Monday, January 30, 2017

Jan-24: Worked Over By The Wind 210

The title of this post gives it away.

Prompt 7 am start with BobB and newbie Daniel.
[Daniel had ridden the Tar Heel 200 in December with Bob and going-on-hiatus-Bryan. 
He had also ridden the Denny's Store Sortie a week earlier with Bob and me.] 

The purpose of the ride, other than re-starting my R-series and R-2 for Daniel -
Bob had picked up R-85 earlier in the month -
Was to try to find out some information regarding the "bridge gone" near Warrenton.
Usually, the NCDOT website details road closed / bridge construction situations,
But as of the date of the ride, there was nothing on the website about that road / bridge.

The start of the "Egypt Mtn" perm is the same
As the ride I did with the non-rando Irregulars the previous Saturday.
The same, except the starts are 1.2 miles apart,
An extra 1.2 miles of false flat decline for the rando permanent.
I mention this because on Saturday, with the Irregulars,
We had covered exactly 14.5-miles in exactly 1-hour, 0-minutes in-motion.
And doing the second hour solo, I had covered exactly 29.0-miles in exactly 2-hours, 0-minutes.
But at the start of this rando permanent, with the start being flatter than the previous ride,
We only covered only 13.36-miles in exactly 1-hour, 0-minutes in-motion.
[That was disappointing.]
The second hour in motion was much better,
As we had covered 28.0-miles in exactly 2-hours, 0-minutes in-motion.
[Seemed we were back on a reasonable pace.]

Then the wind woke up.

Coming strong from the NW early, and backing around to the WNW in the afternoon.
Headwind all the way to Drewry.
Headwind almost all the way from Warrenton until near the finish.
The only tailwind for more than a few yards was the 10-miles from Drewry to Warrenton.

We stopped for lunch at the Subway in Warrenton.
My recollection is that we were there for 50-minutes.
50-minutes when the situation surely indicated that we ought to have been conserving time,
Because we were certainly headed toward a Dark Monster finish.

I needed to visit the rest room before we left the Subway.
Upon returning from the rest room, I overheard part of a conversation by two men
That seemed to be discussing road issues.
I stopped, interrupted, and asked if they knew anything about the aforementioned bridge.
One of the men pointed to the other guy,
Who said that the bridge was out due to "maintenance,"
An expected six month project.

I thanked him for the information, and
Mentioned that I had been able to find NOTHING about it on the NCDOT website.
The knowledgeable guy was obviously surprised to hear that.

Outside, Bob and Daniel were waiting for me.
We remounted and retraced the last couple miles of the standard route
To get to No Bottom Road for our detour around the "bridge gone" situation.

That couple miles was NOT pleasant.
The wind had picked up while we had been at the Subway.

No Bottom Road, on the other hand, is a nice road upon which to ride a bicycle.
Some down-and-up, some curving about.
It will make a good detour until the bridge is replaced.

The headwind on the return beat us up pretty well.
At least I attest to that for myself.

Darkness descended upon us just after we transited Pokomoke (16.2-miles from the finish).
Blackness descended shortly thereafter.

One last comment:  gosh, but there was a lot of traffic on Bruce Garner / New Light Rd.
Seemed to be more traffic than I can ever recall from previous, always daylight, rides.

Oh, one more thing:  Hans was unable to start with us at 7 am.
So I set him up with an official 8 am start, meaning he could start as late as 9 am.
Hans used to be FAST - he holds the record for fastest passage on the Egypt Mtn perm,
But hasn't been cycling much in recent years.
But, retired now, re-upped with RUSA, his first goal being to complete an R-12.
I expected that he would catch us.
Hans expected that he would catch us.
He indicates that he took a beating from the wind.
His card reveals that he got a receipt at 8:21 am (starting at least 81 minutes after we three).
He officially finished at 8:04 pm -- 39 minutes after we three had finished.
R-1 in the books for Hans. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Jan-21: "Irregulars" Ride Shorted

Snapper put out a call for riders and requested suggestions for a route. 
The Mallet suggested a three hour tour beginning at 8 am:  the Cedar Creek Cruise.

