Thursday, June 14, 2018

Apr-11: Lillington Lilliput 123

To complete our respective NC-P-12-Explorer-Challenges,
Iva and I each needed one more unique Populaire.
[Bob had completed his Explorer Challenge the previous month.]

We had two possible routes in mind:
  • DaveG's "Buckhorn Boonies" route [I had noticed a sign pointed toward Buckhorn when we had done "The Whirligig" route in March], and 
  • Deaner's "Lillington Lilliput" route.  

We chose Dean's route because we were confident that midweek traffic would be acceptable,
Whereas, even though Dave had opined that traffic would likely not be an issue,
We were unfamiliar with the traffic situation near the start/finish of the "Boonies" route.
["Lillington Lilliput" shares its start with a couple other Perms with which we are familiar.]

[Hmmn, after I type the above, it does seem that we perhaps did not adhere to the Explorer concept. 
I expect that we'll give the "Boonies" route a try on a Saturday sometime in the next year. 
I hope so. 
The schedule does sometimes get crowded. 
Heck, for nearly two years, 
I've been trying to take Crista up on an invite to come ride her 4-state-perm or 3-state-pop, 
But local rides, riding them or volunteering, combined with "life" has repeated gotten in the way.]

The following is a copy of Dean's RWGPS map of the route:
[Come to think of it, I think I may have made that map for Dean; 
Maybe I should ask him about that.]
Anyway, a RWGPS map, embedded:



We didn't take any photos.
I recall that a couple of us were struggling a bit all ride long.
More likely, it was just me that was struggling.
So taking time for photos, with the need to rewind the legs, etc. back to cycling rythum,
Was not on the agenda.


It was a bit chilly with a slight wind out of the west or northwest.
[I wanted to get the facts by referencing "weather underground," but it was so slow to load, ... .]
We spent some extra time at the turn-around control in Lillington,
Standing in the sunshine, out of the breeze, gently warming ourselves before beginning the return.
We also loitered at the indoor seating at the control in Erwin,
Probably for the gentle warming in addition to just chatting,
But it could have been that one or two of us were playing for some extra recovery time. 

 
Here's hoping that the I can copy in the chart of the rides we did to complete our Challenges:



Rider Name  /  Explorer-Challenge-Pop Ridden
Month Bob, #5843 Iva, #7702 Martin, #6218
Apr-2017 Ala Orange  -------------   ------------- 
May-2017 Get 'er Dunn Get 'er Dunn Get 'er Dunn
Jun-2017 Bunn Wash Caper Bunn Wash Caper Bunn Wash Caper
Jul-2017 3M Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf 3M
Aug-2017 NCBC 100 NCBC 100 NCBC 100
Sep-2017 NOB Lite NOB Lite NOB Lite
Oct-2017 7-Cs Bahama Beach 7-Cs
Nov-2017 Denny's Store Denny's Store Denny's Store
Dec-2017 Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf Ala Orange Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf
Jan-2018 Raleigh - Berea - Raleigh Raleigh - Berea - Raleigh Raleigh - Berea - Raleigh
Feb-2018 The Whirligig The Whirligig The Whirligig
Mar-2018 Taylor's Gin Taylor's Gin Taylor's Gin
Apr-2018 Lillington Lilliput Lillington Lilliput Lillington Lilliput
 
[It appears the chart copied in from Excel more-or-less as intended.]  
Routes not previously ridden by each respective rider are in red.
Routes shown in black were previously ridden by the rider.

I had the fewest "new to me" routes.
Iva the most -- which makes sense since Iva has many fewer RUSA rides than Bob or me.


During the thirteen months shown above, we did manage to get a few other riders to respond to advertisements of the rides:



Month other riders

Apr-2017

May-2017

Jun-2017 BWC:  Sridah

Jul-2017 3M:  Sridah

Aug-2017 Hope Springs Eternal:  Dave McD

Sep-2017

Oct-2017 7-Cs:  Brad W

Nov-2017

Dec-2017

Jan-2018 RBR:  Daniel R

Feb-2018 The Whirligig:  Bridget J

Mar-2018 TG:  Bridget J

Apr-2018

We didn't get a lot of takers, but each route was new to the rider that joined us.
[Note:  I've included McDave on the the "Hope Springs Eternal," even though HSE was not counted by any of us as one of our Explorer rides, because I want to recognize those that responded to advertising of a ride.]

Some may think that I'll stop with this Explorer-Challenge foolishness now that Bob, Iva, and I have completed one Challenge -- that would be wrong thinking.
  • I will continue to encourage advertising rides, Perm-Pops and 200+ km Perms. 
  • I will continue to encourage camaraderie rides with others not one's usual partners.  


