Monday, October 31, 2011

Oct-30: Irregular, Indeed - Addendum

Early in the Oct-30 ride, Snapper + I were discussing, among other things, his first "irregulars" ride. 
I mentioned that I was pretty sure I could figure out when it was ... 
By looking at my Excel ride-log. 
Harvey was incredulous. 

I'm pretty sure I hadn't even thought of "irregular" at the time. 
I'm pretty sure I first used "irregular" when talking to MikeR 
Who leads the Bike Marshals at the New Bern MS-150 
When he asked with whom I usually rode;  
Probably late in 2007. 

My recollection is that I answered: 
"Just a few guys that show up occasionally; maybe one could say they are 'irregular'." 
Anyway ... Harvey's first "irregulars" ride: 

2007-Apr-14   PUE: Creedmoor-Dove Rd lake loop   w/ Frank, Sean, Harvey   42.3-m   2h36  16.2 mph 

I recall that we were intending the same route we did on this Oct-30, but Sean or Harvey had a mechanical and someone had a firm back-end time limit ... so we shorted the route by taking Dove Rd..  

Harvey is the only one, other than me, still riding "Irregularly". 
Never doubt a man with an Excel ride log.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oct-30: Irregular, Indeed

Irregulars rides are on Saturdays (holiday exceptions, of course).
This was a Sunday.
A couple years ago, I might have noted today's ride as an "LT group" ride
Instead of an Irregulars ride.

What are "LT group" rides?
Essentially unannounced rides by me and one or two other Irregulars,
Usually on a Sunday.

As for why the segmentation -- I'll answer if anyone leaves a comment asking.
Snapper and Ags had indicated they were going to ride at 10 (or 9).
Lee wanted to wait a little for temps to warm a bit.
Capt. LT wanted to ride after Church.
LT suggested Noon.

In the end, six of us signed on for Noon:
LT, Lee, Snapper, Ags, Smitty, me.

There we were ... ready to roll ... but no one had picked a course.
We wanted to ride for about 3 hours.
We picked an Irregulars oldie-but-a-goodie:
No one No one had done that ride in quite some time.
Well ... not exactly.
Turned out that Lee had dragged LT through the course -- reversed -- 7 days earlier.
Some of us are bit off our best shape.
Others are in excellent shape.  Snapper and Lee and Ags come to mind on that score.

Some of us couldn't get our leg muscles to "warm-up".
The ride wasn't long enough.
That is my story, and I'm sticking to it.
I kenna' sprint no more.

I tried to catch Smitty and LT napping at the CL on Cheek Rd.
Smitty was unfortunately watching his mirror, and
LT was beside me, AND
When I looked to check what gear I was in ... wrong flippin' gear.
I had a "go" anyway.
I was pathetic -- canNOT quickly accelerate when in too big a gear!
LT bested Smitty.

At least the causeway across the lake was a multi-colored avenue of trees.
Very nice.
And the lake surface was mostly calm.
Also very nice.

On Old Stool Tree Rd, Lt. Dave was slowly ratcheting up the pace,
Obviously inviting another sprint as we went into Granville County.
I obliged, or pretended to ... but it seems I kenna' sprint no more.
Smitty came from nowhere to at least make it a contest.
LT bested him again.

On Bruce Garner Rd, I decided to have a go at the Wake County Line.
Also, I knew that if I "sprinted" for the CL,
The others would pick up their pace,
And feel empowered (if they weren't already) to travel New Light at near-warp-speed.
That, too, is my story, and I'm sticking to it.

I thought I had caught them all napping,
Or no longer interested in county lines.
But Smitty caught me and claimed the last green prize of the day.

Then Snapper ignited his engine ...
And, for a bit, the other five were together, dropping me.
I couldn't bridge, so eased off to a pace I knew I could have held for another 50 miles.

Then Smitty slipped off the back.
The result of not enough cycling,
Too much time on his feet late at night earlier in the week,
And legs punishing him for those CL sprints.

I never saw it, but Smitty told me,
And Ags confirmed it,
Pretty soon Ags slipped off the back.

Leaving only a three-man train.
Lee and Lt. Dave held on until Snapper sat-up just before the turn on to Ghoston Rd.
LT told me (after the ride) that at one point he was hanging on to Snapper, doing 35 mph.
I didn't see Lee after the ride.
Snapper told me that when he sat up, he looked back expecting to see Ags,
But it was Lee on his wheel.

Lee can make a bike go when he is in shape and motivated for some fun.

All-in-all, a great day for a bike ride.
We finished the 47-mile "course proper" just before or after 3 pm,
Before or after depended on who you were and if you had to back-off the pace at the end.
Oct-30:  ---> PUE:  Creedmoor-Grissom Loop --->; 56.7 m.; 3h,34m in-motion; 15.9 mph.  

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; 1822.2 m.; 123 h, 05 m; 14.8 mph.
Q-2 tot: _30 rides; 2604.9 m.; 174 h, 22 m; 14.9 mph.
Q-3 tot: _29 rides; 2479.2 m.; 161 h, 05 m; 15.2 mph. 

Oct tot: _10 rides; _924.0 m.; _61 h, 54 m; 14.9 mph. 

