Monday, April 8, 2013

Apr-06: Morrisville 200-km Brevet

 1.  A 15-mile cycle to the start.
 2.  Enjoy doing the brevet with a decent cadence, finish in under 10-hours.
 3.  Socialize a little at the finish.
 4.  Cycle 15-miles back to whence I started. 
 5.  All totaling 250-kms of pleasant riding, and being instant 300k training. 

That was the idea / plan.
It didn't quite happen as conceived.
 1.   A 15-mile cycle to the start.

The 55-minute ride to the start might seem like it fit the plan.
Except that the second mile was UP on St. Mary's Rd, and
My legs did not like it one bit.

Oh, well, that happens sometimes.
Things should come around once I get to the top.
After all, the last 13-miles are flat(tish) and downslope to Morrisville.

However, each little bump-up seemed much more drastic than it should have.
Where-oh-where has my cadence and strength gone?
 2.  Enjoy doing the brevet with a decent cadence, finish in under 10-hours.

On this course, I try to suck the wheels of the reasonable starting pace part of the lead pack
Until the climb on Jack Bennett Road, 17-miles or bit more after the start.
I can cover 17-plus miles in an hour, save 10 or 15 minutes, and a lot of energy.
That's the theory.
It usually works.

This time, I was too close to the "start line"
And got to Morrisville-Carpenter Rd first.
And a few hundred yards later -- there was no one behind me.
Quite a reverse from what happened in April 2010, when first I did this course.

I soft-pedaled at 15.4-mph, hoping t be caught and passed.
Instead, I got through the stop-light at Davis Dr.
No one else did.
Almost the exact reverse from what happened later in April 2010, when first I did the 300 course.

I had to stop at the light at Louis Stephens Drive.
That seemed to bring things back together.
I was sure I'd be passed on Green Hope School Rd.

Morrisville Pkwy / Lewter Shop Rd?  Nope.
Well, someone did high-tail it off the front.
And also Jacob in his rolling couch -- but the tail-enders recollected him on Jack Bennett Rd.

Martha's Chapel Rd?  Nope.
Well, Hans and Wilmington-Rick and Vance and Ed B took turns riding alongside me.
Ed even came around to lead.
But then immediately slowed to 15.4-mph ... on a downslope ... with a tailwind.
That wasn't helping me try to trick my legs into finding the "magic cadence" of Spring 2011.
So, I got back in front to maintain the circa-17-mph pace.

I knew I'd go backward when the climb on Jack Bennett started for real.
I did.  It was worse than that.  It felt as if I had stopped while everyone else pedaled easily on.

I caught back up to JanetF, recently of Houston, TX, but now of Marshall, NC.
Janet, her husband Mike, Jacob and I played leapfrog and ride-together
Most of the way to Snow Camp.

Amusing moment:
Nearing the turn onto the old Greensboro Hwy, I asked Janet, who was just behind me, a question.
The answer came from Joel, who was suddenly alongside.
I instantly knew that he had started late, and was now making up time.
I didn't bother to confirm that, but instead engaged him in conversation on a different topic.
Three minutes later, Joel speed off toward Snow Camp, never did we see him again.
Except as we neared the turn-around in Siler City.

Feeling as though I had dead legs, and as if I was just barely making progress,
Even though I arrived in Siler City in 4h25, which is about as fast as I ever have.
But I knew there was 100-kms of headwind waiting for me on the return.
I took a LONGGGG time in Siler City.
Partly to rest, partly to chat with BobB about some rando issues.
I left Siler City, securely lantern rouge by 10-minutes.

I felt fine, maybe even great, everywhere.
Except for my legs.
I caught non-RUSA-member Aaron just as we arrived back at Snow Camp.
I was probably off my bike first.
I know I was in the store first.
I was also outside, sitting on the welcome bench, ready to leave, before Aaron re-emerged.

However, I decided to take a few extra minutes and see how he was doing.
Long discussion short:  he was fine, confident he would finish, and seemed okay with being solo.

I left Snow Camp.
I know I started paying more attention to the pastures along each side of the route.
I also was peering deeply into the various wooded sections.
With no leaves on the trees worth noting. and no undergrowth yet,
One could look a long way along the sunlit floor of the woods.

I stopped at one crest of the chip-seal Castle Rock Farm Rd to call Ricochet,
And tell him I would NOT be joining him on Bahama Beach the next morning at 0700.

Other than that, miles seemed to creep by.
I was never worried about finishing.
I always knew I would finish.
And repeated mental calculations of when I'd likely finish always came to 5:30 pm (10h30).

