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Roadskater.net Carolina Century Roadskate and Bike Ride for Charity Welcomes Inline Skaters and Cyclists November 8 2008

roadskater's picture

We're hard at work on the 2nd Annual Carolina Century for MS 102/51/31/21-miler with 10 hours of support for those of you who want a nice leisurely century on 2 or more wheels. This year's date is Oct 24, 2009. More info soon. For now, here's what it was like last year.

Roadskater.net Carolina Century Roadskate and Bike Ride for Charity

The latest info on our skride will always be at CarolinaCentury.com (currently, this page).



  • Register to Bicycle ($20 or more, proceeds to charity): (link removed; donate above)
  • Cyclists and non-century skaters may also register 730AM-815AM and roll at 830AM. If you can bring cash or prepay online, that helps. Cyclists needing more than 8 hours to do a hundred miles should preregister online and arrive in time to start with the roadskaters.



  • Register to Skate ($20 or more, proceeds to charity): (link removed; donate above)
    Roadskater century skaters start at sunrise (for 2008, that is 649AM, prerigistered by the night before).



  • Cyclists & Roadskaters, we want you to come and try a century! We provide several routes, but we wanted to offer a bike or skate century for those who never thought they could finish in time. If you start at the early rollout with skaters and average 10mph, we'll be there to support you (if you start later on any non-century route, we'll support 10mph for you, too.). If you think you're going to ride but can't preregister please write me so we can plan for your presence (take out the spaces and funkiness that follow): carolinacentury atthingy roadskater.net.
  • Routes will be approximately...
    • 21 miles (1 rest stop at 12, stores at 1 and 10, rolling support),
    • 31 miles (2 rest stops at 12 and 20, stores at 1, 10 and 21, rolling support)
    • 51 miles (2 rest stops at 12, 27, stores at 1, 10, 28, 37, rolling support), and
    • 102 miles (5+ rest stops at 12, 21, 56, 64 and 78, stores at 1, 7, 9, 18, 30, 35, 38, 53, 79, 89, rolling support)
  • All routes will be marked.
  • Supersweet map and turnsheet included.
  • The course is designed with preference for smooth, rural, fast, scenic, safe roads, downhills with runouts, and challenging uphills (for the Piedmont).
  • Dale Brown from Cycles de Oro will be supporting registration and start with help from cyclist and artist, Katherine Brown (who will be helping with a rest stop too).
  • Jamie Birt will be providing SAG support on all routes all day (Whew! Thanks! Let's give her some help!).
  • Valerie and Jim Gardner, Tour to Tanglewood volunteers extraordinaire, will be managing rest stops and more.
  • Jim and Betty Lambert will be providing rest stop and finish line support.
  • Elizabeth Bailey has donated many hours assisting while I was driving hundreds of miles of roadways during route development.
  • The Roadskater.net team helped by skating and cycling several route versions, including the sub-50-mile route as "Hannah and Her Skaters" the first day of the Tour to Tanglewood, when the Day 1 ride had been canceled due to tropical storm/hurricane Hannah. Jared Ingersoll, Jamie and Elizabeth provided rolling support for that development skride.



  • The Start/Finish parking area is graciously provided by:
    Gospel Baptist Church (http://gospelbc.org),
    5949 N Church St,
    Greensboro, NC 27455
  • LatLon: 36.225364,-79.790987 or +36° 13' 31.31", -79° 47' 27.55"
  • Park at the NORTH side (away from the intersection of Church Street and Hwy 150) as far back toward the house as possible to the right side of the church as you enter the lot. Please be considerate of the family living next to the lot by keeping noise to a minimum. Thanks.
  • Gospel Baptist Church is holding a special BRUNSWICK STEW LUNCH that they provide as a free service to the community. All riders are welcome to participate at no charge, or to donate to help defray their costs. We will have a signup sheet so we know how many riders and skaters have participated.



