Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mar-29: Showdown in Black Creek 204 km Permanent

Another One Bites The Dust

Also C-13.
M-25 was earlier in the month.
Still P-0, though.
Quite foggy near the Neuse River, Wakefield and the start of the "Showdown in Black Creek" Permanent.  I decided to hold off starting to let some of the fog burn off.  Got a receipt from the McD's at 8:15, but held off actually starting until 8:35.  However, after covering (mostly climbing) the mile or so to get to Falls of the Neuse Rd next to the high school, I found the fog was still quite THICK.  Despite having two rear blinkies (one continuous, one blinking), I was wondering if the overtaking traffic would / could see me.  Only one fool gave the double-yellow more respect than s/he gave me; everyone else gave me plenty of room.  I wondered how long this fog would last.  Suddenly, as I cleared the golf course, it was as if I had gone through a door into a different room; there was only bright sunshine. 

Just east of Youngsville, I temporarily lost the bright sunshine as a thin overcast moved in from the south.  When the sunshine disappeared, it instantly felt about 5 or 10 degrees cooler.  I looked around at the sky and what appeared to be an increasing overcast, and thought, "great, there goes my pleasant, sunny day."  However, thirty minutes later I was back in the bright sunshine, which lasted all the rest of the day.  In fact, at one point during the return, I looked around the entire sky and to each horizon ... there was not even a hint of a cloud in sight.

Between Youngsville and Wilson, there seemed to be fewer cars on the road on this Tuesday than there usually seems on a Saturday or a Sunday.  Whether that is because of commuting and traveling patterns, or because of the increasing price of gas, I can't guess.

On the other hand, there were more dogs loose and taking an interest in me than I recall from Saturday and Sunday rides on the "Showdown".  Approaching "Jim Ray X-Rds" [I assure the non-locals that the official green NC DOT sign for the "town", "village", "community", "cross-roads", whatever actually "says" "Jim Ray X-Rds"], there was one dog following behind and beside, making quite a racket, and there were two dogs standing on the road between me and the stop sign at "Jim Ray X-Rds"; then the two ahead of me came running my way ... one of them a pit bull ... needless to write, I would not want to get bitten by a pit bull!!  (At least the pit wasn't a real fighter ... it had a full length tail.)  However, the two dogs that had come running toward me moved off into the ditch as the distance between us closed, and they never showed any inclination to chase or get close to me on the road. 

I wondered what would happen when I got to Frazier Rd and the dog that I had kicked in the head in mid-February.  I needn't have worried outbound -- the animal was busy with its family alongside the house.  However, homeward bound was another story.  I had forgotten about the dog as I was enjoying a bit of a following breeze, when suddenly, the large, long-haired menace was running directly at me, only about 20 or 25 degrees off from coming straight at me; my first thought upon seeing the large menace racing directly toward me was ... bleep; but that was followed instantaneously with anger and "I'm going to knock your block off!"  (I have found that since Aug-08 last year (see the paragraphs after the first break) I get suddenly and uncharacteristically angry and ready to be aggressive when menaced by a dog.)  I'm not sure what happened, but I never had to unclip to prepare to kick, and I was past the dog.

I arrived at Black Creek Grocery at 12:50.  I was pleased.  4h, 1m of in-motion time in only 4h, 15m of actual elapsed clock time.  I had been 9 minutes at the Kwik Pik control, and the other 6 minutes had been eaten by various stop-lights -- particularly the lights at NC-98, US-1, in Youngsville near the police station,  the light at US-401, and the couple lights "sliding" past the west edge of Wilson.  I'm getting better about not wasting time at controls.  Actually, I have always made quick stops when riding solo.  It is when I'm with others, either Irregulars or randos, that the-pause-to-refresh sometimes becomes the stop-and-chat-and-chat-and-chat.  Don't get me wrong ... I enjoy a slightly prolonged stop in a heated store when its freezing outside as much as anybody ... maybe more.

