It was supposed to start raining today around 11 am or noon. Therefore, we "went short", doing one of the old Irregular basic routes that we used to do quite a bit: Creedmoor-Grissom 47-miler.
Smitty called me at 7:30 or 7:35 to tell me that his car battery was dead, and that he wished he had just decided to ride his bike to the ride start. I told him that I thought that instead of doing the Creedmoor-Grissom route that we might stay closer to PUE by doing Carpenter Pond road and "loops" off of it; so that if decided to ride out that way, or drive out that way, he could probably find us. As I write this, I don't know what he decided to do, but I hope he didn't waste any time searching for us on Carpenter Pond Rd because I was unanimously outvoted when I suggested the idea. (So much for my hope to concentrate on "cadence, cadence, cadence" after LT had reduced my legs to rubble the day before.)
We're going to have to institute a "Snapper-like teaching moment" on Tito. By which I mean that Snapper used to always be the one to be late, until we started riding one day on time and he wasn't ready; since then, Snapper, when he shows, is always ready on time. Seems time to implement the same strategy on Tito.
Richochet was there, receiving congratulations from many on completing a 600 km brevet last weekend. The Mallet greeted me, referring to me as "Dr. Frankenstein" because of the "monster" we have created. Approaching Creedmoor later in the ride, BobH told me that, when he saw the article on Richochet's 600, he was convinced we had gotten the distance wrong. As Bob said, "200k, okay, not that much more than 100-miles; 300k, okay, he could see that; but 400 or 600 k ... that's just crazy."
Despite Smitty essentially being a no-show, we were still 10-strong today (I think, I never took a head-count; not a very good "leadership" there; but as I told one person earlier in the week, The Irregulars don't really need a "leader", and most of the crew today certainly seemed to be of that mind because "Rule #3" was respected by a bare few, at most). It got worse after the Mallet turned off to go short. Btw, thanks to Lee for being sure I knew that Paul was shorting the route.
Ricochet decided to stir up the action while going across Falls Lake headed for the CL. The Mallet and I were leading, having a nice conversation. Ricochet and Tito were behind us, and they had been having a nice conversation, but Ricochet decided to stir the pot, pick up the pace, and act like he was going to try to sneak off for the CL. He elbowed his way between the Mallet and me (actually, he announced his intention to come through, so we (mostly Paul) created room), then the Mallet and Tito took positions 2 and 3 in line; I took fourth. However, I decided to show-off a little bit, and show Ricochet what it might take to zoom ahead for that CL, so I picked up the cadence and went around all three, and when I pulled in front of Robert, intending to keep the pace at that even higher plateau, around came Paul and then Tito, and inexplicably Robert; I decided to let them go. If true to usual form, Paul "the Mallet" should have taken the CL in front of Tito -- Paul is better placed on the timeline, btw, by 24 years.
I caught up to Robert to have a quiet discussion with him, suggesting how to take the next CL. However, I suspect that Ags could hear. I also thought that Lee could hear, but he later told me that he had not overheard the strategy session. Part of the strategy that I didn't get to explain to Robert was that it is necessary to get the faster guys mixed in with the slower guys, all enmeshed in deep conversation, so that they do not notice the "sneak away." Instead, Robert took off up the hill and ... got all the fast guys "on their toes" so-to-speak. I thought we still had a chance to pull off a sneak-away CL for Robert, but just after I told him to "go like hell" (about 100 yards before the CL), around came Ags like he was shot out of a cannon. Foiled.
I was dropped by the group on the approach to Creedmoor. Actually, BobH was also sort of dropped, sort of decided to just ride into Creedmoor with me. I hadn't figured we needed a stop on a 47-mile route when temps were below 50 F, and there was a chilly wind ... but there was most of the crew, milling about at the BP station. BobH and I joined them (somehow IvaHawk had ended up with Bob and me despite the fact that he'd been 1/2 a mile up the road with the hammers (?)); but Tito and Norris and Bob and Norris guest John were missing. Okay, so we're stopped, and then certain muscles begin to relax, and ... I needed to visit the throne. I knew it would be several minutes; plus, with bibs on, I practically had to disrobe.
