Sunday, September 29, 2013

My First 100-Miler

Six years ago, on Sep-29-2007, I rode my first ever 100-miler.
It was a modified version of the "Virginia Border Raid."

31-miles farther than I had ever ridden previously.
That 78-mile ride was on Sep-22-2007, i.e., seven days earlier.
(I'd had company for the first 23-miles of that Sep-22nd ride.) 

Year Month Date start / course Miles mph
2007 Sep 22 PUE:  Shoofly Don't Bother Me 78.3 5.00 15.6
2007 Sep 28 BJP:  DocN-Kemp-Virgil 29.7 1.51 16.0
2007 Sep 29 PUE:  VA border ride  --  7h55 elapsed 109.0 7.01 15.5

One might think, that if I could ride 109-miles, solo, 7h01 in-motion, in 7h55 elapsed time,
That I ought to be able to ride 200k rando rides in 9 hours relatively frequently.

However, as best I can recall, I have only two 9-hour or less 200's.
316246 ACPB 200 2010/10/02 NC: Raleigh route 227 (unnamed) 09:01
326879 ACPB 200 2011/04/02 NC: Raleigh route 227 (unnamed) 08:31
[And clearly, one of the "9-hour" 200's, was a minute over 9-hours.]  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sep-28: Brad Maintains P-series

27-y-o rookie rando Brad, a 4th year veterinary med student at NC State, needed a populiare.
He hadn't been on his bike since the Aug-17 NCBC Picnic Populaire.
Ricochet and I signed on to ride with Brad.
Encourage him, cajole him, whatever.

He needed some serious cajoling on climbs late in the ride.
When I type "climbs," that includes things such as a 5 or 10 foot elevation change,
Spread over 100 yards or so.

He either had very little left in the tank, OR
He was saving it for the finishing climbs of Ghoston, Peed, and Mt. Vernon Ch roads.
[Despite what rando fracquaintance Pamela wrote back in February
I do not think that G, P or MVC are the hardest climbs of the route. 
I'd give those nods to Stagville Rd, the "Michie Wall," and ... 
Okay, Ghoston.]

To help Brad get this ride, what would be his P-8 if successful,
We took advantage of the 'free-route' status of the route,
Trading a few extra miles for less climbing (and less intensive climbing), 
"Winging-it" on the "Flat Start," "Hall Rd" and "Hester Rd" variants.
(The variations are shown in green.)
On Hall Rd.  Ricochet nearest the camera; that's me a few yards further up the road.  [Photo by Brad.]

Despite the reduced climbing,
Brad voiced relatively early his concern about the G-P-MVC finish.

The weather was almost ideal.
It did get a bit overly cloudy in the middle of the ride,
But the sunshine was working hard to break the cloud-cast by the finish. 
It would have been nicer if the northerly breeze had been a bit less early on,
But then we might not have had a following breeze late in the ride.

We shared stories and jokes, especially early on.
We each had at least one 'possum story (some of which were rando related).
Brad and Ricochet had frog and other reptile and amphibian stories. 
I think they helped us cover most of the distance of the ride with little mental energy expenditure.

There were some nice vistas, and at least one moment to warm the cockles of Brad's heart: 
Several box turtles warming themselves on a log in the middle of a pond alongside Robert's Chpl Rd.

All in all, and although I haven't written much,
And certainly have written nothing with any "insight,"
It was a great day to have been on a bike.
And Brad snagged his P-8:
Permanent Route Name / # Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Bahama Beach / 1404 103 2013/09/28 3 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T35649   6628 B__, Robert D Randonneurs USA / 933095  05:57
RUSA-T35650   6218 S__, J Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095  05:57
RUSA-T35651   8218 W__, Bradley J. Randonneurs USA / 933095  05:57


--> Bahama Beach 103k 'ree-route' Perm-Pop -->; 90.1 m.;  6h33 in-motion; 13.7 mph.
 - pre-ride commute:  9.0 m.;  0h33 in-motion; 16.3 mph.
 - - BB w/ variants:  69.2 m.;  5h11 in-motion; 13.3 mph; BB elapsed time:  5h57.
 - - - post-ride commute:  11.9 m.;  0h49 in-motion; 14.5 mph.

