Friday, November 21, 2014

Reset -- Part A

The 2014 North Carolina Rando Year-End Party was held on Saturday, Nov-15th.  The party was preceded by a couple rides for those that could make it and were interested:  a 201k Perm and also a 103k Perm-Pop (a second group also did the Pop).

[Hmmn, it seems that some did some other rides as well:  Dean, Mick and Lynn all had errands to do so did rides closer to home before going to the party.] 

Anyway, I couldn't make it to either of the party-rides, nor even one closer to my residence, but I did make it to the party.  Shortly after I arrived, my friend Bob chided me about there being no Irregular blog updates since August.  Oops.

I suppose I could try to use the excuse that I've been preoccupied with some other stuff, but that's rather a lame excuse.  Besides, since the party, Bob has noted that, as the end of the year will mark five full years of rando for those of us in the North-Carolina-2010-rookie-class, it will certainly be time for an update on said rookie class.  [Bob can be such a slave-driver -- LOL!!!]

However, before I actually RESET and resume blogging about my rides, I need to write, er, type, I don't write these things, rather I just type whatever comes into my head.  So, before I RESET and resume blogging about my rides, I need to type something about a great ride I had back in August.

Aug-19:  Showdown at Black Creek 201k

It had been a year or two since I had last done this course.
I was having trouble with a completely worn out chain and cassette, and
It would also turn out that the 39Tooth middle chain ring was also worn out.
There were other issues with the bike.
So I contacted Mike requesting to do a ride on a conviently close Perm,
With not-so-much climbing, except for the first and last 12.5-miles (20-kms).

I got around a bit slowly that morning, and left the house several minutes later than intended.
Then immediately made a wrong turn in the nearby neighborhood ... and was a bit LOST.
Lost, on my cycle-commute to the start.  Aargh.

As a result of the above, I got to the start control five minutes or so AFTER the agreed start time.
However, rather than starting the ride in an agitated state of mind,
I decided to grab a couple sausage biscuits, sit down, and calmly eat them for breakfast.

I started the ride with a calm mindset, approximately 20 minutes late.
[The first time I did this route, I started approx 45 minutes late due to bowel issues. 
I once started this route approx 40 minutes late because I waited for the fog to lessen
(That fog-wait ride turned out pretty good as I finished the ride 8h59 after I actually started.) 
So, as you should guess, I was not concerned about starting 20 minutes late. 
AND I was calm -- one of the three keys to successfully completing a rando ride.]

Some seven or so miles into the course,
I encountered a typical problem when cycling in summer in NC:
"Road Closed" due to a bridge under re-destruction.  (Sorry, no photo(s).)

Luckily for me, the roads near and around that bridge closure are as the back of my hand.
I immediately knew the detour I was going to take,
Regardless of where the NC-DOT tried to direct me.
[Good thing, too, as the DOT detour would have put me on US-1 / Capital Blvd.  
THAT is definitely NOT a road to be ridden on a bicycle.] 

Sid Mitchell to Green to Long Mill to NC-96 into Youngsville and back on the course.
NC-96 was a slight decline all the way into Youngsville, and had little traffic.

From Youngsville to Black Creek, the route is generally a false-flat decline the entire distance.
And I, in the words of the Fixie Pixie, was feeling really good.
I arrived at Black Creek Grocery less than 4 hours after I actually started.  Woohoo!

Unfortunately, on the return trip, there was a headwind.
Just a slight wind; but still, I had to work a bit harder than I had outbound.
Also, I might have caught some post-Youngsville roads / traffic at just the wrong time.
Oh, well.

I finished the rando route in an official 9h15.
[One of these days, I need to start this route ON TIME and have a fast(ish) ride, and 
Get an official time under 9 hours.]

Rando ride finished, but the fun was not done.
As I left the control, my rear tyre was flat.  Huh!
I had noticed nothing wrong when / as I finished the ride.
I decided to hope that it was a slow leak.
So I just pumped up the tyre and got my post-rando commute ride under way.

I do NOT recommend riding, on a weekday, from the finish control back into Raleigh at 5-ish pm.
There was a constant stream of traffic passing me,
While I made sure to ride without rocking the bike while fretting the rear would go flat again.
[The vehicles generally gave me sufficient room, but a little more space would have been nice. 
Interestingly, the vehicle that came closest, too close, really, was a Raleigh Police car!]

