Friday, October 18, 2019

Oct-02: Too HOT It Got 138

My original plan was "Denny's Store" at 5 am. solo.
Then, wanting to ride with IvaHawk, it became "Oxford" at 7:30, also with BobB.
However, Iva has been trying to get a roofing contractor to his place for a couple weeks,
And the contractor changed his visit from Monday to Wednesday.
No IvaHawk.
And that put paid to my plan to spend only one or two dollars during the ride (for cold drinks).

And the plan became BobB and me doing "Denny's Store" starting at 7:30.
I figured two to three dollars during the ride (for cold drinks and maybe an Oatmeal cookie). 

I had two goals on the day:
  1. complete "Denny's Store Sortie" 138-km route in under 6h30 elapsed, 
  2. get in a 100+ mile ride (including commutes to and from). 

"Half-way" through the commute ride to Bay Leaf for the ride,
I realized that I had forgotten my water bottles.
They were still in the refrigerator, water still chilling.

Not to worry.
I was on schedule to arrive at the CVS at about 7:15.
Plenty of time to get Bob's wet ink signature on the waiver
And go across the road to the gas station and find a bottle of cold water.
Got lucky on that:
Found some Deer Park bottles with re-seal-able flip-tops, on sale 2 for $2.22.
But that did put an end to the two or three dollar plan.

One issue:  the bottles were just a bit too small to fit properly in the bottle cages.
The bottle in the cage on the part of the frame beneath the saddle was fine.
But the cage on part of the frame from the bottom bracket to the headset,
Well, the bottle in that cage was pretty loose.

I had drunk a few ounces from the loose bottle,
But when hurrying, standing, pedaling quickly to make the light at NC-50,
The bottle slipped and started pouring water on my right foot and onto the ground.
I pulled over before crossing the highway and grabbed the bottle,
Thus rescuing at least a third of the water originally in that bottle.
Heavy sigh.
I closed the flip-top and put the bottle in my left jersey pocket.
[Wish I had done that first thing. 
Because it turned out that being in the pocket 
Kept the fluid chilled longer than the fluid(s) in the bottle in the cage. 
Apparently the jersey provided protection from direct sunlight?]

We arrived at the Allensville Store Control after 2:49 in-motion, 2h54 elapsed. 
The difference being roughly 3 1/2 minutes at the light at NC-98 plus
A short minute at the aforementioned NC-50 stop-light.

12 minutes at the control.
Including the clerk asking "how is your ex-wife doing?"
That clerk always asks.
She remembers Lynn from rides prior to Feb-20-2016.
[Sometimes, if certain locals are sitting on the outside bench, 
One of them might ask about "that woman that used to ride up here with you." 
However, being 10:30-ish, with the temperature rising toward the mid-90's, 
There were no locals on this day.]

Oh, because of the heat, and the increasing temperatures expected,
I got a large Gatorade (~ $2.50 with tax) instead of my usual 99-cent Arizona Tea.
On the ride to Allensville, I realized that Bob was wearing a new jersey, or at least a different one; that is, one I did not recognize.  So, at the Control, where I was close enough to "study" the jersey, I realized that, once again, Bob was wearing a PacTour jersey.  Trying to intimidate me, again?  [That's a running joke, ya' know.]  I got Bob to pose for a photo; that revealed it was a "Notorangelo Midwest Camp" jersey -- I decided to feature the shoulder pic of Susan.  Bob explained that the jersey had been one of the Richard Lawrence collection -- which jerseys Joel had parceled out after his father had died.

So, off for the Berea Open Control, 12.8-miles in an easterly direction.
It appeared we would have a tailwind -- at least until the road curved to a southeasterly direction.
By which time I figured the wind would have back around to be from the SW instead of the west.
[Turned out I was correct regarding the shift in the wind direction.
It is no great feat to forecast that wind shift to the SW. 
It happens almost every time the temperature reaches "hot" in central NC.]

En route Allensville to Berea,
Probably between the Denny's Store crossroads and Berea,
We were stopped by a flagman for some sort of road construction.
While waiting, I commented to the flagman that it was certainly getting hot out here on the asphalt.
The flagman definitely agreed, commenting that he didn't understand why
He wasn't stationed about 50 yards behind Bob and me,
Which would have been in the SHADE.

We waited for several minutes.
All the while "melting" under the unrelenting sunshine with no apparent breeze.
Finally, the flagman indicated that he couldn't legally stop us,
That we were free to continue at our own risk.
We immediately continued on our way.

