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→
More adventures filled day 4 of bike trippin’ along the Outer Banks in off season. We continued to ride without paper maps or GPS guidance to decide where to ride – opting for more of a ‘get lost’ strategy. It’s very easy to ride the Outer Banks without a map:
Ocean is east, the Sounds are west — stay somewhere in the middle
When you land in a neighborhood where large barking dogs gather unleashed, turnaround.
When you ride to the entrance of the Wright Brothers National Monument, and are waved through without having to pay — thank the lovely lady and spend some time with the Wright Brothers
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→
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→
Lodging is cheap in Corolla NC; free hot cookies are available at the hotel, roads are empty, bicycle trails are empty and the routes for riding are unlimited. We began our ride 5 miles north of Duck, and headed north along Route 12 following what appeared to be a bicycle trail. Then, we deliberately got lost. Continue reading Bike trippin – 5 reasons to bike Corolla in February→
[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→
Nearly a month after riding bicycles — through bouts of thigh-high ponding water, pouring rains, skinny shoulders, rumble-tumble-strips, the occasional trail, sand domes and fire ants, steamy temperatures, crossing busy highways, pelotons and caravans, dead armadillos, live alligators, bearded goats standing-on-sheds, getting lost, getting found, southern hospitality, hot towels and fresh cookies, high-octane metabolisms, daily ice cream, police escort thru the ‘Alley, hot showers in Savannah, and navigating conversations, potholes and vehicles — the memories are nearly as fun as the adventure. Below are the cyclists, who thrive for the ride. See you next year, ECG WAY mates!
The complimentary breakfast at our Beaufort hotel buzzed with cyclists half-woke, half-dressed wearing a pungent o-dear that was reminiscent of yesterday’ ride, walking straight toward the make-it-yourself waffle iron, the trays of english muffins and miniatures dollops of peanut butter where peanuts were the last of a 12-ingredient list that began with the words ‘corn syrup’. Today’s breakfast was our best by far — it included jellies that were close-enough to be considered fruit, and we slathered sugar-slime onto miniature brown and yellow muffins with more unrecognizable ingredients. Someone cut in line, a fellow biker with mismatched socks, and we waited patiently while he grabbed a second slice of wonder bread mumbling “bless his heart”, because after all it was Day 6 of hard riding. Everyone was growing weary, and that’s how one rolls in the south.
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.
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.