When I re-appeared, four of the crew had already left, and the remaining five were impatient. Robert was the only one that waited until I was actually on my bike. Then Ricochet was anxious to instantly re-attach to the wheels of the other four. I wasn't going to waste any "re-warming energy" on the up-and-down bumps within the limits of Creedmoor because there was a good mile-and-a-half downslope upon which to catch the impatient ones. Robert commented, "I know you aren't worried, but I don't have a downslope advantage." Ricochet immediately re-attached to the impatient four. I took my time and cautiously wound up the flywheel -- and a third of a mile before the bottom of the downslope, I went around all five as if they were barely moving. They recaught me and passed on the immediately following UP -- just as I knew they would.
The lead two of the impatient five re-attached to the up-the-road four, and ... the next upslope on Brassfield Rd, leading up to Pope Rd, is my kind of slope. I didn't go up it as quickly as last time, but I wound-up my momentum to build to re-catch of the entire crew. I caught the three closest and went around, and continued to increase the flywheel momentum ... catching the leading six before the bottom of the downslope on Horseshoe Rd and flying past them at 30 mph. Lee started laughing.
The next immediate UP is the little brother of the UP on Lawrence Rd; I knew they would all pass me again: they did. I couldn't regather enough flywheel momentum to recatch before Lawrence Rd. The entire crew was waiting there, and I rolled cautiously through and past, hearing Robert call out to the rest, "you were right." I chuckled.
I let the big-mo build on the downslope on Lawrence, and conserved it as best I could once the steep UP started, but everyone immediately passed me. Some semi-waited at Bruce Garner, but I was alone as I started building flywheel momentum for the 6.6-mile "traditional TT" to the bottom of Ghoston. As I passed IvaHawk, I said "let's go get 'em." He attached to me. We slowly reeled in Bob and Norris's guest John, encouraging him to attach. We were still gaining ground on the lead seven.
However, by the time we got to the last CL of the day (where Bruce Garner goes in to Wake County and becomes New Light Rd), I knew we were not going to catch them -- too many fresh, fast legs working together (at PUE, Tito opined "that everyone was in a hurry so we could be sure to beat the rain"). And ... slowly ... the lead seven exhibited a "red shift" effect ... and ... then ... they were out of sight. John and Iva gave me a moment or two respite; but BG / NL is "my road", and although extremely doubtful we would catch them, I kept the pressure on the pedals. Norris was waiting for us opposite the church; we went past at 31 mph, but soon Norris went past me -- he had John in tow.
We four took it relatively easy on Ghoston and Peed and MVC. (I took it the easiest.)
Arriving at PUE, Lee had headed straight for home (he had ridden to the ride), but everyone else was milliing about, packing up to head for home. Robert explained that Ags is joining RUSA -- I can't take any credit for that -- all credit to Robert and Ags -- Ags is sending in his RUSA membership application today. Also, Tito may be doing the Morrisville brevet next weekend. Four Irregulars at the brevet next week; three may be RUSA members by then (two for sure).
Ricochet Robert provided a link to his Garmin stats.
--> PUE: Creedmoor-Grissom -->; 55.7 m.; 3 hrs, 32 min in-motion; 15.7 mph.
(I finished the "core route" with an avg of 16.0 mph; G-P-MVC having knocked 0.3 mph off the avg. First ride of the month that was less than 100k. Still no 200k rides this month.)
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: __7 rides; __417.8 m.; _27 hrs, 02 min; 15.4 mph.
YTD tot: _21 rides; _1695.2 m.; 114 hrs, 59 min; 14.7 mph.
Btw, as I finish the edits on this post, it is 3:45 pm, and it has still not begun to rain. So much for the "weather liars".