Friday, November 13, 2020

Jul-18: In Which I Again Meet "Serendipity"

Wracking my gray matter for a title, I recalled several prior "Serendipity" blog posts, so ...  a title.
I set out a little after 8 am to do the 40-mile "TT" course I'd been riding. 
Either that, I would add side-trip down and up Coley Rd, and possibly more. 
Two Coley side-trips would make a 55-mile ride. 
Essentially the same course as on July 9th, but without the two visits to Blue Jay Point County Park. 
The opening mile on the usual sidewalks, 
Then down Honeycutt Rd to the stop-sign at Durant. 
Left onto Durant, approx 1.45-miles to Brassfield Rd. 
Right onto Brassfield and a fairly quick left onto Coachman's Way. 
Coachman's is a winding, down-and-up, rinse-repeat, shaded "main" road thru an established neighborhood. 
A pleasant ride in and of itself. 
Or possibly a chore at the end of a ride as the short but steep inclines can feel tough. 
Anyway, a peaceful way, with a couple connectors, to Norwood Rd. 
A now retired from cycling acquaintance once told me that "they" used to refer to 
One of the climbs on Norwood Rd as "Cow Mountain." 
The farmhouse of what was once a large cow/milk farm is still there. 
I know (perhaps should type "I've met") the people that live in that farmhouse. 
The wife is the daughter of the last man to run the dairy farm on those pastures. 
Those pastures are now just a collection of faux mansion housing developments, 
With an interesting passage of the creek at the bottom. 
[Lots of description above.  Maybe one day I'll snap some photos.] 
Right turn at the stop-light at Mt Vernon Ch Rd, 
Drift downslope to near Pleasant Union Elementary, 
But follow MVC to the left before reaching PUE (in order to follow the "TT" course). 
MVC drops 120+ feet in 0.7-miles, and then climbs back up to stop-light at NC-50. 
Cross NC-50 and it is another mile till MVC "T's" into Old Creedmoor Rd. 
Left onto Old Creedmoor, which becomes Carpenter Pond Rd in Durham County. 
Old Creedmoor / Carpenter Pond is not flat, but not hilly -- a good ride except during rush hours. 
I decided to ride down-and-back-up Coley Rd -- 3.65-miles each way. 
There are some places worth photographing on Coley Rd; 
There are some snaps of some of those places in previous blog posts, but 
I took no new ones on this day. 
Upon reaching the top of Coley Rd, i.e., the corner with Carpenter Pond Rd, 
I had ridden 16.1-miles in 1:12 time-in-motion (avg 13.3-mph). 
I was looking forward to the false flat decline of the rest of Carpenter Pond, 
Followed by the false flat decline of Leesville Rd, and 
Then the 1.9-mile drop on Doc Nichols Rd. 
However, after only nine-tenths of a mile, just after turning onto Leesville Rd, 
There came riding toward me a woman. 
I should note there had already been quite a few single riders, two-somes and maybe three-somes, 
None of whom did I recognize. 
Back to the solo woman riding toward me. 
It seems quite strange, but at first I did not recognize the woman. 
Then I thought, "hmmn, that 'jersey' looks exactly like one of Lynn's." 
Then, "oh, that is Lynn." 
I decided to turn around and ride with her for a bit -- if she would allow it. 
I had ridden a total of 17.0-miles in 1:15 time in-motion (avg 13.5-mph). 
I.e., I had covered the last 0.9-miles in 3-minutes (avg ~ 17.8-mph). 
Lynn, sometimes referred to as "Serendipity," realized I was coming, and slowed to wait for me. 
Turned out she had an ulterior motive:  there was an annoying clicking coming from her machine. 
I dropped in behind her to listen and look, hoping I might figure out the source of the clicking. 
Lynn led the way onto Coley, and we pulled over so I could carefully look over her drive train. 
I attempted to fiddle with the rear derailleur and cables, and we got back underway. 
No impact on the clicking. 
Down and back up Coley, chatting or expressing mutual annoyance regarding the clicking. 
We stopped again just before reaching the top of Coley (just before Carpenter Pond). 
Again fiddle with the drive train, and checked for loose spokes and what-not. 
No impact on the clicking. 
I decided to follow Lynn back toward "home." 
She turned onto the flat Harrington Grove Rd -- flat, but it does have the high elevation of the ride(s). 
Then the bike lane on Leesville Rd toward I-540, but 
Left onto Farless /  Norwood Rd before reaching the interstate. 
Norwood for a mile or so, then right onto Ray Rd. 
Ray Rd drops down and then climbs back up to Strickland Rd. 
That climb can be tough, esp. if riding it near the end of a Triple-L 205-km Perm ride. 
Lynn soared up that climb -- I struggled up. 
Left onto Strickland for 100 yards or so, then another left onto Baileywick Rd. 
Baileywick "parallels" Strickland, but 
Whereas Strickland is more-or-less flat or flattish, 
Baileywick drops 150 feet or more, crosses NC-50, and then climbs back up. 
Of course Lynn soared up that Baileywick climb. 
I "crawled" up, eventually losing track of Lynn. 
So ... I rode through the shopping center at the top of the climb, and 
Then ended up waiting / broiling in the blazing sun and heat,
Waiting to make the turn from Six Forks Rd onto Strickland for the final 1.1-mile decline to my place. 
I admit I was kinda' cursing Lynn for her routing to get "home." 
Shorter than my routing would have been. 
One less climb. 
But two of my climbs would have been shaded. 
And there would have been NO WAITING in the broiling sun and heat.  
At the time of the ride, after I posted something to Facebook, 
An acquaintance commented to the effect "the price we pay for the ride partners we choose." 
Total 36.5-miles, 2:26 time in-motion (avg 14.9-mph). 
Therefore, the last 19.5-miles were 1:11 time in-motion (avg 16.4-mph). 
Since Lynn waited or rode tiny circles in two or three places waiting for me, 
She clearly averaged faster than I did for those last ~ 20-miles. 
She still thinks she is slow (resulting from being bashed into in February-2016), 
She still complains that "everyone passes her." 
I think this 20-miles proves that her speed has increased increased significantly in recent years. 
If only I could convince her. 
It took Lynn two trips to local rando Bryon to find and fix the clicking sound. 
Locals understand Bryon's skills as many of us have benefited from his help during brevets. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Jul-09: 64+ for 64

