After Saturday's ride, Ricochet contacted me, wanting to do Bahama Beach on Sunday.
Leg muscles a bit sore from the prior day,
And having left a bit earlier than the previous day,
I pedaled an easy pace, taking 6-minutes longer in-motion to cover the pre-ride commute.
Robert also pedaled his trusty steed to the start, and
We arrived within 5 seconds of each other.
Greetings exchanged and paperwork taken care of,
We still had to wait a minute or more for the 0730 start time.
There are 5 inclines in the 5-miles of Victory Ch / Kemp Rd.
Busy chatting about serious and superfluous subjects,
I noticed none of them.
We chatted our way across Patterson, Cheek, Burton and even Red Mill roads.
19.4-miles covered and no mental energy expended.
Stagville Rd. 157 feet to climb in 0.8-miles.
It took mental and physical energy for me to get up that climb.
But I was determined to stay in the 39/15 gear -- I don't know why.
A respite, then some more climbing on Stagville Rd to Bahama (ba-hey-ma).
I told Robert I wanted to stop at the fire station in Bahama to lube my chain.
Not for the first time, Robert asked, "how could you tell your chain needed lubing."
"By the sounds coming from the drive-train, Robert."
"I couldn't hear anything," commented Robert.
"You gotta' remember, you're deaf in one ear and can't hear with the other."
Robert retorted, "no, no. I'm blind in one eye and can't see with the other."
"Yes, that too," I agreed.
39/15, with much huffing and puffing, to get up the "Michie Wall."
It is much shorter than the "Range Wall."
Then Ellis Chapel and Robert's Chapel roads.
Robert pointed out a roadside "terrace" on Ellis Chapel Rd that he likes.
That's all I recall of either road.
Arriving at more northerly Robert's Chapel Rd / Range Rd corner,
We decided to "wing it" and turn right on Range Rd instead of left.
That cut Little Mountain Rd out of the ride.
Thus, "not a little mountain ride."
The homesteads resulting from the right onto Range were more attractive than
Those encountered if one turns left.
But I cogitate that the left turn results in a slightly safer course,
Which is why the standard route makes the left onto Range.
Leaving Stem after the only intermediate store control en route,
Trying to stay in the 39/15, because I hadn't shifted all ride, yet,
I couldn't catch back up to Robert.
I shifted to the 50/15 and was on his wheel within seconds.
Keeping the momentum built up in my flywheel,
I went around on the little incline to the I-85 overpass,
And stayed in front on the next little incline up to Hester Rd.
There, we "winged it" for the second time on the day.
Ricochet Robert loves climbing, but
Hester Rd has quickly become a favorite for him.
Less climbing. Nice home and farmsteads. Some shade. Quieter.
Zipping ahead and skipping anything having to do with "hammering"
Across NC-96 and Horseshoe Rd,
Robert drifted off my front on the steep bit on Lawrence Rd, and
I could not reel him back in on the shallower part leading up to Grissom.
As I reached the turn onto Bruce Garner Rd at Grissom,
I happened to notice that I was NOT in the 39/15 gear I thought I was in.
Instead, I had apparently done all the climbing, steep and shallow,
Of Lawrence Rd, in the 39/14.
Two thoughts crossed my mind:
"When did I shift to the 14?" and
"No wonder that last bit seemed harder than I was expecting."
I left the rear in the 14 all the way to Ghoston Rd.,
Caught up to soft-pedaling Robert, and
Used the 50 once past Rock Springs Ch Rd..
I urged Robert to pass me and go on without me, as
He had seemed to be on verge of pulling away all ride.
When he hadn't been purposefully soft-pedaling after every "serious" climb.
Robert declined the invitation.
However, he had no hesitancy about coming around and dropping me on Ghoston Rd.
He putzed the first quarter-mile on Peed Rd., allowing me to catch and pass him.
Then he duly passed and dropped me on the steep section of Peed.
And ... I'm not sure when I caught him again (but only because he was soft-pedaling, waiting).
I got to the bottom of the creek valley on Mt. Vernon Ch Rd before Robert.
(I have a significant gravity advantage on declines.)
And just after starting the last climb of the route,
I heard Robert call out, "I can't shift; something is wrong with my rear derailleur!"
He was stuck in his smallest cog -- a 12-tooth gear, I think.
Of course he came around and kept going all the way to the finish.
As I type this,
I haven't heard the diagnosis of the cause of Robert's rear derailleur problem.
As I type this,
Several muscles in my legs are clearly indicating that I made them work this weekend.
It has been a long time since I've ridden hard, or attempted to ride hard.
I've mostly been efforting well shy of my aerobic limit.
As a result, I can ride long, for one day, but
Hard, for two days, or more?
Not so much.
--> Bahama Beach w/ Hester Rd variant perm-pop -->; 89.8 m.; 6h03 in-motion; 14.8 mph.
_pre-ride commute: 9.0 m.; 0h38 in-motion; 14.2 mph.
___BB: 65.8 m.; 4h21 in-motion; 15.1 mph; rando elapsed time: 4h36.
____ post-ride commute: 15.0 m.; 1h04 in-motion; 14.0 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.
J-A tot: _12 rides; _1274.3 m; _84h50; 15.0 mph; _1450 RUSA kms.
Sep tot: __2 rides; __202.1 m; _13h09; 15.4 mph; __241 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _43 rides; _4710.6 m; 321h01; 14.7 mph; _6108 RUSA kms.
xxxx, yyyy, zzzz.