Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mar-20: JRA With Serendipitous Meetings


I was unable to effectuate the paperwork exchange to do a rando Kerr Lake Loop on Sunday.  Saturday afternoon / evening and Sunday morning, that seemed like a REALLY GOOD THING as my legs were tired, and my brain was tired, and I guess the best description is ... I was just plain tired. 
[It seems to me that "Logue" ought to be legitimate, but I can find no stand-alone English useage.]

When I finally threw a leg-over, it was already after 11 a.m..  I headed toward BJP to transact some business.  After transacting said business, I thought I'd ride north on Six Forks -> New Light Rd, but the front wheel of the bike went straight and the rest of the bike and I followed onto Pleasant Union Church Rd.  I realized that I must be subconsciously headed out on the "Time-Trial" route; if I threw in a couple down-and-ups on Coley Rd (down into the wind; up with a tailwind), the ride had potential; if I threw in a trip down-and-up Baptist Rd, the ride had even more potential.  That is what I set out to do.

But barely more than a quarter-mile across PUCh Rd, there was a 4-person group, including a long-time acquaintance, headed the other direction; clearly 3 were going to BJP to complete their ride; I knew the 4th would be riding more.  I turned around and just as the stop sign for Six Forks Rd came into sight, I also saw the 4th (the long-time acquaintance) headed in my direction.  I turned around and picked up my pace a little; I suspect that she may have reduced her pace a little.  Blah, blah, blah, she had ridden Tony's 300 km brevet the day before ... 300+k in eleven-and-one-half hours!  It takes me ten or ten-and-a-half hours to complete 200k.  Norwood Rd.  Six Forks Rd.  She continued south toward the end of her ride.  I turned onto MVC Rd, again headed for Coley and Baptist roads.

Two down-and-ups on MVC (the second being part of the "TT" course).  Then southwest bound on Carpenter Pond to Coley Rd.  Down Coley; the downslope more than making up for the headwind.  U-turn at the highway.  Up Coley; the tailwind not-quite counter-balancing up for the upslope.  Half-way up, approaching Kemp Rd, I saw two cyclists pass right-to-left on Kemp, but I did not recognize either.  Then, another two riders right-to-left, but I recognized the guy in the white jersey ... not from the jersey, although that may have helped ... but I recognized him from his position on the bike.  Thinking that riding with someone(s) for a bit might be more fun than riding solo for a bit, I decided to catch them; that was made easier because I was pretty sure that Gary and Wendy were riding with a couple that they had met the previous Sunday, and that Gary had told me about the day before.  If the couple was the couple I thought they might be, then the couple would be finishing their ride in another 4 or 5 miles, but Gary and Wendy would be riding another 12+ miles beyond that, and I could easily ride 10 of those miles with them without getting too far astray. 

I caught up to Gary and Doug, and soon learned that Gary was riding with Wendy's damaged front tyre.  W had managed to get a cut that went from the rim to nearly the road-contacting "rubber".  G had booted with a multi-folded $20 bill, but clearly the tyre was slowly bulging more and more.  I rode with the foursome to Doug and Karen's house, and then spent some social time before again leaving for the now twice-aborted "TT" route.

Melvin Arnold to Old Creedmoor to Carpenter Pond to down Coley again.  Again into the headwind.  U-turn at the highway again.  Up Coley with the tailwind; this time all the way to CP.  Across CP to Leesville to Panoramic Rd to U-turn and a pause to eat a sandwich and share conversation with the guy clearing out his culvert. 

Deciding to skip DocNichols, OliveBranch and Virgil roads, I headed back across Leesville Rd toward CP.  There were 2 cyclists paused at the DocNichols / Leesville corner ... I had a feeling they would soon be catching me.  ...  I was correct; but I decided to pick up my pace and suck their wheels.  The second cyclist, the one in the red jersey, appeared to not appreciate my tacking on ... he picked up his pace and pulled ahead.  The first cyclist, wearing the Nortel jersey, was clearly not able to pull away from me with his cycling partner.  Following them onto Coley (again), I pulled up alongside Nortel jersey and asked if he knew BruceB and PaulN.  He did.  I told Kim (that was the name of the cyclist in the Nortel jersey) that I had seen Bruce earlier, but Bruce wouldn't know who I was; I also told Kim that Paul and I often rode together.  After having gained approx two miles of increased pace, the red jersey and Kim turned off Coley onto Kemp to complete their 40-mile ride. 

