Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aug-30: Assault on Flat Rock


PUE: Assault on Flat Rock; 45.6 m.; est 2074 ft climbed ---> effort index = 66; 3hrs, 3min; 14.9 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: 16 rides; 732.2 m.; 45 hrs, 3 min; 16.2 mph.
Aug tot: 11 rides; 709.7 m.; 45 hrs, 0 min; 15.8 mph. (total August time corrected)
YTD: 90 rides; 4321.5. m.; 272 hrs, 36 min; 15.9 mph. (total YTD time corrected)

Rolling 12-mos.: 119 rides; 5719.9 m.; 358 hrs, 1 min; 16.0 mph.

Is it still an "assault" when it is as slow slow as I was today?

I may have been slow, but I thoroughly enjoyed my ride!

I looked at the avg pace for the first time after I had completed Flat Rock Rd -- 14.4 mph. UPs had been slow, but I hadn't realized they were THAT slow. "Levels" must have been slow, too. but the DOWNs had been most enjoyable -- if only all rides consisted of only downslopes and tailwinds -- preferably both, all the time.

Managed to pick it up some on Bruce Garner & New Light, so that my avg was 14.9 mph when I turned onto Ghoston. And, although with weary legs (not exhausted legs & exhausted will-power as in the last couple G-P-MVC finishes), I did the infamous Ghoston-Peed-MVC finish in 20 minutes, 30 secconds! Thus holding on to my 14.9 mph avg for the whole ride!

Sometimes, one must take the silver lining where it presents itself.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Aug-29: Johnson Mill Run (no Ghoston)


PUE: Treyburn-SnowHill-JohnsonMill-Hopkins-Rougemont-Butner-Patterson-Kemp-CP finish; w/ Lt. Dave, Iva, LeeD, DeanD + (after Rougemont) BobH, NT; 83.9 m.; est 4555 ft climbed ---> effort index = 129; 5hrs, 19min; 15.8 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: 16 rides; 732.2 m.; 45 hrs, 3 min; 16.2 mph.
Aug tot: 10 rides; 664.1 m.; 38 hrs, 53 min; 15.8 mph
YTD: 89 rides; 4275.9. m.; 265 hrs, 33 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 119 rides; 5714.6 m.; 357 hrs, 23 min; 16.0 mph.

At the end of Johnson Mill Rd, Lee pleaded "can you please find some roads with some hills, I'm getting bored with these flat roads."

A couple miles later, after the more scenic parts of S. Lowell and Hopkins roads were behind us, Iva commented "I sure hope this is classified as a hilly route."

No one tried to continue straight on Bill Poole Rd on to the rough gravel. Maybe I should deliberately start putting in some mistakes or confusion into the cue sheets?

Norris and BobH found us at the Refueling Station in Rougemont, after Lee had already commented "3 hours to the first stop!?"

Did everyone see the really tiny box turtle? -- I think it was on Will Suitt Rd (I think it was on Will Suitt Rd because that was the only place I was in the lead for the last half (plus) of the ride). It would take several thousand turtles that size to make one of Tito's VW-sized Galapagos turtles. (See the link to Tito's Galapagos blog on the right side panel.)

Norris, BobH, Lee and Dean were in rocket mode the last 40 miles -- except on Boyce Rd where they seemed insistent on riding only 12 or 14 mph until the road flicked up -- then they started pedaling again -- guys, I need to use the flat, slight downslopes and dips to build up speed BEFORE the flick-ups. Otherwise, instead of Will Suitt Rd, we get what happened on Boyce.

On the other hand, my being caught out by the tiny-bodied, instant accelerating climbers meant that I was in position to help Lt. Dave, whose body, after ~ 66 miles was finally succumbing to the squashed position and lack of gears of his 30+ year old 10-speed Raleigh "something". Iva, too, may also have appreciated the slightly slower pace on Cheek and Patterson.

I learned a very important thing from Lt. Dave at the corner of Patterson & NC-98 -- there are picnic tables there (if one knows at which store to stop).
Alternative description # 1, OR, things I forgot to include above:

To: Snapper

Sat, Aug 29, 2009 3:18 pm

It drizzled and sprinkled and made like it was gonna' really rain -- at the beginning of the ride. Then it stopped precipitating and the roads dried out and later the sun came out, and it got hot.

Lee wondered aloud if I could please find some hilly routes because the flat ones were getting boring.

Lt. Dave, riding his 30+ year old Raleigh, came to appreciate modern cycling technology.

I believe everyone finished -- and some that finished did not "start".

It was definitely a FUN route.

Alternative description # 2, OR, more things I forgot to include above:

Sat, Aug 29, 2009 4:46 pm

Hey, Tito -

On today's "Irregulares" ride, we went past a tiny turtle (tortoise) on the road. This feller was smaller than your thumb (maybe as small as half your thumb) -- well, my thumb. Little box turtle. I hope he made it safely to the side of the road after we passed -- saw him too late to "rescue" him, and I was in front so it would have been dangerous to suddenly stop.

We had a good ride, today. I put "just the facts" up on the "irregulars" blog -- intend to write "something" when my brain can function a bit better.

Oh, we also went by a house with fifty pink flamingos in the front yard. Plastic. Not like the real one pictured on your blog the other day -- very pretty.

(Fifty pink flamingos -- someone had turned age 50 -- there was a sign in the yard -- and obviously, some "friend" had "flamingo'ed" his front yard.)

Iva kept getting caught in "no man's land" today, between the Norris/BobH & Lee & Dean hammers and me dropping off the back, esp. when the road turned UP. The hammers kept seeming to pick up the pace, but not at times when all the rest of could hold on. So Iva and I, and eventually also Lt. Dave (riding his 30+ year old Raleigh with only 5 gears on the cassette, because the bottom bracket bearings on his S-works started failing a week or so ago), kept dropping back. Eventually, about 70 miles into the ride, we three just decided to "drop them off our front".

