Monday, July 1, 2013

Jun-29: A Very Green 138-km Perm-Pop

Bob, whose knee is still recovering from a near-encounter with a fox in the wee hours of Jun-02, was looking for a ride on a populaire to keep his P-series going.

IvaHawk, coming off three consecutive weekends of cycling-about the North Carolina mountains, the last weekend having been the half-century at "Blood, Sweat and Gears," was looking for a the first of two or three 80-miler-plus rides to prepare him for his next audaciously named NC mountain century, the "Blue Ridge Brutal."

Ricochet, ... who may have been thinking of doing a Fourth of July 600, or 1000, or I dunno', was probably interested in a pleasant ride with pleasant companions.

I know I was just looking for a pleasant ride with pleasant companions.

We settled on the 138-km Denny's Store Sortie.
It has the mileage that IvaHawk was looking for.
It has less climbing per mile than Bahama Beach or Howling Grits or even the Bunn Warmer.
(I'm not entirely sure about the Bunn Warmer.)
And the less climbing per mile would suit Bob's knee.

The route includes probably the most pleasant section of Range Road --
Especially early on a sunny spring, summer or fall morning --
Of course, it was overcast when we were riding on Range Road -- oh, well.
There are some places just begging to be photographed --
The tobacco drying barns on one particular hillside along Mt. Harmony Rd comes to mind.
There are also some fleeting vistas of more distant hills.
And some nice inclines and declines to keep one's attention.
Almost all on nice asphalt.

That reminds me:
Central Ave Ext., coming out of Butner, heading toward Range Road --
Was resurfaced between the 15th and the 29th.
Instead of being a washboard and the least desirable road surface on the route,
It is now competing for the title of smoothest and most desirable.

I've gotten ahead of myself -- I actually have a plan for this post.
An actual plan.
I wonder if I can keep to it.
I usually don't.

We were all ready to start on time (0700).
But a funny thing happened:
The conversation turned to Iva's mountain century itinerary this year, and the last few years, too.
[When one commits to using sentences or phrases that will fit on a single line of this blog,
Sometimes one has to substitute shorter, less interesting words for the originally intended word.
In this case, I'm hoping I don't have to replace "itinerary" with "plan".]
A couple Assaults of Mt. Mitchell,
Blood, Sweat and Gears,
Blue Ridge Brutal,
Bridge to Bridge,
Hot Dogget.  (That's probably the wrong spelling -- I don't care -- Iva can correct me if needed.)
Suddenly it 5 or 6 minutes after the official start time.  Oops! 

Most of the conversation on those mountain centuries was between Iva and Bob.
Turns out Bob had done all the rides on Iva's recent or future itinerary,
Except Bridge to Bridge and Hot Dogget.

Bob has the patches to prove it.
[Bob would never brag on himself or even offer to share a photo of his century badges,
But I wheedled him into sending me a photo.]
                            Assault on Mt. Mitchell, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000  ... ... ...  Blue Ridge Brutal, 1996, 1997                                                                                         Blood, Sweat & Gears, 2002  ... ... ...  Roan Moan 2002                                                      Bob's description of the other patches (and believe me when I type that I had to wheedle this out of him):  "The LAW/LAB (League of American Wheelmen/League of American Bicyclists) patches were from different 'sanctioned' centuries.  At least one of them was from the Surry Century in Surry County VA.  Others may have been from the Ride Around the Lakes century (started in Warrenton NC) or Tour de Moore (Southern Pines NC).  The Rolling in Randolph patches - some are semi circular, some are round (Asheboro Parks & Rec) - are the same every year, so they don't have a year embroidered on them.  I rode that century several times in the 90s and 2000s (at least half of them with Richard Lawrence, Joel's dad).  Tour de Pig in Lexington was '97, 2001, and 2006."  ... ... ...  According to Bob:  "To put things in perspective, only BSG, Assault on Mt Mitchell, Roan Moan, and Blue Ridge Brutal could be considered more difficult than L-L-L or Egypt Mtn, even though they are 25 miles shorter than a 200K.  So I would definitely rank this collection of patches below what many of the NC Randos have accomplished.  They represent what I was focused on prior to joining RUSA."
 Bob sent one other photo -- it is an up-close pic of the patch on the upper-left of the above photo:
 Tour of Swan River Valley, Montana, 1979
That makes that TOSRV patch 34 years old.
Bob was much younger then.
Weren't we all.

Now .. if only Bob would stop having late night encounters with dogs, potholes and foxes.

Iva's history of audaciously named mountain centuries is much shorter than Bob's.

Heck, I remember Iva's first Irregular's ride:

I recall Iva's first ever (ever, Iva?) 50-miler.
I skipped the ride because of a bad head cold.
But BobH got Iva through a detoured version of the Assault on Flat Rock.

I also recall Iva's first ever 100-miler.
[The first half of that route eventually became the first 50-miles of the Egypt Mtn perm.]

Now, of course, Iva has been transformed into an occasional mountain-goat,
Or, maybe morre appropriately, a mountain-hound.

