Friday, September 30, 2011

Sep-29: Mid-week (?) Black Creek 204 km Perm

Clean, green, quiet, sunny with pleasant morning shadows, tailwind.
At least to Hornes Church outbound.

It was dry and mostly cloudy until around Daddysville or Pine Ridge or Sutton.
Then it was dry and sunny -- as the front had completed its passage.
Headwind the entire homebound trip.
It was work.
The rolling terrain from Youngsville to Purnell broke up the surface winds,
But the UPs on the valley crossings were still work.
At least I had to work them -- MikeH apparently not so much.

Oh, and the morning quiet?  ...  was replaced with quite a bit of traffic on 98 and Tarboro Rd.
I think an hour or two earlier (based on admittedly only one previous mid-week ride) ... less traffic.

Net summary for this ride?
See the Aug-21 write-up for this same route.
That applies more to this ride than last month's ride.
Sep-29:  Showdown in Black Creek 204 km Permanent; 127.0 m.; est. 8h,24m in-motion; 15.1 mph; elapsed time 10h,55m  +  however long I took to get a receipt

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph. 
Q-2 tot: _30 rides; _2604.9 m.; 174 hrs, 22 min; 14.9 mph. 
J-A tot: _23 rides; _1944.0 m.; 128 hrs, 29 min; 15.1 mph.
Sep tot: __6 rides; __535.2 m.; _34 hrs, 36 min; 15.5 mph. 
YTD tot: _82 rides; _6906.3 m.; 460 hrs, 32 min; 15.0 mph. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sep-28: Three Errands

Some paperwork delivered.
A shop key returned.
A house key returned.

Gosh, but north Raleigh -- actually inside the city -- not my usual cycling ground -- is hilly.
--> SBC owner's --> Bedford --> ___ ; 29.1 m.; 2h,03m in-motion; 14.2 mph. 

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph. 
Q-2 tot: _30 rides; _2604.9 m.; 174 hrs, 22 min; 14.9 mph. 
J-A tot: _23 rides; _1944.0 m.; 128 hrs, 29 min; 15.1 mph.
Sep tot: __5 rides; __408.2 m.; _26 hrs, 12 min; 15.6 mph. 
YTD tot: _81 rides; _6779.3 m.; 452 hrs, 08 min; 15.0 mph. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sep-25: Party on the KLL 208 km Perm


ChrisW posted on the NC rando list-serve that he'd like to do "Black Creek" to get his R-12.
Jerry posted that he'd join Chris.
Next thing one knows ... seemingly everyone in the area wants to join the "party".
But prefer Kerr Lake Loop.
I didn't care ... I was "sick as a dog" on Wednesday.
By early Friday, KLL route owner MikeD posted that he would also do the ride,
And he would bring some blank cards ... just in case.
By late Friday, I felt incredibly much better than I had 48 hours earlier.
I e-mailed Mike that if my health continued to improve, I'd like to ride.

The course:

Getting there is one-half the fun ... one-fourteenth, anyway.

I cheated three miles or so my start location,
And started from the Whole Foods parking lot.
10.5 miles to get to the ride, including three non-trivial "ups",
I concluded I needed to start riding by 0615, to be on the safe side.
Actual start time ... 0622.
Uh-oh.  I've done that same pre-ride in 36 minutes,
But not just three-and-a-half days after having felt like ... you-know.

I wondered how many randos would pass me on the way to the ride.
Several did, I think.
But I didn't recognize any of the vehicles in the dark.
Besides, half of the inscrits were probably at the start by the time I started rolling.

One rando, JohnA, also an Irregular, btw, mentioned to me at the start that
He thought he had passed me, and wondered if I would have accepted a lift to the start.
I told him I probably would have accepted a lift.

Oh, for the record ... I arrived, on my bicycle, for the 0700 start at 0659 (by my watch).
The parking lot was crowded.

Kerr Lake Loop Party Crew

I'm confident that I didn't quite figure out everyone who was there, but ...
Five 2011 PBP anciens:  MikeD, Jerry, StevenA, Ian, Branson.
Three 2011 ToC-1200 finishers:  LynnL, Smiley-Bryan, Tim (also Texas 1200 earlier in the year).
At least one other veteran fast-guy:  JoeRay.
One rookie fast-guy:  JohnA.
One veteran that is sometimes a fast-guy, and sometimes not-quite-so fast:  Byron.
Another strong rookie, but I haven't figured out if he is a fast-guy, or only nearly-fast:  Rick.
And the likely lanterns:  Chris, Richard, me.
That makes fifteen.  I wonder if that was all?
Results will get published in a week or so.  That will tell.

