Tuesday, March 31, 2009

riding this into the ground

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 9:34 am

The Scarecrow wanted brains, and the Wizard stuck pins in him to make him "sharp".

The Lion wanted courage, and the Wizard gave him a medal.

The Tin Woodman wanted a heart, and the Wizard gave him a velvet placebo heart-shaped velvet cloth.

Of course, in the original book and in the movie, too, I guess, the Lion was already the most courageous of the lot, the Tin Woodman clearly had the most caring heart of the lot, and, to finish the trifecta, the Scarecrow would have been the cleverest.

and more to "Who"

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 2009 11:11 am

If I had been thinking more cleverly (?) yesterday, the first two sentences of the third paragraph would have read as follows:

"Get to training, old friend.  The Tinman never did find a heart."

(After all, in the book(s), he got "only ... a placebo heart made of velvet and filled with sawdust".  And in the 1939 movie, he got essentially the same thing: a velvet heart (if I recall correctly).)

However, if one looks to the original books, then my original phraseology is absolutely spot on.  In the books, the "Tin Woodman" started out as a human woodsman, who keeps chopping off parts of himself which get replaced with tin.  However, when the tinsmith had to replace the portion of the body where the heart lies, the tinsmith forgot to include a heart.  So, in the books, "Nick Chopper" does have "less heart than he used to".  On the other hand, "Tin Man", "Tinman", "Tin Woodsman" were never used in the original Oz books; it was always "Tin Woodman".  The other three "names" come from movie, play, or comic strip / cartoon adaptations.  Sometimes Wikipedia is interesting.

To be consistent with the original e-mail,
I must sign off as,


A longer reply to "Who"

Sent: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 6:58 pm

I had forgotten that you had mentioned you were getting a new paint scheme on your bike.

Will it be faster now that it is off-white instead of black? 

Get to training, old friend.  The Tinman has less heart than he used to.  ;-)  BigWaveDave and Snapper accused me of giving no quarter a few weeks ago (and all I did was slowly ride through where they had stopped at the top of a short climb waiting for me).  (Actually, the didn't use "no quarter"; they used a different phrase that means the same thing, but my failing memory is unable to recall the correct phrase.)


[I pointed out to BigWaveDave and Snapper that Ebeneezer was too hard to type. Couldn't they shorten it to Eb or Zeb. Then it would be sort-of similar to one of the Cockney rhyming slang words -- those that knew the rhyme knew the meaning, and those that didn't, didn't. And it is a lot easier for my old fingers to type.]

Barry replies to "Irregular" Story Vignette

Sent: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 1:56 pm 

Greetings from Barry the Who in Who-ville. 

I have been going though a bout of withdrawals lately, the doctor said that it was caused by cruel and unusual treatment, so accept my absence as doctors orders. 

Anyway, I have taken my bike apart, and painted it.  I am waiting for the last coat to dry before applying the clear coat.  Then if the doctor gives me the ok for more cruel and totally unacceptable treatment, I will return with a new looking bike.  I have painted the bike off white, and I am flirting with the idea of putting a sticker like the P-40 aircraft, you remember the one's that you guys had in WWII, Martin, it had the tiger's mouth and eyes on front.  That way I can pick off the other unfortunate riders that fall behind Martin the Hun. 

What did you finally decide to use as your call sign?  I see that you have assigned everyone one but yourself.

My vote is for Mart-Hun.  What do you think?  Or Boxerman, Mart the wet sprocket??

Mar-tinman, Tin-man, I like that. 

What did the tin man want anyway, brains, heart, no, that was the lion.  No the scarecrow wanted brains, what did the Tin man want?  It will come to me, I am 58 now, and the brain doesn't work very well anymore either. 

So if the doctor thinks that I can take the abuse, I will see you guys around All Fools Day.  Fitting don't you think? 

I am doing the Tri in Wrightsville Beach this September, hope that you guys will again. 

And I hope that you all have been doing well,
Barry the Who 

A quick reply from me: 

Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 6:15 pm 

I don't believe in assigning one's own nick.  That is for others.  BigWaveDave had a list of 4 for me when I claimed none. 

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mar-30: "TT"


BJP: DocN-Kemp-Virgil (i.e., my usual "TT" course); strongish WSW (?) wind; 29.6 miles, 1hr, 46min, 16.7 mph avg pace.

Jan tot: 2 rides, 96.0 m.; 6 hrs, 5 min, 15.8 mph.
Feb tot: 11 rides, 350.4 m.; 22 hrs, x min, 16.0 mph.
Mar tot: 7 rides, 308.9 m.; 19 hrs, 26 min, 15.9mph.
YTD: 20 rides, 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 30 min, 15.9 mph.