Once a year, July 9th rolls around. 
I usually try to get in a ride on the 9th, but 
I don't always succeed. 
My "cycling lifetime" is rather short, 
The "lifetime" for which I have records is a bit shorter, as it dates back to only 2004. 
With luck, the following chart extracted from my Excel records will be readable. 
The chart shows what I've recorded for each July 9th beginning in 2004. 
2020 Jul 9 -> H'cutt-Norwood-BJP-"old'TT'course+2xColey-BJP-N'wd-Durant-H'cutt 1105, solo  --  80-90 F  --   5h28 64.9

2018 Jul 9 Raleigh - Berea - Raleigh (RBR) 109 0500, solo    --     4h54    --    temp 60F@ start, chilly 67.8
2017 Jul 9 Bahama Beach 103 (3-Hayes, 65.9-m)    --    61st birthday ride 0600, solo    --     4h45 65.9
2016 Jul 9 PUE:  Irregulars Falls Lake Loop w/ Ags, Iva, BobH    --    elapsed  2h44 38.4
2015 Jul 9   --> Oxford 104 -->   w/ LL (until Lawrence Rd inbound)    --    Oxford  4h21 77.0
2014 Jul 9   --> Oxford 104 -->   6 am start, Oxford   4h14 77.0


2011 Jul 9   --> PUE:  Long AFR --> Char Grill -->   w/  Smitty, Mallet    +    G + W, Doug + Karen, Kim 71.2
2010 Jul 9 BJP:  Coley-(DocN-Bap-view-Virgil)-(DocN-Kemp-Virgil)- 2/3 of Coley   54.1
2009 Jul 9 BJP:  Coley-DocN-Kemp-Virgil northish breeze 37.1