With so many 1200 and other fast-guys ... who needs to pedal to the first control?

I don't recall needing to pedal, except to get back up after crossing the Tar River.
Arrived at the control, ~ 23 miles into the course, at 8:23.
My receipt indicated 8:28.
Quick nibble.  Quick pee.  I was starting to stiffen.
I left first out of the control at 8:33.

Jerry chased after me ... saying, after he caught me, that he thought I need not ride alone.
Thanks, Jerry.  But I was silently wishing that we were going about one-half mile per hour slower.
Jerry and I stayed side-by-side,
Him asking after his PBP roommate, and my fellow Irregular, Ricochet Robert.
(Sorry, Robert.  But no one knows who "just plain Robert" is.)
Jerry also telling me about parts of his PBP adventure.

Jerry is county-line sprinter-par-excellence in the local randonneuring scene.
I was pretty sure that he wasn't going to suddenly zip ahead to the CL,
And then drift back to resume the conversation.
But ... I've been told that Jerry is expert at doing just that.
Anyway, Sunday, I had to work it a bit to make sure we were "even-wheels"
As we crossed the Vance County Line.

A mile or two later, on Glebe Rd., I told Jerry I thought it time for me to retreat
To the protection of the group.

It had been lightly raining, but being in-front, I hadn't paid it much attention.
But as soon as I pulled over near the double-yellow,
Sliding backward behind Jerry, I started looking for someone(s) with fenders to follow.

I was behind Byron and someone else with fenders.
Staying dry.
Then some curves or corners or something,
And JoeRay had managed to oust me from my position.
I cursed JoeRay in a friendly way.
He slid over so we could ride side-by-side behind the befendered.


Just as predicted, the fast-guys dropped me on the climbs on Nutbush Creek,
Followed by Anderson Creek, and whatever that other road near them is.

I wondered if I would end up thinking of the ride as a group permanent, or a solo.
Then I saw Richard up ahead.  Also as predicted.
Doing well on the flats, quite fast on the downslopes, but I was catching him on the upslopes.
I bridged.  We chatted.  Eventually, I took the lead, figuring I had partner 'till at least Boydton.

A couple/three miles later, we reached the county store on the side of the road in Warren County.
I've been told that that is an interesting country store, but I've never needed to stop.
The entire fast and not-quite-so-fast crew was at the store.
Richard and I rode on by.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jerry starting to "come after us".

Jerry caught and passed us.  I forget who was in tow.
Just as I was deciding to try to catch onto the Jerry-train,
Hopefully all the way to Kerr Lake Dam,
Along came the Branson-train.  Branson finally looked like he was actually pedaling.
I tried to up the cadence / effort to snag the Branson/Jerry-train.
To no avail.
The smarter side of my brain had indicated that that could be a dangerous thing to do.
I might end up in Boydton (66 miles into the ride) and be TOAST if I stayed with Branson.

I continued pulling Richard along.
Eventually, I realized Richard was no longer behind me.
Oh, well.  He has a cue sheet.  And Chris is behind him.

It was dry in Virginia -- well, not raining, anyway.

Crossed the dam alone.
Didn't really notice the lake surface.
It was probably all gray and ugly -- just like the sky -- more like "just like the air".

I decided to stop at the entrance to the Virginia Buggs Island State Recreation Area.
To swallow some electrolytes and eat a PB sandwich (no J).
Just as I was finishing the sandwich, about 4 or 5 minutes after I'd stopped,
I saw two randos making their way toward me from the dam.
Richard and ... Rick.

They passed me as I was re-mounting.
I drifted downslope to the curve after the recreation area, and just after completing the curve,
There is JohnA, with a filthy white jersey, and Rick and Richard commiserating.
I pulled over a few yards after passing the others,
Almost immediately, Rick asked, almost jokingly, if I had a spare tyre with me.
"Why, yes I do," said I, "two actually, but no spare tube, today."

John's rear tyre (I must admit that I prefer the British spelling of tyre to the American tire).
One or two or three of my great-grandfathers would be irritated to hear that.
They left England, or Ireland, for reasons.