YTD tot: _92 rides; 7830.3 m.; 522 h, 28 m; 15.0 mph. 

As a small point-of-interest on the side:  today, I rolled past 29 thousand miles on my Trek Pilot 5.0 frame AND rolled past 24 thousand miles on my saddle. 

As I told Snapper early in the ride, I recently did something that made my saddle seem a lot more comfortable ... I lost 50 pounds.  ;-) 

Saturday, October 29, 2011


It is a rainy, chilly (this early in the season, it feels cold) day in central North Carolina.  At least we are not getting any of the SNOW that the northeastern US is likely to receive today + tomorrow.

One buddy wondered what I'd do today since it is NOT a day for cycling ... maybe this afternoon one could sneak in a ride.  Just for him ... here is something for the day:

Two Excellent Cycling Companions
Each smiles a lot.
Each is "rando crazy" in their own way.

One rides a straight line, does NOT surge nor swerve nor brake suddenly, points out all hazards, tells jokes, laughs at your jokes, has an infectious laugh, but is known for "reverse-dumping" cycling partners near the end of a ride.
The other grabs the wheel of anyone drifting off the front, effusively greets friends and strangers alike, tells jokes, laughs at your jokes, has an infectious laugh, and has been known to "reverse-dump" others near the end of a ride.

One will be looking to R-32 and P-?? in November; the other recently had quite an adventure in France.
One is looking for 6000 RUSA kms this year; the other will likely get 4100+ RUSA kms.

One may have taken "fake rando smile" lessons from "sag";
the other met "sag" only moments before this photo was taken.

(Thanks to "sag" for the photo.) 

Two Brothers, One Phrase with Two Inflections

During Alan's 600 brevet back in May, the subject of the Kerr Lake Loop Permanent came up (don't ask me how), I don't recall the other participants in the conversation, but I asked him/her/them if they had done KLL since Mike had added 'Stovall Mountain'."  A milli-second later, RobD / "Brother Rob" / "Rico Rob" forcefully interjected:  "You mean:  YOU added the moutain!"  It was definitely an accusation.

In late September, MikeH and I arrived at MikeD's (each via bicycle, btw) to exchange some paperwork with MikeD regarding the Showdown in Black Creek Permanent.  Conversation drifted among several subjects including KLL.  One of MikeD's comments included the phrase "after you added the mountain".  I thought, but did not say, "at least that was a conversational tone and not the accusatory one that Rob used."  (obviously, the link in this paragraph is for gratuitous purposes only)

The Ride I'd Like to Be Doing Today

But I'd like to continue "north" past Denny's Store Road up to Polk Huff Rd to Walnut Grove Rd to Goshen and Ben Thorpe roads, and then back on course on Old Roxboro Rd.  Getting to and back from the north-end of the route ought to be good leaf viewing; I know Denny's Store can present nice vistas, but I've never ridden Polk Huff / Walnut Grove nor Ben Thorpe.  The alternative Polk Huff route would likely be good leaf viewing and could present some vistas ... and would be "new roads" ... if only for a few miles.  (Click on the "Bigger Map" link near the bottom of embedded Trimble Map to get, uh, a bigger map, which may allow one to better understand the course-routing discussed above.)

One problem with the route is that it is 80+ miles long ... kitchen-passes for some Irregulars likely wouldn't allow for such a long ride.  (There are short-cut routes that would enable long-routers and short-cutters to start together.)

[Edit, Jan-24-2014:  The above route was eventually morphed into the rando perm-pop 'Denny's Store Sortie,' a 138-km ride great for getting in a few extra RUSA kilometers towards a RUSA or Lone Star distance goal.] 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oct-26: 3 Mounts + 1 Mtn, Times Two, 204 km Perm

Mount Bethel.  With home church of Washington Duke.
Mount Tabor.  With grave of NC Governor Umstead.
Red Mountain.  I don't have an historical reference.
Mount Tirzah.  See "bullcitybiker" comment below for an historical reference.

Me and My Shadow visited all four places today.  Twice.

Me and my shadow Rolling down the scenic byway Oh, me and my shadow Not a soul to tell our troubles to And when it's twelve o'clock we climb the stairs Onto Leasburg Grocery's floor Just me, 'cause my shadow 
Left me all alone at the door

Hollow Ridge Grocery (Mt. Tirzah) is brewing up some Brunswick Stew this Saturday.
And doing another cookout, likely the second Saturday in November.
And every second or third Saturday after that, until ...

Bonnie, the clerk in Leasburg,
Asked about the "old guy with glasses".
Turned out she meant Ricochet Robert.
Bonnie indicated she kind of misses his visits.
She's working the first and second Saturdays of November.
In case you haven't quite figured it out ...
The route I did today is usually referred to as Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville.
Oct-26:  Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville 204 km Permanent; 127.1 m.; 8h,31m in-motion; 14.9 mph; rando elapsed clock time:  10h30 ("ambassadorial" time in Mt. Tirzah (twice) and Leasburg).  

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; 1822.2 m.; 123 h, 05 m; 14.8 mph.
Q-2 tot: _30 rides; 2604.9 m.; 174 h, 22 m; 14.9 mph.
Q-3 tot: _29 rides; 2479.2 m.; 161 h, 05 m; 15.2 mph. 