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Aug-25: Several Birds; One Stone


Bike Service; 13.4 m.; est 993 ft climbed ---> effort index = 23; 0hrs, 55.5min; 14.4 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: 16 rides; 732.2 m.; 45 hrs, 3 min; 16.2 mph.
Aug tot: 9 rides; 580.2 m.; 33 hrs, 34 min; 15.8 mph
YTD: 88 rides; 4192.0. m.; 264 hrs, 14 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 118 rides; 5630.7 m.; 352 hrs, 3 min; 16.0 mph.

Tried to do several things at once including bike service and ride bike. The ride was "not so much". And at the end, I parked the bike on asphault in direct sun, and a few minutes later, BANG!, blew out the rear tire. Dang!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Aug-23: Coley Rd


BJP: Coley x 2.5; 36.5 m.;
est 1258 ft climbed ---> effort index = 49; 2hrs, 15min; 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: 16 rides; 732.2 m.; 45 hrs, 3 min; 16.2 mph.
Aug tot: 8 rides; 566.8 m.; 32 hrs, 39 min; 15.9 mph
YTD: 87 rides; 4178.6. m.; 263 hrs, 19 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 117 rides; 5617.3 m.; 351 hrs, 8 min; 16.0 mph.

Just the stats. See yesterday, near the end, for a couple of paragraphs about today's ride.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Aug-22: Modified "Shoofly Don't Bother Me"


PUE: modified Shoofly Don't Bother Me course; w/ Lt. Dave, Iva, NT, BobH + PaulS (until Shock Overton Rd); 82.3 m.; est 3205 ft climbed ---> effort index = 114; 5hrs, 10min; 15.9 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: 16 rides; 732.2 m.; 45 hrs, 3 min; 16.2 mph.
Aug tot: 7 rides; 530.3 m.; 33 hrs, 24 min; 15.9 mph
YTD: 86 rides; 4142.1. m.; 261 hrs, 6 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 117 rides; 5689.0 m.; 355 hrs, 38 min; 16.0 mph.

The Mallet sent an e-mail expressing three things:

1. That he hoped we all finshed our ride without incident.
2. That he found Philo White to have been recently graveled ("chipped and sealed", I guess).
3. That he made sure to finish Ghoston - Peed - MVC, so as to not miss out on the hills.


As far as I know everyone made it back without incident (Norris and BobH left the Oxford US-158 RS a few minutes before Dave, Iva, and I). We found no "chalk outlines" between Oxford and PUE, so we assumed they finished in style, and avoided the cold front. 

An astute Lt. Dave figured I would just as soon skip Philo White (we had decided before leaving the RS that we'd skip Flat Rock) as I was struggling on anything with an "up".  I didn't even glance at Philo White as I crawled past. 
Dave did a lot of work from about 35 miles out -- he pulled me the last five or more miles to get to the aforementioned RS. The he pulled Iva and I most of the way to the Tar River, with Iva taking over for a couple miles (until he lost concentration and tried to pull a "Harvey" -- luckily, Iva did not crash, and neither did Dave or I).

We saw the dark clouds of the cold front coming in from the NW as we crossed the lake on New Light. Dave and Iva then made a wise decision at the bottom of Ghoston and left me to find my own "pace" home. The cold front and its wind arrived just as I crested Ghoston -- I don't know how far ahead Dave and Iva were at that point.

I was so slow on Ghoston-Peed-MVC (26 minutes; possibly the slowest EVER; and to think that two or three months ago, I was taking only 20 or 21 minutes every time for the 3-humps at the end, regardless of how tired I may have been), that Iva came looking for me from the safety of his Sequoia. He turned and followed me back to PUE in the downpour just so he could harass me by informing that he had "just" managed to get his bike and himself into his vehicle seconds before the downpour started. (You certainly know Iva well enough to know that he did not provide that information for purposes of harassment or "rubbing it in". I was happy to see his smiling face -- even though Iva probably thought I was giving him a "death-wish" look". I was too tired and wet to possibly look very chipper.)

Dave informed me that he was at Norwood when the skies opened; so he still had 3/4 of a mile downslope coast to get to the safety of his garage.

Where was I when the downpour begain? I'm not sure. The cool temps of the cold front and the refreshing nature of the chilly rain was nice. The cold wind -- wind -- not so much. I was so soaked when I got to the car, I no longer cared or worried about how much more water got on me. Once I got the bike into the car, I took my time removing my jersey (and wringing it out), taking off my shoes (and dumping as much water as I could out), and getting my socks off (wringing much water out of each). I admit that the hatch on my rear door provided some relief from the downpour, or I might have tried to move faster.

My shoes were still so soaked this morning (Sunday, Aug-23), that I piddled around for two hours playing at cleaning the bike before I mounted to ride. Even then, I seriously considered not riding because my feet would get so very wet the moment the slid into the shoes. But I finally reasoned that the shoes would probably dry out faster, and more water would get "squeezed out" if I rode than from any other thing I could think to do.

Today (Sunday, Aug-23), I was coming back up Coley Rd from the highway towards Carpenter Pond when I saw "the Lash" riding downslope. I continued on to the stop sign at Kemp, then U-turned until I encountered the Lash again. I think she was initially almost excited to see me. Before I could say anything, she said "only 52 more miles to go." I responded "unfortunately, I have no legs with which to help you, today." We rode another "loop" of Coley -- she used me to break the north-ish breeze / wind on the downslope. I had to "let her go" somewhere just before the stop sign on Kemp on the upslope return to Carpenter Pond, but I never lost sight of her, until the last curve or two before CP. Still, when I got to the stop sign at CP, she was no where to be seen.

I would try to include more about the rest of the group from yesterday, but I was too tired to have noticed anything much.

I presume you enjoyed Bryan Hill, Sam Usry, and Eaton roads as each has at least one valley crossing -- and Eaton has two.