It was a mile or more to the other end of the flagged section of road.
Half or two-thirds of the way across, we encountered the "pilot truck"
Followed by one, count 'em, one vehicle.
There were traveling on our side of the road.
So, we crossed over to the other side, intending to pause while the pilot went by.
However, it was clear those vehicles were going to stay on the wrong side of the road,
So we did not pause, but kept on pedaling, returning to the correct side after safely passing.

We arrived at the Berea Control at 4h04 rando elapsed time.
In other words, it was more-or-less 11:30 am.
4h04 elapsed with 3:42 total in-motion time.
I.e., it had taken 58 elapsed minutes, 53 in-motion minutes
To get from Allensville Store to Berea.

The six-and-a-half hour elapsed time goal appeared to still be easily within reach.
If, repeat IF, one didn't consider what the increasing temps might mean.

I failed to note the time when we actually left the Berea Control.
That is unusual.

It usually takes me a little less than an hour in-motion to ride from Berea to Creedmoor.
But on this day, the heat started to get to me, and I was sure I was slowing.

Approaching Creedmoor, having finished most of my two bottles of fluids,
I informed Bob that WE would be stopping at the BP in Creedmoor,
To refresh cold liquids and to sit at one of the inside tables to cool off.
I admit -- I was adamant.

We took a full 30 minutes at the BP.
And then we left for the last 15-miles.

The only thing I recall from those 15-miles is this:
Climbing Mt. Vernon Ch Rd, just a couple miles from the finish,
I noted it was now 6h58 elapsed since the start.

I commented to Bob that I had had two goals on the day:
Finish in 6h30 or less, and by cycling to and from the ride, sneak in a 100-mile ride.
"It is now 28 minutes beyond the time goal, and
Are you willing to give me a lift home?"

Bob chuckled and agreed.
Total 7h09 elapse, 6:05 in-motion.
I.e., 2:23 in-motion from Berea to Creedmoor.

If I hadn't needed that extra 30 minutes in Creedmoor,
We would have finished in just over six-and-a-half hours.
But if we hadn't taken that 30-minutes in Creedmoor,
The ride time from Creedmoor to the finish would likely have been significantly more.

2019/10/02 finishers=2 DNF=0
RUSA-T93021 5843 B_, Bob Randonneurs USA / 933095 7:09
RUSA-T93022 6218 S_, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095 7:09

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Sep-27: RBR 109, Again

The only real reason for blogging this ride is that when I completed it,
It was my second fastest in-motion ride of the year.
[As I type this on Oct 15th, it is still my second fastest in-motion ride of the year.]

Further, it made my four fastest rides of the year concentrated in the 14 days of
Sep-13 through this ride on Sep-27.
Evidence that if I actually get off my duff and ride semi-regularly
That I do get in shape (or is it mental condition) to go faster?

2:11 in-motion within 2h12 elapsed to the turn-around control in Berea.
Seven minutes at the control -- no photo in Berea.
2:11 in-motion in 2h17 elapsed on the return.
The down-time being because I stopped in Creedmoor to take a photo.
Without my magnifiers / readers, it is difficult to see exactly what is in the camera's view.  Clearly this is lopsided and I missed some of the front of the restaurant.  Interestingly, while off the roadway, putting the phone back in its ziplock and then into the (hopefully) secure place on me or the bike while I'm riding, some jerk walked by and insulted me.  I'm not sure what he said, but the tone was quite ugly.

Total 4:22 in-motion in 4h36 elapsed for the 68.1-mile ride.
Avg pace in-motion  =  15.6-mph.
Pleased, I was.  And am.

11th RBR so far this year.
If I had been "serious" about pursuing any km-accumulation goal,
I probably would have ridden RBR about 30 times by this time of the year -- maybe even more.

11 RBR rides so far this year, with an average elapsed time of 5h04.
Last year I completed 11 RBR rides with an average elapsed time of 5h04.
Total 28 career RBR rides for an average elapsed time of 5h05.

As I indicated at the start, the only reason for blogging this ride
Was to put into print my second fastest in-motion ride of the year (so far).
Also to note that my 4 fastest in-motion rides of the year are in the two weeks ending with this ride.

