Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Investigation into "Lost" Irregulars

To: the irregulars, except
cc: Snapper, Wave, Levi, Steve

Re: Further thoughts on the inability of certain persons to read and follow a cue sheet, and the "getting lost" that followed:

For those that may not know, a couple weeks ago, four of our intrepid members took a "short course" instead of trying the "regular course". Those four had at least one copy of the appropriate cue sheet, but were apparently unable to read and follow same.

Investigative questioning suggests that the foursome chose to turn onto NC-56 from Grove Hill Rd instead of proceeding directly across the highway as indicated by the cue sheet. The foursome made that choice despite the fact that one of the members, only two weeks prior, had been through that intersection following exactly the course the foursome were supposed to be following on their way back to PUE. Strange.

So the foursome took the hilly NC-56 to Wilton and turned south on NC-96. I believe that two of the foursome have been through Wilton headed for PUE at least once. I am absolutely sure that one of the foursome has been through Wilton at least once. One would think that the foursome would have "recovered" their senses of whereabouts, and proceeded swiftly and surely back to PUE. Even if they were not 100% sure of the course to be followed from Wilton, all they had to do was follow the Bike Route # 1 signs to get back to familiar ground. But no, they did not recognize the new potential course, nor did they recognized the BR #1 signs. Strange.

The foursome successfully follow NC-96 the 1.9 miles in a southerly direction to the corner where NC-96 makes a near 90% left turn. In fact, there is even a stop sign the foursome had to negotiate at that corner. If at least one of the foursome had recognized where they were and what was the proper course given where they had managed to "get lost to", they should have proceeded straight across the intersection, leaving NC-96 and entering upon Horseshoe Rd. Failing to realize the correct course on their own, they might still have been "saved" if they had noticed the BR #1 signs. But no. They made the left turn and continued on NC-96. Very strange.

If the foursome had been paying any attention to the cue sheet and the roads they intersected, they might have noticed Wayside Farm Rd on their right approx 0.7 miles after making that wayward left turn to stay on NC-96. But no. They might have noticed the Western Wear Store on their left another approx 0.5 miles down the road. At least one of the foursome has made a RS at the Western Wear Store, and another in that foursome might have recalled the "sandy" exit from the Western Wear Store onto NC-96 from two weeks prior. But, again, no. Extremely strange.

Having missed all the above landmarks, which one would have thought would have been recognized by at least one of the foursome, surely the foursome would have realized and recognized Pokomoke Rd and the green sign for Pokomoke at the intersection of NC-96 and Pokomoke Rd. After all, I pointed out the Pokomoke sign to at least one of the foursome when we stopped at the stop sign when only 15 miles into the ride. Further, a second member of the foursome has been through that intersection several times, and had "won" a CL sprint only 0.3 miles southwest of that corner when only 14.7 miles into that day's ride. Further, a third member of that foursome, had ridden on Pokomoke Rd, in both directions, only a month or so before. Incredible; how can they have missed Pokomoke Road?

The foursome continued on their way on NC-96, and passed from Granville into Franklin county. again. They managed to roll past a "Youngsville Fire Dept" station, and serendipitously "found" a cyclist that had been dropped by some ride out of Finley Y. As best I can figure, the foursome almost made it to US-1 (Capital Blvd). One wonders what the foursome would have done had they reached US-1.

At this point, I have to guess at the route the Finley rider led them on, but I suspect it was Long Mill to Green to Sid Mitchell to Holden (which becomes Jonah Davis at the Granville CL) to Woodland Church to Camp Kanata roads. All of which, by the way, are roads that are on the cue sheet the foursome had with them. And all of which, by the way, being roads that at least two of the foursome have ridden at least once. Beyond Incredible.

Apparently, the fivesome took Camp Kanata all the way to NC-98. Then NC-98 to Six Forks Rd. One would think the mis-adventure would end there. But no. Our foursome apparently missed the turn onto Pleasant Union Church Rd. And decided they were again lost when they were on Six Forks Rd somewhere south of Norwood Road. I can think of no fitting adjective.

I guess the only good things are that they did eventually find their way to PUE.

I can think of several potential "post-mortem" comments. Some of them have to do with teaching Boy Scouts how to find their way. Others have to do with print and read and check the cue sheet on an electronic map prior to the ride. One would be nothing more than to suggest paying attention to passing landmarks while riding. Another might be along the lines of rotating "direction-finding-leadership" among the group -- but I don't want to get as lost as the fearsome foursome did.

For those not clear on who the heroes of our story are, I'll give you a hint: their e-mail addresses are NOT listed in the "To" section of this e-mail.

Sunday, July 26, 2009



BJP: Leesville Rd U-turn; 25.4 miles; est 988 ft climbed ---> effort index = 34; 1hrs, 35min; 16.0 mph avg pace.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 16 rides; 732.2 m.; 45 hrs, 3 min; 16.2 mph.
YTD: 79 rides; 3611.8 m.; 227 hrs, 34 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 121 rides; 5675.4 m.; 353 hrs, 36 min; 16.1 mph.

A short, real recovery ride. Avg was 14.8 @ turn-around ---> avg'd better than 17 mph on the way back. Made myself "work" up MVC on the way back; on the out, rode easy everywhere.

On Jul-26-2008, I rode 66.9 miles at the "Cup 'n Cone" at an avg pace of 16.6 mph. At the time, it was my fastest ever pace for a 100+k ride.

To maintain the 12-mos. rolling total miles thru the end of July, I need to ride an additional 137 miles by the end of the month. Doesn't seem likely.

