Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bottom Bracket: Kaput -- Shoes: Falling Apart, Literally

Bottom Bracket (Dec-23-2006 to Aug-29-2010)

year rides ___miles ___hrs  avg mph  miles per ride
2006 ____3 ___127.0 ____7.9 _16.03 ____42.3
2007 ___79 _3,530.5 __221.3 _15.95 ____44.7
2008 ___82 _3,765.3 __234.5 _16.05 ____45.9
2009 __126 _6,216.7 __393.9 _15.78 ____49.3
2010 ___69 _4,638.3 __305.5 _15.18 ____67.2

Total _359 18,277.8 1,163.1 _15.71 ____50.9

 I'm told that 18 thousand miles is well beyond what I should expect.
Clipless Shoes (Sep-04-2004 to Aug-29-2010)

year rides ___miles ___hrs _avg mph miles per ride
2004 ___18 ___594.1 ___42.3 _14.05 ___33.0
2005 ___37 _1,265.5 ___91.8 _13.78 ___34.2
2006 ___58 _2,484.9 __167.0 _14.88 ___42.8
2007 ___79 _3,530.5 __221.3 _15.95 ___44.7
2008 ___82 _3,765.3 __234.5 _16.05 ___45.9
2009 __126 _6,216.7 __393.9 _15.78 ___49.3
2010 ___69 _4,638.3 __305.5 _15.18 ___67.2

Total _469 21,939.7 1,456.3 _15.07 ___46.8

 Shoes literally falling apart.  Were still "fine" just two weeks ago.  ;-)

Aug-29: Chatty Chuckie and the Shady Roads

That is "Shady" as in "shaded by trees", not as in "questionable character".

Paul "the Mallet" arrived at PUE at precisely 6:59.  He's got that trip from his house to PUE down pat.

We left a few minutes later only to U-turn after about 1.2 miles because I realized I had no money and my car was unlocked.  We re-started a few minutes later.

Paul was kind and rode my warm-up pace with me.  The warm-up pace lasted all ride long.

We enjoyed the absolutely calm surface of Falls Lake, the low sun casting long shadows, dew-covered spider-web-covered bushes, and the mostly great roads.

We chatted almost the whole ride, but, except for one or two subjects with which I will not bore you, I couldn't tell you what we chatted about.  Paul pointed out that the first building on the right on Robert's Chapel Rd (coming from the direction of the "Range Wall") was one that his firm designed, or whatever his firm did that contributed to the design.  (I'm not sure exactly what his firm does.)

We went off cue sheet when we reached the "north" end of Robert's Chapel Rd to include Little Mtn Rd in our course.  We did that just so we could say that we had done a "little mountain ride" today.  It was Paul's first time on Little Mtn Rd -- his reaction was similar to Snapper's when I had finally managed to drag him to the dreaded "Little Mountain Rd".

The story, such as it is, has gotten ahead of itself.  I should mention that Robert's Chapel Rd once again made for GREAT cycling.  Low sun, long shadows, a crossing of whatever creek / river that feeds Lake Butner.  No hurry.  Just chatting and enjoying the day.

We stopped in the shade at the corner of Little Mtn Rd and Old-75 to have some nibbles.  My confuser showed 30.3 miles and 2 hrs, 0 min, 36 seconds.

We continued through Stem and onto Brogden Rd.  I mentioned to Paul that "this road seems awfully familiar".  He asked "why, have you been on it recently?"  I replied "yesterday".  "Oh."

Through Creedmoor and onto Dove Rd where Paul kindly pulled me along at a nice, "I'm a bit tired" pace.  We zipped across the flat of Old Weaver across the lake, and putzed on up to New Light Rd. 

At New Light, we again stopped for a nibble and to say our thanks for the ride since Paul would leave me in the dust once we got to Ghoston.  Oh, I had 46.1 miles and 3 hrs, 0 min, 14 seconds at that pause in the shade. 

I received an e-mail from Paul that he arrived back home at 11:30 -- that had been his goal that he had set two or three days ago. 

All in all, an excellent day.

PUE:  Robert's Chapel route w/ Little Mtn Rd modification; 52.9 m.; 3 hrs, 27 min in-motion time; 15.3 mph; note:  elapsed clock time  3 hrs, 44 min (i.e., only 17 min of "stoppage time"). 

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 39 min; 15.5 mph.
Q-2 tot: 31 rides; 2,263.3 m.; 151 hrs, 29 min; 14.9 mph.
Ju1 tot: 13 rides; __786.9 m.; _52 hrs, 36 min; 15.0 mph.
Aug tot: _9 rides; __649.9 m.; _40 hrs, 45 min; 15.9 mph.
YTD tot: 69 rides; 4,638.3 m.; 305 hrs, 32 min; 15.2 mph. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Aug-28: Hurdle Mills Bailout 100, modified

Last October, on consecutive Saturdays, we did two runnings of the IR Hurdle Mills 200k. Each time, the "Bailout 100" was available for those leary of riding 200 km.  No one did the the Bailout course.

This year, I managed to horn-swaggle several IRs into riding a 100-miler a month.  I haven't checked, but (perhaps) as of today, no IR has done all five 100-milers (we started in March, but skipped May - I think).  That statistic of no one having done all the 100-milers includes me.  In July, I tried to back-to-back the rando Sauartown 200 km Permanent and the IR Middleburg 100.  I bailed before the start of the Middleburg ride.  Today may have been the downfall for Smitty (it's more fun to write without the facts, so ... ); he is either nursing an injured ankle, or, more likely, surfing the waves stirred up by Danielle. 

On to the ride report.  The following is a "picture" / map of the course we rode today, and the elevation profile:

For a "google-earth" based view of the map, see here .
 _ Note:  the map is not exactly the route we actually rode.  The map shows the route turning off Brown Rd onto Breeze Rd.  We did not do that because, when I checked out Breeze Rd by car a couple years ago. the middle section of it was rough gravel.  I may have to make an "exploration" ride to find out if it is still gravel, or if the road has been Obamulated.

We zoomed from PUE to Gorman, up Snow Hill Rd (you know, if one rides that enough times, it gets easier, I think), across Mason and St. Mary's roads and up to Underwood Grocery at the corner of Schley and New Sharon Ch roads.  We paused there for a refueling stop. 

Since IvaHawk, Lt. Dave and I had all ridden Schley Rd between New Sharon Ch Rd and Walnut Grove Ch Rd, we thought we'd like to go off the cue sheet and see New Sharon Ch Rd for the first time.  Lee mentioned that he'd never ridden Schley Rd, but we outvoted him 3 to 1.  (I promised approximately the same distance -- it was about 3 miles longer -- and I promised that New Sharon Ch Rd would be slightly hillier -- it was much hillier.  Everybody was happy -- mostly because of the enhanced climbing.)

After New Sharon Ch Rd ended at NC-157, we zig-zagged onto Brown Rd.  Several kept asking "what road is this?"  Apparently they thought I was joking when I repeatedly answered "Brown Rd".  But that may have been because they thought, due to the number of near kamikaze squirrels, that the road should have been named Squirrel Rd.  Everyone else in the crew enjoyed themselves immensely when Brown Rd ended at Laws Store Rd, and ... I did not know which way to turn.  Luckily, a postman was driving by, so we asked him which way to turn.  (Lee noted that I refused to admit that I was lost; maybe I admitted that, and maybe I didn't.)

Somewhere on Brown Rd.
The hammers once again sucking "someone's" wheel.
Thanks for the photographic proof, Iva!!
Gosh - I just noticed you did get all the hammers following me:
after my orange jersey, comes Ags, Lee, LT, and drifting off the back Robert. 
A slightly longer stop in Hurdle Mills was followed by the continued quick pace across Charles Reade / Jim Latta Rd (we skipped going up to Mt. Tirzah) to Mt Harmony Baptist Church -- the church, not the road.  We continued on more-or-less straight, rode past the Roxboro Motor Speedway and over to Old Roxboro Rd, heading for Berea and lunch.  Very nice lunch in Berea, but a couple miles before we got there, Wendy yelled out for the crew to slow down a bit as Gary's legs were trying to cramp.  Several of us chuckled (not in a mean way) and plotted our conversations once we reached Berea.

Guess we''l have to talk to Gary about nuuu-trition, electro-lyyyyytes, proper diiii-et, and we plotted for some of us to simultaneously whip a package of Zyms out of our back pockets and asked if he'd ever heard of the product.  Why was this funny?  Because all those Zyms, plus some SportLegs, plus some e-Load, plus some "gummy-bear" supplements that several / most of us were packing were all purchased from "TLC_4_Bikes". 

After we left Berea and had climbed back up to the plateau after crossing the Tar River, Gary was lantern rouging with me, partially to discuss the "tick" that was coming from somewhere in my drive system.  After completing that discussion, to be consistent with the above-mentioned "Berea conversations", I told Gary "don't worry, I'll get you home despite your legs trying to cramp."  We both laughed at that ludicrous statement. 

