Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May-26: Two Epics 201-km Perm

I'm borrowing, with modification, a page from the "Doc-on-a-bike" playbook (i.e., blog) from two years ago:  "Sag" has summed up the ride and day pretty well over on "sagittandy", so I refer you to his blog post.  As indicated by Andy, everyone enjoyed the outbound, tailwind aided, camaraderie conversation filled leg -- making the first 100k epic in its own right.

The homebound leg was a different kind of "epic".  

Somewhere during our return leg together, John commented, "next year, White Lake Half-Iron  OR  Assault on Mt. Mitchell,  BUT  not both."  Sore butt and sore feet on a hot afternoon into the headwind definitely made for a different kind of epic than the outbound leg.

I'm under the impression that this, his R-11 ride, was the toughest ride of John's R-series.  If I understood correctly, also his toughest mental struggle in any of his events (triathlons, duathlons, half-marathon, full-marathon (?), two Assaults on Mt. Mitchell and other mountain centuries, RUSA brevets and permanents) in the last couple years.  John admitted during the ride, and repeated afterwards, that this was the one event that he seriously considered DNF'ing.

But John soldiered on, finishing and then immediately heading home to his six year-old son.  My opinion is that that last item of the previous sentence is the most important.

Chapeau, John!  And I hope I can join you next month for your R-12.


Lookin' Out My Back Door 201-km Permanent; 125.9 m.; 8h16 in-motion; 15.2 mph; rando elapsed time:  10h35

After this ride:  88. 
Meaning that I have completed at least 88 different rides that were at least 88 miles long. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

May-19: "Lookin' Out My Back Door" 201-km Perm

Jerry put out the instigating list-serve e-mail.
Dean, Mick/Mike and Jerry were doing the captioned, relatively new permanent.

Given the "need" for R-rides, I figured that
Fearless Leader Alan and the O'rishman,
And the "Determined Crew" would join the party
(the "Determined Crew" had to bail for life reasons).

I tried to influence Ricochet Robert to consider doing the ride,
With truthful claims that the portion of the route
From Averasboro Battlefield to Cedar Creek would duplicate that section of the upcoming 600-k.
(If you do an interweb search on "Averasboro Battlefield", you'll find many links.)

The day's crew numbered 10:
Jerry, Dean, Mick/Mike, Alan, MikeO,
Sridhar, PhilH, young Allen, Ricochet Robert, me.

Mounted on 9 modernly geared bikes  +  1 snazzy-looking fixed.
The course shares a lot, repeat, a LOT, of roads with:

Easy to get confused if one is not carefully watching the cue sheet.
Easy to get confused if one has ridden all those courses and IS carefully watching the cue sheet.
That's all I'm noting on that front.
A few months ago, Dean had told me that I would like the new course from Coats to Dunn.
He was correct.
Mostly along the top of a wide, flat ridge.
A couple creek-crossings, and the related climbs.

I particularly liked the new roads on the outbound leg.
GREAT tailwind.

I don't recall too much of those new roads on the homeward bound leg.
Too much headwind.

How much tailwind / headwind?
Enough so that, after the ride, when I asked Alan if he had an enjoyable ride,
He responded, "at first I did; then we turned around."
The first six of us arrived at the turn-around in just under 4 hours.
(Probably my first ever 100k in under 4 hours.)

Everyone arrived at the turn-around by 4h10 elapsed time.
Almost a complete regrouping at Bethany Corners for a lunch stop.
Jerry had fried chicken, by the way.

But we headed back to start, now the finish, in several small groups.
I had met new-rando-this-year Phil H, even chatted with him 7 weeks or so ago,
At the Snow Camp control on the NCBC 200-km brevet,
But this was the first time I'd ridden with Phil.
Conclusion:  STRONG rider -- he did the lion's share of work into the wind.
Also, very pleasant to chat and ride with.

