Today's ride included two new tubes, one new tire, the Yonder Store (and arcade) and a whole lotta hot. We started with a great group that included my regular biker chicks (Jen and Renee) + Johnny, Ty and Steve and we were joined for the first miles by Beth, Jess, Joe and Andrea! After the split, we did 75 miles through three counties in rural NC.
The highlight of the day was the Yonder Store on HWY210 near Ivanhoe. The Yonder Store. As in: "Hey, Ma. I'm goin' to the store up yonder. You need anything?" "Yes, Junior. I need a grape Fanta, a moonpie, an extra long SlimJim and a zebra bra for church on Wednesday night." They had all that (and so much more), bu only two bottles of water in the fridge. When a fight almost broke out over who'd get the Deer Park and who was stuck with Club soda, the kind woman at the counter offered ice and water from the sink. She led us through a door that resembled an old freezer or bank vault door and into the arcade out back. It was an un-airconditioned rec room that was home to a pool table, arcade games, a 72-inch screen tv, a Half Court Basketball shooting game, a wall covered with bikini-clad models and a very large ice machine. Evidently it's hoppin' on the weekends.
The low-light of the day was about an hour into our ride on HWY 421. We were cruising along at a good clip in a strong pace line: Renee, me, Johnny, Jen, Ty and Steve at the back. Out of nowhere, I heard a pop and a shout behind me and suddenly, Renee and I were alone. Jen had a front-tire flat. And miraculously pulled out of a skidding fall and avoided a pile-up of those behind her. We pulled over into knee-high snakey grass and she changed her tube in under two minutes but realized that not only was her tube slashed, but so was her tire. Fortunately, Johnny had an extra Gatorskin.
In the time it took Jen aka, Fast-Change, to switch out the tube and the tire (five minutes? definitely under ten), we may have been passed by three cars. They moved over into the other lane - giving us plenty of room and clearance. As she was finishing up, though, a car approached and slowed down. All of us thought: how nice, someone is stopping to check on us. I waved and gave the thumbs up, prepared to say thanks, we're okay. No. Instead, Mama Driver yelled over the lap of Daddy in the passenger seat and kiddo in the back seat:
Hay. Ya'll need to get out the road!
Don't ya'll know that's DISRESPECTFUL?
You need to get out the road!
They drove off, leaving us all with our mouths gaping open. Jen gave a half-hearted thanks for checking on us since I have a flat and nearly DIED! I waved and wryly called out: Thanks, Ya'll! Hurry on up for church.
After four hours on the bike and a short run, we had a picnic of Modelo, Watermelon and Cheetos in the shade of Malpass Corner Elementary school and rehashed the incident. Were we disrespectful? Did she really mean disrespectful? Or was there a nicer word she wanted to use? Were we really impolite, rude or discourteous. Wasn't she? Did we obey the law?
In North Carolina, cyclists share the road and the same responsibilities as vehicles. In the case of an accident, a motorist would pull safely to the side of the road and fix the problem and wait for help. In the case of an accident, passing vehicles would stop to help, slowly move on or rubberneck. We pulled over into the shoulder (notice I didn't say: bike lane) to change the flat. S.R. and I were on the left side of that white line. He was acting as a safety beacon, directing traffic around the incident. I admit - I was the rubbernecker taking the picture. None of that is disrespectful.