Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jun-22: HicksBurro 205-km Perm

A couple minutes before our official 0700 start time, there was suddenly an unexpected presence saying, "I thought I'd swing in just to 'speak'."  Caught off-guard, it took me a moment to realize that the woman-with-no-knees was speaking to Ricochet Robert and me.

Finding my senses, I realized the face, etc. of the 'speaker.'
A very happy, smiling face!
Whether she was smiling because she was cycling-about, or
Because she had found some friendly-folks with which to 'speak,' I don't know.
I suspect both.

We invited the friendly, smiling, happy-faced person to ride along with us for a few miles.
She indicated that she was not fast.
"Ha," I thought.

On the road, I had to ask her, twice, to slow down.
She may not be "fast" by her old standards, but she is still a plenty fast rider (by my measure).

Ricochet and I each enjoyed chatting with our unexpected ride-along guest.
I think she enjoyed having someone(s) to chat with, also.

After the above, what more do I need to type about the ride Ricochet and I had?
I will mention these:
  • two adult male peacocks and what looked to be a near full-sized chick, 
  • a black snake racing across the road close enough that I had to alter my course to avoid it, 
  • (at least) six deer scampering across the road a couple hundreds ahead of us, 
  • five mules standing next to a pond in a pasture, 
  • four burros in another pasture, 
  • we got sprinkle-rained upon twice (once when "no-knees" was with us and once late in the ride -- the latter lasted about half-an-hour), 
  • one annoying dawg, 
  • one very much a nuisance (or worse) long, yellow-haired dawg.  I may have to include a warning about this one.  Luckily, when Ricochet squirted water in its face, it left off bothering him.  Of course, he may have tired himself out as he had bothered me for a hundred yards or more, first.
That's my short story, and I'll be sticking to it.

--> Road to Hicksboro 205-km Perm -->; 154.5 m.; 10h28 in-motion; 14.7 mph; Hicksboro elapsed time:  10h13. 

Q-1 tot: _11 rides; __940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; _1275 RUSA kms.
A-M tot: _13 rides; _1499.1 m; 104h13; 14.4 mph; _2061 RUSA kms.
Jun tot: __4 rides; __687.5 m; _47h05; 14.6 mph; __943 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _28 rides; _3126.9 m; 216h00; 14.5 mph; _4279 RUSA kms.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Jun-15: Denny's Store Sortie

For a course map, click-here (link will open a new tab).
Ricochet Robert and I sortied forth on time at 0700.
It was about 60F, low humidity, almost no breeze.
I later remarked that it felt more like NW Illinois than central North Carolina.

At 0844, on Range Rd, just north of Hampton Rd, approx. 25.5-miles into the course,
The sunlight and shadows from the many tree-leaves were dappling the road and roadside ditches.
Peering deeply into the woods on each side of the road,
Enjoying the quiet, the low humidity, the nearly perfect temperature, the dappled sunlight,
I said to Ricochet, "I can't imagine that any other place could be as nice as this right now."
Robert replied, "I was just thinking the same thing."

Mt. Harmony Ch, Johnnie Jones and Molly Moon / Old Allensville roads
Were each near idyllic.

I recall that the first time I rode across Denny's Store Rd,
I perceived that it was mostly flat.
It's not.
But neither is it Triple-L hilly.
Ricochet @ Denny's Store.  [Photo by me, using Robert's phone /camera.] 

We stopped for a lunch in Berea, splitting a sub sandwich, 
At my preferred place (which is not the "recommendation" on the control card --
My preferred place is not open on Sundays, so it seems better to list
The other place on the control card).

Speaking of that sub sandwich:  the tomatoes were EXCELLENT,
And made the whole sandwich a delight.

Ricochet and I left Berea with stomachs a bit too full,
And needing to re-warm the stiffened legs.
The climb back up from the Tar River crossing helped with the re-warming.
(No evidence of bridge destruction that was scheduled to begin in May.) 

Culbreth Rd has been recently resurfaced -- smooth with a tailwind:  nice!
Old-75 was resurfaced last year -- smooth still with a quartering tailwind:  nice. 
We were in the middle of Stem 30-minutes after having left Berea.
Not bad considering the stiff legs, over-full stomachs, and crawl back up from the Tar River.

Brogden Rd from Stem to Creedmoor was also resurfaced last year.
Smooth, mostly down-slope, with a tailwind:  very nice.
I was refilling water bottles at the Southern States in Creedmoor only 24-minutes
After having been in the middle of Stem.

It seemed as if we were "flying" all the way from just before Culbreth into Creedmoor,
But looking at the distances and the times to cover them,
The reality is that we were just traveling at a pace that we should have been.

The battery in my sensor has died, so my confuser is good for the time of day, only.
I could wonder what might have been the case if I had known the actual speed(s).

