Thursday, May 21, 2015

May-19: Denny's Store 138

In pursuit of Mondial,  OR
In desperate search for some evidence of being shape,  OR 
Just a good ride on a friendly course on a pleasant day.
Those were my reasons for riding.

Leenda, being on staycation the week before Memorial Day weekend,
Was probably just trying to ride her bike,  OR
She may have been interested in accumulating credit kms for the Mondial.
[I had to explain, en route, the look of the award and etc. about the award, so 
I'd wager it was mostly to just ride her bike.] 

When in shape, I like to get to the first control at 42.3-miles in under 3 hours.
3h05 this day.
Into a headwind and mostly upslope the whole way (or at least it sometimes seems so).
I'm still outa' shape, so okay.

When in shape, I like to arrive at the second control at 55.1-miles less than an hour
After arriving at the first control (even if I stop to take a photo). 
Leenda was too far ahead at the Denny's Store crossroads to get a combined stop for a photo.
Besides, there had already been a 2-minute nature break.
Arrived Berea in 4h04 --> 59-minutes after having arrived at Allensville.
Under an hour.  :-)
There may have been a tailwind.

We ate a quick lunch in Berea, splitting a 6-inch turkey sub.
And each drank much ice tea (it was rather warm -- or at least warmer than it has been so far this year).

I wanted to stop at Culbreth to take a photo of the house that burned down a year or so ago.
We slowed to nearly a stop,
But decided that since it had become so overcast the site was not very picturesque,
And kept on going.

When in shape, I like to get to the finish 2-hours after leaving Berea.
I had to stop just as I entered Creedmoor to deal with a couple text messages.
[I'm not a fan of text messages; esp. when cycling without my reading glasses.] 
I also stopped in Creedmoor to acquire some fresh, COLD water.
On the other hand, this was the first time in many, many moons that
I was able to pop the ups on the roller-coaster that is Dove Rd.  :-)

I arrived at the finish 2h05 after leaving Berea.
Oh, well.

On the up side:
This was the first ride this year where my avg pace in-motion
Was my avg pace of last year (and the year before),
Instead of being an entire mile-per-hour slower.

Great ride on a mostly pleasant day on a favorite route with a friend.


North Carolinians nearing Modial -- lifetime credit kms after this ride:
  • Leenda, 39773; 
  • Me, 39030 -- I had hoped to close the gap, but Leenda has been doing every ride that I've been doing, plus sneaking in other rides (mostly on my routes) when I haven't ridden; 
  • Bob, 37921. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May-14: Egypt Mtn 210

Leenda, Bob and I did the "Egypt Mtn" 210k Perm on May-14.

The last time I did this Perm was early October-2014.
I had a great day with plenty of pizzazz in my legs.
Bob was doing his October R-insurance ride, about 12 days before the Taste of Carolina 1200.
It was also supposed to a confirmation that he was ready for the 1200.
Bob got in his insurance-R, but struggled from about the 50-mile mark on.
[There were three other riders that day, one of which was Leenda.]  

Seven months on, and things were considerably different.
Bob was doing a May R-insurance ride 10 days before the Lone Star Rando 1000.
He certainly confirmed that he is ready for the 1000, and snagged R-65.
He dropped even Leenda on a climb or two en route to the first control in Epsom.
And he rode with Leenda on the 200-foot climbs between Drewry and Warrenton,
While I drifted farther and farther back,
Because I was out-of-shape and had no pizzazz in my legs.
[Lucky for me, Bob joined me in dropping Leenda off our front wheels with about 42-miles to go.] 

The most interesting thing during the ride probably occurred at around the 30-mile mark:
The three of us were riding together, sorta' in a line, sorta' in conversation formation.
A dawg came running at us from the left,
I did not increase my pace,
Instead I calmly anticipated the blast from Bob's magic air-horn.
Leenda did start to pick up her pace
And had just edged ahead of me when the dawg was finally in position for the air horn to do its job.
Leenda gave a bit of a shudder.
I mentioned that I gathered that she had never experienced Bob's magic air horn.
She replied that though true that she'd never heard it,
She had heard ABOUT it. 

All-in-all, we had a good day in the cool-temps playground; the wind slowly backed around so that we a headwind for the first 64-miles, and also had a headwind for most of the last 50-miles -- ugh!