Anyway, John's rear tyre had a three-or-four inch tear in it,
Right down the center, where there had been a "bead" when the tyre was new.
My spare was a bit iffy, but likely serviceable.
Jumping ahead, it accomplished the task asked of it, providing John ~ 77 trouble-free miles.

John repaired and ready to ride, but now probably part of the near-lantern-rouge crew,
Instead of being part of the fast-crew.
We headed for Boydton.
Two Richards and two Johns.  (You figure it out.)

I really enjoy Phillis Rd from the sharp curve at the end of the short steep all the way into Boydton.

Richard, being on his first KLL, we made sure he got a good look at the usual info control device.
Rick and John, being on their second KLL tours, had the opportunity to take a good look,
But settled for a cursory glance.
Me, on my twelfth KLL tour (seventh since Jun-11), what did I do?
You'll have to guess.

To Skipwith and Clarksville.

After filling in the info control question, some needed to stop around the corner to get H2O.
A few many minutes later, ChrisW pulled into the store, also wanting to top-up.
We waited for Chris ... now a party of five lantern rouge crew.

I've learned to enjoy the short trip from Boydton to Skipwith.
Rollers a bit tougher than than those leading into Boydton.

The Skipwith store was closed.
Alternative info control question dealt with.
On to Clarksville.

The road to Clarksville from Skipwith is mostly flat and not too twisty.
Some good section for side-by-side conversation.
Actually, almost the entire course is good for that.
There isn't much traffic on most of the roads.
Just a few spots requiring attention.

We decided to take lunch at the Subway in Clarksville.
However, all summer long, I've been starting KLL tours at 0600 or 0630,
That meant beating the post-church traffic to the Subway.
Sunday, starting KLL at 0700, the post-church traffic was backed up to the door.
Comparatively speaking, there was almost no one behind us.
Will have to remember that and adjust winter start times accordingly.

To the NC State Line, and Stovall, and Peace Mountain.

Chris thought that we shouldn't give Richard a heads-up regarding the mountain.
No one had given him a heads-up.
I guess the first person he did KLL with didn't do a very friendly course introduction.
Or maybe, that person was interested in seeing Chris's reaction.
And watching his 28 front - 32 rear gearing in action.
Who was that person that Chris did his first KLL with, anyway?
(Don't tell anyone ... it was me.)

Zip from the mountain to the Exxon control.

Uh ... closed ???
We called MikeD to let him know what we had encountered.
And that given the route and the closing times,
We'd try to get a couple receipts up the road.
We did.
Fourteen miles up the road, at Wilton.
You can't safely ride a bicycle from Stovall to Wilton unless you go past the Exxon control.

Hey!  I can sub-10 this!

Rolling out of Wilton, I told John and Rick (Richard and Chris had dropped us off their front),
That I'd like to do the last 10-miles in 37 minutes or less, to get a sub-10-hour tour.
Rick looked at his cue sheet (John had lost his) ... and informed me that it is only 8.9 mile to go.
That's better than 10.

John, Rick and I pulled into the finish at 4:55 pm --> 9h,55m --> my second fastest ever KLL.
Chris and Richard pulled in 13 minutes later.

R-12 completed for Chris.  Congratulations!

About the fast-"guys", and the ONE gal.

LynnL told me that the first finishers completed the ride at 3:10 pm --> 8h,10m. Yikes!!
Several more were 4 or 5 minutes behind.

---> Kerr Lake Loop 208 km Permanent; 

 _ "pre-ride"; 10.5 m.; 0h,37m in-motion; 16.8 mph; 
 _ _ KLL proper; 131.8 m.; est. 7h,49m in-motion; 17.0 mph; elapsed time 9h,55m;
 _ _ _ total ride; 142.3 m.; 8h,26m in-motion; 16.9 mph. 

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph. 
Q-2 tot: _30 rides; _2604.9 m.; 174 hrs, 22 min; 14.9 mph. 
J-A tot: _23 rides; _1944.0 m.; 128 hrs, 29 min; 15.1 mph.
Sep tot: __4 rides; __379.1 m.; _24 hrs, 09 min; 15.7 mph. 
YTD tot: _80 rides; _6750.2 m.; 450 hrs, 05 min; 15.0 mph. 

