Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dec-31: The Madness Completed

I threw in the towel during the ride on the 30th.  But LT did not.  Also, I had promised LT that I would ride with him and his ECU-attending cycling fireman if said protege wanted to ride on the 31st.  Peter opted to ride on Jan-01, but LT was determined to ride on the 31st, and help me get the 10k kilometers. 

Smitty also wanted to ride.  But his son, Tyler, in the words of Tyler's mother, "wimped out." 

So, Lt. Dave, Smitty and I rode a counter-clockwise lake loop (that kept us from finishing Ghoston-Peed-MVC).  Dave had "the bit between his teeth" from the beginning.  Smitty had pretty good form.  I had nothing, repeat nothing, for anything steepish; and often not-very-much for even shallow upslopes.  Dave and Smitty had to slow-down and wait, repeatedly.  Repeatedly. 

I did manage to sneak the CL on Cheek Rd.  They were being nice and had waited and were starting "easy".  I rolled through and past and hit the pedals.  A moment of false glory.  I fell way back on Cheek getting up from the lake.  I couldn't keep up on Patterson.  Once Olive Branch tilted up, I was off the back.  I worked hard on Doc Nichols and Dave and Smitty took it easy -- with that double, I was able to keep up.

We got to the stop sign at the top of Doc Nichols Rd (at Leesville Rd) and took a short, conversational blow; we were avg'ing ~ 15.3 mph.  After I bored them nearly to tears talking numbers, I started the remaining 10-mile time-trial in ernest.  (Later, Smitty admitted that he had a hard time hanging-on.)  I gave the guys a five-and-one-half mile leadout, picking up the pace to 25 mph as we approached the second and last CL on Carpenter Pond (I was unable to repeat the 26.5 mph performance from the day before).  Dave and Smitty came dutifully around to contest the CL, while I eased off to recover a bit.  I think Smitty didn't quite "have it", and as noted previously, Dave did.  Dave took the CL. 

D & S slowed a bit after the CL; I came around again, and again picked up the effort -- now chasing the last mile to the 10 thousand kilometer mark.  I made the turn off Old Creedmoor onto MVC, and coasted along, watching the odometer.  We celebrated with champaigne when I rolled 33.4 miles for the ride. 

Then hammered in the last 2.9 miles.  Avg pace for the whole ride was 16.0 mph -- a great last 10 miles of the year!
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Dec-31:

PUE: counter-clockwise lake loop (no Cash Rd.); w/ LT, Smitty; 36.3 m.; 2hrs, 16min; 16.0 mph.

1Qt tot: _20 rides; _755.3 m.; _47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2Qt tot: _43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
3Qt tot: _36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: __9 rides; _551.4 m.; _35 hrs, 41 min; 15.4 mph.
Nov tot: __8 rides; _372.3 m.; _23 hrs, 49 min; 15.7 mph.
Dec tot: _10 rides; _466.0 m.; _30 hrs, 06 min; 15.5 mph.

YTD tot: 126 rides; 6216.7 m.; 393 hrs, 51 min; 15.8 mph.

10 thousand kms, with 2.9 miles to spare.
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One 200k ride this year - a personal record (never rode that far previously), plus
A further four 100-milers this year - a personal record (actually tripled the number of career 100-milers), plus
A further thirty-eight metrics this year - a personal record (more than doubling my career metrics).

First ever mountain rides this year. Ended with 5 mountain rides.

For first time ever, I ended a year with more rides with others than I had solo rides. 

My avg pace for all rides combined was slower this year than either of the previous two years.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dec-30: Stop the Madness!

10:10 am, PUE:  Are we sure we want to do this?
Let's go.

10:24 am, corner of MVC and Old Creedmoor:  Snapper turns back, claiming cold hands.
Let's continue.

10:40 am, on Carpenter Pond Rd, somewhere between Kemp and Coley roads:  how about a 40-mile ride?
That will leave you short of your 10 thousand.
So?
It's a deal.

10:45 am, corner of CP and Coley roads.  Avg pace so far:  13.6 mph. 
That's nearly half-a-mile-per-hour slower than yesterday.

10:50 am, on Coley Rd, between CP and Kemp roads:  how about a 30-mile ride?
That's a good idea.

10:57 am, on Coley Rd between Kemp Rd and NC-98:  how about we U-turn at the highway, and head back to PUE and call it a day?
But that will only be about 21 miles.
You can keep riding if you want, Smitty.
No, 21 sounds like a good idea.

11:40 am, PUE.  Let's get these bikes in our cars and get in out of this cold.
Great idea.
Happy New Year!
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Dec-30:

PUE:  MVC-CP-Coley to NC-98 - U-turn and retrace; w/ Iva, Tito, Smitty (+ Snapper for 3 m.); 22.1 m.; 1hrs, 28min; 15.1 mph.

1Qt tot: _20 rides; _755.3 m.; _47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2Qt tot: _43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
3Qt tot: _36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: __9 rides; _551.4 m.; _35 hrs, 41 min; 15.4 mph.
Nov tot: __8 rides; _372.3 m.; _23 hrs, 49 min; 15.7 mph.
Dec tot: __9 rides; _429.7 m.; _27 hrs, 50 min; 15.4 mph.

YTD tot: 125 rides; 6180.4 m.; 391 hrs, 36 min; 15.8 mph. 
  
(I had written and said that if the "chase" for 10k km became "unfun", I would stop.
It became "unfun" this morning.  Special thanks to those that were able and willing to "give it a go" this morning.  Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor -- I'm glad we all called a halt.   
 
Predicted highs in the low 40's with sun peaking around high, thin clouds -- my a$$ -- the high today [at least by when I started this post] was about 35F -- and those were thick clouds this morning!)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Why Haven't We Seen . . .


"Wolfie"

Because, other than sightseeing, she broke her thumb.

Or, rather, her "other" thumb, falling on the ice while commuting home from a party.  Also messed up her shoulder.  Her shoulder is likely the bigger problem, but that doesn't make for as good a "story".   

"Her other thumb?" 

Yep, in January she broke her left thumb.  Apparently, her right thumb felt neglected, so she broke that one just before Christmas. Wasn't that nice of her to make sure she had matching thumbs.  :-O  

Where Have These People Been?


LeeD, LT, DeanD

Tour de Moore
Labor Day, 2009

Dean is Lee's son.  None have "been missing."  But I have this photo, so figured I'd use it, and I needed to make it fit with the "series", even though I did change the title of the post. 

