Saturday, February 20, 2010

Feb-20: Of Ships and Shoes and Breaking Away and. . .

1. I don't always ride as slow as I did today. Sometimes, but not always. More likely on a Sunday after a hard Saturday ride. I plead the remnants of my head cold. Evidence?

 2. Even after cleaning up, a look in the mirror reminded me of something a classmate's / teammate's mother said back when I was in sixth grade.

There was an organized basketball conference for the elementary country schools in Whiteside County. 7th & 8th graders made a team. 5th & 6th graders made a team. And if your school was as small as ours (~ 100 kids in 8 grades), the substitutes for the 5th & 6th grade team came from the 4th grade. And, you guessed it, the 6th graders (and maybe the 5th graders, too) made most of the "bench" for the 7th & 8th graders.

Anyway, one game, at our school, Bob Bolivar's mother said I looked like I had "been dragged through a knothole backwards". Yeah, I probably should have been at home in bed and not playing in the game.

That same sentiment probably applies to today's ride. I do note, however, that my "in-motion time" was only three minutes slower than the famous ( \:roll-eyes:\ ) Range Road Rover from Christmas Eve day, just two months ago.

 3. There was some snow remnants on the heavily-shaded ditches / banks of Range Rd. But not comparable to Dec-24-09.

 4. I have received word that there was an interesting / amusing incident on Robert's Chapel Rd amongst the short crew today. But no photos! :-(


Thanks for the ride today as usual. We had an incident (thankfully humorous) on (I think) Roberts Chapel Road related to Tito's duct tape. The road was a long uphill. I was lagging behind. Smitty was back there with me for some reason. Tito started coming back to us. His gears had locked. He couldn't turn the crank. Then the chain threw. About this time, I was going by him and said I'll wait for you at the top. Then I looked back once I got to the top and he was lying in the middle of the road with Smitty standing over him. I said oh, no and rode back down. The others had not seen this and were waiting even further ahead where they couldn't see back down the hill. He had slowed and slowed until the bike stopped. Naturally, he couldn't get his duct tape foot out and the bike, unfortunately, was falling to that side. So down he goes. Then when Smitty and I were trying to get him remounted, having his foot attached to the bike made it where we couldn't get his butt back over the rear of the seat. But, we finally did. It was quite a scene. I figured you would want to include this in the log.

For myself, very tired today. I've been working out a lot. But, there is in shape and in riding shape. I wasn't in riding shape. I was way back on the hills. But, it was fun, good weather, and good fellowship.

A photo would be pretty much like the photos of turtles caught in the middle of the road -- an animal unable to move quickly, needy of a samaritan to throw him off the road. luckily for me, there were many samaritans today, to purchase duct tape and re-attach my shoe, to pull me off the road, to help me stand up with a bike stuck to my foot. 
 5. Earlier, just as we were about to leave the stop in Butner, Tito walked over to me and said "my cleat came completely off my shoe."  I was dumb-founded; all I could think of was that I had not brought my mutli-tool, and even if I had, it wouldn't have been of any use because this was a situation WAY beyond part of Cheeta's pedal falling off and WAY, WAY beyond the Hawk's cleat becoming loose.

Luckily, Cheeta' had his wits about him, and suggested a "Breaking Away" type solution .  Ivan apparently purchased some duct tape, and Wave and Cheeta' and other(s) were soon at work.  Going with the theory that a photo can be worth a thousand words:

 6. Some good things about today's ride:

 - My head, chest, HANDS, and FEET were WARM all ride!
 - There was good conversation going around the crew today.
 - I didn't cough even once while in motion on the bike.
 - My expected coughing fit after the end of the ride did not materialize. There was just some tiny bit of coughing. I was having mixed feeling about finishing the ride: the "pain" from lack of energy would end, but I was mightily worried about the probable coughing fit.
 - JohnH slowed on Old Weaver and New Light and Ghoston, etc. so he could ocassionally look back and check on me. Thanks! He claimed that he knew he couldn't keep up with Lee at that point. I'm not sure I believe John on that portion of his story. (BobH and Norris took the long way home from Creedmoor; probably thinking that they'd get home sooner going longer than they would if they had to stop repeatedly to wait for me.)
 - I got in a 65 mile ride! Twelve straight months with at least one 100k ride each month. Wimpy compared to the rando guys, but, hey.

 7. After the ride, I learned that I became an Uncle again earlier today! More male Shipps in the world!

 8. I intend to start near-term future rides at 15 minutes before the hour, and avoid the crush. Of course, once we start riding starting from PUE @ 0600, the "crush" won't be a problem. Btw, I can't wait until we can start rides at 0600! Why, you ask? Because it will be W-A-R-M !!!

