Monday, May 30, 2011

May-30: Recovery. Exploring. 39/15. Too Far. Too Hot.

Needing to recover from the previous two days, I took it easy.
Wanting to gain personal knowledge about some routes
From PUE and Wakefield to Youngsville.
I went recovery-exploring.

The short-cut, following NC BR #2 on NC-98 seems acceptable if ridden early on a Saturday.
Only one climb of note on the highway.  It is easy.
Gravel on the highway just before the turn onto Stony Hill Rd can be dealt with.
But I don't understand why NC-DOT still keeps the BR #2 routing on the highway.
I don't understand why BR #2 is still on the "corkscrew" section of Purnell Rd.
There are good alternatives now that didn't exist 35 years ago.

As for the routes from Wakefield ...
I'm remaining mum ...

After the exploring, I decided to do the last half of the Mitchener's X-Roads Cruise.
(Except I returned via W. River Rd -- which is the "traditional" routing --
Instead of the mapped Montgomery Rd -- which "kisses" the Tar River "flood plain".)
It probably would have been better to do something even shorter.
It was noticeably hotter after 10:30 this morning.
And it felt really hot after 1:15 or so.
The same temps won't seem quite so bad in a few weeks ...
We'll have had time to get used to them.
But today ... it felt HOT!

So hot that I imposed myself on Lt. Dave and Laurie,
So my body temp and heart rate would calm down.
Then finished the ride.

Did the entire 88.7 miles as a faux 39/15 single-speed ride.
Including Ghoston (okay, hard),
The steep on Peed (wayyy hard -- I think I was getting tired and overheated), and
The two climbs on MVC (took it easy on both).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
May-30: 

Exploring near Youngsville  +  last half of Mitchener's X-Roads Cruise; 88.7 m.; 8h,13m in-motion; 14.2 mph. 

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: _10 rides; __894.1 m.; _63 hrs, 45 min; 14.7 mph.
YTD tot: _40 rides; _3510.1 m.; 236 hrs, 20 min; 14.9 mph.
 _

Sunday, May 29, 2011

May-29: Benson Mule Pull 105 km Perm Populaire

For Just the Facts, see below. 
For the fanatasy version of this ridego to Research Trailer Park.

My first time on the "Mule Pull".
Janis left half-an-hour before MikeH, Dean and me.
I was counting on "Camaraderie Ride" from the git-go.
Had to settle for "let's chase Janis."
I didn't have the legs for that.
Yesterday's ride wore me out.

The "Mule Pull" and the "Get 'er Dunn" Populaires share some of the same roads.
I forget the name of the road that leads to Stancil Rd.,
But last week on "Get 'er Dunn", I did that climb up to Stancil in the 39/15 and it was a joy.
Today, same climb, slogging in the 39/25, refusing to go to the 30, barely made it up. 

I finally found some legs on the flat sections of Benson-Hardee Rd. 
It was just the right amount of flat, with farms, etc.,  that it made me think of NW Illinois.
With better legs, I did my one-legged pedaling exercises.
So that Robert couldn't claim that I had tricked him into an exercise that I don't do.
(I have witnesses, Robert.  However, they may be unreliable.)

Janis was heading out from Benson as I motored down the main drag to the published control.
I waved and kept going.
I needed a wash-room break.
Quickly filled my water bottles and looked at my watch.
We'd be only 15 minutes behind Janis.
Should catch her well before the intermediate control, and then get a short camaraderie ride.

Now, where have Dean and MikeH disappeared to.
Probably somewhere to drink (shudder) coffee.
Not at the McD's.  Hmmn.
Decided to ride back along the main drag and
See if I could locate a couple bicycles at one of the "open control" options.

Bikes found. 
Went inside restaurant.
Apparently there had been problems regarding whether to order breakfast or lunch.
Who do these guys think they are, anyway?  Jerry?

Their breakfasts finally arrived around 10:54 ... a full 20+ minutes after Janis left town.
11:10 -- finally under way.  Janis now has a 40 minute lead.
We couldn't catch her in 32 kms when she had a 30 minute lead.
Doubtful we'll catch her with a 40 minute lead on the reversed course.

We didn't.
I did manage to ride the entire return in the 39/15.
Tired, but not exhausted.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
May-29: 

Benson Mule Pull 105 km Perm Pop ; 67.6 m.; 4h,39m in-motion; 14.5 mph; rando elapsed time:  5h,40m. 

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: __9 rides; __805.4 m.; _55 hrs, 32 min; 14.8 mph.
YTD tot: _39 rides; _3421.4 m.; 230 hrs, 07 min; 14.9 mph.
 _

Saturday, May 28, 2011

May-28: Bahama Beach

"I'm Always Up For Anything At The Beach"

That was surfer-dude Snapper's comment as he was first to vote for a route this week.  (We don't usually vote to choose a route; usually, whomever is "leading" picks a route, announces it, and see who follows.  But this week, I felt no "siren call" from any particular route.)  IvaHawk quickly e-mailed in a concurring vote.  If I recall correctly, that was the end of the "voting." 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I met "Ricochet Robert" at 6:45 for a pedaling exercise.  Robert is still entertaining the idea of going to Paris, but recognizes that in addition to further distance training, he needs to work on being more relaxed on the bike and needs to improve his pedal stroke.  Well, Robert might not be convinced about those two things, but his "all-things-cycling" advisor (Gary) and his most-frequent-long-distance-partner (me) are. 

Robert doing a pedaling exercise also meant that I would be doing a pedaling exercise.  A couple more miles in the bank for each of us.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Returning to PUE to be ready for the 7:00 am start.
Parking lot over-run with more Irregulars than had been expected.
Was expecting nine plus me.  Ten.
Twelve showed plus a guest plus me.  Fourteen.
Also there was a group of about five women "Team in Training" triathletes.
Parking lot NOT over-run; but certainly twice the people milling about as compared to expected.

7:00.  Groups of people spread across much of the parking lot.
I wished aloud that I had my old referee's whistle.
Paul "the Mallet" suggested that I just start riding ... people would follow ... or not.
That's essentially what I did.
Shouted out loudly "it is seven and I'm leaving."
IvaHawk replied "wait, wait, wait."
"Nope.  No 'wait, wait, wait'.  I'm leaving."
Everyone followed.

Snapper and Lee took the lead of the scraggly double-pace-line.
Part of the reason it was scraggly was people were riding offset to avoid the rooster tail from the bike ahead.
Apparently, Snapper and Lee made prediction about who would come around, or try to anyway,
To snag the Durham County Line (some four-plus miles into the ride).
They predicted me and Ricochet.
I was in the second row, but boxed in by the Mallet.
I suppose I could have done a "Robbie McEwen" and head-butted everyone out of the way.
But, even though I made comments about being blocked in, I had no CL sprint interest.
Ricochet was further back in the line.  He is an unlikely sprinter.

Three little "ups" on Kemp Rd.  Regrouped at the highway.  I think no waiting was required.

I don't like going only 13 or 15 mph on the highway.
I made sure that we didn't.

Onto Patterson Rd.  Social shuffling of the groupings.  Continuing chatter.
Some tried to turn right onto Cheek Rd.  Wrong direction.
We waited to regroup.
Crew leader decided to ride backward to make sure that Gary and Wendy knew we were waiting.

Regrouped, onto Cheek Rd, headed for Burton Rd.
Across Burton Rd.
On the downslope, I couldn't keep up in my 39/15 faux single-speed.
But I was determined to continue faux single-speed to at least Stagville Rd.

Iva dropped back for me on Geer St.
We worked our way back onto the crew.
Getting nicely sucked along by the twelve in front of us.
Snapper decided he'd had enough of being up or near the front; he drifted to the back.
As soon as he pulled in behind Iva and me, "oh, man, this is completely different back here."

Sometimes, oft-times, I wonder why I bother making a cue sheet.
Confusion approaching Old-75.
Irritated, I went around and led across / down Old-75 to Stagville Rd.
On Stagville, several of the speedsters asked what I had been shouting about two miles earlier.
"I was asking 'why are we slowing down?'"
"Oh," said the Mallet, "we were slowing down because we couldn't hear what you were saying."
"Well," I replied, "I initially was 'cautioning' one ride to stay closer to the fog line,
and not suddenly veer into the middle of the lane and force another out to the double-yellow."

Stagville Rd put an end to my faux single-speed ride after 25 miles of the "course-proper."
32 miles including my ride to get to the ride.
I think I could have gotten up Stagville staying in the 39/15, but my legs would have been toast.
I used the gears for the rest of the ride.
But I did a LOT less shifting than I have traditionally done.

Near the bottom of the "ZOOM" down to Lake Michie, Snapper commented
"I really like this road.  But where is the beach?"
I pointed and said, "under the very full lake."

UP the Michie Wall. 
At the top, Ricochet and Lee seemed intent on collecting bonus miles. 
I decided to let them.
Perhaps Ricochet thought he was doing the Triple-L course.
After different starts, the 26 or so miles (until after the Michie Wall) are the same course.
There are only two decent and safe ways to get from north Raleigh to the north side of Falls Lake.
And there is only way, really, to get to Bahama.  Esp. if you're doing a rando-like course.
So ... the Bahama Beach route duplicates the beginning of the Triple-L.
(Byron and I have discussed this.  He is fine with it.  I am fine with it.
The only question is:  "will I ever make it into a rando permanent populaire?"
There are some extra life circumstances causing complications.)

