Friday, October 21, 2011

Oct-21: Cotton Pickin' 204 km Perm

Better known as:  Showdown at Black Creek.

Don't recall any cotton fields in Wake or Franklin counties.
Although there was a great hay field in Franklin county,
Dotted with those huge round bales of hay.
In combination with the severe-clear morning light,
And the slightly rolling terrain ... it caught my eye.

But the main repeat attractions today were the cotton fields.
Some fields appeared to almost be covered with snow.
The cotton balls have come in very nicely.

Some fields were "completely" harvested.
The machines leave up to 20% of the cotton behind.
If you want to see a pic of a completely harvested field,
Go to "crazyguyonabike", and find a journal of someone that went through Central Asia.
Those fields appear to be picked clean.

Anyway, some fields as yet untouched by the harvest process.
Some fields completely harvested.
And some, and this made for two or three interesting moments,
Were in the process of being harvested.

I am from northwest Illinois -- corn and soybean country.
I am familiar with HUGE combines in midst of harvesting the crops.

At one field, I forget exactly where, a HUGE combine was just beginning
The harvest of a small field.
As I approached, the operator was jockeying the machine around
And began his first pass down the field as I slid past.
That was reasonably interesting.

More interesting was the field where a "hopper" from a not-quite-so-huge harvestor
Was being dumped into the ... for lack of knowledge and a better word ...
The bale-compressing machine.
They were filling the bale-compressing machine towards it second bale in that field.

I found that process interesting.
I didn't slow down, though.

There was also one field with three of those HUGE bales lined up,
Ready to be transported to ... I presume ... "Harvey's Gin and Mill".
I presume "Harvey's" because that is what it said on the plastic wrap
Across the top and around the top half of the bales.
Interestingly, the bottom half of the bales were not swathed in plastic.

For those that don't know how large those bales are ...
Those bales are designed to fit nicely on the flat-bottom of an 18-wheeler's trailer.
Yep, that big.

Great day to ride.
Despite the headwind for ~ 52 miles of the homebound part of the route.
I've done a really good job picking routes this week.
All three times -- headwinds the whole way home.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Oct-21:  Showdown at Black Creek 204 km Permanen; 127.0 m.; 8h,00m in-motion; 15.9 mph (I had legs, today); rando elapsed clock time:  9h51 (too bad I started 45 minutes late).  

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.
Q-3 tot: _29 rides; _2479.2 m.; 161 hrs, 05 min; 15.2 mph. 

Oct tot: __6 rides; __545.6 m.; _36 hrs, 53 min; 14.8 mph. 
YTD tot: _88 rides; _7451.9 m.; 497 hrs, 25 min; 15.0 mph. 

"Interesting" stat:  After today's ride, and after the approval signifying I did the course correctly, or whatever, I will have 7451 miles AND 7450 RUSA credit kilometers.  I doubt the miles can stay ahead of the kms for very much longer. 


  1. Martin, congratulations on the year so far. Impressive mileage totals.

  2. IvaHawk - far more important is the "fun totals". Fun, however, is not measured in easily identified units, and is therefore difficult to quantify. The "fun experience" or "fun quotient" is probably best conveyed with words (or photos).

    Are you going to blog the Saturday "Long AFR" ride -- after all, I think you had a much more "fun" experience than I had Saturday. OR, maybe it is just that the ride left more of a mark on you.