What are the lessons from Saturday's ride?
1. Don't lose concentration before the ride and arrive only 11 minutes before wheels-away.
2. Don't lose concentration prepping the bike and thus forget to include your water bottles.
3. If you do either or both of the above, do NOT try to "make it up" to the group by riding too fast in the beginning.
4. Do not lose concentration while leading the line, and then go off into the "verge".
5. Occassionally, pick some routes that do NOT end Ghoston-Peed-MVC.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Aug-16: A Play in 2 Acts


PUE: Act 1: DoveRd-Brassfield-Pope-Horseshoe-OldFrank-Wayside-BG-G; 43.80 miles; est 1992 ft climbed; 2hrs, 50min; 15.4 mph;
- - - - Act 2: BJP-Leesville U-turn; 25.50 m.; est 988 ft climbed; 1hr, 39min; 15.5 mph;
- - - - - Total Ride: 69.3 miles; est 2980 ft climbed ---> effort index = 99; 4hrs, 29min; 15.4 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: 16 rides; 732.2 m.; 45 hrs, 3 min; 16.2 mph.
Aug tot: 6 rides; 448.0 m.; 28 hrs, 14 min; 15.8 mph

YTD: 85 rides; 4059.8. m.; 255 hrs, 48 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 118 rides; 5717.1 m.; 357 hrs, 17 min; 16.0 mph.

Just puttin' in some miles. Ride mostly enjoyable although a bit slow. Did get a bit warm, and the hot wind was not appreciated.

At about 12:45, saw a couple - that looked a bit wilty - that had stopped on their bikes alongside Carpenter Pond. I called out "it's getting warm". The guy responded "it's getting hot. How are you doing, Martin?" That caught me off guard because I didn't recognize the guy.

"I'm fine. And who are you?" I called out. The reply came back, "Ed, Dave's friend".

Dave's friends seem to be everywhere. Yesterday, before the start of "Act 3" I crossed paths with Keith from the Hanging Rock ride from 3 months ago.
For more useless info, this year, I have now ridden:

- 3 English centuries, totalling 302.4 miles, at an avg pace of 16.0 mph.
- An addtl 23 Metric centuries totalling 1,665.8 miles at an avg pace of 16.0 mph.
- A further 9 rides of at least 50 miles, totalling 496.4 miles at an avg pace of 15.9 mph.

I think I see a pattern there.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Aug-15: A Play in 3 Acts


PUE: Act 1: short lake loop; w/ Ba-room!; 32.60 miles; est 1554 ft climbed; 2hrs, 5min; 15.7 mph avg pace;
- - - - Act 2: Rolling View boat launch; w/ serendipity Bill; 33.64 m.; est 1344 ft climbed; 2hrs, 1min; 16.7 mph;
- - - - - Act 3: BJP-Coley-L'ville U-ShadyGr; 34.97 m.; est 1160 ft climbed; 2hrs, 9min; 16.1 mph;
- - - - - - Total Ride: 101.2 miles; est 4058 ft climbed ---> effort index = 141; 6hrs, 16min; 16.1 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: 16 rides; 732.2 m.; 45 hrs, 3 min; 16.2 mph.
Aug tot: 5 rides; 378.7 m.; 23 hrs, 45 min; 15.9 mph
YTD: 84 rides; 3990.5. m.; 251 hrs, 19 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 118 rides; 5691.5 m.; 355 hrs, 18 min; 16.0 mph.

Just the facts, ma'am. Oh, I decided to categorize this as "group ride not-Irregulars" ride; because nearly 2/3 the ride was with someone, and because more distance was with a non-Irregular than with an Irregular.

Thanx to Ba-room! for the company and proper pacing during Act 1.
Thanks to serendipity Bill for pulling me through all of Act 2.
No thanks to the wind which was really playing up during all of Act 3.

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Irregulars" 200k ?

There is a rumor that some of the "Irregulars" are thinking of / planning to do a 200k ride.

The rumors are true!

Including new roads!

For some of us that have been doing mountain centuries or are training to do Half Iron or full Iron Tri's in September or November, a 200k may not be much of a challenge, or even a stretch.

For others of us, it will be a significant challenge. I put myself in this category.

And for yet others, it is beyond one's current limits. I don't want anyone to become roadkill because they were not ready for a 200k effort.

Anyone who would like to ride a "Martin routed 'Irregular'" 200+k @ 16 mph +/-, needs to convince themselves and the rest of the riding group that you are ready for a 200+k ride. Things happen even to the best prepared that derail the ability to complete a scheduled ride, but not being physically ready is one thing that can be dealt with ahead of time. This will not be a "sagged" ride, so being prepared physically and mentally to complete the task will be vital.

To paraphrase Snapper, no one should think that doing the proposed 200k ride is "just another ride with Martin". The estimated ride time (in-motion) at 16 mph is: 8 hrs, 14 minutes.

I think that doing a 100-miler, one time, on a base of repeated 60-65 mile rides is do-able -- you may suffer a fair bit.

However, the 200k course that is planned is 131 miles with 6000 feet of "climbing". A repeated 60-65 mile base will not be enough to complete the proposed 200k ride without undue pressure during the ride being placed on yourself and on others.

I think a repeated base of 80-85 miles at 16 +/- (plus please) is required as "proof" to yourself and me (as a representative of "the others" -- and hey, I'm the nice guy that plans the routes -- it is also my job, therefore, to be the prick that says "no") before you join the first ever "Irregulars" 200k ride.

Being able to ride really fast for shorter distances is not going to "cut it" for getting your body through the planned 200k ride.

Alternative equivalent "proofs" are acceptable. What those "equivalents" are, will be determined / negotiated between you and me, with advice from others.

Guests will be welcome. But they need to be "proofed", also. And S-A-F-E. And the person that invites the guest is responsible for assuring that the guest has company completing the ride, i.e., you ride with your struggling guest and you get them back, safely.

If you would like to do a 200+k ride, and you are not up to a proper base from which to do it, or are not sure: then get your behunkus out to some rides the next few Saturdays and get prepared, or decide you're not ready.
The date for the 200k has been set: Oct-17.

I may be willing to do the planned ride more than once (or substitute a similar ride).

There is a rumor that the planned 200+k route may have a bailout option that is 101 miles long. I wouldn't want anyone to do the bailout solo, as it is 35 miles from the bailout point to get back to PUE. If you are not used to riding truly solo, quite possibly into a headwind for the entire 35 miles, that might be more than you want to deal with -- especially after having already ridden 66 miles.


Q & A.