  • If you can volunteer we can make the skride even better! Please email me so we can use your skills and time to greatest effect (take out the spaces and funkiness that follow): carolinacentury atthingy roadskater.net.
  • Earn donations for your Tour to Tanglewood 2009 fundraising!



  • Helmets required
  • Event numbers with emergency contact info on the reverse required (numbers supplied).
  • Waivers required.
  • Please check in at the finish.
  • The course will be open for 10 hours. Even if held open longer, at sunset (516PM) the course must close and participants must be off the roads.
  • Cyclists are encouraged to attend the skateylove sermon (Friday evening, see below) so you can meet us and hear about the course.
  • The optional weigh-in for the Power Challenge will be available at the start line (see below).
  • There is one very fast hill on the Century only (Freeman Rd.) There's plenty of run-out but the entrance to the hill contains a turn (when you turn left onto Freeman Rd. from Piney Grove/Kernersville Rd. at the Goodwill Baptist Church cemetery.
  • There is one downhill to a stop sign (Gold Hill Rd. to Bethany Rd.) on the 51 and 102-mile routes. It is moderate, but it is VERY important to stop. Don't try to save your brakes here. This is where you can see a church parking lot on the far side of the T-intersection.



  • Skaters doing the century must preregister and attend the skateylove sermon Friday night (route and safety talk) at 700PM for all CENTURY skaters (cyclists and all other skaters encouraged, but not required).
    Golden Corral Restaurant
    LatLon: 36.100998,-79.820325 or +36° 6' 3.59", -79° 49' 13.17"
  • Time for the route discussion and "skateylove sermon" is changed to 700PM to accommodate out of town guests...we think we'll have a few from Atlanta and the Triangle in addition to the local skaters. 
  • Skaters doing less than a century and all cyclists may bring cash (please) to the start line registration from 730AM-815AM.
  • Roadskating experience required; Hills in the 102 and 51 include 40-42 mph sections; while there are fewer, some hills in the shorter routes will be 30-39 mph. Not trying to skare you, but to let you know. Safe runouts or they wouldn't be on the course.
  • Helmets required
  • Hand or Wrist protection or both required.
  • Skaters are strongly encouraged to wear a brake or wheels you are happy to burn for safety.
  • Event numbers with emergency contact info on the reverse required (numbers supplied).
  • Waivers required.
  • Please check in at the finish.
  • The course will be open for 10 hours. Even if held open longer, at sunset (516PM) the course must close and participants must be off the roads.
  • There is one very fast hill on the Century only (Freeman Rd.). There's plenty of run-out but the entrance to the hill contains a bend to the left (after you turn left onto Freeman Rd. from Piney Grove Rd./Kernersville Rd. at the Goodwill Baptist Church cemetery. This is fast enough that we have yet to do it in a pack! 
  • There is one downhill to a stop sign (Gold Hill Rd. to Bethany Rd.) on the 51 and 102-mile routes. It is moderate...simple enough to stop fully on skates, but it is VERY important to stop. Don't try to save your brakes or wheels here. This is where you can see a church parking lot on the far side of the T-intersection.
  • Fly in to GSO airport.
  • You'll need access to a car.
  • NC-68 and I-40 are reasonable places to grab a reasonably-priced hotel. There very few hotels near our start/finish area (which is the point, when you think about it).



  • The Roadskater.net & Roadcyclist.net Power Challenges are separate categories for cyclists and skaters, favoring those who get the most speed per pound. This is simply pound-miles per hour (pounds times miles divided by hours including stops).
  • Skaters may shoulder skates at weigh in.
  • Cyclists may shoulder bikes for weigh in.
  • Water bottles, packs, cameras, batteries, televisions and such, which you may indeed carry, unfortunately don't get to count for the power challenge.
  • For bikes, packs for tools and such affixed to your bike which you actually carry, and bottle cages and such count, but things that hold water for drinking don't count even if you are going to carry them.
  • This is for fun so we'll try not to get too serious about it, OK?
  • After the routes are closed and we've packed up, we will have a post skate and ride dinner where it is warm and dry. Details at the finish line. Leave us contact info if you want a call about dinner. Optional of course!



