Sunday, April 10, 2011

Apr-09: Dennys Store 80-miler

The name of the blog is Irregular Velo Adventures.

Most times, the ride(s) are just rides.  However, sometimes, they are adventures.  Today was a small adventure compared to some previous escapades (e.g., Apr 2, 2010; July 16, 2010; July 24, 2010; Jan 8, 2011; Jan 9, 2011).

What were the ingredients of today's adventure?
  • The weather-liars totally missed the forecast.  We were expecting overcast early, but giving way to partly to mostly sunny skies by 11, with the temperature reaching 59 F by noon.  It was completely overcast all ride, with temperatures that never seemed to increase.  (Okay, the weather-liars did get one thing right:  the winds, make that breezes, were light all ride.  Our apparent wind overpowered the scant breeze and it felt as if we had headwinds at almost every point of the compass.)
  • People dressed for the ride based on the forecast.  Lee, in particular was dressed for warmer conditions.  Regular shorts, one layer on top, short-fingered gloves -- I think he had on arm-warmers.  Several people had on only shorts; half of us had either knee or full length leg-warmers.  I think everyone except Lee had a second layer on top.  My second layer was a wind vest; I was probably a bit over-dressed as I did accumulate a fair bit of sweat under the vest and jersey.
  • We skipped the stores in Butner (too early) and the Moriah (we were riding well and a couple guys had taken nature breaks when we stopped to regroup at Robert's Chapel Rd after climbing the "Range Wall," and -- of course -- as soon as we stopped, some started in feasting -- since most had just been eating, I saw no reason to stop again so soon), and headed for Surl and the store there.
  • I had never stopped at the store in Surl previously.  I now have.  It appears to still be in operation, but was closed when we were there.  Richochet Robert saw some newspaper(s) and suggested to Lee that he could use the "rando trick" of stuffing newspaper under his jersey.  I thought Lee was demurring on that front, but (perhaps when he thought no one was looking) he grabbed an inside section of the N&O from atop the garbage can and stuffed it under his jersey.  He may not have been trying to be surreptitious because he later commented that the top half of his body was certainly warmer with the newspaper stuffed under the jersey.
  • Before leaving Surl, Robert offered his glove liners to Lee, but Lee refused because he was concerned that then Robert would have cold hands.  But Lee did remark that if we went by a country store, he would like to stop and purchase some cotton gloves to put on over his short-finger cycling gloves because he felt as if he were freezing, esp. his hands.  Approaching the cross-roads community of Allensville, I asked Lee if he still wanted to stop at a store and get some gloves.  He replied, "I think the answer should be yes."
  • The Allensville Store is about a mile (maybe more) to the west of the Allensville cross-roads.  We diverted from our planned route to go to the store.  Upon arriving, Lee went inside looking for gloves.  Most everyone else started feasting again.  (See "Breakfast with Tito".)  Some locals sitting on the bench outside the Allensville gas station / store were impressed that we had ridden from Raleigh.  Lee now being full-fingered gloved, we set out for Dennys Store Rd -- a piece of road that I'd been wanting to ride again since last time I'd been on it (April 17,2010 [gosh, that search function at the top of the right side-bar is useful]).
  • After only about a mile on Dennys Store Rd, we encountered "road closed" signs.  I was leading and called out, "I say we ride past the barricades and find out if it is REALLY closed."  Robert, from the back of the line responded, "absolutely!"  Gotta' love that rando spirit!
  • We got to the road closure:  Robert and I were in favor of trudging through the mud to get around the caterpillar-type ditch-digging heavy equipment that was blocking the way to the partially re-constructed bridge.  (Rando spirit.)  The other four (Lee, BobH, Smitty, guest JohnD -- none randos) were opposed to our craziness.  Oh, well -- they were most likely right.
  • We retraced about a mile to get back to the de tour and turned south on whatever-road.  I was last in line, enjoying the full benefit of being towed by the five in front of me.  Suddenly, I started having trouble holding Lee's wheel.  "What the heck is going on?" I asked myself.  I checked what gear I was in and ... bump, bump, bump ... "what the heck is that?"  I looked down ... my rear was going flat ... fast.  I looked up ... I had gotten too far behind for my voice to carry into the south breeze.  "Oh, well," I thought, "I have the equipment and the know-how.  Pull over and fix the flat."
  • I had the pump and spare tube and tyre-tools neatly on the ground, and was removing the tyre when Robert and Smitty rode up.  After a moment or two of consultation, Smitty rode back to Lee, BobH, JohnD to tell them what was going on, and to suggest that maybe Lee (and others) should keep riding to keep from getting cold.
  • I am not the fastest tyre-changer; but I am not the slowest, either.  Robert helped me by staying with me and sharing some non-distracting conversation about changing flats.  I pumped up the rear tyre as best I could at that time, figuring to put some air in when we stopped at Berea.
  • Robert and I rejoined the rest of the crew and in a few more minutes were directed by the Detour sign to head eastbound on Lonnie Gentry Rd.  After a mile or so, the Detour signs indicated turning north on whatever-no.2-road; I called out, "let's just ride straight."  Someone asked, "do you know where this road goes?"  I responded, "no, but the name of the blog is Irregular Velo Adventures; it's time for an adventure!" 
  • Robert thought I should provide a better rationale than that.  I told him, "this road is paralleling Dennys Store Rd, and Dennys Store Rd makes a sweeping right-hand curve to the south and becomes Old Roxboro Rd.  With luck, this road will intersect Dennys Store Rd.  If not, we will make our way alternately south and east ... in which case we'll get to Dennys Store / Old Roxboro Rd, or we'll end up on US-158.  There isn't that much traffic on 158 in these parts ... especially on a yukky day and gas approaching $4 a gallon."  Robert and the rest of the crew followed (we'd been riding as I explained), but I wasn't sure that they were convinced.  I embellished, "besides, I checked the map yesterday, and I think this is one of the roads that branches off Dennys Store Rd ... and I've been wanting to check out some of these other roads, anyway."  They followed.
  • Another mile or two, and someone called out, "there's a stop sign ahead."  And someone with sharper eyes then called out, "and look, it is Dennys Store Rd."  [Who needs GPS?]
  • The only sad part of coming out on Dennys Store Rd instead Old Roxboro Rd was that the evil Smitty was sharp-eyed enough and had the mental fortitude and energy to surge ahead for the county line as we passed from Person County back in to Granville County.  Sigh.
  • That was the end of the adventure during the "ride-proper."  Oh, people were still chilly, and some of us, especially me, had legs getting stiff while stopped in Stem (we skipped the stop in Berea and rode on to Stem -- which meant a further 8 or 9 miles for me on an under-inflated rear, which I tried to adjust for on most upslopes by doing my "Jerry impersonation").  But everything was essentially hunky-dory to the end of the ride.
  • However, on my ride back from the "ride-proper," I got my second flat of the day.  On Six Forks Rd while crossing over I-540 ... NOT the most propitious place to get a flat and definitely NOT a place to stop.  I rode the flat front tyre up (slight upslope) to the corner with Lead Mine Rd and proceeded, for the second time on the day, to fix a flat.  The odometer on my cycle confuser showed 99.79 or 99.97 miles (I can't recall which).  One good thing about stopping to fix that flat -- REST period.  My legs felt a LOT better the last 3+ miles than they had the 4+ miles from PUE to there.
Other fun things and conversation happened on the ride.  But I decided to only write about those things that made the ride an "adventure."
Intended route:

