Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sep-16: The "What? No 'IR' blog report?" 204-km Perm

Less than 24 hours after completion of the ride, I got an e-mail from one JP (click for photo).
E-mail title, and I quote:  "no irreg blog?"
Text, and I quote:  "Looking for a post, dude?"
[The question mark after "dude" is JP's. 
The photo link?  That's the best photo I could find of JP + that I had permission to use.]

I responded:  "too tired today; maybe tomorrow."
Clearly I was too tired, because the CORRECT response would have been:
"Dude, it has been less than 24 hours; it took you 2 WEEKS to blog your last ride."

Friends - what are they good for?
NOT "absolutely nothin'".
I could go into how it came to be that my solo Kerr Lake Loop ride ended up being a ride on the Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville perm with four other guys.

But who would care to read that?
I don't even care to type it.
During my 6-mile ride to the start in the pre-sunrise conditions,
I noticed the HEAVY overcast, and thought
"Who Changed the Forecast?!"

The afternoon before, when I'd picked my kit,
The forecast was for low of 60, high in the mid-70's, maybe higher,
10% chance of showers in the AM; 20% chance in the PM.

Some damn fool had changed things to low of 60, high of 60+,
With 100% chance of some heavy rain in the AM.

I wasn't dressed for that.
I suspect JP would say that he wasn't dressed for the new conditions.
Byron, Ricochet & "Smiley" Bryan were.
Quite smug they were in their wool base layers and/or wool jerseys.
[I can't repeat what I told Byron 25-miles into the ride.]
During the pre-ride "festivities",
I noted that I was at a decided disadvantage given the day's crew,
They had all recently done a hilly 1200-km training ride, but I hadn't.

Oh, the unanimous howl -- "Training ride?"

[Unfortunately, the above link will disappear or change in a few months, 
But maybe the idea will live on.]
The sprinkles and rain started coincident with our start time -- 0700.
The temp was 58 F (according the thermometer built into my cycle confuser).

The sprinkles didn't last.
It changed to a downpour!

Swooping down the first decline on Victory Church Rd,
Wearing no goggles because it was so dark, and the lenses were dark, too,
I recalled a line from "Forest Gump":  "little bitty stinging rain".

I couldn't keep my eyes open because of the little bitty stinging rain.
I decided it would be better to put the dark-lensed goggles on,
Even if they fogged up (which they did),
Because at least I would be able to see more than I could see through closed eyelids.

Byron and Ricochet stopped to put saddle covers over their Brookses.
Byran tried to catch up to JP to inform him some or all of us had paused to adjust gear.
JP apparently thought it was a challenge for the county line.
Everyone that knows Jerry knows what happened next --
I'm not even going to type it.

I did think that it was INSANE for me to be doing this ride in the rain in inadequate clothing.
After all, I got my R-26 ride in two weeks earlier.

The four that had done that "training ride" -- they were R-hunting -- not me.
I didn't need this ride for R-purposes.
[That's a completely factual and honest statement.]

JP did.  This was his only chance to keep R-80-something alive.
Byron did.  This was his only chance to keep R-I-dunno alive.

Ricochet could probably ride later in the month;
But he wouldn't stop if Byron kept going.
Besides, Ricochet WANTED R-12.  NOW!

Bryan probably had one more chance later in the month,
But the weather next week could be worse -- one never knows.
Besides, Bryan had once done this course when the high was about 22 F.
[22 F may be nothing to those from further north; but it is quite something in central NC.]
JP was still at the 17-mile control when the rest of got there.
It was still 58 F, with intermittent showers.
We all left together -- more or less.
But JP was a quarter mile down the road before any of us had cleared the c'store.

We knew we would not see JP again.

At least that is what we thought, and said.
But funny thing:  we had a regrouping with Jerry before we got to Mt. Tirzah.

It seems a tree heard that JP, riding his 44/14 fixed gear, was coming its way,
And decided to use half of itself to bow down in homage.

