Monday, December 19, 2011

Dec-18: Horses, Ponds, Ducks, Geese

Bahama Beach cut short
With 2011-NC-Randonneuse-of-the-Year Janis.

She'll want to hit me for mentioning her award, again.
But I have no problem trumpeting someone else's achievements. 

A couple months ago, Janis had indicated that she wanted to do "Bahama Beach". 
Once she got to 6000+ RUSA kms for the year, 
With R-33 safely in the bank, 
And having gotten her P-12, 
She regained her interest in "going to the beach". 

And sent a mid-to-late-week message suggesting she'd like to ride "Bahama Beach",  
Or part of it anyway. 
She had learned the trick from her usual pedal-pal, Andy, 
Of testing out new, possibly challenging routes, a bit at a time. 
And that is what she wanted to do. 

I, on the other hand, am absolutely convinced that JJ could do / can do "BB", 
If properly advised on the location, number, and severity of the climbs. 
And, more importantly, I knew that a ride with JJ on BB 
Would be fun and camaraderie filled. 
And she would be less likely to try to "reverse-dump" me on unfamiliar terrain. 

She did try to "reverse-dump" me -- 
The day before the ride, 
Before we began riding, and
Her last attempt was on Old Weaver Trail, just after crossing NC-50. 
I was having none of it!   

Early-ish in the ride, Janis commented that the two reasons 
That she seems to prefer the Mule Pull over Get 'er Dunn are: 
_ _(1)  all but one of her Mule Pulls have been solo, and 
_ _(2) there are a lot of ponds with ducks and geese and also pastures with horses ... and mules. 

Hmmn.  I had an idea ... to add at least a scenic vista. 
But crossing the RR tracks just before the store on Red Mill, next to I-85, 
It became painfully obvious to Janis that her rear tyre had gone completely flat. 
Luckily, we were only 80 yards from that store. 

I was a completely superfluous and useless person as concerns changing JJ's flat. 
We could find nothing wrong with the tyre, inside nor out. 
We could find nothing wrong on the rim or rim-tape, and 
We could not find the leak in the tube, 
But it clearly did have a slow leak. 

Janis decided to use a fresh tube, and 
Try to find the problem with the tube when she got home. 

Her tyre and new tube performed to an excellent standard the rest of the day. 

Horses.  A GREAT Pond, with Geese and Ducks. 

Given JJ's comment on enjoying the sights on a ride when they exist, 
I decided to detour off Stagville Rd and onto Wiley Mangum Rd. 
There is a nice vista from the corner of Wiley Mangum and Joe Ellis roads. 
Looks good to great in the Spring, 
Nice in the Summer, 
Can be GREAT in the Autumn, and 
Still interesting in the Winter. 

(Special note to Irregulars, especially Snapper + IvaHawk:  neither of us lost a cleat or a pedal.)

JJ spotted some horses just a bit further down from the corner. 
I couldn't see them because the trees were blocking my view. 
Some of the horses were keeping a keen watch on a flock of vultures. 
Never did figure out what was attracting the vultures.  

I followed JJ, drifting down to the horses. 
Several standard horses, and one Shire horse (I don't know the specific breed), 
Were interested in JJ almost as much as the vultures. 
Janis figured the horses were hoping she had some apples for them. 

When I had drifted down to JJ, 
I had seen an interesting pond well back from the left side of the road. 
The horse pasture was on the right. 
I asked Janis if she had noticed the pond on the other side of the road. 
No, she had been giving full attention to the horses. 

We had to go back some 30 or 40 yards up the slope to get a good view of the pond. 
Domestic geese and wild ducks and perhaps some wild Canadian geese, too, 

Most swimming in the pond, 
Also keeping a keen watch on the vultures. 

No fake ducks in that pond.  

We eventually continued our ride. 
Pausing in Bahama, 
So Janis could check out the hysterical marker, and 
I could check out a particular headstone in the cemetery
Same last name as a prominent local randonneuse. 

Down to Lake Michie (Flat River), 
Across the bridge, the Beach hidden beneath the surface of the lake. 
(Janis thinks I should change the name of the route to "Bahama Bridge". 
But I dunno' -- that might not confuse non-locals as much as "Bahama Beach, + a Little Mtn Rd".) 

Janis climbed back up from Lake Michie (up "the wall") in style, 
Or at least she wasn't breathing all that hard when she reached the turn onto Ellis Chpl Rd. 
Ellis Chapel Rd had a pond or two, and more horses. 
Janis reported that she saw none of them. 

She did see the large open pastures on the left, with cattle, 
Just before reaching Cassam Rd.

We decided to short the "BB" route, 

Taking Range Rd down the "wall", and 
Then thru Butner, to Cash Rd. and Old Weaver Trail. 

I was making sure to point out all the ponds. 
Even ones I had never noticed before. 

I think the only pond Janis claimed to have noticed was the really large one ...  
Falls Lake. 

OWT to New Light, 
Up Ghoston.  (Janis didn't mind the climbing -- but was not too pleased with one or two cars.) 
Over to and onto Peed Rd. 
JJ remarked that she thought the steep part of Peed was tougher than the Michie-Wall. 
MVC to finish at PUE with exactly 54.00 miles, round trip (not out-and-back). 

Janis accomplished her mission:  
Some climbing, checking out part of a new route, seeing new places, having FUN on the bike. 

--> PUE:  Bahama Beach, short-cut --> ; 63.4 m.; est. 4h,50m in-motion; 13.1 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: __6 rides; _394.4 m.; _27 h, 08 m; 14.5 mph. 
YTD tot: 108 rides; 8892.0 m.; 596 h, 37 m; 15.0 mph. 

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