Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jun-30: To Lunch, etc.

Cycled to a lunch meeting with Iva.
My non-rando, non-Irregular cycling friend JimW happened by and joined us.
Chatted with a particular bike mechanic.
Unexpectedly "manned the fort" at the cleaners for a couple hours.
Cycled back.

---> lunch / TLC-4-Bikes  --->; 14.0 m.; 0h,52m in-motion; 16.0 mph.

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: _10 rides; __894.1 m.; _63 hrs, 45 min; 14.7 mph.
Jun tot: _13 rides; __917.0 m.; _61 hrs, 01 min; 15.0 mph.
YTD tot: _53 rides; _4427.1 m.; 297 hrs, 27 min; 14.9 mph.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 26 -- This Old House

I went out by myself for 32 miles on Sunday after return from the the beach.
I went thru the Old Weaver / Hwy-50 intersection and saw something missing.

Here is what we have seen at that intersection for many years:

View Larger Map

Here is what's left:

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 23 -- Little Switzerland

Tito and I took a different route to Mt Mitchell this past Thursday.

We spent Wednesday night in Marion arising early. We parked at a store at the intersection of Hwy 221 and Tom’s Creek Road. Hwy 221 on Thursday morning is like Capital Blvd – full of cars in a hurry to get to work. Not good riding. Fortunately, our time on 221 was brief.

If you go south on Tom’s Creek Road for 2.5 miles, you hit Hwy 80 just south of Lake Tohoma. We used this on our return.

We took off going north on Hwy 221 for 3.5 miles, left on Hwy 226 / 226a. Hwy 226, by far the busier road, goes right leaving 226A to go on its own towards Little Switzerland. Hwy 226A is the only “alternate” state hwy left in N.C. It was built by the community of Little Switzerland as a toll road in the 1920’s to connect to the railroad terminal. Once it was N.C. hwy 19, but eventually became 226A.

I recommend 226A. We saw maybe three cars in an hour and half of climbing. 226A is not as steep as hwy 80, well known to Assault on Mt Mitchell Riders, but has less traffic and is a good climb up to Lil Switz on the Parkway. We were in light sprinkles for most of the climb that became heavier once we got to town. This was about 8:00 AM and no place was open except for Books and Beans. Books and Beans as the name implies is a coffee shop within a book store. We sat on the front porch having coffee looking at the rain for about 45 minutes. The owner is a woman from Michigan who ended up in Lil Switz when she was attending UNC-Asheville and her husband App State. Lil Switz was half way between. She didn’t appear to be too happy despite Tito’s and my best jokes and banter. I think that owning a coffee shop / book store in the mountains is one of those things that sounds better on paper than it is in reality. An older couple came up just as we were leaving most interested in our excursion. They said they used to ride and really miss it. They were from Florida and said they had to go to Mt Dora to get in any climbing.
Leaving town, we got on the Blue Ridge Pkwy heading west and south towards Mt Mitchell.

The elevation in Little Switzerland (milepost 334) is the same as the elevation at Hwy 80 (milepost 344) but there is a lot of up and down though not too long or steep. It was an enjoyable ride in steady rain.

About the time we got to Hwy 80 intersection, the sun was out and the climbing began. This route is well known and has been the topic of other reports. Hwy 80 is at milepost 344. Mt Mitchell gate is at 355. This is a steady, steep climb except for a two mile down hill (which is up on the way back ;-)) at mile post 350. We were overtaken by five young riders vacationing from Florida. It was the first time for them and digging it. I asked them if they knew of Mt Dora. They said they had more climbing in the previous half hour then all day on Mt Dora. Ah, variety vacation land. We are blessed to live in N.C.

Atop Mt Mitchell it was “balmy” today - 58 degrees with 10 feet visibility with only mild gusts. On the summit is one of the few places in the eastern USA where Spruce Pines and Fraser Firs live. This is a byproduct of the Ice Age when these trees existed this far south, but then died out except for the highest elevations as the climate warmed. The top of Mt Mitchell is more like the climate in Eastern Canada than in N.C.

The snack bar was open and we helped ourselves to hot apple cider before leaving.

As we reached the bottom, we saw a car sitting in the overlook. She was waiting for her rider. She referred to herself as the “hag wagon”. Get it? She said she had waited the week before at the bottom of Col de Madeleine in France. Must be nice.
Down hwy 80, the most fun you can have on a bike, left on Tom’s Creek Road, and back to our car.

70 miles, 8,700 feet of climbing, 7 hours.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Jun-26: Tired? Ride Anyway.

It was too nice not to ride.

I had run out of steam with 10 miles to go on the "core ride" on Saturday ...
But still went on to finish the "core" ... and ride another 20 miles.
Just not as fast.

Also some ___ distress Saturday evening led to a decision of ...
"I think I'll pass on riding Sunday."

