Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Raleigh to Pinehurst--Day 4

We typically have breakfast at 6am and today was no different except the Sheraton didn't get the buffet out until 6:10. That's a big deal for the riders who get down early, want to eat and get things set up. Its all about routine when you ride these rides. You lay your stuff out the night before, make sure everything is set. When you do this day after day your get a rhythm. Throw people off their routine and they get testy. But all was fine and we got set up including a safety briefing that reviews a couple of spills that happened the day before. Safety is key to the Tour des Trees and we take it very seriously.
Our exit from Raleigh was during morning rush hour in congested traffic. For the most part it worked out well although riding alongside cars with no bike lane made for a tight squeeze. There was no other way out of town. We did have our closest call of the ride. Our great rider Sam from Vermeer (Pella, Iowa manufacture of great equipment we use in the industry) was bombing down a big hill with all of us and he was in the front. We were probably going 35mph and I looked up and watched a car coming the other way turn right in front of Sam. He missed her by a mere fraction of a second. She only saw us AFTER she made the turn into us. This once again reminded us that most motorists simply do not see cyclists. They don't expect to see us. The mind tells the eyes what to see.
After 83 miles and 4,100 feet of climbing we arrived at Mid Pines which is a historic golf resort near Pinehurst, NC. A very nice place for us riders to stay. There was a great putting contest on the course right near the clubhouse and everyone enjoyed sitting on the deck watching the finalist play it out for some cool Vermeer cycling jerseys.
Dinner was outstanding but everyone's mind is on tomorrow. It is the beast of the tour! 123 miles and we will likely be on the saddle for 8 hours tomorrow. That's just simply a long time. Many butts are hurting. Riding on a small seat for that long begins to bring out the sores. Then you have to ride on the sores. Key is to not let the sores get there in the first place! Ouch.
We will arrive tomorrow late afternoon into Camden, South Carolina. In fact, much of our riding tomorrow will be in South Carolina. We'll get it done. We have no choice. :)
Our cool historic dining room

Jeremy sinking the winning putt!

Ms Katie doing her thing to get the Bartlett rider Ethan ready for tomorrow

My bike

A very piney road today with no cars!

Safely taking a selfie on the move

Can you guess this crop? They make molasses from it

Stihl is a major sponsor of the Tour des Trees so we raised our bikes to this sign we saw on our route today?

Early morning tree dedication. We do a lot of these.

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