Today, handed my right shoe to GaryS of TLC_4_Bikes, to try to dremel one the screws holding the cleat on my right shoe. I need to adjust the cleat position slightly. The "hot-foot" and associated pain yesterday was near excruciating. I could still feel the pain ready to re-emerge big-time during the easy ride this morning, and as I sit at the computer typing this, I can feel residual sensations in the right foot.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jul-25: Moriah-Mt.Harmony-Berea Recon Mission


PUE: Butner-Moriah-Mt.Harmony-Berea-Culbreth-Hester-Creedmoor-DoveRd; w/ Lt. Dave, Mallet, Iva, LeeD . + . Norris, BobH for 18 miles mid-ride . + . Barry for ~ 15 initial miles . + . Snapper, Smitty for ~ 21 miles ; 79.8 miles; est 3511 ft climbed ---> effort index = 115; 4hrs, 51min; 16.4 mph avg pace.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 15 rides; 706.8 m.; 43 hrs, 26 min; 16.2 mph.
YTD: 78 rides; 3586.4 m.; 225 hrs, 56 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 121 rides; 5716.9 m.; 356 hrs, 2 min; 16.1 mph.

Great ride early, then it got hot, and some of us we a-hurten'.

Recon successful.
Moriah gas station was checked out - more or less okay.
Gas station @ US-158 & JimLattaRd checked out - more or less okay.
Gas station and another convenience store in Berea checked - both very good.

Some riders, e.g., those that are planning to ride short when the leader is going long, need to learn to print and bring the appropriate cue sheet. You may just get abandoned next time.

Arriving in time for the group to start on time would also be welcome.

I'm too tired too be entertaining. The early roads and scenery were very nice. Then it got hot. The roads were still nice but no one was noticing the scenery. Then it got hotter.

Also, I was averaging 16.0 + when I topped the "Range Wall" and 16.9 + mph at the 61+ mile mark. Then a few hills, a right "hot-foot" issue, fatigue, and wanting to be able to walk the rest of the weekend led to the data as reported above.

However, it is noted that Iva is very strong. Also Lee. Also the Mallet. LT. struggled near the end, and so did I. No comments on the rest -- see above "list of participants" to understand why.


Received the photo to the right on Monday morning, Jul-27. It is Snapper atop one of the self-propelled guns along Range and / or Roberts Chapel roads.

Jul-24: new rear tube


BJP-back lot: flat sections of Pleasant Union Ch Rd, Norwood Rd, MVC Rd; 9.6 miles; est 430 ft climbed ---> effort index = 13; 0hrs, 34min; 16.7 mph.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 14 rides; 627.0 m.; 38 hrs, 35 min; 16.2 mph.
YTD: 77 rides; 3506.6 m.; 221 hrs, 5 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 120 rides; 5637.1 m.; 351 hrs, 11 min; 16.1 mph.

Changed the rear tire tube. Cleaned chain, etc..

Quick ride to check everything out.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jul-23: Spongy rear tyre

Jul-23: Spongy rear tyre, OR, Saddle Time while waiting for car repair

Hi-Tec Car Care: Lynn-Atlantic-Rainwater-Shellnut-Thorpshire-Neuse-Honeycutt-Durant-Brassfield-Hardee-PT/Linley/Hardee loop-PT/Bingham/Cedar loop-PT to the bottom-U turn-PT-Norwood-BJP-Norwood-SixForks-Durant-Honeycutt-Neuse-Thorpshire-Shellnut-Rainwater-Atlantic-Lynn; 39.5 miles; est 1940 ft climbed ---> effort index = 58; 2hrs, 34min;15.3 mph.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 13 rides; 617.4 m.; 38 hrs, 1 min; 16.2 mph.
YTD: 76 rides; 3497.0 m.; 220 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph. 

Rolling 12-mos.: 120 rides; 5657.1 m.; 352 hrs, 22 min; 16.1 mph. 

My intended fast July has been sabotagued by a rear tube going spongy the last two or three rides. That's my story . & . I'm sticking to it.

This ride was sorta' hill / cadence training. Became "just replenish the water and ride back to Hi-Tec and change the tube later" training.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jul-22: "hill / cadence" training


BJP back-lot: PUCh-Norwood-PossumTrack-RavenRidge-Brassfield-DeerTrail-Honeycutt-Brassfield-Hardee-Lindley-PT to Hardee-Bingham/Cedar-PT to the bottom-PT to the top-Norwood-PUCh; 23.8 miles; est 1311 ft climbed ---> effort = 36; 1hrs, 32min; 15.4 mph avg pace.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 12 rides; 577.9 m.; 35 hrs, 27 min; 16.3 mph. (adjusted the total time a bit)
YTD: 75 rides; 3457.5 m.; 217 hrs, 57 min; 15.9 mph. (adjusted the total time a bit)

Rolling 12-mos.: 119 rides; 5617.6 m.; 349 hrs, 53 min; 16.1 mph.

I found myself "soft-pedalling" up Norwood on the first UP of the ride. Hey, dummy! This is supposed to be "hill / cadence training," not "easy touring training."

I think I have been BAD about HOW I've been pedalling UPs for a couple weeks. The point is to re-train the legs and the BRAIN to keep the cadence higher. Eventually, the legs and brain did a bit better.

I doubt it will make much, if any, difference on my UP speed.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jul-19: Recovery (?) and helping out


PUE: Coley-L'villeU-U again at OliveBranch-DocN-Baptist-Kemp-Virgil-Coley-BJP-Norwood to Leesville-U turn; a stiffish NNW breeze; 73.0 miles; est 2741 ft climbed ---> effort = 100; 4hrs, 45min; 15.3 mph avg pace.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 11 rides; 554.1 m.; 33 hrs, 53 min; 16.3 mph.
YTD: 74 rides; 3433.7 m.; 216 hrs, 23 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 118 rides; 5593.8 m.; 348 hrs, 21 min; 16.1 mph.