Q-1 tot: _11 rides; _940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; 1275 RUSA kms.
Q-2 tot: _18 rides; 2293.9 m; 158h18; 14.5 mph; 3142 RUSA kms.
J-A tot: _12 rides; 1274.3 m; _84h50; 15.0 mph; 1450 RUSA kms.
Sep tot: __7 rides; _753.5 m; _49h44; 15.2 mph; _933 RUSA kms

YTD tot: _48 rides; 5262.0 m; 357h36; 14.7 mph; 6800 RUSA kms

xxx, yyy, zzz. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

My Only Non-Trivial Bicycle Crash

Four Years and Eight Days Ago ...

I went boom!

I had looked down to check what gears I had left,
As we were ZOOMING across Lynnbank Rd at a faster speed than I can usually maintain,
I may have heard some strange noises from the two guys immediately ahead of me,
They were exclaiming over the sudden drop in speed at the front of the five-man line.

I looked up, and immediately thought,
"Oh, this is going to hurt!"

Luckily, I was not directly behind the bicycle ahead of me, and
I sorta' slid up his left side,
Hooking my right side brifter (ergo-shifter for some of you) on Lee's jersey.
That took most of the momentum out of my fall, and
Flung Lee from the white fog line to the center double-yellow.
More luck -- Lee did not go down.

I recall sliding across the "asphalt" on my left shoulder.
I recall calmly thinking, "great, my jersey has been pulled off my shoulder, and
"Now my skin is in direct contact with this rough road surface.
"I hope this doesn't last very long.
"Because if it does, my shoulder is going to be hamburger."

The shoulder slide probably only lasted 2 or 3 seconds.
The road-rash looked more like rug-burn.
I never knew that the photos loaded onto the blog were also stored in a Picassa web album.  I wonder what opportunities that knowledge will open?
After 15 or so minutes, I got back on the bike.
The guys thought I would call someone to come pick me up. 
However, I had a ride to finish, and ... there was no one to call.

Next morning, with my left arm in a sling,
I had to unstick Lynn's chain from between the chainstay and something,
So that she could get in her last ride before heading to the Texas Time Trials,
To ride the Tejas 500-miler.
She won, by the way.

For further reading on the crash and my thoughts at the time,
See the above link (which purports to document the ride), and
See also this blog post, in which I addressed a comment from a buddy that wasn't on the ride.
The link in the above line is the more important.

Exactly Four Years Ago Today ...

Lt. Dave did me the biggest favor he ever did for me.

A few comments regarding the post linked to immediately above:
  1. We didn't do the referenced 92-miler.  Turned out I was in no mental or physical condition to ride that far
  2. Thirteen days after Dave got me back on the bike (and tricked me into a longer ride than I anticipated), three of us did an informal 200-km ride.  Well, Dave and Smitty did the ride -- I experienced Sridharesque cramps after 116-miles and needed to be rescued.
  3. Seven days later, four of us did a repeat of that 200-km route.  Well, on Oct-17th, it was Smitty that needed to be rescued (because of a flat tyre and using all the tubes but one in the crew).  The Mallet had a great ride -- pulling most of the day.  Snapper extended himself to where he'd never before been on a bike -- he had to shift out of his 53-tooth chain ring on Little Mtn Creek Rd -- which Snapper claimed was the first time he'd shifted from the 53 to the 39 all year -- and dropped his chain when he did.  As for me ... I'll just note that the next April, when I did my first ever 200k rando brevet, I knew I could finish / would finish. 
  4. Looking at the route that Dave and I rode on Sep-27-2009 -- with only three tiny tweaks, that route eventually became the 103-km Bahama Beach perm-pop.  
Ha!  Looking elsewhere in September-2009, I see that on the 13th, I did a solo ride on the route that would eventually become the 138-km Denny's Store Sortie.

Ah, heck!  My memory must be going.  Because that informal Irregulars Hurdle Mills 200k course we did, that became much of the basis for the 205-km 'Road to Hicksboro' perm. 

