Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mar-20: Spring Equinox

Or, Seven-fifty to Seven-forty

Snapper, Smitty and I pushed off from PUE at 7:50 am ("Seven-fifty") for a Spring Equinox 100-miler.
A bit chilly in the first few miles, but exercise and the rising Sun soon warmed us.
Nice morning for a ride.

We arrived in Stem at about 10:10 am for our first refueling stop.
One gallon of chilled water, about $1.56 with tax.
Snapper may have removed a top layer before we left Stem.  He had neither knee nor leg-warmers, nor long pants today, even in the beginning.

From Stem we took Old-75 (on which we found an very full and heavy garbage bag in the middle of the road -- we moved it to the side of the road) to Range Rd to Little Mountain Rd (since neither Snapper nor Smitty had ever ridden that road), then continued on Old-75 to Culbreth / Tally Ho Rd back to Saunders Rd, rejoining the Stem-Hester 100 km route about a mile or mile-and-a-half from downtown Stem.
We are thinking we can claim we did a "mountain" century today -- after all, we rode Little Mtn Rd.
I removed my arm warmers and knee warmers, and Smitty removed his arm warmers at the corner Tally Ho/ Saunders.
It was very liberating feeling riding sans knee-warmers and arm-warmers!

We took E. Thollie Green Rd to loop back to Hester Rd, went through Hester, and continued across on that nice cycling road to Tar River Rd to Blackley Rd to Tom Hunt Rd to NC-96 to Cannady Mill Rd to Philo While to Flat Rock Rd.  Aah, Flat Rock Rd -- into a very light breeze.  Good local climbing training.

We continued on past the Western Wear Store to Wayside Farm Rd to Bruce Garner to Grissom. 
The Grissom store used to have a wider array of products.  I wanted a quart of chocolate milk.  Did not have.
A gallon of chilled water, $2.04 with tax. 
I prefer the price in Stem.
Smitty removed his long pants while in Grissom. 
Upon restarting, he commented how great it felt to be sans long pants.

From Grissom we took Rock Springs / Beaver Dam Rd -- Harvey leaving us well behind -- into the increasing wind.  Luckily RS/BD is almost entirely downslope.  The wind was still quite annoying, though.

From there we essentially looped Falls Lake counter-clockwise, with a couple "do-dads" added on to get the desired mileage. 
We missed the turn off Cash Rd onto Northside Rd.  I was leading at the time.  Brain infarction. 
I quickly recovered by doing "Strawberry Loop" instead of "Pottery Loop". 
So all was good, and we were never lost.  Although my tired brain was confused for a couple minutes.
We were able to do this "on-the-fly" adjustment because there were no rules restricting us to a set course.
And also, no one consulted a GPS system for advice.  Based on repeated results from various IRs, likely a "good thing".

The last 8 1/2 miles on Carpenter Pond and MVC roads, Harvey -- who had previously claimed he was "bushed" -- hit his stride, and ... you all remember the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds"?
Smitty tried to stick with him, but eventually gave in to the inevitable. 
I had been hoping to find a second or third wind on Leesville and Carpenter Pond roads.  Didn't happen.
Waved "bye-bye" as soon as it was obvious that Snapper was "feeling it". 

I finished the ride at 3:30 pm.  Thus the elapsed clock time (or, as Smitty called it when I was describing the rando time limits, "no-auto-pause timing") was 7 hrs, 40 minutes ("Seven-forty").  Smitty had waited at MVC / Peed, so he was just ahead of me.  Snapper -- he must have finished many minutes earlier.

Earliest 100-miler during a calendar year for each of us.

Snapper and Smitty, with their triathlon training of swimming, cycling, running almost every day are way too frickin' strong for me. 
My exercise this year?  13 bike rides, counting today.  That's it.  No swimming -- I would drown.  No running.  12 bike rides in the last two months (I took the first half of January off) is just not enough to keep up with those guys -- they are also naturally a bit faster already, anyway -- oh, and also naturally about seven years younger. 
I have got to get in some mid-week rides or something. 

I know I failed to describe any of the flora -- but it is greening up, and many things are blooming.
There were also many nice houses and yards.  Also ghost houses.
Nice scenery in many places.
An annoying SW breeze / wind later in the ride, though.

All-in-all, we had a GREAT, though tiring, ride.  Not tiresome, tiring.
I suspect that the most tiring thing for Snapper and Smitty was ... waiting for me.
Below is the course we intended to ride -- well, actually, we did not intend to finish on Hickory Grove and Norwood roads -- we always intended to finish on Carpenter Pond and MVC roads.  It is close enough to the actual ride.

route: No Ghoston-Peed 100-miler
distance: 100.5 miles
location: Bayleaf, , US

Below is a link to Smitty's Garmin stats.  It shows the actual route ridden.  Can you tell the difference?
 Smitty's Equinox Stats

PUE: for the route, see either the map above, or Smitty's Garmin report; w/ Snapper, Smitty; 100.5 m.; 6hrs, 37min in-motion-time for me; 15.2 mph. 

