Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mar-30: Denny's Store 138-km Perm-Pop

Reptile-obsessed rando rookie Brad joined me in opening the Denny's Store Sortie account.
Fantabulous day to ride a bike on lightly traveled, rolling roads north of Raleigh and Durham.
Sunny.  Almost 50F at the 0900 start.
And about 70F for most of the day (according to the thermometer in my cycle confuser).

Early-ish in the ride, I don't recall where,
We spotted 2 blue herons -- the second in flight.
Okay, Brad spotted both of them, and pointed them out to me.
He also spotted a large turtle sunning itself on a log just above the surface of a pond. 

Brad trailed behind from the start.
I was expecting that; but he did seem to be awfully careful for a 27-year-old.
I managed to slip behind him just before the turn onto Range Road.
Out-of-shape, young Brad climbs more slowly than I do.
I wanted to hear his reaction when he saw the climb on Range Road.
I wasn't disappointed.

The climb is not as steep as Lystra.
I'm not sure which is longer.
But Lystra "hides" itself with curves and trees.
None of that the "Range Wall".
It shows all of itself from the moment you first see it.

We took a photo of Brad atop some equipment just after the top of the "wall".
But said photo is on Brad's phone.
If I get access, I'll post it here.

Slight NNW breeze off the port bow from approx. mile 25 to the Allensville control.
We made in impromptu pause on Mt. Harmony Ch Rd in honor of someone we recently met.
Fixie Pixie indicated (via Facebook -- oh, the horror!) that she liked the look of the gravel road.  Unfortunately for her, it's only someone's driveway.  There are other, nastier-looking gravel roads sprinkled alongside the route.  Real gravel roads that may or may not go somewhere.  Nasty looking gravel.  [Photo credit:  BradW.] 

Stopped at the Allensville Convenience Mart just long enough to get receipts and
Check out the benches in the nice sunshine -- the benches will certainly do.

Left Allensville headed for Berea and some lunch.
Expecting a tailwind.
However, as the wind built during the day,
It also backed around to come from the SSW.
Headwind all the way home.

Never experienced double-headwind on that course before.
Although this was first rando ride on the course, I've done it previously, non-rando.
And the wind this day was nothing compared to a couple previous rides on this route. 

Between Allensville and Berea, we passed thru / by / whatever "Denny's Store."
A year or two ago, "Fearless Leader" Alan told me that there used to be a store at Denny's Store x-roads.  NO evidence of that now (except for the sign).  [Photo credit:  BradW.] 

Nice enough simple, quick lunch in Berea, with tables inside and out.
My preferred lunch place (which we used) is not open on Sundays.
So the suggested c'store for the Open Control is the place across the corner.

The only somewhat hard climb after the lunch stop was immediately after crossing the Tar River.
The Tar River crossing on Denny's Store Rd is not even labeled,
And almost qualifies as flat.
The Tar River crossing on Culbreth Rd in not-flat.
And the bridge is labeled.

I recall absolutely nothing of Culbreth Rd between Culbreth and Stem.
That is kinda' weird, because I once did that section, barely able to ride a straight line.
(I've also done that section on other rides, struggling to hang on to the Irregulars.)  
I think I did most of that section riding with (short bungee-cord def'n) Brad.
Maybe I didn't notice the rollers because of the conversation?

We rode through Stem, but did not stop.
Brad made a disparaging comment about the location
Where he had dropped his glove in the commode about 7-weeks earlier.

Beautiful day, but non-descript ride from Stem to the bottom of Ghoston Rd.
Then ... Brad's pace up Ghoston and Peed and MVC revealed that
He had been sand-bagging all day.
He claims he was "pacing" himself for "those three Bahama Beach climbs" at the end.
(Brad's phrases in air-quotes.)
Ghoston, Peed and MVC aren't so bad.
Except on the days when they are.

All-in-all, a very nice ride on a great day, on a pretty dang nice course.
Even if I do say so, myself.

