Ride across North Carolina #4
Day 2: From Hendersonville to Shelby
Today was different, as our cyclists were playing hurt, but according to JB’s interpretation of the map the course was one big descent at the start and then flat the rest of the day. It was not anything like that at all and he later explained that it was a lot harder because the ride officials had changed the scale of the elevations and “that is why it was hard to interpret”.
It was 76.1 miles with an elevation gain of 4072 feet. It took our cyclists 7.5 hours to complete the course---and it was painful! The ride began in a moderate rain, which continued until noon. It quit abruptly, but sprang up again throughout the ride. Cold, soggy and painful…these are the words to describe this second day of riding.
For those of you who have followed us before, we introduced the concept of “rollers” as it applies to cycling techniques that allows us to go down a hill with such speed as to reach the crest of the next hill. We compared the concept of rollers to the wave action in the Beaufort Inlet. As you descend into the first wave, you want to make sure your boat meets the crest of the second wave, until safely into the Atlantic Ocean.
We would like to introduce a new concept in cycling. It’s called “high mountain rollers.” These involve descending very steep mountain roads at an average of 40 miles an hour, and not making it to the top of the next hill. In this year’s ride, this task is made more difficult because of the rain and extremely slippery roads (covered by wet leaves and mud). It goes without saying that when you do not reach the top of the next hill, one must put one’s bike in the lowest possible gear to enable reaching the top of the next hill. This sometimes consumes many minutes of excruciating pain. Quoting JB, when riding a bicycle, you must “pay the piper. You can either pay the piper when training, or you will pay the piper on the ride. Either way, the piper will be paid…one way or the other…with interest.”
Speaking of clever sayings, PKSers are quite aware that NC history is well founded in religious beliefs. So...let us confirm that by what we saw on various church signs as we rode today’s course:
- One message was printed on an enormous cross (Korsa) stating, “Jesus died for sinners.”
- A sign on a neighboring church proclaimed, “God made everything beautiful”.
- In the front yard of a local resident, there was a hand-made sign that stated, “The wages of sin are death”.
- The next sign the cyclists saw as we ascended a huge hill then began our descent, was a road sign proclaiming it was ‘Hallelujah Hill.’
All riders accepted these signs as good omens, and embraced the fact that the ride across North Carolina is kind of like a religious experience.
Back to the cyclists, JB and MH actually had a great day in the saddle and finished the course without incident. The Dog Whisperer (JF) had a mechanical problem (broken spoke) at the 60-mile mark. In cycling, this may be as rare as finding the Hope Diamond. He was very clever, as breaking a spoke (Bruten Yttrade) allowed him to be transported via a warm vehicle the last 20 miles of the course.
When JB and MH learned of JF’s misfortune, they also volunteered to kick out their spokes, so they could avoid the last very painful 20 miles. The Dog Whisperer (JF) informed them the van was completely full, and they would have to continue riding the course. Again, JF is a clever fellow.
At the same rest stop, JB was so despondent after learning he could not ride in the van, he sat on the curb and wrung (ie… squeezed & twisted) the rain water out of his socks before proceeding. It was definitely a wet day. MH was concerned that JB in his confused state of mind might do the same thing with his riding shorts and suggest they better get going--which probably stopped something that surely would have made at least the local papers.
We can’t seem to ride without being threatened by cur dogs. So JF was again able to perform an amazing feat...he subdued four large pit bull (pitt tujrars) dogs simply by talking them down. His courageous actions undoubtedly saved the legs of many fellow bikers.
Not to be outdone, JB rescued a confused pet kitten (Kattunge) from harm by scooping it up from the road, and delivering it the gentle farm lady down the lane.
We are spending the night in Shelby, NC. Shelby has several area attractions:
- It was the filming location for the movie “The Hunger Games”…District 12.
- Lake Lure, which is the film sight for “Dirty Dancing”.
- The Earl Scruggs Center: Music and Stories from the American South is a high tech museum honoring this legendary banjo player.
- The Don Gibson Theater is named for the country musician legend and Shelby native who is famous for writing the songs “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Sea of Heartbreak”, “Sweet Dreams”, “Oh Lonesome Me” and many others.
- And, of course, the Livermush Expo which began in 1987 to celebrate the unique delicacy.
In the evening, we enjoyed our usual Margarita(s) followed by a lovely dinner and made it an early night. Well, except for the part where we all worked on the report, and one person (you know who you are JB) complained about the support team. You, sir, are on a slippery slope. From a person who knows best (MH), when you are on one of BH’s slippery slope reports, the best way out is to pay the wages of a sinner.
Bye! (Hej hej) Note: the best posted sign of the day was “I started with nothing and I have a lot of it left!”
Crystal Coast Hospice House provides an inpatient hospice facility to patients and families along the central NC coast and Hospice of Carteret County provides in-home patient care through extensive Nursing Services. If you want to contribute, you simply make a check out to Crystal Coast Hospice House or the Carteret General Foundation (annotate your check for Hospice) to support Hospice of Carteret County and mail it to Mike Hargett, 139 Hoffman Beach Rd, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512. Mike will take your contributions to these agencies and ensure you get a letter acknowledging your tax deductible contribution. Tack, Tack. Tack !!!!!!!!!!