Q: How much harder can 200k be than 100 miles?

A: The Blue Ridge Bicycle Club has what they call an "effort index". The "effort" is estimated as: miles + feet climbed / 100. So, for example,

My usual 38-mile lake loop has an effort index of 54.
The Creedmoor-Grissom 47-miler, which used to seem so hard, has an effort index of 66.
A 50-mile modified Assault on Flat Rock, w/ the Beaver Dam detour in both directions, effort 79.
The 68-mile "Long Mill", aka "Bonk Route", effort 98.
The 75-mile Mt. Tirzah ride we did in May, effort 127.
The 87-mile "Stagecoach Express" we did last week, effort 118.
The 108-mile version of the Virginia Border Raid we did last year, effort 148.
The 98-mile Solstace Century we did in June, had approx 4300 ft of clmbing, giving an effort index of 143.

The planned 200k, effort 191.

Need I say more?

Q: Are you serious about not letting someone do the ride if they aren't in proper shape, but really want to try?

Yes; if someone is not in shape, it would be unfair to everyone else.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some route maps w/ effort indices

Here are few routes that we've ridden recently, or may ride in the near future;
the "effort index" is from the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, and equals miles + climbing/100.

PUE - Hurdle Mills 200k w/ Pokomoke finish: 131 miles, 6000 ft climbing, effort 191:

Mayo-naisse 100: 103 miles, 4675 climbing, effort 150:

Stagecoach Express: 87 miles, 3170 climbing, effort 118:

PUE - Hurdle Mills 200k w/ Cannady Mill finish: 126 miles, 5050 climbing,, effort 176:

PUE - misnamed 100-miler, still an interesting route: 101 miles, 4700 climbing, effort 148:

PUE - Johnson Mill Rd - Rougemont: 84 miles, 4060 climbing, effort 124:

Pizza in Stovall: 95 miles, 4130 climbing, effort 136:

The profile on the following is obviously messed up.
PUE: Cassam-RobertsChapel roads (Butner out and back): 54 miles, est 2400 climbing, effort 78:

The profile on the following is also obviously messed up.
PUE: Range Road 65 (Butner out and back): 65 miles, est 2350 climbing, effort 88:

PUE: A "Long Mill" ride, aka, "the Bonk Route": 68 miles, "veloroutes" "follow-the road" beta developed 3030 climbing, but a "click-by-click" on "veloroutes" came up with 3257 climbing, effort 100:

PUE: BeaverDam-Woodlief-etc. HillFest: 70 miles, 3690 climbing, effort 107:

PUE: Virginia Border Raid: 107 miles, 3970 climbing, effort 147:

PUE: Shoofly Don't Bother Me: 75 miles, 3060 climbing, effort 106:

PUE: Long Assault on Flat Rock (incl. Woodland Ch and Long Mill roads): 56 miles, 2470 climbing, effort 80:

PUE: Stem-BelltownRd-Corinth-Wilton: 58 miles, 2270 climbing, effort 80:

PUE: MtOlivet-GrayRock-BelltownRd (i.e., almost the reverse of the above): 63 miles, 3240 climbing, effort 95:

PUE: Stem - Eaton-GrayRock-MtOlivetCh Rds (exactly reverse of the above): 63 miles, 3243 climbing, effort 95:

See also:

The Mallet does a Crit - Jul-19

One would think that I might have put the following, ripped from the Mallet's e-mail, on the blog back when he sent the info out to everyone.

Sent: Sun, Jul 19, 2009 3:42 pm
Subject: Criterium!

Well boys I gave it a try in my first crit this morning over at centenial campus. It was a novice/cat 3 race around a 1kM rectangle with one small climb and one chicane(sp?). 27 riders started and we were instructed to continue our race if dropped or lapped but to stay out the way of those still in contention - this made me feel better as I at least wanted to get a 30 min ride for my $25. The race was 25 mins + 8 laps and a board was used by the officials to count down the time and then the laps.

I got a front row starting position and was quite nervous looking around at the field. I'm guessing I was the 3rd oldest and certainly riding the least expensive, heaviest, fender flashiest, running shoe cruisingest bike out there - there were wheels there worth more than all my kit! Still it's not about the kit.

The starting whistle blew and while listening to the clicks of cleats engaging I fumbled to get my foot in the cage and tighten the strap. The race was on and I fell into mid pack. The peloton consertinered into and out of the short climb and the chicane .I'd been warned about this, and the extra effort it forces on those at the back, so I determined to move forward. By 15 mins in I was huffing my way round in third or fourth and the peloton was clearly shedding riders off the back. A lap or two later and we started lapping some of those who had lost contact. Everyone seemed to be riding sensibly (not to Martin's standards of safety but not bad) and avoiding any contact.

As we closed in on the start of the final 8 laps a surge of riders came by me and I thought i'd probably be out the back in short order. I regained composure on the wheel of a rider who looked like he knew what he was doing and glanced over my shoulder to see how many more riders were about to come past - I was at the back of what was left of the lead group, well clear of any chase, and in 10th. There was no way I was going to get dropped from that point and I started plotting how I might pick off one or two of the weaker riders on the way in.

On the penultimate lap I moved up to 8th diving in on the uphill corner. I gave it everything I had left exiting the last corner and all the way to the line. 8th place was mine by just a few inches as I held off the man on my wheel. I don't think I closed at all on those ahead of me down the straight.

I watched the combined cat1/2 race that followed and those guys were really flying.

Next race is next Sunday - anyone interested in joining the fun?

Hope you all had a great ride yesterday, or whatever other activities you may have been doing.

See you irregularly.

Sunday, August 9, 2009



PUE: OldCrdmr to NC-50-Coley-DocN-Kemp-Virgil-BJP + 45 min lunch + Leesville U-turn; 61.7 miles; est 2173 ft climbed ---> effort index = 83; 4hrs, 5min, 15.1 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.
Aug tot: 4 rides; 277.5 m.; 17 hrs, 29 min; 15.8 mph
YTD: 83 rides; 3889.3. m.; 245 hrs, 3 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 119 rides; 5664.0 m.; 353 hrs, 19 min; 16.0 mph.