I let Snapper know that I could do an hour or so with the crew, but not at the required 16 mph.
Snaps indicated that he couldn't handle 16 mph for three hours, either,
So an hour at 14.5 mph or so would be welcome.

Gathering at start, LT suggested a modification of the Cedar Creek Cruise,
Avoiding riding Holden Rd across to Youngsville.
LT and Rich had ridden LT's suggested modification recently,
But they were not in agreement as to the length of the resulting route. 
Mallet was fine with the modification, regardless the exact length.
As I was planning to turn aside long before reaching LT's modification,
I didn't worry about what the modification was, nor did I spare a thought for the resulting distance.

The first two miles across Pleasant Union Church Rd are essentially flat.
A good road upon which to ease into warming up to the ride.
The Mallet, however, had ridden - I'm guessing - 6 or more miles to the start.
He was already warmed up, and setting what he thought was an easy pace (for me).
I thought about asking him to back off half a pedal stroke, but kept quiet.

Mallet came alongside me and we chatted about the usual, and even some unexpected.
Paul "the Mallet" mentioned that he had ridden with rando-Joel on the picnic brevet.
I had to shift my brain from Irregular to Rando paradigm; it took a repeat or two to understand.
Oh, Alan's Picnic Brevet last August.
Something I had not attended because of my work schedule.

Rando-Joel, one of the victims of the Feb-20-2016  bash into,
Had apparently given the Mallet information that was up to date as of mid-August-2016.
Paul has met and possibly ridden with MikeD -- on a previous brevet.
Paul has also ridden with Lynn a time or two.

Paul was curious as to Lynn's status and also Mike's.
I shared some info regarding Lynn. 
I had no information regarding Mike, but
I did note that Snapper had seen Mike at an NCBC monthly meeting not too long ago.

By this time we had crossed the flat Pleasant Union Ch Rd and were turning on to Six Forks Rd..
Six Forks, which becomes New Light Rd when one crosses NC-98 heading north,
Has several non-trivial down-and-ups to cross and clear Falls Lake.
All I was doing was just trying to keep up.

Well, maybe Paul and I had the chat about Lynn and Mike before reaching Six Forks Rd..
Or maybe it was after clearing the several climbs to get north of Falls Lake.
After getting north of Old Weaver Trail, New Light and Bruce Garner roads are relatively flat.
I might be confusing where the chat regarding Lynn and Mike,
And Paul's brevet conversation(s) with JoelL took place.
It doesn't really matter, but Ricochet Robert would like it if I included actual facts,
Rather than just my memory, which might be askew.

Anyway, riding on Bruce Garner Rd, approaching Lawrence Rd,
A key road for a couple local perm-pops, I reminded myself to check to see
If the road closed signs on Lawrence had been removed.

However, there was chatting with LT and/or Snapper going on,
Including mutual razzing about the trail of gunk being deposited up the middle of our shorts
And continuing up the middle of each jersey or jacket.
Did I mention that it wasn't raining, but that it had done so the previous day?
Did I mention that it was a very foggy morning, with dampness still hanging in the air?
And on the roads?
Guess I forgot about to mention that.

Anyway, back to the approach to Lawrence Rd and the saga of the road closed signs.
In addition to being distracted by the chatting, 
Whomever was leading the group,
Started to make as if to make a right turn onto Lawrence
Instead of continuing onward for another mile to Graham Sherron Rd.
Shouting ahead to keep the leaders on course, distracted me,
And I forgot to look left at Lawrence Rd.  Sigh.

A mile more on Bruce Garner and we made the right turn on to Graham Sherron.
Which is initially a false flat decline, but then plunges down to a creek (I think there's a creek there),
Rears up a short climb which is almost pop-able,
Then plunges again to another creek,
Before making the more serious climb up to the lopsided intersection with Woodland Church Rd.
I worked that last climb, and I recall I was not the last to reach the corner,
Where the parting of the ways was to occur.
As I coasted to a stop, the odometer rolled 14.5 miles exactly,
And the chronometer rolled 1-hour and 0-minutes exactly.
[Remember that for the next blog post.]

After goodbyes all around, I went left while the other four went right.

I had been glad to undertake the short ride with the others,
Just for the excuse to ride Woodland Church Rd from Graham Sherron to Bruce Garner Rd..
There is a climb, that has almost always been tough for me,
But I've always appreciated the winding climb up to and past the farmstead there.

