Headed out to Biscoe from Stanly County with a swing through the Mickey D’s drive through for that breakfast of champions, a Sausage Egg McMuffin and a Diet Coke. Met up at the Kissell Headquarters with Larry, Alan and Barry, loaded up the bikes and we all jammed into Larry’s SUV with Steve Light driving. On the way over we talked about McCain’s choice for VP and I hit up Larry once again about health care. Which is my special interest since my wife has a severe debilitating illness. Mainly we talked about the start of College football on Saturday.
I know for a fact that we started out in Fayetteville around 8:30 AM because I saw the city limit sign, but I sure could not tell you where in Fayetteville. Being the big guys, Larry and I brought up the rear, talking about the history of the district and some of the places in that Larry has visited during the campaign. After about an hour and a half we noticed that Barry and Alan had pulled way ahead, so Larry tucked in behind me and we took off in pursuit. Had a bit of a scare when we came around the bend into a long straight stretch and did not see them in the distance, but we eventually chased them down. Not long after that, Larry went off with Steve to attend a church service in Richmond County with the plan of meeting back up with us down the road.
If anyone was at the Wagram Shell station around 10:30 that was us standing around studying the map and looking confused. About an hour after leaving Wagram while we were going up a moderate grade, Barry cracked and fell off the pace. That surprised me as he was looking good and didn’t seem tired, but he had not been riding much lately and the effects of a long ride two days in a row caught up with him. We thought we had a sure thing taking Hoffman Road to Hoffman from Wagram, but after five miles the pavement ended onto a hard packed sand road. Seeing that straight undulating road of reddish colored sand sure brought back memories of being a young Buck Sergeant road marching at Camp Mackall, just a few miles north of where we were at. Looking at the map I realized that we were not even halfway to Biscoe, so I started riding in survival mode. I.E. wheelsucking as much as possible. (To you non-cyclist it when you let let others lead and break the wind while drafting behind them. Wheelsucking is something of a art form. The trick is to do it and not be obvious about it. Nobody likes a Wheelsucker, but everyone does it. One more thing on why bike racing is a lot like NASCAR.)
After backtracking a few miles we got back on the right route and we finished up going up the long grade on US 1 into Hoffman pushing into a headwind. Barry caught onto my wheelsucking and I ended up leading out most of the way. So I found my own zone of pain in my mind and just let it flow.
We stopped at the BP station where Larry met back up with us. I told him that he needed to think real hard about getting back on the bike as by now it was quite hot. Barry showed that he was smarter that all of us by packing it in and catching a ride back to Biscoe with Steve. The ride from Hoffman to Biscoe was hot, darn hot. I thought we would end up looking like the cooked road kill that was smashed into the road that we kept passing on the highway. Larry and Alan kept talking about some of the hills going into Candor and Biscoe, but after riding for years in Stanly County I kept thinking “Hills? What Hills?”.
We arrived at the Kissell HQ glad to get out of the heat. There at the Headquarters I got to meet Tadpole the wonder dog, head of security for the Kissell Campaign. After seeing Tadpole’s enthusiasm for his position, my advice to the Campaign is to invest in a good set of door locks and a burglar alarm.
I ended up the ride as I started it, with a visit to MacDonalds on the way out of Biscoe for a guilt free Quarter Pounder with fries. It was a fun day and I appreciated the opportunity to ride with Larry and the rest of the guys. Also thanks to all of you who contributed to the ride.