Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Albertus Geldermans

Albertus Geldermans also known as Ab Geldermans (born March 17, 1935 in The Netherlands) is a former Dutch professional road bicycle racer and directeur sportif. He was professional from 1959 to 1966 and rode seven editions of the Tour de France. In 1962 he finished fifth overall in the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey for two days. In 1960 Geldermans won Liège–Bastogne–Liege and won the Deutschland Tour. In 1962 he was Dutch road race champion. Afterwards he became directeur sportif of the Dutch national cycling team that competed the 1967 Tour de France and directed Jan Janssen to victory in the 1967 Tour de France.

Albertus Geldermans

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Group Ride - "Kerns' Group"

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John Kerns
 I rolled out of my driveway on my bicycle, headed to the group ride at Lewisville, NC. As usual I was running a few minutes behind and ended up time trialing to the town square, in order to get there before the ride started at 8:00. I made it just seconds before the start time. My intentions were to ride the Hearts' group ride. Several groups were leaving at the same time. I ended up riding out with "Kerns' Group."

"Kerns' Group" is organized by John Kerns. John plans the route and the ride time. This group general rides a little faster and a little shorter route, this time of the year, than the Hearts ride. 

It takes a real commitment to plan rides like John does. He is out there every Saturday and Sunday. He's there regardless of how he feels or the weather. Thanks for all you do John.

We rode approximately 47 miles today. The group rolled on well in a double paceline. It was a beautiful day and the ride was very enjoyable. 

I was starting this day of riding with a little over 500 miles in for the week. My legs were a little tired, but I still wanted to sprint for the sprint sign at the end of the ride. A couple of riders started to sprint and I took off. I almost made a bad mistake by looking back over my shoulder as we approached the sign. We were all wound up at this point. When I looked back while sprinting I got too close to the edge of the road. I ran off the side of the road at full speed right as I got to the sign. There was a ditch and a couple of other obstacles that could have easily made me go down as I was trying to keep my bike under control in the wet grass. Fortunately I was able to save it. Even experienced riders do dumb stuff. 

We cruised on into the town square. At the square we chatted a little and I headed out to ride on in. I stopped at the restroom and saw two of my friends, Mike McKnight and Robert Myrick about to leave for a ride. I joined in with them and rode about 25 miles more. 

When I got home my computer showed that I had ridden 84.86 miles. I rested a little and went out to ride again. I rode another 16 miles to put me just over 100 miles total for the day and a little over 600 miles for the week. 

Once again, another vacation day well spent riding with a bunch of good friends!
Kerns' Group Ride rolling by Hollars Grocery
All around good guys; Carl and Will
Mike and Robert
Me rolling down the road on my Trek Madone

Saturday, August 24, 2013

When one door closes another one opens!

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The group rolling down the road on a beautiful day.

I've heard the saying "when one door closes, another opens." Never really thought much about it. That's sort of how this vacation day of bicycle riding was.

There are a couple of things that are frustrating when you work on every single Saturday. One of them is that you can't participate in almost any cycling events. The other is that many of your cycling friends' main day to ride is Saturday. So, some folks you just don't get the opportunity to ride with.

Today is the first Saturday I have not had to work in many years, and may be the last for years to come. I had plans to ride this morning with a cycling buddy that I never get the chance to ride with anymore. I was getting my water bottles ready and checking out my bike when I got the word that they were bailing on the ride. I was disappointed and sadden by the change of plans. Do to conflicting schedules, I don't know when or if I will get to ride with this cycling friend again.

I poured another cup of coffee and tried to come up with a different destination to ride to. After while I just got on my bike and headed out. Without any real plans I ended up riding through Lewisville. As I turned on a road, headed out of Lewisville, I saw a group of cyclist mulling about at the intersection ahead. I thought maybe it was an accident. When I got there, a couple of riders were working on repairing a flat tire. Once the group got underway I joined in their ride.

