Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oct-23 + 24: Mtns to Sea Showdown + Daylight KLL Perms

Oct-23:  Showdown at Black Creek 200 km Perm,
A Fundraiser for the "Mountains to the Sea Trail"

A full baseball team (MikeD, Lynn, Jerry, MaryF, TomF, TimL, Dean, Raleigh RBA Alan, and me) eventually split into a fast six and a 3-person lantern rouge crew, but the fast crew waited until about the 30 or 33-mile mark to pick up their pace.  Even then, one lantern bridged back to the fast crew just to see if he could come close to holding Jerry's wheel when Jerry went for the Nash CL. 

However, Jerry stopped half-way across Old-64 to remove his jacket / vest.  That likely left only TomF among the fast crew insane enough to go for the CL.  Then Tom missed the turn off Old-64 just as the heroic lantern completed his bridge.  With a motto of "no prisoners" (when he heard that later, Alan laughed), the most interesting CL of the day was securely put into the pocket of the lantern crew.  I then essentially soft-pedaled waiting for Dean and Alan. 

All nine of us were present at the Kwik Pik 40-mile control together.  Jerry scarfed what appeared to be the last chocolate milk in the store.  There was no "regular flavor" V-8 left after the fast scavengers did their thing.  (There was some of the "Spicy Hot"; but, no thankk-you.)  I settled for tomato juice.  Tom was also disappointed to find that Jerry had gotten the last chocolate milk -- I'm not sure what that concoction he chose was.

Back outside in the warming atmosphere, the fast six were merrily cheered on by the delaying lantern crew.  Having successfully manuevered (sp?) the fast crew off our front, we lanterns proceeded, enjoying the last of the outbound tailwind while Dean explained that he had taken that same Nash CL once last year when Jerry, et al, were enjoying their chats so much that they missed the turn, and most of the rest of group followed them. 

Alan was mostly quiet.  He listed many of the NC State Fair foods he had enjoyed the previous day.  It was all deep-fat fried this and deep-fat fried that and even more deep-fat fried fat and sugar.  He also finally acknowledged that the Fair seemed to have taken quite a bit of zip out of his legs.  Alan did, however, have enough zip to best Dean and me for the Wilson CL. 

The fast crew must have taken a long lunch in Black Creek, because we didn't see them againg until we were within a couple miles of the edge of town.  I think we got to the Grocery at 11:52, meaning it was 4 hours, 22 minutes from the official start.  The actual start for the last person of the group was a few minutes later as he had to pick himself up from parking lot -- half under his bike, half on top of it.  We won't go into that inglorious moment except to note that I will no longer even consider following the advice to relax the tension in the rear derailleur cable -- the risk is too high for not very much reward.

Nibbles and drinks -- maybe something approaching an almost real lunch, and Alan phoned home.  Then about 12:25 we were on the road again, enjoying the tailwind from Black Creek to Hornes Church.  I think Alan managed to snag the same CL as on the way out -- only this time the sign indicated Nash County. 

Dean is a much better riding partner than I am.  We were taking turns trying to ease the headwind burden for Alan's legs, but invariably I would slowly drift off the front whereas Dean maintained proper pulls.  I am NOT proud of my ineffectiveness. 

About the time we reached Youngsville and the subsequent rollers, the wind finally started to lie down.  At least we didn't have strongish headwinds while climbing.

Dean and I were soft-pedaling on Jackson Rd, waiting for Alan to re-attach after the Holden Rd climb, when suddenly, Alan came around both of us like he was strapped to a comet.  I realized what was up, and took out after Alan.  I didn't really care to snag the Wake CL, only to make Alan have to work a little for it.  Just as I was about to get up alongside, zoop, Alan went backwards.  I slowed, and when we were again abreast each other, I asked if he had decided to save energy for the Purnell Rd climbs.  He responded "yep", or something along those lines.  He stuck to that story for the rest of the ride and for the post-mortem at the McDonald's. 

Alan got last laugh, though.  Dean and I had been sitting for a minute or more, waiting for the light at New Falls of Neuse Rd to change so that we could cross to the McDonald's, just as the light changed green, again a comet flashed by.  Big laughs for all three of us.

Mike, Mary, and Tom were still in the McDonald's.  They had been there since about 4 o'clock.  Mike informed us that he was noting the official finish time for Dean, Alan, and me as 5:15. 

Under ten hours, but more importantly a great day for a bike ride, and we had had fun.

