Monday, August 27, 2012

ToC 1200K pre-ride jitters?

nah, more like excitement! there are less than 36 hrs to the start, and I can hardly wait.
after a nice 60 mile test run yesterday, I was a bit concerned with my climbing. I just had a 9 day break from the bike, and wasn't feeling zippy at all. Claire was not 'perfect' either. 3 hrs of maintenance fixed the drivetrain and she's running like a top now..all that's left is a few final kit selections concerning a jacket (we will see rain for sure, hurricane Isaac is lurking), wool, spare shoes?, and packing the different drop bags tonight.

what I am most excited about is all the cool people coming to do the ride. local buddies, and friends from 1200's past. this is gonna be fun! bon route to all!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

head games

so here's the quick and low-down on the rest of the series this year. it was me against myself..after a fun, (rainy) 200k, the weather was choice for the next rides. I felt like I was in a fairly good place too. Lady Luck was not in my pockets or saddlebag :(

The 300k was off and running nicely. as we approached the snow camp control, I felt a little swish in the back end. yup. kinda soft, so i pumped some air and off we rolled the 11 miles to siler city. soft again, I had to fix the front group rolled on, i cursed the darn thing because it (the tube) was 'glued' into the tire! arrgh! I chased and chased and finished with a nice time. solo for 200k, I had no other probs, and was home before dark..

Sidetrip! after a shower and some food. i pulled on the compression tights and hit the hay. I was up at 4:30. it was raining. temp in the low 50's.. I left the house at 6:15 and was on the bridge at old reedy creek at 7, where 5 other guys on mountain bikes were taking a long planned epic trainer-100 miles of single track and trails! due to the rain, the single track was out. I hung with them for about 40 miles and headed home. the cold was not doing the knees any good. 4 of those guys made it all the way. congrats!

The 400k was again on a lovely day. This time I made it beyond siler city and somewhere on old coleridge I punctured. Damn! as 6 bikes vanished up the road I changed the tube. off I went. hammering to seagrove, and on to the turn around, short stopping each one. The return was warm. I rode a bit with Tim, and we ate in seagrove. I then proceeded to rock out back to siler city with new pal Paul from atlanta. a terrific 'bent rider. we scooped up the florians, ian, and ed there was hot tempo to the finish! 16:51 time.
joe ray and joel were a half hour ahead. damn flat...

600k.NEW TIRES. can everything else go right? sure it can. don't make a wrong turn or fall asleep. oops. a little booboo in the first half threw us off for a while, but I regrouped in white lake. easy trip on down to wilmington. left there at 12hrs. nice. fairly easy ride back to white lake. took a nice break, cleaned up put on a fresh kit and rolled about midnight. went in the store for a coffee with cindy and ed. incredibly, the temps dropped into the 50's overnight. this didn't help with staying alert! had to stop about every hour or so, and really struggled thru the night. we hit a store in wade about 5:30. biscuit and coffee, 15 min nap, and the sun came up. things got a bit easier. made angier about 8, and had 2nd breakfast-pancakes, yogurt, juice, coffee. viola! rode the last 40+miles non-stop and really strong. 29:50. A PR., and under 30, but was hoping for better.

what are the new tires? rivendell ruffy tuffys. what were the old ones? gran bois.
to be fair, they had about 3000 miles and had only flatted once prior to the bad luck.
in my hasty fix on the 400k, i bumped a brake shoe and it was rubbing the tire. almost burned thru the sidewall which clinched the deal for a new set..

Monday, July 02, 2012

Tim's tale of the Cascades 1200K

here is riding pal Tim Lucas' write-up of the epic loop of the pacific northwest known as the Cascades 1200K..
since I missed the ride, I had to share his story.  good show buddy!  way to go!! 