It is almost as if everything is wrapped up (almost) neatly in one tight ball.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sep-25: Denny's Store 138-km perm-pop

Mick's been wanting to ride the route since March or April.
(The route was approved Jan-03-13, but not ridden until March 30th.)
Usually, due to time and/or recent rides and/or plans for rides in the near future,
He's ended up doing either the Bahama Beach 103-km 'free-route' or
The 102-km Get 'er Dunn.
However, things finally aligned.

0730 official start.
NO breeze at all.
Nice sunshine in the first few miles, but as we approached Falls Lake:  fog.
Steam rising off the surface of the water.
Steam hanging just above the surface and filling the valley,
Some piling up and spilling over the crests of the "hills" surrounding the lake valleys.

By the time we were clear of the lake-fog,
The sun was partly to mostly hiding behind increasing clouds.
The clouds would slowly increase throughout the day,
Resulting in significant overcast the final 16 or 20 miles.
And there were some drops of water falling from some of those clouds.
Not so many that anyone would have given any notice, but
Those sprinkles did put a concern in my mind about my post-ride commute.
Turned out that not a single further drop fell from the sky after (roughly) 2 p.m..

The breeze stayed quiescent all the first half of the ride to the Allensville store.
We rode past many limp flags.
Mick referred to them as "sad flags."

Farmers and their crews were harvesting tobacco in several places en route.
I'm not glorying in the tobacco -- I'm just reporting a fact.

I think that the better scenery (and climbing) is front-loaded on the route.
I'm slowly trying to collect photos of the more interesting places.
One or two pics a ride.
Enough to maybe entice riders, but
Not so many that there is nothing left for discovery.

Speaking of discovery -- I finally remembered the Deep Creek.
I gave Mick plenty of warning.
He had to agree that it certainly was a Deep Creek.

I was thinking we'd short-stop the Allensville control, but
In retrospect, I think Mick was playing for time for his "no-legs-today."
As I type this, I'm thnking we might have spent a little less time at the control
IF I had pointed out the bench(es) where a 5-min sit might have been better than a 10-min stand. 
The Allensville Convenience Mart control c-store.  One of the less scenic things en route; however, it has its uses.  
By the time we reached the Denny Cemetery,
Flags were no longer at-rest, limp, sad.
The one at the Cemetery was pretty proud, and
Unfortunately, pointing in the opposite direction from my previous visit.
(In other words, we could look forward to 40-miles heading into the breeze.)

If one looks carefully at the right-hand side of the above-linked photo,
One can just make out the Denny's Store corner (just beyond the car in the photo).
We made the semi-obligatory stop at the corner:
Mick pictured with the DS sign.  I think I've finally figured out the best angle for these photos.  This is almost it. 
We hopped back on our bikes after the photo-stop,
Heading for Berea,
Where we stopped for some lunch.
At least the conversation and food was decent.
(Don't ask what the conversation subjects were; I have NO recollection.)

As the Culbreth Rd bridge over the Tar River is still "out,"
We followed the well-marked NC-DOT detour.
And soon were zipping through Culbreth, past Shoofly, and then through Stem,
Headed toward Creedmoor.

The roads from Berea to Stem were new roads for Mick.
Also the roads from Creedmoor to New Light Rd.

For me, however, the 30-miles from Culbreth back to the finish,
Roads and a distance that once would have been a MAJOR undertaking,
Has become sort-of "well, that's been the fun part of the route, now we gotta' get back."

Is that a good thing?
Meaning that I can now ride much farther to find and enjoy new sights.
Or is that a bad thing?
Meaning that I may be becoming somewhat jaded.

I choose to not address the above rhetorical questions.
Instead, I will let the future reveal the answer.

On a completely different front:
Assuming the ride gets approved,
This ride put Mick past the 10-thousand RUSA km mark this year,
Making him the first North Carolinian to top 10K this year, and
Making him the third ever North Carolinian to attain K-Hound status at least twice.

As Mick rode the entire course with the route-owner,
My guess is that it is a good bet that the ride will get approved.

