Monday, May 31, 2010

May-31: Memorial Day

During today's ride, I recalled the veterans from my immediate and extended family.  We have been lucky in that there has been only 1 war death - that I know about - in the extended family since and including the Second World War. 

My dad's younger brother, that would be my Uncle Lawrence, only 7 1/2 years older than me, left part of his pelvis in Nam, and has had occassional flair-ups from an exposed nerve -- I thought of him.  My paternal grandfather's half brother served in Europe in WW II with the signal corps; family legend is that he had a thrilling story about being behind German lines, racing in a truck to stay ahead of pursuing Germans, one guy driving as fast as he could, leaning out the door window to look around the raised hood - which was raised because the other guy was lying on the "fender" trying to fix something with the engine; the family legend includes that when he told that story in the late 40's / early 50's, that my great-grandmother grew faint, because she had always thought that her son was safe, well behind our lines, doing signal corps things, not behind German lines stringing telephone lines before major attacks. 

I thought of my brother-in-law, who spent most of his time in the Air Force painting the inside of missile silos.  I thought of my two brothers who served in the Army; I think Earl never left the states; my baby brother, Adam, served in Germany and had a short stint in Kosovo, and was in Atlanta for the Olympics there. 

I know my maternal grandparents had several siblings, on both sides of the family, that served during WW II, but I know almost nothing of what they did or where they were stationed.

I thought of Lynn's Uncle Mack, whom she never met, because he died during the assault on some Pacific island.  Mack never made it ashore; but the unit medic, who won the Silver Star (I think) that day, credited Mack (in his unpublished memoir) with shooting down two planes from their landing craft before a third one got him.

During the ride, the above memories helped me feel stronger.  But, now, having written just the snippets, I'm feeling a bit maudlin.
I did a quick ride on my "time-trial" course while four of the Irregulars did a mini-Kerr Lake Loop ride that I would have preferred to do, but discretion about not-yet-quite-healed-places meant that 84 miles seemed a bit much.  The report is that Lt. Dave, IvaHawk, Tito and Lee had an enjoyable ride; but the Hawk nixed the idea of riding "Stovall Mtn" in favor of taking the flat way home.  The Hawk was a Marine in days gone by, and once-a-Marine-always-a-Marine, but today he decided discretion was the better part of valor and insisted on going the flat way home.  Iva will still more-than-likely kick my butt next week on the Ruin Wall and on Community House Rd..
Tito, Lee, Lt. Dave somewhere near Kerr Lake.
(Photo by IvaHawk.)

For a different sort of Memorial Day, I thought I'd look to what type of rides I'd done on previous Memorial Day weekends.

Year Month Date start / course  +  comments ____________________________________Miles avg mph
2004 _May _31 __________________________________________________________________24.0 _1.53 __12.7 
2005 _May _25 Neal School Food Lion (w/ Lynn) __________________________________31.1 _2.16 __13.7 

2006 _May _27 PUE: Olive Br, Baptist, Virgil; outside right calf very painful _ 32.9 _2.21 __14.0 
2006 _May 29 home: Old Weaver + Northside - Dove; no leg pain________ __________56.2 _4.03 __13.8 

2007 May 26 PUE: 0700 Lake loop + 1015 DocN-Kemp-Virgil ________________________63.1 _3.49 __16.5 
2007 May 27 0700-PUE: MVC; snapped seatpost clamp while adjusting _______________3.8 _0.17 __13.4 
2007 May 27 1330-PUE: encounter and rode w/ 2 separate touring tandems _________32.5 _2.14 __14.5 
2007 May 28 Holly Point: Youngsville-BR #2 rode easy; W-WSW wind ~ 7-11 mph ____77.3 _5.11 __14.9 

2008 ...... records are sketchy, I will skip ...... 

2009 May 23 Hanging Rock - Pilot - Sauartown - HR climbed only HR ______________40.8 _2.59 __13.6 
2009 May 24 PUE: ~8:30 am lake loop plus + ~noon PUChRd-DocN-Kemp-Virgil _______68.0 _4.30 __15.1 
2009 May 25 BJP: Coley-ShadyGr-Coley-DocN-Kemp-Virgil rain on MVC near end _____46.6 _2.49 __16.5

For the last several years, I have tried to make Memorial Day weekend a "big miles" event.  Not this year. 

BJP: DocN-Kemp-Virgil; 29.7 m.; 1hrs, 43min; 17.3 mph. 

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 39 min; 15.5 mph.
Apr tot: 10 rides; __717.9 m.; _45 hrs, 27 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: 10 rides; __837.2 m.: _58 hrs, 42 min; 14.3 mph.
YTD tot: 36 rides; 2,493.3 m.; 166 hrs, 46 min; 14.9 mph.  


  1. We had an excellent ride today. Weather was perfect (which means hot and sunny). And, there isn't a more scenic route that we do than this. Around the Kerr Lake Dam, before and after, is great riding.

    We departed PUE at 7:10 AM. Dave and Lee were in Dave's truck, and Tito and Iva in the Sequoia. We left VCCC about 8:03 AM. Everyone was riding pretty well especially Tito. I told him he was like a Kentucky Thoroughbred who had been in the stable too long.

    Thankfully, there were no incidents or mechanicals during the day. We stopped first in Boydton where we stopped last year. We noticed that nearly all these small country stores are managed my middle eastern men.

    Next stop was on Shiny Rock road just by the road after getting through Clarksville. Some guy in a pickup didn't like my hand signals and lane changing technique. But, he wasn't too ugly.

    About this time, I was tired, tired tired but managed to get to Stovall. No pizza but relaxing in the gazebo.

    From there I called your cell phone since we realized that we didn't know the way back. I did tell them that I had noticed that you said we would need the Hurdle Mills cue sheet. But, none of us had that.

    With a combination of Lee's Droid and friendly directions from a Stovall Farmer, we went Main right on Dexter to dead end and left on Chewning which becomes Barker. Right on Dabney and left on Poplar Creek. That gave us 81 miles so we suspect we took about 3 miles off the correct way back.

    I hope you can go next time.


  2. At the end of the ride, Lee D seemingly as if by magic pulled four Sierra Nevada Pale Ales from his jersey pocket. Normally, I'm not much of a day time beer (ale) drinker, but in this case, it was most enjoyable. Thanks, Lee .

  3. Martin, Thanks for the Memorial Day remembrance regarding your family members. It's a good way to recognize all that have lost their lives and limbs defending our country. Iva