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Ride across North Carolina #4 Day 4: From Concord to Southern Pines

Scott Sherrill - Friday, October 02, 2015

Ride across North Carolina #4

Day 4: From Concord to Southern Pines

When the Blog Team editors looked over our work from last night, they realized we forgot to describe some of the fabulous area attractions around Concord, NC. Most of you are well aware that we really do not have Blog Team Editors. So how does this blog get written everyday? Well, it is usually done by the person on the Team who cares the most about our fans at any given moment on any given day.

So with that in mind here are the Concord Attractions. Wait, the Crazy Swedish Lady just sent a tweet and said she wanted more details. OK-- she asked for it so here it is.

It is Wednesday morning at 5:24 am and the Team member who has been assigned to care the most at this particular time is a southern male about six foot one inches tall, with a strong southern accent, currently wearing just his underpants and reading glasses.

He really doesn’t care that much about anything right now because he is dead tired, but currently on probation for losing his helmet yesterday. Our Team managers would be perfect running a maximum-security prison in Texas where they are serious about good order and discipline. 

So here are the attractions:

  • The Concord Mills Mall, one of the best shopping destinations in North and South Carolina.
  • The Concord Museum, was originally a confederate museum, but now houses other information because according to recent historical revisions the Civil War did not take place. All of you who have followed Civil War History can now just forget about it.
  • The Charlotte Motor Speedway is 2,000 acres of NASCAR on steroids. The land the Charlotte Motor Speedway now occupies was the site of a working plantation during the Civil War (again which did not take place).
  • President George Washington ate lunch and rested in a house that once served as the speedway’s offices. Don’t get me started- was he really the President- how did he eat lunch with wooden teeth?

Wait! I think it worked--I have been asked to slowly move away from the computer with my hands above my head and then sit quietly in a chair by the window and stare out at the rain. Yes--it is raining again today and I am not sure if I want to play anymore.

Todays ride was 79.9 miles (we will just call it 80) with an elevation gain of 3733 feet. This is our last day in the Mountains so tomorrow we will be ready to start the part of this ride that we are trained for--yes the Coastal Plains (flatlands)!!  

Breaking news…

This just in from Cycle North Carolina:

We have received the most recent report from Emergency Management and due to the forecast of extensive flooding, the threat of landfall from Hurricane Joaquin and the safety of our participants we have decided to end the ride.   

The Cycle NC headquarters will be available in the morning to answer any questions that you may have regarding your options.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you, but we are focused on getting everyone home safely. 

Just prior to this announcement the PKS Cycling Team decided to pack up and head quickly back to Carteret County because the Jarrett Bay Oyster Company had experienced extensive damage during last week because of extreme weather and needed immediate attention. JB, and JF (Now the Oyster Whisperer) and MH quickly dropped their smelly cycling gear, put on their best oyster farming clothes and headed to Jarrett Bay to fix all the problems caused by the bad weather.  They also will work the next three days to prepare for a storm landfall in our area. We hope and pray this will not happen and have gotten a good start on correcting the damage that was caused by the storm last week.

Goodbye is always bittersweet, but we love representing PKS in this event and hope you remember to make a contribution to Hospice.  Please remember, they are there for each and every one of us in what can be the most difficult time in our lives. Please hug a Hospice associate when you can.  They completely deserve it and, from our experiences, we believe they are angels on earth.

Epilogue

On the last day of the ride, MH was six miles from the 2nd rest stop chasing JB downhill as fast as their bikes could go when there was a loud snap and loss of power to the pedals on his bike. He slowly coasted to a stop and realized his chain was no longer on his bike, but instead was in the road about two blocks from where he stopped. JF behind MH quickly stopped to render assistance and summed up the situation by saying “boy you are screwed now!”

MH did not even have time to get despondent when he heard a voice say, “Do you boys need any help?” The man was driving an older black cargo van and said he would be happy to drive us to the next rest stop. He opened the back door of the van and JF and MH put their bikes in the back, which had an open space all the way to the driver and passenger seats. He then offered to stop by his house and get an additional seat, but MH said that he was so tired he would just lie down in the back. MH quickly noticed some sort of dried flowers lying in the back and began to wonder about this vehicle’s business use. The driver informed the cyclists that he worked for two local funeral homes and this was the vehicle they moved bodies around in before funerals. MH told the driver that he was feeling very peaceful and dreamlike while lying in the back of the van, but he did not have time for his own funeral because he had to get back to Carteret County to save Jarrett Bay Oyster Company. The driver responded “that’s OK,” but not to fall asleep because strange accidents happen in every business. Later, when the PKS Cyclists got out of the van, the driver heard MH and JF discussing the fact that neither one of them had any money to get the bike fixed. The driver graciously offered to give them money, which they declined.  However, they were convinced they had just been given a ride by an Angel on earth. If you think we made this up, please check with Edwards Funeral Home in Norwood, NC and ask for Clarence. 

In closing, we would encourage each of you to seek out hospice earth Angels and thank them for their wonderful contributions.  Just as importantly, we encourage you to contribute to the hospice organizations of Carteret County.

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.

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