R-14, C-19, M-31 (earlier this month).  P-0. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sept 18 -- Bridge to Bridge Irregular Style

Five Irregulars participated in the Bridge to Bridge cycling event Sunday, Sept 18. Ags, BobH, Iva, Norris, Tito. Also in attendance were wives Kim (Tito), Bren (Norris), and Mary Kay (Bob). The eight of us met at The Sagebrush steakhouse Saturday night and had a good time. Tito had raw tofu, water (no ice), and a piece of lettuce.

The Route
The race (or is it a ride) starts in Lenoir, NC and goes east before doubling back towards the mountains. The first 50 miles are relatively flat until it hits Hwy 181 north of Morganton. That starts a 10 mile 2500 foot climb to the community of Jonas Ridge. Normally, the ride then joins the BR Pkwy, but this year, due to construction, they closed the parkway to the ride (not good). Instead it went up through Linville and west of Grandfather Mt down highway 105. Near Banner Elk there is a steep downhill segment (1000 feet four miles) that passes through the community of Foscoe before turning onto Shulls Mills Road near Hound Ears Resort. This was a definite downgrade from the BR Pkwy because 105 is heavily traveled.

Leaving 105, thank goodness, the route then goes by Hound Ears Country Club and starts a 10 mile 1800 feet beautiful climb from Hound Ears to the BR Pkwy / Hwy 221 intersection. From there it’s rollers and hills and bigger hills on Hwy 221 to the Grandfather Mt entrance.

By the time you reach Grandfather, you’ve ridden 100 miles, and you face a really tough, tough climb. It’s 900 feet in two miles with the average not a true description. The first part is doable. Then, there are about four switchbacks were I had “trouble” (see The Ride). In terms of length and elevation, it’s similar to Pilot or Hanging Rock, but seemed harder (see The Ride). Maybe it isn’t. I suspect the preceding 100 miles had something to do with it.

The ride info says 10,580 feet of climbing. My Garmin said 8,926.

The Ride
We five met at the starting line at 0800 ready to go. Kim had gone on to Grandfather to wait. Bren and Mary Kay were there to see us off. At the gun, that’s the last I saw of Tito and Ags till much later.

Norris, Bob, and I started off together and then got caught in different pace lines for a good while. Somewhere around the first rest stop (25 miles) we got back together and pretty much stayed there for awhile. We climbed together on Hwy 181. BobH was in the lead most of the time. Norris was climbing well despite his own admission that he had not been doing much hill training. The climb seems to go on forever with few flat spots. Look at the elevation profile to see what I mean.

Somewhere still on 181, but after the steepest part, I had my first chain incident. When I shifted to my small chain ring, it would get thrown off into the frame – not every time – sometimes. I lost Bob and Norris and the others when I stopped to fix it. We got back together at the next rest stop.

Finally, we got to Linville and over to Hwy 105 and the long downhill. I talked to Bob on the phone afterward and he said he hit 41 mph riding the brakes. He said Norris hit 50. And, this was on a busy road with the wind blowing. In this stretch, we also something we rarely saw all day – blue sky. The warm sun felt great on my back.

After this, we all were in a nice 10 person pace line going past the exclusive Grandfather Mountain Golf and Country Club and onto relatively flat ground when I had my second chain incident. Again, I lost the pace line to stop and fix it. Now I was totally by myself. I got to the point where I thought I may have missed a turn, but finally I saw Shulls Mills Road. This went by the beautiful Hound Ears Golf and Ski club and started another long, steep climb back to the pkwy / 221 intersection. It was still beautiful weather.

Once on 221, the weather socked in again but worse. Fog reduced visibility to 100 feet if that. This was about mile 90 and I was ready to exit the bike. I was cold and damp and tired. I was riding with this (I thought) nice guy. I told him about my chain problems and said “ok. I’m getting ready to shift down. It may throw”. I found that if I was real careful, I could do it. But, this time it threw and I busted my posterior. Unlike before, when I had some forward momentum, this time I was going up and came to an immediate halt. A bicycle quickly loses its stability as its forward momentum slows. Down I went. I threw myself to the ditch to avoid falling into the fog shrouded mist in the middle of the road. The ditch, about a foot deep, nicely accommodated my rear end. My head slammed into a rock embedded in the cliff, but fortunately, my bike helmet did its job. AMEN on bike helmets. This is one of several times I’ve said I’m glad I have a helmet on as my head encountered something hard. My “friend” kept on riding. Maybe he didn’t see me. I had been seeing cars coming south on 221 with people who had finished the race. One of them stopped and asked if I was o.k. I got myself untangled from the bike and said thanks, but yes. Now, the fun of clipping in on an upslope began. Finally, I managed that and continued on somewhat angered at myself for not having my equipment in top shape for such a ride. Another lesson learned.