I knew all the riders in the group and they were all long time cycling friends. We rode a nice route mapped out by Ken Craven. It was on great roads and a distance of about 57 miles. We had a nice little break at Gunter's Country Store about half way through the ride.

So the door that opened, when the other one closed, turned out to be good thing. I enjoyed a nice ride on a beautiful day and got to see a whole bunch of friends that I don't get to ride with. I can't remember all of the friends, but in the group were Kelly Holmes, Barry Woosley, Lynn Berry, Michael Berry, Tom McGuire, Jim Martin, Chad Chadwick, Scott Morris, Clarence, Darrel Ellis, Susan Hege Edwards, Ryke Edwards, Ronnie, Joe Hutchins, Shea and I hope I haven't left anyone out.

Riding to and from the ride put my total for the day at just over 70 miles and my total miles for the last 6 days at over 500 miles.

Later on in the day I went for a "cruise" ride to Starbucks for a cup of coffee. It was a perfect evening to relax outside and drink a good cup of coffee. Another vacation day well spent!

Below is a link to the ride on Connect.Garmin. Nice Route!

Pulling away from a stop sign.
Me at the rest stop.
The group taking a break at Gunter's Country Store.
Me with my "cruiser" at Starbucks.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gunnar Roadie - Rockford General Store

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The Rockford General Store
For over twenty years the Rockford General Store has been one of my favorite cycling destinations. I couldn't think of a better way to spend one of my vacation days than riding to it today. It's like going to another time. Old fashion candies, soft drinks in glass bottles, a grill and a shady front porch to sit on and take a break.

20+ years ago there were many teenagers that rode road racing bikes. Often times in the summer, when they were out of school, several of them them would join me in all day rides. One of our places to take a break was the porch of The Rockford General Store. I'm sure those are the exact same benches that we used to sit on. It's hard for me to believe that those teenagers are now all grown and many of them have school age children. It reminded me of those teenage riders, when I was sitting there on the benches in the shade of the covered porch. Their parents never seemed to worry about them gone for all day rides with no real destination in mind.

The store hasn't changed and neither have the ice cold 6oz. Coca-Colas in glass bottles.

I consider this another vacation day well spent! Take a trip back in time and ride to The Rockford General Store, if you get a chance.
Me in front of the Rockford General Store with my Gunnar Roadie

My Gunnar Roadie on the front porch of The Rockford General Store

A cigar store Indian on the front porch of The Rockford General Store.

Below is a link to my ride on Connect.Garmin.

Click here to learn more about Gunnar Cycles.
Click here to learn more about The Rockford General Store.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finally got a chance to ride to The Shiloh General Store!

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Me at The Shiloh General Store

When I got up this morning my legs were tired from the previous two long days of climbing rides. It has been about four years since I have been able to do the "bakery ride." The Shiloh General Store or "Amish Bakery" as it is better know is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Those are the two days of the week that Ken's Bike Shop is also closed. So, I haven't been able to ride to the bakery when it is open ever since I began working at Ken's. Despite being tired I decided to ride to the bakery this afternoon and not push it, just keep a smooth pace.

When I arrived at the "Amish Bakery" a young man who works there, Mark, came out to examine my bicycle. He said "it's all carbon fiber." He went on to explain his frustration at not being able to go to Ken's Bike Shop because it was closed on Mondays and that is the day of the week he doesn't have to work. I explained to him that I worked at Ken's Bike Shop and that I was frustrated that I could never ride to The Shiloh General Store when it was open because it was closed on the days I didn't have to work.

Mark asked my name and when I told him my name was Charlie, he said "you are the one I have been wanting to see at Ken's." He wanted to know all about my bike and was mostly interested in how the Garmin computer worked and what a Powertap hub does.

Mark told me about rides he had done to North Wilkesboro and other places. He wanted to know how much different bikes cost and what would be good for his rides. I went inside and bought something to eat and drink and visited with Mark a little more.

When I left the bakery, I didn't feel so bad about not being able to go there because it was closed on the days I didn't have to work. Mark had the same frustration!