With the pace shown above and the strong SW wind (especially strong for this time of the year), one might think my entire ride was a "slog"; that would be incorrect; most of the time, despite tired legs, it was an enjoyable spin -- I often thought I was going faster than I actually was.

However, that said, it was a strong wind, which seemed to switch from SW to N around 12:00 (noon), so the last 10 miles seemed I was being denied the tailwind which I was expecting (and deserved). It was also quite hot, esp. for someone who does not always deal well with the heat.

I am glad I didn't offer to "help", nor was I asked to "help", anyone ride 120 miles today.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Aug-8: Stagecoach Express


PUE: BR #1-Huntsboro/Stagecoach-Kelly-Dabney-OldWatkins-CharlieGrissom-Mt.Olivet-GordonMoore-Pokomoke, etc.; w/ Lt. Dave, Iva, Smitty, LeeD + Barry for 15 m. @ begin + Lash for ~ 13 m. near end; 86.9 miles; est 3170 ft climbed ---> effort index = 118; 5hrs, 19min; 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: 16 rides; 732.2 m.; 45 hrs, 3 min; 16.2 mph.
Aug tot: 3 rides; 215.8 m.; 13 hrs, 24 min; 16.1 mph
YTD: 82 rides; 3827.6. m.; 240 hrs, 58 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 119 rides; 5665.4 m.; 353 hrs, 7 min; 16.0 mph.

Norris no show. BigWaveDave no show -- but he was "uncertain". WrongWayFrank no show.
"Pre-ride" discussion:

The route is a bit more than 80 miles, but well within a 10% variance (NCBC Road Dogs give themselves +/- 20%). Besides, we are planning a 200k in the semi-near future, so 86 miles is good training. The last 30 or so miles is the intended return route for the 200k -- I've lately had enough Cannady Mill Rd homebound.

There are no Walls. I think the steepest climbs are crossing the Tar River and a short bit on Old Watkins, and Ghoston, Peed, MVC, of course. Most everything else should be small to big rollers, except for the flat parts.

I know of no "emergency" Refueling Stations on course other than the one at NC-98 / Peed Rd, which is quite late in the ride. The two RS noted on 158 (& the stores near / at Grissom) are IT as far as useful stations on the core of the ride.

We will ride a sensible pace, taking into account the heat and humidity. Fast dudes will be dropped off the front; we won't worry about them getting lost.

Ba-room! says he will join the start of the ride. I expect him to U-turn near Wilton. He will start with the group, and we will ride with Barry until he U-turns. I expect to hear lively "hunters" conversation any time I am riding within earshot of Ba-room. This will keep his mind off the work of pedaling and the minds of the other hunters off the idea of going too fast too early.

If Barry starts early, the rest of us will each find an appropriate stick to use between his spokes.

Frank "said" he would ride 50 on Saturday.
If he shows, anyone that has had second thoughts about doing 80 may want to group with Frank for a 50 miler.
50-milers should wait until they U-turn to hit their after-burners.
Post-ride write-up:

Ah, there's the rub. What to write?

Hey, Dave, the veloroutes "profile" included in the map of the route seems reasonable, but the ".gif" file that supposedly could be download -- not so good. I think I can discern the several creek/river crossings we made today.

And for the curious, this route was designed as a test of the 200k finish route. It is just that we had to have enough miles in our legs to make the test meaningful, and we took the quickest way to get to the finish route. (For those that thought this route had been a "loop", ha. The heavy overcast may have helped confuse you. I think Dave said he thought we were east-bound on Dabney Rd when we were west-bound. Oh, yeah, he blamed that on Lee's toxic expulsions.)
Actually, I had not been on Huntsboro --> Stagecoach Rd, certainly not on a bike, and I had never been on Kelly (how could we have missed that sign? - haha), nor had I been on Dabney Rd east of Glebe Rd. Other than Dabney, which got a bit of traffic, great roads (well, Kelly was only okay) with no traffic. How great was that!

Other thoughts:

No one contested the first CL on NewLight / BruceGarner. Instead, we rode through it just as if we were a group on a seriously long group day-ride.

The second CL, on Huntsboro / Stagecoach, Lee instigated the "trouble"; Lt. Dave went with him; and after it was WAY to late to possibly be productive, Smitty decided to chase.

Third CL on OldWatkins / PeacesChapel, I figured it would be Lt. Dave and Lee. Also figuring that Lee was a better climber, I tried to even the odds a bit by giving Lt. Dave a hint -- not too good of a hint, mind you. When the road finally descended into the creek valley, I went to the front just to get ahead of all the "tiny bodies", but also knowing that the only way I could "steal" the CL was to build momentum downhill and then work like the dickens to keep my speed back uphill until getting to the CL. Strange things happened. Lee and Smitty must have decided that my "go to the front on the downhill to get in front of the tiny-bodies" move was actually a move for the CL; next moment, they both came racing around me while I was still on the downslope; those move actually proved to be their downfalls because, although moving at the beginning of the descent was not too early for me and my strategy, moving when they did was way too early for them and they each ran out of gas. As they ran out of gas, I still had plenty of momentum, but as I check to make sure it was safe to go around, I found I was boxed in by Smitty and Lt. Dave. Dang it, Smitty! As a result, I had to let Lt. Dave - who had been marking me because he was sure that I knew where the CL was - go around Smitty first, and then try to regain my position and speed to attempt to challenge Lt. upslope -- not easy given our comparative abilites. Then I saw the road surface ahead change -- given the curve in the road at that point, the change in surface could be seen long before the sign -- so I sat up. Just after I sat up, Smitty made another "too late" charge. I knew Dave was almost at the CL, so I told Smitty "too late", but he charged on anyway.

After that CL, I craftily went into "spin mode" for the rest of Peaces Chapel Rd to Fairport. Iva tried to pull me up to the group, but I was unable to stick with him. Besides, I was already planning how to "steal" the fourth CL.

