16 November 2009

Newest North Carolina Randonneurs

Today is a big day for the NC Randonneur family as we add two new junior members!

My wife, Jeneen, and I welcomed our new son, Jack Finn Morton, into the world. At 8lbs 13oz, he's hearty lad with a healthy set of lungs to boot. He says he'll be ready for his first 200k in 6 weeks or so. Guess I need to hurry up and get him a bike built up...

Also, please join me in extending a hearty congratulations to fellow NC Randonneur, Branson and his wife Loree who are also welcoming a new addition to their family too! They'll be returning from South Korea soon with their new son, Aubrey Kimball.
He's quite the dapper chap and certainly knows how to work that suit.

Happy trails!

15 November 2009

Terrific Tarheel 200

Dean put out the call early this week for a running of his Tarheel 200 Permanent. With temperatures forecast to rise into the mid 70's in the middle of November, well that was just too hard to turn down. Since this was the last real "free" weekend around my household, I jumped at the chance.

With a 7am start, it meant we had the potential to finish before dark. 8 riders signed on for the fun: Dean, Tom, Mary, John, Janice, Andy, Geof a myself. We were greeted with temps in the low 50's for the start and thick patchy fog. We all stayed pretty closely together through the first two controls. The fog finally burned off by the time we rolled into Steadman.

Shortly after Steadman, Tom, Mary, John, Geof and I broke away for a brisk run into the turn around. On the final turn to the turn around, we lost Tom -- we weren't quite sure what happened. Mary road back to check on Tom. While hanging around the parking lot, a driver told us he'd seen a rider go down just a mile or two back. Must be Tom. Doesn't sound good

John, Geof and I had a bit to eat at the control and began the return trip. Just a little bit down the road, we saw everybody else, Tom was up and riding and yelled out he'd had a flat. Not sure if he went down or not, but we all hope he's OK.

The three of us stayed together for the rest of the afternoon, rolling in to the finish a few minutes before 5pm. Finished with sunglasses on.

Altogether, an absolutely wonderful day in the saddle. Given the weather we had on the last Lake Loop, this was like riding in heaven.

Happy trails, everyone!

03 November 2009

Lake Loop Epic

This past weekend, Geof, Brian, Branson, Mike and myself decided to ride the Kerr Lake Loop Permanent. A week or so earlier, Geof and I were talking up the Lake Loop to Brian who was interested in getting his first 200K ride in. From a distance, it looked like we'd have good weather for Sunday. As we came into the weekend, things were looking considerably less rosy.

With a near 100% chance of rain, near steady temps in the low-mid 50's and a tough headwind for most of the route, this was to be an epic day. On the way to the start, my Shuffle queued up the Pixies, "
Stormy Weather" -- good theme song for the day.

Not long after the first group, we split -- Brian, Geof and I dropped back letting the fixie twins, Mike & Branson go -- the three of us stayed together for the reminder of the day.
For the first 70 miles or so, I alternated between being moderately comfortable and pretty cold. Any stop for more than just a couple minutes and it was tough to get moving again.

My biggest mistake of the day was experimenting with plastic bags in my shoes. I used a couple of the newspaper bags over my socks inside my shoes. For the first little bit, it felt pretty good, but water began to work into the bags, soaking my feet. I ditched the bags and put on shoe covers at the first control, but it took a long time to get my feet feeling warm again.

A tip of the chapeau to everyone for finishing such an epic and three cheers to Brian for finishing his first 200k! After this trial, they'll all seem much easier.

Mike D. also has a good write-up of our adventures. As you may have guessed by his photo, I was a little "under enthusiastic" before the start.