Monday, January 31, 2011

Jan-30: Kerr Lake Loop 208 km Perm

Slip Sliden' Away

While riding, I had lots of time to mentally compose lines and paragraphs about the ride; however, I accidentally wrote an over-long e-mail to MikeD, the KLL route owner, intending to only inform him that I had completed the ride.  However that e-mail will make an excellent, concise ride report, with just two additions: 

I often tell the "Irregulars" that they should be sure to do the Assault on Flat Rock course (one of our favorites) at least once each season, and especially in the winter, because you can see things in the winter that you can't see when the leaves are in full foilage.  This was my first winter ride on KLL -- early November here is not winter; it is "leaf watching season" (although Nov-06 was more winter-like than it was on this Jan-30 ride).  I make a similar comment about KLL:  be sure to do it in the winter as you can see things that are not visable at other times. 

There is a short bit included below about an encounter I had with a dawg on Mountain Rd.  That was my second successful jab of the day.  Earlier, I forget where, I delivered a slightly harder right jab to the head of a pursuing dawg.  That dawg instantly called off the chase and put its lips back over its teeth.  I wish that I had delivered as good a "jab" to each as I did to Roscoe last September.  

On to the report.
Hey, Mike, 

Just a note to let you know that I completed KLL at 5:46 yesterday evening. 

As both stores near the Fire Station open at 8 or after, and the station was conspicuous in its darkness (all the occupants must have been asleep), I just wrote 7:00 on the card and started (at 7:20).  The mind was determined yesterday morning, but the body was very hesitant when the alarm went off.  As I was the only one riding, I didn't worry that I might start a bit late, but just kept forcing the body through the motions -- foreshadowing my day on the bike. 

I have the morning and afternoon receipts from Oxford (which store cash register is still on Daylight Savings time, and about 5 minutes fast). 

I have a receipt from the store at Grissom (Lawrence & Bruce Garner roads), stamped 5:11 pm.  Ha!  I had the store clerk write the correct time (5:20) in the Stony Hill finish control box. 

I wrote in the 5:46 arrival time at Stony Hill in the control box opposite the official finish control box. 

I certainly hope that will suffice.  (The handwritten times from the clerks and by me are certainly more accurate than any of the receipts.  Statement not directed at anyone, just a fact.

I'll either mail or (because I worry that the USPS will lose it) drop off the paperwork. 
Hard day on the bike. 

I think I realized in the first three miles why my rides have been getting so hard this last month, particularly the day before.  My seatpost has been slowly slipping into the frame since at least the Jan-15 Showdown ride with BobB and Ricochet Robert.  I think it stopped slipping slowly and started slipping quickly while doing Dean's Get 'Er Dunn on Saturday -- the front wheel did not fit easily where it always does when I put the bike in the back of my CRV.  When I threw my leg-over on Sunday, it didn't seem right.  Stopping after 3 miles, opposite Rock Springs Ch Rd, I found that the seatpost was at least 2 cm too low!  No wonder my quads have been uncooperative of late.  (I reckon the COLD and COLD HEADWINDS have also played a part.) 

I didn't get the seatpost issue fully corrected until the control just east of Oxford.  That's what controls are for, right?  But the early miles on top of the damage inflicted doing Get 'Er Dunn the day before meant I had little power in my legs all day.  My average speed was okay at the dam, considering I'd been riding into a slight headwind and I was expecting to ride faster from the dam to Clarksville and from just north of Oxford to the finish, but my average kept dropping and dropping.  9 hours, 14 minutes on the bike.  I compensated pretty well by not dallying at the controls, taking just enough time to eat what I purchased, while chatting with the store clerks (always good to take a couple minutes to reinforce good relations, right?) -- 9 hrs, 14 min on the bike versus 10 hrs, 26 min actual time from actual start to actual finish leaves 1 hr, 12 min for three official control stops plus a 15 minute break in Boydton plus some other stoppage for lights and stop signs and three or four 60-second stops and a particular dawg encounter.  (I recognize official time will be 10 hrs, 46 minutes.) 

By Grassy Creek, I was cursing the fool that showed "Stovall Mtn" to you; but I can't imagine anyone giving me any sympathy on that particular score.  [For the non-locals, and even some of the locals, I provide this link, from a time prior to me joining RUSA, so that you will better understand the previous sentence.]  In the event, I have to agree with Dean's appraisal of Mountain Rd: it is a great road for cycling.  Even the steep bit at the top was not bad except that I finally met one of the dawgs about which I've heard.  Just after the steep part began, the dawg came hard charging from the left.  I unclipped and managed to deliver a light blow to the dawg's jaw; that was enough to send the dawg back into the protection of its yard where it continued to raise a ruckus. 

After delivering the left jab, I came to a full stop.  I have re-started from a stand-still on steeper climbs (the road up to the top of Hanging Rock State Park comes to mind), but when I re-started ... my front wheel was suddenly jack-knifed and the bike was falling over to the right ... a split moment of panic, I didn't have time to think ... and I must have jerked the front up, straightend the front wheel and gotten the bike perpendicular in one smooth unthinking motion, because I didn't crash and I was moving forward.  I thought "cool, I didn't crash and hurt myself."  It is always nice when unknown skills suddenly emerge at just the right moment. 

Good day on the bike.

Sorry for the long e-mail. I think I just drafted my blog post. 
Kerr Lake Loop 208 km Permanent; 131.3 m.; 9 hrs, 14 min in-motion; 14.2 mph; rando-time: 10 hrs, 46 min elapsed on the clock. 

Jan tot: __9 rides; __671.4 m.; _46 hrs, 35 min; 14.4 mph.
YTD tot: __9 rides; __671.4 m.; _46 hrs, 35 min; 14.5 mph.


  1. I'm sure you really enjoyed that warm day - the nicest we've had in Jan 2011. I've never been too good trying to kick dogs although I got a little pesky one under my front wheel once. It didn't cause me to crash - I was kind of 'sliding' the dog down the road for 20 feet or so until it managed to escape.

  2. @ Branson. Thanks!

    @ Bob. Hope your recovery has speeded up.

    You know how it can be on a "warm day" in January when there is nice sunshine and a bit of a breeze and you started early and you're riding a long way. It didn't feel that warm while I was on the bike, unless I was at a stop sign or stopped for a 60-second break. Then I would notice and comment to myself, "hey, it is warm." I was dressed just about correctly -- I was cool-warm all day.

    But I had no quads. Did seem to shake off the fatigue just north of Drewry, but then my left calf was trying to cramp. I started to coast a bit going across the dam, right leg stretched / left leg at the top of the stroke, but the left calf immediately started to cramp. Uh, oh, better keep pedaling. I stopped on the far side of the bridge, fully expecting the left calf to cramp when I tried to click out. No problem. I drank most of bottle with some electrolyte stuff in it; that must have gotten enough "stuff" into my body, because I had no further cramp issues all day. Nor any Sunday night.

    I can't say that I had fun doing the ride, but I was satisfied and there were fun moments (3 llamas sunning themselves in a field near Shiny Rock -- made me think of the early November ride where Dean crossed 10k kms for the year).

    I think I have gotten a LOT better at kicking dogs after I was bitten on Aug-05 last year. (I think that was the date.) Perhaps I'm motivated by fear?