Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Hallow's Eve 2009

Where is the nice weather that was forecast !?

Today, on AOL, there is a story about a 33 year old guy that is "quitting my job and heading out on one of the last true adventures left on earth: Driving around the world." The story goes on to describe how / why he chose his vehicle, and the modifications he made, etc..  (I tried to include the link, but it is likely to be "dead" in a week or so, anyway.)

Give me a break.  An adventure?  Taking a year -- to drive around the world, in 2010?  What a wimp! 

For some real adventures: check these out: 

1.  The "Penny Farthing" tour:



2.  Duke grad rides his bike home . . . to Malaysia:


Friday, October 30, 2009

Oct-30: LT's short hill fun (modified)

LT is serving time being a fireman this weekend.  "Can you ride Friday afternoon?" asks he.  "Um, okay" say I.  Then we agreed to do essentially the same route we did one C-O-L-D day last December.

We expected dry, warm sunshine.  It was cool, humid, and overcast. 

It seems that many leaves are already "done" for this year. 

Today's course (the elevation on "veloroutes" includes some spurious readings on New Light crossing the lake, and on Old Weaver on one of the "lake crossings"):

[Edit Feb-24-2021:  "veloroutes" was never more than the hobby of someone.  When they got a good paying job somewhere, they essentially / eventually "abandoned" their hobby site.  As a result, the "veloroutes" maps are not as useful as they once were.  However, once can discern the routes and create "copies" in RWGPS, which is what I have done here:  "LT's short hill fun" route -- which, as far as I can figure, I only rode once:  i.e., the day / ride that this blog post is about.  I think I should adopt a goal to ride this route as part of a plan to get in shape for 2021 brevets (and other rides (?).)] 

Last year, I drove 1000 miles from Illinois to Raleigh on the 29th and 30th, slept in the car in a rest stop in West Virginia or Virginia, drove straight to Blue Jay Point, and had the FASTEST solo ride I've ever had that was in excess of 20 miles.  One thousand miles.  Slept in the car.  No rest.  Fastest ride, solo, over 20 miles.  How??? 

Date _________start / course ____Miles_ H.mm_ avg mph

Oct-30-2008  "Time-Trial Course"  44.4 _2.31 _ 17.6         
[Edit Feb-24-2021:  The link for the immediately above "Time-Trial Course" is obviously to a map of the "TT"/cadence course plus two side-trips down and up Coley Rd.  I'll not create a RWGPS map for the complete route ridden Oct-30-2008 -- there are plenty of references, possibly including similar RWGPS-links scattered throughout this blog.] 


BJP: Woodlief-MangumDairy-BoldRunHill-CampKanata-SidMitchell-HughDavis-WoodlandCh-GrahamSherron-BG-RockSprings-OWT-G-P-MVC; w/ Lt. Dave; 44.3 m.; est 2573 ft climbed --> effort index = 70; 2hrs, 53min; 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.
3rd Qt tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 9 rides, 551.4m.; 35 hrs, 41 min; 15.4 mph.
YTD: 108 rides; 5378.4 m.; 340 hrs, 0 min; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 124 rides; 6089.4 m.; 382 hrs, 55 min; 15.9 mph

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oct-25: Bahama

LT wanted to go to the mountains this weekend and ride, but the weather deterred him.  He e-mailed Friday asking if I wanted to ride to Bahama on Sunday, starting ride at noon.  It was a plan. 

I started a bit early, riding from BJP, and rode about 10 miles before meeting LT @ PUE @ noon.  It felt like LT was hammering hard into the wind -- I was NOT inclined to help him much, hoping he would show signs of tiring.  No luck. 

And it turned out he wasn't hammering all that much.  Turned out I was "just plain tired".  Why?  Who knows.  But LT did quite a bit of waiting, either stationairy, or slowing down. 

Not much else worth writing.  At the end, I was cold.  Even after getting out of the damp top, I was still cold.  Hope that means nothing.

Where was the promised sunshine?

"Core" of today's ride:

Last year on this date, I was in Illinois, and rode 40.5 miles with a 20+ mph WSW wind.  Heading south out of P'town was not so bad as I avg'd ~ 15+ mph while heading south.  The few miles to the east were quite fast (wind aided).  The 10 or 12 miles due north was GREAT -- 20, 22, 24 + mph for long stretches -- hardly pedaling. 

Then I had 5 or 6 miles heading west / west-by-northwest.  It was a VERY good thing that I was on the road which we lived on when I was aged 5 to 16.  Knowing every twist, turn, bump, dip, tree, house (but I was disappointed to see that many trees and a couple houses were gone with no trace) helped as I struggled riding-hard-as-I-could at 11 or 10 or 9 mph into that wind. 

I took a break in the lee of the church that is across the road from the house in which I grew up (the house was originally the parsonage for the church, but no longer served that purpose, even before we lived there).  From there all I had to do was another quarter-mile over a bump (that was a HILL when I was young - reality and perception formed on the F-L-A-T of northwest Illinois -- not the FAR northwest near Galena, mind you) into some more of that wind, and then turn north for the last 5 miles back to town. 

Every time I think I'm experiencing wind here in central NC, I think back to that ride:  THAT was WIND. 

Oh, with all the sidewinds, tailwinds and headwinds, I ended up avg'ing 16.2 mph for that ride -- the slowest of my rides in Illinois last October. 

