Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Aug-18-2018: Raleigh Region RUSA 20th Anniversary Rides + Picnic -- Part 2

For Part 1, see the previous post.

Under RBA Alan's (RUSA #306) leadership, probably instigated by MikeD (RUSA #1609), but I don't actually know, I'm just guessing, the Raleigh Region has been doing annual RUSA Anniversary Brevets + Picnics since RUSA's 10th birthday in 2008.  In PBP years, the Anniversary rides have been pushed back into September or October, and they've been RUSA brevets instead of ACP/BRM brevets, but any way one cuts it, 2018 was the eleventh consecutive year that Alan has put on a RUSA Anniversary ride + picnic.

200 Check-in and Start.

Alan's second most favorite thing about being the RBA, surrounding the brevet, is checking people in before the brevet / seeing everyone before the ride.  [His most favorite thing is seeing each rider at the finish.]  Alan's wife Dorothy always serves as his most able assistant during the check-in (and gear check) process -- well, Dorothy always assists (or maybe in some moments Alan is the assistant) unless she has fallen ill -- I can recall a time or two that Dorothy was not present for the check-in process, reportedly due to nasty head colds.

Lest anyone be concerned that there might be times when additional assistance is needed during check-in, there have always been riders willing to step-up to fill the need.  The list of likely suspects to step-up when I started randonneuring [2010] included the aforementioned MikeD, Jerry (#3525), Branson (#3752), and at the risk of hurting feelings of others that might like to have a mention, I'll stop there as regards the check-in process.  These days, there are others that are also on the list of likely step-uppers.  Alan has been the Raleigh RBA since about 1995 -- three years before RUSA was founded [and four years before any rides were conducted under the auspices of RUSA].  There are quite a few of us that will do whatever Alan needs help with, whether it be planned well ahead of time or is something that suddenly arises.

I wasn't really needed for the check-in process for this ride, but having nothing else I needed to do, having completed the worker's pre-ride, and I think that seeing and chatting with people before the start of the ride is a fun and useful thing, I arrived at the start location approximately 30 minutes before the scheduled start.  About the first thing I heard was that MikeD had shown up and signed in, and then discovered that he had left his helmet at home -- and he headed back home only a few minutes before I had arrive to collect his helmet.  I knew that it was likely a 20-minute drive each way to Mike's house from the start, so it seemed very likely that Mike and the couple people that had committed or decided to ride with him would be starting a bit late.

As hinted above, chatting before the ride start is a good time to renew contact with friends -- and if you're at the back of the pack, it may be the ONLY time to re-connect with some.  I'm reasonably sure that I spoke or at least shared greetings with most of those present, but a couple contacts stand out:
  1. My recollection is that I was near Alan's registration table when new RUSA members Tommy and Greg checked in.  Somehow / somewhere -- almost certainly on the NC-rando-Facebook-group -- I had seen that these two had signed up for the brevet and had joined RUSA, but as of a day or two before the ride, they did not yet know their RUSA numbers.  However, by the time of registration, they did know:  12772 and 12796.  [So Greg got the prize for having the highest RUSA # on the day.  The prize? you ask.  He got picnic food with the rest of us -- well, sorta'.]  
  2. As I was wandering around chatting with people, perhaps being a nuisance (?), someone I did not recognize greeted me enthusiastically.  Uh-oh, I didn't recognize them.  I admitted I didn't recognize them.  They re-introduced themselves.  I commented that I was quite surprised that he would recognize me since I could only recall meeting him once before -- on the road at about the 85 or 90-mile mark of an "Alan 200 brevet" -- the 2010 picnic brevet.  No, said the other, "we've met several times including at check-in when you hosted those brevets in Lumberton" -- for Highpoint Region RBA Tony - that would have been 2015.  "Really," said I, "I don't recall that at all."  [Later, I looked up the results for those brevets -- yep, Doug, RUSA #876, did two of those brevets, so he certainly had to check-in with me and sign waivers in front of me.]  I asked and Doug answered my question as to how many times he had finished PBP -- see below for the answer. 

A few minutes before start time, riders gathered in a motley shaped elliptical circle in front of the check-in table, and Alan joined the circle to make a couple announcements about the course and to remind everyone that the finish was not in the usual SR finish location, but was at the shelter in the city park.  Then, after confirming the time on his watch, Alan let the riders go.

But no one moved.

Several riders had apparently committed themselves to riding with aforementioned MikeD, but Mike had not yet returned to start location.  Everyone else, apparently without any verbal discussion, decided to wait for Mike.  Too bad no one thought to take a photo.

A quiet settled over the group of riders, volunteers, and at least one spouse and child. 

I pretend to be a patient person, but I'm not. 
Looking around the oblong circle, my eyes settled on Branson who was at 9 o'clock to my 12.
"Branson," said I, "I think this would be a good time to steal an idea from Mike, and do something that we did a few years ago at a year-end party, when Mike got everyone in attendance to introduce themselves.  That was a good idea and a good time, don't you agree?"

Branson agreed.
So, starting with me, and working to my left, we each introduced ourselves and maybe mentioned something regarding our rando careers.

I do not recall where most of the people were standing relative to me (or, if you will, the "clock," and I couldn't have told you three minutes after we completed the introductions around the circle) but a few items stand out in my memory.

Somewhere around 3 o'clock stood my Irregulars friend Paul "Mallet" S.  He introduced himself, noting that he was not a RUSA member.  I added that he had done this 200k a couple times and also asked what his longest ride ever was.  I can't recall if we settled on a ride he did from Raleigh thru the Uwharries to Charlotte, or a ride from Raleigh to the beach, party at night, and ride back the next day. 

Directly opposite me, at 6 o'clock, slightly hidden behind someone (whom I do not recall) were newbies Tommy and Greg.  I called out Tommy (and Greg) to confirm that they were new RUSA members and why they had joined RUSA and were doing this ride -- the answer centered around a ride in France in late summer 2019.

At about eight-thirty on the oblong circle clock, was Doug.  I recall Doug volunteered that he had been coming to these events for 20 years.  In rejoinder (and perhaps thinking the newbies might like to know whom might have some advice for them), I asked, "and how many times have you completed PBP?"

Doug's reply came easily.  "Eight."  I recall hearing a bit of a murmur from the assembly. 