2006 Jul 9 home:  Crdmr, Stem, Hester Rd, Wilton, Old Frnk, Evans, Pokomoke coxis pain from < 30 m to 48 m 68.3
2005 Jul 9 PUE:  Falls Lake Loop   41.2

[Okay, the above chart was readable when drafting / typing this post, but 
is decidedly not readable once published.]  
If I blogged a ride in the above chart, there is a link to that blog report. 
Note that the blog was begun in 2009. 
[There was a time when I blogged every ride -- within hours or days of the ride. 
But then "Serendipity" indicated strongly "leave me out of your blog." 
And another indicated that they were afraid to say anything lest that make into the blog. 
On that immediately above, I can keep a secret. 
Regardless, I've typically not blogged certain rides because of "them peoples."]

[Blogger has certainly made some/many of the edit functions more difficult.  And these are supposedly improvements.] 

This July 9th, I didn't get around to riding until 11:05 am. 
Was I waiting for the heat to set in? 
That would have been stupid. 
So there must have been some other reason for the late start. 
A reason that is not being revealed here. 
The plan was to ride the downslope on Honeycutt Rd and turn left on Durant Rd. 
Then take Durant to Brassfield Rd and then use Coachman's Way, etc. thru the neighborhood. 
However, when I got to the Durant intersection, 
there were a couple cars behind me that were signalling that they were turning onto Durant, and 
there were two or three cars on Durant at the stop-sign ready to proceed my direction on Durant, and 
there was another brace of cars on Durant heading the opposite direction. 
But there was only one car on Honeycutt facing me. 
So, I decided to continue straight on Honeycutt with apparently less traffic. 
Durant is smoother and wider than Honeycutt, and has the 1.4-mile long incline 
Whereas Honeycutt has two or three climbs, each shorter than the one on Durant, but significantly steeper. 
But the thing that threw the balance to riding Honeycutt was the prospect of less car traffic. 
In case you're curious:  there was only a couple cars that passed me on the 3 addtnl miles of Honeycutt. 
Honeycutt T's into Possum Track Rd a half-mile from where the neighborhood route 
Crosses Six Forks Rd to get onto Norwood Rd proper. 
And making that left onto Possum Track, a straight quarter mile later, one is on Six Forks Rd. 
Distance until getting onto Norwood Rd proper is the same for the two options. 
Down and up on Norwood to Mt Vernon Church Rd to (near) Pleasant Union Elementary (PUE), 
Then straight onto the "flat" couple miles of Pleasant Union Ch Rd to Blue Jay Point County Park. 
Blue Jay Point County Park is the traditional start/finish of my old "TT/cadence" route
I snapped a pic of the water fountain at BJP to provide proof that the fountain was operating. 
It was 10.5-miles from my start to the water fountain. 
That allowed me to confirm my pre-ride calculations: 
  • 10.5-miles to BJP, plus 
  • 29.6-miles of the "TT/cadence" course, plus 
  • 7.3-miles, twice down and up Coley Rd -- once outbound, once inbound, plus 
  • 10.5 miles from BJP back to the start/finish location. 
  • That would give me just over 65-miles for the entire ride, and that would suffice. 
I noted that I covered the 10.5-miles to the water fountain in 45-minutes in-motion. 
Four climbs in that 10.5-miles had reduced my avg pace to only 13.8-mph. 
[Well ... the first mile had been on sidewalks, where the avg pace had only been ~ 11-mph. 
So, I had likely avg'd approx 14.2-mph after that "sidewalk mile."]
Following the "TT" course, I retraced the 2.5-miles to get back to PUE and Mt Vernon Ch Rd. 
MVC is a short mile down, followed by some steep up and then a more gentle(?) incline to NC-50. 
[My friend "Snapper" used to complain about that when Irregulars rides started from PUE.] 
After crossing NC-50, the "TT/cadence" route is flat-tish for 8-miles until Doc Nichols Rd. 
["Flat-tish" -- ha!  I grew up in a true FLAT-land, would have thought it wasn't flat-tish back then.] 
However, that 8-miles was interrupted after 5+ miles for the side-trip down and up on Coley. 
On this ride, that meant turning onto Coley Rd after riding 20.2-total-miles in 1h27 in-motion: 
Avg pace to that point therefore 13.9-mph (and the 9.7-miles from BJP avg'ing that pace). 
It took half-an-hour for me to ride the 7.3-mile round-trip on Coley. 
That suggests and avg pace of 14.6-mph for that segment, and 
The avg pace for the total 27.5-miles to that point was 14.1-mph. 
[You might be thinking that this report is all about the distances and avg pace of the ride. 
Well, that is the case. 
Because that is what I was paying attention to during the ride. 
That is, I was trying to push my pace a bit to get in better habit of going a little harder/faster.] 
On the "TT/cadence" course, it is right at 10-miles from Coley to get back to Coley Rd. 
