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Friday, October 7, 2011

)ctober 7, 2011

Tracy Lenier
Jacksonville, NC to Little River, SC
111 Miles

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday's 86 mile ride whipped me. Today's 111 ride was the strongest I've ever felt. Eating a huge dinner, and getting nine hours of sleep sure helps.

We left the motel at 7:45 with a temp of 51 degrees. By 10:30 it was in the mid 70's. I wore a light jacket to the first SAG (mile 32) and peeled it off and put it in the van.

From the first SAG to the end of the ride I pulled my little gang of 8 for the next 80 miles. The old adage "that unless you're the lead dog the scenery never changes" sure holds true when you're pedaling first! If you're back in the pace line - all you see is the person in front of you. How about an average speed of 16.9 for the entire 111 miles. My best ever by far. I guess I better give some credit to the great tail wind we had for 90% of the time.

I worked hard at standing up and changing my position on the saddle (seat to you non riders) and my butt felt the best it has the whole ride.

The ride was not particularly pretty or interesting. Very few picture opportunities. Plus we rode most of the day on a four lane highway. That means hugging a white line all the way as the bike lane was only about 15" wide. Plus there was a "rumble strip" in the bike lane a good part of the time. Your teeth literally rattle when you ride over that darn thing. I'll probably dream of white lines tonight. Plus, the noise from all the traffic wears on you after awhile.

Yes, we covered a lot of miles - but it wasn't like riding the back country roads where you can hear all the natural sounds and see all the sights.

My last blog I mentioned that I believe that I've become a much better rider. I recited a few of the things that have helped make that happen. When I started riding bike more seriously 25 years ago my good buddy Ron Smith and I would knock out 50 miles (all flat of course) and really feel like we had done something special. As I've gotten more serious about bike riding, I realize now how little I knew back then. I've learned a whole new bike riding "language". There's about a dozen hand signals and another dozen voice signals that good bikers use. They tell you when to slow, stop, and move right or left. They tell you when cars,/trucks are approaching from all directions. They warn you of potholes and junk on the road (you wouldn't believe how much dodging of "stuff" you have to do!) This "language" that we use and pass from one rider to the other helps keep us safe and in touch with what's going on around us. It's really a terrific thing - and I'd encourage everyone that rides a bike to learn all they can. You'll help yourself and you'll help other folks.

One of the pictures shows this ole boy crossing into SC - our tenth State! The other picture is of Tracy Lenier, who owns and runs CrossRoads Cycling Adventures...our tour company. She's Carol's boss and one of the best people motivators I've had the pleasure to be around. The picture of the tree filled with moss is typical of what you see in the south.

We just got back from the Officers Club Restaurant in Little River, SC - pasta once again, but I'm going to need those carbs for 118 mile day tomorrow! It's 9:00 and time for lights out! There's only one week left to get those donations in. Many thanks...

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