Fourth CL on Fairport Rd. The group was milling around or otherwise waiting for me to get to Fairport. I slid past the group in much the way as I often do when the group has had to wait after a climb; that is, I had no apparent urgency in my stroke, no undue speed. I was hoping that what often happens in these cases where I slide past the group at a stop sign would happen again. It did. That is, a gap between me and the group developed. Usually, I just semi-soft-pedal waiting for the group. This time, however, I kept slowly increasing my pace, checking the gap in my mirror or via quick glances over the shoulder. As the gap widened, I continued to slowly increase my pace. I was helped in this strategy by the terrain of Fairport Rd -- an almost flat, very slight downslope. When I got to where I could see the CL, two things: 1) I was shocked because the last time I had ridden through there the CL sign had been almost impossible to see because of overgrown weeds, and 2) I made sure the gap still existed and began steadily increasing my pace, no longer quite so slowly. When I was close enough to be pretty sure I had the CL in the bag, I checked the group again. Too late for them. I eased off (to conserve some energy to try to possibly "steal" the fifth CL, too) and as I approached the CL, I pointed in victory to the CL sign as I passed by. (I think I was helped in this slow break-away stealth of the CL by the fact that the group may still have been discussing the previous CL -- I certainly know I intended to throw in some "infusion" to a possible discussion when I had slid by.)

Fifth CL. I have given this CL, and how I might be able to "steal" it, quite considerable thought. The best strategy for me is probably to "sit-in" the line, and go to the front to get ahead of the "tiny-bodies" when the road descends down into the Tar River valley, use that descent and hold off challengers, saving my effort at a true sprint until others have tired themselves just catching me. However, 60 miles into the ride, the early strong riders seemed to be losing their desire to pull the group, so I pulled the three miles or so from Fairport Rd to the valley descent. I picked up my speed. Dave, Lee, and Smitty were all marking me. Dave was off my left shoulder and asked "is this it?" "Yep," I replied, and Dave went around, closely followed by Lee and Smitty. I sat up to conserve energy for the climb on the other side of the valley because I knew that after the break-away on Fairport and pull into the headwind (which more than offset the slight downslope) on CharlieGrissom, that I would not be able to successfully contest the sprint -- and taking my cue from the Tour de France, expenditure of energy without a payoff is a waste. However, after I sat up and even stood up to stretch my right leg, the other three were not pulling ahead of me -- what was up with that?! It turned out that Dave had also decided to save energy for the climb out of the valley, and was semi-sitting up, and Lee and Smitty, unable to see the CL, were apparently having second thoughts. They coulda' been had. They finally figured out where the CL was, and began their contest iin earnest. For once, Smitty, for once, did not wait until it was too late. He reportedly took Lee by a whisker.

The faux CL. We had a nice line working together to get up Mt. Olivet Ch Rd into the wind at 15 to 19 mph. Up, into the wind, 15 to 19 mph. Then Smitty saw a green sign. He went quickly to beside Lee from fourth in the line; I thought he had decided that Lee was perhaps tiring as Lee was doing most (practically all) the work up Mt. Olivet. Suddenly, Lee responded as if he didn't want to relenquish the lead of the line. But no, I realized they were sprinting for one of those "fire department area" signs. I yelled "that's not a CL." To no avail. Lee and Smitty were off the front of the other three of us. Now we were slogging at 10 to 12 mph; Lee and Smitty appeared to continue to set a fast pace. I commented to Dave that Lee and Smitty each would have one CL point deducted for sprinting for a non-CL, and another point deducted for splitting up the line. That put Smitty's score at negative one, and Lee's score at negative, leaving Dave and I each tied at +1.

Before we reached the next CL, we were joined by "the Lash", who had started riding at 5:30 to test her new headlamp -- it is reported to be "fantastic" -- and had ridden 40 miles before joining a small group at 8:10 for another 40 miles. She then had ridden another 16 out to meet us. So she had about 96 miles in her legs; we had about 70. Lash was not going to contest any CL's as she was riding 190 miles that day. I had told her that if she came out to meet us that she could sit-in and get a few more "easy" miles before she had to finish on her own.

The sixth CL. Lee was so far off the front that we thought he had decided to just ride on home ahead of us. So Lee clearly crossed from Franklin Cnty into Granville Cnty well ahead of the rest of us, but the committee is not sure that he was making a "CL move" or was just heading home. We came upon Lee waiting for us a mile or so up the road.

The seventh CL. Smitty and I had been exchanging leading the line. Smitty was leading, and I detected that he might need a bit of a break, so I rode from 6th in the line up to Dave (3rd in line) to ask if he any legs left. Just after Dave had replied that he was toast and I had started to move up give Smitty a break, Lee darted out of 4th position in the line to sprint for the Wake Cnty line. Dave responded, pulled out of line and tried to contest the sprint. Smitty may have made a move -- Smitty, it was too late, again, and frankly, when one has been pulling the line into a headwind such as we were experiencing, you got no legs for sprinting (unless you are the Mallet). As the line disintegrated, the Lash came around and casually closed up to Dave and Lee. It has been reported that Dave took the CL; darn, I was hoping Lee took it so that I could claim a tie for the green jersey for the day (based on 1 pt for each CL win, and taking the aforementioned penalties into account). Lee kept going followed by the Lash.

As the group re-formed into a line, I said to Dave "no legs to pull, only to sprint, eh!" He sheepishly allowed that he couldn't resist the challenge. I think I pulled the reduced foursome the rest of the way to Ghoston Rd -- if I am wrong in that memory, let me know and I'll edit this.

Upon reaching the bottom of Ghoston, Dave, Smitty, and then Iva all passed me and left me in the heat. I decided I had put in a good ride, had done a good bit of the pulling since Fairport, and that I would like to be able to walk during the rest of the day, so I took it easy on Ghoston, Peed, and MVC -- it was apparently one of my slowest performances on those climbs in quite some time (given what they did to my avg pace).