After I finished my post-rando commute,
I showered and cleaned up and took my bike to the nearby bike shop,
To get the complete tune-up, etc. that was needed. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Aug-14: The "We Met Clyde" 100k Pre-Ride

Despite there having been some rides that I meant to write about, it's been a bit more than a month since last I blogged about any ride.  I especially wanted to write something about the DELUGE Not Friendly (DNF) on Aug-02, where after 95.4-miles, the bottom fell out of the heavens and the thermometer also dropped; my anonymous ride partner and I agreed that the risk of hypothermia was too great --> we managed to find a rescue ride.

The anonymous one has since gotten in their R-ride; I have not.  I still have at least two more reasonable opportunities this months.

However, I need to get back to the point.

Today, my friend Iva-the-Hawk and I did a pre-ride of the Aug-16 NCBC Picnic Populaire.
I would put in a link, but ...

Anyway, we arrived at Alan's at about 0730, intending an 0800 start.
Alan appeared a few minutes later, bearing "gifts:"
Actually, waivers, control cards and cue sheets.

We left on time, but only after I mentioned to Alan that we intended to take a detour --
To ride a block off the brevet populaire route so that Iva could see "Critter Country."
Alan agreed that that was a reasonable thing to do.

The first control on the Populaire is at the Andrew's Store, about 21-miles into the course, and
After one has done the climb on Jack Bennett Rd.

Iva did Alan's 200k brevet twice in 2010, but hadn't ridden anything south of Raleigh since then.
As we turned onto Lystra Rd, Iva asked where the infamous "Col de Lystra" was located.
I indicated that said climb started about a mile after we would turn off Lystra onto Jack Bennett, and
That Lystra and Jack Bennett scaled the same rise, but that Lystra is much steeper in doing so.

Just as the steep part of the Bennett climb started,
We, along with a few cars, were stopped on the road because of some utility work ahead.
After a minute or so, the STOP signal was changed to SLOW.
Just so you know, that is what Iva and did -- we proceeded at a SLOW pace.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be on a bike.
Bright sunshine, very low humidity, supposedly light and variable wind.
But even so, we were happy to arrive at the Andrew's Store control.
We each indulged in a "country ham, egg and cheese" biscuit; 
Iva had coffee; I chose a different caffeinated beverage.
We took our time, not feeling any need to hurry;
We enjoyed our conversation -- but, of course, I recall nothing that we chatted about.

We left the control, heading for the chip-seal of Parker Herndon Rd and its two valleys.
We were not disappointed.

At the end of Parker Herndon, we turned left onto Hamlet Chapel Rd,
The little green road sign indicates "Hamlet Chp Rd."
That encouraged Iva to make the best comment of the day:
"Hamlet Chip Rd -- how appropriate."
[Anyone that has done Alan's 200, 300 or 400 brevets will understand.]

Soon we re-crossed US-15/501 to DROP down into Bynum.
As indicated above, we detoured off course on Bynum Hill Rd,
In order to visit a world renowned place:  Critter Country.

We stopped to take a pic or two.
 Then ... we met Clyde, who was just finishing up mowing his yard (and maybe the yards for one or two neighbors).
Clyde Jones, with some of his Critters in the background.
 Clyde encouraged us to look all around the front and back yards, and to take as much time as we wanted, and to take as many photos as desired, also.
67-year-old Iva, being young at heart.

Iva had a little trouble taming his critter-horse.

My horse was a bit tamer.  At least I remembered to smile.  Actually, I was thinking "I better smile or Tony Goodnight and others will chastise me."
We bid adieu to Clyde and continued our appointed rounds.

We crossed the ancient and long one-lane bridge, closed to auto traffic, across the Haw River. 
And then, climbed back UP from the Haw to US-15-501.
Crossed over that road, again, and
Headed for Pittsboro.

We short-stopped the control in Pittsboro.
After all, we'd already spent 50-minutes combined at Andrew's Store plus Clyde's Critter Country.

After Pittsboro, the route gets a bit boring.
I can't imagine anyone indicating that Pittsboro-Moncure Rd is their favorite cycling road.
And on this date, we were riding into that "light and variable" breeze,
Turning several of the rolling UPS into bogging-down sections.

We each purchased something at the last intermediate control at Ray's Super Market, and
Enjoyed the absolutely delightful temps, humidity, sunshine, etc. at the outside table.

As we prepared to leave, Iva noted that the poles next to the tables were perfect,
Perfect, that is, upon which to make a half-human-flag:
The best physical move of the day.

We rolled through the last 28-ish miles, picking up the pace as we went.
We finished the 71-mile route after 5h57,
Filled out the requisite paperwork, and
Headed home.

[You may wonder about there being no reference to Alan in the above paragraph:
Alan had errands to run, so was not at the finish.] 