Cascades 1200K

Day One:  I stayed at the base motel in Monroe Washington Friday evening.  Breakfast at 5:00am and 80 cyclists from around the world roll out at 6:00am for an EPIC cycling adventure.  Cloudy, cool morning quickly turns into a cold rain that last for several hours.  I settle in, getting as comfortable as I can.  Pedal hard, stay warm, weather will change eventually.  Nice long climb getting into Mt. Rainier National Park keeps the engine warm.  Now exiting the park to the south we cruise beside a creek between cascading waterfalls on both sides of the road.  At times the sound of rushing water is so loud you can’t even carry on a conversation.  It’s a very mystical place.  We have lunch in Eatonville at mile 95.  I’m riding a bit with Ed from PortlandOR.  We stop at Subway with several others. Ed’s one of those guys that always carries a big smile no matter what’s going down.  Finally mid-afternoon it stops raining and we’re in Packwood, (mile 140) at the base of White Pass.  We now have a 17 mile, 2800 ft. climb.  3 hours later I reach the summit and take some pics to prove I was there.  Now it’s whee time.  This is my favorite descent on this trip.  Smooth asphalt, wide shoulders and easy turns make it fast and furious.  Clear Lake control, (mile 170) our final stop before the overnight control.  I’m frigid as well as several others.  I have the shakes really bad from that cold descent.  I have to hold my hot chocolate with both hands to keep from spilling.  Volunteers give us lots of warm stuff to calm us down.  I settle a bit but pedaling is the ultimate cure.  We go around the huge lake, then on to Naches.  (Sleep control, mile 208)  Arriving at 11:00pm, Shower, Dinner includes hot soups, then to sleep in the gym on mats and my air mattress that I carry in my drop bag that I have access to each night as well as a fresh set of clothes.  3 hours sleep the first night.

Day Two:  Up at 4:30 am.  Fresh made blueberry pancakes hot off the griddle.  This support crew is Awesome.  These pancakes are the best ever.  I’m rolling by 5:30am.  We’re doing an out and back to Lodgepole campground near the top of Chinook Pass.  We cycle 45 miles up to Lodgepole into the wind. We’re served more food and coffee from volunteers.  Back down to Naches.  Now we travel east of the mountains into the high desert plains.  In previous years temps soar into the 100’s here but not today as we settle in at around 85 degrees.  It’s very pleasant after yesterday’s cold rain. Long rollers to start and grades are shallow so some recovery riding for me.  I’m 305 miles into the ride when I have my first flat.  Some glass in the rear tire.  Pack up my stuff ready to go and notice front tire flat as well.  Dang it.  I remove a thorn from that tire; I think it came from the tumbleweed that blows across the road every now and then. It’s ironic that I have two flats from different objects at the same time.  There is a lot of snowmelt irrigation here and there are acres and acres of hops.  Now I’m getting thirsty.  Wow, this is a lot of hops.  Stocking up for those long winters I presume.  We have lunch in Fruitvale.  Afterwards we travel around the city on greenway bike trails.  We cruise back into the desert.  On the way to Mattawa we cross the Columbia Riverthen we turn right.  There is a road here but it goes straight up to the top of a plateau.  Surely this isn’t right. I unfold the cue sheet and it reads. “Yes, up that Hill” Ouch!  I’m in my lowest gear and I have to stand to turn the pedals.  Gotta be 15+ degrees.  This bites!  I’m finally over the top and more of these plateaus up ahead but none like that one.  Getting dark now and I see several bicycle lights ahead of me and several behind me.  The road is straight for miles.  I finally roll into Quincy around 12:30am.  (418 miles)  Another hot meal and a shower then to bed on a gym floor again.  Only 2 hours sleep this morning.