But, once I laid me down to sleep ...
There were no more ... issues.
And I awoke Sunday feeling pretty good.

But I didn't start riding until nearly 1000.
(Some people are double and triple-checking the above line.)
It was too nice not to ride.

A cooling, northwesterly breeze held sway until 1400 or so.
Then the wind seemed to start shifting toward a more southerly direction.

Fun putz-around ride today.
Slow when I felt slow.
A bit faster when I felt that.
And riding downslope on Coley into the breeze felt very nice.

I also decided to explore Andrews Chapel Rd.
A one-mile dead-end through a bit of ruralania
Still wedged between Raleigh, Durham and Briers Creek.
A pleasing vista or two.

Definitely worth a side-trip to see before it disappears.
(For the locals:  North end is near the corner of Carpenter Pond and Leesville roads.)

---> BJP-Coley-AndrewsChpl-Coley  --->; 54.6 m.; 3h,36m in-motion; 15.1 mph.

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: _10 rides; __894.1 m.; _63 hrs, 45 min; 14.7 mph.
Jun tot: _12 rides; __903.0 m.; _60 hrs, 09 min; 15.0 mph.
YTD tot: _52 rides; _4413.1 m.; 296 hrs, 33 min; 14.9 mph.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jun-25: Stem-Mt.Energy-Grissom 100k

An Irregulars "Old Standard"

I cycled to the ride.
BobH cycled to the ride.
JohnD drove.
Gary + Wendy overslept, and no-show.

Most of the "surfer dudes" went to the beach.
Likely to beat the crowds next week.

The [shudder] golfer dude went golfing.  I think.

Lt. Dave and Ricochet, having missed last week's ride, went a'whirlin' this week.

Everyone else lived up to the name of the crew.
(See the blurb below the "name plate" at the top.)

Cool morning for June 25th in central NC.
Stopped in Creedmoor, at Southern States, about 0810, to refill water bottles.
Paused in Stem six miles later to check out "the mayor's store".
Which has been sold to the owner of the "Pizza in Stovall" store.
Store fully restocked again.
Did not check out the RR.  I presume it is the same as always.  Maybe worse.

BobH and JohnD carrying the vast majority of the conversation.
The two Michiganders had significant things in common from childhood.

The "three Hayes roads" went by almost unnoticed.
JohnD, in particular, has done too many recent mountain rides
To be phased by anything the three Hayes can throw at him.

The climb on Horseshoe Rd up to Trent Rd always gets me.
But not as badly as it used to.

Lawrence Rd climb slowed me, but not Bob nor John.
A short break in Grissom.

I ran out of steam on Bruce Garner.
Bob and John had plenty left and rode off in to the sunset.
Well ... you know.

Ride finished at 1125.
I had assured the entire crew, in the blast "rider-call", that we'd be done by 1130.

En route, BobH and I discussed that we hadn't done this route for 14 months.
We used to do it a lot more.
But ... we ride farther now, and this ride no longer seems the EPIC it once did.
It is still a nice ride, with some climbing, although Trimble probably underestimates.

BobH cycled home.
JohnD drove home.
I cycled a circuitous route back to pick up some extra miles.
That was probably a mistake.

---> PUE:  Stem-Mt.Energy 100k  --->; 90.7 m.; 5h,57m in-motion; 15.2 mph.

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: _10 rides; __894.1 m.; _63 hrs, 45 min; 14.7 mph.
Jun tot: _11 rides; __848.4 m.; _56 hrs, 33 min; 15.0 mph.
YTD tot: _51 rides; _4358.5 m.; 282 hrs, 57 min; 14.9 mph.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jun-24: A Short Ride to Spin 'Em Out

What the title says.

---> swung by a bike shope --->; 13.9 m.; 0h,51m in-motion; 16.2 mph.

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: _10 rides; __894.1 m.; _63 hrs, 45 min; 14.7 mph.
Jun tot: _10 rides; __757.7 m.; _50 hrs, 36 min; 15.0 mph.
YTD tot: _50 rides; _4267.8 m.; 286 hrs, 58 min; 14.9 mph.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jun-19: Benson Mule Pull 105 km Perm Pop

Where Were the Mules?

On the return leg, I commented to Dean, "I've seen plenty of horses on the route, today, but I haven't noticed any mules.  Did I just fail to recognize them?"

I had been a "bit" tired all ride, but I must have been even more tired than I would acknowledge because, although Dean replied in what I am confident was a North Carolina centric Amerispeak dialect and inflection, it sounded jibberish to me.  I just nodded my head and said something such as "sounds reasonable" rather than ask for a repeat because I was pretty sure I wouldn't understand him even if he repeated his statement -- totally because of lack of proper brain function on my part.

