Saturday, February 12, 2011

Feb-12: Rollin', Rollin', Rollin', Keep Them Roads a'Rollin'

As far as I can determine, the last time I rode Ellis Chapel Rd, was Oct-25-2009.  Prior to that ... I rode Ellis Chapel Rd for the first time EVER on Apr-26-2008 (as a "test" ride) and on Apr-28-2008 with Iceman, Snapper, and BigWaveDave.  (Note to Mallet:  I did remember mostly correctly when I told you about riding that road and getting badly dropped by an Irregular crew including Wave; I was, however, "off" on the time of year.  I remember Wave trashing Snapper and Iceman, as well as me.  I now recall some of the "why".  Reason(s) better left in the past.  They had nothing to do with cycling.)

Three times previously on Ellis Chapel Rd ... yet it lived in my mind as a great road for cycling.  And after today's ride, I better understand why rando Byron told me that Ellis Chapel Rd is his favorite road to cycle.  Good scenery, decent road surface, nice repeating rollers.  And today, it was about the only road on the entire route where it seemed we actually had a tailwind.  THAT seems a preposterous claim given the shape of the route (see map).  

"Trimble Outdoors" (see the map immediately above) reports the "gross climbing" on this route at ~ 1940 ft.  (For comparison, Trimble reports ~ 4475 ft of climbing on Byron's L-L-L which can also be compared to the climbing estimate on the RUSA website.  I think Trimble under-reports the climbing, but it is as useful as any other consistent source for comparing routes.)  Ricochet Robert sent me a link to his Garmin data from the "core / Irregular" portion of the ride; that reports 2270 ft of climbing (compare that to the ~ 1940 from Trimble).  Robert's data includes the de tour onto Wiley Mangum, which would account for about 50 ft of the difference between his Garmin and Trimble, but that still leaves nearly a 300 ft difference, that is, nearly a 15% difference.  As I have said before, and as one North Carolina randonneuse blogged about last year -- none of the elevation reports appear to actually be absolutely correct.  However, that does not take away from the chatter / banter potential -- as long as it does not get out of hand. 
A large crew today:  nine plus me (BobH, IvaHawk, LT, Mallet, Tito, Ags, Ricochet, Gary + Wendy).  Two expected riders did not show.  We stayed together quite well for the first 16 or 17 miles; then seven stopped at the store on Red Mill Rd just after the I-85 underpass.  The other three of us continued on because that store was not a scheduled stop; we three shook our collective heads.

A mile or two down the road, Ricochet Robert once again dropped his chain.  Being unable to use the chain guide to get the chain back on the ring while in motion, he pulled over to effectuate "repairs".  The Mallet and I continued on for another short mile; then we pulled over to allow regrouping.  BobH soon joined as (he had left the store crew after just a couple minutes ... but reported the other six were showing no signs of leaving the store when he had left).  Another couple moments, and Ricochet, chain properly aligned, joined us.  We had time for Robert and me to split a banana.  Finally, we saw the other six coming up the road. 

Back underway, we were soon climbing up Stagville Rd.  I caught up to the Mallet leading the line to tell him to de tour onto Wiley Mangum Rd just as the climb was ending.  Since we were on a club ride, not a rando ride, we could modify the ride if we wanted.  Everyone except IvaHawk and BobH got the word to take the de tour.  They "motored" on while the rest of us enjoyed the view from the top of the rise on Wiley Mangum (sorry, no photo). 

Before we left the above described impromptu stop, Lt. Dave asked if I planned to stop at the "Bahama control".  I answered yes, because I needed to verify the distance of the historical marker from the corner.  As I approached the center of Bahama, Dave and five others suddenly turned left to go to the store in Bahama.  Huh?  Thought I:  the control, clearly marked on the draft cue sheet, is to the right.  I didn't really need to stop at the historical marker, but since I had said I would, I did.  Gary and Wendy joined me.  After a few minutes noting the grave markers (we were next to the cemetery), we started waving to some of the crew back at the Bahama store to come our direction.  When they didn't, I said to Gary and Wendy, "let's go; all those guys climb faster than Wendy and me, anyway."

Down to Lake Michie.  Up the other side.  Onto Ellis Chapel Rd (discussed above).  Then on to Roberts Chapel Rd ... Mallet and I discussing the last time the two of us had ridden that road.  Roberts Chapel Rd is also a very nice road for cycling, including a couple creek crossings and a lake crossing.

Into Stem, for the scheduled stop.  Group camaraderie.  I have no idea what was being talked about.

Now I remember why it took so long for me to able to ask the Mayor a few key questions about the "A&W Grocery and Grill". 

Before leaving Stem, IvaHawk informed me that he'd be taking the Dove Rd short-cut from Creedmoor back to PUE so that he could catch most of "the game" (UNC playing roundball at Clemson -- I think).  Boom!  The lead seven were hauling it down Brogden Rd; having caught me very slightly on the hop, I still could not make up the distance even though I had a gravity advantage over most everyone ahead of me.  Wendy does NOT have a downslope gravity advantage; she and Gary slowly slipped off my wheel. 

