Saturday, August 1, 2009


Ever wonder why the bike world catalogs (yes, I do work in bike retail) show cool weather gear in the summer? It's because not all cyclists live on the East Coast. At least on the Pacific Coast, if you are riding before 10 AM you will have arm warmers and probably a vest on! It is mid 50s and low humidity. I commute to work every day and I wear a jacket on both ends of the day-in August! We wheel folk have a lot in common, but our experiences can be different. In Hickory, cyclists are aliens on the road, especially when alone. Like invaders from another planet ready to be hit by real, or at least imagined, death rays from the natives behind glass enclosed mobile fortresses. When seeing another cyclist, a greeting, no matter how subtle, is the norm. Here in NorCal, not so. I think many cyclists don't raise a greeting because their arms are just worn out, or something. Maybe they have been riding for several hours and after seeing so many of their alien cyclekin, their arms are just plumb giv'out. I jist don't know. Ready for a ride review? On Fridays (yes Fridays) the club has a 9AM ride, three levels: casual, moderate, and brisk. Its called Friendly Fridays 30-50 mi. I show up for my first ride as a local, and discover the moderate group is doing a hilly route, so I decide to do the flatter brisk route. I see a lot of 20+ on the computer. I am working hard for a friendly ride. The roads here are quite poor compared to "first-in-highways" NC, so flats are more likely, added to the fact that it hasn't rained in months to rinse the roads off. Bring good tires when you come. Back to the ride, a flat - not me thank goodness - so most of us roll on to good place to pull off the road. While pulling off my cool weather gear(see above) the flat fixers speed past. The group bolts after them, minus lil ol' me. The group has a tandem, and is on flat terrain. Need I say more? After several miles in TT mode I settle in. You guys wouldn't have treated me like that? I do know the posted route pretty well, no worries. I do rejoin at some place where they've stopped (no, "I thought we finally lost you" was heard) The ride went quite nice afterwards I only got dropped a little and not alone. The sun came out, it's often cloudy (marine layer) until late morning, we stopped for a coffee and headed back to the start. Nice. 20+ people , nice scenery, lots of vineyards and friendly but reserved folks. Happy Yesterday, Friendly Friday again. I decide to do the moderate ride. All of us do the same route this time, I am glad I didn't ask about hills. We are going along briskly moderate. When the first long hill comes , I settle in with the moderate folk. Susan and I are both here on this one and get to the first regroup point just fine. Happy. Another couple of flat miles, then turn on Pine Flats Rd. Some more flat.....and then winding ten miles of climbing. most at 6-10% followed by some 11-14% before back to 6%. But the scenery and distant views are out of this world. Come out and I'll take you there. We both feel great this day, we descend back to a rest stop for coffee, it is friendly, talk, then back track over the milder hills to the start. Very happy. Oh, I forgot Eureka translates as "I've Found It", should have been in the last entry. Roll on friends HH


  1. Howard--sounds very nice, congrats! Peter

  2. Okay Howard... it's time you began posting some pictures for us overworked, stressed out, simpletons.