Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nov-25: Badgett Sisters Adventure

A Desire

I've wanted to ride the Badgett Sisters Pkwy (or as the locals refer to it:  Old-62 (Gilbert of North Road Bicycle Imports filled me in on that a couple years ago)) for at least two, maybe three years.  Never worked out.

Another Desire

Monday, Lt. Dave, er, Capt. Dave, or as half his fire department crew calls him, Capt. LT, e-mailed to inform me that he was interested in doing an EPIC ride on Friday -- maybe mountains, maybe the Uwharries, maybe "that Warrenton ride" we once did (when Dave bonked BADLY), maybe something new -- as long as it was EPIC.  I immediately jumped on the opportunity to suggest the Badgett Sisters.

Not really.
I was quite depressed on Monday.
Had no interest in anything EPIC or even just epic.
I made some half-hearted suggestions, but mostly tried to get Dave to suggest a route.
(Look, Robert -- actual FACTS.  See what happens -- the story can become a "downer".)

As I lay not-sleeping, an idea came to me (more actual facts):

Start in Leasburg ...
No, Hurdle Mills would be better because that would mean 14 miles less driving ... each way.

Take Walnut Grove Ch Rd toward Schley Rd, but
Cut over on whatever that road is that leads to Carr Store Rd and whatever-it-changes-name-to.

Then Gunn Poole Rd.
Find out what all local rando hub-bub about the "Triplets of Belleville" is all about.
I knew they were referring to the three climbs back up from the three creek valleys,
Not the animated feature.
Although, I suppose it might be easier do stiff climbs if one is a bit animated (*) with one's pedaling.
 (*) animated -- def'n 1.,c.

Then whatever-is-that-road to get to NC-62,
62 to Badgetts Sisters into Yanceyville.
Stop and see Gilbert.
Eat lunch.

Yanceyville to Leasburg by reversing the Roxboro to Yanceyville route from April last year.
THAT was an EPIC (Dave informed that, to him, EPIC means memorable.  More later -- maybe.)

Leasburg to Hurdle Mills via the Triple-L rando route.

How many miles is that?
Skipping the mental calculations ... I estimated 70 to 75 miles.
Some flat to warm up on.
Some nice climbs.
Scenic in some places.
And I'd finally get to do The Sisters.

Tuesday morning, I drew a map:

Mental calculations while not-sleeping confirmed.
My dad would likely say I'm in danger of breaking my arm with that previous sentence.
I think I'm in danger of breaking my arm with that sentence.
But ... I do come up with some pretty good courses.
I'm not the only one that says that.
Of course, the others could just be laying-on-the-compliments so
That I'll keep coming up with new Irregular combinations.

Some people like doing the same courses over and over.
Maybe because they are "training".
But I don't "train", and when it is an Irregular ride, the others aren't really "training", either.
They might be "building base".
They might shoot off the front for a hot interval.
Or they might hammer in the last 6 or 12 miles.
Even I sometimes do virtual hot intervals -- not on purpose, and almost certainly not planned.
Mostly, I ride.
To enjoy the ride.

Anyway, some people like doing the same courses over and over.
And, while I freely admit that I enjoy doing repeats on the various rando courses,
I like finding new roads at or just beyond the ... what is word I'm looking for?
And almost every Irregular has expressed joy at rides that have gone new places on new roads.
Most of the time those new places and new roads are within cycling distance of north Raleigh.
Only seldom do we do "remote starts".

I like having a plethora of routes to ride.
Some I like to do only once or twice a year.
Others I like to do once each season.
And some, I'll gladly do at the drop of a hat.


Having developed the route, and secured my place in Capt. LT's vehicle,
I insisted the others handle their own logistics.
Except that I did end up suggesting the following:
Leave PUE at 0700.
Arrive Hurdle Mills by 0800.
Start pedaling by 0815.
Anticipate five hours in-motion.
At least an hour for lunch, and flo-maxes, and chatting with Gilbert.

There was NO unnecessary "faff time"!
Those that were meeting at PUE were there, loaded, and ready to go ...
So we left at 0655 -- five minutes ahead of schedule!!

Dave and I arrived at Hurdle Mills at 0748.
IvaHawk was already there, and had secured permission to park in a particular location.
JohnD and Robert arrived a couple minutes later.
Tito arrived straight from Chapel Hill in a couple more minutes.

Some pre-ride chatter while putting on gloves and shoes and helmets and such.
And then we started the ride ... at 0806 ... nine minutes ahead of schedule!!

The Ride

With all that build-up and off-topic stuff above ...
Will the ride write-up be able to stand-up to it?
Will the ride write-up do justice to the ride?
Will the ride be EPIC?
Will the ride be as memorable as the last time we rode to Yanceyville?  (see above for a link)

The name of this blog is Irregular Velo Adventures.
And I named the route Badgett Sisters Adventure.
Those of us that were on the ride ... we think it was an EPIC Adventure.
Will that come across?
You'll have to decide for yourself.

The Ride - Really

With help from a friend -- here, finally, is the report: 
[Edit Nov-04-2012:   a better explanation of the line above and the following is required.  The bold, green lines were written by Robert and sent to me as his recollections of the ride; I used those as an outline.  Also, it helps to think of the dark, green as being in Robert's-voice and the normal font lines following each as being in my voice.  Sometimes I didn't agree 100% with Robert's comment; so you get a bit of back-and-forth between the voices.] 

great company, great ride, great weather.... new route, lots of hills, 

Ricochet Robert, JohnD, Tito, me, Capt. LT.  Iva behind the camera.

Frost on all the grassy surfaces at Hurdle Mills and for the first half-dozen miles. 
Little to no breeze early.  
Then a southerly wind -- that was really only a nuisance on Solomon Lea Rd.  

