Friday, December 24, 2010

Rockfish Ride

When Bill and I moved to North Carolina I went, on the advice of a friend in Texas, to the local bike shop to find out about group rides.  This turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done.  There I met Jen Doyle their resident triathlete.  

Jen told me about the local rides and I met her on a Saturday at the club ride.  I was introduced to a couple other cyclists and for the first season we lived in Fayetteville I drove to the Linden Ride on Saturday mornings.  Jen has completed every single Ironman Triathlon in the United States and someone I consider to be a very good friend!

Hal O'Berry, Andrew Carpenter, Santa Look Alike,
Me, Mark Hawley, Mark Taylor, Kenny Green,
Sandy Hawley, Jen Doyle
I went to work for that same bike shop, Hawley's Bicycle World .  What a great place to work!  Hawley's is also Fayetteville's triathlon headquarters.  Working there gave me an opportunity to meet and help a lot of newbie triathletes - answering their questions, getting them set up on their bikes and giving them pointers for racing.  The people I worked with at Hawley's are like family.  This is from Christmas two years ago, notice Jen is wearing roller skates!!

There is another ride in Fayetteville and it's called the Rockfish Ride.  It is on Sundays, which worked out better for me since I worked on Saturdays.

This ride was usually led by a guy named Furman Hammonds.  Furman is one of those amazing cycling success stories.  Several years ago, he was out of shape and overweight and decided to start riding.  He's since lost over 100 pounds and is one of the best and nicest riders around.  This ride and the people on it quickly became my friends.  I still drive up occasionally to ride with these awesome people.  If you're in need of some positive energy, ride with Furman.

There is Mike Adams, Mike's favorite expression is "Make 'Em Bleed". He is that rider that punishes everyone else always by ramping up the pace until we are all off the back, spat out like a bad piece of gum.  If you want interval work, Mike Adams is your man.  He is also one of the most knowledgeable people I've met on the weight of bike components, I think his bike weighs about 14 pounds, maybe less.  Mike likes to ride in the mountains.  His second favorite expression is,
"The Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go."

And then there are the Florians, Mary and Tom.  Mary and Tom ride long, long, long distances.  They are randonneurs - In cycling, it means a hard-riding enthusiast who is trying to complete a long randonn√©e inside a certain time allotment.  Randonneuring stresses self-sufficiency, once riders have successfully completed a 200-kilometer "brevet", they are entitled to be called a "randonneur".  A "brevet" is typically a challenging 200-, 300-, 400-, 600-, 1000- or 1200- kilometer ride, each with a specific time limit.  These two are amazing, they'll ride like a postman, through rain, sleet or snow!

Me, Carol, Mary, Furman and Tom
This photo is from a ride with my friend Carol Scheible (you'll hear more about her in the future).  Carol wanted to ride the 112 mile Beach2Battleship Triathlon bike course before her Ironman last December, so I invited Mary, Tom and Furman who gladly drove to Wilmington to get in a long ride! 

You hear some people talk about cyclists and their bad attitudes, I've never found anything farther from the truth!!