BobH, Norris, JohnD, Phil (returning after a long abscence), Ricochet Robert, Gary + Wendy and I were scheduled to depart PUE at 7:45 am for a 50-ish mile cruise.
G + W, having gotten spritzed upon while walking their dogs, decided it seemed too likely for the skies to open up and deliver a deluge -- they scratched. The rest of us decided to ride even though the roads at 7-ish were quite wet. Everyone except me was on time. I was delayed by an inquisitive soul that was also in my way while I was trying to do the last bits of bike-prep; I finally got away, certain in the knowledge that if rode at a pace equal to that of the quickest I've ever done getting to the ride, I would still be a minute or two late. Then, with only a-mile-and-a-half to PUE, my rear was flat. Hoping it was just a slow leak, I pumped up and continued to PUE.
At PUE, I asked if anyone had a floor pump with them. Luckily, Phil had driven to the ride and had his floor pump with him. He and I pumped up my rear to full pressure. We set off, starting somewhat late.
Two miles later, at the corner of Pleasant Union Ch Rd and Six Forks Rd, I pulled over, checked the rear tyre, and then went into flat-changing mode. It went pretty smoothly. No problem with the rim or the tyre. While I was installing the new (actually an old, already once-patched) tube, BobH announced that it appeared to him that the patch on the now dead tube had failed. Oh, well, I had gotten an entire 300k brevet out of that patch.
We restarted the ride. No further problems were encountered.
The farther north and east we traveled, the drier we found the roads. Near Franklinton, the roads were completely dry. The new Franklinton High School, located on Cedar Creek Rd, has been completed, or nearly so. I think it ruins the "Horse Farm" atmosphere of Cedar Creek Rd. I wonder what moving the high schoolers (and teachers and administrators) out of the middle of Franklinton will do the small businesses remaining in downtown Franklinton. Most already look as if they have been struggling to hang on. I also wonder what will be done with the huge school buildings and lots. I hope they do not remain in place, looming over everything, casting an unwelcome shadow. (Franklinton finally managed to get the remains of the old Burlington (?) textile factory torn down and removed only a few years ago. That helped the scene coming into town from the east. Will the old high school be the new eye-sore for the next half-decade or more?)
We had an excellent ride. Robert pulled over opposite the "Llama House", and pointed to the llamas checking him out across the ditch and width of the road. I caught up to JohnD -- on only his third (?) Irregulars ride -- to suggest he count the llamas. That caught him off-guard for a moment or two; who expects to be urged to count llamas in the middle of central North Carolina?
After passing into Granville County, Robert asked me guess what major milestone in his cycling career he had just accomplished. I was quite slow on the uptake / thought process. I guessed miles ridden in his career, miles ridden in 2011, miles ridden April, number of rides in his career. I temporarily gave up. A mile or more later, it finally dawned on me: today marked 52-weeks exactly since his first bicycle ride as an adult (tomorrow will be the actual anniversary). What a monster we have created in just one year!
We zipped along to finish our ride. Robert had earlier in the ride been quite impressed with the brevity of the cue sheet -- only 10 lines really. He was also impressed with the 10-mile run with no turns early in the ride, and the 18-mile run with no turns late in the ride. I acknowledged that when I had created the cue sheet about 4 years ago, I had done the 18-mile run just to show that such a thing could be done in North Carolina; but I was planning to complete the ride using the Ghoston-Peed-MVC finish which would knock 2.7 miles off the "finishing no-turns run" -- same distance, more climbing, and we all know the turns even without a cue sheet.
The four other guys that had cycled to the ride waited for me at the corner of MVC and PUCh roads. After chatting for just a minute, they all took off for their respective homes. I went into PUE to chat with Phil since I hadn't seen him in nearly two years. While chatting, I noticed my cycle-confuser indicated that it was 12:00 Noon.
Phil told me that his cycle confuser had indicated an avg pace of 16.2 mph for the 50-ish mile ride. Not fast, but not slow, either.
--> PUE: Cedar Creek Cruise -->; 64.3 m.; 4h,6m 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: __7 rides; __544.8 m.; _35 hrs, 06 min; 15.5 mph.
Apr tot: __5 rides; __530.0 m.; _34 hrs, 22 min; 15.4 mph.
YTD tot: _28 rides; _2352.2 m.; 157 hrs, 28 min; 14.9 mph.
Finally, a shorter report. Of course, it doesn't tell much.