Lee and then Robert realized they had missed the turn on to Ellis Chapel Rd.
A very nice road to cycle.
And rando Byron claims that it is his favorite road to cycle.
A bit on Cassam Rd, then onto Robert's Chapel Rd.
Robert's Chapel is even better cycling than Ellis Chapel -- that's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
A mile on Range Rd to get to the "incredibly tough Little Mountain Rd".
Well ... with a name like that ... you might expect it to be "incredibly tough."

Into Stem.  The "A&W Grocery and Grill" has been sold.
Apparently to the same guy that owns the "Pizza in Stovall" gas station / convenience store.

The fast guys were very fast on Brogden Rd.
I caught them once.  But was so foolish as to try to pass Snapper on an upslope.
Quickly off the back.
Robert and I decided to try to catch them.
Robert noted, "oh, no, they're taking turns now."
I sat up.  "Oh, well, Robert, we could take them on a 600."
His reply:  "Not on the menu, today."

The fast crew (Snapper, Mallet, Ags, IvaN) apparently cranked it from Creedmoor back to PUE.
The Mallet sent me the following note:
Nice social ride catching up with some irregulars whom I had not seen in a while - hopefully Paul ["Iceman"] will join a ride again soon as I missed catching up with him. 
IvaN, Harvey, Ags and I pacelined home from Creedmoor - actually from Stem but I got dropped on that section so I don't count it ;)  I think only IvaN had any power left by the time we got to PUE, but it was an excellent second half of the ride.  No clue what we averaged, but IvaN took us to 32 on a slight down slope and we were zipping along on flats with Harv or IvaN on the front.  I soft peddled home.
Everyone except "the Iceman" had made a second stop in Creedmoor because the stock at the Stem store was sooo low.  Paul "the Iceman" had continued straight through to Grissom. 

When I reached Grissom with Lee, Gary, Wendy and guest Donna, I saw the forlorn looking Iceman at the picnic table.  I decided to collect him.  He told me he had been sitting there when the fast crew rolled past -- he doubted they had even noticed him.  He was also sitting there when the "old guys crew" of Tito, IvaHawk, Dr. Phil and Ricochet had rolled past -- he doubted that they had noticed him.  (Open note to "Dr. Codfish":  IvaHawk (64), Tito (64 in two months), Phil (62 ?), Robert (62) -- none of them seem "old."  Why do you, at 62, think you are old?  Of course, that post isn't really about you and your age.  I just couldn't resist.)

I doubt that Lee (62) noticed the Iceman, either.  He headed for home as if the wind was at his back instead of in his face.

Iceman, Gary, Wendy, Donna and I regrouped and mostly stayed together on Bruce Garner / New Light.  More ungrouping and regrouping occured on the road.

Donna was surprised that we turned on to Ghoston Rd.  "How do you think we get our hill training in?  And, this is why our average pace always falls about 0.2 mph in the last five miles."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Everyone reported a good time.
"Iceman" reported that his Garmin indicated approx 2920 feet of climbing.
Compare that to the "TrimbleOutdoors" estimate of approx 1940.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
May-28: 

---> PUE:  Bahama Beach ---> ; 81.9 m.; 5h,06m in-motion; 16.0 mph. 

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: __6 rides; __737.8 m.; _49 hrs, 53 min; 14.8 mph.
YTD tot: _38 rides; _3353.8 m.; 219 hrs, 28 min; 14.9 mph.

Clearly, someone did some very poor updating of the above stats on recent posts.  :-o
I doubt I'll go back and fix the previous entries.

Also, after today's ride, my Eddington Cycling Number is 74. 
Meaning, I now have at least 74 rides that were at least 74 miles long.
I need four more rides that are at least 75 miles to get to  E  =  75 .

I was going to copy the definition from Wikipedia.
However, the Wiki definition is WRONGLY worded.
A correct definition would be:
The Eddington Cyucling Number in this context is defined as E,
 _the number of days a cyclist has cycled AT LEAST  E miles.  (the "more than" on Wiki is wrong).
 _

Friday, May 27, 2011

May-27: JRA 'n Spinnin' 'Em Out

What the title says.

Took refuge during the storm, which seemed to last ... for ... ever.
Thank goodness that it was not a bad storm.

Intended to stay in the 39/15 the entire ride.
Absent-mindedly shifted, twice, to the 39/13 or 39/12, late in the ride.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
May-27: 

JRA including TLC-4-Bikes; 14.1 m.; 0h,53m in-motion; 15.8 mph. 

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: __5 rides; __575.8 m.; _39 hrs, 52 min; 14.6 mph.
YTD tot: _35 rides; _3257.8 m.; 219 hrs, 27 min; 14.8 mph.
 _

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Morrisville 600 -- SRs by the Numbers

For the official results for Alan's 600 km brevet ... go to the RUSA website.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The day after the brevet, MikeD posted congrats to all who had just earned their SR.
Gosh, Mike has been posting a LOT lately.
I had to dig three pages deep to find a post from only 10 days ago.
It is as if it were "Bike to Blog-Post Month".

Anyway, Mike's post had piqued my interest: 
How many had earned ACP SR?
How many had earned ACP SR for the first time, ever?
From talking to RBA Alan after the ride, I knew that all that started, had finished. 
(100% completion.  A record never to be broken, I'm sure.) 
I didn't know how many had earned their 2011 ACP SR pin.
But I knew how to find out.

Here are some things I mined out of the data (from the RUSA results page(s)):

38 starters.  (35 on the designated date; 3 did the "worker's ride.")
38 finishers.  (35 on the designated date; 3 did the "worker's ride.")

By the end of the Morrisville 600:
32 of those had earned ACP SR (some had their 2011 ACP SR prior to the ride).
2 more had completed a RUSA SR, and qualified for P-B-P.

Of the remaining 4:  three need only one particular brevet to get their ACP SR this year.
Knowing all three, I am confident they will soon earn their 2011 ACP SR pin.
Well, Byron may have some difficulty if Finn keeps bringing home new germs every other week.
Sara and Gary, now making up 1/2 the Maine RUSA pop'n, have, so far, been weather delayed.
I met the fourth (Eli) during the ride, but I don't know his plans ... will he SR this year, too?
Only time will tell.

Okay, now for the real payoff:
How many people earned their first ever ACP SR by completing this year's Morrisville 600?
 .
 .
 .
Eleven.  11. 
One (1) additional rider earned a RUSA SR for his first ever SR.  (He also qualified for PBP).

Of those 11 + 1, six (6) + one (1) are new to randonneuring this year.
In reverse order of their RUSA numbers:
David, Todd, Brent, Edward, Thai, Denis  +  "Ricochet Robert". 

Three of the remaining five first-timers have only been randonneuring for two to four years.
Martin, Kim, Chloe.
The other two first timers, have been randonneuring for half-a-dozen years or longer.
RobD, GaryW.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some other stats:

The 38 starters / finishers have a combined total of 108 ACP SRs, plus a further 6 RUSA SRs.
(All within a single calendar year; I did not check for RUSA SRs that bridged years.)

Most ACP SRs by a single person:  12.  (Includes up to three in three consecutive years.)
By ChrisK.  An-e-mahl.  (Also a nice guy -- I met him after the ride.)
Not his brother Kevin. 

Second most ACR SRs by a single person:  7.
Branson and KevinK.  An-e-mahls each.  (Each is also a nice guy.)
Kevin also has a RUSA SR.  (RAAM finishes will not be addressed here.)

Most ACP SRs without doubling or tripling up in any year:  6.
Jerry.  An-e-mahl.  (Also a nice guy.)

Longest gap (in years) between ACP SRs:  8.
Raleigh RBA Alan.  2002 - 2010. 
Terry A..  2003 - 2011. 

I've never met Terry, but he appears to be very "French" about his randonneuring.
That is, every four years, he does an SR and qualifies for PBP.
I don't know, but I suspect he is at least a double PBP ancien.

Alan was off the bike for quite a while after being hit by a car in 2002.
If I recall correctly, he did nothing over 300k until last year.
Last year, with some encouragement from some friends, ACP SR.
Again this year.

I've seen Alan "throw his leg over."
He obviously LOVES cycling and randonneuring.
And ... he is clearly one tough hombre.
Or, to be consistent with above:  An-e-mahl.
(I smile every time I hear Alan laugh.  It's worth making bad jokes just to hear that laugh.)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
[Edit, Sep-14-2011:
  • Byron completed his 2011 SR. 
  • Sara and Gary completed their 2011 SRs, and started P-B-P. 
  • Eli has completed no RUSA rides since the 600. 
  • I have not tried to count who went to France. 
  • Or who completed PBP and who did not. 
  • I ought to. 
  • I've also have not counted who completed other 1200's, but perhaps ought to. 


Finally, the saddest note possible: 
  • Thai Pham, who did the Morrisville 300 + 600 for his 2011 SR pin, started P-B-P, but was killed in a collision with a vehicle on the road in France. 
  • I met Thai before the 300.  He was parked next to me, or one car over.  He asked about bicycle inspection.  We chatted about that and a few other things while I finished my pre-ride bike prep. 
  • Thai linked up with five others of us as we neared the turn-around of the 600 in Wilmington. 
  • Thai left White Lake the next morning with fellow NC randos BikerBob and DenisR, about an hour before I left White Lake with Ricochet and RobD.  White Lake was the last time I saw Thai. 
  • He was an incredibly nice and polite man. 
  • May his family find solace. 
  • May his soul rest in peace.]  

