Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dec-10: IR Falls Lake Loop + Dragon's-Head

Almost had a ride perfect for a repetitious title:
Rule #3, Rule #3, Rule #3.

Thinking to entice some Irregulars that haven't ridden for awhile,
The suggested routes were:
  • Basic Falls Lake Loop, 38-miles, and
  • Falls Loop, plus the Dragon's-head, for about 50-miles.

It was also requested that the crew advise regarding the start time:
  • 1 suggestion for 8:00 or 8:30,
  • 5 suggestions for 8:00.

Nine of us met at PUE prepared for an 0800 wheels-away.
Seven Irregulars + 2 guests repeating from last week.
Those that it was hoped might come out for a quick 40-miler?
None of those came out.
Better mention those that did come out, now,
Because who knows if they'll get mentioned otherwise?

IvaHawk + guest Shane (this Shane "came back"),
Tito, Ags, Ricochet, me.

Also Snapper + guest Ken, and BobH.
But regarding those three ... I think a previously unheard of corollary to Rule #3 applies:
If you don't REALLY know the course, or which course we're doing,
Don't fall behind by over a mile,
To do an interval time-trial (or whatever).

I cycled to the ride, and found the other 8 mostly-ready to ride.
I had my yellow shell on over a short-sleeved and a long-sleeved jersey.
IvaHawk directed my attention to something about the other eight:
All were in yellow jackets or shells.
Resulting in nine cyclists in bright yellow tops.
Might have made an interesting peloton-in-motion pic.
We certainly had to be VISIBLE.

We started on time
According to the clock on my cycle-confuser, which might be two minutes slow.

Ags, eager to finish the ride ... yeah, that's the best description ...
Eager to finish the ride before it even started,
Led the way out of PUE.
Left onto Pleasant Union Ch Rd, but
Instead of the usual swoop-down Mt. Vernon Ch Rd ,
We continued to Norwood Rd and took that across to Leesville Rd,
Then right on Hickory Grove Ch Rd to get back on the usual course.
Darn -- just realized -- I better check the actual mileage.
This alternate start not only has fewer noticeable climbs,
It MAY be about 0.2 miles shorter.
[It was actually 0.4 miles shorter.  Sigh.]

One thing I do know about Hickory Grove Ch Rd.,
Although it is flat, that stretch traversed the high elevation for the day.

On Doc Nichols Rd, Snapper and Ken scooted ahead
To the CVS at NC-98 and Patterson,
While the rest of us moderated our pace
So we would not be standing around in the cold at the CVS
Waiting for the completion of certain business inside.

Nondescript crossing of Patterson and Cheek and the "loop" back up to OWT.
Except Ricochet tried to stir the pot crossing the causeway to the CL at the bridge.
The pot did get stirred.

Ags commented on the yard in front of that particular house on Stool Tree / Munns Rd.
Which is a reason I like taking Stool Tree across to Northside Rd.
I remember that yard when the lawn under those trees
Was an incredible tangle of scrub-brush.

Across Northside to Cash Rd (btw, we found NO money).
Three riders gone missing.
IvaHawk informed that Harv + Ken wanted to do a "time-trial" on Northside,
So were planning to wait for the rest of us to clear from their path ahead.
Hawk also mentioned that he had heard BobH tell Harv + Ken to continue straight
Once they got to the stop-sign.

With that information, I decided I wasn't waiting, nor was I going to worry about the three.
Hawk and I concluded that there certainly must be an unwritten corollary to Rule #3
That deals with miscreants that purposefully fall off the back to do something "special"
And then follow a different course.

After crossing NC-50, I found I was up-front with Ricochet.
He asked where the next turn was.
We were operating sans cue-sheet,
Even though it had been pointed out that the Basic Falls Loop was available ... on-line to IRs.

Ricochet and I got to the turn ... no one else in sight.
Turned out they had stopped or turned back to try to take some photos of a fox
In a field west of NC-50.
I'll note here that it was Ricochet that had pointed out the fox
Visible in daylight, crouching in a field, and causing havoc among the nearby birds.

Wonder if I will get a photo of the fox?