Permanent Route Name / #DistanceDateFinishersDNF
NC: Lillington Lilliput / 20091232018/04/1130
Cert#RUSA#NameClub / ACP CodeTime
RUSA-T805087702A__, Iva CRandonneurs USA / 93309506:43
RUSA-T805095843B__, BobRandonneurs USA / 93309506:43
RUSA-T805106218S__, MartinRandonneurs USA / 93309506:43

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Mar-17: Seven Cs 108

Clyde's Curious Critters Chatham County Cycling Circuit
Owner:  Raleigh RBA Alan Johnson

Thinking it a good idea to celebrate Alan's 75th birthday,
I put out a call / invite on the NC Rando list-serve and Facebook group,
To ride Alan's Perm-Pop and then share a low-key meal with Alan and the other riders.

Riders on the day:
  • BobB, #5843, 
  • me, #6218, and 
  • MikeO, #215. 

The three of us had a fun ride on a nice weather day in the middle of March.
I don't recall much from the ride.
I didn't recall much from the ride even just moments after we finished.
That's because nothing epic or similar happened all ride.
It was just a pleasant time riding.
And, in the end, don't we all hope that all our rides are NOT filled with "epic" moments,
But instead, are simply enjoyable outings on a decent day and course with friendly companions.
That's what I think, and I'll be sticking to that.

After the ride, we joined Alan at the Mexican food joint in the shopping center where the route starts/ends.
We talked about several things.
Of most interest to the readers of this blog (all one or two of them),
Would likely have been our respective plans to prepare our individual selves
For the upcoming Raleigh Region 200k Brevet.

Bob was in shape, of course,
I was in shape to get into shape.
Mike had a ramp-it-up plan for the three weeks to the brevet.
Each of us knew that we would finish the 200, even though two of us were not int the best of shape.
[Fast-forwarding:  the weather for the 200 was atrocious (by central NC standards),  
And none of rode the brevet, each figuring it was just a ride, and we didn't need 
To risk hypothermia, nor did any of us need to prove anything to anyone, 
Most especially to our individual selves.]

Permanent Route Name / #DistanceDateFinishersDNF
NC: Clyde's Curious Critter Chatham County Cycling Circuit / 18611082018/03/1730
Cert#RUSA#NameClub / ACP CodeTime
RUSA-T79841215O__, MichaelNorth Carolina Bicycle Club / 93304505:43
RUSA-T798425843B__, BobRandonneurs USA / 93309505:43
RUSA-T798436218S__, MartinRandonneurs USA / 93309505:43
 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mar-10: Hope Springs Eternal 140

The route starts and finishes at Cameron Village in Raleigh (route map). 
Goes east/northeast out of downtown to Bunn and then east to Spring Hope, 
Where the route reverses to return to Raleigh via Bunn.  
140 kms. 

One of these times when I do this ride, or one of the others mentioned below, 
I need to remember to take a photo or two of the temple complex just south of Wake Xroads. 
When this route was created, the "complex" consisted of the original house and a statue or two. 
Now, well, only a photo would suffice to explain, and I don't have one. 
Yet. 

 
My reasons for riding were:   
(1) to help get into shape, or 
(2) to meet route-owner requirements to maintain familiarity and assure appropriateness, or 
(3) both. 

BradW's (#8218) reasons for riding:  
I'm not sure. 
Maybe to get back into shape for riding non-flat routes?

There was more traffic between Bunn and Lake Royale outbound than I expected / more than I recall previously experiencing. Forestville Rd inbound had more traffic than I would have liked / perhaps more than Buffaloe Rd, which is usually the road with the annoying traffic. 
 
Route appropriateness conclusion:  Hope Springs Eternal is a useful route on weekends (also Bunn Warmer, Yellow Dog Lope to Spring Hope, Yellow Dog Run to Bunn - they are all the same route, they just start in different locations and/or turn around in different locations). 
 
Some photos taken en route follow.  
All were snapped by Brad -- I took one or two, but Brad's are better.

Well, there are several decent and informative photos, but every one of them insists on loading sideways and I cannot get them to stand upright (even though I did the necessary edits to the photos).  I blame iPhone (or whatever so-called "smart phone" that Brad uses; I don't blame Brad.


So ... a few words:

Brad started out like a house a'fire.
Storming up every incline (while I just spun my way up).
I did find that I was putting more effort into the inclines, small though they are, than I wanted.
So, finally, on one incline, I sped up to tell Brad that he was going to wear me out,
Zooming up the inclines as he was doing.

At 29.2-miles into the route, one passes Perry's Pond, and
 
Then one immediately rides up what may be the biggest climb of the day.
I took my time going up, whereas Brad predictably sped ahead.
However, luckily for Brad, the incline eases nearing the top, and
I was able to close the distance between us.
I got close enough that I was able YELL to Brad that he had missed the turn.

Interestingly enough, that was the last climb where Brad was quicker than me.
You might be thinking that he was concerned about missing future turns.
But that would be wrong thinking.
He had worn himself out with all the premature climbing attacks.

The unfortunate thing about that for Brad was that later in the ride,
I realized that I needed to slow my pace to keep the two of us together.
I recalled a comment once made by TimL #6016:
"Martin slows down when he talks."
As a result, Brad was on the receiving end of a monologue
Of my high school athletic endeavors.


