And a LOT LESS sunshine.
But no Virginia Lake Festival.
Ricochet training for "the big ride" called for a double-double for the weekend.
He did L-L-L on Saturday. Mostly solo.
And he figured KLL with the crew that was forming would be good.
In the end, the only parts of the Sunday KLL crew that materialized were Robert and me.
I'd be getting a double-double entirely on KLL since I did KLL on Saturday.
We started a half-hour later.
Under overcast skies (instead of the wondrous sunshine from Saturday).
We got underway about 3 minutes late.
On Saturday, the KLL crew had been prompt.
I don't know about the L-L-L crew,
But with the cast of that crew, I would never bet on even a two minute delay.
Robert and I were each feeling our previous day's effort in our legs.
That's what caused the delay at the start.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
We got to the Exxon control only 5 minutes on the clock slower than Saturday.
We weren't doing too badly for tired legs.
Robert commented early in the ride that these double-doubles seem harder than a straight 400.
The 12 hours of rest seemingly making the legs tighter than if one had just kept riding.
Might be a lesson in that comment for "the big ride".
I meant to lube my chain before we started. But forgot.
I meant to lube my chain at the Exxon control. But forgot.
The clatter from the chain finally was too much,
And I pulled over in Drewry to lube the chain.
I could describe that I had to cut the tip off the lube bottle because the hole had closed up.
But instead I'll mention that upon leaving Drewry,
Robert asked how I knew my chain needed lubing.
My answer? "Too much noise."
Robert apparently hadn't noticed.
Probably was only loud enough for me and someone quite close to hear.
Leaving Drewry, about 44 miles into the ride, my legs were finally feeling quite good.
I'm not so sure about Robert's legs.
Feeling good, and with the long, net downslope to the lake,
I let the good times roll.
Including at least two miles in the drops.
Not because of a headwind.
It just felt ... right.
[A pause while some Irregulars get back up from the floor.]
The nice thing about summer permanents is that one is confident that one can finish in daylight.
[Apologies to readers from northern climes.]
In the winter in North Carolina, one needs to watch the time more carefully
In order to be sure to finish before sunset.
[Again, apologies to those from northern climes with real WINTER issues to worry about.]
Upon crossing Kerr Lake Dam, we took a short break at a picnic table
By the Buggs Island Recreational Area.
It was a nice day ... a good time to "smell some roses".
Besides, the sun had come out from behind the clouds and things looked nice again.
Have I ever mentioned that I like Phillis Rd the last few miles into Boydton?
I think Robert thought that I had dropped him because he took out his cue sheet
After he finished consulting a certain statue.
I was watching him from a bench around the corner,
And finally called out to him to let him know where I was.
Re-grouped, we zipped across to Skipwith.
I noticed something in Skipwith I'd never noticed before.
The price of regular gas depends upon which sign one consults.
Easy across to Clarksville, except we hammered down US-15 to the causeway.
Across to the town. No Lake Festival stuff blocking the way.
I like testing myself on the "bluffs" rising from the lake into downtown Clarksville.
I used to dread those same "bluffs".
We took a short pause at the Subway to share a 6-inch sub.
Robert doesn't eat much at any one time.
The tree atop the crest at the North Carolina State Line still looked good.
Just after the state line, that black puppy that was a nuisance in the winter months
Made his first warm-weather appearance.
Or, at least the first I've had to deal with.
Puppy, my shoe -- your head -- you won't like it.
I first rode the section from Grassy Creek to Stovall as part of a "club" 100-miler.
I thought it would never end.
Sunday (and Saturday), that section was just the last 6 of the 14 miles from Clarksville to Stovall.
We took a short break in the gazebo.
Just for the sake of sitting in the gazebo.
No one found any new holes in the ground.
Mountain Road was enticing.
But there was no large family-and-friends gathering on Sunday.
I was a bit slower going up the steep than the day before.
But we hammered (that is a relative term) from the top all the way to Exxon control.
And then zipped on to the finish.
One interesting thing:
Robert reverse-dumped me with six miles to go!
It is as if he has taken lessons from JayJay.
But Robert doesn't even know JayJay.
Kerr Lake Loop 208km Permanent; 134.4 m.; 8h,48m in-motion; 15.3 mph; rando elapsed-clock time: 10h,49m.