73 miles, and the rolling 12-mos total miles went down! --Why / How ?! -- because last year on Jul-19, I did my first ride to Mt. Tirzah.

Tired from yesterday. Started slow and stayed pretty slow, but when I stopped in BJP @ 61.4 miles to refill my water bottles, I was averaging 15.6 mph. A decent avg pace was within reach.

However, as I filled my bottles, I heard this woman, who was solo, calling a friend to drive up from Cary to collect her because her saddle was "messed up". I took a look -- the saddle was twisted sideways. "Got any tools?" I asked. "No, I'm just a beginner" responded the woman.

I got my allen wrenches and straightened the saddle. The woman told me she had just started riding with clipless pedals and had fallen when whe didn't click in correctly. Then she asked if I could fix the "horn" on the right side of her handlebar -- it had twisted out of proper position when she and the bike had fallen -- a few hammer blows with my fist and, viola, fixed.

I rode with Polly across PUCh Rd and Norwood to Leesville Rd. In 7 miles, my avg pace dropped to 15.2 mph.

Then I rode back to PUE, and called it a day.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Jul-18: Ruin Wall & Community House Rd


PUE: CharlieGrissom-CommunityHouse-HorseShoeBend-PineRidge-VGCC refueling station-Dorsey-BR #1; Lt. Dave, Lee, Iva, Tito, BobH, Norris (+ Snapper, Wave, Levi, Steve for ~ 25 miles); 75.3 miles; est 3330 ft climbed ---> effort index = 108; 4hrs, 26.4min; 16.9 mph avg pace.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 10 rides; 481.1 m.; 29 hrs, 8 min; 16.5 mph.
YTD: 73 rides; 3360.7 m.; 211 hrs, 38 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 118 rides; 5594.9 m.; 348 hrs, 17 min; 16.1 mph.

Original post:

Snapper took an interest in the CL sprints into Granville, Franklin and Vance counties; although the first one may have been accidental. LeeD and Lt. Daaave teamed up to hold Snapper off on the Vance CL -- but just barely. But as Snapper cut the ride short, he surrendered his "green points" lead, and I guess Lt. Daaave took that dubious honor.

Aside from the above tidbit, there were too many bleeping hammers today. I was dropped at every steepish climb.

Apparently this was Tito's last irregular ride for at least "quite a while" as he is preparing to go overseas again.

Did I mention that there were too many bleeping hammers?

addendum (after "sleeping on it"):

too many hammers, just too many hammers

That about sums up the Saturday long ride.

Early on, Snapper finally indicated that he'd finally had figured out where some of the CLs are located. But the Lt. Daaave and his guest, LeeD, decided to make an early move to assure themselves the CL at the Tar River as we crossed from Franklin into Vance county. Snapper was urged to "go" by one who knew where the CL was, and reports are that Snapper caught Lt. Dave's train, but Snapper was nearly out of gas just catching them, and Lt. Dave dug DEEP. They had fun.

Climbing from the Tar River up to Wilton Rd, someone got dropped.
Climbing the Ruin Wall, same guy got dropped.
On Community House Rd, same guy, same result, dropped.
Unexpected third crossing of Ruin Creek while on Horse Shoe Bend Rd, once again same guy got dropped.

However, almost some "revenge" as several of the hammers were trying to miss the turn onto Pine Ridge Rd. One of these days, I have got to learn to wait until I get to the turn and THEN yell that the hammers have gone the wrong way.

There are rumors that several Pro Tour teams are sending personnel to Norris's to find out what performance enhancing materials he ingested at the rest stop near VGCC. The man was flagging badly going in to the refueling stop; but was afire afterwards.

Otherwise, on the way back to PUE, what happened?
Someone got dropped climbing back up from the creek crossing encountered on Dorsey Rd.

Then, the Hammers refused, repeat refused, to do the "punishment loop." What has happened? Wave, when he received the first-ever punish loop, may have hesitated for a second or two, but he performed his punishment. Later that year, Snapper, Wrong-Way Frank and probably the Duke all performed their punishment loops. Now? The Hammers are just Wimps.

Same guy -- it was always the same guy -- got dropped on Cannady Mill Rd even before reaching the Tar River.
Same guy got really dropped climbing back up from the Tar River.
He wondered if the group would wait for him @ Philo White.

He decided that whether they waited or not, he was continuing straight on BR #1 (Cannady Mill to NC-96 to Wilton) to take out several hills and replace them with just a never-ending 2% grade because that "someone" knew he could ride that section at reasonable speed. And maybe the Hammers wouldn't be sure where they were and wouldn't drop him.

Did manage to catch the Hammers off guard.

After leaving NC-96 for the false flat downslope of Horseshoe Rd (don't you just love it when several different roads have almost the same name), Norris, still "performance enhanced" went to the front and dragged the pace up to 21-25 mph. Forget that. Same guy now dropped on a downslope.

Luckily, Lt. Dave waited for me at Grissom, and we had a pretty good ride in from their. Dave did all the hard work.

My average, even with the "riding circles" at the one rest stop to prevent my legs tightening up, was above 17.0 mph when I turned onto Ghoston. You see, I know I can average better than 17.0 mph for a 100k+ ride -- it is just that I like to check out the scenery.
After all the irregular hammers had left PUE, and I was still foolishly considering waiting a bit and then maybe trying to sneak in a 100-miler, Melissa and Jessica & at least one friend finished their ride. A 60-ish mile route provided to them by some guy that had directed his own ride away from Flat Rock Rd earlier in the morning.