Dec-29: Chilly Sunny Delight, with a NorthWesterly Wind

About 36F when I started at approx 11:10.  About 40F when I finished at 3:20. 

Dressed just about right for the conditions.  The only parts that got chilly and then COLD were my toes and the bottom of both feet.  I think the steel cleats and the shanks in the soles of the shoes got colder than on previous cold rides due to the extra wind today -- then the cold seeped through the materials of the shoes and through the socks into my feet.

I climbed up MVC to PUE at the end in the 39/17 instead of my usual 39/25 or 39/23.  A tailwind may have helped, but mostly I think I wanted to get out of the cold. 
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I chose my course to minimize the climbing, and "take advantage" of the northwesterly wind on Coley.  Repeatedly.  Course description: 

1) PUE to Carpenter Pond / Coley corner (7.4 miles), then
2) down and up Coley (+ 7.3 miles),
3) over to Shady Grove to Olive Branch to Carpenter Pond back (+ 2.4 miles) to
4) down and up Coley (+ 7.3 miles),
5) out CP and Leesville roads to 1/4 mile past DocNichols, U-turn (+ 6 miles) to
6) Shady Grove to Olive Branch to Carpenter Pond back (+ 1.9 miles) to
7) down and up Coley (+ 7.3 miles),
8) over to Shady Grove to Olive Branch to Carpenter Pond back (+ 2.4 miles) to
9) down and up Coley (+ 7.3 miles),
10) out CP and Leesville roads to 1/4 mile past DocNichols, U-turn (+ 6 miiles) to
11) CP, MVC, PUE (+ 7.4 miles to "the barn"). 

Every time down Coley was harder than the up.  But the difference got more noticeable (the downs got harder and the ups easier) on the third and fourth loops -- because the wind had decided on its direction and was increasing in velocity (whereas earlier there were extraneous, long-lasting more-than-gusts from several directions, and the wind speed was not quite as great). 

Until nearly the last Coley loop, I thought I would need to do 4 loops of Shady Grove as well as the 4 loops of Coley.  On step (11) in the above description, I thought about looping Shady Grove just for the additional 1.9 miles -- but I decided my feet were plenty enough cold, and 62.4 miles was 0.2 more than I needed to qualify as a metric, so I headed for the barn. 
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Dec-29:

PUE:  for course, see above; w/ me, myself, and I; 62.4 m.; 4hrs, 1min; 15.5 mph.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; _755.3 m.; _47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
3rd Qt. tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 9 rides; 551.4m.; 35 hrs, 41 min; 15.4 mph.
Nov tot: 8 rides; 372.3m.; 23 hrs, 49 min; 15.7 mph.
Dec tot: 8 rides; 407.6m.; 26 hrs, 22 min; 15.5 mph. (time corrected)

YTD: 124 rides; 6158.3 m.; 390 hrs, 8 min; 15.8 mph.
 
(YTD:  9910.8 kms)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dec-27: Snapper Days Are Here Again

Snapper days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let’s sing a song of cheer again
Snapper days are here again.

My cares and troubles are gone
There’ll be no more from now on 
My pace will soar again 
Snapper days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let’s sing a song of cheer again.

I was having difficulty getting motivated for today's ride.  If I hadn't publically mentioned that 10k km goal, I might have packed it in.  If I wasn't so close to getting to the 10k km mark, I might have packed it in.

I was lethargically starting to get ready to ride,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a white station wagon with steed mounted atop.
Blasting classic Beetles, I recall not which tune,
With a rejuvinated smile on my face,
I bumped fists and thanked his arrival, for
Snapper days were here again.

The weather was warmer than that which I was partially dressed.
Off with the full-length leg-warmers,
On with the extra pair of knee warmers.
I wouldn't need that pair of shoe-boots
I'd found the day before.
Toe warmers would do. 

Snapper opted for his new Christmas pants, but not shoe-boots or toe covers. 
Mistake.  His toes were almost without feeling after 54+ miles. 
(My feet were fine.)

We made a double horse-shoe course.
Started with Carpenter Pond and Doc Nichols and Cheek roads as if circling the lake.
But we had no need for an Old Stool Tree,
So rode straight on thee Old Weaver Trail to the Beaver Dam Rd.
There we stopped in the sunshine and ate some food,
Then reversed our course. 

The pace increased as we each felt better with food in our bellies,
And warmed-up legs. 

A wheel-sucker was I.
A good lead-out man was Snapper.
We cruised quickly across Cheek Rd,
Rapidly across Patterson,
Kept it together up Doc Nichols,
And Snapper set a great pace across Leesville and CP.

I cut the rubber-band keeping me attached
Some half-mile or more before the CL on CP
As after all I had another 9 miles to ride beyond Snapper.

A dash across the flat of MVC,
A swoop down and up the valley on MVC,
Into PUE with ~ 54.6 miles on my confuser, avg 15.8 mph.

Snapper's avg was less.
I later recalled why.
He rode some small circles in the parking lot waiting for me at the start.

We had a good time.
Snapper Days Had Been There Again.
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I rode an extra ~ 8.7 miles to Bayleaf Fire Station #2, then across to Six Forks Rd on Pleasant Union Ch Rd, back again to BFS #2, and back to PUE.  I managed to maintain the 15.8 mph. 

Interesting that I avg'd faster today than yesterday, and faster yesterday than two days before that. 
I think today's course had less climbing per mile. 
Who cares?
I had fun.
Snapper had fun.

Thanks to Ashley and Elizabeth for letting Snapper come out to play.
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Dec-27:

PUE: Act 1: lake loop to BeaverDam (minus Old Stool Tree), U-turn back to PUE; w/ Snapper; ~54.6 m.; 2hrs, 28+min; 15.8 mph.
 - - Act 2: Fire Station - SixForks - Fire Station; solo; 8.7 m.; 0hrs, 32-min; 15.8 mph.
 - - - - total: 63.3 m.; 4hrs, 0 min; 15.8 avg mph.

1-Q: _20 rides; _755.3 m.; _47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2-Q: _43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
3-Q: _36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct: __9 rides; _551.4 m.; _35 hrs, 41 min; 15.4 mph.
Nov: __8 rides; _372.3 m.; _23 hrs, 49 min; 15.7 mph.
Dec: __7 rides; _345.2 m.; _21 hrs, 21 min; 15.4 mph.

YTD: 123 rides; 6095.9 m.; 386 hrs, 08 min; 15.8 mph.
 
