Monday, May 24, 2021

Apr-09: Two Errands -- One Ride -- Again

  • -> ATM -> friend's -> E.MineCrTrail -> 
  • purposes: 
    • get some $$$ 
    • probably helped friend do some simple yardwork 
  • 8.7 total miles in 42-min in-motion    12.2-mph avg pace in-motion 
  • standing the whole way, of course 
  • (probably) 39/13 gearing 

My Excel log notes this:  "pollen today    --    POLLEN yesterday"

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Apr-08: Tour de Wood Valley (and More)

The plan was to meet IvaHawk at 1:30 pm at the Bay Leaf CVS. 
But I was a bit behind schedule, and receiving multiple texts, 
Which I thought were from an impatient Hawk,
So instead of the intended Honeycutt - Durant - Coachman's neighborhood - Norwood routing 
To get the CVS, I took Durant to Six Forks to Mt. Vernon Ch to Norwood to the CVS. 
That cut a mile or more from my commute.   
Even so, it was nearly 1:40 as I approached the CVS and discovered the Hawk riding toward me. 
He had concluded that I might have mistakenly gone to PUE instead of the CVS, 
Had sent me one text indicating that he was heading to PUE, and had just started that short trip. 
Seeing Iva, I call out, "let's go west on Norwood." 
Iva reversed his course; we got through the stop-light at Creedmoor Rd, and started our ride. 
I asked if Iva if he would be interested in riding past his former home. 
That became the initial plan. 
Turn onto Macon Rd and then the east end of Wood Valley Dr and onto Blossom Hill Ct.  
Drifting along on Blossom Hill Ct., Iva pointed to the wrong house. 
I remarked, "that doesn't seem right, Iva.  I thought your driveway was opposite that other road." 
"Oh," exclaimed Iva, "I pointed out the neighbor's house." 
[That's not exactly how that moment transpired, but reflects the actual event.] 
We took Evergreen Chase Way, the road opposite the aforementioned driveway, 
Back to Wood Valley Drive, where we made a right turn to complete the "Tour de Wood Valley." 
The first was more interesting than the ride this post is about. 
However, much of the interesting stuff from that 2009 ride is NOT in the blog post.] 
After completing the "Tour," we "wiggled" from Wood Valley Dr.onto Victory Church Rd. 
Local randonneurs that have ridden the old "Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville" perm 
Might recognize that "wiggle," which outbound, comes just after Boxelder Dr, or 
Conversely, inbound, the reverse "wiggle" comes just before Boxelder with its steepest bit of L-L-L. 
After 123-miles, it certainly seems like it is the steepest bit of Triple-L, and 
Boxelder is the ONLY part of Triple-L that I have ever walked up! 
If one zooms in on Boxelder Dr, RWGPS does indicate a 5.3% incline at mile 123.05.] 
Victory Church Rd becomes Kemp Rd at the county line. 
The climb on Kemp to get up to Carpenter Pond Rd, 
Which traverses the crest of a ridge at that point, is a non-trivial climb, and 
I was concentrating on pedaling when Iva exclaimed, "look at that pollen cloud at the stop-sign!" 
As I coasted into the stop-sign amidst the pollen cloud, 
I looked to the left (since we would be turning that direction on Carpenter Pond Rd), and 
It was my turn to exclaim, "Iva, LOOK at that cloud which we are about to ride into!!" 
That turned out to be the last heavy cloud of pollen on the day. 
But there was always yellow pine pollen floating or blowing about. 
Eventually, the pollen got to Iva (and perhaps a little to me, too). 
Gonna' short-cut this post by copying in some text from an email I sent to the "Irregulars": 
A little over 9 years ago, I wrote this: ( ). 
And 13 months later, I posted that to Facebook (on April 8, 2013). 

I had completely forgotten about the original post until FB popped up the "memory from 8 years before". 

Yesterday, April 8th, 2021, Iva and I did a early/mid-afternoon ride, starting from the Bay Leaf CVS, and riding Norwood, Vct Ch/Kemp Rd, Carpenter Pond and Leesville roads to Panoramic, where we turned around and reversed the route back to the CVS. Iva wanted a few more miles, so we took Norwood to Mt Vernon Ch Rd, which we took down and up to turn around at Peed Rd, where we again reversed to go back to the CVS.