Arriving too late, M & J failed to meet Tito (again) & also failed to meet Iva.
Confident in the near certainty that I rode farther today (Jul-19) than any of you Wimp-hammers,
Ride safely until we meet again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009



BJP - back lot: DocN-Kemp-Coley-Leesville U-turn; 34.5 m.; est 1439 climbed ---> effort = 48; 2hrs, 1min; 17.0 mph avg pace.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 9 rides; 405.8 m.; 24 hrs, 42 min; 16.4 mph.
YTD: 72 rides; 3285.4 m.; 207 hrs, 12 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 118 rides; 5584.1 m.; 347 hrs, 46 min; 16.1 mph.

I think I should start counting mileage and time when I cross Six Forks Rd instead of starting / stopping at the car in the parking lot, esp. with the darn extra speed bump to get back to the back parking lot.

To get the same total miles at the same overall pace in the same number of rides as I had for all of last year (2008), I need to average 17.6 mph for 48.0 miles per ride for 10 rides. Not going to happen.

Last year, my average pace for Jul-Dec (removing the two MS-150 rides from the sample) was 16.5 mph. If I average 16.5 mph from now until I get my avg 2009 pace up to last year's total avg pace, I would need 34 rides at an average 45.8 miles per ride totalling 1557.4 miles to get back up to last year's avg pace. Given the likelihood of a mountain ride or two, and some tough local rides, I have my doubts.

However, if I ignore the 5 mountain rides, the "my front tire is about to disintegrate" ride, and two slow rides helping with someone else's training, my avg pace for this year is 16.07 mph. So . . . one could say that I am already ahead of last year's total avg pace. After all, last year I had no mountain rides and no rides at someone else's training pace. (Others had slow rides at my training pace; esp. through mid-June.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jul-14: Pa-toa-ing . . . Thump, thump, thump


BJP: Coley-Kemp bailout due to front tire; 23.9 miles; est 929 ft climbed ---> "effort" = 33; 1hrs, 38min; 14.5 mph avg.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 8 rides; 371.3 m.; 22 hrs, 41 min; 16.3 mph.
YTD: 71 rides; 3250.9 m.; 205 hrs, 11 min; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 117 rides; 5549.6 m.; 345 hrs, 45 min; 16.1 mph.

I think I pa-toa-ing'ed a pebble off the side of my tire near the end of my ride Sunday. Didn't think much of it at the time. Until around 12 or 13 miles into this evening's ride, thump, thump, thump. At first I couldn't figure out / find what was wrong. But the thumping got worse, so I looked more carefully.

Uh, oh. Front tire bulging. Better ride back SLOWLY. By the time I figured out what was going on, I was about 15.3 miles into my ride. Lucky it was only 8.6 miles back by the short-cut, because the tire had just about completed the "cut" through the tire when I dismounted. If I had had to ride even one more mile, I think I would have been shouldering the bike.

Today, I am a lucky man.

To Be, or Not to Be

Irregular, that is.

In the last couple weeks, I've gotten:

From Tito: "My doctor says it is okay for me to be irregular."

From PaulS: "I eat prunes with my breakfast."

From Lt. Daaave: "Once I began taking fiber, I was no longer irregular."

Sunday, July 12, 2009



PUE: to BJP, lake loop counter-clockwise to BJP, back to PUE; w/ Dalton's Tourists (total group was only 4, incl. me); 41.2 miles; est 1864 ft climbed ---> effort index = 59; 2hrs, 29.5min; 16.5 mph.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 7 rides; 347.4 m.; 21 hrs, 3 min; 16.5 mph.
YTD: 70 rides; 3227.0 m.; 203 hrs, 33 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 117 rides; 5591.0 m.; 348 hrs, 10 min; 16.1 mph.

I realized how hard we "hammered" the last 30 miles yesterday during today's ride -- I couldn't climb anything even approaching "steep" any faster than 8 or 9 mph. Some might wonder what was different about that. There was definitely a quality deficiency in today's 8 and 9 mph climbing. I still had my downhill gravity advantage, and could "wind up the flywheel" on the flats.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jul-11: Johnson Mill Rd


PUE: Kemp-Burton-SnowHill-JohnsonMill-Hopkins-Rougemont-Butner; w/ Lt. Daaave, Levi, BobH (& Baroom for 9 m.); 69.9 miles; est 4316 ft climbed ---> effort index = 113; 4hrs, 17min; 16.3 mph avg pace.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 6 rides; 306.2 m.; 18 hrs, 33 min; 16.5 mph.
YTD: 69 rides; 3185.8 m.; 201 hrs, 3 min; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 116 rides; 5549.8 m.; 345 hrs, 40 min; 16.1 mph.

After I realized that the intended route was too long, I figured some short-cuts to get a route that I hoped would be 72 miles and thus commemorate the 72nd anniversary of my father's birth, but I didn't guestimate the distance very well.  (For the originally intended route: http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=35460 )

For the actual route:  http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=41287 .

New roads from about the 20 mile mark until about the 48 mile mark.  Snow Hill is long with stair-step climbing.  Johnson Mill has some tough climbing.  Hopkins and Bill Poole were scenic, and had a bit of climbing.  Hampton Rd has good rollers, but was not very scenic.

Upon leaving PUE, it seemed that Dave and Levi were in a hurry.  Bob commented "it takes me an hour to warm up."  I responded "it sometimes takes me two hours to warm up."

I managed to sneak into the lead at the turn onto Carpenter Pond in an attempt to slow the pace half-a-mile-an-hour or so; the gambit was working until I decided to slide back and inform Levi of the "excellent" road conditions we would encounter on Kemp Rd.  Immediately, the pace went up again.

I was trying to warm up slowly and to keep the five of us together for a dozen or 15 miles so that warm-up for me would be easier and also so that Barry would have a reasonable pace.  Baroom was sweating and breathing hard when we got to NC-98; he announced he was going to drop us of his front, after only 8.6 miles.