Permanent Route Name / # Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Denny's Store Sortie / 1795 138 2013/09/25 2 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T35610   6169 H___, Michael A North Carolina Bicycle Club / 933045 07:07
RUSA-T35611   6218 S___, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095 07:07

H___, Michael A | North Carolina Bicycle Club | 933045  
2013 annual total=10009 km
2012 ACP SR, annual total=17004 km 

--> Denny's Store Sortie 138k Perm-Pop -->; 108.5 m.;  7h05 in-motion; 15.3 mph.
 - pre-ride commute:  9.0 m.;  0h33 in-motion; 16.3 mph.
 - - DSS:  87.6 m.;  5h47 in-motion; 15.1 mph; DSS elapsed time:  7h07.
 - - - post-ride commute:  11.9 m.;  0h45 in-motion; 15.8 mph.

Q-1 tot: _11 rides; _940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; 1275 RUSA kms
Q-2 tot: _18 rides; 2293.9 m; 158h18; 14.5 mph; 3142 RUSA kms 
J-A tot: _12 rides; 1274.3 m; _84h50; 15.0 mph; 1450 RUSA kms
Sep tot: __6 rides; _663.4 m; _43h10; 15.4 mph; _830 RUSA kms

YTD tot: _47 rides; 5171.9 m; 351h03; 14.7 mph; 6697 RUSA kms

Eddington Cycling Number:
After this ride:  108.
Meaning that I have completed at least 108 different rides that were at least 108 miles long. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

(1) Sep-15: Egypt Mtn ... (2) Changed Blog Template

(2) Changed Blog Template 

I prefer the previous template and the look it produced.
But Internet Explorer could not / would not display the blog properly.
Google Chrome did.
Firefox did.
And I've seen the blog on an Apple/Mac or two, and the blog displayed properly.

But ... I decided to try changing the template and see if IE would display properly.
There are things, such as the colors of the links, that I don't care for.
I've tried changing the colors of the links, but it didn't "take."

Oh, well.
At least now users of IE can see the blog.

(1) Sep-15:  Egypt Mtn 210k Perm 

Just the "important" points:
  • NO DETOUR.  The bridge replacement work on Sims Bridge Rd is completed.  (At least for this year.) 
  • Four churches, all seemingly fully attended, in the half-mile leaving Middleburg. 
  • We each had somewhat tired legs; especially Robert.  Therefore, we started a bit slowly.  But we picked up the pace and generally made good time. 
  • Robert reported that his legs finally started to feel good after about 100-miles. 
  • And ... since I'd indicated that even though we started at 0730, we would likely finish at around 1700.  I didn't think we could come close to that when we turned off Egypt Mtn Rd onto Charlie Grissom Rd.  However, ...  
  • We got up the climb away from the Tar River on Green Hill Rd, and then began to ramp up the pace. 
  • Mt. Olivet Ch Rd is 3.4-miles long.  Combined with the shallower incline (AFTER the steep) on Green Hill Rd that is more than 0.6-miles long, that makes a bit more than 4-miles of almost continuous incline.  There are a couple of respits in there, but it is a good shallow incline test.  We hammered on that. 
  • Rested a bit on Long Mill Rd, getting to the "Llama House." 
  • NONE of the llamas / alpacas were visible.  No stopping for photos. 
  • We got to Pokomoke at 1606.  I mentioned to Robert that I have done that final 16.2-miles in under an hour a couple times; once in 54-minutes.  [I'm not sure he believed me.]  
  • We had to back off our "finishing pace" somewhat, but we got to the bottom of Ghoston Rd at 1640.  I.e., we had covered flattish, but not-flat, 10.3-miles in 34 minutes:  that's pretty good for us. 
  • Robert cajoled me up Ghoston and also up Peed Rd.  It helped. 
  • We finished at 1502, having covered the final 16.2-miles in 56-minutes (and I covered the 4.6-miles of Ghoston-Peed-MVC in approx 18m15s -- that is very good for me).  Official elapsed time:  9h32. 
  • We each rode home. 
Monday night, Robert and I traded a couple emails.  Each of us had had aching legs all day Monday.  Robert thought that maybe it had not been a good idea to have hammered in the finishing section.  I figure it will help to make each of us stronger in the long term, or perhaps in the short term.  