BryanR had put out the call on the NC rando listserve for Mule Riders, I couldn't resist responding thusly:
... [Bryan] used his code lingo ("[a] few of us are going to ride") which invariably actually means "Geof, Fast-Bryan (or other similarly incredibly fast-folk) and [Bryan] are going to hammer" such-and-such ride.  I have noticed that Smiley-Bryan uses a different code lingo when he is looking for a reasonably-paced ride -- I don't have any of the old e-mails handy, so I can't share the "reasonable code lingo" at this time.   I'm just sharing what I've noticed.   
I wonder if 105 kms is far enough for Bryan to develop cramps, etc., due to chasing Geof, Fast-Bryan, etc.? 
... In interest of full disclosure -- I have contacted Dean ... for a control card ... .   I plan to use a lot more of the "open window" of the control times than I suspect Smiley will use. 

2010 NC Rando Rookie-of-the-Year, recent Texas Stampede finisher and all-around nice-guy Tim responded off listserve:  "That's hilarious!  I'll see you Sunday!"  It always nice when you make someone laugh.

We rolled out at 0800, and stayed together for a mile or two, then the fast-dudes (Geof, Fast-Bryan, Tim, Smiley, David) drifted off the front of the back-of-the-pack.  [Dean could have been the solo middle-of-the-pack, leaving me as the solo back-of-the-pack, but he slowed and waited.  A theme that replayed until the record nearly broke during the ride.]

The fast-dudes were still at the intermediate control when Dean and I arrived.  We all left together, more-or-less -- Dean and I gave the fast-dudes a 15 or 30 second head start; David decided to switch from the fast-dude pack to the back-of-the-pack pack.  David rode steadily.  Dean rode steadily.  I, on the other hand, had no strength on anything resembling an upslope -- and Dean seemed to have inserted a few more upslopes since May.  I could and did "fake it" on flat and downslope, and once or twice got the fly-wheel wound up on a shallow upslope, but I couldn't seduce real strength from behind the veneer. 

David finally rode ahead of Dean and me.  He was probably tired of dealing with my yo-yo as I repeatedly hoped that "NOW, my legs are warmed and responding" only to learn a minute or two later that it had all still been a futile search.

All the fast-dudes were still in Benson.  I asked if they had been there for half-an-hour, waiting.  Tim replied, "only about 10 or 15 minutes."  I suspect that his watch has 70 or 80 seconds to the minute.

The fast-dudes left for the return journey without the back-of-the-pack.  But Smiley had decided to switch from the fast-dude pack to riding with David.  He claimed it was so that David would have someone to ride with, but it may have been a ploy to eliminate the possibility of cramps, etc..  Only Smiley knows for sure.

Tim was still at the intermediate control when Smiley, David, Dean and I arrived.  I asked Tim if he had decided to let the others go on without him and wait for us.  His response caught me by surprise, "they dropped me long before getting here; I've ridden at least 400 miles each of the last three weeks; I think I'm tired."  [If I could do it justice, I would write that in Tim's slight "down-east North Carolina drawl" -- very slight, actually.  But since I can't do it justice ... you'll have to imagine.  Hint:  Tim's "tired" contains only a trace of "tarred" ... only a trace.]

The five of us left together.  I had no more moments of "maybe NOW my legs are warmed up and some strength will come thru".  Instead, Dean had to slow, and wait, and slow, and wait.  With about 7 miles to go, I asked Dean to find some shade and pull over and wait with me while I nibbled on some food from my pockets.  Accommodating gentleman that he is ... he did so at the first opportunity. 

Dean finished with some panache; I just finished.  Each of us had some measure of satisfaction as Dean chipped away toward his kilometer goal for the year and I topped 4000 RUSA kms. 

Tim, David and Smiley were still at the finish control.  Snacking away on food.  A little chat amongst everyone while we signed our cards, etc., and handed them over to the route owner (Dean), and then we all scattered for home.

Gosh, it felt hot.

Benson Mule Pull 105 km Perm Pop; 67.4 m.; 4h,50m in-motion; 13.9 mph; elapsed clock-time:  5h,55m.

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: _10 rides; __894.1 m.; _63 hrs, 45 min; 14.7 mph.
Jun tot: __9 rides; __743.8 m.; _49 hrs, 44 min; 14.9 mph.
YTD tot: _49 rides; _4253.9 m.; 286 hrs, 06 min; 14.9 mph.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jun-18: Summer Solstice to the Whirligigs

The Gathering

Sixteen cyclists. 
Eleven for the Whirligigs; five shorting the destination.
Three start locations.
104, 120, or 143 miles.
Seventy or eighty miles for the "shorters".
Our "leader" had been very definite in his pre-ride e-mail explaining logistics:
Be on time, we are NOT waiting if you are late.