Oh, some might be expecting a pre-ride road condition report:
All the terrain is the same as ever.
The chip-seal road surfaces are still just as chippy and rough.
The tar-snaky roads are still tar-snaky.
The rough, bumpily sections on some roads are still rough and bumpily.
The smooth roads are still SMOOTH.
The Haw River was rushing nicely over the rocks and such near Bynum. 

The weather for Saturday is expected to be similar to today.
Everyone should have a great day for a bicycle ride.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Jul-09: 104 for 58

Once a year, July 9th rolls around.
I usually try to get in a ride on the 9th, but
I don't always succeed.

This year, however, I did get to ride my bike, and
It was a good day on the "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" perm-pop.

0600 start time -- I was perfectly on time.
Despite the heavy overcast, it was still easy to suspect that the solstice has passed.

I timed the light at NC-98 perfectly. 
[Since that light is 4.7-miles from the start, and is long red for Six Forks / New Light traffic, 
You of course understand that it is impossible to "time" that light on a bike.] 

Less traffic on Six Forks / New Light Rd than expected;
I only recall about 3 or 4 vehicles for those 7+ miles.
Maybe another one or two on Bruce Garner Rd.
[Make no mistake, though, there was the usual several parades of southbound traffic; 
Southbound is heading into Raleigh.]

I timed the light in Wilton, at the intersection of NC-56 and NC-96 perfectly, and
Rolled through Wilton 70 minutes after starting the ride.
[Wilton is 18.7 miles from the start -- there's no "timing" that light on a bike.]

After crossing the Tar River (bridge at 22.9-miles from the start), and
Climbing back up to the plain,
The route is essentially flat to the Oxford control and back to the Tar River.
[Essentially flat.  Ha.  Rather humorous when I think of my youth. 
Those little bumps would have been hills back then.  
It was quite flat where I grew up. 
"How flat," you ask? 
Here's a link to a RWGPS map
I grew up at the 6.1-mile mark of that course. 
If you zoom in on the on the profile between 5.6 and 6.4 miles, 
You'll see at BIG hill -- all of 17 feet high. 
THAT was a big hill when I was a kid.] 

Nothing of interest or worth noting happened the entire outbound leg.
I "arrived" at the control at 0805, with approx 2h04 in-motion. 
I've gotten there faster; I've gotten there slower; I was happy.
I got a 99-cent Powerade and the appropriate receipt,
Chatted a half-minute with the clerk / store-owner, and
Left the control at 0811.

I was pretty sure there would be a bit of a breeze in my face on the inbound / southbound leg.
I was correct.

I settled in to enjoy the still mostly overcast for the last half of the ride.
The only semi-interesting thing that happened on the ride back was that
The sun made an attempt to break through and dissipate the cloud cover.

I was rather glad to see that the clouds thickened up again before I got to Grissom.
[Grissom is approx 12.7-miles before the finish.]

My confuser wasn't working -- I've got to return it to Performance and get something else,
And I wasn't paying attention to my watch.
I was quite surprised when I arrived at the CVS finish control at 1014.

Since I had had to wait for the light in Wilton to change,
I had ridden the return leg, into a slight breeze, with the harder climbs,
In approx 2:02:30 in-motion.

That is, I was a minute-and-a-half faster into the breeze, with harder climbing,
Than I had been going outbound.

It takes me a long time to completely warm up.
[My friend JohnA might suggest that it takes me 80 or 90 miles to fully warm up.] 

--> Oxford 104-km perm-pop -->; 77.0 m.;  4h56 in-motion; 15.6 mph. 
 - pre-ride commute:  5.6 m.;  0h23 in-motion; 14.5 mph.
 - - Oxford:  64.7 m.;  4h06:30 in-motion; 15.7 mph; elapsed time:   4h14

 - - - post-ride commute:  6.7 m.;  0h27 in-motion; 14.8 mph.  

Q-1 tot: _21 rides; _967.6 m; _65h57; 14.7 mph; 1136 RUSA kms.
Q-2 tot: _24 rides; 1954.2 m; 134h57; 14.5 mph; 2573 RUSA kms.
Jul tot: __2 rides; _219.8 m; _14h01; 14.6 mph; _314 RUSA kms.  
YTD tot: _47 rides; 3141.6 m; 215h56; 14.5 mph; 4023 RUSA kms. 


Hmmn -- I must have been feeling pretty good:  the commute back was record fast, and I certainly wasn't trying to be fast.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Jul-06: Bridge Out 210

I don't get nervous the night before a 200 km ride (at least not any more).  
I seldom get excited, either.  
However, this time I got excited anticipating riding the "Egypt Mtn" 210-km perm

I hadn't done EM since February, so it might have almost seemed almost new.  
Or maybe each section would seem an old friend. 

