Monday, April 30, 2012

Apr-29: No Sims Bridge / No Bobbitt Store 210-km Perm

Byron, Mick/Mike and I set out for an enjoyable, rolling ride on the "Warrenton - Egypt Mtn" permanent.

Byron wanted to get in some easy climbing this weekend as he is doing a Matt Settle 400-k suffer-fest brevet next weekend.  Byron had the correct, up-to-date cue sheet with him.

Mick/Mike wanted to get in some easy climbing this weekend as he is apparently doing Alan's 400-k brevet pre-ride next weekend.  Mick/Mike somehow had an outdated cue sheet with him.

I just wanted to ride my permanent.  For the second time.
I took no cue sheet with me.  After all, I supposedly know the route.
However, I suspect that me asking Byron on two separate occasions
"What is the name of the road at the next turn?"
May have been a bit disconcerting.

We had a good ride, starting in cloudy 55F conditions
That eventually morphed into sunny 78F weather.
The entire time with a NE breeze.
A NE breeze provides a tailwind most of the "inbound" trip,
But means the ride starts with 54 to 64 miles of headwind / breeze.

Riding behind Byron, I realized a major difference between 130-lb. Byron
And our friend Ricochet Robert (who weighs in at 135-lbs).
Namely, Byron has noticeable calf muscles.
Robert does not.

Other than rolling pastures with many horses and cattle, and fewer dawgs than last time,
My opinion is that these are the most notable things from the ride:

  • NC-DOT is replacing the Sims Bridge across the Tar River.  The bridge was closed on Sunday -- but not rando-closed, if'n ya' know what I mean.  On a weekday, construction workers would probably have not permitted us to walk around the humongous crane parked in the middle of the causeway and blocking the entire roadway.  I'll have to figure a major detour for the several months the work is expected to take.  Route sabotaged by the DOT on only the second undertaking of the route -- aargh!  
  • The Bobbitt Store appears to have closed, permanently.  Not a pun.  I'll move the control from that store to the gas station / convenience store at Epsom, which will now become CP-2 and CP-5.  The store at Epsom has more "conveniences" anyway.  
  • The sign for Stagecoach Rd is almost completely hidden by directional and other DOT signs.  The sign on the opposite side of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd is easily visible, but it indicates Perrytown Rd.  I suspect that anyone doing the route without me (or others that have already done the route) would miss that turn.  I'll re-jigger the cue sheet. 
  • I noticed that the names that the electronic maps put on the road heading "east" from Drewry is ... wrong.  What a surprise -- NOT.  I should have stuck with my instincts and memory, instead of believing the electronic maps.  Another cue sheet re-jigger. 

Byron and Mick/Mike's opinions of the notable items on the ride may differ from mine.

As noted above, we had a good time,
Despite the water issues caused by the Bobbitt Store having closed its doors.

commute to --> Warrenton - Egypt Mtn 210-km Perm --> commute back; 150.5 m.; 10h02 in-motion; 15.0 mph; Egypt Mtn rando elapsed time:  10h26.  

Q-1 tot: _22 rides; 1,610.3 m.; 108 h, 42 m; 14.8 mph. 
Apr tot: _10 rides; 1,030.4 m.; _70 h, 54 m; 14.5 mph. 
YTD tot: _32 rides; 2,640.7 m.; 179 h, 36 m; 14.7 mph. 

Apr-28: Bahama Beach, A Recovery 103-kms

Byron contacted me, wanting to do Bahama Beach on Saturday.

Ricochet Robert signed on, but indicated he was definitely on a "recovery weekend",
And wanted a leisurely recovery pace.

That sounded good to me.
Also sounded good to Byron.
Because while still firming up plans for the BB perm-pop,
Each of us also had decided to do the Warrenton - Egypt Mtn perm on Sunday.

Recovery.  That's what the plan was.
A recovery ride that came in only 1 minute off the previous course record !
(Admittedly, no fast-riders have done the course, yet, with a view to being fast.)

Ags had also joined the ride.
He stayed with us until the last 9.5-kms on Ghoston, Peed and MVC roads.

