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2015 Chuck Fondeaux Century Ride
100 Miles - Some More, Some Less
December 4, 2015
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n just over 5 hours on Sunday, cyclists rode more than 100 miles through Pamlico County. Though they averaged about 20 miles an hour, and sprinted for personal bests, this wasn’t an official race. It was a celebration of cycling. And at the same time a birthday celebration on wheels.

chuck fondeaux 2015
100 miles behind them, cyclists in the 2015 Chuck Fondeaux make the final push to the finish line on the Oriental bridge.

What it was was Fondeaux. The 3rd Annual Chuck Fondeaux.

The Chuck in the name is Chuck Forrest, owner of Forrest Farm Supply in Bayboro and an avid cyclist often seen riding on Pamlico County roads. Over the past few years now. an ever-larger group of riders has done a century ride to celebrate his birthday in late November. On Sunday, a day before Chuck turned 60, the Chuck Fondeaux drew 30 cyclists, its biggest turnout yet.

chuck fondeaux 2015
Charles Fetzer at right, congratulates Chuck Forrest on his 101 miles and his 60th birthday. Charles, who joined the ride for 25 miles on Sunday, has done more than a few century rides in his 80+ years. As to Chuck turning 60, Charles said, “Remember, you will never feel as good as you do now.”

Not all of who rode did the 100+ mile course and its final sprint up the Oriental bridge. Some went a few miles, others a few hundred fathoms. This was not an event with a no-drop rule. The point, says Fondeaux organizer Will Conkwright, is that they all got on a bike and rode.

chuck fondeaux 2015
Will Conkwright was one of about a dozen cyclists to make that one last sprint to the top of Oriental’s bridge. Others opted to hang a left at about that point and go to Water Street Grill after doing their century ride, and still other cyclists opted in and out of the fondo ride.

The Fondeaux and its mix of serious and casual cyclists were inspired by large events in Italy called gran fondos. Toss in a mispronunciation that sounded more like ‘fondue’ and an event was born. The first, two years ago, drew a dozen.

chuck fondeaux 2015
The 100+ mile route through Pamlico County. (Click on map to enlarge.)

Will Conkwright says he’d like to see another fondo, perhaps with a Belgian beer and food theme – timed for the spring when big cyciling events are happening in Belgium. Staging a fondo in Oriental, he says, could attract more cyclists to the county’s roads, but also bring non-cycilsts to town.

chuck fondeaux 2015
On Hodges Street at the Oriental harbor, a Sunday morning lineup of most of the cyclists who, moments later, set out on their 100+ mile route.
chuck fondeaux 2015
On the final approach on th Oriental bridge, two cyclists wrapping up their 100 mile ride, prepare to pass a couple out for a more casual Sunday ride. That kind of mix was one of the aims of the fondeaux.
chuck fondeaux 2015
Reflection in Alvin Maxwell’s helmet shows part of the Sunday morning lineup..

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Posted Friday December 4, 2015 by Melinda Penkava

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