Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nov-23: Hauling To the Year-End Party

This was the fifth year there has been a NC Rando Year-End Party.
Due to ... stuff ... we once again ended up doing Permanents for the rides,
Instead of the preferred Brevet type events.

As in each previous year, there were two pre-party ride options:
 1.  A 200 (or a bit more) km option:
I understand that the 200k option, the new "Old Liberty," was well liked.
Even Byron, who took a non-trivial, but not disasterous, hit from a dog, liked the course.

 2.  A 100 (or a bit more) km option:
The relatively new "Saxapahaw Haul" was also well received.
I did the "Haul" so that, borrowing from and paraphrasing rando BobB,
I would get back before the party started. 

I still recall Robert exclaiming, in the Fall of 2010, "hey, I've never ridden through leaves before!"  The above was taken before the start of the "Saxapahaw Haul."  Obviously, there were plenty of leaves about.  [Photo courtesy of Biker BobB.] 

Downtown Durham start.
Then through, or at least past, part of the Duke University campus.
Then NC-751 to Old-NC-10 to some "cut-over" road to US-70 and
Into Hillsborough for the first control.

I knew where I was most of the first leg due to a prior life as a runner.
(That's where the "run" part of my "handle" comes from.)

Lost contact with the lead group on the gradual net incline on 751.
Good part of that -- I met rando TeddyS.
Teddy and I arrived at the Hillsborough control at the same time as the fast-crew.
Turns out they had missed some turns and acquired some bonus kilometers.

I wanted to sneak out while the fast-crew was feasting.
However, it seemed most of them were ready to leave when I was.
I lost contact with the lead group on whatever-was-the-name of that road;

And when I lost sight of Turbo Tim, who was actually off the back of the lead pack,
I sat up to soft-pedal and wait for some better-suited ride partners.

That eventually led to doing most of the second leg with rando BobB.
As usual, it was good riding with BobB.
BobB knew where we were and when to make the turns.
(Often, it is the other way 'round.)
Bob and I weren't dallying, but we also did not hammer ourselves into the ground fighting the headwind.
Instead, Bob indicated where the Haul intersected and shared roads with his new Perm-Pop:
The "Ala Orange."

My advice on the day:
If you don't know where you are, or where you're going,
Or what to expect over the hill or around the bend --
Ride with a similar-paced friend that does know.

Bob led us unerringly to the General Store in Saxapahaw.
(His "Ala Orange" also uses the General Store for a control.)
We short-stopped the control and were first to be back on the road.

Well ... I type that we short-stopped the control,
But is was more like the fast-crew was intent on setting a record on the day.
A record for most time spent at controls, that is.

Bob led us out of Saxapahaw, and we had a pretty good ride back toward Hillsborough. 
We weren't pressing our pace, but still, 
Fast-dudes MikeD, Branson and JohnM didn't catch us until about a mile
Before the penultimate control (again in Hillsborough).

During the minutes it took to get a receipt and consume ... whatever,
Most of the other riders arrived, and
The fast-crew appeared to settle in again for serious picnic al fresco.

I wanted to get going before my legs tightened up.
Bob was of a similar mind.
So we left Hillsborough to retrace our path to Durham.

Interestingly, Ricochet Robert and Turbo Tim left with us.
Each of them may have been a bit tired-out from chasing the fast-dudes, and
Were looking for a more rational pace? 

Once back on Old-NC-10, I once again "felt the music in me,"
As I channeled memories of too many training and fun runs and races
Through Duke Forest to recount, or count.

I may have been feeling a bit too much music,
As I had an interesting encounter with the traffic circle at 751 and Erwin Rd.
I'll just note that I was lucky that the curbing on the traffic circle
Was / Is designed to allow large truck to ride up, over, and down the "road furniture"
Without damaging their tires.

You can't tell it from looking at the official finish time on the RUSA website,
But semi-short-stopping the last control while others settled in to feast,
Robert, Tim, Bob and I managed to maintain our "breakaway" all the way to the finish.
Fin of the party-pop.  Also site of the party a few hours later.  [Photo courtesy of Biker BobB.]  

Saxapahaw Haul 103-km perm-pop; 64.3 m.;  4h17 in-motion; 15.0 mph, elapsed time:  5h13.   

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.
Q-3 tot: _19 rides; 2027.8 m; 134h34; 15.1 mph; 2383 RUSA kms.
Oct tot: __3 rides; _366.6 m; _24h16; 15.1 mph; _348 RUSA kms. 
Nov tot: __4 rides; _414.4 m; _28h22; 14.6 mph; _616 RUSA kms.  
YTD tot: _55 rides; 6043.0 m; 410h15; 14.7 mph; 7764 RUSA kms. 

Of more interest may be the party and award recipients.  However, this post already seemed over-long, so maybe the party will be addressed in another post, or on a different blog.  After all, we haven't had an overall "NC Randonneurs" website (or blog) since the demise of the dot-com site more than a year ago.  

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