This was my second year and I still havent finished one. I must be a hurricane magnet.
My assessment of the event: My wife and rode a tandem and blew a tire 5 miles in on the first day. It was a new tire but seems it was defective and may be effected by rim heat buildup. We rode in the sag van the rest of the way. We picked up four other riders with mechanical problems, and one rider that had gone down in a turn and had a concussion. We met the ambulance at the bottom of the Parkway descent. Another rider was also brought down after going over an unguarded edge, and they also had a concussion. At the bottom there were three bikers with blown tires. We heard there were over fifty blown tires. I assume from heat buildup on rims.
That may have been the most dangerous roads I have ever seen bicyclers ride. The Parkway had manholes running down the middle as well as unguarded turns and drop offs. Our blown tire may have been a blessing.
Fortunately we had a spare tire at camp and rode from then on. We found the mileages much better than last years. The 74 mile day was a little long with the headwind but the grade was much more favorable.
The host towns were great again. We especially liked Clinton. The accommodations in Jacksonville were good and the people there did a great job under a difficult situation. This included the Jacksonville and CNC staff.
Last year I had the complete meal plan and the meals were fine. Some better than others but always enough to eat and edible. I cant say the same for this year. Not all the food was bad but to me most was. They ran out of basic things like coffee and syrup. The quantity of food was low, especially in the mornings. On French toast day I was given two pieces. That is not even a half slice of bread. I was extremely disappointed in the food service this year.
All said we did ride some great roads and visited many towns that went all out for the riders. I used Bubbas services and it was good and worth the upgrade from camping on my own like last year. We met many great folks and had a lot fun times. Like last year it was hard at times but well worth the time and energy spent.