Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Feb-24: Howling Grits 103-km Perm-Pop

All the clever comments have already been made on Facebook.
All the interesting photos have been posted on Facebook.
So this is just an acknowledgement that I did JP's Howling Grits route
With some good people:
  • Maria (with whom I did most of the ride -- "rando 'with'" has a longer bungee-cord def'n than "club ride 'with'").
  • JP on Hawkeye and Fixie Pixe on Wee Giant, each rode fixed.
  • Geof rode his pink bike with gears. 
  • JohnM apparently rode bare-legged all day and nearly blinded Pamela, but I failed to notice his bike. 
  • (I usually fail to notice anyone's bike, actually.) 
High temp of 61 in February.  Woo-hoo!
Thanks to Pamela for picking the one nice day in the midst of a run of yukky weather. 

Only the second time I've done HG.
The first time was in June-2010.
I, uh, teased -- is that the correct word? -- JP pretty good with that original ride post.
Considering that I had barely met Jerry at the time, perhaps I was a bit cheeky.
He has occasionally "thanked" me for showing MikeD the way to "Stovall Mtn".
And he came to appreciate my advice regarding Egypt Mtn Rd.
However, I'm still on the lookout for "mountain" roads for nearby permanent routes

Lystra is still Lystra, and although I may, repeat, may
Climb better/faster now than I did 2 or 3 years ago, Lystra is still Lystra.
I did the steep part slower than anyone else on the ride.
The fast-crew of JP, Fixie Pixie, Geof and JohnM were gone in 60 seconds.
And Maria, noting her power to weight ratio advantage, easily put me in her rear-view mirror.

After Lystra, my ride got better.
After 40 or 45 kms, my ride got much better.
I had thought it was because I "had legs" for the first time in a couple months,
But looking ... typing that phrase ... I'm going to rip-off borrow one of Pixie's photos:
If that would have been the view all day -- I'm quite glad I cannot climb Lystra with the fast-crew.  Pamela may have a different opinion.
Anyway, looking at the elevation profile of HG103, I now wonder if I "had legs", or if I only seemed to have legs because the climbing on HG is clearly front-loaded.

Comparing HG and BB, I'm a bit disappointed:
HG's lowest elevation is well below the lowest elevation on BB,
HG's highest elevation is well above the highest elevation on BB, and
HG's maximum grade of 9.6% makes the 5.8% on BB look puny.

However, according to a RWGPS mapping comparison, BB has more total climbing.  :-)
And BB has "Little Mountain Rd"; there are no "mountain roads" on HG.

Anyway, I had a good time (just don't tell Jerry).
I think everyone else did, too.

Howling Grits 103-km Perm-Pop; 64.3 m.; 4h10 in-motion; 15.4 mph; HG elapsed time:  5h26. 

Blogger is messing up the font and presentation of the usual stats lines. 
I temporarily give up. 
Editing after publication can be a nuisance. 
Especially if one accidentally and prematurely clicks the "publish" button.

Friday, February 22, 2013

N.C. Perms -- What Have People Been Riding?, # 7

I want to again express thanks to Ian for extracting the data off the website that has allowed this series of posts.  You know Ian, yes?  If not, here's a clue, in addition to being wiz at computer stuff and a completely nutz randonneur and a fellow member of the NC-Rookie-Class-of-2010, he's #1A on the member list of "La Société Adrian Hands".  [Good grief -- I hadn't looked at the LSAH membership page in quite a while -- the list seems to have gotten a fair bit longer.]
Previously, (click here for the previous post in this series).

Spreading Oneself Around:

I hadn't anticipated a post such as this one, but the idea for this one came to me one recent day while in Stem.  There are a lot of ways one could look at the data of whom has been riding what perms and how often, etc., but this one caught my imagination.  First, the chart of completed NC-Perm circuits and the number of different North Carolina Permanents completed:

All Years
  RUSA #
completed   circuits  # diff Perms
completed circuits  # diff Perms
6169    MickH 120       13      
167       17       
4070    Dean 83       9      
267       18       
3459    MaryF 28       3      
44       11       
6628    Ricochet 32       5      
43       6       
6218    Martin 57       13      
109       15       
1609    MikeD 15       9      
102       22       
3525    Jerry 19       8      
94       20       
5459    Janis 13       3      
82       7       
6016    TimL 8       4      
87       17       
621    Byron 18       5      
62       13       
692    Joel 24       3      
79       10       
5746    BryanR 13       7      
65       17       
5697    JohnO 2       2      
79       11       
306    Alan 17       5      
62       12       
215    MikeO 17       5      
52       11       
5519    Lynn 2       1      
40       11       
5448    Andy 11       3      
38       5       
5843    BobB 10       4      
40       15       
1582    Sridhar 14       6      
42       12       
3732    Al P 38       4      
47       8       