The usual conditions for this course. Warming up into the wind on Pleasant Union Ch Rd and Carpenter Pond Rd. At the turn off Leesville Rd onto Doc Nichols Rd (12.4 miles), was avging 15.4 mph. 1.9 miles later (@ the turn onto Olive Branch), was avging 15.8. At 19.4 miles (Virgil / Carpenter Pond corner / turn), was avging 15.9 -- meaning the quartering tailwind on Virgil "climb" had helped me avg better than 16 mph on that section -- I deem that very good.

Final 10.2 miles in 33 minutes and some change; I was hoping to do that stretch in 32 minutes and change -- but my legs were feeling the last two days on top of the residuals of the chest cold -- and I should have pumped up the tires before the ride (instead of just "squeezing" them & deeming them okay) -- probably cost me that minute ;-) .

Mar-29: Ride the Wind

Apologies to my friend for "stealing" the title of her blog for the title of yesterday's ride / this post.  (I think she will understand.)

Forecast was for warm with SW wind 15-25 mph, with gusts.  I think the meteorological people got it right.


PUE:  Norwood-VctCh-Kemp-Boyce-MVC-Nor-PT all the way to the very bottom-U turn-PT-RR-Koupela-Honeycutt-Durant-Brassfield-Hardee-Bingham(?)-PT-Nor; w/ Dave-ntW; 41.4 miles, 2hrs, 41min, 15.4 mph avg pace.

Jan tot: 2 rides, 96.0 m.; 6 hrs, 5 min, 15.8 mph.
Feb tot: 11 rides, 350.4 m.; 22 hrs, x min, 16.0 mph.
Mar tot: 6 rides, 279.3 m.; 17 hrs, 39 min, 15.8 mph.
YTD: 19 rides, 725.7 m.; 45 hrs, 44 min, 15.9 mph. 

All in all, a reasonable effort to "sweat-out" the last bit of my head / chest cold. Dave & I decided to "stay local" and do a mini-hill-fest, hoping that the hills would help the trees shield us from some of the wind.  Reasonably successful at that; but there was no avoiding the wind riding southerly on Possum Track, or westerly on Norwood.

I "dropped" Dave somewhere on PossumTrack heading for the finish.  I didn't know until I turned onto Norwood and there was no Dave on my wheel.  Seemed strange as he is a stronger climber.  But I quickly decided that I was not going to go look for him and have to ride UP PossumTrack into the WIND again.  Turned out he had a flat.  Otherwise, NO WAY I could have "out-climbed" him.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rain, and more rain

This week has been a "wash-out" due to my head / chest cold. (I still have a small, occasional "hack".)

Saturday looks likely to be a "wash-out" due to rain (although, even if not raining, I'd likely approach riding "conservatively", i.e., I wouldn't ride in order for the "health factor" to increase unimpeded).

Sunday afternoon may be a good time for an easy ride. May be dry and reasonably warm, and in that situation, I think I could ride a bit without unduly increasing the chances of re-invigorating my cold.

Btw, Falls Lake is well beyond full. Every drop of water coming into the lake is being let out the east end.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Third head cold of Winter !

Good cycling news:
  1. I put new tires on the front and the back rims on Monday, Mar-16. The old front tire probably had ~ 4400 miles and the back tire ~ 4000 miles. New tires with a "round" profile touching the road instead of "flat" profile --> maybe I'll be a tad quicker & faster.
  2. I finally swapped out the brake pads front and rear on Wed, Mar-18. The old brake pads were the originals, and only had 8200 miles on them. ;-)

Sad cycling news:

Sent: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 3:07 pm

Subject: Saturday

Hey, guys!So far, you are the only two that have indicated a desire to ride Saturday morning.

Last night, I started having sniffles and my legs started aching. I am now "doing the drugs" to try to minimize and ward off symptoms. If I am reasonably successful at that, I may do the short version that each of you professed as your desired option.

Skipping the two "signature climbs" turns this route into a reasonably flat course (other than crossing the Neuse River / Falls Lake). So I am hoping that out-of-shape-Heath and not-feeling-so-well-Martin would be matched at approx 15 mph for a 44-mile ride. And Iva can "pull" us the whole way!

Seriously, I will e-mail you sometime tomorrow as to whether or not I expect to "give it a go" or not. If I am unable to ride, I certainly think the two of you should do the ride together. You will have my cue sheet, and my cue sheets are usually pretty accurate and keep one from getting lost - you could always map the ride out on your favorite "google earth" application using the cue sheet beforehand which I find helps me understand the courses.

In anticipation that you will ride, but I might not, please note the following regarding potential "rest stops" / "refueling stations":

1. at approx mile 13.8, in Grissom, the intersection of Bruce Garner & Lawrence roads, there is a convenience store that is receptive to cyclists.