(A bit less than 200 km to reach 10k km for the year.  A metric Tuesday, another Wednesday.  Then some rest.)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dec-26: Irregulars turn out in numbers

How many in "numbers?"  At the start, including Smitty's son Tyler, seven (7).  At the finish of "Act 1," seven (7) -- even though BobH turned off at Hickory Grove Rd (I hope he turned off at Hickory Grove -- if not, he might be lying in a ditch along Carpenter Pond Rd just west of Coley Rd).  How did we do that?  Iva recruited JohnD during the ride. 

That makes me wonder:  I was working hard at the front of the "peleton" as the "green jersey group" had gone up-the-road.  How was it that Iva had sufficient breath and brain function to carry on a useful conversation?  I think we may have to send the Hawk to the front of the line more often. 

Tyler set a record just by showing up.  The previous youngest rider on any "irregular" ride was young Mark at 24 or 25 years old.  Tyler beat him by 5 or 6 years.  One thing about 19-year-olds:  it seems awfully hard to wear them out, even when on their longest ride ever, by 20 or 25 miles (at least that is what Smitty told me that Tyler told him). 

It is not impossible to wear out a 19-year-old in reasonable shape.  But it certainly appears to be easier if he decides to "do it" to himself -- although, I suspect that he didn't "decide", it just happened.  Tito and Smitty carried the flag for us more mature types.  Four-fifths of the way through their three-and-one-half-mile-"sprint" for the CL on Carpenter Pond Rd, Iva looked ahead and noted "Tyler is coming back to us."  "Us" was the "peleton."  The "green jersey group" had dropped Tyler; although, before the end of the ride, I think I heard Tyler sounding similar to the first animation in this post; I wonder if Tyler would find that amusing.  He may not have had enough experience to appreciate the conversation. 

As Will Suitt Rd was about to become Boyce Rd, Tito egged me on to "sprint" against him.  I finally relented.  I should have waited before f-i-n-a-l-l-y relenting.  I did catch Tito off guard for a moment or two -- but he was able to rectify the situation.  But I learned something.  Thanks, Tito. 

I do wish I had remembered there was another CL at the bridge across Falls Lake on Cheek Rd.  Totally forgot.  It was probably better that I preserved some legs for "Act 2"; and for tomorrow. 

Later, some of us were discussing the Tito vs. Martin CL "sprint."  I wondered what had made Tito mention and urge me to "go for it" head-to-head.  I think it was Phil that responded "probably because you write about them all the time."  I responded that the CL write-ups made for something at least potentially interesting. 

However, I guess the time has arrived to "come clean" about CL "sprints."  "Irregular" CL sprints started one ride about a year-and-a-half ago when there were only three of us on the ride:  (1) an out-of-shape me, (2) an out-of-shape Heath, and (3) and a supposedly "recovering from a head cold" PaulN.  Paul got bored, so started "laying down CL smack" to Heath and taking all the CLs.  It helped that Paul knew where all of them were.  Over the next months, PaulN continued to go for the CLs, and was taking almost all of them. 

I hatched a plot:  we would secretly set it up so that on some ride, the rest of the "crew" would work together to make sure PaulN got not a single CL.  It never seemed to work out that we had enough or the right riders to make sure PaulN got none.  Then finally, this last April we did the Snapper scouting mission:  Snapper was unfit to "sprint," or at least he didn't offer; Heath was unfit to "sprint."  Neither the Duke nor Iva knew where the CLs were.  Therefore, it fell to me to contest PaulN on the "sprints." 

I snuck the first.  I out-"sprinted" Paul for the second.  The third and fourth were not on the originally planned course, and Paul remembered the CLs, but I did not.  I took the all-important fifth CL -- which was a fair re-test of the first CL (at least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it).  Because Snapper and Heath had bailed after only one loop of the scouting mission, and neither Iva nor the Duke had legs to trade pulls, Paul and I called off the contest before the sixth CL.  Therefore, I took the green jersey that day.  And we no longer needed to conspire against the Iceman. 

Now, however, we have the Mallet.  That's all I'm saying.

It was a great and very fun ride, today.  Even the "peleton" covered the last 10 miles at a respectible pace -- at the turn from DocN onto Leesville, I was avg'ing 15.3 mph -- at the turn off CP onto MVC, I was avg'ing 16.0 mph.  That is reported simply to give you an idea of the quick ride across Leesville and Carpenter Pond Rds.

We arrived at PUE after having completed 46.5 miles at a very respectible pace for the winter.  I couldn't talk anyone into any "bonus miles," so I had to do "Act 2" solo.

"Act 2" starting at 2:45, after having wolfed down a banana and a Snicker's and some fluids, was chilier than earlier. I don't know if that was the sweat in my jersey, the sun having sunk lower toward the horizon, or because there was a lack of hot air coming off the "crew".

I couldn't face retracing the route back to the Leesville / DocNichols corner (am I coming down with "LT syndrome"?), so I made up a route as I rode: Norwood - VctCh - CP - Coley to Kemp, U-turn, back up Coley to CP - MVC [guess I could handle a little bit of retracing]. For some reason, I was slower on "Act 2" than on "Act 1" of the ride -- especially the last 10+ miles of "Act 1." But I got my 100k ride in.

Slightly less than 300k needed to get to 10 thousand k. If it remains fun, I will "chase;" however, if it becomes un-fun, I'll not worry about it.
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Dec-26:

PUE: Act 1:  lake loop counter-clockwise + shortened Dove loop + Strawberry loop + Northside loop + Redwood loop; w/ BobH, Iva, Phil, Tito, Smitty, (Smitty's son) Tyler + "pick-up" John; 46.5 m.; 2hrs, 56min; 15.9 mph.
 - - Act 2:  Norwood-VctCh-CP-Coley to Kemp-U-turn to CP-MVC; solo; 18.1 m.; 1hr, 12min; 15.0 mph.
 - - - - total: 64.6 m.; 4hrs, 8 min; 15.6 avg mph.

1-Q tot: _20 rides; _755.3 m.; _47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2-Q tot: _43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
3-Q tot: _36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: __9 rides; _551.4 m.; _35 hrs, 41 min; 15.4 mph.
Nov tot: __8 rides; _372.3 m.; _23 hrs, 49 min; 15.7 mph.
Dec tot: __6 rides; _281.9 m.; _17 hrs, 20 min; 15.4 mph.

YTD tot: 122 rides; 6032.6 m.; 382 hrs, 08 min; 15.8 mph.
 