--> Denny's Store Sortie 138-km Perm-Pop -->; 95.6 m.; 6h44 in-motion; 14.2 mph; DSS in 7h49 elapsed. 
Jan tot: __3 rides; __288.9 m; _14h56; 14.9 mph; __313 RUSA kms. 
Feb tot: __3 rides; __267.6 m; _19h15; 13.9 mph; __410 RUSA kms. 
Mar tot: __5 rides; __453.8 m; _30h31; 14.9 mph; __552 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _11 rides; __940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; _1275 RUSA kms

Three RUSA perm-pops in March.  But not a single Bahama Beach perm-pop among them.  First time since the creation (Jan-2012) of the BB perm-pop route that I haven't completed it at least once in the month.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Long Ago and Far Away

Two years ago today, I rescued my R-series.
That was R-8.
The low and high temps (at RDU) that day were 28F and 62F.
No wind at RDU.  (click here for RDU almanac)
A better almanac entry would be from Wilson, NC.
But I can't figure out how to get one (right now, that is - I've done so previously).

Four days after the R-series rescue, I rode my fastest (elapsed time) 200k ever (to-date).
That was R-9.
The low and high temps (at RDU) that day were 37F and 65F.
The wind information for RDU is MUCH more interesting.  (almanac)

I seem to have become a definite weather weenie the last 3 or 4 months.
It is 36F as I type this - and that seems COLD.
The sun is shining brightly, though.
Third straight day for that.  Nice!

I also used to do back-to-back 200's.
Double-double, as Jayjay refers to such endeavors.

I even did a triple-double once.
Rode all three north Raleigh perms on consecutive days. 
Jul-02, Jul-03, Jul-04. 2011.

Last year, I seldom did any back-to-back days, let alone 3 or 4 days in a row.

I'd like to do a triple-double, again.
We have three on-the-board north Raleigh perms.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mar-23: Reversed RangeRoadRover, with a Twist

The plan was to do the Virginia Border Raid for a Spring Equinox 100-miler, and see if we could find the 1887 granite border marker which IvaHawk and I had been unable to find last June during a post-solstice ride.  However, we didn't do the Border Raid / we didn't go searching for the 1887 granite border marker.  Instead, after 19-miiles, Ricochet & I decided we'd rather do a 100+ km ride with IvaHawk than go to the border.  

So ... all three of us did a Reversed-Range-Road-Rover, with a "twist".  
The "twist" being Julian Daniel Rd -- an LT-preferred-type road if ever there was one.   
The "twist" allowed us to avoid the dreaded Little Mountain Rd.   
Those that have done usual RangeRoadRover or the Bahama Beach route will understand.   
Oh, and reversed means we got to bomb down the Range Wall, too! 
We got a few sprinkles about 18-miles before the finish. 
But no sleet such as some others on nearby-ish rides encountered. 

38F for the low temp.  51 for the high at the end. 
Not bad.    

I tried to do entire course in 39/15 faux single-speed. 
However, I knew 13-miles before the finish that I'd never make it up Peed in that gearing, today. 
In the event, I had to give it up on Ghoston, nearly 2 miles before the steep part of  Peed. 
So I followed Byron's advice (from a previous ride / conversation): "sit-down and gear-down." 
That made it so much easier. 

I'm so out of shape -- I should be able to do that entire course in that single gear. 
But I guess 10 rides for 845-miles since Dec-31 will suck some "in-shape-ness" from the legs. 
10 rides / 845-miles:  that has been typical of a single month -- rather than nearly 3-months. 
I think I'll be soft-pedaling the 200 brevet in two weeks, 
Rather than trying to "make a time." 
For those that "talk" gear-inches: according to the Sheldon Brown calculator, 39/15 is 68-gear-inches. 

IvaHawk is still a bit out of shape, too. 
At the end of the ride, he wondered aloud why he was so far behind last year. 
I reminded him that he fell over while standing over his bike last August, breaking his wrist,
And that he was completely off the bike for at least two months, 
And that he's been doing more running than last year, 
So his cycling is lagging behind. 

Iva's response:  "Oh, yeah.  That's right." 

Ricochet is not out-of-shape. 
His legs clearly "wanted to explode" in the last 18-miles of the ride. 
(That's Robert's metaphor, not mine.  It seems wrong to me; but it makes sense to him.) 