That's the short-ish story for this ride, except for the following:

I think I know the next three North Carolinians that will earn the RUSA Mondial Award:
  1. Lynn, currently 39428 lifetime RUSA kms. 
  2. Me, currently 38892 lifetime RUSA kms. 
  3. Bob, currently 37921 lifetime RUSA kms.  
Bob and I stopped atop Egypt Mtn so I could take a photo of our steeds resting against the Egypt Mtn Farm sign.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May-10: Flat in Wilton 104

We managed to avoid any falling water from Tropical Storm Ana on Saturday,
So "Leenda" and I decided to tempt fate on Sunday, and do the "Oxford" perm-pop.

Leenda was already at the start when I arrived, fashionable in her yellow PacTour Rain Jacket.
We performed the usual paperwork exchange and started our ride in a light sprinkle.

20 or 21 minutes after we started, I arrived at the stop-light at NC-98
And found Leenda removing the PacTour Rain Jacket
Because it was no longer sprinkling (and Leenda was over-heating).

We continued northbound across the highway and down-and-up and across Falls Lake,
Which at the Six Forks Rd crossing is barely more than the Neuse River channel.
Leenda dropped me on the long climb up to Old Weaver Trail,
But I found her only 15 or 16 minutes after crossing NC-98.
She was off the main road, stopped on a minor side-road,
Putting the PacTour Rain Jacket back on, in the substantial rainfall.
I passed by, knowing that she would catch me.

To review the ride so far:  that's jacket on -- jacket off -- jacket on.
And we're only 36 minutes into the ride.

About 2 minutes after I passed Leenda on the side of the road,
The substantial rainfall had again become a light sprinkle.
And 2 or 3 minutes after that:  no falling water at all.
Leenda unzipped the jacket most of the way, but left it on.

Puddles in the slight depressions on the roadway,
Combined with "vertical potholes" made for less than straight-line riding.
100 yards or so before the stop-light in Wilton,
Trying to avoid the puddles and the verticle potholes on the wet road,
I was a bit slow in my chicane move,
My rear tyre bottomed out on a verticle pothole.
I knew it was a hard hit, but I didn't think too much of it.

That is, I didn't think much of it, until we started to roll again after the light changed.
The rear was completely flat.
I rolled to a stop opposite the picnic tables,
So that's where I walked the bike to change the tube.

I proceeded calmly and with no haste.
The tyre came easily off the wheel,
The tube came out and Leenda rolled it up for me,
The new tube went in easily and securely.
13 calm minutes total.
[I admit that I could have changed it more quickly, 
But I was also playing for time to rest a bit. 
It isn't easy for me to keep up with Leenda, esp. when I'm not in good cycling shape.]

The second half of the outbound trip was without notable incident.
I think there were some sprinkles, but mostly there was no new falling water.
The roads, however, were wet and there was plenty of yuk on the road.

We were neither fast nor slow at the turn-around control,
And began our homeward bound trek hoping for a tailwind.
[I know that "Fixie Pixie" says there is no such thing as a tailwind, but ... .]

The only notable thing on the homebound leg was Leenda removing the PacTour Rain Jacket.
At the corner of Antioch and Fairport roads.  

To complete the ride review:
  • Start with PacTour Rain Jacket on. 
  • Jacket off. 
  • Jacket on. 
  • Pinch flat. 
  • Turn-around control. 
  • Jacket off. 
AND, each bike was FILTHY!! 

May-09: Leenda + 1 of Her Peeps 138k

We interrupt this long winter of non-blogging discontent to return to active posting (I hope).

I still have a couple "Reset" pieces I'd like to type, but they've been serving as a mental block.
So, to overcome the blockage, I'm gonna' just pick up more-or-less as if there had been no long lapse.
I enjoy going back and reading about my own rides.
Sometimes I learn that I have or had forgotten about a particular ride. 

One person has said to me, more than once, "leave me out of your blog."
However, I've been doing quite a few rides with that person in the last year,
Or at least starting rides with that person.
I've decided to come up with a code name with which to refer to said person:  "Leenda"

Leenda and I rode the Denny's Store Sortie 138km perm-pop on May-09,
Hoping to avoid getting rained upon (in defiance of the advancing Tropical Storm Ana).