I knew the climb would be tough, so I intentionally took it easy.
The farmstead was not very attractive through the fog and the damp.
And, funny thing, I reached the top of the main part of the climb
Without even realizing it.
The value of taking it a little bit easier.

Up the remainer of Woodland Church Rd, being mostly a false flat incline,
Well, there is another decline and incline, non-trivial ones, but I recall them not.
I seem to recall barely noticing the incline even when riding up it.
The value of taking it a little bit easier!

I made the left turn onto Bruce Garner, heading for home (or PUE, anyway).
A slightly short two miles later,
I recall looking at the store and cars at Grissom,
Which is the intersection of Bruce Garner and Lawrence roads.
But I completely forgot to look, this time to the right, to check for the road closed signs,
Or more to the point, the lack of road closed signs.

Bruce Garner becomes New Light Rd.
I rode past the Stony Hill Fire Station.
Local randonneurs, and maybe even some non-locals, will know why I mention that.
And zipping along ("zipping along" is a relative term),
I found myself nearing the sharp curve/corner on Peed Rd,
But the crazy thing is that I thought I was on Mt. Vernon Church Rd,
Approaching the stop-sign across from Pleasant Union Elementary.

That confusion only lasted a couple seconds, and then I realized where I was.
I've done New Light to Ghoston to Peed to MVC several hundred times,
Perhaps on the order of 700 times.
Rando rides and non-rando, too, I tend to finish with those roads.
I guess the brain just sorta' shut off on this day.
Or maybe I was thinking deeply about other things.

This wasn't the first time that I've ridden without realizing where I was, or what road(s) I was on.

I think it was 2011, doing Alan's 200-km brevet, where I realized late in the ride,
That I had no recollection (except crossing the Chicken Bridge and making one particular turn)
Of anything for about 30 miles.
That resulted in my record fast passage on that 200.

I know that I've done Mike's Black Creek perm, more than once,
Suddenly realizing that I did not know what road I was on.
Luckily, each time, I was several miles further along than I thought,
And, just as important, on the correct course.

I recall one time, doing Dean's Tar Heel 200 with Dean,
That I suddenly realized that I had been deep in thought and wasn't sure I was still on course.
Apparently, while in the deep thought, I had unintentionally picked up my pace,
And Dean was no where to be seen, so I pulled over to hope and wait.
Luckily, I had pulled over at correct place, for when Dean arrived, we made a left turn.

I also recall that I completely thought out the Bahama Beach 103k populaire
When doing Dean's Get 'er Dunn populaire with Dean.
I completed the mental creation and came out of my reverie just as I was entering Coats,
A small town on the Get 'er Dunn route.
Dean was no where in sight.

Anyway, back to the ride that I'm supposedly writing, er, typing about.
On the shallow decline on MVC, before the drop to the creek,
I chanced to look down at my cycle confuser,
And decided to pick up my cadence just a bit,
So that I rolled 29.0 miles exactly in 2 hours exactly.
Pleased I was that I had managed to keep the same average pace
As when being pulled along by the Mallet earlier.

I had barely put my bike on my bike-rack, which I did within seconds of stopping.
When LT and Snapper suddenly appeared.

Their story was that Snapper had dropped his chain two more times
Immediately after I had turned aside from the group tide, and
Snaps had decided that the smart thing to do was to short the planned route.
And Lt. Dave had decided to accompany Snapper,
Partially because as soon as I was no longer part of the group,
The Mallet had picked up the pace beyond where LT was comfortable.

After I finished lashing my bike to the rack,
Dave and I looked at Harvey's transmission system with him.
The long and short of that is that we gave him a tutorial or advice:
Swap out to a new chain when you're supposed to,
Before a worn out chain wears out a cassette that ought to have more life in it.
Pay attention to the miles on the bottom bracket, cassette, chain.
Visually check the jockey wheels in the derailluer from time to time.
Interesting thing, every suggestion we made, Snapper indicated that his mechanic had said the same thing.

In case you are wondering:
I have no idea what the Mallet and Rich ended up riding.
I presume that they had a good time.