It seemed we had a bit of tailwind on NC-98 and Red Mill Rd -- Stallings and Burton just had rollers. I don't like those two roads, and remember nothing worthy of comment from today's ride.  I managed to sneak into the lead again by the turn onto Red Mill -- did I back the pace down a bit?  Or did I pick it up?  It was quick, but maybe that was the tailwind?

We got to the turn off Red Mill onto Teknika without being caught by the Gyrating A squad.  Maybe we could relax the pace a bit?

Old Oxford Hwy was flat.  Snow Hill Rd was not.  Neither was Johnson Mill Rd.

Hopkins Rd was scenic -- and the sign for the Orange CL is non-existant (but the Durham CL sign is there on the other side of the road).  Bill Poole Rd was definitely not flat and was scenic for the the first half-mile or more (maybe the entire length we were on it).

Dave and Levi seemed to be in a hurry again -- and then Bob seemed to decide to join them.  Ha!  I knew the road turned to nasty gravel just ahead -- they did not.  Irregulars rule # 3.  I was suddenly in the lead as the others U-turned to see what I would do at the corner they had blown through with gusto.

After a "flo-max" assisted regrouping, we turned onto McKee Rd which soon became Cothran Rd and then merged with a road from the right and we were back on Bill Poole Rd again, heading into Rougemont.  We stopped to refuel in Rougemont and exchange banter.

After only about 8 minutes, we remounted and headed off on Red Mountain Rd, all of us with added lead in our legs from the inactivity of the previous 10 minutes.  My leaden legs began to come back to life just in time to see Levi signalling / questioning if we were supposed to turn left onto Moores Mill Rd -- if any "irregulars" read this, they may recall that Moores Mill Rd and Red Mountain Rd intersect about 1 1/4 mile east of Rougemont and about 4 miles south of Mt. Tirzah.  Dave and I each ignored the apparent plea to turn onto Moores Mill, and when I caught Dave I suggested that he should have told Levi "sure, go ahead and ride up that road to the top; we'll wait for you here."  (That isn't exactly how the conversation went; I am using artistic license to combine my half of the evil thought with Dave's half.)

We continued on and made a right turn onto Hampton Rd; I heard Levi mutter to Bob something about his leg(s) starting to "cinch up."  I didn't snicker -- out loud.  I caught Dave's wheel as he hammered up and down the rollers into the headwind.  We turned onto Range Rd for the downward sloping run back to Old-75, taking long turns into the wind.  Bob caught us.  Levi did not.  Too bad, really, that Levi was out of gas and that his legs were cramping on him; I had finally gotten really warmed up only 40+ miles into the ride.

We tried to nurse Levi in the last 25 or 30 miles, but the guy was toast.  Somehow, I am confident that Phil did a better job nursing Levi back to PUE when we did the "Range Rover 66" ride.  Levi made it back to PUE and managed to hide his fatigue from a group of 4 or 5 riders that finished their short ride just before he finished.  He spent a long time stretching and trying to get life back into his legs.  I suggested that on his next ride, he needs to commit himself to doing the entire ride staying seated on the saddle to try to break his habit of standing and trying to overpower the rolling climbs; thus saving more energy for later in the ride.  Once he figures out how to parcel out his energy, there will surely be another rider in the group whose wheel I cannot hold.

I made a "Levi adjustment" to the time for this ride to represent the probable time if we had not had to slow down trying to not completely drop Levi.  If Levi's spouse should happen to read this:  we put a hurten' on the boy.  Actually, he put it on himself.  He simply must learn to NOT attack every hill early in the ride, but instead, parcel out the energy, leaving enough in the tank with which to get home.
From: Levi
Sent: Sun, Jul 12, 2009 10:00 pm

Just wanted to say thanks for waiting around and making sure I didn'tcroak on Saturday.  I'll do my best in the future to not slow down the end of the ride that much.  I can't remember ever having cramping problems in both legs like that before.

Lessons learned by me on Saturday:
1. DO NOT try to hang onto Dave's wheel too early in the ride, no matter how good you think you feel.  The man can crank...all day.
2. DO NOT listen to Martin when leaving the convenience store when he says "hey, we can go faster than this, can't we?"  That man too, can crank...all day.
3. Keep my butt on the seat most of the day instead of standing on the pedals unless the ride is shorter than 50mi (or you see a PAVEMENT ENDS AHEAD sign.)

The punishment for these transgressions:
1. You get passed by some "big" women when crossing the lake at the end of the ride. And they say "coming by on your left" and ring a bell, to sort of rub it in that they are passing your puny 165lb body and bike with aerobars with their bodies of at least 180 to 200+ and bikes that have bells on them.  If I'd been a little less whipped, I could have tucked into their huge slipstream and let them pull me up Ghoston.
2. Martin gets your wife in on the action to pick on you on his irregular blog.

All that being said, its fun to have a laugh at yourself as long as you don't die.  I had some tired legs on Saturday afternoon, but the weirdthing is that I'm not even sore today.  Had a great time and looking forward to the next epic.

From: me
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2009 10:43 AM

Levi - you were only doing 10 mph when I pleaded "hey, we can go faster than this". My legs needed more than one revolution per minute.

I thought you and Dave were both "in a hurry" at the beginning of the ride.  Bob "It-takes-me-an-hour-to-warm-up" H agreed with me (at least initially, then he too left my sorry "it-takes-me-two-hours-to-warm-up" butt behind).  Dave later claimed he was just trying to keep pace with you.  Luckily for me, rule # 3 was much in force (no one had a cue sheet) -- I especially benefitted when the three of you raced onto the very nasty gravel.  Aah, I love a "well-planned" course.