Lee was still at the PUE parking lot. I thanked him for pulling the Lash in those last 9 or 10 miles, and noted that she will have really appreciated it as she would have to finish her 190 mile training ride from that point without further help. (I don't think Lee had known that Lynn was doing 190 miles.) Lee reported that Lash stayed on his tail the whole way down to Falls Lake; he had thought he might drop her when he reached 33 mph just before the lake, but no. He also reported that that when they turned onto Ghoston, he dropped a couple gears and thought he was going well, then Lynn went around him and dropped him like a bad habit. If I get an e-mail address for Lee, I'll send him links to some recent climbing results for the Lash -- he might feel better.

Iva commented “if we go back out and repeat the ride we just did, we will still need to ride another 15 or 20 miles to get in the miles that Lynn is doing today.” (By the time we all had finished the 87 mile ride once, Lynn was in excess of 112 miles; she finished at approx 5:39 pm.)

All in all, we had a good ride. New roads. A lot of smooth roads (outside Wake county). Very little traffic. Some fun CL action - but kept within bounds of everyone having the legs to get home, safely. And several "irregulars" now more fully understand, and can pass on and explain, the threat that is: "go ride with Lynn".

I had checked my avg pace at a few key locations. The Tar River crossing from Vance into Franklin county, 16.7+ mph. Nine-ish miles later, after all that steady slope climbing into the headwind, @ Pokomoke metropolis, 16.5+ mph. At the bottom of Ghoston, @ 82.2 miles, 16.6+ mph. Final avg, as reported above, 16.3 mph
A true post-mortem:

Later in the day, I related the Wake county line sprint story / information to Lynn.

Her matter-of-fact deadpan response: "they weren't sprinting".
Zing! Yow-zah!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Aug 2: A storm brews


I received the following from the Mallet:

My bet is that you got a soaking today. I did a mid morning 33 from my house which took me past PUE and out to Goshton and back past PUE to home. I saw your car at PUE and got drenched on my way home 11:30 ish.

My first 10 miles were as lead legged as last weekend but then they came alive and I finished with an av. of 20.2.

I actually enjoyed riding in the rain, something I had not done since my rising to school days. Quite cool and refreshing for a NC August day.

I hope you were able to enjoy whatever ride you were doing.

I am now in Litchfield, SC, and will be here through next weekend - will have to get some long flat, flat, flat miles in while I'm here.


PUE: Butner-Moriah-Mt.Harmony-Berea-Stem-Creedmoor; w/ "the Lash"; 74.8 miles; est 3276 ft climbed ---> effort index = 107; 4hrs, 51min; 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: 16 rides; 732.2 m.; 45 hrs, 3 min; 16.2 mph.
Aug tot: 2 rides; 128.9 m.; 8 hrs, 5 min; 16.0 mph
YTD: 81 rides; 3740.7 m.; 235 hrs, 39 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 119 rides; 5626.7 m.; 350 hrs, 55 min; 16.0 mph.

Too bad you weren't up (puns intended) for a 6:45 or 7:00 am ride from PUE with the Lash. She did 175 on Saturday (luckily her friend Mark, aka, Blay, rode pulled her along for 60 of those miles, the rest were solo). It was deemed that I might be able to "help" her through the middle 75 of a 90 or 100 easy, recovery ride.

She rode from the house. I rode from PUE. We started at 7-ish, and did the Butner-Moriah-Mt.Harmony-Berea-Stem-Creedmoor ride that we did a week ago (except we went straight from Stem to Creedmoor instead of "detouring" along Saunders Rd and through Hester).

It was quite humid and overcast and humid. I had tired legs from trying to ride hard and fast the day before, but was easing into fairly well. For kicks, I looked at my avg pace when transiting Butner, 16.6. And for comparison to last week's ride, I checked my avg pace after completing the Range Wall, 16.3 vs. 16.0 the week before.

However, last week, after sending Snapper off, my avg started to go up and by the time we got to Moriah, I think my avg last week was 16.3. Yesterday, doing ALL the pulling, that slow upcline from the top of the Wall to Moriah had dragged my avg down to 16.2. Yes, I was doing ALL the front work. The only time Lynn wasn't following me was on certain long or steep climbs, e.g., New Light from the Lake up to Old Weaver, Range Wall. So essentially I was doing a solo "time-trial".

Somewhere between Moriah and Mt. Harmony Baptist Church, I confirmed that we had a tailwind headed out. Great! Not. We (I) would have 35 miles head on into the breeze going home. It wasn't that much of a wind / breeze, but it would be in our (my) face on Old Roxboro Rd, then Culbreth Rd, then Brogden and Dove roads. All the way back. Yuck.

I was sweating more than I can recall sweating for a long time. Even more than on Saturday, when for the first time in a long time, my socks and shoes were soaked in sweat. I rang a LOT of sweat out of each sock on Saturday. But at least it was still overcast, and that was keeping the heat of the sun off our backs and heads. It had occasionally been spitting a few rain drops on us, but that was welcome. Lynn even commented she could deal with riding in a light rain, as long as it didn't become a thunderstorm.

Somewhere just before the turn south onto Old Roxboro Rd, the spitting stopped. It became a steady sprinkle. Actually was a help to me as it helped cool me off. Lynn, on the other hand, after we stopped in Berea to get some chilled water to replenish supplies, was "cold". She welcomed the climb back up from crossing the Tar River as a chance to get her body re-warmed. I didn't welcome the climb at all, and just spun my way up. Lynn waited for me about a mile up the road, and reassumed her position behind me.

But not for long. After Culbreth Rd transits Culbreth, the road changes from mostly flat to rolling. And yesterday, those rollers were HILLS for me. I had lost all energy in the legs to be able to ride up with any "speed" at all. Lynn passed and stayed ahead until nearly Stem. We stopped in Stem so I could take a minute's blow; I told her she should probably go on as I had nothing left in my legs to get up any of the speed bumps. She replied that she knew that, and had passed me because she was worried about hitting my rear wheel as I wobbled up the hill (she didn't add the "wobbled" part, but I did in my mind, as I was having a time trying to hold a straight line).

Lynn stayed with me, following, down Brogden Rd the first 5 of the 6 six miles to Creedmoor. I held it together and forced myself to get up the couple speed bumps along the way, but, at around 58.4 miles into my ride, when I was avging either 16.5 or 16.7 (I wasn't sure what the tiny print on the confuser showed - rain and bad eyes for reading - but I think it was 16.7). I had nothing left to get up the last two mountains into Creedmoor -- those are mountains, there, aren't they?