(I passed 6000 miles for the year!! A little less than 300 km to get to 10k km for the year. I am also confident that anyone that has bothered to read this dribble this far absolutely wants and needs to know that after today's ride, I have 36 rides that qualify as a "metric", plus 4 "imperials" and one 200k this year.)

Dec-24: A Holiday Tradition?

That's what LT suggested a few days before the ride.  Last year, Dave and I had a pleasantly cool first ever full-loop-of-Range-Rd ride for each of us. 

Dec 27  PUE: NL-OWT-Cash-Butner-RangeRd-Butner- return G-P-MVC  w/ Dave I.  65.0m. 4.02 h.mm 16.1 mph 

Dave, in particular, was looking forward to a pleasant and nearly car-free ride on the 24+ miles of Range Rd.  We got the nearly car-free.  And el Sol was doing a very admirable job of providing (near) Winter Solstice sunshine and warmth.  However, Old Man Winter's efforts of Dec-19/20 were still on display along much of Range Rd.  We never experienced the mid-to-upper 40's expected. 



Photography by "Mountain Boy".
"Camera" provided by LeeD.

Lest anyone think we had an unpleasant time, and it was a LOT HARDER than last year's RRR, it was warmer than the two previous "irregular" rides (Tito's returnLT and crew in training ).  Quite a bit warmer, actually.  Speaking only for myself, my toes only became slightly chilled instead of wondering about mild frostbite, and I noticed - a bit after leaving Stem - that my hands were "toasty warm" without getting too warm and thus sweaty.  But this year's RRR was a LOT HARDER than last year's. 

For more information on this great ride, and to whet your appetite for the 2010 version of a Range Rd Rover -- talk to one of the participants in this year's RRR. 

One last thing:  Snapper - we found and rode a road with the word "mountain" in the name.  It was pretty lame.
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Dec-24:

PUE: Butner - Range + Little Mtn Rds - Stem-DoveRd; w/ LT, LeeD, Iva; 65.0 m.; est climbing 2925 ft --> effort index = 94; 4hrs, 18min; 15.1 avg mph.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; _755.3 m.; _47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
3rd Qt. tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 9 rides; 551.4m.; 35 hrs, 41 min; 15.4 mph.
Nov tot: 8 rides; 372.3m.; 23 hrs, 49 min; 15.7 mph.
Dec tot: 5 rides; 217.3m.; 13 hrs, 12 min; 15.3 mph.

YTD: 121 rides; 5968.0 m.; 378 hrs, 0 min; 15.8 mph.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dec-23: "TT"

Last year, about this time, I did essentially this same ride much faster than I did today. 

Dec 24 PUE: DocN-Kemp-Virgil . . . 24.9 m. 1.26 h.mm 17.2 mph
Dec 25 PUE: Coley-DocN-Kemp-Virgil 32.2 m. 1.50 h.mm 17.5 mph 


I also did this ride much faster earlier this year (I don't recall why it was 0.2 miles longer then). 

Jul _9 BJP: Coley-DocN-Kemp-Virgil 37.1 m. 2.07 h.mm 17.5 mph 

Certainly it was warmer in July, and that should contribute a little to a faster pace.
Perhaps it was warmer last Christmas than this.  I dunno. 

Anyway, I got started later than I had hoped, and the milky-white stuff started to block the heat of good friend Sol, and when he started to dip lower toward the horizon, I decided to cut 7.3 miles from the intended course, and skedaddle back to BJP before the evening rush on Carpenter Pond materialized.

I lost a little ground on my plan to chase 10k km for the calendar year.  But after I entered today's ride in my Excel log, I found that (rounded to the nearest 1/10 of a kilometer) I have exactly 9,500.0 km so far this year.  Looks like I'll be needing to find about 10 "bonus miles" in the rides planned to finish out the year. 
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Dec-23:

BJP: Coley-DocN-Kemp-Virgil; 36.9 m.; est climbing 1542 ft --> effort index = 52; 2hrs, 20min; 15.8 avg mph.

1-Q tot: _20 rides; _755.3 m.; _47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2-Q tot: _43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
3-Q tot: _36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: __9 rides; _551.4 m.; _35 hrs, 41 min; 15.4 mph.
Nov tot: __8 rides; _372.3 m.; _23 hrs, 49 min; 15.7 mph.
Dec tot: __4 rides; _152.3 m.; __9 hrs, 54 min; 15.4 mph.

YTD tot: 120 rides; 5903.0 m.; 373 hrs, 38 min; 15.8 mph.

Why Haven't We Seen . . .

BigWaveDave?

Not to mention the lame Snapper excuses about his non-alma-mater playing some silly football game -- you know they will lose to Pitt. 


All looking a bit "too happy".

Received the above with the caption "Wheels away, 8 am!"
They didn't make it. 

Smitty.  Can't think of an "insult" that fits the category.

Snapper.  Please see above, plus sneaks off to play with only the "fast" crowd.  And hurts himself.  (No one but the author has ever been hurt on an "irregulars" ride.)

Wave.  Skiing.  Leading boy scouts on hiking trips so they too can learn how to get lost.  Riding with the neighborhood fast group.

Soon we'll be hearing that his bike - the most expensive one in the "irregulars" crew, btw, and therefore its owner it subject to being sneared at whenever he shows up - at least he did make up that "guideline" while sitting astride that most expensive bike of the crew - is outdated and he can't ride until he gets the latest Madone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why Haven't We Seen . . .

Jessica? 

Some months ago, Little Jessi complained about her physique.  I responded "I thought you were pretty much a hotty."  But lately, she has apparently been more of a "sweaty".

Happy, dazed, and sweaty.

Why?
Maybe because:

Cozumel 2009 Ironman
 Jessica

Swim 2.4 mi., 1:08:42, rank #798, 25th in age group
 T1 ___________ 17:18
Bike 112 mi., 8:04:59, rank 1325, 42nd
 T2 ___________ 10:37
Run 26.2 mi., 5:50:03, rank 1214, 38th

total _______15:31:39, rank 1214, 38th in age group

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dec-20: Assault on Flat Rock

Not a Winter Solstice Century nor 200k nor even 100k -- but more than most cyclists in the Triangle rode today.  The Assault, from PUE, is 45 miles.  Easy ride to get to NC-56, with the only climb(s) being getting across the Neuse River (now generally known in that stretch as Falls Lake).  Then some fun.  Followed by easy riding to get back to the Neuse River, aka, Falls Lake, and topped off with a Ghoston-Peed-MVC finish, of course. 