Lame story, but I'll be sticking to it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Sep-25: Oxford 104

Today, I intended to do "Denny's Store," but after a comedy of errors, I did the "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" 104-km route.  After the errors, all committed by me, I "had" to be at the start to meet the New Hampshire tandem team, JohnJ #2190 and AnnJ #10504, for them to sign the "Oxford" waiver, and since I, as route-owner, was also obligated to sign the waiver, I switched to the "Oxford" route.
John and Ann were scheduled / planned to start at 0830, and that is what they did.  All the interface requirements were completed and I was ready to ride a few minutes before 0815, so I elected to start at 0815.
With the 15 minute head start, I wondered when John and Ann would catch me.  I considered whether they might catch me by or at Grissom, 20-kms into the route.  After all, they would average 30-kph or better whereas I would likely only average 20-kph.  However, as I quickly pedaled and gave the matter some thought, I realized that 20-kph (which is 3-minutes per kilometer) would be the result including pausage and stoppage time (stop-lights, stop-signs, peeing, control interaction, eating), so it was likely that I they wouldn't catch me until perhaps 25-kms into the course.  I didn't look at my confuser when they caught and passed me, but I know where that occurred, approximately that is -- and it was pretty close to the 25-km mark.
I guess I was motivated by the visitors from New Hampshire, repeat Charlie Miller finishers at PBP, and concentrated on keeping a good cadence, even though my legs were complaining about the high cadence / high effort / "high" pace for much of the ride. 

Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf / 2259 104 2019/09/25 3 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T92863 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095 04:09
RUSA-T92864 2190 J__, John New England Randonneurs / 921005 03:28
RUSA-T92865 10504 J__, Ann Benoit New England Randonneurs / 921005 03:28

I had to wait 4 minutes, FOUR, at the stop-light at NC-98 outbound.  
I know I have mentioned waiting for what seemed eternities at that light, but 
Today I actually looked at the clock on the confuser and KNOW it was 4-minutes (rounding). 
[Sometimes I get to that light on the green -- yippee! -- sometimes I have to wait. 
But today's actually measured 4-minutes, certainly a record wait time.] 
I had to wait 1 1/2 minutes at the stop-light in Wilton outbound. 
[Sometimes I catch that light on green, but not today.  Sigh.] 
Some slight pausage times at a couple stop-signs outbound. 
Total elapsed time outbound:  2h04. 
In-motion time outbound:  1:57:30. 
There was a "neutral" side-wind coming from the East during the outbound segment. 
There is a house on Fairport Rd, about 15-minutes before the turn-around 
That always flies a large American flag.  
Outbound, that flag was proudly pointing due West, indicating an East wind.  
5 minutes at the control to pee, buy an ice tea, pour into bottle, get going..  
I had to wait 1 1/2 minutes on Ghoston due to road work / one lane / follow-car.  
As I approached the "flag-man" with his stop-sign, 
I was saying out loud, "no, no, no, no." 
The legs had accepted the effort of the ride and climbing on Ghoston Rd; 
I did not want to risk what might happen if I had to stop for several minutes, and then restart. 
[As it happened, the legs were fine after the short wait -- I was relieved.] 
A couple other small pausage times in-bound, not accounting for much. 
Total elapsed time in-bound:  2h00.  
In-motion time in-bound:  1:59:00. 
There was a non-neutral Southeast wind during the return. 
The aforementioned flag had moved during the 35-minutes between my passing of same. 
The flag clearly indicated that Southeast wind. 
I.e., Southeast was a quartering headwind coming into my left shoulder for much of the return. 
The wind may have continued to "back-around" and was possibly a South wind by the end. 
In summer and fall, regardless of what direction the wind start the day, 
It almost always eventually backs-around to the Southwest 
When the temperature rises during the day.  
There is also more climbing on the return leg. 
Ghoston, Peed, and Mt. Vernon Church roads make up the last 6-miles of the return. 
Each with a non-trivial climb. 
Outbound, the course traverses Pleasant Union Ch, Six Forks, and New Light roads; 
Although one faces a couple climbs to get to the Ghoston / New Light corner, 
There is less outbound climbing, AND it is not as steep.

Total elapsed time:  4h09. 
Total in-motion time:  3:56:30. 
64.7 miles. 
Avg pace:  16.4 mph. 
A full 1.2 mph faster than my second fastest ride this year! 
[The second fastest ride so far this year?  The Raleigh Picnic 100 I did on Saturday past. 
Third fastest ride so far this year?  Sep-13 "Raleigh-Berea-Raleigh."
Cooler weather, less humidity, I've lost some weight, what other reason(s) can I come up with?] 

I did not know I could do what I did this morning! 
That's my story, and I'll be sticking to it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Sep-22: Bahama Beach w/ "E. Thollie Green + 3-Hayes" Variant

On Saturday at the Picnic, John J expressed interest in a ride for Sunday.
So ... John and Ann and I agreed to meet to ride the Bahama Beach 'free route' perm-pop.
Among the riders completing the 200 were a tandem team from New Hampshire.
During the ... the conversations, John inquired about possible ride routes for the next day.
My impression was that he and Ann may have been interested in a greenway ride.
Finally, after a couple minutes of what appeared to be fruitless conversation,
I asked if John and Ann would be interested in riding as far as 100-kms.

