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.
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.
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.
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.