Compared to the last two times "irregulars" rode, the temps were balmy:  41F at the start (the high temp of neither of the previous two rides even approached that), and it was very sunny for most of the ride, although it did become only mostly sunny by the end (again much better than either of the two previous rides). 

We did encounter residual from the Friday/Saturday winter precipitation event.  There was still some icy snow remnants in Granville and Franklin counties; some even before we got to Grissom.  And Granville county had spread sand on the bridge at the bottom of the valley on Wes Sandling Rd -- it looked slippery, but we all managed to ride in the track cleared by previous auto traffic.  It seemed strange that there was no sand on the bridge at the bottom of the valley on Grove Hill Rd -- and that road makes a 90 degree curve before the bridge and another sweeping turn after the bridge. 

The westerly, north westerly (?) wind, and gusts, did not seem a help in the first 18 miles of the ride, was a definite hinderance on Wes Sandling and Grove Hill roads (it is annoying when one has to pedal to maintain one's speed on those steep downslopes), brought an extra chill to the deep shade and residual white stuff on the flat part of Grove Hill Rd, and the wind was also a definite non-friend on the run back in on Bruce Garner and New Light. 

All in all, a good "winter hammer" for me.  Lee and Dave only had to wait about 4 times after a climb, and Lee had to wait after he zipped down Gordon Moore Rd.  I was in recovery mode (see the first animation) at that point in the ride. 

Oh, one more thing for those that may be wondering:  I did my share of the work:  a nine-mile pull at the beginning of the ride (ended only when LT and Lee had the audacity to "outsprint" me for the Granville CL), and a 4 1/2 mile pull on Bruce Garner (ended only when LT had the audacity to "sprint" around me for the Wake CL -- Lee said he was going to let me have the CL -- at least that was his story, and I'm pretty sure he is sticking to it). 

 . total . . segment
 mile pace miles pace comments
_ 9.1 15.2 _ 9.1 15.2 PUE to the Granville CL
 15.0 15.6 _ 5.9 16.3 to Pokomoke
 18.3 16.0 _ 3.3 18.1 Gordon Moore to NC-56
 31.5 15.1 _13.2 14.0 the fun section 
 40.3 15.8 _ 8.8 18.5 Bruce Garner / New Light 
 41.4 15.6 _ 1.1 11.5 Ghoston
 45.0 15.5 _ 3.6 14.5 NC-98, Peed, MVC to PUE

The last time I did this ride, Aug-30 solo, the ride was 0.6 miles longer, slower overall, but I was faster on G-P-MVC that day by 24 seconds.  How could the ride have been longer on Aug-30?  Not because the world is getting smaller; instead, I missed the turn onto Flat Rock and rode "all the way" to Philo White Rd before realizing it; so I had to back-track 0.3 miles. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dec-20:
 
PUE: Assault on Flat Rock; w/ LT, LeeD; 45.0 m.; est climbing 2074 ft --> effort index = 65; 2hrs, 54min; 15.5 avg mph.  

1-Q: _20 rides; _755.3 m.; _47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2-Q: _43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
3-Q: _36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct: __9 rides; _551.4 m.; _35 hrs, 41 min; 15.4 mph.
Nov: __8 rides; _372.3 m.; _23 hrs, 49 min; 15.7 mph.
Dec: __3 rides; _115.4 m.; __7 hrs, 34 min; 15.2 mph.
YTD: 119 rides; 5866.1 m.; 371 hrs, 18 min; 15.8 mph.


Rolling 12-mos.: 123 rides; 6025.1 m.; 380 hrs, 50 min; 15.8 mph.
 . . . (The recent weather has cut 100 miles off the rolling-12 total.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

too many "adventure ride" possibilities

1. 300 km

2. Raleigh to Charlotte. Return on the train.

3. Raleigh to Richmond (better is Ashland, VA - some 20 miles farther north).

4. Mountain rides.

5. "Mountain Boy" thinks he wants to do some mountain riding in the winter. (Pilot, Sauartown, Hanging Rock?)

6. NC BR #4 west of Yanceyville.
6.a. NC BR #4 between Yanceyville and Roxboro. Or maybe go around the north side of Hyco Lake to Mayo Lake.
6.b. Option (6.a.) has 300k potential. It is only about 68 miles from PUE to Yanceville. 42 from Stovall to PUE. 77 from Y'ville to S'vall?

96

We had a special guest with us on the Pizza in Stovall, and a Mountain ride.  Last Saturday, while we were riding a puny 30-miler, Mike got his 96th consecutive month with at least one century.  

It looks like come April, perhaps while doing the Morrisville 200k (or on a pre-ride the week before) -- cue sheet here, Mike will be shooting for a century of centuries. 

Oh, and for any "irregulars" that may actually read this, while some of us may, repeat may, be contemplating a short 30 or 40 mile ride this coming Sunday afternoon, if the sun is shining, etc., etc., Mike is likely to be riding a 200k Permanent somewhere near Raleigh, with a few other crazed randonneurs. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Farther means Faster - - - NOT

few days ago I wrote that I could identify three generic reasons why my longest ride quartile had a faster avg pace than the three shorter quartiles.  There are more than three including that (a) the short rides tend to be a mix of intense faster rides and OMG recovery rides and (b) I often take 2 hours or even 40 miles to warm up and start pedaling; however, I will stick to the "three" alluded to previously. 

1.  Five mountain rides. 

Three mountain rides fit in the shortest quartile; two fit in the second quartile.  Five rides, avg distance 28.9 miles, avg pace 12.7 mph.  Avg amount of climbing on the mtn rides = approx 109 ft per mile.  (The avg climbing north of Raleigh is about 45 ft per mile.)  (All climbing estimates developed using "veloroutes.org".)

2.  Four "mechanical rides" / "riding with slower friends" rides.

All four ride fit in the shortest quartile.  Four rides, avg distance 17.9 miles, avg pace 14.3 miles. 