Quick conversation confirmed they were staying only a couple miles from Bay Leaf,
The location where three of my permanent-populaires begin and end.
Blah, blah, blah, we agreed to meet at the Bay Leaf CVS for a 7 am ride
On the "Bahama Beach" route the next morning.

I drove to the start instead of my usual cycle to the start.
Truth be told, the reason I did that is that I had left the bike IN the car overnight.

I got to the CVS at Bay Leaf at about 6:15 am.
Plenty of time to put the two wheels back on the frame,
Even in the pitch black dark (and no lighting in the parking lot).

And time to get the waiver and back-up cue sheet and souvenir quality card stock control cards ready.[Using card stock control cards in case John and Ann want to keep them as souvenirs
Because this "Bahama Beach" ride will be their first ever Permanent.]

Only one problem -- WHERE is the waiver?
And the cue sheet and the cards?
[The waiver is important. 
John + Ann plan to navigate using GPS, so the cues and cards are not critical.]

WHERE is the dang WAIVER?
I realized I had left it in my abode.
I've got to get it.

But what to do with the bike?
Take the wheels off and put back in the car?
Hide it somewhere at the CVS?
Or just leave it parked against the side of the CVS building?
I decided to risk it and leave the bike against the side of the building.
5.6-miles from the CVS back to my hovel.
In record time.  I'm sure it ought to have been the record time.

Bounded into my abode, grabbed the WAIVER and other papers.
5.6-miles back the CVS.

WAIVER signed.
Cue sheet and control cards handed over.
Ride started at 0715.

As an aside, click here to see the standard "BB" route that John had loaded into their GPS.
And see the embed just below to see the route that I wanted to ride / the route we did ride.
"BB" route with "E. Thollie Green + 3-Hayes" variant.

The ride started innocuously enough.
Conversation on flat Norwood Rd, and
More conversation / stories, mostly on the upslopes, of Victory Church / Kemp Rd.

Ha -- just recalled.
As we approached the stop sign at Carpenter Pond Rd,
John commented, "the road name seems to have changed."
"Yes," I replied, "roads usually change name at county lines."

From my perspective, everything seemed to be going well.
Then, at the stop sign at NC-98, about 8-miles into the ride,
John indicated that their rear derailleur cable had just broken.
"How about we ride a short mile and pull in at the CVS up ahead," I suggested.
That's what we did.

While John, with some purported assistance from me, attempted to
Tie off the derailleur cable so that John and Ann's tandem would stay in a middling cog.
However, we couldn't get any tension on the cable;
The chain would immediately fall to the 11-tooth cog no matter what we did.
So, after about 10-minutes, John concluded that they would stay in the 11 for the rest of the ride.

John or Ann inquired if the climbs on Victory Ch / Kemp were the hard ones of the course.
"Sure," I replied in a false upbeat tone.
Then, more sounding more serious, "no, those were just appetizers."
[I wish I had been clever enough to put it that way.]

Hmmn, I seem to have a pattern.
  1. First time Ricochet Robert did Byron's "Leesville - Leasburg - Leesville" perm"At Hollow Ridge Grocery atop Mt. Tirzah, I told Ricochet, "the hard part is done now, Robert."  I heard Byron chuckle-gasp under his breathe that sounded something like "sheesh."  (Just previously, out of Robert's earshot -- because he was too far ahead -- Byron and I had been discussing the hills on the course as we rode the final approaches up to Mt. Tirzah:  Byron was of the opinion that Gordonton Rd was harder than Moores Mills Rd; I had agreed, adding that I thought one of the climbs on Hester Store Rd might also be harder.)  But Byron played along with my comment to Robert and said nothing.  Unfortunately, Robert voiced that he thought I was pulling his leg."  
  2. When Janet and Mike F did the "Road to Hicksboro," upon reaching the first control at Underwood Grocery at about 33-miles into the ride, "Janet, who is not fond of climbing, asked me if "the first section was harder, easier, or similar to the rest of the route?"  I answered, "yes."  Janet didn't think that was very informative, but I'd never thought about it that way.  I know I think that my "Egypt Mtn" perm starts rather gently and with some nice vistas ... and then gets a little more interesting ...; but I had not thought much about the ... tempo of the Hicksboro route.  There are some boring roads -- I pointedly remarked so to Janet + MikeF after completing one such chip-seal tree tunnel.  There are some nice homestead and farmsteads.  There are donkeys and goats, and of course, the llamas at the llama house, in addition to the normal complement of horses and some cattle and sheep.  And the two steepest climbs are after the first control, but ... I think I would say the route is similar throughout."  
  3. And now, the "Bahama Beach" route and this ride.

