Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Oct-29: Sorghum and Horace Greeley 210k Perm

That was the point/goal of the ride.
That was accomplished.
Need I type more?
Not really.

  • 20 days off the bike, on the "use it or lose it" front -- I think I've lost it. 
  • One might think that I'd follow my own advice and start easy, but on this course, when doing it solo, I seem to push the opening 36-miles too hard, and arrive at the Epsom control with aching legs.  Which then requires a "back off" approach for the next section.  
  • Did I take it easy at the beginning?  Apparently not.  When I dismounted in Epsom, the legs complained and I thought to myself, "dang it!" 
  • I guess I should admit that I did manage to bring the ride in under 10-hours. (9h59) 
  • I can think of a couple friends that might scoff at me for claiming a rough ride and still getting in under 10-hours.  (Friends for whom sub-11-hours is usually not even a whisper of a ghost of a hope.) 
But the course is friendly, as long as you remember to "save something for Egypt Mtn."
The clerks and locals in Epsom are friendly.
The staff and customers at the Hardee's in Warrenton are friendly.
And the vehicular traffic is friendly, too (until one gets close to Raleigh near the end).
Sorghum field on Alison Cooper Rd, just south of Middleburg.
Horace Greeley - historical marker in downtown Warrenton.

After I entered the ride into my Excel log, I noticed that my lifetime miles exceeded 50-thousand during the ride.  Hmmn, a little mental calculation indicates that 50K lifetime miles came almost exactly as I passed Egypt Mountain Farm atop Egypt Mtn.  Nice. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Oct-09: Rando Perm String-Theory Applied

Cameron Village in / near downtown Raleigh, NC to Lumberton, NC.

Not doing the Bicycle for Life Taste of Carolina 1200, but only volunteering.
Wanting to ride something, I rode to the 1200 start.

107.5-miles from CV to Lumberton.
Entire route on roads from several intersecting / overlapping RUSA Permanents.
(Thus "Rando String-Theory" in action -- that is, stringing together parts of multiple routes.) 

6 hours, 35 minutes elapsed time.

Only 8 minutes of stoppage / "pauseage" time.
Three of those 8 while still in downtown Raleigh (stop-lights and SOME traffic, at 0630).
Four minutes to stop and eat some nibbles from my pockets. 
One minute for a roadside nature break.

Fastest 100-miler ever for me.
The tailwind the first 90-miles may have helped on that front.
Or perhaps it was that I had been "feeling really good" -- click-here for explanation.  
The headwind the last 17-miles, into a wind-blown sprinkle-mist was not so helpful.

I arrived at the ToC start in plenty of time to help on Wednesday afternoon, evening and night.
The volunteer activities thru Sunday night provided an interesting experience.
I hope to put fingers to the keyboard in the next few days and type something about that experience.
With luck, that post will be mostly about the riders and the interactions with same.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Oct-05: Denny's Burros Sortie

NO wind or breeze early on.
Falls Lake, about 10-miles into the ride.  In person, this looked a lot better.
I was riding well.  Maintaining a good pace.
I stopped to get a pic of the "Range Wall" -- this photo taken at about the 21.2-mile mark of the route (click-here for RWGPS map).  Photos never show a climb to best effect.  The climb you can see is only about 140 or 150 feet of elevation gain; however, there is a bit more that you can't see.  And when that ends ... the route climbs another 200 feet or so mostly via false-flats to Moriah, and then climbs some more to Mt. Harmony Baptist Ch.  Sometimes, it seems the climbing during the first half of the route never ends.  Today, however, I covered almost all that distance and climbing in the 50/15 gearing, and it was easy.  Or so it seemed.
The old tobacco barn valley and hillside (about 31-miles into the ride) is one of my favorite vistas on this route.  Although this photo sucks, the scene, in person, was not very interesting today, either.  I think this vista looks best in March and April, when everything is all "Spring Green." 
I arrived at the first intermediate control, at the Allensville Store, 2-hours, 51-minutes after starting.  I think that is the quickest I've gotten to that control.

I didn't take a photo, but I was pleased to see the flag at Denny Cemetery -- it was a semi-happy flag, and the breeze was from the WNW.  That made me happy because I was anticipating combining the no-breeze outbound with a tailwind homebound.

I spotted the burros about a mile north of Berea.  They were quite skittish, and moved away from the location, beneath a copse of woods alongside the road, to the location you see here.  Unfortunately, the bright sunshine flooded the upper half of the photo.  This cropped version isn't too bad. 
I kept the quick pace all the way to Berea.  I was sure that a sub-6-hour was in the cards.

