Sunday, July 2, 2017

Jul-01: 3M (Morrisville - Moncure - Merry Oaks) 107

Bob lost mental track of what Populaire(s) he had ridden in March and April, and
Rode only his Ala Orange perm-pop in each of those months,
Requiring him to restart his NC-P-12-Explorer-Challenge from April.
[In contrast, I was paying attention to my situation, but just wasn't motivated to ride a Pop in April, 
So my regular P-12 and NC-Explorer-Challenge restart from May.]

Since then, with Bob providing the impetus,
We've been picking a Populaire that we might not typically ride, and
Arranging to ride it rather earlier in the month than later.

So far:

Post-ride discussion, we'll be targeting the Raleigh Region Picnic Populaire, August 19th.

To today's ride.

A bit of car trouble, I decided to cycle the 20-miles to the start.
I've done that before.
For a chase on Clyde's Curious Critters Chatham County Cycling Circuit, and
A few 200 and 300 Morrisville brevets come to mind.

I figured I should get underway by 5:15 am.
Actually got on the road about 5:25, well before Civil Twilight, esp. if one factors in the overcast.

Sandy Forks Rd has recently been rebuilt and resurfaced.
The landmarks didn't look as I remembered them to be.
I turned at the wrong intersection, onto westbound Spring Forest Rd
(Instead of continuing another quarter-mile as I should have).
I thought I had turned onto southbound Six Forks Rd;
My first thought was that I didn't recall the curve and decline,
But I figured I was just mis-remembering.

Next stop-light, I again turned left, sure that I was NOW on southbound Six Forks Rd.
Straight and no (or very little) elevation change was consistent with what I knew.
Then I saw a "Moe's" on the left side of the road; I did not recall that.
Then I saw the sign for Newton Rd ahead.

My senses returned, I recognized the buildings on the left-side, the west-side, of the road.
I checked traffic and made an immediate U-turn.
I checked the odometer.
It showed approx 5 1/2 miles, and I knew I was only 1 1/2 miles from where I started.
I had made a 4-mile "circle" and had been rapidly riding the wrong direction.

Fully aware now, I made some quick estimates.
If I could average 15-mph, I would arrive at the start a few minutes late, maybe on time.
I'm not in shape to average better than 15-mph on the course I needed to ride.
And the climb on St. Mary's Rd would knock my average pace considerably.
There would be only one or two other climbs that would knock me back.

Another issue that I hadn't count on was the slightly increased amount of traffic 
The 18-minute delay would entail.
The traffic wasn't a problem, except that it affected the stop-lights and navigation through them.
Unplanned minutes were lost waiting for signals to change / intermittent traffic at lights to clear.  

Transiting Cary, I noticed the dark clouds ahead of me (west).
And also the even darker clouds to the north.

Just after that, my phone beeped indicating I had received a text, but I did not look.
Turned out it was a text from Bob, worried about the drizzle at the start and the dark clouds.

After crossing Weston Parkway, but before the big decline down to Morrisville,
I got out my phone and called Bob, telling him I would be a few minutes late.
And then I promptly hung up and put the phone in my back pocket,
Just before rocketing down to Morrisville-Carpenter Rd,
Where I turned left for the final mile-and-a-half to the start.

My watch indicated 7:02 am as I rolled to a stop next to Bob's truck.
Turned out how I had covered 24.5-miles in 1h37 in-motion.  A 15.1-mph average pace.
Sridhar was there, ready to roll.
Yeah, I was only three minutes late, but Sridhar was already there and read to ride.
Route-owner MikeO was there with the waiver to be signed and control cards and cue sheets.
Mike gave an over-view of the route, where to expect climbs,
And, more importantly, where to expect a dawg or two.
Thanks, Mike.  (The info about the dawg(s) proved useful.)

Okay, to the ride proper.

Not much to indicate about the ride proper. 
Entire route on roads frequented by riders that live on that side of Raleigh.
Sridar, who lives not far from the start, indicated that he had ridden on every road of the route,
Except for Lower River Rd.
Interestingly, although I've only ridden down that direction four or five times, 
I knew of Lower River Rd (and had ridden many, but not all, the roads of the route).
Bob, who lives 50-miles away, knew of some of the roads, too, from charity rides.

Anyway, the route contained no hard climbs that I can recall,
Although I recall that in the past, the climb on NC-42 up into Corinth had seemed tough.
Gentle rollers were the order of the day,
Allowing maintenance of a reasonable pace (at least most of the time).

Keeping a reasonable pace was made easier by the overcast that lasted most of the ride,
Bringing with it lower temperatures and some occasional mist / drizzle.
Never got up to a sprinkle, let alone an actual rain.

Many groups of other riders on the roads today.
Varying in size from one to three to about a dozen or more.
Some hammering away in fast-fast pacelines,
Some dawdling along enjoying themselves,
And most every kind of pace in between.  

The only interesting thing all ride was the dawg that Mike had warned about.
Bob used his magic air-horn to stop it in its tracks, but
Instead of then running away, said dawg held its ground.
Bob dismounted.  I dismounted.
I was figuring to just walk a hundred yards or so, until the dawg lost interest and turned back.

Bob had a different plan.
He moved sharply toward the dawg, in response to which the dawg backed off a little.
Bob then picked up a rock from the gravel driveway and tossed it toward the dawg.
In response to that, the dawg skedaddled back up into its yard.

One photo on the day -- the Methodist Church in Corinth.

Rando results:
Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: 3M (Morrisville - Moncure - Merry Oaks) / 3019 107 2017/07/01 3 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T73080 1582 S__, Sridhar North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045  05:15 
RUSA-T73081 5843 B__, Bob Randonneurs USA / 933095  05:15 
RUSA-T73082 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095  05:15 
Saving space for personal stats.   

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