Ann indicated that this wouldn't be the first time they had a broken rear cable to deal with.
She also described some other mechanicals they had previously overcome.
The most interesting might have been swapping their broken road tandem
For a mountain bike tandem on the Minnesota-Wisconsin 1200 the previous year.
[I'm drawing a blank on the proper name of the 1200.]

Since John and Ann were stuck riding in the 11-tooth cog for the rest of the day,
I did give them a head's up for the subsequent tougher climbs.
For example, I urged them to wind it up when riding on the bridge next to Lake Michie
Because upon making the left turn away from the Lake, they'd be going up the Michie Wall.
[Not much compared to those famous Pittsburgh walls, 
Not much compared to many mountain climbs, 
But still enough to get one's attention.]
In the event, I came around that turn in time to see the tandem serpentining part of the climb.
Hope John and Ann will forgive me, but it was somewhat amusing to watch.
Ann + John + their tandem in front of the decommissioned self-propelled (?) artillery gun at the corner of Range Rd and Roberts Chapel Rd.  This is a safer photo opp than posing ON the gun.  [I almost forgot to include this photo!]  One tidbit from just before we got to this location:  I was on their wheel as we approached the county line (on Range Rd after turning off Cassam Rd), so I picked up my cadence for 20 strokes or so and edged ahead and raised my right arm in a mock victory salute as I crossed the CL, then immediately drifted back -- John commented, "I wondered what you were doing."  Then as I was temporarily riding alongside the tandem team, I asked if they would mind posing for the above photo.  You can guess that they were up for the opportunity.

John and Ann paused and waited numerous times during the ride.
Especially late in the ride when my legs were feeling-it from the day before
And the semi-fast riding from earlier in the ride.
In addition to the legs talking to me, I was scheduled to work starting at 4 pm,
And I wanted to be able to walk for that.

Me, nearing the stop-sign at NC-98 at the top of Ghoston Rd, snapped by Ann.  She took two additional photos just after I turned onto the highway, but ... this is the one I'm using.
As you might guess, the two bikes made the turn off NC-98 onto Peed Rd together,
But John and Ann got to the finish several minutes before me.

Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Bahama Beach / 1404 103 2019/09/22 3 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T92774 10504 J__, Ann Benoit New England Randonneurs / 921005 05:03
RUSA-T92775 2190 J__, John New England Randonneurs / 921005 05:03
RUSA-T92776 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095 05:08

That's my story that I'll be sticking to for this ride.

Except for this:
After we had completed the ride and I had signed the potential souvenir cards,
John indicated that they liked the route so much that they wanted to do it, again, the next day.
We arranged how to meet late in the afternoon so that they could sign another waiver, and

Then John asked, "what is the record fast time on this course?"
"3 hours, 55 minutes,: I replied.
John then asked, "who did that?"
"Will you be upset if we break it," John asked.
"No," said I.

They rode the standard route, using texted photos for proof of passage.
Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Bahama Beach / 1404 103 2019/09/23 2 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T92833 10504 J__, Ann Benoit New England Randonneurs / 921005 03:26
RUSA-T92834 2190 J__, John New England Randonneurs / 921005 03:26

That's a time that can never be lowered -- officially -- as that is the minimum time.

Late Monday, when I got home from work, there was an email from John,
Thanking me for the route, and asking if the route embedded just below was a good one.

They had found the RWGPS map all on their own -- it probably isn't that hard to find. I replied that the route is a good one; that it was a favorite in my non-rando days -- still is.

So on Tuesday, John and Ann rode that "Basic Falls Lake Loop," reportedly at recovery pace.

And late Tuesday afternoon, John asked if there was another perm-pop
They could ride on Wednesday.
But that is a story for another day.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Sep-21: Raleigh Region Picnic 100

Alan, with help from the changing cast of characters, has been putting on
A RUSA birthday celebration 200 brevet, 100 brevet-pop, and picnic since 2008.
The 2008 picnic and rides were to celebrate RUSA's 10th birthday.
Last year, 2018, many regions put on brevets and/or brevet-pops for RUSA's 20th anniversary.
This year, 2019, RUSA celebrated its twenty-first birthday and that
Made this year the twelfth year of Raleigh rides and picnics to honor RUSA's creation.
The rides are typically in August, on a Saturday close / closest to the 14th.
In PBP years, the rides are delayed into September.
(Except 2011, when the celebration was delayed until mid-October.) 