PUE starters away at 0600 ... at least I never heard otherwise.
Wakefield starters planned away at 0620; actually away 0628.
The "overall leader" guaranteed the "segment leader" that we could afford the 8 minutes.
It worked out ... we got to Y'ville in 31 minures ... and before the PUE starters.
IvaHawk liked starting somewhere other than PUE for a change.
Everyone gathered in Youngsville by 0705.
Most the Youngsville starters had been there since approx 0630.

Four of the sixteen had cancelled.
One unexpected cyclists added to the crew.
He had decided to cancel on the Atlanta 300 km solstice brevet.
Also cancelled his last-minute planned "rush to qualify for Paris".

All Together Now

PUE and Wakefield starters re-watered from the stash the Y'ville starters brought.
Chilled water.  One ice in a cooler.  Nice.
Away from Youngsville about 0710.
Peach Orchard Rd -- nice.
Lee keeping those unsure of the turns on course.

Into Louisburg on West River Rd.
Leaving on Nash St.  Bidding adeui to the "shorters".
Edge of Louisburg, onto East River Rd.
Only Lee has ridden this road previously. 
Nice road.  With rollers climbing away from the Tar River.

A couple turns, onto NC-581.
Some of it chip-seal.
Some smooth asphalt.
Nature break for some.
A county line breakaway for others (not me).
Rolling down to, and back up from, the Tar River, again.

Into and thru Spring Hope.
Seems a good place to pause on ride. 
Several convenience and food options.
Shade trees.

Still on NC-581 to Bailey.
Into Bailey.
Iceman had previously indicated that he'd ridden thru, maybe even stopped in Bailey,
On his way to Greenville, to effectuate a car-exchange with his daughter in ECU.
I asked him to lead us to the stores.

Iceman's facial reaction reminded me of JohnO last October,
Luckily, the center of Bailey, and the convenience and food outlets were just ahead.

Into the first convenience store.
It was on the right, so was an easy choice.
Two of the crew scampered across the road to the Hardee's.
The scamperers encountered Rando Tim of Wilson.
A day after the solstice ride, I learned something from Rando Tim of Wilson.
That info caused me send the following note to the rest of the crew:

I'm particularly thinking that the two of you that scampered over to the Hardee's in Bailey to use their restroom, and got in conversation with Tim from Wilson, might like to illuminate the moment when, upon hearing that the group was from Raleigh, Tim said "oh, you must be riding with Martin."

This is the ENTIRE reply I got back from Iceman:

It was pretty cool. A couple of us scampered over to the Hardee's in Bailey to use their restroom, and got in conversation with Tim from Wilson. Upon hearing that the group was from Raleigh, Tim said "oh, you must be riding with Martin." We said, "Yeah!"

Oh, boy!  THAT certainly added a lot of insight and filled in information from another angle.  Seven entire original words.  I'll certainly be able to turn that into a humorous antecdote of a chance encounter 50-plus miles from "home" with a cyclist that knew ... at least one of us.  NOT.

At least he replied.  The other slug scamperer didn't even reply.  Slug
I'm still wondering who initiated the chat at the Hardee's.
Hard to imagine that it might have been quiet, somewhat shy, but fun Tim.

Tim came out from the Hardee's to give me a "hello".
Tim standing in front of Hardee's, me pulling out of the convenience store,
Second-to-last in our crew, I didn't know that Tim was across the road.
I spotted Tim in one of his signature jerseys.
I told Lee, who was just behind me, that I needed to cross the road to say "hello" to someone.
Lee responded "that's right" and gave me room to manoeuver.
("That's right" is a Lt. Dave phrase ... but Lee may have used it ... correct useage, at least.)

Tim and his better half were with a "breakfast crew" from Wilson.
They ride about 50 to 60 miles, and get breakfast at Hardee's.
They have four courses, each with a different Hardee's.
One course / Hardee's for each of the four directions.
Ride into the wind; then turn and head for home.
Eat breakfast along the way.

After the minute or two conversation with Tim,
The Irregulars were out of sight, having transited the underpass, and left town.
I wasn't worried ... I had a cue sheet.
Coming up from the underpass, I saw IvaN circling about,
Waiting to pull me back to the group.
I told IvaN I was willing to give up my faux single-speed to get back to the group.
But the gentle rise we climbed ... was perfect for the 39/15.
Also, the guys clearly soft-pedaled to make it easier to get back.
Thanks, guys.

Governor Hunt Rd and The Whirligig Farm

Rando Tim told me (when I saw him on Sunday) that
"Governor Hunt Road is the best hill we have down east."
I believe him.
It was non-trivial.
And scenic.

A couple turns, including on to "Willing Workers Rd."
One member of the group noted that that sounded rather communist.
Similar to "Happy Workers Rd."

Anyway ... the Whirligig Farm.

