STIHL Tour des Trees Day 5: The Longest Day of the Tour

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With great excitement, and perhaps a bit of apprehension, we entered Thursday. Being new to the Tour, and long distance cycling, my personal best for miles on the road was reached Monday through the windy remnants of Hurricane Mathew. In fact, personal bests were topped by many riders so far this week. Today’s ride was to take us 120+ miles and across state borders to Camden, SC.

Some utterance around this morning’s breakfast table was around the question of would we be cycling sun up to sun down, as many of us did Sunday on our 116 mile trek to Mount Airy. Not to give the impression of low moral. Quite the contrary, the attitude of the group was phenomenally up-beat!

The morning decent out of Pine Hurst allowed us touch the South Carolina Low Country. It’d been a few years since my last visit to this part of the Carolinas, and I forgotten how beautiful it was this time of year. The sweet cool aroma of pine swept over the road. The brilliant red hues of black gum leaves were abundant, along with the ripe red fruit of dogwoods, and the purple ripe fruit of American beauty berry bushes. The black water creeks added to the mystique of an other worldly scene.

After a build-your-own burger lunch we ascended into the SC Pine Hills and road along the loblolly and long leaf pine plantations for the afternoon until we settled into our home stretch ride to Camden.

Seeing the Carolina landscape from mountains to the low country really puts into perspective the range of trees and ecosystems in the part of the country I’m so glad I can call home. Plus I hit a new personal best. My first ever hundred mile ride.

Written by Tour rider, Patrick Anderson.

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