That 10-miles includes: 
  • The false-flat slight decline on Leesville Rd, then 
  • The fun downslope 1.9-miles on Doc Nichols (in 6-minutes or slightly less), then 
  • A one-mile gentle incline on Olive Branch Rd -- gentle(?) -- sometimes not so gentle, then 
  • Half-a-mile flat section on NC-98, followed by 
  • 1.3-miles of Kemp down and UP (the UP being 100 ft in one-half mile), then 
  • 2.3-miles on the incline which is Virgil Rd, and finally 
  • The flat half-mile to get back to Coley Rd. 
  • Hmmn, I think of that 10-miles as having only 3 or 4 turns, but 
  • It is actually 6 turns. 
Depending on one's abilities and in-shapeness, 
That 10-miles can be an opportunity to improve one's avg pace, or
To lose it completely. 
When I got back to Coley Rd, my cycle confuser indicated 37.6-miles with 2h40 in-motion. 
I.e., it had taken 43-minutes to cover those 10.1-miles -- an avg pace of 13.9-mph. 
The second time down Coley was as enjoyable as the first time. 
However, on the return, at about 42-total-miles into the ride, 
I realized that the heat, etc. had gotten to me, and 
The last 22 or 23 miles were going to be a slog. 
I didn't keep track of any further intermediate mileages / time in-motion. 
I did complete the "TT" course, returning to the water fountain at BJP. 
Knowing I could refill my 2 bottles at the fountain, I consumed most of my remaining water, but 
I did pour the last few ounces onto my head and neck once I got to the fountain. 
I refilled both bottles, but only after pouring some additional water on my head, neck, and shoulders. 
The water from the fountain wasn't the best tasting water I have ever experienced. 
It wasn't very chilly water, either. 
But it was cooler than the air temperature, which was roughly 90F by then, and 
The water was wet. 
Cooler than the air temp and wet -- those were all I needed to complete the ride. 
Retracing, again, across Pleasant Union Ch Rd to Norwood Rd, then 
Down and up to get to the intersection with Six Forks Rd. 
The eastbound climb on Norwood is longer but not as steep as the westbound climb. 
My plan on reaching the stop-sign at Six Forks Rd was to cross over and 
Ride through the Coachman's Way neighborhood, which would be nicely shaded all the way. 
However, the traffic on 6-Forks was ping-ponging me. 
Car from the left -- car from the right -- car(s) from the left -- car(s) from the right. 
Rinse, repeat. 
Finally, although there was traffic coming from the right, there were no vehicles coming from the left, 
So I modified my planned route and turned right onto Six Forks Rd. 
That would give me a long mile-and-half on Six Forks to get to Durant Rd. 
Then Durant would be about 2 miles of gentle decline to the stop-sign at Honeycutt. 
[Sometimes, to keep to the "one-line" per sentence or clause, 
To maintain the "verbose Haiku," I have to replace words or phrase with less elegant choices.]
Honeycutt would be one-mile of non-trivial upslope mostly without shade, then flat, and 
Then the mile on the sidewalks. 
Somewhere during the last few miles, I decided to stop by TLC-for-Bikes
To tell Gary that I expected him to get in his 64-mile ride ten days after I got in mine. 
I did manage to do that although the shop was CROWDED with customers and bikes. 
As I left the bike shop, I ended up in conversation with someone a couple years older than me. 
He was originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, but had lived in the U.S. for 20 or more years. 
We chatted about bikes and riding them and also about soccer. 
I mentioned that I had had no interest at all in soccer until the amazing result from the 
Leicester City club when it won the 2015-16 Premier League title after 5000-1 odds. 
I forget the gentleman's name (maybe we never exchanged names), but 
I was surprised when he indicated that his club was Liverpool. 
I was expecting either Celtic or Rangers. 
Maybe Liverpool is his English PL club, and he also supports a Scotland PL club? 
My cycle confuser indicated 63.97-miles when I got the bike shop. 
So when the above-mentioned fellow asked about my prospects of getting to 64-miles on the day, 
I told him that I only had a flat one-mile on mostly sidewalks to ride, and 
I was already at 63.97-miles, so I figured I would easily make at least 64-miles. 
The fellow agreed. 
Upon reaching the end of my ride, my cycle confuser showed 64.9-miles, with 
A total in-motion time of 4h49. 
That means I covered the 27.3-miles since the beginning of the second Coley loop 
(the final 22 or so miles which were a slog) 
In 2h09, for and avg pace of 12.6-mph. 
Final / total stats on the day:  64.9miles, 4:49 in-motion, 13.5-mph avg pace. 
A very lame story, but one that I'll be sticking with. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Jul-04: Heat Training?