    • We are not certain of rest room availability on site, so please remember to use the rest room before arriving and visit and patronize the fine folk on the corner of NC-150 and Church Street. I will see if we can get access to rest rooms but if we do, no rolling or cycling shoe walking inside, please.
    • On the route, to drive more funds to charity, we ask that you use rest room facilities in the fine stores and fire houses along the way, which are ample.
    • We'll have "awards" (maybe just a hug and some skateylove) and for those who like, we'll keep a database of participants' miles, age, finish time, and, optionally, weight.
    • We will likely use digital camera EXIF data timing, not anything fancy, so make sure the official timer gets your finish line photo as soon as possible at the end!
    • We will make mistakes of course, so keep your time for yourself if you want to be sure to have it.
    • This is not a race, but you may enjoy knowing your weighted pace relative to others'!
    • Prizes, physical awards, medals, goodies, swag, and such, IF ANY will be mailed or otherwise delivered after we know who participated and who finished, so we don't waste resources on stuff you don't really want anyway. We don't have specific plans but reserve the right to be better than you expected.
    • Mainly, let's burn some calories and donate some bucks.
    • You're old enough to know everything is subject to change, blah, blah, blah, right?
  • WHY?
    • Others can't do what we do and this is one way we can help them get through their days better
    • Proceeds will go to the local chapter of the MS Society, and if there is an abundance of giving, perhaps to our favorite local charity rides: Tour de Lions, Tour de Kale and Tour de Tammy.
    • We are representing our sport with love so please spread joy and not division.
    • We miss you and want to see you on the roads again.


Wow, 160 km I would

Wow, 160 km I would soooo… love to be part of that skate, but sadly I already spent all the skating dollars and more for 2008, got to feed the kids and the cat.

I will be glued to the monitor after November 8th  to read all about the battle with the pavement, the skates, the legs, the feet, the mind…good luck and lots of fun to the fortunate ones that can participate.

eebee's picture

160 Km

Ok now it sounds like a really long way...:-)
skatey-mark's picture

I'll be there!

I'm already committed to doing this event. Probably will shoot for an average speed of 12-13 mph, which will be a nice, long day. Blake's "Hanna" route that we did in September was AWESOME! And I'm sure the century route will be more super-sweet pavement and great scenery. This is an event you will not want to miss! - SM -

what to do and what to bring?

I am very interested in how you – participants of the Carolina Century Roadskate - - 100 miles = 160 km – are preparing yourself nutrition wise and what will you take along on this very long adventure? I am looking forward to read all about your plans
eebee's picture

I will be there

I will be (hoping to) skate the century route, new boots and all, which should be interesting! I have so far put a whopping ten miles on those boots, but that'll soon change :-)

Along with me, Roadskater, Skatey-Mark, possibly Northinsouth, and Tom, there are some other maybes. 

Plan? What, me? Well my nutrition plan will probably consist of gatorade in the 40-something ounce bladder, about 8 energy gels of some kind, an extra bag of gatorade powder, and fig newtons...maybe. Not sure about the latter. I have eaten fig newtons all summer and have  just about had enough. I am not in great shape, having slobbed around since A2A, comfort-eaten every day, put on about ten pounds already, and skated a grand total of three times, so I don't anticipate going so fast that I'll have to micromanage my carb grams every 40 mins and 36 seconds. However, if I find myself feeling great for some strange reason during the event, I'll probably need an energy gel every 45 mins to an hour. Wish you could be here!

roadskater's picture

Getting to the Start from I-40 at NC-68

For out of towners coming to the Roadskater.net Carolina Century, there are not really any hotels near the start. That's a good thing when you think about it. The O'Henry and Proximity are very fine hotels if you can afford them. The latter has a Platinum energy rating and is a fascinating hotel. For more options and great road access, the area near the start of Tanglewood Day One at NC-68 and I-40 (the old I-40 nearer to the airport) is a good place to look. There's a Motel 6 there, a Hampton Inn that's pretty new, a Sleep Inn, a Days Inn that is a bit older, and some others. From NC-68 and I-40 take NC-68 north then go east on NC-150. In Summerfield you'll make a left then right. Follow the signs, heh. At N Church Street, go left and the Gospel Baptist Church will be on the left not far down the road. Use your favorite map program to get time estimates and such. The LatLon figures are included in the article above. Hope this helps!

