Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Triangle Expressway Trot III

Last year's Triangle Expressway Trot, a 5K run on a yet-to-be-opened expressway, must have been pretty successful, because they've followed it up two sequels as more sections of the Triangle's first toll road were built. We skipped the second edition because it was in the middle of the summer, but Amber decided to give the Triangle Expressway Trot III a go, in part so she could try to accomplish her goal of a sub-30-minute 5K. (Which, she did. Way to go, Amber! By the way, I don't know if actually I mentioned this on the blog, but she also ran her first half marathon last month, which is even more impressive.)

As for the rest of the Allen family, we hung out in the median during the race.

But really, I want to talk more about after the race, because that's when they opened up the new part of the parkway for bicycling. Bicycling is prohibited on all of the expressways around here, so if you've ever wanted to ride your bike on an expressway, this was our chance! I even brought the Marla trailer along, too.

Most surprising thing about riding your bike on an expressway: the road isn't as smooth as you think. There aren't big bumps or anything, but the surface itself isn't all that smooth. You don't notice at all when you're driving in a car at 65 mph, but on a bike, you notice. Now, the expressway was paved with concrete, not asphalt, so maybe that's just how concrete is. Now that I think of it, I don't know of any bicycleable roads around here that are paved with concrete.

Second most surprising thing about riding your bike on an expressway: the hills are still formidable. I thought that you wouldn't have to deal with too many steep hills on expressways, and that it would be kind of like the "rail trails" that are popping up all over the place, with only very gradual inclines. Nope! There was a decent climb on the return trip which required a gear that I never have to use on those "rail trails". Of course, I did have Marla in tow, which added a little more resistance than I otherwise would have had.

I was kind of hoping they would have more of the yet-to-be-opened expressway open for bicycling, but instead they just had the down-and-back 5K route open. So, it was a pretty short ride, but like I said, this was my only (legal) opportunity.

On a somewhat related note, as far as I know, our "NC Quick Pass" toll transponders still don't work out of state yet. Come on, guys! Let's get this done. We have another date with the West Virginia Turnpike coming up in a few weeks.

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