Okay, the ride on Jun-29:
  • Central Ave Ext from Butner out to Old-75 has been resurfaced.  It is no longer a washboard.  Instead, it may be the nicest surfaced road on the route -- though there is some tough competition for that title. 
  • I know there are some non-trivial climbs on Mt. Harmony Rd, but I didn't feel them.  Oh, I was still slow, and Ricochet zipped past on every slope with an incline greater than about 3%, but they were causing no pain. 
  • Horses in a pasture, somewhere, were doing something.  Oh, yeah.  They were studying us VERY carefully as we rode past; we first noticed them carefully observing us when we had at least another 150 yards to ride just to get opposite the pasture. 
  • The benches at the Allensville Store were completely filled by locals.  We were trying to short-stop that control, anyway.  Still took 9 or 10 minutes, though. 
  • Between the Allensville Store and the Denny's Store sign, we saw five (apparently) tri-athletes headed the other way.  I think all five were in their tri-bars, and scattered-about in the west-bound lane -- definitely not in a line.  My guess is that they started from Raleigh, and turned around when they got to Roxboro, to get in a 100-mile ride.  I'm pretty sure, because of a conversation with three tri-athletes during my commute to the ride two weeks ago -- hmmn, no mention of the commute to the ride in that post, that their route out-and-back was essentially the same as our route from Allensville to Raleigh.  (More on the tri guys later.) 
  • We stopped at the Denny's Store sign to take a photo of the two in the group that were doing their first circuit of the route as a RUSA Permanent Populaire.  (Each had done the route previously -- before it had been RUSAfied.) 
                                                             Bob, the sign, IvaHawk.  ...  ...  [This would have been a decent photo if the guy taking the snap had kept his finger out of the frame.  Aargh on me.]
  • We had a nice lunch at the picnic table at the preferred establishment at the corner of US-158 and Culbreth Rd.  About 25-minutes, all told. 
  • While eating lunch, we saw the tri-guys apparently headed toward Raleigh, as they turned off US-158 onto Culbreth Rd.  They were pretty much in a line, apparently hammering, and my recollection is that all five were in their tri-bars. 
  • As we started to leave the control at about 11:20 am, Ricochet expressed sudden concern.  Were we sure we could leave the control?  After all, no one had posted anything to Facebook! 
  • We coasted down to the Tar River, and climbed back up to the plain and into the bright sunshine.  Only to see four of the tri-guys on the side of the road.  One was lying in the ditch, right fore-arm covered in blood.  We asked if they had things under control -- and one of the uninjured replied that they had called for an ambulance.  We pedaled on. 
  • Culbreth Rd from Berea to Culbreth is a nice road.  Culbreth Rd from Culbreth to Old-75 is a great road -- what makes it great?  Well, it does go down-and-up a bit, but not too much; and it curves back-and-forth a bit, but not too much; however, what currently makes it a great road is that it was resurfaced a month or so ago.  It is therefore the main challenger to Central Ave Ext for the best road on the route. 
  • Old-75 was resurfaced last year. 
  • So too was Brogden Rd between Stem and Creedmoor. 
  • But I've gotten ahead of myself again. 
  • As we neared the sign for 'Shoofly', we crossed paths with the fifth tri-guy.  He shouted out, asking if we had seen some other cyclists back down the road.  I called out back to him, "yes, they are in the ditch, back near Berea."  He had apparently ridden about six miles beyond the crash, probably all the way to Old-75, and was now back-tracking to find his ride companions.  
  • There was no BBQ sandwich guy in Stem. 
  • A couple of us paused at the Southern States in Creedmoor to refresh our water bottles. 
  • I think I rode Dove Rd, south out of Creedmoor, better than I ever have before.  Popped all the poppers, and did NOT bog down on the only non-popper!! 
  • After that, we pretty much took it easy to get to the finish.  Umm, maybe some of us rode hard up Old Weaver Trail from Falls Lake to New Light Rd., then we took it easy.  Umm, maybe we finally started taking it easy when nearing Ghoston Rd. 
  • I do know that I more-or-less rode in with Bob on the Ghoston-Peed-MVC finish as he nursed his still tender right knee, while Iva dusted Ricochet on the G-P-MVC.  I mean, Iva must have dusted Ricochet -- how else could he have gotten to the finish a minute before Robert?
Permanent Route Name Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Denny's Store Sortie 138 2013/06/29 4 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T33300  7702 A_____, Iva C  Randonneurs USA / 933095  06:33
RUSA-T33301  6628 B_____, Robert D  Randonneurs USA / 933095  06:34
RUSA-T33302  5843 B_____, Bob  Randonneurs USA / 933095  06:39
RUSA-T33303  6218 S_____, J Martin  Randonneurs USA / 933095  06:38
Seems to have been a lot of A + B cyclists on this ride.
Iva, fresh off his three weeks of mountain riding, set the new record for this course. 

We each professed to having had a great ride.
And, if perhaps the above account is not perfectly accurate in every detail,
Maybe I'll be forgiven for stretching the facts.

--> Denny's Store Sortie 138-km Perm -->; 107.3 m.;  7h00 in-motion; 15.3 mph; DSS elapsed time:  6h38. 

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: __5 rides; __794.8 m; _54h05; 14.7 mph; _1081 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _29 rides; _3234.2 m; 223h01; 14.5 mph; _4417 RUSA kms.
One might think that if someone had ridden 378+ miles before sundown on the second day of the month, that someone might have accumulated a few more miles during the month.  However, I only did another 4 rides all month!  Did cover 416+ miles, though.

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