Okay, I'm in

I just signed up. I'll try to talk Clarence into coming, too. I (or we) will be arriving very close to 7p, maybe a little late depending on traffic as we slip the surly bonds of Atlanta, to steal a quote.Skatey-Mark, I see you'll be shooting for 12-13 mph, maybe we can skate together. I did A2A for the first time recently and averaged 12.8 mph. Hopefully I can keep that up for a few more miles here.Weather forecast has a Friday night low of 51 degrees and a Saturday high of 65-67 degrees (partly cloudy), depending on what site you look at.-Tom
roadskater's picture

Ooh That's Warm!

It looks just about perfect for weather. I hope for no higher temps than that so we can not lose as much sweat and electrolytes as we go along. Glad you'll make it and hope Clarence can too. We need a ninja turtle skater! (Clarence wears an equestrian vest to protect his upper body and it is way cool to see him skatin' along. Will he have the new color by then? Or will it be suave silver?)

century route

Is the century route posted online anywhere to look at?
roadskater's picture

The Thumbtack Incident

The routes are not online yet. They may not be. If you can write to me using the address above and I know who you are I might be able to give one to you. However, for safety, we may not post the route. A few years ago there was a thumbtack attack on a Tour route, meaning someone had put out a ton of thumbtacks to flat the bikes. So I am hesitant to post this at least until after our event. Hope that makes sense. I might change my mind on this, but for now I think not posting it online is best. I'm open to other opinions. The route goes through Guilford, Forsyth and Rockinham counties, on smooth, rolling to hilly roads, mostly rural, never downtown anywhere, and is the greatest hits of some of our favorite routes over the years, with modifications to stay off NC-158 except for a few feet, and off of NC-150 east of US-220, and to avoid congested areas as much as possible. There are brief sections where no alternatives exist to moderately busy roads, but they're as short as possible. The route is designed by roadskaters, so turns are manageable and runouts exist for all high speed locations. There's one downhill brake to a stop that is easy for a cyclist and not that difficult for an experienced roadskater (this is on the 51 and 102 routes only). We recommend but do not require brake attachments for skates, as wheels are braking devices; but we believe what others have said, that you can buy tons of brake pads for what one set of wheels cost, and your wheels will need rotating less often and will keep their profile much longer. Welcome to the site!

what address?

Thanks for replying, what address above did you want me to write to? I'm a local cyclist - I live a few miles from that fast hill on Freeman Mill Rd., and I'm going to ride the century and am trying to get some buddies to ride too. That's why I am interested in seeing the route, to try to get some more local cyclists to ride with me.
roadskater's picture

Thanks for your interest!

Oh you're up near Piney Grove Rd and Goodwill Baptist Church. I've been up there to hear my dad speak not long ago. Nice people! One of those guys said, "You skate up that hill?!" We said, "Yep. And down it, carefully!" Anyway you can send an email to carolinacentury atthingy roadskater dotthingy net and I'll give you more info. Sorry to sound so secretive but being on the route committee for the Tour to Tanglewood I heard some reasons why it is best to keep the route at least a bit less publicized. Perhaps now they're less concerned about it, but you never know what strange fun people have. We had an incident last weekend on Halloween that was not dangerous, just weird. More on that later perhaps but I didn't expect a guy running out of the woods toward the road, ha! We must have surprised him by how we hardly flinched. Now, the time deer jumped across in front of us, that was special! Thanks again for your interest and please write about cycling here on roadskater.net. We're interested and so is the world, if Google is any judge of it.

thanks roadskater

And from our e-mail exchange, on that fast decent on Freeman Ch. Rd., after you hit the flat at the bottom of the hill in maybe another 150 - 200 yards there's a spot where the DOT has core drilled some 4" holes in the middle of the lane. Watch for those, you're still flying and they're hard to spot. I think they're circled with spray paint now.

