Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nov-13: Colorful "Long Assault on Flat Rock"

Today's "Irregular" crew:  Mallet, Tito, Robert, Gary, Wendy, guest Dennis, me.

We were almost joined by local Super Randonneur and double-RAAM-qualified Lynn.  (She apparently pulled into PUE looking for me, saw what she thought was a bunch of people from a certain north Raleigh group, and went on her way.  However, we crossed paths with her when we were only a mile or so into our ride; I thought she would turn around and join us -- after all, she had told me she was looking to ride only about 60 miles, slowly; her riding with me would have qualified as "slowly" for her.  She called just as I finished my ride.  She didn't know why she hadn't turned around.  Insert Sridhar's nickname for Lynn here.)

The course:
Edit, Nov-15:  I just realized that the above map is NOT what we actually rode.  This map shows us taking Graham Sherron and Woodland Ch roads to Jonah Davis Rd.  And also shows us taking Evans Rd --> Tom Wright Rd to Gordon Moore Rd to Pokomoke Rd --> Bruce Garner Rd.  We actually took Lawrence Rd to Bold Run Hill Rd to Purnell and Camp Kanata roads to Woodland Ch to Jonah Davis roads.  And later we actually took Old Franklinton Rd (opposite direction from Evans) to Suitt's Store to NC-96 to Wayside Farm to Bruce Garner roads.  Oh, well, the map and elevation profile still give a pretty good idea of what we did.  And, heck, one of my favorite rides is "Shoofly Don't Bother Me," but each of the 3 times I've ridden that route, there has been a modification.  [Click here for map of actual route.] 

I am supposedly going to receive quite a few photos taken on the ride today.  I hope so.  The colors were spectacular, vibrant, and vivid.  Especially the reds.  If / when I get them, I will make this a more interesting post.  I decided to make this "skeleton" post now because if I don't do so now, by the time I can make a post, I'll have at least one more ride to blog, and that just makes things clumsy.  In case you haven't noticed, I record all my rides.  Boring or interesting.  Long or short.  RUSA, JRA, "serious" Irregular, or even vacation rides (e.g., Blue Ridge Parkway).

A bit brisk at 8 am.  Within just a few miles, every body part was warm -- even my uncovered ears.

Absolutely clear and sunny, with clean air.  All ride.

The scenery / colors along Bold Run Hill Rd were not as stunning as I had hoped, but we were riding directly into the sun at the time, and that makes it difficult to get stunning views.   Most of Bold Run Hill Rd, or at least the parts that were previously rather sketchy, have been repaved.  So recently that one could still smell the asphalt.  I now understand what Iva wrote about regarding last week's aborted IR ride on the course we successfully completed today.
Cattle on one side of BRH Rd staring at the pond on the other side of the road. 
Or maybe they were trying to figure out what we were.  

I don't recall ANYTHING from Purnell or Camp Kanata or Woodland Church roads.  The faster part of the crew was waiting at the turn onto Jonah Davis Rd.  The only thing I recall from Jonah Davis Rd is that Robert was riding at my side.  I had to explain that the CL that he thought he "won" at the turn from Woodland Ch Rd onto Jonah Davis didn't count -- county lines that are at stop signs CANNOT be contested.  Robert lamented that his all-time CL count therefore stood at three.  I suggested to him how he might be able to "sneak" some CLs in the future.  I won't give the strategy away.  Robert replied that the suggested strategy only would work if he already knew where the CLs were. 

Green Rd.  Down and up.  Gary and Wendy and Tito falling off the back.  Gary because he was supposedly taking many photos and because he was otherwise riding with Wendy; W because she's been a bit under the weather and is a bit off her game; Tito because ... who knows ... I guess he was regaling Wendy and Gary with stories of his many overseas adventures.  I did hear Wendy ask Tito "where have you been in South America?"  I thought:  a)  "that ought to take the rest of this ride and all the rides for the rest of the year", and b) "where is Iva when you need him?"

Long Mill Rd before the refueling stop.  Some apparently stopped to take more photos before the RS, and others started removing layers of clothing.

Long Mill Rd after the refueling stop.  A LOT more interesting.  We stopped at the Llama House.  I counted one llama on the southeast side and twelve (12) on the southwest side.  I'm looking forward to the photos -- and wondering how many llamas will be in the pics.  The llamas were quite as interested in us as we were in them.  I'm hoping the pics will show that. 
Tito seemed to be "talking to the animals".  (That's a line for local 10k RUSA km hound Jerry -- if he reads this, he should understand why.)

Long Mill Rd after the Llama House.  A nice scene across Pokomoke Rd from the Llama House -- but the photo came out B-O-R-I-N-G -- them's the breaks.  The little pond behind its dam at the bottom of the next valley was okay, but it seemed there were too many dead trees at the edged of the pond and in front of likely colorful trees. 

Wes Sandling Rd.  Aah.  Now this is the type scenery we were looking for.  Hope I get a pic.  I encouraged Robert to try to "sneak" off the front on the climb up to the Granville CL.  The other climbers, Tito and the Mallet, didn't realize what was up.  Well, the Mallet did; but not until it was too late.  Four lifetime county lines for Robert. 