I didn't get around to riding until 1:30 pm -- why? -- mostly laziness. 
Temps during the ride:  91-93 F.  
Didn't check the heat index, but it was likely approx 100F, maybe more. 
Lacking a real story, I'll just describe the route. 
  • Sidewalks to Honeycutt -- which is a one-mile downslope. 
  • Left onto Durant -- which is a 1.4-mile shallow climb on smooth asphalt. 
  • Right onto Brassfield -- which qualifies as a flat nearly two miles (?). 
  • Right onto Deer Trail -- with immediate drop and then a stiff climb back up. 
[Back in the day, one of the best rando climbers did Deer Trail once, and swore off it. 
That's how steep that short climb is.]
  • Right onto Honeycutt for a flat half mile. 
  • Left onto Brassfield for a mile-and-a-half flat ride on smooth asphalt. 
  • Right on tree-shaded Coachman's Way through the neighborhood with curves and short climbs. 
  • Right onto Honeycutt (where the road surface is breaking up) to climb up to Brassfield School. 
  • Right again onto flat, smooth Brassfield, a quarter-mile past Coachman's to the stop sign. 
  • Left onto Durant, but a quick right onto Baytree Ln left on Sandhurst Rd to add nearly a mile. 
  • Right onto Durant again, now downslope one-and-a-half miles on smooth asphalt. 
  • Right onto Honeycutt, climbing one-mile. 
  • Then sidewalks back to sleep quarters. 
15.6 miles.  1:12 in-motion.  12.9 avg mph.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Jul-03: "Dragon Lite" -- shorted

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 
Rando buddy Bob and I had not ridden together since March 14th.
But with restrictions slightly eased, or were they already being re-tightened?
We decided to do an "Independence Day" ride on the 3rd.
[Bob had other commitments for the Fourth.] 

We weren't sure the 3rd would be a Holiday or not,
So we figured that we either needed to start early to beat rush-hour traffic near Raleigh,
Or wait until after the rush would be over.
Bob suggested either 0630 or 0830 -- we chose the latter.

We decided to do a ride of about 50-miles since we could do that without refueling. 
Bob left the choice of route to me, and I figured to include some roads he had never ridden.
As a result of those criteria, I came up with a "new" route:  "The Dragon Lite".
As the name implies, the route is a shortened version of "The Dragon".

A little research (mostly on this blog by searching for word "Dragon")
Revealed that I've apparently done "The Dragon" a half-dozen or more times, but
The most recent apparently was in December-2011 -- "The Dragon" a casualty of rando riding.
[Interestingly, one of the more interesting Dragon rides was done on July 3rd, 2010
I had completely forgotten that ride until I did the above referenced "research".]
[The original Dragon online map was created using "", and 
When that hobby-site more or less demised, 
A map was map made using "TrimbleOutdoors," but
Then Trimble essentially disappeared, so a third map was made using RWGPS.]  