From: the Mallet
Date: Mon, Jul 13, 2009 10:56 am

Oh, man, that should lead to wonderful nick name possibilities for Levi.  Sounds like the fat ladies sang on his ride. How about Bell Man.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Jul-9: Birthday "TT"


BJP: Coley-DocN-Kemp-Virgil; 37.1 m.; est 1532 climbed ---> effort index = 52; 2hrs, 7min; 17.5 mph avg pace.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 5 rides; 236.3 m.; 14 hrs, 16 min; 16.5 mph.
YTD: 68 rides; 3115.9 m.; 196 hrs, 46 min; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 116 rides; 5525.8 m.; 344 hrs, 7 min; 16.1 mph.

I had hoped to ride a comfortable 70 miler (or at least 53 miler), but had to settle for the expanded "TT". I pushed hard the first 17.1 miles, and again on the climb on Kemp and on the Virgil upslope. After that, I backed off a bit so that I'd be able to walk tonight, tomorrow, Saturday . . . .

An interesting thing, despite the fact that I have ridden faster YTD this year as compared to last year, I would have to average 17.2 mph for the next 694.4 miles to get the same avg pace for the same total miles as I had for all of 2008.

It also looks like I should have ridden two more miles today; then I'd at least would have had an "effort index" of 53.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jul-5: A Wet Assault on Flat Rock


PUE: Assault on Flat Rock; w/ Levi; 45.2 miles; est 2052 ft climbed ---> effort index = 65; 2hrs, 51min; 15.8 mph avg pace.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 4 rides; 199.2 m.; 12 hrs, 9 min; 16.4 mph.
YTD: 67 rides; 3078.8 m.; 194 hrs, 39 min; 15.8 mph.

I had ridden 154 miles the previous two days; Levi apparently had not ridden at all.  Therefore, my legs were tired; Levis' were fresh.  Also, my legs are nearly 53 years old; Levi's are only 31.

They sky was overcast but did not seem threatening; but then it started to sprinkle just as we mounted our steeds.  We decided to do the Assault anyway.

Levi climbs faster than I do even when I have fresh legs.  But I reeled him in after the steeper parts following the crossing of the Neuse River, aka, Falls Lake.  But he may have been soft pedaling.

Levi pulled ahead again on the steep part of Wes Sandling approaching the county line.

I think he stayed with me during the climb up Grove Hill Rd; it was kind of interesting on that climb because although my legs were obviously tired, the climb was not nearly as steep as it used to be.  Is that impression the result of the trips to the mountains?

Levi pulled ahead again on the steep part of Flat Rock Rd, but I again reeled him in when the steep was done.  Was I reeling him in, or was he soft-pedaling, waiting?

He pulled ahead again on Wayside Farm Rd.  But as he paused at the corner with Bruce Garner Rd, I went past and went into "BruceGarner / NewLight homestretch" mode.  9 miles later, the avg pace of the ride was 15.9 mph; it had been 15.0 at the top of Flat Rock.

Somewhere out in the middle of the ride, the extremely light sprinkle ("Seattle sunshine") turned into a light rain, but then stopped before we got back to Bruce Garner Rd.  We thought we were home-free rain-wise, but somewhere on New Light Rd it began to rain for real.  Enough so that we had to slow our pace bit before and thru turns.  I intended to work the rainfall into the body of the story, but I forget exactly where it started and stopped raining, and the "flow" of the "story" is already bad enough.

Jul-4: 8 am - Rushmore goes to school


PUE - 8 am: lake loop counter-clockwise + RockSprings + Northside; w/ Rushmore; 47.5 miles; est 1895 ft climbed ---> effort = 66; 2hrs, 55min; 16.2 mph.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 3 rides; 154.0 m.; 9 hrs, 18 min; 16.5 mph.
YTD: 66 rides; 3033.6 m.; 191 hrs, 48 min; 15.8 mph.

I took Rushmore to school on Saturday. I figured that instead of just pointing out the landmarks upon approaching each CL, the best way to impress upon him where they were was to create an indelible memory for each.

I laid the "smack" down on (from road-county / onto(into) road-county):

1) NewLight / BruceGarner (Wake / Granville),
2) RockSprings / BeaverDam (Granville / Wake),
3) WillSuitt / Boyce (Granville / Wake), and
4) Cheek Rd across Falls Lake (Wake / Durham)

-- after this CL, Rushmore inquired regarding how many counties we had ridden in -- only 5 CLs to that point -- 6 for the whole ride. Oh, and only three distinct coutnies.

Luckily, the re-crossing from Wake into Granville county occured at the turn from OldWeaver onto Cash Rd, so that is not really a "contestable" CL. Lucky because Rushmore climbed up from the lake faster than me.

He did take the CarpenterPond (Durham / Wake) CL. I had to give him 5 or 6 miles of warning (because he thought that when I caught him climbing DocNichols and passed him that there must be another CL just ahead). (Did you catch from that previous phrase that I let him take a lead on the uphill DocNichols and then chased him down and passed him? For more on why I did that see: Lynn , staring with about the 6th or 7th "paragraph".) .

Jul-4: 6 am - Ba-room returns


PUE - 6 am: Norwood-HickoryGrove-Leesville U-turn-ShadyGr-MVC; w/ Barry; 22.2 miles; est 654 ft climbed ---> effort index = 28; 1hr, 25min; 15.6 mph avg pace.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot: 2 rides; 106.5 m.; 6 hrs, 23 min; 16.6 mph.
YTD: 65 rides; 2986.1 m.; 188 hrs, 53 min; 15.8 mph.

I might consider this and the 8 am ride as ONE ride, but I conceived of them as separate rides with separate goals, so I will record and write them up as separate rides. (Goals: 6 am - help Barry get back on the track for his Wilmington Sprint Tri. 8 am - just hang on.)