Oct tot: __9 rides; _867.3 m.; _58 h, 20 m; 14.9 mph. 

YTD tot: _91 rides; 7773.6 m.; 518 h, 53 m; 15.0 mph. 

Also, after today's ride, my Eddington Cycling Number is 80.
Meaning, I now have at least 80 rides that were at least 80 miles long.
I need two more rides that are at least 81 miles to get to  E  =  81.  

Career statistics through the end of: 
 year _rides ___miles _mi./r __long _ E 
 2004 ___38 __1,176.2 __31.0 __53.4 __26 
 2005 ___75 __2,441.7 __32.6 __75.6 __33 
 2006 __133 __4,926.6 __37.0 __75.6 __42 
 2007 __212 __8,457.1 __39.9 _109.0 __49 
 2008 __294 _12,222.4 __41.6 _109.0 __54
 2009 __420 _18,439.1 __43.9 _126.3 __63 
 2010 __532 _25,998.6 __48.9 _300.3 __71 
 2011 __623 _33,772.2 __54.2 _377.2 __80 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oct-23: No Llamas 208 km Permanent

It wasn't the most inviting invitation ever:
"Just to be clear ... I'm riding KLL (assuming approval), at my pace ... regardless of what others do."
But ... I was going to do Kerr Lake Loop regardless of what anyone else wanted to do.
That only makes sense if one understands what happened a month previously
When ChrisW put out an invite to ride Showdown in/at Black Creek.
Next thing Chris knew ... he was doing Kerr Lake Loop with fourteen others,
Because they sorta' hijacked his ride / invite / whatever.
I think Chris didn't mind.

However, I knew I was doing Black Creek on Thursday, er, Friday,
And once-in-a-row within two-and-a-half days is enough for that flat course.

Amazingly, several others were not put-off by the pedantic "invite":

JohnM, however, was put-off by a lingering cold.
Too bad ... I've never ridden with John, and as far as I know, never spoken with him, either.

Mary and Tom F signed on.
But Tom decided to stay in a hotel room and study for upcoming boards rather than ride.

Smiley-Bryan signed on.

[Now, as I think about it, not only was I overpowered by the speed of Mary and Smiley, 
But I was also likely overmatched by the fitness and staying power of each. 
Each of them had completed the Taste of Carolina 1200 over Labor Day, 
And Mary had added an additional 1000 km brevet only two weeks before. 
Oh, and Mary set a RAAM record this year, 
With her teammate (name escapes) ... 
Mary and ___ set a record for Female Each-Over-60 Team RAAM passage this year. 
Hmmn ... maybe Mary was a bit tired.

We rode the entire ride together. 

I hope it wasn't too boring for Mary and Smiley]

Anyway ...

Chilly morning.
Not much of a breeze.
Thankfully, Smiley and Mary humored me, allowing me about 18 miles at 13.6 mph
To warm up my legs.
After that ... we all rode a lot better.
At least that is my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Warmer in the afternoon.
Still not much of a breeze -- thank goodness!

Revolving two-some conversations most of the day.
Sometimes it was a three-some conversation,
But most of the time, two were in conversation, ahead or behind the third.
[Actually, I wonder if Mary thought it was mostly a double-team on her, 
With Smiley and me taking turns talking to her.] 

Luckily, everyone had sufficient stories to pass the day, amusing or informing the others.
Mary also expressed delight in not being dragged along at a pace where her tongue was hanging out.

Several dogs on the route today.
But some still seem to hibernating from the heat,
Not quite realizing that Summer is over.

We saw no llamas in any fields today.
Was thinking we might see them ... now that Summer is over.

Nearly a perfect day on the bike and on Kerr Lake Loop.
However, I am still confused by Smiley needing to stop at that store in Warren County,
Supposedly because he didn't have enough "snacks" in his pockets to keep riding,
Or because he wanted something other than the "snacks" he had in his pockets.
He had that huge handlebar bag ... could have filled that with a
Yehuda Moon-like feast of various foods.
Fast guys!?  :-o
And, because Smiley says his is not a "fast-guy":  Nearly-fast guys!?  :-o

One benefit from Smiley's "snack-problem":
I finally had an excuse to stop at that country store and check it out.
For the Irregulars that may read this:
Think Hollow Ridge Grocery atop Mt. Tirzah,
Think Bobbitt Store.
Only ... MORE-so.  Bigger.  More dilapidated (for lack of an alternative word).

Thanks to Mary and Bryan for making it a great day around Kerr Lake!!
Oct-23:  Kerr Lake Loop 208 km Permanent; 131.1 m.; 8h,32m in-motion; 15.3 mph; rando elapsed clock time:  10h23 thoroughly enjoyable hours/minutes.  

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; 1822.2 m.; 123 h, 05 m; 14.8 mph.
Q-2 tot: _30 rides; 2604.9 m.; 174 h, 22 m; 14.9 mph.
Q-3 tot: _29 rides; 2479.2 m.; 161 h, 05 m; 15.2 mph. 

Oct tot: __8 rides; _740.2 m.; _49 h, 49 m; 14.9 mph. 

YTD tot: _90 rides; 7646.5 m.; 510 h, 22 m; 15.0 mph. 