"The Dragon" RWGPS map embed:

"The Dragon Lite" RWGPS map embed:

U can see that I sucked 11.5-miles out of "The Dragon" to make the "Lite" version.
However, RWGPS claims that the "Lite" route has 4-feet more of gross climbing!!
I'm not sure I believe that.

Okay, on to the information about this July 3rd ride.

I left my abode at 0742 to cycle-commute to the start.
8.06-miles later (including approx 30 or 35 yards extra because I missed turn),
I arrived at Pleasant Union Elementary at 0818.
Bob was already there and ready to ride, so we started at 0821.

Non-eventful drift down Mt. Verson Ch Rd and "glide" back up and
Across NC-50 to Old Creedmoor / Carpenter Pond Rd.
More non-eventful riding the rollers of Kemp Rd.

However, during the 1-mile on NC-98, something happened.
There seemed to be more pebbles in / on the shoulder of the highway, and
I managed to hit one square-on with my rear tyre and suffered an immediate pinch-flat.
Luckily, the flat occurred in front of Neal Elementary School and
There were some small trees available for use for a shady spot while I changed the tube.

The tube change went reasonably smoothly, but I did not hurry.
It may have taken as much as 15-minutes to complete the change and to inflate the new tube.

Back on the road, more completely non-eventful riding on Patterson and Cheek Roads.
Across the wide (but shallow) part of Falls Lake.
[The lake looked to be plenty full -- though I have seen it higher. 
I know I commented to those effects to Bob.]

Turn right immediately after crossing the lake and follow the logical road-path
Onto Boyce Rd which crosses Old Weaver Trail and
Becomes Will Suitt Rd when the road goes into Granville County from Durham County.

After entering Granville County, I told Bob that we would turn onto Fleming Rd
So that we would ride past Cedar Creek Pottery and
Bob would know where it was in case he ever felt like taking Retta Deane there for an outing.
[I mentioned to Bob that I used to call the routing including Fleming Rd as "Pottery Loop."]

After Fleming Rd, we were on Northside Rd which we could have taken straight to Creedmoor, but
We took "Strawberry Loop" to better define one of the Dragon's wings.
[If one zooms in on the map, see "Lyons Farm" that sells a LOT of strawberries every Spring.]

Completing "Strawberry Loop," we returned to Northside Rd to ride toward Creedmoor.
The steepest climb of the ride (that Bob and I did this day) was on Northside Rd --
About 6.4% according to RWGPS -- and I think RWGPS invariably understates the steeper inclines.

"The Dragon" actually goes up into Creedmoor, so that one might refuel there.
Since we were not wanting to stop anywhere on this ride,
"The Dragon Lite" cuts thru a housing development just south of Creedmoor-proper.

Headed south toward Falls Lake, riding easily on the rollers of Dove Road,
I realized that the day's heat was already getting to me, so
I asked Bob if he would be okay if we shorted the ride to only about 40-miles.
He indicated that doing 40 would be okay.

So ... we skipped riding the Dragon's Neck and Head,
Which is where the steepest climb of the day should have been, and
Is where Bob would have been introduced to roads he had never ridden.

Riding "straight" across Old Weaver Trail to New Light Rd, and
Then finishing on the usual Ghoston - Peed - Mt. Vernon Ch combination of roads,
We ended up with approx 40.3-miles in 3:00 in-motion.

I had originally planned to enjoy my cycle-commute to the ride proper,
Enjoy the 53-mile Dragon-Lite and also enjoy my cycle-commute back to my abode, but
I must have looked pretty decrepit since Bob offered me a ride home.
I accepted.

Pretty lousy story about a mostly non-descript ride, but I'll be sticking to it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Jun-27: Modified Denny's Store Sortie

Jun-27, modified Denny's Store Sortie  
0600, solo -- 70-88 F -- 7h51 elapsed -- V-150 #1
93.4-miles -- 7:01 in-motion

The plan was to use the "Denny's Store Sortie" 138-km perm-pop as the core for a 100-miler.  Started at 0600 from my abode (that was probably too late -- shoulda' started at 0500 or 0430).  The ride started well, but the increasing heat and headwind outbound followed by more heat and the wind shifting from NW to SW (on a hot day, it always backs around to be from the SW) made for a headwind all the way back to Raleigh.