Turned out it wasn't so ludicrous.  The rest of crew put the hammer down after crossing to the south side of the Tar River, and Wendy seemed to not have a lot of "go" in her legs, so the three of us drifted off the back of the front portion of the crew.  Then, the completely unexpected happened:  on one of the climbs on Brogden Rd, one of Gary's legs actually cramped!! 

Lt. Dave had earlier said that Gary needed no defence nor to make any apologies, but I had responded, "yes, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't tease him -- we'll likely never get another chance." 

I think everyone had a good ride on an interesting course -- even Wendy and Gary.  The front part of the crew had all left PUE by the time G, W, and I finished our ride.
Today's crew:  IvaHawk, Lt. Dave, Lee, Robert, Ags, Gary + Wendy, me.
Oh, and we were joined for the first 20 or 21 miles by serendipitous PUE pick-up "Russ".
More like he grabbed onto out wheels as we left PUE.
We gave him oral directions on how to complete the Butner Prison route. 
He must have made it.  His car was gone when we returned to PUE.
Btw, this was a "Five County Century":  Wake, Durham, Orange, Person, Granville.
My stats:


PUE:  Hurdle Mills Bailout-100, w/ New Sharon Ch Rd modification; 106.3 m.; 6 hrs, 39 min in-motion time; 16.0 mph. 

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 39 min; 15.5 mph.
Q-2 tot: 31 rides; 2,263.3 m.; 151 hrs, 29 min; 14.9 mph.
Ju1 tot: 13 rides; __786.9 m.; _52 hrs, 36 min; 15.0 mph.
Aug tot: _8 rides; __597.0 m.; _37 hrs, 18 min; 16.0 mph.
YTD tot: 68 rides; 4,585.4 m.; 302 hrs, 05 min; 15.2 mph.  
Today's 100-miler means that I now have:
 _ _ _ more than 23,000 lifetime miles (more than 37,000 lifetime kms).  It is a short lifetime.
 _ And also, I now have 68 rides that were at least 68 miles.
 _ _ I.e, my Eddington Cycling Number has reached 68.
 _ _ _ I leave it to the reader to research "Eddington Cycling Number".
68 may seem a bit paltry in this part of the country, especially given, for example, that MikeD now has 104 consecutive months with at least one 100-mile ride, but my history is MY HISTORY.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Aug-26: Neither Cadance Nor "Time-Trialing"

Just Pedaling and Testing

Saddle adjustment.  Lower.

I lowered the saddle a little before riding.  Well before completing 9 miles, I thought I needed to raise it back up about half of what I'd lowered it, but I decided to do a "fair test".  Nearing the top of Coley, I decided I'd been "fair" enough, and when I got to Carpenter Pond, I raised the saddle about half way back to where it had been.

The quads immediately started feeling better, but they were basically trashed after the 17.1 mile "test", and I just didn't have much "go" the last 20 miles.

Saddle adjustment.  Forward.

My saddle (on a zero-offset seat-post) was already about as far forward as it could possibly go.  But I tried to nudge it forward a few more micro-millimeters.  I left the saddle in the even-more-forward position.  Unless my gut gets significantly smaller, I can't see that I'll be able to bend-over further enabling a more aero position, and possibly a slight slide backward.

New bibs. 

I acquired some supposedly nice quality bibs from Gary.  In my opinion, the chamois just doesn't cover enough of the "front area".  No problems emerged on a 37-mile ride on a coolish late summer afternoon.  But NO WAY I am trusting those bibs for a 100-miler, or a 300-km or more ride.  Sending them back.

Cycle confuser, aka, Cateye.

Not a new confuser, and I certainly didn't intend to be testing my current confuser.  However, I was riding what felt like a very nice, quick pace back up Coley toward Kemp from 98, so I looked down to find out what my actual pace was.  "0.0", and the distance had only increased by "0.02" miles since I'd U-turned at 98.  What the heck? 

I was thinking / worried that I might have to actually give in and get a new confuser, but when I adjusted the saddle height as described above, I also managed to move the sensor and magnet imperceptably closer, fixing the "0.0" problem. 

Luckily, I know the distance on Coley which was not recorded, and I have a pretty good idea how long it takes me to cover Coley from 98 to Carpenter Pond.  Still annoying, though.


No testing of shoes today.  But I noticed today that the lowers are separating from the uppers (near the heel) on each shoe.  I'll likely try some shoe-glue to try to stop further separation.  But as anyone that has ridden with me probably knows, I could use a new pair of cycling shoes.  BEFORE going to the Blue Ridge Pkwy next month.

New Asphault on Carpenter Pond.

Not one single additional inch of new asphault has been laid since a week or more ago.  Today was the first time I rode the 1-mile of the westbound lane that has been repaved between Old Creedmoor and Kemp.  It is smooooth.  There are at least two sets of two round holes cut into the new pavement testing the depth of said new pavement.  The old pavement surface was easily visible.  So ... watch out for the test holes.

There did seem to be some big machinery unloading going-on, so maybe there will be new pavement all the way to Kemp by Saturday morning.  More likely, they'll be repaving and we'll have to navigate around the work crews early on in our ride.  Maybe we should modify the start and take Norwood to Vct Ch, which becomes Kemp; that way, we'd limit the interface with any work crews to the few seconds it will take to cross Carpenter Pond. 

BJP:  Coley-DocN-Kemp-Virgil; 37.0 m.; 2 hrs, 19 min in-motion time; 15.9 mph. 

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 39 min; 15.5 mph.
Q-2 tot: 31 rides; 2,263.3 m.; 151 hrs, 29 min; 14.9 mph.
Ju1 tot: 13 rides; __786.9 m.; _52 hrs, 36 min; 15.0 mph.
Aug tot: _7 rides; __490.7 m.; _40 hrs, 38 min; 16.0 mph.
YTD tot: 67 rides; 4,479.1 m.; 295 hrs, 25 min; 15.2 mph.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Aug-22: Werewolf - Axminster

Snapper (and possibly Stew) suggested the title for today's post.  I'm not sure I got it quite right, though.

Snapper contacted a few days or weeks earlier asking if he could do a Sunday recovery ride with me.  I think he did some phast triathlon on Saturday .. perhaps he got credit for winning his age group ... probably because the only other person in his sex/age-group was credited with second master.  Actually, the previous sentence is probably not accurate.  Have you seen Snapper, lately?  He has gotten a lot thinner. 

Snapper invited BigWaveDave and Smitty (and someone named Ken) to join us.  Smitty showed up to return a sleeping bag to Snapper, but informed us that he had messed up one of his ankles, with the upshot being no running and no cycling for at least a few days, perhaps longer.  Here's to hoping that he heals quickly.  But perhaps that it will take just long enough to heal that he'll come back a bit slower due to being slightly out of shape. 

I seem to be having an "evil streak" surfacing today. 

We did a "Shadow" course, but I did inform the others that we'd take Dove Rd up to Creedmoor.  The "lake" / river crossing looked much different this morning than it did yesterday:  yesterday was all foggy and shrouded in mist ... today was clear and bright. 

As we approached Old Weaver on the newly paved New Light Rd, I was bringing up the rear, with Snapper and Ken in the front, and Stew just behind them.  I claimed the lane and signaled the left turn.  I yelled that I had claimed the lane.  Snapper looked back ... I thought he was checking the traffic and/or to see if the lane was claimed.  Then the lead three rode straight past the turn.  I yelled as I turned. 

Stew was the first to catch me.  I asked if he had been on the ride several months ago when we were supposed to take Dove Rd up to Creedmoor, but everyone zoomed past the turn onto Whitt (which leads to Dove), and then waited for Smitty and me at NC-50.  And when I got to 50, I asked "does anyone know the way to Dove Rd?"  Stew acknowledged and remembered the antecdote. 

A few minutes later, Snapper wanted to turn onto Beaver Dam Rd to get to Dove Rd.  S-i-g-h.  He covered his miscue by claiming that there was a house supposedly off Beaver Dam that is supposed to be nice, but has been for sale for over a year. 

Dove Rd was very nice.  The rollers helped me loosen up my legs.  The trees cast nice, cool shadows.  It led us to Creedmoor.

Pausing in Creedmoor allowed me to better prepare the nibbles in my "bento box" and for Snapper to adjust his main handlebar and his tribars.  I didn't charge him a rental fee for using my allen wrenches.  I don't know what Stew and Ken accomplished at the stop. 

We zipped slowly through Creedmoor on Main Street -- I won't comment on the quality of red light stop that certain people made, but the ride leader, who was 100 yards ahead and had made the light on the green, was shaking his head.  Leaving Creedmoor on US-15, Snapper pointed out the building that had been the ABC store for several decades, but no longer serves that purpose.  He tied the knowledge about said building useage to members of Ashley's family and going up to their lake place.  Mm-huh.  Sure.

Past the golf course on Sam Moss Hayes Rd, and Stew was eager to turn onto Moss Hayes Rd.  Sorry, Dave, I'm saving that for another day.  To the stop sign at Hester Rd, where I changed the course to remove a couple/few miles and a couple/few short climbs as Ken's previous long ride was only 30-miles, and there is always the possibility of a 50% increase in distance getting the better of the rider.