If you are waiting for me to close the loop on the initial nine baseball players -- there isn't a close.
Oct-24:  Daylight Kerr Lake Loop 208 km Permanent

Why "Daylight" in the title?  Because the only previous time I had ridden the official Kerr Lake Loop Permanent had been "Byron's Full Moon KLL" earlier this year when Mike was in California riding some 1000 km ride up and down the west coast.  (A better blogger might find a link to Mike's post on the RTP blog, but ... .)

I had enjoyed my back-to-back solo 200 km permanents so much earlier this month (see here and here ), that I decided to do a repeat, sort-of.  Obviously, the Saturday Showdown was not solo, and luckily, my Sunday KLL ride would be shared with JohnO -- more like he shared his ride with me. 

JohnO is similar in strength and speed to my "irregular" cycling buddy, Paul "the Mallet".  That is not just conjecture.  I have proof.  John and Paul had ridden the last 50 miles of the Aug-14 brevet together, along with Dr. Andreas.  What does that mean for our riding together?  It means that John slowed down and waited for me -- a lot.  Especially during or after a climb. 

John and I pretty much had a non-adventure ride, except that someone was a bit late (it wasn't me -- probably both "Irregulars" and MikeD are surprised by that), and we started about 15 minutes after our official time.  That wouldn't have been so bad, but I managed to get a pinch flat from a pebble in the road when we were only about 10.7 miles into the ride.  I couldn't find where the tube had pinched.  John could find nothing wrong with the tyre.  But we looked doubly carefully as we didn't want to go just another mile down the road and have another flat.  I am slow changing flats, but I managed to get the tyre off and back on without using tools.  I had the tyre "irons" handy, but didn't need them.  I rode the rest of the day on a spongy rear tyre.  Only noticable on the last bit of "Stovall Mountain" and on the steep on Lawrence Rd. 

We reached the "Oxford" control with 11 minutes to spare.  John had to make an urgent side trip, and his control card indicates only 8 minutes to spare.  If I had had another flat after the first, I would have told John to ride on; then I would have completed the second repair and completed the route -- credit or no credit.

It was another sunny day.  But a bit breezier than the day before.  We had a mostly tailwind all the way to Boydton.  Thereafter, mostly headwinds.  But not too bad. 

We began discussing where we could get some lunch after leaving Boydton, or was it Skipwith?  I jokingly suggested "Pizza in Stovall", but after John mentioned that he had eaten one or more times with Jerry at the Subway in Clarksville, I thought that sounded the better idea.  As we came off the bridge and up the river-bank / hill into Clarksville, I encouraged John to lead the way. 

He asked "where?" 

"To the Subway."

Turned out he had always "just followed Jerry" and didn't know where it was.  Aargh.

Being two 50-something males, guess what we did.  We actually asked directions.  Well, I insisted John asked since I claimed he had led me astray into thinking he knew where the Subway was located. We split a 12-inch turkey sub.

Later, in Stovall, John wanted to stop for water.  I don't think he had ever been in the gas station / convenience store / seed and feed store / delli / Hunt Bros pizza outlet.  When John saw the "pizza hunks", he expressed that he was glad we had stopped in Clarksville for food.  (Btw, at 3-whatever, the delli was NOT open.)

Up and over "Stovall Mountain" (actual name is Peace Mtn, I think).  Then we started picking up the pace a bit.  We each had lighting in case the ride lasted until after dark.  I told John that from the "Oxford" control to the finish, only the steep of the climb back up from the Tar River, and the steep of Lawrence would slow me down.  I think I was good to my word.  Of course, John was still just essentially putzing along. 

I tried to teach John the landmarks before the Wake CL -- perhaps he can have a "go" at Jerry one day.

We got to the fire station at 6:34.  Not bad considering the late start, flat-tyre time and certainly the spongy rear slowed me some during the day -- not to mention the previous day's ride.  At 6:34, the sun was a HUGE orange ball hanging just above the trees at the fire station, 

Thanks for the ride, John. 

Oh, between John and me, only one of us actually has a first name that is "John".  I leave it to you to guess.
Oct-23:  Showdown at Black Creek 200 km Perm; 125.4 m.; 8 hrs, 11 min in-motion; 15.3 mph; official rando-time:  9 hrs, 45 min.

Oct-24:  Kerr Lake Loop 208 km Perm; 131.5 m.; 8 hrs, 48 min in-motion; 14.9 mph; official rando time:  11 hrs, 4 min.

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.
Q-3 tot: 37 rides; 2,293.2 m.; 156 hrs, 31 min; 14.7 mph.
Oct tot: 11 rides; __880.3 m.; _47 hrs, 40 min; 15.2 mph.
YTD tot: 95 rides; 6,375.0 m.; 426 hrs, 22 min; 15.0 mph. 

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