Here follows the complete list of brevet-pops ever put on in the Raleigh Region.
All the populaires using "route 655" were done in connection for the RUSA anniversary events.
The "Mt. Tirzah" populaires, December-2018, were to counter the suspension of the Permanents program.
The "Bunn Warmer" populaire, November-2012, was done in connection with the year-end party.

RegionClub Type Distance Date Route select
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2019/09/21 route 655 (unnamed) view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2018/08/18 route 655 (unnamed) view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2018/12/15 Mt. Tirzah Populaire view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2018/12/16 Mt. Tirzah Populaire view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2017/08/19 route 655 (unnamed) view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2016/08/20 route 655 (unnamed) view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2015/09/19 route 655 (unnamed) view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2014/08/16 route 655 (unnamed) view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2013/08/17 route 655 (unnamed) view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2012/08/11 route 655 (unnamed) view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 111 2012/11/24 Bunn Warmer view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2011/10/15 route 655 (unnamed) view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 100 2010/08/14 route 655 (unnamed) view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 110 2009/08/15 route 655 (unnamed) view
NC: Raleigh North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 RUSAP 110 2008/08/16 route 655 (unnamed) view

In most years, there have been more riders for the 200 than for the populaire.
I won't copy in the list of the RUSA anniversary 200's as doing so would be difficult.

The last few years, the ridership at the anniversary picnic rides has dwindled.
(So too has overall ridership.  There are several likely reasons, but that's a subject for another day.)

This year, McDave and I did a pre-ride of the populaire starting with the 200 riders at 6 am,
So that we would finish in time to help Alan set up for the picnic, etc..
McDave snapped some pics as we rode across Jordan Lake.  I understand, from a third pary, that he posted them, and perhaps others, on his Instagram account.  I'm not on Instragram, and don't figure to join.  This photo came to me via the aforementioned third party.  I'm borrowing McDave's photo for inclusion here just so that those that have trouble reading when there are no pictures will feel welcome.

Usually, someone joins Alan for the trip to the grocery store to acquire picnic food and supplies.
This year, when I called Alan a few minutes after 11 am,
To let him know that McDave and I had completed the 100,
Alan answered his phone, indicating that he was just then leaving Harris Teeter with the supplies.

Dave and I cleaned up a bit, and then walked from the park shelter to Alan's house,
To help load Alan's grill and other supplies into Alan's truck to transport all to the park shelter.

Good thing we didn't waste any time setting up the picnic,
Because the first 200 finishers came in before 1 pm,
Less than two hours after Dave and I had finished the populaire pre-ride,
And likely less than an hour after Alan, Dave, and I had gotten things set up for the picnic.

McDave stayed around as long as he could to interact with other finishers,
But he had a conflicting family commitment -- to attend the App State football game.
I refer to it as the App State game because of McDave's connections to same,
And also because App State won the game, upsetting favored and homestanding UNC!

In addition to the riders, a few family members of some also showed up for the picnic.
I won't try to enumerate the family members because I'm sure I'd leave some out.

There was much conversation among the riders, Alan, and maybe even including me.
Some of the conversation was about the recent PBP, but I reckon less than half.
I did a poor job of attending the grill and cooking -- Alan did more than the lion's share of that work.

Among the riders completing the 200 were a tandem team from New Hampshire.
During the course of the conversations, John inquired about possible ride routes for the next day.
My impression was that he and Ann may have been interested in a greenway ride.
Finally, after a couple minutes of what appeared to be fruitless conversation,
I asked if John and Ann would be interested in riding as far as 100-kms.

Quick conversation confirmed they were staying only a couple miles from Bay Leaf,
The location where three of my permanent-populaires begin and end.
Blah, blah, blah, we agreed to meet at the Bay Leaf CVS for a 7 am ride
On the "Bahama Beach" route the next morning.

Eventually, everyone except Alan and me had left the park shelter picnic area.
Then the final 200 rider arrived at 5 pm.
Alan and/or I prepared another burger or two, and
Enjoyed nearly another hour of conversation with the lantern rouge
After he completed his first ever RUSA ride.

It was about 6 pm when Alan and I loaded up his truck with the grill and accessories.
I recall I left Alan's house about 6:30 pm -- my volunteer day done.
Alan's day, however, still had more to it -- namely, cleaning up kitchen utensils and such.