Day Three:  Up at 4:00am.  I chat with John Morris from Durham briefly before he takes off.  I grab a continental style breakfast this morning as the cooks aren’t ready yet.  I’m rolling by 5:00am.  Today we’re cruising around several lakes to Dry Falls.  We have a headwind and it is angry, very angry.  This is madness.  I have a hard time just holding on.  Dry Falls is another beautiful place but then we have to climb to the moon to get out of there.  We go west then north to Bridgeport, across the river to Brewster.  We have more spectacular river views.  We’re now in Malott at the base of the mountains. (Mile 535)  Loup LoupPass is a 17 mile climb and takes me another 3+ hours to summit.  I’m leapfrogging with several riders including my new Japanese friend who keeps reminding me how many meters of climbing we have left. We reach summit just before sunset.  Now we throw on everything we have for the cold descent.  2 deer cross my path within a mile.  I’m now riding brakes while others ride by.  Sunset is a bad time for dodging deer.  At bottom we have another 25 miles to the overnight control in Mazama.  I’m doing some sprints trying to stay focused.  I catch up with Matthew from southern California on his recumbent, and he appears to be struggling a bit on the last section.  I usually don’t ride well with others being I cycle a very inconsistent pace, but I chill a bit and make a friend.  We both stop a couple times and walk around to clear our heads.  It’s a beautiful evening and the summer Milky Way is brilliant in the night sky, glowing so brightly you could read a book by it.  It also brightens my spirits.  We’re now cruising the Lost River and it kinda sets the mood.  An hour or so later we make the control.  3 Canadians arrive shortly afterwards and we grab dinner, showers, and this time we have rooms with beds.  Yea!  2.5 hours of solid sleep this morning.

Day Four:  Breakfast call at 3:45, I crawl over there around 4:15.  I’m very sluggish this morning as yesterday took everything I had.  I’m hitting the pain pills early today.  I start rolling at 5:10am, thinking that I’m getting an early start.  There are like 20 or so bikes still at camp when I leave.  Fewer miles today but the event’s biggest climb is the first order of business for today.  Its 18 miles up to the top of the world,Washington Pass.  A couple hours in and I’m relaxed feeling great.  My pace is better than my previous climbs.  About 3 miles from the summit we ride past the snow line.  I have a flat shortly afterwards.  Did I mention that it’s like 36 degrees and raining?  I’ve kept warm by climbing but I quickly get the tire changed because the engine is cooling down.  The mountain peaks come into view every now and then so I stop to take some pics.  This is a wondrous place.  I am in awe and really enjoying being here.  I take a little too much time goofing off, posing my bike against a snow bank, taking some video.  All is good.  Finally I jump back on the bike and finish up the last mile to the summit.  A rider is there loading his bike into a support vehicle; his ride is over.  I pull over to take a pic of the sign.  Support volunteer, I never got his name so I’m naming him “Nick” because he reminds me of Nick Nolte.  Please forgive me if you ever read this report.  Anyway, he walks up to me and asks if I want to load up my bike.  “Why would I do that?” I respond.  “Because the next control is 56 miles away in Marblemount and you’re not going to make it before the cut-off.  I am the sweeper he claims and you, meaning me, is the last man standing and it doesn’t look good.  What about those 20 bikes I left at camp?  They are DNF’s going on the truck he responds. How could this be?  I am confused.  On top of the world one minute then my heart just sank below the pits of hell.

Tim’s Big Screw-up:  I did not follow up on my homework for this ride.  The course was shortened from a 1240K to a 1201K.  I was basing all my knowledge from ride reports and cues from previous years.  I had wondered why breakfast was so early today but didn’t put the pieces together until it was too late. (Almost) I calculated time and distance to the Marblemount control.  I knew some serious downhill’s coming up but also a climb up Rainy Pass, though this was only a couple miles long.  What about the last 30 miles to Marblemount I ask?  “Nick” claims rollers, and then some flatter sections.  There is my glimmer of hope.