We finished, taking longer than I had anticipated, but we did not set a course record. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mar-07: "Taylor's Gin"

On the verge of completing our NC-P-12-Explorer-Challenges,
We let Bob choose among two or three logical options.
He chose "Taylor's Gin" because it seemed the easiest for him to drive to,
Even though not the closest.

This ride/route would complete Bob's Explorer Challenge.
And be the 11th month for Iva and me.

Below is a copy of route-owner Tim's RWGPS map:  


In response to advertising, BridgetJ #12462 joined us for the ride.
Who is "us"?
Bob #5843, Iva #7702, me #6218.

Bob and I were each somewhat familiar with the route,
Because "Taylor's Gin" is essentially a shortened version of the Lake Gaston Perm.
I've done LKG once; Bob probably twice;
And some of the roads have made multiple appearances on Taste of Carolina or
Carolina Spring 1200 grand randonnees -- events for which each Bob and I have volunteered.

In fact, on the homeward bound leg, I stopped to take the pic below,
Simply because it was in front of that abandoned house where
I tried to put a cheap rain cape over RickB's (#2806) head the previous October,
During the second day of the Taste of Carolina, 2017 edition.
It was rather amusing in the heavy-ish rain and wind and the plastic trying to choke off Rick's air supply.
Ricky did ask if I was trying to kill him.  

Back to the Taylor's Gin ride:
The weather was a bit chillier than we expected,
And perhaps the outbound leg was into a slight headwind.

Either that, or I forgot to bring some warm-ish hand-gear.
As a result, I purchased some cotton brown jersey work gloves at the "Dollar Store"
Across from the turn-around control,
To use as long-finger "liners" under my short-finger cycling gloves.

Everyone was somewhat warmly dressed.
Remember, this was north-central North Carolina in early March;
Not Maine, not Massachussetts, not Michigan, not Minnesota, not Montana.
I don't know why I listed states starting with "M",
I probably should have used states starting with "N", so:  
Not North Dakota, not Nebraska, not New Jersey, not New York, not New Hampshire.
Not any northern USA location, nor anywhere in Canada for that matter. 
So the definitions of "chilly" and "warm clothing" should be adjusted accordingly.

An unposed pic from the finish will suffice to finish this blog post:
Bridget in white.  Bob in orange.  Iva in red.  [Photo by me.]

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Feb-24: Party of Seven 138

NCBob, #5843, and I decided to ride the "Denny's Store Sortie."


I advertised on the NC-rando-list-serve (for full email, click here), extract follows:
Bob and I are doing the [Denny's Store Sortie 138-km Perm-Pop]. 
Expecting warm temps with a SW wind 10-15 on the way back; i.e., a quartering headwind.
Should still be a fun, warm time. 
I must have also advertised on the NC Rando Facebook group 'cuz ... see below. 
  • Ricochet, #6628, contacted me via email:  he and Byron, #621, wanted to join the outing. 
  • Tom, #8423, contacted me via FB:  he and Deanna, #12439, would join the ride.  
  • Finally, Harvey, #11802, who was scheduled to do the "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" route, decided to switch to Denny's Store to have people to ride with, although he thought he wasn't in shape for the extra distance. 
Party of Seven -- that's a pretty big Perm group for central NC these days. 
There used to be relatively frequent large / largish groups for Perm rides, 
But that was when there were only a handful of Perm route options available in the entire State. 

Interesting combination of randonneuring experience in the seven riders: 
  • Four Mondials, and 
  • Three others whose combined RUSA kms totaled less than 1200.  
Another interesting set of experience stats:
  • Four riders "officially" Irregulars -- the group rides this blog was originally about; 
  • (there is a definition of "official," but I'm not going to explain) 
  • One additional rider that has joined one or a few Irregular rides, and 
  • Two riders I had never heard of previously.  
Riders I've never heard of is not unprecedented joining me (or not me) one one of my Perms.
Even riders doing their first ever rando ride.
The most well-known "I've never heard of" rider, who did her first ever RUSA Permanent
On the "Bahama Beach" route, was RUSA #12 (her story here).


The Party of Seven met at the start.
Everyone signed the group waiver.
And received control cards in return (and some also got cue sheets).
[Me handing out cue sheets is not the norm.] 
We started riding.

A warming up pace across Norwood Rd to Mt Vernon Ch Rd to Pleasant Union Ch Rd.
But at the turn onto Six Forks Rd,
Which is an immediate downhill to one of the arms of Falls Lake,
I took the lead because I usually descend faster than most,
And I did this ride, too.


Unfortunately, the two people whom I had never met,
Appeared to take my downslope pace as the new average pace for the ride.
Frequent regatherings en route, we mostly stayed together.

The Allensville Store was rather crowded when we arrived.
Often there are numbers of locals hanging about, usually on the benches,
But this day, there seemed to be about half a dozen locals inside the store, purchasing things.
Combined with seven randonneurs, you can imagine it was a bit crowded, and
It took a bit longer than hoped to get moving again.

