Friday, December 28, 2012

Goals: 2013 Cycling Goals

This time of year, people start asking about, explaining and writing about their goals for the next year.

My friend Robert has come up with a list of possible goals for next year:  some rando, some non-rando.  The list is about as long as my arm, which is slightly longer than his arm.  I think he is planning on paring the list down a bit.
My friend BobB asked me about my goals for next year near the end of last weekend's Bahama Beach Bash.  Bob explained that he was scaling back his goals for 2013 as compared to 2012.
  • only 2 SR's instead of three;
  • all within North Carolina (and maybe Virginia); no traveling to Georgia, etc.; 
  • (if I heard correctly) no 1200.

I explained that my 2013 goals would be the same as they have been for several years:

 1.  Stay Alive.  Unless or until that is no longer preferable to the alternative.

That freaks some people out.  Bob did not visibly flinch.  I explained the meaning behind that.  He understood.  Many probably would not; but I'm not going to write it -- I might, repeat might, explain in person.

 2.  Have F.U.N.

That seems self-explanatory.  Whether rando or Irregular or solo or whatever -- have fun.


Late in 2009, I realized that I could surpass 6000 miles in a year for the first time.  Then I realized that I could get to 10-thousand kilometers (6214-miles) with a little determined effort -- a couple friends dragged me through the last 38-or-so-mile ride.  Chasing and attaining that goal, with the help of quite a few Irregulars, was a lot of fun -- or at least I look back on it with a lot of fondness. 

In 2010, I had a third goal before the year started (and actually a fourth came along during the year).  The third goal was to complete an SR.  I came up about 75-miles short due to a shorts / private-parts interface issue.  The fourth goal came along after the first of the year:  ride the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I did do that. 

In 2011, I did complete an SR.  The highlight of that was helping my friend Robert qualify for PBP.

And, obvious to anyone that reads this silly blog, in 2012, a goal developed during the year.  10K-exact-Hound.  That didn't work out.  But I did attain 10K-Hound status.  And was along for the ride when two other friends attained 10K-Hound status.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dec-22: Windy Day on the BB Perm-Pop

The plan was:
  1. Egypt Mtn (EM) on Dec-01 to maintain the R-series, 
  2. Bahama Beach (BB) on Dec-02 to nab P-12 and EXACTLY 10K RUSA kms. 
Then, a funny thing happened on the way to the ... goal.
And ... in the end ... I abandoned the 10K-exact game.
In favor of some additional rides with friends.

One of those friend-rides was good for Ricochet Robert's 10K-Hound ride.
That ride was also good for BobB's R-36.
That ride was also my 100th 100-miler.
And Ian broke his rear derailleur cable and was mostly "shiftless" the last 22 or so miles.
Good memories from giving up the exact 10K-game.

Because Jerry had maintained his P-series the weekend of Dec-01/02,
He was looking for an R-ride the next weekend.
Byron decided to join us on Egypt Mtn rather than solo on Triple-L.
That resulted in a good ride, and each gave and received some help.

Last weekend, I did a "club" ride with some of the Irregulars (IR(s)).
Big fun, but the P-series clock was starting to tick loudly enough that it had become audible.

I might have been able to sneak in BB on Tuesday or Wednesday -- in warm conditions.
But Monday evening or Tuesday morning, BobB sent an e-mail noting that it appeared that I had not yet gotten my P-ride for December, and that he'd like to do Bahama Beach with me on Saturday.
Friends-thing, again.  ;-)
I let Ricochet know that I would do BB with BobB on Saturday, instead of an IR ride.
Robert decided to join the rando BB fun.

Upon arriving at the start, Bob remarked, "thanks for riding with us today, instead of in the warmth earlier this week."  I returned a slight smile.