We pretty much stayed together until the "Range Wall."
Leenda waited for me after that climb, and we did all of Range Rd (that is on this course) together,
Made the zig-zag onto Bahama Rd and continued on together for a bit.

Before reaching Moriah, I commented, "I wonder if any of your peeps will be at the control."
Leenda thought we might be too late for them,
But the peeps (actually locals sitting on the bench(es)) are usually there at 9 am in the summer.

Shortly after Moriah, Leenda drifted off my front wheel
As the road generally tilts up from there to Mt. Harmony Church.
After cresting Mt. Harmony, there is a series of rollers
Upon which I'm confident Leenda drifted even further ahead.

I pulled into the control at the Allensville Store at about 0909,
Only 10 to 15 minutes behind when I usually arrive WHEN I'm actually IN SHAPE.
This is what I found:
Leenda + 1 Peep, on the benches at the Allensville Store control.  [Hmmn, someone's control card indicates that they likely arrived at the control only about 7-minutes, maybe a bit more accounting for a delay between arrival and the store clerk initializing the control card.  So much for the "here he is; only half-an-hour after you got here" from the Peep.]  

Skipping ahead:  
Leenda was ready to leave the next control, at Berea, only 12.8-miles from Allensville, when I got there.
I, on the other hand, needed to EAT.
I often do the Denny's Store route just eating, but on this day, I needed to EAT.

Leenda left as I went inside to order a sandwich and get a drink.
She finished in a pedestrian 6h21.
[She has done this route in 5h31, IIRC; but she attributes that to MikeD being in a hurry that day.]
I finished in a just-keep-pedaling 7h00.  

Not much of a story.
But all I really wanted to do was post that photo.

Oh, btw, I imagine that Leenda will give me grief, sooner or later, about this post. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Reset -- Part 2

One of the better rides I had last year was in October, the 17th to be exact,
On my Bahama Beach perm-pop, reversed,
With Lynn and Byron.

As best I can recall, I hadn't seen Byron since the
Raleigh Region 200-km brevet in April (or late March).
Some time in the summer, Byron had gone bike-touring on the C&O trail
With Gilbert and a couple other former North Road Cycling associates.
As a result, Byron was equipped with many new stories,
Most, maybe all, centered around Gilbert's mis-adventures.
(Only one of which I recall even a portion -- probably mis-recall: 
Naked outdoor showering as other tourists approached.) 

Byron kept us in stitches, or at least smiles,
As we effortlessly made our way around the loop course,
Taking advantage of the "free-route" BB status and "winging-it" on the 3 Hayes variant.
[We must have taken another "wing-it" variant because the route ridden came to 69.2-miles, 
Which is 111-kms for the 103k credit. 
8 extra kms --> 24 minutes --> could have done 103-kms in 4h38.]

The ride was made effortless because of Byron's stories.
Thanks, Byron.
Thanks, Gilbert.
Thanks also to Gilbert for all previous rando and route advice.
I've always found his advice to be spot-on.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Reset -- Part A

The 2014 North Carolina Rando Year-End Party was held on Saturday, Nov-15th.  The party was preceded by a couple rides for those that could make it and were interested:  a 201k Perm and also a 103k Perm-Pop (a second group also did the Pop).

[Hmmn, it seems that some did some other rides as well:  Dean, Mick and Lynn all had errands to do so did rides closer to home before going to the party.] 

Anyway, I couldn't make it to either of the party-rides, nor even one closer to my residence, but I did make it to the party.  Shortly after I arrived, my friend Bob chided me about there being no Irregular blog updates since August.  Oops.

I suppose I could try to use the excuse that I've been preoccupied with some other stuff, but that's rather a lame excuse.  Besides, since the party, Bob has noted that, as the end of the year will mark five full years of rando for those of us in the North-Carolina-2010-rookie-class, it will certainly be time for an update on said rookie class.  [Bob can be such a slave-driver -- LOL!!!]

However, before I actually RESET and resume blogging about my rides, I need to write, er, type, I don't write these things, rather I just type whatever comes into my head.  So, before I RESET and resume blogging about my rides, I need to type something about a great ride I had back in August.