In case you are wondering #2:
This was supposed to be a short post,
Without so much detail.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Jan-17: Denny's Store Sortie 138

BikerBob, newbie Daniel (but not a rando virgin since he had joined Bob and Bryan in December on the Tar Heel 200 -- a ride of exactly 200 kms RUSA credit, ridden by Bryan in order to get to exactly 40-thousand RUSA credit kms, Mondial Award, as Bryan's last act before taking a hiatus of undetermined length, a hiatus so that he can properly participate in the care and rearing of his child born in early 2016) -- whew, that background comment in the parenthesis is pretty long.  Let's start over.

BikerBob, newbie-but-not-a-rando-virgin Daniel, and I undertook the Denny's Store route,
Promptly on time, at 8 am.
Early on, I commented to Bob that the route was seeming rather familiar,
Since the start was much or exactly the same as my previous two rides,
Rando pop "Raleigh-Berea-Raleigh" and Irregulars Holiday Range Road Rover,
Each of which Bob had done.

I think Bob didn't quite understand the comment when I made it.
Because when we were approaching Butner,
Bob asked if the Denny's Store route was the same as the Range Road Rover.
Yep, same routing, except that RRR stays on Range Road,
Whereas Denny's Store turns off Range Rd and then stays a few miles on the outside.
Until the return, that is, as the last 23 miles or so are again duplicative.

Up the "Range Wall" and onto a favorite section of the route.
At least it is a favorite in the Spring and early-early on a Summer day,
When the sunshine sneaks through the leaves at a low angle,
Lighting up the greenery with that special dappling of morning light.
On this ride, I did mention that to Daniel and Bob.
Bob had probably previously heard me extolling the virtues of that section of road.
Daniel may or may not have cared.
And on this ride, me being out-of-shape, still, I think I was mentioning the sights
In order to distract my brain from the exertion of our appointed round.

I don't really recall the sunshine dynamics on the day,
But it must have been at least partly to mostly cloudy,
Because I pointed to the farmstead at the turn of the route onto Bahama Rd,
Noting that, though not true on this ride, that farmstead often makes for an appealing sight.

I did think about mentioning the "tobacco barn valley" vista,
But refrained form doing so.
It wasn't attractive this day, and
I think I had fallen behind a bit on the previous incline.
[Ha!  Looking the photo linked to above, that photo leaves a lot to be desired.]

Daniel started exerting his climbing ability, pulling ahead on every notable incline.
On several occasions he would ride circles at the next intersection,
At or beyond the crest of the climb.

Into the control at the Allensville store.
3h04 elapsed, 3h02 in-motion.
I use 3h00 as the "target" for that control.
A couple years ago, I morphed into using 2h50 for that control,
But since then, as I mention with the frequency of a broken record,
I haven't been in good cycling shape.

No locals sitting on the bench outside the store.
The clerk mentioned that she hadn't seen us in quite awhile.
I explained that I'd only done the route twice in 2016;
At least partially because the woman that used to often ride with me,
And the clerk interrupted, "your ex-wife?"
Yes, and then I explained about her and others getting bashed into on Feb-20-2016.
The clerk commented that that was a shame,
Adding that [Lynn] always enjoyed the bench,
And that the locals always enjoyed chatting with her.
And I added that the locals also enjoyed teasing me for being "half-an-hour" behind. 

My chat with clerk had turned an intended 7-minute control stop
Into an 11-minute stop.
But we still had a chance to get to Berea, the next control,
Within an hour of arriving at the Allensville control.

Well, it would have been possible except that I was out-of-shape,
Bob was recovering from just getting off anit-biotics and a bout of bronchitis,
And there may have been an unhelpful breeze.

21-minutes it took to get from Allensville to Denny's Store.
Not the usual, expected, and perhaps even "programmed" 19-minutes.
We stopped for the sometimes usual photo.
Bob + Daniel, bundled up against the chill.  Gray skies and evidence of weak sunlight that didn't provide much extra warmth.  [photo credit to me]
We arrived at the preferred Berea control exactly one hour after we left the Allensville control.
[After we left the control, not after we arrived.  Sigh.] 
The preferred control is not the suggested open control in Berea;
The preferred establishment is not open on Sundays,
Thus the gas station / c-store on the inside of the corner is the suggested control.

