Monday, March 6, 2017

Mar-05: Down Coley and Up, 4+ times

I got off work at 11 and arranged to meet a friend at 1:30 for a short ride.
I intended to cycle 10.2-miles to the meeting place,
But I dozed off sitting in the chair while waiting for the electric kettle.

When I woke, it was too late to cycle to meeting place and be on time.
And since I was still in civilian clothing, I was probably going to be late even driving.

The timing of my arrival was pretty good.
I arrived at the intersection of Kemp and Coley roads just as friend rode through.
Friend continued down Coley as I parked and got ready to ride.

Toward NC-98 from Kemp is basically a downslope affair.
However, on this day, with legs tired from work, the saddle seeming too high, and into the wind,
I was convinced that the first mile-plus was all up a slight incline.

I met friend about 0.4 miles short of the "bottom" of Coley Rd,
Said "bottom" being the T-intersection at NC-98.
Joining friend heading upslope, into the bright sun, with a tailwind,
I immediately commented that I was a bit over-dressed for the upslope.

We mostly rode side-by-side on the no-traffic road.
But I would follow at the U-turns at the "bottom" and "top" of Coley.

Also, the first three times going up, there was one location when I faded back each time.
The legs did not like the slight increase in the incline there,
Combined with the apparent bounce-back headwind along that stretch,
I could not hold the pace needed to stay alongside friend.

After the first hour, my lower back, esp. on the left side, began to giving off pain signals.
Pain there is always a sign that I've been pushing too big a gear,
Or pushing the "correct" gear too hard.
I mentioned that, although my legs might be starting to feel better, I needed to back of the pace a bit.

Friend mentioned that her knees were bothering.
THAT is definitely NOT good.
I urged changing to an easier gear / a larger cog.
I doubt that was done.

Although I did back off the effort as mentioned above,
My legs started feeling better,
Or perhaps they were past feeling pain.
The "fast" cadence seemed to become easier.
I may have changed to a smaller cog / harder gear / faster gear.
The cadence may have increased.
Whatever, I started riding faster.

The last six or seven miles, the legs felt fine.
I could push the pace.
The back did not complain.
I seemed to have pushed through a pain barrier.

That has happened before, but not too often.

Maybe the next ride with friend, I'll have already passed through the pain barrier,
And it will be easier to ride friend's higher pace.

I certainly hope so, because riding with friend is likely to get tougher and tougher.
Previous outdoor ride this year, February 28th, was a 30-miler.
The ride, the third (?) outdoor ride of the year for friend, was a 41-or-so-miler.
Next week is likely to be a 50-miler.
The week after that, 60.
And the pace will not reduce.

It will likely feel as if training.
For me, I mean.
Friend will likely just zip along with no noticeable change in effort, or breathing, or pedaling.

Lame story, I know; but it is mine, and I'll be sticking to it.


~ 4 1/2 loops on Coley Rd, with she-who-must-not-be-named; 32.5 m;  2h09 in-mot; 15.0 mph.

Jan tot:  _4 rides;  _314.7 m;  24h08;  13.0 mph; _451 RUSA kms
Feb tot:  _4 rides;  _357.8 m;  25h28;  14.0 mph; _509 RUSA kms
Mar tot:  _1 rides;  __32.3 m;  _2h09;  14.0 mph; ___0 RUSA kms.
YTD tot:  _9 rides;  _704.8 m;  51h25;  13.6 mph; _960 RUSA kms.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Feb-18: Lumberton-Roseboro-Delway 200 Brevet

Highpoint Region.
Fourth weekend of Tony's January/February Winter Series, plus.
Second weekend doing routes out of Lumberton (the previous having been Jan-28).
Second time doing the Lumberton-Roseboro-Delway 200 (and companion routes) this season.
[As usual for Highpoint Region RWGPS maps, the above link is a Tony creation, 
But since he once warned me that he sometimes re-purposes routes, I made a copy. 
Now all I have to worry about is that I re-purpose or delete it.]

Leading up to the 2013 Taste of Carolina, for which I served as one of the roving volunteers,
Dan Driscoll asked me, via email, if I had done many of Tony's brevets.
The answer at that time was:  Nope; never done any of Tony's brevets.
[The other question Dan asked was what would the roads of the 1200 be like. 
I answered that by sending him this link:  report with some pics of typical NC roads.]