Day Four Continued:  Physically, I’m feeling great.  I just need to put together the ride of my life.  It’s time for a little attitude.  I mount the Ridley.  Going to take your picture, “Nick” asks.  “No” I’m going to finish what I started!  The rain is making the descent a little hairy, plus I’m shivering now from cold and it transfers to some serious bike wobble.  Zoom the straights, knees squeezing the top tube to kill the wobble, braking hard before the turn, standing and pedaling through the turn to produce a little warmth.  Repeating several times.  I’m out of the saddle going up Rainy Pass.  Near the top, “Nick” rides up beside me.  I’ve changed my mind; I think you’re going to make it.  Down again.  Support truck ahead has food.  Matthew is pulling away as I approach.  My hands are frozen.  I brought the wrong gloves for this.  They find me some liners that help.  I get some fuel and I am off.  I’m now getting into the rollers.  I’m more into calculating numbers now than my surroundings.  Giving it everything I have.  Finally I catch another rider. (Hey/bye)  I ride up on the 3 Canadians.  They are changing a flat but seem to have things under control and about finished.  I roll into the little town of Newhalem just 14.6 miles from the control and Ed is waving me down.  You are still very short on time but this store has coffee.  Do they have gloves, I ask?  My fingers are frozen.  I have to use both hands to change gears.  “Grab some coffee and I’ll see what I can do”.  My friend Ed from earlier in the ride had to DNF the ride when he locked up his knee on a freak awkward pedal stroke and now he is helping others.  This is a great sport!  I grab coffee and Ed brings me his personal waterproof gloves and saves my life.  I wolf the coffee.  I now have 1 hour to finish this last 14.6 miles to Marblemount.  Please God, no serious hills and no flat tires, amen!  Thank You!  I get Matthew in my sights but I can’t catch him.  He is killing it as well.  We slide into the control 5 minutes before closing.  It takes me a couple minutes to dismount.  I am totally wasted but ecstatic.  My new Japanese friend shows me his pretty watch.  Nice, oh crap, sign in duffes you have 3 minutes.  Several others there and a couple more roll in just in time. 

Whew!  That’s it!  We can ride easy from here on.  No hard sections and the limits are now relaxed a bit. Just got to stay awake and focused.  I might add it’s still cold and raining but eventually the rain stops during the next section.  I’m riding again with Matthew, and we’re joined at times by team Canada and teamJapan.  Our last control is at Granite Falls.   We stop at McDonalds.  23 miles to go.  This international group stays together the rest of the way in.  Lots of minor issues, from my flat, number 4, a couple guys climbing really slow, batteries that need changing, etc.   It’s a slow trek but I’m happy!  We roll in together at 10:55pm.  750 miles, around 40,000 feet of climbing in 88 hours and 55 minutes. Then add some very cold rainy weather, and you have EPIC!  That totally rocked!  Post ride Beer and Pizza!  We then had a breakfast party Wednesday morning.  Western Omelet and a chocolate milkshake!  Packed up my bike, washed clothes and wasted the day away under beautiful 70 degree, clear skies.  Dinner with John fromDurham then departed for home.  THE END  

Monday, April 16, 2012

ramping it up

yeah, I made a little name change. after losing a bunch of weight (but still feeling fat sometimes), and trying to broaden my horizons, I think it's time to drop the old title. done.

the Morrisville (Al's) series is underway. given the cool temps and rain, we still had about 30 riders on board the last saturday of march. Ian was pedaling strong on the new moulton Gilbert put together for him. myself, the florians, mike and tim were all that was left at the turnaround. the six of us spent the return trip together for a very nice ride. the last 50 mi were dry, and the sun shined on us for the last hour or so! a good day done in 7.5 hrs with tacos and salsa for recovery. I went out the next day for 100k with Bryan whose perm fell thru. 

Bryan tried again on monday and I joined him for a nice roll on the Triple L. this is a great route for hill work and quiet roads. I'll probly do it once a month til June :) 7000ft of climbing is a good thing, but I must remember my knee bands!!

yesterday was the NCBC spring rally. the course was interesting for a fast 100k. the first hour or so was the usual nerves and sorting out before things "mellowed" a bit. there were still a couple dozen for the second half, cruising along at good speeds to finish in just over 3hrs at 20.7 avg..I felt OK on the hills and took the polka dots to the podium. of course, I took my plastic bike and that helped a little ;)
for recovery today I headed out on the MTB. just a 20miler to relax and run the trails since I hadn't been on them in a few weeks and well, if I'm gonna ride 'em all day next weekend..