I got onto NC-56 in time to see the lead seven take a "Martin short-cut" in Creedmoor.  Wendy, Gary and I stayed on the published course, but W + G slipped off my wheel again while going through downtown Creedmoor.  When I turned onto Church St. (which become Brassfield Rd), there was no sign of the lead seven.  I figured all seven had decided to short the route.  However, a mile or two later, Ricochet Robert was on my wheel and explaining that all the rest had gone short.  Perhaps they all had family or other commitments (one or two have small children, after all), but Robert and I agreed that the others just were not "rando tough".  Okay ... okay ... Robert didn't actually agree with my suggestion ... but it did make for a joke ... a pretty bad one ... and not funny.  But that is our story ... and we are sticking to it. 

I can't remember ever riding Brassfield, Horseshoe and Lawrence roads with as mush gusto as I rode them today.  "Rando tough" or simply many, many miles in my legs the last couple years?

Robert and I took a break at Lawrence and Bruce Garner roads; Gary and Wendy rode up a few minutes later.  Then the four of us headed in on Bruce Garner / New Light Rd -- smack dab into the teeth of the wind.  The only respites from the headwind were the occasional strong gusts from the sides that threw us about on the road.  Certainly no hammering in on BG/NL today; it was find a cadence, make yourself as small as possible, and keep that cadence, keep that cadence, keep that cadence.

I finished the route at 14:08.  Five hours, eight minutes for 64.5 hilly miles, with a tough headwind.  Pretty good for me.  Ricochet, weighing nearly nothing, climbed ahead on the last climbs and finished a few minutes earlier.  Gary and Wendy came in a few minutes later. 

The four of us all enjoyed our rides.  At this moment in time ... I don't actually know if the short-cutters enjoyed their individual rides ... but I'm confident that they did.

No humor, nor much of anything interesting in today's post.  But just as I began writing this post, I got an e-mail from another randonneur, asking me to write up a dawg incident on the Tar Heel 200 dating from December.  We first thought the incident was on Jan-01 this year; then we thought there were two different incidents.  But reviewing the posts on this blog refreshed my memory, and confirmed that there was one incident, on Dec-22-2010.  There is value to writing up every ride shortly after it occurred.  Even when there is nothing within the post particularly interesting.

See you on the road.

PUE:  Bahama Beach + a Little Mountain (Rd), plus some riding around before and after; 73.0 m.; 4 hrs, 47 min in-motion; 15.2 mph. 

Jan tot: __9 rides; __671.4 m.; _46 hrs, 35 min; 14.4 mph.
Feb tot: __2 rides; __200.3 m.; _13 hrs, 54 min; 14.6 mph.
YTD tot: _10 rides; __798.7 m.; _55 hrs, 32 min; 14.4 mph.


  1. Tough wind today

    Lt. Dave

  2. Martin, On Dove Rd. it felt like a mighty force trying to push me backwards. Although, I was generating 450 watts, I was going 11 mph.

    Ags laid the hammer down on Dove Rd opening a substantial gap on the rest of us. The Mallet, Tito, LtDave, BobH were pursuing. BobH and Tito dropped back to join me. We stayed together till Old Weaver/New Light where the others were waiting. That's the last I saw of any of them till the parking lot approximately 1:50.

    My butt is sore. Ags had to drive back to Stem to get his sunglasses he left on the ice machine ! haha Well, it's not funny. He was going to come over and watch the game with Tito and me. We got home just in time to see all the 2nd half. The Heels won!!


  3. Glasses were still on the freezer at Mayor Nancy Stem's Market.


  4. Did Nancy demand any ID?

    She introduced me to her pastor, who went to the bathroom to drop off some literature on the toilet. Did you pick up any?


  5. Wendy & I enjoyed the ride/route today. Compaired to other places Wendy & I have had the pleasure to ride -- the breeze today was still quite enjoyable although it did make the ride seem longer than 64.5miles. Let's do it again soon.

  6. Let me comment on the store stop on Red Mill. I had no choice but to stop knowing there was no near place to go between there and the country side which was a long way. Throw in a seat post mechanical that happened to Ags just before we got there, and the deal was sealed. We hollered at you all but the wind carried our voices away. Normally, we wouldn't do an unplanned stop on you all. As Brenda Lee so eloquently put it (circa 1960): I'm sorry, so sorry. Iva

  7. Hmmn, I had recently begun thinking (due to experiences on several rando and Irregular rides) that you had surrendered your position as "King of Flo-max", but I may have to unthink that. ;-)

    Seat-post mechanical? Sounds suspicious ... as if people are playing off my recent seat-post issues and thinking I'd therefore be more sympathetic. :-o

  8. Add me to those thinking Trimble underreports climbing numbers. Case in point- Tony's Mount Gilead 200K in January. 3900ft advertised by Trimble. My Garmin: 7800ft. Bryan's Garmin: 7400ft.

  9. I had fleetingly considered Tony's Jan-01 brevet, but then saw that the course would be either Mount Gilead or some other course which evoked mountains. I contacted Tony; he pooh-poohed the climbing on both routes, assuring me that the climbing would be less than on Alan's 200 brevet route.

    In the end, I made the decision to do a Tar Heel tour with Dean. (Regarding Jan-01 permanents ... next year ... I wouldn't be surprised if Dean started a permanent ride at 0400.)