2. at mile 31.8, at the corner of Suitts Store Rd and NC-96, there is a convenience store known as the "Western Wear Store". They are receptive to cyclists. (Well, one male clerk / owner does not appear to, but I am informed that he treats everyone with contempt -- cyclist or not.)

3. at approx mile 33.5, you will again pass the convenience store described in #1 above.

4. if you mis-calc your energy needs, there is also a convenience store at mile 46.5, the corner of NC-98 and Peed Rd. (Dave-not-the-Wave had to make an emergency stop there the last time we did the "Assault", which was Jan-31st.)

I am disappointed about not doing the "signature descents and climbs" of the Assault because I find it very interesting to watch the changes in the foliage as Winter morphs into Spring; esp. now as more trees are coming out with their blooms. Oh, well, another week, perhaps.


Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 9:23 AM

Subject: Fwd: Saturday

Some fool got control of my e-mail yesterday, and that fool actually thought I might ride Saturday even though I clearly have a head cold. That fool has now been banished from my e-mail control, and given the cold temps expected Sat. morning, and given that I will certainly still be hacking some, aching, and prone to chill, there is no way I am riding Saturday. But I certainly hope that the two of you, and possibly others that have not responded with an "In", will enjoy a ride together.

Last time I checked, the breeze is supposed to be out of the NE, which is perfect for an "Assault" because you will have a tailwind coming home (although, if the breeze is only as slight as WRAL is forecasting, you may think you have an apparent headwind regardless of the direction of travel).


p.s. On the positive front for those that like short rides, I expect I will be going "short" and "slow" on Sat., Mar-28, as I try to get cautiously back into the swing of exercise. After next weekend though, I hope to be ramping the mileage up again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mar-18: Young Woman From Nice


BJP: CarpPond-LeesvilleRd-U turn; followed young woman from Nice for 6+ miles into headwind; 24.9 miles, 1hr, 24min, 30 sec, 17.7 mph avg pace.

Jan tot: 2 rides, 96.0 m.; 6 hrs, 5 min, 15.8 mph.
Feb tot: 11 rides, 350.4 m.; 22 hrs, x min, 16.0 mph.
Mar tot: 5 rides, 237.9 m.; 15 hrs, x min, 15.9 mph.
YTD: 18 rides, 684.3 m.; 43 hrs, x min, 15.9 mph.

Despite the excellent "lead-out" by the young woman from Nice, I am counting this as a solo ride. Have to admit, though, that the view on the upslopes on CarpPond was quite nice as the young woman, as part of her training regimine for today (I guess), stood while going up every noticeable upslope on CP. Very nice view.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Modified Road Plan

Due to weather, and some preferences of others with whom I ride, but mostly the weather, the near-term modified road riding plan includes the following "target rides" (note: this "plan" lists mostly Saturdays; Sundays and at least one or two days during the week are also "riding days"):

Sat, Mar-21: modified 50-mile "Assault on Flat Rock", possibly more to make a 70-miler if anyone else is interested (given the list of likely suspects, er, riding partners, the 50 seems more likely).

Sun, Mar-22: 66-mile Range Road Rover w/ DntW & possibly Iceman.

Sat, Mar-28: "Eaton Rd Ramble". Base course is ~ 56 miles. Possibly with "bonus" miles.

Sat, Apr-4: 68-mile "bonk route". Possibly with "bonus" miles.

Sat, Apr-11: no plan, yet.

Sat, Apr-18: 78-mile Stem-LakeDevin-Oxford-BR #1. "Bonus" miles?

Sat, Apr-25: no plan, yet.

Sat, May-2: 74-mile Mt Tirzah.

Sat, May-9: no plan, yet.

Sat, May-16: Dave-ntW's "Three Hump Ride"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Return of the Cold Rain

After 80 degrees on Wednesday, it is 40 all day today with rain all day.

More of the same expected for tomorrow (Saturday).

And maybe a bit warmer on Sunday, but still with rain expected for most of the day.

You'd think it was still winter. Oh, yeah, it is.

For me, this weekend will be a "lost weekend" as far as riding goes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Story of the Irregulars, Chpt 2, Vignettes - addendum - part ii

When last we left the story, Barry and I had been dropped by L&L & co. on the slightest upslope. This episode covers what happened the next time we encountered L&L & co.. (By the way, the chronology could be backward, but this way makes for a better story.)

A few weeks before the ride in question, I had suggested to Barry that he try raising his saddle just a tad. Barry had a stroke where his right knee flayed way out to the side and maybe the adjustment would make it easier for him to transfer more power to the wheels. (At the time of the suggestion, I was unaware of certain rather serious tendon, etc. issues in Barry's right leg.)