So we rode across Hester Rd to Tar River Rd, made a few other turns (that we've done once or twice before) and ended up on Cannady Mill Rd, then Philo White, then Flat Rock Rd.  We stopped for a real refueling stop at the Cowboy Store (this course seems earily similar to one ... or two ... recent IR routes).

Then across to Bruce Garner Rd where we put Snapper on the front to pull us at a very reasonable pace the 9 miles to the bottom of Ghoston.  The other three hit the afterburners once on Ghoston; I rode sensibly (some might say "slowly").

I arrived at PUE to find Ken changed out of cycling jersey and shoes, his bike already mounted on his car.  Harvey and Dave had already put their bikes up, and changed to running footwear ... Harv had even changed to running shorts.  I guess they had "time-trialed" G-P-MVC whereas I had just completed my ride (as if I could have kept up even if I had "TT'd" that last section).

Oh, yeah.  Stew took the only CL that anyone noticed.  Of course, no one else noticed it was coming.  Oops, that sounds "evil" again.

All in all, a very good ride.  And Ken increased his longest ever ride by 66%. 

PUE:  Dove-SamMossHayes-TarRiver-PhiloWhite-FlatRock; 44.9 m.; 3 hrs, 07 min in-motion time; 16.0 mph. 

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 39 min; 15.5 mph.
Q-2 tot: 31 rides; 2,263.3 m.; 151 hrs, 29 min; 14.9 mph.
Ju1 tot: 13 rides; __786.9 m.; _52 hrs, 36 min; 15.0 mph.
Aug tot: _6 rides; __453.7 m.; _28 hrs, 19 min; 16.0 mph.
YTD tot: 66 rides; 4,442.1 m.; 293 hrs, 06 min; 15.2 mph.
To see what we rode last year, see here. 
Steppenwolf.  Magic Carpet Ride.  (You're on your own to find a link and give it a listen.)
As for why "Magic Carpet Ride" ... ask Stew.
(Just in case my humor is too ... something ... for you to detect, the immediately above bold text is what the guys wanted me to use for the title of the post today.)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Aug-21: Bobbitt - Egypt Mtn - Gray Rock - Flat Rock

Was expecting 11 plus me.  2 expecteds did not show.  3 "unexpecteds" did show -- actually, I expected 2 of the 3 would show; but did not expect the third.

The actual cast for the day:  IvaHawk, Lt. Dave, the Mallet, Levi + Cathrine, Tito, IvaN, Ags, Robert, BobH, Norris, Lee, me.  The previous sentence is the only place certain people make an appearance in today's story.  That is because for some there was no particular point at which they stood out ... or if they did, I didn't see it.  Others did stand out, but I chose not to write about that moment / those moments.  And for others, private conversations are ... private.

Robert led out of the parking lot and across Pleasant Union Ch Rd.  Soon we were on the newly repaved New Light Rd for the second time since its repaving -- a defininte improvement now that one does not need to dodge the many potholes, etc. that previously plagued the surface.

As had been advertised / warned in the "rider-call" e-mail, the ride leader and one other used the not-so-secret short-cuts in Franklinton to move from the lantern rouge positions to the front of the pack.  The new order of things did not stick, though.

Similar to the experience on Pokomoke Rd, there was some separation of the group (but not much) on the shallow climb from the Tar River up to Bobbitt.  At Bobbitt, Lee asked if we were doing the ride where I crashed into him , only backward.  At first I responded that there was a lot of similiarity; then I changed my response to note that from Bobbitt on, the answer was ... no.  For a map of the crash route, see here.  Look for Floytan Crossroads (or Community House Rd) at about mile 32.

After a short liquid refueling stop in Bobbitt (Robert, btw, seems to have learned how to do VERY quick get-off-the-bike-and-into-the-store-to-get-supplies-and-get-back-to-the-bike stops.  A skill that he picked up at last week's brevet, I'm thinking.).  And we were soon on Dick Smith Rd, paralleling Bobbitt Rd as we headed directly back toward the Tar River.  We didn't make it all the way to the river -- just to the flood plain.

Then northbound on Chavis Rd almost all the way to Kitrell.  But we cut across before reaching that hamlet to get on Oak Ridge Ch Rd, more or less paralleling Chavis Rd, and therefore headed back toward the Tar River, again.  However, Oak Ridge Ch Rd intersects US-1 well before getting to the flood plain. 

We crossed US-1 and were suddenly on Egypt Mountain Road.  Four-and-a-half rolling miles later, IvaHawk wanted to know WHY the road was named Egypt Mtn Rd.  I told him it was because "Egypt Mtn Farm" was atop the biggest hill on the road.  The Hawk then wanted to know why they named the farm THAT.  I dunno.  The local that we flagged down to verify the direction to Wilton Rd also reported that he had no idea why the road was so named; but he added that in the winter, one could easily see the HILL (that is apparently named Egypt Mtn).  For those that may be curious and somewhat knowledgeable, Egypt Mtn is a LOT less impressive than Peace Mtn (aka, Stovall Mtn).  However, the rollers on Egypt Mtn road are plenty nice enough, and so is the main creek crossing -- well, the creek is nice if one should happen to descend all the way to the water's edge.  ( See May Day 2009 report here. ) 

Eventually, with the assistance of the local, we concluded that the cue sheet was correct.  From Egypt Mtn Rd, we needed to turn left onto Charlie Grissom Rd to get to Wilton Rd. 

Robert and I were among the first to get to Wilton Rd.  I had a plan to get the (Granville) CL where the road changes name to Gray Rock Rd for Robert.  However, suddenly Lee was alongside me, and I knew that game was up.  ...  We waited quite late before jumping for the CL -- Lee jumped first, I was a split second behind him.  Lee was probably in his 53 chain ring, I can't guess what cog he was in.  I was in my 39 chain ring and my 12 tooth cog -- perfect.  ...  Lee got almost his entire front tyre ahead of me, but at that moment I hit the pedals harder / faster and I knew I had him ... if the remaining 50 yards didn't run out too quickly ... I think I redoubled the cadence effort (I may have even gotten out of the saddle) ... a second later, I was still half to three-quarters a wheel behind but passing fast, I knew that Lee knew that I had him ... how? ... he did NOT let up ... although I heard a later report that he tried to shift cogs and that may have slowed him ... but I suddenly heard Lee's characteristic laugh ... the laugh told me that he knew that I had him ... I took the CL by about half-a-wheel.  I was also VERY winded and tired.  I paid for the victory all the way across (up) Gray Rock Rd.  I am confident that Lee would agree that the sprint had been quite fun. 

At Cannady Mill Rd, we discovered a real error in the cue sheet -- who creates those things, anyway?  On Cannady Mill Rd, I pointed out the house I had been riding past two weeks ago when the dog bit me.  No dog today.

On the short, steep climb up from the Tar River (yes, we finally did actually re-cross the river -- after the ride, Levi asked me how many times we had crossed the Tar -- only twice ... but we got quite close two or three other times), I began to suspect that the day's ride was getting to Robert ... because I nearly passed him on the climb.  In the event, I backed off to make sure that Levi and, more importantly, Cathrine had someone with which to ride Philo White Rd.

Two or three of us stopped near the Cannady Mill / Philo White corner to admire the flora.  Then we took after following the leading 10 riders.  One comment on Philo White:  it is a LOT easier if one pops that first steep section rather than slogging it.  I had never popped that first steep until two weeks ago (see "An Extra Loop") -- I've certainly learned my lesson there. 

On to Flat Rock Rd.  I think everyone enjoyed Flat Rock today, each at their own pace.  (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

To Kelsey's (the Western Wear Store) at Suitt's Store Rd and NC-96.  A short stop to replenish liquids.  Then off we went.  Actually, BobH and Norris went off earlier than everyone else.

We ended up with a front group that must have been BobH, Norris, Lee and Robert, and a back group made up of the other nine of us.  I'm not sure about the groupings on Bruce Garner / New Light Rd, because other than the fading Robert, whom the back group caught between Old Weaver and Ghoston, I never saw any of the front group again.  The back group split also:  "the sensibles" were LT and Cathrine; the other seven of us constituted "the TT nut-jobs".  I enjoyed the rush on Bruce Garner / New Light.  The other six enjoyed the "rush" and the subsequent climbs of G-P-MVC.

Robert, refugee from the front group, was last of the six-plus-one to pass me on the lower slopes of Ghoston.  We exchanged pleasantries and as I thought everyone may have just passed me by except for Cathrine, I commented that Levi should have stayed with his better half.  I realized just how tired Robert was when he outbid me for the right to wait for Cathrine and make sure she had someone with whom to complete the ride. 

I understand that Robert circled back to bottom of Ghoston, but apparently he arrived too late to see "the sensibles" take the New Light / Six Forks optional finish instead of turning onto Ghoston.  He eventually gave up waiting and came on to finish his ride.

I waited for the threesome of Cathrine, LT and Robert at the first shady spot on Peed Rd.  After six minutes passed, I concluded that they had probably taken the easier finishing route, and I went ahead and completed my ride at a leisurely pace on Peed and MVC.

Sure enough, Cathrine was with the others still gathered in the PUE parking lot.  LT, Lee and the Mallet had all ridden straight for home, of course.  Robert arrived a couple minutes later. 