On the way back I had a $120 tubular tire go flat. Fortunately I was able to change the tire NASCAR fast and get going again.

This was the first longish ride that the battery on my Garmin hadn't died half way through. I'm sure that was either because I had been using the mapping features too much or wasn't charging it enough.

Another vacation day gone, but I got in "The Bakery Ride." 

Below is a link to the Garmin file of my ride.
Amish Bakery - Recovery Ride by CharlieLawrence at Garmin Connect - Details

The Shiloh General Store

My Trek Madone

Gunnar Sport, Brooks B-17 Saddle, Carradice Barley Bag, Bagman bag support and Credit Card Touring.

Click on the photo to enlarge them.
My Gunnar Sport ready for an overnight ride.

I'm taking the first few days off of work ever in three and a half years of working at Ken's Bike Shop . I did a little "credit card" touring Tuesday and Wednesday on my Gunnar Sport. (it would have to be cash touring for me. I don't like to get credit card bills in the mail) Tuesday I rode up to the Blue Ridge Parkway from my house and then on to Bent Mountain Lodge (B&B) between Floyd, Va and Roanoke, Va on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then today I rode back home. The picture is me with my bike, yesterday morning, on the deck of the Bent Mountain Lodge. You can see for miles and miles from the deck. 

I added a Carradice Barley Bag and a Bagman bag support, to my Gunnar Sport, to carry everything I needed for this trip. The fenders were nice to have as I did encounter a little rain and wet roads on the parkway. Thanks Gunnar Cycles for the great ridding bicycle. It was stable and smooth the whole way.

I stopped both days for a break at the Poor Farmers Market in Meadows of Dan, Va. The first day I ordered a "Hungry Hillbilly" sandwich at the deli and a cup of coffee. The sandwich was so good I went back and order another one. Today, when I stopped on my return trip, I just went ahead and ordered two of the sandwiches the first time I ordered. They are great! Stop in if you are in the area and give one a try. Thanks, Poor Farmer's Market, for such a great place to take a break while riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway!

Wednesday morning I was startled when a HUGE black bear ran in front of me, while I was descending a long hill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was squeezing both brakes and hoping the bear would run away. He stopped in the middle of my lane, looked at me, and then disappeared into the woods. I'm glad I didn't hit him and also that he ran away. I've seen bears before, but never one as large as that one! 

The Gunnar Sport performed wonderfully. Having a Powertap Hub helped me to meter out my efforts. Most of this ride was mountainous. My gearing was a 53/39 chainrings with a 11-25 cassette. The two gear combinations I used most were 53x11 and 39x25. I was grinding up a hill or tearing down the other side. 

At the end of the second day I was getting tired. I calculated both days each to be a little more than a hundred miles. The funny thing was that with about 5 miles to go to get home, I began to feel fresh and was flying on the bike. Might be because the roads were finally flat! 

My friend Earl.
I saw Earl, who was out for a ride also, while on my way to the Blue Ridge Parkway. When he found out where I was going he offered me a Honey Stinger Gel. I had all the food I could carry with me already, so I thanked him and went on my way.
C& J Produce in Westfield, NC.
I stopped both days here to take a break and refuel.
Junior and Carol at C&J Produce.
I'm getting close to the Blue Ridge Mountains
This is a section of the road up Squirrel's Spur.
This is the way I took up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Poor Farmer's Market at Meadows of Dan.
This is a great place to take a break while riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is at mile post 177.

Felecia, owner of The Poor Farmer's Market, with her daughter's new puppy.

A typical view of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
My Garmin took me to the wrong address when I was looking for the lodge. This is one of the roads I rode on while lost and adding in about ten extra miles. Thank goodness for Gatorskin tires!
Here I am on the deck of the Bent Tree Lodge. Ready to head back.
A view from the deck of the Bent Tree Lodge.
Another view from the deck of the Bent Tree Lodge.
An old farm along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
A field of round hay bales along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The views were beutiful on the way back also. This was along Unity Church Road on the way home.
  Poor ole' Joe kept me company while I cleaned up my bike at the end of my adventure.
Click here to learn more about Gunnar Cycles.
Click here to learn more about Carradice Bags.
Click here to learn more about Brooks Saddles.
Click here to learn more about Planet Bike Fenders.
Click here to learn more about The Poor Farmer's Market.
Click here to lean more about The Bent Mountain Lodge.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fleet Feet of Winston-Salem's Tri. 102 Training Ride 8/10/12

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Leslie and Charlie on the Tri 102 Training Ride.