 9. Next week, the scheduled ride is the Bearpond-Bobbitt 70-miler. The Ruin Wall, aka, "Charlie Grissom Mountain", will make today's Range Wall seem as child's play. The nice thing about the Bearpond-Bobbitt route is that once one has scaled the Ruin Wall, the ride is flat and very gentle rollers. Even an injured guy on an injured bike , with only the 39/19 gearing available can ride the last 40 miles, spinning in that easy gear, at an average 16.0 mph.

10.  Today's suspects (13 total):

 - short course:  ~ 50 miles:  Snapper (aka, Cheeta'), Wave, Duke, Hawk, Smitty, Tito, Ivan, JohnA
 - long course: ~ 65 miles + to-and-from PUE distance:  BobH, Norris, LeeD, JohnH, me.
PUE: Range Road Rover, w/ Little Mtn Rd; 65.0 m.; 4hrs, 21min; 14.9 mph.

Jan tot: _4 rides; 208.5 m.; 12 hrs, 54 min; 16.1 mph.
Feb tot: _2 rides; 115.2 m.; _7 hrs, 34 min; 15.3 mph.
YTD tot: _7 rides; 324.7 m.; 20 hrs, 28 min; 15.8 mph. 

good ride today. my gps data...Smitty (color-coded Red to celebrate Wolfpack victory over Wake)
    Smitty's GPS data -- short crew, stranded turtle moment
As recorded on JohnH's Droid GPS app:
    JohnH Droid GPS data.  Be sure to click on "Irregulars (End)" on the left side.   


  1. it was a good ride. I got in 70.07 mi. Speed was not the goal. I noticed the winds at one point per the weather gusted to 16 mph.


  2. Excellent post of the ride. It's been a long time since we've been out. We finally got a good day.

  3. Duct tape. Redneck safe to 220mph! Thanks for all the humor guys. Snapper

    My word verification: gareprow

  4. As recorded on my Droid GPS app:

    > He claimed that he knew he couldn't keep up with Lee at that point. I'm not sure I believe John on that portion of his story.

    Well at that point, let's just say I didn't have the will to find out if I could keep up with him or not. Plus, I always follow The Rules.

  5. JohnH originally tried to include a link to the second post on this blog. (Dated Feb-5-2009.) I think he was trying to point to rule #3.

    But putting links in comments ... just doesn't seem to work.

    During the ride, I thought that maybe he was thinking of the post from Jan-16-2010 in which I wrote "'Irregulars' do NOT leave struggling riders alone!" And ... Karen zapped me with her comment.
    Was I struggling on Saturday? Obviously, I was, a bit.

    Did I feel that Rule #3 was in danger of being violated? No, I didn't. But that might have been because I usually only think of Rule #3 when someone has gone the wrong way, or has tried to go the wrong way.

    On that last, some of you may recall a humorous incident in the middle of Middleburg on Jun-20-2009. I'm not sure if the incident is chronicled in the blog post. I am pretty sure that the part that makes me chuckle even now is not mentioned. So, for posterity:

    When the errant 10 riders had returned to find their leader eating a banana, after a bit of joshing, the leader asked if anyone remembered Rule #3. At first, I was greeted with blank stares. I stared back. Then, LT piped up "don't drop the leader." And I finished "especially if you don't really know where you're going." ;-)

  6. Let it be known that Iva pulled a cream-sicle on us...after we waited for the Hawk...he rolled past us saying 'I ain't stoppin!' and flew down beaver dam only to be reeled in on Ghoston...great ride, fun to be back in the saddle. Wave

  7. I felt like they had been waiting 20 minutes. So I just rolled pass taunting them with something like "no one can beat me". of course, they did.


  8. On Range Rd, we were caught by two riders, Olie and (I think) Dave. Olie lives on Enon Rd between Range Rd and Range Rd (that is not a typo). Just after Olie and Dave caught us, I slipped off the back of the other four. I knew I could drop Olie if I wanted because he was breathing really hard -- they had, after all, caught us after completing the repair of a flat tire in which they were engaged when we rode past.

    In a lull in the slow chat coincident with the other four having gotten at least 200 yards ahead, Olie asked "will they wait for you?"

    I responded "oh, yeah; they have a cue sheet, but they don't really know where they are going."

  9. Took bike into shop. They diagnosed "chain suck", which apparently means one or more teeth were bad.

    Interesting that a new set of chainrings, meaning a new set of teeth, was seen as needed.

    Luckily for us, when our teeth are bad, we don't have to throw them all away. We get braces and re-align them. What do I do with ultegra chainrings that look perfect? Seems so silly to throw them in the landfill!

    I am working on my biking shoes so I don't slow everyone down and get embarrassed.

    All of our buddies were so, so helpful. That is nice to experience; I have been in the other kind of group - where you are just left on the side of the road to expire or survive.