Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oct-28: Poodles, Cotton Fields + Monsters

Except for the 600k in June and the Fleche in April, this was the most rando kms I accumulated in one weekend this entire year.  Last year, I did a few back-to-back permanents, and even did a triple-double over the July Fourth holiday weekend (the first two days with Irregular and rando buddy Ricochet).

I planned a double-double, plus a perm-pop over Labor Day weekend.  But, day one on Kerr Lake Loop, I had a mechanical and decided it would be smarter to DNF and have the bike ready for the day two on the Black Creek route with newbie Karen.  That day didn't go so well for Karen, and although I completed the route with plenty of time to spare, I just didn't feel like riding on Labor Day.

Last year, I did 10 solo perms.  I like doing 200-km rides solo.
This year, my only solo attempt was the KLL DNF.
I did manage to do two entire perm-pops solo.
The first, Bahama Beach just before July 4th, left me wiped out.  Not a pleasant experience.
The second, the Benson Mule Pull on Sep-30, was a strange mix of riding well and very slow, but I enjoyed the ride -- I think.

What has all the above got to do with the ride I did on Sunday, Oct-28?
Nothing, really.

Except that by completing Egypt Mtn on Saturday and Hope Springs Eternal (HSE) on Sunday, for a combined 350-kms, I got in my third largest RUSA-credit-kms weekend of the year. 

Each ride was with one other rando.
Saturday with Ricochet, who had no legs while I had energy to spare.
Sunday with Mick, I had Ricochet's Saturday legs, and I guess Mick had energy to spare -- I'm not sure.

Poodles:  There is a poodle breeding farm between Bunn and Spring Hope.  It is amusing to watch the different personalities of the poodles in their large pens as we ride by.  One can even begin to develop favorites after a few rides.  Having now done OakElmOak (OEO) twice and HSE twice (three times ?), I have a favorite.  I won't spoil it for any NC or visiting randos that may do HSE or OEO in the next month -- you can find your own favorite.

Cotton Fields:  There were several cotton fields -- between Bunn and Spring Hope (near the poodles) -- all WHITE and apparently ready for harvest.  Cotton fields just before harvest look quite inspiring -- that's my opinion, anyway.  However, I expect that the fields will either be harvested before the next HSE or OEO ride -- OR the cotton in the unharvested fields will be abandoned.  That sometimes happens if the price of cotton plummets just before harvest.

Monsters:  Upon completion of the ride, while getting a receipt at Cameron Village (CV) near downtown Raleigh, MANY costumed runners were leaving CV.  Apparently a 5k charity run had just completed all their post-race festivities.  Didn't see anyone I know, but I suspect that one IanH may have participated (I saw a couple suspect photos on Facebook).

Anyway, Mick and I had a pleasant, if somewhat slow ride under the completely overcast clouds emanating from Hurricane Sandy.  We stayed dry and with temps between 57 and 64 F, the day was nicely cool-warm.  Oh, there were strong winds out of the north and northwest all ride.  That made some portions of the ride extra slow, and on other portions, one hardly needed to peddle.

We got lucky here in central NC.  Sandy did no damage of which I am aware.  Down east -- not so.  Up in the Bos-Wash corridor -- definitely not so.


--> Hope Springs Eternal 140-km perm -->; 105.8 m.; est. 7h20 in-motion; 14.4 mph; HSE elapsed time:  7h20 (we didn't even come close to challenging our record slow HSE time of 7h41 -- ha!).  
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
Q-3 tot: _32 rides; 2,958.9 m.; 197h17; 15.0 mph; 2983 RUSA kms
Oct tot: _10 rides; __868.8 m.; _58h45; 14.8 mph; 1089 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _93 rides; 8,149.5 m.; 547h32; 14.9 mph; 8719 RUSA kms

FYI, after this ride, Mick is closing in on 15-thousand RUSA credit kms -- that's just insane.
And it might also be wearing him out mentally as well as physically. 

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