Sunday, October 4, 2009

Baby Buffalo Tooth on the Tar Heel 200

At least that's what six randonneurs pretended we were looking at...

Today was an absolutely glorious day to ride the RUSA Tar Heel 200 in eastern North Carolina, with overcast skies, mild temperatures, low humidity, light winds, few dogs, and low traffic. Late last week, route owner Dean posted an invitation to ride, and six of us turned out for the 7am start in Benson. The group consisted of two accomplished randonneurs, Dean and Gary, two experienced racers who have just joined RUSA, Maria and John, along with Jayjay and myself.

The group rode at a graciously social pace all the way to the turnaround point in Tar Heel. This allowed Jayjay and I to keep up with the group. Jayjay and I usually ride slow and race through the checkpoints, so it was interesting today to ride a bit faster and linger at the checkpoints.

The group seemed to enjoy passing several billboards advertising the Jambbas Ranch, a 'natural zoo' with buffalo, elk, and other animals. A few signs had drawings of big buffaloes in the foreground, with baby buffaloes in the distance. These prompted lots of witty comments, and kept buffaloes on our minds throughout the rest of the ride.

After the turnaround in Tar Heel, Jayjay and I relaxed our pace, watched the fast guys go, and settled into finishing the ride by ourselves. But alas, a thorn made its way into John's rear tire as the group was leaving the next-to-last checkpoint in Erwin, and they were still there when Jayjay and I cruised in. As we watched them finish fixing the tire, someone suggested the thorn looked like a baby buffalo tooth. Now I have never seen a baby buffalo tooth, but given our preoccupation with the Jambbas Ranch today, I agreed it looked like one. If nothing else, it made for a cute story.

Congratulations to Maria and John on their first RUSA 200K, and best wishes for many more.

Many thanks to Dean for inviting us to ride and shepherding us throughout.

Lots of captioned photos here... Photos

Cross-post to Dean's ride report...


dean furbish said...

Great storyline and accompanying pictures! Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed your company!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the account of our adventure! I hope to see you and Jayjay on another ride soon.