Friday, June 29, 2012

Carolina on my Mind...North Carolina

I have always said I was going to move to North Carolina.  Somehow, I just never got there, so I was eager to ride in that state.  My hosts here were Wendy and Gary. Friends from Dallas, they moved to Raleigh about 4 years ago.  Both are avid cyclists; in fact, Gary owns and operates a bike shop, TLC for Bikes.

When I arrived at Gary's shop around 6:30, he promptly pulled my bike from the car and began giving it TLC. He tweaked this, and adjusted that, while I had waddled around the corner with his friend, Tom, for a quick bite and a glass of wine.  I say 'waddle' because that is the only way I could walk after sitting on those saddle sores all afternoon.  I need that wine for anesthesia! By the time we returned, Wendy had arrived and whisked me away for a whirlwind tour of the area.

Raleigh is beautiful!  With a multitude of outdoor sports at its doorsteps: cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, fly fishing, sailing, camping, hiking, only has to travel an hour and half either west or east to be in the mountains or at the ocean, respectively.  The climate is typically temperate and plants grow with ease, as if in the tropics.  Well planned and meticulously  maintained and respected, the area is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. No fake tans here....everything is natural.

Concerned about my saddlesores, Wendy gave me some bike shorts to wear the next day.  They were men's shorts, and had a much bigger chamois, that was as soft as kid leather.  She started wearing men's shorts when she had a similar problem, finding the women's chamois fit the saddle, but didn't protect the soft inner thigh like the men's short do.  At this point, though, so much damage had occurred, that nothing short of an epidural would snuff out the pain.  It might, however, prevent further damage and solve my perpetual sore issue.

The ride the next morning was, again, a magnificent ride on magnificent roads with magnificent scenery.  Gary apologized for the headwind, laughing when he said it.  It was blowing all of 5 mph, now and then; anyone riding in Dallas knows we celebrate when it is only blowing that hard.  For Dallasites, chipseal and wind are our mountains!  So, despite the prevailing 'headwind', we rode; up and down the rollers we went, with Gary giving me instructional hints on how to ride them.  As a flatlander, I appreciated the coaching.  Riding hills and riding flats definitely require different techniques.

My 'injuries', however, grew more and more persistent in calling attention to themselves, and I finally had to quit ignoring them.  Not half way through the ride, I cried 'uncle'.  To continue would have been stupid.  We turned around, and though we didn't ride 50 miles, we did do 38; given the conditions, that is good enough for me.

Gary and Wendy--thanks so much for the wonderful TLC you gave me and my bike!  I will be back to North Carolina and Raleigh.  Don't be surprised if you see me move there.....

Gary feeding Shadow, one of their two Great Danes

Gary leads the way

Speedy queen, Wendy.


  1. What are Gary's tips for riding rollers? I could use some help too

    Really North Carolina??

  2. Slow and easy, steady cadence