Later I learned that Bob and Norris got to the GF Mt gate about 8 hours elapsed time. Their plan all along was not to tackle GF Mt, but to go on to the Meadows where the shuttle from the top was taking people. I arrived at the gate about 8:15 elapsed. For awhile (8 minutes), I considered going to the Meadows myself. But, then I said what the hell and took off up the mountain. For a while, it wasn’t bad at all. I was saying what’s the big deal. But, that changed quickly. I started seeing people pushing their bikes. I started zig sagging across the road. Kim and Tito passed by me in my car going downhill. Tito yelled for me to meet them at The Meadows. Finally, I got off myself and started walking with a young guy. We were leaning into our bikes like pushing a heavy wheel barrow up a ramp. Then we would get to a “flat” spot and remount. Then get off again. We repeated this process till finally we saw the finish line high above us. No way could we get on our bikes so we walked and pushed our way to the top.

My elapsed time was 8:56. Both Ags and Tito stayed on their bikes the whole way. They both had great rides with Ags at 6:56 and Tito at 7:38. I hope they can comment to give their perspective on the ride.

The winner in 4:51 was Bruce Humphries from S.C. Bruce is a cat 1 racer who rides on the Hincapie Green team. Soni Dyer, whom some of you may remember from N.C. triathlon days, came in seventh at 5:04. The first female was a 17 year old in 5:35. The first sixty year old finished in 6:16.

Is this harder than Assault on Mt Mitchell? I’ve answered both ways since the ride. I didn’t have to dismount at Mitchell. But, Mitchell was longer and more elevation gain. I think The Bridge had a lot of gain at one time or another whereas Mitchell was more steady gain. At any rate, I’m glad I did it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Commentaries and Reflections

I haven't been blogging every ride lately, but the only ones missing are a couple / few insubstantial spin-out-the-legs type things and one test-ride of prospective permanent populaire route.  I wasn't going to blog about the test-ride, but I realize that this blog brings back forgotten memories.  I think I will put up a short post about that test-ride ... in a couple days.

Ride early or don't ride at all.
That isn't advice ... it is a summary of what happens to me if I don't ride first thing of the day.
Only time that I counter that is when I'm specifically meeting someone later in the day.

Past commentaries and reflections worth remembering / re-reading:

Solo versus group riding.
A particular rando friend noted that they had seen and read that post some time ago.
They thought the one disadvantage of going solo outweighed all the advantages noted.
I didn't tell her, but sometimes, I think that "disadvantage" is the biggest advantage.

Reflections on why we ride.
The section in the above-link with the blue-type ... no additonal comment.

A cycling poem.
I wrote the above specifically about the Irregulars.
I suspect that it applies to almost every group or club.

The poem consists of 6-couplets.
Each line is diametrically the opposite of the line with which it is coupled. 

Sometimes, I have heard both lines of a given couplet regarding the same ride. 
Sometimes, I have heard both lines of a given couplet from the same person, a few months apart.  
I admit that I have sometimes said one or more of the lines from the poem.   

The next time you make a suggestion or complain to your ride leader,   
Please do make your opinion known -- how else can the needs of all be taken into account.   
But please recognize that at least one of your friends is probably thinking the exact opposite,  
And the ride leader is probably trying to balance several interests. 

Sometimes it is a small world.
The above is as close as I have come to social or political commentary in this blog.
I don't do politics or religion or business when I'm recreating.
A rando friend has noted that one cannot detect my political leanings from this blog.

Something frivolous.
I have no idea why I entitled that post "back to the future".

Lucky or blessed.
The above is as close to a philosophical post in this blog as there is.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sept 10 -- Prison Break with Options

T’was a beautiful day today – both weather and ride. This was the first regular Irregular ride we’ve had in awhile. I’m sure Martin could tell us when the last one was. Martin delegated the ride leadership to me this weekend. With me and others being in between Tour de Moore and Bridge to Bridge, I didn’t want to go too long. The famous Prison Break was selected due to its relative short distance. And, I wanted to ride by the prison again. I like it’s architecture and functional style.

