Saturday, June 26, 2010

200K meets 200K

Jayjay and I rode the RUSA Tar Heel 200K today, from Benson, NC to Tar Heel, NC, and back. Unlike last week, I remembered to collect my perm card at every checkpoint today. We enjoyed a variety of weather: hot and overcast, hot and sunny, and hot and rainy. We were well prepared with our insulated luggage, ice socks, and indomitable spirits.

We had the privilege of crossing paths with two other randos riding the same route today, Dean and Lin. Jayjay and I started early, and Dean and Lin started a while later. The first time we met was just outside the turnaround point at Tar Heel. Dean and Lin were arriving just as Jayjay and I were departing. We stopped, took photos, gave the secret rando handshakes, and went on our ways. The second time was at the finish in Benson. Jayjay and I barely had time to pack up our bikes and get our cards stamped when Dean and Lin rolled in.

Just don't asked what times we all started.

Click here for photos with captions.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

DNF means 'Do Not Forget'

Let's review several lessons from Rando 101:

1) Do not forget your perm card at a checkpoint.

2) Do not forget your credit card with your perm card at a checkpoint.

3) Do not ride your bike 14 miles before discovering mistakes 1 and 2.

I violated these simple rules today on an otherwise perfect summer day while riding the Tar Heel 200K.

All the gory self-deprecating details are here, with verbosely captioned photos.

I blame it on my summertime obsession with ice. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rando Habits and Real Life

Have you ever noticed how habits can transfer from one activity to another?

I drove 500 miles solo from NC to NJ last weekend, in record time. Whenever I stopped for gas, I raced through the convenience stores: quick bathroom, grabbed snacks and drink, then ate on the road. I realized after the second stop that a year of rando events was getting me back on the road incredibly fast. Very neat.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Right Hooks

Question: When is a right hook not a right hook?
Hypothesis: When both the car and bicycle turn right.

As part of my commute, I sprint along a short narrow section of NC54 (an aggressively driven, ostensibly 45mph (72km/h), two-lane road) and turn right up a short steep hill into a housing development. For the first time one day last week, a car pulled directly alongside me and matched my speed as we reached the intersection. I noticed his right turn signal flashing. Then the two of us both turned right and whipped around the corner, perfectly synchronized, no more than 3 ft (1m) apart. Wow, what was that? I filed it away as a fluke.

Amazingly, it happened again yesterday. Another fluke?

I am choosing to believe these drivers are seeing my extended arm and recognizing it as a right-turn signal, which is good. But I'm not yet sure a synchronized turn is a good thing. Maybe with more practice...