Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nov-27: Hester Rd and Wilton Ramble

Today, we got the bright sunshine that was missing two days ago.  But it came with a price.  Starting temp at 0815 was about 34 F -- significantly below the balmy 37 or 40 F two days ago.  And the chilly, gusting breeze from the SW was more of a nuisance than expected -- I think it was out of the SW -- it certainly felt like it on Horseshoe and Bruce Garner / New Light roads.  The strange thing is that on Patterson Rd, early-ish in the ride, it seemed like the chilly breeze had a significant north component.  And Brogden Rd from Creedmoor (the town, not the road) to Hester Rd also seemed to be mostly into the breeze -- but Brogden from Creedmoor is entirely N to NW.  Did the breeze change directions during the course of the morning?  The answer must have been ... yes.  At least we didn't get the dreaded "headwind out -- headwind back" phenomenon.  And ... except during tropical storms and hurricanes, there really isn't that much wind here in central NC ... certainly not when compared to my "homeplace" location (see here -- the very last section -- for a comparison of breezes in central NC versus WIND in northwest Illinois). 

Hester, at the corner of US-15 and Hester Rd. (Hester Rd is named for Hester x-road).
Wilton.  "Downtown" Wilton.
Grissom.  "Downtown" Grissom.  

Let's start over, shall we?

We got the sunshine we had hoped for two days ago (Thanksgiving Day), but it was decidedly chillier.  There would have been excellent scenes of very nice autumn color a week or two ago, but today, almost all the colorful leaves were on the ground.  We had an excellent ride -- well, mostly.

The cast:  Snapper, BobH, IvaHawk, Tito, Robert, guest Ken, me

Snapper kept to his "metabolic heart rate" training plan, except for the long quarter-mile on Cheek Rd across Falls Lake -- after we were all back together, I explained to Robert (who had been lamenting his inability to hold Snapper's wheel across the lake) that neither he nor I could hope to hold Snapper's wheel when he "cuts loose" for a long sprint.  Robert immediately picked up on the "big engine" issue.

BobH had an excellent ride, often setting the pace or pulling the "loose paceline" for long periods, as he once again "tested" Norris's new machine while Norris remains sidelined recovering from surgery.  I say "BobH had an excellent ride", and he did ... until the machine started to fall apart beneath him.  I wonder if Norris actually knows that Bob is testing that new bike, or if Bob only tells us that Norris asked Bob to "check it out".  Hmmn. 

IvaHawk is my most dependable cycling partner with the most consistent riding style.  But with negative body fat, being the self-proclaimed "old man" of the group, and with the pace usually being near his limit instead of well within his comfort zone, Iva seldom gets the opportunity to take any pulls.  Today, Iva got in at least one serious pull, and I think helped pull some of "lantern" sub-groups as we foolishly attempted on several occasions to bridge-up to the faster front crew.  (Btw, the pace of the group is usually near my limit, too -- that's one of the key reasons for "Irregulars" rule no. 3:  "3. No dropping the ride leader. Especially if we are operating without a cue sheet."  In case you don't quite understand:  Iva is the one partner most likely to be "off the back" or "taking it easy on Ghoston-Peed-MVC" with me.)

Tito said he enjoyed his ride today.  Usually, he goes up to ride alongside whomever is leading and to chat with that person.  Today, Tito spent most of the ride chatting with someone in the middle or near or at the back.  He did, however, ride several sections with significant panache -- especially, my spies informed me, the last 4.7 miles on G-P-MVC.)

Robert (the eponymous one from the "Robert asked ..." posts) is always enthusiastic about riding.  Before.  During.  After.  ALWAYSEnthusiastic!  ALWAYS!!  Robert's longtime friend, Lee, told me earlier this year that "[he] spent five years trying to get Robert on a bike -- now [he] can't get him off of it."  It is always a pleasure to ride with Robert.  Today, Robert seemed intent on earning a new nickname -- "Tito, Jr."  Except that is not quite correct.  Tito typically rides alongside to carry on a conversation with whomever is leading -- Robert, after repeatedly pointing out that "[he] hates to see a draft going to waste," would be off the front with ... whomever was leading / feeling it / trying to wear Robert out.  Thing is, I don't think we CAN wear Robert out.  In the middle of the ride, I told Iva that I think Robert will be the first "Irregular" to complete a 600 km brevet.  He's not even a RUSA member ... yet.  I'm working on him.  And I'd wager that Angie would enjoy a couple Saturdays or Sundays each month sans Roberts:  she told me that when Robert goes 'ariding long, that is her quiet / relaxation time.

Today was Ken's second visit ride with us.  He was in the care of Snapper (his "sponsor"), and I admit, I didn't notice much about Ken's riding style or abilities.  That is probably an indication that he passes muster on the SAFE front ("Irregular's" rule no. 2).  And he told me, early in the ride, that he enjoyed the post about my Blue Ridge Parkway ride earlier this year.  Hmmn.  Trying to make a good impression on the "ride leader"?  I doubt it.

As for me:  mostly I tried to conserve my legs a little bit so that tomorrow will not be painful.  I am confident that it will NOT be painful. 
American Gothic ??
Or, Men in Red with a Pitchfork
 We clearly need to recruit more women to this ride crew.

PUE:  DocN-Creedmoor-Hester-Wilton-Grissom-G-P-MVC; 56.7 m.; 3 hrs, 42 min in-motion; 15.3 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: __9 rides; __601.5 m.; _39 hrs, 59 min; 15.0 mph.
YTD tot: 106 rides; 7,146.8 m.; 476 hrs, 27 min; 15.0 mph.
\ _ 


  1. Scene: CVS Drugstore.
    Since we began in 38 degrees of chilliness, a winter advisory wa in effect for hands and feet. Accordingly, the biking dude pulled up at the drugstore for a quick pit stop and socks. Yes, socks. Ken, after tapping his cleats past the Chinese candy, Chinese Santa hats and Chinese thanksgiving favors, he stopped at the Chinese socks, getting a three pack for the purpose of healing/heating his numb feet. With brute force, he was able to pack his shoes with the second pair of socks and that is why he survived, even excelled, on in the frozen tundra of the North.

  2. Gosh, Tito, there are people that read this silly blog that live a lot closer to the frozen tundra than we do. You don't want those folks to think we are wimps, do you?