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.