Friday, August 20, 2010

THURSDAY NIGHT RIDE SETS STAGE FOR METRIC CENTURY THIS SATURDAY

Our BicycleHaywoodNC sponsored Thursday night ride served two purposes this week. It continued our summer long effort to encourage new and newly returning riders to get out, exercise, and enjoy our community. This week it had the added benefit of serving a final warm-up for me as I go into my first metric century ride on Saturday as the inaugural Blue Ridge Breakaway unfolds.

Our group was somewhat smaller this week in numbers but not effort. The reduced size could easily be written off due to the start of school and the return of tourists to their homes. This was the first week in several in which we did not have a visiting cyclist to ride with us.

We branched out with our route this week and did some “country cruising” rather than staying in town and within the city limits. Our ride included Raccoon Rd., Ratcliffe Cove Rd., Francis Farm Rd. Business 19 & 23 and both South and North Lakeshore Drive around Lake Junaluska.

Being out in the country meant reduced traffic once folks got home from work and very pleasant scenery as we rode by family farms and gardens. We were blessed with improving weather throughout the day and had great late day sunshine and white puffy clouds as we enjoyed the weekly ride.

Thursday Night Riders (A happy group of riders at the base of the Cross at Lake Junaluska)

Today, Friday, is my final prep day for tomorrow’s ride. I had my monthly massage and then picked up my registration packet for the ride. While there, I was able to help load vehicles with supplies for the various stops tomorrow. A lot of (wo)man hours have gone into the planning and implementation of this event.

After arriving home, I gave my Fuji CCR3 a good once over and installed the holder for a new pump that I purchased today. After seeing “Cross Country Stan” use his last week, I realized how much better it was than the small hand pump I’ve been lugging around. I purchased a Lezyne Alloy Drive M with a stated weight of 128 grams. Installation was a snap as all I had to do was remove my water bottle cage, slide the mounting clip under the water bottle cage, and screw everything back down. I liked the hidden hose and clearly marked hose ends for Shraeder or Presta valves. I topped off my tires just to be sure the pump was working.

The Navigator and her sister are working one of the stops on my route tomorrow so I loaded up the truck with their chairs, my work stand to use at the stop, and my floor pump. Hopefully, no one will need their services! Now, all that remains is for me to get myself ready!

As part of the community wide awareness regarding the Blue Ridge Breakaway, the local newspaper, The Waynesville Mountaineer, covered the dangers that face cyclists every day with an emphasis on how traffic can interact with the riders on Saturday. This fit very nicely into our Advocacy and Education activities for the year and I was pleased to be able to provide some input to the article. The article is available on-line for those interested.

I’ll be forcing myself up early in the morning and turning on SPOT about 7:30 as the ride gets underway. This time tomorrow I will have either set a new personal best for myself and achieved one of my main goals for the summer or I’ll be one tired, less-than-happy dude! Either way, tomorrow will be interesting!

Until later,

- Zeke

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