50 minutes at the control for lunch, and
Discussing some of the "finer points" of randonnuering,
Mostly about proof-of-passage requirements,
And discussing / describing brevet options / courses within North Carolina.

50 minutes!
Oh, well, we had plenty of time.
50 minutes?
Rando friend CristaB, whom I've never actually met,
Would laugh at my concern over taking 50 minutes.

5h05 elapsed when we left Berea.
Two hours to go (on a good, in-shape day).

Down the decline to the Tar River,
Up the short, but non-trivial climb back up to the plain.
For the mostly flattish 5-miles to Culbreth,
And the more rolling 5-miles from Culbreth to Stem.

Onto the "Brodgen Expressway," better known amongst Irregulars as "Hulse Expressway,"
To Creemoor.
[I must have turned off my brain on the two most notable inclines to get into Creedmoor, 
One somewhat longish, the other shorter but steeper, 
As I have no recollection of those climbs that day, 
And I'm pretty sure I had no recollection even as I did them.]

Through Creedmoor and onto Dove Rd.
Dove Rd can be a fun roller coaster at speed,
Using momentum of each decline to pop the next incline.
But there is one incline that is too long to pop.

I wasn't riding "at speed" this day,
But it still felt roller-coasty and reasonably fun.
Bob enjoyed the coaster at my pace;
I imagine that I recall that Daniel enjoyed them at his somewhat faster pace. 
Anyway, he was riding circles at the turn onto Whitt Rd as Bob and I approached.

Onto Old Weaver Trail, reversing our early course.
Falls Lake was being whipped to nearly a froth.
It had been smooth on the outbound crossing.

Daniel pulled ahead on the long incline(s) to New Light Rd.
Bob more-or-less went with him.
Upon reaching the corner, I insisted on a couple minutes breather.

Zoom "down" New Light Rd to another Falls Lake crossing,
Then the finishing 10-kms on Ghoston, Peed, and Mt. Vernon Church roads.
Which description I leave to Fixie Pixie's experience on those:
"we hit the three toughest climbs in the waning miles of the event ...

Official results on the day: 
Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Denny's Store Sortie / 1795 138 2017/01/17 3 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T68923 5843 B__, Bob Randonneurs USA / 933095 07:34
RUSA-T68924 11331 R__, Daniel B Greensboro Velo Club / 933001 07:34
RUSA-T68925 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095 07:34
Not the slowest passage of the route -- I checked.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Growth of Perm Route Starts Nationally (and some States)

The chart below shows the number of RUSA perm "Group Starts"(*) by year, the number of states in which those perms and perm-pops started, the number of perm "groups" by year for the six states with the most perm starts, and the number of perm "groups" for the other states not specifically shown.  [You might wonder why I decided to show six specific states:  (1) because that's the number of states that allowed the exhibit to fit on the page, and (2) there was rather a natural break-point in the counts between the sixth and seventh states.]

You will notice that the total number of "group starts" increased every year until 2016, when there were approximately 440 fewer start groups than in 2015.  I have a good idea why the count for North Carolina (NC) decreased by approx 130, being almost entirely due to two frequent riders being knocked off the road and their corralling of others to ride once or twice a week going missing, combined with two other frequent riders essentially retiring or at least taking a hiatus.   However, I have no information or knowledge about why California (CA) and Washington (WA) also showed significant decreases in their counts.  Guesses would include a post-PBP effect and perhaps a decrease in K-Hounds in those states.

I'm attempting no profound insights (at this time); just simply showing the high-level information.

I have not attempted to look at the amount of brevet riding by year / region or state.

Year Groups # States

2004 34 5
6 0 22 0 0 0
2005 124 9
10 21 57 0 0 0
2006 370 17
25 80 130 7 9 1
2007 764 23
182 101 248 22 29 24
2008 1,065 28
245 161 198 33 93 43
2009 1,815 31
353 332 395 45 114 56
2010 2,631 38
449 472 555 194 75 89
2011 3,921 35
724 569 663 349 93 168
2012 5,123 46
997 660 742 382 224 266
2013 5,175 47
1,048 803 555 392 215 278
2014 6,227 47
1,481 904 578 422 286 370
2015 6,803 48
1,484 1,125 511 449 339 323
2016 6,359 51
1,315 964 616 318 385 312

Total 40,411

8,319 6,192 5,270 2,613 1,862 1,930

(*) "Group Starts" -- for purposes of this chart / blog-post, a "Group Start" is one group starting one perm or perm-pop route (presumably at the same time, though I cannot confirm that same start time assumption), regardless of how big or small the group.