This morning before work I had the pleasure of riding with the Fleet Feet of Winston-Salem's Tri 102 training group ride. This group will be doing a triathlon that involves open water swimming. 

My new friend Leslie, that I met on the ride today, swam and ran cross country in high school. She said she was new to biking, but did very well on today's 25 mile ride. 

I look forward to more training rides with this group of riders!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Commuting to work on my Surly Long Haul Trucker, finally a day without rain!

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My Surly Long Haul Trucker loaded and ready for the commute to work.

We have had an amazing amount of rain during the spring and summer in North Carolina.  It has been very frustrating to plan recreational rides and even worse for folks like myself that enjoy commuting to work. 

Saturday was a beautiful day with almost no chance of rain during the hours I would be riding to and from work. 

I went for a fast twenty mile jaunt through the country just as soon as the sun came up. When I got back from my morning ride I loaded up my Surly Long Haul Trucker and headed on into work.

It always makes me feel wide awake when I arrive at work on my bike. I also enjoy the savings of leaving my car in the garage. Hopefully I will be able to do more commuting to work in the next few days. 

All this rain reminds me of a Creedence Clearwater Revival song - Who'll Stop The Rain. Below is a video of that song.

Tuesday Night "Two Hour Challange" at the Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, SC.

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The Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, SC, under the lights.

This past Tuesday I was double lucky; it didn't rain that evening at the velodrome and I was able to get away from work a little early to drive to Rock Hill in time to ride. 

On Tuesday evenings, at the Giordana Velodrome, they have a "Two Hour Challenge." The challenge is to see how many laps you are able to ride in two hours. The competition is for the most laps ridden for the whole month. The riders are divided into different age brackets. Timing is done by transponders (chips) attached to the forks of each rider's bicycle. Each lap is recorded for each rider as they cross the finish line. The two hours are from six PM through eight PM. 

I was pedaling around in the infield of the track when the timing began. My expectation was that there would be some type of official start. Riders were riding around and the timing had already begun. Pacelines were forming as riders began picking up speed and drafting off of each other. I quickly entered the track. A young rider that appeared to know what he was doing passed by. I latched onto his wheel and sat in his draft. I noticed that the pacelines were riding above us and going on by as they came upon us. I determined which paceline was the fastest and jumped on the back of it. We were zooming around the track. It was a lot of fun. 

Around 6:30, as the angles of the sun changed, shadows of the riders began to grow longer and it was hard to tell where they were coming from as we rode around the banking of the track. There was music playing and the whole atmosphere reminded me of the fair ride "The Himalaya."

Eating and drinking are not allowed while riding on the track. After about an hour of hard riding I had to ride down to the infield where my supplies were. I quickly downed a twenty four once water bottle of energy drink mix. Then I ate a package of energy chews and chased it down with about ten ounces of energy drink. 

The biggest problem I had while leaning low over my bike and riding as hard as I could, was that my hands kept going numb. So while I was in the infield eating and drinking I also tried a change of gloves. No luck, same problem continued. Numb Hands.

The last seven minutes of the two hours were the longest. I kept watching the clock as we made lap after lap around the velodrome. Finally our two hours was up. I pulled off of the track and went over to return my timing chip. After I gathered my things together and was about to leave, I asked Ashley (the time keeper) how many laps had I ridden. She told me 305 laps. I felt everyone of them. 

During the hour and a half drive home I drank at least five and maybe six bottles of water. I was already planning my next trip to the Giordana Velodrome and the "Two Hour Challenge."