Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Sep-22: Bahama Beach w/ "E. Thollie Green + 3-Hayes" Variant

On Saturday at the Picnic, John J expressed interest in a ride for Sunday.
So ... John and Ann and I agreed to meet to ride the Bahama Beach 'free route' perm-pop.
Among the riders completing the 200 were a tandem team from New Hampshire.
During the ... the conversations, John inquired about possible ride routes for the next day.
My impression was that he and Ann may have been interested in a greenway ride.
Finally, after a couple minutes of what appeared to be fruitless conversation,
I asked if John and Ann would be interested in riding as far as 100-kms.

Quick conversation confirmed they were staying only a couple miles from Bay Leaf,
The location where three of my permanent-populaires begin and end.
Blah, blah, blah, we agreed to meet at the Bay Leaf CVS for a 7 am ride
On the "Bahama Beach" route the next morning.

I drove to the start instead of my usual cycle to the start.
Truth be told, the reason I did that is that I had left the bike IN the car overnight.

I got to the CVS at Bay Leaf at about 6:15 am.
Plenty of time to put the two wheels back on the frame,
Even in the pitch black dark (and no lighting in the parking lot).

And time to get the waiver and back-up cue sheet and souvenir quality card stock control cards ready.[Using card stock control cards in case John and Ann want to keep them as souvenirs
Because this "Bahama Beach" ride will be their first ever Permanent.]

Only one problem -- WHERE is the waiver?
And the cue sheet and the cards?
[The waiver is important. 
John + Ann plan to navigate using GPS, so the cues and cards are not critical.]

WHERE is the dang WAIVER?
I realized I had left it in my abode.
I've got to get it.

But what to do with the bike?
Take the wheels off and put back in the car?
Hide it somewhere at the CVS?
Or just leave it parked against the side of the CVS building?
I decided to risk it and leave the bike against the side of the building.
5.6-miles from the CVS back to my hovel.
In record time.  I'm sure it ought to have been the record time.

Bounded into my abode, grabbed the WAIVER and other papers.
5.6-miles back the CVS.

WAIVER signed.
Cue sheet and control cards handed over.
Ride started at 0715.

As an aside, click here to see the standard "BB" route that John had loaded into their GPS.
And see the embed just below to see the route that I wanted to ride / the route we did ride.
"BB" route with "E. Thollie Green + 3-Hayes" variant.

The ride started innocuously enough.
Conversation on flat Norwood Rd, and
More conversation / stories, mostly on the upslopes, of Victory Church / Kemp Rd.

Ha -- just recalled.
As we approached the stop sign at Carpenter Pond Rd,
John commented, "the road name seems to have changed."
"Yes," I replied, "roads usually change name at county lines."

From my perspective, everything seemed to be going well.
Then, at the stop sign at NC-98, about 8-miles into the ride,
John indicated that their rear derailleur cable had just broken.
"How about we ride a short mile and pull in at the CVS up ahead," I suggested.
That's what we did.

While John, with some purported assistance from me, attempted to
Tie off the derailleur cable so that John and Ann's tandem would stay in a middling cog.
However, we couldn't get any tension on the cable;
The chain would immediately fall to the 11-tooth cog no matter what we did.
So, after about 10-minutes, John concluded that they would stay in the 11 for the rest of the ride.

John or Ann inquired if the climbs on Victory Ch / Kemp were the hard ones of the course.
"Sure," I replied in a false upbeat tone.
Then, more sounding more serious, "no, those were just appetizers."
[I wish I had been clever enough to put it that way.]

Hmmn, I seem to have a pattern.
  1. First time Ricochet Robert did Byron's "Leesville - Leasburg - Leesville" perm"At Hollow Ridge Grocery atop Mt. Tirzah, I told Ricochet, "the hard part is done now, Robert."  I heard Byron chuckle-gasp under his breathe that sounded something like "sheesh."  (Just previously, out of Robert's earshot -- because he was too far ahead -- Byron and I had been discussing the hills on the course as we rode the final approaches up to Mt. Tirzah:  Byron was of the opinion that Gordonton Rd was harder than Moores Mills Rd; I had agreed, adding that I thought one of the climbs on Hester Store Rd might also be harder.)  But Byron played along with my comment to Robert and said nothing.  Unfortunately, Robert voiced that he thought I was pulling his leg."  
  2. When Janet and Mike F did the "Road to Hicksboro," upon reaching the first control at Underwood Grocery at about 33-miles into the ride, "Janet, who is not fond of climbing, asked me if "the first section was harder, easier, or similar to the rest of the route?"  I answered, "yes."  Janet didn't think that was very informative, but I'd never thought about it that way.  I know I think that my "Egypt Mtn" perm starts rather gently and with some nice vistas ... and then gets a little more interesting ...; but I had not thought much about the ... tempo of the Hicksboro route.  There are some boring roads -- I pointedly remarked so to Janet + MikeF after completing one such chip-seal tree tunnel.  There are some nice homestead and farmsteads.  There are donkeys and goats, and of course, the llamas at the llama house, in addition to the normal complement of horses and some cattle and sheep.  And the two steepest climbs are after the first control, but ... I think I would say the route is similar throughout."  
  3. And now, the "Bahama Beach" route and this ride.