Aug-19:  Showdown at Black Creek 201k

It had been a year or two since I had last done this course.
I was having trouble with a completely worn out chain and cassette, and
It would also turn out that the 39Tooth middle chain ring was also worn out.
There were other issues with the bike.
So I contacted Mike requesting to do a ride on a conviently close Perm,
With not-so-much climbing, except for the first and last 12.5-miles (20-kms).

I got around a bit slowly that morning, and left the house several minutes later than intended.
Then immediately made a wrong turn in the nearby neighborhood ... and was a bit LOST.
Lost, on my cycle-commute to the start.  Aargh.

As a result of the above, I got to the start control five minutes or so AFTER the agreed start time.
However, rather than starting the ride in an agitated state of mind,
I decided to grab a couple sausage biscuits, sit down, and calmly eat them for breakfast.

I started the ride with a calm mindset, approximately 20 minutes late.
[The first time I did this route, I started approx 45 minutes late due to bowel issues. 
I once started this route approx 40 minutes late because I waited for the fog to lessen
(That fog-wait ride turned out pretty good as I finished the ride 8h59 after I actually started.) 
So, as you should guess, I was not concerned about starting 20 minutes late. 
AND I was calm -- one of the three keys to successfully completing a rando ride.]

Some seven or so miles into the course,
I encountered a typical problem when cycling in summer in NC:
"Road Closed" due to a bridge under re-destruction.  (Sorry, no photo(s).)

Luckily for me, the roads near and around that bridge closure are as the back of my hand.
I immediately knew the detour I was going to take,
Regardless of where the NC-DOT tried to direct me.
[Good thing, too, as the DOT detour would have put me on US-1 / Capital Blvd.  
THAT is definitely NOT a road to be ridden on a bicycle.] 

Sid Mitchell to Green to Long Mill to NC-96 into Youngsville and back on the course.
NC-96 was a slight decline all the way into Youngsville, and had little traffic.

From Youngsville to Black Creek, the route is generally a false-flat decline the entire distance.
And I, in the words of the Fixie Pixie, was feeling really good.
I arrived at Black Creek Grocery less than 4 hours after I actually started.  Woohoo!

Unfortunately, on the return trip, there was a headwind.
Just a slight wind; but still, I had to work a bit harder than I had outbound.
Also, I might have caught some post-Youngsville roads / traffic at just the wrong time.
Oh, well.

I finished the rando route in an official 9h15.
[One of these days, I need to start this route ON TIME and have a fast(ish) ride, and 
Get an official time under 9 hours.]

Rando ride finished, but the fun was not done.
As I left the control, my rear tyre was flat.  Huh!
I had noticed nothing wrong when / as I finished the ride.
I decided to hope that it was a slow leak.
So I just pumped up the tyre and got my post-rando commute ride under way.

I do NOT recommend riding, on a weekday, from the finish control back into Raleigh at 5-ish pm.
There was a constant stream of traffic passing me,
While I made sure to ride without rocking the bike while fretting the rear would go flat again.
[The vehicles generally gave me sufficient room, but a little more space would have been nice. 
Interestingly, the vehicle that came closest, too close, really, was a Raleigh Police car!]

After I finished my post-rando commute,
I showered and cleaned up and took my bike to the nearby bike shop,
To get the complete tune-up, etc. that was needed. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Aug-14: The "We Met Clyde" 100k Pre-Ride

Despite there having been some rides that I meant to write about, it's been a bit more than a month since last I blogged about any ride.  I especially wanted to write something about the DELUGE Not Friendly (DNF) on Aug-02, where after 95.4-miles, the bottom fell out of the heavens and the thermometer also dropped; my anonymous ride partner and I agreed that the risk of hypothermia was too great --> we managed to find a rescue ride.

The anonymous one has since gotten in their R-ride; I have not.  I still have at least two more reasonable opportunities this months.

However, I need to get back to the point.

Today, my friend Iva-the-Hawk and I did a pre-ride of the Aug-16 NCBC Picnic Populaire.
I would put in a link, but ...

Anyway, we arrived at Alan's at about 0730, intending an 0800 start.
Alan appeared a few minutes later, bearing "gifts:"
Actually, waivers, control cards and cue sheets.