Although there was almost no discernable wind down in the hollow where the Whirligigs are located, and only the tiniest of the gigs were moving at all, we were all at advanced enough ages to appreciate the concept and workmanship of the artist, Vollis Simpson.  (Images for Vollis Simpson and his "windmills".)  (Wilson Visitor's Bureau)  (Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park planned

"Google" "Vollis Simpson".  You won't be disappointed.

To Wilson and Lunch

We finally tore ourselves away from the Whirligig Farm, and headed for Wilson.
The roads quite flat.
Headed east to connect (more-or-less) with NC Bike Route #7.
I had permanently put away my hand-written cue sheet.
It was only good for another few miles anyway.

Most everyone else had printed and brought their own copy
Of the Excel cue sheet of the entire route.
I had a hand-written version.
It only covered the turns and roads from Louisburg to Quaker Rd.
Before and after, I knew where I was and where I was going.

Funny thing, though.
No matter how many times some people have experienced
"Oh, you knew how these roads inter-connected,"
No matter how many times you tell some people "don't worry about the cue sheet,"
"I know where we're at and where we're going,"
They keep watching the cue sheet,
And the road signs after unmarked turns,
Looking for a mistake?

Onto the west edge of Wilson.
A raft of motels / hotels and chain food.
The Mallet explored the little strip mall behind the Bojangles, etc.,
And found what appeared to be a non-chain place.

The immediate above captured Snapper before he changed into
costume for his role as the fifth of the Village People.

Per IvaHawk:  "Good subs on an EMPTY stomach."

Headed for Home (Youngsville, Anyway)

North on NC BR #7 toward Hornes Church and NC BR #2.
At digestion pace.
With a tailwind.

At Hornes Church, take a left.
Follow BR #2 to Youngsville.
Strongest riders to the front, please.
We've finally found the headwind.

Just as we've settle in ... BANG!
Iceman's rear tyre found a pebble just the correct size to pinch flat him.

We all stopped under some shade. 
Most of us stayed out of Paul's way.
When he asked for a pump instead of using his CO2 cartridge,
Smitty offered his pump.
It is an excellent mini-pump.
I have a duplicate.
But I looked over and knew that Paul Mallet had a full length frame pump.
It has the advantage of that longer air cylinder.
So Paul #1 changed his flat, very quickly I might add,
While Paul #3 offered use of his pump,
And the pump of Paul #2 was used.

A "Mountains to the Sea Trail" (click here and/or here and/or here)
Runner came by just as Paul finished with his flat.
He slowed to semi-chat for a moment.

He had to have been HOT.

How many Pauls does it take to change a flat?

That's a bit unfair of me.
But how often can you expect a line like that to be delivered on a platter?

The Mallet and IvaN continued to pull the crew.
Displaying that they were the "real leaders" on the day.

Seems to me that Snapper, after having been in pack for 15 miles,
Decide to race around and try to take the Franklin County Line.
He was accused of bad form.
I think he may not even have collected the points.
I don't know.

After the CL, Snapper went to front and kept going.
I am recalling a particular time when Snapper said to Smitty,
"Get in front where you can be of use to the rest of us.
"Rather than hanging out with no one behind you."
Ahem, Snapper.  Pot.  Kettle.

Anyway, Snapper raced off.
Red Rocket, after a long hesitation, took off after him.
They later wondered what happened to the rest of us.

We stopped at the store at US-401,
Just as we'd been discussing since we skipped the Kountry Kwik Pik.

Re-iced, re-watered.
But slowed because of the threats from the former Marine.
My confuser showed 105 miles at 16.9 mph at that stop.

Back underway, 15 miles to Younsville.
We'd slowed down about 2 mph.
Still being led by IvaN and the Mallet.

Everyone of the remaining 8 was good,
Until with 2 miles to go to get to Youngsville,
"Someone" decided the group should arrive in Y'ville with some panache,
So he went around and dragged the pace back up to where it had been.

Fortunately, the ex-Marine took no action, the supposed "crew leader" said nothing,
And the two "real leaders" on the day ...
They were likely glad to be able to suck someone else's wheel for awhile.

Arriving at the morning gathering spot,
We found Snapper mostly changed and looking rather refreshed.
But the Red Rocket was clearly feeling the effects of his efforts chase Snapper.
Red Face, deep sighs, rolling eyes, surreptitiously leaning on a vehicle.
I later learned that Red Rocket had been unable to hold Snapper's wheel the entire way back.
No surprise there.
Snapper has a large engine.
Not quite as large as IvaN's, I think.
But I'll never really know, since I can't hold either of them if they really GO!


Some re-arranging of "finish" plans.
Snapper, IvaN, Iceman and Red Rocket Lee ended their rides at Youngsville,
For about 104 miles as planned.

