- IvaHawk is planning to do the "Blue Ridge Brutal," one of those audaciously named mountain centuries that abound here in North Carolina, on Aug-10th. (The most famous one is the "Assault on Mt. Mitchell.")
- Iva, Ricochet, Biker-Bob and I did the Denny's Store ride two weeks ago so Iva could get an 85-mile ride in his legs.
- Last week, Iva did a sprint triathlon. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe he did the tri because our friend Tito was out of town, and that would make it easier for Iva to podium in his age-group. :-O
- But this week, Iva was interested in building up to the Brutal ride, again.
- I agreed to do an 85-miler with him; he agreed to do Denny's Store so I could collect the 138-kms RUSA credit on offer.
- We picked an 0645 start time to shoe-horn the expected six-and-a-half hour ride between early morning constraints and Iva's tight back end constraint.
- Everything went swimmingly on a beautiful day (partly cloudy all ride, with high temp in the mid-to-upper 80's, and a breeze in our face the entire second half of the ride).
- So swimmingly were things going early on, that I after I realized that I had ridden the first 19-miles (to Butner) without a single gear change, I decided to do the entire route faux-single-speed, in 39/15 gearing.
- The most serious test of that decision comes shortly after Butner, when the route goes UP the "Range Wall." (Many people from many places would laugh at referring to that incline as a "wall," but ... .) I had to stand the entire climb, not "dancing" mind you, and it took some serious heavy breathing and sweat was popping out of every pore, but I got to the top of the wall without changing gears. (The rest of the route would be a cake-walk. Not really. But there is nothing else nearly as tough as that incline on Range Rd.)
- We "attacked" almost every upslope so that Iva would get in extra climbing work -- at least that was my excuse.
- Iva is like the Energizer Bunny -- he just keeps coming and coming and coming.
- Between such "attacks," we had several conversations going simultaneously. I can't recall what some of them were. Some I can recall, but they shall remain "in the ride."
- We stopped at the Denny's Store sign. Supposedly so that Iva could show me the results of the "elevation app" on his I-phone. I didn't have any reading glasses with me, so that was a waste of a moment or two. However, I think Iva's real reason was to snap a photo of me at the sign. I suppose he'll forward same tomorrow or ... whenever.
- Bad friend that I am, I didn't offer to snap a photo of Iva. :-O
- Between Denny's Store and Berea, Iva noticed a "rubbing sound" come from his bike. After he asked me what I thought it was, we each made the logical guesses: brake rubbing against a rim being the preferred choice.
- When we prepared to leave Berea, Iva discovered the problem: his rear had gone partially flat.
- Thinking it a slow leak because there was still a non-trivial amount of air in the tire, we pumped it up, hoping to get at least 15-miles of the remaining 30 before needing to address the issue again.
- We got about 100 yards. And the tire was decidedly FLAT.
- A more careful inspection showed a bulge in the tire, centered on the middle of the tire, where the rubber meets the road. Iva was definitely disappointed as he only had about 500 miles on that tire (and the same on his new wheel-set).
- A replacement tire seemed the best idea, er, the ONLY solution.
- Luckily, Iva was riding with someone that always carries a spare tire. I hadn't needed to use my spare for me since the 600k in 2011. I had, however, loaned a spare to our friend JohnA, in late September-2011, on the Kerr Lake Loop 208-km perm. Since then, my spare had ridden along nicely in my handlebar bag for 22 months and more than 15-thousand miles, warding off the need for its use.
- After a bit of a struggle, during which I joked about putting a 698-tire on a 702-rim, we got the spare on Iva's rim, inserted a new tube, and continued our ride.
- The spare, a tire that many might have discarded long ago, because it has a rather flat profile where the rubber meets the road, and because there was actually a patch on the inside of the tire, did an excellent job the last 30-miles of the ride, and more, as Iva had commuted from his house to the ride start / finish (another 2.1 miles).
- One other interesting thing was noted while we were in Berea:
- The destruction and replacement of the bridge over the Tar River on Culbreth Rd, that was scheduled to begin in May, was finally begun in the last two weeks.
- We had to take the detour, on roads I'd never ridden. Turned out to be nice roads. Only 2-kms added to the route.
- I now have a trifecta on my perms. Denny's Store has a 2-km detour because of a bridge out. Egypt Mtn has a 3-km detour because of a bridge out. The Road to Hicksboro has a 5-km detour because of a bridge out.
- My only route that doesn't currently have a bridge out is the standard route for Bahama Beach. However, even that route is somewhat effected by a bridge being out. There is a detour from a "parallel" road bridge out that is routed onto the standard BB route.
- Iva and I finished about 45 minutes after we had hoped / planned.
- However, he had made a couple phone calls to implement a plan-B, so all was good.
--> Denny's Store Sortie 138-km Perm-Pop + detour -->; 108.6 m.; 7h12 in-motion; 15.1 mph.
____ pre-ride commute: _9.0 m.; 0h32 in-motion; 16.9 mph.
____ Denny's Store Sortie: 87.0 m.; 5h48 in-motion; 15.0 mph; elapsed time: 7h14.
____ post-ride commute: 12.6 m.; 0h52 in-motion; 14.4 mph.
Q-1 tot: _11 rides; __940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; _1275 RUSA kms.
Q-2 tot: _18 rides; _2293.9 m; 158h18; 14.5 mph; _3142 RUSA kms.
Jul tot: __6 rides; __643.3 m; _42h25; 15.2 mph; __694 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _35 rides; _3877.5 m; 265h26; 14.6 mph; _5111 RUSA kms.
I decided not to mention that I did the "Irregulars' Ghoston-Peed-MVC end-of-ride time-trial" in 18'12". That may be the fastest time I have ever done that 4.6-miles with the three climbs; however, my time pales in comparison to the 14' or 14'30" that several of the "Irregular climbers" have recorded. (And those time would likely pale in comparison to the times some people could set -- unless they encountered significant traffic on NC-98 -- that happens sometimes -- in fact, I had to let up while on 98 to let traffic pass so I could get into the turn lane, and then I had to let up again to let the oncoming traffic clear.)
I did decide to mention the following:
Eddington Cycling Number:After this ride: 106.
Meaning that I have completed at least 106 different rides that were at least 106 miles long.
During our ride, Iva theorized on what it would take to get to an Eddington Cycling Number of 200 if one started with no rides, but had a commitment to get to ECN = 200. One 200-miler a week --> 4 years. One 200-miler a month --> nearly 17 years. I recall that Iva concluded anyone targeting ECN = 200 was crazy. (No one I know is targeting any "ECN level." The best thing about his theorizing? It filled a few miles with semi-humorous chat.