If asked that question now, the answer would be:  Not really, only three 200's and one 300.
  • Jan-2015, Lumberton-Ammon-Whiteville 200, no blog report, 
  • Feb-2017, Lumberton-Roseboro-Delway 200. 
There were about eleven riders, including Tony, for the 200,
None for 300, none for 400, and
Five fast-dudes for the 600.

Five of the 200 riders set out with the five 600 riders.
Six of us 200 riders had more sense than that.

However, even the six of us increased our pace early on,
Trying to generate some body warmth which would penetrate to our fingers and toes.
Most of us were dressed for a 45 degree start temp;
However, 40 would be a better estimate of what we experienced.

Five degrees may not sound like much:
Is 85 much different than 80?
Probably not.
But when the 5 degrees is the difference between 45 and 40,
It can make a noticeable difference.

I'm quite sure I was the weakest link in the six rational paced 200 riders,
However, I managed to somehow get in the lead on Tar Heel Rd.
A false flat ever so slight decline headed toward Tar Heel and the Cape Fear River.
[Btw, don't confuse Tar Heel with Tarheel -- those are two different towns.  LOL.]

Anyway, Tar Heel Rd, a seven-and-a-half mile false flat with a slight tailwind,
It seemed reasonable to ride at about 17-mph,
A pace that I have ridden for entire 200-km rides a few years ago,
But not a pace I can maintain for that distance nowadays.

Tar Heel Rd had sufficient early-morning traffic that everyone appreciated
The repeated "car back" shout outs coming from Juliet.
However, after awhile, I heard no more shout outs, and
Around the time I began to wonder about that,
The rider fourth in line, probably Daniel, shouted-out that we had lost a couple riders.

The two were no where to be seen, but I wasn't worried.
I knew that TomD was a strong rider, and
Could handle any problem that he or his sister Juliet might encounter.
[We later learned that the pace was a bit much for Juliet. 
And that she and Tom had stopped at the diner in White Oak, 
21.4-miles into the ride, to eat the breakfast they hadn't had before the start. 
(They thought the ride started at 7 am, and were just heading to breakfast, 
When we intercepted them at about 5:50, to inform them that the ride started at 6.) 
Juliet and Tom reported that they had a pleasant experience at the White Oak diner. 
That surprised me because the White Oak c-store is a smoker's haven. 
I'll have to remember that the diner is a universe apart from the c-store, 
Even though they are each part of what appears to be one long building.]

After crossing NC-87 at Tar Heel, the road drops 80 feet, and
The temperature must have dropped another 5 degrees.
Everyone exclaimed at the drop.
After all, we each had likely gotten used to the temperature situation, but
Suddenly, we were in a new chill.
A chill that would last all the way to Roseboro,
The first intermediate control, some 44.3-miles into the course.
Typical scenery on the day.  [photo credit to BobB]

One notable thing happened between Ammon and the Roseboro control:
The four of us, BobB #5843, Daniel #11661, Harvey #11802, and me #6218,
Caught Geof #5350 and TimL #6016.
[They had apparently started with the 600 fast-dudes, but had decided to let them go.]

The six of got to the Roseboro control together,
Did our business at said control, taking time to warm ourselves,
And then we all left together.

Almost immediately, or even sooner, Turbo-Tim started drifting off the front.
Geof took a mile or so and then he moved to catch Tim.
[photo credit to BobB]

And somewhere along the road toward Garland, into the quartering headwind,
I began drifting off the rear.

I managed to hold Bob, Harvey, and Daniel at a cross-able distance,
IF I put in a big effort.
I must have done that at some point to let Bob know that I was going to stop in Garland.
Ostensibly to remove some clothes,
But I may also have mentioned that I needed to get some electrolytes into my system.
And by the time we got to the main crossroad in Garland,
Where there is a Subway and convenience store more-or-less in one,
I had managed to drift off the back again.

All five may have paused for a minute to wait for me,
But Tim and Geof went on.
Luckily for me, Bob, Harvey, and Daniel waited.