This is my 2019 RUSA Anniversary Picnic story; I'll be sticking to it.
Cert#RUSA# Name Club Time
NC: Raleigh RUSAP 100 km 2019/09/21 finishers=7 DNF=0
North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045
RUSA-P16066 3095 J__, Wes North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 04:11
RUSA-P16067 10234 Mc_, David North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 05:10
RUSA-P16069 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095 05:10
RUSA-P16070 215 O__, Michael North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 05:26
RUSA-P16071 4649 M__, John Carolina Tarwheels / 933047 04:29
RUSA-P16072 1526 G__, Tony Bicycle For Life Club / 933057 04:29
1 nonmember(s) also finished this event
NC: Raleigh ACPB 200 km 2019/09/21 finishers=5 DNF=0
North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045
723578 13342 B__, Nicholas Randonneurs USA / 933095 11:00
723580 10504 J__, Ann New England Randonneurs / 921005 06:49
723581 2190 J__, John New England Randonneurs / 921005 06:49
723582 10866 L__, Jon Carolina Tarwheels / 933047 07:36
1 nonmember(s) also finished this event

Friday, October 11, 2019

Sep-13: Raleigh - Berea - Raleigh 109

Started in the deep pitch black that is 4:30 am in the middle of September.
Quiet roads in the dark.  Well, mostly quiet.

Careful at the turn off Old Weaver Trail onto Whitt Rd.
Sometimes there are gravel pebbles scattered on that turn.
Wouldn't want to hit one them wrongly and go crashing down.
Also wouldn't want to clip one of them and poke a hole in tyre and tube.

Doubly careful at the turn off Whitt Rd onto Dove Rd.
More likely to be gravel pebbles scattered on that turn than on the previous turn.

Did not see the woman that sometimes walks her dog at 0545 or so on Dove Rd.
I have no doubt that she is more regular at that than I am at riding on Dove Rd,
But I don't see her every time I ride at oh-dark-thirty.

When I do see her in the still pitch black dark,
I am sometimes confused as I approach her, heading in the opposite direction.
The lights on the dog are quite visible, but not of a pattern one expects or recognizes.
I apparently don't expect the pattern even after seeing it on most pitch black RBR rides.

Through Creedmoor just before 6 am.
If I get to and thru Creedmoor before 6 am, Main Street is not yet open.

Civil Twilight does not occur until I'm nearly to Berea.
But sometime between Shoofly and Culbreth, still during Naval Twilight,
There is enough light that I'm finally seeing due to the daylight
Instead of seeing due to the battery headlamp.

Still barely Civil Twilight when I arrive at the Berea Control.
It only took 2h16 today.
And 2:16 in-motion.
Obviously, all the stop-lights were on green this morning.

Only 6 minutes at the control today, but I did manage to snap a photo.
Low light when I snapped the pic.  And apparently I failed to hold the camera-phone perfectly steady.

The ride back felt easy and quick.
Quick, but not hurried, as I let the feet and pedals just circle about.

I finished using Durant Rd to Honeycutt Rd.
Less traffic that way than the filed finishing route of Six Forks all the way to Strickland Rd.

As I was zipping by Snapper's, I saw that his car was in his drive / parking area.
I skidded to a stop, reversed 40 yards, and proceeded to take a close up of his auto.
And texted same, with some lame harassing comment.
[Harvey responded with "stalker?"]

4 minutes to take and text the Snapper photo.
Another minute along the return for stop-lights and stop-signs.
2h18 elapsed on the return; 2:13 of that having been in-motion/

Back at my hovel in plenty of time to shower and do some laundry and some other chores.
And make it into the afternoon work shift with no left-over tiredness or whatever from the ride.
Darn near perfect ride.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Sep-07: North of Burlington 202

Bob currently has the longest R-streak in North Carolina.
At least one 200k or longer every month since he joined RUSA in January-2010.
[IanH currently has the second longest R-streak in North Carolina. 
Ian's streak began in April-2010.] 

Bob has his eyes on completing R-120.
And then, he may re-think his rando goals.

My R-streak is much shorter.
I got to R-41 in December-2013, but life got in the way the next month.
Since then, I've gotten to R-10 and R-11 before life (December stuff) got in the way.
Actually, I recently learned (yep, "learned" is the correct word)
That I did complete a fourth R-12 ending in early 2016.
[I don't recall much from 2016 -- readers may recall why.] 
Bob, Ian, and I are three of the surviving members of the NC-2010-Rando-Rookies.
Tim is the fourth surviving member.
That completes the roster of 2010-rookies that have been / still are active riders.
Each of the four of us has earned at least one K-Hound award and the Mondial award.
The other three have done some other impressive stuff -- too much to mention here. 
[There is a fifth member still a RUSA member, but 
he has NEVER gotten credit for any rando ride.]

I need to get this post back on track.