If I remove the above 9 rides from the data-base, and let the quartiles "re-sort" themselves, the following emerges:

Quartile Report of Short to Long Rides -- Mtn, "slow-friend" and "mechanical" rides removed:

. . miles . . . # rides . tot miles . tot hrs . avg mph . avg miles

.LT., = 30.0 . . 27 . . . . 667.8 . . . 40.9 . . 16.3 . . . 24.7
30.0 - 47.1 . . .27 . . .1,064.3 . . . 67.0 . . 15.9 . . . 39.4
47.1 - 69.9. . . 28 . . .1,638.2 . . .103.7 . .15.8 . . . 58.5
69.9 - plus . . . 27 . . .2,234.8 . . .140.4 . .15.9 . . . 82.8

total . . . . . .. 109 . . .5,605.1 . . .352.1 . .15.9 . . . 51.4
 
That is much more in line with what I would expect.  Notice that the longest quartile of rides is still "pretty fast" (for me).  Why is that? 
 
3.  Fast "irregulars" to pull me along on the longer rides.
 
Thanks!

Monday, December 14, 2009

179, 393, 29000

I noticed two things when I updated my excel log after Saturday's chill-fest ride: 

1:  179, 393, 29000

I need 179 more miles this month to make 6000 miles for the year (but that was not a "discovery"),
. . and I need 393 miles to make 10k km for the year (again, not a "discovery").

the first discovery when I updated my excel log after the ride was that . . .
. . somewhere on Saturday's ride, I rolled 29000 km since I started keeping track in 2004.

2:  From my Quartile Report of Short to Long Rides:

. . miles . . . # rides . tot miles . tot hrs . avg mph . avg miles

.LT., = 29.7 . . 30 . . . . 688.4 . . . 44.4 . . 15.5 . . . 22.9
29.7 - 45.5 . . .30 . . .1,120.4 . . . 71.1 . . 15.8 . . . 37.3
45.5 - 68 . . . . 29 . . .1,638.3 . . .103.8 . .15.8 . . . 56.5
68 - plus . . . . .29 . . .2,374.0 . . .149.2 . .15.9 . .. 81.9

total . . . . . .. 118 . . .5,821.1 . . .368.4 . .15.8 . . . 49.3

It is official -- at least so far this calendar year:  the farther I ride, the faster I go.

The above chart is a bit deceptive.  Can you guess why? 

I can think of three generic reasons for the strange avg pace pattern shown above.  Tune in again in a few days for the reasons. 

County Lines?

After Saturday's ride, Tito asked how many CL sprints I have managed to take this year during "irregular" rides.  (As I typed the previous sentence, a horrible thought came to me:  perhaps Tito was "having me on".)

I told him I didn't know, I usually have to trick the group, but there was the one legit head-to-head, even start sprint I took from LT.  Dave confirmed that one. 

Later, I recalled a few others.  Some are "documented" in this blog; some were "skated" over and are not even mentioned in the post for the ride.  And at least once I beat the Mallet to the Granville CL on Whitt Rd because I chased him down to make sure he knew to turn on Dove Rd, and not continue straight on Whitt (at least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it).  I remember the incident but not which ride; I suspect that the Mallet also remembers because he didn't let me get to that CL before him on the return journey from Stovall a couple weeks ago. 

The following, in reverse order, are CL "sprints" I managed to "take": 

Dec-12 Tito's Return, 1 of 2.  Thanks to Dave and Lee for the nice lead-out. 
Aug-12 Stagecoach Express, 1 of 7.  Read the parts about CL #3, 4 and 5.  It was fun.
Jul-4 Rushmore went to school, 4 of 5.  Anyone that knows us both knows I cannot "take" a legit CL from Rushmore.
Jul-3 Kerr Lake Loop, 1 of 3 (or 4, no one contested the first line of the day -- Warren CL). 
May-1 Mayhem with LT, 1 of 3.
Apr-4 Scouting Mission, 3 of 5.  I was bound and determined that the Iceman was not going to claim all the CLs that day, but no one else would contest them.  The two Paul took were not even on the original course, and he caught me napping.  (Same CL, btw, mentioned in connection with the Mallet, aka Paul #2.)

That makes 11 that are "documented", and the one from I-cannot-remember-which-ride, and I wasn't really trying to contest the CL, anyway. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dec-12: Tito’s Return

Nearly a month ago, Tito e-mailed that he was coming back to North Carolina in mid-December, and could I arrange for a Dec-12 “irregulars” ride. After Iva successfully pulled of his yeoman’s job to get Tito’s car and bike and sundries from Efland to north Raleigh, everything was falling into place for an excellent ride. That is, everything except the weather was falling into place.

Predicted temps were falling and falling and falling. Tito had already left the Galapagos via boat and plane and was spending a two-day layover in Quito. A breakfast meeting was decided upon, to be followed by a ride, if the temps moderated somewhat.

Friday Evening

I felt like I was in that commercial where the one guy calls and texts and e-mails and shows up in person to say “hi”. Iva did everything except the last. After several hours unconnected, I had a text message from an unrecognized phone number informing me that although he had been reading and writing “Brueggers” all week, he had been thinking “Briggs”. I also had a cell-phone message from the same unrecognized number informing me of the same thing. I decided to call the unrecognized number because I had a haunting feeling I had seen that number previously. Iva answered.

He told me that he was now on proper course for breakfast at Brueggers, despite the fact that he had been looking forward to a big breakfast at Briggs all week. Luckily, Tito had told Iva that he (Tito) could never ride after a big Briggs breakfast. (I think we found Tito’s cycling weak spot there – he couldn’t make it as a randonneur as those guys eat, and eat, and eat some more – at least that’s what I’ve been told.)

Iva wondered if we should do anything to make sure everyone else understood Brueggers. I said I thought it was too late and everyone else had probably understood Brueggers all along. However, given events at breakfast, I wonder if Iva called people to confirm Brueggers, not Briggs.

Some time after the phone conversation with Iva, I checked my e-mail (although I usually don’t bother after 6 or so on Friday). I found an e-mail from Iva. If you suspect that he was informing me that he had been thinking “Briggs” all week instead of “Brueggers”, then you have been paying attention.

Breakfast with Tito

It seems “irregulars” like eating better than cycling. Snapper, Wave, Duke, Iceman, BobH, Norris, Iva, LT, Smitty, Lee and Tito were all present. Including me, that made an even dozen for breakfast. We’ve never had so many for a ride (max is 11). Breakfast bagels and hot chocolate – just what was needed with temps somewhere around 25F.

We were able to get Tito to explain what he’d been doing in the Galapagos and share some insights and adventures. I am confident he has more for another day. In the meantime, check out the “Galapagos” blog to the right of this text.