The rain seemed to have stopped somewhere between Creedmoor and PUE. Don't ask where. It was all I could do to keep a semblance of order and balance and some speed on the "rollers-become-hills-become-small-mountains" on Dove Rd. I wasn't in trouble. I just had no "go" left. A combination of tired from the day before, not enough liquid refueling (Lynn does NOT do long or many stops) and possibly I would have had more energy if I had eaten a banana at Berea but I hadn't wanted to keep Lynn waiting (a comment she made later in the day leads me to believe she would have accepted the additional time delay for me to eat the banana -- lesson learned). I also concluded that I, being 50% larger by body weight, probably need to replace 50% more liquids -- so, if Lynn needs / wants / accepts "help" again, more liquid refueling stops will be part of the deal.

I recall NOTHING about Whitt road, except that I stopped at the the intersection with Old Weaver and drank most of the rest of my liquids. I know there is a bit of hill on Whitt, but I recall NOTHING.

Old Weaver, on the other hand, I recall only too well. No 20 mph zip across the flat across the lake, and lots of 8 +/- mph (not much plus) for the two miles to get up to New Light. I have not been that labored and slow on that two miles in a LONG time.

No zip on the two mile run down New Light to Ghoston, either. Speed noticeably slower than usual. Ghoston, Peed, and MVC, I used the triple and mostly the 23 & 21 cogs. It was some small satisfaction that tired as I was, I did not need to use the 25 cog (except maybe for a short bit on Peed), and wiped out as I was, I still maintained a speed only a mile mph or so slower than I usually do. Well, usually, near the top of Ghoston, I get my speed back up to 16-18 mph, but not yesterday. I basically refer to the steep parts.

Anyway, very wet after 74.8 miles. Avg pace for the whole ride? 15.4 mph. I estimate I avg'd approx 12 mph for the last 16.4 miles. Admittedly, there are several tough to nuisancy climbs in that 16 miles, but 12 mph? That indicates a tired old man. At least that tired old man realized what he needed to do to get back to the car in one piece. And after all, that is the main goal.

Oh, one last item. I have been quite happy and proud that this year I have suffered no cramps on the bike, or after. Yesterday, however, the inside of my right thigh (perhaps, as I've been told, the lower groin area) kept trying to cramp. It succeeded several times, but nothing, repeat NOTHING, like the cramps in that area that I suffered a couple times last year, most noticeably several hours after completing the "Virginia Border Raid" 108-miler. So, while I can no longer claim "no cramps" this year, I am still "no serious cramps".

So, in short form answer to your comment / inquiry, I got quite wet from the rain, and enjoyed a good bit of my ride. Oh, and for good measure, Lynn added on a "couple" extra miles to get a 101 mile ride -- she refuses to let me know her times or avg speed or any such things any longer.

Enjoy SC. Enjoy SC? Oh, you have relatives there.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Aug-1: A bee stings


PUE: Coley-Boyce-DocN-Baptist-Kemp-Virgil-Coley; w/ Iva, Snapper, Smitty, NT; 54.1 miles; est 2062 ft climbed ---> effort index = 75; 3hrs, 14min; 16.7 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.
Aug tot: 1 ride; 54.1 m.; 3 hrs, 14 min; 16.7 mph
YTD: 80 rides; 3665.9 m.; 230 hrs, 48 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 119 rides; 5592.5 m.; 348 hrs, 22 min; 16.1 mph.

Intended 50-miler starting at 6:15. I had an important and urgent call of nature, and Smitty was late --> started about 15 minutes late. That put the finish ROM estimate of 9:45 in danger; we finished about 10:00, so the original ROM was pretty good -- if we had started on time.

I decided to try pushing the pace from the beginning of the ride and find out what my legs would do. I was tired and not going as fast on Virgil as I usually do when "time-trialing", and the upslope direction on Coley was not done with any panache, either. The key thing, however, was that post-ride, my right leg gave definite indications that a warm-up period of an hour or two is NECESSARY. So next week, back to the 70+ mile rides, which will give me time to warm up, and still finish with a respectable average pace.

This ride, for me, ended up as virtually a 50-mile time-trial, as I got very little help with setting and maintaining the pace. At least that did give me a good test of the right leg with a very limited (or no) warm-up.

Iva did one pull. I certainly over-coached him. When he later got into position to take a second pull, somehow he was not able to take a regular pull. Did Snapper or Smitty step in to take the pull, instead? Don't recall. However, Iva's one pull was quite helpful.

I think Snapper and Smitty have been taking instruction from the "Duke School of Paceline Pulling".

Every time either one of them went to front, they were immediately off the front (of me). I think Snapper was not really pulling the group, but went to the front when within half-a-mile or so of a know stop sign -- he essentially did an interval workout every time he "pulled". Smitty's situation was more nuanced. I think that when he got into position to pull, he would hit a few hard pedal strokes (trying to maintain the pace, or trying to lift the pace?), and I did not have the instant accelleration (or if I had it, chose not to employ it, saving the energy for a more consistent, measured, overall pace -- that's my story, and I'm sticking to it). So, Smitty would be off the front, recognize same, slow a bit, then get swallowed and passed (I ain't giving up cadence for nobody -- again, that's my story).

Other times, Smitty and Snapper and Norris (and a couple times Iva) would pull away and wait at the next corner, sometimes riding circles in the intersection which becomes disconcerting when the trailing rider reaches the group and has to dodge circling cyclists -- sort of like dodge cars. I think it would be better if they would either pull over and wait, or continue on, but soft-pedalling until "caught".

Snapper, Smitty, and Norris fell off the pace down Baptist Road. That was very strange to Iva & I. Until Smitty explained that a yellow-jacket had managed to "fly" down the front of Snapper's mostly unzipped jersey, and then deliver a "stinger" to the Snapper's chest. (That's the Sanpper's story, and he is sticking to THAT.)

Anyway, as noted in the intro, next week back to the longer rides -- they give me time to warm up properly.