Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nov-06 + 07: "Irregulars", Three Hounds KLL + JRA

Usually, I do one post per ride.  This weekend, one post for three rides, and I was only on two of them!

The ride I wasn't on may have been the most "epic" ... in classic rando terms anyway.  Except for one thing, which I'm sure the rando readers will recognize.
Nov-06 -- Irregulars "Long Assault on Flat Rock" (Aborted), OR "Freezing in the Rain" 

Check the "map roll" on the right.  At 56 miles, the "Long AFR" is near the bottom of the list, but it is one of the most scenic rides "near north Raleigh" ... esp. when leaves are turning. 

Early in the KLL, I told Dean that Iva (known to the local rando world by JayJay's description as her former boss and "Mr. Nice Guy") might be leading 10 "Irregulars" on the morning ride.  I mentioned that I hoped the weather "behind" us was better than what we were experiencing, because Iva and I had jointly chosen the route in anticipation of sunny skies and sunlight dancing on turning leaves. 

The following, unedited, is the "report" that I received from Iva.

I was surprised when I looked outside about 8:20 to see it raining.  About that time my cell phone rang with the caller id announcing Tito.  It's raining, he said.  I'm on 540 and it's pretty heavy.  Well, dam.  It is here too.  Wait.  It's stopping.  After looking at the radar, I say well, let's go over to PUE and assess the situation.

Tito and I were the only ones there from the Irregulars.  Then a large contingent of young men began to arrive with the look of an A-group about them.  Apparently, they had a 9:00 AM push off.  There was a lot of banter among them as to how bad it could get.  About that time The Mallet rides up on his bike.  He says it isn't cold and begins shedding layers.  He had his two tone shorts on, no leggings.  Then Ags pulls up full of vim and vigor.  He says he loves to ride in the rain; it makes him feel alive !  So, by the end of the day, he must have been feeling really not dead.

The ride, as our rides go, was uneventful except for the weather.  It started cold, but not freezing cold.  But, the problem is we haven't really ridden in very cold weather yet and are still used to the weather of a month ago.  I'm not willing to break out ALL the cold weather gear yet, much less the cold, wet weather gear.  That was a mistake today.

My hands and feet were the usual blocks of ice by the time we got to Bold Hill Run.  I didn't notice the scenery because it was shrouded by mist.  Mallet and Ags mentioned how nice the road was.  We kept noticing the dark and ominous clouds to the west naively thinking they would "go around us".  We had one minor mis-navigation on Sid Mitchell riding on by Green Road.  We realized our error about half mile down the road and turned around. At the rest stop on Long Mill and 96, it was drizzling to lightly raining on us and feeling colder.  Mallet said, according to Martin, we can short this by about 10 miles by turning left on Pocomoke rather than going all the way to Fred Wilder. Yes, we said.  Let's do it!  

Then the rain/sleet started.  What was cold before became icy cold.  Maybe it wasn't sleet but it felt like sleet.  My natural tendency to suck wheel off my fellow riders was tempered by the rear wheel spray into my face whenever I got within five feet of the bike in front.  Adding to that, the smell of the barn and the desire to end this quickly prompted the others to pick up the pace.  Ags went to the front on Bruce Gordon.  I saw 23 mph from time to time.  My desperate gulps for air while getting a face full of road water added to my misery.  My socks (no booties or winter socks) were soaked with a 20 mph wind flowing through the air vents of my shoes.  Mallet took his turn.  29 on only a slight down hill.  No where were his previous week's struggles in evidence.  Tito surged to front and off they go.  Mallet went straight at Ghoston.  Tito and Ags waited for me to get there.  By this time, the rain had stopped somewhat, but still cold.  Those two hung around with me about half way up Ghoston before deciding to make it on back.  I was so glad to see the stop sign at the top of MVC.  The Type A's who were there before had long gone; no trace of them.

It was literally painful getting out of my wet gear and into dry togs.  My feet felt as if they had been injected with novocaine and then beat with a fire stick.  The three of us decided to go to breakfast.  We were visibly
shivering when we walked in the restaurant.  Our teeth were chattering; our bodies desperately attempting to restore normal body temperature.  The hostess noticed us and brought us hot coffee even before our waitress came to our table.  Slowly, we came back to normalcy.  I think I'll tend to over dress next time.

How did your 200K go !!??  I thought of you being in that mess for 7 hours.