I don't recall much from the ride, except:
  • the WNW wind was the worst wind I'd ridden in since the Fleche in April, 
  • but there was nothing approaching the side-wind slog across the bridge to get onto the OBX. 
  • Bob thought I had eased off to stick with him, but other than near the crest of a couple climbs, I didn't ease-off anything -- that was all I had,
  • Robert has definitely re-found his Ricochet.  Appears he has finally recovered from the ToC-1200, and the subsequent 1000 and then his chase to 10K-Hound.  He dropped Bob + me on every climb. 
  • Robert informed me, in response to a comment similar to the above bullet-point, that he was finally trying something that Byron and I had suggested to him months and months ago:  do some faux-single-speed rides.  
  • Near the end of the ride, I mentioned to Bob (Ricochet had rocketed off our front) that the ride had been a classic "why am I going to do this become I'm glad I did this" ride. 
I think I've done this course too many times this year (22 times -- only 3 were "reversed").
I can't recall seeing / noticing anything en route -- and I know I didn't see the wild turkey that Robert said flew "right in front of [me]".
Either I've done the route too many times this year or I was keeping my head-down because of the wind.

That's my story for this ride.
It may be my last rando story of the year.
But I might try to sneak in another BB when Robert isn't looking,
Just to finish with more kilometers than him.  :-o

--> Bahama Beach 103-km perm-pop --> ; 74.1 m.; no idea really, but I'm guessing 4h57 in-motion; 14.9 mph; BB elapsed time:  4h56.  

Q-1 tot: _22 rides; 1,610.3 m; 108h42; 14.8 mph; _1947 RUSA kms
Q-2 tot: _29 rides; 2,711.5 m; 182h48; 14.8 mph; _2700 RUSA kms
Q-3 tot: _32 rides; 2,958.9 m; 197h17; 15.0 mph; _2983 RUSA kms
Oct tot: _10 rides; __868.8 m; _58h45; 14.8 mph; _1089 RUSA kms
Nov tot: __7 rides; __658.8 m; _43h07; 15.3 mph; __876 RUSA kms
Dec tot: __4 rides; __400.3 m; _26h16; 15.2 mph; __517 RUSA kms. 
YTD tot: 104 rides; 9,208.6 m; 616h55; 14.9 mph; 10112 RUSA kms

After the ride, after I had updated my Excel ride log, I saw that, during the commute back from the finish of BB, I had set a new personal record for most miles cycled in a calendar year (last year I finished with 9204-and-change).  I guess these things will happen if you ride your bicycle often enough / far enough. 

Almost forgot, this ride was for my P-12. 

[Goes along with R-29, C-34, M-46.]   

Friday, December 21, 2012

TrimbleOutdoors ...

... appears to have changed ... everything.

Looks like it will be:
  • good-bye to Trimble, 
  • hello to ... some other mapping service to be determined. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Strava's KOM awards blamed for reckless bicycling

Probably "old hat" to most, but I don't use Garmin or Strava or any other GPS based system, and I just came across this (by clicking on the "Next Blog" thingy at the top of Blogger).  Possibly more interesting given the news I also saw earlier today of the Northern Illinois University student found dead after / due-to a fraternity initiation / hazing activity (22 members of the fraternity have been charged with misdemeanors and / or felonies).

Here's the link:  Strava's KOM awards blamed for reckless bicycling
Since links to news articles seem to have a habit of disappearing, here is the text from the "San Franciso Chronicle" column by C.W. Nevius, a Chronicle Columnist:

Here's a fun idea. Let's see who can drive fastest through the streets of San Francisco.

Say I zoom from the Ferry Building to Ocean Beach. Using my car's GPS, my time, speed and route will be posted on a website and then you can try to beat it.

Of course, as the times get quicker, we may have to run some red lights and stop signs, but that's part of the edgy excitement, right?

OK, so that's ludicrous. It will never happen. People would be outraged.

But that's the bicycling model of the website Strava, based in the city. Strava members run routes, their times are posted, and other riders are encouraged to beat the time. 

It is a perfectly fine idea as a concept. Biking is a social community; it is fun to see where your friends are riding, how often and how fast they are going on routes you ride yourself. Most members ride safely and use the site for feedback.

But Strava has also created its KOM (King of the Mountain) awards. Set the fastest time, and you are awarded a KOM Crown. But face it; no one is setting a best time in the city without running stop signs and red lights. There may be only a few reckless KOM types on Strava, but they are exactly the kind of dangerous riders we're trying to slow down.

It leaves Strava essentially giving awards for reckless riding. And, says attorney Susan Kang, who is part of a lawsuit against Strava, if your KOM time is beaten, you are notified immediately.
"You get a message that says (essentially), 'Go out there and show them who's boss,' " she says.