Ah Mt. Trashmore ;)I hit

Ah Mt. Trashmore ;)

I hit one of the holes just the other day.  NOT cool!  Very bad on the tires/tubes.  I can't imagine what it would be like to hit one on skates on the downhill. (shiver...)

roadskater's picture

Green Circle and Diverging Arrows

Yep, there are some diverging green arrows that point around those two holes, so if you see anything bright green, just go around it! I made a circle around the two holes also. In other news...I painted the rest of the route today. Eebee helped me do the western half...for many hours! Those markers are a bit smaller than the ones we used today, but hopefully people will use their turn sheet principally. After each turn there's a confirmation marker if I remembered to do it. Keep your eye on the turnsheet though in case I made any mistakes. When there's a conflict, if there is one, use the turnsheet and map as the principal guides. Today my dad and mom helped me mark the eastern half of the course, meaning the 51, 31 and 21. Dad drove and mom served refreshments now and then in the car. Sweet! We went to fire departments and country stores and had lunch at the Cafe 65 in Bethany, where they are so incredibly nice (some will remember them from the Hanna and Her Skaters 49 miler we did Day 1 of T2T). They're looking forward to seeing us go by. They have restrooms there and you're welcome to use them. It's an old style meat & 2 vegetables place. I had barbecue (which 'round here means pulled pork cooked on a wood fire), pintos with onions and green beans, plus some hush puppies. Yum! We stopped in the Bethany Fire Department just before going to the cafe. That'll be one of our rest stops if all goes well (and it'll be nearby no matter what!). There's also Moore's store adjoining Cafe 65. Usually they're plenty nice in the store on weekends when we're up there. We made it up to Sandy Cross Country Store and they told us we could use their lot if we have enough people to warrant a rest stop there. If not, the store is great and easy to get into and out of (well there are steps but we're used to that). Instead of coming back down Sandy Cross we go right onto Boyd Rd just past the store, down to Speedwell, if you know that. OK that's it for now, except to say it is absolutely gorgeous out on the route with gold and red leaves all around. On Angell Rd we even saw the Blue Ride Mountains off in the distance more clearly than we've seen them there before. Let's hope it'll be dry and the rest of it doesn't matter so much. Thanks for the interest and comments!
eebee's picture

Stay to the right half of the lane

If you stay to the right half of that (Mt. Trashmore! Funny!) lane you won't hit those holes. So if you're in a paceline wait to rotate until the end of the run out. Probably two abreast at that point on the road isn't a good idea.
skatey-mark's picture

Route comments

I just downloaded the route maps and it appears the 51-mile route is the "Hanna" route we skated on the TTT weekend. This is an AWESOME route!!! The 31-miler looks the same as the 51-miler, with a couple shortcuts to trim it down. This should also be a great route. The 21-miler seems too short to be worth the drive to the start, but that's just me... ;-) It's mostly on the 31/51 route with a ~6 mile stretch cutting through the middle to get back to the start. The 102-miler is the Hanna route plus an entirely separate loop. Unfortunately, you have to make the decision at the 12-mile turn. That's the point of great divergence (POGD), as the 102-milers go left, the 31/51-milers go straight, and the 21-milers go right. I suppose if you start the 102-miler and aren't feeling great, you could go straight when you get back to POGD and you're only 9 miles from the finish, instead of 39 miles if you stick with the 102-mile turn sheet. That would be around 72 miles total, but you'll miss some sweet roads on the remainder of the 51-mile (Hanna) course. Not to mention you'll be technically off-course and volunteers might have a hard time finding you if you run into trouble. EVERYONE should carry a cellphone with them and be sure to store the phone numbers that Blake provides ahead of time. I'm planning on stopping to resupply at 21, 42, 63, and 79 miles. The 42-mile stop is only a water stop, the other 3 are at rest stops... As for food, I'll carry at least 10 or 12 Gu gels. Maybe a couple cliff bars and/or nutrigrain bars. (If I have room.) Otherwise, I plan on eating whatever they have at the rest stops. Remember the mantra -- eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty!!! - SM -

MMR not working too well.