Fun time!  

--> PUE:  Reversed Range-Road-Rover, w/ a "twist" -->; 76.0 m.; 5h08 in-motion; 14.8 mph
Jan tot: __3 rides; __288.9 m; _14h56; 14.9 mph; __313 RUSA kms. 
Feb tot: __3 rides; __267.6 m; _19h15; 13.9 mph; __410 RUSA kms. 
Mar tot: __4 rides; __358.2 m; _23h47; 15.1 mph; __414 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: _10 rides; __844.7 m; _57h58; 14.6 mph; _1137 RUSA kms

Another "casualty" of the decision to "ride short" was that, once again, I have not increased my "Eddington Cycling Number."   

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mar-16: Cruising the Seven C's 108-km Perm-Pop

Andy captured all the important stuff (in photos) at the start:
Thanks to rando Sag for the photo of former submariner, "Fearless Leader "Alan at the start, followed by Bob and with Maria in the background.
Mike noted all the important points from the ride and after-party; there is nothing I could add:  
 _ _ (One thing though:  I could have sworn that the ride started at 9 instead of 7.)
Between Dean a couple weeks ago and Mike in the above, most of the puns have been used.
    But there is one that I'm saving for the future. 

I'm only putting up a blog post in order to more easily refresh my memory on some future day.
Entire crew early in the ride.  Thanks to JP for the photo.


Clyde's Curious Critters Chatham County Cycling Circuit 108-km perm-pop; 67.6 m.; est. 4h30 in-motion; 15.0 mph; 7-C's official elapsed time:  5h15. 
Jan tot: __3 rides; __288.9 m; _14h56; 14.9 mph; __313 RUSA kms. 
Feb tot: __3 rides; __267.6 m; _19h15; 13.9 mph; __410 RUSA kms. 
Mar tot: __3 rides; __282.2 m; _18h38; 15.1 mph; __414 RUSA kms.
YTD tot: __9 rides; __768.7 m; _52h49; 14.6 mph; _1137 RUSA kms

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mar-09: Get 'er Dunn 102-km Perm-Pop

Having R-32 in-hand (if the ride gets approved) and figuring to pick-up P-15 on March 16th upon the Seven-C's, I was hoping there would be some interest in a Saturday morning 50-ish-miler Irregulars ride.  When no interest in a morning ride emerged, I thought I'd either do the inaugural rando DSS ride or just get on my bike and follow the front wheel wherever it went.

Then I had an idea:  cycle from downtown Raleigh, following the Carolina Crossroads and Benson Mule Pull courses to get within a mile of the Get 'er Dunn start, do that route for credit kms getting back to the start/finish before those doing the Lookin' Out My Back Door route and surprise someone when he completed that route and congratulate him on attaining an "R-84 Continuous Streak" -- R-84 deserves at least a mini-celebration or acknowledgement regardless of the opinion of the one attaining said streak ... (and believe it when I type that me being on hand unexpectedly to congratulate someone on completing a bike ride, or 84 of them, is about as "mini" as it could get).

A phone call to Dean and the Get 'er Dunn paperwork exchange was worked out, and my ride request approved.  One "problem" though:  apparently the phone connection was not good enough for Dean to hear the word "surprise" when I described my intent -- aargh.