Knowing that not all are riding long next weekend, I offered two options to extend the basic route. The first was to continue on past the Butner to Range Road. From there any distance at all would be possible. The second was to turn left on Beaver Dam / Rock Springs off Old Weaver and do the hills east of Grissom. This would add about 12 miles to the route with good climbing. But, no one selected either option. I suspect all were having such a good time, no one wanted to break up the group. Ah, the group. How could I get this far without saying who was there: El Martin, Mallet (of L’Alpe de Huez fame), Ags, Tito, RRtRR (first ride since PBP), The RED Rocket (of TdM blue room fame), and me.

The whole ride was well paced with all (minus me) taking their turn at the front. It was a good example of Irregular riding at its best.

Martin showed us how it’s done on Old Weaver beating the pack to New Light with a spirited high cadence climb worthy of mention here. He’s climbing well.
Headline news: Ags set a new world record of 14:15 for GhostonPeedMVC. Only Jens Voigt has bettered that time and that was with a wind assist. Not far behind him and setting a personal best was Tito with the excellent time of 14:30. This too would have been a world record had it not been for Ags. Personally, IvaHawk set a PR of his own of 17:14. I might add that the Red Rocket was behind Tito and far ahead of me.

Mallet, Martin, and RRtRR were not trying to set a record today helping Robert (do not pronounce the t) to PUE who is still not totally recovered from his outstanding effort in France. I encourage all of you to go by TLC for bikes where Gary has a PBP photo of Rober(t) proudly displayed.
Thanks again to all for a great ride.

P.S. It was RRtRR's birthday ! After the ride, he produced refreshments for all. His excellent taste was in evidence (probably with advice from LeeD) with a nice selection of beverages.

P.S.S. I got a note from BobH. He and Norris did 80 at the beach getting ready for "The Bridge” as the locals call it.
Proposed longer ride combo:

Hmmn.  Next time?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cycling Group Refrain

We start too early.
We start too late.

We ride too fast.
We ride too slowly.

We ride too far.
We ride too short.

We ride too many different routes -- we should ride the same route each weekend.
We ride the same roads all the time -- can we please mix it up?

Must we always start from the same location?
We must always start from the same location.

Must you do those safety comments?
Please do more safety comments.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Risk Analysis - ROM # Expected Rando Deaths

Reading the statements from the candidates for the RUSA board elections this autumn, I noticed that one candidate wants to do a study regarding safety and enhancing same for randonneurs.  The catalyst behind his thinking is that one randonneur has died while doing a brevet in each of the last four years (accepting his "fact" without checking, but I do wonder why he apparently excluded permanents).

Ignoring the curious combination of sentences "... skiers can reduce their risk if they choose.  But brevet riders do not have this option", the thing I immediately thought was:

I wonder how many deaths can be expected among randonneurs during brevets, and permanents?

Being an actuary by training, I decided to do a "quick back-of-the-envelope" estimate of those questions -- it will take me longer to write this up than it took me to do the calculations.

I needed to make reasonable estimates for a few key variables:

  • number of randonneurs, 
  • amount of time spent doing randonneuring rides, and 
  • expected death rates from all causes. 
One can consult the membership databases on the RUSA website, under RBA resources to get a list of all active members.  I did that a few months ago, and found the number was around 3000 active members.  (If I was going to do more than a "quick back-of-the-envelope" estimation, I would, of course, confirm that number.)

I went on-line and quickly found three sources of publicly available death rates by age, or by age and sex.  These included all causes of death, and while randonneurs might be healthier than the average, I'm only intending a quick rough-order-of-magnitude (ROM) calculation; these seemed acceptable for the purpose.

I chose to use the third of the three shown above.  IMO it has a couple advantages:  (1) death rates are available by age and sex should I decide to try to do a more refined calculation, (2) I inherently have a better idea of what processes may have been used to develop the death rate estimates.  (Since this is just a ROM back-of-the-envelope estimate, I did not attempt to find and study the methodology of the three above possible sources.)

I still needed to determine which death rate(s) to use from the SSA Table.  I wanted to develop a range for the answer to my posed question(s), but I didn't want to make a huge project of this (typing this far has taken longer than finding the necessary assumption estimates AND doing the calculations).  I decided to use the death rate for Males-age-50 as the low end of the spectrum and Males-age-60 for the high end of the spectrum.