As the time neared to “ride or cut bait,” Iva cut short the banter about certain people getting lost and using their I-pods or Blackberry’s and . . . finding the worst possible route back home after failing to follow a very well prepared cue sheet and . . . getting repeatedly lost. All I can say about the next moments is . . . thanks guys. But don’t think I’ll let you escape the “wrath of Martin” or the usual “irregular” “flat” courses (or the G-P-MVC finishes) in the future.

Btw, I later found out that Ba-room, the Mallet, Levi and Steve were with us in spirit.

The Ride - "Tour de Wood Valley" and "Tour de Park Ridge", with extra between and after

Smitty had an excuse that a contractor was coming to his house at 9:30. And he loaned me his full-coverage booties. Okay.
The Duke is cold gear challenged even more so than me. Okay.
At least the Iceman rode to breakfast and back home again. Round trip, 2 miles. ~ okay.
Wave “forgot” to bring his bike. And was not dressed to ride. Harumphh.
Snapper brought his bike and had his kit on. Christmas shopping? That was the Black Friday excuse.
BobH and Norris just disappeared! What was with that!?

Pretty much it was the case that the longer one had been on the “irregular list”, the more likely they wimped out from the ride. LT reported that thermometer on his truck registered 27F. (Fyi Smitty, THAT is WAYYYY below the “irregular” limit.) But we rode anyway. By the time we got to Ray Rd, everyone was pretty much feeling pretty good. The exception being that the gloves Tito had borrowed from Iva were not doing the trick. At a pee break, we thought he was warming certain important places, but it turned out he was trying to warm his hands.

The chill did not impact Tito’s riding though. He took his usual place alongside or just behind whomever was leading. Engaging in chit-chat. I even managed to be in front once or twice and actually got to chat with Tito while riding! 

All in all, it turned out to be a fun ride. For me, one of the best parts of the ride occurred on Victory Church Rd when LT picked it up just slightly as we headed for the Durham county line: Lee realized what LT was doing, and just started laughing. A few minutes later, as we headed southwest on Carpenter Pond, LT seemed to be picking up the pace again, and Lee asked if there was another CL just ahead. I told that there wasn’t, and that there would be only one more county line all day, and that it would be on Carpenter Pond Rd when we were headed the other way.

Fast forward. We were in a very nice line, heading slightly upslope near where Carpenter Pond becomes Old Creedmoor Rd. LT in front, then Tito, Lee, me, Iva. I realized where we were, and recognizing that Lee would want to have a go at the CL vs. Dave, I informed Lee we were approaching the CL, that it would be just around that curve just ahead, there, you can just now see the sign. I don’t how fast we were riding, but I realized the going was really, really easy and that I was in an middling cog and the 39-crank. I decided that when Lee went, I would go with him. I started to think that Lee was leaving it too late, but he timed it just about right. Lee went. I followed. Lee had his eye on Dave. I blew past both of them with gusto – Lee started laughing. It was fun and funny.

We were having so much fun laughing and joking about it that we missed the turn onto Old Creedmoor, and we had to U-turn. Lee laughing made my day.

This isn't exactly the course we followed, as the two co-conspirators each took us off the plan, and I missed a turn, but it is close enough.  Course profile and map.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dec-12:

Brueggers: “Tour de Wood Valley”-DocN-Kemp-Nipper-“Tour de Park Ridge”-“the neighborhood”; 31.4 m.; est 1625 ft climbed --> effort index = 47; 2hrs, 7min; 14.8 mph (hey! It was cold!).

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
3rd Qt tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 9 rides; 551.4m.; 35 hrs, 41 min; 15.4 mph.
Nov tot: 8 rides; 372.3m.; 23 hrs, 49 min; 15.7 mph.
Dec tot: 2 rides; 70.4 m.; 4 hrs, 40 min; 15.0 mph.
YTD: 118 rides; 5821.1 m.; 368 hrs, 24 min; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 125 rides; 6130.5 m.; 387 hrs, 5 min; 15.8 mph.

Some people rode a bit farther than we did. See MikeD’s report here.  I found the photo mapping feature interesting. Short-cut to the photo mapping here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

211, 425, 18000

Or, a follow-up to the Dec-6 ride. 

as I said after the ride, I need 211 more miles this month to make 6000 miles for the year.
 . . which means I need 425 more miles to make 10 thousand kilometers for the year (6214 miles)

and I discovered something when I updated my excel log after the ride:
 . . on today's ride, at almost exactly the corner where we turned off Graham Sherron onto Bruce Garner Rd,
 . . . . I rolled 18 thousand miles since I started keeping track of cycling miles in 2004.
 . . . . . . (I rode some - seemed a lot at the time - on the greenway in 2003, maybe even 2002, but I didn't keep track,
 . . . . . . . . or I lost the data.) 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dec-6: Gone in 60 Seconds, Or

1 for the money, 2 for the show, 3 to get ready, . . . , wait -- someone was not ready on time

Snapper insisted that the blog entry show that he was ready on time, and of course, Iva was ready on time.  Someone else was not quite ready. 

Hill Fun Into the North Breeze

Basically a repeat of the Oct-30 ride, except Iva and I were tired of riding into the wind, and since this was a "Shadow Ride", we changed the course and short-cut by taking a left onto John Mitchell Rd, which becomes Graham Sherron Rd.  (Later, we skipped the Rock Springs Rd diversion and zipped straight back the entire way on Bruce Garner Rd.)

Lost Irregulars Ride, More Information Uncovered

When we reached the northernmost Graham Sherron / Woodland Ch Rd corner, Snapper realized he had been on the road just travelled once previously.  During the Lost Irregulars episode ( discussion here ).  Snapper explained that BigWaveDave had gotten them to that point with his I-pod mapping app, and then, either the I-pod was getting no signal, or the mapping went screwy, or there was poor human judgement -- I'm not clear. 

Anyway, Snapper explained the choice of route they made that day (actually, he gave full credit to Wave, claiming that he, BrokenSpoke/Wheel and TallBoy were blameless).  To short the description, from that corner, one can go right approx 1.5 miles to Bruce Garner Rd, or one can go straight approx 2 miles to Bruce Garner Rd, or one can go left and get farther away from PUE, and possibly more confused and even more lost.  Wave, et al, went left.  /:shaking my head:/

Gone in 60 Seconds

We were zipping along on Bruce Garner / New Light when Snapper went to the front and . . . I told Iva it was like watching a movie.  "Which movie," Iva asked.  "Gone in 60 Seconds." 