I Don't Understand ...

Why "Sep-19-2010:  Spinnin' on the "TT" Course" is so popular.

It is the first post after the Blue Ridge Parkway ride post.
It shares / exposes my frustration at being unable to compose the BRP post.
It shares / exposes my non-worry about a consistent tense or voice.
But ... that's about it.

It is not a quintessential post.
It is not a meaningful post.
It ... isn't anything ... really. 
Except that it fits the "I post every ride" schtick.

I don't see why or how that post should pop to the top of any "search requests" made on the blog or on Google or elsewhere.

Yet, based on the "All time" stats, it is sixth viewed posts.
And it continues to show up on "Monthly," "Weekly" or "Daily" stats with a "view" or two.
(It's not me viewing that post.)

I don't understand WHY anyone would visit or view that post ... apparently repeatedly.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
While I'm on the subject ...

I Don't Understand Why "Dec-11-2010:  An LT Hill Training "Shadow Ride" ...
is my number two "All Time" most popular post.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My most popular post is "Jun-26/27-2010:  Full Moon Kerr Lake Loop"
 _ _ I get why that is popular.  How many full moon 200k rando perm write-ups have you seen?

My third most popular post is the Blue Ridge Parkway post.
 _ _ I get why that might be popular.

My fourth most popular post is the August-2010 Morrisville 200k Brevet and Picnic post.
 _ _ I completely get why that might be popular.
 _ _ A unique, interspersed five-voice report, four of whom were doing their first ever brevet,
 _ _ _ _ pretty well "put together" (even if I do say so, myself),
 _ _ _ _ _ _ ought to be popular.

But I do NOT get WHY the Spinnin' post continues to get "attention."
And I do not get why LT's "Shadow Ride" got so much "attention."
 _ _ (Well ... that was early winter ... northerners may have been desperate for cycling reading.)
 _

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cause of Two Flats on the 600

Two Flats Separated by 19 Minutes of Cycling.  Why?

One flat ... blame it on the tube.  But check the tire and rim.
Two flats ... blame it on the tire.  Carefully check the rim.  Use back-up tire.

I finally got up the gumption to carefully examine the tire which had the two flats.
A tiny piece of glass, or a tiny, sharply pointed pebble.
Not quite embedded in the surface of the tire.

It fell out and disappeared in the grass beneath my feet as soon as I touched it.
Very slight pin-prick on the inside of the tire.
I can probably "boot the tire" with a patch from the "old-fashioned" tube-glue-patch kit.

Knowing where the tire had been pricked, it was easy to find the hole in the tube.
Used last patch from the kit to patch the tube.
Aah, that hole seems fixed.

What the heck?  Another, bigger hole?
Two or three inches from the previously identified hole, now repaired.
On the side-wall !  Right on / in the seam !?

The probability of a patch there holding ...
Gasket fodder.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I know at least one mechanic that will approve of ... "gasket fodder."
 _

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May-22: Get 'Er Dunn 102 km Perm Populaire

Camaraderie Ride

Last time I rode with Dean and Janis, it was on this same course (well, Dean has recently modified it slightly to avoid a dawg from hades), but it was significantly cooler colder.

This morning, starting at 7 ... fan-tas-tic!  Not hot, not too humid, no noticeable breeze, excellent riding companions.  It would get warmer, but never felt hot.  The humidity probably dropped as the temperature climbed, but although it felt more humid later on, it was never "central NC humid."  The breeze arrived after a while, but was mostly either a neutral or quartering tailwind.  The excellent companions remained excellent companions.

What makes for excellent companions?  Ready laughter at your stories, ready stories to make you laugh, consistent and dependable riding at a pace you can handle, and you believe it when they say they look forward to riding with you again. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Low morning sun and little traffic all the way to Erwin / Dunn.
Chatting all the way. 
Arrive turn-around control at 9:30.
Share more old and new stories while at the control.
Ride a few miles back to the control in Erwin.
(This place looks familiar ... as if I had stopped here twice last weekend.)
Head out of the Erwin control at about 10:30 -- we had not been in any particular hurry.
Fun on the rollers.
I absent-mindedly changed gears somewhere on a downslope;
I had been trying to ride as if on a 39/15 single-speed.
Change back to the 39/15.  It was fun, and interesting.
Janis "reverse-dumped" Dean and me for the last 5 miles or so.
I think she wanted to be alone in her 40/32 purgatory.  (Or is it 42/32?)


Post-ride, I tried to count the teeth in JayJay's small chain ring.
I may have skipped a tooth, or double-counted one.
Did not want to TOUCH that thing.
I suggested to Janis that if she cleaned the drive system, it would shift better, etc..
Dean agreed with me.
A short lesson on basic cleaning.
How does someone with an R-26, and counting, not know something about cleaning the drive system?
Still love ya', Janis.
I gave her the remnants of a bottle of orange citrus based cleaning fluid.
Next thing I know, with a clean drive system, JayJay'll probably be too fast for me. 

Anyway, back to chain rings and cassettes ...
JayJay's easiest gear is 40/32.  Mine is 30/25. 
She could hardly believe that my granny is easier than hers. 

One last thing ... thanks to Dean and Janis for keeping me on course,
And letting me ride with them.

'Till next time.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edit:  I forgot to work into the text something similar to the following:
R-10, C-15, M-27, P-1.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
May-22: 

Get 'Er Dunn 102 km Permanent Populaire; 66.0 m.; 4h,45m in-motion; 13.9 mph; elapsed time:  5h,35m. 

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: __5 rides; __575.8 m.; _39 hrs, 52 min; 14.6 mph.
YTD tot: _35 rides; _3257.8 m.; 219 hrs, 27 min; 14.8 mph.

(Today's ride was actually 0.07 miles further than yesterday's.)
_

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May-21: A Recovery Ride for Some

"Shoofly Don't Bother Me" For Others

Midweek, I was thinking a 50-ish mile ride for Saturday.  I had even asked one person if they had a 50-miler they'd like to ride ... turned out they were busy being a dad this weekend ... that's a better way to spend their time, anyway.  I was in the midst of typing an e-mail to another Irregular or two, to ask if they a preference, when I received an e-mail from LT suggesting "let's do the Virginia Border Raid."  So ... I sent out an e-mail asking for interest, noting that those wanting something shorter could do the Shoofly (which is just a short version of the Border Raid) or another unmapped 56-miler (which could be claimed as an even shorter version).  The response was overwhelming in its silence. 

Robert eventually chimed in that he was interested in something shorter than the Raid.  LT recruited his friend Ken, but as Ken is recovering from an ankle injury, they had scaled back to just the Shoofly. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7 am Saturday, four ready for the approx. 75-miler Shoofly.  Well, make that three.  Robert had checked over his bike the night before and inflated both tires, but as he prepared to take the bike off the rack ... the front was flat.  Robert was embarrassed and apologetic.  Don't worry about it, Robert, it happens, even sometimes when you have prepped everything the night before.

Several minutes later ... we're off.  Climbing from Falls Lake up to the Old Weaver corner, Robert concludes his legs need extreme care, and forces himself to ride ahead to tell Ken and LT to "go ahead without us."  I hurry up to tell Robert, who was riding next to LT after having delivered the above message, that I would predict what LT had said:  "we'll just slow down a bit."  They agreed that that is what Dave had said, more-or-less. 

Up Dove Rd into Creedmoor.  Thru Creedmoor.  Onto Brogden Rd.  After a pit stop in Creedmoor, Dave and Ken ride passed us as if we are barely moving.  Before we get to Stem, Robert tells me that he is riding shorter than the planned 75-miles.  I tell him I'll ride with him.  Robert doesn't want to ruin my ride.  Hey, I would have gladly done the 106-mile Border Raid, but going shorter is not "ruining my ride."  I keep track of the distances and time-in-motion and the avg pace, but all I'm really interested in is a good time.  56-miles will be a good time.

We bid adieu to Dave and Ken when the four of leave Stem.  They leave to do the Shoofly; we intend to do the Eaton Rd route.  However, before we reach the last decision point two miles outside Stem, Robert and I decide to loop on Saunders and E. Thollie Green roads to Hester Rd, and take Hester across to Wilton, then follow NC BR #1 to Grissom and then on to Ghoston-Peed-MVC roads (our usual finish).  That will be 50-miles, or so.

Hester Rd was nice again today.  One particularly nice thing about it today was that the swarms of "no-see-um's"  / gnats were hovering over the weeds and yards on the north side of the road, whereas we were using the eastbound lane (on the south side of the road).

I snuck in a "warm interval" (I can't really call it a "hot interval") on NC-96 from Wilton to Horseshoe Rd.  We paused at Grissom to each imbide an A&W Root Beer for our delayed "SR celebration", then headed for PUE.

Good ride.  I estimate Robert and I avg'd 15.9 mph for our 51.4-mile recovery ride.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As of writing this post, I've heard nothing from the Dave and Ken fast-guy Shoofly contingent.  I'll predict they avg'd at least 17 mph.

