I arrived at 0704 (according to the clock on my confuser).
Byron was "long-gone".
Good thing we'd previously arranged the "paperwork exchange".
We'd done that as there was a high chance I wouldn't be able to ride.
I set off "chasing" Byron.
He is faster than me, so I figured I wouldn't see him until the 60-km control in Stem.
Then I realized that my tyres were way low on pressure.
Probably around 50 lbs. pressure instead of the designed 100 - 120.
About 8 miles into the course, I stopped to pump up.
Avg pace for the commute and course to that point: 16.1 mph.
5 minute delay (it takes longer to pump up without a full-size pump).
Much easier pedaling after pumping-up.
Now I knew I would be lucky to see Byron in Stem.
But I continued to attack every uphill and upslope.
Rolled into Stem approx 9:30.
Not bad considering the 4 minute late start and the 5 minute pump-'em-up delay.
There was Byron -- just about ready to leave.
Two other cyclists were also there -- getting ready to roll.
LT and "Red Rocket": "Irregulars" doing a different course,
But using Stem as a pit-stop / rest-stop.
Say hello -- good-bye to LT and RR.
Byron waited while I purchased and ate faux Strawberry Newtons.
(The faux Apple Newtons taste better.)
9:41 -- off we go, down Creedmoor / Brogden Rd.
He is faster than me.
But he weighs next to nothing.
So ... since Brogden Rd is mostly downslope for about 3 miles,
I came around to lead.
When the road tilted UP just before Creedmoor,
Byron dropped off my front.
But he slowed or waited at the turn onto NC-56.
I meant to point out "Southern States" and the "BP".
Each has excellent rest rooms.
Southern States has cold water from "fountain".
BP has snacks, etc..
More long downslope on Brassfield Rd leaving Creedmoor.
Then payment due with two upslopes.
The first always beats me.
I almost always beat the second.
But Byron is hammering away on Pope Rd before I complete the turn.
Then down Horseshoe and UP.
Byron taking it easy on the UP.
Left turn to stay on Horseshoe.
Easy ups to Lawrence Rd (US Bike Route #1).
Swoop down to the bridge over the creek,
Then the steep part, then the mile-long shallow upslope.
On the shallow upslope, I see three people I know, but I only recognize them because of the last.
Paul "the Mallet" is out with his two eldest children (son, about 13; daughter, about 10).
All three look to be having fun.
I learn later via e-mail exchange that Paul and kids rode 26+ miles,
From Shinleaf to the Creedmoor BP, and return.
Avg'ing 12.2 mph.
I think that's pretty good.
Not a flat course for adults or for youngsters.
Paul also informed that "some" thought the snacks at the BP made the ride worthwhile.
Isn't that the way with everyone?
Anyway, Byron and I cruised easily in on Bruce Garner / New Light.
Some will be surprised to read that.
Byron mostly stayed with me as I plodded up Ghoston and Peed and the bottom part of MVC.
Then he put some effort into the pedals and ...
When I turned near the school, Byron was so far ahead that I did not see him.
Byron finished the course in 4h22.
I finished in 4h23.
Each of us "smashed" the previous course record,
Set two weeks earlier by Ags.
I imagine that Ags will now come to do the route all-out, the whole way.
But not until some time after he completes the Assault on Mt. Mitchell next week.
Each of the previous two weekends, I've done a 150 +/- miler, averaging 15.0 mph.
After completing BB, with an avg of 16.2 for the combined commute and route,
My legs felt MUCH worse.
I have a self-diagnosis -- keeping it to myself.
I took it very easy on the commute back.
commute to --> Bahama Beach 103-km Perm-Pop --> commute back; 74.0 m.; 4h37 in-motion; 16.0 mph; BB rando elapsed time: 4h23.
Q-1 tot: _22 rides; 1,610.3 m.; 108 h, 42 m; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: _10 rides; 1,030.4 m.; _70 h, 54 m; 14.5 mph.
May tot: __6 rides; __331.0 m.; _22 h, 24 m; 14.8 mph.YTD tot: _38 rides; 2,971.7 m.; 292 h, 00 m; 14.7 mph.
The "errand" rides, which I no longer blog, are "killing" my avg pace stats.
After the above ride, I am:
R-22, C-27, M-39, P-5.
If I can count (which clearly, sometimes I cannot), Byron appears to be R-25, P-2.