BJP: PUC Rd "loops" + DocN-Patterson-Burton-Bahama-EllisChpl-Amed-Butner-NewLight-G-P-MVC; w/ Lt. Dave; 70.6 m.; est 3590 ft climbed --> effort index = 106; 4hrs, 36min; 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.
3rd Qt tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 8 rides, 507.1m.; 32 hrs, 48 min; 15.5 mph.
YTD: 107 rides; 5334.1 m.; 337 hrs, 7 min; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 124 rides; 6089.5 m.; 382 hrs, 33 min; 15.9 mph

New record for rolling-12 miles.  (The astute reader has likely notice that the last several rides have resulted in rolling-12 records.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oct-24 No Ride

If I had a goal for today, I would likely have ridden, because the weather is not that bad.  A few intermitent sprinkles, occassional gusts, damp roads, but many are pretty dry.  But I had no real "need" to ride in the yuk, so I haven't.  But maybe later today? 

I went to BJP to hike around on some of the trails.  Interestingly, it had not rained enough there overnight / this morning to make the trails wet.  Apparently there are still enough leaves on the trees to block the free fall of the rain.  Walter would have enjoyed the BJP trails today.  I miss Walter. 

Walter + me. Pine Knoll Shores.  Atlantis Lodge.  Jun-2005.  [Locals should be able to guess who took the photo.  Non-locals are left in the dark.]  

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oct-21: L'ville Rd U-turn "TT"

A short, quick ride.
Intra-ride stats (this ought to bore everyone, again):

location ____ tot m. _ pace _segment_ pace
CP / Coley ____ 9.7 __ 15.1 __ 9.7 __ 15.1 _ This includes down and up MVC, and "all" the CP climbing.
L'ville U-turn 12.7 __ 15.7 __ 3.0 __ 18.1 _ Flattish. I thought this was nto the wind.
Coley / CP ___ 15.7 __ 15.9 __ 3.0 __ 16.8 _ I was wrong.  "Neutral" S wind more bothersome "coming home".
BJP __________ 25.4 __ 16.7 ___9.7 __ 18.2 _ Includes all CP + MVC down and up + Pleasant Union Ch Rd.

BJP: Leesville Rd U-turn, i.e., short "TT" route; 25.4 m.; est 1062 ft climbed --> effort index = 36; 1hrs, 31min; 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.
3rd Qt tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 7 rides, 436.5m.; 28 hrs, 12 min; 15.5 mph.
YTD: 106 rides; 5263.5 m.; 332 hrs, 31 min; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 124 rides; 6059.4 m.; 380 hrs, 26 min; 15.9 mph.

Five County Centuries

I was reading the other day about a Century out west that went through parts of five counties.  In most parts of "out west", counties are much larger than counties east of the Mississippi, but

it got me to wondering how many counties some of our "Irregular" rides have gone through. 

(3) Virginia Border Raid, 108 m.:  Wake, Granville, Mecklenburg in Virginia

(4) Range Road, 66 m.:  Wake, Granville, Durham, Person
(4) Johnson Mill Rd, 70 & ~ 85 m versions:  Wake, Durham, Orange, Granville
(4) Eaton Rd, 63 m.:  Wake, Granville, Franklin, Vance
(4) Stagecoach Rd, 87 m.:  Wake, Granville, Vance, Franklin
(4) Allensville, 82 m.:  Wake, Granville, Durham, Person 
(4) Community House Rd, ?? m.:  Wake, Granville, Franklin, Vance
(4) Dabney loop, 73 m.:  Wake, Granville, Vance, Franklin 
(4) Bearpond & Bobbitt, 72 m.:  Wake, Granville, Franklin, Vance

Definitely seems to be a pattern there. 

(4) Middleburg Solstice Century, 98 m.:  Wake, Granville, Franklin, Vance (but we could have literally spit into Warren county)

I was becoming convinced we hadn't done ANY "five county" rides. 
Then I remembered:

(4 ?) Falls Lake Loop from VGCC, ~ 85 m.:  Vance, Warren, Granville, Mecklenburg in Virginia, (any other VA counties?)

Still not five. Then I realized:

(5) Hurdle Mills 200k, 126 m.:  Wake, Durham, Orange, Person, Granville

And some future day, for good measure: 

(7) Hurdle Mills 200k, 131 m. version:  Wake, Durham, Orange, Person, Granville, Vance, Franklin 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oct-17: Three Flats, Two Dropped Chains

Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Snapper, Mallet, Smitty and Tinman. They formed the crest of the Irregulars cyclone before which another biting northwest wind was swept over the precipice of the North Carolina Fall Line yesterday as no willing spectators peered down on the bewildering panorama spread on the black asphault lines.

A cyclone can't be snared. It may be surrounded, but somewhere it breaks through to keep on going. When the cyclone starts from PUE, where the blinkie lights still gleam through the North Carolina pines, those in the way must take to storm cellars at top speed.

The above, with apologies to Grantland Rice.

Four intrepid cyclists @ PUE.  Two ready to go on time.  I tried to dress really slowly, so that Snapper would not be last and embarassed.  I couldn't dress slowly enough.  In fairness, If I had been to the cities that Snapper had traveled to last week, and (as he claimed) someone had removed a particular jacket from the car, I would likely have been more confused preparing to ride than he was.  Heck, I probably would not have gotten up when the 6:05 "human alarm" sounded. 