[Edit:  this just in from Lt. Dave, 4:29 pm:  "Good ride.  We followed the cue sheet and it was 78 from my house.  Ended up just over 17 mph.  No wrong turns.  Perfect weather!"]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
May-21:   

---> PUE:  Creedmoor-Stem-Wilton-Grissom-G-P-MVC --->; 66.0 m.; 4h,09m in-motion; 15.9 mph. 

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: __4 rides; __509.8 m.; _34 hrs, 57 min; 14.6 mph.
YTD tot: _34 rides; _3125.7 m.; 210 hrs, 31 min; 14.8 mph.
_

Friday, May 20, 2011

May-20: Testing Legs and Bottom

Oh My Gosh!  After three pedal strokes, "hey, this is really fun ... much better than having 375 miles in the legs."

Zip in the legs.  No bottom soreness. 

Feels good to go for tomorrow!

Rode to Gary's TLC-4-Bikes shop, to ask what he and Wendy plan to ride tomorrow.  To pass some time.  To have a short goal for testing the legs.  (Surprise! ... Gary was cleaing a bike when I got there.)

Saw IvaHawk, who brought Tracy's bike for some tender loving care. 

Gary had quite a trail of customers while I was there.  I tried convincing one woman that she really ought to have some tools with her on her bike, at least enough to change a flat, and a spare tube, and a way to inflate the replacement tube.  She has to come back next week to collect her bike ... I'll ask Gary the ultimate result after next week.

Rode bike as a "single-speed" 39/14 to Gary's shop (it's mostly downslope).  Didn't check the average when I got to the shop, but the legs felt really good.

Moved my saddle further back while mucking about.

Intended to ride the bike as a "single-speed" 39/15 on the return.  Forgot about the "single-speed" idea ... started using gears.  So ... a different training plan ... stand and dance up all the upslopes.

Net result ... fastest in-motion round-trip ever that included riding to or past Gary's shop.  (Currently fifth fastest ride this year ... behind a 104-miler, two different 200-km rides, and a 56-miler ... weird, huh?)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
May-20: 

JRA to TLC-4-Bikes and back; 13.9 m.; 0h,53m 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: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: __4 rides; __509.8 m.; _34 hrs, 57 min; 14.6 mph.
YTD tot: _34 rides; _3125.7 m.; 210 hrs, 31 min; 14.8 mph.
_

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 16 -- Assault on Mt Mitchell

Pre-Ride

Six Irregulars and two game, enthusiastic, helpful wives piled into two cars to set out for Spartanburg, SC on Sunday, May 15. In one car, Harvey, Smitty, Ivan, and Ashley, Harvey’s other. In the other Ag mobile was Ags, Tito, Iva, and Kim, Tito’s other. The wives were the designated drivers, and let me say thanks to both of them.

The first car was staying in the ride headquarters at the Marriott. The other car stayed down the street at Courtyard. We drove over to the Marriott to get our ride packets. The Marriott had the “expo” with several vendors in attendance. This is where we got our race numbers and packets. One vendor was PowerBack. This is a contraption that attaches to your seat post that gives a small back rest. The claim is that you can push against it with your back to aid in climbing. None of us bought one. We did stock up on gels, pills, powders, and other potions.

After leaving the expo, we went upstairs and found the first car guys and gal in the hot tub by the pool. After discussing “race strategy”, the second car guys decided to go ahead and have dinner. The others were going to relax in the hot tub awhile longer. Smitty went to get some brewskis for the hot tubers. Tito, remembering his last experience in Marion, brought his own food for Kim and him. Ags and I ordered off the menu on the pool deck. We met a nice couple from Columbia doing Assault on Marion. Their longest ride had been 50. So the 74 to Marion was going to be a first for them. P.S. Ags knows a lot about a lot of different towns. Consult him for restaurant choices when traveling.

Ride

Seven hundred riders gathered for the 6:30 AM start in front of the Marriott. We six met up at the start. The mass start was slow and unnerving. Pay attention ! It would have been easy to go down. Almost immediately, the other five were going faster than I cared to go. I chose to ride on my own. Therefore, this account is mainly about me. My only knowledge of what happened with the others is what I was told after the ride. I say on my own, but there were plenty of wheels to suck.

The most dangerous part of the ride was the double pace line on Parris Bridge road once getting out of town. This was a flat, fast 20 mile stretch. Slow down, speed up, slow down, speed up with everyone bunched up. Suddenly, two bikes down ahead. Both riders were up and moving about but in obvious pain. Several others stopped to help. All the others gawked but kept on going.

About 40 miles, I had to pee. It was only two miles to the next sag stop, but I had to go. I decided to use the BobH European stop but no dismount method. About mid stream a group flashed by. One woman yelled as she went by “I didn’t need that”. I figured she must have been an American, not used to our continental methods. I knew one of the women in that group. Much later in the ride came upon her. I apologized for offending whoever that was. She said no problem. She rides with men all the time and is used to it. In my next large group ride, I’ll get well off the road anyway. ;-)

The most significant climb before Marion was Bill’s Mountain at 46 miles. This is a one mile steep switch back climb that gives one a nice preview of hwy 80. It also gave me a good chance to use my 32 cog that got a lot of use north of Marion. Thanks to Gary S owner TLC Bikes for this set up. I don’t think I could have finished with 28. The trip to Marion was by no means easy. Aside from Bill’s Mt there were a lot of steeps. On the recent Raven Rock Ramble, I hit 74 miles about 4.5 hours. Today, I rolled into Tom Johnson campground at 74 miles in 5:10. I learned later that the others hit Tom Johnson at 4 hours flat.

Tom Johnson is the finish for Assault on Marion and is the staging area. It’s about a quarter mile from the intersection of hwy 70 and 80 where the climb starts. Everyone was wide eyed with anticipation of the upcoming trial. Everyone was wondering how their legs would react, could they finish, how much pain would it be. Statements like “now it begins” and “now to start all over” were common. We only had 28 miles left, but 5,500 feet of climbing.

Now I was on “familiar” ground. I was so glad I had ridden this twice. Hwy 80 is steep and curving. My normal speed was about 5 mph working hard. The final half mile to the Blue Ridge Pkwy is known as the Devil’s Staircase for good reason. The fun part is looking back down at the switchbacks from which you just came.

One might think once on the Pkwy, that you are home free. Not so. The Pkwy is up and up. It’s kinda like the first part of Sauertown before the right turn. I will say that no where along this route do you encounter Pilot or Hanging Rock grades. But, this is unrelenting. You see a turn ahead that you think will flatten out for a little rest, but instead it kicks up. At the mile 350 marker is a two mile 40 mph downhill where you give up all the elevation you just gained and freeze your sweat. The temp at mile 350 was 49 degrees. Following that is three UP miles to the Mt Mitchell gate. At 5 mph, three miles takes a long time.

Finally, there it is. The start of the Mt Mitchell climb. This is a five mile climb. The first three are as steep as anywhere on the course. The last two has a flat section but then kicks up again for about a kilometer to the finish. I had been looking at the mountain on the way noticing a dark cloud covering the summit. As soon as I started up, the rain started. It felt like ice. I cheered one young man who asked me if it was like this all the way. I told him about the 2 mile gate. He said “you’ve made me a happy man”. My hands began to freeze. I took my hands off the bars one at a time and tried to make a fist with little success. Two days later, the tips of my fingers are beginning to regain feeling. One person was picked up by sag with hypothermia. I encountered others walking their bikes up. On and on. Finally, I made it to the two mile gate. I even got into the big chain ring briefly. What relief. Then the final kilo and the pain starts again. 4 mph. Turn, turn. Stomping a 32 cog. Visibility is about 20 feet in thick fog. My computer passes 102 miles with no finish in sight. I see another man standing by his bike. I tell him it can’t be far. He says “yes, it can”. Then suddenly out of the fog is a vision of a man saying “100 yards to Nirvana”. I ask him if he is a mirage and he laughs. There’s the finish line. Someone takes my timing chip, my bike, and gives me a space blanket. The temp is 42 degrees, rain, fog, with a slight “refreshing” breeze evaporating my sweat.

Link to my Garmin stats:  http://connect.garmin.com/activity/86240459

Post Ride

There had been a lot of discussion as to whether Kim and Ashley could drive (i.e. would be allowed) to drive to the summit. The protocol is that your bike is trucked back to Tom Johnson and you ride the bus back to Tom Johnson. Obviously, if Kim and Ashley are at the summit, no bus required. They still take your bike however to prevent riders from trying to ride back. My brain had become disconnected from all logic pathways. It was only functioning to maintain respiration, heartbeat, and body temperature. I was stumbling around looking for my dry bag which the organizers take to the top of the mountain so the riders can change. One of the park rangers started yelling to get on the bus. The bus is leaving. Little did I know that Kim was in the Ag Mobile with Ags and Tito who had finished long before not 100 feet from where I was. Rather than riding in a warm comfortable car with dry clothes, I boarded the bus in my bike gear for a two hour ride back to Tom Johnson. Ags had my clothes bag in his car.

Upon arriving at Tom Johnson, it was windy and cold. Sunny. But, windy and cold. I still had my space blanket. No Tito, Ags, Kim. They were at the top of the mountain waiting for me to finish. They waited until the last rider finished about 6:30 PM looking for me. I had finished about 3:30 PM. I apologize to them for my lack of normal reasoning.