Within the first five miles of our ride, Barry commented that he thought he was going to need to adjust his saddle and "push it back" further from the handlebar. In response to my inquiry as to why he thought that, Barry told me that he was finding that he was constantly sliding back on the saddle to get to the correct correlation between sit bones and saddle. "Ah", said I, "that is an indication that you need to move the saddle forward; the sliding backward is because you are recognizing that you're sitting on the horn instead of the wide part of the saddle; and you have keep repeating doing that because, after every conscience adjustment, your body is sliding forward to get to a more comfortable position without you being aware of it."

We stopped at the corner of Carpenter Pond and Coley while Barry made the adjustment. While fiddling with the saddle, L&L & co. (this time with another female and two male riders) zipped past, followed quickly by another group consisting of Margo, John, and a third rider quickly loosing contact.

Barry asks "should we catch them?"

"Okay", I respond, "they are going to be on the flat of Carpenter Pond and Leesville and then the downhill of Doc Nichols, so we can use our gravity advantage on Doc Nichols to catch them, so there is no need to expend too much energy on the flat."

We did catch the combined group on Doc Nichols, just before / as they reached Olive Branch.

Zoom down Olive Branch to the bridge and then, despite the fact that I'm going faster up that little hill than I ever have (about 15 mph), Barry goes around me and stays on the "wheels" of the four women like there was a bungee cord connecting him. (I should point out here, solely for purposes of understanding the story, that usually, if I climbed that little slope up to NC-98 @ 12 mph, I would be dropping Barry like a hot potato.)

Reach the highway, then zip across to Patterson. Turn and start down the first slope. Margo and John realize they are missing their third member, and I mention that I last saw him back at the corner of DN / OB; Margo and John peel off to go find the lost rider. (As an aside, they did not find him. He had stopped at the fire station near Patterson / NC-98, thinking he was having a heart attack from trying to keep up at a pace beyond that which he was in shape to handle. The end diagnosis was: panic attack. So, in the end, that side-story turned out okay.)

The L&L & co. and Barry & I continued on down the first downslope of Patterson. Gravity advantage keeping us in good position. First upslope on Patterson, and again Barry drops me like I'm going backward as he stays close on the "wheels" of the three women. I manage to re-close on the flat and second downslope of Patterson. This pattern replicated itself on the second upslope and third downslope.

Then, the third and last upslope on Patterson. I am working that slope for all I am worth, climbing it faster than I ever had, Barry slightly ahead of me, trying to still hold the "wheels" of the women. Then it happened.

Barry suddenly "went backward". He had used up his entire supply of natural testosterone, and was now toast. L&L & co. went on ahead. They were still only 150 yards or so ahead of me when they got to Cheek Rd. I have been told that Larisa asked Lynn if they should wait for us. Lynn told Larisa "Martin says Barry can't climb a hill to save his soul, let's go on."

Barry was at least 100 yards behind me when L&L & co. made the turn onto Patterson. I thought about stopping at the church there to let Barry catch up, but I decided to drive the lesson home a bit deeper. I kept going and left Barry suffering 100 to 200 yards behind me all the way across Cheek and most of the way up that side-road hill we always climb instead of going straight up Old Weaver. I finally decided that I'd had enough revenge on him for following the women's "wheels", and waited.

We did learn that day that I had been wrong about Barry not being able to climb. He can. With the right incentive. But, even then, only until his testosterone gives out.

So, now when I accuse someone of "pulling a Barry", you will know what I mean.

Snapper's e-mail comment:

Damn Barry - you going to let him embellish like that without any rebuttal?

My e-mail response:

But, Harv, here's the thing: every word of this story is TRUE, perhaps the only "vignette" of the whole bunch with NO embellishment. Truth is stranger and more rivetting than fiction, you know.

PaulS's e-mail comment, made prior to me response above:

You mean to say you doubt that was a fully accurate description of the events! I’m shocked at the suggestion.

Mar-11: Youngsville, Two-Man Ride


Youngsville: SimsBridge-RockyFord-Gillburg-Gill-Bobbitt; w/ JimW; S wind & warm by the end; 48.3 miles, 3hrs, 5min, 15.6 mph avg pace. 

Jan tot: 2 rides, 96.0 m.; 6 hrs, 5 min, 15.8 mph.
Feb tot: 11 rides, 350.4 m.; 21 hrs, 53 min, 16.0 mph.
Mar tot: 4 rides, 213.0 m.; 13 hrs, 32 min, 15.7 mph.
YTD: 17 rides, 659.4 m.; 41 hrs, 30 min, 15.9 mph. 

