Rando buddy Bob and I had not ridden together since March 14th.
But with restrictions slightly eased, or were they already being re-tightened?
We decided to do an "Independence Day" ride on the 3rd.
[Bob had other commitments for the Fourth.]
We weren't sure the 3rd would be a Holiday or not,
So we figured that we either needed to start early to beat rush-hour traffic near Raleigh,
Or wait until after the rush would be over.
Bob suggested either 0630 or 0830 -- we chose the latter.
We decided to do a ride of about 50-miles since we could do that without refueling.
Bob left the choice of route to me, and I figured to include some roads he had never ridden.
As a result of those criteria, I came up with a "new" route: "The Dragon Lite".
As the name implies, the route is a shortened version of "The Dragon".
A little research (mostly on this blog by searching for word "Dragon")
Revealed that I've apparently done "The Dragon" a half-dozen or more times, but
The most recent apparently was in December-2011 -- "The Dragon" a casualty of rando riding.
[Interestingly, one of the more interesting Dragon rides was done on July 3rd, 2010.
I had completely forgotten that ride until I did the above referenced "research".]
[The original Dragon online map was created using "veloroutes.org", and
When that hobby-site more or less demised,
A map was map made using "TrimbleOutdoors," but
Then Trimble essentially disappeared, so a third map was made using RWGPS.]
"The Dragon" RWGPS map embed:
"The Dragon Lite" RWGPS map embed:
U can see that I sucked 11.5-miles out of "The Dragon" to make the "Lite" version.
However, RWGPS claims that the "Lite" route has 4-feet more of gross climbing!!
I'm not sure I believe that.
Okay, on to the information about this July 3rd ride.
I left my abode at 0742 to cycle-commute to the start.
8.06-miles later (including approx 30 or 35 yards extra because I missed turn),
I arrived at Pleasant Union Elementary at 0818.
Bob was already there and ready to ride, so we started at 0821.
Non-eventful drift down Mt. Verson Ch Rd and "glide" back up and
Across NC-50 to Old Creedmoor / Carpenter Pond Rd.
More non-eventful riding the rollers of Kemp Rd.
However, during the 1-mile on NC-98, something happened.
There seemed to be more pebbles in / on the shoulder of the highway, and
I managed to hit one square-on with my rear tyre and suffered an immediate pinch-flat.
Luckily, the flat occurred in front of Neal Elementary School and
There were some small trees available for use for a shady spot while I changed the tube.
The tube change went reasonably smoothly, but I did not hurry.
It may have taken as much as 15-minutes to complete the change and to inflate the new tube.
Back on the road, more completely non-eventful riding on Patterson and Cheek Roads.
Across the wide (but shallow) part of Falls Lake.
[The lake looked to be plenty full -- though I have seen it higher.
I know I commented to those effects to Bob.]
Turn right immediately after crossing the lake and follow the logical road-path
Onto Boyce Rd which crosses Old Weaver Trail and
Becomes Will Suitt Rd when the road goes into Granville County from Durham County.
After entering Granville County, I told Bob that we would turn onto Fleming Rd
So that we would ride past Cedar Creek Pottery and
Bob would know where it was in case he ever felt like taking Retta Deane there for an outing.
[I mentioned to Bob that I used to call the routing including Fleming Rd as "Pottery Loop."]
After Fleming Rd, we were on Northside Rd which we could have taken straight to Creedmoor, but
We took "Strawberry Loop" to better define one of the Dragon's wings.
[If one zooms in on the map, see "Lyons Farm" that sells a LOT of strawberries every Spring.]
Completing "Strawberry Loop," we returned to Northside Rd to ride toward Creedmoor.
The steepest climb of the ride (that Bob and I did this day) was on Northside Rd --
About 6.4% according to RWGPS -- and I think RWGPS invariably understates the steeper inclines.
"The Dragon" actually goes up into Creedmoor, so that one might refuel there.
Since we were not wanting to stop anywhere on this ride,
"The Dragon Lite" cuts thru a housing development just south of Creedmoor-proper.
Headed south toward Falls Lake, riding easily on the rollers of Dove Road,
I realized that the day's heat was already getting to me, so
I asked Bob if he would be okay if we shorted the ride to only about 40-miles.
He indicated that doing 40 would be okay.
So ... we skipped riding the Dragon's Neck and Head,
Which is where the steepest climb of the day should have been, and
Is where Bob would have been introduced to roads he had never ridden.
Riding "straight" across Old Weaver Trail to New Light Rd, and
Then finishing on the usual Ghoston - Peed - Mt. Vernon Ch combination of roads,
We ended up with approx 40.3-miles in 3:00 in-motion.
I had originally planned to enjoy my cycle-commute to the ride proper,
Enjoy the 53-mile Dragon-Lite and also enjoy my cycle-commute back to my abode, but
I must have looked pretty decrepit since Bob offered me a ride home.
Pretty lousy story about a mostly non-descript ride, but I'll be sticking to it.