Barry finally fot his road bike back into condition so he can actually ride it. He joined me for a short ride to start his training for the Wilmington Sprint Tri.

On Shady Grove Rd, Barry thought he saw a hill, and then decided to challenge me to race to its crest. Result best described by this quote from Barry: "You didn't even get out of the saddle!"

Try again next time, Baroom.

Jul-3: Kerr Lake Loop


VGCC:  Kerr Lake Loop; w/ Lt. Daaave, Iva, Tito, Iceman, Mallet; 84.3 m.; est 4028 ft climbed ---> effort index = 124; 4hrs, 58min; 16.9 mph avg pace.

1st Qt. tot:  20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot:  43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph.
Jul tot:  1 ride; 84.3 m.; 4 hrs, 58 min; 16.9 mph.
YTD:  64 rides; 2963.9 m.; 187 hrs, 28 min; 15.8 mph. 


Happiest comment of the ride: me to Lt. Daaave, somewhere between Boydton and Clarksville:  "This is great.  I feel SO much better than I did on the 100-miler two weeks ago."

Saddest comment of the ride:  Lt. Daaave's rejoinder to the above:  "I feel a LOT WORSE than two weeks ago."

Most amusing comment of the ride:  Iva to me as we are working our way back on to the group somewhere between Clarksville and Shiny Rock:  "If I had your legs and my body, boy, then I could climb!"

Silliest question of the ride:  me to Lt. Daaave while sitting in the Stovall gazebo, just before leaving to finish the ride:  "Have you got legs for the finish?"  How silly!  Unless he is in the midst of bonking, Dave always has sufficient legs and / or guts to "handle" me -- even if I am fresh and he is tired.  WHAT was I thinking?

When Lt. Daaave found out that he would have the 3rd off, he suggested we go riding on new roads:  mountains, north of Durham, north of Oxford, just as long as it contained some new roads.  After some discussion, we came up with the Kerr Lake Loop 200k Permanent modified to start / finish at VGCC.  Iva and Tito indicated they were interested in a ride on the 3rd.  Then the Mallet and the Iceman -- maybe not in that order -- chimed "in".  One comment on the Iceman: he may  be the New Bern MS-150 RouteMaster, and he may have ridden many, many local roads, but I think, that if we hadn't arranged for him to ride in someone else's vehicle to VGCC, that he might still be lost trying to find the start at VGCC on Poplar Creek Rd near Dabney.
The ride:

5:30.  Lt. Daaave arrives at PUE after fulfilling his airport taxi roll.

5:35.  We are en route to VGCC.

6:29.  Wheels-away into the FANTASTIC riding conditions.

~ 12 miles.  An early flo-max break.  Iva played along and seemed to have accentuated the practical joke. ------>  As PaulN slid by our hiding point (just around the corner of the gas station / convenience store), he also seemed to be playing along, as he proclaimed in a clear voice and an impassive face:  "I wonder how far ahead they have gotten?"

Shortly after, we were all on roads none of us had ever cycled.  What was around the next curve?  Dunno.  Is that the actual summit or a false summit?  Dunno.

Iva and I were trailing somewhat off the back of the main group of four as the main four got to the Warren County line.  Iva and I were impressed that the fast guys, apparently engrossed in their conversations, rode past the CL sign, apparently never having noticed.  Now that is they way a group ride ought to be, we thought.

~ 24.7 miles.  Me to Lt. Daave:  "Should I instigate a sprint for the state line?"  Response:  "Sure."  I didn't even have to fake a charge for the line.  The two Pauls were already zooming ahead in sprint competition.  The Mallet was first into Virginia.

~ 29 miles.  We started crossing the causeway & Kerr Lake Dam.  Very refreshing air and scenes.  A nice chop on the water.  Fishing boats.  Were there any sailboats?

~ 30 miles.  Left turn off VA BR #1 immediately after completing the traverse of Kerr Lake Dam.

Are we SURE this is the correct road?  Not entirely.

We see the vehicle traffic lining up and the pedstrian line forming at the "ranger" station to get into the VA state park.  We all agreed it was a good thing we had gotten to this point so early in the day -- before the traffic got TOO busy.

~ 32.5 miles.  Ah, here is Phillis Road.  This last 2 1/2 miles have been on the correct road.  Whew!
Phillis Rd. What a great road to cycle. Small rollers (many being "poppers"), a lot of shade.  The road leads us very comfortably into Boydton, a town with an interesting looking downtown area trying to "fight back" against the US-158 Bypass.

~ 9:15.  ~ 42 miles (after having had to turn around to go back to the only convenient convenience store).  Refueling stop in Boydton.  Avg pace, ~ 16.7 mph.

Skipwith Rd (another great cycling road) to Skipwith -- don't blink.  Then down Wilbourne Rd to VA-49 on more great cycling roads.

VA-49 / US-15 to the causeway / bridge across the north end of Kerr Lake and over into Clarksville.  Again with the fresh air, choppy water, and interesting scenes.

In Clarksville, trying to turn from the main drag onto College Street.  Iva and are are still scratching our heads.  Here we were, trying to figure out how to trip the turn light, when a vehicle pulls up behind.  It seemed that everyone agreed we'd wait for the next light cycle (they were short) for the vehicle to trip the turn signal.  Next thing Iva & I know is that we are left behind.  Oh, well.  We got left behind a lot -- but not for very long as we were always able to use the topography to get back onto the group.

College St. & then Shiny Rock Rd to Shiny Rock (don't blink) and the NC state line.  More great cycling once we had cleared Clarksville.  Even the roads in and on the edge of Clarksville were no problem.

The rollers did start to get bigger -- more in line with what we had expected for the whole ride.  We were NOT complaining, just noticing.  It is still hard to comprehend that the entire "north side" of Kerr Lake had only smallish rollers.  It was great!  Have I mentioned that before?

Iva & I got dropped on one of the increasing in size rollers as we neared Shiny Rock.  But we got ourselves organized and started closing on the lead four at a high rate of speed, wondering if we could catch them in time to "slide past" and nick 1st & 2nd at the state line.

Not enough road to finish the catch, and the two Pauls noticed and contested the Granville County sign / line.  The Mallet was the first to return to North Carolina -- though he did not realize that the Granville County sign / line would also have to serve as the NC state line sign.  Did the Iceman know that the Granville County line sign was the state line, too?  I dunno.  (There was no NC State Line sign.)

60+ miles done.  Only ~ 10 miles to Stovall.  Shallow climbs.  One rider went to the front and started dragging the group towards Stovall.  Although that rider was not doing 20 mph upslope (only 19.5; the 20+'s were only on downslopes), that rider eventually thought to ask those immediately behind if the entire group was still together.  He eventually also recalled the leader's recent rant about not pulling the group @ 20+ mph when TOO far out from the finish.  After mulling the situation over, that rider decided to relinquish the lead to others so as to stay in the good graces of the leader.

(That rider thought that he noticed that the upslope speeds immediately slowed to only 15 +/-, but maybe the upslopes were steeper.  Nah.  The rest of the group had recognized that some of the legs in the group might be a bit tired whereas that rider had apparently forgotten that key point.)  I did notice that that rider did "win" the sprint to the "pizza place" in Stovall -- but only because the Iceman backed off his pace and probably that rider was the only "contesting" the "pizza sprint".  Funny thing though:  although I got to the "pizza place" first, I never did get any pizza.  Arrival in Stovall, ~ 11:15.

Half an hour for pizza / deli-sandwiches / banana / coke / ice cream in the gazebo.  Then . . . on to the last 14 miles via more low-traffic, great cycling roads to VGCC.

I think everyone enjoyed the ride.  Even though the Mallet damaged his front wheel trying to catch the sneak county line attack just after Dexter (and I mean JUST after).  Hey, fair warning of that CL was given while still in the gazebo in Stovall: "turn left onto Chewning Rd and stay straight on that road all the way to Dabney, even though the road changes name just after Dexter."

What?!  You didn't realize that in NC most roads change their names when they cross the county line?  Tsk, tsk.

Due to the Mallet's mechanical, we didn't arrive at VGCC until about 12:45.  (Otherwise, we would certainly have arrived around 12:40.)  Everyone was back to PUE, or home, by 1:30.

Great day.  Great company.  FANTASTIC ride.
Comments from the peloton:

It is a bit of a stretch to refer to the following comment as being from the peloton, but:

From: PaulN ---- Date: Tue, Jul 7, 2009 4:03 pm 

Thought I would tell you my version from "up front" coming back into NC at the Granville County line. 

I was definitely ready for the sprint.  I had a cue sheet and had watched the terrain for the previous 6 MILES.  I saw the sign and knew what was ahead.  I also noticed that Martin was still a bit back behind our lead group so I executed a brilliant Mis-direction strategy:  "Hey," I said to the others up front, "how far back is Martin?"  Then I smoothly accelerated. 

I should have abandoned all coolness and jumped on the big gears like crazy.  Paul, the Mallet, wasn't fooled and he whipped me to the State Line but good....after all my planning.


From: PaulS ---- Date: Tue, Jul 7, 2009 4:07 pm 

Just call me the Manx Mallet! 

From: me ---- Date: Tue, Jul 7, 2009 5:36 pm

PaulN, et al - to take out the Mallet, one must not only pull off an excellent mis-direction play (or be lucky enough that he mis-directs himself such as choosing to look back over his right shoulder while drifting to his right while one goes by on his left) and dig deeper than you've ever done (thank goodness they were out of pizza in Stovall because I think my stomach would have have ejected it during my dig to the CL), but one must also be sure that the UpsideDown ( * ) Mallet yanks his own foot out of his pedal and damages his front wheel.  Only the combination of the three will get the "line" for you.

( * )  For the non-US born and raised, and probably for the young amongst us, watch the "Bullwinkle and Rocky" shows for the "Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman" cartoons to understand this moniker.  (The Mallet is from Epsom Downs.  And I probably have the name used in the "Mr. Peabody ..." cartoons slightly wrong, but hey, he damaged his wheel, certainly he must have been upside-down for a moment or two.)  For the non-Brits that may not know, "Manx" and "Manxman" refer to those from the "Isle of Man" (I hope it is only one "n"), another of those curious parts of Great Britain that are not, strictly speaking, English nor Welsh nor Scots nor Irish.  [I am confident that PaulS will correct me if I am not entirely on point.]

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summarizing the 2nd Quarter

To make it somewhat easier for the next "real" post.

1st Qt. tot: 20 rides; 755.3 m.; 47 hrs, 31 min; 15.9 mph.
2nd Qt. tot: 43 rides; 2124.3 m.; 134 hrs, 59 min; 15.7 mph. (Adjusted time.)
Jul tot: 0 rides; 0.0 m.; 0 hrs, 0 min; 0.0 mph.
YTD: 63 rides; 2879.6 m.; 182 hrs, 30 min; 15.8 mph.

Twice as many rides the 2nd quarter as the first. 2.8 times as many miles. Avg ride 30% longer. Slightly slower (there's them mtn rides) .
At those rates of change, the third quarter will have 92 rides, 5975.0 miles, at an avg pace of 15.6 mph.
That just shows the fallacy of simple geometric projection.