Except for a tiny bit at the beginning (I got dropped by the stop light at Davis Rd about a mile into the ride), and
except for about three or four snatches of conversation spread over the first 210 km,
it was a solo effort.
I certainly never got any "draft" to follow.
"Biking Around NC" Bob snapped me arriving at Snow Camp.
I certainly enjoyed, appreciated, and must mention control conversations with Al P., JayJay, Andy and Nancy(?) D., Chloe (Seagrove, Siler City, Snow Camp), and two snatches of conversation with some guy named Matt -- later found out (due to "sagitandy's" photos) that Matt was Matt Settle.
And also roving rando volunteer Bob of near Graham, who was a friendly face and an insightful help at the Andrews Store. The two clerks at the Andrews Store also were friendly faces. They clearly had learned of the 190-mile ride from earlier rando-folk that had stopped ... they were quite impressed with the idea of the ride and those of us engaging in the activity.
Thanks to all. (Especially to JayJay for the inside dope on the IvaHawk.)
"Sagittandy" snapped JayJay waiting for me to produce my control card.
At about 145 miles into the ride, I thought "NO WAY am I EVER going to try the 400 km; this is going to be a major struggle to finish this ride".
But around 155-160 miles into the ride, with darkness closing in or maybe having fallen, and
no longer riding wet roads, but riding in a cooling rain,
I thought "man, you can do this".
I told that to Alan, the local "Regional Brevet Administrator".
He told me that last week, when he pre-rode the route, he was similarly dispirited at around the 130 mile mark.
But after the 137 mile mark, all was well.
Anyway, when I left his house at about 11:20, Alan asked "see you in two weeks?"
I replied, "see you in two weeks."
I thought about calling two or three of the "Irregulars" at about 11:30 - mostly to be obnoxious - but ... common decency got the better of me.
I did call and leave Lt. Dave and Laurie a message.
But I knew that they would be in Asheville, so no harm could be done.
The night riding was quite interesting.
The night riding in the light rain was more interesting.
The sounds of the rain falling on the "crops" at the landscape nursery on Martha's Chapel Rd was soothing.
The sounds of the many frogs calling out for companionship through the falling rain made for a nice serenade.
Little frogs sitting on the road were unexpected.
Itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny juvenile frogs jumping about on the roadway was amusing.
Seeing my shadow thrown up against the trees on the side of the road was informative.
I sit very upright on the bike (fat gut), but I'm not as upright as I thought.
Only about 3 jerks in vehicles all day.
One of those had bike racks mounted to the top of the car.
East and southeast winds all day meant tailwinds at the start.
I left the Siler City 100 km control earlier than I had arrived for the midpoint of the 200 km.
The increasing in size rollers heading west had cut the avg to 15.1 mph when I left Siler City.
The tougher rollers between Siler City and Seagrove, and the climb into Seagrove, conspired to cut my avg to 14.7 mph at the 150 km control in Seagrove.
I didn't realize just how much climbing there was to get into Seagrove until I left, headed back towards Siler City.
I coasted for miles.
I think my avg pace upon leaving Snow Camp, after having ridden ~ 137 miles, was 14.7 mph.
I struggled for 10 or 15 miles after Snow Camp.
But, the easing of the "terrain", the closing in of the darkness, the damp roads, and finally the rain,
Eventually worked to make me feel better -- cooling effect of the rain, I think.
Spinning in a no resistence gear when the road (mostly) felt upslope / uphill (couldn't always SEE), and
Controlling the downslope / downhill speed (because I couldn't see potholes THAT far ahead),
Seemed to combine to keep me going.
I felt fast the last 30 or so miles.
I felt really good and fast the last 22 miles.
But I couldn't see the confuser read-out after about 7:45 pm,
So who knows if I was moving quickly or not.
I'm using the official distance of the brevet,
Because I would anyway -- who am I to argue with "official-dom",
But also, the distance display on my confuser did not change one iota after leaving Andrews Store
At the corner of Andrews Store Rd and US-15/501.
I wish I had double-checked the battery type for the Fenix flashlight.
It needs AA.
All I had were AAA.
The roving rando volunteer, Bob from near Graham, spotted the problem.
We each thought he was likely fresher in the brain cell area than me.
If I had had AA's, I would have saved at least 15 minutes at the Andrew's store.
Saying that I finished just after 10:30 would look more impressive than saying just before 11:00.
But as I told the RBA, Alan Johnson, the plan was for a 10:00 pm finish.
The hope was for a 9:00 pm finish.
But anything would have been acceptable.
Alan corrected me. "You mean anything before 3:00 am, right?"
"Yes, anything before 3:00 am."
The in-motion time when I finished the ride showed on the confuser as 13hh02mm (and change).
That time makes sense for the whole ride -- not the first 167.7 m. that my confuser recorded to Andrews Store.
I'm thinking the rain "got to" the odometer display.
The 13hh02mm makes sense for the entire ride if my avg was 14.5 mph.
Although I felt fast in the darkness, I suspect that some of that "feel" is because it was dark.
So I'm using the time and the 14.5 mph for the entire ride.
So, yes, I rode on and on and on and on.
But I didn't slow noticeably -- except for the darkness.
The fact that the "terrain" south of Chapel Hill and between Jordan Lake and Morrisville is a lot easier
Than the "terrain" futher west probably helped keep the pace from dropping.
Also, the plan was to "soft pedal" from the beginning and every moment until I reached the finish.
I may have actually pedalled, due to the feeling causing the smile on my face, while on Morrisville-Carpenter Rd.
I admit I also actually pedalled the last 8 or 9 of the 12 miles from Siler City to Snow Camp. My kind of terrain.
The above is but one story from the brevet.
But it is my story, and I'm sticking to it.
For some other views:
Bob's "Biking Around NC" Pre-Ride one week earlier
"Biking Around NC" Bob caught some action on the 24th (good photos here)
sagitandy volunteers and plays with trains (more good photos)
Branson captures the start (interesting start video)
MikeD's mostly photo essay (more photos)
Doc on Bike (more photos here too, I think)
Bob O. - Tidewater Rando
Morrisville 300 km Brevet: Morrisville to Seagrove and back; 189.5 m.; 13hrs, 02min in-motion time; 14.5 mph; Rando time: _start time 0700; finish time 2256; total elasped clock time 15 hrs, 56 min.
Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 38 min; 15.5 mph.
Apr tot: 10 rides; __717.9 m.; _45 hrs, 24 min; 15.1 mph.
YTD tot: 26 rides; 1,656.1 m.; 108 hrs, 03 min; 15.3 mph.
Oh, it might be appropriate to mention that this ride set a distance record for a single ride for me. My previous long-ride record was the "Irregulars" 200k ride last October.