Really like this course. From the turn south @ Gill until the turn west two miles east of Youngsville, we had 19+ miles directly into the headwind. Builds character (and cuts the avg pace down from 16.3)

I definitely need to make sure my front tire is completely inflated. More likely, I need to replace the front tire because the "round" profile has become "flat" enough that the cycle computer is calculating an extra 0.1 miles every 30 miles or so; I know this course consistently measured 48.2 (sometimes a couple hundredths less) last year.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mar-10: Spinning out the legs


BJP: MVC-OldCreedmoor to NC-50 - U turn - CarpPond-Kemp-Southview-U-S-K-CP-MVC; 25.5 miles, 1hr, 42min, 14.9 mph avg pace.

Jan tot: 2 rides, 96.0 m.; 6 hrs, 5 min, 15.8 mph.
Feb tot: 11 rides, 350.4 m.; 21 hrs, 53 min, 16.0 mph.
Mar tot: 3 rides, 164.7 m.; 10 hrs, 27 min, 15.8 mph.
YTD: 16 rides, 611.1 m.; 38 hrs, 25 min, 15.9 mph.

Late afternoon spinning out the legs.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mar-9: Warm weather is nice


PUE: Act 1: 8:40 Dalton's Touring group marina route; 35.8 m.; 2hrs, 14min; 15.9 mph;
- - - - Act 2: 11:50 Lake + Northside Loop w/ Dave-ntW; warm, SSW wind; 40.1 miles; 2hrs, 33min; 15.6 mph;
- - - - - Total: 75.9 miles; 4hrs, 48min (incl 1 min for total "dropped time"); 15.8 mph.

Jan tot: 2 rides, 96.0 m.; 6 hrs, 5 min, 15.8 mph.
Feb tot: 11 rides, 350.4 m.; 21 hrs, 53 min, 16.0 mph.
Mar tot: 2 rides, 139.2 m.; 8 hrs, 45 min, 15.9 mph.
YTD: 15 rides, 585.6 m.; 36 hrs, 43 min, 15.9 mph (totals checked and corrected).

I intended on doing a solo 50-miler Sunday morning. I was at PUE just after 8 am when I remembered to turn on my cell phone for the first time since before 8 pm the previous evening; there was a call from Dave-not-the-Wave telling me he had gotten back from scraping barnacles in New Bern earlier than anticipated and wondered if I wanted to join him for a ride around noon. I didn't want to wait four hours to ride, thought it over, and made a decision.

I called Dave, and told him he would have to lead because my legs were hurtin' from Saturday (which was perfectly true) and that I didn't think I could more than 40 miles or so. Appointment made.

Then I got the bike and me ready, and rode to meet up with the Gyros Touring Ride, led by Mike D. Mike rides with the "A"'s, but certainly puts his ego in his back pocket when leading / instructing / advising the Tourist ride, so I have done that ride twice before Sunday. Talked with Mike as we pedaled on Pleasant Union Ch Rd, told him I would join the ride, but would do MVC & Old Creedmoor to Carpenter Pond rather than Melvin Arnold and Shooting Club & Old Creedmoor to Carpenter Pond in order to avoid those extra hills while I tried to warm up my very tired legs.

By making that diversion, I was the only one in that Tourist ride other than Mike that had done any pulling as - from what I can tell - everyone always sits in for the initial stages, so somewhere on Carpenter Pond, I went up to pull for a mile or two and give Mike a break. Blah, blah, blah. Nearing the end of the Tourist ride, two other guys (one a 12-year-old weighing 70 lbs. that lives on Gela Rd, which is about 40 miles into the Virginia Border Raid route) and I rode Kemp pretty hard (but I was spinning "hard" because I needed legs for later). 12-year-old Tim left me far behind on the final Kemp climb up to Carpenter Pond.

I left the Tourist ride @ PUE after 35.8 miles @ an average 15.9 mph @ approx 11:10 am.

I had some food and drinks in the car; enough to make a decent lunch. Re-prepped bike, and went to sit on the curb in the sunshine. I think I was almost dozing sitting with my arms around my knees when Dave arrived at approx 11:50 am. We immediately started looping the lake (with an extra small loop to be added to get to 40 miles).

Dave was doing the pace-setting, at just the perfect warm-up pace that I usually like at the beginning of a ride. I was trying to stay behind and out of the wind, but unless we had ridden eschelon formation we were doomed to each of us having to cut a fresh path through the air for much of the distance on Carpenter Pond. Luckily, there are quite a few trees to break the wind, and the general slope from MVC to Kemp helps protect one from a SSW wind. It was much welcome to each of us when we got to DocNichols, OliveBranch, and Patterson.