Finally, they get back to Tom Johnson. We retrieve my bike from the holding pin. Off we go to Raleigh stopping at the Waffle Shop for steak and eggs. I’m in my bed at midnight. A LOONNNGG day.

Results:
Ags – 7:29 Great ride.
Smitty – 7:56 Another great ride.
Harvey, Ivan – 8:54 Harvey beat last year’s time by nearly an hour and a half. Ivan was Harvey’s escort.
Tito – 8:55 Important to note that Tito had sustained a knee injury the previous week and did this ride with left leg less than full force.
Iva – 9:40 and proud to finish

Some amazing results: the winner did this in 5 hours ! How that can be done, I have no earthly idea. That is a game with which I’m not familiar. The winner of our age group (60-64) did 6 hours ! Geez. How did he do that. Some guy in his fifties did 5:15 beating the featured rider, Rahsaan Bahati, a 27 year old pro and former national champion. Bahati is a crit guy mainly. But, still. The 65 year old winner did it in 6:38. Tito and I and some other guy were the only people from the Triangle area over sixty.

Thanks again to Kim and Ashley for their company and making this trip a lot easier. Thanks to my fellow Irregulars for their fellowship and support. Thanks to the race organizers and volunteers.

See you in 2012 when I’m 65.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edit, May-23rd.  Smitty, claiming "better late than never," today provided the following:
We left Raleigh in two groups of four.  Our car had IvaN, Smitty, Harvey and our support driver Ashley.  The other car left Raleigh a couple hours after us with Ags, Iva, Tito and their support driver Kim.  We made plans to try to meet up in Spartanburg to hang out.  We were at our hotel relaxing in the hot tub later that afternoon when the second group arrived.  We talked some strategy for our ride the next morning and made plans to meet in the morning at the start.  We couldn’t get our act together to get all of us to dinner at the same time, so each car did their own thing.  I tried a couple of times to contact Karen and meet up with her for dinner and or the ride but had no luck there (I did see her briefly about a half hour before the start). 
We all got together a few minutes before the start at 6:30 and it was cool and cloudy with a good chance for rain later in the day.  We managed to all cross the start at the same time.  That was the last time I saw Harvey, Ivan and Iva until the finish.  I guess that in the crowd we got separated.  I was able to keep Ags and Tito in sight for most of the first forty miles or so.  Ags and I both stopped at the second rest stop while Tito continued on.  My strategy for this year was to shorten my time at the rest stops as much as possible and Ags was on the same page.  We were back on the course a few minutes later and not far up the road the first real hills of the day started to come in to play.  Somewhere between that rest stop and Marion, Ags and I passed Tito.  At one point after that Tito pulled up beside me and pointed out that Ags was leading the peleton. 

The three of us pulled in to Marion (70% done mileage, 30% done effort) within minutes of each other and after a quick break all left for Highway 80 and the first really tough climb of the day.  Harvey later told me that he and Ivan pulled into the Marion rest stop just a few minutes after we left.  Once we hit the climb on 80 that was the last time I saw any Irregulars on the course.  Ags left me in the dust on the climb and I thought I might be able to regroup with him at the rest stop at the top of Hwy 80, but no dice.  Tito must have dropped off my wheel somewhere around there too. 

From that point on I was in survival mode to the finish, grinding up 80, the Parkway and its long, long climbs and finally Mt. Mitchell itself.  There is a false flat almost at the top of Mitchell and hitting that recharged me and I was able to pass quite a few riders between there and the finish. 

The weather held out all day for me.  I had some wet roads to ride on the descent down from the Mt Mitchell overlook about 10 miles from the finish and it was foggy, cold (40 degrees)and misty on Mitchell, but no real rain to deal with.  For riders finishing later I think they may have had rain on the last climb. 

It was awesome that all six of us were able to finish the ride, and in really respectable times to boot.  I have heard rumblings to the effect of “that’s it, not doing that any more” from some of the crew. Truthfully, I was thinking the same thing at the finish.  With a few days gone by, I am looking forward to next year and beating my time from this year.
Results:

Bib First + LastName Gender/Class City ______St Total Time 

943 John ___Agnew _____M __45-49 Raleigh ____NC 7:29:42.975
753 Paul ___Smith _____M __45-49 Raleigh ____NC 7:56:28.899
698 Harvey _Haigler ___M __45-49 Raleigh ____NC 8:54:22.261
993 Ivan ___Spronk ____M __50-54 Raleigh ____NC 8:54:24.141
972 Ernest _Craige ____M __60-64 Chapel Hill NC 8:55:53.452
967 Iva ____Anderson __M __60-64 Raleigh ____NC 9:40:02.796 
 Paul

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May-14/15: Morrisville 600 km Brevet

"Jerry drank your share of the homebrew."

Robert - RUSA SR (200, 300, 600, 600); qualified for P-B-P; R-5
Martin - ACP SR (200, 300, 400, 600, in order); R-10

The above says it all, really.  But ...
First, the course:


Robert and I did the entire ride together.
We had other temporary allies at various times along the way.

At the start, hanging with the fast-folks. 
Chats with JoelL (a first while on the bike), Lynn, Kevin Kaiser, others.
Approx 27 miles at 17.1 mph.

Chalybeate Springs Rd -- front flat.  Can't find the cause of the problem.
15 minutes to change.
Biker Bob and Denis accreted to "group" of Robert and me during the change.
Old Buies Creek Rd, 19 minutes later -- front flat.
We waved Bob and Denis on.
Use "emergency tire" and second brand new tube of the day.
20 minutes to change. 

Erwin "Get 'Er Dunn" control.  Long line.  Cost more time than a single flat change?
Wave to "Rico Rob" and JoAnn as they roll by.

Leaving Erwin, pass unknown rider, ask if he knows the way.
His response:  "follow you."
My response:  "that's right."
Sounds arrogant, but after all, I was on "home ground."
Or, Dean's Tar Heel 200 course, anyway.

Another turn on NC-82 ... spy Rob and JoAnn ahead.
While catching them, Robert worries aloud about pushing the pace.

Into Strickland's Marathon with Rob and JoAnn.
Too late for breakfast.  Get Lunch Plate Special instead.  That's a lot of food.
Biker Bob, Denis, Thai, Chloe, Rob, JoAnn leave while I'm still eating.
Introduce self to the "unknown rider" from above.  He is NeilF from Augusta, GA.
Neil leaves before we do..
Sara and Gary arrive before we leave.
I introduce Robert to them. 
We head for White Lake.

Turnbull Rd.  Just as bump-ass as last year.
A plan to get across 13-miles of hell.
We'll take turns leading for exactly two miles.
"Ragged Robert", not the usual "Ricochet Robert", pleads "please don't make me pull."
Don't pull, we're not doing a paceline.  Just lead, we're just taking turns leading.
To help keep our minds off this bump-ass road.
It helped.

Ammon Center Rd.  We pause to mix koolaid, or something.
But we didn't stop at the store.  Just at the corner.
Dave (or was it JoAnn) rides over from the store -- tells us Rico Rob would like us to wait for him.

Dave needs a new tire.  27 x 1.25.
He can't get a signal to call Jerry or Alan.
He gets Rob to call Jerry.
We later learn details from Jerry.  We won't "go there".

NC-242.  Storm hits.  Hard.
Rain drops feel like small hail. 
No shelter to be seen.
I'm in my 30/25.  Going about 7 mph.
Rain gets to the confuser connections.
Wind blows us around something fierce.  From fog line to the double yellow.
The three of us decide the safest thing to do is:
Just stop and stand by the side of the road and wait for the worst to blow ever.

Storm abates.  We continue.
We see Neil and Dave on the front porch of some church.
We wave "come on, it isn't bad, now."

Sweet Home Church Rd.  Bumpy.
US-701.  Fast.
Tail-end of Half-Iron runners going the opposite direction, sharing the same shoulder.
Scotchman's control on the edge of White Lake.
Two chocolate chip cookies and chocolate milk for me.
I'm confident that the Lunch Plate Special from Strickland's will get me through.
Dont' know what Ragged Robert ate.
Don't know what Rico Rob ate, if anything.

Through White Lake.
18 miles on not-smooth NC-53.
Robert, Rob and I play "two miles leading" at whatever pace each can handle.
It is not a paceline.  It is a mental exercise to help pass the time and the miles.
It gets us across NC-53 through the swamp.
NC-210, by comparison, is glass.
We pick up Neil, making four.
We pause for butt-stretch break.
We pick up Dave, making five.
Still playing "two miles leading." 
Last year, I rode NC-210 in the dark.  Both directions.
There are a lot more houses and tiny communities than I realized last year.
We see the first five riders while we are on 210.  We are at least 40, probably 50 miles behind.
I'm hoping to make it to the Hess control in Rocky Point before dark.
Partially so we don't have to stop and "fully reflectorize" our clothing;
Partially because ... I had originally wanted to get there by 7 p.m..

Neil had been riding very conservatively all day. 
Slowish on the bike.  Fast through the controls.
In the group, he shows that he can move much faster than he had been.

Dave finally decides he is recovered enough to "lead".
We've been doing 14 to 15 mph.
He ups it to 17+.
Neil goes with him.
Robert, Rob and I let them go.
It is only a couple more miles to the control, anyway.