He put 8 minutes into the three of us in those 9.5-kms.
After the ride, Byron, Ricochet and I were chatting.
I asked Robert if that was the new NC-rando short-sleeved wool jersey he was wearing.
Robert indicated that it was and that he had gotten the jersey only a day or so before.

He then added something about sleeping in the jersey.
Not sure exactly what he said, but it was definitely "'something' about sleeping in the jersey".
On Sunday, Byron confirmed to me that Robert certainly had said "'something' about sleeping in the jersey".


commute to --> Bahama Beach 103-km Perm-Pop --> commute back via Ricochet's; 90.1 m.; 5h53 in-motion; 15.3 mph; BB rando elapsed time:  4h33.  

Q-1 tot: _22 rides; 1,610.3 m.; 108 h, 42 m; 14.8 mph. 
Apr tot: __9 rides; __879.9 m.; _60 h, 52 m; 14.5 mph. 
YTD tot: _31 rides; 2,490.2 m.; 169 h, 34 m; 14.7 mph.  

After this ride:  86. 
Meaning I have ridden at least 86 miles on at least 86 different occasions. 
The trivia oriented might notice that my E has gone from 84 (reached on Mar-10) to 86, skipping 85. 
That is because I have not a single ride that is at least 85 miles, but less than 86 miles in length. 

Some boring personal history data: 
Career statistics through:  
         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 645 35,203.4 54.6 377.2     81
2012 676 37,693.6 55.8 377.2     86

Rides by year currently contributing to E: 
         year      # rides          miles        mi. / r
2004 0 0.0 0.0
2005 0 0.0 0.0
2006 0 0.0 0.0
2007 1 109.0 109.0
2008 2 201.7 100.9
2009 7 720.0 102.9
2010 26 3,525.9 135.6
2011 40 5,429.7 135.7
2012 10 1,417.4 141.7
total 86 11,403.7 132.6

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Apr-21: Siler City Control -- Moments in Time

Having done a pre-ride, I worked the Siler City (100k 'n 200k) control.
Ostensibly, I was on-duty from 1000 to 1500 (start +3h to start +8h).
My "relief" (Dean, the "Phun Physiologist") arrived shortly after 1400;
And I stuck around until about 1615, then headed back to the "start" / finish.

The following are some "moments in time" from the control:

  • Lead pack of 6 arrived at 1031 (+3h31); 10 total by 1036 (out of a total of 29 starters / 28 that made it to Siler City).  
  • MaryF commented that I looked clean and rested.  That confused me for a few moments, until ... 
  • TimL asked how far I had ridden with the group; I must have returned a quizzical look because Tim immediately added, "oh, you rode to the start and then drove here."  That was correct, and ah, Mary might have been wondering a similar thing. 
  • Geof struggling to change his flat -- the tube and tyre had cemented their relationship.  Not finding anything wrong with the Grand Bois tyre.  Subsequent filthy hands. 

  • Someone asked if a plastic bag attached the car was for trash.  I replied, "yes, but please be neat about it -- if we make a mess, the car's owner might hit me."  Jerry, standing next to me, said, "I'm going to hit you anyway," and delivered a fake-punch to my chest.  (The car in question was Jerry's.) 

  • I met Woody Graham.  (I usually don't put last names on the blog, but would anyone understand if only put "Woody G" in this report?)  Some info on Woody here and here.  (The riders that were just behind Woody when arriving at the 100k control commented that every time they worked hard and caught up to Woody, thinking to form a small group, Woody would, at will, ride on ahead.) 

  • Jacob of Tidewater, enthusiastically explaining his plan to get to 5000 RUSA kms this year. 
  • Al P putting his helmet back on, complete with ear-flaps on the straps. 