Near the end of the ride, Ricochet checked the average speed indicated on his confuser:
15.0 mph.
"I always end up with 15-mph," I said.
Robert fibbed, "I always end up with an in-motion average less than that."

It was a great day to have been on a bike!

--> Denny's Store Sortie 138-km Perm-Pop -->; 106.3 m.; 7h04 in-motion; 15.0 mph; DSS elapsed time:  6h39. 

Q-1 tot: _11 rides; __940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; _1275 RUSA kms.
A-M tot: _13 rides; _1499.1 m; 104h13; 14.4 mph; _2061 RUSA kms.
Jun tot: __3 rides; __533.0 m; _36h37; 14.6 mph; __738 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _27 rides; _2972.4 m; 205h32; 14.5 mph; _4074 RUSA kms.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Jun-12: An Errand Ride

The 48-mile errand ride wore me out.

I did the ride during the hottest part of the day,
And on the first day this year where the temperature reached 90F at RDU airport,
And I did get quite close to the airport,
But I don't think the heat was what wore me out.

I didn't eat during the errand,
And I hadn't eaten much earlier in the day,
But I don't think that lack of calories in the tank was the problem.

No, what I think wore me out is that
It is frickin' hilly in north Raleigh, inside the city limits,
Especially near "North Hills."

This mostly "in town" ride had more climbing per mile
Than even the hilliest local randonneuring routes.
According to a quick RWGPS map I drew (but am not saving / releasing),
This little 48-mile errand route had 6% more climbing per mile than Byron's L-L-L perm.
[By the way, RWGPS comes up with over 8000 ft of climbing for L-L-L.] 

Even though I know that certain areas inside the city limits are quite down-and-up,
I always seem to forget, until near the end of the latest "errand ride."

miscellaneous "errand ride"; 48.2 m.; 3h12 in-motion; 15.0 mph.

Q-1 tot: _11 rides; __940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; _1275 RUSA kms.
A-M tot: _13 rides; _1499.1 m; 104h13; 14.4 mph; _2061 RUSA kms.
Jun tot: __2 rides; __426.7 m; _29h31; 14.4 mph; __600 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _26 rides; _2866.1 m; 198h28; 14.4 mph; _3936 RUSA kms.
This ride was "hilly" (it was actually just a lot, a LOT, of creek crossings) even though I avoided the toughest climb(s) at the start and near the end by taking a flatter options through a residential area.  It was also disappointing to realize that I had "crawled" past a key turn near the end and thus added an unintended longer climb; it pays to keep one's head up. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jun-01/02: Heat, Headwinds + Gray Fox 600-km Brevet

In the vein of "less is more," I'm gonna' try to keep this to "less."

First, in case it helps, a link to the RWGPS map of the course (will open a new tab/page):
 _ _
On his website, RBA "Uncle" Alan notes this about the 600k course:
 _ _ "This route is flat but head winds and heat can make this route challenging."
Uh, yeah.
Before the start:  Bob, me, soon to be new Tidewater Region RBA (?) Keith.  Byron framed between Bob + me.  Jerry and Turbo Tim on the far right.  [All photos are complements of RickR.]
JohnM, TomD, Keith, Gar, Ed.  Less than 6-miles into the ride.  How do I know that?  At approx the 6-mile mark, Tom broke a spoke and that was the last he saw of any of the fast-crew (other than at Rocky Point and White Lake).  [Photo by R^2.]


We have only a few days so far this year with high temps in the 80's;
I don't recall cycling-about on any of those days.
So ... straight from riding in high temps in the 70's and into the 90's.
(All temps are in degrees Fahrenheit -- you do the Celsius conversion.)

I always LOVE riding in heat with no chance to have acclimated.
Flat pastures near the Averasboro Battlefield (?).  [Photo by RickR.]

I believe that thermometers built into cycle confusers are subject to over-stating the temps,
Due mostly to direct exposure to prolonged sunlight.
Doc-On-A-Bike Keith reported and shared photographic proof on Facebook of
His Confuser hitting at least 96F.
I don't have photo proof, but Sunday mid-afternoon, mine indicated 103.
(Stopping just after that in some shade so Bob and I could nibble a bit, and
Bob could take some more ibuprofen, the confuser temp immediately dropped to the low 90's.)

Any way you cut it, it was hot, both days.
Felt worse on Sunday when the wind lined up with roads to give us a tailwind.

All the way to Wilmington.
300k of headwinds.
Not 25-mph type winds,
But still, 300 kilometers.
Used car lot near Ammon (?).  [Photo by R^2.]

Sunday, we had tailwind and some quartering headwind.
I preferred the quartering headwind sections as that at least produced some cooling effect.

There were 4 of us "lanterning" at the Rocky Point outbound control, just about to leave when
The lead group of 7 (?) arrived homebound.

