Cape Ride 2013: 145 miles in 14 Hours

6.23.2013 – This past Sunday, I had the great pleasure of joining a small group of friends for their 2013 Cape Ride. Started about 20 years ago by a Harvard professor, the trip is a challenging, yet relaxed and scenic 145 miles from Boston to Provincetown packed into a single day. Intentionally scheduled for a weekend close to the summer solstice, we set off from Jamaica Pond at about 5:30am, picked up a few more riders in Plymouth, enjoyed lobster rolls, old-fashioned ice cream, fresh strawberries and honest-to-goodness spring water along the way, and eventually coasted into Provincetown around dinnertime after battling fierce headwinds coming off of Cape Cod Bay for the last five miles or so. It was definitely a trip to remember, one shared with great people and covering some beautiful parts of the Commonwealth. Thank you all for having me along, and I hope to join you again in 2014. Cheers!

Cape Ride 2013

Congaree National Park

10.29.12 – South Carolina’s environmental groups recently held their annual EcoLeaders Summit at Congaree National Park outside of Columbia. The park boasts the largest intact stand of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeast US. Riding out along Bluff Road requires complete mental isolation from the heavy truck traffic, high speeds (depending on the driver) and lack of shoulder, but if you can ignore the danger until you reach Old Bluff Road, Crom rewards you with a tranquil stretch of country road leading up to the park entrance. From downtown, the ride approaches 40 miles round-trip, which helps explain why I got pummeled at tennis later that night.

Marathon Ride to/from Troutman, NC

8.12.12 – This weekend’s trip to Lake Norman State Park proved challenging. Between Friday and Sunday, I logged over 200 miles, which shouldn’t have been too much of a stretch, but I was bike camping as well. The extra weight of a full backpack definitely took its toll. With 30 or 40 miles to go on the ride home Sunday evening, and struggling with SC’s Sandhills, I had to call to a friend for a pickup. It was disappointing, but not enough to dampen the exhilaration of riding 40+ miles from Troutman, NC through the heart of Charlotte on 100% anxiety-free roads. They take transportation choice seriously up there. It was a slightly different story after crossing into South Carolina. Route 21 south of Rock Hill now sits atop my list of worst roads to bike in the state. If anyone knows of an enjoyable route between Columbia and Charlotte, please email me.

1st Group Ride ^ West Columbia, SC

7.24.12 - After inexplicably slamming into a curb the other night, I stopped off at Summit Cycles to have the wheels on my Lynskey trued up. Luckily, having disk brakes means I don't have to worry about my dented rims. So while Tim worked on my bike, he mentioned a group ride scheduled for later that evening, and I decided to tag along. It turned out to be a great first experience riding with a big group of cyclists through scenic, rural West Columbia.

~30 mile loop - South from the Electric Co-op headquarters to 12th Street, 12th Street Extension, Old Wire Rd., Glenn Rd., Gator Rd., Edmund Rd., Old Charleston Hwy., Meeting St., and home from downtown (map below).

This was also my first ride with 700cX23 Gatorskin tires on the Lynskey.

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn..."
- Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 1, Ch. 1


Debuting my new Cooper CX

7.16.12 – It was an epic first weekend on my new titanium cyclocross, a Cooper CX, which was handmade this spring by Lynskey Performance Designs in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I put 50 miles on the bike cruising around greater Charleston’s beaches, and then covered another 140 miles on (mostly) scenic rural roads from West Ashley to Columbia, SC. The titanium frame and steel fork combine for riding bliss, and the gearing turned the Midlands’ Sandhills into speedbumps. Many thanks to the folks at Lynskey, and to Tim at Summit Cycles in Columbia for the excellent assembly. More stories and pictures to come.