From Garland to Delway, in the words of "Fixie Pixie," I was really feeling good,
We were all feeling really good.
If you're not the Fixie Pixie, you might think there was a substantial tailwind.

The Delway control is just over 70-miles into the course.
From there to the finish back in Lumberton is 55-miles,
And always seems to be into a tough headwind (example) getting back to Lumberton.

Between Garland and Delway, we had crossed paths with RickR, Tony, and JohnM.
[I didn't feel like looking up their RUSA number.  Lazy me.]
Tony, JohnM.  [photo credit to BobB]
Tim and Geof left the Delway control just as Bob, Harvey, Daniel, and I arrived.

All in all, we had made pretty good time getting to that "70-mile" control.
Perhaps we arrived around five-and-a-half hours into the elapsed time.
That quick pace (for me), being roughly 15-mph while in motion,
Would not last -- I've mentioned why a couple paragraphs above.

A third or half-way back to Garland,
We crossed paths with the aforementioned Tom and Juliet.
They had pulled over at an intersection, probably for a quick breather.
We pulled over to chat a minute -- that's when we found out about their breakfast at White Oak.
Juliet, TomD.  [photo credit to BobB]

The four of us pulled into the aforementioned Garland Subway to grab some lunch.
Roughly 82.4-miles into the course.
Tim and Geof were still eating when we arrived, but they left long before we did.

Not sure what time it was when we got back on the road.
I do recall that bells (or artificial method) at the church across from the Subway
Were tolling out "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

We left Garland on Rich Road.
I didn't see much evidence of wealth.
But the road name soon changed to Helltown Road.
I didn't notice anything worrisome about or along the road.

A quick zig-zag at NC-210 to get onto Old Fayetteville Rd.
Eight miles later, Ammon -- a location I know from several rando rides / routes.
In early June, there is a Blueberry Festival centered on the large open field at Ammon.
Locally, the Raleigh Region 600 usually coincides with the Blueberry Festival.
Blueberry field near Ammon.  [photo credit to BobB]

I mis-remembered or mis-spoke or something [the first option is correct, don't tell anyone],
And told Harvey and Daniel that is was straight shot to White Oak,
Which wasn't all far away.
So those two newbies decided they could wait until White Oak to refill water bottles, etc..

It is only 10-miles from Ammon to White Oak via the route,
But straight shot it is not!
'Cuz 2.6-miles from Ammon, one must make a 90-degree right turn.

We're riding along, getting strung out,
Daniel hammering off the front into the wind, maybe 150 yards ahead of Bob and me,
Harvey about a third of the way up to Daniel,
When I realized that Bob and I were passing Gum Springs Road.

I mentioned same to Bob -- I was somewhat confused about where the route went.
Bob immediately realized that we were to turn, and
He tried to hail Harvey and Daniel, primarily with his well-known air horn.
No dice.
The air horn sound was no match for the headwind.

Bob and I considered what to do.
We were not going to attempt to chase the other two the wrong way.
We thought about waiting until they realized we weren't following.
In the end, I called each of Harvey and Daniel, leaving a message that they needed to turn around,
And Bob and I headed across Gum Springs Road for White Oak.

I was grateful for the unexpected rest at White Oak because
Bob had dragged some of the life out of me as he zipped across Gum Springs Rd..

The errant twosome arrived earlier than I expected.
And after some re-watering, etc., we four made our way across River Road,
And Tar Heel Road, across which we thought we would never reach Benny Road.

Once on Benny, though, it is just a hop, skip, and holler to Lumberton.

It had been a very sunshiny day, reasonably warm, though windy day.
All in all, a great day for a bike ride.

That's my story, and deficient though it may be, I'll be sticking to it.


Lumberton-Roseboro-Delway 200 brevet; 125.8 m;  8h43 in-mot; 14.4 mph; rando elapsed time: 11h05.

Jan tot:  _4 rides;  _314.7 m;  24h08;  13.0 mph; _451 RUSA kms
Feb tot:  _3 rides;  _317.2 m;  22h36;  14.0 mph; _509 RUSA kms.
YTD tot:  _7 rides;  _631.9 m;  46h44;  13.3 mph; _960 RUSA kms.