Letters

Letters 08-25-14

Save America

I read your paper because it’s free and I enjoy the ads. But I struggle through the left wing tripe that fills every page, from political cartoons to the vitriolic pen of Mr. Tuttle. What a shame this beautiful area of the state has such an abundance of Socialist/democrats. Or perhaps the silent majority chooses to stay silent...

Doom, Yet a Cup Half Full

In the news we are told of the civil unrest at Ferguson, Mo; ISIS war radicals in Iraq and Syria; the great corporate tax heist at home. You name it. Trouble, trouble, everywhere. It seems to me the U.S. Congress is partially to blame...

Uncomfortable Questions

defending the positions of the Israelis vs Hamas are far too narrow. Even Mr. Tuttle seems to have failed in looking deeply into the divide. American media is not biased against Israel, nor or are they pro Palestine or Hamas...

The Evolution of Man Revisited

As the expectations of manhood evolve, so too do the rules of love. In Mr. Holmes’s statement [from “Our Therapist Will See Us Now” in last week’s issue] he narrows the key to a successful relationship to the basic need to have your wants and needs understood, and it is on this point I expand...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Carolina Cruise: John McClorey
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Carolina Cruise: John McClorey

Robert Downes - April 7th, 2008
While the rest of us were shivering through March, wondering when the winter would ever end, John McClorey of Boyne City was enjoying the trip of a lifetime, riding solo through the mountains and along the seashore of the Carolinas.
The owner of Bikefix Cycling Center in Boyne City, John left Asheville, North Carolina on March 11 and wrapped up his ride on March 29, meeting his wife, Meg, in Conway, South Carolina.
“I rode around 600 or 700 miles,” he estimates. “North Carolina is nice because they’ve established about seven bike routes around the state. The one I took was Bicycle Route 2, called the Mountain to the Sea. Then I followed the intercoastal road to South Carolina.”
McClorey rode a Surly Long Haul Trucker bike designed for touring, with front and rear panniers along with a day trunk. His gear weighed in at around 85 lbs. Along the way, he dealt with storms, traffic, spotty showers, route mix-ups and campgrounds that resembled ghost towns, but he also enjoyed the exhilaration
of rolling through the beautiful countryside and meeting friendly people along the route.
“This is the first time I’ve attempted such an adventure,” he says by cell phone from Savanna, Georgia. “I did it solo and took camping equipment with me. But I found that Michigan is much better suited for cycle touring. North Carolina has some nice routes, but they don’t have the infrastructure for camping.”
That meant he had to stay at motels on occasion, since campgrounds were either closed or nonexistent. “ I arrived at a campground I thought was a year-round enterprise and found it closed for the season,” he notes in
an email posted along the route. “I had to ride three more miles until I could find a level enough spot off the road in the woods to stretch out my sleeping gear.
“Touring is very intense,” he adds. “Not just the time in the saddle but because I dedicated all my time to the effort with cooking food, washing clothes, navigating, and, when I camped outside, not spending any more than minutes indoors for days at a time. “
His route took him along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway which rolls up and down past sweeping vistas. Was it tough riding those mountains?
McClorey laughs. “Yeah, but you know what’s tougher? Riding into a headwind -- that’s tougher than riding uphill, because with the mountains you know you’re going to go downhill at some point, but a headwind feels like you’re going uphill all day. Headwinds on the flat, flat coast kept me at an average of just over 10 miles per hour. If I stopped pedaling going down a slope I would slow down.”
McClorey averaged 55-60 miles per day on his 13-day trip, with his longest ride being 72 miles. “I rode with a heart monitor, and that helped me pace myself,” he says. “Cycle touring is a great way to get in shape. I took two notches off my belt.”
He chose the Carolinas for his first bike tour because his daughter Meriwether, attends the Savanna College of Art and Design. “I wanted to ride somewhere close enough so that we could have a visit after the tour,” he says.
He hopes to make cycle touring an annual outing, planning to sample other routes. “But it will have to be in March because that’s the slow season for my business,” he says.
Sounds good -- who wouldn’t want to leave snowy Michigan behind for some cycling fun in a warmer climate, even if there are a few mountains to climb?
 
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