--> Egypt Mtn 210k Perm -->; 151.6 m.;  9h52 in-motion; 15.4 mph; EM elapsed time:  9h32.
 - pre-ride commute:  9.0 m.;  0h34 in-motion; 15.8 mph.
 - - EM:  130.7 m.;  8h28 in-motion; 15.4 mph; EM elapsed time:  9h32.
 - - - post-ride commute:  11.9 m.;  0h50 in-motion; 14.3 mph.

Q-1 tot: _11 rides; _940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; 1275 RUSA kms
Q-2 tot: _18 rides; 2293.9 m; 158h18; 14.5 mph; 3142 RUSA kms 
J-A tot: _12 rides; 1274.3 m; _84h50; 15.0 mph; 1450 RUSA kms
Sep tot: __5 rides; _554.9 m; _36h05; 15.4 mph; _692 RUSA kms
YTD tot: _46 rides; 5063.4 m; 343h57; 14.7 mph; 6559 RUSA kms

xxx, yyy, zzz.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sep-14: Denny Cemetery + Shoofly 138-km perm-pop

Okay, I rode the Denny's Store Sortie (DSS) (click here for a RWGPS map - opens a new tab).
OR, trying something different, below are the offered RWGPS map and elevation images.
I prefer the look of the map gotten via the above link.

Although the pix at Denny's Store x-roads make for fine to excellent photos,
I thought I'd do something different.
Denny Cemetery.  About a quarter-mile before the Denny's Store x-roads.
Failing to properly capture the image of the flag, I tried a different angle:
First 42-miles had been head-on into the "breeze" that was making that flag present itself so proudly.  After those miles, there were another ~ 6 or 7 miles of a quartering headwind as the "breeze" was coming from the N/NE.  The last 34-miles of the route came with a nice tailwind -- except when the road squiggled-about or the wind was bouncing off a stand of trees, a large building, or whatever else it was bouncing off. 
I think that Denny's Store was a better choice on the day than some other routes that various rando-friends were riding.  E.g., I reckon that Dean and Mick likely had 100-kms of tailwind on the "Lookin' Out My Backdoor" route, followed by 100-kms into that same "breeze" indicated by the above flag.  Checking the LOMBD results, though, I see that Dean and Mick posted a faster time than usual.  E.g. #2, Byron and Ricochet did the "Leesville-Leasburg-Leesville" route; that route starts a few miles to the SW of the Denny's Store route start, and proceeds in a N/NW direction similar to the DSS, about 15 miles further west, and the LLL route does not follow as "straight" a path as DSS.  As a result, Byron and Ricochet were faced with alternate headwind and tailwinds outbound -- headwind on the roads heading north, tailwind on the roads heading west.  And whereas once I got to the tailwind section, I faced no more real headwinds, Byron and Ricochet faced alternate headwind and tailwind sections coming home (tailwind when headed south; headwind when headed east).

Cruising down Culbreth Rd, I thought to stop and take a photo of the Shoofly sign.
I think Shoofly was originally a railroad whistle stop (but I haven't researched the issue).
The RR tracks are long gone.
Actually, a lot of NC RR tracks were pulled up long ago.
The RR roadbeds are still visible -- if one knows where to look, and what to look for.
There is a non-rando "Shoofly Don't Bother Me" course that I created in 2007.
It has been a favorite route of some of the Irregulars.
It is also a favorite of mine, but I've never actually ridden the course as mapped / cue sheeted.
I think I rode the route three times -- each time with a different variation.
Ha -- just remembered -- the first time I rode a version of the Shoofly --
That would have been Sep-22-2007 --
It became the longest ride I'd ever done.
78 miles. 
The following Saturday, I did my first ever 100-miler.
On a 109-mile version of the Virginia Border Raid.

Anyway, as you might have guessed from the above photos,
Sep-14-2013 in central NC was a GREAT day to have gone for a bike ride.

That's my story, and I'll be sticking to it.

