home

forecast weather station weather station
Cycle NC 2014 Ride in Oriental
1100 Cyclists, Many Wheels, One Dragon
April 10, 2014

T
he Cycle NC weekend went as smoothly as a well-oiled bike — considering that 11 hundred cyclists more than doubled the population of Oriental for a few days. For several days they made Oriental their base camp and spent the days riding around Pamlico County. The cyclists came from across North Carolina and from 25 states and the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada for Cycle NC’s 2014 Coastal Ride.

cnc 2014 sat
John Robinson of Charlotte, the last rider on a bike built for three near Florence on Saturday. He may have been the youngest participant all weekend. He certainly was the youngest on the bike; the longer legs on the bike belonged to Mike and Cheri Robinson.

It seemed to be, overall, a great weekend for Oriental and all those people a boon for local businesses. Some restaurants were so busy they had to restock after Friday night. The Bean had lines out the door. Retail businesses saw a steady flow – something to cheer about after the cold, slow winter.

cnc 2014 sat
Cyclists take one of Straight Road’s many curves.

There was some grousing about the wind that kicked in, especially on Sunday, and made the flat terrain more of a challenge. But in general, cyclists and motorists shared the road, and police reported zero incidents. The Oriental Dragon even made a rare non-New Years Eve appearance on Saturday night.

cnc 2014 fri
As seen from the pier, Lou-Mac Park — which along with a few South Avenue lawns — became a campground for the weekend. Oriental has only so many hotel and inn rooms and all were filled. The temporary tent city was a way to accommodate more than 500 of the cyclists.

Taking the long view, the benefits to Oriental aren’t just this one big economic shot during the weekend but the repeat visits by the individual cyclists. Many cyclists said they’d come back to visit Oriental when they weren’t part of the large pack. Some said they’d come to cycle again, or take to the water, try kayaking. One man from western NC said he wanted to bring his wife and dog next time and just walk around.

cnc 2014 sat
Cyclists became part of Pamlico County’s landscape during the weekend. Here, some are seen across a field on Silverthorn Road in Florence.

This was the third time that Cycle North Carolina brought its Coastal Ride Weekend to Oriental. The town has been on three-year rotation with Edenton and little Washington in hosting the cyclists.

Many more photos – 12 pages worth — are ahead.

cnc 2014 bridge
While Friday and Saturday were balmy, Sunday dawned colder and windier. Coming from the north, that presented a tail wind for riders pedalling up Oriental’s one and only hill, the Robert Scott Bridge. ( That same north wind was pushing Pamlico Sound water up the creeks and the harbor, which meant Hodges Street got a chance to show the visitors Oriental’s wind tide phenomenon.)
cnc 2014 sat
A few of the 1100 cyclists in town for the Cycle NC Coastal Ride weekend .
cnc 2014 sat
A group of riders wearing bike jerseys from a Triangle area karate studio approach the Oriental town limits at the end of their ride on Saturday.

[page]

cnc 2014 fri
A cyclist heads out from South Avenue and Mildred Streets for Friday’s ride.
cnc 2014 fri
Along the South Avenue waterfront an array of jerseys and cyclists waiting to set out.
cnc 2014 fri
Chair City Cyclists was a group of a half dozen friends from the furniture making city of Thomasville who go out periodically to events such as the CNC Coastal Ride. Asked if they were competitive cyclists, they laughed. In sailing terms, they said, they were more like cruisers than racing sailors. They brought smaller and more contemporary chairs than the iconic giant chair in their hometown.
cnc 2014 sat
The beginning of the route on Saturday — upper Broad Street — where cyclists headed out of town singly, in pairs or in larger groups.
cnc 2014 fri
Tarheelians on Straight Road.

[page]

cnc 2014 sat
No hands riding. Outer Banks comes to the Inner Banks.
cnc 2014 sat
Veering right off of Straight Road toward River Dunes.
cnc 2014 sat
Sharing the road. A trio of cyclists on Straight Road Saturday.
cnc 2014 sat
Four wheels, six legs. On White Farm Road a cyclist hauls a trailer with a canine passenger.
cnc 2014 sat
A restful rest stop at Paradise Cove Marina.