My final plan for my Saturday ride would come with some bonuses (not all of which I knew until after I'd completed G'eD):
  • I'd do G'eD with newbies Brad and Greg, perhaps increasing their comfort level by riding with someone that knew the course.  (If Brad and Greg's comfort levels weren't enhanced, at least Dean's was.  I admit I know the G'eD course, but not nearly as well as Dean nor a couple others -- Dean has done the Get 'er Dunn over 150 times, now -- I did mention to B+G that Dean could indicate many more points of interest than I could, and he also knows every potential bad spot in the road surface without lookin'.) 
  • I'd be able to greet and congratulate MikeO on attaining his "R48 Continuous Streak". 
  • I'd be able to belatedly congratulate Dean on attaining his "R-72 Continuous Streak". 
  • I'd get to wish Alan a happy 70th birthday a few days ahead of time (and given the expected turn-out for the 7-C's perm-pop and birthday celebration this coming Saturday, I might not be able to get near enough to even say hello to Alan on the 16th). 
  • I'd learn that Brad's 27th birthday would be two days later. 
  • I'd learn what Robert had meant when he had told me after the Fixie Pixie Bahama Beach ride that it was not Greg that ran out of steam near the end of that ride.
  • I'd pass on Crista's R-84 congratulations to JP.  
  • By cycling to and from Get 'er Dunn, I'd raise my "Eddington Cycling Number" to 101.  (However, as will be seen, that didn't work out.)
Some moments from the day:
  • Before we started the G'eD route, Brad posted to Facebook that he was about to start the G'eD route with Greg and me.  After we had completed our 102k rides, while sitting in and enjoying some very nice sunshine, Brad mentioned the Facebook post.  I looked at him and said something similar to this:  "you weren't supposed to do that, JP will certainly have seen the post and there will be no surprise."  ...  Brad's response?  "Oops."   ...  [Another one of these 20-somethings that forget that Facebook posts are not-private.] 
  • Brad, Greg and I saw a mule when we were outbound, when near Massingil Pond Rd. -- we had just left a section of road that Get 'er Dunn shares with the Mule Pull.  (I saw a different mule while inbound, about a quarter mile south of the first location.  B + G may have also seen a second mule -- I vaguely recall being shown an iPhone pic of a mule or a donkey that clearly was not the first mule referenced above.)
  • During the outbound ride, I had been pointing out all the intersections, overlapping, intertwining and sharing of roads involved in the five Perm routes (and also Alan's 600k brevet route) that are south of Raleigh and Garner.  In response to my explanation, while zipping across Denim Drive between Erwin and Dunn, that we'd soon be on a section of road that the Tar Heel 200 also used, and shortly after that, we would again be sharing a section of road with the LOMBD route, Brad gave voice to a two word response:  "sounds incestuous."
  • At the turn-around control in Dunn, Brad got a lesson that all can learn from:  READ the expiration date on chocolate milk BEFORE drinking. 
  • We intended to short-stop the Erwin c'store control (which is only approx. 6-after the turn-around) -- we I still wasn't convinced that we'd beat a fast riding JP to the finish.  I purchased and got a receipt for a 50-cent Honey Bun; B + G were next in-line behind me at the cash register.  We all went outside; I devoured the Honey Bun and went to use the rest-room, thinking we'd be ready to remount when I'd taken a pee.  SURPRISE !!  The rookies were standing in the cash register line -- again!!  ...  After rolling my eyes, I checked with them ... and decided to ride on alone.  Brad and Greg had been paying very careful attention to the cue sheet all day, so I knew they would be fine.  AND my legs were itching to GO.  (Ricochet Robert might say that his legs wanted to explode -- to me, that always seems the wrong metaphor, but it works for him.)  
  • The headwind from Erwin to the finish was a bit more than annoying.  Crawling up slopes at 7 or 8 mph instead of at 10 or 11 or 12; needing to pedal down slopes where I would usually expect to coast at 25-mph or more. 
  • JP arrived at the finish about an hour after Brad and Greg -- who had also decided to wait -- they got a bonus of meeting Dean for the first time; Greg also met Alan and MikeO for the first time.  Anyway, Jerry pulled in and was not in the least surprised to see other randonneurs there.  He explained that Dean had "spilled the beans" first thing in the morning.  He'd also seen Brad's Facebook post. 
  • Oh, well. 
  • MikeO arrived in another 10-minutes.  Alan and Dean arrived another 10-minutes after that.
  • MikeO asked where my car was.  I pointed to my bike.  ...  "You rode out to here!?"  ...  "Sure; it's only a little over 20-miles."  ...  The O'Irishman gave the biggest eye-roll I have seen in quite some time. 
  • We all turned our cards and receipts in to Dean. 
  • Jerry asked if I'd like a ride back to Raleigh.  I accepted. 


--> Get 'er Dunn 202-km perm-pop; 87.6 m.; 5h37 in-motion; 15.6 mph; G'eD elapsed time:  5h13.  

