Monday, September 3, 2012

Sep-02: Long Day on the Black Creek Perm

Long Day.  All Day.
It could have been worse.
A lot worse.
Karen's "worse" was "worse enough".

Rode out to the start.
9.7-miles in 0h38 + change.
Arrived 0735.
Deja vu.

Karen arrived about 0755.
Everyone knows the blah-blah required before starting.
We got underway at 0810.

On the way to Youngsville,
Pointed out the "ramp" back up to NC-98,
To be ridden, or walked, about 4 miles before the finish.
Karen exclaimed, "oh, my!"

There are 7 climbs between the start and Youngsville.
Some of those climbs are not nearly as tough as they used to be.
Karen, however, was facing most of them for the first time.
(She may have ridden Holden Rd through Y-ville with me a few years ago -- pre-blog.)

A pause at the gas station just east of Youngsville.
Onto the flatter and flatter NC Bike Route #2 east of Y'ville.
Karen liked -- remarking that it was like riding in Johnson County.
Johnston County?  Never can remember which it is.

Control at the County Kwik Pik at 1055.
Karen noting that the c'store is a usual stop on a century route she does,
With friends when riding from "home".
(She had previously described that century route as flat-flat-flat.
Karen likes flat courses.)

Stopped at the McD's on the west edge of Wilson for a short food break.
And ... what do you know ... we met Linda, and then her husband (?) DC.
Linda so excited regarding cycling, I had to ask:
"Do you know Tim L____?"
"Of course," she replied.  "Everyone in Wilson knows Tim."
"He's famous for what he can do on a bike."
 I commented, "he's famous in Raleigh, too."

From Linda and DC, I learned that Tim had bailed on the Taste of Carolina,
Claiming that he hadn't lost enough weight to handle the course.

I'm asking ya' -- who needs "crackbook" when there is the real world?
("crackbook" -- term provided me by one Bryan R.)

On toward Black Creek.
Karen starts having leg cramps.

Arrived Black Creek Grocery @ 1 pm.
Nicely on schedule -- 5 hours after the official 0800 start time.
Surprise!  The store is OPEN; Mickey is behind the counter.

Karen gets what I thought was quite a bit of food and drink.
Eats all.  Drinks some; most of the water goes into her bottles.

We left the grocery at 1:30.
Pedaled the 2 blocks to the community wash-room.
I rinsed off my face and neck and arms.
Not sure what Karen did, but she was ready to roll before I was.

First overpass after leaving Black Creek, Karen disappeared.
She'd cramped climbing up the overpass.

Then, when she came zooming down to the turn where I was waiting,
She zoomed past!
Determined for bonus miles.
More likely just enjoying not having to pedal.

Trudged north, Karen trying to keep the cramps at bay.
Not always successful.

Executive decision by me:
We're stopping at the Burger King in Wilson.
Karen to get FOOD and eat it all.
I'll refill my water bottles with COLD water.

Karen got "food", not "FOOD".
Applied mustard to her cheeseburger and ate same.
Took McD's cheeseburger from earlier out of her pocket, and applied much mustard.
Then she started to put it back in her pocket.
"No," says I, "eat it NOW."
"Now," queries Karen?
"Yes, NOW.  You're behind on electrolytes and water and nourishment.  The only way to catch-up is eat NOW and keep eating, and drink now and keep drinking.  And if you have more of those electrolyte tablets, take some NOW and every hour until the ride is over, or they run out."

She ate the McD's cheeseburger.

Confident I was that things would soon be better.
After all, the storm from the west was coming in to the south of us.
Where we had just left.
How much better an omen of good things to come could there be?

Three miles up the road,
Three miles of Karen still trying to keep cramps at bay,

"Martin, something on my bike just broke!"
It was a rear spoke.
The rear wheel had immediately gone so far out of alignment,
That it was clear that no amount of careful riding would keep it from further trouble.
Seemed strange to me -- 1 spoke of 28 broke, and the wheel becomes useless?
Karen also informed that it was almost a brand-new wheel.

Considering our options.
Karen notices that the front wheel is stupidly out of alignment.
And, oh no, look at what is coming across that field toward us.
We need to find shelter NOW.
COLD, COLD raindrops thundered on us,
Almost as if some of them were small pieces of hail.
Double Aargh!

Under a carport where no one seemed to be home.
Hope they don't mind.
(Turned out they didn't.)

What are our options?
It seems we've been in this situation before.
Bob and I rode with Karen into Kittrell,
Where she set up camp at the newer gas station / c'store.
Bob and I continued on.
I drive Karen's car to Kittrell to collect her.  
It is too sad to do anything but laugh.
What other options?
I hate having to type this ...
Karen tried contacting Bryan R via F-book.
She apparently did eventually connect with Bryan.
Karen also left a message asking if any friend could rescue her.
That was what saved me from having to drive Karen's car back to collect her.
Maybe there is a use for Facebook.

I tried to ride as fast as I could, trying to cover the 50-miles in 3-hours.
I rode too fast, really -- the extra pace really took a toll on me.
Short-stop the control (5 minutes).
A 2-minute pause later to remove the wind-vest (using as a rain-shield);
The temps were climbing back up after the front passed.