The 40-plus-thousand "group starts" in the above chart translate to approximately 68-thousand individual completed rides / "RUSA-T" certificates.  [Obviously, there is a lot of solo riding occurring on perms.  Hey, I like doing solo bike rides, but it is rather amazing the amount of solo rando perm riding that occurs.]

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Rides on My Perms: 2012 thru 2016

In some earlier posts, I've mentioned that my bicycling was way down in 2016, or more like I've beaten that dead horse into the ground.  However, I continue on the subject.

The chart below shows the number of "days"(*) that at least one person started one of my perms for all years 2012 - 2016; also shown are the number of rides that were completed in those days/events and the number of different RUSA members that have ridden the indicated course at least once.

If you had read the previous posts alluded to above or know of the happenings in Johnston County, North Carolina in mid-February-2016, you would already suspect or know that the dramatic decrease in rides in 2016 compared to 2015 or 2014 is because a north Raleigh randonneuse was unable to ride during most of 2016 combined with the fact that I just didn't ride my bicycle very much in 2016.

My rando friend Dan Driscoll says and writes that one should make a plan (to K-Hound); others make plans to accomplish other goals.  However, I've never successfully completed a cycling plan; I've had much better results when I just rode what and when I could, enjoying the rides (or at least most of them).  So, for 2017, I'm not going to target any specific rides or goals, but I certainly hope to ride significantly more, on my routes and also on the routes of others.

I also hope to do some rides with the remnant Irregulars on some non-rando days and routes.

Enjoy your ride, whatever and wherever it is.

Route Name / Map Route # Kms
"Days" Complete Rides # Diff Riders
 "Days" 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Bahama Beach #1404 103
152 266 25
39 31 36 29 17
BL-Oxford-BL #2259 104
81 136 9

36 34 11
Denny's Store Sortie #1795 138
33 68 12

9 14 8 2
Hope Springs Eternal #1636 140
1 4 4


Egypt Mtn #1444 210
35 73 18
10 10 5 6 4
Road to Hicksboro #1938 205
12 32 15

6 4 0 2
Badgett Sisters Pkwy #2497 208
1 6 6

1 0
Badgett (Bay Leaf) #2498 234
3 8 7

2 1
3-Lake-300 #2771 300
1 7 7

1 0

Fish Pop #1895 106
6 11 7

1 5
Ammon-Whiteville #1380 202
3 5 5

2 1


328 616

49 56 95 84 44

(*) "Days" -- sometimes, different groups of people have ridden the same route on the same day, but starting at different times.  I submit those to RUSA separately:  one memorable day, I started the Oxford route four hours after Lynn started the same route and we crossed paths approximately 10 kms from the start / finish; that day is recorded as two "days" in the chart above.


[Edit Jan-14-2017: 
"A" comment regarding "Hope Springs Eternal" and "Fish Pop" and "Ammon-Whiteville": 
  • "Hope Springs Eternal" (HSE) was originally owned by MickH, but in late 2016, he concluded that he needed to reduce his RUSA commitment / "tyre-print" in order to have more time for more important personal and especially family needs.  Mick asked me to adopt his routes, which I was happy to do; after all, Mick's routes were collaborations by the two of us, and I like the routing of HSE and the other routes once they are clear of Raleigh traffic. 
  • "Fish Pop" and "Ammon-Whiteville" were originally owned by MaryF (and were created with SIGNIFICANT help of High Point Region RBA Tony Goodnight.  Mary's interests and life underwent change in 2014, and I adopted the routes in late 2014 or early 2015. 
  • The many rides that were done on those routes prior to my adopting them are not shown in the above chart because one of the points of the data collection exercise was to portray the drop in route-owner duties that I incurred in 2016 compared to the prior years.]  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dec-30-2016: Raleigh-Berea-Raleigh 107

Once again I'm again late with the blog post.