We paused at that church near the Patterson / Cheek corner, and I told Dave that I felt bad about fibbing to him, and told him I was at PUE when I got his message and called him and . . . "Did you ride this morning?"

"Yes, but I wasn't going to tell you if I was riding poorly. But since I am still riding reasonably well, I decided to tell you now."

We were averaging 16.0 when we turned from Cash onto OldWeaverTrail headed for NewLight. By the time we got to NewLight, my avg was down to 15.7.

Interestingly, Ghoston, Peed, and MVC took almost nothing more out of us and I finished the 40.1 miles averaging 15.6 mph. Even more interesing is that my speed on the steep of Peed never fell below 8 (and some tenths - which I couldn't read) mph. As I told Dave when I caught back up to him on the Peed false flat, I can't remember the last time, other than my single speed incident, that my speed on Peed hasn't gone below 8 or even below 7 mph.

Perhaps with the legs being tired, I was forced to properly pull up and over on the pedals without recourse to stomping. Or maybe, the legs were too tired to notice any additional pain / effort, so I could just keep the cadence and keep going.

My legs, especially my right leg, feels better today than at any time the entire previous week. Maybe the muscle bands (that give me the troubles) hadn't been exercised enough and had been tightening up from non-use.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mar-7: "irregulars" ride


PUE: Act 1: lake loop; warm; w/ Peter & Iva; 38.4 m.; 2hrs, 21min; 16.3 mph;
- - - - Act 2: DocN-Kemp-Virgil (i.e., "TT" course, but from PUE); warm; solo; 24.9 m.; 1hr, 36min; 15.5 mph;
- - - - - Total: 63.3 miles; 3hrs, 57min; 16.0 avg pace.  

Jan tot: 2 rides, 96.0 m.; 6 hrs, 5 min.
Feb tot: 11 rides, 350.4 m.; 21 hrs, 56 min.
Mar tot: 1 ride, 63.3 m.; 3 hrs, 57 min.
YTD: 14 rides, 509.7 m.; 31 hrs, 58 min.  

I think the front tire must either be a bit under-inflated or else is getting too flat across the profile because the mileages ought to have been 38.3 + 24.8 = 63.1. But I will "take" the 63.3. ;-) 
[Edit 2021-02-04:  Seriously, I thought the difference of 0.1-miles meant my tyres were getting flat or under-inflated?  How about maybe there was a bit of "wasted" distance.]  

Friday, March 6, 2009


Several weeks ago, PaulS inquired to the effect "so people get nicknames they earn on the group rides?"  I answered "sort of, but not necessarily."

During a period of lack-of-sleep the other night, PaulS's question prompted further thought.  And the conclusion is: that is a good idea (with exceptions, of course).

So:  "Wrong-Way" has certainly been earned while on "irregular" group rides.

"Snapper" was defintely coined based on incident on an "irregular" ride.  Even so, "Cheeta" MUST remain close in our hearts and minds.

"BigWaveDave" and "the Duke" were not acquired from riding, but those guys are really surfers anyway, so those nicks stick.

"Dave-not-the-Wave" sticks because it contrasts nicely with "BWD", sometimes refered to as "Dave-the-Wave".

I tried "Iceman" for PaulN because that is what he was doing @ the MS-150 when I met him and at least the MS-150 is a bike ride, and once we had two "Pauls" it became useful to differentiate.  However, the nick has never seemed right.  But I thought of a much better and certainly more appropriate nick: "Lineman".  You know, "He is a Lineman for the county".  [Editor note, Mar-31: since the original on Mar-6, PaulN seems to have embraced "Iceman".  Since that is what he was doing when I met him, that will serve.] 

While PaulS's e-mail makes me think postscript every time, I don't think it is that good as a nick, and certainly doesn't fit the "earned" qualification.  So . . . no nick.

"Mt Rushmore" sticks to Heath because, well, have you ever ridden behind him?

"Rabbit" sticks to Peter because he rabbits ahead. Besides, what else are you gonna call someone whose name is Peter?

While BobH and Norris are both certainly characters, neither has done anything zany on an "irregular" ride that has prompted a nick.

Barry.  Who's Barry?

Jason.  I have an unused nick for Jason, but he needs to earn a real one.

Sean. "Gorgone" comes to mind.  Probably shortened to just "gone" soon, again.  Not earned, anyway.

The women.  Not chivalrous to stick nicks on them.  Besides, they've only joined us once.

Me.  Not up to me to name myself.

BigWaveDave responded via e-mail:
Sent:  Fri, 6 Mar 2009 10:59 am

Oh come on don’t be modest:

Crème sicle
Human gps

Jason also responded via e-mail, something to the effect of "We eventually all get nick names?  Great!"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Story of the Irregulars, Chpt 2, Vignettes - addendum - part i

I can hardly believe that I forgot to include the following in the initial chpt 2 vignettes.