Some quick banter ensued -- the most memorable (to me):
MikeD;  "How's it going?"
Me:  "I'm tired, Mike"
MikeD:  "You're having fun."
He must have been looking at one of the others.

Because the last miles to reach Rocky Point, my head had been filled with
Moaning and groaning and whining and whimpering from several body parts.
(Although none of it got vocalized.)
My low emotional (+ physical (?)) point of the ride was those last miles to Rocky Point, outbound.

Wilmington + White Lake (homebound) Controls.
Joel had turkey and cheese hot sandwiches (I can't spell pannini), and
Watermelon cut into mouth-sized pieces in Wilmington.
Each was great.
He also had some other stuff -- I saw a photo on Facebook -- but
The only thing I can recall is that the fast-dudes scarfed all the chips!
Joel had a machine for making coffee [shudder] frapicinos (I can't spell that, either).
I don't do coffee; neither apparently does TomD
(Who was lanterning due to breaking a spoke 6-miles after the start.)
So Joel made chocolate frapicinos for us.
So happy and willing to help was Joel, that he never realized that Tom was telling him
"I don't like chocolate, either."
I DO !!  I enjoyed mine -- although I started shivering from the chill of it.
I seem to get chilled easily in the middle of the night on brevets.
Anyway, Joel gets the blue ribbon for the best manned control + food options,
Not only for this brevet, but probably for all the brevets I've done.
Wilmington snacks:  I recall no chips when the lantern-rouge-crew arrived.  [Photo by R^2.]

Jerry + MaryF had good eats in White Lake.
Subway sandwiches, cookies, chips, V-8.
I won't mention Mary's chocolate covered expresso beans -- that coffee [shudder] again.
I had been looking forward to the sandwiches since leaving White Lake for Wilmington.
I had put in a request to Jerry, which he did fulfill.
Thanks for the "no onions", Jer.
But I'm not a big fan of mustard.
Nor "oil + vinegar."
I couldn't read the labels that Jerry had meticulously written on each package;
I didn't have my magnifier glasses with me.
Mary couldn't read Jerry's meticulous labels, either.
I wish I had thought to request that some of the subs be done with mayo.
Probably wouldn't have mattered -- the fast-dudes probably would have scarfed all those first.
Blue ribbon to Mary, too -- always good to see a smiling, world-record holding, female face.
As for Jerry's ribbon color -- I'll have to think on it, but blue might also be appropriate.
Fast-crew bikes needed a rest in White Lake.  [Photo by R^2.]

Okay, enough for the gibberish. 
Here follows the interesting and important stuff that happened near, or to, me, on this ride.

The Gray Fox in the middle of our lane.  
Bob does seem to have the most rotten luck. 
[Each of the previous 2 years, he has managed to crack or break at least one rib, 
Due to a crash while randonnuering. 
He has managed to keep his continuous-R-series intact -- at 42 following this ride.] 

We were 4 lanterns in the wee hours, riding homebound on NC-53 or 210 (I can't recall which). 
Tom yelled about the fox, moved to the left (he had been in the middle of the lane), braked, 
My sight line was suddenly clear, I saw the fox, braked, but I don't know that I tried to move left or right, After all, Tom was now ahead and to my left, and I knew that Bob was behind and slightly to my right. 

Bob braked, but sort-of slid up on my right side, we and our bikes were locked together. 
I recall, thinking calmly in that slow-motion time/space, "oh, this is going to end with both of going down, entangled in each other's bikes, with the fox under us."  It seemed we were dragging the fox with us. 
After what seemed quite a bit of time, Bob suddenly broke free, and went down on the weedy, sandy shoulder. 
I saw him go down with my peripheral vision, lighted by Ron's bright lights (Ron managed to avoid entanglement). 

I came to a stop in the middle of the road, right foot still clipped in, either my left foot or my rear wheel was on the fox -- I can't recall. 
I do recall thinking, "I hope this fox doesn't have rabies, and try to bite me." 
All the above probably happened in less than 4 seconds, although it seemed to be a LONG time in the slow-motion time + space. 

I collected myself and pushed forward with my left foot to get away from the fox. 
Turned around and tried to point my weak lights onto Bob's bike as he was already up. 
Had noted his knee, but was checking his bike for potential problems. 
I thought about suggesting he move forward about 10 feet as he was beside the fox (2 or 3 feet); 
However, that poor fox, that, as Tom noted, was clearly dazed and in pain when first he saw it. 
That poor fox was in no condition to do anything. 

