Category Archives: plain talk

Bike trippin’ – As good as it gets

The Hatteras Ferry…

Two lines of cars waited in formation, and we tucked our bicycles behind a Hummer and in the lee of a cement truck that partially blocked 30 knot winds from the south.  A Hatteras Island Ferry official approached wearing a jacket with the words ‘Security’ and asked us for ID’s.   Satisfied after comparing faces to driver licenses he then asked if we were aware of the winds. Continue reading Bike trippin’ – As good as it gets

Bike tripping the yellow brick road

By a leisurely 8:30 am we hit the bicycle trail that ran parallel to Route 12 and headed south from Corolla. Winds blew strong from the south – at least 25 knots, and the beauty of riding into the winds meant we would finish our loopy ride with a tailwind. The bicycle trails twist and turn among giant sand dunes that resemble small hills, and weave through crooked low-lying trees and brush — the Outer Banks version of Florida mangroves — which protect this delicate sandbar from hurricanes and storms. When the trails meandered closer to the Sound-side, we soaked in spectacular sights of a vast waterway, tall sea grass and the occasional blue heron. As we neared Kitty Hawk, we caught a glimpse of the ocean where the dunes were short, and beach access included ocean views. We rode past a street corner garnished with yellow bricks, and on top of those bricks sat two ruby slippers, and we bonded with a ‘no place like home’ vibe. Continue reading Bike tripping the yellow brick road

Bike trippin – Objects appear fuzzy

When camouflage is not needed

A daybreak beach jog — the pre-bike adventure — was met with a horde of humans a few decades too old to be active-duty decked in vintage war-be-gone fatigues, packing large cameras, 12 inch lenses and 2 inch straps secured around their necks.    They stood at the top of wooden walkways, the dune gateway to the ocean, two dozen of ’em by random guess — half intently focused on something happening toward the ocean, and the other half focused on the movements of a potential intruder.   What are you looking at, I asked hoping the answer wouldn’t be ‘me’, as I slowed my gate, inching closer to the crowd.    A man wearing head-to-toe camouflage  replied ‘burs and turles’ without looking away from his binoculars oblivious to a drawl with interchangeable vowels and missing consonant’s. Continue reading Bike trippin – Objects appear fuzzy

Making The Weather

[Political Parody, in case this needed to be said.]

Rosie O’Dare, a Senior Meteorologist at the National Weather Service accidentally uncovers the agenda behind the Make Weather Great Again Initiative.   Her role as a storm chaser and weather scientist is recast to one of a graphics editor — PhotoShopping radar images of epic storms into Sunny-Day PowerPoints — for storms targeting Resistance Cities.  Continue reading Making The Weather

East Coast Greenway: Charleston to Beaufort SC

We departed downtown Charleston, with our morning ritual perfected.   Drag luggage and bicycle to hotel lobby and park at the first open space making sure the other hotel guests had no access to the exits.  Load water-logged (from sweat / humidity) luggage onto the U-Haul truck.  Consume a Kind bar for breakfast.  The same Kind of bar that will be consumed over the next 7 hours, and wonder if that is really a Kind way to treat your body.  Check your bicycle lights, GPS navigation software, pump the tires and spin the wheels listening to the new whirring sounds that weren’t there before.  Seek out the ECG bike mechanic and decide he’s too busy helping others.   Decide to troubleshoot yourself.  Or at least with select members of your riding team, those without advanced bicycle mechanic skills.

Continue reading East Coast Greenway: Charleston to Beaufort SC

East Coast Greenway: Myrtle Beach to Georgetown SC

The morning ritual begins.  Rummage through your bag looking for dry shoes and dry clothes.  Wonder why all your clothes are wet, and realize the wet ones fused with the dry collection.  Do the sniff test.  Everything smells gamey.  Open the hotel door to check the outside temperature, and watch the humid steamy air roll in.  You feel your body temperature rise, and you instinctively wipe the steam off your forehead.  Close the door, fast.  Staying dry is out.  It’s all about the nose.  Choose the least gamey outfit and hope your bike-mates won’t draft too close.

Continue reading East Coast Greenway: Myrtle Beach to Georgetown SC

East Coast Greenway: Ocean Isle Beach NC to Myrtle Beach SC

After a long conversation with an Ocean Isle Beach native working the meat department at the town grocery, he assured me that not only are alligators good eating and taste like chicken, but they get ’em fresh from Georgia, which from my calculation was two states away.

Me:  Will they chase us on bicycles?
The Butcher:  Yes, ma’am.
Me:  You, mean, while we’re riding our bikes, they’ll come out and chase us?
The Butcher:  No ma’am.  Only when you stop.

Continue reading East Coast Greenway: Ocean Isle Beach NC to Myrtle Beach SC

East Coast Greenway: Wilmington to Ocean Isle Beach NC

Whaaat?  You’re doing what?

We are East Coast Greenway.  Riding our bikes one week a year, to cover a segment of miles from Maine to Key West, FL – and this year, Wilmington NC to Savannah GA.   Riding the congested east coast, as pioneers, bringing visibility to what roadways need to be more bike-friendly and tour townships on segments that include bike trails and low volume roads.  The East Coast Greenway works with municipalities to form safe bike travels state-by-state – because who wouldn’t want to travel without a car?
Continue reading East Coast Greenway: Wilmington to Ocean Isle Beach NC

The Ottawa Marathon Preamble

A decision to run another marathon might include mulling the details of fitness, nutrition, volume running, long runs, speed-work, hill work, the course layout — is it flat? hilly? urban?  oh-natural? —  all of which require dedicated planning and training for 16 weeks prior to showing up.  Or, the decision might evolve from a chance meet at a running Expo, where two lovely Canadians sitting at a booth in Corning, New York, describe the views along the course, surrounded by the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal,  the friendly spectators that line the course; while speaking with that pleasing French-Fargo  twang.  The ladies behind the Ottawa Marathon booth multi-tasked, handing out brochures, patiently explaining geography to Americans who were unclear if Ottawa was a city or a province, greeting other runners with more Bon Jour, and then describing croissants at the finish line.  I found myself mesmerized by their friendly Canadian vibe, losing all need to weigh the pros and cons of marathon training, and saying ‘why not? sign me up’.

Continue reading The Ottawa Marathon Preamble

Senior: Certified member

It took one week of Maryland sub-freezing temperatures,  an attempt to turn spring into winter, when I surpassed my cold-limit.  No desire to step outdoors, no desire to breathe with ice breath, no desire to layer up like the michelin man, no desire to go for a run.  Digging though a pile of sports bags tucked into a closet that rarely opened, the trifecta of swim suit, swim cap and goggles appeared, exactly where I left them years ago.  Swim gear that would transform to running gear.  Indoors.  At the deep end of the  county public pool.   Which required a pool pass.   Not for a day, not for a week.   An annual commitment.  And access to the pool is based on age.  I had aged considerably since my last pool appearance.   You’ll need a senior pass, ma’am, the grey-haired man behind the desk said, and when I realized that benefit came with a discount, I dropped the age-denier chirade. Continue reading Senior: Certified member