--> Denny's Store Sortie perm-pop -->; 111.5 m.;   7h11 in-motion; 15.5 mph.  
 _pre-ride commute:  11.1 m.; 0h40 in-motion; 15.1 mph. 
 ___DSS:  88.3 m.;  5h42 in-motion; 15.6 mph; rando elapsed time:   6h30. 
 ____ post-ride commute:  12.1 m.; 0h48 in-motion; 15.1 mph. 

Q-1 tot: _11 rides; __940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; _1275 RUSA kms.
Q-2 tot: _18 rides; _2293.9 m; 158h18; 14.5 mph; _3142 RUSA kms.
J-A tot: _12 rides; _1274.3 m; _84h50; 15.0 mph; _1450 RUSA kms.
Sep tot: __4 rides; __403.3 m; _26h13; 15.4 mph; __482 RUSA kms. 
YTD tot: _45 rides; _4911.6 m; 334h05; 14.7 mph; _6349 RUSA kms.

Eddington Cycling Number: 
After this ride:  107
Meaning that I have completed at least 107 different rides that were at least 107 miles long.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sep-08: Not a little mtn ride

After Saturday's ride, Ricochet contacted me, wanting to do Bahama Beach on Sunday.

Leg muscles a bit sore from the prior day,
And having left a bit earlier than the previous day,
I pedaled an easy pace, taking 6-minutes longer in-motion to cover the pre-ride commute.

Robert also pedaled his trusty steed to the start, and
We arrived within 5 seconds of each other.
Greetings exchanged and paperwork taken care of,
We still had to wait a minute or more for the 0730 start time.

There are 5 inclines in the 5-miles of Victory Ch / Kemp Rd.
Busy chatting about serious and superfluous subjects,
I noticed none of them.

We chatted our way across Patterson, Cheek, Burton and even Red Mill roads.
19.4-miles covered and no mental energy expended.

Stagville Rd.  157 feet to climb in 0.8-miles. 
It took mental and physical energy for me to get up that climb.
But I was determined to stay in the 39/15 gear -- I don't know why. 
A respite, then some more climbing on Stagville Rd to Bahama (ba-hey-ma).

I told Robert I wanted to stop at the fire station in Bahama to lube my chain. 
Not for the first time, Robert asked, "how could you tell your chain needed lubing."
"By the sounds coming from the drive-train, Robert."
"I couldn't hear anything," commented Robert.
"You gotta' remember, you're deaf in one ear and can't hear with the other."
Robert retorted, "no, no.  I'm blind in one eye and can't see with the other."
"Yes, that too," I agreed.

39/15, with much huffing and puffing, to get up the "Michie Wall."
It is much shorter than the "Range Wall."
Then Ellis Chapel and Robert's Chapel roads.
Robert pointed out a roadside "terrace" on Ellis Chapel Rd that he likes.
That's all I recall of either road.

Arriving at more northerly Robert's Chapel Rd / Range Rd corner,
We decided to "wing it" and turn right on Range Rd instead of left.
That cut Little Mountain Rd out of the ride.
Thus, "not a little mountain ride."

The homesteads resulting from the right onto Range were more attractive than
Those encountered if one turns left.
But I cogitate that the left turn results in a slightly safer course,
Which is why the standard route makes the left onto Range.

Leaving Stem after the only intermediate store control en route,
Trying to stay in the 39/15, because I hadn't shifted all ride, yet,
I couldn't catch back up to Robert.
I shifted to the 50/15 and was on his wheel within seconds.

Keeping the momentum built up in my flywheel,
I went around on the little incline to the I-85 overpass,
And stayed in front on the next little incline up to Hester Rd.
There, we "winged it" for the second time on the day.

Ricochet Robert loves climbing, but
Hester Rd has quickly become a favorite for him.
Less climbing.  Nice home and farmsteads.  Some shade.  Quieter.

Zipping ahead and skipping anything having to do with "hammering"
Across NC-96 and Horseshoe Rd,
Robert drifted off my front on the steep bit on Lawrence Rd, and
I could not reel him back in on the shallower part leading up to Grissom.