At least Snapper discussed the plan with us beforehand.  And speeding in doing a finishing "TT" on Bruce Garner / New Light is always accepted.  Just be sure to also get your full quota of Ghoston, Peed, and MVC.  Wouldn't want anyone to not get their money's worth.

We saw Levi and his bro-in-law just before we got to Ghoston.  Levi looked to be dressed for a serious outing into the "up north".

LT and Crew in Training

Upon reaching PUE, we found the place overrun by guys in beige/tan overalls and funny hats.  And fire trucks. 



Several potential captions for the above were suggested:

1.  Iva: "Officer, I think the brush fire started when Harvey lit the afterburners on New Light when he got tired of hanging with Iva and me." (those of you not there can imagine)

2.  Snapper: “Lt. Dave, do you think it was wise of you to let Iva and Harvey drive the hook and ladder up to Stovall for the pizza?"

3.  Mallet:  "Cyclist explains ‘safety’ to dumfounded fireman: 'If I hadn’t drunk most of this I could have put that fire out for you.'"

4.  Unknown:  "Fire Lt. thinks to himself: 'is this guy EVER going to shut up?'"

A few moments later:
 
The caption for this second one is easy:  "Fire Lt. thinks to himself:  'I already humored you clowns by speaking nicely to you, now get the heck out of my exercise area.'"
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dec-6: 

PUE:  Hill Fun east of NewLight / BruceGarner; w/ Snapper, IvaHawk; 39.0 m.; est 2265 ft climbed --> effort = 62; 2 hrs, 32min; 15.3 mph.

1-Q tot: _20 rides, _755.3 m.; _47h31; 15.9 mph. 
2-Q tot: _36 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134h59; 15.7 mph. 
3-Q tot: _36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121h48; 16.0 mph. 
Oct tot: __9 rides; _551.4 m.; _34h41; 15.4 mph. 
Nov tot: __8 rides; _372.3 m.; _23h49; 15.7 mph. 
Dec tot: __1 rides; __39.0 m.; __2h32; 15.3 mph. 
YTD tot: 117 rides; 5789.7 m.; 366h16; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 124 rides; 6099.1 m.; 384h58; 15.8 mph  

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Genesis of a Ride

Or, A Dangerous Stream-of-Conscience E-mail

To:  MikeD 
Date:  Tue, Nov 10, 2009 6:02 pm

I probably need a break from "my group". But I probably need to do some shorter, faster rides even more. Since my crash on Sep-19, I seem to repeatedly find myself either soft-pedaling or working hard but having no "zip" in the legs. I think I may have "willed" myself through my two informal 200k rides, but am experiencing a post-crash let-down -- or maybe I'm just a bit tired. (And I can't even say that I "willed" myself through both 200k rides -- the first one ended 10 miles short with leg-cramps that scared me even more than my crash did !)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Interlude: 

On the Oct-10 failed 200k ride, I was walking the bike and at first my legs were starting to feel better. I started thinking that maybe I could ride again after walking for a mile or so. And also started calculating how long it would take to walk the bike the last 10 miles, and whether I could finish with the 13:30 rando-allowed time if I had to walk the entire distance. I had just concluded that I could make it walking when -- WHAM -- both legs locked up worse than they had just the half-mile before.

You may have been there. Can't move because any movement makes the cramps worse. Can't not move because not moving allows the cramps to "deepen". Trying to take all the weight off my legs by leaning on the bike, one hand on the stem, the other on the saddle, cramps getting worse, crying out for help, it came to me that I would have to massage those muscles one-by-one while holding onto the bike. That worked. Sorta'. I would get one muscle to release and move on to a second muscle, only there seemed to be about a 50% chance that the first muscle would re-lock while I was working on the second. I finally managed to release the cramps enough to shuffle across the road and somehow, painfully laid the bike down, and then, after more massaging and I don't know what, I tried to sit on the edge of the ditch. Everything locked up again, but not as badly as it had been.

I had to be pulled to my feet when my rescue ride arrived. Somehow I got the bike and me across the road, and the rescuer had to do almost all of the work to get the bike into the rear end of the pick-up truck. I managed to heave myself UP into the passenger seat, and once in a "normal" sitting position, the legs started to relax.

I was pretty sure I was a bit dehydrated when I started that 200k attempt. I made sure that was not a problem the next week.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I was quite tired this past Saturday, but knew I could knock out the promised 72 mile course, no problem, with the two others. One had eyes that had bit off more than her legs were ready for (actually, I don't entirely agree with that assessment). One particular time (Gordon Moore Rd headed for NC-56), I found myself slipping off the back and decided I'd rather check out the remaining autumnal color than work to stay on. When I caught up to the two-some at NC-56, Smitty said "you should have said something". I replied that "by the time I realized I was slipping off the back, it was too late to yell; besides, I knew that neither of you knew where you were going, and would have to wait for me."

Aah, the power of picking the course, and not preparing cue sheets!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am short on lights and clothing for real cold. Also, short on clothing for wet weather. As I tend to adjust my riding to fit the weather (I have no previously scheduled brevets or permanents, nor a 95-month century streak, nor an R-12 to think about) I am disinclined to invest in much clothing and gear for "seldom-use".

So given the lack of clothing and equipment, and the tired body, of course I am still up for a ride. Just probably not 200k, at least not right now. If you've got a 70 or 80 mile fun ride from north Raleigh in the near future, send me a message.


Oh, re:  Nov-21: 

When I first read about "Sauartown 200k", I thought "man, I rode up that mountain in the tender month of May, a heck of a lot shorter than 200k, I wouldn't want to go up that sucker in the middle of 200k!" But I found the course listed on RUSA, and Mr. Goodnight only claims 6000 ft of climbing -- that's actually a bit less than "veloroutes" came up with for the Hurdle Mills 200k I did -- but then I saw your estimate of the "Kerr Lake Loop 200k", "veloroutes" came up with more than that just for the 84 mile version "my group" did on Jul-3rd (and we did NOT ride down into Grassy Creek on our Kerr Lake Loop because I did NOT want to ride that "little climb" back out from "downtown" Grassy Creek if it could be avoided  -- and I found a way to avoid it -- at least I can say I came up with a "little bit" of original route that day -- in addition to Mountain Rd south out Stovall).


Hey! There's an idea. Ride from north Raleigh straight up to Stovall the flat way, then eat pizza in Stovall, then come back using Mountain Rd & Horner Siding Rd onto Salem Rd thru Oxford. Just enough of a loop so it might not seem out-and-back.

Martin

btw, you are a LOT faster than me. So is Branson.