Grove Hill Rd down and up to the stop sign on Grove Hill Rd.  The Mallet really enjoyed sucking my wheel on the downhill.  I actually got into the big chain ring (50T) and worked the downslope.  Paul enjoyed it because, for once, I was the one doing the pedaling and he was doing the coasting; usually, it is the other way 'round, and I can coast down faster than he can pedal.  Turn about -- fair play. 

There was a group of hunters gathered at the bridge at the bottom of Grove Hill.  I recall Paul and I traded chit-chat about that; he claimed he had slowed and gotten behind me so that he'd be protected in case someone starting shooting.  That led to a quick discussion of my ride from last Sunday.  And then we were at the top of the Grove Hill climb.  How did that happen?

While waiting at the Grove Hill stop sign for G, W, T:  conversation included me mentioning to Robert that I had ridden 200k with his August-brevet-buddy, Jerry, the previous Saturday.  Robert wondered how I managed to stay with Jerry.  Short answer:  I didn't; I just stayed with Dean, and Jerry stayed with Dean because Jerry wanted to ride with Dean when Dean got his 10 thousandth RUSA km for the year. 

The Mallet, originally from Epsom Downs, England, UK, exclaimed "10 thousand kms -- that's a long way". 

I wonder what Paul, et al, would have said if I had told them about the e-mail Lynn sent me after she completed Tony's Coastal 600 km brevet a month ago.  Subject line of that e-mail:  "13217 miles this year".  Text of that e-mail:  there wasn't any; with a subject line like that, who needs additonal text?

I wonder what the crew would have said if I had mentioned TimL of Wilson:  JohnO of Rocky Mount told me a few weeks ago that one of Tim's goals for this year is:  15000 miles. 
Tito CLAIMED this was a yoga exercise.  Or something.  

G, W, and T rejoined those of us waiting at the Grove Hill stop sign.  We continued on to Flat Rock Rd.  1.4 miles down.  1.4 miles up.  Robert has learned to suck the wheel of the fastest downhiller -- Robert has a significant downhill gravity disadvantage.  Other than that, I don't recall much of Flat Rock today.  I certainly recall NOTHING of the upslope section.  Selective memory?
Into the valley of the Flat Rock rode the ... one?  

Making away across Grove Hill Rd (I love including the name of the road BEFORE Flat Rock Rd AND the name of the road AFTER Flat Rock Rd -- it confuses people -- LOL) and then Suitt's Store Rd to the Western Wear Store.  WOW!!  Repeated vibrant, vivid, deep reds.  Also oranges and yellows.  But the reds took the day.  
Even the scrub-brush was colorful.

Zip-ity-do-dah and we were on Bruce Garner / New Light Rd headed for "the barn".  At a very nice highish speed.  Until the so-called "ride leader" decided to have a go at the Wake CL.  Dang it!  I thought no one was chasing me, so I sat up.  Just in time for Tito to zip past the Mallet and me and -- apparently for the first time ever -- best the Mallet at a CL.  Why-oh-why did I sit up!!  Oh, well ... it is all about the fun.  Yeah, right.

After the sprint, I needed a space to recover.  Robert, who did not participate in the CL chase, did not.  Dennis did not.  Paul and Tito did not.  I was suddenly gapped off the back.  I tried to slow and wait for Gary and Wendy.  Never saw Gary until PUE (W apparently added miles and rode the extra 10 miles to get home, so I never saw her again). 

I did manage to get caught by the "flag-man" for the fog-line-painting crew.  At least three or four minutes.  Robert, Tito, Paul, Dennis apparently got to the flag-man just as he was putting up the "STOP". 

Good ride for me.  I'm pretty sure Robert and Tito enjoyed their rides.  Gary proclaimed that Wendy and he had enjoyed the ride.  I assume the same for Paul and Dennis.

PUE:  Long Assault on Flat Rock; 54.9 m.; 3 hr, 33 min in-motion; 15.4 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.
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: __3 rides; __206.5 m.; _13 hrs, 25 min; 15.4 mph.
YTD tot: 100 rides; 6,751.8 m.; 449 hrs, 51 min; 15.0 mph.  


  1. Blogger does NOT handle side-by-side photos very well at all. Not wanting to retype the paragraph about Long Mill Rd AFTER the Llamas, the paragraph seems forever stuck between the Llamas.

  2. This sounds like a fun ride. Certainly much better weather than the week before. Let me know what's in store for next week. Iva

  3. I really missed the color with you guys this past weekend. But my daughter invited me up for a football weekend in Boone and I was able to get in two early morning rides from Blowing Rock onto the BRP. Took winter gear which was right for 7 AM and 29 degrees but WRONG for 10 AM and 50 degrees, which is what can happen in that cool dry air. Beautiful clear views from the overlooks (hundreds of peaks in distance and over 50 miles visibility), but NO LEAVES they've already had one light snow and now officially winter. But the weekend was mild and App State crushed their opponent.