Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MY OWN FLAG DAY RIDE

Races I am following:

 

I couldn’t be with my friend Jim Artis as he set off on his tour from Cadillac Mountain on Monday morning so I had to settle with a commute home after work. I had a late afternoon appointment that ran me a little later getting started than usual but I thought this would be a good thing as the work crowd in cars would have thinned out.

As I left my office at 6:00 p.m., the temperature was 94 degrees with about 80% humidity. It was hot and sticky! Still, I had hopes of enjoying the ride home at a leisurely but productive pace. As I was cruising along Howell Mill Rd., I looked down and was amazed to see that I was pulling nearly 45 mph! Whew! This was on flat ground too. I was somewhat wary of the data as I’ve never ridden 45 mph downhill much less on flat ground under my own power. Sure enough, I was kicking it! By the time I got to Lowes, which is about 2.5 miles from my office, I was informed by my computer that I had ridden 5.8 miles. I mean I was really having a great ride…

Unfortunately, I had to accept that my bike computer was malfunctioning. I stopped and tried to reset it properly. After getting restarted on the road, I had my first of two events involving A$$Hole Appleton. In the first, an old pickup with 3 passengers found it necessary to wait until they were right on top of me before hammering down on their horn. I imagine the bike and I  jumped 3’ straight up in the air as it scared me. Through their mirrors, I could see them laughing as they pulled away. I proudly held back and did not give them the one finger salute.

My ride continued on at an accelerated pace thanks to the still malfunctioning computer. My cadence and heart bpm seemed appropriate to the exertion level but the speed and mileage was still off. I made it across Lee Road and down to Old Clyde Road without further appearances of A$$Hole Harry. In fact, I even stopped at the end of Lee Road and took this picture of the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway from down below.

Great Smoky Mountains Expressway (Old Clyde Highway passing under GSM Expressway)

Just past the bridge, the road widens out nicely into a boulevard that runs through Clyde. I had just picked up a good cruising speed of around 20 mph (55 on my computer!) and had a nice vibe going. I noted a large high dollar pickup coming to an intersection on my left. I had the right of way as I was on the through street. I had eye contact with the passenger and, I thought, the driver. He did appear to be looking right at me. I proceeded on – He pulled out. Yep, I apparently didn’t exist even though his passenger was looking dead on at me and I was about to smash into her door. Didn’t seem to bother any of them though and I was fortunate in having the room to maneuver right and get out their lane of travel. Once he passed me, I noted his out of state license plates and then it made more sense. He was from the most dangerous state in the union for cyclists. You know, that one down south of me. The one with the long, long narrow landmass and the panhandle. He was just driving like he was at home. Silly me…

Oh well, alls well that ends well. From there it was a nice uneventful run to Canton via Business 23 and then to Bethel via NC 110. A little shorter than usual ride but, gosh, at an incredible pace – according to my bike computer! Once home, the temperatures cooled down thanks to a cloud burst at our house. The Navigator and I were lucky to enjoy a pretty scene over the valley!

 Bethel Rainbow(Pretty rainbow following a thunder storm that cooled us down nicely!) 

Race/Tour updates:

Tour of Discovery Logo

Jim has made good progress today after his initial start yesterday in which he had a mechanical and had to get used to pulling a bunch of weight. As I write this update today, he has just finished crossing Belfast Bay in Maine. His current GPS coordinates are 44.42523, -69.00764. Check in at Cycling Experiences to get his post on yesterday’s eventful start!

 

Mountain Turtle Logo

Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson continues his movement southward while contemplating the cosmos. For his most recent thoughts on Butterflies and Cyclists, visit his blog at KentsBikeBlog where updates are regularly posted. Kent’s current GPS location is 47.44192 , -113.61743 as he continues to ride through the Flathead National Forest.

The Race Across America (RAAM)

My favorite 4 man under 50 team Bent Up Cycles had regained 3rd position in their category and were sailing through Kansas. They have now covered 1380 miles and are averaging 19.59 mph. Whew!

Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) retained the overall lead today. A bad crash within 100 meters of the final took down Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen, and others allowing Alessandro Petacchi to take the stage win as he avoided the crashed riders. Team Radio Shack riders Levi Leipheimer (19 seconds out) and Lance Armstrong (30 seconds out) are in 13th and 22nd places respectively in the overall standings.

It’s time to go to our BicycleHaywoodNC Advisory Council meeting!

Until later,

- Zeke

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