Sunday, November 13, 2011

Nov-12: Irregulars on Robert's Chapel Rd

I have a bit of head cold as I begin to type the following. 
My "humor" may be a bit "off".  
Likely more acerbic than usual. 

I must be more out-of-it than I thought. 
I originally dated this post "Jun-12" !! 
No map -- the route is a short-cut of the Range Road Rover.
(There is a cue sheet ... somewhere.)
Robert's Chapel Rd is probably more scenic than Range Road.
But each is a great cycling road with little to no traffic.

0800 start.  A bit chilly at around 32F.
I noticed frost on the long grass near Falls Lake as we crossed on Old Weaver Trail.
Frost, but no ice.

I arrived about 7 minutes prior to wheels-away.
Plenty of time for introductions, etc. -- especially as IvaHawk was bringing a guest.

BobH was already at PUE and ready to ride.
JohnD was there and ready to ride.
IvaHawk was nearly ready to ride.
But his guest had cancelled.
Too cold.

Robert arrived a minute or two later, possibly looking under-dressed.
But he has a high metabolism and had on a base layer of wool that rando Byron had passed along.

The Mallet came zooming in about 30 seconds before wheels-away.
Apologizing for being late.
He'd had to change a flat tyre before leaving home.

For the safety tip, I got Robert to sorta' explain my "incredible move" from last Saturday.
Incredibly stupid.
Alive only because I stayed calm and extricated myself, calmly,
Rather than panicking and exacerbating the situation.

Ready to go ... Tito arrives.
"Tito, we're going to ride down the road a mile,
And come back and pick you up in 7 or 8 minutes"
tactic used once before on an habitual late-arrival.
I had a quiet chat with Tito after the ride.
Crossing Falls Lake on Old Weaver Trail ... calm water.

Cash Rd, etc. into Butner ...
Only thing I recall is the Mallet pointing out the building / parking lot
Used for those that did the "mud run" at the National Guard post, "Camp Butner".
Paul's comment was that the mud-run was the only time he's seen that new-ish building
Actually USED for somethiing.

His other comment was that there weren't enough shuttle buses to handle the participants.

My comment:  five miles from the parking lot to the event's actual location is ... a bit.
Up the Range Wall.
Some groups only ride down that section.
Seems to be a waste.
We usually ride it UP.
Sometimes down.

Onto Robert's Chapel Rd.
Making the turn, I notice that we're short 3 people.
Flo-max break back there somewhere, I am informed.

We stopped on a sunniest section of Robert's Chapel Rd we could find.
Feasting ensued.
The laggards arrived.
More feasting.

Rolling again, we passed a house with a pond,
Said pond lined with vibrant red leafed trees.
The water so calm it was a mirror.
All seven of us lamented the lack of a camera.
I took a mental picture.
I'm confident that others can do the same within the next week or two.
Some lobbying for a stop in Stem.
The Mallet pointed out that we'd just stopped a few minutes previously.
Two votes for continuing. 
Two out of seven carried the day.

Something about a dictatorship.
I remarked that the group is more of a democracy.
Robert quipped "only when the dictator allows it."
IvaHawk inquired as to how I would characterize the operation of the crew.
"Consultative dictatorship."
I intended to not try to stick to BobH when he made his patented Brogden Rd run.
Bob didn't seem to have as much thrust in his engine as he usually does.
I credit the headwind.
Bob and Tito took turns pulling us, mostly downslope, from Stem to Creedmoor,
Into the headwind.
Robert, who had earlier commented that he had "no legs" for the 2nd consecutive Saturday,
Found his legs, and transformed into Ricochet, noted
"I love going uphill at 20 mph!"

I'll add:  especially into a headwind, and barely pedaling!
Rationale roller-coasting on Dove Rd headed south out of Creedmoor.
Rather than hell-bent-for-leather roller-coasting.
Still ended up with a split in the crew, though.

Back together at the turn onto Old Weaver Trail.
Hawk commented that we were entering Robert's favorite section.
Robert asked, "where are we?"
Hawk:  "Turning onto Old Weaver, headed for New Light, with that long uphill."
Ricochet:  "Oh, I love that climb."

Half-way up to New Light (the hard half done),
Mallet leading, I-forget-who second, me third, Ricochet fourth.
I couldn't get into a comfortable gear/cadence combination.
I finally noticed the speed.
I asked the Mallet if he was taking it easy on us, or was he tired.
The unexpected answer:  "I'm a bit tired."
(There is / are reasons -- but I didn't hear the entire anecdote.)

I went to the front, and then Ricochet passed me.
But I decided that he wasn't just going to ride-away.
We ended up playing leap-frog as neither of us would relent to the other.

I semi-paused at New Light to semi-wait for the others.
Ricochet had the bit between his teeth.
So I followed on.
No interest in catching him.
That lasted all of about 100 yards.

With the almost all downslope from New Light to the Neuse River / Falls Lake,
I decided to "go get him."
Eventually, I went to the 50T big-chain ring for the first time all day,
Doing 30 mph as I passed Ricochet.
I may have shed 48 pounds, but I still have a 24-lb. downslope advantage over Robert.

Of course, he has a 24-lb. upslope advantage over me.
And he used it to fine affect on Ghoston, Peed, and Mt. Vernon Church roads.
Back at PUE by 11:40 (I didn't actually check -- I'm guessing).
Thanks and good-byes all around.
Some cycle for home.
Some drive.
I de toured to Bay Leaf Fire Station #2.
To harass Capt. LT (if he were on duty).
And to make use of the scales there.

Shoes off.  Helmet off.  Some clothes off.  Pockets emptied.
Set scales to 160 pounds.
Step on.
Hmmn ... I weigh less than that.
Turned out to be 159 pounds.
LT and I hatched a plan to ride on Sunday.
But I clearly have a bit of a head cold.
I've decided to forego cycling today.
Hope someone decided to ride with Dave, today.
Nov-12:  ---> PUE:  Robert's Chapel 50-miler --->; 63.1 m.; 4h,01m in-motion; 15.7 mph.  

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; 1822.2 m.; 123 h, 05 m; 14.8 mph.
Q-2 tot: _30 rides; 2604.9 m.; 174 h, 22 m; 14.9 mph.
Q-3 tot: _29 rides; 2479.2 m.; 161 h, 05 m; 15.2 mph. 

Oct tot: _10 rides; _924.0 m.; _61 h, 54 m; 14.9 mph. 
Nov tot: __3 rides; _246.8 m.; _16 h, 44 m; 14.7 mph. 
YTD tot: _95 rides; 8077.1 m.; 539 h, 12 m; 15.0 mph. 

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