Excellent ride.  Excellent company.  A few fun moments.  Some good climbs.

On a semi-personal note (and you thought this post was only about me), one of my goals for the day was for LT to finish a longish, hilly-ish ride in style.  Dave reports that he had a good ride and finished in acceptable form.  Why was one of my goals about someone else's ride?  Because we're supposed to ride the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway starting in three weeks, and Dave has struggled his last couple rides.  I think there were extenuating circumstances for both times, but I'm not sure he accepts those circumstances as reason(s) enough.

100-miler Durham Tech to Yanceyville ride next week?

One last, but not least, point:  Cathrine did her longest ride ever today.  Increasing her previous record by 50%.  Yep, 50-miles to 75-miles in one step.  Congratulations, Cathrine

PUE:  Bobbitt - Egypt Mtn - Gray Rock - Flat Rock; 75.2 m.; 4 hrs, 35 min in-motion time; 16.4 mph. 

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 39 min; 15.5 mph.
Q-2 tot: 31 rides; 2,263.3 m.; 151 hrs, 29 min; 14.9 mph.
Ju1 tot: 13 rides; __786.9 m.; _52 hrs, 36 min; 15.0 mph.
Aug tot: _5 rides; __403.8 m.; _25 hrs, 12 min; 16.0 mph.
YTD tot: 65 rides; 4,392.2 m.; 289 hrs, 58 min; 15.1 mph.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aug-18: Coley x 4

Pre-ride information.

I went to BJP to do my ~ 30-mile "TT" route.  A mild thundershower cut loose just as I parked. 

I read a book for ~ 20 minutes.  During that time it had stopped raining and the parking lot was drying out.  I visited the "Visitor's Center" to change into my new bibs, then I started prepping the bike and putting essentials in to the back pockets and just as I was ready to put on socks and cycling shoes, I heard the rain stampeding through the trees headed for the BJP parking lot, again.  I quickly got the bike into the car before it got wet; I got me into the car, mostly not wet. 

I gave up on riding, and left BJP.  But by the time I got to PUE, it was no longer raining and the road was barely damp.  I drove a loop including Nipper and Shooting Club and ... it was bone dry at the Old Creedmoor and Carpenter Pond corner.  I headed back to BJP.

I parked, again, but just as I began to open the door, remnants of the rains from Noah's time cut loose.  I gave up for real.  The look of the clouds and rain as I drove across Pleasant Union Ch Rd, again, made me think this rain would be an all-day event (I grew up in NW Illinois, and there, storms tend to be huge things, not these two-mile-across things that we typically get in NC -- try as I might, storm recognition tends to revert to that learned in childhood and teenage years). 

By the time I got to Strickland Rd, I could see blue sky to the nearby west.  I decided to drive to Shady Grove Church and see what things looked like there.  BONE DRY. 

On the way to Shady Grove, I learned that Carpenter Pond is finally being repaved.  They started at the Wake County Line, and are paving the westbound lane -- they did not get as far as Kemp Rd -- I would estimate that 1/2 mile of the westbound lane has been repaved.  One might want to avoid Carpenter Pond Rd the next few days, but after that ... I anticipate even faster "TT" times.
The ride.

I will be sending this to Lt. Dave.  He would have loved the course.  NOT!!

Approx 0.37 miles from the church parking lot to the Carpenter Pond / Coley corner.  Then ... four loops down and up on Coley.  Return to the church.  Call it a day. 

Smooth road.  Almost no traffic.  One female turkey spotted as it crossed the road ahead of me.  Surprisingly, no dogs.  Light northerly breeze, meaning headwind downslope and tailwind upslope. 

What more could one ask for?

Shady Grove Church:  Coley x 4; 30.0 m.; 1 hrs, 47 min in-motion time; 16.8 mph.  

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 39 min; 15.5 mph.
Q-2 tot: 31 rides; 2,263.3 m.; 151 hrs, 29 min; 14.9 mph.
Ju1 tot: 13 rides; __786.9 m.; _52 hrs, 36 min; 15.0 mph.
Aug tot: _4 rides; __328.6 m.; _20 hrs, 37 min; 15.9 mph.
YTD tot: 64 rides; 4,317.0 m.; 285 hrs, 22 min; 15.1 mph.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Aug-14: Morrisville Brevet and Picnic

It is impossible to capture and record everything one sees and might want to relay in a blog, but here is one (or perhaps five) takes on at least some of the moments at the Aug-14 Morrisville Brevet. 

Voices:  Me – black type.  The Mallet – red type.  IvaHawk – blue type.  Robert – green type.  Tito – brown/maroon type.  [Ed. note:  this was the first brevet for "the Mallet", Iva, Robert and Tito -- none of whom are RUSA members.  "The Mallet" did, however, ride approx 160 miles solo from Raleigh to just outside Charlotte last Thanksgiving.  Also, Tito has completed at least one IronMan in a past life.] 

This 200k Brevet started June 29 when Martin sent me an email – subject: “Goal”.  It stated "if I may be so bold as to suggest the following goal for you."  Not knowing what a Brevet was, never having participated in an organized ride or doing anything more than about 105 miles, I found this goal to be very interesting and exciting.  So after a bunch of questions to Martin, I decided I would accept the suggestion and have been looking forward to this.  [Ed. note: Robert’s first ever bicycle ride as an adult (he is 61 years-young) occurred during the April-May Brevet season (Apr-24); it was 38 miles longs. A week later, May-01, I met Robert for the first time: he ended up with about 71 miles which included some bonus miles.] 

Planning - I realized I needed to plan well for this, so with the help of Martin and Gary I got some new equipment.  I was as proud as my new stuff as Iva was.  A cool little blinkie light for the front, a rear red light that if blinking will blind a rider behind me, a little basket [Bento box] up front so I could eat on the bike without taking the risk of reaching into my back pockets (as I was told most riders only stop at the 3 control points and I needed to eat in motion) plus a new bright yellow Joe Blow pump.  Thanks to Gary for all your recommendations.  Paul asked me what have I been doing for a pump before this ... all you guys at PUE that I have bummed your pumps are off the hook now. 

Now on to the adventure...tried to arrive early so I would have a buffer for any problems and you know who was there first.  After meeting a few new riders and a brief conversations with Martin, Iva, Tito and Paul, off we went. 

I started quickly, immediately lost Iva, but was soon passed by Tito.  He claimed he had not recognized me because I was not wearing one of my usual jerseys; I recognized Tito by his position on the bike. 

I got lost on my way to the Brevet parking lot and barely was able to get to the starting line in time. Martin urged me to catch up to the lead group and so I did. As the sun rose slowly under a blanket of clouds, we forged ahead at a 22-23 mph pace. The first miles are so flat and the double paceline was so effective that we were rolling at a dizzying pace. The Mallet, Robert and I hung in there and the Mallet took a few pulls. I knew I would blow a gasket if I were to go to the front, since the pace was relentless. At the first really long hill, the lead rider surged upwards, but a following rider led out and raced to the summit. A few followed but not I. I did not have the leg quickness, but, luckily, on the succeeding flat (15/501) I caught up. A few miles later, my front wheel was shimmying and I realized I had flatted. I pulled over, changed the tube and then, just as I was ready to go, Martin pulled up. 

Having the advantage of knowing that the first 17 or 18 miles are generally downslope, having experienced being dropped by the quick start of the peloton and being dropped by red lights at Davis Dr., NC-55, and Koppers Dr., and also with the advantage of knowing most of the regular NC randonneurs by sight, I used Jerry to pull me along during the early miles.  When I couldn’t hold on to him after a couple miles, I let him go.  But luckily for me, along came Tim and I grabbed his wheel.  Tim was setting a nice, quick-yet-easy pace and we caught Jerry after a couple miles (I suspect that Jerry’s downslope speed is limited by his single-speed).  We picked up Sridhar and (I think) recumbent Lyn on the way up to Farrington Point.  I had figured I’d be dropped on that little climb, but perhaps a south breeze/wind enabled me and, more interestingly, Sridhar, to hang onto Tim’s wheel up to Lystra Rd.  A mile on Lystra, a short mile on Jack Bennett, and then … bye Tim … thanks for the ride.  Quickly passed by Jerry and “the train” he had collected … but even that train disintegrated on the Jack Bennet climb.  Fyi, I think I was avg'ing 17.3 at the TOP of Jack Bennett. 

I started with the leaders including Tito, Paul and Bryan (who I met on my one CBC ride with Lee). I remember Martin's warning....drop off a group that is too fast before you get tired. How does one know when you are tired when you have fresh legs, the adrenaline is pumping and excited about the adventure you are participating in? I realized I was way over my head even drafting with this crew but when I looked behind for the next train, I saw no one. I was hoping someone else would drop off and was trying to decide when to back off and then with the blink of an eye we hit a hill around the 19 mile mark and you would have thought it was a CL. My decision was made for me and I was off the back. I fought hard for many miles to maintain view of the group. Some place after about 20 miles in, I saw Tito off the side of the road. He said he did not need help. I continued on thinking I would see him again knowing his strength. 