IvaHawk negotiated a lift from Y'ville to Wakefield to his car.
That was the shortest way for the IvaN/Snapper-mobile, anyway.
Hawk thought he'd get to Wakefield and drive toward Youngsville
To pick Smitty and Ags en route, and save them some miles.
Surprise:  Smitty and Ags got to Wakefield before Iva.
Did IvaN / Snapper (whichever was driving) take a long-cut?
Approx 112 miles for Hawk.
Approx 128 miles for Ags (he had started from PUE in the morning).
Approx 128 miles for Smitty (he had cycled to Wakefield, but got a lift home).

The Mallet, Rando Rick and I rode another 20 miles to PUE.
I haven't written one word about Rando Rick from Wilmington.
I know I had intended to touch upon, or harass, everyone,
But I forget things as I write, as I think of others.
Per IvaHawk:  "RickR strong rider."
Approx 144 miles for Rick.
He decided to cancel on a Sunday ride in North Wilkesboro,
And headed home to Wilmington, instead.

151 miles for me.  I gave up the 39/15 faux SS after 125.5 miles.
When I commented that to Paul and Rick, Rick's comment was "oh, the shame of it!"
(I had cycled to Wakefield in the morning, to PUE and "home" in the p.m..)

Approx 160 miles for the Mallet.
He's training to cycling in July in the Alps with his brother's cycling club.
He needs mountains, or distance, or both.

I'm sure I left out many individual favorite moments.
That's what comments are for.

Oh, and next week's Irregular ride:  I'm thinking something less EPIC.
The route from PUE and back:


Summer Solstice Whirligig Farm Destination Ride, plus; 151.4 m.; 9h,10m in-motion; 16.5 mph; fastest avg in-motion pace this year; admittedly, I sat in the group a lot, but I also did some decent pulls, if I do say so myself.

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: _10 rides; __894.1 m.; _63 hrs, 45 min; 14.7 mph.
Jun tot: __8 rides; __676.4 m.; _44 hrs, 54 min; 15.0 mph.
YTD tot: _48 rides; _4186.5 m.; 281 hrs, 16 min; 14.9 mph.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Can't Imagine Why

Rando cyclist Dean (2010 10k Hound and 2011 10k repeat aspirant) told several of us the other day that "all [his] rides are running together".  He can't remember who rode with him when; he can't remember when particular things happened.  He can't recall ...

I cannot, for the life of me, imagine why ...

RUSAT 102  1/7/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 4:57
RUSAT 102  1/9/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:55
RUSAT 102  1/22/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:37
RUSAT 102  1/23/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:12
RUSAT 102  1/29/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:37
RUSAT 102  2/20/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:30
RUSAT 102  3/5/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:28
RUSAT 102  3/19/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 4:43
RUSAT 102  3/20/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:35
RUSAT 102  4/3/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 4:40
RUSAT 102  4/17/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:20
RUSAT 102  4/24/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:45
RUSAT 102  5/15/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:00
RUSAT 102  5/20/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 4:45
RUSAT 102  5/21/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:15
RUSAT 102  5/22/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:35
RUSAT 102  5/25/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 6:15
RUSAT 102  5/30/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:40
RUSAT 102  6/1/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:10
RUSAT 102  6/3/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 4:45
RUSAT 102  6/5/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:30
RUSAT 102  6/11/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:59
RUSAT 102  6/12/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:30
RUSAT 102  6/13/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:10
RUSAT 102  6/17/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:07
RUSAT 102  6/18/2011 Get 'er Dunn / 878 5:45

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jun-15: Tar Heel 200 km Permanent

R-11 Insurance?
Hey ... I wanted a subtitle ... that's the best I could come up with.

Janis still needed a ride to maintain her R streak.
She usually tries to get the R-ride in the first weekend of the month.
But, sometimes ... life happens.
Wednesday was expected to be a great weather day.
Her manager let her have the day off since she had worked all day the previous Saturday.
Dean, the route owner, is only teaching on Tuesday and Thursdays this summer;
His wife gave him permission to go a'riding.
My excuse?  R-11 Insurance!

0600 start.
I arrived too late to make the start on time.
But that was part of the plan.
Dean and JayJay left on time.

I started about 15 minutes late.
Warming up in the 39/15 on a beautifully cool mid-June morning.
We don't get many of those!

Just outside Benson, I started calculating ...
15 minutes ... if JayJay and Dean cover a mile every 5 minutes ...
And I cover a mile every 4 minutes ... I should catch them after about 15 miles.

They're almost certainly taking less than 5 minutes to cover a mile ...
Probably closer to four-and-a-half minutes.
I'm taking less than 4 minutes to cover a mile ...
But I'm taking more than three-and-half-minutes.