The day was cold and gray and threatening rain.  But if you've lived your whole life in the South, I don't think you can really appreciate the blue-gray October sky that Grantland Rice described in his famous column about the 1924 Army-NotreDame football game.  Cold, blue-gray October skies up north are a different thing from gray October skies in the South.  A gray November day may come close.  But even then, the way storms and clouds form over the Midwest and Northeast are different than the way "normal" storms form in the South.  I leave it to the reader to research the difference.  I will mention that cyclones, or at least "cyclonic storms" have a lot to do with the difference.  And, lest the reader think that "cyclonic storms" refers to Atlantic hurricanes:  no.  But I leave the googling and researching to you.

We left several minutes later than planned, and found the IvaHawk riding towards us on Kemp Rd.  How many extra times did he ride that six-tenths of a mile between Carpenter Pond and Coley?  I didn't ask.  But I am guessing he now knows exactly how much effort it takes to go in either direction for a range of desired speed and upslope work outcomes.  So we became five:  Snapper, Mallet, IvaHawk, Smitty and me.

I was reminded once again on Stallings Rd why I prefer to NOT ride that road.  Patterson is so much more pastoral.

I think more than Snapper's internal clock and routine were messed up from his travel last week and Friday.  Let me just say that although the Snapper is not a Randonneur, he certainly has certain skills that I think the Rando guys would admire.  He spotted a little building one often sees on construction sites, and made a rapid U-turn in order to reduce his excess baggage.  I leave the description at that. 

The advantage of riding Snow Hill Rd early in the 200k, with the Guess Rd gas station just a couple miles later is that one is concentrating on settling into a comfortable pace and preparing for and then climbing the Snow Hill.  Advantage?  No time to think about or notice any wind. 

The meteorologists pretty much got the conditions spot on in their forecasts for the winds.  Winds out of the Northwest and North-northwest.  All day.

Before Snow Hill Rd, Smitty was trying to drag the pace up from wherever-it-was-at-that-point to something closer to 15 mph.  At the Guess Rd gas station, the Mallet was softly and quietly bemoaning the pace-so-far.  I was having none of it.  I was confident that the pace wold be significantly quickened during the last 40 miles -- tailwinds will do that.  In fact, to help settle the minds of the speedsters, I predicted that the avg pace when we got to Hurdle Mills would be less than the avg pace experinced to get to Guess Rd.  "I hope not" was the reponse of at least one.  But he did not try to drag the subsequent pace beyond that comfortable for all. 

The IvaHawk turned back when we left Guess Rd.  Well, first he went over to check on some period automobile.  A couple miles down the road, that auto passed us by -- no IvaHawk -- so we presumed he was unable to negotiate a purchase deal -- and that he rode on home without incident. 

Someone had tried to entice Irregulars to this 200k with promises of "scenic" Schley and Walnut Grove Ch roads after hilly Snow Hill Rd.  That ploy didn't work to entice any takers beyond the original four + me.  For future reference, Schley and Walnut Grove Ch roads are scenic as well as "scenic".  The elevation on Walnut Grove Ch Rd tops out at 716 ft (according to "veloroutes") at the intersection with Hurdle Mills Rd.  There is a bump on Hurdle Mills Rd which tops out at 718 ft elevation -- that was the elevation high point of the day. 

Zipping into Hurdle Mills, I wanted to stop there to fill the water bottles from the outside tap and stuff more food into me.  I wasn't sure the Mallet knew that . . . and I almost left the "sprint" to catch him until too late.  I caught him, blurted out my plan, he said "okay", and I had to grab the brakes . . . I thought I had at least another quater-mile, maybe more, before the stop.

We took longer in Hurdle Mills than anticipated.  But being in the lee of the buildings probably enticed us almost as much as the Sirens of the pre-ancient world.  Finally, with the promise of semi-tailwinds and the prospect of a tough climb after crossing the Flat River only half-a-mile distant, we left the cover of the buildings in Hurdle Mills.

The semi-tailwind turned out to be a semi-pipe-dream, but at least the wind was no longer "head-on".  The tough crossing of the Flat River was not a pipe-dream, but only a fiction invented to give "allure" to the epic ride.  The crossing is in fact FLAT, and the the climb is nothing much.

To me, the toughest part of the course is Charlie Reade / Jim Latta / Glenn Fogelmann road(s).  Scenic yes.  And the climbs max out at only 8%, and Lt. Dave may say "those climbs are nothing", but to me, each of them is SOMETHING.  Luckily those roads lead (eventually) to Goshen Road, which is a treat.

On Goshen Rd, Smitty and then Snapper and finally the Mallet and I finally caught up with a rider we had first espied when approaching Mt. Harmony Baptist Church.  I'll leave comments regarding her to Smitty and Snapper as they are the ones that engaged her in conversation.  Perhaps too much conversation as when we turned off Goshen Rd and parted from our erstwhile companion BANG !!  Smitty had run over a piece of wood and had a tramatic flat of his rear tire.

Snapper and I chatted - with our backs to the wind - and noticing that there was actually some sunshine sneaking through the cloud cover - while Smitty and the Mallet changed Smitty's tube, etc..  I may have finally learned my lesson that too many cooks spoil the broth, and too many helpers get in the way when fixing a flat.

