The third Musketeer from yesterday, Dean, cancelled due to a sinus issue.
Oh, well. I hope Deaner will be able to do the route in February.
Local randonnuers may notice that the first 25-miles of this new route are identical to the early route on Byron's Triple-L (except that the two routes start from different locations). Byron and I had discussed that issue in early to mid-2011; there are only two ways to get to the north side of Falls Lake from north Raleigh. Although there are then a plethora of options, they all branch from those two road "across" the lake. Further, although there are a plethora of options leading to great riding, not all those options make for a sensible rando-route, e.g.: stores for controls in the wrong place, no stores at all for 40 or more miles on some routes I've designed and ridden in winter.
This route has no real hills to climb; instead it has many creek/river valleys (and 4 man-made lake valleys), deep and shallow, to ride down-and-up. Those wanting some climbing training, but without time to do Byron's Triple-L on a given weekend may find the route useful ... and much of it is also easy on the eyes and ears.
I figure even Byron will ride this route more than once. After all, he told me that Ellis Chapel Rd is his favorite road to cycle upon, but he couldn't fit it in to logical-looking Triple-L. MickH enjoyed the scenery along Ellis Chapel so much that he remarked that he didn't even realize the number of down-and-ups we did on that road. I'm not lying, and even if I am -- that is my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Mick and I did not push the pace. Mick had no idea what to expect after the first 25 miles or so, and was therefore being conservative. I knew what to expect, but knew we had about 6h50 to complete the course, and I am not in as good a shape as I was a month or two or three ago. I also knew Mick would want to conserve something for the unknowns en route AND Mick had mentioned early-on that he legs felt a bit tired from yesterday's effort. We concentrated on enjoying the ride, the day, the (mostly) good roads, and the mankind-assisted-nature's scenery that was on offer.
In contrast to yesterday's ride, there was very little traffic on today's route. I think we were on Robert's Chapel Rd when a car passed us, and Mick made a big deal of it. He was having me on (a bit).
However, when on Brogden Rd, headed for Creedmoor from Stem, after we were passed by 9 or 10 cars in a two-mile stretch, Mick complained that the he was finding the heavy traffic annoying. He was not having-me-on nor otherwise joking. After so many miles of NO traffic, his internal traffic-tolerance-gauge had reset itself.
No ducks nor geese nor wild turkeys today.
We did see horses and ponies and (probably) beef cattle.
Quite a few ponds.
Four lakes -- one of them looked more like a large mud-hole.
Two dogs -- one an ankle biter that never made it to the road, the other larger, but turned back when its owner called. Amazing! Someone has actually trained their dog to come when called.
We also encountered one Little Mountain Rd.
At one time I had considered naming the route "Four Lakes and a Little Mountain (Rd)", but that is hard to fit nicely on a control card. I also considered "Mt. Bethel and a Little Mountain (Rd)", but again ... . Finally, I figured Bahama Beach would confuse enough people, local as well as non-locals ... so that's what I went with.
Oh, yeah ... the Beach was submerged under Lake Michie today.
It was great to be outdoors on a bike, on (even if I do type it myself) a pretty dang nice route.
--> Bahama Beach 103 km Perm-Populaire -->; 78.9 m.; 5h,34 in-motion; 14.2 mph; official rando time (for the BB-populaire only) -- 5h22 .
Jan tot: __5 rides; __412.1 m.; _27 h, 50 m; 14.8 mph.
YTD tot: __5 rides; __412.1 m.; _27 h, 50 m; 14.8 mph.
Permanent route 1404: Bahama Beach
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