I have to admit that I certainly do know that course like the back of my hand.
I can't recall doing any "navigating".
I can't recall certain roads.
A couple times, I found myself asking "where am I?"
I wasn't sure ... then I'd recognize the next farmhouse or something,
And realize that I'd done one or two roads without realizing it.

Watching the odometer, figuring how far to Youngsville, how far to Wakefield.
Sometimes the odometer never seemed to change.
Luckily, I guess, although I didn't think so at the time,
The clock wasn't moving either, but was stuck in the same slow-motion,
Other-world that the odometer was in.

I found myself on NC-98, recognizing the signage for an upcoming cross-road.
"Whew, Bethlehem Church Rd," I thought, "only 8-miles more to Youngsville."
"I've done this section before," I tell myself, "at 18-or-19-mph; I can do it again."
Dec-14-2008: I kicked his ass on the return on BR # 2 back to Youngsville. I like repeating this feat because . . . let's be serious . . . how often do you think I can figure on "putting a hurting on him" in the future? (Gosh, I was sure I had written up the incident where I was able to "put a hurtin'" on Snapper and the Iceman simultaneously, but I guess I haven't put a version of that story on the blog.  Oh, well, just ask me sometime, I give you a thrilling description -- well, a description.) 
But that ride had only been a 45-miler.
This ride, I was already well over 100-miles.
And I'd been pushing-the-pace for 2-hours,
And I had hot-foot something fierce in my right foot.

I had to take a few minutes in Youngsville.
I pulled into the new Hess station, and stopped near the corner of Main & US-1A.
About three minutes later, Karen,
Riding shotgun with "Rescue-Ranger" Todd and family,
Found me.

Exchanged some things with Karen
(including returning her keys -- thank goodness she remembered).
Then I took a proper break in Youngsville,
After having turned down a ride from Todd.
Karen and I each assured him it was only another 12-miles for me to complete the ride.

Here's a tidbit:
I was dreading those 12-miles with the 6 climbs (7 descents),
And especially the ramp up to NC-98.
BUT ... no way I was stopping.
NO WAY I was DNF'ing two days in a row.

Here's another tidbit:
Almost as soon as I was into / onto / in-the-midst of the rollers west of Y'ville,
My legs felt better, my tired butt seemed a little better,
AND ... the HOT-FOOT started to diminish.
Oh, give me rollers over miles-and-miles-and-miles of FLAT.
Especially if I happen to think that I need to push-the-pace on the FLAT.

Receipt obtained from the Wakefield McD's;
Card signed for a 1930 finish time.
I think 11h30 will be my slowest ever Black Creek.

I got some food and drink.
Got more drink.
Then, at about 1955, left the McD's for the ride back "home".
I could type about the road construction on Falls of the Neuse,
But I'll save that for in-person conversations.

Funny thing:
With all the slow miles,
And the fast miles,
My actual total in-motion time for the total ride,
Was only 13-minutes more than my algorithm,
Based on 2010 or 2011 rides,

That's my story, and despite things I've forgotten to include, I'm sticking to it.

--> Showdown at Black Creek 204-km Perm --> ; 147.5 m.; 10h07 in-motion; 14.6 mph; rando course time:  11h30 -- assuming it gets approved.

Q-1 tot: _22 rides; 1,610.3 m.; 108h42; 14.8 mph; 1947 RUSA kms
Q-2 tot: _29 rides; 2,711.5 m.; 182h48; 14.8 mph; 2700 RUSA kms
J-A tot: _19 rides; 1,591.9 m.; 105h29; 15.1 mph; 1599 RUSA kms
Sep tot: __2 rides; __226.8 m.; _15h03; 15.1 mph; _204 RUSA kms.  
YTD tot: _72 rides; 6,140.5 m.; 412h01; 14.9 mph; 6450 RUSA kms

I did do enough damage to my butt, etc., that I decided "no Bahama Beach on Labor Day."
So ... my plan for a 500-km weekend ... came up short by 300-kms.

I had thought this 11h30 would be my longest official time on this route.  But when I checked the RUSA website, I found this:
Permanent Route NameDistanceDateFinishersDNF
NC: Showdown in Black Creek2002010/10/1010
Cert#RUSA#NameClub / ACP CodeTime
RUSA-T122626218S____, J MartinRandonneurs USA / 93309511:33
However, I happen to know that I started the above ride, the first I ever did on the Black Creek route, 45-minutes late, ... you draw your own conclusion.
(You may notice that the official distance is now 204-kms -- a change in the start / finish location was apparently necessitated after some destruction / re-construction shorted a road or two.)

Eddington Cycling Number: 
After this ride:  93
Meaning that I have completed at least 93 different rides that were at least 93 miles long. 


  1. As a general rule, I do not "do" / discuss politics, religion or work when I recreate. I also tend to ignore real life while cycling and when writing a blog post ... unless it directly impacts / impacted the ride.

    Real life started to make an appearance during the homeward bound stop Karen and I made at the Burger King in Wilson. That is, Karen received a phone call with news that could only be described as "not good." That news had NO impact on our ride, and thus, I did not mention in the body of post.

    However, that phone call news was the precursor to later developments. Namely, Monday morning, Karen's "daddy" died.

    May your "daddy" rest in peace, Karen.

    May you and yours find solace in knowing that he is now at peace.