them to pedal to maintain foward progress. The one saving grace was that traffic was minimal and well behaved. The century riders were treated to free hot dogs at the pottery visitor center.
After that the rolling hills passed by numerous pottery artists shops but GOG denied MT any paroosing as the cycle clock was ticking. At mile 75 mile mark, the century riders rejoined the 75 mile riders at a Baptist church where else but on the top of a hill!
Here caffine in the form of Pepsi Max was consumed in hopes to spark some energy in the last 25 miles. As it turned out they needed it as the hills returned like a bad movie sequel. The ride organizers must have worked extra hard to route the riders up every hill within he city limits. GOG proclaimed a new name for Sanford - "community of hills" but the is the sand hills of NC, right? On in to the fairgrounds for some pampered zone time, showers and off to town for more fuel.
Calories consumed: Kevin - 3500 Theresa - 3400
Calories burned: Kevin - 7600 Theresa - 6400
Kevin drank 6 waterbottles during the ride!
Day 3 Statesville to Thomasville - 63 miles
GOG and MT got an early start today, as advised by the tour coordinators, to miss the morning traffic. As GOG ascended the first hill he realize he left his legs in the tent! MT left with only one cup of coffee and no b-fast! It was a long 12 miles to the first reststop where they were rewarded with full helpings of biscuits, eggs, sausage, ham, gravy, OJ and coffee served up by the local firestation. After digesting a bit, jackets came off and sunscreen was applied as the Carolina Blue skies becond the riders on this perfect day of biking. The route took the parade through a terrain of undulaing hills as if a stone had been thrown in the Peidmont pond generating repeating ripples across the countryside.
Farmhouses varied from well manicured large front yards to the eclectic assortment of rot iron lawn orniments and rusting car and farm machinery parts. One thing they all had in common were massive wrap around porches with a variety of seating including swings and the oblegatory white rocker. The riders return waves as they passed to deliver the morning's entertainment on what must have been a slow farming day. The days route passed through unknown towns of Cooleemee, crossing the Yadkin river and the final rest stop at a
tranquille lake named Thorn-A-Lex. The finish in Thomasville was at a sprawling Baptist Home for Children with plenty of vendors set up with BBQ, pizza and other refueling items. Tonight's enertainment is a movie on an outdoor screen attached to the baseball backstop... The popcorn has already begun to pop! Tomorrow will be either
75 or 100 miles thru the Uwharries.
Calories consumed: Kevin - 2800 Theresa - 2500
Calories burned: Kevin - 4700 Theresa - 3800
Day 2 Linoir to Statesville - 58 miles
The foothills of NC are appropriatly named as they will kick your butt. GOG and MT (Mother Theresa) begain to give new ratings to each of the acents and decents as they reminded them of Colorado ski slopes. They realized these inclines would not even register on a real Tour as 'cat 1' with real bicycle legions like Armstrong, Eno, Merckx, Hincapie, Cope and Carter. Instead the new GOG ratings are: black diamond, blue, green and bunny.
The legs where heavy and not prepared for the black diamond climb that started right out of the campsite. Their legs felt like they were being tenderized by ballpeen hammers. Todays ride unfolded with vista after vista greating the parade of cyclist. The sun was greated with the moning calls from the farm rosters, as it slowly warmed the hillsides. The breathtaking vistas at each crest becond a picture, but Theresa was barely making 5 MPH up these black runs while GOG circled at the top. Then the reward, a black diamond decent down the canoped road as the sunshine spoted the curved route to a fertile valley that hosted tree nurseries. After 12 miles of black runs the first rest stop at the top of a hill at a Baptist church which had promised sausage biscuits for breakfast, it was the only thing motivating MT thru the slopes as she and GOG started with an empty tank. After searching for any sign of said biscuits, MT was informed there were none, however there was a Bojangles 5 miles down the route. That was the new goal as nothing but a biscuit would satisfy MT. Now fueled MT kicked in to power gears and had the GOG maxed out spinning at 16 mph. Team Arrogant Bastard gogt lots of coments as they were passed or swept by other bikers. They were even the favorite jersey of the day of the lady at Bojangles. The black diamond gave way to blue squares as they hit the second rest stop, another Baptist church that laid like a fortress at the top of a hill. GOG knawed on a PBJ while MT waited in line for the portapotty. Contiuing on the tour de Baptist, the break between the slopes allowed for cruising speeds of up to 24 Mph now that the route transitioned into the bunny runs. Last rest stop was at a Food Lion (a Baptist church was surely close by). MT lived up to her MS150 title of 'the beast' as a tailwind gave assistance up the final blue and bunny slopes. The finish was pridicably at a Batist Church with the tents pitched next to a grave yard. With pillows on the tomestones should be dead quiet tonight!