That makes it look like Strava is egging on the riders to go even faster.

Critics say Exhibit A is East Bay rider Kim Flint, a Strava KOM winner who crashed on South Park Drive, a scary, steep 1.4-mile descent in Tilden Park. Flint, who said he once clocked 49.3 mph and was indisputably choosing to ride recklessly, died when he hit a car.

Flint's parents are suing Strava for encouraging reckless behavior. (A Strava spokesman, after first agreeing to comment, declined to respond to several subsequent attempts.) 

In the city, Strava faces criticism because bicyclist Chris Bucchere was tracking his speed on Strava - on a route known as the Castro Bomb - on March 29 when he struck and killed a 71-year-old pedestrian at Castro and Market streets. The district attorney's office says video evidence shows Bucchere had run several stop signs before the accident.

Kang's law partner, Richard Meier, says Strava bears responsibility, even if it can't control cyclists' behavior.

"If there was a contest to see how much alcohol you could drink - knowing the dangers - and someone died, the people that ran the contest would be responsible," Meier said.

OK, cue the angry backlash. What is this, a nanny state, you ask?

Thierry Attias, owner of Oakland's Cycle Sports and president of a top professional bike racing team, says that, like most members, he uses Strava for nothing more than to check on friends, find new routes and record his times.

"You can't blame an organization that tracks data for the group that produces the data," he says. "It's up to the individual to use common sense."

I would agree, with a couple of exceptions. First, it makes absolutely no sense to make a hair-raising descent into a competition. People rocket down South Park Drive all the time, but there's no reason for Strava to award a prize for crazy riding.

"If they stopped monitoring descents, that wouldn't be a horrible idea," Attias concedes. 

And second, it is not a good idea to create race tracks through the busiest intersections in San Francisco. Routes should be evaluated to see if they are too risky - for everyone.

The problem is, Kang says, "Before they had the KOMs, Strava was not well known."
So Strava may be encouraging dangerous riding. But as a business model, it's working great.

C.W. Nevius is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. His columns appear Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. E-mail: Twitter: @cwnevius 

Monday, December 17, 2012

For Whom Do I Write, er, Type?

I've asked myself that before. 
I've even written a bit about that somewhere in / on this blog previously. 

It started out as being for me and also a sort-of backup of cycling data. 
It morphed into being about and for the Irregulars
Then I took up randonneuring, and the audience changed. 
And I started trying to type with the greater rando audience in mind. 

Somewhere along the way, I lost the knack of writing an Irregular story for the Irregular audience. 
I think I've been making Irregular posts for the larger, amorphous rando world. 
The Irregular posts come out better if I think in terms of the more intimate Irregular world. 
No need to explain inside jokes, etc. -- just type them. 
That is my opinion. 

So ... 
I'm going to try to remember to blog rando-rides with the rando world in part of my mind, 
I'm going to try to remember to blog Irregular ride with Irregulars in part of my mind.
And, of course, I will always try to have myself in at least part of mind.

Will that make a difference in how the write-ups come out? 
I dunno'. 

Assuming they make any posts, IvaHawk and Ricochet Robert will make their posts in whatever voice and for whatever audience they choose. 

The only restrictions on each us of are:  no politics, no religion, and darn little real-world life, 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dec-15: We made it up as we went.

Not everything needs to be included in the blog write-up.

For example:  on Lawrence Rd, IvaHawk apparently told Ags "this is a good road for sprinting and/or hot-intervals."  I suspect Iva meant "sprinting for the CL."  Instead, John wound it up after we had cleared the CL, hammered past the turn at Bold Run Hill Rd, and ... .  Tito urged Iva, Robert and me to turn onto BRH Rd while he chased down John.  We three turned; Tito caught John, but apparently only after John slowed down.  ... ...  Meanwhile, I told Iva and Robert that Tito was unlikely to catch John until the bottom of the Mangum Dairy Wall, and I went on to suggest that we take a detour to connect to Mangum Dairy Rd just at the bottom of the Wall, and that way Tito and John would "get" to do ALL of Mangum Dairy.  Iva and Robert were willing co-conspirators.  And that is exactly what we did (although I'm not sure about where Tito caught John).