others 144       33      
574       41       

total 685       39      
2,175       43       

  • I admit that the above chart is a bit "out of order" given the point of the blog post.  However, the order was originally chosen for another purpose.  The twenty people specifically noted above are the twenty that had accumulated the most RUSA credit kms, by the end of 2012, on NC Permanents.  The first five are the 2012 NC 10K-Hounds, in order of total-2012-RUSA-credit-kms; the remaining fifteen are in order of most lifetime RUSA credit kms on NC Perms. 
  • Eleven of the first thirteen listed above have attained 10-K Hound status at least once.  Congrats to Janis and Byron for breaking the 10-K Hound near monopoly. 
  • Spreading it around in 2012: 
  • It is no surprise that Mick completed the most different NC Perms in 2012 -- thirteen.  That seems likely to happen if one accumulates 17-thousand total RUSA kms within a year. 
  • I am, however, rather shocked to see that I also rode thirteen different NC Perms in 2012. 
  • Everyone thinks that Dean rides the same two (or three) perm routes over and over (and over and over).  However, in 2012, Dean rode nine different NC-Perm routes; therefore spreading himself around third most. 
  • Tying Dean for the third in the spreading-it-around category for 2012 was MikeD.  Pretty amazing that he managed to do nine different routes since he only did fifteen Perm rides last year.  I checked the stats -- the only route that Mike did more than twice last year was Carolina Crossroads, which he did three times; I suspect that the reason he did CC three times was because that was about the only route that randonneuse Lynn could do in 2012 given her failing knees, and he wanted to ride a couple times with her before she had to hang it up for awhile. 
  • Fifth most spread around NC-Perm rider in 2012 was Jerry.  I don't know what to type about Jerry; I probably should eliminate this comment, but I won't. 
  • I previously threatened Ricochet Robert that I was going to tease him for being so hard to pry him away from Byron's L-L-L route (and, admittedly, my Egypt Mtn and Bahama Beach routes -- but mostly it is hard to pry him away from L-L-L), but I see that compared to Mary, Robert rode quite a few different NC-Perm routes.  
  • There isn't very much of either Robert or Mary to spread around, so ... . 
  • "Lifetime" spreading it around: 
  • Counting down from 10th to first: 
  • 10th -- with twelve different NC-Perms, a tie between Raleigh RBA "Fearless Leader" Alan and "My Cramps Are Killing Me" Sridhar
  • 9th -- with thirteen different NC-Perms, Byron
  • 7th -- with fifteen different NC-Perms, a tie between Biker-Bob and me
  • 4th -- with seventeen different NC-Perms, a tie between TimL, BryanR and Mick
  • 3rd -- with eighteen different NC-Perms on his resume, three-time 10K-Hound Dean
  • And that brings this series just about full circle.  To refresh your memory, the first line of this series, combined with the closing line of the first post in the series comes out as:  "Things have come a long way since Jul-01-2006, when two pioneering local randonneurs completed the first ever Permanent ride on the first ever Permanent route here in North Carolina.  ...  the intrepid pioneers were a certain MikeD (RUSA #1609) and one JerryP (RUSA #3525)." 
  • 2nd best at spreading it around on different NC-Perms, with 20 different routes completed as of the end of 2012:  JerryP.  (He's since added his 21st different NC Perm route.) 
  • And, of course, that leaves the most spread around on different NC-Perms, "a certain MikeD" with 22 different NC-Perms by the end of 2012.  (He's since added his 23rd different NC Perm route.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Crowded Schedule

I'm planning / doing nothing special or in particular on the bike, but the schedule is suddenly crowded:

Sat 6-Apr Morrisville Brevet -- 200

Sun 7-Apr Permanent


Sat 13-Apr IR Mayo Lake 100

Sun 14-Apr Perm-Pop


Sat 20-Apr Morrisville Brevet -- 300

Sun 21-Apr


Sat 27-Apr

Sun 28-Apr


Sat 4-May

Sun 5-May Permanent


Sat 11-May Morrisville Brevet -- 400

Sun 12-May


Sat 18-May IR VA Border Raid

Sun 19-May Perm-Pop

Sat 23-Feb Salisbury Brevet -- 200
Sat 25-May
Sun 24-Feb

Sun 26-May

Sat 2-Mar

Sat 1-Jun Morrisville Brevet -- 600
Sun 3-Mar Permanent
Sun 2-Jun

Sat 9-Mar Salem Fork Brevet-Fest
Sat 8-Jun
Sun 10-Mar Perm-Pop
Sun 9-Jun Permanent