Immediate return down to the creek and back up to the Allensville Methodist Church corner.
Several rollers and usually around 19-22 minutes after leaving the control,
I typically arrive at the Denny's Store corner.
[Best I can recall is that on this ride, it was more on the order of 24 minutes.]
Denny's Store, left to right:  Bob, Deanna, Tom, Ricochet Robert, Harvey, Byron.  [Photo by me -- Tom and Deanna thought we should take another photo with me in the frame -- I said, "no, I've got plenty of photos of me at this spot."] 

Immediately after Denny's Store, there is a non-trivial climb up a hill.
Note:  that's up a hill, not a climb back up from a creek.
Note #2:  that's non-trivial by my standards; your thought my differ.
After that climb, the route flattens out, but is not flat, to the second control at Berea.

We did the quicker option for the control in Berea.
Better food at the other option; but we opted for quicker.

Some wanted to be quicker than others.
Ricochet, Byron, Bob, and Harvey got underway first.

Tom and Deanna seemed to want to take a few extra minutes.
I hung back to chat with them regarding their randonneuring plans, and
Mentioned that the NC rando peloton was happy to have Tom in the mix,
But were very excited that Deanna might become a regular.
"Why?" asked Tom.
"Because we currently have very few females in the group."

I did suggest to Tom and Deanna that, as they had a cue sheet (each),
They might prefer to just ride ahead, complete the ride, and
Leave their completed control cards on the windshield of Bob's truck.
No dice -- they wanted to stick more-or-less with the group.

Harvey had been moaning a bit approaching Berea.
I figured I would catch him by Creedmoor -- roughly half way between Berea and the finish.
And although I could not hang on to Deanna and Tom,
I did almost catch Harvey.
I got within 150 yards on Dove Rd, about 3-miles south of Creedmoor.
I figured I might lose a little distance on the climb on Whitt Rd, but 
I was sure I would catch him going across Falls Lake on Old Weaver Trail.

Surprise:  when I got to Old Weaver Trail, I couldn't even see Harvey!
Oh well.  Just pedal it in and save some energy for later in the day.

Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Denny's Store Sortie / 1795 138 2018/02/24 7 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T79354 6628 B__, Robert D Randonneurs USA / 933095 06:55
RUSA-T79355 621 M__, Byron E Randonneurs USA / 933095 06:55
RUSA-T79356 11802 H__, Harvey F Bicycle For Life Club / 933057 06:55
RUSA-T79357 8423 P__, Stephen Tom Bicycle For Life Club / 933057 06:48
RUSA-T79358 12439 S__, Deanna F Bicycle For Life Club / 933057 06:48
RUSA-T79359 5843 B__, Bob Randonneurs USA / 933095 06:48
RUSA-T79360 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095 06:59

For anyone "concerned" that the results are not in last-name-alphabetic order.
 1.  Get over it.
 2.  One needs to rebel against strict discipline every so often.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Feb-14: "The Whirligig"

Perhaps a strange way to spend Valentine's Day, but
Bob, Iva, and I spent much of the day doing "The Whirligig" 100-km Perm-Pop in
Pursuit of our respective North Carolina Populaire Explorer Challenges.

We were joined by BridgetJ #12462 on her first randonneuring adventure.
She's retired and only been cycling about for three or five years, but
She's done some serious adventures on her bicycle.
Rode x-continent.  Rode northern Florida to the Keys two or three times.
Other stuff.  And planning a Natchez Trace ride.
She comes with the right mental attitude:  cycling should be fun.

Anyway, back to the point of this post:  "The Whirligig."
When Tim #6016, the main highlight of the route was the visit to the Whirligig farm.
All the gigs save one have since been moved into Wilson, but
The route is still a good ride -- if you like to ride for the sake of the ride -- which I do.
However, without the gigs en route, the popularity of the route has plummeted:
We four were the first to ride the route since mid-2016.  
[The route is mostly flat, as can be discerned from checking the listing on RUSA's website.  
I'm confident that Tim has a RWGPS map, but I didn't search for it for this post.]

We took a few photos en route and Bridget's husband took one at the finish
That she posted on Facebook, but
I didn't feel in the mood to look for and "borrow" her photo for this post, and
The ones I took -- well, yuk.

There was a sometimes helpful wind during the ride, but
Just as often, the wind was a hindrance -- a noticeable hindrance!

There was some street reconstruction in Lucama, but
The construction crew was apparently at lunch when we got there, so
We rode through to get to the control just a few yards beyond the construction zone. 

In general, the four of us had an enjoyable time.
And Bob, Iva, and I look forward to riding with Bridget in the future.

Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: The Whirligig / 1006 100 2018/02/14 4 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T79156 5843 B__, Bob Randonneurs USA / 933095 05:31
RUSA-T79157 7702 A__, Iva C Randonneurs USA / 933095 05:31
RUSA-T79158 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095 05:31
RUSA-T79159 12462 J__, Bridget Ann Randonneurs USA / 933095 05:31
 
Blog posts about some prior rando Whirligig rides can be seen by "clicking-here."
And one blog post about an Irregulars Summer Solstice ride to the Whirligigs is "here."

Monday, April 9, 2018

Jan-13: Raleigh - Berea - Raleigh 107

Still "back-filling" ride posts.
At least I am in the same year, now.
---------------------------------------------------
The quest for the NC-P-12-Explorer-Challenge continued,
A different qualifying Populaire each month for twelve consecutive months.

Because I only have two weekends a month when I can ride a 200+ km Permanent, and
Because of Iva's busy schedule,
We've been doing most of the recent Populaires on Wednesdays.

Riding on Wednesdays limits the number of people that can join us.
And that is inconsistent with the advertise and ride with other people
Portion / purpose (probably should put "purpose" first) of the Populaire-Explorer-Challenge,
But LIFE schedules dictate options.

Anyway, I think we did advertise this ride on the NC-rando-list-serve and
On the NC Rando Dumbbook group.
[However, I ain't gonna' check / verify the above.]

One rider not having the Pop-Explorer-Challenge on his agenda joined us.
Daniel, # 11331.
One thing though, he likely does NOT fall into the "not the usual partners" category
As he has quite a few 200+ km Perms and at least one or two Perm-Pops with Bob and me.

Anyway, four of agreed to the ride:  January 13th, 0800 start.
NCBob, IvaHawk, Daniel, me.

"Raleigh - Berea - Raleigh" was originally designed so that RUSA #5519
Would have a route that started near her home and
A route that she wouldn't have to check with me first.
#5519 often rode a couple or three of my perm-pops for her mid-week ride.
Often, but not always, with me.
So, we looked at several possibilities, and #5519 settled on RBR.


Subsequent to the events of February 20, 2016,
#5519 decided "enough with rando" and I adopted the route,
With the agreement that if she ever decided to return to RUSA,
We would transfer route ownership back to her.  

The forecast low was 43F, with temps expected to rise somewhat quickly into the 50's.
Some cloudiness giving way to sunshine soon after sunrise was also forecast.
A westerly/north-westerly wind of about 10 mph was also forecast.

"Weather Lyers" got the wind forecast bang-on.
As for the temps and amount of sunshine:
They sorta' got it correct, but were far enough off on the timing that doubts were engendered.  

According to Iva's Garmin unit, it was 40F at the start inside Raleigh city limits.
And anyone could see that it was heavily overcast.

We were on Dove Rd, 16 or so miles into the ride, when Iva announced 38 degrees.
[That's about 26 kms for those so inclined to think in French units of measure.]

In Stem, approx 25.5 miles [41-kms], Iva announced that is was 36 degrees.
[36F is 2C, for those thinking in degrees Celsius/Centigrade.]

On Culbreth Rd, Daniel started pulling ahead of the rest of us.
But after a minute or so, Bob rode across the gap and those two continued on to Berea.
Meanwhile, I told Iva that I was not going to hurry the last few miles to Berea and warmth,
Even though my toes and feet were "freezing."
Iva decided to stick with me, even though I think he could have ridden ahead. 
[I had not figured on the temperature dropping below 43F, and 
Certainly was not thinking the temps would flirt with the freezing point, and
Riding into the wind certainly made for a windchill effect that likely was no more than 20F.  
Bad thinking / planning on my part.]

Daniel and Bob were a quarter-mile or more up the road,
Iva and I were roughly half-way between Culbreth and the Tar River,
i.e., approx 32-miles [52-kms] into the ride, 
When Iva announced that it was 33.8 degrees.
[Iva had actually announced all the temps to the tenth of a degree, but
Who could remember that much detail? 
People likely suspect that I'm making up the temps I've typed above -- I'm not.]

Within seconds of Iva announcing the 33 degree temp,
I pointed to the sky ahead of us:  CLEAR skies!
We would likely have sunny conditions plus a tailwind plus rising temps homeward bound.
Yippee!!

It was sunny when we got to the control in Berea.
Yippee!
[I would steal "yippee kay ya!" from DanD #390, but I'm not sure I can spell that.] 

Several years ago, I did a January or February Tar Heel 200 Perm with Dean.
I forgot my toe covers, so there was no wind protection covering my toes.
At the ~ 36-mile intermediate control and the 100-km turn-around control,
I took my shoes off and put my feet firmly on the floor to collect warmth therefrom,
That also allow the inside of the shoes to collect warmth from the air inside the control.
And when the floor no longer felt warm to my feet, I put my shoes back on.

I've used that trick a couple or few times since that Tar Heel 200.
And that trick became part of my plan for the Berea turn-around control.