But then, an opportunity for an unplanned roadside stop appeared.
I took 15 or 20 minutes.
What difference did it make?
It was an absolutely gorgeous day.
Temps near 70F,
Feeling cooler than that because of the NNE breeze / wind.
(I suspect that Janet + Mike F -- the recent Texans -- didn't even notice the headwind.)

On the long shallow incline of Martha's Chapel Rd,
With only about 12-miles left to finish the route,
I realized that for the first time all day,
I was pedaling in a happy cadence without having to force it.
It has previously taken 80 to 90 miles before I truly "hit my stride,"
But this was the first time it took 110-plus miles.
Probably, I hadn't really hit-my-stride; it was just my kind of shallow incline.

Soon, the finishing miles were flashing by,
And I saw Alan rising from his chair to prepare to meet me with the official paperwork.
I think Alan likely made a joke -- he usually does.
I had thought of one during the ride -- namely that he'd ordered the brevet weather for the wrong day.
It had POURED the day before.
But I was more tired from this Morrisville 200 than I've ever been before,
And I forgot.

There was a platter that looked like it had probably been filled earlier with tomato sandwiches.
But they were all gone.
Luckily, however, Alan had some home-brew handily available.

The ride had NOT gone as expected,
But it had been a fine day to be outside on a bike.
 3.  Socialize a little at the finish.

Alan, Bob and I chatted about various things
While waiting for Aaron to finish.
He came in about 30-minutes after I did.

We talked him into trying some home-brew.
Then he cycled about a mile to where he lives (if I understood correctly).

So, the socializing a little came to pass.
Just a little less than I had expected. 
 4.  Cycle 15-miles back to whence I started.

I know I could have ridden the 15-miles back to Raleigh.
But I managed to talk Bob into giving me a lift.

And we snagged some dinner and some more chatting at Moe's.
Then Bob headed for home.
He was kind-of on a long leash as "Mrs. Bob" was out of town visiting her mother in Tennessee.
 5.  All totaling 250-kms of pleasant riding, and being instant 300k training.

Obviously, I didn't get in a 250-km ride.
Instead, 225-kms will have to suffice as training for the 300k in two weeks.

Maybe I can get in a hard ride next week and start to get my legs to come around.
 6.  Post-ride discovery.

Usually, I enter my distance and time stats into my Excel log immediately after completion of the ride.  Also, I will look at my avg pace on my cycle confuser during the ride.  I didn't sneak a peak during the ride, and I didn't enter the data into my Excel log until after the first version of the above had been drafted (at least it was drafted in my head).  I was in for quite a SURPRISE:

My Excel log includes an algorithm, that I developed, that will estimate my time-in-motion given the distance ridden.  The algorithm is based on my 2010 or 2011 rides (I'd have to look to verify).  That algorithm usually predicts a time within 5 or 10 minutes (even for distances of 225-kms or more).  The SURPRISE?  My in-motion time on this brevet was only 8-minutes more than the algorithm predicted.  That is one minute for every 25-kms -- that ought to be barely noticeable.

I still think that I had less power and speed climbing than usual.
And I still think that I need to get in some more rides.
And some harder efforts.

Weird though -- if one looks at the various courses I've ridden so far this year, the brevet course was in-line as far as amount of climbing per mile (according to RWGPS).

Route Name

   ft climbed         ft/m
R - NCBC Morrisville 200k Morrisville 125.2 6,731 53.8
Rp - Triple-L Raleigh 127.0 8,079 63.6
Rp - Warrenton + Egypt Mtn Raleigh 130.9 6,138 46.9
Rpp - Bahama Beach Raleigh 64.6 3,587 55.5
Rpp - Howling Grits Chatham 63.9 3,567 55.8
Rpp - Denny's Store Sortie Raleigh 85.8 4,424 51.6
IR -- Range Road Rover Raleigh 64.6 3,320 51.4


--> NCBC Morrisville 200-km Brevet; 140.7 m.; 9h32 in-motion; 14.7 mph; brevet in 10h49 elapsed. 
Q-1 tot: _11 rides; __940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; _1275 RUSA kms. 
Apr tot: __1 rides; __140.7 m; __9h32; 14.7 mph; __200 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _12 rides; _1081.0 m; _74h15; 14.6 mph; _1475 RUSA kms


Eddington Cycling Number: 
After this ride:  101
Meaning that I have completed at least 101 different rides that were at least 101 miles long.

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