Man, I’m tired; I came to Apex, North Carolina thinking that these flatlands would be a breeze to do with tempo running perfectly with the lack of Appalachian ridges. I was awfully wrong. First day in town, I ended up meeting someone named Tom who invited me to a fairly popular group ride. My previous obligations had me running about ten minutes late and disappointingly missing the ride. Luckily my Garmin came in handy, and I had a few popular local routes installed as courses. Setting off alone in this new town was exciting and none the bit scary; it was so great to be riding in a place other than North Central WV for a change.
Several miles down the road, caught up to an older gentleman name Matt/Mark/Something… I can’t remember his name right of the bat… Asked him if we could take turns pacelining, and he agreed. This guy stated he was on a recovery ride today, and he was only planning on a 35 mile ride. That sounded perfect to me. About ten miles in, I was blowing up on every pull. The tempo was crazy. While Matt was cruising at this speed, I was pushing myself to near-anabolic to keep up and hold his wheel. Knowing when to secede from a hopeless battle, I asked which direction I should go to get to a road that I could recognize and get back to the hotel on. We parted ways, and I was solo again.
Passed four or five cyclists on the way back to Salem Road. It wouldn’t surprise me if I was doing some local popular ride backwards; I’m always guilty of starting off in the exact opposite direction that a ride loop is supposed to go…
I kept my pace up as well as I could to make the most of this unexpected hammerfest I volunteered for. I would have hated to seen what it would have been like riding with the A group or B group riders if I had made it there in time. It was just a different world to me.
Oddly enough riding that much on the flats also caused me to sit differently on the bike, and the pinched nerve in my shoulder started to give me issues. I also seemed to be riding in a way that was using my hips more. I guess I would need to modify my fit or adapt to this foreign area in order to optimise my position.
I have to hand it to this area though, there is an abundance of stores, suburbs, and interesting opportunities to be had, but go out five or six miles in some directions and the land is either residential with acreage, or farmers still making a living on crops or holding out on selling. It is nothing like the rural roads of WV, but it is a very welcoming atmosphere. Is nccycling.net registered? :P
The bike shops in the area are top-notch. The Bicycle Chain was a very sharp and modern store, but still felt welcoming with items and resources suitable for anyone! The store employees were witty, intelligent, and more than “this is just my job” type of friendly. I was glad they were willing to lend a hand to someone from out-of-state in learning the area and to true a wheel.
If you are ever staying in North Carolina near the Raleigh/Durham area, you have no choice but to check out this area!