Anyway, I noted the time when I arrived at Black Creek Grocery, removed gloves, helmet, unzipped, and went to the door.  Surprise!  Mickey had taped a note to the door:  "Store will open at 3 today.  Mickey."  MikeD had anticipated that BryanR and I might encounter a similar situation when we had done this route in February, and that time he'd told us to note the name and address of the business next door; that is what Bryan and I had done.  So ... that's what I did again.  But I had been looking forward to a nice refreshing, energy drink ("Pepsi") for quite a few miles.  Instead, I ate a couple sandwiches I had packed and drank the rest of my first bottle of fluids, maybe a bit more.  (I had two large bottles and two small bottles with me; you may be interested to know that I finished all four bottles just before getting back to the finish ... i.e., my fluid intake increased on the homeward leg.)

The breeze / wind was confusing me on Boswell, Quaker/Lamm roads on the return leg.  Sometimes I clearly had a following (southerly) breeze, and other times the building breeze was clearly in my face.  [Boswell and Quaker/Lamm run essentially true north/south, and on the return leg, one is headed north.]  Just before reaching Hornes Ch Rd (NC Bike Route #2) for the turn to the west, I went past a flag proudly indicating a pretty good breeze coming from the southwest.  At Hornes Church, the house just north of the intersection was flyng a flag, and it indicated a paltry breeze from the northeast.  A few miles up the road, I went past someone burning leaves; the smoke clearly indicated I had a mostly following breeze.  A few mile further along, I think I bid adieu to any more following breezes and dealt with breezes slowly building into a slight wind from the southwest, i.e., not the helpful east (following) breezes that had been forecast for the entire afternoon. 

I did another quick 8 or 9 minute stop at the Kwik Pik control.  But ~ 12 miles later, I stopped in Pine Ridge (or atop Pine Ridge, if you prefer) to mix up more "koolaid", eat a little, and stretch / rest my lower back.  A building pain in my lower back / tailbone area is always a sure sign that I'm pushing my pace a bit.  7 minutes in Pine Ridge ... I felt refreshed for the next 16-18 miles to Youngsville and the final 13 miles from Youngsville to the finish. 

I was never cold on the bike the entire day (after the first few miles / probably after turning off Jackson onto Holden Road -- those that have done the route will understand), but I never felt warm on the bike, either (except when climbing on Holden Rd, late in the ride, up to the turn onto Jackson ... I was in direct sunshine, and the hill and the trees completely blocked the breeze).  I would say that I felt "cool" all day when riding.  It was warm enough, though, that although I never produced any real sweat, my tops were beyond damp when I finished.

It was nice to finish a 200k ride with some panache.  I reached the McD's at 5:32 pm ... so my actual elapsed clock time was 8h,57m (8h,4m in-motion).  I got a receipt and my control card signed at 5:34 ... official elapsed clock time was therefore 9h,34m.  That squeezes out last November's "Dean 10k KLL" (also click here for some more photos from that ride) for my second fastest ever "200k".  (Maybe several weeks away from rando 200k rides has been good for me.)
The sub-title "Another One Bites the Dust" ... is because that is what was playing loudly enough on the radio inside Black Creek Grocery that I could easily hear it while eating my lunch seated outside the store.  (I found a you-tube video of the song, but ... decided to leave musical postings to MikeD over on Research Trailer Park (that's my story ... and I'm sticking to it).)
Before I conclude with my usual "numbers" bit, here are some other interesting numbers from my cycling stats so far this year:

Fast rides:
 ____date___miles _hrs _avg mph

max _Mar 29 127.0 _8.1 __15.7
_2 __Mar 26 _55.7 _3.5 __15.7
_3 __Mar 20 _73.7 _4.7 __15.7
_4 __Mar 25 _78.0 _5.0 __15.6

If you are thinking that the above indicates that this "Showdown" ride is my fastest in-motion moving avg ride so far this year ... then you are understanding the above.

If you are also thinking that my next three fastest in-motion rides so far this year are the three rides immediately preceding this "Showdown" ... then you are completely understanding the above.

Showdown in Black Creek 204 km Permanent; 127.0 m.; 8 hrs, 4 min in-motion; 15.7 mph; official rando time:  9 hrs, 34 min. elapsed clock time.

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; __544.8 m.; _35 hrs, 06 min; 15.5 mph.
YTD tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 03 min; 14.8 mph.

1 comment:

  1. Nice --- keeping your R-streak alive, skiffrun, I believe at 9, now, and counting . . . ("another one bites the dust")