Oct 22 -- The Albino Deer Incident

A good group of the Irregulars gathered Saturday morning at our usual PUE meeting spot for an 8:00 AM kickoff. Present were Martin, Gary, Wendy, RedRocket, JohnD, BobH, IvaHawk, Rando superman RRtRR. No Smitty.

Off we went down New Light. As we passed Ghoston, there was Smitty parked on the side of the road getting his bike ready. I later learned he had trouble getting up after working to the wee hours at his second job.

The day started chilly, but warmed as the hours went by to a comfortable, nearly perfect day for riding.

BobH continued his recent high speed pulls atop his new Scattante.

RRtRR is completely recovered from his PBP ordeal/adventure and is now enjoying the fruits of his superior conditioning that PBP required.

Smitty has not been riding much, he says. But, I learned that he’s ridden twice in the Rockies and once in Hawaii. So he has not been idle.

Martin has passed some 7,500 miles for the year and did three 200Ks as of Saturday earlier in the week. As I write this on Monday, I see he has done another 200K on Sunday.

JohnD just completed 493 miles in seven days in Cycle Carolina on a tandem with his wife.

I don’t know of anything specific for the rest of us. But, RedRocket, Gary, and especially Wendy must have been riding a lot themselves because they were flying.

Coming back on Bruce Garner/ New Light was a lot of fun. BobH got a good head start. We could see him far ahead. The peleton organized into a tight pace line, and we put Gary at the front. BobH was making good time, but the peleton was clipping along at 27 mph – too much even for a rider of BobH’s caliber. But, even after he was caught, he didn’t give up, surging ahead on yet another break away before Team Gary caught him once again. Never has such courage been displayed on a bike.

When we got to Ghoston, BobH went straight while we turned. Apparently, he wanted no more of what we had been dishing out. Or, maybe, he was just headed homeward.

On Ghoston just before Four Wheel Drive, a herd of deer came out followed by a snow white young deer. The Irregulars on this ride had never seen such a thing. Our attention focused on this sight rather than what we were doing, especially mine. You can be on a bike for hours and hours and something can happen in a split second. I saw a flash of jersey just in front of me, a quick turn of the handle bars and down I go before I knew it right in front of JohnD who couldn’t stop in time and literally ran over me with his front wheel. Fortunately, no one, especially me, was hurt badly. I have a couple of strawberries and a minor sprain on my wrist. It’s not bad but did cause me not to play golf on Sunday.

I tend to have my head down on hard climbs. I should have been “heads up” paying attention.

But, apart from that, it was a fun day on the bike, beautiful weather, good companionship as usual, and great route.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oct-21: Cotton Pickin' 204 km Perm

Better known as:  Showdown at Black Creek.

Don't recall any cotton fields in Wake or Franklin counties.
Although there was a great hay field in Franklin county,
Dotted with those huge round bales of hay.
In combination with the severe-clear morning light,
And the slightly rolling terrain ... it caught my eye.

But the main repeat attractions today were the cotton fields.
Some fields appeared to almost be covered with snow.
The cotton balls have come in very nicely.

Some fields were "completely" harvested.
The machines leave up to 20% of the cotton behind.
If you want to see a pic of a completely harvested field,
Go to "crazyguyonabike", and find a journal of someone that went through Central Asia.
Those fields appear to be picked clean.

Anyway, some fields as yet untouched by the harvest process.
Some fields completely harvested.
And some, and this made for two or three interesting moments,
Were in the process of being harvested.

I am from northwest Illinois -- corn and soybean country.
I am familiar with HUGE combines in midst of harvesting the crops.

At one field, I forget exactly where, a HUGE combine was just beginning
The harvest of a small field.
As I approached, the operator was jockeying the machine around
And began his first pass down the field as I slid past.
That was reasonably interesting.

More interesting was the field where a "hopper" from a not-quite-so-huge harvestor
Was being dumped into the ... for lack of knowledge and a better word ...
The bale-compressing machine.
They were filling the bale-compressing machine towards it second bale in that field.

I found that process interesting.
I didn't slow down, though.

There was also one field with three of those HUGE bales lined up,
Ready to be transported to ... I presume ... "Harvey's Gin and Mill".
I presume "Harvey's" because that is what it said on the plastic wrap
Across the top and around the top half of the bales.
Interestingly, the bottom half of the bales were not swathed in plastic.

For those that don't know how large those bales are ...
Those bales are designed to fit nicely on the flat-bottom of an 18-wheeler's trailer.
Yep, that big.

Great day to ride.
Despite the headwind for ~ 52 miles of the homebound part of the route.
I've done a really good job picking routes this week.
All three times -- headwinds the whole way home.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Oct-21:  Showdown at Black Creek 204 km Permanen; 127.0 m.; 8h,00m in-motion; 15.9 mph (I had legs, today); rando elapsed clock time:  9h51 (too bad I started 45 minutes late).  

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs, 05 min; 14.8 mph.
Q-2 tot: _30 rides; _2604.9 m.; 174 hrs, 22 min; 14.9 mph.
Q-3 tot: _29 rides; _2479.2 m.; 161 hrs, 05 min; 15.2 mph. 