this weekend is going to be big IF-1. I feel good. and 2. the weather cooperates.
my plan is to shoot for a (barely) sub 12hr 300K. basically short-stop to seagrove, eat, and short-stop back. if all goes well and I feel good at the end; I head home, recover, SLEEP, and get up at 5:30 to be on the trailhead to start a 7AM ride:100 miles on singletrack and doubletrack.. the ride is nearby. if I blow up, I'll be able to ride home. slooowly..
I just saw the weather and after many sweet days it looks like the classic return of 'screw up the weekend and be pretty on monday' :( if the trails are soaked late in the week, they will be closed. not sure if there is a plan B for this one. we need the singletrack loops to keep us from going crazy going around Umstead all day. stay tuned! I think it would be a great back-to-back well ahead of the next long ride. saddle time, baby...

have a great week. I'll be at the benelux ride downtown tuesday eve., and keeping it simple after that 'til the weekend..

Monday, March 26, 2012


hey everyone. I hope you all have made it through another winter. spring ( and pollen) are in the air! since my last post I have continued on an unusual journey in cycling-new bikes and rides. first off, I am signed on to ride the cascades 1200k in washington. that means training and that's where new bikes and rides came in. a chance trip through umstead park got  me thinking, 'hey man, lots of hills in here to grind'...right in my backyard. my new weapon is a gary fisher sawyer 29erit's a killer bike and I've had a blast riding and meeting new bike friends. shoot, I entered 2 races! the 2nd one was the bushwack where i came in 23 out of 100 on a 28 degree morning! super fun! i'm commuting through the park pretty regularly.

there have been some new brevets as well. I rode my handsome cycles speedy devil on 2 rounds of Mike D's carolina crossroads 200k in november, including the 'end of year ride and party'..jerry has a new route from raleigh as well-'the bomb'. martin has a new perm I want to try too.  on new year's day about 10 folks showed up in Salisbury (early!) to do Tony's brushy mountain 200k. it's a really nice route! give it a shot. TX rando stampede buddy John Preston was up from Fla and joined us. he did really good for a flatlander ;)
'twas a chilly start with rain at the end, but a great day for sure. 

i've been using some different gear for a while now, and feel I can give a good review. 
hopefully I will start putting those reports up very soon..

happy roads and trails...


Friday, December 09, 2011

keeping warm in style

hey there, hope you all are well. as a commuter, i can tell you the weather is different on a daily basis. i have been working the wool since october at times but full time now at least on one layer or another. that said, have a look at this design for an NC Randonneurs woolie..

 i think it looks great! project coordinator Branson says we need a few more interested to hit the minimum. get on board! Baaaa-aaaa!!  

the skinny:Pricing will be Short Sleeve $95, Long Sleeve $105, plus $8 shipping each (if needed.) If you want to wear one, drop me (branson) an email at NCRandOrder AT gmail DOT com with:

1- SS or LS or both
2- Size
3- Shipping or pick-up

full story over at research trailer park-link in the right hand column :)

stay tuned for some more gear reviews coming soon.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Taste of Carolina 1200K

continuing with the 'checklist' driven summer I managed to knock off two more perms I hadn't ridden before: the Yanceyville Ramble. cool route! Wes called this one as a final NC trainer before moving abroad and riding PBP. it's not really hilly, but does have a nice triple hump near the end that is for real. give it a shot. nice perk: breakfast at the cracker barrel where the meet up takes place :o) #2 is Dr.A's ham and yam: raleigh to smithfield and back for 100K. Lynn, Mike D, and Dr.A joined me on this one. other than traffic on lake wheeler road, it's a quick easy spin out and back. all ya need sometimes..

after these rides my august was a whirlwind with travel to new york for the duchess county fair. hurricane Irene ruined the end and sent us scrambling. after a side trip to syracuse, i finally got on a plane in albany and made it home..48 hrs later it's time to ride a 1200K, soo, without further ado....Taste. of. Carolina. chapter one.

