Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cycling and Swimming

Jayjay and I rode an 80-mile portion of the RUSA Kerr Lake Loop permanent in North Carolina and Virginia today. The full permanent route is shaped like a lollipop, with the loop portion going around the lake, and the stem heading down toward Raleigh. We only rode the actual loop portion today, both for fun and to learn the route. Unofficial rendering on gmap-pedometer: map

The fun part was knowing what awaited us at the end of the ride. Earlier this morning, we had driven to the Satterwhite Point Recreation Area on the lake, which is conveniently located adjacent to the bike route. We paid the day-use fee and parked the car near the beach. When we returned after a long hot bike ride, diving into the lake was wonderful.

In between, we enjoyed a full day of bike riding in the heat. The weatherman had predicted cloudy skies for the day, but no such luck. The day was absolutely beautiful, sunny, and hot, which about wore me out. Oh, and the clouds finally arrived late in the afternoon.

Mid-morning, when the weather started getting steamy, we filled some tube socks with ice and tied them our necks. I'm not sure if it was wishful thinking or reality, but they seemed to make us more comfortable. Plus, carrying a supply of ice and drinks in an insulated cooler on my back rack helped me have faster descents going down hills.

This ride was Jayjay's and my first ride across a state line, going from North Carolina to Virginia and back. Neither one of us showed any interest in sprinting at any time during the day today, nevermind at some sign on the side of the road.

The dogs were out in force this morning. I was amazed how many 'dog families' raced out to greet us, each having one big grizzly dog along with two or three other little yappy dogs racing alongside. Luckily, their energy dropped off as the day got hot.

We were looking forward to stopping at some yard sales today, since we were not doing an official timed RUSA event, but we were out of luck. Surprisingly, we didn't pass one yard sale today.

Jayjay was our photographer today. She definitely takes nicer photos than I do: photos

The designer of this route did a marvelous job. The scenery is wonderful, most roads have light traffic, the hills are challenging for us, and there are abundant convenience stores along the way. I look forward to riding the whole route some day.

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