10 or 15 minutes later, the flat fixed.  We start to get underway, Smitty goes about 30 yards BANG !!  I had not even thrown my leg over my bike.  I carried my bike the 30 yards and set it down anew in the ditch.  This time there were three cooks; I looked on, but other than providing the "temp" patch kit with which "we" tried to help boot the inside of the rear tire that looked to be trying to fail in several places, I pretty much kept my mouth shut (I think).  Surprised, aren't you. 

15 or twenty minutes later, we are underway again.  One good thing about a repair to a possibly dodgy tire is that everyone understands that a controlled pace might be a good thing.  But life is good and the road is smooth and we can make up the time by not taking as long for "lunch" in Stovall.  After all, with these chilly conditions BANG !!!  Crap. 

Smitty says enough is enough.  He calls his wife.  And . . . she is on the way.  I'll leave the rest of "Smitty's story" to Smitty.  I think all four of us learned why the Rando guys (and gals) carry big bags with a lot of gear, tools, and supplies.  A new foldable tire would have been very welcome there on the side of Satterwhite Road in the apparent middle of nowhere.  I'm betting Smitty would have appreciated a dry top to replace the sweaty one he'd been wearing all day.  Shorter rides may be good.  Or the ability to carry a bit more gear. 

I felt kind of small as we left Smitty on the side of the road -- after all, he hadn't abandoned me after the crash.  Snapper wondered if he should go back and stay with Smitty.  Smitty had pooh-poohed me for expressing my "small" thoughts; he likely would have told Snapper he was nuts for staying behind or going back.

After our long delay(s), Snapper commented that he was having trouble getting back up to speed; not only was he cold (as were the other two of us) but he described his leg muscles as being cold and contracting.  I told him that that was how my legs had felt the first 40 or 46 miles of the ride. 

*** Inserted after "publishing".  First, do NOT use the symbols for "less than" and "greater than" when composing or editing text in "blogger" -- it will interpret those symbols as some sort of "control character", and the long and short of it is that one is likely to lose the text between the .LT. and .GT. symbols.  This is the second time I have had to type something like the following:  I sometimes have a "plan" when I start composing these entries, but as often as not, train of thought takes over, and what ends up "published" is a "train-of-conscienciousness" thing that may or may not keep to the "plan".  The entry did not keep to the "plan".  The "plan" was to go back to Grantland Rice at this point, using his cyclone metaphor to encapsulate the continuing ride of the crew despite flats, and later, despite dropped chains.  However, I forgot the plan in the moment, and the best-laid plan of this author came to naught. ***

Snapper dislikes the word "hill" when that 4-letter word is part of a road's name.  Today, he discovered another word he dislikes even more.  The new word?  "Mountain."  As in "Mountain Creek Road" and "Little Mountain Creek Road".  On one of those "Creek Roads", Snapper tried to shift into his 39 crank (from his 53) for what he claimed was the first time all this year; result:  dropped chain number one.  At least we didn't ride on "Stoney Mountain Road" or just plain "Mountain Road".  Both of those roads are out there on the edges of our course (and could easily be included in a slightly modified route).

Lunch in Stovall consisted of staying in the warmth of the gas station / convenience store, eating pizza.  Not in sitting in the gazebo across the road enjoying the chilling north winds.  Two slices for the Mallet and Snapper; one slice for me. 

After Stovall, we "enjoyed" the two mile downslope, then turned truly south for the first time all day.  THIS is what we had been looking forward to all day.  No effort and 17, 18, 19 mph.  The Tar River crossing on Cannady Mill Rd, Lawrence Rd, and Ghoston-Peed-MVC did drag the pace down a bit.  Lawrence Rd., by the way was the site of our second dropped chain of the day -- this time by the Mallet

Best two things of the day:  no cramps for anyone and everyone finishing New Light, etc. with reasonable gusto. 

Mission accomplished.  A 200k notch on the belt.  Longest ever rides for Snapper and me.  The Mallet?  Who knows?  He probably has ridden farther than the 140 or so miles he rode today -- just by happenstance some time. 
Re-reading the above before posting, I notice that I barely mentioned the chill.  Most of the ride, everyone experienced cold feet, especially cold toes.  Somewhere in the last 40 miles, my toes finally felt warm.  I presume the same for the others.

Also, I hardly mentioned the Mallet at all.  Need I say more than that he led almost all day with only very rare breaks?

I also didn't mention the five or so dogs that took an interest in us.
addendum, Oct-23-2009:

I had an internalized big smile as I attacked that first roller south of the Wake/Granville CL about 8.5 miles from PUE.  As I sped past the Mallet, he said "I know you love this climb."  Later, as he passed me at the bottom of Ghoston, I told him "it isn't that I love that climb, but if I wait for you climbers to start pedaling, I get caught half-way up and it turns into a chore."  He responded "I know."  I believe he does.

