Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Nov-03-2018: Neuse River Trail 201

Consistent with the relatively new "start at any timed control" protocol, Bob and I decided to request approval to do the relatively new "Wilson to Falls Lake via Neuse River Trail" Permanent starting from the Falls Lake "turn-around" instead of driving all the way to Wilson just to ride back to approximately 5-miles from where I rest my head at night.  Starting from Falls Lake was a benefit for each of us:  5-miles for me to the turn-around, and a 55-mile drive for Bob instead of a 100-mile drive to Wilson.  Mutual agreement reached. 

Route owner Tim suggested we use Electronic Proof of Passage (EPP), taking photos with our phones and texting same to him from each control.  Mutual agreement reached.  

The route, from Wilson, has the advantage of finishing heading east; i.e., finishing with the setting sun behind you instead of in your eyes, and more to the point, not in the eyes of any vehicular traffic on the same roads.  

Neither the setting sun nor the rising sun is an issue if one starts from the Falls Lake end of the out-and-back course ... because ... one starts and finishes with approx 50-kms on the Neuse River Trial:  no vehicular traffic and lots of trees blocking early and/or late day sunshine

There is another advantage for everyone that starts from Falls Lake.  After 50-kms on the greenway multiple use path, one has to climb a very-non-trivial climb to get up to the control in / near Clayton and then connecting to the roads of the next 50-kms.  If one starts in Wilson, that climb comes after 150-kms.  Need I type more about that climb and why it is easier to do after only 50-kms as opposed to doing it after 150-kms? 

Bob had previously done the route twice.  Once with route owner Tim; once with rando Daniel.  Each of those rides had started in Wilson.  Therefore, although I have not encountered the above referenced climb after 150-kms of otherwise quite flat riding, Bob has, and he confirmed that not only did he prefer the shorter drive(s), he also preferred doing that climb earlier in the ride. 

I might insert a link or an embed of the route here, if I can locate either Tim's original RWGPS map or the copy that Bob made so that he could study the route and produce an alternative route cue sheet that fits Bob's style better than that which may fit Tim's style.  I might insert a link or embed.  Or not. 

As all the regular readers of this blog, all one of you, will know, 200+ km Perms were quite a struggle for me all of 2018, and this ride was no exception.  

Also as the regular readers will know, Bob has been patiently slowing and waiting for me all year (since he's been staying good shape so that he could enjoy several one-week PacTour events the last couple years).  One of these days, I HAVE GOT TO FIND MY CYCLING MOJO, and turn the tables back such that sometimes I'll have to be the patient one, sometimes each of us will feel good on the same ride, and only occasionally will Bob have to be the patient one. 

One more thing about starting the route from Falls Lake, and perhaps the only thing in this report that is actually about this particular ride:  if anyone starts from Falls Lake in the Autumn, wait until at least 7:30 am to start; there were places early in the ride that we could barely make out where the path was and where it wasn't, because the entire surface of the path and surrounding grassy grounds were completely covered in leaves.  We concluded that if we had started at 0700 (as originally planned), we would likely have had to stop for about half-an-hour to wait for enough daylight to be able to discern the edge of the pathway. 

Permanent Route Name / #DistanceDateFinishersDNF
NC: Wilson to Falls Lake via Neuse River Trail / 35802012018/11/0320
Cert#RUSA#NameClub / ACP CodeTime
RUSA-T855375843B, BobRandonneurs USA / 93309511:13
RUSA-T855386218S, MartinRandonneurs USA / 93309511:13

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