Friday, June 17, 2011

Jun-15: Tar Heel 200 km Permanent

R-11 Insurance?
Hey ... I wanted a subtitle ... that's the best I could come up with.

Janis still needed a ride to maintain her R streak.
She usually tries to get the R-ride in the first weekend of the month.
But, sometimes ... life happens.
Wednesday was expected to be a great weather day.
Her manager let her have the day off since she had worked all day the previous Saturday.
Dean, the route owner, is only teaching on Tuesday and Thursdays this summer;
His wife gave him permission to go a'riding.
My excuse?  R-11 Insurance!

0600 start.
I arrived too late to make the start on time.
But that was part of the plan.
Dean and JayJay left on time.

I started about 15 minutes late.
Warming up in the 39/15 on a beautifully cool mid-June morning.
We don't get many of those!

Just outside Benson, I started calculating ...
15 minutes ... if JayJay and Dean cover a mile every 5 minutes ...
And I cover a mile every 4 minutes ... I should catch them after about 15 miles.

They're almost certainly taking less than 5 minutes to cover a mile ...
Probably closer to four-and-a-half minutes.
I'm taking less than 4 minutes to cover a mile ...
But I'm taking more than three-and-half-minutes.

I've been since Jan-01st without doing this course ...
I forgot about Fairgrounds Rd being this bumpy.
Now, if I can only recall the trick to minimizing the bumps on this road.
Where is line I should ride?
Middle of the lane ... on the fog line ... to the right of the fog line?

WOOF!  Bike leaps sideways. 
BANG!  Just in time to hit that invisible pot-hole.
I hope the wheels are still okay.
All the above in about 1 second.
Yellow-white lab had startled me.

Check for Roscoe ... no Roscoe ... I'm past Roscoe-land.

Now ... if I'm averaging 17 mph, that would be about 3:45 per mile ...
If they take 4:45 per mile ... that would be ... maybe ... 13 mph.
They might be riding that speed ... they might be riding a little bit faster.
 ... ... ... ...
Yeah, 15 miles ... maybe just a bit more.
I should catch them.

Less if I get lucky with lights in Erwin and that were unlucky.
More if I am unlucky and they were lucky.

No ... this is not the turn ... it is the next corner ... Broadway.
Is this the right road?  It doesn't seem quite familiar.
 ... ... ...
Oh, there is the turn for "Get 'er Dunn" coming from the other direction.
This is the correct road ... in Erwin now ... yes, I'm definitely on Denim Drive.
Not too much of delay at the L-O-N-G light.
Old Post Road.  There it is.
Check the price of a phone call while zipping past ... got it.

7:05.  13+ miles in 50 minutes.
I wonder when Dean and JayJay went thru here?

Turn onto NC-82.  Smooth surface!  I love this road, now.
First time I did this road was 13 months ago ... on Alan's 600,
The road had not been re-surfaced.
Let's NOT think about the 2010 NCBC 600.

Hey!  I think that's two cyclists up ahead.  About half-a-mile.  Maybe a bit more.
Cycle confuser indicates 15.25 miles. 
Right on time.
I'm pretty sure that's them. 
The one nearer the center line appears to be in all red.
That must surely be Dean.
The other one appears to have a white top.
I thought Janis would have on her yellow vest ...

There they are again.  Quarter-mile ahead now.
Why didn't they take the turn to stay on NC-82?
[Edit, Jun-19:  I'm now pretty sure they were distracted by cloud formations.]
I'm sure Dean said the work-around to avoid the dawgs on Sisk Culbreth Rd
Is to take NC-82 into Godwin, and pick up US-301 there,
Instead of staying straight onto Sisk Culbreth and picking up 301 just before Wade.

Maybe they are chatting so much they missed the turn.
Am I 100% sure that those are Jan and Dean.
[Ha, Janis!  Two can play at "that" game!]

I am not 100% sure.
I like 82 through the battlefield. 
I'm taking 82 thru the battlefield, and then turn to Godwin.
When I get to Godwin, surely if those two are Jan and Dean, I'll get to Godwin first.
When I get to Godwin, I'll find a strategic spot so they can't get past me without me seeing them.
I'll nibble some food and eat and wait.

So ... this is Godwin.  Where can I find a place to sit?
It is cool enough this morning that it doesn't have to be in the shade.
Oh, this low, low brick wall, right here at the corner of 301 and 82 is good enough.

Three or four minutes later ... up roll Jan and Dean.
They wonder how I got there ahead of them.
"I took 82 all the way from Erwin; I thought that was the new work-around."
Dean responds, "it is one work-around; we checked out another."
(On the return leg, Dean and Janis showed me the work-around they took -- I prefer 82.)

US-301 from Godwin to Wade was a smooth surface with very little traffic.
Gosh, it was still nice on Wade-Stedman Rd -- all the way to the control.

We spent too much time at the control.
But it was a nice day, and we weren't worried about getting to the remaining controls on time.
Well, one of us may have been a bit concerned.

And it was still a gloriously cool morning, with a slight tail-breeze
All the way to Tar Heel.
And the second dawg work-around, just south of Stedman was pleasant.
Dean told me that Jerry found this second work-around.
But surprisingly, he wasn't looking for new food establishments when he found it.
Something about taking a short-cut to Fayettville to get additional spare tubes
For 600 km brevet riders ... at one of those controls.
I think Dean likes this second work-around because there is even more Spanish Moss
Than there is further south nearer Tar Heel.
I recall Dean indicated that it is the farthest north he's ever found any Spanish Moss.