I proceeded across Andrews Store Rd and onto Parker Herndon Rd.  I don’t recall who was near me.  On Parker Herndon Rd, I found Tito completing his repair of a flat tyre. 

We rode together and discussed the world's problems.  After no more than 5 miles, I flatted again and I urged Martin to ride ahead. By the time I had the repairs completed, Iva arrived. 

We shoved off in the dark … could not see any of the other Irregulars … proud of my new Trek 7 flashing tail light. But shortly into the ride my heel my hit my fancy new Trek 7 light pushing it into my spokes, creating a grinding medal sound accompanied by the sound of the red lens bouncing across the pavement. This was a result of improper installation by me without sufficient testing prior to going to production. Later inspection revealed two of the five lights crushed. 

Finally I settled in with a group of about 12 riders going along pretty well at 18 to 20 mph. One recumbent. Unfortunately, just before getting to 751, a Flowmax stop become mandatory and off go those riders. 

From then on I was totally by myself until somewhere on Andrews Store Rd when I shifted down into my small chain ring. But, it threw the chain. That allowed the man with the Coho bike to pass on by kindly offering his help that I didn't need. [That would be Charles Lathe, builder of that Coho bike.] 

About the time I caught him and again shifted, the chain threw, again. [Gary ... one of your customers was cursing you during much of his ride. :-O] Somewhere in here was another Flowmax stop. After this, I decided to just ride in the small chain ring for the rest of the ride. (Although I did accidentally go to the big ring a couple of times, and carefully shifting down, it worked.) 

I'm not sure where. Probably on Jones Ferry [Hamlet Chpl], I encountered Tito who was changing a flat. I waited and Tito and I pretty much rode the whole rest of the way together. Of course, he could have ridden off at any time, but he decided ride with me. He had cooked his legs with the fast group at the start of the ride.

Jones Ferry, Crawford Dairy and Chicken Bridge roads had knocked my average down to 16.8 by the time I turned onto Castle Rock Rd. I figured my avg would slowly retreat after that, but keeping a good cadence across Castle Rock / Old Switchboard, up Lindley Mill, and on the rollers on the Old Greensboro Hwy, riding with and leap-frogging with Biker Bob (and perhaps someone else), I was pleasantly shocked to find I was avg'ing 17.0 when I got to Snow Camp. Iva and Tito arrived at Snow Camp just as BikerBob, Sridhar, Charles, and I were about to leave. I went over to chat to Tito and Iva for a couple minutes. The other three left about a minute before I did. 

On to the control at Snow Camp … arriving at 9:20 am. Martin was there just getting ready to leave. Martin shoved off. A man named Vance (tall black guy, philosophy professor at Guilford College) came in to control. Tito invited him to ride with us. 

Professor Vance joined us and regaled us with stories of his other Brevets. Vance rode with us all the way to approximately the 95-mile mark, but went ahead at Frosty's. As it turned out, Iva and I rode 106 miles together and found much to laugh about.

About the time we were leaving the lead group came in. They were 24 miles ahead of us!! 

In the group, was Lynn and our very own Mallet. It was the first time I've seen Mallet tired. 

Thanks for encouraging Irregular participation in the brevet. I had a great time and it was definitely a good group of people. 

There were quite a few folks, including Lynn, who I could not hang on to beyond the 2nd Snow Camp stop - at that point I had a 20.3 avg, which was more than I had bargained for. I dropped back to the next pair, John and Dr Andrews (I think) and we rode in together.  [Ed. note: probably John O., but who the heck is “Dr. Andrews”? Guess I’ll have to send an e-mail to John O. and ask if he rode with an Englishman from Snow Camp on in, and if so, who was the third person with them.]  They were nice to wait for me for a minute or so when I had a thigh cramp going up a hill at the 120m point [perhaps on Yates Store Rd with its “little surprise”] - fortunately I think I got it into a stretch quickly enough to get it to pass. 

We were certainly fortunate with the coolest morning in many weeks. It didn't seem nasty hot until at least 11. 

The cookout was also excellent - I don't think I have been so ready for a cheese burger in a long time. Lynn had left but a number of the lead group were still sitting around (having got changed and looking a lot fresher the I felt). Robert turned up before I pushed off home and he appeared to have enjoyed his ride too but then he always does - I like people like that.

Both Vance and Tito flew down Siler City - Snow Camp with me lagging behind but still going ok. I finally arrived at the Siler City control find Tito, Vance, and Martin.

I had told Bob, when I had first arrived at Snow Camp, that I was done pushing-the-pace for day, but upon leaving Snow Camp, I wanted to catch up to the other three, so I made sure to stay in a good cadence. And after all, with the breeze now out of the northeast, the slight upslope from Snow Camp to Siler City felt more like a downslope. I saw Robert while I was headed for Siler City … he was headed back to Snow Camp, and sort-of sucking the wheel of single-speed Jerry (yes, the same Jerry whose wheel I had sucked early in the ride).

I must have ridden for 20 - 25 miles on my own looking back for the next train.  Finally, Jerry was there and I joined with him.  We went into the Snow Camp CP, got drinks, cards marked and moved on.  He had no cue when I asked if he has done many of these, his response was I have done one of these every month for the last 53 months ... . I had my mental abilities with me still ... that was more than 4 years.  So for the next few miles I was thinking 53 vs. 1 brevets and the odds did not sound very good ... over my head #2.  Robert did not pull anymore after that. We saw the Paul and the lead group about 2 or 3 miles before we hit the turn around. 

I had been eating regularly during the first 62 miles but arriving at Siler City nothing looked good to eat.  The upset stomach would only handle 1/3 of my sandwich.  Thinking to my talk with Gary that you need to keep eating, I forced myself to do so in small amounts the rest of the journey but my stomach did not appreciate any.  Hydration wise I was ok ... drank the entire way.

Half way done out we go.  It was good seeing the IR (Martin, Iva and Tito) team in passing.  Jerry and I rode the next 30 miles together.  As fatigue set in, I realized how good it was to have Jerry as a tour guide ... no thinking about turns.

He pounded every hill.  Even thou I was drafting the entire way back it was taking its toll. Knowing the answer I asked Jerry if he considered himself a good climber ... yes.  During our conversations, it came out that he teaches spin class ... over my head #3.  I could not hang beyond 95 miles and said thank you and good bye to Jerry.

I was pleasantly shocked to find that I was still avg'ing 17.0 when I got to Siler City.  (62.4 miles, 3:40 moving time)  Bob pulled in a minute later and quoted my line back at me: “I thought you said you were done pushing the pace.”  For those that know or that even have only met Bob, a sarcastic comment is quite out of the ordinary.  I had to internally chuckle. 

Tito and Iva arrived at Siler City before I left.  They came with the news that the Mallet looked pretty tired as he pulled into Snow Camp the second time.  I learned from Lynn that Paul “the Mallet” did not leave Snow Camp the second time with the lead group, but stayed on a bit longer, and he eventually arrived at the finish about 20 minutes after the leaders. 

Bob, Charles and Sridhar left Siler City, either in a group or singly, but I had decided to ride with Iva and Tito, so I waited for them.  When the moment to hit the trail came, the “men of numbers” (Iva and I) left, leaving the “men of letters” (Tito and Vance) to follow. 

I basically rode from Siler City to 10.5 miles from the finish with Iva and Tito.  For much of that time we were also joined by Vance, and occasionally by Sridhar and we saw Charles once or twice, and we leapfrogged 6-time PBP finisher Doug Kirby a couple times (I'd never met Doug until Saturday). 

Here is a bit of a funny:  at about miles 91-92-93, Iva complained that Tito should stop trying to engage him in conversation, because there was no blood going to Iva's brain.  Iva was not enjoying his ride at that point.  I told him that he would likely feel better in 10 miles.  Twenty miles later, on Martha's Chapel Rd, I was still forcing myself to maintain a decent cadence, but I clearly had not eaten enough, nor had I drunk enough, and I was seriously not enjoying my ride.  On the three previous brevets, Martha’s Chapel Rd had been a good experience.  Well, as I think about … the 300 in the rain was great … the 400 with Sara and Gary was good … but on the 200, I had lost some pace … hmmn.  Anyway, Iva insisted on telling me some irrelevant story from the movie "Full Metal Jacket".  I said nothing, but a minute or two later told Iva and Tito that this was my worst ever experience on Martha's Chapel Rd (not from Iva's story, but from exhaustion), and then - since Tito had pulled ahead at the time - I told Iva I would be stopping when we got to NC-751 for a few minutes.  Iva and Tito rode on. 

We four (Tito, Vance, Martin and I) rode together all the way to Frosty's to have a sit.  The clerk was frosty to us. Maybe that's where it gets his name.  Tito said the man has had his fill of cyclists.  Vance went on ahead just leaving us three to deal with the rest of the ride. 

By this time, all three of us were way tired.  Not speaking for them.  They told me.  It was just grind and grind. 

The next 5 to 10 miles (after I let go of Jerry) were ok at the reduced pace.  Then the level of pain increased. Reading the cue sheet was a struggle ... I would repeat the name of the next turn and L or R three or four times and still I could not remember it.  I kept hoping for the next person or train. 