I actually enjoyed my first 1200K back in may, why not do another? I prepped for texas, I just showed up for this one. packing was different:3 bags instead of 1. did it all the night before. not enough sleep and already tired. traffic was bad. Bryan and I got to greensboro about 7. a few peeps hanging around. checked in. ate a little. went inside and Tony let us nap in the common room. got up around 230 for a 4am launch. 21 riders on the 1200, 2 on 1000k  and 7 or so on a 200k to send us off. good friends too: mike, jerry, john fresh off PBP and maria and glenn. we hit a drive-thru for a sandwich and coffee before the ride.

bike-thru b'fast

time to roll, about half of us from NC, the rest from far and wide, this day was a grand loop into the mountains. having ridden it in july, I knew what to expect. I came up with this nearly universal truth:the more scenic the ride, the more challenging the route. the start was nice and smooth. we made the controle 1 by day break. Tony was there to sign cards and short stopping was on: riders were gone in no time. I scrambled out on my own, and before catching the front came upon Mary in the foothills. no wearer of the Adrian Hands' spirit award leaves a gal alone in the hills, so I pulled the big climb up hwy 89 to sparta. at controle 2 in twin oaks we had a snack and found the others' finishing up. 2 were also icing their knees after the early climbing. the next set was cool, with lots of christmas trees and small farms with friendly curious animals..

hillside goats
I had my one and only flat, and Mary and I made controle 3 where we filled bottles and sat a minute out of the heat. we were joined by Joel Lawrence here. riding well after breaking bones in a crash this summer! off we go to laurel springs. I ride just a little ahead, and they meet me as i'm leaving. Mary says "go ahead, Joel is right behind me." the climb from here is brutal at this point of the day, and I flirt with cramps, ugh..150miles in, 50 to next controle, 50 more after that.. after a terrific descent to low gap, it's back to sparta, and on to salem fork to retour to greensboro. i grab a V8 in sparta and work out the hamstring. John Morris is signing cards in salem fork and it's good to see a familiar face. the 'trio' (mary, joel, and curt) show up soon after me, and into the dark we ride. i zoom off, wanting a better time than july, and max sleep time. I make it in about 1:50, and sleep from 3-6. the leaders left about 3:30...

I goof a bit in the morning and head out about 7:30 by myself. it's still hilly after getting out of town, but very pretty too. the trio catches me at a store, and at the 2nd one Bryan shows up. we ride together to Ellerbe and have lunch at a funky sub shop. it's the taste of carolina 1200. onward, it's hot out. the trees are diminishing, as is the road quality. the wind is increasing. rockingham motor speedway. we have made the legs feel good and I hit the gas all the way to laurinburg. Tony is here, and I throw my feet up before changing to a thin sock. Bryan goes the other way and pulls on wool. the trio, and Micah show up. he's jamming a single speed bike. after leaving together, Micah and I ramp it up a  bit, we roll into Rowland, funkytown! out of here we ride very steady to fairbluff, where Henk and Chuck are caught. Henk is suffering a bit and we give them a wheel. we roll on to Tabor City-Funkytown! after a quick stop it's 37 endless miles to Ocean Isle. i'm up front and delerious. 19hrs of bike, 21 overall, 'interface' issues, ready to get there! i see a light ahead, it's Don on the retour! allez! I'm fantasizing about a park bench when a swing and adirondak chairs are spotted in front of a warehouse. we pull in and take 5. yes. now I can make it. refreshed enough to finish, we roll on to the beach via a very windy causeway. jerry and beth are at the cottage with lots of food. I eat one of every thing :) 3 riders ahead of us are there too, planning to leave about 3. It's nice to see Lynn for a few minutes, I give her some encouragement, and see them off. the trio shows up along with bryan, and we all go up to sleep a few..after about 2.5 hrs sleep I get up. I said if I rode back to back 400's to the beach, i was going to see it! I walked out to the ocean alone right at sunrise-so tranquil and soul stirring. it made the pain melt away..

