Sunday, March 15, 2009

Manufacturing Tan Lines

The NorEast training camp is underway! After 18+ hours of driving and breaking into houses in Washington D.C., we arrived at our host housing in Charleston, SC. RKelly, Ryan Carney and I have previously spent training camps in Florida; however, this year we decided to experience some new riding and take advantage of a free place to stay. So, here we are.

Just as cycling revolves around a healthy life-style, road tripping is an immersion into the the depths of unhealthy fast food dripping with the delcious goodness of sodium, trans fats and mega calories. Given the damage done to our bodies consuming a vast array of this food (or edible death if you'd rather), we were fully expecting to spend the first ride encouraging and pursuading our legs to pedal just a little bit longer. Fortunately, this was expected, because today turned out to be a lesson in navigation errors and non-descript, interchangable countryside.

We began the day early hooking up with a local group ride. Unfortunately, the fast, long ride we were hoping to jump into was neither fast nor long. After a brief chat 'n ride, we learned about a marked 100 mile ride to the coast and decided to give it a shot.

Most of the ride was uneventful. The roads are flat. The architecture ranges from posh, stone plantation houses to mobile homes more mobile than home. Drivers are friendly and there is a church every ten yards. I don't think there are enough people in the state to fill the number of churches here, so I guess they must bus in homeless hethens from other states and countries. After riding past the churches for five hour, we realized our marked ride was no longer marked and we were lost. Every house looks the same. Every scary dog has the same bark. Every church advertised Jesus' love for their people the most. Making our predicament worse were the empty waterbottles snickering at our thirst for just one sip of water. Fortunately, RKelly's nerdiness rivals that of Screech and he was armed with an internet machine complete with GPS. I normally prefer the traditional atlas, but my jersey pockets just aren't that roomy. Finally, we determined from where we had started riding and used the last of our determination to make it home where ice cold Cokes beckoned to be consumed.

Now, it's lunch time followed by snack time. Then maybe some dinner and another snack. 125 mile. 6 hrs 15 mins. 2 mini oatmeal cream pies. 1 granola on the go bar. 2 sore legs. Most importantly, 4 sweet tan lines.

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