Saturday, October 30, 2010

Oct-30: Not the Plan

I had intended to ride at least once during the week to spin out the legs, etc..  Didn't happen due to a series of unfortunate events.

I intended to ride a 200k course I'm looking at for Permanent purposes. 
Last Saturday, I invited local RBA Alan to ride along and give his thoughts.
He expressed interest at the time, but never responded to my e-mail asking for confirmation.

10 Irregulars responded to the "rider-call", but only three were interested in riding the entire 200k.
Five only wanted to ride "70 miles or so" -- they could U-turn at the first "control".
Two were looking to go "short", i.e., about 45 miles -- they could U-turn before Snow Hill Rd.

What actually happened?

Only one ("the Mallet") of the three 200's showed -- at least the other two called prior to the scheduled start to cancel out, claiming lack-of-health for one of the two.
Four (BobH, Norris, Ags, Robert) of the five 70's showed.
Neither "short" showed.
I realized I had left my phone, ID, etc. at the store when I stopped en route to get some "ride food" -- I immediately suggested that the Mallet (the only prospective company for the 200) join the 70's while I went to try to retrieve my phone, etc..

The (now five) 70's decided to do one of our favorite routes:  Range Road Rover.  It is about 65 miles, has little traffic, and is otherwise also an excellent ride. 

I found my phone, etc., and returned to PUE and rode the 45-mile "Assault on Flat Rock".  I no longer had the mental energy to tackle 200k or 100 miles.  (I also didn't have enough daylight for a 200k).

I thought there was a bit of a headwind going out New Light / Bruce Garner / Pokomoke Rd and also on Gordon Moore Rd.  Wes Sandling Rd and the down-and-up part of Grove Hill Rd were fun.  Then I turned slightly onto the flat part of Grove Hill and immediately discovered that there had NOT been a headwind outbound, but there most certainly would be a headwind for the last 22 or 23 miles back to PUE.  I had to peddle on the upper portion of the downhill on Flat Rock Rd to maintain 19 or 20 mph -- I can usually coast down that at ~ 25 mph.  Luckily the valley on Flat Rock Rd was deep enough to provide a wind shadow on the steep part of that climb, but once near the top, instead of 15 to 17 mph, I could only do 11 or 12 mph into the wind.  The return on Bruce Garner / New Light reminded me of many previous "death marches" into the wind -- but it could have been a lot worse.  I gave it a "college try" on the G-P-MVC finish; got a decent time for me; I wonder what it would have been if the wind had been out of the north instead of mostly the south.

I returned to PUE to find four (wRong Way, Ags, BobH, Norris) of the five 70's gathered and discussing ... I know not what.  (The fifth, the Mallet, had ridden to the ride, and had already left to ride home.)  I learned the guys had decided to do the Range Road Rover.  I asked if they thought it had been a bit windy.  A unanimous explosion confirmed that "it wasn't only me".  Norris mentioned that the Mallet had had a tough day, and had commented after about 35 miles to the effect "... and I had thought to do a 200k today ...".

Oh, well, everyone enjoyed their ride(s) -- despite the winds.
I saw some familiar vehicles parked at the fire station on New Light Rd across from Purnell Rd.  The owner of one of those vehicles had told me, via phone, at about 5 or 6 pm yesterday that "my knees need rest ... I'll wait until it warms up and then probably only ride 60 miles or so."  Ummm-huh!

I am confident that they will "enjoy" their slog into the wind as much as I did mine.  Only theirs is likely to be on the order of 50 miles into the wind.  Glad it is not me.
If all had gone as planned this week, or even if just today had gone as planned, I would have rolled through my first ever 1000-mile month today. 


PUE:  Assault on Flat Rock; 45.0 m.; 2 hrs, 53 min in-motion; 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.
Q-3 tot: 37 rides; 2,293.2 m.; 156 hrs, 31 min; 14.7 mph.
Oct tot: 12 rides; __925.3 m.; _50 hrs, 33 min; 15.2 mph.
YTD tot: 96 rides; 6,420.0 m.; 429 hrs, 15 min; 15.0 mph.


  1. Oh, yeah, regarding the "autumn color" on the Assault.

    Looks like this year colors are going to be a bit subdued. Possibly because some colorful leaves are already on the ground while others have yet to turn.

    Still, depending on the weather, the next couple weeks could be very nice "autumn color" viewing while cycling.


  2. Martin,

    You are not the only one with car issues. The Durango chose not to start this morning. By the time I got everything moved to another car I would have been late so I bagged it.


  3. Martin, Paul, sorry we missed you both on today's ride; hopefully all will be be well again for next week.

    Martin, your phone, etc. misfortune turned into my good fortune (and by extension, possibly yours too). My legs were dead by about the 40 mile mark today, so how I thought I was going to do the 200k with you I have no idea. You really would have been towing me back.

    As it was I have Norris, Bob and John to thank for pulling me all the way back to Goshton. The ever attentive Robert was the for me at the top of each climb where I had be shelled out the back to pull me back to the group.

    The solo ride home from Goshton (on Six Forks) was sloooow.

    I should be riding a little more in the next couple of month so hopefully my legs will return.


  4. @ Mallet -

    Robert didn't mention waiting for you at the top of hills and pulling you back to the group. Unassuming man, him.

    Norris did mention that it is quite something when "the Mallet" asks for help, because you are so strong.

    But I really knew something unusual had happened when the foursome mentioned that even Ags had finally been forced to pull for a few miles. He commented that there was a lot more wind up front, but that had finally run out of others to pull him along.

  5. Ags do a pull? When pigs fly. I know when Ags is behind me because all I can hear is a deep, heavy sucking sound ! Wait a minute, I do believe I remember Ags pulling a couple of times - It was on those two long downhills......