  • Mick pulling up in his car alongside "mine", waking me from a nap.  Asking when I thought the lead riders would return (200k mark).  Telling me he was going up to Snow Camp.  Me thinking, "I wonder why he is going up to Snow Camp if he's working the afternoon shift here"?  (I didn't know who was due to come on-duty at 1500.)  Mick returning about 6 minutes later and commenting, "it seems silly to head to up Snow Camp now, with the lead riders probably at least 20 minutes from here and an hour from that control. 
  • Dean arriving and setting up a card table of food.  Mick, Dean and I figuring a plan to split off some the apparent excess Siler City food and for Mick to take with him to Snow Camp. 

  • JoeRay perfecting the 3-minute control stop on the return.  
  • TomF wanting another 30 seconds, the "game-on" race-face that came to Tom when JoeRay did not want to wait another second. 

  • The start of a light rain at about 1535.  Dean and I moving the card table of food, and everything else from under open skies to a bay of the car-wash.  Jerry moving his bike, paraphernalia and himself to the car-wash bay.  The sky falling out with a masterful deluge.  Thankful we'd move things under roof. 
  • Discovering that we'd set the card table up perfectly to be exactly under the only leak in the roof.  Aargh. 
  • Jerry, still dry, leaving after an unplanned 40-minute stop to continue his ride. 
  • The sun coming out in time to start making things really steamy for the drowned-rat randonneurs that had arrived after the deluge had begun. 
There were about 13 or 14 riders that had not yet reached Siler City (200-km control) when I left.  
I got back to the finish in time to see JoeRay complete his ride at 1755/6 and TomF at 1806.  MaryF and TimL arrived at 1828.  Others filtered in after that.  There was interesting conversation and other stuff at the finish, but this post is about the moments in time from the Siler City control.

Interesting experience volunteering at a control. 
I recommend everyone try it. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Apr-17: NCBC 300k Brevet Pre-ride

There was a pre-ride on Sunday, Apr-15, but in the end, I had a conflict pop-up and could not do the pre-ride that day.  When I contacted RBA Alan, he indicated that he and Maria were doing a pre-ride on Tuesday and that I could join them.  I did.

I decided to take a page from Ian's handbook and cycle to and from the ride.
It isn't all that far from Raleigh to Morrisville.

I was determined to check the green road-sign names for the names and SR #'s of all the roads.
Hard to do that when one knows the route too well.
I managed to remember to look at the name on the sign for each road all the way to Seagrove.
Each name matched the cue sheet.

I also wanted to check the turns on the cue sheet,
Intending to do that while at the turn-around in Seagrove and again at the finish.
Failed to do that in either location.
Too tired.
Especially at the end.
However, all the turns and distances were checked digitally last year, and
Maria has already indicated that she found the cue sheet to be very accurate.

As for checking the SR #'s on the road signs:
That is harder to do as the #'s are in pretty small type.
Mostly failed on the checking of the SR #'s.

During the return, Alan told me about a route / cue sheet he developed
For an NCBC club ride back in the 80's.
The SR # on opposite ends of one particular road
(Perhaps it was Chicken Bridge Rd or Parker Herndon Rd)
Were not the same.
And he did not know that.

Alan indicated that that particular problem has been fixed.
We think a LOT of situations like that have been fixed over the decades.

I failed to check the road names, etc. on the return.
Loss of interest, primarily due to foot pain, butt pain, and encroaching darkness.
Maria decided to abandon at the turn-around in Seagrove.
She apparently had a serendipitous and unexpected fun time checking out the pottery.
Alan and I were disappointed that Maria abandoned.
Without her, the "ugly quotient" on the ride jumped significantly.

Coleridge / Old Coleridge Rd is my favorite scenic road on Alan's brevets.
On the way out, that is.
On the return, it seems to become "interminable".

Most road surfaces were at least "reasonable".
The rough on Castle Rock Farm Rd, Parker Hernon Rd and some others is still rough.
Makes one appreciate the smooooth surfaces all the more.

The major exception to "reasonable" surfaces is the section of Morrisville Pkwy
From where the "dual carriageway" ends to the Chatham County line.
On the return, Alan and I each managed to hit at least one hole.

