Sunday, July 7, 2013

Jul-06: Johnson Mill Jaunt w/ an Irregular Crew


Johnson Mill Rd has the reputation as "hilliest road in Durham county."
My opinion is that it certainly deserves that reputation.

Hopkins Rd has the reputation as "most scenic road in Durham county."
It certainly has some nice scenery, but if it weren't for Johnson Mill Rd,
Hopkins would likely have the reputation as "hilliest road in Durham county."

Durham County, North Carolina isn't all that large,
Has an historic place in North Carolina history, but
Nowadays, it seems most people think only of Durham "city" and Duke Univ. and the Durham Bulls
When they think of Durham.

Johnson Mill Rd and Hopkins Rd and the nearby area
Seem more like the hills around the Sauartown Mountains, north of the Triad.
When cycling that area, it is hard to realize just how close one is to
Downtown Durham, Duke University, etc..

It would be really pleasant,
IF the cycling wasn't so darn hard.

I recall thinking, on the second hard section on Johnson Mill Rd,
"Oh, I need to come ride this more often."

Later in the ride, I told Ricochet that the next time he does the 'Road to Hicksboro' perm,
He has my permission to turn off the route, ride the length of Johnson Mill Rd,
Then turn-around and ride back to the course.

Ricochet thought that was extremely generous of me.
Due to family requirements,  when we got to Durham Tech on Snow Hill Rd,
The Mallet and Ags had to turn-around and
Head back to the meeting ground of PUE

It was good chatting with them until then.
IvaHawk, LT, Ricochet and I continued on (up) Snow Hill Rd
Toward our appointment with Johnson Mill Rd.

Somewhere on Snow Hill Rd, LT commented that we'd have to drag him to the finish.
However, on Red Mtn Rd, Hampton Rd, and Robert's Chapel Rd,
None of which are flat,
I noticed that Dave looked very comfortable in an easy-ish gear and high cadence.

I assume he finished the last 14.5-miles the same way, but I don't really know.
It seemed that either LT or Ricochet may have needed a throne break, but
They never indicated that to Iva and me.
So, when LT and Ricochet pulled into the BP in Stem,
Only 17 or so miles after we'd stopped in Rougemont,
Iva and I decided to just keep pedaling, although we didn't pedal as if in a hurry.

We'd barely cleared the last houses of Stem when LT and Ricochet rocketed past us.
Iva and I followed them, usually at about 100 yards, all the way to Creedmoor.
Then, in downtown Creedmoor, LT and Ricochet again peeled off -- into the BP in Creedmoor.
That's what makes me think that one of them needed a throne break.
[I've always found the restroom at the BP in Stem to be disgusting. 
The restroom at the 'Stem Grill' in Stem is no prize either; it is usually pathetic. 
But the restroom at the BP in Creedmoor is always CLEAN.]

Iva and I just kept pedaling on.
We chatted about -- I absolutely cannot recall what we chatted about --
The entire length of Dove Rd.
I do recall mentioning to Iva that there would be no repeat of Dove Rd from last week,
When we popped all the poppers on Dove AND rode the one non-trivial incline with panache.
Each of felt significantly more tired than when we'd ridden Dove Rd the Saturday before.
[The result of Iva having done the Fireworks 100k in Cary, NC on the 4th, and
me having done Bahama Beach on the 4th.] 

We certainly did not work the declines to pop the poppers, and
I don't even recall riding up the one non-trivial incline.
I guess we were distracted enough by our chatting that Dove Rd was no effort at all.
Backing up in chronology:
On Hopkins Rd, Lt. Dave told Ricochet Robert to be aware that there was a county line up ahead.
It was on an upslope, but the CL sign was likely to be missing.
"However," LT explained, "Martin knows where it is, so watch for when he makes his move."

I chuckled quietly to myself as I also recalled the last time we had ridden
The entire length of Hopkins Rd -- I had been a bit cheeky in how I took that Orange CL "sprint".
Sneaky break-aways are certainly the easiest way for me to "get" a CL.

Since Dave had brought the subject up,
I determined to do my best to repeat the Orange CL stealth.
The only problem was that I didn't actually recall where the CL was situated.
Therefore, I had to slip into leading, and surreptitiously increase my cadence on every incline.

The CL was on the incline, but so close to the crest of maybe-more-than-a-popper,
That it was hard to detect.
The sign for entering Orange County is still missing, but
The sign opposite, for entering Durham County was there.
However, the sign for entering Durham County was difficult to see coming from the east.
Nearly blending in, and somewhat hidden by some small branches for small trees or bushes.
I first detected the CL by the slight change in color of the road.
I increased my incline cadence, and Ricochet did not react.
Perhaps he thought I was repeating the same thing I'd done on the previous three or so inclines.
Well, I was, and that likely hid that I increased my cadence much more than the previous three.

