I've been settled in this little mountain valley community for a month now, so here are a few master competitor observations from northwest North Carolina:
1) Most coffee shops opt out of the whole milk/2% milk/skim milk/soy scenario. It's half and half, white and cold and thick. No one seems to complain and boy does it go down smooth.
2) Rain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Most days include some morning and/or afternoon drizzle. Gore-Tex shells are everywhere.
3) Manners are in. It's a yes ma'am, no sir environment. I realize some of society has shifted away from this sort of behavior, but it's the way I was raised and I don't mind it.
4) People here smile a lot.
5) There are less iPods and MP3 players. People actually talk to each other.
6) There are less bike commuters, but more on campus runners.
7) As if a premonition to come, many are talking about "the winter." I don't think it's so much the severity of it, but the fact we live on winding, narrow roads through high elevations.
8) It seems every other car is a Subaru Outback or Honda Element.
9) Lifestyle is king.
10) People seem to have less, but do more.
So it goes on the wet and cloudy Friday. I just bought a new pair of Bellwether mountain bike shorts, to assure I'll be fashionable, if not fast, when I ride at the Kerr Scott Dam trails tomorrow. I also won a $15 gift certificate to Stick Boy Bread Company...yum yum yum.