My GPS died at 101 miles, 6 hr 13 mins with 17.7 moving average. 

The last 25 miles were not pleasant. Finally, finally arriving at the Town Hall and to a nice welcome.  Stomach still in knots and I could only drink a Root Beer.  I thanked Jerry for his companionship and much needed help and had a brief talk with Paul. 

I had recorded 7 hrs and 54 minutes.
Section 1 - 0 to 19 miles with lead group
Section 2 - 19 to 45 on own
Section 3 - 45 to 95 with Jerry
Section 4 - 95 to 124 on own

I certainly enjoyed the adventure and challenge ... it was a fun, successful day.

On Martha Chapel Rd. Martin said he was going to sit in the shade for a bit.  Tito and I decided to keep on slogging.  Mistake!! 

Something happened to Tito and me on Lewter Shop Rd.  We ended up on Morrisville Pkwy.  [Fyi, the road changes its name at, you guessed it, the CL.]  When we came to a dead end and saw Green Level Ch Rd., I went right (wrong!!).  After about a mile I saw Beaver Dam.  I hollered at Tito and we turned around. 

But being on Green Level Church Rd, we still didn't see Weldon Ridge Blvd or Yates Store Rd. 

Finally we crossed Davis Rd and eventually somehow found Carpenter Fire Station, to Morrisville Carpenter.  We saw the parking lot and turned in.  This was at 127 miles due to our lostness.  I told Tito to finish we needed to go town to the park.  Oh, no, not more riding.  Tito went into the Indian convenience store and bought coconut water.  That stuff was nasty even as thirsty as I was. 

The laughing became less uproarious about mile 120 when we realized we were lost.  Yes, we had been tired and sore and overheated for about 50 miles, but now we were lost, as well.  Luckily, some blond women of the female persuasion were quite interested in our plight, and the steered us in the right direction.  I don't know why Iva does not like coconut milk but I do know of its mysterious healing powers.  But, as my luck would have it, there was not a single veggie burger at the picnic so I went home with an empty stomach.  Not to worry because I could still sip on my box of coco milk.

After about 10 minutes sitting in the ditch at the corner of Martha’s Chapel and NC-751, I got back underway.  I basically rode the last 10.5 miles at 11-12-13 mph … no cadence; eventually the terrain helped improve the pace.  I got to the park at 4:01 pm. I didn't see Iva or Tito, and assumed that they had turned in their paper-work and skedaddled.

I had a cheeseburger, some beans, some chips, and most of a Pepsi.  After I had been at the park shelter long enough to have eaten all that, about 20 minutes I estimate, Tito and Iva pulled in to finish the ride.  I asked where they had been.  The answer: "Lost".  Later, when I told him that story, Sridhar got a kick out of that – he thought it served them “right” for leaving their leader. 

Tito and I reluctantly decided since we had gone this far, we wouldn't stop now.  Unfortunately, one more bit of lostness.  I missed Town Hall Rd and went across 54 down to Cedar Park.  Turn around.  Go back.  Finally getting to Indian Creek Park with about 128 miles … whew.  There was Martin who had beaten us back … obviously not getting lost.  Ha ha.  He never does. 

How tired was I?  I had an orange soda at the park.  I haven't had a soft drink in over two years.  Man was it good. 

What a grueling day.  But, I'm proud of myself beating my previous long mileage by over 20 miles. 
IvaHawk's cycle-confuser after the ride.

Lynn told me that she finished with an avg pace of 19.3; a bit fast for her, she said. The 19.3, combined with Paul’s 20.3 information, shows how even the fast were affected by that east wind. She told me that she saw Paul ride by as she was preparing to leave the parking lot, but she just wanted to "get going". 

My avg at 100 miles was 16.4 -- faster by 0.3 mph than my fastest ever "100-miler" avg. I finished with an avg of 16.0 (125.0 miles, 7:49 moving time). I judge my ride a success. 

Oh, and I hope I actually get credit for this 200 km brevet.  Now, I have to decide if I’m actually going to try to do Tony’s 600 in October.  (I know Tony is offering a 600 over Labor Day weekend, but I’m supposedly riding the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway Sep 11-18, and I will NOT put that ride in jeopardy by being overly zealous the prior weekend.) 

Thanks to Rando Fearless Leader Alan and volunteers Mike O., Dean, MikeD, and others.  I enjoyed my picnic food and drink.  I especially enjoyed sitting for about 2 hours until I was pretty sure my legs were not going to cramp on me. 

Btw, including me in the count, Irregulars made up 5 of the 40 participants in the 200k.

Some other views on the day:
  "Professor Vance"  and  Charles "Coho" Lathe's hillarious take

Morrisville 200 km Brevet and Picnic; 125.0 m.; 7 hrs, 49 min in-motion time; 16.0 mph; rando time:  10hh01mm. 

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 39 min; 15.5 mph.
Q-2 tot: 31 rides; 2,263.3 m.; 151 hrs, 29 min; 14.9 mph.
Ju1 tot: 13 rides; __786.9 m.; _52 hrs, 36 min; 15.0 mph.
Aug tot: _3 rides; __298.6 m.; _18 hrs, 50 min; 15.8 mph.
YTD tot: 63 rides; 4,287.0 m.; 283 hrs, 34 min; 15.1 mph.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Ninth

Looking back at this year so far, I have ridden only twice on the 9th of any month.

In June, I had fun doing the Howling Grits Permanent Populaire with Raleigh RBA (and Fearless Leader) Alan, YungFalbz, and one from the world of Irrelevance.

In July, I celebrated my 54th birthday by riding 54 miles.

I don't keep a diary of non-work, non-cycling stuff, so I really have no idea what I did recreationally on the ninth's of January thru May.

However, I know what I'm doing on the Ninth of August:

(1) leaving messages for the Granville County Animal Control Department, confident, even if the dog that bit me yesterday at 3538 Cannady Mill Rd is still at that address, that Animal Control will claim they are not certain that they found the correct dog, and therefore, no dog will be taken into possession by Animal Control.

(2) studying up on the symptoms or rabies and methods for prevention of developing rabies if bitten.

I definitely would prefer to be doing something such as DNF'ing on another hilly permanent on a gawd awful hot day rather than wondering whether I might have been infected with rabies (and frittering away time making useless blog posts about the situation).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Aug-08: US BR #1 to Drewry and back

Late Saturday evening, Hans talked me into riding from PUE to Drewry or thereabouts, and back, on NC BR #1.  I agreed on condition that he be as willing to drop me off his back as I would be drop him off my front.

I left 10 minutes before he did.  He caught me before Grissom (11.4 miles into the ride), so you can see why I was concerned about our disparate abilities. 

I did have one extra disadvantage.  I started Six Forks to New Light and had to stop three times to scrape the pebbles off my rear tire.  The paving crew looked to be putting the finishing touches on the New Light paving ... and that threw up a LOT of new pebbles / scree onto the road.  The second time I stopped, I doubt any "rubber" of my tire was actually making contact with the road surface -- the tire was practically "paved" in small pebbles.  I had to dig several of them out of the tire's surface.  The disadvantage?  Hans was clever enough to start Peed to Ghoston to New Light, and had no noticeable scree with which to deal.

Nice, non-adventuresome ride on a nice morning with a slight, cooling headwind northbound in the morning.  Starting a little after 7 a.m., we had 60+ miles by noon.  The wind changed direction by the afternoon, so we had a not-quite-so-slight headwind southbound.  It also started to get more-than-a-bit warmer / hotter as the afternoon wore on.  We finished sometime before 4 p.m..
As mentioned above, the ride was a nice, non-adventuresome ride except for the fact that I was bitten by a dog at about 8:40 a.m., at 3538 Cannady Mill Rd -- which is just north of the Tar River, on the east side of the road.

After a short discussion with the woman that apparently lives at 3538 Cannady Mill Rd, and as the damage to me was only skin-deep, we continued the ride.  I did not see the dog when we again rode past 3538 Cannady Mill Rd in the afternoon.  I'm wondering if the owner's are "hiding" the dog by moving it to a relative's house.  If so, I hope that the people that live at 3538 Cannady Mill Rd will come clean about it.  I don't want to undergo the series rabies shots (as far as I know that is the still the treatment for a person that gets bitten by a rabid dog).  I also would not like to die.

If all goes well, I'll see some of you at Alan's Morrisville 200 km Brevet this coming Saturday.
If all does not go well, I may be in a hospital by Saturday morning.

On that happy note ... I close today's post about today's ride.

PUE: NC BR #1 to Drewry, and back; 105.3 m.; 6 hrs, 45 min in-motion time; 15.6 mph. 

