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):
 _ _ http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2535724
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.



  1. Blogger is so messed up with its fonts and such, that I am NOT risking any edits for grammar, missing words, misspellings, and particularly NOT to try to make the fonts be as I desired them. I've been down that road; it can lead to a virtually destroyed blog post when Blogger is behaving erratically.

  2. I have a fancy (read expensive) Garmin tempe temperature sensor that is mounted in the shade under my bent's seat. It read 95 in White Lake Saturday, the high of that day, and 92 Sunday. So it was hot. Luckily I had acclimated some with a few rides in the 80's and a 90 degree ride just a couple of days before. I also chose light colored, blousy jerseys and added a velcro attached french foreign legion neck protector to my helmet Sunday. I doused myself with water at each stop. And I drank more than I have ever drank on a ride.