Monday, August 12, 2013

Aug-10: Picnic Brevet Pre-Ride

[I previously sent an email to the NC-Rando-List-Serve with my pre-ride report. 
Such as it is / was. 
Therefore, this report is "experiences" rather than the "facts" of that pre-ride report.]  
0555 - head out for the start of the pre-ride, roughly a 15-mile commute.
Wondering what the temperature was, I activated the confuser console.
It immediately went blank.
Aha!  It is not the sensor or the sensor battery that is bad,
It is the console battery!
Will deal with that later.
Strange though -- the console display had been quite bright up to moment of failure.
Arrived Alan's about 0655.
Hmmn -- no one else here.
Guess this will be a solo 200.
That's okay.  I like solo 200's.
This will be my third solo 200 this year.
Alan emergd from his mostly dark house.
We take care of some paper-work.
And chat a bit about the plan for next week's picnic.
I pushed off at about 0704.

I rode 1+ mile to the McD's (start of the 7Cs perm-pop).
Refilled one bottle with fresh, COLD water.
I had consumed one entire bottle on the commute, and
The McD's was the logical refill location.

Three minutes later, back on the bike, and riding well.
Little to no apparent effort.
The route is mostly a gentle decline for the first 15-miles.

Interesting thing -- I noticed stuff I'd never noticed while doing this route with a group.
Usually trying to stay on the wheel of some of the rational starting fast-crew,
My guess is that I haven't really looked around too much on those early miles.
I recall several new housing developments, or
Perhaps I should describe them as ugly yellow, flattened terrain,
Destined to contain more McMansions or McCondos.

There were also several runners making their way toward the American Tobacco Trail.
Also one or two apparently returning from same.
I managed a good look northward on the ATT as I slid past -- several more runners were visible.
I don't ever recall seeing so many, maybe any, runners, before.
EXCEPT on the day of the half & full-marathon.
That was an "interesting" mile or more, from the USA Baseball Complex to the ATT.

There were other more interesting "new" things (meaning some are clearly old), but
I recall NONE of them.
More on that later?

I recall some numbers:
0820 - turned off Jack Bennett Rd onto US-15/501.
Knock off the 4 minutes late start, and the 3 minutes McD's start -- I was moving well.
0823 - turned off 15/501 on Andrew's Store Rd.
0834 - turned off Parker Herndon Rd onto Hamlet Chapel Rd.
Only eleven minutes for that last bit?
It usually seems to take half-an-eternity.
Hamlet Chapel / Jones Ferry to Frosty's -- that's what usually seems a full eternity.
0857 - I slid by Frosty's.  1h50 of pedalling for 29.6 miles.  I was happy.

I think it was 0934 when I turned off NC-87 onto Castle Rock Farm Rd.
I know I looked at my watch at the county line and the road becomes Old Swithboard.
I wanted to know how long the purgatory of the Castle Rock chip seal had lasted.
However, I cannot recall what the time was.
A possible explanation later?

Backing up a bit, I think it was around 0830,
That I first noticed there was a definite breeze in my face.
"Oh, good," I thought, "tailwind on the way back."

I think it was 1027 when I arrived in at the Snow Camp store.
I definitely recall that the clerk wrote 1030 on the card.
I let the clerk know that there would be about a dozen or two riders coming through next weekend.
She turned to the other clerk and said, "Betty, next week."
At the time, I thought it was amazing that they had been thinking of us.
More on that later?

I had consumed two bottles of water in the 50-miles since the early McD's stop.
I purchased two 16-oz. Pepsi's ($2),
Drank about 8 ounces, and put the rest in one of my white KHS water bottles.
Remounted and headed for Siler City at 1036.

About the only things I recall between Snow Camp and Siler City are:
 - the house that someone had started to brick-in -- it is for sale;
 - the UFO and Moon/Mars Rover have a new companion (sort of);
 - if that "new companion" was there in the Spring, well, I can be oblivious, and I don't recall it;
 - the house with the "purple woman" -- they need to mow the grass and do some other landscaping;
 - the grounds around Rocky River Church, esp. the shade from the many trees, looked nice.
 - and there was a breeze in my face the whole way. 

I think I arrived at the Siler City store after 47 minutes of pedaling;
That would suggest I arrived at 1124.
I know the clerk wrote 1130 on my card.

I made three quick phone calls while in Siler City.
One to Alan, to ask if he could conjure up some proper brevet weather,
Meaning some rain.
There had been more SUN than I had expected, and it was getting quite warm
Alan wasn't home.  (I later learned that Dorothy had let him go to the store by himself.)

The second call was to Biker Bob.
I didn't expect him to answer as he was supposed doing either double-L or G'eD.
He didn't answer and he didn't check his voice-mail until 3:10 in the afternoon.