For his / our September-2019 R-ride,
Bob and I did Bob's "North of Burlington" permanent.

Starting in Graham, NC, the route wiggles northeast over to NC-119,
Then heads more-or-less due north for nearly 30-miles on that smooth road.

I had worked late on Friday; my legs were a bit tired at the start of the ride.
I had to ask Bob to back off the pace half-a-mile per hour or so early on the "wiggles."

I continued to struggle to get the legs into a happy place.
At some point while on NC-119, I decided to force the issue a bit,
And took the lead, upping the pace, taking advantage of the smooth, flattish road.
Oh, and there may have been a bit of a tailwind -- or maybe not.
The legs came around.  Yippee!

There is an Info Control 3.2-miles into the route.
It is a good thing I was with Bob, because as I type this, with readers on,
I can barely make out the question on the Control Card.
If I had had to answer the question during the ride without assistance,
I would have been stuck, because I don't carry the reading glasses with me on rides.
[Some day, I will have to begin to carry the readers with me.] 
Bob at the Leasburg fire-station en route to Semora.  "We" took this photo so I could text it to our friend Ricochet Robert, "perhaps" to confuse him.  [Ricochet mostly / almost only rides the Permanent "Leesville - Leasburg - Leesville" which does NOT pass this station.] 
Bob often wears one of his PacTour jerseys.  Often when he does so, I accuse him of trying to intimidate me -- running joke now several years old, but still makes Bob smile -- he tries to hide the smile, but ... .  [I've sometimes emailed the photo along with a message such "Bob trying to intimidate me again" to SusanN of PacTour.  This time, with Bob's assistance, I texted the photo and message.  Next day, I got a return message from Susan:  "glad to see Bob is riding again [after completing the PacTour 'Ridge of the Rockies']."  There was more to the message, but ... .]
The first timed control is at Semora, some 41.7-miles into the route.
According to my card, we arrived 3h03 after starting.
[Although that seems reasonable, I was thinking we would have been faster than that.]

We sat on the outside bench enjoying the sunshine.
Perhaps for a few minutes more than we needed to have done.

The route reverses itself and heads back south on NC-119 about 20-miles to Baynes.
[Sadly, the old country store at Baynes has closed.  Permanently. 
That was a useful liquid re-stocking location on two of Bob's routes.  No more.]
At Baynes, the route turns west, and twists its way on back-roads to Elon.
It must have felt warm and/or there had been a headwind from Semora to Baynes.
I must have feeling hot and had consumed most of my liquids,
Because I asked Bob if we could stop at a store just a few miles west of Baynes.

We stopped at a gas station / c-store to restock.
There was quite a line waiting to check out.
One man had a $100 bill to pre-pay for gas,
But refused to follow standard protocol for cash pre-payment.
Back-and-forth with the clerk.
The clerk doing his job -- the customer being ridiculous.
That was my opinion, to which I'll be sticking.
It was also the opinion of all the other in-line customers near us.
The annoying customer finally quit arguing and left the line.
However, he never pumped any gas.
It appeared the entire exchange with the clerk was simply an exercising in being a jerk.
[I usually limit myself to non-negative comments about non-cycling store customers, 
But I make a deserved exception this time.]

The next timed control was in Elon, just after passing the college, er, university.
Bob and I stopped at the Subway for our Control, and to snag some lunch.

The temperatures had risen into the 80's Fahrenheit, but
The breeze, from whatever direction it was coming,
Was acting as a cooling breeze, not as a hot sirocco wind.

From Elon, the route continues west to Gibsonville,
And then nips a bit more southwesterly to continue west through rural areas.
I recall the route makes a north jog and then turns east once reaching the McCleansboro area.
[I'm guessing as I can't locate a RWGPS or other map of the route.] 
Heading east, the route skims the north side of Gibsonville,
Then transits Elon -- where there were quite a few college parties in progress --
One or two appeared to be being broken-up by police authorities.

The route continues eastward thru West Burlington, Burlington, East Burlington, and
Finally comes to a finish back at the start in Graham.

All in all, we had a good ride.
But the repeated start and stop for stop-lights and stop-signs the last 25-miles got to me.
[Bob indicated it is more on the order of 12 or 15 miles of citified riding.] 
Regardless, I asked Bob if it was possible to revise the route and
Stay on rural roads until right near the finish.
[Bob reports that he has figured an alternate finish -- a more rural roads route.] 
My Excel log indicates a total of 126.3-miles with 8:43 in-motion.
Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: North of Burlington / 2653 202 2019/09/07 2 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T92432 5843 B__, Bob Randonneurs USA / 933095 10:17
RUSA-T92433 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095 10:17