Oct tot: __6 rides; __545.6 m.; _36 hrs, 53 min; 14.8 mph. 
YTD tot: _88 rides; _7451.9 m.; 497 hrs, 25 min; 15.0 mph. 

"Interesting" stat:  After today's ride, and after the approval signifying I did the course correctly, or whatever, I will have 7451 miles AND 7450 RUSA credit kilometers.  I doubt the miles can stay ahead of the kms for very much longer. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Link(s) to RTP Phun Physiology

It seems that it gets harder and harder for me to find the Phun Physiology posts over on Research Trailer Park.  As a partial solution ... this post ... with a link to all the posts I found "over thar'" that have the Phun Physiologist label.  After all, I'm confident I'll be able to re-find this post when I want to ... .

Label:  Phun Physiology

I wonder if there are other Phun Physio posts, but without the Phun Physio "label".

Also, I wonder if the Phun Physiologist has been so busy riding the last year-and-a-half that he hasn't had time to write??  May have to talk to him about ... balance.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oct-18: Tour de Flat River 204 km Permanent

Better known as:  Leesville-Leasburg-Leasville (L-L-L).

Kind of deja vu all over again.  Or,
Groundhog Day, 1 day removed though.
  • Bright sunshine (but not a "severe-clear" day). 
  • Shadow panda on Patterson Rd. 
  • Strongish southerly wind. 
  • Time-in-motion within one minute of time-in-motion from two days ago. 

Differences / Causes of the slightly longer elapse clock time: 
  • much more traffic in Raleigh, on NC-98, and on Red Mill Rd. 
  • Stopped at Bahama Fire Station, outbound, to lube chain. 
  • Stopped at Bahama Fire Station, inbound, to lube certain sensitive parts of me! 
  • The southerly wind was stronger. 
  • More locals in Mt. Tirzah and Leasburg wanting to chat --> more "ambassadorial" time. 

Most interesting new thing seen today: 
On Hester Store Rd, outbound, just as the first descent is ending ... 
A herd of Bison ... American Buffalo ... in a pasture on the north side of the road, 
Trotting away from the road. 
Did the approaching cyclist scare them?

The herd was a dozen-and-half strong, maybe an entire score, or more. 
Haven't seen so many bison in one location since Yellowstone Park in 1973. 
Or maybe Yellowstone Park in 1966. 
The bison in the field today, however, were obviously "meat on the hoof" ... not a wild herd.

Oct-18:  Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville 204 km Permanen; 127.1 m.; 8h,53m in-motion; 14.3 mph; rando elapsed clock time:  10h15.  

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123 hrs,05 min; 14.8 mph.
Q-2 tot: _30 rides; _2604.9 m.; 174 hrs,22 min; 14.9 mph.
Q-3 tot: _29 rides; _2479.2 m.; 161 hrs,05 min; 15.2 mph. 

Oct tot: __5 rides; __418.6 m.; _28 hrs,53 min; 14.5 mph. 

YTD tot: _85 rides; _7324.9 m.; 489 hrs,25 min; 15.0 mph. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oct-16: Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville 204 km Perm

Or, You Can See For Forever On A Severe-Clear Day 

Today would have been a great day for Dean to break in his Triple-L shoes.  [Phamous 10k Hound, headed for back-to-back 10k-Hound status (linking just for the clear pic), and he still hasn't ridden this hill fest known as "Leesviile-Leasburg-Leesville" ("L-L-L", or "Triple-L" -- even route-owner Byron is now referring to it as "Triple-L").]    

Today would have been a great day for Dean to break in his Triple-L shoes ... that is what I was thinking as I approached Leasburg, anticipating that the NW wind that had kicked up at about 10:15 as I approached Timberlake from Mt. Tirzah would provide a great tailwind for the homebound leg.  Then the wind changed! ... becoming a SW to S-SW wind.  Triple-L coming home, is mostly a "go south" affair ... headwind the entire way back.   

Regardless of the wind, it was a beautful, severe-clear day to ride ... unlimited clear views.  Hints of things turning color.    

As I approached Leasburg, anticipating a nice homebound tailwind, I even thought I might finish in 9h30.  That was not be.  I finished in 10h02.  However, that did best Irregular buddies Robert, JohnA, and route-owner Byron's time from last week by 6 minutes -- a little bit of bragging rights there vs. the Irregular buddies -- darn little actually since the best Triple-L times for Robert + JohnA are 9h58 in the HEAT -- and Robert had done Alan's picnic brevet the previous day in 7h46!  Sheesh!  [Fyi, all three -- Ricochet, JohnA and Byron can ride me off their wheel whenever they might chose to do so.]  

I had no legs to push-it-in and get under 10h00.  I tried as I really wanted to go sub-10; but no-go.  I think maybe that phamous Phun Physiologist article on using-it-or-losing-it may have come home to roost on me.  Only two 200k rides since Sep-01; not enough to keep the engine tuned for that distance. 
A moment from the ride:   

0755 -- On Patterson Rd. -- PERFECT shadow for a "shadow panda" shot.  Unfortunately, no camera. 

There were other moments ... but none as memorable as the one mentioned immediately above.  
Looking over the paperwork after the finish ... the cash registers at Hollow Ridge Grocery and Leasburg Grocery ... the time-stamps are even more inaccurate than last year.  Hollow Ridge is now off by 33 or 35 minutes instead of the 22 or 23 minutes it was last year.  Leasburg ... at 11:52 am, the cash register time-stamp indicates ... wait for it ... 1950 ... only off by 8 hours  :-O .   

