Long before Byron's Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville (L-L-L) got the better of me twice before I finally successfully completed it within the time limits ... long before I even considered randonneuring ... there was another route that gave me trouble ... and it also took three attempts for me to successfully complete the ride ... originally called "A Long Mill Ride", it became "Irregularly" known as ... the "Long Mill 'Bonk' Route". (link to route map)
I had done longer rides (not many), and had even done a century (one); but the "Long Mill 'Bonk' Route" was a true nemesis. The first time we set out to do that route, weather and personal circumstances conspired with the somewhat hilly terrain to do me in. The second time, I was solo, had been riding well, but the route raised itself in defiance and, much as they talk about golf courses "defending themselves", the route, with considerable help from the neglect of the author, defended itself.
Year MM DD __ start / course ____________________________ __ comment _____________________ _mi. h.mm avg
2008 Jun 7 PUE: BoldRun-LongMill-Fairport-FlatRock-SuittsStore w/ Paul, Bob H, Norris, 6 others; I bonked 65.3 4.22 14.9
Here is a synopsis, leaving out many intriguing details of interactions with others because some things are better left on the ride, copied from one of the early posts on this blog:
"One of the most memorable (to me, anyway) "irregulars" rides of the year occurred on Jun-7th. I would like to be able to say that it was memorable because we had the most riders participate ever; which at ten riders, would be true, but that is not why it is most memorable to me. I would like to be able to say that it was memorable because, for the first time ever, some members of the fairer sex were on the ride; while that is true, that is not why it is most memorable to me. I would like to be able to say that it was memorable because I rode like the wind, never dropped off the back, and that I never suffered a moment's frustration or fatigue; but that would be a complete falsehood.I had always thought that "the Iceman" was just being over-dramatic or some such thing when he asked for assurances that I was not going to die; however, about a year later, on some other ride, when to pass the miles, I was relating the story to someone, Paul explained that he had been deadly serious when he asked for that assurance. He said he "knew" I was going to be dead when he returned to me, and then he'd have a heck-of-a-time explaining to authorities how it was that he was in control of my car.
"The reason that the ride is so memorable to me is that, slow as I was going early on, I started seriously flagging even before the half-way point, could barely hold the wheel of the Iceman on Bruce Garner / New Light although he was only trying to pace me at [only] about 13 or 14 mph, I had to get off the bike on second steep part of Ghoston, and after a 20 minute (maybe more) recovery period, I had to jump off the bike near the top of the steep part of Peed, and give up the hope of completing the ride when only 3 miles from PUE. Before leaving me to ride to PUE and get my car to return and collect me, the Iceman wanted assurance that I was not going to die while he was gone. Things were decidedly not good, one could even say the were [very] BAD.
"There was one moment of joy while waiting for the Iceman to cometh: I experienced my first ever "road angel". A large SUV passed by my forlorn self sitting on the shaded side of the road, and turned around to come back and ask if I would like a cold bottle of water. A defininte [sic] godsend. Maybe things were only [just] BAD."
As alluded to in the original text: three riders (including the two females) only rode about 32 miles that day; three rode only about 50+ miles; four of us tackled the entire route. However, BobH and Norris were trying to squeeze in a 100-miler that day by riding before and after the "Irregulars" ride, so Iceman and I had sent them to ride on at their own pace while Paul tried to nurse me in; BobH and Norris also had to call for a rescue ride that day as Norris had had a problem at approximately the same location I was to later raise my white flag.
In our defense, that June Saturday marked the beginning of the HOTTEST week of the year. I was further suffering from just a touch of diarrhea from the night before.
Year MM DD __ start / course ____________________________ __ comment ______________________ _ mi. h.mm avg
2008 Nov 9 BJP: BoldRun-LongMIll-Olivet - broke rear gear cable - GM-Pok-G-P-MVC (Ghoston in 4:38) ____ 52.5 3.04 17.1
As noted above, the second time I set out to this route, I was solo. I added on a slight de tour when I got to Camp Kanata Rd -- to check out where Camp Kanata was actually located. I think I was interested in actually seeing where all the "Ride Without Limits" rides for that weekend were starting and ending. Anyway, I was expecting to have a great time on the bike. I did end up with a great time, but with a different meaning.
Here is a link to a copy what I wrote at the time on a different medium; this text is a "bit" longer than the extract reproduced above, but the story might be interesting, or informative. This copy is true to the original, complete with spelling errors and bad grammar and everything else which usually slips into this blog. Link to second attempt, my unintended single-speed experience.
That ride is my proof that I can ride 18+ mph, on not-the-easiest course(s), after I am warmed up. It is just that I usually don't care to ride that fast. (Given how SLOW I've been lately ... I wonder if I CAN still ride that fast?)
By the third attempt, Apr-18-2009, this blog was in existence. Therefore, follow the link. (I don't know why that ride ended up being being nearly 73 miles instead of the mapped 68.)
Interesting. I see that the very next day was my first ever mountain ride.
Why do I bring this up? Although this route is somewhat "tame" given that it doesn't include "Charlie Grissom Mtn" or Community House Rd or Egypt Mtn Rd, this is the "mother route" of other routes out that way. Therefore, I think I'd like to do the "Bonk" route again. In the near future. Perhaps on Feb-26th, "Irregularly", if the wind isn't howling out of the southwest, and if I'm NOT riding with "BikerBob" as he comes off recovery from surgery to attempt to maintain his R-streak.
Timing suggestions from "Irregulars", via comment or e-mail, are welcome.