Actual route:  Smitty provided a link to his Garmin, which will show the actual route we rode.  [Maybe I should get "bryanphoto" to provide step-by-step information on how he embeds his Garmin info in his blog.]

--> PUE:  Dennys Store 80-miler -->; 103.3 m.; 6h,38m 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: __7 rides; __544.8 m.; _35 hrs, 06 min; 15.5 mph.
Apr tot: __3 rides; __276.7 m.; _17 hrs, 44 min; 15.6 mph.
YTD tot: _26 rides; _2098.7 m.; 140 hrs, 49 min; 14.9 mph.


  1. Two flats. What a bitch. I am surprised we don't get more flats, with the miles we ride and the number of us.

    At least the ride is over. It was a bitch too. Headwind out, headwind back, cold. The best thing about it was the company. I would have said screw it otherwise. So you all, thanks for the ride, and Martin, thanks for the route.


  2. Martin,
    Good report. Oddly enough in Marion and Mt Mitchell it was warm. When I got back to Raleigh, 55 degrees. Tito and I had a fine time assaulting (with a ittle "a") Mt Mtichell yesterday. Although, it took us (I should say me as Tito adjusted his pace to match mine)45 minutes longer to ascend than it took the A group last time, I'm proud I did it. We parked at the Lowe's about 3/4 mile from the 70/80 intersection and took it from there. It's a great route and was great fun. The route is more relentless than Three Hump i.e. uphill the entire outbound 30 miles, but the climbs are not as steep as Three Hump. Five mph out and 25 or 30 back. Doing this after already having ridden 70 miles in the Assault will be a considerable challenge. Iva
    P.S. our timing was perfect. it started to rain just as we pulled back into Lowe's.