Also, there are numerous places with significant drop-offs at the road's edge.
In some places, there is suddenly no fog line because the road-edge has crumbled.
Potentially especially "interesting" if "no-fog-line" overlaps a "significant drop-off".
Just a quick note on "details" of the ride:

Alan turned into a monster on the last 30 or more miles.
By which I mean, he seemed to get stronger and faster.

Usually, I can finish Alan's 200, 300, 400 route(s) with some pizzaz.
Not so much on the 17th.
I could not hold on to him for the last 20 miles.

Cue sheet is good. 
The roads are reasonable to excellent, almost entirely NC back/side-roads. 
That means no shoulders.  But also no traffic!!

There is a link to a TrimbleOutdoors map of the route on Alan's website.
One can download "GPX" files from the Trimble map site.
I understand that one can create "GPS" files from GPX files,
But I wouldn't actually know about that.
Neither Alan nor I warranty the accuracy of the map trace and the GPX files.
One more important thing to note:

We accomplished Alan's secret goal for the ride.
You'll have to ask him about that.
I shall remain mum -- at least for now.

Part 1 - cycle to the pre-ride:  14.8 m.; 0h55 in-motion; 16.0 mph; 
 _Part 2 - NCBC 300 km pre-ride:  189.2 m.; 13h47 in-motion; 13.7 mph; elapsed time:  16h56; 
 _ _Part 3 - cycle back:  14.6 m.; 1h16 in-motion; 11.5 mph.  

Q-1 tot: _22 rides; 1,610.3 m.; 108 h, 42 m; 14.8 mph. 
Apr tot: __6 rides; __734.5 m.; _51 h, 29 m; 14.3 mph. 
YTD tot: _28 rides; 2,344.8 m.; 160 h, 02 m; 14.7 mph. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Apr-14: Assault on Flat Rock - 50-mile version

Due to others getting phone calls and me making best use use of the downhill segments, I got to the stop-sign at the corner of Grove Hill Rd and Preddy Rd before the others.  I was looking around at the valleys falling away in most every direction, thinking that I'd been doing too much rando and not enough JRA lately.

At that moment, Norris reached the stop-sign and commented "it is great out here".  In response, I said "I was just thinking I'd been away from old friends for too long, by which I mean Wes Sandling and Grove Hill and Flat Rock roads and certain of the houses and scenery along them.  Oh, and also you and Bob and Paul ('the Mallet') and 'Ricochet' Robert."

Gosh, it was nice there.  Everything green and clean and flowers popping.  I even thought that the wind making the various flags stand straight-out added to the atmosphere.

Apr-12: Bahama Beach (reversed) -- AoMM Training?

My friend IvaHawk came to his first Irregulars ride on Saturday, Feb-14-2009.
(Gosh, looking back at my records from then, "LT" was still "Dave-not-the-Wave".)
Anyway, at the time, Iva had never done a 100-miler; his usual rides were 30 or 35 miles long.
We soon "cured" him of that.

If I recall correctly, IvaHawk's first 50-miler was on a cold day in late February or early March of 2009, just Iva and BobH.

By Apr-04-2009, Iva was energized sufficiently from the longer rides that he decided to do an International Distance Triathlon instead of the Sprint Tri's he usually did.  And on Apr-04, a group of us did a 50+ miler scouting mission (hmmn, no mention that Iva was also doing the triathlon in question -- seems strange, now) for the upcoming triathlon.  (Iva and Harvey/Snapper did the Beaver Dam Triathlon on Apr-18th.)  On Apr-11-2009, Iva did his first Irregular 100k ride -- I still recall the slow trudge Iva and I made up Brogden Rd from Creedmoor to Stem, while the rest of the IRs zoomed ahead -- and I mentioned that first time we climbed that sloping road to Iva on the BB(rev) we did "today" (Apr-12) -- wish I had known that we were only one day removed from the third anniversary of that moment in history.