Jan tot: __3 rides; __288.9 m; _14h56; 14.9 mph; __313 RUSA kms.
Feb tot: __3 rides; __267.6 m; _19h15; 13.9 mph; __410 RUSA kms.
Mar tot: __2 rides; __214.6 m; _14h08; 15.2 mph; __306 RUSA kms. 
YTD tot: __8 rides; __701.1 m; _48h19; 14.5 mph; _1029 RUSA kms

On Sunday, Mar-10, rando Sag and randonneuse Jayjay attained "R-48 Continuous Streaks" -- be sure to check out the link to the photos.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mar-02: The Air-Horn 204-km Perm

From time to time, one can find on just about any on-line cycling forum or Google or Yahoo cycling list-serve a discussion and suggestions about the best way to deter dawgs chasing bicyclists.  Obviously, the best cure-all would be for all dog-owners to train their animals to not-chase.  Unfortunately, that is extremely unlikely to happen in North Carolina (or, I venture, anywhere else in the United States).  However, yesterday, while riding MikeD's "Showdown in Black Creek" Permanent, I witnessed the most effective deterrent I've ever experienced.  Biker Bob recently added a small air-horn to the cockpit of his bike.  Every chase was cut short by a well-timed blast from that air-horn.  EVERY chase.  Cut short by a WELL-TIMED blast.  Thanks, Bob.
[from Bob:]  Searching for "Falcon SuperSound" will take you to various sources.  Falcon offers several models.  I am using a Nashbar clip for Halt! dog spray, along with a cable tie to secure it all to the handlebar (survived my crash on the ToC without coming off).  Unfortunately, Nashbar no longer offers those handlebar clips.
This photo shows the attachment clip better than the above photo.

I recently read that "there is no such thing as a tailwind in cycling. There are headwinds, crosswinds, or 'I'm feeling good!'"  Well then, Bob and Ricochet and I were feeling very good on the outbound leg, taking approximately 3h50 in-motion.  However, apparently while taking a little time to eat and drink and pee in Black Creek, an annoying NW wind popped up, because there was certainly a headwind on the inbound leg (it took approximately 4h40 in-motion, plus a couple extra short rest-breaks for Bob's legs and my lower-back).

For those that read this and know the cast of characters that did the ride, here is the most amazing comment of the day:  "This is the way a 200k route ought to finish!  This is a MUCH better finish that L-L-L or Egypt Mtn:  no Ghoston, no Peed, no Mt. Vernon Ch Rd, no Kemp, no Boxelder!"

What makes that such an amazing comment?  The speaker:  Ricochet Robert.

Showdown in Black Creek 204-km perm; 127.0 m.; 8h30 in-motion; 14.9 mph; elapsed time:  10h05.  

Jan tot: __3 rides; __288.9 m; _14h56; 14.9 mph; __313 RUSA kms.
Feb tot: __3 rides; __267.6 m; _19h15; 13.9 mph; __410 RUSA kms.
Mar tot: __1 rides; __127.0 m; __8h30; 14.9 mph; __204 RUSA kms. 
YTD tot: __7 rides; __613.5 m; _42h41; 14.4 mph; __927 RUSA kms

Looking at my Excel log, I find that I've now eclipsed 45-thousand miles in my recorded-adult-cycling-lifetime.  Another 388-miles and I'll have 40-thousand miles on the Pilot 5.0 frame.  

 "Lifetime" Miles
10 756 45,025.5 2,973.6 15.14 59.6
        year     # rides        miles    hrs.frac        pace    m./ride
2004 38 1,176.2 86.5 13.60 31.0
2005 37 1,265.5 91.8 13.78 34.2
2006 58 2,484.9 167.0 14.88 42.8
2007 79 3,530.5 221.3 15.95 44.7
2008 82 3,765.3 234.5 16.05 45.9
2009 126 6,216.7 393.8 15.78 49.3
2010 112 7,559.5 504.7 14.98 67.5
2011 113 9,204.8 614.3 14.98 81.5
2012 104 9,208.6 616.9 14.93 88.5
2013 7 613.5 42.7 14.37 87.6