That left me needing only an estimate for the time people spend doing brevets (and permanents).  If I had access to the entire RUSA database in a data-downloadable fashion, I could crunch the number for everyone, and come up with ... the exact amount of elapsed time for RUSA members on brevets and permanents that they completed ... that would still leave out time information for DNFs, and this is supposed to be a quick ROM estimate.  I needed something I could get my hands on quickly.  The answer:  my time spent so far this year doing brevets and permanents.  Am I representative of the entire membership?

Well ... I am 55 and male.
I did one SR this year (with no extras, so far).
More brevet kms than quite a few; much less than many.

I am a mid-to-back-of-the-packer.
So it probably takes me a bit longer than average to complete a brevet.

I am no Lone Star rando, but I have ridden more permanent kilometers this year than most.
As I write this, I have completed 18 permanents so far this year (4 not in the RUSA results, yet).
I have also completed 12 permanent populaires so far this year.

One could argue that I have more RUSA kms and time doing rando this year than "average".
But, I am only trying to get a ROM estimate based on readily available data.

What did I find?

Based  on:  3000 members, my time in-motion and overall elapsed time, death rates as indicated:

Expected Deaths While Engaging in Randonneuring
Time in Hrs Time in Days
Kms In-Motion Elapsed In-Motion Elapsed
Breverts 1,500 64.013 85.033 2.667 3.543
Perms 4,926 215.351 261.933 8.973 10.914
Total 6,426 279.364 346.967 11.640 14.457

Annual Death Rates Expected Deaths, In-Motion Expected Deaths, Elapsed
Male 50 Male 60 Male 50 Male 60 Male 50 Male 60
0.00551 0.01141 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.3
0.00551 0.01141 0.4 1.0 0.4 1.0
0.00551 0.01141 0.5 1.4 0.5 1.4
  • Expected deaths while randonneuring at my rate:  0.5 to 1.4 per year.
  • Expected deaths while doing brevets at my rate:  0.1 to 0.3 per year.  

Based on this Rough Order of Magnitude estimate, and leaning more on the "Total" numbers which include the permanents, I think I agree with Lois Springsteen's response to Mr. Berk's previous suggestion to RUSA regarding the safety research:  thank-you, no.

(I suspect that Jonathan Berk is a Ph.D. based on the content in his "saferrando" blog; please accept my apology if you would prefer to be "Dr. Berk", but on the other hand, we are all just randonneurs in fancy underwear here -- no need for fancy titles.)

Martin Shipp

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tour de Moore 2011

Ags, Tito, RedRocket, and IvaHawk participated in the Tour de Moore Classic on Labor Day 2011. Rain threatened, but aside from one thorough dousing near the beginning, it was a dry, even sunny, day. With gravity assist, we went out fast making it to the first rest stop averaging nearly 20 mph. No, I haven’t become cat 1. It was mostly downhill. After that we had an aggressive but reasonable pace. The others had to wait for me after some climbs as usual.

After the ride, we relaxed in Ags’s very nice camo camp chairs enjoying Fat Tire draft and a pasta supper. We missed the other Irregulars and wish they could have been there.

Total time: 7:05
Moving time: 6:10 (yes, nearly an hour of sag time)
Distance: 102.4
Average moving: 16.6
Elevation gain: 3,773

For comparison, here are some other ride elevation gains:
- Mayo Lake Century: 3,407
- Raven Rock Century: 3,105
- Bobbitt 72 miler: 4,182
- Whirlygig 113 miles: 1,967
- Last 50 miles of Bridge to Bridge (without the final 2 miles up GF Mt): 7,134

Monday, September 5, 2011

On Blog Stats

Those that don't have a blog probably won't understand the following.
Even many of those that do have a blogspot blog might not understand.
But ...

For several months, I have been wondering WHY anyone / someone would repeatedly view
A particular blog post from late Sep-2011.
That post says nothing, and is completely boring.

Recently, I happened to sign-in and, for kicks, check the daily blog stats ...
And was able to determine that the person that was repeatedly viewing that post ...
Is in Germany.

I left them a note (or tried to) ... wondering / asking why they had bookmarked that post ...
Rather than the blog "home" URL.

