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Carolina Century 2009: Fuzzy Llama Funny Llama, Llama Llama Duck

eebee's picture

As you can tell from the title, this is probably going to be an aimless and bewildering report. The past three days have left me in a daze!

Oh I just don't know where to begin! So many things have happened since Saturday that I am having trouble believing.


Unbelievable Thing # 1:

The weather forecast for Saturday remained consistently miserable the entire preceding week. I usually think that they can't call exact times and rainfall amounts four days in advance. However, by Friday it was clear to me that the forecasters didn't have any reason to change their minds and predict dry, sunny weather. I lay awake Friday night into the wee hours of Saturday, listening to the wind howl and acorns bounce by the limbfull onto the roof. Between feeling like a loser for planning to skate in gusty rain, and feeling afraid that nobody would show up, sleep wasn't happening. 

How wonderful that 40 - 50 people signed up to take part! 


Unbelievable Thing # 2:

I have no roadrash, pain, sores or aches.


Unbelievable Thing # 3:

The skies opened up sometime in the first third of the course and we got drenched. And yet four of us still finished the 102 miles, 7 hours later (3 skaters, 1 cyclist). The sideways rain, zero visibility and wind gusts sure were interesting. How great it was to see Roadskater's cousin and her husband waiting out there in the torrent for us at their rest stop! I remember standing cluelessly in a three-inch deep puddle, talking to them. This was about the time Ben the Cyclist decided to stick with us for the 102 miles. 


Unbelievable Thing # 4:

Coming home along the final four or five mile stretch, Roadskater was having compelling leg cramps. Skating carefully in front of him to try to provide a wind buffer, I heard him making a scarier noise than the usual cursing when attacked by sudden leg cramps. These were foreign, high-pitched sounds I couldn't quite attribute to insanity or agony. I turned around to see him leaping a ditch to snap photos of a field of sheep and llamas! I had the Llama Song playing endlessly in my head after that.  


Unbelievable Thing # 5:

I don't even have Muskelkater for having skated 102 miles! This may be attributed to sleeping for 12 hours straight Saturday night through Sunday morning :-)


Of course the most unbelievably stupid, enragingly frustrating thing of all was that a local cyclist (who wasn't a Carolina Century rider, but who cares) was killed by a hit-and-run about half a mile away about the time we finished.  Our BRT/SAG Danny went to the scene to try to help but it was too late. The situation hardly seemed real. 

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MikeB's picture


I hear ya Skipper. You're a good egg. Life lessons are all around us. Truly.......they're everywhere. (as I sit here an easy 15+ come to mind) Fortunately we have you. So many people look to you as an example of unselfish positivity, even in the face of bad things happening to good people. Your dedication to your fellow good humans is remarkable. Thank you.
MikeB's picture

Llama? Llama? where are you?

It's unlike Roadskater not to post his "photos from the edge" and maybe CC2 conditions killed his camera...who knows. A good gift would be a swim mask / 5mp camera combo I just saw advertised for $99. It's good to 20 feet. Just look in the direction of the shot, press the button on top of the swim mask and the camera built in at the forehead area takes the pic.....complete with flash. SWEET. Lookin' forward to Llama Llama Duck pics.
roadskater's picture

Photos, Journal and Weather Reports from Carolina Century Soon

Hey MikeB thanks for noticing. I had made a decision to wait until it felt right to talk about the happy times at the Carolina Century, and to post any photos from the event, for a couple of reasons. One reason was I wanted to wait until after the David Sherman memorial ride, and another was, I've been having trouble tracking down some of the pics people were taking for me that day while I was out on the road. I have also wasted a considerable amount of time just trying to find out more information about the hit and run and trying to understand how our courts and law enforcement had not picked up the accused for previous offenses, especially failure to appear in court. More on the Carolina Century to come, when I can be sufficiently joyous about it, I promise.
dreeves's picture

Elizabeth is my hero

That's an amazing story! I can't decide whether I'm sorry I missed this. :) OK, yeah, of course I am! Let's find more of these sorts of things to do! I skated the New York City Century (nyccentury.org) this year for A2A training. If any of you North Carolinians want to skate something in New York, you can stay with us.
eebee's picture

RoadSkater & the Volunteers

Well thanks Danny! But really, Roadskater and the volunteers are the heroes. The New York City Century sounds like a lot of fun too. Did you skate on your own? Keep us informed of events up your way...we might just take you up on your offer :-)
eebee's picture


Well Tom you were out in front a lot! I think you took the brunt of the wind for much of the time, and then doing the last 30 or so alone must've been tough! I think my bearings (new and run-in for A2A) were suffering from shock shortly after the rain, and didn't really get over it until mile 65 or so when the sun came out. But after that I think they were rolling better. Although Roadskater's bearings sounded like mice pretty much the whole way since the rain!

Toughest Skate I've Ever Done

First, some sobering links: http://www.topix.com/forum/source/myfox8/TQB1LHVJR2BR0RCP6 http://www.myfox8.com/wghp-summerfield-cyclist-killed-091025,0,4738217.s... As for Mount Trashmore, I think I hit about 42 mph. I thought I could do faster but I couldn't see with all the rain stinging my eyes. Not to mention the sad state my bearings were in. I've never really "hit the wall" like I did during this skate. I was really staggering at the end of this one. Climbing the hills at the end of the skate into the steady headwind at times, with bearings that weren't rolling very well--that was tough. I'm just happy to have finished.
MikeB's picture

Unbelievable X 10

Managing 102.67 in perfect conditions is very hard to imagine. In those conditions?.....it's unimaginable. Helmets off to you, Roadskater and the gang. You folks are amazing skaters. I on the other hand bailed after 21, ate 1/2 the chili, a cookie the size of a manhole cover, then hit the Trek store to look at bikes. My skatey-senses will come back.....just need another few days. But yes, unbelievable it was. Seeing so many TTT faces was reassuring and the volunteerism was truly fantastic. So friendly, so helpful, so dedicated. Just WOW! The 2nd annual CC is in the history books.......can't wait for the 3rd installment.
eebee's picture

I forgot my stats...

Distance: 102.67 Avg speed: 10.14 (but I forgot to turn my gps off after stopping) HR max: 168 HR avg: 136 Top speed: 38 mph (coming down what I refer to as "Deliverance Hill"). It was hard to get up much speed even with 3 skaters together on a downhill, because of the relentless wind gusts. I chickened out on Mount Trashmore, so I'd like to see TomB and Roadskater's mph there. Age/start weight/finish weight: No comment/no comment/no comment :-) Foliage: Beautiful Volunteers: Outstanding Roads: Mostly smooth

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