An aside:  Apr-2009 was an interesting and moments-in-time filled month.  On the 19th, LT dragged me with him to Pilot Mtn to test out some roads for a future IR mountain outing; that Apr-19 ride was my first introduction to mountains -- small though they may have been.  And on Apr-25th, to quote from my Excel log, "no one showed for the ride".  Further, on Apr-26th, I did a ride that, looking back now, one might say was a partial scouting for the "Warrenton - Egypt Mtn" permanent; also, I set a 4-day distance record -- a record since crushed several time, and which I exceeded by 50-miles doing the Fleche last weekend.  Looking back on "history", either your own or another's, is quite interesting and can be informative and/or amusing.  I recall reminiscing a year ago, or a year-and-a-half ago, with my ex-wife about her first ever 50-miler (she was so excited that we went and drove the route based on her memory -- she didn't have a cue sheet), my first 50-miler (she dragged me through it), her first solo 80-miler on a day so hot that when she got back to the house, she laid the bike down in the yard near the street and walked with open arms imploring without words to be sprayed down from the hose with which I was watering newly installed plants; that visual still makes me chuckle.  During our reminiscing, Lynn told me that, at that moment, she knew she would NEVER ride farther than THAT in a single ride or day, and certainly NEVER when that HOT.  Local Raleigh and NC randos that may be reading this, and know who Lynn is, are probably holding their stomachs at this moment, because the previous sentence or two has made them laugh so hard that their entire body is hurting.  (For the non-locals, check out the blog-roll to the right -- look for the "PacTour" mentions.)  

Back to the intended story.  On May-09-2009 (oh, wow! photos), Iva did an IR 75-miler, the main highlight of which was climbing up to Mt. Tirzah.  And on May-23-2009, IvaHawk got his first taste of mountains.  On Jun-06, IvaHawk was part of the IR crew that did Egypt Mtn Rd (also on the "Warrenton - Egypt Mtn" perm).  And finally, on Jun-20-2009, Iva, at age 62, did his first ever 100-miler (on a course, the beginning of which is the beginning of the "Warrenton - Egypt Mtn" perm -- who knew THAT was a scouting mission? -- not me).

Why all the back-story on Iva?  Well, after all that chronicled above, IvaHawk has done quite a few additional 100-milers, including one or two Tour de Moor's and last year he did Assault on Mt. Mitchell and another of those incredible mountain centuries (maybe Bridge-2-Bridge (?)).  AND, this year, he has quite a program of intended rides and triathlons on his schedule.  He's already done some triathlons and/or duathlons, made a couple mountain-training-trips, plans to do the White Lake Half-Iron Distance Tri in the next few weeks, and plans to do AoMM next month.  A busy schedule.  The only thing missing is some long rides to make sure he's ready to spend that much time on the bike.

So ... he figured that a hilly 100k, then an 80-miler, then a 100-miler would be good pre-AoMM training.  Only problem is that with a vacation trip also in the mix, there isn't time for him to do a 100-miler and be recovered to do the Half-Iron, etc., and AoMM.  We did the "Bahama Beach (reversed)" permanent-populaire "today" for the 100k.  Next week, maybe the 80-mile "Allensville - Dennys Store" route.  And maybe there will be time to squeeze in another 80-miler with a few more valley climbs (perhaps this or this) before AoMM.

Today's ride:

I don't recall much, except:  on Horseshoe Rd there was a pasture with goats, a mule, a donkey, and some cattle including, although this seems strange, one bull -- must be a relatively passive bull.  I also recall trying to get Iva to recall our first time climbing Brogden Rd together -- but I think my words were being blown away by the wind -- and once in Stem, the topic did not come up again.  The wind shifted on us during the ride, and as a result we got headwinds most of the ride, with only short sections of tailwind -- oh, well.

BB was a nice route "today", as usual.  But I think I definitely prefer to do it clockwise.  On the other hand, the advantage of having a route that is approved to be ridden in reverse, is that it is like two routes in one.

One last thing:  "today's" ride was Iva's first official RUSA ride.
I guess he can no longer tell his former co-worker and 2011-NC-randonnuese-of-the-year Janis that he is "working on getting to P-1".

Friday, April 13, 2012

Apr-06/07: Dean Martin & Hogan's Heroes - A Fleche

The epic struggle of one man and his bike against the elements, the dark, the terrain and mishaps.
Wait -- isn't a Fleche a TEAM event?
Oh, yeah.