As I reached the turn onto Bruce Garner Rd at Grissom,
I happened to notice that I was NOT in the 39/15 gear I thought I was in.
Instead, I had apparently done all the climbing, steep and shallow,
Of Lawrence Rd, in the 39/14.

Two thoughts crossed my mind:
"When did I shift to the 14?" and
"No wonder that last bit seemed harder than I was expecting."

I left the rear in the 14 all the way to Ghoston Rd.,
Caught up to soft-pedaling Robert, and 
Used the 50 once past Rock Springs Ch Rd..

I urged Robert to pass me and go on without me, as
He had seemed to be on verge of pulling away all ride. 
When he hadn't been purposefully soft-pedaling after every "serious" climb.
Robert declined the invitation.

However, he had no hesitancy about coming around and dropping me on Ghoston Rd.
He putzed the first quarter-mile on Peed Rd., allowing me to catch and pass him.
Then he duly passed and dropped me on the steep section of Peed.
And ... I'm not sure when I caught him again (but only because he was soft-pedaling, waiting).

I got to the bottom of the creek valley on Mt. Vernon Ch Rd before Robert.
(I have a significant gravity advantage on declines.)
And just after starting the last climb of the route,
I heard Robert call out, "I can't shift; something is wrong with my rear derailleur!"

He was stuck in his smallest cog -- a 12-tooth gear, I think.
Of course he came around and kept going all the way to the finish.

As I type this,
I haven't heard the diagnosis of the cause of Robert's rear derailleur problem.

As I type this,
Several muscles in my legs are clearly indicating that I made them work this weekend.

It has been a long time since I've ridden hard, or attempted to ride hard.
I've mostly been efforting well shy of my aerobic limit.
As a result, I can ride long, for one day, but
Hard, for two days, or more?
Not so much.

--> Bahama Beach w/ Hester Rd variant perm-pop -->; 89.8 m.;   6h03 in-motion; 14.8 mph.  
 _pre-ride commute:  9.0 m.; 0h38 in-motion; 14.2 mph. 
 ___BB:  65.8 m.;  4h21 in-motion; 15.1 mph; rando elapsed time:   4h36. 
 ____ post-ride commute:  15.0 m.; 1h04 in-motion; 14.0 mph. 

Q-1 tot: _11 rides; __940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; _1275 RUSA kms.
Q-2 tot: _18 rides; _2293.9 m; 158h18; 14.5 mph; _3142 RUSA kms.
J-A tot: _12 rides; _1274.3 m; _84h50; 15.0 mph; _1450 RUSA kms.
Sep tot: __2 rides; __202.1 m; _13h09; 15.4 mph; __241 RUSA kms. 
YTD tot: _43 rides; _4710.6 m; 321h01; 14.7 mph; _6108 RUSA kms.

xxxx, yyyy, zzzz. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sep-07: Pleasant Day on Denny's Store Sortie

I needed a pleasant ride to sooth the nerves from "life."

Tony was offering a brevet-fest out of Lumberton, but that didn't fit the bill.

MikeD posted looking for a crew to do Carolina Crossroads 200k perm, but
I didn't fancy finishing with 7-miles on Garner Rd, and
Then negotiating my way through the music festival and across downtown Raleigh.
(And, seeing on FB the crew he did collect -- I would have been solo, anyway.)

Denny's Store Sortie, 138-kms, little to no traffic, mostly pleasant climbs, some hills.
That fit the bill.

Less than an hour after starting, at about 15.8-miles, where the route crosses US-15 outbound,
I encountered what has been a recurring problem on many NC rando routes this year,
Permanents as well as brevets: 
"Road Closed Ahead."

What NOW?!

I rode a quarter mile, chicaning around the road-closed signs,
To get over the small crest that was blocking the view for the reason for closing the road.
It didn't seem prudent to get any closer than I did.
LOTS of construction trucks, apparently hauling gravel.
I spied, between the construction vehicles, what appeared to be a new roadbed
On the other side of a small bridge.
Not another bridge out -- thank goodness! 

Can't imagine why that road / roadbed needs rebuilding.
My recollection is that  that section of road was in good to excellent shape.

