Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mar-25: Mountain Creek Bridge 205

The initial advertisement, seven days before the ride, on the NC-rando-list-serve and in the NC-Randonneurs Facebook group (did I post anything on FB? -- I checked, I did) wasn't very successful as only Hans (#4793) and Tim (#6016) signed on for the ride.

So, two-and-a-half days before the ride, I sent a reminder advert to the list-serve, and that prompted "count me in" responses from five additional riders.

Since one of the five additional riders was Wilmington-Rick (#6985) and another was Ricochet Robert (#6628), my mind was cast back to the very first ride on "Ricochet's Ridge 205"  and in particular to the exchange documented as:
After crossing NC-57 ... Ricochet comment[ed]:  "We made a mistake."  Me:  "Oh."  R:  "We should have invited Wilmington-Rick on this ride and then there would be a photo documentary of the scenery around here."  Me:  "Oh well; maybe next time."
That memory prompted me to request that Rick bring his camera and take some photos.  NC-Bob (#5843), one of those that found they were able to ride despite "life," also chimed in that he would bring his camera.  I don't know if Rick has been using his camera much on bike rides recently, and I do have a fuzzy recollection of some part of his camera malfunctioning a couple years ago.  On the other hand, I do know that Bob has been making extensive use of his camera on bike rides and while driving to and from bike rides, in the last nine months:  e.g., a PacTour Northern Tour last year and a PacTour Desert Week earlier in March.  

Rick and Bob did each bring their respective cameras, and each took a fair number of photos.  Bob posted his to the NC-Randonneurs Facebook page whereas Rick sent me an email with a link to his photos.  I have permission to use any that I want.  However, the day was not the bright sunshiny ride that I had expected.  More sunshine would have helped the photos "pop," that is, look more interesting.  Therefore, I'm scaling back the hoped-for photo essay.  That's my explanation and I'll be sticking to it.

The Cast
Byron, #621.  (And a keen eye might discern a cyclist on Byron's right.)  [Photo by R^2.]

Byron 621, me 6218.  [Photo by R^2.]
Hmmn, the next photos of individual riders near the start, by Rick, are all rather fuzzy.
The 0700 starters, front to back:  Byron (hidden), me, TimL 6016, Robert 6628, Daniel 11331, BobB 5843, and Rick's right foot 6985.  [Photo by R^2.]
Rick half-selfie with group trailing behind, on Kemp Rd approaching Virgil Rd (not part of the course).

Hans 4793 started at 0800.  No photo of him.

Intermediate photos
On St. Mary's Rd, nearing the turn onto Schley Rd.  I was sorely tempted to take a detour on that road to the right -- Lipscomb Grove Church Rd -- as it comes out onto Schley Rd, adding just a touch of distance.  However, taking that detour might have confused the half of the group that was already up the road IF they had chosen to stop and wait.  Also, taking Lipscomb would have by-passed the next photo.  [Pic credit R^2]
No explanation needed.  [Photo credit to BobB.]

Scene opposite the immediately above pic.  [Photo by BobB.]

First intermediate control, Underwood Grocery.  [Photo credit to R^2.]
No photo for the second intermediate control, Timberlake, corner of Dick Holeman Rd and US-501.  Too bad, really, as the Carolina Spring 1200 will be using that Timberlake control.  BTW, Byron's Triple-L perm also uses that same Timberlake control.  The clerks there seem to appreciate us, or at least they appreciate Robert and Byron.

Roxboro Dragway.  Approx mile 57 of the course.  The dragway does not appear to get very much action.  Certainly not enough to discourage riding a bicycle by the site.  (Compare that to the Virginia International Raceway; that circuit gets used every weekend from March or April through October; I had to revise the intended course for my 300k perm, revised BEFORE submission to the permanista.)  [Photo credit to BobB.]

I chose to not post a photo from the usual lunch stop, Stovall.
Interesting thing happened at Stovall, this ride:  Hans caught to slow 0700 crew.
Glad he was to catch us there -- he had lost his cue sheet and his GPS unit battery had died.

No photo for the Hicksboro Information Control.

No photo for the final intermediate control near Dabney.  (Thought there was one; hmmn.)

Cornwall Rd bridge over Mountain Creek -- changing over the "years".
First time ever doing the Hicksboro route, April 13, 2013, Robert and I encountered a bit of a surprise.  We walked across the bridge which was undergoing destruction.  [Photo by Robert.]

April 13, 2013.  [Photo by Robert.]

April 13, 2013.  [Photo by me.]
May 25, 2013.  L to R:  me, MikeF 7290.  [Photo by JanetF 7196.]
Aug 24, 2013.  L to R:  BobB, Robert, Mick 6169.  [Photo by me.]

November 16, 2013.  Fresh, smooth asphalt over the new bridge.  [Photo by me.]

Nov 16, 2013.  Alternate angle.  [Photo by me.]

Today:  asphalt still smooth, but three-and-a-half years have grayed it some; not to mention the clumps of mud on the road this day.    Interesting thing:  the timestamps on the Nov-2013 photos indicate 1221 and 1222; the timestamp on this photo is 1234.  In other words, approx. only 13 minutes slower this ride than in late 2013.  However, in Nov-2013, IanH 6176 and I finished in under 10 hours, whereas on this March-2017 ride, BobB, Daniel and I took over 11 hours.  :-O  [Photo credit to me.] 

And that will suffice for the story about this ride, except for embedding the route map: 


Road to Hicksboro 205k perm; 126.7 m;  11h02 elapsed;  9h30 in-mot; 13.3 mph.

Leaving room to later insert year-to-date stats.

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