Caroline Raho (left) - Vice President Coastal Cyclists Board
Caroline has been cycling since 2016 when she bought her first hybrid bike to try out clip-ins and road riding. She was hooked! She joined CC two years ago for the sense of community. "I was sick of cycling on my own and felt incredibly welcomed by the first few CC I met. I've loved meeting and getting to know so many of the members and having one major passion in common!" she told us.
Other fun facts from Caroline...
Favorite ride from the past two years: Because it's so flat here, I have loved any rides that have put me in elevation. I was in Bend Oregon last summer which was a fun change of scenery and I have also loved riding the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Gravel riding– thumbs up or thumbs down? Thumbs down...for now! I am willing to give it another try, but for now, I'm sticking with road!
Dream bike: I've actually never owned a new road bike so anything new would be an upgrade-maybe in my near future!
Favorite thing about Charleston living: Being able to bike 12 months of the year-though the summers are brutal, I'm a New Englander at heart!
Russel Ball - Local & Cross Country Adventure Cyclist
The joys of LSD – long slow distance touring.
I blame my parents.
In my childhood they made it clear that getting to school was my responsibility. I had a bicycle and so I became a bike commuter. Commuting is a gateway activity to becoming a bike tourer. Commuting was not enough so I descended into overnight bike trips. I dragged my brother and his friends into the dark world of bicycle touring.
For a while I was clean. I started a family and the overnight trips stopped and I only commuted sporadically, but then my daughter decided to ride a bike from New Orleans to Minneapolis and I was hooked again drawn back into the world of tents, panniers, and racks.
It started reasonably. A couple of treks down the coast of Washington and Oregon. RAGBRAI a couple of times. Madison WI to Albany along the Erie canal. Mostly solo rides with full kit and camping. Now I am into the hard stuff, cross country tours.
Fall of '21 I took the plunge and started off from San Diego towards St Augustine. The trip was an Adventure Cycling van supported tour along the Southern Tier. We started with 13 riders and ended with 11. It took 60 days and we averaged 60 miles a day. Mostly we camped but we also stayed in churches, community centers and the occasional motel.
High points of the trip:
Realizing I was going to make it EFI (every fine inch)'
Emory Pass 8000 ft up. (see the pic)
Bonding with the group.
Swimming after a long hot day.
Things I learned:
The hardest part of a long-distance trip is deciding to do it. The riding is relatively easy.
Headwinds suck! Hills have another side headwinds don't.
I would do the tour again if I hadn't done it, but I prefer the flexibility of touring solo or with 1 or 2 others.