Anyway, I turned around and returned to US-15.
The NC-DOT indicated detour didn't make sense to me,
I had forgotten about W.B.Clark Rd,
So I went the opposite direction on NC-15,
To Will Suitt Rd.

A longer detour, but Will Suitt Rd is a more pleasant road than Cash / Gate # 2 Rd.
(Dappled shade on Will Suitt whereas Cash / Gate # 2 Rd is more out in the open.) 

Skipping ahead ...
On Mt. Harmony Ch. Rd., I saw a flag, fully unfurled by the wind,
Pointing in the same direction I was heading.
Great!, I thought.  Not.
As that would likely mean a building headwind on the return.

Confusion reigned concerning the direction of the breeze / wind, however.
The next couple flags, less than half-a-mile after the first one,
Were quite at rest.
That put some hope in my mind that the second half of the ride would not be into a headwind.
Turned out it was false hope.

The second intermediate control is in the small town of Berea.
As I stopped outside the control gas station / c-store,
A Mr. Aaron V. of Berea walked up to ask me how far I was riding and from whence I had come.
He insisted on shaking my hand, mentioning that he didn't understand how "we" could ride so far.
(I told him that my first ride on the road was about 17.5-miles, and somewhat hilly.
And ... I thought I might die.) 

Anyway, I spent 6 or 8 minutes chatting with Aaron,
Trying to be an ambassador for cycling, and also proselytizing.
As Aaron was likely about 10 years younger than me,
I suggested to him that "if your doctor one day says 'you need to start doing some cardiovascular exercise',:
Bicycling is an excellent way to do that.
Bicycling and walking.

'Twas a great day to be on bike, out in the countryside, 
With clear and fresh air, only wispy clouds in the sky,
Moderate temperatures and low humidity.

--> Denny's Store Sortie perm-pop -->; 112.3 m.;   7h05 in-motion; 15.9 mph.  
 _pre-ride commute:  9.0 m.; 0h32 in-motion; 16.6 mph. 
 ___DSS:  91.2 m. (2 detours);  5h44 in-motion; 15.9 mph; rando elapsed time:   6h13. 
 ____ post-ride commute:  12.1 m.; 0h49 in-motion; 14.8 mph. 

Q-1 tot: _11 rides; __940.3 m; _64h42; 14.5 mph; _1275 RUSA kms.
Q-2 tot: _18 rides; _2293.9 m; 158h18; 14.5 mph; _3142 RUSA kms.
Jul tot: __6 rides; __643.3 m; _42h25; 15.2 mph; __694 RUSA kms.
Aug tot: __6 rides; __631.0 m; _42h25; 14.9 mph; __756 RUSA kms
Sep tot: __1 rides; __112.3 m; __7h05; 15.9 mph; __138 RUSA kms. 
YTD tot: _42 rides; _4620.8 m; 314h57; 14.7 mph; _6005 RUSA kms.

C-43, P-21, M-55.   

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A New Way to SPAM? Or Spread Viruses?

A new way to Spam?
Or a new way to attack computers with viruses, etc.?

I received an email with the following message:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "May-08: Morrisville 400 km Brevet":

I truly love your wеbsіte.. Grеat сoloгs & theme.

Dіd yоu make this web site уourself?
Pleaѕе reply baсk аs I'm hoping to
create my oωn blog and would like to find out
ωheгe you got this from or exасtlу what the theme iѕ
cаllеd. Thanks! 

I have NOT included the last line of the email;
It included a link to a "weblog."

And here is an interesting thing:
There is NO comment on the indicated post,
Nor anywhere else, for that matter,
Duplicating the message in the email. 

How did the perp generate the email,
Appearing for all the world just the same as other emails informing of actual comments?

I don't trust that email.
I don't trust the link which I did not include above.

Based on where Blogger claims the recent pageviews were generated,
The email appears to have come from someone, or some computer, located in France.

Given that the Cluster Map indicates no visits from France,
I suspect an automated computer searching for gullible folks to infect.

I wonder if any other bloggers will have gotten a similar message.