Saturday, July 7, 2012

Jul-07: Falls Lake Loop

Falls Lake Loop, not Kerr Lake Loop.
38.3-miles, not 208-rando-credit-kms.

After Wednesday's dispiriting ride, I announced a much shorter ride for me for today.
Fellow rando Biker Bob was the only one interested in such a short outing.
I have no idea what his motive(s) may have been,
But I definitely appreciated the company.

34+ minutes to get to the start.
A definite improvement compared to Wednesday.
Bob was at PUE -- ready and waiting.
We chatted for a few minutes, then started. 

Immediately, I knew that Bob was likely interested in riding a bit faster than I thought I was. 
As he had driven a long way to get there, I decided to suck-it-up and ride the slightly faster pace. 

Temps still somewhat cool (73F), but the humidity was much higher than last weekend. 
At least it was Bob's judgment that the humidity at the Jun-30 Tony brevet-fest had been lower. 
Bob described some of his 200 adventure from the week before. 
I told him I was not jealous of anyone that did any of Tony's rides last week. 

Soon we were zipping across a body of water. 
Bob asked if it was Falls Lake. 
Yep -- perhaps the widest part of the man-made flood of the Neuse River. 

Across the lake on Cheek Rd, turn right. 
Most groups stay straight on Old Weaver Trail, 
But I like making the turn because: 

  • I only have to climb back up from the lake once, instead of three times, 
  • there is less traffic, and
  • the scenery is better (at certain times of the year, anyway). 
On the flat of Boyce Rd near Old Weaver Trail again, 
We saw BobH and Norris heading the opposite direction. 
"Hullo's" and waves as we all kept riding.

Stool Tree / Munns Rd ... Northside Rd ... Cash Rd ... back onto Old Weaver Trail again. 
A largish group going the opposite direction. 
I suspect it was a GSK MS-150 training ride.

Lots of groups of one and two and three on the day. 
Comfort bikes.  Mountain bikes.  Relaxed geometry road bikes.  Aggressive geometry road bikes. 
Everyone trying to beat the heat. 
And I suspect a lot of MS-150 training rides as the New Bern extravaganza is in about 2 months.

Zipping across another part of Falls Lake
Little ripples had become more noticeable on the water's previously calm surface.

We backed off our respective cadences slightly on the two-mile mostly-climbing 
From the lake to New Light Rd. 
Only time I recall backing-off on the effort all day, except as noted below.

Onto New Light, and soon onto Ghoston Rd. 
Aah ... some panache climbing Ghoston. 
The shorter distance ride certainly much of the reason, 
But generally better rested legs likely responsible for a portion of the improvement. 
Also, a different attitude.

We pushed the pace on the steep part of Peed Rd, 
But started our respective cool-downs on the mile-long shallow slope part. 
We continued the cool-down mode on MVC up to, and into PUE.

An enjoyable ride, done at better pace than I've been doing lately. 
Finished at about 0905. 
Thanks, Bob.

Lest you think that all we did was ride - ride - ride, 
We did a fair bit of chatting ... just don't ask me what we chatted about as I have no idea. 
Some discussion of plans, or something, at PUE, then we each headed home.

Well ... I was going to ride easily about and wait for Byron and Ricochet. 
They had started the Bahama Beach 103-km permanent-populaire at 0600. 
However, I quickly decided to just go camp-out at the picnic table at the BP.

I thought I could keep an eye on the finish, and intercept the two of them to collect their cards. 
In the event, a large Ford SUV blocked my sight-line at a critical time, 
And I may have dozed off.

Luckily, at 1030, I decided to check to see if B + R were on premises. 
Good decision on my part. 
They had completed the route at 1025 and had just signed their cards as I snuck up on them.

Their results were posted just before I started typing this now overly-long report. 
BTW, Ricochet looked like he had been ridden hard and put-up wet. 
Byron, on the other hand, still looked fresh as a daisy. 
I refilled all 4 of my bottles with ice cold water from the Bay Leaf Station #2 fountain, 
And because of the increasing heat, 
And because I wanted to test the traffic, etc., situation, 
I "hammered" down Six Forks Rd to my destination -- which I reached well before noon. 
37-minutes to retrace my morning commute. 
That's a LOT better than the 45 or 50 minutes it would have taken to do the usual post-commute. 
Interestingly, I now think that I have just been taking it too easy on the cadence / effort. 
My legs are a bit tired / sore from the total 57-ish mile effort today. 
I'm thinking I need to do some faux-"TT" / cadence rides to try to recover certain abilites. 

 --> PUE:  Falls Lake Loop --> Bay Leaf --> ; 57.4 m.; 3h42 in-motion; 15.5 mph

Q-1 tot: _22 rides; 1,610.3 m.; 108 h, 42 m; 14.8 mph. 
Q-2 tot: _29 rides; 2,711.5 m.; 182 h, 48 m; 14.8 mph. 
Ju1 tot: __3 rides; __212.1 m.; _14 h, 46 m; 14.4 mph. 
YTD tot: _54 rides; 4,533.9 m.; 306 h, 16 m; 14.8 mph.

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