To reiterate, the above doesn't really need to be included on the blog.  However, ... 

I like the valley along the bottom of Bold Run Hill Rd.; it is best in early Spring, or in Fall when the colors are vibrant.

Funny thing:  the Mangum Dairy Wall was not nearly as steep or hard as it used to be!

After BRH and Mangum Dairy, we took Camp Kanata Rd to Woodland Church Rd to Hugh Davis Rd.  I wanted to do that section of Woodland Church Rd because I hadn't done it in that direction for at least a year, maybe two; there is a very picturesque house / grounds / farmstead on the right as one climbs back up from a creek valley in that direction.  Everyone liked it; Ags referred to it as "four-square".

On Hugh Davis Rd, I got a little confused, and tried to arrange to get Iva in the lead so that he could take the CL he should have taken almost three years ago.
I refer to the CL in the above link where Iva and Tito went the wrong way.

However, my memory was faulty.  Hugh Davis / Tom Linum Rd was not the CL that IvaHawk messed up.  That was the John Mitchell / Graham Sherron Rd CL; we did not ride that section today.

I enjoyed Robert realizing we were about to cross a CL on Mays Store Rd, and giving a couple extra hard pushes on the pedals to drift across before me; I enjoyed the two-man race, Robert and me, for the CL where Bruce Garner Rd becomes Pokomoke Rd, even if, as Robert suggested, everyone else was likely laughing (at us). 

I enjoyed IvaHawk drifting off the front on Suitt's Rd to get to the CL at the bottom of the creek valley.  And less than a mile later, it is too bad no one took a photo of the three-way corner where all roads are named Evans. 

After Evans Rd, we followed the course of the "Assault on Flat Rock" back to the start.  Everything was quite normal, except that Ricochet Robert attacked for the Bruce Garner / New Light Rd County Line ... and he took another green jersey point.  Something was definitely not correct on today's ride.  LOL. 

With a bit less than 7-miles to go, Tito and then Robert and then Ags attacked the peloton.  Then I decided to bridge and go with them.  Leaving a diminished peloton consisting of just IvaHawk.  I'm sure he wasn't worried, and in the event, it turned out that I could go faster last week after riding 120+ miles, than I could this week after riding only 40-miles, and I had to let the three fast-birds go and returned to the peloton (consisting of Iva and me).  My story, to which I will be sticking, is that 40-miles is just not long enough for me to get properly warmed up. 

Even though the course was made up as we went, the group returned to PUE exactly as needed for the time constraints of some. 

No one made a Garmin trace of the course, and I am not inclined to make a map.  If you NEED to try to figure out where we rode, look at the "Long Assault on Flat Rock" map, and try to adjust for the road names as referenced above.  Good luck on that. 


--> PUE:  We made it up as we went --> ; 58.8 m.; no idea really, but I'm guessing 3h55 in-motion; 15.0 mph.  

Q-1 tot: _22 rides; 1,610.3 m; 108h42; 14.8 mph; _1947 RUSA kms
Q-2 tot: _29 rides; 2,711.5 m; 182h48; 14.8 mph; _2700 RUSA kms
Q-3 tot: _32 rides; 2,958.9 m; 197h17; 15.0 mph; _2983 RUSA kms
Oct tot: _10 rides; __868.8 m; _58h45; 14.8 mph; _1089 RUSA kms
Nov tot: __7 rides; __658.8 m; _43h07; 15.3 mph; __876 RUSA kms
Dec tot: __3 rides; __326.2 m; _21h18; 15.3 mph; __414 RUSA kms. 
YTD tot: 103 rides; 9,134.5 m; 611h58; 14.9 mph; 10009 RUSA kms

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dec-09: Egypt Mtn 210-km Perm

One thing I've come to understand is:  a great ride does not necessarily make for a great blog post, not even one that is easy to write.  There is a corollary:  a blech ride does not necessarily make for a blech blog post.  I'm not saying that the following is a blech post; but I am saying that is wasn't easy to write some of it.