 I also had an internalized smile on my face at the bottom of Ghoston -- because I knew I was going to finish in reasonable style.  Oh, the other two would drop me on each of the three climbs, but I didn't care, because I knew I was going to do those last miles and three climbs in what is a good time for me, and I KNEW there was no stopping me.  (Btw, I did that last 4.7 miles of Ghoston-Peed-MVC in about 21min, 30 seconds.  Not bad - for me - after previously riding 121.6 miles.)
Intra-ride stats (for me):
Date _____tot miles _pace _ segment pace _ location
Oct-17-09 __ 28.0 ___14.2 __ 28.0 __14.2 _ Guess Rd
 ____________48.1 ___14.4 __ 20.1 __14.7 _ Hurdle Mills 
 ____________84.0 ___14.7 __ 35.9 __15.2 _ Stovall
 ___________126.3 ___15.4 __ 42.3 __16.7 _ PUE

PUE: Hurdle Mills 200k: Gorman-Treyburn-SnowHillRd-Schley-HurdleMills-Timberlake-Mt.Harmony-Stovall-Wilton-Grissom: w/ Snapper, Mallet, Smitty for ~ 72 m.  (+ IvaHawk for ~ 23 m.); 126.3 m.; est 6126 ft climbed --> effort index = 187; 8hrs, 13min; 15.4 mph. (about 10hrs, 20min of elapsed clock time).  [Interesting(?) that RWGPS map shows 127.9-miles.  It is true that the RWGPS map was made to replace a TrimbleOutdoors map, but I wonder if there is some "extra bit" included in the RWGPS map OR maybe my cycle confuser was measuring short?] 

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.
3rd Qt tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 6 rides, 411.1m.; 26 hrs, 41 min; 15.4 mph.
YTD: 105 rides; 5238.1 m.; 331 hrs, 0 min; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 124 rides; 6058.7 m.; 380 hrs, 24 min; 15.9 mph.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Goals Gone Bye

Earlier this year, Jul-15 to be exact, I estimated that I would have to ride 1,557.4 miles at 16.5 mph to get my average pace for this year up to the same average pace (16.055 mph) I managed for all of last year.

Today, I estimate that I would have to ride a further 2,703.5 miles at 16.5 mph to get my average pace for this year up to 16.06 mph. 

I also estimate that if I have a good ride tomorrow, 126.4 miles @ avg 15.4 mph, I will then need to ride 2,917.0 miles at 16.5 mph to get my avg pace for this year up to 16.05 mph.  Put another way, I would have to ride a 38.9 mile "time-trial" every day for the last 75 days of the year to get those kind of miles at that pace. 

Bye-bye to the goal of riding, on average, faster this year than last.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lessons from Oct-10 Hurdle Mills pre-ride

General information gleaned from the 200k pre-ride:

1. Some roads are smooth as Bruce Garner Rd or the smooth parts of Old Weaver Trail.
2. Some roads will remind one of Virgil Rd (for those that know Virgil Rd).
3. Some roads will remind one of the over-graveled Old Weaver Trail.
4. All roads are acceptable riding to great riding.

5. There is an outside spigot (faucet) at RS #1 (Guess Rd) with good water. At least there are no reports of illness.
6. There is an outside spigot (faucet) at the RS in Hurdle Mills with good water. No reports of illness.
7. A planned stop in Hurdle Mills is advisable to rest my lower back for 5 or 10 minutes.
8. The "stop" in Timberlake is likely to last only as long as it takes one to flip one's cue sheet over.
9. The food in Stovall, pizza or sub sandwiches, is still as good as ever.

10. There is one mistake on the cue sheets 'PUE 131', 'PUE 126', and 'PUE 101'. At mile 57.7, the turn direction should be "Str", not "R".

11. The description of the route as including interspersed flattish and rolling sections seems accurate.
12. The name of Snow Hill Rd has the word "hill" in it -- but after riding it three times this year, it is not so bad.
13. The crossing of the Flat River just after leaving Hurdle Mills may well surprise you.
13.a. You remember crossing the Flat River to get to Mt. Tirzah, don't you? Same river. ~ 10 miles upstream.

14. We saw Emu. But no Llamas.

15. The store in Wilton is nothing to get excited about. I prefer the store half-a-mile east (Conyers Rd), but that store is not on the course.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oct-13: Finding some Legs ?

After more than 2 1/2 days of sitting, my legs were bothering me, esp. my right calf. So I snuck out to BJP to do a short ride.

I was in super-warm-up mode, had just turned onto MVC there by the school, when this guy goes around me like I'm sorta' standing still. I look at my confuser -- I'm barely pedaling (being in super-warm-up mode) and doing 18+ mph. The guy continues downslope, apparently pedaling hard; but I realize that I will soon be going faster just from my gravity-gut. Then he stops pedaling, and I'm closing -- I'm coasting.

He starts up the other side from the creek -- he's standing, slowly stomping his pedals -- man, that has got to be killing his legs! I stay seated and go into my usual spin-up-the-slope mode, but I'm determined to show this guy that spinning works better than unnecessarily tiring one's legs stomping. Before the steep part of the climb is over, I am on his wheel. I take a moment to gather myself and make sure he is riding a straight line (because when he was stomping he was not straight), and then pull out and as I approach say "I'm on your left", and go on by, putting distance into him.

At NC-50, I have to wait for cars, so he catches up. But as soon as we cross the highway, I make sure to keep the cadence up, and am slowly putting distance into him again. I had to wait for a school bus just after turning onto Old Creedmoor, so the guy catches up again. But after that, I drop him, quickly.

Aah, a Lt. Dave type "climbing" victory over a challenger. Sorta'.