The first 33+ miles in faux single-speed 39/15 mode, including the climb up the "Range Wall" huffing and puffing the entire way.  Just after 33-mile-mark, I reflexively shifted to the 39/14, and I decided I'd use gears the rest of the ride.

Before I got to Shoofly, approx 63-miles into the ride, I had bailed on doing a 100-miler and was instead in "survival" mode.

Although this was my Hudson Valley Randonneurs Virtual Spring Brevet V-150 #1, the way I feel right now, I think I'll count it as V-100 #6.  [Someone had an insane plan going into the weekend: 100-miler Saturday + a 200k on Sunday + another V-100 on Tuesday -- those would have meant a successful V-50 campaign, a successful V-100 campaign, and a V-SR. Hahaha -- THAT is definitely not happening.]

So, I'll finish the virtual brevet season with 10 x V-50 and 6 x V-100.  However, having cleaned out the house of my mother-in-law and separately my father-in-law, I collect VERY FEW awards (to gather dust and for someone else to have to dispose of at a future date).  In other words, I won't be filing my results nor applying for the associated bumper stickers (?).
Camp Butner was a United States Army installation in Butner, North Carolina during World War II. It was named after Army General Henry W. Butner.  Part of it was used as a POW-Camp for German prisoners of war in the United States and this site eventually became the Federal Correctional Complex, Butner.
This "prop", across the road from the previous sign for Camp Butner, sometimes used to take photos en route, usually the "Bahama Beach: perm-pop.  I think the most recent use of this location was last September when John + Ann J agreed to pose.
NC State Farm across from the Camp Butner sign.

More NC State Farm.

Looking Deep into the Creek.

NW corner of the modified route -- I didn't do the mile out and the mile back, down-and-up-and-down-and up, to the Control at the Allensville Store and back to this location.

Strange! That flag was luffing about some, and showing that the direction of the wind was becoming variable, but I'm surprised to see a "sad Flag" in this photo. 

The iconic location for photos on this route, the actual Denny's Store x roads, is just visible in the middle of that curve in the background.

This year, tobacco in that field.  Some years, cotton. Some years, essentially lying fallow with an alfalfa crop.

Berea c-store. [I unintentionally took a mirror selfie.] 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Jun-20: "Assault on Flat Rock" -- V-100 #5

V-100 #5
"Assault on Flat Rock", with pre- and post-ride commutes
72.3-miles,  5:15 in-motion,  6h08 elapsed.

Rode the core course with my Irregular and sometimes rando buddy Harvey (#11802, currently expired). Harv had recently only been riding about once a week on the greenway (same one MikeD has reported riding many times in the course of these virtual brevets), and hadn't done any hilly rides since last September or October. Therefore, he was interested in a pedestrian paced ride. I was more than fine with that -- but to get some "training effect" from the ride, I decided I'd try to stay in the 39/15 the entire ride -- including the tough climbs in the middle of the route.

I did stay in the 39/15 all day. The ride up the 1+ mile climb on Grove Hill Rd was nearly a delight, 10-12 mph on the chip-seal that was falling apart / had fallen apart while sitting and keeping the cadence up. Harvey dropped me off his front wheel -- if he were in proper shape, he would have dropped me off his back wheel.

A couple places on the Flat Rock Rd 1.4-mile climb required standing while pedaling to stay in the 39/15. Upon reaching the top of Flat Rock Rd, I told Harvey that the climbs were a lot easier than I had remembered. (Of course, as best I can recall, the last time I did the "Assault on Flat Rock" was in 2012. I guess the intervening 7 1/2 years of mostly rando rides, some with a "bit" of climbing, had re-calibrated my thinking / the perceived effort. (Prior to this ride, my blog had 17 posts tagged for the "AFR" -- I used to ride it a lot -- to get in some climbing training.))