We left on time, but only after I mentioned to Alan that we intended to take a detour --
To ride a block off the brevet populaire route so that Iva could see "Critter Country."
Alan agreed that that was a reasonable thing to do.

The first control on the Populaire is at the Andrew's Store, about 21-miles into the course, and
After one has done the climb on Jack Bennett Rd.

Iva did Alan's 200k brevet twice in 2010, but hadn't ridden anything south of Raleigh since then.
As we turned onto Lystra Rd, Iva asked where the infamous "Col de Lystra" was located.
I indicated that said climb started about a mile after we would turn off Lystra onto Jack Bennett, and
That Lystra and Jack Bennett scaled the same rise, but that Lystra is much steeper in doing so.

Just as the steep part of the Bennett climb started,
We, along with a few cars, were stopped on the road because of some utility work ahead.
After a minute or so, the STOP signal was changed to SLOW.
Just so you know, that is what Iva and did -- we proceeded at a SLOW pace.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be on a bike.
Bright sunshine, very low humidity, supposedly light and variable wind.
But even so, we were happy to arrive at the Andrew's Store control.
We each indulged in a "country ham, egg and cheese" biscuit; 
Iva had coffee; I chose a different caffeinated beverage.
We took our time, not feeling any need to hurry;
We enjoyed our conversation -- but, of course, I recall nothing that we chatted about.

We left the control, heading for the chip-seal of Parker Herndon Rd and its two valleys.
We were not disappointed.

At the end of Parker Herndon, we turned left onto Hamlet Chapel Rd,
The little green road sign indicates "Hamlet Chp Rd."
That encouraged Iva to make the best comment of the day:
"Hamlet Chip Rd -- how appropriate."
[Anyone that has done Alan's 200, 300 or 400 brevets will understand.]

Soon we re-crossed US-15/501 to DROP down into Bynum.
As indicated above, we detoured off course on Bynum Hill Rd,
In order to visit a world renowned place:  Critter Country.

We stopped to take a pic or two.
 Then ... we met Clyde, who was just finishing up mowing his yard (and maybe the yards for one or two neighbors).
Clyde Jones, with some of his Critters in the background.
 Clyde encouraged us to look all around the front and back yards, and to take as much time as we wanted, and to take as many photos as desired, also.
67-year-old Iva, being young at heart.

Iva had a little trouble taming his critter-horse.

My horse was a bit tamer.  At least I remembered to smile.  Actually, I was thinking "I better smile or Tony Goodnight and others will chastise me."
We bid adieu to Clyde and continued our appointed rounds.

We crossed the ancient and long one-lane bridge, closed to auto traffic, across the Haw River. 
And then, climbed back UP from the Haw to US-15-501.
Crossed over that road, again, and
Headed for Pittsboro.

We short-stopped the control in Pittsboro.
After all, we'd already spent 50-minutes combined at Andrew's Store plus Clyde's Critter Country.

After Pittsboro, the route gets a bit boring.
I can't imagine anyone indicating that Pittsboro-Moncure Rd is their favorite cycling road.
And on this date, we were riding into that "light and variable" breeze,
Turning several of the rolling UPS into bogging-down sections.

We each purchased something at the last intermediate control at Ray's Super Market, and
Enjoyed the absolutely delightful temps, humidity, sunshine, etc. at the outside table.

As we prepared to leave, Iva noted that the poles next to the tables were perfect,
Perfect, that is, upon which to make a half-human-flag:
The best physical move of the day.

We rolled through the last 28-ish miles, picking up the pace as we went.
We finished the 71-mile route after 5h57,
Filled out the requisite paperwork, and
Headed home.

[You may wonder about there being no reference to Alan in the above paragraph:
Alan had errands to run, so was not at the finish.] 


Oh, some might be expecting a pre-ride road condition report:
All the terrain is the same as ever.
The chip-seal road surfaces are still just as chippy and rough.
The tar-snaky roads are still tar-snaky.
The rough, bumpily sections on some roads are still rough and bumpily.
The smooth roads are still SMOOTH.
The Haw River was rushing nicely over the rocks and such near Bynum. 

The weather for Saturday is expected to be similar to today.
Everyone should have a great day for a bicycle ride.