I also had not entirely ignored the possibility of cold weather in my gear I had with me.
I had at least two bread-bags with me, and
Removed my socks to put a bread-bag next to the skin of my feet,
Then put the socks back on, over the bread-bags.
My feet would be warm on the homeward bound leg regardless of the weather. 

Because of the bread-bags, I was last to be prepared to leave.
Actually, I think the others had gotten a bit impatient.  Uh-oh!

Back outside, we were greeted with bright sunshine,
Which would be low in the sky and warming our faces and front parts
The entire return trip to Raleigh.
Yippee!!  

The breeze / wind was still coming out of the WNW at about 10 mph.
There would be a slight push on the way back.
Yippee! 

The ride back from Berea begins with a slow, then faster, drift down to the Tar River.
Followed by one the steepest climb of the ride.
[RWGPS indicates at least 5.2%.] 

Daniel powered up the climb from the Tar River, leaving the rest of us behind.
However, once back up to the more-less-flat plain,
I took the lead from Iva and Bob, and
Perhaps knowing that I produce more power than Daniel,
Or at the very least, he struggles to stick to me on flat sections of rides,
But probably my cadence had nothing to do with relative power generation,
But was instead due to my feeling better and warmer.
When we three caught up to Daniel,
I went around and kept going without slowing my cadence or easing my gearing.
I can't recall if Daniel immediatly caught on to the mini-paceline or not.
But we essentially rode as a loose group all the way back.

One thing:
If I recall correctly, I started out trying to pop the roller-coasters on Dove Rd,
But I had to give up on that, and
Daniel and Bob drifted off the front.
I can't recall if Iva also drifted off my front, or stayed with me, possibly chatting away the miles.

I recall nothing of the rest of the ride:  Whitt, Old Weaver Trail, New Light, Ghoston, Peed, etc..
I've been reminded that RBR does NOT finish at / in Bay Leaf, but
Instead finishes at the shopping center at the corner of Strickland and Falls of the Neuse roads.
Here's what really happened:
I recall nothing of Whitt Rd nor Old Weaver Trail nor New Light Rd.
Nor do I recall anything of note on Six Forks Rd.

Nothing of note, that is, until the corner / turn onto Strickland Rd.
Each of Six Forks and Strickland are 5 lane roads,
Two lanes each direction plus a center shared turn lane.

However, the turn from southbound Six Forks onto eastbound Strickland has two,
Count 'em, two designated turn lanes.
A bicyclist needs to be in the right-most turn lane.
Iva, however, got in the left-most turn lane.
I tried to shout over the sounds of traffic that he was in the wrong lane, but
He did not hear.

Instead, when the left turn light changed to green,
Iva realized he was in the wrong place.
So ... he used the crosswalk to get to the sidewalk, and rode that the 1.5-miles to the finish.
[The rest of us rode Strickland Road to the finish.] 
But after all, tThe more interesting, but not epic, part of the ride
Was the outbound leg into the wind with temperatures dropping.

Oh, btw, the high temp on the day (at RDU airport) was 56F.


Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Raleigh - Berea - Raleigh / 2818 107 2018/01/13 4 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T78381 7702 A__, Iva C Randonneurs USA / 933095   05:56 
RUSA-T78382 5843 B__, Bob Randonneurs USA / 933095   05:56 
RUSA-T78383 11331 R__, Daniel B Greensboro Velo Club / 933001   05:56 
RUSA-T78384 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095   05:56 
 
----------------------------------------------------------   

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Dec-19-2017: Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf 104

Still catching up with overdue "back-fill" posts.
--------------------------------------------------------- 
On Dec-01, I noted in my Excel ride log that I had a severe head cold.
On Dec-16, I noted that all symptoms of the head cold were finally gone.

In between, the North Carolina Year-End Rando rides and party were scheduled for Dec-09.
This being central NC, the threat of winter precipitation cancelled the rides, but
The party went on, with a very reduced attendance, only about 10 or 12 attendees.
The small group made for good conversation,
Mostly telling stories, rando stories, about those in attendance, or those absent. :-O

Bob got in his R-ride, R-96 (if'n I can count), on Dec-03 riding the Lake Gaston Perm with Daniel.
I was in no condition to ride a 200-km on that date, but
Figured that I'd be able to sneak in a 200 later in the month to complete a calendar year R-12.

Iva needed to get in a populaire for his NC-P-12-Explorer-Challenge.
An obvious choice was for Iva to ride Bob's Ala-Orange Pop on Dec-06.
Bob rides his Pop quite often, but it was completely new to Iva. 
Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Ala Orange Populaire / 2082 107 2017/12/06 2 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T77566 7702 A__, Iva C Randonneurs USA / 933095   05:33 
RUSA-T77567 5843 B__, Bob Randonneurs USA / 933095   05:33 

Although the above ride put Bob into the K-Hound Kennel again,
He still needed a qualifying unique populaire for his Explorer-Challenge.
And so to, did I.