[page]

cnc 2014 paradise cove
Flags on the back of some recumbent bikes that stopped at Paradise Cove Marina.
cnc 2014 sat
On the outskirts of Oriental, a bicycle built for two.
cnc 2014 sat
A few cyclists veer off to the longer route of the Florence Loop Road.
cnc 2014 sat
A few hours of riding under the belt, cyclists return to Oriental midday on Saturday.
cnc 2014 sat
Heading into Oriental on North Street.
cnc 2014 sat
Signs at intersections helped, but this is how cyclists knew where to turn – and what roads to take. This route guide was clipped to a bike outside Nautical Wheelers on Broad Street. Though not directly on the route, the store, like many in Oriental, saw a lot of traffic through its doors.

[page]

Jerseys.
cnc 2014 sat
Showing some spine, a cyclist prepares to take off Saturday from the rest-stop at Paradise Cove Marina.
cnc 2014 sat
As still others showed, not all jerseys are florescent yellow…
cnc 2014 jerseys
Helen Chisholm and Kelly McQuoid of Pittsboro wore java-themed jerseys and rode on a bike built for two. Behind them the Paradise Cove shark.
cnc 2014 jerseys
A more Cubist representation. Doug Matthews from Athens, GA says he got it on a cycling event on the bayous of Louisana. Pamlico County’s roads he says, were much better….
cnc 2014 jerseys
Ann Munn and Terry Beal of the Wake County based Team On Draft show the front and backs of their team’s shirt. The group numbers about 600 and raises money for MS rides. About 20 of them took part in the rides through Pamlico County. (Their mascot, which was left back in Oriental, was a Barbie doll they’d named Turlene.)
cnc 2014 jerseys
A commemorative jersey from another CNC Coastal Ride in another coastal NC town. (A number of riders said Oriental was their favorite of the three towns that rotate in hosting the CNC’s spring weekends.)
cnc 2014 jerseys
This jersey wasn’t a promotional item but had a story. The wearer said it was a “hand me up” from a friend who wanted to forget the person who’d given it to her.

[page]

Local Cyclists.
cnc 2014 sat
Some more familiar jerseys – from the local Oriental Express Bicycle Club – as worn by Cynthia and Tom Cochrane
cnc 2014 sat
A familiar wave – Julia Tingle of Oriental. Ten years ago when Cycle NC’s Moutnains to the Sea weeklong trip wound up in Oriental, Julia Tingle was inspired to get on a bike, and has been riding since.
cnc 2014 sat
Another local pedaller — Larry Summers of Oriental – was riding a bike rickshaw around town in the mornings and organizing kayak trips for the visiting cyclists in the afternoons.
cnc 2014 sat
Not a lightweight contraption, but with details worth taking a second look at.
cnc 2014 sat
Later in the afternoon, along Highway 55, were cyclists who’d chosen to do the longer routes out to Bayboro and Aurora.
cnc 2014 sat
Here a cyclist passes the long-falling barn near Merritt.
cnc 2014 sat
Another cyclist showed off a stuffed animal as she went by.
[page]
The Dragon Makes A Special Run.
cnc 2014 dragon
For the visiting cyclists, Oriental’s New Years Dragon – so named because he usually only comes out on December 31 — made a special appearance. Here, it pauses a moment outside Cheryl Thompson’s garage.
cnc 2014 dragon
Turtle Midyette heading it up – literally, under the head — the dragon came to life, here turning the corner from Neuse Street to South Avenue.
cnc 2014 dragon
The dragon on South Avenue, with a number of visiting cyclists pitching in — on two legs and no wheels — underneath the body.
cnc 2014 dragon
Many greeted the dragon with cameras, others with the traditional Oriental greeting: the clangor of pots and pans.
cnc 2014 dragon
The dragon shows a little leg. Several, actually. Typically, the dragon makes its run down Hodges Street on Oriental’s harbor, a place that is protected from the winds. South Avenue was another story where the only windbreak was the line of spectators. The gusts of wind off the Neuse treated the dragon’s body like a sail.

