Friday, March 25, 2011

Mar-25: LT and the Long Mill Bonk Route

Background story

Lt. Dave, heading to the (expected to be very rainy) western NC mountains this weekend for family business, wanted to get in a ride on Friday in order to minimize the potential "lost weekends" leading up to his Hanging Rock festival and the Raven Rock Ramble 100-miler.  After much agonizing over potential courses (not really), we chose the route indicated in the map above.

I arrived upon my steed at LT's at 0700; we enjoyed an excellent breakfast prepared by Laurie (thanks, Laurie) and started our "Bonk Ride" at 0745. 

Traffic northbound on Six Forks / New Light / Bruce Garner was light, and only one a-hole made an appearance on that stretch.  I would refer to her as a jerk, but honking her horn at us to express her displeasure (and apparently expecting us to drive into the ditch) combined with giving us a one-finger salute ... that is beyond "jerk".

The valley of Bold Run Hill Rd was nice, but chilly.  The deer carcass cemetery that was Green Rd a couple months ago has been cleaned up ... whether by vultures, dogs, coyotes or humans (or a combination of all) we could not guess.  We noted Bert Winston Rd as we sped past on Long Mill Rd ... and gave a quick glance at the easily seen llamas at the Llama House at Pokomoke Rd.  Dave noticed that it appears that very nice pasture across from the llama house is about to become a housing development ... the loss of that very nice sloping pasture will be a shame. 

Across NC-56 and onto Mt. Olivet Ch Rd, it was still completely overcast and chilly.  We agreed that we each had thought that we were undertaking an early spring ride, with slowly rising temperatures under at least partially sunny skies, but we were experiencing a late winter ride with stagnant temps and overcast.  (Apologies to any readers from further north -- I am originally from NW Illinois, and if I were still there, today's north-central NC weather would have seemed very enjoyable -- but ... the azaleas are blooming and the oak trees are leafing ... it should have been warmer than 45 F for the entire ride.

Green Hill Rd --> Charlie Grissom Rd, and we again did not sprint for a CL, but simply rode through (a pattern that occured at all 7 CL's:  1) Wake into Granville, 2) into Wake, 3) into Granville again, 4) into Franklin, 5) into Vance, 6) into Granville again, and finally 7) into Wake.  Turn onto Fairport Rd, again not CL action; then a pause in a church parking lot in Fairport to eat a quick bite, then on again.

Onto Bike Route #1 on Cannady Mill Rd, across the Tar River and climb up to Philo White Rd.  Turn left; immediately down-and-up, then across to Flat Rock Rd.  Left onto Flat Rock, across Grove Hill Rd, down 1.4 miles into a headwind down into the valley, then up (but I decided to back-off the effort) 1.4 miles out of the valley to Grove Hill Rd, again.  Turn right, cross NC-56, zig-zag, past the Western Wear store, then up Wayside Farm Rd to Bruce Garner Rd.

A stop on BG; LT tossed a lost Christmas tree off the road and into the ditch.  Resume the quick pace set by LT.  After the Wake CL, I took over the pace-setting on New Light (I had inadequate legs to give it the usual "homeward-bound pace").  "Ghoston or straight", I asked.  "Ghoston", replied Dave. 

Up Ghoston with some panache for me; Dave rode my pace.  Across to and down Peed; UP the steep, across the slightly more than a false flat; left onto MVC, zoom down to the bottom, take it easy going up.  Turn right and finish somewhat easy, somewhat pushing it to LT's. 

70 miles in 4 hours, 35 minutes elapsed time.  I thought I'd get bonus points for getting Dave home early.  Instead I lost bonus points for getting Dave home "too early".  Laurie had just put lunch in the oven and it wouldn't be ready for another half-hour.  Oh, well.

Lunch.  Thank-you, again, Laurie. 

Then I headed "home".

Chilly, overcast day.  Great ride, though.

--> LT's --> Long Mill "Bonk: Route -->; 78.0 m.; 4 hrs, 59 min in-motion; 15.6 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: __5 rides; __362.1 m.; _23 hrs, 30 min; 15.4 mph.
YTD tot: _21 rides; _1639.5 m.; 111 hrs, 27 min; 14.7 mph.

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