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 39 min; 15.5 mph.
Q-2 tot: 31 rides; 2,263.3 m.; 151 hrs, 29 min; 14.9 mph.
Ju1 tot: 13 rides; __786.9 m.; _52 hrs, 36 min; 15.0 mph.
Aug tot: _2 rides; __173.6 m.; _11 hrs, 01 min; 15.7 mph.
YTD tot: 62 rides; 4,162.0 m.; 275 hrs, 45 min; 15.1 mph. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Aug-07: AFR, with BRH(+) on the way there

Pre-ride build-up:

Usually, I pick a route I want to do, and message the crew with the details.  This week, I was torn between three basic alternatives:  (1) a Johnson Mill hill-fest, but the crew had ridden Johnson Mill while I had been doing a brevet or a permanent, and the week before some of us had essentially circumnavigated the Johnson Mill Rd area,  (2) a Mitchener's X-roads tour, but the crew had done essentially the same route two weeks before while I was DNF'ing on the L-L-L permanent,  (3) a modifed "Assault on Flat Rock".  I asked for input from all crew members that were interested in riding. 

Tito quickly responded "any route was good for him".
Smitty responded similary.
Eventually, Robert responded that he preferred "hilly and long".

I had been feeling rather depressed about my cycling the last half of July ... and that had led to a considerable reduction in the pace of mileage accumulation on my part.  But I decided that maybe fewer rides / fewer miles might also mean I was somewhat more rested.  I decided to break my lethargy (and avoid duplication of recent routes) by doing a much modified "Assault on Flat Rock" (AFR) to include one of my favorite roads, Bold Run Hill Rd (BRH).  BRH has a nice (Raleigh-area) climb, especially if one rides it from Mangum Dairy Rd to Purnell Rd; but the thing I really like about BRH is the valley at the bottom -- it almost seems a self-contained little area worth riding at least once in each season of the year.  Riding at least once each season of the year also applies to AFR, btw.

So by late Thursday evening, it appeared we woud be four.
Early Friday, Levi indicated he might ride, and bring his better half, or just ride with her.  Maybe five?  Six?
Mid-Friday, Gary indicated that he and Wendy would likely ride if W returned to Raleigh at a reasonable hour.  Eight?  Nine if their neighbor Richard came along?

Who showed for the ride?  The seven highlighted above, plus me.  Levi's better half decided to sleep in.

Cumbaya Circle:

Just to let those that were not there know ... I was ready five minutes BEFORE wheels-away.

Who brought a cue sheet of the "basic AFR"?  Only Robert.
Who brought a copy of the list of turns and roads for the BRH modification?  Only Robert. 
Even Gary + Wendy had decided "we're depending on you, Martin".
Hmmn.  Perhaps that was a plea for more "Shadow Rides"?

The Warm-Up Miles:

This section seems mis-named since I usually need 30 to 40 miles to get properly warmed up.  Oh, well.

Road crews were paving the southbound lane of New Light Rd just south of the lake crossing.  One lane traffic.  Extra pebbles and scree on the northbound lane from the work on the southbound lane; some of us stopped to wipe our rear wheels; some of us are flexible and confident to wipe our own rear wheels in addition to our front wheels while in-motion; one of us was confident enough in his abilities to wipe the rear wheels of others while both were in-motion.

For the third time in about five weeks, Robert was enticed off the correct course by others who did not have even a single cue sheet among them; each time, Robert had the a cue sheet, and he should have been TELLING the others which way to proceed.  I pretended to not even look at the misdirected miscreants slowly moving west on Old Weaver Trail, but looking over their shoulders to check on the following riders, as I rode straight past OWT.  A short bit later, as we were headed down Lawrence Rd toward BRH, Robert was riding alongside me; I took the opportunity to explain to him that when he had a cue sheet, and the others in a mini-group with which he was riding did not, he should TELL them which way to turn, and not just follow; if he had the only cue sheet, he was effectively the leader.  Robert's response:  "oh, no, I don't want to be the leader."

Bold Run Hill Rd, Plus:

As mentioned above, I like BRH for two reasons:  it has nice climbs, especially on the southeast end, and the valley is quite enticing.  However, I was so intent on shaking out the cycling lethargy that I did not even look at the scenery -- instead, I worked the down, the bump, and the flat particularly hard.  I also worked the climb hard, but as I am so slow, even when making a serious hard effort to go faster up a steeper climb, no one will have likely noticed; nor are they likely to believe me.

I had requested, urged, demanded that when the leaders got to Powell Rd, that they stop to regroup for the next, surprise, the "plus" section.  Every one of the fast crew was dutifully waiting.  I zipped to the front to grab the lead across the next flat section because I didn't want to give away the surprise until forced to by the appearance of the "plus" road.

We zoomed downhill to a stop sign.  Too bad there wasn't any traffic on the road where the traffic did not have to stop.  We turned left, and Robert commented "hey, I remember this road; first we do this climb, and then there is a serious climb."  "Sorry, Robert" said I, "this is the serious climb."  On the way up, BobH, who usually climbs like a mountain goat, but apparently was having "one of those no-go days for no apparent reason" asked "where did this come from?"  I chuckled and told him that we had ridden the road / climb for the first time a few weeks earlier, when he had been out-of-town.  I added that I had learned something about Norris that day.  \: wink-wink :\ 

I assume that everyone enjoyed the extra diversion to the "plus" road.  No one complained. 

We circled back on Purnell to Powell and rejoined BRH where we had originally turned off it.  That little mis-direction is actually flat, and avoids the "cork-screw" on Purnell.  So, think of it as a planned bit of road for recovery and an opportunity for casual conversation.

After less than half-a-mile on Purnell (which included a quick down-and-up -- perhaps better described as a pointless down-and-up), we turned onto Camp Kanata Rd to climb the flat road to the highest elevation of the day ... which I think is on Camp Kanata just before reaching Woodland Church Rd.  (There is a lot of construction going on at Woodland Church, btw.  At the church -- not on the road.)


Jonah Davis Rd becomes Holden Rd.  No one bothered to chase me as I scooted away to the Franklin County Line.  A valley and ... OMG ... I climbed up from the creek staying with the climbers.  Maybe that climb is not all that steep. 

Left onto Sid Mitchell and then soon a right onto Green Rd.  And ... OMG x 2 ... I was staying with the climbers until I needed to pass Smitty in order to keep my cadence, but he was hanging out next to the double-yellow (as usual), and I decided to back off the cadence rather than cross the double-yellow going uphill.  Gave up one or two strokes, and ... there's no getting it back.

Left onto Long Mill Rd.  Much closer to the front-running climbers than I usually am. Across the flat to NC-96.  Robert turned into the gas station / convenience store (which was a listed alternative / emergency refueling depot) to wait for me ... only to find I was already there.  Ha!

Straight across NC-96.  Across the non-descript part of Long Mill -- there is a bit of a valley -- to Pokomoke Rd and the "Llama House".  (I thought I'd put in a link to the "google-yellow-man" photo of the "Llama House" and some llamas, but the little yellow-man has not been down either Pokomoke or Long Mill Rd.  Strange.)  I don't think anyone bothered to look for any llamas.

Straight across Pokomoke Rd and down into what is sometimes a nice looking valley with that dam and small lake.  I recall nothing.  I took my time climbing up from the little lake to the next road / stop-sign.  I was surprised to find everyone milling about and confused about which way to turn.  Something seemed amiss -- even to me.  Then I realized.  I had forgotten to note Fred Wilder Rd as the connection between Long Mill Rd and NC-56.  It simply slipped my mind since there isn't really any choice to be made there -- if one understands where one is.  However, most of the crew is lost most of the time, I think.

Assault on Flat Rock.  Well, Assault on Wes Sandling and Grove Hill Rd:

Sometimes I am starting to take things for granted.  For example, I didn't mention that one should probably hammer the first 100 or so yards on NC-56 after turning off Fred Wilder; I know that traffic coming out of Franklinton can suddenly pop over the bump to the east on 56, and traffic can suddenly pop over the bump to the west on 56; I mentioned that one's "bailout" (the right turn lane for Wes Sandling Rd) began right at the crest of the bump to the west, but I forgot to mention why that might be important, AND I also forgot to mention that it would be a good idea to get out of that little "bowl" as quickly as possible.  Guess I was too busy riding my butt off, trying to eradicate lethargy, to be a good leader.  We turned onto NC-56, and were promptly putzing at about 12 mph -- I realized my instruction mistake, and recitified the situation by hitting the pedals hard and zipping to the front (or near the front) by the time we got to the turn-off lane. 

Right onto Wes Sandling Rd.  Zoom the first down.  Pop the little up.  Zoom the next down.  Ride the real UP at a normal (i.e., that means I was my usual SLOW self) pace.  Levi, who had stolen the CL earlier as Lawrence Rd became Mangum Dairy Rd, probably saw the CL near the top of the second climb (since he had previously told me that he and his better half had ridden AFR the previous weekend, he may have already known where the CL was) and took the honor.  I'm pretty sure that Smitty knows where that CL is, but Smitty was having a hard day after a hard night out at the Wake County Speedway, so I doubt he showed any interest in the CL. 