Jan tot: _4 rides; 208.5 m.; 12 hrs, 54 min; 16.1 mph.
Feb tot: _4 rides; 222.0 m.; 14 hrs, 47 min; 15.0 mph.
Mar tot: _5 rides; 341.6 m.; 22 hrs, 21 min; 15.3 mph.
YTD tot: 13 rides; 772.1 m.; 50 hrs, 03 min; 15.4 mph.
Oh, after today's ride, I can claim a cycling E of 64. 
That is, I have at least 64 rides that were at least 64 miles long.
I need seven additional 65-milers before I can reach an E of 65.
(For kicks, I have 77 rides that are at least 63 miles long.
Yeah, 13 rides that are between 63.0 and 63.8 miles long.  Wild, huh?)


  1. Only took us 89 miles until we came across the old crazy guy. I still wish we had gone back to egg him on a little more. Could have been good fun (or he could have chopped us up into little pieces and left us in a ditch). :)


  2. For the curious, there were clever comments made throughout the ride, but probably fewer as the miles increased. But ... even though I know there were some clever or humorous one-liners ... I can't recall any of them. Sad.

    I was forced to re-remember one thing, though. After about 77 miles, a comment intended to be humorous may come out snarky or snide instead of with the intended inflection, etc..
    One reason to prefer slightly larger groups -- more people to share the pulling.
    One reason to prefer slightly smaller groups -- it is easier to learn something about the cycling skills or tendancies of the other participants.

    For example, on this ride, I learned that Snapper has really good eyesight and is very attentive for traffic behind and ahead of us.

    However, his eyesight is NOT able to "curve" and see over the crest of a deceptive hill.
    One thing that made me smile during the ride was Snapper instructing Smitty on how to do pulls that are useful for the whole group. :-)

    It seems that just the other month I was tryng to coach Snapper on the same thing. ;-) (I think he also must have received some coaching from others last year.)
    Another thing that made me "smile" ("grimace" might be a more accurate and descriptive word) was the number of times that Snapper and Smitty had to soft-pedal for me to catch up. Just about every time I seemed to catch them unawares, so I went around and let them "chase" for a while. Once I got the flywheel wound up, I wasn't going to willingly give away the flywheel momentum. I let the next climb sap the momentum.

  3. I recalled a humorous moment from the Equinox ride:

    We were on Range Rd, near the intersection with Roberts Chapel Rd (the intersection that is nearer Stem) and Harvey was not remembering when he had ridden Roberts Chapel Rd nor the section of Range we were on (though we were going the opposite direction on Range). We used two memories to jar Harvey's memory:

    (1) the first time Smitty rode "irregularly" and he snapped the pic of Harv standing on the artillery piece, and

    (2) the Tito "duct tape ride".

    Harvey recalled the second -- his immediate response was "you mean when he turtled?"
    Lucky for Tito that Harvey "turtled" on an "irregular" ride first -- a few years ago -- and Ba-room had the cleverness to come up with "Snapper" then. Otherwise, Tito might have acquired another nickname.

  4. For all you 100K guys - well you truly missed out on a great start to season. What better way to kick it off then to take your first 'road poop' in a tired, smelly Stem convenient store! At least the tissue was clean.... When the guy behind the counter started telling me how nice of a ride Range Rd was I knew we have spent too much time in that relic of a time gone by. Afterwards, I did peel off a layer of CLOTHING - Martin's comment made it sound like I peeled of a layer of scum from the $1.56 gallon of water. There might have been a layer of DUST but no scum. From there we enjoyed an incredible spring day. In fact, I believe at exactly 1:32pm (equinox) I was watering the roadside spring flowers once again. I kept telling M and Smitty it was because I was so hydrated - however, secretly, it was because I was shedding my Friday night North Hills Club hangover. I will add that I was quite dissapointed in the rural North Carolina roadside. Not because there were not enough shoulders to ride rather there was WAY too much garbage. Everywhere. Just awful. The bag of trash in the road that M picked up was the icing. Who in the hell leaves a bag of kitchen waste in the middle of a rural road? Maybe the crazy guy? Speaking of the crazy guy - he had to weigh at least 325lbs. High blood pressure, diabetes, etc... he's the perfect example of why I'm pulling against the passage of Obamacare. Our tax dollars to support the likes of him just pisses me off. I'm all for helping those that truly need it but for folks like him - and there are plenty - NO WAY! I wish M would have allowed Smitty to go back there and hassle him some more. Anyway, other than the trash and the trash it was a great ride. And as far as me putting the hammer down those last eight miles? I think it was more like the others just decided to coast home. Hey, 'that's my story and I'm sticking to it'.
    WV = vonyb
    See you soon - Snapper

  5. Sounds like you guys had a great ride! I do wish that I were in shape for 100mi, but alas, not going to happen till probably summertime. Will catch up with you guys when you start rides at the butt-crack of dawn. :)