Ricochet tried to claim that that CL point should not count,
Due to the hidden nature of it.
I was having none of that.

After all, I've been tricked / beaten by Raleigh RBA Alan when there was NOTHING
To indicate a county line.
I've similarly been snookered by Dean, the "Phun Physiologist."
I've seen JerryP take county lines and a state line when
The potential competition did not know the placement.
Later, after the turn off Hampton Rd onto Range Rd,
LT mentioned the next CL, also on an upslope, was just ahead.
Ricochet Robert, who had been dropping all of us on all the non-trivial inclines,
Was immediately enthusiastic.
"Where," he asked.
Dave repeated the just-ahead, probably only three-tenths of a mile line.
I interjected, "it's farther than that, Robert.  It's on the other side of Cassam Rd."
"You rode through it Tuesday," I continued, "when you did the Bahama Beach route."
"You know I can't recall what I rode yesterday, let alone something from four days ago," retorted Robert.

I was confident that Robert would recognize it when we got closer.
He did.

However, I had somehow gotten in the lead,
Robert directly behind me,
Lt. Dave on Robert's left,
Iva directly behind Robert.

When he saw or otherwise realized the CL was coming,
Robert exclaimed, "I'm boxed in -- I'm boxed in!"
Sighing to myself, I picked up my cadence to draw a little further ahead,
Giving Robert room to maneuver.

However, I kept an eye on R in my mirror, and
A couple seconds after he got out of the saddle to go for the CL,
I did the same.
Turned out I was in the wrong frickin' gear.
39/11 is NOT the best gear to be in on a slight upslope if you're trying to quickly increase your speed,

After the CL, when Robert passed me as I sorta' coasted along,
I told Robert that he was wearing the correct jersey for climbing well,
It was the wrong jersey to help him win CL sprints.
Eskatel is full of climbers, but no sprinters.

"What jersey should I be wearing," Robert asked.
"Omega Pharma or Lotto or even Cannondale," I responded. 
We all knew it would make no difference.
At 135 pounds, Robert is a climber.
He has no "punch" for rapid / sudden accleration.
Iva and I thought surely Ricochet Robert and Lt. Dave would catch us
While we on Old Weaver Trail if not before.
When they didn't, I made a joke,
I'm not going to explain, nor am I going to find the appropriate links,
Irregulars will understand, but likely no one else:
"Maybe Dave had to repair the commode after he used it, or maybe before he could use it."

Back at PUE, Iva and I checked the time stats of his two computers.
5h33 in-motion; 5h54 elapsed time.
We were each pleased with only 21-minutes of stoppage time.

Iva climbed quite well all throughout the day.
The result of those 3 weekends in a row doing mountain training rides and
The "Blood, Sweat and Gears" 53-miler, I think.

The "Blue Ridge Brutal" isn't until at least the middle of August.
I think he'll have plenty of time to get his legs ready for the 100-mile distance.
He has plenty of time to get his legs ready for the distance in the mountains.
A good ride, with good people, on a challenging-enough course.
That's my story, and I'm sticking with it, even though it may not be what I started out to type. 

--> PUE:  Johnson Mill Jaunt -->; 104.8 m.;  7h07 in-motion; 14.7 mph.  
 ____ pre-ride commute: _10.0 m.; 0h40 in-motion; 15.0 mph. 
 ____ Johnson Mill route:  81.9 m.; 5h33 in-motion; 14.7 mph; elapsed time:  5h54. 
 ____ post-ride commute:  12.9 m.; 0h54 in-motion; 14.3 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: __2 rides; __192.8 m; _12h26; 15.5 mph; __103 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _31 rides; _3427.0 m; 235h27; 14.6 mph; _4520 RUSA kms.
According to RWGPS, the Johnson Mill Jaunt is the fifth climbing-est route I've done this year (or the last 2 or 3 years, for that matter).  I haven't done any mountain rides the last few years, and of course, those would "break the bank" as far as climbing per mile.  However, the local routes, based on the RWGPS estimate of climbing, stack up as follows, on a climbing per mile basis:

Route Name
      miles   RWGPS         ft/m
1  -- errand ride -- Raleigh, NC 48.2 3,257 67.6
2 Rp - L-L-L Permanent Raleigh, NC 127.1 8,093 63.7
3 R - NCBC 400k Brevet (2013) Morrisville, NC 249.4 14,981 60.1
4 R - NCBC 300k Brevet (2013) Morrisville, NC 189.9 10,818 57.0
5 IR - Johnson Mill Jaunt Bay Leaf, NC 81.9 4,625 56.5
6 Rpp - Bahama Beach Bay Leaf, NC 64.6 3,587 55.5
7 Rpp - Howling Grits Chatham, NC 64.3 3,567 55.5

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