As I reached the stop sign at the top of the Wes Sandling climb, I urged Gary to call Richard back from his wrong turn.  Richard had followed Levi and Robert into making a left onto Grove Hill Rd.  The cue sheet clearly calls for one to continue STRAIGHT onto Grove Hill Rd.  Robert had a cue sheet with him, and I'd already admonished him once about proper cue sheet useage.  Levi had supposedly ridden the AFR the previous weekend, and I know that Levi did the AFR (which no modifications) once last year with me.  Levi should have known the course; I wondered what he had actually ridden with Cathryn the previous weekend.  I barely looked to the left as I continued STRAIGHT onto Grove Hill Rd.  I was intent on riding down the next valley with gusto, and then I planned to work the next UP H-A-R-D.  So intent was I on riding hard, I failed to notice the scenes at the bottom of the valley; I don't even recall slowing or making the hard left onto the bridge.  At the bridge.  Hmmn.  What's the point of doing scenic routes if one pays the scenery no attention?  Riding hard, I guess.  

Six of us gathered at the next stop sign -- after completing the Grove Hill climb.  A couple people thought they saw some interesting flora (or was it fauna) behind an old shed.  We began discussing the next section of the ride (another add-on / modification) to the standard AFR so that we would get in at least a 100 km ride.  Suddenly, or so it appeared, two lost souls (Levi and Robert) joined us.  Somebody said something about being confused at the previous stop sign (the corner of Wes Sandling becomes Grove Hill and John Sandling becomes Grove Hill roads).  I asked Robert to let me see the cue sheet. 

Just as I suspected.  Wes Sandling for 2 miles.  Then STRAIGHT onto Grove Hill Rd.  NOT left onto Grove Hill Rd.  Wes Sandling meets Grove Hill.  Sheesh! 

I did acknowledge that some / most AFR cue sheets mentioned the need to make a left turn at the stop sign where we were currently milling about.  But as I pointed out, "would anyone really think the route should go to the right, on a gravel road, with a sign noting 'Dead End'?"  

An Extra Loop:

To get in the extra mileage to make a 100 km ride, we did not follow the standard AFR route by turning left off Grove Hill Rd onto Flat Rock Rd.  Instead we continued straight to Philo White Rd, where we turned left and rode all the way to NC-96.  At 96, we turned right, heading northward toward Oxford.  Tito is reticent to pick up the pace when he finds himself in the lead on a flat or gentle downslope; I attribute this to his desire to NOT break the group apart.  However, 14 mph did NOT fit my plans.  So, around I went to take the lead and up the pace to somewhere around 18 mph (I'm guessing).  Btw, did anyone notice the Methodist Church on the right (east) side of 96, and in particular the year that the church was founded?  would make a really good rando-informational-control-question, if the church was located at a corner.

Right onto Cannady Mill Rd with the continuing general gentle downslope (we were headed for the Tar River, after all).  Tito came up alongside me to discuss next week's Morrisville 200 km Brevet.  We were covering the finer points of breveting and the likely pace of the lead group(s) -- rando readers, just to make sure you understand, me writing that I was discussing the finer points of randonneuring:  it is a joke, because I certainly don't know what I'm doing -- when suddenly the turn onto Philo White was only about 25 yards ahead!  I yelled "turning right" hoping everyone would contol their machines in time; I think Wendy shouted "gravel" almost on top of my yell for the "right".  From my position in front -- where I could see no one -- it appeared that we all made graceful turns onto Philo White.

And immediately descended to the bottom of whatever is the name of that creek.  (As a side note:  some people don't like to ride Philo White if they are heading southbound because just as one completes the steep of the climb up from the Tar River, one descends to almost the same low elevation, and then climbs up again.  I had decided earlier that I have been wimping out avoiding Philo White and Flat Rock roads this year.  Part of the plan for the ride was to rectify that training mistake.)  I learned something about myself on this ride:  I can zip up that Philo White climb if I put my mind to it.  I had previously ALWAYS slogged my up that climb.  Hmmn.

After the steep up, Philo White continues with a false flat up for a mile or more, all the way to Flat Rock Rd.  A small gap had opened in the group, and I asked Gary if could bridge the gap and let the lead riders know to turn at the next left.  Whether Gary informed them of the left, or whether someone else among the lead riders knew to turn left onto Flat Rock Rd, I don't know -- but every turned smoothly onto Flat Rock.  After we crossed Grove Hill Rd, we were back on the standard AFR route -- and it was intended we would stay on the standard route.

Assault on Flat Rock:

The downhill on Flat Rock is one of my favorites.  You might ask "Why?"  Because I can coast down it faster than the Mallet can pedal down it.  There are some advantages to being uphill gravity disadvantaged -- namely, being downhill gravity advantaged.  I decided to catch and pass everyone on the downhill; I had to "go" some to do so, but I managed to pass everyone.  Several tacked on.  At the bottom, Tito and another (I forget who) got a little revenge on me.  I started losing speed across the short flat bit at the bottom, even before crossing the bridge, and Tito called out "don't slow down".  I chuckled, or would have, if I hadn't been intent on pushing the steep bit hard.  I think I wimped out, though.  And lost a lot of distance to most everyone on the steep.  I managed to pass BobH when the slope slackened, and was working on Smitty when the slope re-steepened.  Even an "off" Smitty can outclimb me on steep (doesn't have to be that steep either).  Ditto, BobH.  They each pulled away. 

The crew re-grouped at the right turn onto Grove Hill Rd.  (For those not familiar:  Grove Hill Rd is a big U-shape.  Flat Rock Rd essentially crosses the U.  So the standard AFR involves turning left off Grove Hill onto Flat Rock, and 2.8 miles later turning right off Flat Rock onto Grove Hill.  Combined with the opportunity to either continue straight off Wes Sandling onto Grove Hill, or turn left off Wes Sandling onto Grove Hill, there is plenty of opportunity to confuse people -- even when not trying to.)

We rode nicely across a bit of Grove Hill and the two unconnected parts of Suitt's Store Rd to the Western Wear Store.  Wendy can never again claim to not know where that store is located.  Seven of us stopped at the store.  BobH decided that the best plan for him was to just keep riding and get the misery of his "no-go" day over with as soon as possible.  I'm confident that next time I see Bob, he will have "too-much-go".

Friends Are Everywhere:

The stop at the store was only intended to be for 5 or 10 minutes.  It turned into at least 25 minutes. 

One of Gary's Simple Green clients rode up and Gary spent most of the time at the store talking with his Simple Green friend.

Dr. Phil (an "Irregular" when he wants to be) suddenly appeared at the store, too.  Levi has known Dr. Phil since their professor-student days at NC State.  I've known Dr. Phil since ... last year.  It can be a small, inter-connected cycling world.

We finally got back onto the road.  I was looking forward to the Bruce Garner --> New Light section of the ride.

"Friends", Too, Are Everywhere:

We were settling in for the "rush home" on Bruce Garner and New Light as we approached Grissom. 
Levi was setting a very handsome pace.  Then we noticed the large horde of people riding bicycles that were leaving the Grissom store.  At first, we thought nothing of it.  Then as we got quite close, singletons and doubles continued to pull out in front of us.  We had to use considerable brake.  Then there was a car coming from the opposite direction.  The horde continued to pull out in front of that traffic in addition to pulling out in front of us; one guy even rode 20 or 30 yards in the middle of the wrong lane directly at the oncoming car.  Apparently there was no regard to traffic laws, courtesy, respect for others, nor even regard for their own lives.  We all make mistakes.  But a whole horde all making the same decision / mistake?  Something is amiss there.

I was silently trying to figure out how we could get out of the middle of the horde.  Too many strung out too far for us to try to pass them all.  Too many strung out too far behind us to "fall back" behind them all.  Levi suddenly voiced the solution:  whichever way the Horde goes at that Rock Springs corner, let's go the other direction.  Well done, Levi.

We all enjoyed a fast ride down Rock Srings Ch Rd --> Beaver Dam Rd.  I tried to entice Levi into a little CL action by jumping a bit early.  But unfortunately, Gary decided to chase me down.  He easily beat me to the CL.  But I informed him that was disqualified for "racing" in the wrong category.  He is Cat-2; the rest of us are Cat-6.  (Yes, I know that it only goes down to Cat-5 -- I exaggerate to make the point.)

When I arrived at PUE, Levi and one or two others asked me what is "Irregulars" record for "bottom of Ghoston to the top of MVC".  I dunno.  No one other than me is silly enough to time the last 4.7 miles.  And I time (if I remember) from the "bottom of Ghoston to my car".  Levi reported 15 minutes.  Hmmn.  According to my calcualtions 15 minutes to cover that 4.6 miles translates to 18.4 mph.  Not sure that I believe "15 minutes, flat", unless more sample points are added to the data-base. 

PUE:  AFR, w/ BRH and Mangum Dairy, etc. on the way out; 68.3 m.; 4 hrs, 16 min in-motion time; 16.0 mph.

Q-1 tot: 16 rides; __938.2 m.; _60 hrs, 39 min; 15.5 mph.
Q-2 tot: 31 rides; 2,263.3 m.; 151 hrs, 29 min; 14.9 mph.
Ju1 tot: 13 rides; __786.9 m.; _52 hrs, 36 min; 15.0 mph.
Aug tot: _1 rides; ___68.3 m.; __4 hrs, 16 min; 16.0 mph.
YTD tot: 61 rides; 4,056.7 m.; 269 hrs, 00 min; 15.1 mph.