It was back to US70 for the first 15 miles out the door, and North Carolina did a much better job with a shoulder, unlike in Tennessee. The rollers were also very gentle, which is nice. The sun was shining and I had a tailwind, so all was good. The next stretch was on NC 801, and that road traveled more to the north, had no shoulders, rolled a little more, but had little traffic.
Then it was a stretch of US 64, which ran East/West, has more traffic, and had rumble strips. I couldn't wait to get off of that road. There were lots of motorcycles out, being a Saturday afternoon, including a police escorted group of about 60 bikes.
I rolled into a town called Lexington, with a very busy downtown area with mom and pop storefronts, a farmer's market, and a ton of people. Out of Lexington was another very nice stretch of US 70 into High Point. I now know why they call it High Point. It was 100 ft higher in elevation than anywhere else in the entire ride. The ascent was adding up, but it was the easy rollers and running starts. I was shocked for the second day in a row at the 3500 ft if climbing. I think I used my front granny gear once, and didn't have to double granny all day. That's the first time I could say that since Arkansas.
Out of High Point I picked up NC 62 for the rest of my ride into Burlington. I stopped and got a couple of hot dogs from a vendor in a street corner, and life was good.....until mile #69. I was riding down a hill towards a lake, at about 20 mph, and I hit a stone, I think, and my back tire immediately went flat, for my second flat of the trip. A flat is never good, but it's just not a problem that I have very often, because I'm pretty good at missing rocks, potholes, cracks, and other hazards. I got this stone just right, and ppfffft. That's all it takes. I stopped next to the lake, had to take panniers and everything else off the back end, and changed it out. My pump would only give me about 30-35 lbs, and I roll with about 80 psi in my tires, so I thought it was going to be a slow roll for the last 30 miles. But, alas, there was a gas station not even two miles up the road with an air pump. For $1.50, I had my 80 psi, and I was rolling again. The whole thing probably held me up a half an hour. But then it started to rain. There had been a big cloud over my head all day. I remember thinking that it was going to do the entire century with me. Finally, it dropped about ten minutes of light rain, and it finally left me alone. So, miles 69 to 77 sort of sucked, but the final 20, still on NC 62, into Burlington, was just fine. None of the scenery really is worth mentioning. Just the regular country side that you see on the North Carolina Piedmont.
My room was right next to a Walmart, so I walked over and picked up two tubes to replenish my supply, and ate at a Golden Corral, with a restaurant full of Honey Boo Boos. The Kentucky Derby was run today, and the PENS had a playoff game against the Capitals, so that's how I spent my evening.
|My bike taking a chili dog break!|