There were no Sleep Monster issues for anyone the next 20 minutes or so.
Prior to the ride, I had concluded that Bob and I were the likely lantern rouge crew, 
By a long distance. 
The back-of the pack has disappeared this year (and last). 
  • Some have moved to Maine. 
  • Some have moved to Sanityville. 
  • Some seem to have lost interest in the longer rides. 
  • Several were dealing with health issues:  (1) an uncooperative hip,  (2) a back that had been overworked due to too much yard work all at once the previous weekend (Ricochet, who wouldn't have really been in the lantern crew, unless he chose to, perhaps needs to heed some good rando advice MikeD mentioned last year:  "leave the yard work to the professionals, or the spouse."),  (3) a head cold, and  (4) a generally uncooperative body. 
  • Oh, and at the time of my prediction, I didn't know that Ron wouldn't be riding with the other two bents from the "Tidewater Bent Brigade". 
  • And, of course, I don't have the ability to predict broken spokes only 6-miles into the ride. 
  • I also don't have the ability to predict broken spokes 450-kms into the ride,  But that's a different story -- not a different brevet, just a different story -- ask MikeD.
Anyway, within 3 or 4 miles of the start, Bob and I let the fast-crew go. 
We were unspokenly committed to riding together. 
Although, riding into the headwind on Saturday, I didn't always do a good job of "together." 

Once Bob had fallen, I silently committed to "whatever it takes, tomorrow."
Later, in White Lake for some sleep, I voiced that to Bob. 
So ... we started just after 0700 the next morning.
Flat fields look ready for harvest.  [Photo by R^2.]
Steam engine between Wade and Godwin.  Thankfully, the terrain is beginning to change from dead-flat to nice, refreshing rollers.  [Photo by R^2.]
Late Sunday (?), Jerry inquired regarding Bob and me. 
Here is what I sent him. 
It makes for a good close to this post:

We did finish strong.  Maybe, particularly Bob. 

I think getting him to take 800 mgs of ibuprofen in one hit (as opposed to only 800 mgs, total, for all the previous times) finally put enough med in his system that his knee felt better.  He certainly was moving around better at Alan's than he had at any time earlier in the day. 

Bob would fall back on every climb, I would soft pedal until he caught up, ride together, rinse, repeat. 
But on Piney Grove - Wilbon Rd, I was daydreaming and missed the turn onto Burt Rd. 
Bob later said he yelled, waved, blew his air horn, but was not going to follow me the wrong way. 
(We each had "navigated" wrong turns during the course of the ride.  I was worse.) 
Nice farm house.  Nearing the last miles.  One might not be able to discern it, but it ain't flat no-more, and that house (and the cross road) are at the crest of a ridge.  [Photo by R^2.]

I realized my mistake when I got to Duncan Cook Rd -- about 3/4 of a mile, I think. 
I rode back to Burt Rd, and then figured that I would catch Bob in 8 or 10 miles. 

TomD "caught" me when I stopped at the Apex Fire Station on New Hill - Olive Chpl Rd (?) to get some cold water, and we rode in the rest of the way together. 
Tom and I saw Bob when we turned off of NC-55 onto Morrisville Pkwy. 
That was a relief because I was worried that he was somewhere back near NC-42, in trouble. 
But kept thinking that if he were in trouble, he would call. 
No call came, so I kept going. 
It had taken about 24-miles to make up for that missed turn. 
With cooler temps and the ibuprofen doing its job ... 
Seemed like Bob was "riding like the wind." 

We finished about 7 pm. 
The happiest cyclist in Morrisville -- maybe the happiest man in Morrisville:  Raleigh Region RBA Alan.

Hmmn.  Seems I haven't included Bob's nap on the front stoop of a church hall (not the church-proper) in Godwin.  Oh, well, some things held in reserve and not in the blog post are a good thing. 

For Bob's view on the ride, click-here.  
Bob includes his view of the church hall stoop mat nap. 
I'll make a comment here:  the total sleep time was less than Bob thought, 
But if it refreshed him, then all was and is good. 

For a post from the front of the bunch (I can't spell "peloton"), see Turbo's guest / reproduced report over on MikeD's Research Trailer Park.  

NCBC Morrisville 600k Brevet, with a few bonus miles; 378.5 m.; 26h19 in-motion; 14.4 mph; elapsed time:  37h00.  [Note:  in-motion time is a "guess" based on a previous performance algorithm.] 

Q-1 tot: _11 rides; __940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; _1275 RUSA kms.
A-M tot: _13 rides; _1499.1 m; 104h13; 14.4 mph; _2061 RUSA kms.
Jun tot: __1 rides; __378.5 m; _26h19; 14.4 mph; __600 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _25 rides; _2817.9 m; 195h15; 14.4 mph; _3936 RUSA kms 
This ride completed my second ever ACP SR -- each has been in order (200, 300, 400, 600). 
This ride also made ... must be R-35 for me. 
Eddington Cycling Number: 
After this ride:  105
Meaning that I have completed at least 105 different rides that were at least 105 miles long.