Ann indicated that this wouldn't be the first time they had a broken rear cable to deal with.
She also described some other mechanicals they had previously overcome.
The most interesting might have been swapping their broken road tandem
For a mountain bike tandem on the Minnesota-Wisconsin 1200 the previous year.
[I'm drawing a blank on the proper name of the 1200.]

Since John and Ann were stuck riding in the 11-tooth cog for the rest of the day,
I did give them a head's up for the subsequent tougher climbs.
For example, I urged them to wind it up when riding on the bridge next to Lake Michie
Because upon making the left turn away from the Lake, they'd be going up the Michie Wall.
[Not much compared to those famous Pittsburgh walls, 
Not much compared to many mountain climbs, 
But still enough to get one's attention.]
In the event, I came around that turn in time to see the tandem serpentining part of the climb.
Hope John and Ann will forgive me, but it was somewhat amusing to watch.
Ann + John + their tandem in front of the decommissioned self-propelled (?) artillery gun at the corner of Range Rd and Roberts Chapel Rd.  This is a safer photo opp than posing ON the gun.  [I almost forgot to include this photo!]  One tidbit from just before we got to this location:  I was on their wheel as we approached the county line (on Range Rd after turning off Cassam Rd), so I picked up my cadence for 20 strokes or so and edged ahead and raised my right arm in a mock victory salute as I crossed the CL, then immediately drifted back -- John commented, "I wondered what you were doing."  Then as I was temporarily riding alongside the tandem team, I asked if they would mind posing for the above photo.  You can guess that they were up for the opportunity.

John and Ann paused and waited numerous times during the ride.
Especially late in the ride when my legs were feeling-it from the day before
And the semi-fast riding from earlier in the ride.
In addition to the legs talking to me, I was scheduled to work starting at 4 pm,
And I wanted to be able to walk for that.

Me, nearing the stop-sign at NC-98 at the top of Ghoston Rd, snapped by Ann.  She took two additional photos just after I turned onto the highway, but ... this is the one I'm using.
As you might guess, the two bikes made the turn off NC-98 onto Peed Rd together,
But John and Ann got to the finish several minutes before me.

Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Bahama Beach / 1404 103 2019/09/22 3 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T92774 10504 J__, Ann Benoit New England Randonneurs / 921005 05:03
RUSA-T92775 2190 J__, John New England Randonneurs / 921005 05:03
RUSA-T92776 6218 S__, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095 05:08

That's my story that I'll be sticking to for this ride.

Except for this:
After we had completed the ride and I had signed the potential souvenir cards,
John indicated that they liked the route so much that they wanted to do it, again, the next day.
We arranged how to meet late in the afternoon so that they could sign another waiver, and

Then John asked, "what is the record fast time on this course?"
"3 hours, 55 minutes,: I replied.
John then asked, "who did that?"
"Will you be upset if we break it," John asked.
"No," said I.

They rode the standard route, using texted photos for proof of passage.
Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Bahama Beach / 1404 103 2019/09/23 2 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T92833 10504 J__, Ann Benoit New England Randonneurs / 921005 03:26
RUSA-T92834 2190 J__, John New England Randonneurs / 921005 03:26

That's a time that can never be lowered -- officially -- as that is the minimum time.
I'm not sure when this photo was taken.  After the Sep-22nd ride this blog post is ostensibly about?  Before that ride?  After the Sep-23rd "Bahama Beach" ride that John and Ann did without me?  Before that ride?  After the Sep-25th "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" ride?  Before that ride?  [Also, I think I likely snapped this photo, but maybe they got a stranger to take it?  Ha!  Before Sep-21, I had never met John and Ann, and more to the point, I had never heard of them!  As I type this on Mar-25-2020, I think it may be that it was not me that snapped this photo -- it doesn't really matter, it is a good photo of smiling people that I'm glad I can now call friends.]  
Late Monday, when I got home from work, there was an email from John,
Thanking me for the route, and asking if the route embedded just below was a good one.

They had found the RWGPS map all on their own -- it probably isn't that hard to find. I replied that the route is a good one; that it was a favorite in my non-rando days -- still is.

So on Tuesday, John and Ann rode that "Basic Falls Lake Loop," reportedly at recovery pace.

And late Tuesday afternoon, John asked if there was another perm-pop
They could ride on Wednesday.
But that is a story for another day.

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