The afternoon clerk at Hollow Ridge must have gotten confused.  She wrote that the time was 2:50 ... I know it was 2:03 pm when I re-mounted to leave the store.  :-o 
It was a great day for a ride ... homecoming headwind notwithstanding.  I limited the off-the-bike time pretty well ... this was one of my slower in-motion efforts on Triple-L, but my fastest ever elapsed time.    

Did I mention that I was 6 minutes faster than Irregular buddies Ricochet Robert and JohnA were the week before?  Oh, I did.  Well, it is worth mentioning again.  :-)
Oct-16:  Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville 204 km Permanen; 127.1 m.; 8h,54m in-motion; 14.3 mph; rando elapsed clock time:  10h02 - PR.  

Q-1 tot: _23 rides; _1822.2 m.; 123h,05m; 14.8 mph.
Q-2 tot: _30 rides; _2604.9 m.; 174h,22m; 14.9 mph.
Q-3 tot: _29 rides; _2479.2 m.; 161h,05m; 15.2 mph. 

Oct tot: __4 rides; __291.5 m.; _20h,00m; 14.6 mph. 
YTD tot: _84 rides; _7197.8 m.; 480h,32m; 15.0 mph.  

Assuming it gets approved ... this ride made R-15 for me.  (Also C-20.  M-32 was earlier in the month.) 

Oct-15: Morrisville Rando Picnic

There was also a 200k brevet.
 _ Click here for Robert's version of the brevet.
 _ Click here for Doc-on-a-bike Keith's version of the brevet (with photos and video, no less!).
 _ Click here for "sag's" version of the worker's ride the week before.
 _ _ And click here to for the brevet turn-around control story from the same author.
 _ _ The immediately above post also has some good to excellent picnic photos.
 _ _ _ All photos that may appear below are courtesy of Andy, btw.   Thanks, Andy.

There was also a populaire, but I doubt anyone will write about.
 _ Though Byron did tell mention that the wind was rather nice on certain legs of the populaire.
 _ He apparently was doing 29 mph on a flat section or two -- barely pedaling.

I volunteered to help RBA Alan with the cookout.
I, however, did not do the worker's ride the previous weekend.
Due to certain physical complications.

Oh, wait, this is supposed to be about the Picnic ...
It was a great day for a picnic!
Sunny, reasonably warm, but not hot.  No humidity.
A bit breezy.  The wind kept blowing out the flame on the side-burner of the grill.

At some point during the festivities, Andy remarked to MikeD that he was concerned about what kind of blog entry I would be forced to make regarding the day's event(s).  I hadn't figured that I would blog the picnic (since I was pretty sure Robert would write something about the brevet (see above) AND that IvaHawk would write something about the day's Irregular ride -- Bahama Beach - Reversed).  However, given the remarks wondering about what statistics / metrics I would include in my picnic post, I decided to "play along" -- after all, I can deal with, and sometimes enhance, being on the short end of the humor stick -- or, sometimes, I can turn the tables, at least a little ... re-direct them, anyway.

Before going on, a word about Irregular randonneurs:  Robert rode rando on the 15th.   Wilmington Rick rode rando on the 15th (he was  / is actually a randonnuer before he became an Irregular -- and as he lives in Wilmington instead of "The Triangle", he is quite "irregular", indeed).  The other Irregular rando was signed up for the brevet, but did something else, instead (see IvaHawk's post referenced above; I personally think that doing 200k on a lack-of-sleep basis would have been good training for future 400's and 600's; anyway, Ags missed a great picnic.

Back to the picnic.

Picking up on Andy's suggestions for stats / metrics:

Number of burgers I flipped:  zero.
 _ _ Reason:  Mike would let no one else touch the flipper.
 _ _ _ (His story is much better than this one. btw.)

Number of burgers Mike flipped:  no idea.
I'm not convinced Mike knows, either.
There is some doubt that he can accurately count that high.  :-O
Number of hotdogs flipped by me:  a couple.
 _ _ Mike wasn't quite so attentive to the hotdogs.

Number of cans of baked beans opened with my handy-dandy punch-and-cut can opener:  two.
I may have to sharpen the "cut" part of that tool after struggling with those two cans.
Most difficulty I've ever had using said tool to open a can.
And it is true what Andy indicated on his blog / picasa ... I carry that tool on my bike. 

The knife blade(s) and the screw-drivers have come in very handy.  

Amount of left-over beans consumed (cold) at the end of the picnic:  one helping.
I think I'm still suffering certain effects from that last helping.
The above is NOT just that last helping! 

Number of veggie burgers consumed:  no idea
Number of veggie burgers left-over:  more than zero

Number of meat burgers consumed:  no idea (see above)
Number of meat burgers left-over:  more than zero

Number of bags of potato chips consumed:  at least two
Number of bags of potato chips left-over:  less than two

Number of cold drinks consumed:  no idea
Number of cold drinks left-over:  probably around 24

Number of stories swapped at the picnic: countless.  