atlantic daybreak
800k down, and time in the bank now. this ride was front loaded like texas. relax..
Henk was ready and left. Micah and I left in search of coffee: a bagel place was found and we stopped. terrific pumpernickel and lox! yum. so-so coffee :(  I was looking out the window and Vance roll by-happy to see him make it to the beach! also here a young couple said they knew a gal who rode RAAM. so do I, and she's on this ride. they knew Mary! small world indeed. we enjoyed clouds, and light rain back to tabor city. still funky, we sat a minute and got ready for a long 100k back to laurinburg. 

we took 2 little breaks on this part which included lying on the river in fairbluffs under the spanish moss, and that wacky town of rowland. after 30 miles of highway rushing with myrtle beach folks, we needed to de-stress. as usual the others showed up right behind us. when we all got to laurinburg, the talk turned to weather. it just wouldn't be a taste of carolina without a hurricane. tropical storm Lee rose from the gulf and was hanging over the greensboro area, and  a hurricane was approching in the atlantic. Yay! after a break and a shower I donned a 2nd pair of shorts, and a wool base layer. somehow a flask had oozed gel all over my front bag, the vols quickly helped me clean up and away we went in groups. the trio and bryan were ahead, we were about 10 min behind. the plan, with 90 miles to go at 630 or so, was make it to the hope mills controle at mile 45, and look at the weather, continue if safe. all seemed fine, so after a snack we rolled. the roads were mellow, but starting to roll. getting sleepy. need an energy drink and a minute off the bike. about halfway in arabia, we came upon this store, a good one, with hand dipped ice cream and hand blown pipes and bongs. really..

B says"good energy"

we get back to pedaling and somehow stay awake as we climb to Aberdeen and on into southern pines. after getting cards signed and talking jibberish we get 2 rooms down the street. I let Tim L know where we are and invite him and anyone else he sees to come by. we sleep from 4-7 while a big storm blows thru. perfect. chuck and joan are in the lobby sleeping when we wake up. Tim is on the road. 

Bryan gets the jump and Micha and I, well, we want coffee. turns out starbucks is less than a mile off course. we sit down and quaff a latte. I called Lynn and find out they finished at 1am. Bravo! we go about 9, as we pass by the controle, we see bill olson asleep outside. the rando life. today is going to be hilly and very scenic. and stormy too. only 85 miles tho. Tim rings and says he found a subway, I hit the gas and we meet for an early lunch. off we go into some goood rollers, Tim zooms by on the bumper of sandford and sons' truck! hilarious! we chase and enjoy the views. after a short storm, we make the penultimate controle. 33 to go, and according to facebook, Bryan is 40 minutes ahead. Micah and I dig the fast city descents out of asheboro, and fly thru the countryside before seeing tony outside greensboro. 3-6 inches of rain expected in the area. the sky is black over town and we get nailed with about 5 miles to go. I fire up every light I have and ride behind Micah to cover us. we pedal hard to the end and finish around 3:30. biker Bob greets us at the door. 83.5 hrs. a fitting, crazy finale to a pretty good ride!

singin' in the rain
we had time to clean up and wait for the rest to arrive about 1.5 hrs later. the trio were joined by tim, chuck, joan, and the olson bros.. great job by all to finish with time to spare..we all headed across the street later for a nice sit down recovery/victory dinner.

thanks to Tony and the volunteers who made this ride possible. it was scenic, challenging, and fun, as it was run in true low-key, minimalist brevet style..let's do it again.

there were 5(!) domestic 1200's this year. AND of course, it was a PBP year. it was cool to bookend the grand randonees' with Texas in may and this ride over labor day with fellow NC rando buddy Tim Lucas. we became the first NC randos to get the ARC award- the American Randonneuer Challenge- riding 2 U.S. 1200's in the same year. chappeau Timbo!