The third call was to IvaHawk.
He was doing the Blue Ridge Brutal 75-miler.
So I didn't expect him to answer; he didn't.
I left a voice mail that Iva should be sure to let Ricochet know that my pre-ride was
Becoming brutal due to the sun and heat and the headwind.
(Ricochet was doing the Blue Ridge Brutal 100-miler.)

Oh, yeah, the breeze in my face had become enough of wind that
The huge flag outside the Siler City control, was mostly straight-out, pointing east.
Tailwind home, baby!
I was thinking my inbound time would be faster than the 4h09 of outbound pedaling time. 
I think I was in Siler City for a total of 18 minutes.
It took only 43 minutes of pedaling to get back to Snow Camp.
That would suggest I arrived back at Snow Camp at 1225.
I don't recall "for sure" and I also don't recall what time the clerk wrote on the card.

I bought a gallon of water because all 4 of my bottles were empty (or nearly so).
I drank most of what I couldn't fit into my bottles;
I estimate that I left 12-ounces in the bottom of the jug.
Perhaps I drank too much water, because
My stomach felt a bit water-bloated when I left Snow Camp at 1240.

Other than the bloat, I was feeling good;
I thought I might finish by 4 pm (for a 9-hour time).
I even thought I might finish earlier than that.

Castle Rock Farm Rd, chip seal, jarring.
But I reached NC-87 with an additional 6-minutes of "negative-split" time.
I felt good.

Chicken Bridge Rd and Crawford Dairy Rd -- no recollections at all.
Wait, I recall several cars were parked on the north side of the bridge over the Haw River.
Fishermen?  Probably.

As I approached Frosty's at 2:16 pm, with the HEAT of the sun boring into my back,
I decided I needed another break.
A cold drink, some time in the air-conditioning, some time answering questions from a 5-year old,
And it was 2:40 pm when I pushed off from Frosty's.
A 4 pm finish was now out of the question, but I would certainly finish before 5 pm.

Locals will know what comes after leaving Frosty's.
Jones Ferry Rd.
Frickin' Jones Ferry Rd.
I couldn't climb up any of those rollers.
I tried several different gear combinations.
39/15 and stand  try to hammer.
39/23 and spin.
And some in between.
None worked.

The 23-minutes to cover Hamlet Chapel / Jones Ferry outbound,
Became 28-minutes to cover the reverse inbound.
[I do think the slopes are steeper inbound than out. 
Alan does sneak in some hard stuff on this / these courses.]

I recall climbing on Parker Herndon Rd,
Not entirely sure where I was on the road, and
Thinking, "I hope this is the climb to the stop sign and not the one before."
Luckily, I saw the stop-sign ahead sign just moments later.

Andrews Store Rd seemed harder than it should have been.
But once I reached 15/501, I figured the remaining 21-miles would be a piece of cake.
Swoop down Jack Bennett to the lake,
Then, essentially, the easy inclines of Martha's Chapel and Lewter Shop roads.

However, and, at the time, I didn't realize what this might mean, 
There was no sweat on my arms.
The hairs were dry and blowing in the wind.
Earlier, the arms had been soaked with sweat.

As I reached Farrington Rd, and the picnic table tucked between the two buildings at
Farrell's Lakeside, with the heat of the sun again seeming to burn me through my jersey and bibs,
I decided I needed another break.
I actually laid down on the bench of the picnic table.
I may have dozed off for a moment or two, but I think not.

After 10 minutes or so, I figured I'd better get back on the bike.
And then, as I tried to stand, WHAM -- my right groin muscle cramped.
Cramped so badly that I was suddenly nauseous.
Nausea so bad that I was invoking MariaF's rando rule:  no throwing up! 

I knew I had to get some weight on the leg, to help relax that muscle.
I couldn't bear the pain and the increased nausea of trying to do that.
I hated this sport, and I hated that I'd ever heard of this sport.
I thought, "who can I call for advice?"
I didn't want to call Alan, and
I was worried that others might offer to come rescue me.
Rescue me?
16 easy miles from the finish?
With hours before the time window closed?

Once I realized the above, I knew whom to call upon for advice.

Get that muscle calmed down,
Get a V-8 -- which is what I should have had at Frosty's.  Doh!
And see what happens.

The muscle relaxed.
I limped into the store.
By the time I was paying for the V-8, the leg felt fine.

Before I left Farrell's, another customer asked if I would beat the approaching storm.
I looked at the black clouds approaching, and replied, "I doubt it."
And the guy kinda' laughed and said, "and you don't care?"
"That is correct," I answered, but I know he didn't really understand.

The ride from Farrell's back to Alan's was fine.
The 39/15 was an easy pedal.
The ominous storm clouds had blocked out the heat of the sun, and
There was only one flash-bang close enough to worry me.

I think I covered the last 16-miles in 1h04 of pedaling.
Oh, I did stop at the Critter's McD's one-mile before the finish,
To refill two water bottles with COLD water.
After all, I had a post-ride commute to do after the brevet paperwork was taken care of.