Well, something like that.

As the four of us slow-pokes approached the kerfuffle on the road,
Complete with flashing blues,
I partially saw Jerry's bike lying in the ditch.

The road was completely blocked -- for cars.
You know it wouldn't block any randonneurs worth their salt.
I don't know what actually happened,
But it seems that as Jerry made his way around the road-blocking tree,
A car came skidding into and hit the already downed half-tree,
Reportedly scaring Jerry
It was still 58 F; but the showers seemed to be dissipating
Regrouped at Hollow Ridge Grocery atop Mt. Tirzah.
I think we left there more-or-less together,
But we waved so-long to Jerry, surely for the last time.
It was still 58 F.
Some of the terrain between Mt. Tirzah and Hurdle Mills,
And again from Hurdle Mills to Leasburg,
Is good for me.

But a lot of it suited Byron, Ricochet & Smiley much better.
1200-km training ride for them or not.

Byron noticed that he needed to swap out his front tyre with the spare he was carrying.
He'd do that at the turn-around control in Leasburg.

I was surprised to find JP still at the Leasburg Grocery.
He was eating quite a feast.

I was even more surprised when I realized I was in-line inside the Grocery,
And the clock on the wall indicated 11:39.
Fastest I'd ever gotten to Leasburg;
Regardless of whether I was struggling a lot, a bit, or if it had been a no-energy-cost ride.

JP left Leasburg about 11:50+.
That was the last time we saw him.

Smiley Bryan left by 11:55.
I left at 11:58.
Ricochet stayed with Byron through the tyre + tube changing,
And discovery by Bryon that his spare was nearly as bad as his original front tyre.
(Ricochet had a spare with him.)

It was still 58 F; but no longer raining.
It is my firm belief that Smiley can pull away from me any time he wants.
Fatigued or fresh.
Hills or flat.
He wouldn't have to pull away from me on mountains;
I go backward.

Despite Smiley Bryans superior speed capabilities,
I somehow managed to get within "hailing distance" at the bottom of the climb to Mt. Tirzah.
So ... I did the obvious thing:
I called out "Hail, hail !"
Never "hailed" anyone in my life, previously.
[It seemed humorous at the time.]

It had warmed up considerably.
All the way to 60 F.
Bryan and I each took about 20 minutes at Hollow Ridge atop Mt. Tirzah.
Byron and Ricochet arrived after we'd been there probably about 10 or 12 minutes.

I noted that it was 1400 spot-on when Bryan and I left.
Sub-10-hours a not-to-be-thought-about possibility.

Surprise for me.
I'm telling Byran some story, and he's fallen way back.
He claims he rides more slowly than I realize (after a sometimes fast start),
But it may well have been that he was bored by my story.

A somewhat interesting thing happened just before Bryan and I reached Red Mtn crossroads.
But I'm not going to type about the woman who ran her car off the road.
Except to note that I was VERY glad she did it into the ditch opposite.

Bryan dropped me off his front again on Red Mtn Rd or Hampton Rd.
I enjoyed the spin along Bahama Rd, past Mt. Tabor,
DOWN to Lake Michie, and UP the opposite bank into Bahama.
My cycle confuser rolled 100.00 miles at the turn onto Stagville Rd.

I'm always surprised that there are some incline sections on that DOWN of Stagville Rd.
One might think that I could have remembered the inclines this time.
After all, I had ridden this same road in this same direction only three days prior.

Perhaps it was on Old-75 between Stagville and Red Mill roads
That I realized that a sub-10-hour tour was a real possibility.
That was still too early to "work" at it, though.
I'd proven to myself two weeks earlier that just stay in cadence
Is faster for me, and costs no energy, than 'working it".

I arrived at the Red Mill control at 1528 (card signed at 1530).
Then I made a mistake:
I tried to use the mostly-useless hand-dryer in the washroom
To dry my hands after washing them after taking a pee in said washroom.