Climbing on Gunn Poole, Burton Chapel, Badgett Sisters, Osmond, Gordonton and Hester Store roads. 

That chip seal near the Rock of Ages Winery continues to deteriorate! 
Tito told me a story of visiting Rock of Ages, 20 years ago, in the middle of a bicycle ride. 
The purpose of the ride had been to go wine-tasting at Rock of Ages. 
Tito reported that his legs were as lead-weights after the tasting. 
He never did that again. 

Tito, Martin and LT had legs and did most pulling and helping those off back.  
I just rode. 
LT informed that he and Tito just rode up all the climbs; chatting. 
Dave did acknowledge that he "had legs".   

Robert kept expressing dismay at the downslopes. 
Especially on The Sisters. 
One time, a minute after Robert had exclaimed, not for the first time, "I don't like this" 
As we continued another descent/ 
(Robert was concerned that every foot of down meant a foot of UP.)

Anyway, a minute after Robert had exclaimed regarding more descending, 
JohnD, riding next to me, and IvaHawk just behind, pointed ahead 
Up, really, to Robert climbing away from us, and commented
"Robert was concerned about the descending?" 

3 people dropped chains going up hills, Iva was most spectacular 
I didn't see IvaHawk's incident. 
I did see the state of his tights and jersey. 
With evidence of his fall. 
Dropped his chain on one of the two STEEP sections on Gordonton Rd.  

JohnD's dropped chain did not lead to a fall. 
I think the other dropper was Robert -- nothing bad must have happened (?). 

nice visit with Gilbert, 
What are you looking at, Gilbert?
L to R:  IvaHawk, JohnD, Robert, Gilbert, Tito, LT. 
Almost the same photo, but Gilbert's attention has been diverted from the bike in front of him.
And JohnD and I have switched places. 

splitting subway's subs 
Out of order here. 
We got to Gilbert's North Road Bicycle Imports shop at 10:50. 
He wasn't there. 

We rode across Yanceyville to the Subway. 
Split 3 foot-longs among the six of us. 
Then, as we were leaving the Subway, someone asked: 
"Are we going to see if Gilbert is in?" 
My response:  "Well, it's not like it's out of the way." 

11:40.  Gilbert was in. 
Tito and Gilbert first met 20 or more years ago.  Gilbert painted Tito's bike. 
IvaHawk bought 3 tubes and a tyre about 18 months ago. 
Robert bought his Carradice bag (for P-B-P) from Gilbert in early August. 
Me?  I just trade occasional e-mails with him. 
First directed toward Gilbert by one Adrian. 
I never met Adrian -- just swapped some e-mails several years before I considered "going rando". 
lots of spirited sections of ride, attacking hills, fast pulls on flats, 
I don't know who Robert thinks was attacking hills. 
(The emboldened-green text came from Robert. 
I'm using his suggestions as an outline.) 
I know I didn't attack any climbs. 
I did try to carry as much momentum as far as I could.  

I will admit to taking a longish pull on NC-62 with a bit of gusto, 
There was a mostly-tailwind, 
And it is quite flat for that part of the state. 
Tito came to the front on 62 to finish off that section. 
Not sure if he thought I was starting to "flag", 
Or he was trying to back it down a notch.  

I'm not sure how fast we rode across 62 north of Yanceyville. 
But I thought we ought to try to make up a bit of time, 
After I'd talked too-long to Gilbert about the virtually new, blue Surly Long-Haul Trucker he currently has in shop:  If I recall correctly, $850 price tag. 
Iva and Tito - demonstration 
IvaHawk and Tito have gotten the idea to try to get on "The Amazing Race". 
They recently drove down to Wilmington for an open casting call. 
To give their 1-minute skit / presentation to impress the producers. 
They reprized their skit for us in front of Gilbert's shop, 
Just before we left Yanceyville.

Ran out of Robert-text to use as an "outline".

What more is there that needs to be said than the following?

great company, great ride, great weather.... new route, lots of hills, 
Tito, Martin and LT had legs and did most pulling and helping those off back.  
3 people dropped chains going up hills, Iva was most spectacular
nice visit with Gilbert,
splitting subways subs 
lots of spirited sections of ride, attacking hills, fast pulls on flats,

Iva and Tito - demonstration  

Maybe only this: 
Let's do it AGAIN !!
[Edit, Dec-16-2011:  JohnD sent a link to his Garmin report:]

[Looks like I might have shorted myself a mile or so on the ride length. 
My confuser wasn't working at the start of the ride.]

Hurdle Mills:  Badgett Sisters Adventure; 75.2 m.; 4h,50m in-motion; 15.5 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: __8 rides; _462.2 m.; _30 h, 31 m; 15.1 mph. 
YTD tot: 100 rides; 8292.5 m.; 552 h, 59 m; 15.0 mph.  

You may notice that this was my 100th ride this year. 
100 adventures.  Mostly enjoyable.  Some were slogs.  

I'm not going to get to one, mostly not-admitted, goal. 
But as my rando friend JohnO, who did get to that goal, noted: 
"I [JohnO] got you in RUSA kilometers, but you [Martin] are way ahead on total miles."  

Each mile contributed to an adventure. 
If not on the ride in which it was ridden, then on a following ride.  

Many friends, both Irregular and rando, have contributed to my adventures this year. 
Thanks to each of you. 


  1. A well-rendered account of a memorable and pristine route with stellar cyclists.


    (verification word: "gametonc"

  2. Great planning, Martin. Great idea, LtDave. Great ride to all. Now, if only I can stop dropping my chain and busting my butt. Garmin stats said 2,669 feet of climbing, and I missed two miles because I forgot to start the Garmin out of Yanceyville