Hess control.  We say hello to Branson and a couple other homebound riders.  They leave.
Robert wants to eat across the road at the Subway.
I'm game.
Robert changes his mind because everyone else is eating at the Wendy's attached to the Hess.
I'm game.
Rob, Robert and I each had a baked potato.

The five of us prepare for the run down US-117.
I take the lead ... I know what the turn looks like ... even if I can't remember the name of the turn.
Holly Shelter Rd is across from a really well lit up gas station.
Turns out it is a Kangaroo.

Holly Shelter Rd.
Dave's boot, that he has been nursing for 70 or so miles, gives out.
Somebody helped Dave.  I don't recall who.  It wasn't me -- I helped by staying out of the way.
Thai passes us while Dave re-boots.

Moving again.  Blue Clay Rd.  We catch Thai.
He decides it is better to pick up his pace and stay in our slip-stream (such as it is),
Than continue slower, solo.
A few more turns.
Six of us arrive at the never-to-be-named-again control on Market St.

Dave pays Jerry for the new tire Jerry had tracked down.
Neil showered and changed.  I'm not sure about that. 
Thai showered, changed, sleept.  I'm not sure about that.
Robert, Rob and I ate pizza and drank beverages.
And thanked Jerry for his volunteer work that weekend. 
(He did the "worker's ride" the week before.)
JohnO stumbled onto the scene ... looking chipper and well rested,
Even though he hadn't changed clothes.  Fell into a long sleep.
Robert accidentally serendipitously found his drop bag,
Which he thought he had put in the "White Lake pile",
But the bag was in Wilmington, instead.

What to do?
I never looked carefully at the bag, but it is one that "closes" by drawstrings.
Drawstrings long enough to loop over his shoulders.
As I have done with the "shoe-bag" in which my rain and cold gear reside.
I've done this before ... you need to make sure everything is safely inside a plastic bag,
Or else even a slight shower will soak everything.
Jerry has some plastic shopping bags going unused.

We gear up and leave.
JohnO, Robert, Rob, me.
I figure to "use" JohnO as much as he will let us.  All the way to White Lake, I hope.
John knows he is strongest.  He leads and leads and leads. 
At a pace we can all handle.  Thanks, John.

But on NC-210, I am dangerously nodding off.  9 miles to Currie.
9 miles of nodding hell.
The Currie Post Office looks really good.
Robert stops with me.  We bid adieu to John and Rob.  We'll not see them again.

The Post Office lobby was open, and warm.
Off with the shoes and helmet. 
Empty the back pockets.
Use my rain-and-cold-gear filled "shoe-bag" as a pillow.
Roberts follows a similar regimine.
He does mention that he is concerned about getting back up off the floor later.
I'm already laying down, back on the floor, head on "pillow".
I try to set the count-down alarm on my watch to 17 minutes, but get it stopped on 19 minutes.
That's what I told Robert.

According to the only eye-and-ear witness, I was cutting logs within a minute.
Robert took longer to fall asleep.  Claiming my Zzz's kept him awake for a bit.
Robert woke me at 3:30 a.m..  I guess he called my name, probably repeatedly.
Neither of us have any idea how long we have been asleep.
Robert mentions that he heard my watch alarm, and thought, "oh, I need to wake Martin."
But he thinks he instantly fell back asleep.
I think it had been a little after 1:00 a.m. when we had left the Hess control.
It was now 3:30 a.m..  I could look at a map and guestimate how long we slept.  But I haven't.

Across the rest of NC-210.
Across NC-53.  Robert voiced the opinion for each of us:  "this road never ends."
It felt like we were really moving at high speed.
I told Robert that I estimated that "high speed" to be no more than 12 mph.
Darkness always fools the speed-senses.
As civil twilight slowly crept across the scene, I could see that we riding at 13+ mph.
I decided to up the pace to 14+.  It hurt.  13+ had not hurt.
I backed back down to the soft-pedal 13+.
I think we spotted the white fence around the RV park from about 2 miles away.
Arrived Langston Motel in White Lake at 6:30 a.m..

We found JohnO and Rob were still in White Lake.
And they had only been there about 15 minutes.
Huh?
John had had two flats between Currie and White Lake.
My insurmountable lead for "most flats on the ride" was now not a lead at all.
Further, Rob's rear bag rack had failed twice between Currie and White Lake.
I'm very glad to have stopped in Currie for a nap.

Pasta.  Beverages.  Fig Newtons.
Thanks to volunteer Ian, and his more important half, Mary.
Shower.  Change clothes.
I happened to notice that the count-down alarm on my watch was set for 29 minutes.
Not 19.
Guess we had a pretty good sleep in Currie.

Rob left White Lake with Robert and me.
US-701.  Not nearly so fast.
Sweet Home Church Rd. 
A pause to apply Chamois Butt'r in a spot I had apparently missed back in White Lake.
NC-242 to Ammon.  Does THIS road ever end? 
We tried the store at Ammon.  It was closed.

At least three riders passed us while at the store.  We were feasting from our pockets.
I think it was 27 x 1.25 Dave that sped past.
With two good tires, he was keeping a faster pace than me.
Just as he had done on the 200, 300 and 400.
Eli stopped at the store, only to join the disappointed crew.
JohnO kept riding circles while Eli checked out nature.
John and Eli pulled out and ahead of Rob, Robert, and me.

Robert, Rob and I went back to playing "two mile leads"
To get across Old Fayetteville Rd / Turnbull Rd.
Except, we modifed the "lead distance" by rider.
Rob was moaning and groaning and sighing loudly at an increasing rate.
He was feeling the two months off the bike. 
After one set of particularly long and loud set of moans and groans,
I "assured" Rob that I had Mike's number on speed dial,
And I wasn't afraid to use if I heard anything resembling "enough" or "quit".

(I wanted to make the above comment, but couldn't fit it in edgewise.
Of course, Rob would have known I was referencing his 1000 km experience from last September.
I knew I wouldn't need to use my phone, but the "threat" would have provided some mirth.
Anything to get across Turnbull Rd.)

Anyway, Rob was taking "one mile leads."
Ragged Robert was taking "two mile leads."
I took "three mile leads." 
The "game" helped. 
At least that is my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

Jerry, driving back to Morrisville via the course, caught us up.
We aquired some soft drinks with caffine.

Further down the road, we spotted JohnO and Eli and Jerry.
John had successfully taken the lead in the "most flats on the course" category.
He never relenquished his lead.
I kept thinking that John would pull Eli along and they might catch us up.
But we next saw them at Alan's.

Into Strickland's Marathon.  Too late for breakfast.  I chose the same Lunch Plate Special.
Robert got more food than usual.  He later claimed it bothered his stomach.
Rob got quite a bit of food.
There were too many randos there to remember them all.
Besides, if I were to name them, I might include ghost memories.
Jerry caught up again.  He got fried chicken.
Robert tried to trip me up by asking me to guess what Jerry had ordered.
He claimed I cheated by looking over to the food counter.
I asserted that it didn't matter -- Jerry always gets fried chicken at Strickland's.
The "Phun Physiologist" told me once while we were there for a mid-winter Tar Heel 200 control.

Jerry regaled us with the story of getting 27 x 1.25 Dave's new tire.
And with information on JohnO's third flat.

Somehow the conversation got around to bike mechanics.
Jerry uses a one-man shop in some town not far from where he lives.
(I don't recall ever hearing the guy's name previously.)
I told Jerry that Robert and I also used a one-man shop in north Raleigh.
Jerry asked whom.  I told him Gary Smith.
Jerry responded, "oh, Mike took his carbon bike to him; man, was it clean when Mike got it back."
Jerry continued, "it looked better than I'd ever seen it."
I let Jerry in on my "standard line" about Gary:
"I don't know if he is a good mechanic, but he can really clean a bike."
(I think Gary is a pretty dang good mechanic, actually.)
Too much time in Strickland's.
But we had nine or more hours to cover 77 miles.

Around 310 miles into the ride (67 to go), "Ricochet Robert" finally made an appearance.
To Erwin.  Past the "Tar Heel 200" control to the "Get 'Er Dunn" control.
Tables and chairs at the latter.  I'm tellin' ya', it was like being on "home ground."

To Angier.  On the way, we leap-frogged with RonM and JosephT.
We all stopped at the McD's in Angier.  Just as half the town seemed to stop.
A quick stop for Robert, Rob and me.
Ron and Joseph were in for a bigger meal.

After Angier, the F-L-A-T definitely ends.
Chalybeate Springs Rd seemed like a WALL.
I was in my 30/25, going 5.2 mph -- slower than I did the mountain climbs on the BRP.

Eventually, with everyone doing the rollers-become-hills at their own pace,
Some space opened between Rob and Robert / me.
We didn't drop him; he was never far behind; besides, it was just "go your own pace."

Ragged Robert reappeared, replacing "Ricochet" with around 25 or 30 miles to go.
Ragged commented that these south-of-Raleigh hills were tougher than our north-of-Raleigh hills.
Blasphemer!  I accused him.  A north-sider can never say that!
Besides, I pointed out, these little climbs were pretty easy rollers Saturday morning.
It is just the 350 miles in your legs that are talking.