I think I finished at about 5:40 pm.
I was VERY tired.
I told Alan that at least I was the first to complete next Saturday's 200k brevet.
Alan then told me that Jerry had done his pre-ride the previous day.
Dang!  No glory whatsoever.
From photos, I know that I always look like death-warmed-over very early in a randonnee.
But at this ride finsih, I must have looked like death-gone-cold;
Alan suggested I come inside and sit down.
[I've been in Alan's before; the above line is just for dramatic effect.]  

He also offered some of his magic brew.
I forget how Alan described the brew, except
I recall he described using some hops that he grows himself.
Actually, Alan did quite a near-monologue on brewing and hops and yeast.
I enjoyed listening.

In between parts of Alan's brewing explanations,
Dorothy sternly mentioned that she was worried about Alan riding again, and
That we had better look carefully after him! 
I assured her we all would watch out for him. 
She also mentioned that she'd gotten worried when Alan seemed so long at the store, midday. 
[One of the foreshadowings closed.] 

The brewing lesson ended when one of the Mike's called.
MikeO or MikeD.
I think the voice I overheard was MikeD.
Otherwise I would not have copied him on the thank-you email to Alan.
I was worried about the post-ride commute, but I was committed to it.
From Morrisville, the direct route to Raleigh, on a bicycle,
Is UP Chapel Hill Rd / NC-54 to Cary, and
Then continue on Hillsborough Street to NC State.
The climb worried me.
[The traffic also worries me, but I was too tired to care about that on this day.]  

In the event, powered by Alan's magic home-brew,
The 39/15 gear and the bike and I were as one.
The climb was not as steep as I thought.
It was great actually.
I was getting re-energized by the ability to do that climb rather easily,
Despite being so very tired.

Then karma arrived to smack the hubris from me.
I clipped an unseen pebble with my rear tyre.
Flatting / flatted on a short, shallow decline.
The bike became a bit squirrelly before I could mostly coast to a stop.

Changed the tube.
Finished the ride.
66-minutes pedaling, mostly uphill, for the post-ride commute.
Compared to the soft-pedal 58-miutes pre-ride commute.
I take that as a positive.

It strikes me that I never explicitly closed the loop on the "foreshadowing" questions.
My opinion is:
I drank very little between Snow Camp and Frosty's inbound.
Maybe because I felt bloated when I left Snow Camp. 
Rando friend Dean, aka, the Phun Physiologist, yesterday, put up an interesting post about drinking to stay cool.  Here's my first thought:  to avoid dehydration - drink SOMETHING !!  

Here is the text of the pre-ride report email I sent to the NC-rando-list-serve:  
Sticking to just the facts (that I can recall):
  • The chip-seal section of Castle Rock Farm Rd is  just as jarring as it has been. 
  • The surface of Old Switchboard Rd, just as it ends at Lindley Mill Rd, is deteriorating.  Take care. 
  • There was quite a bit of gravel on Old Switchboard Rd, next to the one particular gravel driveway, the usual suspect -- between the black-and-white cow and the stop sign.  Take care. 
  • The lawn-mowing activity of numerous residents along the way had thrown a lot of mown grass onto the roadway.  Enough so that I repeatedly zigged or zagged around it.
  • The surface of Jones Ferry Rd continues to deteriorate.  However, it is still several magnitudes better than was New Light Rd a couple years ago.  On the other hand, I found that the Jones Ferry Rd rollers inbound were at least 10-times longer and steeper than those rollers outbound.  I exaggerate not. 
I understand that JP did his pre-ride on Friday.  Whereas the heat and sun got to me and may have affected my perceptions and memory, Jerry likely was not quite so adversely impacted.  He may have more useful information. 

Here is the text of Jerry's email pre-ride report: 
Following up on Martin's report, I noticed some of what he mentioned along with the chip seal on Parker Herndon being particularly bumpy. 

Yeah, it was HOT--I stopped 3 times more than I do on this route in April. Frosty's out- and in-bound and Farrell's Lakeside in- bound. 

See you Saturday morning.  


--> NCBC Picnic Brevet pre-ride -->; 154.8 m.;  est. 10h32 in-motion; 14.7 mph.  
 ____ pre-ride commute:  14.8 m.; 0h58 in-motion; 15.2 mph. 
 ____ brevet:  125.2 m.; 8h28 in-motion; 14.8 mph; official elapsed time:  10h47 . 
 ____ post-ride commute:  14.8 m.; 1h04 in-motion; 13.4 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.
Aug tot: __2 rides; __275.5 m; _18h00; 15.3 mph; __308 RUSA kms
YTD tot: _37 rides; _4153.0 m; 283h27; 14.7 mph; _5419 RUSA kms.

Brevet in-motion splits:  4h09 pedaling outbound; 4h19 inbound.  Given that I was 10-minutes ahead of the outbound pace, ... .
Brevet elapsed time splits:  4h30 outbound; 6h10 inbound.  Some extra breaks.  Some long breaks. 

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