More of the Irregulars indicated that they could ride on the 26th than on the 29th.
Therefore, the plan became: do the Holiday Range Road Rover on the 26th.
Somewhat early start so that we could finish without seeming to take "all day."
But then people started expressing concern over the freezing temps at the start.
So ... discussion led to doing a 25-ish mile ride starting at 10 am.
Sun was shining, not much wind, temperature about 39F at 10 am.
IvaHawk, Snapper, and I ended up doing my old "TT"/cadence route,
Except we started at PUE rather than at Blue Jay County Park.
I.e., the first and last 2.4-miles of the embedded route were not ridden.
[Well, dang! I can't figure out how to embed the map,
So I've included a link above.]
Dell Web and others continue to build more housing developments along Leesville Rd.
But the environments along Leesville Rd were little changed from two years ago,
Which is when I last rode that section of Leesville Rd.
Doc Nichols Rd, on the other hand, was a completely changed landscape and road.
Too many housing developments messing up what used to be GREAT cycling roads.
Despite the changed conditions, the temps were rising and the ride became quite pleasant.
I put in a hard effort on Virgil Rd, a 2.3-mile almost continuous incline,
With a net gain of approx 110 feet.
Approx 10-minutes to cover the entire length of the road.
The effort got pretty difficult nearing Carpenter Pond Rd,
Not so much because of the percentage incline, but
Instead because I haven't been putting in hard efforts on the bicycle lately.
AND I had a nasty cold from December 2nd until the 23rd.
The hard effort on Virgil Rd followed the climb on Kemp Rd, 100 feet in one-half mile.
All done in the 39/14 gearing.
In fact, I did the entire ride in the 39/14,
Except late in the ride when I tried to lead IvaHawk to rejoin Snapper,
Who had gotten ahead because of interactions with traffic at two stop-signs.
Must mention that on the Kemp Rd climb referenced above,
Snapper dropped his chain, but
Used the old chain-guide trick to get the chain back on the appropriate chain ring.
IvaHawk was behind Snapper when the latter dropped his chain.
IvaHawk ended up calmly coasting off the road surface and onto the verge to avoid hitting Snapper.
Thereafter, Snapper's derailleurs did not work properly and he could not shift as desired.
Mostly it seemed that, on Carpenter Pond Rd (after Virgil Rd), he could not soft-pedal in an easy gear.
Anyway, perhaps helped by the stop-light at NC-50,
We completed the catch of Snapper, and
We all finished together.
Snapper immediately headed for home as he had an appointment to visit his dad.
IvaHawk and I returned to his car, parked at PUE.
Once there, we chatted for 24 minutes while IvaHawk put his bike in the back end of his car.
Then IvaHawk drove the approx 3 miles to his house, and
I rode 6.7-miles back to my "sleep headquarters."
I was / am happy with my effort(s) on the day:
22-minutes to cover the 5.6-mile pre-ride commute.
1h40 in-motion, 1h42 elapsed, for the 24.9-mile "ride proper."
27-minutes to cover the 6.7-mile post-ride commute.
[The safer mid-day post-ride commute is longer than the morning commute route.]
Btw, one of the not Range Road Rover options that was discussed in the couple days before the ride,
Was to do either the "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" or the "Bahama Beach" perm-pop.
Because IvaHawk is RUSA #7702.
Snapper is RUSA #11802.
And I am RUSA #6218.