So, with that warning:
Three people were waiting for me when I arrived at the start.
Only 3 minutes late according to my best guestimate of when I'd arrive.
7 minutes later than I wanted to arrive.
I wasn't too worried -- after all, I had the cards and waiver, etc..

"Life" meant that Ricochet Robert couldn't do the ride,
But he came to share some stuff and snap a photo or two.
I tried to ignore Robert's photo attempt while I dealt with the pre-ride paperwork.
Ignoring didn't work.  Ricochet insisted on a posed photo with a smile.
Ricochet claimed he was going back home and to bed. 
Jerry, Byron and I started on our way.  A few minutes later than the official start time. 

JP snapped this "early in the ride" photo just before the first CL (at 10.2-miles into the course),  I have the CL in my sights; Byron wasn't going to waste any energy being silly regarding county lines; luckily, Jerry was too busy taking this photo and chatting with Byron to notice the CL or the zip-zip-zip 3-pedal-stroke CL "attack" I made.  Or, he may just been giving me a "gift" since he likely knew where he was since EM shares this bit of road with the Kerr Lake Loop -- well, MikeD says he's "tweaking" KLL, so who knows.
I tried to sneak the next CL, about 5-miles further on, but my front derailleur threw the chain onto the crank, and I coasted through the CL after Jerry, as I used the "chain guide trick" to get the chain back on the chain ring. 

After those two CL's in relatively quick succession, the next wouldn't be until miles and miles later.  Well, there is a CL -- sort of -- at / in Epsom, at a stop sign, maybe -- or maybe down the middle of the road after leaving Epsom.  Anyway, no more potential CL "contests" -- at least for awhile. 

The morning was a bit wet, but warm (the low temp during the ride was 53F -- very nice for December).  The temps in the mid 50's and lower 60's made for excellent riding, and we made pretty good time (for me and for Byron who claimed to be a bit out-of-shape; Jerry was often dawdling along on his fixie). 
Pokomoke Rd:  between Pokomoke + Franklinton.  ...  ...  Hmmn, seems the roads were wetter than I recalled.  Can randonnesia set in while the ride is still in progress?
Jerry snapped a pic of the llamas / alpacas as we zipped by.  (There are more llama pics in this post; and it was SUNNY that day.)  (I could have cropped this photo, removing the detritus in the foreground, but ... .)
Pokomoke Cowboy Church (click to perhaps embiggen and see sign).  The Cowboy Church used to be on Pokomoke Rd, near the crest of the longest climb (from each direction) on Pokomoke Rd.  First or second time anyone did the Egypt Mtn perm, the members were in the midst of moving from the previous location to this on West River Rd, between Franklinton and Mitchell's Crossroads.

I have little to no recollection of what the conversations we had were about (or if I do recall, I'm staying "mum"), but time passed quickly on the easy rollers between Franklinton and Epsom. 
JP snapped a pic of Byron (described as "somewhat salty") outside the Epsom control.  I thought / think Byron just looks completely at ease -- the result of doing this rando thing since long before RUSA existed?  He has been doing rando since before RUSA, and yet B is only 40 or 41 years old. 
Jerry also took this photo of the bench in Epsom and the toes of his shoes.  Or, maybe, he was posing the snacks on the bench.  Either way, my favorite Epsom control food photo remains one taken by Ricochet when he did EM solo (click here).
 Leaving Epsom, the course continues more-or-less due north to Middleburg.  
Church just as the route heads north out of Middleburg.  I like this photo.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it is slight hint od sunshine on the side of the chapel, or the hints of blue sky between the clouds, or maybe just the setting of the large pine (tree) and the church building being atop the crest of the ridge.  (Photo credit to JP.)
Less than a mile from Middleburg, after crossing over I-85, we rejoined US Bike Route #1 / joined NC Bike Route #4 / rejoined the Kerr Lake Loop for about 3 or 4 miles (you don't expect me to look at the cue sheet and verify the distance, do you?).  In / at Drewry, US BR #1 + KLL continue in a mostly-northward direction.  In / at Drewry, the Egypt Mtn course pauses at the corner for an Info Control, and then heads in a mostly-eastward direction on NC BR #4

I have been plotting how to take the CL just east of Drewry from Jerry for MONTHS.  And I admit that earlier in the ride, when Jerry had drifted 30-yards or so ahead of Byron, I had enlisted Byron to help me by helping to distract Jerry at the info control.  Did it work?  Yep! 