[page]

cnc 2014 dragon
Don’t fear the dragon….
cnc 2014 dragon
Something new to a dragon run in Oriental: a bicycle rickshaw tire was being fixed on South Avenue (in the area set aside for repairs) as the dragon passed by on its way back to its lair.
cnc 2014 dragon
One of the several visitors under the dragon’s body…
cnc 2014 dragon
Another volunteer from the Triangle had the tail detail.
cnc 2014 dragon
Team Dragon Masters, for the April 2014 Running of Oriental’s New Year’s Dragon.

[page]

Sunday Morning Along South Avenue.
cnc 2014 sun
Cycle NC sign at Lou Mac Pier on Sunday morning.
cnc 2014 encampment
On South Avenue, at Oriental’s waterfront, a cyclist adjusts the tire.
cnc 2014 bridge
The encampment on Sunday morning on the Tingle family’s front lawn, which was covered in tents large and small.
cnc 2014 bridge
Joyce and Mike Murphy from Newton, near Charlotte, got themselves a front row spot for their tent. Great view, but it meant little to buffer the wind whipping off the river Saturday night. It was their second Cycle NC event in Oriental and it seemed to them that the “weather is always windy.” The couple was prepping for Sunday’s ride, which for Mike meant putting the Go camera on his helmet.
cnc 2014 south ave monkey
A stuffed animal, a monkey, turned in to the impromptu Lost and Found at the riverside tent where Cycle NC was selling its commemorative shirts….

[page]

The Bridge: Oriental’s Only Hill
cnc 2014 bridge
Looking to port was not uncommon for the cyclists, as they got that glimpse of the Oriental harbor stretching out toward the wider Neuse River.
cnc 2014 bridge
There were packs of cyclists — some sporting the Wolfpack colors….
… others more of a Carolina blue. A trio works its way up.
cnc 2014 bridge
Two cyclists ascend the bridge, leaving Oriental’s Broad Street behind.
cnc 2014 bridge
One of the more hearty souls who took off in the chill of Saturday morning. At least the wind was out of the north — providing a tail wind for the ascent of Oriental’s only hill.
cnc 2014 bridge
Three on the way out of town.
cnc 2014 bridge
The bridge was just the start of the Sunday route which took cyclists toward Arapahoe and Minnesott Beach
[page]
cnc 2014 bridge
Up that one hill…
cnc 2014 bridge
The no-texting (and no-photoing) while-riding rule doesn’t apply to bikes built for two.
Recumbent bikes — and bicyclists — chugged their smaller wheels up the hill.
cnc 2014 bridge
Another look toward the water…
cnc 2014 bridge
Nearing the top…..
cnc 2014 bridge
At the apex, the scene changes. The masts of the marina come in to view…
[page]
cnc 2014 bridge
Close to the top, where the view can be taken in at its widest.
cnc 2014 bridge
While the bridge was new to many cyclists, it was familiar ground to Oriental resident Rosalie Hollings at right, who says she tries to walk two laps on the bridge every few days.
cnc 2014 bridge
Pedalling away.
cnc 2014 bridge
… in bunches.
cnc 2014 bridge
.. or a few at a time.
cnc 2014 bridge
One visiting cyclist opted to leave the bike behind and take a walk and run on the bridge.
cnc 2014 bridge
Meanwhile, at a significantly lower elevation a few blocks away… The north wind that came in Saturday night and Sunday morning presented the visitors with Oriental’s “wind tide” phenomenon, in which north winds blow water up our creeks. This of course did what it always does to the Hodges Street near the harbor. Some cyclists zipped thru the brackish waters, others took the salt-free route along the sidewalk.

Posted Thursday April 10, 2014 by Melinda Penkava


Share this page: emailEmail
back to top