Number of people fed:  approximately 40
Number of people who had a good time at the picnic:  approx. 40
I do NOT understand how Robert got his PBP story  pics to be side-by-side
and put text between them
and get a reasonable looking result.
I blame blogger / google. 

  Number of RBA's at the the picnic:  two.  Alan and TonyG.
TonyG in cycling kit at the Siler City turn-around control!
Alan at Snow Camp during the worker's pre-ride. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oct 15 -- Bahama Backwards

Last Saturday, BobH, Martin, RedRocket, and Iva did Martin’s Bahama Beach route. This Saturday, Ags, BobH, Norris, JohnD, and Iva did the same route backwards. Ags was a surprise welcome addition. He had planned on the rando brevet, but didn’t get enough sleep the night before and decided to join us.

One may ask is one direction “better” than the other Not surprisingly, it’s not a clear call. Both are equally difficult but differ in the way the difficulty is achieved.

The route ranges in elevation from 270 feet at various points near Falls Lake to 520 feet at Bahama, the high point of the route. The route has four high points:

Kemp at Carpenter Pond
Little Mountain Road near Stem

This is the order the rider reaches these points for Bahama. Reverse these for Bahama Backward. Obviously, the route direction determines from which direction these high points are achieved. This is the basis for comparing the two routes – the direction which determines the nature of the climb and at which point in the ride the climbs are encountered.

Mt Vernon Church leaving PUE to get to Carpenter Pond
Stagville Road to Bahama. I think this is the toughest of the climbs.
Lake Michie east of Bahama to Ellis Chapel (riding towards the east)
Brassfield Lake (SE of Creedmore) up Lawrence to Grissom
Our old favorites Ghoston, Peed, MVC

Bahama Backwards:
New Light from Falls Lake to Grissom (we bypassed GPMVC to go all the way on New Light)
Brassfield Lake to Creedmore
Brogden Road from Creedmore to Stem (we usually go the other way)
Lake Michie to Bahama (riding towards the west)
Patterson to Kemp at Carpenter Pond.

The two Lake Michie climbs are about the same. Going east is steeper but shorter than going west.

I think the main difference between the two is Stagville on Bahama and the tough Kemp, Victory Church Road climbs at the end of the ride on Bahama Backwards. Of course, you do Kemp on Bahama but at the beginning.

Summary, Bahama you get the tough Stagville Climb and the famous GPeedMVC finish. Bahama Backward you get to the high point of the course later in the ride – at 39 miles vs 26. I kinda like that. It’s easy high speed cruising after that especially on Red Mill going into Durham until you get to Kemp. Bahama backward gives you the difficult Kemp Road climbs at the end followed by a cool down stretch on Norwood back to PUE.

In conclusion, both are fun, difficult routes where one shouldn’t be considered “better” than the other.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

10/15/11: 200K Brevet Morrisville to Siler City

Wheels away from Morrisville at 6am and 50 degrees. First decision of the day - add leg warmers? Yes and smart move...90% of the people can't be wrong. They were not removed during the ride. Dark, lights, reflective gear then off we go. My guess.... there were 30 to 40 riders.

I can ride long just not fast yet, so lets work on improving my speed.
Another goal was the get thru the controls quickly.

Results time was 7:46 hrs with 17 mph avg speed....that's good
PR.... for 126 miles only 22 minutes off the bike....that's good

The Ride
I rode behind but with the fast group to the Jack Bennett hill at about 17 miles. Then I hung in there with the third group. Knowing I am at 90 to 95% effort and others are probably 60 to 80%, did not bother me, but what did is the normal question.... am I going out too hard and will blow up later?

First control - stamp, eat banana get on bike. Came in with third group, left with second group. Jerry and Joel lead us the next 13 miles to the turn around /control in Siler City.

Second control - The first group was still there. After a quick sandwich, refilled water bottles and stamp back on bike. This time it was Jerry, Joel and John leading with me off the back but keeping them in sight most of the time.

Third control - Arriving at last control, I was quick and left out with JJJ group.

Jerry on his single speed hammered it so off the back I go again....but still pushing it, trying to keep my effort in the uncomfortable range, keep them in sight and rode about 30 miles solo. Joel and I connected and I was fortunate to have enough legs to keep up with him the final 25ish miles. The real story... he was handicapped as he just finished his 1000K on Monday this week, but a guy has to take advantage of any opportunity. :-) This maybe my one and only chance to ride with him.

I was on the edge of bonking when we finished as it took me awhile to think and talk right, so I must have pushed...that's good.

Alan had a great cook out and social afterwards. Thanks for the volunteers.

So question for the day... Why was my face the only one coated with salt? Any ideas, please provide via comment. Dean?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lee's Birthday Adventure

When I started this blog, it was only for me, and almost entirely about my cycling stats.  Slowly, I started to write more about the ride(s).  Eventually, I swapped the order of the stats and the story, giving the story the priority.  

Then, on rare occasion, I would ask someone else to write the story of the ride, and I would publish that as a "guest blogger" post.  After I crashed in Sep-2009, Iva guest-blogged the next Irregulars ride -- a ride I did not do.  The pattern of guest-bloggers continued and picked up steam after I started doing rando rides; someone else, usually Iva, would author a write-up of the IR ride I didn't do, and I would separately blog the rando ride I had done.  

