I hadn't done the 'Hope Springs Eternal' perm-pop since some time last year.
Luckily, Mick was able to accommodate a rather late request, and I did HSE on Sunday.
I thought I was making good progress,
Meaning I thought I was maintaining a decent average pace, and
Maybe I was, but
I don't really know since the battery in my cycle-confuser-sensor died, and
I haven't got around to replacing it yet.
I left the 69+ km turn-around control at precisely 10 am (3h00 after starting),
After having spent only about 6-minutes at the control in Spring Hope,
Thinking to myself, "wow, I might finish in about 6-hours total."
I had forgotten that a breeze had finally woken at about 9:40 am.
And said breeze would be in my face all the way back to Raleigh.
It wasn't ever strong enough to refer to it as a headwind, but
There was that ever-present small amount of pressure in my face.
I had also forgotten that the route is net upslope inbound.
I had forgotten that Fowler Rd, in particular, can be troublesome upslope into a breeze.
[BTW, it appears that Fowler Rd has been recently infested with tar-snakes.
At least I don't recall Fowler Rd being particularly tar-snaky last year.
It certainly is now. -- And there are no tar smiley faces.]
I hadn't made any stops on the outbound leg,
Even catching all the stop-lights (save one) on green!
But inbound I made an extra stop at the Hopkins Fire Station
For a pee and to top up a couple water bottles.
5 or 6 minutes.
I must have lost focus at the Mitchell Mill Rd intermediate control,
As the stop took 9 minutes instead of the intended 6.
I thought I was still making a good average pace when I left the control, but
As indicated above, I don't really know.
The last 15+ miles from the Mitchell Mill control to the finish
Always takes longer than an hour.
The result of the combination of surprisingly tougher than expected rollers getting into town, and
Outbound, as noted above, the stop-lights had been good to me.
Outbound, there had been no traffic in downtown Raleigh, and
Virtually no traffic anywhere.
Well ... come to think of it, there was one ... jerk ... on Fowler Rd, outbound.
Inbound, as you might guess, the traffic volume increased as I approached Raleigh, and
Although not a lot of downtown traffic, there was more than literally none.
Inbound, as you might guess, I caught all the stop-lights on red.
Outbound, the sky had been overcast with the clouds helping to keep a "civilized" temperature.
Inbound, the overcast slowly disappeared,
So that by the time I was stopped at the lights in downtown,
The sun was making its presence felt.
[Admittedly, the sun wasn't really "all that" during the ride.
However, on the post-ride commute, 'El Sol' came out in full force
While I was going up the climb on Lassiter Mill Rd.
I could feel the sweat-beads forming on my scalp,
At the base of the few hairs I still have on top.
Sweat beads forming under the head-sweats cover.
At least the head-cover keeps the sweat from running into my eyes, and
Keeps me from getting sumburned up top.]
Anyway, I finished the ride in 6h31.
Fastest time I've ever done the Hope Springs Eternal.
First time I've ever done the route without a prolonged lunch-stop.
[That's neither a complaint nor the opposite -- just a fact.]
--> Hope Springs Eternal 140-km Perm-Pop -->; 98.0 m.; 6h49 in-motion; 14.4 mph.
____ pre-ride commute: _5.1 m.; 0h22 in-motion.
____ Hope Springs Eternal +: 87.8 m.; 6h03 in-motion; elapsed time: 6h31.
____ post-ride commute: 5.1 m.; 0h24 in-motion.
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: __5 rides; __534.7 m; _35h12; 15.2 mph; __556 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _34 rides; _3768.9 m; 258h14; 14.6 mph; _4973 RUSA kms.