Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dec-31: Range Road Rover Rescue

We rescued the Range Road Rover Holiday ride tradition today.

Seven of us met at PUE for a 10 am wheels away.
In order of arrival:
IvaHawk, me, Bob "Duke" S, LT and Red Rocket, Tito, Ricochet Robert.
We left a bit late.

18.5 miles, just as I was settling in, five wanted to stop in Butner for a "nature break."
On Range Road, just before Cassam Rd, LT had a flat.
Luckily still in the open sunshine BEFORE the mile or more tree & shade tunnel.
About 5 minutes to fix the flat and away we go.

Ricochet tried to go-around Tito to take the Person CL sprint.
I'm not convinced that Tito was playing.
However, as I was behind Robert, I decided to jump for the CL just a moment after Robert jumped.
The 50/13 was really too big a gear for me to jump, but I made Robert work.
He beat me by the width of a tyre.
I think he said that made four, or was it eight, lifetime CL sprint wins.
I suggested that maybe he should now figure out how to take-on our rando friend Jerry P.
Robert thought that was NOT a good idea.

And then, only about 8 minutes of cycling after fixing his flat,
LT flatted again.
A MUCH more thorough search for the possible causes of the flats was undertaken.
I offered my spare tyre -- LT pretended to ignore me. 
Ricochet offered one of those temporary postage stamp patches -- it was used.
Fifteen or twenty minutes for the second flat change.
The second held, at least until the end of the ride.

The Person County chip-seal surface of Range Road is getting quite annoying! 

Despite that, or maybe partially because of it, I started picking up the pace.
The quicker to get off that bad surface.
Perhaps the roughness wouldn't seem as bad if we were going faster.
And I wanted to take any remaining sprint-zip out of Robert's legs
Before the potential Granville CL sprint.

I did manage to drop everyone before the CL, or
Maybe the all decided to drop me off their front wheels.
I know where that county line is.
I kept going to a bigger gear and ramping up the cadence.
(Helped by the long shallow decline to a non-descript creek.)
But ... the county line sign was missing.
The CL was discernible only by the change in the road surface. 
Robert claims I can't count the point for that one.
I dunno'.  I may have to get a ruling from the chief official.

The Range Road surface in Granville County was a delight -- SMOOTH asphalt.

There are always more rollers southbound on Range Road heading toward Stem
Than anyone ever seems to remember.

We all turned onto Little Mtn Rd -- there had been talk of skipping that turn.
Most of us regrouped at the corner of Little Mtn Rd and Old-75.
All of us regrouped in Stem.

We had our first true tailwind of the day on Little Mtn Rd.
Unfortunately, that road is less than 2-miles long.
And there is a climb or two to be dealt with.
[LT and I reminisced about the RRR ride where Levi bonked badly before reaching Little Mtn Rd.
We had conspired to make him worry about that road.
But, given his state, I stayed with Levi across Little Mtn Rd., and
When the stop-sign was visible, congratulated Levi on having completed said road.
Levi was confused. 
I admitted that it had been a practical joke,
However, we had not anticipated him bonking BEFORE we got there.] 

Brogden Rd from Stem to Creedmoor is mostly a downslope, and
On this day, we had a tailwind.
Some of us rushed down that road as hard / fast as we could.
Some of us rushed down for the first two or three miles, and then sat up.
Some of us concluded that they needed to conserve energy in order to make the last 21.5-miles.
A couple of the "rushers" waited, or turned around to ride back to, the conservers.
The conserver group of four took our time, did not hammer in on the G-P-MVC finish, and
Had a mostly good time.
This is obviously my last ride of the calendar year.
I dislike ride reports being in the wrong months.
I heartily dislike ride reports being in the wrong year.
I'll come back in a day or two in order to include the usual ride & year-to-date stats.
In the meantime, Happy New Year to everyone!

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