Bob and I planned to do the "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" populaire on the 20th.
That way we would "use" a route that neither of us had previously counted as our Challenge Pop, and
We would "use" a route that Iva had "burned" -- Challenge-wise -- several months earlier.
However, the weather forecast for the 20th suddenly turned towards winter precipitation.  :-O

So ... a quick change in plans.
I was scheduled to get off work at 11 am on the 19th, and
If I left on time and moved quickly,
We could start the "Oxford" populaire at 12:30 pm,
Ride in 60 degree temps, and if we, er, rather, if I pushed a bit,
[Bob usually takes it somewhat easy these, but he wouldn't need to push his pace]  
We could finish before darkness descended.

In the event, we started on time, had minimal pausage time
At the crossing of NC-98 and again in Wilton,
So it only took a couple minutes longer than our 2h06 in-motion to get to the turn-around.

A slight, but noticeable, headwind on the homeward bound leg slowed us a little
As we rode the return leg in 2h16 in-motion,
Which got us back to the finish before Civil Twilight.
We were satisfied with that result.
Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf / 2259 104 2017/12/19 2 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T77884 5843 B__, Bob Randonneurs USA / 933095   04:45 
RUSA-T77885 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095   04:45 
 
The weather did turn nasty on the 20th, nasty by central NC standards.
Esp. so it seemed on the days that I had off from work for the remainder of the month.
So ... although I had reached R-11 in November, getting another R-12 isn't that important to me;
I let the R-series go.
The "Oxford" pop was my last ride of 2018. 


The story above contains all the pertinent information.
There may be other details, but they are not important.
That's my story for the year, and I'll be sticking to it. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Nov-18-2017: Tar Heel 200

Catching up with overdue "back-fill" posts, still.
--------------------------------------------------------- 
Daniel #11331, had started his rando career in December-2016
By riding the Tar Heel 200 Permanent with BobB #5843 and BryanR #5746. 
[As an aside, that ride had gotten Bryan to exactly 40-thousand RUSA kms, and
He decided to end his career, or 
perhaps only put it on hiatus until his 1-year old son grew to a teenager or something.] 

Anyway, Daniel wanted to get his R-12 on the course where he began:  the Tar Heel 200.
So Bob and I agreed to ride the Tar Heel in mid/late-November.
[When Bob and I joined RUSA in 2010, there were three main / useful Permanents in NC: 
  1. Kerr Lake Loop, 
  2. Showdown in Black Creek, and 
  3. Tar Heel 200
So, of course, we had ridden each repeatedly: 
  • Bob had ridden KLL 4 times, Black Creek 6 times, Tar Heel 9 times
  • I had ridden KLL 13 times, Black Creek 14 times, Tar Heel 8 times
  • As noted above, Bob had last ridden the Tar Heel 200 in December-2016. 
  • I had last ridden the Tar Heel 200 on January-01-2012. 
  • One-and-a-half months short of six years:  the route might seem as if new.] 
We gathered in Benson, NC for a 7 am start -- just seven minutes after sunrise.
And immediately I realized that I knew the route as if I had ridden it only a month before.
I don't know if the route felt entirely familiar to Bob.
Ditto Daniel -- although I seriously doubt Daniel found the route to be a familiar friend.

Weather conditions est. from the weatherunderground historical report for Fayetteville, NC.
The low temp we encountered would have been roughly 32F.
The high temp around 70F -- yep, 70F, nearly a 40 degree swing in the temperature.
Sustained wind from the SSE felt much stronger than 8 mph, more on the order of 15mph, 
Was a pain by even before the last 17 southbound miles -- from Cedar Creek to Tar Heel. 
I know there were several miles when I hated bicycle riding and wanted to quit.
On the homeward bound trip, Bob told me that there were times when he wanted to quit. 
At least that southerly wind made for a honking tailwind on the homeward leg of the ride. 

My Excel log indicates 4h41 in-motion for the outbound, nearly due south, first half of the route,
And 4h09 in-motion for the homeward bound, nearly due north, second half of the route.

The only photos we took on the day were just north of Stedman,
Where the new Hwy-24 Bypass interferes with the historic path of Wade-Stedman Road.
There, the Tar Heel 200 uses the route of Raleigh Region 600-km brevet course.
In June-2017, everyone, theoretically including cyclist, had to turn onto the highway,
Drive or ride a quarter-mile or so, make a U-turn and then turn to again get onto W-S Rd.

