Saturday, April 3, 2010

Apr-3: The Pine Pollen Appeareth

The pine pollen may have been obvious to those cycling about the Triangle on Thursday or Friday . . . but I wasn't cycling about the Triangle on either of those day.  The skies and the air from and between Roxboro and Yanceyville was crystal clear yesterday. 

I thought I noted a hint of pine pollen in the air during the ride today, but I wasn't sure.  However, when I got back to my car, it was easy to see yellow pollen wherever oily human fingers had contacted the car's surface in recent days, and there was a palpable dusty yellow sheen on the rear bumper.  Then I noticed that my black cycling shorts had a definite yellow tinge.  By next week, maybe tomorrow, we will be ingesting a continuous diet of pine pollen as we cycle down the road.

BobH, Levi, me, and guests Gary + Wendy left PUE at 7:35 for our ride (I was NOT the late one(s)).  For me, the ride was a long exercise in "no resistance - soft-pedaling"; BobH and Levi did some accelerations off the front; G+W rode somewhere in betwixt (not between, betwixt -- if you are unclear as to what I mean -- ask when you see me).

BobH and Levi decided to do the Rock Springs / Beaver Dam detour in order to add a few miles to their ride.  G+W and I rode straight in on Bruce Garner / New Light, then Ghoston-Peed-MVC.  I thought G+W might have decided to finish New Light / Six Forks - Pleasant Union Ch Rd because once on Ghoston, I never caught a glimpse of them in the rear view mirror.  I kept expecting them to overtake me because Wendy had been going up the steep bits faster than me.  But appartently, doing Ghoston, the highway, and Peed (2.9 miles) in 14 minutes and change put some distance between us.  (Maybe Wendy slowed down a bit because she decided to ride the extra 10 miles home.)

Turned out I was glad I hadn't stopped and waited for G+W, because if I had, BobH and Levi would have likely caught me before I got into the PUE parking lot.  Doing 10.7 miles in the same time they did 13.1 miles would not have looked or felt good (although I sometimes claim to have no ego regarding riding -- I do); but since I was standing in the parking lot, off my bike, helmet, gloves and "Ebenezer's nightcap" already off, and could see the moment that BobH pulled up alongside Wendy, I can rest safe in the knowledge that they didn't catch ME.

I believe everyone had an enjoyable ride.  My avg pace was a bit slow, but as I told BobH at one point, "today is an exercise in soft-pedaling -- the irritating thing is that the difference between working my butt off and soft-pedaling seems to be about 1 mph."  Bob replied that that seemed like a good thing.  Well, maybe it allows me to go longer more easily without slowing much.

One (other) good thing about the "no-resistance soft-pedaling" approach to today's ride -- I was not exhausted at the end.  Yesterday, I was so tired from the bigger hills, HOTTER temps, faster overall avg pace, that I was falling asleep while trying to compose the blog post.  Today, while I don't feel like "a million bucks", I am not nearly so tired.
Btw, I do know that this post is "all about me".  That might be an indication that nothing too special happened, or it could just mean that I was tired from yesterday -- and didn't really notice anything much.  I do suddenly recall BobH and Levi nearly stopped in the road on Cheek, apparently undecided if they should proceed downslope to the lake or turn onto Hereford Rd; let's just say that I could modify the "rules" post to include a more recent YELLING incident.

PUE: Stem-Hester-Mt.Energy-Grissom 100k; w/ BobH, Levi, G+W; 63.0 m.; 4hrs, 08min in-motion time; 15.2 mph.

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; 60 hrs, 38 min; 15.5 mph.
Apr tot: _2 rides; __120.4 m.; _7 hrs, 48 min; 15.4 mph.
YTD tot: 18 rides; 1,058.6 m.; 68 hrs, 27 min; 15.5 mph.

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