I had also met new-rando-this-year "young" Allen.
Clearly I met young-Allen at the same Snow Camp control mentioned above,
But I have no recollection of said meeting.
I do, however, recall a short chat with Allen at the Siler City control on the 300-km brevet.
Conclusion:  Nice guy.  Likely to become a member of the fast-crew
When he becomes more comfortable with riding hard while simultaneously eating.

Robert was the other person, in addition to yours truly,
That was part of the foursome that set a new course record
On this newish course of Dean's.
I've ridden with Robert many times.
Conclusion:  Still a nice, enthusiastic guy.
Oh, and Ricochet seems to be back -- banishing "Ragged Robert".

(Said "record" will clearly be shattered whenever any of the fast-crew
Decides to do the course with an eye to speed-training.
In the meantime, we'll enjoy our sure to be short-lived "notoriety".)
Post-ride, checking over and signing control cards at the picnic table outside the control,
And the subsequent conversations,
Put the icing on the day.

Lookin' Out My Back Door 201-km Permanent; 125.9 m.; 7h59 in-motion; 15.8 mph; rando elapsed time:  9h20.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May-12: Bahama Beach 103-km Perm-Pop

Start time was 0700.
I arrived at 0704 (according to the clock on my confuser).
Byron was "long-gone".

Good thing we'd previously arranged the "paperwork exchange".
We'd done that as there was a high chance I wouldn't be able to ride.

I set off "chasing" Byron.
He is faster than me, so I figured I wouldn't see him until the 60-km control in Stem.

Then I realized that my tyres were way low on pressure.
Probably around 50 lbs. pressure instead of the designed 100 - 120.

About 8 miles into the course, I stopped to pump up.
Avg pace for the commute and course to that point:  16.1 mph.
5 minute delay (it takes longer to pump up without a full-size pump).
Much easier pedaling after pumping-up.

Now I knew I would be lucky to see Byron in Stem.
But I continued to attack every uphill and upslope.

Rolled into Stem approx 9:30.
Not bad considering the 4 minute late start and the 5 minute pump-'em-up delay.

There was Byron -- just about ready to leave.
Two other cyclists were also there -- getting ready to roll.

LT and "Red Rocket":  "Irregulars" doing a different course,
But using Stem as a pit-stop / rest-stop.

Say hello -- good-bye to LT and RR.
Byron waited while I purchased and ate faux Strawberry Newtons.
(The faux Apple Newtons taste better.)

9:41 -- off we go, down Creedmoor / Brogden Rd.
Byron leading.
He is faster than me.
But he weighs next to nothing.
So ... since Brogden Rd is mostly downslope for about 3 miles,
I came around to lead.

When the road tilted UP just before Creedmoor,
Byron dropped off my front.
But he slowed or waited at the turn onto NC-56.

Through Creedmoor.
I meant to point out "Southern States" and the "BP".
Each has excellent rest rooms.
Southern States has cold water from "fountain".
BP has snacks, etc..

More long downslope on Brassfield Rd leaving Creedmoor.
Then payment due with two upslopes.
The first always beats me.
I almost always beat the second.

But Byron is hammering away on Pope Rd before I complete the turn.
Then down Horseshoe and UP.
Byron taking it easy on the UP.
Left turn to stay on Horseshoe.

Easy ups to Lawrence Rd (US Bike Route #1).
Swoop down to the bridge over the creek,
Then the steep part, then the mile-long shallow upslope.

On the shallow upslope, I see three people I know, but I only recognize them because of the last.
Paul "the Mallet" is out with his two eldest children (son, about 13; daughter, about 10).
All three look to be having fun.

I learn later via e-mail exchange that Paul and kids rode 26+ miles,
From Shinleaf to the Creedmoor BP, and return.
Avg'ing 12.2 mph.
I think that's pretty good.
Not a flat course for adults or for youngsters.

Paul also informed that "some" thought the snacks at the BP made the ride worthwhile.
Isn't that the way with everyone?

Anyway, Byron and I cruised easily in on Bruce Garner / New Light.
No "time-trial".
Some will be surprised to read that.