The epic struggle of one team ... against the elements, the dark, the terrain and mishaps.
Wait -- wasn't the highest elevation of the ride at the start?
Well, okay, yeah, but there was all that flat stuff to navigate.

The epic struggle ... against the elements, the dark, navigation errors and mishaps.
Wait -- wasn't there a full moon on a crystal clear night?
Well, okay.

The epic struggle ... against the elements, navigation errors and mishaps. 
Wait -- what mishaps?
Well, okay, there were no mechanicals or crashes or anything similar.
But Byron worried about the noises from his bottom bracket from almost the first pedal stroke;
The only time he didn't worry about that was when he was too COLD to care.
But the bottom bracket survived the ride, performing well the entire way?
Well, yes.
Doesn't appear to have been a mishap there.

Well, Martin was really sleepy between 4 and 5:30 Saturday morning.
But he didn't crash?
No, but he weaved around a lot.
Did he cause problems for the other team members weaving around worse than the Duke?
Well, no.  He got ahead of the rest so that if he crashed, no one else would get hurt.
But he didn't crash?
No, but he came close -- once.

Okay, the epic struggle of one team and their bikes against the elements and navigation errors.
What "elements"?  Wasn't it a beautifully clear day and night?
Not at the start.  There was a cold rain.
Rain?  Are you sure it wasn't more like a heavy sprinkle?
Okay, heavy sprinkle.  But it was cold.
Didn't it stop "raining" before y'all got to the first control at 14.3 miles?
Well, yeah.  But it was cold and overcast for another 30 miles or so.
"Pregnant pause".
Well, okay, so the rain wasn't THAT bad.
And we did dry out before well before the 40-mile mark.

The epic struggle of one team and their bikes against the wind and navigation errors.
Wasn't your course a mostly "go-east" affair until dinner-time?
Yes.  What of it?
That doesn't seem like much of a headwind; more like a cross-wind.
It was a quartering headwind, and sometimes we were head-on into it.
For example?
The section on NC-58 was really bad.
Wasn't that only one-and-a-half miles long?
Well, yeah, but the wind was really bad on that section.
For example, there was one particular "gust" that I recall,
First, you heard it in the trees,
Second, you saw the grass just ahead on the side of the road really whipped up,
Then, wham!  Instant loss of several miles-per-hour and slammed sideways almost into the gutter.
Anywhere else?
Yes, after we realized our navigation error and turned around,
We were head-on into the wind for ... long enough that it wore Byron out.
Navigation error?
I thought you were asking about the wind.
Well, continue then.
The entire time we were on NC-111 getting to Tarboro was head-on into the wind.
How long was that?
7.4 miles.  Averaging about 12 miles-per-hour.
And the gusts were sometimes quite amazing.
The wind, and the gusts in particular, were worse the further east we rode.
After Tarboro, it was mostly only a quartering headwind; some head-on, but mostly quartering.
Any other windy places?
Well, it did go completely calm after sunset.
But kicked up again with a vengeance come sunrise on Saturday just in time ...
Are you getting ahead of yourself?  But it does appear you had at least some wind to deal with. 

The epic struggle of one team and their bikes against the wind and navigation errors.
Navigation error?  You had a cue sheet, and Byron's magic phone, and 
Didn't three of you pre-drive the course a month earlier?
Yes, but, in the moments after lunch in Elm City,
The conversation was more interesting than paying attention to the road, and
We missed a "bear-Left" and ended up headed for South Carolina.
What was so interesting about the conversation that you missed a turn?
Oh, I don't recall; or if I do, I'm invoking the MikeD rule,
"Some things should remain on the road, in the ride, and not in the blog."
Did you collect many bonus-miles?
14.65.  And with the headwind battling back to the course,
It cost an hour.  Easily an hour.
Any other navigation errors?
Well, have you ever looked carefully at a map showing the roads from
Williamston to Elizabeth City?
I swear half the roads are US-17, or US-17-Bypass, or US-17-Business, or Old-17.
And on maps, the Bypasses and the Business sections all tend to be labelled US-17-B.
It is very confusing.