I've been since Jan-01st without doing this course ...
I forgot about Fairgrounds Rd being this bumpy.
Now, if I can only recall the trick to minimizing the bumps on this road.
Where is line I should ride?
Middle of the lane ... on the fog line ... to the right of the fog line?

WOOF!  Bike leaps sideways. 
BANG!  Just in time to hit that invisible pot-hole.
I hope the wheels are still okay.
All the above in about 1 second.
Yellow-white lab had startled me.

Check for Roscoe ... no Roscoe ... I'm past Roscoe-land.

Now ... if I'm averaging 17 mph, that would be about 3:45 per mile ...
If they take 4:45 per mile ... that would be ... maybe ... 13 mph.
They might be riding that speed ... they might be riding a little bit faster.
 ... ... ... ...
Yeah, 15 miles ... maybe just a bit more.
I should catch them.

Less if I get lucky with lights in Erwin and that were unlucky.
More if I am unlucky and they were lucky.

No ... this is not the turn ... it is the next corner ... Broadway.
Is this the right road?  It doesn't seem quite familiar.
 ... ... ...
Oh, there is the turn for "Get 'er Dunn" coming from the other direction.
This is the correct road ... in Erwin now ... yes, I'm definitely on Denim Drive.
Not too much of delay at the L-O-N-G light.
Old Post Road.  There it is.
Check the price of a phone call while zipping past ... got it.

7:05.  13+ miles in 50 minutes.
I wonder when Dean and JayJay went thru here?

Turn onto NC-82.  Smooth surface!  I love this road, now.
First time I did this road was 13 months ago ... on Alan's 600,
The road had not been re-surfaced.
Let's NOT think about the 2010 NCBC 600.

Hey!  I think that's two cyclists up ahead.  About half-a-mile.  Maybe a bit more.
Cycle confuser indicates 15.25 miles. 
Right on time.
I'm pretty sure that's them. 
The one nearer the center line appears to be in all red.
That must surely be Dean.
The other one appears to have a white top.
I thought Janis would have on her yellow vest ...

There they are again.  Quarter-mile ahead now.
Why didn't they take the turn to stay on NC-82?
[Edit, Jun-19:  I'm now pretty sure they were distracted by cloud formations.]
I'm sure Dean said the work-around to avoid the dawgs on Sisk Culbreth Rd
Is to take NC-82 into Godwin, and pick up US-301 there,
Instead of staying straight onto Sisk Culbreth and picking up 301 just before Wade.

Maybe they are chatting so much they missed the turn.
Am I 100% sure that those are Jan and Dean.
[Ha, Janis!  Two can play at "that" game!]

I am not 100% sure.
I like 82 through the battlefield. 
I'm taking 82 thru the battlefield, and then turn to Godwin.
When I get to Godwin, surely if those two are Jan and Dean, I'll get to Godwin first.
When I get to Godwin, I'll find a strategic spot so they can't get past me without me seeing them.
I'll nibble some food and eat and wait.

So ... this is Godwin.  Where can I find a place to sit?
It is cool enough this morning that it doesn't have to be in the shade.
Oh, this low, low brick wall, right here at the corner of 301 and 82 is good enough.

Three or four minutes later ... up roll Jan and Dean.
They wonder how I got there ahead of them.
"I took 82 all the way from Erwin; I thought that was the new work-around."
Dean responds, "it is one work-around; we checked out another."
(On the return leg, Dean and Janis showed me the work-around they took -- I prefer 82.)

US-301 from Godwin to Wade was a smooth surface with very little traffic.
Gosh, it was still nice on Wade-Stedman Rd -- all the way to the control.

We spent too much time at the control.
But it was a nice day, and we weren't worried about getting to the remaining controls on time.
Well, one of us may have been a bit concerned.

And it was still a gloriously cool morning, with a slight tail-breeze
All the way to Tar Heel.
And the second dawg work-around, just south of Stedman was pleasant.
Dean told me that Jerry found this second work-around.
But surprisingly, he wasn't looking for new food establishments when he found it.
Something about taking a short-cut to Fayettville to get additional spare tubes
For 600 km brevet riders ... at one of those controls.
I think Dean likes this second work-around because there is even more Spanish Moss
Than there is further south nearer Tar Heel.
I recall Dean indicated that it is the farthest north he's ever found any Spanish Moss.

Half the goats at the Jammbas Ranch (or whatever the name) trotted along with us.
Cute.  Different anyway.

I think Janis indicated that it was the fastest she had ever gotten to Tar Heel.
Unfortunately, Dean and I cannot claim much of the credit for that.
I think it was the tail-breeze.

The weather-types got the forecast pretty much bang-on for Wednesday.
Highs in the low 80's.  Low humidity (for south central NC in mid-June).
They also got the afternoon wind speed and direction correct.
Pretty much out of the north ... at about 10 mph.