Another rider or two along the way and then it was Alan's turn.  Calling out to him, "and when did you do your first brevet?"

"1983."  Another hushed murmur.

The 11 o'clock positions were filled by Luke and his sister Misha. 
I don't recall what they might have said. 

I finished the circle with something akin to "well, now everyone knows everyone else, and that should make striking up conversations on the road easier."  [What nonsense.] 

Mike's timing, returning after retrieving his helmet from his home, was good. 
My recollection is that he returned to the fold just after we completed the introductions all around.
Mike thanked everyone for waiting while expressing that it hadn't been necessary. 

Everyone set off together approximately 15 minutes after the official start time.
Like a good RBA should, Alan entered the times based on the official start time. 
200-km brevet riders (includes the two pre-riders (and it was a hotter day when we rode!)):
NC: Raleigh ACPB 200 km 2018/08/18 finishers=16 DNF=0
North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045
6470025843B, BobRandonneurs USA / 93309512:11
64700312772B, TommyRandonneurs USA / 93309511:07
6470041015B, ChetRandonneurs USA / 93309509:14
6470051609D, MichaelNorth Carolina Bicycle Club / 93304509:14
64700611611G, DaveRandonneurs USA / 93309509:14
64700710597G, ChristopherRandonneurs USA / 93309509:14
6470087069H, LukeAsheville International Randonneurs / 93301109:14
6470098502H, MishaRandonneurs USA / 95109509:14
6470103752K, BransonCarolina Tarwheels / 93304709:14
647011876K, DougRandonneurs USA / 93309510:05
64701210866L, JonCarolina Tarwheels / 93304707:36
6470146218S, MartinRandonneurs USA / 93309512:11
6470155350S, GeofRandonneurs USA / 93309510:12
64701612796T, GregoryRandonneurs USA / 93309511:07
6470178218W, BradleyNorth Carolina Bicycle Club / 93304510:19
1 nonmember(s) also finished this event[, to wit, "Mallet," 7h36]

Hmmn, this is WAY too long!
Part 3 to come? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Aug-18-2018: Raleigh Region RUSA 20th Anniversary Rides + Picnic -- Part 1

Under RBA Alan's (RUSA #306) leadership, probably instigated by MikeD (RUSA #1609), but I don't actually know, I'm just guessing, the Raleigh Region has been doing annual RUSA Anniversary Brevets + Picnics since RUSA's 10th birthday in 2008.  In PBP years, the Anniversary rides have been pushed back into September or October, and they've been RUSA brevets instead of ACP/BRM brevets, but any way one cuts it, 2018 was the eleventh consecutive year that Alan has put on a RUSA Anniversary ride + picnic.

Pre-Ride Aug-07.

Bob (#5843) was slated to do the PacTour tour of New York's Finger Lakes area the week leading up to the day of the event (Aug-18).  (I'm pretty sure that) Bob has the longest active R-streak in North Carolina; he (almost reluctantly) has his eyes on getting to R-120, so we did a pre-ride on Tuesday, August 7th.  I was slated to volunteer, mostly helping to set up for the picnic (and tear down after); Bob would join me as a "ride-along" rider.  [If you don't understand the concept of "worker's ride" and "ride-along" riders, search around on the RUSA website to see for yourself -- basically, a ride-along rider's purpose is to provide "company" for the pre-riding worker(s).]

How did the actual ride go?
  • I did a conservatively paced 19.7-mile ride from my place to Alan's to meet Bob for an 0600 start to the pre-ride.  Unlike my Spring 300 pre-ride, I encountered no obstacles requiring a detour en route
  • Bob drove the 45-miles or so from his home to Alan's. 
  • Alan met us, and we exchanged the requisite paperwork. 
  • And we went on our way. 
  • How did the ride go?  
  • The same as my previous five 200+ km rides, that's how it went. 
  • So I won't bore you with any details.  

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Dec-26: NOT "Irregulars" Holiday Range Road Rover

More of the Irregulars indicated that they could ride on the 26th than on the 29th.
Therefore, the plan became:  do the Holiday Range Road Rover on the 26th.
Somewhat early start so that we could finish without seeming to take "all day."
But then people started expressing concern over the freezing temps at the start.
So ... discussion led to doing a 25-ish mile ride starting at 10 am.

Sun was shining, not much wind, temperature about 39F at 10 am.
IvaHawk, Snapper, and I ended up doing my old "TT"/cadence route,
Except we started at PUE rather than at Blue Jay County Park.
I.e., the first and last 2.4-miles of the embedded route were not ridden.
[Well, dang!  I can't figure out how to embed the map, 
So I've included a link above.]   

Dell Web and others continue to build more housing developments along Leesville Rd.
But the environments along Leesville Rd were little changed from two years ago,
Which is when I last rode that section of Leesville Rd.

Doc Nichols Rd, on the other hand, was a completely changed landscape and road.
Too many housing developments messing up what used to be GREAT cycling roads.

Despite the changed conditions, the temps were rising and the ride became quite pleasant.

I put in a hard effort on Virgil Rd, a 2.3-mile almost continuous incline,
With a net gain of approx 110 feet.
Approx 10-minutes to cover the entire length of the road.
The effort got pretty difficult nearing Carpenter Pond Rd,
Not so much because of the percentage incline, but
Instead because I haven't been putting in hard efforts on the bicycle lately.
AND I had a nasty cold from December 2nd until the 23rd.

The hard effort on Virgil Rd followed the climb on Kemp Rd, 100 feet in one-half mile.
All done in the 39/14 gearing.
In fact, I did the entire ride in the 39/14,
Except late in the ride when I tried to lead IvaHawk to rejoin Snapper,
Who had gotten ahead because of interactions with traffic at two stop-signs.

Must mention that on the Kemp Rd climb referenced above,
Snapper dropped his chain, but
Used the old chain-guide trick to get the chain back on the appropriate chain ring.

IvaHawk was behind Snapper when the latter dropped his chain.
IvaHawk ended up calmly coasting off the road surface and onto the verge to avoid hitting Snapper.

Thereafter, Snapper's derailleurs did not work properly and  he could not shift as desired.
Mostly it seemed that, on Carpenter Pond Rd (after Virgil Rd), he could not soft-pedal in an easy gear.

