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]|
[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.
Oh, well, we had plenty of time.
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,"
[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.