Sat 16-Mar Alan's 70th b-day Pop/party Sat 15-Jun
Sun 17-Mar

Sun 16-Jun Perm-Pop

Sat 23-Mar IR Spring 100
Sat 22-Jun IR Summer Solstice
Sun 24-Mar

Sun 23-Jun 22nd -- Tony Mtn Brevets

Sat 30-Mar Fleche
Sat 29-Jun
Sun 31-Mar Fleche
Sun 30-Jun

The Saturdays without Brevets and/or IR Century Rides are left blank with the intent of doing an Irregulars ride.  The Permanents and Perm-Pops, although shown on Sundays, may get ridden the day before if someone that only rides on Saturdays wants to do a rando ride and/or no viable Irregulars ride occurs.

If I were sure I would do one or more of the Brevets, I'd bold that entry, and color it blue.  I listed all the NC Brevets even though I know I certainly will NOT do the Salisbury and/or Salem Fork Brevets -- I'm not in shape for that much climbing.

One thing I am absolutely sure of:  now that I have published the above "plan", it won't happen as indicated.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Feb-09: No Legs (For Me) L-L-L 204-km Perm

Pausing at the corner of Kemp + Carpenter Pond roads with a little less than 11-kms still to ride, Robert commented, "we haven't had much practice where I have to help you; usually, it is the other way 'round."

I reminded Robert of his first ever Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville ride.  Byron had legs.  Robert really had legs.  I had struggled the last half of the ride. I MUCH prefer it when I struggle the first half, then find my rhythm, etc. for the second half.

Due to some hard physical efforts the day before related to "life", there was nothing in my legs with which to climb -- NOT my favorite way to tackle the climbingest Permanent in the area.  So little oomph was available in my legs that I even took it easy on the flat sections, er, make that the flatter sections.

We had started 18 minutes late -- the result, mostly, of me enjoying a hot chocolate before the ride (I don't do that [shudder] coffee stuff).  I think I'm not cut out to be a cyclist that rides to eat -- especially to eat / drink BEFORE the ride starts.

I think I had managed to trick myself into at least partially believing that my legs would be okay, or would come around.  If outbound Victory Church / Kemp Road didn't correct that suspension of disbelief, Stagville Rd certainly did.

On the day, I used every small gear I had, repeatedly, wishing I had even smaller gears.

Ricochet did make me chuckle at one point -- it must have been on Victory Ch / Kemp Rd -- because I was not close to him on any other climbs (or even descents) later in the ride.  Anyway, I heard Robert exclaim out loud, "I can feel that I'm losing it, have lost it."  ("It", of course, being the excellent shape that carried him last Summer / Fall through the ToC-1200 and another 1000-km brevet a month after that.)

The day became a serious race against the Dark Monster.  Upon leaving the penultimate control on Red Mill Rd, I decided to finally burn some matches and see if I could make a decent pace, and beat the Dark Monster.  I led Robert for about 8.7-miles, covered in 30-minutes -- well, he passed me on the 2nd last "climb" on Patterson, but I kept my cadence up.  I was mentally revved up to quick-cadence my way across Kemp / Victory Ch Rd, regardless how much it hurt.

Reality reared its ugly head on the first climb on Kemp -- I tried convincing myself that I could force the cadence issue as I knew how to hurt and continue on that climb -- I've done that first mile(plus) on Kemp at least 100 hundred time.  My legs were having none of it.  Struggle in a slow cadence in the easiest gear I've got for each of the five climbs (in about as many miles) on Kemp / Victory Ch Rd.

Then, onto the road that adds insult to pain:  Boxelder Rd.  It is "just" a little road through a housing develepment -- which, of course, means almost no engineering to the grade -- it is just asphalt on grass.  Robert tried to encourage me:  "it is steep, but it is quite short."  I've walked up that "quite short" once or twice.  I've also "danced" up it.  This ride, I tried to climb standing using the 39/21.  "That gear won't work," I muttered as Robert powered past.  He chuckled.  Sat down, change to 39/23, stand up -- that worked.  It certainly wasn't "dancing", but it got me up that incline more easily than I had feared.

Ray Rd, which sometimes seems a pain, passed relatively quickly and without note.  Across Howard Rd to the finish.  The sun officially set a few minutes before we officially finished.  Then Robert and I headed our separate directions, each of us abike, to go home.

I've checked my L-L-L stats.  This 10h59 ride will go down as my second slowest official credit L-L-L ever.  (My slowest is a 12h00 effort from last August, when I was coming down (already had) a nasty little summer cold.)  [The "Hors Delay" approx. 13h48 from July-2010 does not count.  A (I guess it was) "just for fun" ride in November-2011 also doesn't count.  No credit either time.] 