It was still a great day to be on the bike the whole way back to Benson.
Janis didn't chat as much as she had outbound.
Dean and I would lose concentration, then one of us would realize we had gotten too far ahead,
And we'd soft pedal 'till Janis was back with us.

Interesting thing ... that "objects are closer than they appear" that you see on rear-view mirrors,
It applies to Janis, too. 

Between Godwin and Erwin, I used my blue 24 oz. bottle for the first time all day.
Funny thing ... water started squirting out at me when I squeezed the bottle.
Held water fine ... until I squeezed ... then a nice stream would erupt from the side of the bottle.
Only had the bottle since Lance was doing his thing for about the fourth time.
That wasn't all that long ago ... was it?

Once I learned how to control the squirt ... I gave Dean a mini-shower.
And waited after a turn for Janis ... she flinched as people always do ...
Then proclaimed "that felt good ... do it again!"
So I did. 

Our moment of mirth over, Janis notice Dean had made the next turn,
And seemed to be practicing "how slow can I go?"
I never found out how slow Dean can go.
But I can easily maintain 3.1 mph ... and with a little effort, I can maintain 2.7 mph.
But then I had to catch up.

Just before Erwin, I heard Janis call out "you guys go on ... I'm okay!"
I looked back, and then sped up to within earshot of Dean.
"Dean, Janis is stopping."
"Is she okay?"
"Well ... she just turned her bike upside-down."
We reversed course to find out what was happening.
Flat tyre.
Dean took charge.

I'm much better in these situations than I was a couple years ago.
When capable minds and hands are already engaged ...
I keep out of the way and keep my mouth shut.

There was a problem with JayJay's pump.
It looked similar to mine.
It should have done the job really well.
Janis reported that it had worked admirably in the past.
But there seemed to be something missing from inside the head.
[Take it back to Performance, Janis.  They'll replace it.]
I got my pump off my bike.
And proceeded to figure out how to convert it from Presta to Schrader.
Quite easy, actually. 

Meanwhile, Dean had located the problem.
Janis had run over a staple and it had penetrated her front tyre and then the tube.
A staple.  Like you would use to staple receipts to a control card.

The new tube was exhibiting some reluctance to slip between the rim and the tyre.
I told Dean that when he reached his frustration full level, hand to me,
And we'd pass it back and forth as each of reached our frustration levels.
Dean did hand the wheel and partially inserted tube over at one point.
I made a tiny amount of progress, and then Gentleman Dean got his dander up,
And next thing ya' know, Dean has the tube in the tyre and we're pumping up,
And then we were on our way again.

I do admit that I prefer foldable tyres and beaded rims to
Rims from 30-some years ago.
The newer ones are easier to deal with.

Upon arriving at the Erwin control, Janis found her savior from her first experience
With a flat just outside Erwin.
The two flats apparently occurred within 0.1 mile of each other.
Some kinda' karma, I guess.

With the greeting old acquaintances and all,
We spent more time at the control than we should have.
But it was a nice day, and as long as nothing bad happened,
We would be okay.
After all, we had three hours to make 13+ miles.

Just as we left the control ... Janis reverse dumped us, again!
Before we finished the ride, Dean and I were in agreement
That Janis should have waited until we were clear of Dunn
Before she reverse dumped us.

We resolved to tell her that.
We did tell her that when she got to the end of the ride in Benson.
She immediately agreed, and acknowledged that she had realized that while still in Dunn.

Great day!  Great riding companions!  Great day to have been on the bike!
Janis got her R-27.
Dean and I each got some insurance.
Dean is much more observant than me about some things.  Probably most things.
As we coasted by the store at Cedar Creek on the return leg,
He suddenly was calling out "Cyclists right!  Cyclists right!"
There was a youth group a few days out of Greensboro.  Ages mostly 14.
Mixed boys and girls from a Christian Youth Group -- I can't recall the name.
They had started that morning at Buies Creek,
Destination Wednesday was White Lake.
Destination Thursday was the beach.
They were following NC Bike Route # 5.

Maybe that sounds familiar to some NC randos?

Tar Heel 200 Permanent; 126.6 m.; 9h,00m in-motion; 14.1 mph; rando elapsed clock time:  11h,40m.

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Apr tot: __7 rides; __793.8 m.; _52 hrs, 28 min; 15.1 mph.
May tot: _10 rides; __894.1 m.; _63 hrs, 45 min; 14.7 mph.
Jun tot: __7 rides; __525.0 m.; _35 hrs, 44 min; 14.7 mph.
YTD tot: _47 rides; _4035.1 m.; 272 hrs, 06 min; 14.8 mph.
[Edit, Jun-29-2012:  As best I can figure, this ride got my Eddington Cycling Number up to 75.  Rather surprising that I didn't notice that at the time.  ??]