Bob had continued his R-series earlier in the month.
His P-series, also.

I, however, had been too lazy to do either when it would have been easy.
So, my last chance to rescue my P-series, we rode Lynn's "Raleigh-Berea-Raleigh" 107k pop.

We met for an 0600 start.
Dark for an hour, it was.
But being between Christmas and New Year's,
No school traffic,
And not much work traffic (we assumed many people had the week, or the day, off).

Even less traffic after we turned off New Light Rd onto Old Weaver Trail.
And no traffic at all on Whitt and Dove roads up to and into Creedmoor.
I think it was on one of the inclines on Dove Rd that I remarked to Bob,
That my legs were feeling the ride from two days before, and
That if a mild 100k and the 12-miles so far could make me this tired,
There was no way I should even attempt Tony's Jan-07 two hundred km brevet,
What with all the serious climbs on that route. 

We paused at the corner of Dove Road and NC-50 before proceeding through Creedmoor.
Waiting for a little traffic to pass and probably also to turn off lights not already switched off.

Slow progress up Brogden Rd from Creedmoor to Stem, into the increasing NW breeze.
We paused again at Tally Ho Rd in the middle of Stem.
I don't recall why, maybe just because I needed a breather.

Onward onto Culbreth Rd, still into the NW breeze and chilly temps.
My toes, esp. my left toes were cold enough, thank-you-very-much.
I forget what Bob indicated about his toes and fingers.

Across the Tar River and up to the control in Berea.
2h35 in motion, approx 2h45 if I recall correctly.
[That latter being what the control cards indicate.]

We took our time eating some breakfast biscuits purchased at the control.
I was playing for a little time for my toes to warm up a bit.

Back on the bikes at 0905 or 0910, probably the latter.
The breeze now sorta' at our backs.
But more a cross-tailwind, actually.
Not as much help homeward bound as I had expected.

But, I must back up for a moment:
The Tar River is about a mile-and-a-quarter from the control,
Well before we got to the river, there were white flakes floating down from the sky above;
Each of us felt a few of the flakes land upon our respective faces and immediately melt.
We commented that we hoped no local drivers panicked in the snow.

The cross-tailwind did seem to be helping my pace;
At the very least, riding away from the wind, and sometimes into the sunshine,
My toes were warming, and by the end of the ride, the left toes seemed fine,
Whereas the right toes were still a bit chilly (they were exposed to that cross-tailwind).

We paused to take a good drink when we reached New Light Rd home-bound.
Other than that, the only pauses home-bound were due to traffic lights or stop signs.
We got to the finish at 1156, i.e., 5h56 after the start.
Total time in-motion was 5h09.
That was quite a surprise -- surely we had ridden better than a 1-minute in-motion negative split.
But, facts don't lie.

Bob's ride put him beyond 12-thousand RUSA kms for the year.
He would put that figure further behind him next day on his "Ala-Orange" populaire.

We rescued my P-series, making P-24, on the last ride on Lynn's populaire.
Or at least the last ride under Lynn's auspices as she is taking leave of RUSA, at least for awhile.

[Hmmn, my sixth ride on RBR, but this was the first I've blogged.]

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dec-28-2016: "Irregulars" Holiday Range Road Rover

Yep, I'm again late with the blog post.

2008.  Dec-27.  
The first Irregulars Holiday Range Road Rover was just a ride by LT and me.
The first time either of us rode the entire length of Range Road.
And we did ride the entire length of Range Road that first time.
Dave and I enjoyed the ride. 
No photos.  No blog post.

2009.  Dec-24.  A Holiday Tradition?
The second Irregulars Holiday Range Road Rover.
We rode what would become the regular, er, Irregular RRR route.
Turning off Range Road onto Little Mountain Road to get to Stem.
That may have been the first time I cycled across Little Mountain Rd. 
4 riders:  LT, RedRocket, IvaHawk, me.
See the blog post, with its iconic photo.

2010.  Dec-24.  
The third annual Irregulars Holiday RRR.
7 riders:  LT, RedRocket, IvaHawk, Ricochet, Levi, Gary, me.
I coordinated a little pre-ride fun at Levi's expense.
See the blog post for Levi's torment.