As I told Jerry immediately after, it was almost as much fun taking the CL as it had been plotting / anticipating doing so for the previous 6 months.  

I've written before, I write it again, now:  the 10-miles from Drewry to Warrenton is my favorite section of the route for scenery.  However, no one took any photos along that section.  It did look kind of ragged under the overcast and still semi-damp road conditions.  

Lunch in Warrenton after 64+ miles (~ 104-kms) -- you know I didn't check those figures against the cue sheet -- and then we continued on.  There's a nice, gentle climb out of Warrenton on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. to get to Stagecoach Rd.  After about half of the climb, Jerry apparently needed to stretch his legs (or maybe he wanted to test the cue sheet -- he actually had one with him -- imagine!), and drifted off the front of Byron and me. 
Car parked next to the lunch-stop control in Warrenton.  I never noticed said auto; Jerry did.
Tower and Jones Chapel roads offer some nice views -- if you accept that you are not in the mountains and don't try to compare thereto.  The road back to Epsom offers up a long climb, a bit steep for 100 yards or so at the bottom, and then a slowly decreasing grade.  Byron and I were nearing the crest of the main climb when Byron commented, "is that Jerry up ahead?"  It was.  As we coasted up to him, Jerry announced, rather dejectedly, "I need some help." 

The unusual problem was that the mechanic that had put the wheels on Jerry's fixie (I would mention the brand, but I forget -- I don't pay much attention to what people ride -- instead, I tend to notice how they sit and pedal and try to pick up any idiosyncracies) -- anyway, the lugs were on so TIGHT that none of us could budge them.  How to fix a flat on a rear tyre when you can't remove the tyre from the bike?  

Byron knew how.  He had apparently done so quite a few times in his career.  Pop one side of the tyre off the rim and sufficiently roll off the tube to find the the hole, patch the tube while still on the wheel, reinstall tube in tyre, re-seat the tyre, pump up.  As it was Jerry's bike, and Byron knew what he was doing, I stayed out of their way.  It is good to have Byron along on a ride; as a certain LynnL told me before I did any randonneuring, "Byron is really nice and can fix anything." 

After the flat repair, we rode the final mile or so into the Epsom control together.  Jerry was able to borrow a wrench with a longer handle --> more leverage --> loosened the rear tyre lugs a bit.  I think he also purchased some air from the store.  (I offered my stand-up pump a couple times, but ... I dunno'.) 

After leaving the Epsom store control, Jerry drifted away from Byron and me; thus he did more solo testing of the cue sheet and got to experience Dick Smith Rd and Egypt Mtn Rd and Green Hill Rd in quiet.  [I just had a terrible thought:  what if Jerry wasn't so much stretching his legs at his own pace, but was trying to get away from too much racket from my mouth?]  Anyway, I had given Jerry my standard advice for those new to the route:  "save something for Egypt Mtn Rd."  All I will note here is that Jerry came to appreciate that advice. 

Byron and I slowly drifted further behind JP.  With the roads finally drying out, even in the "shaded" areas, we soon lost contact with even his tyre-tracks.  However, as Jerry had insisted earlier in the ride, we found him sitting at the slowly delapitating picnic table at the store in / at Grissom, with a beverage or two (for which he had a plan). 

We left Grissom to cover the last 12.6-miles of the course and with a plan to stop at the corner of New Light and Ghoston roads.  Jerry and Byron took the lead, riding side-by-side, chatting.  I was happy to follow the double wind-block.  Well ... I was happy to follow for approx. 2.27-miles, then zipped around to take the CL into Wake County, 2.3-miles from Grissom (Jerry growled that that would not happen next time).  Big fun. 

I had been watching the clock.  I realized when Byron and I had reached Pokomoke at 8h42 with 16.2-miles to go, that a sub-10-hour time would be easy to do, except that we had a planned store stop, and a stop for something else planned before we would reach the finish.  After stealing the CL, I thought a sub-10-hour time might still be possible, but we'd need to put a little extra time in the bank.  [Also, any Irregular will tell you that, if I still have legs on Bruce Garner / New Light Rd and there is not too strong a southwesterly wind, there is no dawdling along on that stretch.]   

