Saturday, June 19, 2010


Who knew?

So, I'm a giant nerd. Having never vacationed in North Carolina, I had never seen the abbreviation for "Outer Banks." I have never seen the abbreviation for Tyra Banks either, and very likely would be confused over that as well.
Turns out, "OBX" is everywhere down there. Being a newbie to the whole "Right Coast" thing, I was desperately trying to understand what OBX was. Was it a retail store selling dehydrated sea creatures for children's amusement? Everywhere I saw OBX, it seemed something was for sale. Did it stand for "Outlandishly Bad Xylophones?" Not sure, but it was driving me nuts. There were a TON of cyclists (mostly either beach cruisering locals or skin-suit-dipped Tri-people) taking advantage of the flat, utterly turnless and
wide open roads of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Maybe for them, OBX meant "Out-Bound Xanthan gum?"

As you roll north along the main highway, the full-time roadies thinned out and gave way to commuting locals on hybrids, mountain bikes, and other conversions. They seemed to congregate around the area near Kill Devil Hills, where the massive edifice erected to flight looms over the dunes, shining like a new dime. The Wright Memorial is a great place to do hill repeats, although at ninety degrees, with 85% humidity, I doubt anyone would take advantage of it's "Hors Categorie" climbs.

There were also a number of bikes locked up at the dunes near Kitty Hawk. Folks descended on this strip to take hang glider lessons, and to fly kites. The sand was about as white as Ryan Seacrests' choppers, and the coastal breeze made running out of kite string a snap.
Reeling IN all that string would prove to be something a bit more daunting.The view of the sound was magnificent, and riding the dunes would have proven an easy task if one were equipped with a SHERPA (do they even make those anymore?) or SURLY PUGSLY bike.
The evenings were spent in Manteo, near the Roanoke Colony history center. The bridge over the sound would be a great ride, especially since the quiet town of Manteo was such a great respite for "Tourist Trap" weary travelers. "Ortega'z" restaurant has a sweet patio to watch the bikes whizz by, and the old-world charm if this little fishing village was a pleasant change of pace from the brightly colored banners and streamers that made me think OBX stood for "Outlandish Branding, Xenian."
**Putting the boy to work aboard the "Elizabeth II" in Roanoke.

So now that I have gone, and understand what the h**l "OBX" ACTUALLY stands for, I won't feel like such a dork as I scratch my head and glare awkwardly at those little round stickers on the backs of your cars...

"I think it says OBX, honey."


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