Just sent you and email about exporting the route to GPX. The route looks great by the way. Lots of crossovers so I guess escape routes are possible if one gets tired/injured/runs out of gas/etc. along the way.

I've told a few cyclists about this one.  Hopefully some will show up.

Edit:  I finally got MMR to take the entire route.  I emailed the files.

roadskater's picture

There's a problem up in Sandy Cross...And wish I had known

Oh boy. Yep there's a problem in the base map up there in Sandy Cross between Vernon Rd and Irvin Farm Rd. The base map indicates the road is closed, but if it was in the past, it isn't now. I filed and issue with Teleatlus, but as of this writing, there seems to have been no action taken. http://roadskater.net/how-report-error-mistake-bug-google-maps-navteq-or... What is sad is that when you said you were "programming your GPS" I didn't know you were using MapMyRide to do so, and I didn't manage to make the connections in my brain about it all. I used MapMyRide to plan and measure these routes. (I wondered how people found the accuracy...all summer we found the developmental routes to be accurate.) Sorry I didn't save you lots of trouble by sending you some info that in a normal week I would have know I could do. In the week running up to the Carolina Century, though, such connections were used up in a myriad of other ways. Thanks so much for the interest!

Great Ride

Just wanted to say thanks for offering a wonderful ride yesterday. The course was well marked! Great rest stops, volunteers were extremely friendly and nice. Again great ride for a wonderful cause. Thanks Blake! Can't wait to see pics that were taken.
roadskater's picture

Thanks. Which route? Best and worst?

Hi and thanks for joining to comment. We hope you cyclists will write some more here, as we're interested in your experiences and expertise. As for the Carolina Century, I wondered which route you took and what you remember about it, good and bad. I have some thoughts but will add those later after others have a chance to say something. But the one great surprise was how great the view was of the Blue Ridge in Virginia from Angell Rd. We've been out there in summer when the visibility was much lower. We also saw the Blue Ridge from Scalesville Rd. If you had problems with traffic, please let me know where. I did about all I could to reduce busy or rude sections, but sometimes to do one thing you must suffer another. We tried to offer all we could, having absolutely no idea how many people we might have attending. Some wise folk had said we'd be lucky to get 20-33 participants (some specific guesses). Thanks for coming out and for taking the time to write to thank the awesome volunteers who did all the work while I was out on the course. The volunteers all knew I was planning to attempt the century on skates and still agreed that if I'd plan and coordinate, they'd do the hard work on the big day. Much more later, including the wonderful generosity of the Gospel Baptist Church in hosting us on a day when they were busy...serving Brunswick Stew to all in the local community who wanted any...free of charge. This faith in action is sure to have restored attitudes toward humanity sometimes tarnished on the roadways...and more about that later, too.

We did the 31 mile route. 

We did the 31 mile route.  Absolutely no trouble on the road at all.  The view as you said was beautiful.  There was of 3 of us that stayed together and we all commented throughout the ride how beautiful it was.  I think Craig even said "I could do this all day".  I originally wanted to do the 51 but due to time I had to scale back.

The traffic was good, nothing sticks out in my mind.  Thank God for that, as last Saturday I had a man try to run me off the road.  You just never know what you will get when you get out there. 