I'll paraphrase what RUSA #12 wrote on her blog back in 2013, the last three climbs (Ghoston, Peed, Mt Vernon Church roads) are tough enough. Parts of Ghoston and Peed standing.

I rode out to the meeting place, arrived 56 minutes before Harvey wanted to start riding. and then putzed around on the flat-ish stuff near there in case anyone that hadn't committed to the ride ride showed up to start 30 minutes before the delayed start that Harv had requested the night before.

A "typical" Irregular thing before the start of the ride-proper.  Harvey realized that he had forgotten his water bottles.  So, we rode the 1.2-miles from PUE to one of the gas stations / c-store at the corner of NC-50 and Norwood Rd, where Harvey would be able to purchase a couple of chilled water bottles -- hoping for bottles with flip-top lids so that he could drink from them while riding -- unfortunately, he couldn't find flip-top bottles, so he purchased 2 bottles with screw-tops.

Many stories and memories from long-ago "AFR" rides and also more recent solo efforts were shared en route.  [One particular memory of interest was this one from January 2011.]  We may have gotten lucky in that the day was heavily overcast until our ride(s) was(were) completed.

Longest ride of the year for Harvey.
But not for me.

And only half as long as some Solstice rides I've done, but I don't worry about such stuff as that any more. Or, at least I claim that I don't.
Harv arriving at the "mid-way point" after completing the climb on Grove Hill Rd.
Looks like the storm blew the top of that tree in the lucky direction!
this photo does NOT do justice to that yard and homestead

And hoping this doesn't get me in trouble -- LL rode her first 100-miler of the year today (June-20). Solo. Reportedly entirely on the few roads that she mostly stays on because the lack of traffic fits her very reasonable phobia dating from Feb-20-2016.

Jun-18: Variations on a Theme -- V-50 #10

V-50 #10
Variations on a Theme

No plan for a route when I started.
Just ride wherever/whatever in the nearby neighborhood until the threatened rain materialized.
Gearing was in 39/14 left over from the end of my previous ride. A few miles in, while doing an early incline, I decided 14 was a bit much, so I shifted to the 15, and proceeded to do the rest of the ride in the 39/15.

Only one climb got difficult in that gearing. Deer Trail, at about the 4-mile mark of the linked route [oops, it appears that I deleted that RWGPS route -- :-( ], I was working HARD as the speed slipped to a low of 3.8-mph. After that, though, everything was much easier, although I did a LOT more standing to pedal than I usually do.

I didn't start and finish at the TLC-4-Bikes shop (as indicated in the map), but instead started and finished at my abode, approx 0.9-miles from the bike shop. I didn't bother to detour off Honeycutt Rd to ride past the shop at the start; however, I did ride up to the bike shop a mile before finishing in order to deliver a message to Gary, the shop owner / mechanic.

An interesting thing about 5 or 6 miles before the finish of the ride. I happened to look down at the gearing and discovered I was in the 50/21 -- not 39/15. I conclude that I must have automatically shifted from the 15 to the 21 unintentionally. However, I am confident that I would not have unintentionally shifted from the 39 chain ring to the 50, so I conclude I had ridden most of the ride in 50/15. That gearing would explain why the climb on Deer Trail early in the ride had been so hard.

The nice things about this ride: (1) it turned into a decent hill workout (I manually created the RWGPS the next day in order to get an estimate of the climbing), (2) my legs felt great after the 2:14 in-motion / 2h28 elapsed ride, and (3) it never did rain in the north Raleigh area on the 18th.
photo didn't turn out so well. I was trying to get the asphalt of "Bayleaf Ch Rd" where it disappears into Falls Lake and also the impossible to detect slight gap on the other side of the lake where I think the original road was located. 

It is my understanding that "Bayleaf Ch Rd" is the original routing of "Six Forks Rd" from before the Neuse River was dammed up to create Falls Lake. 

approx mile 13.6 of the RWGPS map.
another crappy photo. Taken at the bottom of Possum Track Rd. The sign on the left is the logo for the "Mountains to Sea" hiking trail. 

approx mile 18 of the RWGPS map.
This photo for Bob -- approx mile 17.4 and 18.6 on the RWGPS map.