Monday, January 2, 2012

Jan-01: Spanish Moss 200 km Perm

Crew of nine for the 7 am start in Benson.
I didn't know, still don't know, what the group-riding plan may have been.
I do know that one Irishman, who came to NC by way of Harrow and Brooklyn,
And numerous other spots, had expressed concern about the dark-monster
Finding us while still on Dawg Avenue (aka, Fairground Rd).

The "Crazy Irishman", MikeO, zoomed off the front just after clearing Benson town limits.
I.e., one mile.
Those of us in the "mid-pack-5" saw him as we crossed paths near the bridge outside Tar Heel.

We mid-packers drifted off the front of the pack-with-the-most-Determination
Before the first info control.
I hate to admit it, but I may be the one that caused that split.
I was also concerned about the dark-monster.

Those in the pack with the most Determination
(I'm borrowing that description from "Determination Over Speed";
The person who came up with that description will recall,
And I hope she, Andy and Maria accept that description as the honor here intended) ...
I know they are not fond of the dark-monster, either.
But ... what can I type? -- I am without knowledge.

Perhaps the dark-monster was not too bad on the Determination-crew.
Andy mentions not-at-all.
But then, he only ever covers one subject / angle per blog post.
(He is Determined about that.)

We crossed paths with the Determination-crew on River Rd on our return,
Near the outcropping of lichen known as Spanish Moss.
Only a little bit south of where we earlier crossed paths with the Fayetteville cycling crew.
I heard MaryF call out to us; I think I recognized her compact form.
Didn't notice TomF in the mass of mostly males, though.
I think it better to notice Mary than Tom.

We mid-packers did a pretty good job of sticking together
While maintaining a relatively high pace (for us).
Some occasionally drifted off the back or drifted off the front.
But upon realization of what had happened,
The pace up front was adjusted to allow regrouping on the road.

Except once.
One person drifted off the front, and
Apparently upon realizing the same,
Kept going to the home-bound Erwin control.
(I heard he was wanting to do a "hot-interval".)

We shed clothing along the way in the morning hours.
Never needed to put it back on later on in the day.
The temps did reach the upper 60's, after all.
Warm enough that Alan was dumping buckets of sweat from his helmet at each control,
And also when we stopped for ... see the next "stanza".

Byron's rear fender broke -- we stopped so he could remove the back half
And he strapped that half to his rear bag and carried it to the finish line.
Fender only about a year old.
Velo Orange -- I think I heard.

At some point during the day, I overheard a snatch of conversation
Between the route-owner of this "Spanish Moss" route (Dean)
And the route-owner of the Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville Perm (Byron).
Couldn't quite make out what Dean was saying though.
Something about a New Year's Resolution.
Probably that he was resolved to make it through another calendar year
Avoiding doing L-L-L.

Dean later claimed I must have mis-heard,
As he claimed he told Byron that he was committed to doing L-L-L this year.
MikeH claimed that I had finally come up with the appropriate full-court-press winner:
Recruiting the owner of L-L-L to come do Tar Heel for the first time in over two years.
I can claim no credit for Byron's presence.

There were few dawg-encounters on the day, and
None on Fairgrounds Rd late in the day (that I recall).

Also, unlike last year when Dean and I did this route on Jan-01
(And JohnO well ahead of us on the return leg),
Only one or two joggers all day -- maybe none
(I recall quite a few last year).

With the good tailwind that found us on the return,
The dark-monster never got close to those of us in the mid-pack.

Great day for a bike ride.

Great company for a bike ride.
Alan always has a story or two.
Dean points out the sights or the flora or fauna.
Byron had cute stories about his 2-year-old son.
I found MikeH indispensable this ride -- I got a ride with him from Raleigh to Benson, and back.
What did I offer in return?
Probably just a boring story or two.
Aah -- I did tell Alan one fun cycling story
When we were well ahead of the other three, soft-pedaling, waiting for them to regroup.

Great bike ride (even though the course is a bit on the FLAT side).

All of us in the mid-pack definitely did lichen the ride.
Dean is reportedly working on a new Permanent.
One that would start a bit closer to Raleigh / Garner, and
Turn around at Cedar Creek.

I was worried that he'd lose the opportunity to wax knowledgeable about certain lichens.
Then I remembered,
Dean found more Spanish Moss last year.
Farther north than he'd ever found it before.

Tar Heel 200 Permanent; 126.4 m.; 7h,53 in-motion; 16.0 mph; 9h28 official rando time (at least that was the time that RBA Alan called out when we dismounted -- who knows what time the receipt showed -- I got one "right quick", but I didn't look at it).  

Jan tot: __1 rides; __126.4 m.; __7 h, 53 m; 16.0 mph. 
YTD tot: __1 rides; __126.4 m.; __7 h, 53 m; 16.0 mph. 

Eddington Cycling Number
After this ride:  82. 
Meaning I have ridden at least 82 miles on at least 82 different occasions.  
Other stats that may be of more interest to the avg RUSA member (please note that I did a quick check of some of the results for the following, but I could have mis-counted, etc.): 

Dean -- R-60.   
Janis -- R-34. 
Andy -- R-34. 
MikeO - R-34. 
Alan -- R-31.  
Byron -- R-20. 
Me -- R-18. 
MikeH -- R-15. 
Maria -- I don't know if she is counting after restarting recently after a year of fewer kms. 


  1. Hey Skiff,
    Re "determination-crew", I like the positive spin. Yay.

    Yes, we enjoyed warm temps and dry skies as we finished in the dark. It was incredibly nice.

    No, I did not mention canines. I am not going to jinx my chances for two rides in a row without a chase...


  2. I, and the rest of the mid-pack crew, received a cleverly worded e-mail from the Monkey Wrench guy, aka Byron, that, in a nicely disguised way, noted that "Spanish Moss" is actually a bromeliad.

    Byron was clearly doing that to add to the fun of the ride and post-ride banter, and did both; however, would "I bromeliad the ride" work nearly as well as the "lichen" line?


  3. Well Martin, you are a fungi to ride with.

    OK. I'll stop now.

  4. I need to jump in here before my puns are stolon. Is the morel to the story that you can lichen Spanish moss to a bromeliad, since it is one?

  5. I need an encyclopedia just to understand the lines BEFORE I can get the puns. sigh.

    Spanish Moss

  6. Hmm, I'd better memorize the entirety of my favorite poem before next month's R:

    "Wail, wail, wail! Evanescent ladle rat rotten hut!"

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