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. 

1 comment:

  1. Re-reading this post, and re-skimming through the "RUSA Handbook" because my friend, usually referred to as "Snapper" in this blog, has joined RUSA six-and-a-half years after he was supposedly to ride his first brevet as a non-member, I recalled something worthy of note in this post:

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

    Among the myriad of things hidden in those two lines of text is this:

    I've heard of randonneurs hallucinating during long brevets (typically 600, 1000, or 1200 km brevets), but I've never come close to such. Until this ride.

    I think it was on a false flat section of Mt. Olivet Church Rd, about 23-miles (+/-) before the finish, that I saw a person standing in or walking across the road ahead of us, standing or walking such that we were sure to run into him. I blinked and the ghost was gone. Or maybe it was that I rode through the ghost as I blinked or caught a second or two of nap-time while pedaling on. I can't recall exactly, but I do absolutely know that I obviously hallucinated that person. I knew as soon as I didn't hit the person that I had hallucinated. -- "False flat"?? -- It has been years since any part of that road has felt like a false flat incline; more recently, it has felt like an incessant (but admittedly shallow) climb, climb, climb.

    I did NOT mention the hallucination to Bob or Daniel, nor have I mentioned it anyone, until now.

    A strange thing happened when the sun finally dipped below the tree line: my sleepiness dissipated and I was therefore able to ride with what felt like a bit more pizazz. (Strange it may be, but I've previously experienced that same "better feeling" after the sun set. One particular time comes to mind: my first ever 300km brevet.)