Albemarle to Laurinburg
Mileage - 82.14
Ride Time - 6 hours 12 minutes
Average Speed - 13.22
Maximum Speed - 33.6
Accumulative Miles - 331.13
Accumulative Ride Time - 25 Hours 16 Minutes
Maximum Heart Beat - 114
|"Sea of Tents"|
"Do I Ride the Century?"
The rain woke me up about 2:45
a.m. this morning. I thought to myself how am I going to ride 82 miles
in this deluge of rain. To be honest, I dreaded the thought.
I am what you would call a fair
weather bicyclist. If it's raining I usually don't ride unless maybe I
get caught out in the rain on a ride. When you wear glasses it makes it a little harder to see, they become
foggy and wet. I guess you would call me a fair-weather cyclist.
It was foggy, overcast and rainy
this morning. After getting all my equipment together, loading it on the truck
I walked up about 4 blocks to the church that was offering breakfast. This church does this as a fund raiser
for missions each year that the CNC is in town. I understand that they did this last time the CNC was in town.
I knew there was no way to ride
to Laurinburg without getting wet. As they say, wet is wet and you can't get
any wetter after you get soaked. So that was my attitude. I wore my rain jacket, not particularly to stop
from getting wet, but to hold in my body heat. I don't like the cold.
I stopped for a few minutes at
the first rest stop. I found it was better for me to keep riding the bike
standing around and getting cold and stiff. I hit the road again, ("On the Road Again," song by Willie Nelson,
you remember) trying to keep my own pace so I could ride the 82 miles scheduled for the day.
The next rest stop was at the
Indian Mounds, which is operated by the government, not sure which branch. I
didn't hang around long or to look around since my glasses were so wet and misty that I couldn't see very well.
I continued on. (Remember The song, "Back in the Saddle Again, Did Gene Autrey sing this one?) That was me.
There was a few pretty good hills
coming out of Albemarle. Got my heart beat up to about 114. Otherwise it
was more of the rolling hills, but a little flatter than the day before.
As we hit the Uwharrie Mountains
in the Uwharrie National Forest the ride was remote and we again had some
hills to climb. Especially one long hill that seemed like we would never quit climbing. Every time we rounded
one curve thinking it was the top, it would continue again. It was probably a couple of miles long. This was our
last big hill for the day. Every time we would go up a hill I would say to myself, surely this is the last one for
the day. My legs at this point was getting somewhat weak. But I refused to get off my bike and walk. I climbed
all the hills on the bike without having to get off. Just kept looking for that lowest gear.
Uwharrie National Forest is a 46,000 acres tract of forest. Known for it's scenic hiking trails. The Uwharrie was signed into existence in 1961 by President Kennedy.
I usually did not stop for lunch,
but today was a long ride of 82 miles and probably seven hours in the saddle
so I decided to eat lunch. I was hungry as we rode into the small town of Ellerbee. Several of us stopped at
what I call a greasy spoon. The food was greasy, not my style, but I did eat some fish and beans.
I met a cyclist from Whiteville
and had lunch with him. I commented to him that it was strange that you may see
a person only one time during the ride and never see them again. With over 1100 riders and with all the different
schedules, speeds and paces, the chance of seeing them is small.
After eating, back to the bike
and saddled up in the rain. It had rained the entire time since we left
But I felt the worst was yet to come. The rest stop was about a mile down the road, but I didn't stop since I had
just eaten lunch and I needed to keep moving. By now I was cold, since there was no heat in my rain jacket for
my body. But as I kept pedaling for the next few miles while my body heated into the rain jacket and I was comfortable.
Somewhere along the way we had
the option to do a century (100 miles) and I had considered it several days
ago, but not now with all the rain and wind. I continued on the regular route to Laurinburg. This would not be
the day I could brag on cycling a century. (100 miles)
I had to do a lot of talking to
myself and singing to keep going. I also had the wind to deal with as well as
By now the roads were a lot
flatter and I was hoping to see the promise land. Also I had covered 50 or 60
miles into the daily ride.
You talk about rain, about 12
miles out from Laurinburg "the bottom dropped" out as the saying goes. We had
heavy winds and a hard rain all the way into Laurinburg. The harder it rained the harder I pedaled and the
harder I pedaled the harder it rained. By the time I got to Laurinburg the streets were running over with water. I had
to ride the middle of the road to stay out of the deep water. I can imagine what the people in the cars were
thinking about these crazy cyclist.
It was a good sight to see the
St. Andrews College, which is where we were staying for the night. I was
that I made good time and there would be a lot of staggers today due to the rain. Hopefully I would get a good
indoor camping spot for the the night. But was I wrong! Most of the indoor spots were taking already and a few
were a little ill about the situation of not enough room. I soon resolved myself that I would be tent camping tonight
in the rain. I guess tent camping probably fits my personality a little better than indoors with all those people.
I picked out a good camp site
on high ground and setup my tent, it was still raining. I got a couple of towels
together and dried off the inside of the tent. It was now probably about the driest place in camp. I now had my
little abode for the night. My tent and I became mighty close friends.
I was pretty well tent bound for
the night, but that was just as well because I needed the rest. I went to sleep
nine P. M, after calling my wife Martha to see what was going on at home.
No Kodak moments today. I was afraid to take the camera out of the bag.
P.S. Another one day mileage
record for me.
Pre-Pre Ride, Pre Ride, Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Six, Day Seven, Post Words
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