I've done this ride 3 times now and I'd have to say this leg was one of the toughest for me. At about mile 50 my legs cramped up, something I just seem to do always on the first day. From mile 50 to 118 the cramps ravaged my legs and ability to ride smoothly. I ended up riding in a group with 2 others who had the exact same thing. They are perennially strong riders so perhaps, maybe a little, I took some solace in that. There is no whining in cycling. Just tell your legs to shut up and keep pedaling.
We saw a few mountains today (seemed like we climbed a few) and it was beautiful to see the North Carolina "skyline." A couple of our break stops were sponsored by Carolina Tree and I regretted not seeing my friend Jack Guffey who owns the company. Jack's wife was there representing as Jack was busy with his company handling the aftermath of the hurricane. Thanks to Carolina Tree for still being there while their team is cleaning up massive storm damage.
We planted a tree in Statesville, NC. Now in Illinois Statesville has a completely different meaning. Google it. But Statesville, NC is a great city and were so happy that they welcomed us as they did and greeted us at the break stop.
We did get to eat lunch today--at mile 81! We lunched at a fire station and it was so great to have the station welcome us and make us lunch. After lunch we hauled to the 100 mile mark in Rockford, NC and stopped at the country store. Great ice cream for some. For me, a pickle, and a tums from a fellow rider, as that was the latest potential remedy for my leg cramps. It actually worked, wish I had had that at mile 50! This little store had all kinds of cool candy, trinkets and even some confederate flags.
The last pull of 18 miles to Mt. Airy was the hilliest of the day. Big climbs after doing 100 miles is, well, sort of tough. Our little band of "crampers" made it to the hotel just before sunset. 8 hours of riding, 8 hours of my butt on that little seat. Because we got in so late a few of us missed the organized dinner. So food was found elsewhere.
The night came to a close watching the debate and I can't really tell what is more painful---leg cramps for 68 miles or the presidential debate. Oh wait...that's easy.
Yes they had an Indian at the store too
Roll out from Charlotte at 7:30am