However, between June and November, a modification to the "road furniture"
Including implementation of "bike lanes" so that cyclists, and only cyclists,
Can ride straight across the highway.
That information was dutifully forwarded to Raleigh RBA AlanJ #306.
Northbound on Wade-Stedman Rd approaching Hwy 24 Bypass.  The southbound side of the intersection is identical.  That's Bob immediately ahead.  If one looks carefully, Daniel can be spied 100 yards or so on the other side of the intersection.
Northbound bike lane striping crossing the highway.  Southbound stripping is identical, except perhaps the error seen here might not be duplicated on the southbound bike lane. 
One thing I learned early on in my rando blogging career is this:
Some things are better left on the road, on the route.
And with that partially in mind,
And the fact that I've actually mentioned all the important things about this ride,
Particularly the honking southerly wind,
I end this blog report with a line that I've often, but not always, used:

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

Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Tar Heel 200 / 589 200 2017/11/18 3 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T77168 5843 B__, Bob Randonneurs USA / 933095   11:02 
RUSA-T77169 11331 R__, Daniel B Greensboro Velo Club / 933001   11:02 
RUSA-T77170 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095   11:01 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Nov-16-2017: BB 103 Meets Triple-L

Another "back-fill" post.
---------------------------------------------------------
JohnP #2375, RBA South Florida, and his wife, Juliet #8986, were in town for family reasons.
They arranged to do Byron's "Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville" 205-km perm on a Thursday, and
Advertised on the local list-serve and Facebook group, or maybe only on the Facebook group,
For others to join them.

Hard for anyone with a "regular" "9 to 5" work schedule to ride all day on a Thursday.
The previous day, Bob, who is retired, mentioned that he had thought about joining the Triple-L ride,
But when he checked out the results of the two aforementioned,
Bob concluded he likely wouldn't be able to keep up.

Quite a few local randonneurs had met and ridden with John, apparently even my ex-wife.
However, I had never met him.

I concluded that although I didn't have time for a 200 km perm, and
I certainly could not have kept up with John and Juliet on their tandem,
That it would be nice if someone local could ride at least a little with them.

My workday that Thursday wouldn't start until 3 pm.
If I could finish a ride no later than 1 pm, I could intercept John and Juliet and ride together for a bit.

The "Bahama Beach" 'free-route' perm-pop was the perfect route for that purpose.
BB starts from a different location than Triple-L, but
The two routes share approximately 24.4-miles of roads near the respective starts:
Beginning approximately 2.1-miles from the BB start and 4.8-miles from the Triple-L start.

I figured that if I started at the same time as the tandem, they would catch me up
Before we reached their first control on Red Mill Rd (approx 17.5-miles into the Triple-L route).

In the event, I started about 10-minutes late, the tandem started on time, and
If all had gone well with John and Juliet, I probably never would have caught them.
However, they stopped at the bottom of the first creek valley on Victory Church Rd
To adjust their equipment, and that allowed me to catch them.

We rode together from there until their control on Red Mill Rd.
"Together" mind you includes the fact that they were on a tandem and I was not.
Anyone that has ever ridden a single rider steed with a tandem
Knows that combination is often not the best combination.

Tandems are typically faster on declines and flats.
Singles are typically faster on inclines.
However, John and Juliet were faster on all slopes, if they wanted to be.
Despite that, we were mostly together with a lot of chatting until that Red Mill control.
You certainly understand that means that the tandem backed off their pace to accommodate me.
John, Juliet and me.  Group selfie by John inside the Red Mill control gas station / convenience store. We spent more time there chatting than if we had been doing Triple-L and since that location is not a control on BB, it was certainly more time than I have ever spent there while doing Bahama Beach; maybe 15 minutes total.  On the other hand, John and Juliet may have been willing to take a couple extra minutes there to warm up.  The temperatures were colder than the cycling clothing they had brought with them from Florida.  Truth be told, my toes had gotten quite cold those first 21 miles (including the cycle commute to the BB start), and I took time to put some bread bags between my feet and socks to block additional cold wind penetrating my shoes. So, cold day for all three of us.
Leaving the Red Mill Exxon, Red Mill Rd is not too lumpy, and we managed to ride across that road more-or-less together.  The togetherness ended shortly thereafter.  I thought I might be able to catch the tandem on two of the steeper parts of Stagville Rd -- Ha!  I also thought I might be able to catch them climbing the "Michie Wall" -- but they had pulled even further ahead on the descent from Bahama to Lake Michie, and I didn't close climbing the "Wall."

I was, however, close enough when I got to Hall Road that they were able to see me waving just before and as I turned off Bahama Road to go my own way:  they waved back.
Bahama Beach 'free-route' ridden on Nov16-2017.

Thereafter, I kept a more controlled pace.
After all, as I recall, this marked the first time in all of 2017 that I had ridden consecutive days.
I could check my Excel log to verify that, but I choose not to.

I took almost no time at the only intermediate store control in Stem.
And that helped keep the elapsed time to a reasonable amount.
Given the approx 10-minute late start and the 15 or so minutes at the Red Mill Exxon,
I was happy with the 5h30 elapsed time for my ride (4h45 in-motion for the populaire).
Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Bahama Beach / 1404 103 2017/11/16 1 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T76980 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095  05:30 


John and Juliet reported on Facebook that they had a mostly enjoyable ride,
Though they would have appreciated warmer temperatures.
Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville (L-L-L) / 831 205 2017/11/16 2 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T77200 2375 P__, John South Florida Randonneurs / 909014  11:25 
RUSA-T77201 8986 P__, Juliet South Florida Randonneurs / 909014  11:25