Mick and I rode the inaugural Bunn Wash Caper on a pleasant, though mostly overcast, Spring day.
The wind must not have been much of an issue, because as I type this I cannot recall the wind effects.
However, I do seem to have a slight recollection of riding up the incline on Dunn Rd into a small headwind.
That would suggest a westerly wind on the day.
Checking the weather Almanac for Raleigh:
- Low temp was 55F;
- Hi temp was 67F;
- Between 8 AM and 2 PM, the wind direction varied from SW to NW;
- Winds at 10-mph at 8 AM, but only 5-mph from 1100 to 1400;
Just a bit of up-and-down climbing in the early miles on Mitchell Mill Rd -- wake-up, legs!
Then mostly flat with a slight loss of elevation as one joins NC Bike Route #2 for several miles.
The route leaves NC Bike Route #2 upon reaching "W. Old Spring Hope Rd."
Which occurs at a cross-roads community (of about three houses).
Or at least there is an NC-DOT green sign for a community there.
Can't recall the name of the crossroads community.
Or maybe that is a potential Info Control question.
One thing we did notice at that turn is this:
The only nuisance dawg on the whole route lives on the "inside" of the turn there.
Sort of a pug / boxer mix.
Not too tall, but tall enough to possibly nip one just above the ankle.
And fast enough, given its "inside" position, to possibly get in the way.
Mick tried to administer some "training" -- I doubt it took.
After that we dropped down to cross the Tar River, and then climbed back up.
You can see the dip in the elevation profile on the RWGPS map linked-to above.
The first Tar River crossing is at about mile 27.6.
The road climbs about 100 feet in about 1/2 a mile.
That's standard, or even a bit less than the standard,
For roads north of Raleigh.
East of Raleigh, in the area covered by the Bunn Wash Caper route,
That 100 feet in 1/2 a mile is about as difficult as it gets.
After crossing the Tar River, we turned to go up into and through the heart of Spring Hope.
The cue sheet notes a couple c-stores in Spring Hope at mile 30.6 of the route.
There are also some places where one could grab a meal in Spring Hope.
Mick and I rode through Spring Hope without stopping;
We were thinking of a quick lunch in Bunn.
After Spring Hope, we had nearly 10-miles on 7-Paths Rd.
Now that might sound boring and wearing on the mind.
However, it was anything but that.
There are two or three turns required to stay on the 7-Paths;
All of them logical and easy to make without even consulting the cue sheet.
There were also some nice little vistas scattered along 7-Paths.
Nice vistas if one is not so foolish as to attempt to compare to mountains or other such nonsense.
Accept where you are, and accept what the location has to offer, and enjoy it.
Possibly the greatest thing about 7-Paths Rd was the lack of vehicle traffic.
As best I can recall, we encountered only two pick-up trucks during our entire time on 7-Paths.
We dealt with the Info Control at the corner of 7-Paths and Dunn roads,
And proceeded on Dunn and Mort Harris roads to Ferrell Bridge Rd.
Our lunch plans took a detour when we encountered a small country diner
At the corner of Mort Harris / Sledge Rd and Ferrell Bridge Rd.
The diner has only been in operation since about December.
At least that is what the owner / cook told us.
Traditional Rural Southern cooking.
Made to order AFTER we put in our orders.
Filling and tasty.
50-minutes total was the stop for lunch.
Then on to Bunn.
A couple miles on Ferrell Bridge Rd (again with no traffic), and about a mile on NC-39.
39 is wide and flat. Not too much traffic.
However, any traffic at all seemed a lot after the complete absence we'd just experienced.
Through Bunn and onto another bit of NC Bike Route #2.
But now we were headed west.
Those that have done MikeD's "Showdown at Black Creek" Permanent
May recall Brantleytown Rd -> Old Halifax Rd, and a "bear right" onto Strickland Rd.
At that "bear right," the Bunn Wash Caper instead "bears left,"
Staying on Old Halifax Rd and opening a new road to randonneuring traffic.
A short stint on NC-98 and then 8-miles on Mitchell Mill Rd rollers to get back to the start / finish.
All in all, a nice ride on a pleasant, very low traffic route.
If you are a NC-rando living in the Triangle area, and looking for a new Perm-Pop route,
I think you can't go wrong riding the Bunn Wash Caper.
Contact Mick -- you can find his contact info by following the above link.