But a funny thing happened when I completed the de tour and turned onto Culbreth Rd.  Despite what the flag at Denny Cemetery had shown, and despite what another flag or two near the Culbreth crossroads indicated,, loose leaves on the roadway were being blown directly AT me.  Darn!

My legs started to bother me.  Both quads suddenly felt quite fatigued.
I geared down, and backed off the effort.
My confuser doesn't work, but I estimate that I went from 16-20 mph to 12.

The only good thing I can think of regarding the rest of the ride is this:  AFTER I backed off the effort, my legs did seem to recover, and near Creedmoor (just after, if I recall correctly), there was no longer any ache in the quads, or elsewhere in my legs.

However, there was no "giddy-up" in them, either.

So ... I brought the ride into the finish, happy to have been on the bike on a beautiful day., but disappointed that I had not been able to deliver the sub-6-hour-tour.

--> Denny's Store Sortie 138k Perm-Pop -->; 108.7 m.;  7h19 in-motion; 14.8 mph.
 - pre-ride commute:  9.0 m.;  0h35 in-motion; 15.4 mph.
 - - DSS:  87.6 m.;  5h51 in-motion; 14.8 mph; DSS elapsed time:  6h17.
 - - - post-ride commute:  12.1 m.;  0h53 in-motion; 13.7 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.
Q-3 tot: _19 rides; 2027.8 m; 134h34; 15.1 mph; 2383 RUSA kms. 

Oct tot: __1 rides; _108.7 m; __7h19; 14.8 mph; _138 RUSA kms. 
YTD tot: _49 rides; 5370.7 m; 364h56; 14.7 mph; 6938 RUSA kms. 

P-22, i.e., 22 consecutive months with at least one qualifying RUSA populaire.  

M-56, i.e., 56 consecutive months with at least one ride that was at least a Metric century.  
C-44, i.e., 44 consecutive months with at least one ride that was at least 100-miles long. 

I am too wiped out after today's ride to contemplate a solo 200 tomorrow.  
I'm volunteering next weekend at the Taste of Carolina 1200.  
The weekend after that, I'm house (and more importantly) dog-sitting.  
That leaves only the last weekend of the month to find an R-ride this month. 
Time squeeze?

Friday, October 4, 2013

String Theory -- The Rando Version

I certainly do NOT understand string theory(ies) as tossed blithely about by physicists.

However, I do understand the concept of stringing together a series of known cycling routes to make a longer one.  For example, Durham, NC rando JohnM has created a loop that consists of three RUSA Permanents strung together, making (what is purported to be) an excellent three-day tour.
Location Free- route? Km Climb (ft.) Name Organizer States
NC: Biscoe no 123 3800 Triad Triple Tour #3 M___, John NC
NC: Dobson no 201 6000 Triad Triple Tour #2 M___, John NC
NC: Hillsborough no 205 8000 Triad Triple Tour #1 M___, John NC

I also understand the stringing together of several RUSA routes, using their overlapping or intersecting points to make a new route with a different purpose. With a little luck and knowledge, combined with a little creativity, one might make use of existing courses to make a travel route from one location to another.  This is the version of "Rando String Theory" that I have in mind today.

The goal?
Create a reasonable travel route from Cameron Village Shopping Center near downtown Raleigh, NC to the start of the 2013-version of the "Taste of Carolina 1200" in Lumberton, NC.

The solution?
"String" together the following routes (which 2013 RUSA rookie BradW described as "incestuous" the first time he did the Get 'er Dunn Permanent Populaire):
  1. OakElmOak / Hope Springs Eternal / Bunn Warmer (they are the same route, one simply turns around earlier for HSE, and even earlier than that for the Bunn Warmer), 
  2. Carolina Crossroads
  3. Benson Mule Pull
  4. Get 'er Dunn
  5. Lillington Lilliput
  6. Lookin' Out My Back Door
  7. Tar Heel 200
  8. Lumberton-Ammons-Whiteville
For good measures:  (a) the resulting "string" route includes nearly 37-miles of "Uncle" Alan's NCBC 600k Brevet route, and  (b) the "Ammons-Whiteville" perm route started life as a TonyG brevet route(s), and still is!   

The result?
A reasonably direct 107.5-mile route between the desired locations.
[It helped that I've ridden each of the routes indicated above, except the "Ammon-Whiteville: route, at least once, and from those previous rides, I knew when to switch between routes.  Oh, wait, I haven't ridden the "Lillington Lilliput" route either; but I have ridden the portions that contributed to today's "String Theory" result.]