Monday, August 6, 2012

Aug-04: Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville 204-km Perm

Rando friend Bob was looking for some R-insurance prior to Tony's ToC-1200.
We settled on Byron's Leasville-Leasburg-Leesville permanent;
The hilliest, climbing-est permanent in the Triangle area.
Byron was amenable, and a paperwork exchange was arranged.

Rando buddy Ricochet was looking for an easy permanent for R-insurance prior to ToC.
But as he was also wanting to ride with some others,
His best option became to join us on L-L-L.

That's certainly okay for Ricochet Robert to "class" L-L-L as an easy ride.
He's done the course so many times in recent months that his trusty steed
Can probably do the route without Robert mounted upon it.
Ever have a day when you never get comfortable on the bike?
That was what last Sunday was for me.
A good ride; an enjoyable ride (mostly); but I never got comfortable on the bike.

Ever have a day when the moment your backside touched the saddle,
That you were instantly at-one with the bike?
Usually, it takes 20 or 40 miles before I'm in-a-comfortable-zone.
Sometimes it takes double that.
But Saturday, I was completely at-one with the bike the instant I mounted.

Zipped through 6.2 miles to the start in 22-minutes.
Zipped through the first two hours of the ride, to Bahama, without using any energy.

Bob, on the other hand, was going through the usual 10 or so miles (sometimes more) of
"I hate this",
"I can't do this",
"Why am I doing this?"

I'm not sure what Ricochet may have been experiencing.
Ricochet Robert and Bob were talking over their ToC anticipations,
While I was zipping off the front, using no energy.

Then we turned onto Stagville Rd, and Ricochet couldn't shift among his rear gears.
We coerced him to climb up to Bahama, where we'd look carefully at the problem.

Thought it might be too much barrel adjustment on the cable.
Thought it might be ... I'm not sure what.

Turned out his rear derailleur cable had broken at / near / in the Dura Ace shifter.

We jury-rigged the cable by tying it off to one of the bolts for his water bottle holder.
Couldn't tie the cable to the bike -- that won't work on a carbon fiber frame.
Couldn't tie the cable to the metal water bottle holder -- Robert has plastic bottle holders.
But, luckily, the bolts are metal, and fit into metal sleeves.
We know the jury-rigged system worked because Robert got home in one piece.

Just thought of something.
Robert was almost "beached" in Bahama due to the cable failure.
During the 32-minutes it took to determine Robert's problem,
And juty-rig the solution before sending him home,
The spirit / ghost that had been pedaling my bike since the first pedal-stroke of the morning,
Apparently left the scene.
Because as soon as Bob and I pushed off from the Bahama Fire Station,
I had to pedal my bike and expend energy.

I'm not sure, but possibly even before we reached Mt. Tirzah,
And the control at Hollow Ridge Grocery,
I was no longer able to stay close to Bob on the steeper climbs.

The "scratchy throat" from the night before,
That I'd hope would go away,
Was instead manifesting as a full-blown summer cold.

Somehow, despite the slight but increasing westerly headwinds,
And the delay for Robert's problem,
We got to the turn-around in 5h19 elapsed time.

I've gotten to Leasburg in 4h50 and even 5h+, and still finished in 10h flat or nearly so.
Expecting a bit of a tailwind on the eastbound roads,
And hoping the breeze was actually out of the W/NW,
Maybe we'd still get in our anticipated enjoyable 10-hour tour.


While sitting on the bench in Leasburg,
The aches in my legs began multiplying.

After much too long chatting in Leasburg,
We started the return journey.
One mile on NC-158, then turn south onto Gordonton Rd,
Right into the increased and increasing breeze become a headwind.

And, being from NW Illinois, the breeze never got up to that much speed,
But it was annoying that it backed around to be a S/SE breeze / wind,
So that there was no tailwind anywhere on the return.

However, that was not my problem.
My problem was that with every pedal stroke, the ache in my legs increased.

I cannot climb steep, but I can do shallow slopes such that I drop many that drop me on steeps.
Somehow, I managed to find a way to repeatedly re-find cadence and pace on every flat
And shallow slope on the return.
Unfortunately, L-L-L is not about shallow slopes and flat sections.
Bob had to wait for me at many stop-signs after a steepish climb.

I hopped off the bike on Boxelder Rd,
Because, "what was the point of trashing what little I had left in my legs?"

While I was having perhaps my worst rando ride ever,
Bob indicated that he was having his best ever experience on L-L-L.

In remembrance of our experience from two years previous,
Bob and I went to have ice cream at the Ben & Jerry's at the finish.
(Open control -- MANY options.)
Surprise:  Ben & Jerry's is now a soft yogurt shop.
Fine with us.

When the manager went to initial our cards,
He hesitated as he looked at the first card,
His eyes growing wider by the second.
Before either of us could ask, "is there a problem?",
The manager asks, "did you really ride 127-miles?"
"Yes, but it was much harder today than it usually is."
I think Bob is fit and strong and as ready for a 1200 as can be.
Although Bob is slightly faster climbing serious hills and mountains,
He would tell you that he is not a fast climber.
I would say, that if the temps at the end of the month are not unreasonable,
Bob will do well on ToC.
Unless a particular early climb puts him into too much debt.

I do hope that he can team up with some other riders of a similar pace.
Although this ride may have been the worst I've ever felt during a rando ride,
It was not the slowest L-L-L for Bob and me.
And, yes, it is my point-of-view, to which I'm sticking,
That this ride was a worse experience than L-L-L in July-2010.

One major difference, though, is that 12h00 will count for my R-25.
(Bob's 12h00 will count for his R-32.)

Rumor has it that Ricochet Robert,
Got his cable issues dealt with during the afternoon,
And nabbed his R-11 on Sunday, solo, on the Warrenton + Egypt Mtn permanent.

---> Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville 204-km Permanet; 133.5 m.; 9h17 in-motion; 14.4 mph; L-L-L accounted for 127.3-miles and 8h55 in-motion w/ 12h00 elapsed time

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: __9 rides; __751.5 m.; _49 h, 10 m; 15.3 mph. 
Aug tot: __1 rides; __133.5 m.; __9 h, 17 m; 14.3 mph. 
YTD tot: _61 rides; 5,206.8 m.; 349 h, 57 m; 14.9 mph. 

Strange thing:  despite being quite wobbly at the end of the ride from the body-cold and leg aches and all -- I still felt as one with the bike. 

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