NO LEGS (but not ill) and still under 11-hours on the climbingest Permanent handy to north Raleigh.  I know that there is NO WAY I COULD HAVE DONE THAT THREE YEARS AGO.  Guess I've picked up some physical strength and some mental knowledge somewhere along the way in the last three years.  [That statement seems rather self-serving.  Tough -- a guy has got to brag a little once in awhile.]

This ride made R-31 for me, but more interestingly, it also made C-36.  Three years of at least one 100-plus-miler a month.  (Click here for the C-1 story.  Something not included in that report is that I desperately wanted to stop after about 75-miles, and I wondered how in the name of all things I could possibly hope to ride a 200k brevet three weeks later, and a 300k brevet another two weeks after that.  I did do those brevets; and I learned a lot -- in retrospect, most of what I learned was about me)

--> Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville 204-km Perm -->; 132.1 m.; 9h54 in-motion; 13.3 mph; LLL elapsed time:  10h59.   

Jan tot: _3 rides; _219.9 m; 14h54; 14.7 mph; _313 RUSA kms
Feb tot: _2 rides; _203.3 m; 15h05; 13.5 mph; _307 RUSA kms 
YTD tot: _5 rides; _423.2 m; 30h00; 14.1 mph; _620 RUSA kms.

Only two rides for me this month (so far).
But enough to have snagged R-31 + P-14 (also C-36 + M-48).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Feb-02: Tally Ho -- The Fixie Pixie 103-km Perm-Pop

How this ride went from four (including 1-rando-virgin and 1-other-rookie) to seven, though interesting in some ways, would probably be boring if dwelt on.  So, I'll just note that a couple days before the ride, a woman I did not know posted to the NC-rando-list-serve that she was looking for a fixie ride of any sort, preferably starting in or near Durham.  Confident the unknown woman would reply "no thanks", I let her know that JP would be doing the Bahama Beach perm-pop on his fixie, starting at 10 on Saturday.  I copied JP on the e-mail.  I now suspect, but did not at the time, that JP knew who the recipient was, as he chimed in seconding the invite.  Surprise on me -- she accepted.

While preparing to send her some information, I decided I had better check that her RUSA membership was up-to-date -- better a tad late to check, than never.  Membership up to date; that's good.  ... ... ...  While actually typing the e-mail with info on where to find the start, where to find a Ride With GPS map, etc., I finally happened to notice the RUSA number.  ... ... ...  12  ... ... ...  Oh, golly. 

Apparently JP wasn't the only one who knew this #12 person, as MikeD signed on for the ride, and Branson, too.  Ride now four fixies and four standardly geared diamond frames.
Since the morning low was expected to be 20F,  we weren't starting the ride until 10 am.  That gave me plenty of time in the morning to organize spare cards and waivers and cue sheets.   

As I prepared to swing-a-leg-over in timely enough fashion that I'd arrive 15 or even 20 minutes before the start time, I had a sudden panic:  I didn't know where all those carefully organized cards were.  What followed was about 10-minutes of calm panic (if that makes sense).  I looked everywhere:  the table, around the commode, everywhere I'd been in the last hour.  No cards.  The calm part of the panic had evaporated; serious panic was about to set in.  ...  I was starting to think how to make cards on some blank pieces of paper at the start.  ...  Then I realized  ...  everything was in my jacket pocket instead of the handle-bar bag where I usually put such things.  ...  Whew!
Due to the reason explained immediately above, I arrived at the start 10 or 11 minutes later than planned, but still with plenty of time to get waiver signatures and give everyone their control card.  I meet Pamela; everyone else has already done introductions all around.  ... ... ...  Then virgin-Greg disappeared.  Apparently to the wash-room; maybe he had an attack of nerves and needed to pee.  I had that problem my first several rando rides; I still sometimes have that problem before a brevet.

Tick  ...  tick  ...  tick ...  the clock is running.  10:07.  I called out, "Greg, are you ready?"  ...  "That means we're going to leave without you," added JP.  ... ...  We start.  We all make it through the stop-light together.

Up front, chatting with Jerry and Pamela, I forgot that they didn't know the course, and had to rein them in to make the turn onto Victory Church Rd.  I can be oblivious, sometimes.

Fast forwarding, at least a couple people notice that Greg's saddle seems quite low.  Turns out that he and Brad (the other member of the NC-2013-rando-rookie class on the ride) had built up Greg's bike over the last few days.  I never was clear as to whether the BB ride was the test ride or not.  A stop for Greg, Brad and me at Red Mill and Teknika to raise Greg's saddle -- about 3/4 of an inch.
The others rode on a further mile and found fixie ahn-e-mal Branson.  Branson couldn't miss the opportunity to ride at least a little with the Fixie Pixie, so he timed his meeting with us so he could cover the two toughest climbs on the course:  Stagville Rd and "the Michie Wall". 

