What a day. What started off as a 63 mile ride looked like would end up being about a 59 mile ride and instead ended up being a 71 mile ride. Got to the Grocery Bag about 7:40 this morning and unloaded everything and got my gear on. That's actually the earliest I have ever gotten there so being ready and having a few minutes to relax was a nice change. I hooked up with some guys I rode with last week and found out right before we rode out that the course had changed. Hope Springs Eternal was not going to be done, instead, it was some sort of hybrid route. That pretty much rendered the navigation file I had made for my Edge 305 useless 8:00 and we head out. I was supposed to be joined by a friend of mine who I inline skate with (Triangleskateclub.Com) but he didn't show up. I had REALLY hoped for a little slower pace today as I really worked hard last week and wanted to go a little slower. I figured out immediatley that that wasn't going to happen. First 6 miles we averaged 21.2 MPH and the pace never dropped below about 19MPH (On average) until about 21 miles in. We stopped at the first rest stop in Kenly and I didnt think I needed any fluids or anything so I had a gel and kind of hung out in the shade. When we headed back out, Im pretty sure we lost one rider that was with our group and that brought us down to 5 of us, which is pretty much the way it stayed except we dropped the 5th guy about mile 48. Coming out of Kenly we missed a turn and chopped about 4 miles off the route. We figured at that point we'd end up having to make up some mileage later, turned out that wasn't the case. We hummed right along and hit the next two rest stops and I ended up getting fluids at both. We kept missing the sag so I just bought Gatorade at the stores. After leaving the last rest stop, we figured we only had about 13 more miles to go. That's where fate threw us a nasty curve ball. We missed a turn at Old Dam Road and ended up riding all the way to Hwy 42. Apparently we werent the only ones as another group up ahead of us had also missed the turn. We turned around and rode back to Johnson Rd and turned there and that did take us to Hwy 39, which was where we needed to go. However, looking at the map, it also looks like it took us quite a few miles out of the way. The problem with the cue sheet, I believe is that Old Dam Rd is actually called Paradise Store Rd where it crosses Old Beulah Rd. Anyway, we did hook back up on Hwy 39 but quite a bit further down than we should have. I think that "shortcut" put most everyone back in front of us. About this time, on Branch Chapel Church Rd, we had a mishap with two of our guys bumping wheels and one went down hard. Lots of road rash and a torn jersey but thankfully nothing else. I hooked him up with some Tegaderm when we got back to the cars. So anyway, finally we got back to Jordan Narron Rd and had to climb that crazy hill at the end.. I wasn't sure I was going to make it today.. the extra mileage along with lack of hydration and the heat was really taking a toll on me. I got about halfway up and once I could see the top, I knew I'd be okay.. I climbed that hill a couple of weeks ago and managed to stay about 12 MPH the whole way up. Today I was laboring along at about 8 MPH. Big thanks to the guy who pulled us around all day.. I didnt catch his name but he probably pulled about 75% of the time. My final stats for the day are 70.84 miles, average speed of 18.7MPH and a max speed of 34.8MPH. Total ascent was 1942 feet and total descent was 1951 feet.