I continued down Coley to the highway, U-turned again, and rode up Coley, again.  This time as I approached Kemp, two cyclist were going left-to-right.  I slowed so that they would be clear of the intersection as I approached the stop-sign.  However, they turned onto Coley, going the same direction I was going.  I decided to try and suck their wheels up Coley. 

Luckily for me, they were doing an easy ride.  Because they were shaved-leg cyclists, and from their conversation about some riders doing "work" and others not, I knew these guys were either crit or road-race participants.  Up Coley, across CP and MVC to Creedmoor Rd, I was carried along at a nice pace ... but I did have to work ... especially when the guy in front of me would suddenly stand-up and his bike would appear to push-back at me and I would suddenly have to ... react.  At the stop light at Creedmoor Rd, I asked what teams they were on.  One was All-Star; the other was Revolution.  I thanked them for the pull, knowing that they would drop me like an lead weight  in just over a mile when the road went seriously UP for the first time since I had latched onto them.  In 5.6 miles, my avg pace had been dragged from about 15.3 mph after ~51.9 miles to 15.7 mph after ~64.5 miles.  Hmmn, that suggests 21.7 avg mph for those 5.6 miles.  [Too bad Lt. Dave won't read this ... he hates it when I do numbers as in the previous sentence.]

I finished up my ride, the pace varying from quick to slow depending on the slope of the road and direction of the wind.  I felt much better at the end of the ride (~ 4:38 pm) than I did before I started the ride. 

Later on Sunday, as I was falling asleep, I realized that my left shoulder, elbow and forearm were not in pain ... for the first time in nearly two weeks.  A miracle from cycling? 
Second Epilogue

I got an e-mail from Lt. Dave Monday morning.  He and Lee had done a mini Kerr Lake Loop (starting at VCGG between Oxford and Henderson) on Sunday.  The following is an excerpt from his e-mail:
We did the Kerr Lake Loop.  I forgot about the Spring high water issue that plagues that area.  We made it across Nutbush with 6” of freeboard.  It was high enough that the road was damp from blowing spray. 
I thought it would be an easy day with winds predicted from the E/NE at 5 to 10.  Instead we got pounded by wind.  I checked when we got back and it was 15 to 20 up there (a front came through).  When the front came through the temperature took a nose dive. 
We had one dog chase us all the way down Poplar Creek, then down Dabney and onto bike route 1.  He was not trying to get us, just wanting to run with us.  I measured the chase on my computer and it was 3 miles at 16 to 17 mph.  Amazing!  I hope he got home OK. 
Overall it was a great ride, despite the wind.  That is such a beautiful route.  We went for 45 minutes without a car at one point.  The Spring flowers were all in bloom.  We finished at only 16.2 to 16.3 mph for a total of 81 to 82 miles.  The wind beat down our speed.
I think that Dave has done mini-KLL three times now, and Lee twice.  I guess I'm going to have to throw down the guantlet to get those guys to be sure to include "Stovall Mountain" the next time they do that ride ... they skipped the mountain last May and again on Sunday. 

--> JRA -->; 73.7 m.; 4 hrs, 42 min in-motion; 15.7 mph.

Jan tot: __9 rides; __671.4 m.; _46 hrs, 38 min; 14.4 mph.
Feb tot: __7 rides; __606.0 m.; _41 hrs, 18 min; 14.7 mph.
Mar tot: __4 rides; __284.1 m.; _18 hrs, 30 min; 15.3 mph.
YTD tot: _20 rides; _1561.5 m.; 106 hrs, 27 min; 14.7 mph.

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