Implement Rain Pants Backup Plan

The rain pants & hood I ordered from Showers Pass will not get here before I leave. Last evening, I received a call from the owner (Dave) saying his shipment of rain pants and hoods is in customs. He offered a refund. I still want the hood and may accept the pants. Yesterday, I contacted REI in Cary [where I travel Saturday morning for departure to Banner Elk], for a backup alternative. A sales rep (Keith) set aside 2 sizes of rain pants for me to try for fit. Now, I no longer have to wonder if the pants are in the mail. I’ll decide on Monday, if I still want the pants from Showers Pass.

I also need waterproof gloves. I have winter gloves, but my fingers have still gotten cold on rides. I plan to purchase a pair Pearl Izumi Lobster Mittens. They are water resistant.

The temperature for the Sunday morning roll out is expected to be in the 40s. There is a possibility of light rain on Sunday.

Day 0–Banner Elk, North Carolina–Here Is Where We Begin

Banner Elk

From the CNC web site:

  • Banner Elk is a quaint village high in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Arrive early to explore the shopping and food in this beautiful town.
    CNC’s first Mass start leaving from Lees-McRae College and led by the Colleges Cycling Team.
  • Lees-McRae College is our first campsite and the starting point for the 2006 ride.
  • Free optional rides will be available to CNC participants that arrive early in Banner Elk on September 29 and 30. These rides will vary in length and difficulty and will include the Blue Ridge Parkway, Lin Cove Viaduct, Linville Falls, Beech Mountain, etc. You can even ride the same roads where Lance Armstrong trained for the 2005 Tour de France and you may still be able to see the messages of encouragement that local residents painted on the roads for Lance.
  • The Lees-McRae Cycling Team has won many national championships and the team will lead us out of Banner Elk. We will immediately enjoy a picturesque six mile descent out of Banner Elk.
  • The route also includes a seven mile descent and Railroad Grade Road. Railroad Grade Road is built on an old railroad grade and is practically flat with not one hill to climb! This road goes through a valley right by the New River, which has been declared the first of the nation’s American Heritage Rivers.

Day 1–Wilkesboro, North Carolina–Cycle North Carolina Headed For Wilkes Sunday, Oct. 1st-2nd

Quoted from The Brushy Mountain Cyclist Club web site.

Cycle North Carolina, a week-long cycling trek across the Tarheel state, will visit Wilkes in 2006, organizers announced. Riders will roll into Wilkesboro Sunday, October 1st. They will be ending their first day on the road after a long ride from Banner Elk. Most will camp out on the grounds of Wilkes Community College. Riders will head out for Clemmons on Monday morning. They will reach Emerald Isle on the coast by October 7th. A local planning committee, headed up by Jodi Frichner of the Wilkesboro Tourism Development Authority, will plan food and entertainment for the horde. The committee’s next meeting is at noon Wed., Sept. 20th at Wilkesboro Town Hall and BMCC members are encouraged to attend. CNC typically attracts over a thousand riders ranging from kids to senior citizens. In 2005, Cycle North Carolina drew 1095 bicyclists from 42 states, Canada, Italy, Spain and Belgium. The average age of riders was 50, with the youngest participant being seven years old, and the oldest 82. Hosted by North Carolina Amateur Sports (NCAS), Cycle North Carolina is a fully supported cross-state recreational bike tour of the Tarheel state. Formed in 1999, Cycle North Carolina is designed to promote physical fitness and health, provide economic impact and publicity to rural communities statewide while showcasing the state’s beauty, scenic attractions and cultural diversity.

From the CNC web site:

  • Our campsite location in Wilkesboro is the site of Merlefest (www.merlefest.org). Merlefest is a world-famous 4 day Americana roots-music festival with more than 78,000 participants including over 100 artists and bands that perform on the festival’s thirteen stages.
  • The Merlefest site will come alive again when local musicians will give a private concert for CNC riders, performing traditional Bluegrass, and Americana Music.
  • Also, wine tastings by Raffaldini Winery will be offered at campsite where you can taste and purchase by the glass or bottle.
  • Wilkesboro has other activities for you to experience. Activities such as: The Wilkes Heritage Museum, downtown eateries and shops, and even a Ghost Tour!
  • Don’t forget to stop by the welcome tent to collect your official CNC Bracelet (like the Lance Armstrong bracelets) thanks to Wilkes County!

Day 2–Clemmons, North Carolina–Tanglewood Welcomes Cycle North Carolina

This will be a fun ride. Here is what happening at the Clemmons stop.

From the CNC web site:

  • Tanglewood Park will be the campsite in the Village of Clemmons. Tanglewood includes two golf courses, including a PGA Championship Course. Golf, horseback riding, volleyball, horseshoes and many other activities will be available for CNC riders. Manor House, a B&B built in 1859, is located in Tanglewood along with several cottages and cabins.
  • Craftsmen from Old Salem will be at Tanglewood offering woodworking and pottery making activities to CNC riders. Arts and crafts will also be available.
  • On your way to Burlington the next day, don’t miss the rest stop at the infamous “BIG CHAIR” that stands 30 feet high. Thomasville is known for fine craftsmanship in furniture building. If you enjoy furniture shopping you will have a once in a lifetime furniture sale opportunity in Thomasville. After 79 years in business dealing some of the nations most reputable lines of furniture, Holton Furniture in Thomasville is closing its doors! Holton’s galleries include fine lines like Thomasville, Broyhill, Kincaid, Pennsylvania House, Hooker and more. This liquidation of their showroom will result in unbelievable savings! This is NOT a bankruptcy sale. Also, Thomasville Furniture’s Factory Outlet will be on the Cycle NC route less than a quarter of a mile from the Thomasville rest stop! Thomasville Factory Outlet sells discontinued, overruns and slightly damaged Thomasville Furniture at tremendous savings!