Except that after going down Coley to U-turn at NC-98, I see the guy on the side of the road some 0.85 miles from NC-98. I don't know how long he was standing there taking a drink or whatever, but he was effectively 1.7 miles behind. I had covered 8.8 miles; he had covered 7.1 miles. I stopped to make sure he was okay. And found that he had ridden 30 miles on Saturday and 50 miles on Sunday. In other words, my great victory was like a high-level Class A minor league baseball team beating up on a Rookie League minor league baseball team. Oh, well.

But he started it.

Intra-ride stats (this ought to bore everyone):

location _____ tot miles _ pace __ segment m. _ pace
CP / Coley ______ 9.7 __ 15.3 _____ 9.7 ______ 15.3 This includes down and up MVC, and "all" the CP climbing.
Coley / NC-98 __ 13.4 __ 15.8 _____ 3.65 _____ 17.5 Net and gradual downslope. Into the wind.
Coley / CP _____ 17.0 __ 15.9 _____ 3.65 _____ 16.3 Net and gradual upslope. Tailwind.
L'ville U-turn ____20.0 __ 16.1 _____ 3.0 ______ 17.5 Flattish. I usually do well on this stretch.
BJP ____________32.6 __ 16.9 _____12.6 ______18.2 Includes all CP + MVC down and up + Pleasant Union Ch Rd.

I can "go" after a warm-up period. And I take longer warm-ups for longer rides. Because shorter rides end before the lack of longer warming up has had a chance to do "damage" to the right leg. (That's my theory / excuse -- and I'm sticking to it.)

One may ask how can I remember all the above while riding (I do the above stuff from memory - no GPS unit). Answer: it helps to be mathematically inclined.

The preceeding paragraph, and the intra-ride stats in general, have been inserted in order to "annoy" Lt. Dave.


BJP: Coley-Leesville U-turn: 32.6 m.; est 1235 ft climbed --> effort index = 44; 1hrs, 56min; 16.9 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.
3rd Qt tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 5 rides, 284.8m.; 18 hrs, 28 min; 15.4 mph.
YTD: 104 rides; 5111.8 m.; 322 hrs, 47 min; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 124 rides; 5986.3 m.; 375 hrs, 23 min; 15.9 mph.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oct-11: Looking for Legs

Tired legs. But did not seem as tired as some previous times after "epic" rides. However, the stats seem to indicate that maybe I had "less legs" than I've ever had.

After approx nine-and-a-half miles I thought to myself: "self, I'll bet that I've avg'd about 14 mph so far." So I looked at the confuser -- 13.0 mph.

After that, the course flattened out and my speed picked up. And I was confident I was riding into a SW wind.

That was a delusion. When I turned around, I discovered to my disappointment that the wind was out of the north.

Spun my way back to MVC, up from the creek to Pleasant Union Ch Rd, and spun into the wind to get back to BJP. Enough riding. Maybe there will be legs in a day or two.

Oh, the cramps from yesterday did not recur and recur and recur like I have experienced in the past. That was good. Is good.


BJP: Leesville / DocN U-turn: 24.9 m.; est 1062 ft climbed --> effort index = 35; 1hrs, 45min; 14.2 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.
3rd Qt tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 4 rides, 252.2m.; 16 hrs, 29 min; 15.3 mph.
YTD: 103 rides; 5079.2 m.; 320 hrs, 49 min; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 123 rides; 5953.7 m.; 373 hrs, 27 min; 16.0 mph.

Oct-10: Hurdle Mills 200k

A "guest" blog entry:

Started out with Martin, Lt. Dave and the three Pauls (Paul #1 - PaulN - Iceman, Paul #2 - PaulS - Mallet, Paul #3 - also PaulS - Smitty). Two of the Paul’s turned off at around mile 30 for an "all-Paul" short ride.

Our goal for average speed was 15 mph and we did just a little better than that for most of the day.

Came upon the Flat River CafĂ© in Hurdle Mills and noted it for a possible meal stop for a future ride. Nourishment probably wouldn’t be a bad idea before the dreaded climb up from Flat River just after Hurdle Mills.

Rain threatened a few times throughout the day, but never happened, although for a lot of the day the roads were a little wet. Must have just missed some of the showers.

Took a long lunch break in Stovall at mile 84 (subs and pizza).

We also got lucky with wind. I only remember one section of road where we were riding into a noticeable headwind, but for a long part of the homestretch we were lucky enough to have a decent tailwind to help us along.

Martin started having problems with leg cramps on the climb up Lawrence Rd, but was able to continue until the cramps came back with a vengeance at mile 116.

After taking a short break we decided to leave Martin there and come back and pick him up. A mile or so up the road Lt Dave remembered that his wife was at home with the truck and could pick Martin up much faster than we could so the call was made.

We were half expecting Martin to be waiting at the school for us. Turned out he showed up about twenty minutes after we got back.

Overall good roads with light traffic and a good day!

Personal records for distance for both Martin and myself.
Longest ride for Lt Dave since mid to late eighties (at least I think that’s what he said).