How were the roads?
Pretty good.  Except the side/back roads between Edenton and Hertford, and
Between Hertford and Elizabeth City, were bumpy.
Not so much potholes, but ridges across the road, or lumps in the road.

Any good or nice things happen?
The people at the Wendy's in Williamston were very nice.
Several were in awe of what we were doing.
It usually is that way outside of the bigger cities and towns.

The Full Moon was great.  Nice to see and it helped us see ... the roads.
The night was so clear the moon looked like an over-exposed photograph.
Lots of stars visible when we were in the middle of the "boonies", too,

Traffic at night was quite respectful.
One theory is that at night, the cars can't tell what we are,
Just a bunch of wiggling about and blinking red lights.
Once it got daylight again, the cars were less respectful.
Especially on the peninsula heading down to the Wright Memorial Bridge,
And on the Outer Banks.
People in a hurry, I guess.

Interestingly, on the Wright Memorial Bridge,
With the re-awoken north wind slamming us about,
Sometimes a gust would shove one a couple feet sideways,
Anyway, all the traffic gave us the entire right lane (which we tried to claim).
Even with the respectful traffic,
There was unanimous opinion that the three-miles crossing that bridge
Were the worst any of us had ridden -- EVER (or at least in long while).
I, for one, am not interested in cycling across that bridge again any time soon.

That last doesn't seem to qualify as a "nice thing".
Were there any other good or nice moments during the ride?
Well, the best moment was probably when the most-sober of the loud-drunks
At the IHOP in Elizabeth City told the IHOP staff to give us their table,
Saying that we needed it more than they did.
That saved us at least a 20-minute wait to be seated.
We were already thinking that we might not make the 22-hr control,
Nor the finish, in time.
As it was, we only made the 22-hr control with 22-minutes to spare,
After the fastest night-time riding four of us have ever done.
Not five?
I think Byron has cycled faster at night than we did on this ride.

[BTW, I do understand about alternative 22-hour control sites, and
Alternative finish locations, and
We had a route that was officially 388-kms long,
So ... if it had come to that ... I know the "team captain" understood the rules on those points.]

So ... you finished the ride on time, all together?
On time.  All together.
No mechanicals.
No mishaps (other than navigation errors).

The joy-filled epic ride of one team that overcame the wind and navigation errors.
And we got stories we can tell.
Only some of them won't make this blog.
Else, no one would have reason to talk to any of us.
And we need to keep something in reserve for future long rides.
Any post-ride stuff you should mention?
Thanks to Biker Bob (who completed his first Fleche two hours before us) and
His wife Deane for showers at their hotel / motel room.
And Byron and Ricochet and I had our 5th breakfast in 28 hours,
With Biker Bob at the "Grill and Grits" near the finish.
We exchanged some stories.
Would have been nice if more people had been about.
But Dean and Mick/Mike were met by their respective spouses, and went ... somewhere(s).
And Bob's two teammates went ... somewhere(s) after their rides.

And the team of Steve B, Terry A and Jimmy something from Ontario, Canada
Started their Fleche at 10:15 -- 75 minutes after ours officially ended.

Anything else?
Well, I left my keys in my saddle-pack with my bike.
And my bike came back to Raleigh with Dean,
Whereas I came back to Raleigh with Ricochet and Byron.
How did you get your keys?
That's a story for another day.

Edit, Jan-25-2013:  tried to embed the Trimble map of the course before I lose access to my (used to be free) Trimble maps) -- that didn't work -- maybe just a link:


Fleche:  Raleigh to Nags Head; 259.9 m.; 18h08 in-motion; 14.3 mph; official rando time:  24h00, of course (if we get approved).  

Q-1 tot: _22 rides; 1,610.3 m.; 108 h, 42 m; 14.8 mph. 
Apr tot: __3 rides; __359.4 m.; _24 h, 46 m; 14.5 mph. 
YTD tot: _25 rides; 1,969.7 m.; 133 h, 28 m; 14.8 mph.