Everyone waited while Greg received some instruction regarding Information Controls in the middle of Bahama.  Then we plunged down to Lake Michie and climbed back up the other side, where we again waited for Greg, applauding and waving him past us.  I caught Greg to advise him on how he might best ride Ellis Chapel Rd..  "You weigh 200+ pounds, therefore 'attack' the downslopes and carry your momentum as far as you can up the reverse slope, giving away gears to maintain your cadence; you should be able to 'pop', or nearly so, all the climbs on Ellis Chapel."

Branson turned the other way at the end of Ellis Chapel Rd. -- I hope he got at least a little chat time with Pamela.  Father and spouse duties were calling him.  [I'd rather ride once a year with someone too busy being a dad, than ride all the time with someone that never seems to need to take time off the bike to be a dad.]  

Onward to Roberts Chapel Rd..  Advice to Greg:  "same as Ellis Chapel Rd, but there are at least two climbs that you won't be able to 'pop'; you should still carry as much momentum as far as you can; it will be easier that way; I know, I used to weigh over 200 pounds."

The fixie-crew pulled away on Roberts Chapel and Range and Little Mountain Rd. -- yeah, the Bahama Beach route includes a Little Mountain Rd -- that's its name.  The fixies got to Stem in time for Jerry, a locally well-known restaurant-hound, and Pamela, who suffers from cafe and bike shop constipation (meaning she can't ride past without stopping -- that's what she told me), and MikeD, who's been known to sniff out some good eats, to find a road-side BBQ vendor.  He's never been there previously (and I've ridden though Stem, on the Bahama Beach route and others, well over 50 times).  Good BBQ with good people.  Only problem was that we were still out in the cold.

We sent the fixie-crew on to finish their ride so that those needing to, could go home and take care of other business.  When ... ready to leave Stem, Brad decided he needed to take a pee; he decided to use the BP station.  When he reappeared, he had learned why I recommend the other c'store for the open control.  He'd found a floater in the commode just as I had found about five years ago -- I haven't stopped at the Stem BP since.  [The restroom in the other c-store is no bargain either.  I recommend using the BP in Creedmoor as it has the cleanest restrooms I know about -- or use the Southern States in Creedmoor as it has the 3rd cleanest restrooms I know about.  (The 2nd cleanest restrooms you ask -- the BP in Butner, which is owned and managed by the same person that owns and manages the Creedmoor BP.)]

Anyway, upon completing his job, Brad learned why it is a very bad idea to take a pee with your glove held under your arm next to your body -- if your arm relaxes, the glove likely ends up in the commode.  Important riding lesson there for Brad.

I wasn't dressed for a 30-minute stop in the cold outdoors -- I was starting to shiver.  Greg loaned Brad a clean sock to use as a glove; I gave Brad three plastic bread-wrappers:  one to hold the rinsed, but obviously useless glove, two to use as windbreaks for his be-socked hand (and perhaps the other hand also -- I never looked to check).  By the time that was done, I was shivering nearly uncontrollably.  A concerted mental effort to stop the shivering, and I announced that I've got to start riding to generate some body heat.

More cold news:  the breeze had now kicked up and is on its way to becoming a real wind.  A headwind, of course.  Doing the decline from Stem on Brogden Rd, riding into the wind at 17-mph instead of an easy 20 or 25 mph or more.  Ricochet Robert, who had wisely switched from the 204-km Triple-L perm because of the projected morning low, stuck to my wheel,  We got to the light at NC-56 and US-15 in Creedmoor; of course, on this chilly day, the light was red.  Brad and Greg caught us or perhaps were with us all the time -- I don't know which.  At the light, Greg started riding circles instead of just stopping and putting a foot down.  I never approve of that:  cars coming from behind have no idea what is going on; other cyclists in the group have no idea what is going on.  I forcefully mention this to Greg.  As the cars from behind got closer, Greg fell over, luckily off the roadway.  The light turned green.  I started riding, shaking my head.

Up the slope into downtown Creedmoor, then through the business district on flat Main Street, turn onto Church Street, looking over my shoulder to confirm that Brad and Greg were still with us -- they weren't.  Ricochet also looked, and then asked if we should wait.  I replied I needed to create more internal body heat, the kids had cue sheets, they'd be fine.  We rode on.