Although as this is being composed thunder and some nasty clouds are luming! Wrote too quick ... the rain has begun. Thank goodness for the pampered zone! When this let's up it will be time to head to town for food and beverages.
Calories consumed:Kevin - 2800, Theresa - 2100
Calories burned: Kevin - 3800, Theresa - 3100
Day 1 Blowing rock to Linoir - 61 miles
Theresa slept well thanks to a well pumped air matress , tylenol PM and the latest novel by Dan Brown. Kevin however was serinaded by what sounded like the mating call of 100's of bullfrogs throughout the night and managed to finally get to sleep around 2am. Nothing that a little caffeine couldn't fix! When we ventured out to load our bags the wind was blowing from the west (good). We shared a banana and got going about 8am.
We climbed up past Bass Lake (one of the bestplaces to walk or run in the area) and turned on to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Nicole will be pleased to know that the color has just started to turn and the mountains were spotted with patches of reds, yellow and oranges.
We climbed up and up for several miles to the Linn Cove Viaduct where we looked down at the whispy clouds that give the Smoky Mtns there name.
Past Grandfather Mtn then down a 2 mile decent to the first reststop. After the stop it was back to a climb then turning on 181 where there was a promise of an exhilerating 11 mile down hill to the next rest stop.
Kevin clocked 43 mph and Theresa did 41 max speed!
The down hill was almost as much tiring as the up because you are so nervous and constantly pumping your brakes. A quick PBJ sandwich at the stop and a shared soda refueled us for the next 10 miles. What goes down must go up. Hill after hill, signs on the road warned you of the next snaking stretch, and you just knew it was up, followed by a quick down, then do it all over again. Quit your whining! Theresa was in need of the next rest stop (no doubt). It was here we hooked up with Bob Lowery (scouting parent). We headed out together but at the first big climb he was
Walking? As Theresa passed he asked "you got a pump?". Theresa did and lent it to him and discussed the art of using CO2 cartriges. Alas Kevin came back and provided his expertise to Bob's releif. Back on the road and we cuised on into Linoir (of course the town is on a hill).
Thanks to Bubba the now dry tent was waiting and there were cold drinks and snacks in the "pampered zone".
Showers were in the Rubber Ducky trucks, and next to write this blog and plan the journey to the beer tent and festivities in town!
Calories consumed:Kevin - 2800, Theresa - 1700
Calories burned: Kevin - 4200, Theresa - 3500
No biking today. Good thing cause it's supose to rain all day.
Two buses left CSH @ 9 AM with 60 anxious biker each. Bikes were loaded ever so carefully with ample padding on all sides. 3 additional trucks carried the bikes and gear.
Arrived in Blowing Rock @ 1:30 in mixed rain. Kevin was in focus-mode until we and the bikes were settled in to the optimum spot, just as on a dive boat you want to be away from the deisel exhaust and out of the sun. Here you wanted a dry space on the crowded gymnasium floor, away from the in coming trail yet close to facilities that may be needed during the night. Next check in with Bubba's Pampered Peddlers and access the outdoor preset tent accomodations. The tent was a life raft that had spring a leak and no amount of bailing would help with the forcast for even more downpores.
Indoor camping was a wise choice! So far... rumor has it that altracations Attitude: 10
Calories consumed:Kevin - 2800, Theresa - 2100
Calories burned: Kevin - 3800, Theresa - 3100 in the night!
Next to forage to find the bike truck and reassemble the bikes. Meanwhile, Theresa is getting VERY hungry... B-hungry which is somthing no one wants to see. She buys a banana and some peanutbutter and oatmeal cookies from the school PTA booth to bridge the gap. Finally by 3:30 we are settled and ready to head to the closest pub for beverage and some food!
The food was awesome and Theresa scored a new reciepe for Buffalo Chicken soup!
The rain is still coming down off and on but should clear up by early morning in time for a dry start to the ride to Linoir tomorrow. We are on vacation!
We are keeping track of calories consumed and burned on this trip in hopes of reducing the omementum to hopefully improve our momentum!
Theresa's consumption is at her max for the day of 1500 cal with no significant burn. Kevin reports the same. I'm sure he forgot something! With 3500 cal = 1 lb we need a significant deficit every day to see any loss. If Biggest Looser can do it so can we.