Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Jan-10: Lumberton 200 Pre-Ride

On the 9th, Lynn and I rode my Bahama Beach perm-pop, reversed (i.e., counter-clockwise), with the "3-Hayes" variant.  It was a WET roads, sometimes misty, sometimes almost a sprinkle, but mostly a wet, foggy ride, with water droplets just hanging in the air, or condensing on one's clothing as one road through.  It was a damp, filthy mess of a ride, esp. filthy to the bikes.  As a result of all that, I was determined to wait for the weather to clear on Sunday before I started the pre-ride -- that was agreed between RBA TonyG and me.

The alarm woke me at 4 am on Sunday so that I could head to Lumberton and start the pre-ride in a "timely" fashion.  At around 4:30, I sent Tony an email that I'd be leaving soon for Lumberton (a 100-mile drive, btw).  A few minutes later, I posted a similar note on that Facebook thing.  I don't have a "smart" phone, only a flip one.  Therefore, I don't look at FB or emails when I'm out riding.  I didn't check FB again until oh-dark-thirty on Monday.

Despite what I had emailed and posted, I didn't leave right away.  There were still rain squalls coming through north Raleigh; the radar showed a similar situation for Lumberton and points east.  Further, since Lumberton is east and mostly south of Raleigh, and the front was drifting to the south and east, it would be several hours before Lumberton and areas east would have clear skies.  [Click here for a RWGPS map of the route.  Tony created the map, but since he once informed me that he sometimes re-purposes his RWGPS maps, I copied his creation into my account.] 

Tony had requested that I text him from each of the controls.  What follows is the text from the several texts I sent to Tony and friends BobB, Iva, and Lynn -- I sent them all the same texts.  There were a few short responses + re-responses, but I won't reproduce those here.
  • The first text, which I apparently deleted after sending, was sent at about 8:45 am as I sat waiting for second-breakfast of a "Colorado Omelet" at the "IHOP" in Lumberton.  It simply indicated that things were finally clearing and I hoped to start soon, maybe around 9:30.  I now re-produce the texts I sent.  I might, repeat might, insert a couple or a few thoughts or facts that were not shared via texts. 
  • 10:24 am.  Started at 10.  Flat on Ivey Rd.  22 minutes of riding
  • 10:45 am.  Problem was/is tyre.  Patched tube, booted tyre.  If flats again, will limp back to Lumberton[I have carried a spare tyre on every ride since June-2010; however, the tyre that flatted had been filling the role of spare tyre until the middle of December-2015, when I tossed the rear I had been riding and replaced it with the then spare.  Unfortunately, I forgot to pack a spare for the rides since then; in other words, I had no spare tyre on this solo ride.  FYI, the tyre that was the problem on this ride -- it is now making its way to the rubbish heap.] 
  • Roseboro control, 1:17 pm.  
  • [I can't recall when I got to Garland "outbound," probably around 2:30 or 2:45, but I stopped there to get an "energy drink" -- to wit, an "Arizona Sweet Tea" -- first finishing the "Mt Dew" I had acquired in Roseboro.] 
  • Delray control, 3:34 pm.  Now the hard part.  58 miles into that wind.  May take 6 hours[I recall that I left Delray at almost precisely 4:00 pm.]  
  • [I reached Garland, inbound, at approx 4:50 pm.  I swapped out the warm weather gear I'd been riding (it had gotten as warm as 21C, 70F, during the day, with the tailwind and quartering tailwind (mostly); but it would start to get cold quickly after sunset).  Removed the somewhat damp long-sleeved jersey I'd worn all day and replaced it with a clean long-sleeve, put the short-sleeve I'd also been wearing all day on top of the clean long-sleeve, put on knee-warmers, swapped short-fingered cycling gloves for some warmer gloves and mittens, and added my shell on top.  Oh, and also put the refective vest back on (I'd worn it all day as the easiest way to carry it).  I did not bother with the arm-warmers, nor the "neck-gaiter" that I often wear when I expect cold.  I also picked up a couple "Snicker's" bars to nibble on during the remainder of the ride -- first food since the IHOP omelet.  I left Garland at approx 5:15, riding into the disappearing daylight.] 
  • 7:08 pm.  Fyi, @ White Oak.  Changing headlight batteries.  
  • [I stopped at Tar Heel a little after 8 pm to pee.  I hadn't been in the gas station there since the last time I did Dean's "Tar Heel 200" perm several years ago.  The tables we used to sit at are no longer there.] 
  • 9:30 pm.  Done
Hmmn.  Not much there if I don't include the responses -- it probably would have made a better post to include only the texts, but I decided to include the several additional comments.  Sorta' like the en route FB posts people make, but without photos.

I took no photos on the day.  Spare time that I might have used to do that was consumed by that flat tyre.  And the incessant, incessant, incessant wind.

I got home at about 2:15 am Monday morning after stopping en route from Lumberton to take a couple quick naps.  I checked FB before retiring to my bed.  There was a very nice PM from Tom Florian, resident of Lumberton, randonneur, ultra-racer, physician, etc., indicating that I should call him if disaster struck.  That was very nice of Tom.

My plan if disaster had struck, was to call Tom (whose phone # I have because of ride host/organizer activities in Jan/Feb-2015).  If Tom wasn't able to help, my plan B was to call LeeAnn, whose number I have because of the same reason I have Tom's.  My plea to LeeAnn would have been that there was a Hound that need rescuing -- those that are FB friends with LeeAnn should understand that comment.

Monday morning, I wrote a quick pre-ride report that I sent to the NC-rando-list-serve, essentially noting that all the bridge work from the last few years is done, and that the road, for the most part, were smooth.  I hope there is a decent turnout for the Jan-16 Highpoint Region Lumberton 200 + 300 brevets.  I'll be there, but not riding.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

RUSA Member Retention

Two years ago, I posted the active RUSA membership count early in the year.
I was wondering what the active count is now compared to then.

Yesterday, Jan04, about 9 am EST, the active membership was 2181.
Compare that to Jan-04-2013, 4 pm EST was 2184.

Seven hours short of of exactly two years later -- active membership down by 3.


Btw, I did check the active membership late in December 2015;
There were over 4000 active members.  

Monday, October 19, 2015

Speed is good only when wisdom leads the way

"Speed is good only when wisdom leads the way."
Perhaps a cousin to:  "Act in haste, repent at leisure."

Not necessarily a randonneuring comment;
But I think there is an obvious application.

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.