Three miles later, at the turn onto Pope Rd.. I recall thinking, "I hope Jerry and Pamela looked at the cue sheet, or Mike clue'd them in to avoid the deep grooves in the road surface at this turn."  Ricochet decided to wait for Brad and Greg at the turn.  I rode on, still looking for more internal warmth.  I finally re-found my own cadence and comfort zone on Bruce Garner / New Light Rd. -- I had found my comfort zone, but I was certainly slow into the headwind on BG / NL -- and I crawled up the steep section of Peed Rd at 4.8-mph -- it has been a long time since I was that slow on that climb.

Ricochet waited for the rookies, and coached, or at least talked them through the Grissom Info Control and up Ghoston, Peed and Mt. Vernon Ch roads.  Here's an amusing point:  Robert did a better job of coaching the kids than did any of the three route-organizers on the ride.  Robert told me that he started recalling April and May 2010, and his first bicycle rides as an adult (at age 61) since childhood, and concluded to pay-it-back a little for the coaching and advice he has received the last three years.

Btw, I did get confirmation from a worthy source that the finishing climbs on Ghoston, Peed and MVC are not trivial climbs.  Pamela commented on them immediately after the ride -- that's good enough for me -- and a week later, she included remarks to that effect in a very well written blog post.
Fixie Pixie and a couple NC rando "names".  Fixie fans all.
Fixie Pixie and the rookies Brad and Greg.

  1. Greg completed his first ever RUSA ride.  
  2. Brad re-started his P-series.  
  3. Pamela, despite being RUSA #12, and doing more crazy and interesting stuff on a bicycle than I can imagine, completed her first ever RUSA Permanent.  
  4. Jerry snagged his 21st different North Carolina Permanent course. 
  5. This course was a repeat of his 23rd different NC Perm course for MikeD. 
  6. Robert, targeting the P-series in addition to maintaining his R-series, snagged P-5 or 6 (?). 
  7. I snagged P-14, and also my 48th consecutive month of at least one 100+ km ride a month. 
  8. As for Branson, I don't know what to summarize, except that it was good to see you, man.  
A day or two later, Pamela posted on Facebook that she had to like any route where the main intermediate control was in a town named for a bicycle part.  Stem.

I've ridden through Stem at least 50 times.  Maybe 100 times.  And I've never made the bike part connection.  I can be oblivious.  I decided to do a little research -- allowing a few seconds for those familiar with this blog to recover -- I found this on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem,_North_Carolina):

"The town of Stem was established as a separate and distinct entity from Tally Ho township in 1888 by William Thomas Stem. The Stem family were co-proprietors of a general store in the Tally Ho township[1] and owners of the land where a new spur of theRichmond and Danville Railroad terminated. Stem was built around this new rail station. The town was incorporated in 1911.

There ya' go, Jerry -- "Tally Ho" explained (mostly).
I may add on my usual personal stats later.  Maybe not.

Monday, February 4, 2013

N.C. Perms -- What Have People Been Riding?, # 6

Previously, (click here for previous post in this series). 

And now, the routes tthat were ridden in 2012 compared to what was ridden in previous years.

2012 routes ridden versus previous years: 

Completed Circuits
Permanents (200+ kms)      2012     2011     2010      prior     Total
Lookin' Out My Back Door / 1468 77 0 0 0 77
Triple-L / 831 60 46 32 0 138
Warrenton + Egypt Mtn / 1444 26 0 0 0 26
Ammons-Whiteville / 1380 27 0 0 0 27
Tar Heel 200 / 589 26 87 104 69 286
Lumberton-Ellerbe 200K / 1391 25 0 0 0 25
OakElmOak / 1551 17 0 0 0 17
Carolina Crossroads / 1279 12 23 0 0 35
Showdown in Black Creek / 481 10 41 48 38 137
Lake Gaston 210K / 1242 9 8 0 0 17
Yanceyville Ramble / 480 8 20 11 17 56
Big Bike to Performance Bike / 803 6 3 4 0 13
Sauratown 200K / 412 6 7 4 6 23
Brushy Mountain Lassooo / 1013 6 6 0 0 12
Carthage Coffee Run / 952 6 36 11 0 53
How I ... Love the BOMB / 1290 6 6 0 0 12
Natty Greene 200 / 958 5 1 25 0 31
Kerr Lake Loop / 143 5 51 60 111 227
Siler City Express / 257 3 3 11 35 52
Tread of Tears / 1606 2 0 0 0 2
Coffeedence / 1629 2 0 0 0 2
Blackbeard's Permanent / 58 1 0 1 10 12
Wilkes Foothills 200K / 924 1 3 1 0 5
Triple Mountain View / 926 1 14 2 0 17
Capitols:  Richmond + Raleigh / 345 0 0 2 3 5
Danbury 205K / 492 0 0 2 8 10
Wilkes County Rumble / 879 0 1 5 0 6
Total Perms (200+ kms) 347 356 323 297 1,323