There were a couple times, when the "irregulars" group consisted of only Barry & me, that we were overtaken by the group of Lynn & Larisa (the progenitors of the "irregulars").  I don't' recall which came first, but I'll relate them in the following order.

As we reached Six Forks / NC-98 at the beginning of our ride, a group was catching us.  Because of the color(s) of one of the jerseys, I thought the group was Lynn, Larisa, et al.  After crossing NC-98, I started soft-pedalling waiting for the L&L group to catch up while Barry rode ahead at a usual pace.  That group we had seen never did catch us; it turned out they were not the L&L group and had apparently turned to follow NC Bike Route #2 onto NC-98.

However, as we climbed from the Neuse River / Falls Lake on New Light Rd, Barry still ahead but with me slowly closing the gap, a different group began passing us.  This time it was the L&L group: Lynn, Larisa, Blay, and a second male rider.  The L&L's turned onto Old Weaver, Barry followed, and then I followed.  Barry & I were able to use the downslopes on Old Weaver to catch onto the wheels of the L&L's by the time we all reached the lake.

How long did we think we'd be able to hold on to the pedestrian pace being set by L&L (Blay & the other guy were following)?  (I should mention that the pace was "pedestrian" for L&L, but not for us.) I don't know what Barry thought or hoped, I don't recall what I thought or hoped. but what I should have expected to occur, did in fact happen:  As soon as Old Weaver tilted upslope toward Whitt Rd, Barry & I went backwards as if we were dragging anchors.  We waved "good-bye" to L&L & co.

It would probably be better if I didn't continue with the second part of the story from that day, but before we reached NC-50, Barry & I were swept up by another group from Finley Y (actually two groups, intermingled).  The "second" of the intermingled group consisted of the famous Margo and one or two guys she often rode with.  The "main" part of the intermingled group consisted of a group that Lynn had begun to refer to as "the inconsistent group".  "Inconsistent" because of surging when in line, braking when in line, not holding a straight line.

Many of the now three intermingled groups were stopped at the stop sign on Old weaver at NC-50, waiting for the car traffic to clear (L&L & co were long-gone - almost certainly out of sight on the other side of NC-50 rapidly descending to the lake once again).  Suddenly, one guy on a bike (I refuse to refer to him as a cyclist) reaches the stopped riders and immediately makes a move to jump past all of us.  He did seem to have good acceleration.  Luckily, he also had good braking ability.  As he began to rush past the stopped riders, several were able to yell at him things such as "STOP!" and/or "CARS!".

He got stopped.  Barely.

I took my time re-starting from the stop sign because I wanted nothing to do those "inconsistent", apparently suicidal, riders.  After crossing NC-50, the last of the "inconsistents" passed us and Barry asked if we should grab their wheels.  I had been watching during the 1/4 or 1/2 mile since NC-50 and advised that we should just let the group go.  I had already witnessed at least 2 riders pull out of line, in front of overtaking cars, in order to pass other riders.  I saw no advantage to getting into the middle of such a muddle.

I don't know if Barry thought I was being foolish or not, but he acquiesced, and we let the "inconsistent" group go on their way and we went on ours.

Interestingly, we later were intermingled once again with L&L & co.  They had ridden a different, slightly (?) longer course than we had.  Of course, Barry & I were once again dropped on the first noticeable upslope.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Weather forecasting -- changes in 24 hours

Yesterday, WRAL forecast the following for the rest of the week:

Tues: low 14, high 35,
Wed: low 17, high 45,
Thur: low 29, high 61,
Fri: low 40, high 69,
Sat: low 51, high 74,
Sun: low 53, high 72

Today, WRAL is forecasting the following:

Tues (today): actual (?) low 17, high 35, Once again WRAL forecast the Low below the actual low. No change in the forecast high.
Wed: low 15, high 47, Now forecasting both colder and warmer; each by 2 degrees.
Thur: low 29, high 61, Same.
Fri: low 40, high 71, Same low; high 2 degrees higher.
Sat: low 51, high 74, Same.
Sun: low 50, high 60, Low is 3 degrees lower than yesterday's forecast; high is a WHOPPING 14 degrees lower.

Why they forecast six to seven days out?
Why do we pay any attention six to seven ahead?

Will watch how this plays out through the week and into the weekend.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Two or Three Inches (of Snow)

Yuk. But things might be warming up later this week.