Anyway, perhaps helped by the stop-light at NC-50,
We completed the catch of Snapper, and
We all finished together.

Snapper immediately headed for home as he had an appointment to visit his dad.
IvaHawk and I returned to his car, parked at PUE.
Once there, we chatted for 24 minutes while IvaHawk put his bike in the back end of his car.
Then IvaHawk drove the approx 3 miles to his house, and
I rode 6.7-miles back to my "sleep headquarters."

I was / am happy with my effort(s) on the day:
22-minutes to cover the 5.6-mile pre-ride commute.
1h40 in-motion, 1h42 elapsed, for the 24.9-mile "ride proper."
27-minutes to cover the 6.7-mile post-ride commute.
[The safer mid-day post-ride commute is longer than the morning commute route.]

Btw, one of the not Range Road Rover options that was discussed in the couple days before the ride,
Was to do either the "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" or the "Bahama Beach" perm-pop.
Because IvaHawk is RUSA #7702.
Snapper is RUSA #11802.
And I am RUSA #6218.

Friday, December 21, 2018

2018 Year-End NC Rando Trivia

Posting here (in addition to the NC-rando-list-serve and the NC Rando Facbook group, so that I can easily find the questions when I might want to.

In the absence of an organized year-end party / gathering -- I'm not counting the WNC Winter Solstice brevet/perm/whichever, 'cuz certainly none of the Asheville crew would claim that ride is an organized party, would they -- some NC trivia nuggets from 2018 (or prior). "No fair" answering the question if your name is the answer. 

 1.  What NC RUSA member attained RUSA "Mondial" status in 2018? 

 2.  "Everyone" knows that Dean got the equivalent of at least one K-Hound on his "Get 'er Dunn" populaire (…/get-er-dunn-and-done-an… ), but what other Perm route(s) did Dean get the equivalent of at least one K-Hound? 

 3.  What other NC RUSA member(s), active or retired, also got the equivalent of at least one K-Hound on one of Dean's routes. (There are two answers to this one.) 

 4.  What two NC RUSA members are on track to K-Hound this year? And how many times will they have attained K-Hound? 

 5.  Who was the first NC RUSA member to K-Hound? 

 6.  Which NC RUSA member has attained K-Hound the most times? 

 7.  In addition to Dean and the answer to one of the above questions, who else among NC RUSA members, has ridden a particular perm-pop at least 100 times? Give the route and the person's name. 

 8.  No NC RUSA member has ridden any 200+ km Perm route at least 100 times. But who has ridden a particular NC Perm the most time? Name the person and the route. 

 9.  Although we miscounted on Dean's 100th "Get 'er Dunn," he did get WAY more than 100 rides in on his favorite perm-pop. Which of the following is closest to the number of times that Dean did ride "Get 'er Dunn" -- (a) 150 times, (b) 250 times, (c) 350 times? 

Btw, no matter how many times Dean had ridden G'eD, no matter how many times I had ridden that route, Dean always had new things to point out. That always improved the experience. 

10.  Oh, one more thing: how many really bad puns did Dean average per "Get 'er Dunn" ride? 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Five Perms - May to July

My 200+ km Perms since my pre-ride of the Raleigh Region 300.

My 300 pre-ride on April 22nd had gone as anticipated,
Maybe even as I had planned.
If I planned such rides.

The high temperature the day of the pre-ride was in the 70 to 75 F range.
In other words, not hot, but not chilly, either.

If I recall correctly, the temperatures the day of brevet-proper were not so moderate.
Some of the riders looked a little bit worse for wear from the heat that day.
But, I digress. 

Although I had gone five months between my previous 200+ km ride and the 300 pre-ride,
I've been more focused, or interested or whatever, since the 300.
As noted in the post regarding the 300, I did not do the local 400.
Nor did I do the local 600.
I have, however been doing one or two 200+ perms every month.
Each was hot to very hot conditions, but each ride had felt fine, more-or-less.

May-02:  Road to Hicksboro

My recollection is that the early Wednesday morning temps were roughly 40F.
Why else did we wear jackets and long sleeves and knee or leg warmers.
Leastways, I recall "de-clothing" at the first intermediate control,
Underwood Grocery, approx 33.2-miles into the route,
But have no photographic proof.

Bob and I had started the ride at 0700
[At least I think it was an 0700 start, and 
Evidence from the Timberlake control is consistent with an 0700 start].
We had found the 4-miles on Red Mill Rd (miles 14.8 to 18.7 of the route)
To be busier than we would have liked.
[Why that was a surprise is beyond me. 
After all, I have not allowed an 0600 weekday start of my Bahama Beach PermPop, 
Which shares the same first 18.7-miles with the Hicksboro route, 
Since mid-2014.]

The cycling, after getting off Red Mill Rd, lasting all the way to the second intermediate control
At Timberlake, was a non-eventful enjoyable eventful.
Strange to describe that section of the route in that way
Since much of the most interesting part of the Hicksboro route is in those miles.
NC-Bob, RUSA #5843, sitting on the new bench at the suggested Timberlake control.  [The time-stamp on this photo is 11:02 am, suggesting that we had covered the first 46.1-miles in 4 hours.  That's not fast, but is quick enough for middle-to-back-of-the-pack riders.] 
The typical lunch stop on the Hicksboro route is in Stovall, 76.4-miles into the route.
Actually, Stovall is the only place to grab lunch on the route,
Esp. if doing the route in the standard clock-wise direction.

By the time we reached Stovall, it was starting to hot-up noticeably.
Lunch in the gazebo in the center of Stovall provided a chance for some recovery.
I recall having to force myself to get going again.
(Bob did not seem to be in stress while in Stovall; he waited patiently for me.)

It's a short, but sometimes (often) tough, 13-miles from Stovall to the next store control near Dabney.
We arrived at Dabney after 2 pm.
I still thought, rather unfoundedly, that we might finish by 5:30 pm for a 10h30 elapsed time.

However, the heat continued to build, reaching into the lower or middle 80's F
Before we got to Grissom, some 12.5-miles (20-kms) from the finish.

If I recall correctly, we took quite a bit of time at the extra stop at/in Grissom.
I was feeling the heat and was a bit tired.
More interestingly, Bob was also feeling the heat, and was also a bit tired.
[This ride may have been Bob's first 200-km of the year with heat; 
It certainly was my first 200+ km ride of the year with heat.] 

We got back on our steeds for the final push through the late afternoon heat to the finish,
Which we reached at 6:18 pm for an elapsed time of 11h18.
(The in-motion time for the 205-kms was 9h10 -- meaning we'd had 2+ hours of stoppage time.)

May-05Egypt Mtn

Harvey, RUSA #11802, occasionally indicates he wants to get an R-12.
I keep telling him that R-rides don't just happen,
That they have to become part of the Family Schedule.
[So far, R-rides making the Family Schedule has not occurred in Harvey's World.]

Harv wanted to get in a 200+ km ride in May.
The available date was the first Saturday in May.
I figured I could "double-up,"
Which in this case meant two 200's, three days apart.
[A far cry from when I would do consecutive day 200's, 
And/or three consecutive days doing 200's.]

After all, just half a month earlier, I had done that 300 pre-ride on no training, and
After my legs had stopped hurting,
I had found that I was stronger riding upslope.
Maybe that was just a mental impression, but
A large part of randonneuring is mental, right?

Harv had done the Hicksboro route, but had not done the Egypt Mtn route.
Because of that, I had arranged the Wednesday Hicksboro ride with Bob,
Followed by the Saturday Egypt Mtn ride with Harvey.

I recall not-much-to-nothing from the first half of the ride.
I seem to have a very slight recollection of mentioning the bench at the Epsom store,
And some of its "rando history," including Robert's Breakfast of Champions and
The first ride after February 20, 2016,
When local Ken inquired if we had heard about 4 cyclists that had been hit. 
I'm also confident that I carefully pointed out the Info Control at/in Drewry, and
Then reminded Harvey that he had once done a triathlon that went through Drewry. 
I probably also mentioned that the 10-miles from Drewry to Warrenton
Is my favorite section of the Perm route.

We did lunch in Warrenton, probably at the Subway, but I don't recall for-sure.

The morning ride to Warrenton had gone pretty well.
But the afternoon started getting hot.
I don't recall if Harvey had any issues with the heat,
But I certainly did,
And our pace slowed significantly.

I'm positive that I got Harvey to stop for a photo at the Egypt Mtn Farm sign.
But I cannot find said photo.
Oh, well, there are plenty of "Egypt Mtn Farm sign" photos in previous blog reports.  

Similar to three days earlier, Harvey and I took an extra break at Grissom.
A long break.
Then rode the final 20-kms through the afternoon heat,
Finishing the 210-kms in an elapsed time of 11h43.
(The in-motion time for the perm was 9h15 -- meaning we'd had nearly 2.5 hours of stoppage time.) 

Jun-16:  Triple-L 205

[The above was written, er, typed in August. 
It is now mid-November as I pick up the story again.]

This made the 18th official completion for RUSA credit that I did this course, but
I hadn't ridden L-L-L since March 3, 2014.

[I DNF'd the first two times I attempted this course in 2010. 
Once I rode just for fun as I had not contacted route-owner Byron for paperwork, etc..]

[I also once rode Triple-L three times in eleven days (Oct 16-26, 2011), with
A non-rando 100k and two other Perms in between.
Uh-oh, out-dated humble-brag there.] 
This route is the 200+ km Perm that starts closest to my residence:
  • 2.9-miles;
  • by comparison, my Bay Leaf routes starts 5.6-miles from "sleep quarters." 

Bob #5843, Harvey #11802, and I started on time (at least that is what I suppose five months later).
I recall NOTHING from the first 40-ish miles to the second intermediate control at Timberlake.
What difference does it make?

Harvey had never done this Perm route,
Although he had ridden many of the roads to get to Mt. Tirzah on non-rando rides.

The net decline to get to the control just west of Timberlake was new to Harvey.
The Triple-L suggested Timberlake control is the same as the Hicksboro suggested control.
While the three of were sitting on the bench at the c-store / gas station (see above photo),
Harvey indicated that he would be turning around at that point
Because his daughter and wife had "Father's Day weekend" plans he needed to attend.
I replied that I had wondered how he had managed to get away on Father's Day Saturday.
Harvey indicated that he had forgotten that Sunday was Father's Day
When he agreed to ride with us.
No comment.

Harvey headed back toward Raleigh as Bob and I headed toward Leasburg.

I don't recall much from the rest of the ride,
Except that the temperature did increase during the day,
And Bob and I took long breaks at the controls.
And as the ride continued on, I had increasing difficulty keeping up a decent pace.
You know the next line:
Bob just pedaled on as if there was no heat, no humidity, no repeat climbing.
(Well, maybe the heat and humidity affected him some.)

We finished the ride in 11h26.
Ugh -- I've got to get back in cycling shape!
We chatted a bit at the finish;
And then I "zipped" home, taking only one more minute than the pre-ride commute had taken.

Jun-30:  Badgett Sisters Parkway 208

Originally, the plan was to do the "3-Lake-300," but
The forecast HEAT caused Geof #5350, Tim #6016, Rick #6985, and me
To back-down to just doing a "200."

I threw me leg over at approx 0430 to ride to the start.
I had figured out a direct and mostly flat 13.6-mile route to get to the start.
It was great riding along in the dark and QUIET and warm.
Pedaling along with no effort 'cuz I might need all my energy later
To combat the repeat climbs of the middle third of the Perm course
And to deal with the forecast heat.
58 wonderfully quiet minutes after starting, I arrived at the start, and
Made use of a table outside the Subway.

Tim and Geof arrived from Wilson; it had taken them about an hour to drive to the start.
Rick arrived from Wilmington; it had taken him about two-and-a-half hours for his drive.

We started on time.
Rick, on his CruzBike was off our front almost immediately.
Tim and Geof and I stayed together, maintaining a rational pace.
Rational for out-of-shape riders; rational for riders used to the flat stuff down east.

The first intermediate control is approx 44-miles into the route, at Corbett, See map-link above.
Corbett was our first stop on the day since we wanted to get in as much as possible early in the day. 
Tim, Geof, and I had gotten spread out during the last few miles to Corbett, but
We were still riding together, using the long-bunjee-cord def'n of rando "together."
We enjoyed the cool, air conditioned temps inside the Corbett control.
For quite a bit of time.

The twenty-plus miles from Corbett to Yanceyville are quite lumpy, and
Several of the climbs get pretty steep in parts.
Also, from Corbett until the route crosses NC-62, there is not much shade.
Steep climbs, rising temps, and oppressive humidity are a wicked threesome.

The Badgett Sisters Parkway is the original NC-62 into Yanceyville.
Built in a time when roads were constructed to caress the terrain, not demolish them.
Modern NC-62 into Yanceyville is straight.
Straight up and down engineered grades; grades that are steeper than "old-62."
"Old-62," Badgett Sisters Parkway, curves back and forth while rising up and down.
The grades are more reasonable than the roads between Corbett and Fitch (see map).
And, very important, most of the distance on BSP is nicely shaded.  Outbound, that is.

We encountered Gilbert of North Road Cyclery and other fame on the Badgett Sisters.
He was riding out to meet us.
Somehow, although I was a quarter-mile ahead when I spotted Gilbert,
I ended up a quarter-mile behind Tim and Geof and Gilbert on the ride up into Yanceyville.
[Oh, thinking about it, I recall how that happened; but I'm not going to type it.  
Ask me; I might recall how it came to pass.]
We also passed the once aforementioned Rick while we on the last climb into Yanceyville.
[Is that how I ended up behind Tim and Geof and Gilbert? 
It may have contributed.]  

Yanceyville is an "open control," and Gilbert lead us to a spot just east of town
That is NOT a chain burger or deli shop.
The food and drink were great.
I think I'll be using that establishment when next I ride this route,
Or when I next do the longer version.
[However, that local shop, east of town, is a bit out of the way for a control on the 300k perm, 
So I figure I'll use one of the chain joints when I finally get around to riding my 300.
Note:  others have ridden the 300; I've ridden the roads of the 300, but not as a single ride.]

We took quite a while over lunch.
Enjoying the air conditioned cool and our food and drink
While listening to Gilbert reminisce about younger days racing in HEAT.
[Listening to stories about younger racing days on chilly days might have been more nicer. 
Attrocious (sp?) grammar the previous, but ... .]

We finally remounted and started to retrace our route back toward northeast Durham.
I got a quarter-mile or more ahead even before reaching the center of Yanceyville
While Tim and Geof continued riding / chatting with Gilbert.
I paused, under a shade tree,  just before descending the first bit of the Badgett Sisters, but
Upon seeing that Tim and Geof were still well back,
I pushed off to deal with the Sisters at my own pace.
And discovered, much to my dismay, that a funny thing had happened while we lunched:
The previous well-shaded Badgett Sisters was now almost entirely shade-free!

My lead over Tim and Geof continued to build, and Geof soon dropped Tim of his front wheel,
As each of us took the repeat climbs of the Badgett Sisters, etc. at their own pace.

I was looking for some shade at a logical place to pause and regroup, but
There was nothing until about the 77-mile mark (some 12 or so miles from Yanceyville!).
I waited.
Along came Tim who did not pause so I followed Tim.
I may have re-caught Tim, or not, but I recall that Tim was ahead of me
The entire distance on Gunn Poole Rd (see map, not flat).

Corbett is NOT the intermediate control on the return leg, but we stopped there.
To wait for Geof, but more so to again partake of the indoor air conditioning.
Geof arrived after Tim and I were ensconced in our respective chairs.
We must have been at the Corbett non-control for 30 minutes.

After Corbett, the route is not nearly so lumpy, and I recall that Tim was ahead of me.
But Geof was probably behind.  I could be wrong on that.
Tim was inside the Underwood Grocery control when I arrived.
Not sure of Geof's whereabouts.

We took a long time at the Underwood Grocery control.
I recall that each of us slowly enjoyed an ice cream treat.
Then we headed out for the final 25-miles.

Tim well out front, then Geof (for awhile), then me.
I recall that I had some slight mechanical issue leaving Underwood Grocery.
Thankfully, a car or two slowed down as I tried to coast onto the roadway.
I don't recall the actual "mechanical" issue -- it may have been a leg cramp, but
I got it sorted out and did not have a repeat of the problem.

Late in the ride, Tim will up the road, Geof found some energy,
And he may have finished moments before I did.
Or maybe, me being more familiar with the lay of the land and workings of the roads and stop-lights,
I may have lead Geof into the finish.

Anyway, Tim and Geof and I each were credited with a 12h40 elapsed ride time.
My in-motion time was 9h37.  Three hours off the bike, mostly to get out of the heat.
Rick, you're wondering, was credited with a 9h51 elapsed ride time.
We had apparently taken roughly 3-hours more than Rick for lunch and the return ride.
Rick must have been in shape.
Or maybe it was that damn CruzBike!
[To ensure that no one takes that the wrong way: 
I count Jim and Maria Parker, owners, inventors, etc. of CruzBike as friends. 
I wouldn't make a fun pejorative comment if they were not.]

Jul-14:  OakElmOak 209

Another adventure in the heat?
Maybe it was, but what I recall most is this:
  • the final 3-mles or so outbound to Elm City had been recently chip-sealed with WAY too much loose gravel, 
  • I had a flat tyre midway that loose stuff (and I thought changing the tyre in the shade would be a good idea, but that meant NO BREEZE to keep the mosquitoes away -- after finally completing the tyre change and stepping back to the edge of the roadway, there was a slight cooling breeze.  Ugh! 
  • btw, the flat was because my rear tyre was down to just threads, no "rubber," in some places!  Better to get a flat tyre on a FLAT road than while screaming downhill! 
  • Trying to convince Bob #5843 and Daniel #11331 that riding north out of Elm City and then cutting west on whatever road we came across was a better plan than retracing the loose gravel chip-seal road.  The exchange went something like this: 
As we prepared to leave the turn-around control, I suggested we take a "safety detour" by riding straight north until we found a road headed west, and then continue heading west until we got to highway NC-58.  

Bob:  "how far until we get to such a road?"

Me:  "I dunno.  But at worst, there is a road to the west that intersects that road that we're looking at right there at US-301; if we don't find an earlier option, we'll use that road."

Bob and Daniel:  "How far is that?"

Me"  "I dunno."

Incredulous looks from Bob and Daniel.  Bob asks, "what is that name of the road?"

Me:  "Hell if I know!"  More incredulous looks.  

Bob:  "Maybe we can verify using Daniel's Garmin." 

Me:  "Okay."

Opinion:  Daniel's Garmin:  a useless piece of cra, er, junk.

Finally, after wasting perhaps 5 minutes not getting any signal or useful information from that Garmin, I said, "I'm going that way; you guys do what you want." 
  • Daniel was immediately off the back, again.  We waited a couple times; basically to make sure that he got back to the cue-sheeted course.  Then we rode on, no longer stopping to wait.  
  • Bob texted Daniel to let him know where we had stopped for lunch in Spring Hope.  Bob and I were at that location for at least 40 minutes.  No Daniel. 
  • Bob and I continued our ride, figuring that we would eventually catch Daniel. 
  • We reached the McD's that we were using for the "open control" start / finish.  Still no Daniel.  
  • Daniel showed up about an hour after Bob and I had finished.  We waited so I could collect his card and verify successful completion of Daniel's appointed round.  In the back of our minds was also the possibility of needing to make a rescue drive. 

12h32 elapsed time for Bob and me.
My in-motion time:  9h32.

13h30 elapsed time for Daniel.
(Max allowed time for 209-kms is 13h56.)

My next 200+ km adventure was the pre-ride of the Raleigh Region Picnic Brevet.
But that is going into a new post.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Apr-22: Pre-Ride of Apr-28 Raleigh Region 300

To the best of my recollection -- I suppose I could examine official records, or even my Excel log, to confirm, but I'm not going to do that -- this marked the third time I undertook a pre-ride of this 300.

I've also ridden this course on the day of Brevet-proper several times:
  • 2010.  (My first year of randonneuring.)   
  • 2011.  
  • 2013.  

And last year, 2017, I was DNF on this course / brevet.
  • That DNF "report" is extremely short. 
  • I'll add some useful information: 
  • As I approached the Seagrove turn-around, I could no longer keep up with the guys with whom I was riding, and looking at the clock, and figuring that I would probably be able to complete the course before 3 am Sunday, but not much before, and recognizing that I'd likely get back home around 4 am, combined with needing to be at work at 6 am Sunday, I concluded that finishing the ride in 2017 was not the wise choice.  (And when I announced that at the turn-around, I learned that my friend Harvey had already called for a rescue ride.  That made no sense to me until I learned that one of his shoes had completely fallen apart, and attempts to put it back together with duct-tape had failed -- oh, my!) 

Commute Ride to the Start

My plan for the entire brevet, morning bike ride commute and the post-brevet evening late night oh-dark-thirty early morning bike ride commute, was to soft pedal everything.  No energy on any pedal stroke, esp. no "attacking" any climb.

I set off for the almost 20-mile ride from the north side of Raleigh to the brevet start in Morrisville (which is on the southwest side of Raleigh) a few minutes later than I intended, but I would still likely arrive at the start on-time or maybe a few minutes late.  Soft pedaling the mostly flat commute route, except that Lassiter Mill Rd dives down to one of the creeks that criss-cross town, and at the bottom of that valley, the road changes name to St. Mary's Rd which becomes flattish after first climbing the other side of that creek valley.  The climb on St. Mary's is not trivial, but is easier than climbing the Lassiter Mill side (which I would have to do on the post-brevet commute ride).   

[Often when climbing the St. Mary's Rd side, which is an easier climb than the Lassiter Mill side, I recall a recreational ride that RUSA #5519 and I did a few years before either of us started this rando madness when we rode the greenway and then climbed St. Mary's -- what / where we rode after that climb that day I cannot recall:  the memory of that St. Mary's climb is a good memory, but also a bit sad because #5519 put at least two minutes into me on that climb -- I'm sure many local randos and non-rando cyclists have similar memories.  Anyway, I'm not sure if I get courage or the opposite from that memory; maybe I assure myself that "it could be worse".]  

After getting to the top of the St. Mary's climb, I zig-zag on Glenwood Ave to stay on St. Mary's to Colonial, which is only one block long and connects St. Mary's to Oberlin Drive at their closest point.  Just after turning onto Oberlin, uh-oh, lots of flashing lights just ahead   Electric utility crew were dealing with a line-down situation; a Raleigh police squad car was blocking the roadway.  I confirmed with the officer sitting in the squad car that a line was down and the road was closed.  She didn't insist / demand that I not ride further along, but did highly recommend that I not.

I returned to Colonial and then St. Mary's, hoping that I could take Craig Street (Drive, Road, whatever it is) a further one or two hundred yards along the road; Craig is about one-and-a-half blocks long where it connects St. Mary's to Oberlin.  Upon reaching the St. Mary's / Craig corner, I looked up toward Oberlin and saw that unfortunately the utility crew(s) were parked at the Craig / Oberlin corner.  I would have to continue my detour along St. Mary's. 

Just a few pedal strokes later, I recalled that there wasn't another direct connection until I would get to nearly Peace Street, about a mile from where I was.  And at that point, St. Mary's and Oberlin would be nearly a mile apart.  Seems weird to someone that grew up in an area where roads were laid out in compliance with the Northwest Territories Acts of 1785 and 1787 that "parallel" roads could go from almost touching to being nearly a mile apart that quickly, but that is the case.

Despite what is described just above, I figured that there ought to be a sinuous way through the neighborhood(s) between St. Mary's and Oberlin.  The slightly shortened end to this anecdote is this:  there is no road/street-way thru those neighborhoods, but there is a LOT of steep up and down; not long steep inclines, but steep just the same, and I was wanting to just soft-pedal everything.  Sigh.  ...  I found what seemed a promising street heading to the west (toward Oberlin, but that street, which had obviously once gone thru, was blocked by two or three large large boulders, not huge ones, but large enough to block any vehicle from trying what I did with my bike.

Beyond the boulders was a fence and then a STEEP incline (no road, just weeds) that was obviously man-made.  Above the STEEP, there appeared to be an open space.  I was convinced that Oberlin Rd would be on the other side of that clearing.  So, I lifted the bike over the boulder(s), shimmied myself over or around the boulder(s), then lifted the bike over the short fence and slow motion scissored myself over the fence; then I hefted the bike onto my shoulder and scaled the STEEP.  [I have wished that I had taken a photo, but I was losing time on getting to Morrisville, and stopping to take a photo was not going to help me get to Morrisville.]  The open field at the top of the STEEP was a man-made very level lot, covered with weeds and vines that tried to trap my feet.  I carried the bike across the lot to the road on the other side:  it was not Oberlin Rd.  Sigh.  ...  However, I quickly figured out how to continue my ride toward Cameron Village and then on toward NC State University and then the NC State Fairgrounds, heading toward Cary and Morrisville.

Somewhere after passing through most of Cary, I pulled over to call RBA Alan to let him know I would be about 10 minutes or bit more late arriving for the scheduled start of the pre-ride.  Alan responded that that was okay as the other two pre-riders (RUSA #1609 and #1484, except Alan used their names, but I'm leaving that detective work to the readers) were going to be at least 15 minutes late.  That was the first I heard that others were pre-riding.  However, that made no difference to me because I knew I would not be able to keep up with the two others and had no intention of doing so.

Finally, I zoomed down the decline on NC-54 from Cary to Morrisville, and then to Alan's house, which is where the pre-ride was starting from (the proper starts of the scheduled brevets are about a quarter mile from Alan's; starting from Alan's would add that insignificant distance to the brevet).  Number 1609 and 1484 were already at Alan's when I arrived, but they appeared to still be putting the final touches on getting their bikes, kit, and themselves ready for the ride.  I didn't check my watch when we left, but #1484 indicated in his blog report that we started nearly 30 minutes late -- I'll accept that estimate as fact.

The Brevet (and post-brevet commute)

Before we started riding, Mike asked if I was riding the brevet with them.  I guffawed and said that I would be dropping them off my front wheel at the first reasonable opportunity.

Luckily for me, the Cap'n did all the work leading in the early miles, and I mostly followed behind him and Mike.  One slightly humorous moment:  about 4-miles into the route, as the Cap'n started to prepare to make a left turn onto NC-55, Mike and I each corrected John, "we're going straight across."  The Cap'n commented that Alan needed to change the RWGPS route link on his website.  I responded, "... [Alan] didn't tell his map-maker guy about the route change until about 20 minutes ago."  That appeared to slightly amuse the Cap'n and was taken as an acceptable reason why the RWGPS had not been updated for 2018.

Anyway, as I was typing, luckily the Cap'n set a pace that was good for me, around 15-mph, from the start until the bottom of the Jack Bennett climb, approx 17 miles into the route.  I stuck with the other two until that climb, and then slowly dropped them off my front wheel.  They were still within eyesight when they turned onto US-15/501, about 50 seconds before I got to that intersection.  I had to wait a bit for traffic and/or the stop-light, and I was about 75 seconds behind when the other two turned off US-15/501 a short mile later.  The distance / time between them and me slowly increased on the rollers of Parker Herndon and Hamlet Chapel / Jones Ferry roads.  Further good luck for me, I caught my last glimpse of the other two somewhere on Jones Ferry Rd, and I was glad that by the time I got to "Frosty's" that they were out of sight; lucky for me because if I couldn't see them, there would be no chance that I would be tempted to try to chase across the divide to them.  In other words, before I reached the 30-mile mark there were no longer any temptations to possibly violate my soft-pedal all the time / put no energy into any single pedal stroke plan for riding the brevet.

I should have noted prior to this that I was decidedly not in shape to ride a 300 with any kind of panache.  I actually wasn't in shape to be doing a 300, period.  I had only done nine, count 'em, nine, bike rides since November 18th, the longest of which was only 104-miles.  Nine rides in five months totalling only 693-miles.  Um, yeah, I had no business riding a 300 km brevet.  

Except that I knew the course like the back of my hand.  I knew the friendly places and the tough climbs.  I was completely at mental peace with what I needed to do complete the ride.  It turned out I would never consult the cue sheet (even though, as insurance, I did carry a cue sheet with me). 

I'm typing this and the above on July 29th -- three and a half months after the ride I'm supposedly documenting.  I didn't realize just how little riding I had done prior to this 300 pre-ride.  Good grief!  No wonder it took more than three days for my legs to stop aching.

Anyway, I now recall almost no details from the brevet.  I am quite confident that I didn't recall any details even the day after completing the brevet (nor even as the ride occurred).  Things I do recall:
  • crossing paths with the Cap'n and Mike some 8 to 12 miles before I got to the turn-around in Seagrove, 
  • taking a LONG, calm time to eat "lunch" at the Seagrove control, 
  • the c'store crew at Snow Camp was in shutting-'er-down mode almost as soon as I reached that penultimate control, and 
  • leaving Snow Camp later than I've ever left that control on the 300 course, heading into the gathering darkness (or was it already completely dark?). 

Lest a reader think that I was riding way-out-there with no rescue plan, well, I didn't have a rescue plan.  Having one might have been a sign that I thought I might fail, and I had no intention of failing.  And after all, when used to go on the BikeForums (dot) net Rando, etc. sub-forum (no comments from people that I didn't use the correct Latin term), I used to post / comment "don't TRY to do the brevet, just do it," so having a bail-out plan might have seemed hypocritical.

However, I'm not a complete idiot:  I did keep several people informed of my progress through the brevet.  I sent texts at each control indicating where I was, when I had gotten there, how long it had taken in-motion between controls -- the latter for myself since I record in-motion and elapsed in my Excel ride log (though I'm not rigorous on the elapsed time in my Excel log -- after all, the RUSA website shows the total elapsed time for each rando rodeo).  So, here is a summary of the controls, distances, times-in-motion, and avg in-motion pace between each control (note that the distances are taken from the official cue sheet, except the commute segments are obviously not):

 Segment  Miles
 commute to Morrisville 20.7 1.30
to Frosty's 29.1 1.60
to Snow Camp 21.3 1.42
to Siler City 12.0 0.58
to Seagrove 31.9 2.39
to Siler City 31.7 2.37
to Snow Camp 12.0 0.55
to Finish 51.1 4.27
commute back "home" 19.7 1.56

As can be seen in the chart above, except for the early section of the brevet ("to Frosty's") when I was mostly following the Cap'n for the first 17+ generally downslope miles to Jordan Lake, I basically averaged 12 to 13 mph while in-motion all day (and night).  I obviously started getting tired late in the brevet, averaging 11.5-mph for the last 51-miles of the brevet -- or maybe that was just the usual slowing when riding in darkness.  The "commute back 'home'" was just a matter of keeping the pedals going around.  [One thing I noticed on that post-ride commute is this:  there was not a single outdoors soda vending machine anywhere along the route.  There used to be gas stations and even a grocery store or two that had outdoor soda vending machines.  I'm thinking that an era has passed.]

I mentioned the climb on Lassiter Mill Rd in the pre-brevet commute:  Lassiter Mill was a RAPID decline on the pre-brevet commute; it was (as always) a tough climb on the post-brevet commute.  I may have walked up part of that incline -- better to walk at 2-mph than ride at 3-mph-and-fall-over.  

I had left my residence at approx 5:30 am Sunday morning.  I got home at 3:40 am Monday.  I went in to work as scheduled at 3:00 pm Monday.  And as hinted above, the ache in my legs didn't stop until about 10 am Thursday.

The total 229-miles proved to me that I could do the Raleigh Region 400-km brevet which was a month after the above described 300 pre-ride.  However, as the date for the 400 approached, I didn't want to go through another three to four or more days of deep aches in my legs, and wimped out on doing the 400.


just in case I decide to add some other ride statistics later

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Apr-11: Lillington Lilliput 123

To complete our respective NC-P-12-Explorer-Challenges,
Iva and I each needed one more unique Populaire.
[Bob had completed his Explorer Challenge the previous month.]

We had two possible routes in mind:
  • DaveG's "Buckhorn Boonies" route [I had noticed a sign pointed toward Buckhorn when we had done "The Whirligig" route in March], and 
  • Deaner's "Lillington Lilliput" route.  

We chose Dean's route because we were confident that midweek traffic would be acceptable,
Whereas, even though Dave had opined that traffic would likely not be an issue,
We were unfamiliar with the traffic situation near the start/finish of the "Boonies" route.
["Lillington Lilliput" shares its start with a couple other Perms with which we are familiar.]

[Hmmn, after I type the above, it does seem that we perhaps did not adhere to the Explorer concept. 
I expect that we'll give the "Boonies" route a try on a Saturday sometime in the next year. 
I hope so. 
The schedule does sometimes get crowded. 
Heck, for nearly two years, 
I've been trying to take Crista up on an invite to come ride her 4-state-perm or 3-state-pop, 
But local rides, riding them or volunteering, combined with "life" has repeated gotten in the way.]

The following is a copy of Dean's RWGPS map of the route:
[Come to think of it, I think I may have made that map for Dean; 
Maybe I should ask him about that.]
Anyway, a RWGPS map, embedded:

We didn't take any photos.
I recall that a couple of us were struggling a bit all ride long.
More likely, it was just me that was struggling.
So taking time for photos, with the need to rewind the legs, etc. back to cycling rythum,
Was not on the agenda.

It was a bit chilly with a slight wind out of the west or northwest.
[I wanted to get the facts by referencing "weather underground," but it was so slow to load, ... .]
We spent some extra time at the turn-around control in Lillington,
Standing in the sunshine, out of the breeze, gently warming ourselves before beginning the return.
We also loitered at the indoor seating at the control in Erwin,
Probably for the gentle warming in addition to just chatting,
But it could have been that one or two of us were playing for some extra recovery time. 

Here's hoping that the I can copy in the chart of the rides we did to complete our Challenges:

Rider Name  /  Explorer-Challenge-Pop Ridden
Month Bob, #5843 Iva, #7702 Martin, #6218
Apr-2017 Ala Orange  -------------   ------------- 
May-2017 Get 'er Dunn Get 'er Dunn Get 'er Dunn
Jun-2017 Bunn Wash Caper Bunn Wash Caper Bunn Wash Caper
Jul-2017 3M Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf 3M
Aug-2017 NCBC 100 NCBC 100 NCBC 100
Sep-2017 NOB Lite NOB Lite NOB Lite
Oct-2017 7-Cs Bahama Beach 7-Cs
Nov-2017 Denny's Store Denny's Store Denny's Store
Dec-2017 Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf Ala Orange Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf
Jan-2018 Raleigh - Berea - Raleigh Raleigh - Berea - Raleigh Raleigh - Berea - Raleigh
Feb-2018 The Whirligig The Whirligig The Whirligig
Mar-2018 Taylor's Gin Taylor's Gin Taylor's Gin
Apr-2018 Lillington Lilliput Lillington Lilliput Lillington Lilliput
[It appears the chart copied in from Excel more-or-less as intended.]  
Routes not previously ridden by each respective rider are in red.
Routes shown in black were previously ridden by the rider.

I had the fewest "new to me" routes.
Iva the most -- which makes sense since Iva has many fewer RUSA rides than Bob or me.

During the thirteen months shown above, we did manage to get a few other riders to respond to advertisements of the rides:

Month other riders



Jun-2017 BWC:  Sridah

Jul-2017 3M:  Sridah

Aug-2017 Hope Springs Eternal:  Dave McD


Oct-2017 7-Cs:  Brad W



Jan-2018 RBR:  Daniel R

Feb-2018 The Whirligig:  Bridget J

Mar-2018 TG:  Bridget J


We didn't get a lot of takers, but each route was new to the rider that joined us.
[Note:  I've included McDave on the the "Hope Springs Eternal," even though HSE was not counted by any of us as one of our Explorer rides, because I want to recognize those that responded to advertising of a ride.]

Some may think that I'll stop with this Explorer-Challenge foolishness now that Bob, Iva, and I have completed one Challenge -- that would be wrong thinking.
  • I will continue to encourage advertising rides, Perm-Pops and 200+ km Perms. 
  • I will continue to encourage camaraderie rides with others not one's usual partners.  

Permanent Route Name / #DistanceDateFinishersDNF
NC: Lillington Lilliput / 20091232018/04/1130
Cert#RUSA#NameClub / ACP CodeTime
RUSA-T805087702A__, Iva CRandonneurs USA / 93309506:43
RUSA-T805095843B__, BobRandonneurs USA / 93309506:43
RUSA-T805106218S__, MartinRandonneurs USA / 93309506:43