Completed Circuits
Perm-Populaires (100-199 kms)      2012      2011      2010      prior      Total
Get 'er Dunn / 878 141 140 51 0 332
Bahama Beach / 1404 66 0 0 0 66
Eureka 100 / 1651 32 0 0 0 32
Howling Grits Populaire / 770 26 29 55 0 110
Hope Springs Eternal / 1636 17 0 0 0 17
Sauratown Lite Populaire / 977 19 26 11 0 56
Bunn Warmer / 1583 9 0 0 0 9
Cameron-Carrboro-Cameron / 1399 7 0 0 0 7
Ham and Yam Populaire Jam / 1178 5 15 0 0 20
Hillacious 100+6.5 / 1554 5 0 0 0 5
Benson Mule Pull / 792 4 37 21 0 62
Natty Greene Lite Populaire / 966 3 0 17 0 20
The Whirligig / 1006 2 90 4 0 96
L'Societe d'Adrian Hands Pop / 1377 1 0 0 0 1
Capitol Bailey Pop - 102km / 1289 1 0 0 0 1
Clayton Coffee Jaunt / 1074 0 18 0 0 18
Total Perm-Pops (100 - 100 kms) 338 355 159 0 852

  • One thing that needs to be understood is that the majority of NC randonneurs (or at least most of those that ride permanents frequently) live in the Triangle area (Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill) of North Carolina. That fact is a significant driver of what routes get ridden, and how much.
  • Permanents (200+ kms):
  • As can be easily seen from the first chart abovet, five of the most-ridden 200+ km perms were created during 2012:  LOMBD (south of Raleigh), Egypt Mtn (north of Raleigh), Ammons (Lumberton, and east), Ellerbe (Lumberton, and west), and OEO (starts in downtown Raleigh and goes east). 
  • The creation of the new routes explains much of the change in what was ridden in 2012 versus what was ridden in previous years. 
  • Another major factor is the location of the 10K-Hounds here in North Carolina. 
  • There were four 10K-Hounds in 2010:  three in the Triangle and one in the Triad.  
  • There were five 10K-Hounds in 2011:  two from eastern NC; two from the south edge of Raleigh; one from the Triad; there were two repeaters from 2010. 
  • There were five 10K-Hounds in 2012:  one from the Lumberton area; one from the south edge of Raleigh; one from central Raleigh; two from the north edge of Raleigh; there was one repeater from 2011.

