Sunny and delightful for the 0715 start (click here for RWGPS map link).
Filtered sunlight crossing Falls Lake on New Light Rd.
Delightful filtered sunlight with mirror-like lake surface alongside Old Weaver Trail.
Early morning sun on green expanses and flowers, with absolutely calm ponds along Cash Rd.
Through Butner and up the "Range Wall," still in early morning sun.
Passing Robert's Chapel Rd in morning sun,
Looking forward to heavily filtered light dappling through the tree tunnel on Range Road.
But a funny thing happened on the way into Durham County:
The sunny day gave way to a light overcast.
And by time I reached Person County, while riding on Bahama / Moriah Rd, increasing overcast.
I was disappointed that my cool, sunny ride had turned into an overcast day.
Later, I realized that I'd been lucky.
The overcast had kept the temps in the 60's, allowing me stay cool all ride.
Somewhere on Range Road, or perhaps on Bahama / Moriah / Mt. Harmony Church Rd,
I realized that I had "settled in" on the bike,
Riding along at a nice pace, seemingly without effort.
Without effort, except when climbing, that is.
From the start to the Allensville Store control (@ 42.3-miles) with only 3-minutes of "pausage."
Two minutes for various lights and stop signs and traffic.
One minute for a nuisance dawg at the turn off Mt. Harmony Ch Rd onto Johnnie Jones Rd.
[I'd never seen that dawg before,
And probably wouldn't have on this ride,
Except that the two small pickups from some local contractor,
Had caught and passed me just as I reached that turn.
I pulled over to the right to let them pass,
The dawg and its companion (a non-nuisance dog) seemed attracted by the pickups,
And the dawg stayed around to harass me.
I actually dismounted, mostly kept the bike between me and the dawg,
And managed to shoo the dawg back home with a combination of angry shouts
And a faux chase move (when the dawg showed signs of retreating).
Do you approve of that dawg-handling, TonyG?]
Anyway, I arrived at the Allensville Store Control at 1006.
2h51 after the start.
2:48 in-motion, that works out to 15.1-avg-mph-in-motion.
I was pleased -- I hadn't been riding that fast, esp. with some climbs, for awhile.
Seven minutes at the control.
More than I wanted, but I got stuck behind a serial lottery ticket buyer.
Even the store clerk expressed some annoyance (after the lottery player had left).
For some reason, the very first time I rode on Denny's Store Road,
I got the impression that the road was mostly flat.
I paused for two minutes to take a semi-obligatory photo at Denny's Store.
I proceeded on my way to the second control, an open control, in Berea.
I opted to stop at the "suggested" store, arriving at 1106.
[It is the "suggested" store only because my "preferred" store is not open on Sundays.]
I always like it when I can get to Berea an hour or less after arriving at the Allensville Store.
51-minutes in-motion from Allensville to Berea.
That works out to 15.0-avg-mph-in-motion.
Given the several rollers (i.e., non-trivial climbs for me) and the quartering headwind, I like it.
I was planning to be in Berea only long enough to acquire and eat the 2-hotdog-special.
However, I ended up in conversation with the store owner.
Maintaining cordial relations is a good thing, too, ya' know.
I pulled onto Culbreth Rd at 1124, wondering what the rest of my ride would be like.
I'd had a couple HARD + not-enjoyable rides in the previous weeks;
I was worried that this mostly enjoyable ride would come crashing down around my legs.
Down to the Tar River, and up. That was okay.
Continuing along the top of the plain to Culbreth into the quartering head windwind. Okay.
Uh-oh -- looks like the old farmhouse at Culbreth crossroads has burnt down.
[I didn't stop to take a photo.]
Continuing on some mostly-easy rollers, past Shoofly, toward Stem. All okay.
Through Stem, down Brogden Rd, up the two non-trivial roller climbs,
And down into Creedmoor. All okay.
Through Creedmoor, some pizzazz on Dove Rd, up the Whitt Rd climb. Still all okay.
Across Old Weaver Trail -- the mirror surface of the lake now replaced with ripples.
Swoop down New Light Rd, across the main channel of Falls Lake / Neuse River, and
Onto Ghoston and Peed and then Mt. Vernon Church roads,
Back up to the top of the plain, across Norwood Rd to the finish.
Arrival time 1329.
Only 3-minutes of "pausage" for traffic, etc.,
Meaning 2:02 in-motion for the final 30.7-miles of the ride.
A 15.0-avg-mph-in-motion. I'll take it.
15.0-avg-mph for the whole ride.
I still felt fresh.
I must have still felt fresh -- I did the 6.7-mile commute home in 33-minutes;
That's roughly a 15.4-mph average.
Perhaps I'd "banished" the bad effects of the 300-pre-ride?