Early in the ride, on Kemp Rd approaching Carpenter Pond, Iva remarked, "do you see that pollen cloud ahead?" 
It was palpable. 

Upon reaching the stop-sign and looking left in anticipation of our turn, I said, "Iva, LOOK at that cloud we are about to ride into!" 

It was an enjoyable ride -- IF one could ignore the pollen, which did get to Iva's eyes and to a lesser degree, mine, too. 

Actually, what I wrote 9 years ago is an apt description of our ride yesterday: 


EVERYTHING in central North Carolina is YELLOW, now. 

The cars, the buildings, the trees, the grass, the air, the roads. All YELLOW. 
The surfaces of quiet ponds and ... of the backwaters of the lakes. All YELLOW. 
The surfaces of the water reservoirs. YELLOW. 

As one rides their bicycle down the road, 
The center-line of the tyres become YELLOW. 
White skull-caps become YELLOW. 
Black ones, too. 

YELLOW because of the pine pollen. 

All food has only one taste right now. 
You got it -- YELLOW. 
Yellow pine pollen. 

Come back from a bike ride, 
All one can taste is the yellow pollen. 
All one can smell -- if not "stopped up" -- is the yellow pollen."
Some ride stats (mine): 
  • -> Honey-Durant-MVC -> CVS:  Norwd-Kemp-CP-Panoramic-CVS -> Coachman's -> 
  • ride w/ IvaHawk @~1340, CVS to Panoramic & MVC to/Peed and back to the CVS 
  • 40.5-miles  --   3:04 in-motion  --  13.2-mph avg pace 


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Apr-04: Baptist Rd + Panoramic Drive

My intent was to do the same ride I did in late November.  
Except that in November, I used only one gear, the 39/14, and
For this ride, I purposefully intended to use as many different gears as felt appropriate. 
All was going well until when climbing the shallow incline of Virgil Rd, 
I suddenly had the thought, "why / how am I on Virgil Rd?  For this route, I should only be on Virgil once." 
Giving the matter some deep thought, I realized that at the 36.7-mile-mark of the "pseudo route" map 
Linked to from within the November blog post, I had turned right instead of left. 
More deep reflection and I realized why I had turned right when I intended to go left. 
On March 27th, I had ridden with the TLC group on a route that began similarly, but 
After breaking off from that group, I had turned right onto Kemp to get immediately to Virgil. 
So, when just clipping along, my mind apparently reverted to the most recent Southview to Kemp experience. 
So ... riding up Virgil, thinking I had messed up the potential to get in a 100k ride, I cooked up a new plan: 
  • ride up Virgil, 
  • turn right on Carpenter Pond to Leesville Rd, 
  • take Leesville all the way to Panoramic Drive, 
  • U-turn at Panoramic, then retrace Leesville to Carpenter Pond to Mt Vernon Ch Rd, then 
  • Norwood to Six Forks Rd (the flatter way, but with significantly more traffic), to 
  • Strickland Rd and back to my abode. 
That routing from Panoramic back to my abode would reduce the total climbing, but 
I would press the pace (as a "pretend training exercise"). 
The result would be my longest ride of the year so far:  59.8-miles. 
[Obviously, I could have easily gotten to 100-kms or more, but ... .] 
The ride would also become my fastest in-motion ride of the year so far:  15.0-mph. 
[ 3:59 in-motion over 4h03 elapse -- so you understand there was no stopping for photos, 
Nor for anything else EXCEPT the stop-lights on Six Forks Rd.] 
All in all, an excellent ride, that I started at 1149, and rode in 70+ F temperatures. 
Fast, for me, 
Long, for now, 
How much better a solo ride can one expect?

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Apr-03: Possum Track + Deer Trail

I waited until the afternoon to ride.  Actually didn't get around to riding until later than I intended, but hey, at least it was 57 degrees, or supposedly so, when I rode. 