It slowly dawned on me that it would be a lot easier for Iva and me if Iva had actual "author" rights on this blog.  Fighting down my control-freak urges, I invited Iva and Robert to "author" rights.  Iva was reluctant, but accepted.  Robert, although he had contributed some excellent write-ups, declined, claiming that he was incapable of writing very well.  That is, he declined until just a couple days after P-B-P, when he sent me an e-mail from Paris:  "Martin, I'm ready to be a contributor to your blog."  I moved quickly to act on that, and the result was the excellent P-B-P story Robert crafted, and which is now the run-away all-time most-popular post on this blog.  (Btw, Robert's oral story-telling of his P-B-P adventures makes the write-up appear pale in comparison.)  

As the blog has become a little less "mine" and somewhat "ours", I have occasionally published write-ups from other Irregulars; sometimes the write-up has been regarding something decidedly NOT an IR ride.  Sometimes they have even been sent in without solicitation.  :-o  Sometimes, Irregulars have sent a write-up, and in trying not to overload the "readership" with multiple stories all at once, I have tried to space the  posts out a bit.  Sometimes, that has led to posts getting lost (or delayed ... perhaps for months) before the text was re-discovered ... and perhaps published.  

So ... if the write-up makes me laugh, or perhaps cry, or it is a good adventure, or well-written, or I'm just in a good mood ... I'll probably publish guest-posts from time to time ... maybe more than in the past ... if Irregulars want to share the story of their triathlon or mountain conquest or "birthday ride" other bicycle adventure.   

I won't publish everything on the blog.  For example, the Mallet undertook an excellent adventure this past mid-July.  He sent a short e-mail back to The States every day after his ride(s) in the Alps, waiting (?) for a certain "Tour" to get to the same slopes, but I understand that Paul has his own plans for the photos and videos he took.    

Gosh, my above blabbering might end up longer than the story that prompted the above introspection and this post in the first place.  Time for me to stop blabbering, and get to the point: 
Lee's birthday was on Jul-22nd -- er, maybe that should be IS on Jul-22nd -- I think he is planning on having several more birthdays in the future; I'm confident that his wife, children, and grandbabies also figure on many more birthday.  Anyway, in July, he sent me the story which you can now read below; however, it got lost in the shuffle or whatever.  Although he attempted to recruit some partners, Lee ended up undertaking his birthday adventure as a solo odyssey.

Astute and course-aware local randos, especially those that did a Kerr Lake Loop in mid-July, might be able to discern the advantage of having taken the detour early and again late during those KLL tours as compared to some of the "fun" Lee encountered and described in this recently re-discovered tome.

I had been planning on riding 62 miles today [Jul-22-2011], as it is my same number birthday.  It turned into an adventure.  I departed at 8:20 am as I wanted the inbound traffic to subside.   83 was the temp at departure time, wow and so humid.  
I stopped at the BP in Creedmoor and while there got to talking to the guy washing the windows.  He asked me how far I was going and I told him what I was doing.  He said he was 50 and used to ride.  He said he was raised in Philly and could ride the "wall" (this is in some pro races they have there) on a Murray 3 speed when he was a kid.  He said in 1982 he was trying to make the 7-11 Team while he was living in Baltimore.  He said he got hit by cars twice while trying to get in shape for the tryouts and decided to give up cycling. 
On I went.   I managed the hills on Eaton Road on the big chain ring.    When I turned onto Philo White Rd, I was hit in the face with a strong head wind.  I knew from the weather forecast that the wind would be out of the SW, and from Philo White back my compass read South to SW all of the way.  A subsequent check of the weather report showed the winds were gusting from 9-26 mph.  I had been sweating, but when turning into the wind it was so hot and dry it was drying me off.  
I pulled into Wilton and stopped under the big oak at the intersection to cool down for a few minutes.  Just after pulling out onto Hwy 96 I came across barricades indicating the road was closed and the detour was down Hwy 56.  I was already becoming toast and sure didn't want to add one inch to my ride so I continued on hoping I could navigate the road closure.  As I got closer a yellow DOT truck went past me in the same direction.  The driver was waving for me to go back.  He then stopped a ways up as I came coasting up to him.  At about the same time I noticed fresh tar on the road.  Great! - tar all over my wheels, and Gary just put them on last week. 
I stopped and the DOT guy, who made three of me and he was not fat, told me I couldn't continue.  From that point I could see that about three-tenths of a mile of road was torn out and they were grading and making a big dust mess.  I told the DOT guy that I was fried and asked if I could walk around it.  He told me no, he didn't want me to get run over or something to that effect.
So, doing what I had learned many years ago from a now-gray-haired bike rider, I asked him if he could give me a ride around the construction in his DOT truck.  He told me to put my bike in the back, hop on and he gave me a ride.  He also asked if I needed water, which I didn't at that time.  So I got a three-tenths of a mile ride.  When I got off of the truck and departed, the tar on the wheels was collecting every piece of gravel and crud on the road all the way to Horseshoe Road, with me riding the wheels with my gloves. 
When I got home I had done 62.4 miles.  Right on the money.  I then spent a couple of hours cleaning the tar out of my cleats and off the tires with a gasoline soaked rag.