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.

It was sunny when we got to the control in Berea.
[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.

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

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 


  1. Subsequent to the ride, Daniel posted on Dumbbook regarding his ride, including that the ride was at least 109 kms long (I recall he may have claimed 110 kms), and that led to a careful look at the route cue sheet and RWGPS:

    Result? I had messed up the cue sheet when the route was developed and had shorted the route an entire mile, which is nearly 2-kms, and if the rounding down to the greatest integer works out just so, ..., Raleigh-Berea-Raleigh is now officially 109-kms.

    Clearly, I owe #5519 twenty-four kms on her RUSA career distance, #1609 several kms, NCBob #5843 about four kms, and I own myself ten or so kms. I'm confident that no one will care much about those missing kms.

  2. When I reached the control in Berea, I dismounted, began speaking to Bob, and was shocked to discover I was mumbling because my jaw was somewhat frozen. Those temps and that headwind were no joke.