Six re-grouped and cruising up Beaver Dam / Rock Springs Ch Rd.
At the top (corner with Bruce Garner Rd), the unanimous response was in favor of
53-miles rather than 50.
Okay ... we're adding the "Horn" to the Dragon's-Head.
[To see the Dragon's Neck and Head -- click here
Nothing available for the "Horn", though.]

I figured to give oral directions once we turned onto Lawrence Rd.,
But Ags and Tito seemed intent on riding a pace in which I was not interested (today).
Ricochet set out after them with information to turn onto Bold Run Hill Rd..
[Before starting his "chase", Ricochet asked "which way on Bold Run?" 
My answer:  "there is only one way to turn onto Bold Run Hill."]
Shane pursued and bridged to Ricochet.
IvaHawk and I enjoyed a more leisurely 17 to 20 mph drift down Lawrence to BRH.

Into the valley of the Bold Run Hill we rode, just the two of us.
Although Iva was certain he had seen a glimpse of the other four, well up the road.
Despite that, I figured the foursome would go all the way to Purnell Rd.,
Thus missing the turn onto Powell Rd..

Hawk and I discussed whether he could/should call Tito.
"Mr. Nice Guy" opined that if they missed the turn,
"It will be the really good Rule #3 lesson that they need".
Iva and I were plotting the blog post we could write.
Unfortunately, the foursome was waiting at Powell Rd.

Across Powell and Garffe Sherron, back to Mangum Dairy Rd.,
Just in time to do the nice climb on Mangum Dairy.

Iva missed a shift just at the bottom of the climb.
He thought he had somehow thrown his chain,
Despite installing an anti-chain-throwing device on Friday.
But, turned out it was completely an operator error -- no mechanical problem at all.

Across to Woodlief Rd..
The other five raced up the Woodlief climb up to New Light Rd..
I took it easy as my lower back was bothering me.
Always a sure sign that I had pushed too hard earlier.
Strange when one compares the effort today to my recent rides on Triple-L.
That rando course has many more climbs, and tougher, than anything we did today.
And I had not one moment of lower back discomfort on any of the recent Triple-L trips.
In fact, I can't recall any lower back issues since ... I can't recall.

New Light, Ghoston, etc., and Robert "skutches me out".

Ricochet Robert decided to try to tire the fast three-some still with us,
Tito, Ags, Shane,
AND build a lead on New Light that he might be able to carry to the top of Ghoston.

I was still resting my lower back as we started on New Light, and
IvaHawk and I were soon further back from the fasties than Robert was ahead.
Robert did build quite a lead.

I told Iva, that after half-a-mile or so, my back would be fine, and
"We'll go get 'em."
Iva was game.

That's what we did.
I pulled Iva up and past the kibitzing fasties,
Closed to and went around Robert without a problem.
Robert weighs 135 lbs.  I weigh just under 160 lbs.
The road on that stretch is mostly down-slope (heading for the river / lake).
I generate more power that Robert.
So, it was not difficult to make up the (nearly) quarter-mile to Robert.

The problem, in Robert's view, was me passing the fasties.
Because they picked up their pace from putz-kibitz to grab Iva's wheel.
And the six-some was all back together well before reaching Ghoston.

Robert can climb.
But Ags, Tito and Shane can climb the little hills around here faster than Robert.

Robert enjoyed skutching me out when we all got back to PUE.

My defense?
Everyone knows it is indeed a rare day that I fail to time-trial in on Bruce Garner / New Light.
This was supposed to be a short post.
Not a blow-by-blow retelling of the entire 53-miles of the core ride.
Deep sigh.

--> PUE:  Norwood - basic Falls Lake Loop - Dragon's Head + Horn --> ; 61.8 m.; est. 4h,01m in-motion; 15.4 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. 

O-N tot: _20 rides; 1591.3 m.; 105 h, 56 m; 15.0 mph. 
Dec tot: __2 rides; _188.9 m.; _12 h, 47 m; 14.8 mph. 
YTD tot: 104 rides; 8686.5 m.; 577 h, 16 m; 15.0 mph. 

1 comment:

  1. Martin, good description of the ride and good group of guys. I enjoyed the ride much today. Tres bonhomie. The comment about the time trial on Northside stemmed from my misconstruing a comment Harvey made. So I passed bad information to the ride leader for which I apologize.