We stopped at the turn onto Ghoston Rd (better known as the bottom of Ghoston Rd), to mark my exact 10K-Hound moment.  We each drank a beverage and Jerry and Byron took a few photos.
Me, Jerry; Byron snapped the photo.  ... ... I do have one comment here:  as we posed for the photo, Jerry had already "popped" his beverage open, I was still opening mine, and got the tell-tail sound of a carbonated beverage that wants to explode.  Jerry snickered, I looked down at the pop-top on the can to judge the disaster potential, then glanced up ... just as Byron took the photo!?  ... ... B -- couldn't you have waited 5 more seconds for me to re-compose myself?
I like this photo.  Some think I look tired.  I think I look rather smug (a negative thing) and determined (a positive thing).  But the thing I like about this photo is that the slope of the hill in the background shows what we are about to ride up.  Luckily, the road is engineered and the slope of the road is not quite as dramatic as that seen behind me.  ... ... One thing I don't like -- I look like a sloppy mess with the red (running) wind-vest and the reflective vest layered over the cycling jersey -- if there ever comes an occasion again when I'm being photographed, I'm removing the vests -- yes, I do care what I look like -- I just don't go quite as crazy about it as someone I could mention.
The ride was not over.  We had another 5.9-miles to cover.  Some of it was flat.  When I got to Mt Vernon Ch Rd, I looked at the official time-keeping device on my bike and concluded that a determined effort might still nab that sub-10-hour time.  I hit the pedals on the MVC downslope energetically -- I caught and passed Jerry.  He passed me back on the counter-slope (the incline); that was fine by me as I was doing my own "race".  I lost sight of Jerry long before the stop-sign at the top of the climb, but that was not my "race".  I worked the false-flat portion of MVC to Norwood Rd, made the turn, looked at the official time-piece, and relaxed slightly:  I had nearly 4-minutes to make the last 0.7-miles (and had done that section in only 2-minutes a few weeks before).  

9h58 for me.  Also for JP -- don't ask.  Byron finished about 2 minutes later. 

Cards signed and returned to the route owner.  Congratulations and thanks all around.  Jerry got in his car and headed home.  Byron remounted his steed and headed home.  I remounted my steed and did the same. 

Great bike ride!  Made so by great ride companions on a great day (for December) on a pretty dang good course (if I may be allowed to type that about my own route).  

One does not get to 10K-Hound without a little help, a lot of help, from friends.  

To Ricochet and IvaHawk and BikerBob and Mick and Dean and Ags and Jerry and Byron and R-squared and Gary and Ian and Mary and Tom and to each and every one of you, randonneur or Irregular or whatever, with whom I've ridden or chatted this year (and before), whose routes I've ridden (or didn't ride), who organized brevets and allowed me to volunteer or organized a Fleche, who picked me up when I was down, with moral support and more when I needed it:  thank-you! 


--> Egypt Mtn 210-km Perm --> ; 140.3 m.; guess of 9h02 in-motion; 15.5 mph; EM elapsed time:  9h58.  

Q-1 tot: _22 rides; 1,610.3 m; 108h42; 14.8 mph; _1947 RUSA kms
Q-2 tot: _29 rides; 2,711.5 m; 182h48; 14.8 mph; _2700 RUSA kms
Q-3 tot: _32 rides; 2,958.9 m; 197h17; 15.0 mph; _2983 RUSA kms
Oct tot: _10 rides; __868.8 m; _58h45; 14.8 mph; _1089 RUSA kms
Nov tot: __7 rides; __658.8 m; _43h07; 15.3 mph; __876 RUSA kms
Dec tot: __2 rides; __267.4 m; _17h23; 15.4 mph; __414 RUSA kms. 
YTD tot: 102 rides; 9,075.7 m; 608h02; 14.9 mph; 10009 RUSA kms

R-81 for Jerry.  
R-33 for Byron.  But I find Byron's R-series is more interesting than that.  He got to R-35, then was so ill one month that he didn't ride anything (except maybe a few commuter rides), and the next month started over.