Monday, January 17, 2011

Jan-15: Showdown in Black Creek 204 km Permanent

Just Lucky, I Guess

On Monday, Jan-10, "Biker Bob" e-mailed me explaining that Saturday would be has last chance to get in his "R-ride" for January ... would I be interested in doing the Coffee Run with him?  I was somewhat worried about what the condition of the roads south of Raleigh / Durham would be since the main method of clearing snow off the road is ... melting.  I responded that if Showdown would work for him, I could probably talk new RUSA member Robert into joining us.  THEN I looked at the forecast for Saturday.  20 degrees F for the morning low!!  I've never ridden in THAT, and I don't have the gear for it, either.

Bob replied that Showdown would work for him, as would KLL or Triple-L.  Based on the snow reports, I figured that the roads of KLL and LLL would likely be worse than the Coffee Run or the Showdown.  I sent an e-mail to NC 2010 Rookie of the Year, Tim, asking road conditions down Wilson way.   I also sent an e-mail to Bob be-moaning the low temps for Saturday morning ... I would have to think about it.

Tim responded that the roads down east were absolutely clear -- no snow or ice.

By midweek, Rapid Robert had gotten all enthusiastic about riding and the forecast Saturday low had been revised upward to about 24 F.  I agreed to do Showdown with Bob for his R-13 and Robert for his R-1.

Then Robert, the Ricochet Rabbit e-mailed wondering if our enthusiasm was getting in the way of being rational.  I e-mailed back:  "don't go getting 'all reasonable' on me now, after I've committed to this insanity."  I also called Robert's wife; Angi willingly smacked Robert for me.  Twice.
Bob contacted MikeD and arranged to get the control cards and a group waiver form.  

The actual Saturday morning low may have been a bit more tolerable than what even the last forecast had been ... I haven't actually looked.

We were ready to ride at a couple minutes after the official 7:00 am start time, but it took seemingly forever to get an orange juice and the receipt.  We actually pushed off at 7:12.  But at least I hadn't fallen over in the parking lot.
"The actual start for the last person of the group was a few minutes later as he had to pick himself up from parking lot -- half under his bike, half on top of it.  We won't go into that inglorious moment except to note that I will no longer even consider following the advice to relax the tension in the rear derailleur cable -- the risk is too high for not very much reward."  
Ha!  I finally figured out how to do that "indentation" and gray-scale thing!

Taking it easy, but enjoying the benefit of a somewhat tailwind (and having had one flo-max stop), we reached the "second" control in time to get 10:11 recorded on our cards.  We were closer to the opening than the closing of the control window.  My quads were already in too-much-pain.  Stopping and standing felt worse than riding. 

The second part of the outbound leg included the approximately 17-mile almost all due southbound leg into Black Creek.  One comment:  headwind.  Second comment:  Robert asked me why he would be experiencing his first-ever "sore butt" while riding; he'd never had "sore butt" previously (Robert's adult cycling career began on Apr-24-2010).  I suggested "just your lucky day."  He didn't like that answer.  Later, I suggested maybe he'd done some rigorous training earlier in the week, or maybe the slower pace meant he was sitting on the bike slightly differently, or maybe the lack of ANY notable climbs after the first 13-miles (a first for Robert) had taken a toll.  (After the ride, Bob suggested he "was going to ask him if his saddle was what came on that nice 'gift' bike - it looks like one that is not going to be too comfortable for 'relaxed' riding.")  In the Black Creek store, Micky noted 12:05 pm on our cards.  Almost smack in the middle of the control window. 

We were expecting a nice tailwind from Black Creek to Hornes Church.  Wasn't nearly as nice as hoped / expected.  During this section, I could no longer hide that I was and had been slogging-it-in since at least the "second" control.  Robert asked "what's the problem?"  Quads hurt / feel like they would like to cramp / almost certainly will cramp later tonight after the ride is over.  Robert asked why would that be.  "Just my lucky day, I guess."  Robert still didn't like that answer.  My control card shows 2:00 pm at the "fourth" control (same location as the "second" control); that is 2 hrs, 25 min after the control opened ... 2 hrs flat before the control closed. 

Except for a few miles on Frazier Rd where there was just enough north in our direction to turn the SW wind into a very nice tailwind (Bob commented that he "could go for a couple hours of this"; the "this" being 18 and 19 mph land-speed without too much effort) we had an annoying headwind all the way to Youngsville.  Ricochet was trying to be helpful, but at 135 lbs., he doesn't cast much of a wind-shadow, and besides, it was entirely over in the ditch, anyway.  Somewhere between the "fourth" control and Youngsville, Bob acknowledged that his legs likely felt about the same as mine.  In Youngsville, he further commented that he'd been counting down the miles from 40 miles to the finish.  I had been counting landmarks.  Ricochet had just been bouncing around.

I had to walk the last 40 yards on Thompson Mill Rd to get up to NC-98.  I've walked before.  It is disappointing, but not humiliating. 

Thank-goodness for the newly engineered slopes on NC-98 and Falls of the Neuse Rd.. 

I got off my bike at 5:35.  After putting our bikes away, and changing out of damp / wet tops and changing shoes ... my control card notes 5:50 pm. 

Congrats to Bob on R-13.  Hope the surgery goes well and you can collect R-14 late in February.
Congrats to Ricochet on his first ever RUSA ride for which he will get credit. (Two no-credit brevets last year.)

Non-Obligatory Comment on Receipts:

The McDonald's electronic cash register receipts had the correct time.  I didn't ask Micky for a receipt in Black Creek, but I'm confident that the hand-written receipt(s) that Bob and/or Ricochet may have gotten would have had the correct time ... if Micky wrote the time on the receipt(s); Micky certainly noted the correct time on my control card.  The electronic cash register receipts from the Kwik Pik intermediate control ... are still on daylight savings time; the clerks wrote the correct time on the control cards.  Big finish to this paragraph -- my usual refrain:  "so much for cash register receipts."
One More Thing

Given the wind direction ... we should have done the Coffee Ride ... and had a tailwind for the 100 km homebound leg.

Showdown in Black Creek 204 km Permanent; 127.0 m.; 8 hrs, 50 min in-motion; 14.4 mph; "official" rando-time: 10 hrs, 50 min. 

Jan tot: __4 rides; __352.1 m.; _24 hrs, 14 min; 14.5 mph.
YTD tot: __4 rides; __352.1 m.; _24 hrs, 14 min; 14.5 mph.


  1. Congratulations to Robert on his first "official" 200k. I am sure a good time was had by all. :-)

    G & W

  2. Gary -

    Are you sure you read the post? I had to slog in at least the last 87 miles (out of 127) and Bob had to slog in the last 40 miles. The quartering headwind on the flats east of Youngsville was more than annoying -- on several absolute NOTHING upslopes (where I have previously ridden at 16 to 20 mph) I was in my 30/25 and going 6 mph -- the same pace at which I climbed the mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway ride in September.

    Perseverance (sp?) was the order of the day.

    Except for Ricochet. He claimed that the wind was "beating him up," but it wasn't obvious to either Bob or me.



  3. Everyone made it safely to the finish. Although the Black Creek Permanent is still very fresh in your minds -- years from now you will remember the high points and low points of the ride. In the end you will probably think of the ride as a positive experience.

    G (1/2 of G&W)