  • LOMBD has replaced the Tar Heel 200 as the go-to route for many Triangle area randonneurs and also sometimes for southeast NC randonneurs. 
  • Triple-L is the favorite of Triangle area randos looking for a local hill-fest.  It also is a choice for eastern NC randos looking for a hill-fest, without driving all the way to the mountains.
  • Egypt Mtn was created in early 2012 and is my route.  I am therefore a bit biased about it, and choose to type nothing.
  • MaryF and Lumberton and Fayettville area friends (several whom joined RUSA just to ride those routes) rode the heck out of those Ammon and Ellerbe routes in 2012.  Mary's routes also attract southeast NC randonneurs. 
  • OakElmOak is one of the three relatively new perms that starts in downtown Raleigh.  OEO is a nice route mostly along quiet country back-roads, with a few unexpected scenic gems, and with more climbing than one might expect given the turn-around is in Elm City.  It might not be a preferred choice for a weekday ride due to afternoon traffic issues on one section of the route. 
  • The other two routes that start downtown were created in late 2011:  Carolina Crossroads and the BOMB.  I rode CC in Feb-2012 and enjoyed the route (Garner Rd might have more traffic on a weekday ride than I would prefer to deal with). 
  • The Black Creek perm continues to show-down, er, attract some cyclists.  It starts on the northeast edge of Raleigh and one is quickly onto the country roads that make up NC Bike Route #2 and NC BR #7.  The first and last 20-kms of the route are hilly; the middle 160+ kms are relatively flat.  Based on personal experience, it is a reasonable route seven days a week. 
  • The Yanceyville route rambles about north and northwest of Durham.  It is also a hill-fest, but as I've not ridden the route, I can't offer a real opinion.  I have, however, ridden many of the roads that make up the route as part of "club" or JRA rides -- based on those rides:  there's some climbing to be done out there. 
  • In 2012, Luke created a couple routes out in the Asheville area that he and AndyA apparently rode once (1 ride of 2 people equals 2 completed-circuits).  It appears that Luke has also created another couple routes, but has yet to ride either (by the end of 2012). I know nothing about those routes; I would, however, be willing to bet that there is quite of bit of climbing involved.
  • Some people ask, "why aren't there more routes on the Blue Ridge?"  There are likely several contributing factors, but (it is my opinion that) the main one is that few randonneurs live near the BRP, and the randonneurs in the Boone area have not caught the "Permanents Bug". 
  • TimL created the Lake Gaston route that starts on the northwest edge of Wilson late in 2011.  That's a good start location for eastern (and possibly northeastern) NC randonneurs.  I'd like to do Tim's Lake Gaston route. 
  • I've never managed to do the Carthage Coffee Run on US Bike Route #1, so I cannot comment from personal experience.  Unlike the Yanceyville route, I have no knowledge of any of the roads from non-rando cycling about. 
  • The Siler City Express sometimes gets attention from people wanting to scout the middle 200k of Alan's 400-km brevet route and from some others looking for a hill-fest.  The route starts in Siler City and proceeds through the heart of Uwharries, then turns-around.  [Gee, I think I haven't ridden with "Fearless Leader" Alan since the 300 brevet pre-ride.  Anyway, it must have been on that 300 pre-ride back in April-2012 when I commented to Alan that I'd like to do the Siler City perm since I'd never done it; Alan, with a twinkle in his eyes, immediately responded, "yes you have."  I chuckled and replied, "well, I know, but there is that half-mile or so at the start and the finish that I haven't ridden."] 
  • Kerr Lake Loop is important in the history of NC permanent routes and riders; it was the first NC route created that ended where it started, and as mentioned before was "the only route available back then."  As other routes have become available in recent years, it seems that many like exploring the newer routes and KLL has gotten "less business".  I like the Kerr Lake Loop route and hope to ride it again in 2013. 
  • I don't mean to ignore the other 200+ km routes shown in the above chart, but in general, I know nothing about them.  Except the Sauartown route:  that route beat me in 2010; I want to make it back to reverse the score.  
  • Permanent-Populaires (100-199 kms): 
  • Howling Grits (near Chapel Hill), the Benson Mule Pull (starts in Garner, just southeast of Raleigh) and Get 'er Dunn (starts south of Raleigh) were created in early 2010.  Each was an instant hit.  See Dean's post on Research Trailer Park for more on 2010 perm-pops in North Carolina.
  • Howling Grits continues to attract randonneurs at a reasonable rate and includes what is reputedly the toughest climb in the Triangle:  Lystra Rd. 
  • Get 'er Dunn.  What can be said about Get 'er Dunn?  I like it.  MickH really like it.  Dean REALLY likes it; he can usually be found riding it at least once or twice a week. 
  • I think the Benson Mule Pull would be a good route for those visiting the Triangle, assuming that the required paperwork exchange could be effectuated without undue burden on route-organizer Dean.  The start is next to US-70 and therefore easy to get to; the entire route, except for one quarter-mile connection, is on quiet rural roads.  
  • I know nothing about the Eureka route except that it was created late in 2012 and that it starts near Zebulon and turns around in Eureka (?).  Al P informs that his Garmin reports significantly more climbing than shown on the Trimble map one can access from the RUSA website Permanent Search function; that is likely partially due to the fact that Al apparently mapped only the outbound portion of the route.  
  • The Bunn Warmer is a short version of Hope Springs Eternal, which is a short version of the 209k OakElmOak permanent.  All three were created essentially mid-year-2012; any of the three gives a nice route mostly along quiet country back-roads, with a few unexpected scenic gems, and with more climbing than one might expect given that they head east of Raleigh. 
  • The Sauartown and Natty Green Lite routes start in the Triad area of North Carolina (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point).  It seems that the Sauartown Lite is Joel's ride of choice for a quick, fun rando ride.   
  • I assume that main attraction on the Whirligig route is the visit to the Volis Simpson Whirligig Farm.  There is a very nice write-up of a ride on the Whirligig route and a separate one about Volis Simpson on the Research Trailer Park blog.  The extra attention the route received in 2011 was because two randonneurs rode the heck out of it on the way to 10K-Hound status that year. 
  • Bahama Beach was created early in 2012 and is my route.  I am therefore a bit biased about it, and choose to type nothing. 
  • I choose to type nothing or (in most cases) actually know nothing about the other perm-pops.  If you know something you would like to share:  that's what comments are for. 
[I've struggled with this particular post long enough.  Time to either publish, or delete it.  I choose to publish it.  

There will be one more post in this series; a post I had not planned, but the core of which came to me in a flash the other day.  It might serve nicely as a wrap-up.]
[For the next post in the series, click-here.]