Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mar-11: Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf 104

As previously indicated (good-bad-and-unexpected-102-km, 2nd half of post):
My friend, Ricochet Robert, had surgery a couple weeks ago.
Thinking he could benefit from a flat populaire to preserve his P-streak,
I suggested a pretty flat route (for north of Raleigh).
Robert was concerned that no one else would do the route.
I told him not to worry -- some would prefer a flat route for recovery,
Rather than the usual hill-fests he LOVES.

Trying to shoehorn several errands into a single day,
Mick & I decided to ride the Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf perm-pop.
I recall that Mick had only completed the Kerr Lake Loop twice,
And his non-rando stomping grounds {did not / do not} include the route's area.
Therefore, the route would be almost as if riding something completely new.

I, on the other hand, had completed KLL about 16 times,
And used to do this very route as an occasional non-rando ride.
And, to complete the story, I've ridden many other non-rando rides
That either started or ended (or both) using most of this "Oxford" route.

The route is an easy, mostly-flat route.
With only three (3) controls:  start, turn-around, finish.
[My theory on populaires and new randos is that many need to learn to get on the bike and ride. 
Not learn to get through controls. 
One learns quickly enough about controls if there is a willing teacher on one's first pop, 
And one learns VERY quickly if the group leaves one behind because one is too slow at the control.] 

It was sunny, but still chilly for the 8 am start.
[Okay, chilly by central NC, mid-March standards.]
We started 7-minutes late -- not because it was chilly.

5-kms later, we had to wait (what seemed like) 5-minutes for the light to change.

Then we putzed along for significant stretches of the route.
Mick indicated he wanted an easy ride.
And since he spoke-up first, I never had to indicate what kind of a ride I wanted.
That's my story, and I'll be sticking to it.

Most of the route is rather open,
Or when not open, there are still houses within sight.
Safe "nature breaks" are hard to come by.
About 5-miles before the turn-around, Mick indicated he needed a nature break.
I replied that it was only 4-miles-or-so to the turn-around.
Mick quipped that normally that would be okay, but he had needed the break for 10-miles.
We made a slight diversion off-course to accommodate.

I'm not sure when we got to the turn-around,
And I am not inclined to check the receipts,
But I do know that we took quite a long break.
We remounted for the trip back a full 3h00 after the official start time.

By then, 11 am, it had warmed significantly, and the WSW wind was building,
A slightly quartering head-wind most of the way back.
But a direct in the face headwind on Bruce Garner Rd..

But, for me, it was wind be danged !
It wasn't a 20-mph wind, after all.
I wanted to get the ride done so that I could do the other shoehorned activities.
AND, my ride opportunities are rather limited at this time,
So I wanted to ride hard on the short distance,
To try to hold on to the remaining in-shapeness I've got.
In other words, keep the "use it or lose it" at bay for as long as possible.
[I doubt Dean would think my "plan" can work.
However, he has a more difficult time suspending his disbelief on the "use it or lose it" front.] 

Anyway, we rode somewhat hard on the homebound leg,
Finishing 2h15 after leaving the turn-around "Oxford" control. 
[Not all that fast, but we are slower than many, and it was into a bit of headwind.
There is also the three finishing climbs in the the final 9.5-kms.]

At 78 or 79 degrees Fahrenheit at the finish, it felt rather hot.
On the other hand, the higher temps have whetted my appetite for NO-more-cold-wintry-rides !!

Later, Mick commented, "the route is flat, by 'Martin standards'."
xxx, yyy, zzz

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