11 NCBC braves were present: Alan Walker, Chris O'Connor, Jon Buckley, Mac and Don Edwards, the Plunkett family (Karen, Joe, Ken and Davis), Smith Doss and Claude Monnier. Joe, Ken (6 years old at the time of the ride) and Davis (3 years old) rode a Schwinn tandem with a kiddy crank system, and a trailer bike hooked to the stoker's seat post, what a brave team!
The ride started quite fast with some strong riders pushing the pace and making a break right after the second bridge and never to be seen again.
Don, Mac, Jon and us ended up in the second group, while Alan and Chris had escaped with a cat 2 rider in the front.
If you ever want to have an idea why Holland, as flat as it is, was able to produce some Word Cycling champions, try a long bike ride in Wilmington and you will understand what kind of mental energy you need to fight the wind all day long.
We started from the Battleship, up 421 to Moore's Creek memorial, where the sag was. The 50 mile ride would go out and back on 421, while the 75 and 100 miles rides would have 2 extra loops around Moore's Creek. All the way up on 421 we had to work against the head wind between 15- 25 MPHs. It was a relief to make the left turn towards Moore's Creek. Having ridden quite often around Wilmington, we were glad for once to have company and be able to share the work with other riders. On the way back on 421 it was revenge time with the wind. We passed the Plunkett family triplet: everyone seemed in good spirits. The triplet always attracts attention and Joe was thankful for Ranada Anderson of Pleasure Island (Charleston,SC) who rode their pace and even joined them for the video, the walk to the historic bridge at Moore's Creek, and the wildflower picking (at the sixth and final stop) for Karen's award bouquet. She helped make the trip much more enjoyable by keeping them company.
Karen made it back a couple minutes later completing her first century, with the third group. She was quickly awarded with a bouquet of wild flowers picked by her sons. (Here is another use for empty water bottles).
The ride itself was not that scenic, but the Cape Fear cyclists did a good job in marking the roads, and organizing the sag stop.
Now how old were you when you rode your first half-century? (Answer: We were old enough to buy our own bike!). Bravo les Enfants!!
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