Current local media forecast for the rest of the week:

Today: high 32
Tues: low 14 (brrr), high 35, mostly sunny
Wed: low 17 (brrr), high 45, partly to mostly sunny
Thur: low 29, high 61, partly to mostly sunny
Fri: low 40, high 69, partly to mostly sunny
Sat: low 51 (nice), high 74, partly to mostly sunny
Sun: low 53 (nice), high 72, partly to mostly sunny

At least, as of now, next weekend looks to be pretty good for cycling. I won't hold my breath.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

some routes in order of "effort index"

The "effort index" is taken from the "Blue Ridge Bicycle Club".
They define it as calculated by taking the total amount of climbing, dividing by 100, and adding the total miles for the ride (and rounding off decimals).
We all know that not all climbing is the same. 200 feet of gentle slope spread over 4 miles is not nearly as difficult as 200 feet in 1/2 mile followed by 3 1/2 miles of flat. However, the concept is still useful.
147 - Virginia Border Raid (veloroutes # 7391): 107 m + 3972 ft / 100 = 107 + 40 = 147

127 - Mt. Tirzah Tour (PUE-Treyburn-Bahama-Mt.Tirzah-Culbreth-Stem-G-P-MVC): 74.9 m + 4165 ft / 100 = 75 + 72 = 127

107 - HillFest (BeaverDam-Woodlief-MangumDairy-BoldRunHill-WoodlandCh-GrahamSherron-BG-WoodlandCh-GrahamSherron-JohnMitchell-SidMitchell-Green-LongMill-FredWilder-WesSandling-GroveHill-FlatRock-Evans/Suitt-GMoore-Pok/BG/NL-G-P-MVC) (veloroutes # 7462): 70.4 m + 3687 ft / 100 = 70 + 37 = 107

106 - Shoofly Don't Bother Me (veloroutes # 4147): 75.3 m + 3056 ft / 100 = 75 + 31 = 106

100 - A "Long Mill" Ride (aka, "Bonk Route") (veloroutes # 13052, but that was done via follow-the-road-beta and developed 3034 ft climbing; a later, unsaved click-by-click developed 3257 ft; use 33257): 68.1 m + 3257 ft / 100 = 68 + 32 = 100

88 - Range Rover (Butner out 'n back) (veloroutes # 26983, but the elevation data is SUSPECT): 65.0 m + est 2347 ft / 100 = 65 + 23 = 88
81 - Long Assault on Flat Rock (GSherron-W'dlndCh-Holden-LongMill out) (veloroutes # 1677): 56.2 m + 2461 ft / 100 = 56 + 25 = 81

79 - Regular Assault on Flat Rock, w/ Beaver Dam detour both directions: 49.9 m + 2955 ft / 100 = 50 + 29 = 79
77 - Cassam-RobertsChpl (Butner out 'n back) (veloroutes # 26984, but the elevation data is SUSPECT): 53.6 m + est 2392 ft / 100 = 53.6 + 23.9 = 77
69 - PUE: Carrington, Boyce Mill & more, hill training (veloroutes # 26907): 42.7 m + 22608 ft / 100 = 43 + 26 = 69
(The gross climbing calc'd by veloroutes CANNOT be correct !!! May have to get someone with a GPS to ride and report. In the meantime, will use 2500 ft as an estimate.)

66 - DocNichols-Creedmoor-Grissom (veloroutes # 3121): 46.8 m + 1943 ft / 100 = 47 + 19 = 66

64 - BoldRun - WoodlandCh Ramble (veloroutes # 3435): 43.9 m + ~ 2000 ft / 100 = 44 + 20 = 64

60 - Hill training from Bayleaf Ch (incl "Harrington Wall") (veloroutes # 14212): 37.0 m + 2260 ft / 100 = 37 + 23 = 60

55- Hill training from Bayleaf Ch (veloroutes # 14335): 35.4 m + 1987 ft / 100 = 35 + 20 = 55

54 - my standard lake loop (veloroutes 7382): 38.2 m + 1623 ft / 100 = 38 + 16 = 54

52 - Hill training from BJP (veloroutes # 14151): 34.1 m + 1781 ft / 100 = 34 + 18 = 52

appended just for information purposes:

88 - NC Bike Route # 2 from PUE to near Greenville (veloroutes # 915) (eastbound data only): 71.9 m + 1614 ft / 100 = 72 + 16 = 88

More Rain (And SNOW tonight !!)

Ugh. What wonderful conditions for cycling -- NOT.

Oh, well, it is good to get the ground good and wet. Maybe it will help hold off another summer drought with water restrictions.

In the meantime, some favorite routes to think about:

Virginia Border Raid:

"Long Mill" Ride, aka, "The Bonk Ride":


Long Assault on Flat Rock:

Creedmoor-Grissom loop:

my "standard" lake loop: