Or, Some Guys Make It Really Difficult to Give Them a Gift
On Thursday, Tito sent me a "private note" e-mail that IvaHawk's birthday would be on Saturday, the day of the ride. Tito thought it would be nice to give Iva something -- maybe a county line.
I wrote back that Iva would have to ride more than the 50 miles he had expressed interest in, because there would be no contestable county lines if Iva turned on cue for the 50-mile route. Maybe, I suggested, Tito should convince Iva that he ought to ride at least as many miles as his age for his birthday present to himself, and if Iva would commit to ride the Range Road Rover 66-miler, then he would exceed his age by 3, and there would be two contestable county lines.
Eventually, Tito wrote back that he had finally just "informed" Iva that they were riding the 66 mile course, and Iva had no choice.
I informed the other five known riders of the plan. After climbing the Range Wall, which would almost certainly leave me "off the back", I would purposefully ride slowly to catch up to the group while the group putzed along whining about how I needed to learn to climb (I was later informed that that is what the "crew" does anyway - just as I figured); meanwhile, Tito would pull Iva (who was likely to be the second-to-last up the Wall) quickly back to the group, and say to Iva "let's just pass the guys and keep going; they'll catch up in a mile or so." That would get Iva and Tito clear of the entire group headed for the Granville-Durham County Line, and Tito could just wave Iva around. Everyone agreed.
Two additional riders showed for the ride - we eventually clued them into the plan. I told BobH that I was counting on him being one of the riders, that if Tito and Iva were not too far ahead as they neared the CL, to give a faux rush to try to catch Iva before the CL, and use the excuse that they decided it would take to much energy which would be better used over the duration of the 80 or 100 mile ride the rest of us were planning.
Things started to "come apart" when the others did not drop me as badly on the Range Wall as they usually do - perhaps they started the "putzing" too early. A further and significantly more important complication developed when Norris and then ??? and then Iva and then more pulled over to admire the flora. I adapted and called out "we'll regroup at Roberts Chapel".
I rode ahead to catch the hopefully putzing Smitty and JohnA. Luckily they had independently decided to stop at Roberts Chapel to regroup. Then JohnA decided to admire the flora. A couple additional riders straggled in to the Range / Roberts Chapel corner. Then came a fast-moving four-man train including BobH, Tito, Lt. Dave, and Iva on the back. Fantastic I thought -- those guys have adapted and improvised a new plan -- the four would get free and they could wave Iva around.
And then Iva dropped off the back of the line and came to a virtual stop. We had to practically shove him back on the road.
"It is really difficult to give that guy a gift" I mumbled. Someone commented, "I figured you gave up when everyone stopped for the flo-max." I replied, "I don't give up that easy." Then we, too, got underway.
Luckily, the other three of the would-be four-man line realized what had happened, and slowed down. Iva, and perhaps a couple others, caught up. In time for Iva to outsprint Lt. Dave to the line. (Tito tried to explain to me just before we got to Moriah what had happened at the first CL -- but I told him he needed to write it up and send me an e-mail -- I am still waiting -- probably because, as Iva had said shortly after the beginning of the ride, Tito has been too busy "farting" around.)
After the Durham CL, I had dropped off the back of the lead 8 - only Gary was back with me. I commented to Gary that I needed to catch up to the group so that they didn't miss the next turn. Why is it that when I mention something like that to one of the fast guys - Lee also comes to mind - they think I want to catch the group in 100 yards? Half or three-quarters of mile would do just fine, and fit my diesel engine much better. Gary took off, too quickly. But he slowed back down so I could re-catch his wheel and got me up to the group within a long quarter-mile. In keeping with not giving up the flywheel momentum once I get it wound up, I went around the main body of the group and joined BobH and Iva off the front of the other 7. The other 7 continued to slightly putz along while Bob, Iva and I kept "at pace".
Iva clearly wanted to come alongside me and chat - the two of us following Bob. I told Iva to grab Bob's wheel and hang on for a while - I grabbed Iva's wheel. I thought it would only be another mile to the Person County Line. I was wrong.
The turns onto Red Mountain and Bahama roads came BEFORE the CL. Therefore, I jumped around Iva and Bob, telling them to follow me on the turns, and "don't slow down". After the chicane (sp?) of Red Mtn Rd, I intended to get back on Iva's wheel and help him go around Bob when we spotted the Person CL. However, discretion suddenly seemed the better part of valor, and I let the two of them go.
Bob continued to set a nice pace - Iva holding his wheel. At Moriah, Iva explained what happened from his view: He saw the CL sign and jumped around Bob, going for all he was worth, he looked back to check on Bob, and thought Bob's cadence was a LOT less than his - he thought there might be some Marco Pantinni / Lance Armstrong action going on. Bob described things from his point of view: Iva had clearly noticed the CL and jumped past Bob before Bob had noticed the CL - then Bob chased, but Iva had jumped too soon (Tito told me a couple months ago that "Iva only has one or two hundred yards of sprint in him on any day"), and Bob had to "moderate" his chase. "It was really difficult to give that guy a gift."
We stopped at Moriah for several legitimate cycling reasons, but also so that Tito could present Iva his double-sprint trophy, and acknowledge on behalf of the whole group, "Happy 63rd, 'Old Man'". I know that at least a few of us aspire to still have your ability when we reach your current age. (At least one of us is nine years younger, and wishes that his current ability matched your current ability.)
Before the 66-milers split off, I told Iva the following: "Iva, a couple months ago there were only three in on the conspiracy to get you a County Line or two, and it didn't work. Today, nine of us were in on the conspiracy - you were the only one not 'in on it', and it was still nearly impossible to give you these little birthday presents."
A) 66-milers: 1) IvaHawk (the self-proclaimed "Old Man'), 2) Tito, 3) Wave, 4) JohnA.
B) 80-milers: 5) BobH, 6) Norris.
C) 100-milers: 7) Lt. Dave, 8) Smitty, 9) Gary, 10) me.
The rest of our 100-miler was a very nice ride. Lots of details with which one could fill a blog post, but it seems sufficient to say that we had tailwinds on the homeward bound 50 miles and the sun came out and it became a very nice day. We found a great place to stop at Gentry's Store. We had an excellent lunch stop in Berea. We all finished our 104-mile ride and were pleased with our ride and our companions for the day.
I hope the 66-milers enjoyed the Range Road Rover, and that the 80-milers also enjoyed Denny's Store Rd and Old Roxboro Rd and the scenery that we saw an hour-and-a-half later.
Elevation graph and simple map here. Semi-interactive map here.
Smitty sent a link to his gps stats: Smitty's stats (Yikes - Smitty had 20 minutes of "wait for Martin time".)
Oh, to be complete on my ride, I rode 6.4 miles starting at 6 am to test out lighting for my ride next week. The stats below include those early miles.
PUE: Act 1: Night Rider; 6.4 m.; 23+ min; ~ 15.4 mph.
. . . . .Act 2: Mayo Lake 100; 104.0 m.; 6hrs, 47+min in-motion time; ~ 15.4 mph.
. . . . . .Total: 110.4 m.; 7hrs, 10min in-motion; 15.4 mph.
Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; 60 hrs, 38 min; 15.5 mph.
Apr tot: _8 rides; __491.4 m.; 32 hrs, 08 min; 15.3 mph.
YTD tot: 24 rides; 1,429.6 m.; 91 hrs, 47 min; 15.4 mph.