One comment:  It must have been nasty ... Ags took a serious pull !!
Nov-06:  Three Hounds Kerr Lake Loop
First, just let me note that every important aspect of this ride has been documented by MikeD over on Research Trailer Park, or by Jerry also over on RTP

I can add nothing important, but here are a few things some of us learned on the ride:
Jerry doesn't want me to suggest any more alternative routings for the KLL, esp. if there are climbs involved.
Jerry's wife, Beth, was born in Moline, and later lived in Sterling.  (Both are in NW Illinois.)
I was born in Sterling.
Dean knows to refer to the Rock Island, Moline, East Moline, Davenport, Bettendorf area as the "Quad-Cities".
When I got to the info control in Boydton, it suddenly came to me that Mike had been awfully keen to distribute those cue sheets back at the start ... what if he wasn't using the usual question?  Better check.  Mike hadn't been devious. 
Dean loves Mountain Road from near Stovall to the top of Peace Mountain.
Peace Mtn was much steeper for longer on this ride than it was two weeks ago.
Although he looks to be just coasting along while I'm working my butt off, Dean claims he is also working his behind off.

Dean used to participate in the Sunday Touring ride from BJP, led by the "other" MikeD.
Still no independent verification that Dean's fizzy, caramel-colored refill is Diet Coke.
Jerry says he'd like to help organize the road-bike "bicycle hash" that LeeD and I are "planning".  (I think that's what he said.  I'll be trying to hold him to that.  Knowledgeable brain-power always welcome.)
Two of us set personal best-time records on KLL. 
Thanks to Dean for inviting me and putting up with for 130 miles.
Thanks to MikeD for the route and control card.
Thanks to Jerry for pulling almost all the way to Boydton ... into the increasing wind.
Oh, yeah, almost forgot.  Three hounds?  Yes.  Three 10k RUSA km hounds.
MikeD got his 10,000 at Alan's Oct-02 brevet.
Dean got his 10,000 on this ride.
Jerry ... I know his plan ... but not my right to reveal it.
Nov-07:  JRA
Usually, I at least outline the course I rode.  But ... not today.  Of course you are wondering "why?"
I don't want freak out any other north Raleigh cyclists, so I won't describe WHERE something unusual happened today.  But I will describe it here - just to get it off my chest.
A saw a man trotting across a yard, carrying his rifle.  At first I thought it was a hunter hurrying to a pickup to go after a dog's signal (from a signal collar) or to hurry after a wounded deer.  But there was no orange blaze cap or orange blaze anything else ... and isn't it still only bow-hunting season?  Then I heard a lot of angry shouting.  I noticed a car heading away from me, but stopped ahead on the road, in the wrong lane.  And the car immediately in front of me slowed and then stopped.  More shouting.  A blue pickup backing really quickly out the drive of the house across the road from where the trotting rifleman had first come to my notice.  More shouting.  The rifleman took aim and tried to shoot out the left rear tyre of the blue pickup just as it acclerated away.  Whether he missed or whether the tyre was hit but mostly undamaged, I don't know.  The blue pickup sped off down the road.  The rifleman trotted back across the road.  The two cars that were stopped on the road hesitated a few moments, but then drove on.  I ... stunned ... decided to give in to my tired legs, turned around, and rode back to my car ... thinking "that kind of thing only happens in the movies or on TV." 
I did notice that a woman was on the front porch of the house of the yard where I first noticed the rifleman.  She was clearly talking on the phone. 
Crazy people are everywhere.  Some of them shout things at cyclists.  Some of them throw things.  Some are "too busy" to notice cyclists on the road.  Some actually try to hit us.  All those people are crazy.  But only the ones in the last category are the same quality of crazy as in the scene described above.
Nov-06:  Kerr Lake Loop 208 km Permanent; 131.4 m.; 8 hrs, 27 min in-motion; 15.5 mph; official rando time:  9 hrs, 38 min. 
Nov-07:  JRA; 20.2 m.; 1 hr, 23 min in-motion; 14.5 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: 13 rides; 1,050.6 m.; _58 hrs, 44 min; 15.3 mph.
Nov tot: _2 rides; __151.6 m.; __9 hrs, 51 min; 15.4 mph.
YTD tot: 99 rides; 6,696.9 m.; 446 hrs, 16 min; 15.0 mph. 

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