Half the goats at the Jammbas Ranch (or whatever the name) trotted along with us.
Cute.  Different anyway.

I think Janis indicated that it was the fastest she had ever gotten to Tar Heel.
Unfortunately, Dean and I cannot claim much of the credit for that.
I think it was the tail-breeze.

The weather-types got the forecast pretty much bang-on for Wednesday.
Highs in the low 80's.  Low humidity (for south central NC in mid-June).
They also got the afternoon wind speed and direction correct.
Pretty much out of the north ... at about 10 mph.

It was still a great day to be on the bike the whole way back to Benson.
Janis didn't chat as much as she had outbound.
Dean and I would lose concentration, then one of us would realize we had gotten too far ahead,
And we'd soft pedal 'till Janis was back with us.

Interesting thing ... that "objects are closer than they appear" that you see on rear-view mirrors,
It applies to Janis, too. 

Between Godwin and Erwin, I used my blue 24 oz. bottle for the first time all day.
Funny thing ... water started squirting out at me when I squeezed the bottle.
Held water fine ... until I squeezed ... then a nice stream would erupt from the side of the bottle.
Only had the bottle since Lance was doing his thing for about the fourth time.
That wasn't all that long ago ... was it?

Once I learned how to control the squirt ... I gave Dean a mini-shower.
And waited after a turn for Janis ... she flinched as people always do ...
Then proclaimed "that felt good ... do it again!"
So I did. 

Our moment of mirth over, Janis notice Dean had made the next turn,
And seemed to be practicing "how slow can I go?"
I never found out how slow Dean can go.
But I can easily maintain 3.1 mph ... and with a little effort, I can maintain 2.7 mph.
But then I had to catch up.

Just before Erwin, I heard Janis call out "you guys go on ... I'm okay!"
I looked back, and then sped up to within earshot of Dean.
"Dean, Janis is stopping."
"Is she okay?"
"Well ... she just turned her bike upside-down."
We reversed course to find out what was happening.
Flat tyre.
Dean took charge.

I'm much better in these situations than I was a couple years ago.
When capable minds and hands are already engaged ...
I keep out of the way and keep my mouth shut.

There was a problem with JayJay's pump.
It looked similar to mine.
It should have done the job really well.
Janis reported that it had worked admirably in the past.
But there seemed to be something missing from inside the head.
[Take it back to Performance, Janis.  They'll replace it.]
I got my pump off my bike.
And proceeded to figure out how to convert it from Presta to Schrader.
Quite easy, actually. 

Meanwhile, Dean had located the problem.
Janis had run over a staple and it had penetrated her front tyre and then the tube.
A staple.  Like you would use to staple receipts to a control card.

The new tube was exhibiting some reluctance to slip between the rim and the tyre.
I told Dean that when he reached his frustration full level, hand to me,
And we'd pass it back and forth as each of reached our frustration levels.
Dean did hand the wheel and partially inserted tube over at one point.
I made a tiny amount of progress, and then Gentleman Dean got his dander up,
And next thing ya' know, Dean has the tube in the tyre and we're pumping up,
And then we were on our way again.

I do admit that I prefer foldable tyres and beaded rims to
Rims from 30-some years ago.
The newer ones are easier to deal with.

Upon arriving at the Erwin control, Janis found her savior from her first experience
With a flat just outside Erwin.
The two flats apparently occurred within 0.1 mile of each other.
Some kinda' karma, I guess.

With the greeting old acquaintances and all,
We spent more time at the control than we should have.
But it was a nice day, and as long as nothing bad happened,
We would be okay.
After all, we had three hours to make 13+ miles.

Just as we left the control ... Janis reverse dumped us, again!
Before we finished the ride, Dean and I were in agreement
That Janis should have waited until we were clear of Dunn
Before she reverse dumped us.

We resolved to tell her that.
We did tell her that when she got to the end of the ride in Benson.
She immediately agreed, and acknowledged that she had realized that while still in Dunn.

Great day!  Great riding companions!  Great day to have been on the bike!
Janis got her R-27.
Dean and I each got some insurance.
Dean is much more observant than me about some things.  Probably most things.
As we coasted by the store at Cedar Creek on the return leg,
He suddenly was calling out "Cyclists right!  Cyclists right!"
There was a youth group a few days out of Greensboro.  Ages mostly 14.
Mixed boys and girls from a Christian Youth Group -- I can't recall the name.
They had started that morning at Buies Creek,
Destination Wednesday was White Lake.
Destination Thursday was the beach.
They were following NC Bike Route # 5.

Maybe that sounds familiar to some NC randos?

Tar Heel 200 Permanent; 126.6 m.; 9h,00m in-motion; 14.1 mph; rando elapsed clock time:  11h,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: _10 rides; __894.1 m.; _63 hrs, 45 min; 14.7 mph.
Jun tot: __7 rides; __525.0 m.; _35 hrs, 44 min; 14.7 mph.
YTD tot: _47 rides; _4035.1 m.; 272 hrs, 06 min; 14.8 mph.
[Edit, Jun-29-2012:  As best I can figure, this ride got my Eddington Cycling Number up to 75.  Rather surprising that I didn't notice that at the time.  ??]

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