Sunday, October 3, 2010

A taste of Autumn

After endless weeks of hot summer drought, then four days of heavy rain, yesterday was *the* perfect day to ride the NC Bike Club's 200K brevet from Morrisville to Siler City and back.  Of course, it felt wierd to be applying sunblock while wearing a Norwegian wool hat in 50 degree F (10 C) temps before the start.  (Click the little photo to embiggen.)

Jayjay and I 'rode sweep' at our usual tourist pace.  We were delighted to get 50 miles before meeting the first group of fast riders on their return.  But the cashier at the checkpoint in Snow Camp yelled "wow, you're slow" when we answered why our brevet cards had fewer signatures than the fast guys who had just passed through.

Dogs:  A tiny white poodle chased Jayjay.  I laughed, but was afraid she would crush it.  Later, a deranged black dog was running erratically in the road.  We waited for a lull in traffic to avoid the skidding, swerving, and honking cars.  Hopefully Darwin fixes it soon.

Mechanical:  Early in the ride, I bent my rear derailleur in half.  I had pedalled backwards coming to a stop, unknowingly spanned the chain across sprockets, then I mashed the pedals to go.  I didn't get far.  After a few minutes with vise grips, I was able to baby it in the big sprockets for the remaining 100 miles.

Traffic:  Scores of cars were overtly polite throughout the day.  But four cars and one big truck buzzed us.  Very unusual.

Basket:  I love my new basket.  It's so flexible and convenient while riding.  (See photos.)

Rando Elan:  We had just finished climbing Jack Bennet Rd, the first attention-getting hill on the ride, when Jayjay spotted a low-mounted super-bright headlight charging up the hill behind us.  As the cyclist passed, he was sitting upright, hadn't broken a sweat, had that sparkling confident smile, and greeted us warmly.  Classic rando.  Chapeau!

Thanks to RBA Alan and Dorothy for organizing the ride, thanks to Jerry for volunteering at the turnaround point, and thanks to Skiffrun for waiting and greeting us at the finish and joining us for a fine Mexican dinner.

Here are a dozen random photos


dean furbish said...

Great to see you out on the course yesterday! I enjoyed reading yet another of your lively posts.

skiffrun said...

1) Is that a six-cog cassette?

2) I may be "stealing" one of your photos, and claim to be "using with permission". ;-)

skiffrun said...

Oh, yeah ... in addition to that freight train, I ran into what I can only presume to have been an NC State / VA Tech induce traffic jam.

I thought the game started at 3:30. I couldn't believe traffic was still messed up from post-game traffic at 9 pm.

verification word: "andiati"