Thursday, August 14, 2014

Aug-14: The "We Met Clyde" 100k Pre-Ride

Despite there having been some rides that I meant to write about, it's been a bit more than a month since last I blogged about any ride.  I especially wanted to write something about the DELUGE Not Friendly (DNF) on Aug-02, where after 95.4-miles, the bottom fell out of the heavens and the thermometer also dropped; my anonymous ride partner and I agreed that the risk of hypothermia was too great --> we managed to find a rescue ride.

The anonymous one has since gotten in their R-ride; I have not.  I still have at least two more reasonable opportunities this months.

However, I need to get back to the point.

Today, my friend Iva-the-Hawk and I did a pre-ride of the Aug-16 NCBC Picnic Populaire.
I would put in a link, but ...

Anyway, we arrived at Alan's at about 0730, intending an 0800 start.
Alan appeared a few minutes later, bearing "gifts:"
Actually, waivers, control cards and cue sheets.

We left on time, but only after I mentioned to Alan that we intended to take a detour --
To ride a block off the brevet populaire route so that Iva could see "Critter Country."
Alan agreed that that was a reasonable thing to do.

The first control on the Populaire is at the Andrew's Store, about 21-miles into the course, and
After one has done the climb on Jack Bennett Rd.

Iva did Alan's 200k brevet twice in 2010, but hadn't ridden anything south of Raleigh since then.
As we turned onto Lystra Rd, Iva asked where the infamous "Col de Lystra" was located.
I indicated that said climb started about a mile after we would turn off Lystra onto Jack Bennett, and
That Lystra and Jack Bennett scaled the same rise, but that Lystra is much steeper in doing so.

Just as the steep part of the Bennett climb started,
We, along with a few cars, were stopped on the road because of some utility work ahead.
After a minute or so, the STOP signal was changed to SLOW.
Just so you know, that is what Iva and did -- we proceeded at a SLOW pace.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be on a bike.
Bright sunshine, very low humidity, supposedly light and variable wind.
But even so, we were happy to arrive at the Andrew's Store control.
We each indulged in a "country ham, egg and cheese" biscuit; 
Iva had coffee; I chose a different caffeinated beverage.
We took our time, not feeling any need to hurry;
We enjoyed our conversation -- but, of course, I recall nothing that we chatted about.

We left the control, heading for the chip-seal of Parker Herndon Rd and its two valleys.
We were not disappointed.

At the end of Parker Herndon, we turned left onto Hamlet Chapel Rd,
The little green road sign indicates "Hamlet Chp Rd."
That encouraged Iva to make the best comment of the day:
"Hamlet Chip Rd -- how appropriate."
[Anyone that has done Alan's 200, 300 or 400 brevets will understand.]

Soon we re-crossed US-15/501 to DROP down into Bynum.
As indicated above, we detoured off course on Bynum Hill Rd,
In order to visit a world renowned place:  Critter Country.

We stopped to take a pic or two.
 Then ... we met Clyde, who was just finishing up mowing his yard (and maybe the yards for one or two neighbors).
Clyde Jones, with some of his Critters in the background.
 Clyde encouraged us to look all around the front and back yards, and to take as much time as we wanted, and to take as many photos as desired, also.
67-year-old Iva, being young at heart.

Iva had a little trouble taming his critter-horse.

My horse was a bit tamer.  At least I remembered to smile.  Actually, I was thinking "I better smile or Tony Goodnight and others will chastise me."
We bid adieu to Clyde and continued our appointed rounds.

We crossed the ancient and long one-lane bridge, closed to auto traffic, across the Haw River. 
And then, climbed back UP from the Haw to US-15-501.
Crossed over that road, again, and
Headed for Pittsboro.

We short-stopped the control in Pittsboro.
After all, we'd already spent 50-minutes combined at Andrew's Store plus Clyde's Critter Country.

After Pittsboro, the route gets a bit boring.
I can't imagine anyone indicating that Pittsboro-Moncure Rd is their favorite cycling road.
And on this date, we were riding into that "light and variable" breeze,
Turning several of the rolling UPS into bogging-down sections.

We each purchased something at the last intermediate control at Ray's Super Market, and
Enjoyed the absolutely delightful temps, humidity, sunshine, etc. at the outside table.

As we prepared to leave, Iva noted that the poles next to the tables were perfect,
Perfect, that is, upon which to make a half-human-flag:
The best physical move of the day.

We rolled through the last 28-ish miles, picking up the pace as we went.
We finished the 71-mile route after 5h57,
Filled out the requisite paperwork, and
Headed home.

[You may wonder about there being no reference to Alan in the above paragraph:
Alan had errands to run, so was not at the finish.] 


Oh, some might be expecting a pre-ride road condition report:
All the terrain is the same as ever.
The chip-seal road surfaces are still just as chippy and rough.
The tar-snaky roads are still tar-snaky.
The rough, bumpily sections on some roads are still rough and bumpily.
The smooth roads are still SMOOTH.
The Haw River was rushing nicely over the rocks and such near Bynum. 

The weather for Saturday is expected to be similar to today.
Everyone should have a great day for a bicycle ride.