06/17/12 — Seyboro Cyclists take on 'Double Century' loop

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Seyboro Cyclists take on 'Double Century' loop

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on June 17, 2012 1:50 AM

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Cyclists form a pack during the 10th semi-annual Seyboro Double Century bike rally on Saturday.

"Saddle up!"

The command bellows across the Eastern Wayne High School parking lot Saturday morning as dozens of brightly clad cyclists mount their road bikes to begin the next leg of their 200-mile ride.

It's the 10th year of the Seyboro Cyclists' semi-annual "Double Century" ride and most of those who are scrambling to their bikes have just finished the first 65-mile leg, which began here and took the cyclists into Johnston County before heading north to Kenly and looping back to Central Heights.

This next loop is a mere 55 miles, while subsequent legs, separated by 20-minute breaks, will carry the riders 45 and 35 miles, respectively, to reach the double-century total. They'll average about 18 mph during the day-long ride.

Those 200 miles could take the cyclists to Wilmington and back, or into downtown Charlotte, but by the end of the ride, they'll still be in Wayne County.

Why do they do it?

"Because we can," says Dave Galloway, the clandestine president of Seyboro Cyclists.

Galloway, whose cycling accolades have earned him the nickname "Diesel," says the 100-mile mark is one of significance in the cycling world.

"The century is big in cycling," he says. "Some people say you're not a real cyclist unless you've done a century."

But why double the distance?

"We just challenge ourselves," he explains.

Galloway said the cycling group in Smithfield is considering a double double-century -- 400 miles of riding.

He said he wasn't sure if he would be taking part in that, but there's a good chance fellow Seyboro Scott Summers would be interested. After all, Summers and some others were up at 2 a.m. just to get in an extra 50 miles before the 200-mile ride began at 6 a.m.

Galloway said it was just an effort to push the total as high as possible -- a common goal for cyclists.

He says about a quarter of the riders typically finish the 200-mile run and spend about 12 hours total in "the saddle," but that there are opportunities for beginners to ride each Tuesday, as part of the club's four-night-a-week riding regimen, not including weekends.

Seyboro, as its name implies, is a combination of riders from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, both active-duty and retired, and citizens of Goldsboro and the surrounding areas. For more information about Seyboro Cyclists, visit the organization's website at seyborocyclists.org.