Double Down to the Beach
June 11, 2016
Double down to the beach is a 200 mile one day bike ride from Burlington, NC to New Bern, NC. I signed up for this ride 5 years ago and trained for months only to end up in the hospital the day of the event for emergency surgery. Every year I would debate signing up again. I finally convinced two of my friends to join me in attempting to complete this grueling task. I rode over 4,000 training miles to prepare me for the event. The ride began at 5:00 AM which required me to be awake by 3:00am. Who gets up in the middle of the night for a bike ride? The first hour was ridden in the dark with lots of headlights leading the way. The sunrise was beautiful and a welcome sight. The first part of the ride was gentle rolling hills and we went out a bit faster than I had anticipated. We kept our rest stops to a minimum and only stayed long enough to refill bottles and grab a snack. The ride was well supported with dedicated sag for each group. My husband volunteered to drive sag also and was never far away for whatever needs we may have had. The first 100 miles seemed to fly by and the roads began to get flatter and the temperature hotter. Shortly after the 100 mile mark we stopped for a lunch of sandwiches and in a school gymnasium. It was hot and I was not looking forward to getting back on my bike for another 100 miles. With fresh bottles of ice cold water we set off again. The next 50 miles were brutally hot with no shade in sight. By this point in the ride, nobody is talking and it was just a matter of turning the pedals. We started with a group of about 20 people and were now down to 8. The only scenery to speak of was soybean fields. By the time we stopped at a fire station I was reaching my breaking point. I never once thought of giving up and tried to smile through the suffering but all I wanted was some air condition and a nice shower. We took a bit of a longer break and dumped ice cold water on our heads then set back off on our bikes. There are parts of this ride I do not remember but there are parts that I will never forget. My friends suffering along side of me allowed me to keep pushing forward. As we pedaled our way through eastern NC and the miles ticked by I realized that I would make it. The last rest stop was at a church about 20 miles from the end. The day was getting a little less hot and the volunteers were extremely helpful. Our attitudes began to change and we started to perk up. We set off on our bikes talking like pirates because why not? The miles went by a little quicker and my gps was getting closer to that 200 mile mark. As we rolled into New Bern we found ourselves a little off course and of course a bit lost. The finish line was on the water front and we could see people cheering us on. After 12.5 hours on the road, we had finally completed our journey and I can check this one off the bucket list.
And thanks to CEP Compression for keeping my feet happy and helping my legs recover 🙂