My stats for the day:

Type: General Road Cycling
Date: 10/10/2009
Start: 07:29:00
End: 17:04:00
Time Taken:08:04:21

Energy Burned 9,802 (kcal)
Total Distance 126.57 mi.
Pace: 49:02 (min) 03:49 (avg) 01:33 (max)
Speed: 1.22 (mi/hr) (min) 15.72 (mi/hr) (avg) 38.77 (mi/hr) (max)
HR: 85 (bpm) (min) 133 (bpm) (avg) 167 (bpm) (max)
Cadence: 11 (rpm) (min) 72 (rpm) (avg) 125 (rpm) (max)



PUE: Hurdle Mills 184k: Gorman-Treyburn-SnowHillRd-Schley-HurdleMills-Timberlake-Mt.Harmony-Stovall-Wilton-Grissom-aack!: w/ Lt. Dave, Smitty (+ Mallet, Iceman for ~ 28 m.); 116.2 m.; est 5703 ft climbed --> effort index = 163; 7hrs, 32min; 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.
3rd Qt tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 3 rides, 227.3m.; 14 hrs, 44 min; 15.4 mph.
YTD: 102 rides; 5054.3 m.; 319 hrs, 4 min; 15.8 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 122 rides; 5928.8 m.; 371 hrs, 41 min; 16.0 mph.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Oct-4: Fire Dept Open House


PUE: --> BJP-lake loop + a bit of Beaver Dam, then Bayleaf Fire Station #2, then Station #1: 53.5 m.; est 3142 ft climbed --> effort index = 84; 3hrs, 32min; 15.1 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.
3rd Qt tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 2 rides, 111.1m.; 7 hrs, 12 min; 15.4 mph.
YTD: 101 rides; 4938.1 m.; 311 hrs, 32 min; 15.9 mph. 

Rolling 12-mos.: 122 rides; 5855.8 m.; 366 hrs, 50 min; 16.0 mph. 

I feel like it is the middle of winter, or maybe late winter, and the legs haven't been "trained up". Hard to make them go. Or hard to make the brain interested in going hard. One or the other, maybe both. Does a crash take this much "interest" out of one?

Went by "Lt. Dave's" Open House. Lots of people. Lots of activities. Numerous kids seemed to be having fun at several exhibits -- including one where the child "aimed" the firehose at a series of fires in the windows of a house on fire. I think the firemen were helping the small children with their aiming. Kids looked to be having fun. The children also looked to be having fun. (In case you didn't catch that: firemen kids and the youngsters were the children.)

Dave was manning the "blood pressure station". He claimed my blood pressure was 126 / 82 -- or something in that ballpark.

I went to have a "nutritious" lunch of hotdog, cookies, and lemonaide. I don't know if the hotdogs were "Ballpark".

While I was in line for food, the alarm sounded -- Lt. Dave went from calm socializing at the blood pressure station to walking quickly with a purpose down the drive of the fire station -- on duty and off to do his duty.

I finished my food, then remounted and headed back toward PUE. Paul (of the displaced shoulder of the Pilot Mtn ride) and his wife Jeanna were out doing yard or some kind of outside work, so I pulled in to say hello and chat for a bit. Suddenly there was a loud, deep TOOOT - TOOT sounding behind us -- LT was returning to the fire house from his call and "saying" hello as he drove by. Said good-byes to Paul & Jeanna and rode the last mile or so to finish the ride.
Btw, do you like the picket fence for the mileage so far in October?
[edit, Oct-05-2009: 

I "verified" the "climbing" on veloroutes instead of just using a default estimate. I'm thinking that part of the reason I was slow today was because the average climbing per mile was 59 feet. The Fire Station Tour of 6.8 miles at the end of the ride included 477 feet of climbing; about 70 ft per mile for that section. 

That doesn't explain why I was such a laggard on the "lake loop" part of the ride, though. The lake loop still has the same amount of climbing that it always had.]

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oct-3: Chit-chat, chit-chat, chit-chat


PUE: Act 1: --> BJP-Coley-partDocN-HickGr-L'ville-Norwood-Ray-Baileywick-"the neighborhood"; 36.9 m.; est 1534 ft; 2hrs, 23min; 15.5 mph;
- - - - Act 2: Leesville U-turn; 20.7 m.; est 782 ft climbed; 1hr, 18min; 15.9 mph;
- - - - - total: 57.6 m.; est 2316 ft climbed --> effort index = 80; 3hrs, 41min; 15.6 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.
3rd Qt tot: 36 rides; 1947.2 m.; 121 hrs, 48 min; 16.0 mph.
Oct tot: 1 ride, 57.6m.; 3 hrs, 41 min; 15.6 mph.
YTD: 100 rides; 4884.4 m.; 308 hrs, 0 min; 15.9 mph.

Rolling 12-mos.: 122 rides; 5874.8 m.; 367 hrs, 51 min; 16.0 mph.  


It has been suggested that my e-mail rider-call for today was (the following is my word) "caustic". I had written that I was in neither mental nor physical mood / condition to be "hammerized". Little did I know just how prophetic those words would be -- I was in even less physical and mental condition for a 150 kilometer ride than I anticipated.

I woke with tired legs and a shoulder complaining of more pain than it had for a few days. I think everyone that rides with me "gets" that I start slowly to warm up my right leg and later in the ride can often ride "quite nicely". The twisting fall (it had to have been a twisting fall -- how else can I have gotten bashed on the front of the left knee and on the rear of the left shoulder -- and virtually no other part of my body made contact with the road -- certainly not in any serious way. The result? For the near term, I expect that not only will I be warming up the right leg at the beginning of rides, but I will also be warming up the left leg, too.

