Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tar Heel Adventures

Jayjay and I rode the RUSA Tar Heel 200K in North Carolina yesterday.  It was a glorious spring day with a few new experiences.  Rando Skiff of The Irregulars encouraged me to write longer ride reports, so here goes...

Welcome Hippies

This sign inside Mule City Gas in Benson got the day off to a good start.

Pierogi Full Moon

The almost-full moon was huge and super-bright in the clear sky just before dawn, thanks to being at its closest point to Earth in its 18-year elliptical orbit.  Astronomers call it a Pierogi Full Moon, or something like that which reminded me of Pierogis.  (Rando Mike posted serious science at RTP)

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Jayjay's cluster ratchet is really loud when coasting.  I am now convinced that the sound catches the attention of dogs.  Two times we were cruising along in the quiet pre-dawn darkness when she stopped pedaling and the ratchet started clicking.  Immediately, I heard a muffled 'woof' in the distance, followed by a chase.  Must practice pedaling continuously.

Wicked Witch of the Wind 

A cold front blasted us all afternoon as we returned from Tar Heel.  While nothing like the winds of a mountain pass, it was the stongest and longest headwinds I've ever ridden into.  I even resorted to attempting a tuck, grasping the front of my basket like aerobars.  Not pretty.

Not Paintballers

If ever you approach a large group of people standing at attention in a wide formation blocking a side road, and they have full camo, high tech helmets, and heavy hardware, prudence says to put away your camera, face front, and ride straight and steady.  Definitely do not scan the opposite side of the road looking for the fellows you are not supposed to see.

Fun with Tractors

We passed several farm tractors on the roads.  Each time, they were moving so fast that I couldn't get my camera out in time for a photo.  The last one was a 'tall tractor', with a large opening underneath designed to pass over rows of tall crops.  It was easily tall enough for a bicyclist to pass underneath.  Luckily, the tractor had passed before my tired mind realized that possibility.

Bland checkpoint photos

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cycling Distractions

DO NOT go into the woods and clean brush and thorny brambles:

  • On the first warm springtime day
  • With fresh young chiggers
  • And vigorous poison ivy
  • Wearing short pants.
And then DO NOT lounge around the house, spreading the invisible oils and varmints so they can revisit you on all parts of your body for weeks ahead despite endless cleanings. Boiling hot showers will become your best friend.

Today is Day 12. Gross, full resolution photo is [here]. What was I thinking?