Turned out 57 degrees felt chillier than I expected.  I was wearing a long-sleeved jersey the origin of which I don’t know.  Anyway, wherever the black jersey with the full length zip came from, it seemed like it would be plenty warm, so I dispensed with any other arm coverings.  I did wear a short-sleeved jersey from a circa 2008 MS-150 ride over the black long-sleeved jersey.  To get to the point, my arms and shoulders were chilly from the get-go, and never felt as if they were warming up.  

IF I had been doing a 100k perm-pop, I probably would have finished the 100k.  IF I were doing a 200, again I probably would have completed that ride.  But I was only intending to do a 30 mile ride with a lot of repeat climbing near the south side of Falls Lake.  After about 7 or 8 miles, I decided that I would short the ride, but would "work" the shortened ride harder than if I were doing a 200k, or a 100k, or even a 30-miler. 

Btw, instead of staying only in the 39/14 gearing, while on a false-flat downslope at about the 5.5-mile mark. I decided I would use multiple gears on the ride.  Ha!  I ended up only using two gears during the ride:  (1) the 39/14 for the first and last mile of the ride and for all the inclines, and (2) 50/14 for downslopes and the few flat-tish portions of the route. 

Net result?  19.0-miles in 1:19 in-motion.  That works out to 14.3-mph average, which is the fastest ride I have done so far this year.  

Assuming 5m00sec for the first mile and last mile (almost all of which were on sidewalks), the 17.0 miles that made up the core of the ride was done at an average of approximately 14.7-mph -- I reckon that is pretty good given the climbing I did -- and I should acknowledge that there was 1.5-miles on the flat Brassfield Rd followed by 1.2-miles of gentle downslope on Durant Rd near the end of the ride -- those two sections obviously contributed to a significant increase in the avg pace of the ride, but hey ... fastest avg pace so far this year. 

My legs were a bit stiff a couple hours later, and that lasted until after I took a "nap" starting just after 8 pm Saturday night.  I am typing this at [now 12:50 am Easter morning -- yes, just after midnight] because I woke up a few minutes after twelve midnight needing to pee -- what does one expect when one retired for the night hours earlier than usual without one's evening discharge of bodily fluids?

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Mar-27: 55.6-miles today

Longest ride so far this calendar year. 
Also the fastest in-motion avg pace -- marginally, and I mean MARGINALLY, faster than last Sunday's ride. 

Rode approx 28 miles with Gary & Wendy's TLC group ride, at an avg pace clearly less than 13.4-mph.  I know that because after zooming up Virgil Rd at a delightful fast-feeling (unknown avg) pace in the 39/14 gearing, but certainly I avg'd more than 13.4-mph on the 2.1 or 2.3 miles of Virgil Rd -- I checked the distance and avg pace to that point -- 13.4-mph for 30.4-miles -- hmmn, both ending in point-4 seems rather coincidental.  It was at that point, heading slightly downslope on Leesville Rd that I decided I would be more comfortable and faster if I finally-finally shifted out of the 39/14 gear -- [I had not shifted FROM the 39/14 since the middle of November].  Into the 50/14 I went, and kept it there across the remainder of Leesville and all of the downslope Doc Nichols Rd -- I did the 1.9-miles of Doc Nichols in 5m52ec -- I'm confident that I did faster than that years ago, but I'll take that roughly 19.4-mph on DocN.  When I completed DocN, I was avg'ing 13.9-mph since the beginning of the ride.  

Pushed it on the decline and then the incline on Olive Branch Rd to get to NC-98 -- pushed it across NC-98 -- pushed the decline on Kemp Rd and then labored up the Kemp climb to Virgil Rd (with gearing dropping as low as 39/19) -- then zoomed up Virgil again (but not as free-flowing as the first time) -- then pushed across Carpenter Pond and Mt. Vernon Ch Rd to the stop-light and NC-50.  At that point, I had ridden approx 45-miles and the avg pace since the beginning of the ride was 14.2-mph.  

Down and up on MVC to Norwood -- the up slowing me, likely in 39/19 gearing. 
Down and up on Norwood to Six Forks Rd -- the up slowing me, again in the 39/19 gearing. 
Avg pace since the beginning to that point was 14.1-mph.  Distance to that point ~ 50.3 miles. 