Byron mostly stayed with me as I plodded up Ghoston and Peed and the bottom part of MVC.
Then he put some effort into the pedals and ...
When I turned near the school, Byron was so far ahead that I did not see him.

Byron finished the course in 4h22.
I finished in 4h23.
Each of us "smashed" the previous course record,
Set two weeks earlier by Ags.

I imagine that Ags will now come to do the route all-out, the whole way.
But not until some time after he completes the Assault on Mt. Mitchell next week.
Funny thing:
Each of the previous two weekends, I've done a 150 +/- miler, averaging 15.0 mph.
After completing BB, with an avg of 16.2 for the combined commute and route,
My legs felt MUCH worse.

I have a self-diagnosis -- keeping it to myself.

I took it very easy on the commute back.

commute to --> Bahama Beach 103-km Perm-Pop --> commute back; 74.0 m.; 4h37 in-motion; 16.0 mph; BB rando elapsed time:  4h23.  

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. 
May tot: __6 rides; __331.0 m.; _22 h, 24 m; 14.8 mph. 
YTD tot: _38 rides; 2,971.7 m.; 292 h, 00 m; 14.7 mph. 

The "errand" rides, which I no longer blog, are "killing" my avg pace stats. 

After the above ride, I am: 
R-22, C-27, M-39, P-5. 

If I can count (which clearly, sometimes I cannot), Byron appears to be R-25, P-2. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May-05: Detouring Egypt Mtn 210-km Perm

After finding (the previous Sunday) that the Sims Bridge over the Tar River is being replaced, Ricochet Robert joined me to check-out the most logical detour I could come up with that is cycling-friendly.

I can't really type that we "explored", because only a few miles of the quite long detour were new to me -- even Ricochet only experienced a dozen or so miles on "new roads" (I'm guessing as I can no longer recall what routes others have ridden).

I was set to not like the detour.  But once again, the roads in north-central North Carolina have reminded me of something my non-rando cycling friend Gary says:  "the only problem with cycling here is that EVERY road is a good road to ride upon."

The intended 210-km "Egypt Mtn" course lulls one into the ride easily, with gentle rollers over open ridges.  The detour is mostly a tree-tunnel plus what some deem a nasty little climb sometimes called "the Ruin Wall".    Definitely NOT what I had in mind for early in the Egypt Mtn course.  But, you know what?  I really liked the detour routing and the resulting course.

How could I have set my mind to not like a couple of roads that I have enjoyed riding on several / many occasions?  How could one not like a Dr. Finch Rd / Foster Rd Ext / Foster Rd with at least two or three creek valleys to cross in only ~ 3 miles?  How could one not like a road on which one sees a "Barracuda" (at least I think it was a Barracuda -- guess I'll have to ride that road again to double-check)?

I intend to send in the detour routing and officially change the routing and distance while the Sims Bridge is being replaced (the original and ultimate intended route can be seen here).  Assuming Crista approves, the new (temporary) distance will be 221-kms.  I'm thinking that the many 10-K-hounds we had last year here in NC may have appreciated the large amount of "change" inherent in 221-kms; unfortunately, there seem to be fewer 10-K-hounds in the state this year.

When the bridge replacement is complete, I intend to return the course to its original routing.

The Public Information Release from the NC-DOT indicated a Sep-15th completion date; however, as of last Sunday, no noticeable work had been done to start removing the existing bridge; therefore, I'm thinking that the bridge could be out longer than mid-September.

Robert and I had a great day on the bike.  10 hours in mostly dry and mostly sunny conditions; 1 hour on the receiving end of a downpour!  What better way to spend a day is there?

commute to --> detoured Warrenton - Egypt Mtn 210-km Perm; 148.6 m.; 9h53 in-motion; 15.0 mph; Egypt Mtn rando elapsed time:  10h55.  

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. 
May tot: __3 rides; __204.8 m.; _13 h, 39 m; 15.0 mph. 
YTD tot: _35 rides; 2,845.5 m.; 193 h, 16 m; 14.7 mph.