Mr. Doug Morgan of Brandon, MS, 42 years of age, left the Gateway at 8:00am on Wednesday morning, December 12, 2007, in an effort to beat the Dean Blakeslee Solo Challenge time. The weather was overcast with winds generally from the south at 5-10 mph. Doug encountered a mist of rain for approximately 5 minutes in the Carson area and returned to the Gateway at 12:11pm. He was met in Prentiss by district director Carolyn McRaney and Mayor Charles Dumas of Prentiss. Mr. Morgan chose to rest in Prentiss the minimum of 15 minutes. Therefore, his challenge ride time was 3 hours and 56 minutes, setting a new standard, and he is now the holder of the fastest solo time for the Dean Blakeslee Solo Challenge. Doug traveled the 130km in 3.933 hours at an average speed of 33.05 km/hr.
Here is Doug's story: I started back riding in July of this year ( 2007). This time around, I wanted something fast and Comfortable. I knew from past experience that a "normal" bike wasn't what I wanted. No offense to those who enjoy riding Diamond Frame road bikes, but I've never been able to get comfortable enough on one to even TRY to do a century on one.
I lucked up and found Jim Snider's shop ( RideSouth) in Brandon, MS, and went in to take a look around. I rode several different models around the parking lot, and eventually decided that a Bacchetta Giro was the one for me ( with a little nudging from Jim). What a great bike! Ohhh the comfort......and Ohhhh, surprise, surprise, the SPEED! I loved this recumbent so much, that I recently bought a Bacchetta Carbon Aero for those times when I really wanted to zoom around. I soon realized that the Aero was fast enough to seriously challenge some good DF riders, and decided some time ago that I wanted to set a new record on the LL trace.
Luckily, I saw a window of opportunity with the weather, work, and everything else, and gave Herlon a call the evening before to see if he could set up a record attempt on short notice. He was fantastic about it, and was more than willing to do whatever it took to give someone a shot at the record.
After airing up the tires, and hoping and praying I didn't get a flat ( no back-up), I met Herlon a little before 8am in Hattiesburg. I left at 8:00 on the dot, and arrived at 9:53:20 in Prentiss. Not a bad time, and I was feeling pretty good in the legs, but I was definitely worried about the return trip. I met the mayor and a very nice lady from the LL board who kept my break time honest. I took advantage of the full 15 minute rest stop in Prentiss and enjoyed some Nabs and a Coke. In the past, with the heavier Giro, my legs were usually shot by the time I got back to mile marker 20 or so. Not this time. The Aero is so light and responsive, I was able to keep stoking the pedals the entire way. I came to a screeching stop just past Herlon at the gateway in Hattiesburg, who was checking his watch. He watch showed that I made the trip in 3:56:00 minutes, with the 15 minutes in Prentiss taken out.
I only had a handful of obstacles at a few intersections, but nothing too bad. Well, there was that one log truck that completely blocked one intersection for a couple of minutes, but I probably needed the break anyhow.
I must say that the Longleaf trace is a fantastic resource for those wanting to get in some good exercise in a beautiful outdoor setting. I saw my share of squirrels, birds, and 3 doe that I scared up in Epley, but no Cougars- thank goodness! ( I was reading an earlier post), and you honestly can't beat riding the trace on a RECUMBENT! No matter your age or weight or joint problems, there's a recumbent out there that will work for you. Jim Snider is not paying me to advertise for him, honest!
OK all you young folks.... go out there and trash this record..... I'll be training for a rematch!