I cut through the "Coachman's neighborhood," thus avoiding traffic, but with climbing on short bits through the neighborhood (but a LOT less climbing than if I had taken Honeycutt the whole way).  The climb on Honeycutt from Durant to the overpass atop I-540 was quite hard.  I had pushed the previous ~ 1.3-mile downslope on Durant, but didn't push nearly as hard as I had earlier as described above -- my legs were quite tired -- the "hot interval" having "done them in."  Somehow, even with the last mile on mostly sidewalks, I managed to hold onto 14.1-mph avg pace for the whole ride. 

I won't push nearly so hard in four weeks on Alan's brevet, and with a few more rides, increasing the distance, I reckon I'll be in decent shape to ride slowly and minimize the stoppage time and still get a decent elapsed time.  

Enjoy the ride, 

Mar-21: Carpenter Pond / "TT" Based Route -- 40+ miles

Since overheating during an attempted 100-mile ride in late June-2020, and also overheating during a late July-2020 ride, and given that stopping at convenience stores for re-supply of cold liquids was problematic during the pandemic restrictions, I've been staying closer to "home."  Luckily, there are sufficient appropriate roads quite near my sleep quarters to get in sufficient climbing rides, 40-mile rides, and even the occasional 100+ km ride
My typical goto routes have been versions of the "Possum Tracking" route(s) and a modified version of my "historical" "TT"/cadence route.  The most ridden "TT" modification is 40.4/5 miles and takes me just under three hours to complete.  Three hours is a very nice time-frame for a quick ride.
This ride was the basic "TT"40.5-miler I've been doing since the middle of last year.  For some photos of some semi-scenic spots, click on this link [-- you'll have to scroll down a bit.]  Further, since I've provided links to previous 40-miler "TT" rides, see above "40-mile rides" link, I'll not go into explaining the route. 
When you see the in-motion time and the elapsed time below, you'll know that I took no time to take any photos on this ride.  I also barely noticed anything other than the road and my pedaling during this excursion.  However, one thing I did notice was the pond on Virgil Rd where last year there was frequently three turtles sunning themselves on a log in the middle of the pond -- also, at least once, there were four turtles sunning themselves.  On this date, that pond was VERY full and the log barely broke the surface.  Additionally, since it was not summer, there were exactly zero turtles visible on the log or around the pond or on the road surface or anywhere else. 
Some stats from the ride: 
  • -> Honeycutt + Norwood - "TT" course - Norwood + Honeycutt -> 
  • 1346 start, 60+ degrees F, NE wind    --    2h54 elapsed 
  • 40.4-miles.    2:52 in-motion, i.e., only 2 minutes of stoppage.    14.1-mph avg in-motion. 
    • My fastest ride this year to date. 
  • All in the 39/14 gearing.  And that does make the finishing climbs on MVC, Norwood, and Honeycutt roads a bit difficult.  I forced myself to stay in the faux single-speed even though I was sorely tempted on the last climb on Honeycutt to shift to an easier gear.  [Maybe next ride I'll actually shift for the first time since the middle of November?] 


Mar-20: Two Errands -- One Ride

  • -> ATM -> friend's -> E.MineCrTrail -> 
  • purposes:  
    • get some $$$    
    • put friend's canopy back up (it had been taken down the previous day because of expected severe weather including strong winds), 
    • fix / replace friend's TP holder 
  • 3.94-m to ATM + friend's in 19m44sec  
  • 3.82 returning in 18m45sec 
  • dealing with strong N/NE wind for half the distance 
  • standing all the way, of course, mostly on sidewalks (except the first part to the ATM was on streets)
    • I figure if I'm not riding long, I can get in some "training" by standing the entire distance. 
  • 7.8-miles total.    ~ 38-minutes in-motion.    12.1-mph avg pace in-motion. 
Since the point of the ride was to accomplish the errands (and perhaps get in some "pretend training"), I didn't notice much while en route, and certainly had no interest in taking any photos.