That has repercussions. Few, if anyone, probably realize or know that I have traditionally done a lot of "one-legged riding", using the left leg (which is my "weak" leg, btw, as I am right-handed) for most of my accelerations and hard efforts -- especially in the 2 hour or 40 mile "warm up" phase. For the near future, what leg can provide that?

But after the knots and twists in the left leg are warmed-up, and the muscles and tendons in the right leg are warmed-up, my advice is "look out".

In the meantime, whether slow or middling or rather quick, I intend to work on my pedaling stroke. Maybe I can find some power I have been wasting. I can only hope.

Enough lament.
I did not even get to PUE until about 0730 today. And I got ready really slowly. The Gyro "B's" all arrived and left before I was ready to ride. Of course, I did have a couple chats with a couple people I know from that group. One guy is barely an acquaintance, but we usually chat about recent cycling fun when we see each other.

Upon finally leaving PUE at around 0815, I immediately set off for Blue Jay Point and the indoor facilities. After a significant reduction in body weight, I started the ride for real. Very slowly.

I got to Coley Rd about 12.3 miles into my ride, avg'ing 14.5 mph. I "zoomed" down the 3.65 miles of Coley to NC-98, taking advantage of the developing tailwind, and was avg'ing 15.0 when I got to the highway U-turn -- no Boyce Rd today. I worked my way up the first half of Coley to the stop sign at Kemp Rd. There I stopped and had a chat with a couple that looked to be on the upper end of the range of "Irregular" riders, talking about how nice the day was shaping up, the fall flowers and foliage in general, prospective rides on the Virginia Creeper Trail, etc.. I rode approx 1/2 mile with the couple after the stop sign as we continued our chat. Then, I picked up the pace and left them alone -- they were probably quite relieved -- at least the husband likely was.
I rode the rest of the way up Coley practising improving my pedal stroke and trying to keep the cadence high -- into the wind and still slow.

Then across Carpenter Pond and Leesville roads still practising improving the pedal stroke and trying to keep the cadence high -- into the increasing wind.

Turned down Doc Nichols, and after about 1/2 mile, who did I see? The "Lash". Obviously NOT on a 20 or 30 mile ride. I decided to turn around and ride with her for a bit -- but a pick up truck needed to pass me before I could U-turn and chase back up DocN -- and it doesn't want to pass given the short site line ahead -- so I'm going slower and slower and Lash is getting farther away and a I finally had to pedal just to be sure to keep my balance -- and the pick-up finally passed.

U-turn. Up, out of the saddle -- yes, I CAN do that, but as everyone knows, I seldom do -- and the left shoulder does NOT like it one little bit -- but I decided I needed to get the speed and cadence up really quickly if there is any chance of catching the Lash. Up to a high speed for me given that I was going UP DocN, and I sit down and chase.

Around a corner, I see the Lash. I may actually be closing. She must be taking it easy. How else could I be closing going UPslope!

Onto Leesville, and I am definitely closing on the flats and slight downslopes, but it appears I lose ground on the slight upslopes.

Onto Carpenter Pond, and I start giving even more that I have been to the effort. I'm closing. SLOWLY. I'm closing even on the more-than-slight upslope leading to Hickory Grove Road !

I catch on to Lash's wheel just after the turn onto Hickory Grove. The chatting while riding begins.

M - I really had to work to catch you. L - I'm riding really easy. M - I can tell.

M - How far are you riding? L - 50. I couldn't stand not riding given the nice conditions.

M - You are completely out of alignment, you know. Mostly sitting on only one buttock, the bike is leaning to the left, your upper body is leaning to the right, your right arm is rigidly straight, the left arm has a bend in it at the elbow, your left shoulder is a good two inches, maybe more, lower than your right shoulder.

L - I'm trying to avoid aggravating "certain places".

M - I understand. But you haven't been that convoluted on the bike since before the last time you slipped out of alignment. We certainly don't want that. Maybe you should just stay off the bike for another week and let things heal.

L - Well, I've been riding well, and I don't want to slip out of alignment. Maybe you have a point.

Across Leesville Rd to Farless / Norwood to Ray to Baileywick. I finally had to let her go just as the steep part of Baileywick was passing behind us.
I turned off Baileywick and returned to PUE via "the neighborhood". Lt. Dave will know what that means. One day, the rest of the "Irregulars" may also come to know.
Return to PUE. Need some miracle recovery drink after that hard chase after the Lash.

Eat a second banana.

Nodding "hello" chats to others in the parking lot finishing their rides.
Off to start Act #2 of the no-way-93 ride. Barely out of the parking lot I am greeted by the familiar face of Levi. He is riding with his wife, Cathryn (? sp). They had started with C's sister and brother-in-law, but had "sent" them back early. Nothing important chatted about, but we did cover a wide range of subjects and fritter away time.
Onward to finish the shortened ride with a "no-hill" TT route. Into that ever increasing wind on Carpenter Pond and Leesville roads, again. U-turn at my usual place just beyond DocN, and then head back to PUE with a tailwind. Why is the tailwind never as strong as the headwind?

My confuser indicated my avg for the entire ride was down to 15.3 mph at the U-turn. So my expert numbers-guy guesstimate of the avg pace coming back Leesville to Carpenter Pond / Old Creedmoor to MVC (it is a "no-hill" TT route, not an actual no-hill TT route -- see the difference?) is 17.1 mph. Not that great given the tailwind.
But tomorrow is a new day !