I would have to say this is the best ride I have done since TTT.  Thanks again to everyone.  I hope we see more events like this one!

roadskater's picture

Check out the 51 sometime

The 31 is nice because NC-65 east of US-220 is not as busy as the part to the west. But you simply must see Angell Rd sometime. It's really nice out there, there are options to go further out, but my smooth roads rule took out some good views as I couldn't use Washburn Rd without a grimace. If that is ever smooth-paved, oohwee, there's more good stuff that comes into the mix. Bethany's really a nice area, and the people there seem kind and relaxed to me overall. We were sad to see the new, lower quality, paving going on in the stretch of NC-65 from the gas plant (out past Iron Works Rd) up to and beyond where we turned off at Bakers Crossroads (Smyrna Church). This was new paving of the tar and gravel sort, and after 70-whatever miles on skates, this was tough. The old pavement was really smooth, but we could see why they had to fix it, as the asphalt had what appeared to be minor cracks, but these would let water in and that would ruin the pavement, probably even worse in the winter to come. Sorry you've had some rude treatment from the drivers. We've had some of that too, and sometimes I understand that they're scared or surprised and reacting from that (like if maybe they weren't paying full attention or something), but in the vast majority of situations we're really not even slowing them down more than a few seconds. More on this later when I write about our day out. My reminder to all is to remember what it's like to be a driver and always acknowledge the driver as soon as you realize they are there. My favorite way used to be to look around, but sometimes that is not the best solution. What seems to work to reduce honking and yelling is to... 1. Wave hello either up high or wide (with a bright orange whistle on my left wrist they seem to want to give me more room to avoid being hit by it) in a friendly way. Sometimes I hold a flat palm backward to them to indicate I can see traffic coming, but I never "wave them on" as I fear what would happen if I did so in error and there were an accident. 2. Look as professional and graceful as possible as a group...like geese migrating rather than like kids learning to walk. Some of the drivers are actually concerned for our safety, and when we skate with people who are in control but don't look in control...or they don't look like they're paying attention or respecting the vehicles on the road...we get more honking in general. But there are times when you meet someone who just thinks they're right and you're wrong and they want to punish you. Unfortunately, once they injured or killed someone they might actually be remorseful, just too late. 3. Don't pass each other when cars are around. Sometimes we goof and peel off the front when there's a car in sight, but usually while this is safe enough, it's perhaps unsettling to drivers who don't know much about being fit and balanced on feet even. It's all part of the geese migrating deal...you don't see them pass each other, but I bet the do when we're not looking! The bottom line is that when we get behind a tractor, for example, if we know the driver knows we're there, and wishes he could go faster, and takes steps to make it possible to pass when he can, and isn't swerving or passing other tractors, we feel OK about it. Otherwise we think he's crazy and rude! I believe, wrongly or rightly, that when we share the road instead of owning it, we'll have fewer (but still some) negative experiences. But since I've started waving and asking others in my group (at the back especially) to wave, I am certain we get far fewer honks of either the light beep or loud honk kind. And of course I'm not saying you did anything to deserve being run off the road. Nobody deserves that, even those who would do that to us.

