Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bicycling from Statesville, North Carolina to Charlotte Motor Speedway(Nov. 19, 2014)

36.11 miles in 3:20....Statesville, North Carolina, seems like a very random place to start riding our trip to Florida, but this is where the weather and circumstances allowed the trip to begin. The weather gave way begrudgingly, as the best trait that it demonstrated was a sunny sky. The temp when I started riding, at almost noon, was 35.2 degrees. The high for the day was 37. The wind was a headwind at 5-15 mph, creating a wind chill that locked my knees and all the muscles attached to them after about two hours of riding. With some planning, some luck, and some great apparel, the rest of my body was surprisingly comfortable. My fingers and toes never got cold, and my face did not freeze and shatter like I envisioned the evening before my ride. All 50 states, yes, including Hawaii, had temperatures below freezing on this day, and Buffalo had five feet of snow, with three more feet expected. Of course, Statesville, North Carolina, did not escape without setting an all time record low, and a record low, high temperature for this date. With all that being said, the decision was made to pedal, because I needed to get some exercise, I have put on almost twenty pounds since July fourth, and riding in the RV just seemed weird.
The course that I rode paralleled I-77, but consisted of back roads, that rolled through brown cornfields, dairy farms, horse farms, and small pine forests. The connecting roads took me to portions of NC 801 and NC 3. Traffic was never heavy, and there were only a few trucks on the previously mentioned 801 and 3. None of the roads had shoulders, so that was a bit harrowing, but I knew I wasn't alone when I saw two bikers who were also crazy enough to be out for a ride in the country. My most pleasant surprise was on NC 3, when I passed a beautiful estate, which was not immediately identifiable. It turns out that the familiar looking flag that flew below the American flag on the front lawn was that of the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. I stopped, and pulled into the driveway. It was his headquarters, or museum, or business office. I am not sure. The place was closed, but there was a large room with a display and one of his cars, which I took a picture of. The largest town, which I just barely skirted, was Mooresville. It is the hub of NASCAR driver residences, including Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, and Jeff Gordon. Wow! 
Soon,thereafter, the road opened up into a business area very near the Charlotte Motor Speedway, where we camped for the evening. The most prominent feature along the road was a line of Hendricks Motor Sport car dealerships. Hendricks is one of the biggest players in NASCAR, so we are definitely in the heart of race car country. Pam and I took a walk after I got in, and we checked out the big Speedway, plus the huge dirt track, and the drag strip that make up the complex. We will take a tour tomorrow.

Finally! On the road again!  But it's not warm......

Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Our campsite is right in front of the ZMax raceway - this is the only 4 lane drag strip in the country

Looking at the ZMax from the campground

The four drag strips


Grandstand at the dirt track

The only thing we could see of the dirt track

The bridge over the road in front of the Charlotte Motor Speedway!


Standing on the outside - tomorrow we get to tour the inside!!!


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