New Hill - Holleman Rd becomes New Hill Olive Chapel Rd and then NC-751.
Lewter Shop Rd finally appeared.  We made the turn and took a stretch break.
Jerry appeared, now truly headed for home after having left drop bags, etc. at Alan's.
We chatted for a couple minutes.  Mostly about "summer riding plans."
Rico Rob turned the corner and rode by.  We waved.
Jerry headed for home.  Robert and I headed for "home."
But only after Robert made me agree that we would just soft-pedal / spin our way in.

I was good to my word on that. 
But "spin-it-in" on Morrisville-Carpenter Rd must be done at 18 to 22 mph!
We finished at 7:30. 

Alan's first words to me, after taking care of the official paperwork, were:
"Jerry drank your share of the home-brew." 
(You have to have been on the NC rando list-serve to get that one.  I'm not explaining.)
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May-14/15: 

Morrisville 600 km Brevet; 377.2 m.; 26h,34m in-motion; 14.2 mph; rando elapsed time:  37h,30m. 

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: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: __3 rides; __495.9 m.; _34 hrs, 04 min; 14.6 mph.
YTD tot: _33 rides; _3111.9 m.; 209 hrs, 38 min; 14.8 mph.
 _

Rando Gibberish Explained

There are two major distinct readerships of this blog.  The first, and smaller (I think, based on the "blog stats"), but closer, is The Irregulars.  The second, although larger, is the Rando World.

With one other Irregular that is also part of the Rando World, and other randonneurs, I completed a particular ride the other day.  Too tired to start thinking of blogging, I sent The Irregulars a note that Ricochet and I had completed our ride.  Included in the note were the two sub-titles that I'm thinking of using for the blog post. 

I was not shocked to receive a return note from a valued and respected Irregular that pointed out that my proposed sub-titles are mostly gibberish to him.  While I am confident that the Rando World (or at least the RUSA sub-component) will completely understand the sub-titles, I decided to explain the Gibberish / Jargon, and do it here, so that I will be able to find the explanation again in the unforeseen future.  (I usually delete e-mails within days, or at most, weeks.)

If you are of the Rando World, prepared to be bored.
If you are an Irregular, prepare to be confused.
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Here are the proposed sub-titles:

Robert - RUSA SR (200, 300, 600, 600); qualified for P-B-P; R-5
Martin - ACP SR (200, 300, 400, 600, in order); R-10
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From the Randonneuring USA (RUSA) website:

"ACP SR indicates that the rider completed a Super Randonneur Series according to the ACP rules (ACP brevets of 200km, 300km, 400km, and 600km where longer events cannot be substituted for shorter ones).

"RUSA SR indicates that the rider did not complete an ACP SR but did complete a Super Randonneur Series according to the broader RUSA rules (ACP or RUSA brevets of 200km, 300km, 400km, and 600km, where longer events, including RM randonnées, can be substituted for shorter ones missing from the series)."
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The remainder are my own words, except for one sentence as noted:

"ACP" is the French club that governs and puts on the Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 km Grand Randonnée every four years (used to be every five years, and before that, every 10 years).  So ... although Robert has two 600's to his credit, and I only have one, he "only" has credit for a "RUSA SR", whereas I have "proper" credit for the "ACP SR."  Poor Robert.  ;-)

I mentioned that my "ACP SR" was done "in order" because the ACP used to require that the 200, 300, 400, 600 had to be done in that increasing order to qualify one as an SR.
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"P-B-P" (or "PBP") is the Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 km Grand Randonnée, the course for which goes from the outskirts of Paris to Brest, and back to the outskirts of Paris.  1200 km is approximately 750 miles. 
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"Qualified for P-B-P" means exactly what it sounds like.  One must "qualify" to be allowed to enter PBP.   The qualification standard?  Doing an SR in the PBP year (prior to PBP, obviously).  Both Robert and I are now "qualifed" for this year's PBP.  I could actually "pre-register" for PBP today because I completed a 400 km brevet last year; I probably have to wait for the "certificate numbers" to be assigned before I could actually "register".  Robert will have to wait until June-11th to register because, as far as the ACP is concerned, he completed no brevets last year (have to be a RUSA member at the time of the brevet for "credit"); Robert will probably be able to register and ride PBP this year (if he remains interested).  I mentioned that Robert is qualified because he is interested in possibly doing PBP, and it is possible to become a "RUSA SR" and not qualify for PBP -- so, within the rando world, that little clause about Robert is actually vital information.  I did not mention "qualified for PBP" about me because the rando world will automatically know that attaining "ACP SR" status means that I am qualifed, so it would be redundant.  Further, even if I were swimming in funds, I have no interest in PBP (at least not this year).
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"R-5" and "R-10"

From RUSA website:  "The R-12 Award is offered to randonneurs and randonneuses who complete a ride of 200km or more for 12 consecutive months."  My words:  Robert currently has five consecutive months with qualifying 200+ km rides, thus "R-5".  I currently have ten months, thus "R-10".  If you want to understand what rides "qualify" for the "R-12 award," go to the RUSA website and look it up yourself.
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If the "Phun Physiologist" should happen to read the above:  yes, I'm counting ... now.
 _
 _

Sunday, May 8, 2011

May-07: "IRs" Dabney-Watkins-Gray 'n Flat Rock Roads

Cadence-Cadence-Cadence, Then Some Climbing

Planning for Alan's 600 km brevet next weekend, a flat-flat-flat affair (except for the first and last 45 miles), I figured the thing to practice, to "embed" in the legs and the brain, would be cadence ... so I was looking for a somewhat flatish route.  However, with six of the crew doing "Assault on Mt. Mitchell" next Monday, I figured they might like a local course with some climbing, just to keep toned.  The near-perfect route came to mind; I had done the course once before, and had wanted to do a repeat ever since.  We'd done the first half of the route, in both directions; we'd done the last half of the route, as part of a different course; but we had never done this particular combination.  Post-ride, everyone (except possibly Robert -- more on that later) expressed joy regarding the course. 


Pre-ride

Paul "the Mallet" and I each cycled to the ride.  Each of us had to ride a little over seven miles.  I avg'd 16.3 mph getting to PUE.  Paul later indicated to me (at the half-way stop, I think) that his average was less.  His route to get to PUE has many more creeks to cross (i.e., more climbs) than does my route; I only have the one on MVC between Six Forks and Norwood roads.

Gathering

BobH, IvaHawk, Smitty, Robert and Dr. Phil were already at PUE when I arrived (10 minutes before "wheels-away"); most were still prepping for the ride.  Wave arrived, driving, a couple minutes later; I didn't realize it was him because I didn't recognize the vehicle.  Mallet arrived three or four minutes before "wheels-away".

Wave wanted to ride about 45 miles; I explained the logical shortcut and even indicated where on the cue sheet to take the "short" turn.  We would be going through the Cannady Mill / Philo White corner twice; if he turned onto Philo White the first time through that intersection ... 45 miles.  Phil wanted to ride about 60 miles, but decided to ride with Wave; I explained and also pointed out the short-cut to him.  (Unfortunately, I made a poor choice of words when I explained the short-cut.  I had said, "we'll be going past Philo White twice, if you turn onto it the first time we go past that road, you can follow the cue sheet, no problem.")

I explained that I would be practicing "cadence" the first half of the route, and then intended to take it easy the second half.  The second half had more climbing for those that needed to tone or sharpen their climbing.  IvaHawk asked, "what is cadence?"  I replied, "I'll explain later."

Due to Wave having imitated the absent Snapper (did the White Lake Sprint Tri on Sunday), we started a few minutes late.

Cadence to Dabney

Having ridden to PUE, I was somewhat warmed up.  Having ridden to PUE, Mallet was somewhat warmed up.  The other six were not.  I immediately went to "cadence" and was dropped-off-the-front.  Mallet, being a more respectful kind of guy, stayed with those-not-yet-warmed-up.  I got to Six Forks Rd, looked over my shoulder, shrugged and thought to myself "they'll catch me on one of the climbs to get across and up the other side of the lake."  They did.

Nice cadence, the group all together, riding in a shuffling double-paceline, various and sundry conversations going.  Smitty spied the sign for the Granville County Line (everyone has - finally - learned where that CL is located) and made a move; the other Paul (i.e., Mallet) took out after him; I forget who claimed the line.  Two Pauls now leading the lines ... they, and apparently everyone else had looked at the cue sheet, but not actually carefully read it; the cue sheet did note 34 miles between the turn onto Six Forks Rd and the turn onto Poplar Creek Rd (at Dabney), but they apparently failed to notice the "follow NC Bike Route #1" instruction; Paul and Paul were intent on missing the turn at Grissom; a "yell" to turn saved the moment.  Some claimed that there was no sign for BR #1 to make the turn off Bruce Garner onto Lawrence Rd.  I'll have to try to remember to look next time I ride through there.

Cadence on Horseshoe Rd.  Cadence on NC-96 to Wilton.  The crew dropped me off their front, again.  Robert caught me at the stoplight in Wilton and told me "they were saying that we needed to catch up to you, but no one seemed willing to do the work, so I went to the front to pull us back up, but when I looked in my mirror, no one was with me; I decided to bridge to you, anyway."  

Slowed down a bit between "downtown" Wilton and the elementary school a kilometer north to let everyone re-group.  After the regrouping, I mentioned to Iva "that was cadence."  