Now that it's over, I can

Now that it's over, I can say that I really enjoyed it! (More on that later.) Blake, FWIW now that I'm looking at my GPS data I did 7:48:25, 102.22 miles. Okay, 102 miles is a LONG distance to skate, especially with the hills. It took me 7:48 (slightly over a 13 mph average). It was exhausting. It was primarily a bicycle ride, very few skaters (only 8 of us, I think). There were so few skaters that I was one of the better skaters there. ;) Since there were so few of us we all started off skating as a group. After 5 miles or so (?), three of us left the pack behind us on a fast downhill section. Then maybe 5 miles after that one guy said he couldn't keep up. So for most of the 102 miles it was just Mark Sibert and I, taking turns pulling. Mark is a better skater than I am. In the A2A (Athens to Atlanta) skate he finished in 5:33, which is a very good time, a 15.6 mph average. I finished in 6:46, a 12.8 mph average. http://www.a2a.net/08result/RESOV87.TXT Nevertheless, without a faster pack to skate with he was stuck with me. Even though I was slowing him down, I was skating fast enough that I like to think it was to his benefit to not leave me in the dust because I was doing my best to pull my fair share (taking equal turns in the lead). This also benefited me, of course, because I ended up skating a faster pace than I otherwise would have. We didn't have any serious issues with cars. There was one person who just laid on the horn and blew past us only a foot to our left, that wasn't pleasant. But that was the only really bad experience. Did I mention the hills? I hate hills. Well, I don't "hate" them but they sure are tough. Naturally, some of the toughest long uphill sections of the course came at miles 75-79 and 85-88 (according to my GPS elevation data), when I was already dead tired. My legs felt strong most of the day but after those uphills my legs turned into rubber. Although I worked hard to keep up, I could tell Mark was definitely stronger. We didn't talk about it while skating (after a while you get so tired that it's just not worth the effort to talk much, at least for me, although we did chat a fair amount at the beginning of the skate) but I figured that Mark would surge to the finish at some point. During a steep uphill that started around mile 96 or 97 and then leveled into a gradual uphill through mile 99, I could no longer keep up and there was no reason for Mark to wait. He surged ahead and I didn't see him again until the finish. I've come to believe that events like this are as much mental as physical. There is a lot of time to think while you're out there and there are a ton of excuses you can use to quit, but you have to fight through all that. Sometimes your mind wanders and you think the strangest things. During A2A a line from an old commercial popped into my mind, maybe it was one of the "Mikey will eat it" commercials, where the kid says, "I can't believe he ate the WHOLE thing!" Except in my mind it went, "I can't believe he SKATED the WHOLE thing!" Hey, you've got to be able to amuse yourself, right? Well, during this skate I thought about women who have multiple children. As in, if the pain is so great why do they do it again? Maybe it's not a fair comparison but I felt like one of those women, telling myself I can't believe I signed up for this torture AGAIN! Why did I do it? I mean, I knew how hard A2A was, so WHY? But deep down I know that after I finish I'll remember it fondly--IF I can just finish, that is! I think Mark finished at just over 7:45:?? while I finished at 7:48:25 (according to the GPS data I'm looking at now after the skate). My top speed was 44.5 mph on a steep downhill section that Blake warned us about. Although that's pretty fast there was plenty of space to let it roll so it wasn't at all scary. I should have tucked all the way to hit a higher speed. I realize that these may not be precise numbers but ... GPS says total ascent was 7712 ft and the total descent was 7531 ft (they should be the same since we did a loop). By comparison, my GPS says that the total A2A ascent is 6893 ft and the total descent is 6456 feet. Still, this course felt tougher than that relatively small difference (based on relative mileage) would suggest because there were two big climbs late in the skate whereas at A2A the big climb up to Dacula came relatively early in the skate when it wasn't nearly as big a deal. I've noticed that people who win such events in the past are typically skinny people who are in shape and don't have an ounce of fat on them. (Yes, I'm jealous.) I'm glad to see that Blake is also aware of this. So he proposed a new classification, which he called the "Power Challenge." "The Roadskater.net & Roadcyclist.net Power Challenges are separate categories for cyclists and skaters, favoring those who get the most speed per pound. This is simply pound-miles per hour (pounds times miles divided by hours including stops). Skaters may shoulder skates at weigh in." Basically, if I weigh twice as much as someone then he has to skate twice as fast! Now THIS is a category where I can win! I weighed in at 250.6 lbs with skates and Mark weighed in at 186 and change, so I think I have this category in the bag! I looked at some A2A numbers. I did A2A in roughly 6.75 hours and the winners did it in roughly 4.5 hours. That is a ratio of 1.5:1. If I divide my weight (including skates, etc.) by that ratio, I get 167 lbs. That means that if the winners are under 167 lbs, then by this measure I beat them! Gotta love people's ability to rationalize! ;)

on a need to know base, well...I need to know!

Just one single war story, that can't be it!?!?!?

I want to know every single detail from everybody.  :)


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