Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dec-04: "Shadow Ride"

"What's a 'Shadow Ride'?"

"Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of the ride leader? ... 'The Shadow knows'."

Intentionally sans cue-sheet.
No one could follow a cue-sheet through all the turns we made ... and still have fun.
Short route on a cold day (central NC standards for "cold").
With many climbs (i.e., creek valley crossings), and many turns.
Though, since we were a group of 10, the route was "toned down" in some places.

How much climbing?
Not sure, but probably about 56.5 ft of climbing per mile.
Compare that to the usual 42 ft of climbing on usual / normal routes in north Raleigh / north of Raleigh.
That 33% more than usual !

And think, instead of 2160 ft of climbing in 38.2 miles, I could have gone on the inaugural ride on The Whirligig, with only 750 ft of climbing in 100 kms.  But this Shadow Ride was certainly at least as much fun -- except for the whirligigs.  (Be sure to check the RTP blog post -- good photos and a link to even more whirligig photos AND actual useful / entertaining information.  Thanks for those two posts, Mike.)

No map of today's course, but here are some maps of some similar courses:
The route we did today was not only slightly longer @ 38.2 miles, but almost certainly had more climbing per mile than the average of the three routes shown above because of: (1) Carrington Wall & neighborhood, (2) Boxelder, (3) Boyce Mill Rd.  (Boxelder is the final "coup de grace" (and also the first noticeable test) of Byron's Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville Permanent.  We did it the outbound (easier) direction.)

Robert sent me a link to his Garmin data from today's ride:  Robert's Garmin data
 _ _(check out the map)

Moments from today's "Irregulars" ride":

A bit of "brain freeze" on the first two downhill cavalry charges.  (In addition to the ice-cream and cold drinks phenomenon mentioned in the Wiki article, any cold-weather cyclist can tell you that suddenly turning into a cold wind on a cold day ... is likely to get you some "brain freeze" ... if your forehead / head is not covered protected by sufficiently warm gear.)

After about 6 miles, I was comfortably warm everywhere except my feet.  I forgot to put on my toe covers before the ride; by the end of the ride ... COLD feet!!

Gary tried to turn onto the wrong road off Raven Ridge.  We were headed for Koupela.

How did the the lead section know to turn onto Brassfield Rd rather than continue straight on Durant?

Just after I called out the correct "turn" at Brassfield / Honeycutt, Snapper called out "right" -- messing with Gary.  Bad, Snapper, bad!!

Good ears and quick reflexes were important when I didn't realize until almost too late that we needed to turn. 

Carrington Wall.  Followed by the half-mile steady up on Whitestone ... was new to 6 (maybe only 5) of the 10.  (Will the Carrington Wall be involved in a late-February road bicycle hash?  I wouldn't bet against it.  (See also regular (running) hashing.))

On Ray Rd, Robert asked "are you taking us to Boxelder Rd?"  I had thought of taking it easy and just staying on Ray to Norwood, but once Robert asked, I had to respond "Yes."  "Oh, boy!" was Robert's immediate response.  [Robert is always enthusiastic ... and maybe a bit "teched".  ;-) ]  I decided I better minimize his expectations with "we're doing it the easy way, Robert."  "Downhill?" asked Robert.  I lied "Yep, all the way."

I hit 35 mph coasting down the steep part of Boxelder.  Then crawled up the opposite side at 6 or 7 mph.

Oh, yeah, it was near the top of Boxelder that Gary led himself and two or three others to make a "bonus feet" turn.

From my seat far in the rear, it appeared that the Mallet, Tito, Levi, and Gary got into some County Line action on the upslope on Victory Ch Rd as it neared / became Kemp Rd.  I failed to get details.

As we came to the Kemp / Carpenter Pond intersection, Snapper said he needed to head straight back to PUE so he could make the game in time (something about UNC and Kentucky playing roundball in Chapel Hill).  As he prepared to turn (taking his neighbor IvaN with him) while the rest of us continued "forward" on Kemp, Snapper quietly said "Thanks for the ride.  This was a hilly course."

Kemp - Coley - NC-98 - Boyce Mill for the last, and toughest, real climb of the day (Mt Vernon Ch Rd doesn't really count -- we do it all the time, and I usually start my cool-down on that climb).  As we turned off NC-98 onto Boyce Mill, I let all the climber / speed-demons know that there was another county line at the top of the climb.  I learned later that the Mallet did not believe me; perhaps he thought I was just trying to tire them all out a bit more thoroughly than the course had already done.  I wonder if any of the others did not believe me.

Members of today's crew not previously mentioned:  BobH - who rode his own bike for a change - speculation is that he had to stop riding Norris's new steed because it was falling apart under Bob; IvaHawk - who has season tickets to roundball games at Dean's Tabernacle, but kept me company on MVC, and maybe some of the other climbs - I dunno really - my feet were FREEZING !

After the finish, Tito told me that today was one of his favorite rides this year.

Glad you enjoyed it, Tito!

PUE:  Hill Training Shadow Ride, incl. Norwood, PossumTrack, RavenRidge, Koupela, Honeycutt, Durant, Brassfield, Hardee, PossumTrack again, Lindley, Hardee again, Possum Track again again, Norwood again, MVC, "Carrington Wall", Baileywick, Ray, Boxelder, Vct Ch / Kemp, Coley, BoyceMill, CarpPond, MVC; 38.2 m.; 2 hrs, 32 min in-motion; 15.0 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: _10 rides; __726.4 m.; _48 hrs, _6 min; 15.1 mph.
Dec tot: __1 rides; ___38.2 m.; __2 hrs, 32 min; 15.0 mph.
YTD tot: 108 rides; 7,309.9 m.; 488 hrs, 12 min; 15.0 mph.
(total time has been corrected.  where did I go wrong?)


  1. Martin, I think this is the shortest IR ride I have been on since my first ride on April 24 ( 36 miles). I did enjoy the ride and hills especially Boyce Mill ( the right we took off of hiway 98?). That seems to be one of the longest steep hills we have done... is there a longer one?

    Robert asks ..... what is the trick to changing gears going up hills? I was passed too many times to remember today going up hills when 3 or more guys zoomed by me. I may not have the hill climbing strength yet that lots of the other guys have, but I think some of the problem was with my gear changing ability..... I was doing something wrong.


  2. Ya' know Robert is having trouble when even I pass him on upslopes ... which I did twice that I clearly recall.

    I had decided to leave that "tease" out of the blog in favor of the "Boxelder discussion", but since Robert brought the topic to the foreground ...