Short-cut Crew Goes Amiss

Half-a-kilometer after the school, Philo White Rd "T's" into the highway.  A little after that, Mallet comes alongside to ask if Stew and Phil were supposed to turn back at that Philo White intersection.  "Nope," said I.  "Good," said Paul, "because they didn't."

A few minutes later, perhaps after the turn onto Cannady Mill Rd, Mallet again pulls alongside and tells me "turns out that Dave and Phil DID make that turn turn onto Philo White; you did say to turn onto Philo White the first we went past it."  I responded, "well, that IS what I said, but that wasn't what I meant."  My bad.  Poor Dave, every time he takes the short-cut option which includes Flat Rock Road, things go amiss.  

Back to Cadence.  With Chatting Comes "Bonus Miles".

Down to the Tar River and heading back up to the plain.  The Mallet noted the honeysuckle and some other greening up scents and sights.  I showed him the sight / site that I concentrated on whenever I climb back up from the Tar River, heading north:  the site where that damned dawg suddenly appeared from behind the azalea bushes that come out almost to the road and gnawed on my right leg several inches above my ankle.  No damned dawg today.

Cadence to US-158.  No stop at Mike's first control on the rando Kerr Lake Loop perm.  Cadence onto Tabbs Creek Rd.  Cadence onto Salem Rd.  I asked Robert if he was memorizing the course.  He came up alongside me, and told me that he doesn't have my knack for memorizing courses.  We started chatting about the upcoming 600 and logistics planning for that -- I later told Robert that I knew he would recall none of what I told him about food at the various controls, but the discussion had helped to pass the time -- we rode through the sign for the Vance County Line without me ever noticing it -- and I had been aware of it coming and was planning to have "some fun."  One of the two Pauls noted that they thought Robert's wheel had been just ahead of mine at the sign; Robert acknowledged that he had at least seen the sign.

Cadence and more 600 talk to Dabney.  Suddenly we were topping the high elevation at Dabney and going past the big house right at the apex of the crest; I realized that Robert and I had chatted our way into missing the turn onto Poplar Creek Rd.  Having a good time -- that is how one often collects "bonus miles," I think.  We rode a further mile to Glebe Rd (NC BR #1 makes a left turn there, btw), then U-turned and rode back up the slope, thus getting to transit the high elevation of the day twice (if we had made the original turn on Poplar Creek Rd, that crest would NOT have been on our ride), and then turned onto Poplar Creek Rd and rode the two miles to our planned refueling stop.  (The two "bonus miles" are not shown in the above map.)

It was about 9:30 when we reached the refueling stop -- several of us agreed, the Mallet prominent among them, that it was great to have completed 40 miles so early in the day.  Robert purchased a gallon of water to share about.  Thanks, Robert.  We "feasted" on items we had with us.  And several visited the room with the porcelain fixtures.  According to my calculations, we had covered the 40-mile "cadence" portion of the course at an average 17.3 mph (very good for me).

Some Repeat Climbs for the Homeward Bound Leg

Before leaving the RS, I reiterated that those wanting to hone their climbing should feel welcome to drop me off the back as I intended to take it easy for the last half of the ride.  Robert announced that he would likely be dropping off the back as he still had no legs.

Old Watkins Rd received universal acclaim for its scenic central North Carolina views including two or three ghost houses and several fantastic trees with great "architecture."  If you are looking for a non-rando route to spice up your non-credit rides, we all highly recommend Old Watkins Rd.  Old Watkins Rd suddenly becomes Peaces Chapel Rd near Fairport -- can you guess why? 

After the only DOWN (heading south) on Old Watkins, one crosses a creek, then the road tilts up (can't really claim "UP", only "up"), and most of the way back up to the level of the plain -- Granville County Line!  I warned Mallet, just as the DOWN was starting, that he might want to start his lead-out -- he later claimed that he did at least close the distance to BobH -- which was true, but I had to sit up to keep from running over the two of them.  I also warned Smitty that he needed to mark the Mallet -- he later claimed that he never heard my advice.  Once BobH and Mallet finally got into a decent aero position, I was able to get back into an aero position, and closing rapidly as we reached the creek, I hit the pedals hard, and went passed Mallet and BobH as if they were standing still.  It is reported that, at that point, Smitty knew "something was up."  He hit his pedals hard and went past Mallet and BobH.  The Mallet finally responded.  The county line was a hundred or more yards farther UP (now, it felt like an "UP") than I recalled; I actually gave up, then saw the change in the road surface, and re-engaged to defend my lead.  I heard Smitty making noise or saying something -- perhaps he was cussing the Mallet.  Paul "the Mallet" passed Smitty and then edged past me just before the line.  I think Smitty also edged ahead of me before the line.  My legs felt better after the dash than before.  We all had fun.  Even those "that only rode and watched" reported having fun. 

Once BobH passed me on the shallow slope up to Fairport, I hatched a plan for the next county line -- on Fairport Rd, with a slight downslope all the way from Fairport to Charlie Grissom Rd.  I silently signalled Iva and Robert to attach to my wheel; Robert commented, "I'm trying."  I rolled past the Mallet, Smitty and BobH as we turned onto Fairport Rd; Iva was attached to my wheel.  Robert hung back.  I hoped the fast threesome would hang with Robert, and Iva and I could sneak away to the CL only 3/4 of a mile distant.  Unfortunately. the Mallet sniffed out the game, and so did Smitty.  "Oh well, Iva, maybe next time."  (The Mallet suggested an enhancement to the strategy that might have allowed us to pull of the trick -- I won't write it up -- in order to keep it somewhat "secret" for next time.

Onto Charlie Grissom Rd, and more more-or-less continuous downslope.  I told Robert and Iva that if things worked out "right", I would have another go at the two Pauls on Wilton Rd.  Wilton Rd becomes Gray Rock Rd -- can you guess why?

Apparently the little green road-name sign for Wilton Rd is hidden behind some trees or such -- I wouldn't know.  Anyway, BobH and Smitty and the Mallet were all intent on missing the turn -- perhaps playing a bit unfairly, I waited until I was sure they were intent on missing the turn before I yelled at them, and almost simultaneously made the turn myself, and did the best dang "Jerry impersonation" I have ever done to get over the little crest before the downslope that becomes a downhill run to the creek begins -- long before reaching the creek:  Granville County, again!  I checked my mirror -- no one coming -- I let up -- I checked my mirror -- Smitty coming -- three or four hard pedal strokes -- I win!  Smitty refused to believe that I was not going all out, but I never got up to 25 mph.  I have hit 30+ sprinting against Lt. Dave and on a separate occasion against Lee ( I won those straight-up sprints); I also got to nearly 30 once trying to stay ahead of Snapper -- thinking I had "it in the bag", I sat up and ... Snapper has a POWERFUL engine when he gets it wound up (I lost because I sat up -- that's my story and I'm sticking to it!).

Robert and I slowly drifted off the back after the above fun.  BobH seemed rearing to go, and he drifted off the front.  The Mallet, Smitty and Iva waited at one stop sign to confirm that Robert and I were "putzing it in" and the rest should just go on.  Robert was quick with the "yes."

I enjoyed the rest of the ride in; Robert did not.  I've had many rides where I've had to "slog it in;" this ride was a first for Robert.  I told him it would make him tougher in the end; I doubt he believed me.  I tried to share knowledge about getting up a climb when there is nothing in the legs:  use only easy gears, granny gear, whatever slow speed that results on the steep is okay, as the slope lessens, cadence and speed will return.  Just accept it.  You won't lose that much time.  (According to my calcs, Robert and I avg'd 15.9 mph for the "climbing" portion of the ride.)

Back at PUE

The Mallet was just leaving as Robert and I arrived.  BobH, Smitty and Iva were still chatting.  We couldn't have been THAT far behind, then.  (Overall avg pace for the entire Dabney - Watkins - etc. route:  16.4 mph.  That is just 0.1 mph faster than I did the same course -- but starting and ending at BJP -- two years ago.  Riding straight in on New Light / Six Forks is a much easier finish than ending G-P-MVC to PUE.)

Everyone else loaded bikes onto or into their vehicles.  Robert and I chatted a little more about the 600.  He is concerned he may not finish the 600.  I, on the other hand, am convinced he will complete the 600 next week (unless he actually comes down ill), and qualify for PBP with a 200, 300, 600, 600 series.

Iva provided access to his Garmin data:

Post-ride

If I rode straight "home", I would have ended up with ~ 93 miles.  I decided to turn the ride into a Century.  the easiest way to do that was to ride to an intermediate landmark, then ride "home".  I chose to ride by TLC-4-Bikes and inquire of Gary what happened to him and Wendy -- they were expected for the ride. 

After staying too long at Gary's shop (where I "bumped into" Hans from my "dog bite" ride from last August), I rode on "home."  Gary's shop must be located closer to the Neuse River than I realize:  riding from there always results in a slow avg pace.
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No Ricochet this ride.

You may have noticed that there are no references to "Ricochet" in the above.  That is because there was no "bing-bing-BING!" in Robert this ride.
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May-07: 

---> PUE:  Dabney - Watkins - Gray Rock - Flat Rock ---> TLC-4-Bikes --->; 104. m.; 6h,27m in-motion; 16.1 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: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: __2 rides; __118.7 m.; __7 hrs, 29 min; 15.8 mph.
YTD tot: _32 rides; _2734.7 m.; 183 hrs, 03 min; 14.9 mph.
 _