JayJay was unable to ride with her usual "R-partner" on their usual first Saturday of the month. I offered to ride with her and do the Showdown at Black Creek Permanent. "Paperwork exchange" with route owner MikeD was accomplished; JayJay had chosen to start 45 minutes before me, and let me "chase" her.
I arrived at the start about 5 minutes before JayJay's scheduled start time. JayJay DNS -- Did Not Show(down).
I decided to check out the actual opening times of all the potential "open control" stores in the shopping center.
- McD's website claims that they open at 0530 seven days a week -- they lie; they opened at 0600. I walked completely around McD's twice looking for hours posted on or near one of the doors, or on the drive-thru thingy -- found no posted hours. Don't count on a receipt from McD's prior to 0600.
- Food Lion. Opens 0700, seven days a week.
- Forgot-the-name gas station / convenience store next to McD's. Looked like it was open prior to 0600. It wasn't. Posted hours indicated that it opens at 0600, seven days a week.
I got myself ready to ride. I got a receipt from McD's. I stood next to the bike, hands on the handlebars, bike leaning toward me, thinking of the heat I'd experienced the day before, thinking of the HEAT expected Sunday afternoon, thinking of the expected SW sirocco-breeze/wind I'd be riding in the afternoon, considered the lack of shade on most of the Black Creek route. My leg just would not "swing over".
I finally removed the front wheel and returned the bike to the back of the CRV. DNS -- Did Not Start.
Putz-about from Finley Y
That became the new plan. Drive over to Findley Y, and go for a putz-about using Carpenter Pond Rd as the "backbone" for the ride, with side-trips down-and-up Coley, and a side loop on DocNichols-KempRd, and whatever else caught my fancy.
Slow. But fun. Still cool on the well-shaded roads.
On Old Creedmoor / Carpenter Pond Rd, I saw horde from a particular "recovery ride" coming. I probably could have picked up my pace and stayed ahead of them -- I took the chance that they wouldn't fall off their bikes as the passed me nor that they would run into me. They actually passed me, in their double pace-line, looking reasonably safe. There must have been at least 30 of them. I decided to hook-on to the back of the line and let them pull me along until their course diverged from mine. Riding behind them, it was easy to see the accordion in full action. Although I enjoyed the free ride, I was not sad to see them turn off CP onto Kemp Rd. I stayed straight on CP -- headed for Coley.
A long quarter-mile before I got to Hickory Grove Rd, I saw Irregular Norris riding toward me, obviously with his wife Brin, and a third person I did not know. Although I was pretty sure that they were headed for home (and since I don't know where Norris and Brin live, it might have been only two or three miles back to their house), I decided to U-turn and ride with them for a bit. A couple passing cars delayed my U-turn, I was a short half-mile behind. I used the slight downslope to help me hit the "after-burners" and charged after them at 22-23 mph, then continued chasing by sweeping upslope on CP to Kemp Rd; I didn't catch Brin and then Norris until the second upslope on Victory Ch Rd (Kemp Rd becomes Vct Ch Rd at the county line). I tacked on to Norris; he introduced me to his neighbor; of course, I have forgotten the neighbor's name. Onto Norwood, then Macon ... and it seemed Norris hit the after-burners ... we had fallen well behind Brin and the neighbor as we chatted at my preferred SLOW pace for the day. At Ray Rd, I thanked Norris and Brin and neighbor for the ride and chat time as they turned left while I turned right.
Ray, Norwood, Leesville, Hickory Grove, Carpenter Pond roads to Coley. Downslope, SMOOTH surface, no traffic. Near the end / bottom of Coley, I saw 72 year-old Dick doing his usual ride on Coley Rd (it was the first time I had seen Dick since we crossed paths a year earlier; Dick's usual routes are the same, but mine have changed somewhat). I continued on to the bottom / end of Coley at NC-98 and U-turned to ride the Coley upslope back to Carpenter Pond. Putzing along, I didn't catch Dick and his neighbor Jack until we were nearly to CP Rd.. We all three pulled over and chatted for 10 or 15 minutes. Dick is an interesting character, cycling-wise. He's ridden crits and long distances and tours in his time, still enjoys cycling, but these days he looks for routes devoid of traffic, and devoid of cycling groups that tend to fall off their bikes a lot. Eventually, Dick and Jack headed left on CP; I headed right.
I took CP to its end at Leesville Rd, the took Leesville for a long mile-and-a-half to Panoramic Dr. There, I nibbled on some food and took a good drink, then started back retracing my route on Leesville and Carpenter Pond roads.
I spotted the very large (about 20 or 25 riders) north Raleigh "Touring" group waiting at Doc Nichols Rd to turn on to Carpenter Pond. I decided to pull over 50 yards up the road, and either wait for them to pass me or so that I could tack on to their tail -- I'm not sure which -- even at the time I wasn't sure which. Exchanged "hello's" with their leader (one of the "other" MikeD's around town) and then fell in at the end of the group; I immediately found my non-Irregular, non-rando cycling friend JimW. Or rather, he found me. We hadn't seen each other for several months, and hadn't had a good chat in quite a while. I told Jim that I was quite SLOW as I had ridden 150 miles the day before; he told me that he was on only his third "road-bike" ride of the year since he had been mostly doing 20-mile rides around Bedford / Falls Village on his fixie. We could have easily maintained position sucking the last wheels of the "Touring" group, but they slipped away as we (primarily me) continued to putz along enjoying the morning and the conversation. We putzed / chatted away the entire 10 miles to PUE and a bit more toward BJP. Then ...
I saw a long-time friend, and told Jim to send me an e-mail if he wanted to ride, and U-turned to tear after local rando sensation LynnL. (I have known LynnL since LONG before she was a cyclist -- local readers will know -- non-locals: you're "out in the cold".) I had to work hard to catch her. I managed to convince her to ride over to Bayeaf Fire Station #2 to get some cold water -- she didn't get any additonal water as she claimed "I'm on my way home". I tried to show her a spot she probably didn't know about to get chilled city water at no cost -- but she is stubborn -- part of what makes her a strong randonneuse. We rode Norwood toward Six Forks; upon reaching Six Forks, she mentioned that she would need to add 3 or 4 miles to her trip home, because she wanted to get at least 80 miles on the morning. \:roll-eyes:\ We rode to about a half-mile past Bayleaf Ch and then U-turned, and took Six Forks all the way to Findley Y. There, we chatted about her knees and other issues that I will not blog about. Then she headed for home, and put my bike back into the CRV.
It was a joy to do 50 putz-about miles in the cool morning, interspersed with riding / chatting with four separate cycling friends -- probably none of those four know any of the others -- hmmn. I managed to get in a couple "hot intervals", loosened up the legs, and finished before noon.
I sent an e-mail to rando and route-owner MikeD for not doing the Showdown route after he had taken the time to prepare a card. I confident that he won't hold it against me -- at least, not too much.
Findley Y: putz-about; 51.2 m.; 3h,37m in-motion; 14.1 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.
Jun tot: __6 rides; __398.4 m.; _26 hrs, 44 min; 14.9 mph.
YTD tot: _46 rides; _3908.5 m.; 264 hrs, 06 min; 14.9 mph.