Just now, I happened to check the blog stats again ...
Germany is still coming in through that late Sep-2011 post.
At least the second time today.

It isn't harmful or anything.
Just ... I don't understand such a curious thing.
Stranger is / was the 41 instantaneous page-views originating from the Netherlands the other day.
I happened to be signed in, trying to figure out the new blogger behind-the-scenes interface,
And suddenly, 41 page-views ... all from the Netherlands.
I assume that was some sort of troll or attempted attack on Blogger or my computer.
But I don't really know.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sep-03: IR Bearpond-Bobbitt

The name of the route is Bearpond-Bobbitt because:

  • who can resist putting "Bearpond" in the name, and Bearpond, which is just south of South Henderson, is the northernmost point of the route, and 
  • Bobbitt because that is the location of the old country store / gas station that could benefit from a few dollars from a few cyclists, and as such, is the planned "refueling stop".  The gas stations / convenience stores at Bearpond and Gill don't need our cyclist dollars -- they get lots of automobile customers as those locations are located on Old-US-1 and right next to new US-1.  However, Bobbitt, just 4 or 5 miles away, does NOT get auto traffic from off of US-1 and is strategically located among some very good cycling roads.  I'd like that store to still be there when I, or some other cyclist, really need it.  A few dollars periodically from a few cyclists might help make the difference. 

PUE:  Bearpond - Bobbitt:  72 m.
@ turn go on comment(s)
0.0 R 2.0 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
2.0 L 13.3 Six Forks Rd ---> New Light ---> Bruce Garner ---> Pokomoke
15.3 L 3.3 Gordon Moore
18.6 R 0.3 NC-56
18.9 L 3.4 Mt. Olive Ch Rd
22.3 L 1.7 Green Hill Rd
24.0 str 5.6  (x Tar River) ---> Charlie Grissom Rd
29.6 L 6.0 Lynnbank Rd regroup @ ChGrissom / Lynnbank
35.6 R 0.7 Raleigh Rd / US-1-Bus   @ Bearpond 
36.3 L 0.1 Peter Gill Rd   @ Gill 
36.4 immed R 3.3 Bobbitt Rd
39.7 RS   @ Bobbitt store food & drink only  --  no restrooms
str 7.5       continue South on Bobbit Rd ---> Walter Grissom Rd ---> Sims Bridge Rd
47.2 R 4.7 W. River Rd ---> Mason St in Franklinton 
51.9 L 0.8 Cheatham St
52.7 str 14.8  (x US-1) ---> Pokomoke Rd ---> Bruce Garner ---> New Light
67.5 R 1.1 Ghoston Rd
68.6 R 0.2 NC-98
68.8 L 1.7 Peed Rd
70.5 L 1.7 Mt. Vernon Church Road
72.2 L 0.1 Pleasant Union Church Rd
72.3 R Finish in parking lot

Story ...



Due to ... circumstances, rather than the comfortable / leisurely ride I was looking forward to, BobH and I "hammered" from 18.6 miles into the ride (corner of Gordon Moore and NC-56 to the just after climbing "Charlie Grissom Mtn", and then again through the end of the Bearpond-Bobbitt route).  Bob is doing Bridge-2-Bridge in a two or three weeks, so a hard ride was good for him.  As for me ... after last Sunday's debacle, it was nice to confirm that thirty-two 200+ kilometer rides in the last 11 months has given me a good base ... a base from which I can, if I want, leave annoying people behind (I can also ride slowly enough that I can drop annoying people off my front ... and then turn on to a different road).

---> LT's ---> PUE:  Bearpond-Bobbitt --> ; 84.0 m.
; 5h,16m in-motion; 15.9 mph. 

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph. 
Q-2 tot: _30 rides; _2604.9 m.; 174 hrs, 22 min; 14.9 mph. 
J-A tot: _23 rides; _1944.0 m.; 128 hrs, 29 min; 15.1 mph.
Sep tot: __1 rides; ___84.0 m.; __5 hrs, 15 min; 15.9 mph. 
YTD tot: _77 rides; _6455.1 m.; 431 hrs, 13 min; 15.0 mph. 

[I missed not having the monthly, quarterly, YTD summary.  I'm not blogging all the rides any more, I might not show the summary all the time, but I missed not seeing it.  After all, the info on the course, pace, and the summary was the reason I started this blog -- and I just don't want to give that up.]