2011.  Dec-24.
Fourth annual IR Holiday RRR.
8 riders for the full RRR:  LT, RedRocket, IvaHawk, Ricochet, Shane, BobH, Norris, me.
2 riders took the Robert's Chapel Rd cut-off:  Mallet, Tito.
Blog post.

2012.  Date unknown.
My recollection is that there was an Irregulars Holiday RRR.
I recall that one of the other Irregulars put out the rider-call. 
I also recall that the start time was rather later than usual,
And that I got busy and forgot about the ride until too late.
These things happen.
Too bad, really, because I was in excellent cycling shape at the end of 2012.

2013.  Dec-31.
We rescued the tradition on the 31st.
7 riders:  LT, RedRocket, IvaHawk, Ricochet, Tito, BobS, me.
I would have sworn that we took a photo in 2013 at the same location as the 2009 pic.
However, there is no photo on the blog post.
Maybe the photo(s) was(were) too blurry.
[I also would have sworn that we took a photo in 2010 or 2011.  Oh, well.]

I think there was no Irregulars Holiday Range Road Rover ride. 
Maybe there was, but I didn't do any bicycle riding in December 2014. 

2015.  Dec-26. 
11 riders:  LT, RedRocket, IvaHawk, Snapper, Mallet + son, Ags, Shane, newFrank, Gene, me.
We took a couple photos at the iconic photo location.
One was apparently too blurry to bother with -- never got emailed to me.
The other photo, well, here it is:
More road and trees than riders.  I've mentioned this to the photographer, whom I won't identify.  I do NOT understand why anyone bothers to take a group photo if the photographer doesn't get close enough to the people to actually see them.  Oh, well, these things happen.  [Also, I'm not entirely convinced that this was taken at the same location as the iconic 2009 photo, despite that fact that I was adamant at the time that this was the correct location.  Sigh.]
2016.  Dec-28.
Finally, something about the ride that this is supposed to be about.
4 riders:  LT, Snapper, rando buddy BobB, me.
This was apparently the first Holiday RRR appearance for Snapper.
How did that happen?
Also the first Holiday RRR appearance for BobB.
But that makes sense.
BobB has joined a few Irregular rides, even one Range Road Rover,
But not previously on the Holiday ride.

Why always Range Road for the Holiday ride?
Well, it has become a tradition.
But how did it become tradition?
Well, see above, and also, Range Road loops back on itself,
Going nowhere except "circling" the National Guard training ground.
Essentially 24 miles with almost no traffic. 
That last is the reason we enjoy Range Road.
It allows easy conversation with no worries about traffic.

One drawback, though,
The surface of the Person County portion of Range Road is getting quite crappy.
The Durham and Granville County sections are smooooth.

I couldn't climb with the others. 
But worse than usual.
I'm just not in good cycling shape.
I did, however, make a hot-interval effort in Person County.
Going faster makes the crappy road surface feel not quite as bad.
Or at least gets it over with sooner.

I don't recall Snapper making any special effort on any section of the ride.
Evidence of intelligence?

Lt. Dave was strong on every climb.
He decided to make a special effort on the last 1.5-miles of Old Weaver Trail up to New Light Rd.
Bob decided to go with him.
And Dave's special effort section turned into Bob's special effort section.

Bob says he can tell that he no longer has the in-shape-ness that he had in mid-August,
But I cannot tell that he's lost anything. 

Snapper had attended the recent NCBC meeting where rando Sridhar
Had made a presentation on the PacTour Northern Tour that he and Bob had done.
Harvey didn't know that Bob had also done that ride,
Until I let the cat out of the bag.

Harvey asked Bob quite a few questions about the ride.
That's about the extent of the conversation items that I can recall.
Anyone that has read my blog posts knows that I almost never recall road conversations.
That is my story and I'm sticking to it.
It was a great day for a bike ride.
Warm for late December, sunny, and a slight NW breeze.

Oh, and we took a couple photos.
I prefer the other one, but I'm publishing the selfie. 
Left to right:  me, BobB, Lt. Dave, Snapper, aka, Harvey.  [It looks as if I'm photo-bombing; my recollection is that Bob's bike was blocking me, so I had to lean in.]