Took nearly five minutes to get my hands dry.
I don't know why I was so concerned about getting them completely dry;
My gloves were still soaked from earlier in the day.

Bryan arrived while I was trying to dry my hands.
Ricochet and Bryon arrived just before I left the control at 1540.

It was all of 62 F.

[One winter riding lesson recalled:  due not trust c'store blow-dryers to get your hand dry. 
More often than not, you'll leave with wet hands, and 
Instantly have "frozen hands" when you re-mount and ride.]
Sub-10 a possibility.
I want sub-10.
I WANT sub-10.

Don't push!
Save it for Kemp / Victory Church Road.
SAVE it for Boxelder!

I didn't push.
I had plenty of legs for Kemp / Victory Church.
Probably the best I've ever done on those roads / climbs when nearing the end of Triple-L.
[Recalling my many "time-trials" may have helped a bit on Kemp.]

Now, for the road that adds insult to injuries usually inflicted by Kemp / Victory Church.
I danced up that sucker!
Not fast by any stretch of the imagination.
But I danced easily up that sucker, standing out-of-the-saddle.
First time ever.
[I didn't tell anyone about that happy event -- until now.]

Ray Rd.  Howard Rd.  The finish.
Card signed.
Did I make it sub-10?
You guess.
Permanent Route NameDistanceDateFinishersDNF
NC: Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville (L-L-L)2042012/09/1650
Cert#RUSA#NameClub / ACP CodeTime
RUSA-T266743525P__, JerryNorth Carolina Bicycle Club / 93304509:00
RUSA-T266756628B__, Robert DRandonneurs USA / 93309510:05
RUSA-T26676621M__, Byron ENorth Carolina Bicycle Club / 93304510:05
RUSA-T266776218S__, J MartinRandonneurs USA / 93309509:54
RUSA-T266785746R__, BryanNorth Carolina Bicycle Club / 93304510:05

Btw, it was 62 F.
Congratulations to Ricochet Robert on attaining his R-12!
It was quite an odyssey.

[Message to Robert:  I thought my count would never get to 12; it seemed to take forever.  It is my opinion that the continuing count has been easier and seems to have taken less time.  Our friend Biker Bob may disagree on that.]


--> Triple-L 204-km perm --> ; 140.6 m.; 9h26 in-motion; 14.9 mph; Triple-L in 8h28 in-motion (see above for elapsed clock time).

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: __8 rides; __802.6 m.; _44h04; 14.8 mph; _717 RUSA kms.  
YTD tot: _78 rides; 6,716.3 m.; 451h02; 14.9 mph; 6963 RUSA kms


  1. Nice--funny. Accurate? Below is "FB" post I composed in my head but couldn't get my wet phone to accept (otherwise I would still be on the route):

    "Checked into the control in Leasburg, got card signed, bought, heated, and ate lunch. Changed into my dry kit. Fixed hair, brushed teeth. Calculated Fibonnaci sequence to 63,245,986 in my head and was about to make a breakthrough on Newton’s lesser known 4th law when Martin, AKA Skiffrun, waltzed into the control in Leasburg and proclaimed that he was surprised that I was still there. To which I replied, What? So you’re calling me slow? Next thing you know you’ll be telling me these shorts make me look fat. Nice fucking friend you are."

    YO Ricochet: Nice job on the R12 buddy!! Skiffrun is wrong though, that was R-78 for me.

  2. Jerry, Thank you. I still remember our first meeting on Tony's 200k. You must have been delayed / started late because you caught me from behind. I noticed you did not have a cue sheet and you laughed when I asked about that replying you had done this route before. Then you mentioned you had done at least a 200k for the last 50 some months = more than 4 years. As I said this was my first 200k, thinking 50 vs 1 odds was not too good, I knew something was wrong with this picture. Thanks for all the help over the last 2 years. Robert