This would be my first solo 200 since Oct-29-2013, which was on the Egypt Mtn course. 

I very much doubted I'd finish anywhere nearly as quickly as did then (9h59).  
Ricochet Robert and SteveG were doing the Bahama Beach 103k populaire,  
Starting at the same time I was starting Egypt Mtn. 

I arrived at the start.  
No one there.  
I checked all 3 of possible start controls (Open Control). 

Robert arrived and after a few minutes, 
Asked what I thought of his new rando bike. 

I reminded him "you know I never notice people's bikes." 
And then I looked: 
  • Titanium frame (lightly used - purchased from Byron, which explain the "light" part).
  • Dyno hub.
  • Borrowed fenders (from Byron).
  • Borrowed bags (from Byron).
  • Robert indicated it was built up by Rando Byron. 
That ought to be a pretty good guarantee of decent performance. 

Oh, and one important thing: 
The frame and all looked to be the correct SIZE for Robert. 
[He's been riding a 56-cm bike since his career began in 2010. 
He's needed a 54, or even better, a 53 frame.] 

I'm looking forward to seeing how Robert sits upon this new bike. 
Well, I'll look forward to seeing Robert ... IF he will slow down to my speed. 

Steve arrived less than 4-minutes before the start time. 
As I had a long ride ahead of me, with an expected afternoon southerly wind, 
And ... , I decided to leave on time. 
[I still have not properly met SteveG.]  

Turned out that THE bridge on the "connecting pipe-stem" in the middle of the course,  
At mile 40.2 and again at 79.2, is under destruction. 
  • Outbound detour onto new road(s) for me: Weldon Mill Rd -- rough chip seal instead of the smooth asphalt of Southerland Mill Rd. 
  • While riding outbound, I planned my inbound detour to stay on Tower Rd all the way to Cokesbury Rd, and then retrace outbound detour. That turned out to be a better than anticipated plan because Jones Chapel Rd (the standard turn off Tower Rd) was also under destruction & covered with LOOSE gravel. 

Oh, yeah -- 3rd year for this course -- 3rd different bridge closure / destruction -- one a year. 
As a fellow North Carolina rando recently wrote:  "... if you ride North Carolina backroads in the summertime, you know what that means. A bridge being replaced, oh, you betcha."   

However, whereas Mike apparently gave thought about what to do when he met his detour, 
I took not even one second to make up my mind:  
I was NOT going to ride the mile or more DOWN to the bridge to check it out, 
Just to ride back UP to where I was. 
Nope, not me. 
I immediately took the detour. 
[Full disclosure:  Locals at the control a mile before had told me the bridge was OUT.] 

As I was making what seemed to be good time, 
I wondered if the faster cadence riding on the "Oxford" pop was paying dividends. 
I convinced myself that it was. 

I arrived at the Hardee's in Warrenton after 4h28. 
I have not kept track of the intermediate control times on my rides, 
But I'm pretty sure that is the earliest I've ever arrived at that control. 
[66.2 miles; est. 4h09 in-motion; 15.9-mph; 4h28 elapsed.  :-)  :-D ]

Amazingly, in the absence of the usual slow service, I was back on the bike by 4h50,
Thinking that a sub-9h30 was likely.
Then, I turned south ... ... headwind ... ... the entire way back.
Oh, well.  Make peace with the weather and just keep pedaling.

The second half of the route is slightly longer than the first half.
I could break the second half into four sub-sections, but I'll just summarize:
68.9 miles; est. 5h19 in-motion; 13.0 mph; 6h11 elapsed.  :-|
[I took 3 or so quick breaks to deal with developing hot-foot and facia-itis issues;
I took a 21-minute break at Grissom -- as long as the lunch break had been! ] 

Turns out the route I rode was 135.1-miles (std is 130.9).
I.e, 217-kms instead of the std 210.

Overall, I cannot be disappointed with my time.
It works out to less than 10h00 for 200k.
10 hours is a good time for me.

The above is pretty boring report, but
It is my story and I think I'll be sticking with it.

--> Egypt Mtn 210-km perm -->; 147.4 m.; 10h20 in-motion; 14.3 mph. 

 - pre-ride commute:  5.6 m.;  0h23 in-motion; 14.5 mph.
 - - Egypt Mtn:  135.1 m.;  9h28 in-motion; 14.3 mph; elapsed time:  10h39 

 - - - post-ride commute:  6.7 m.;  0h29 in-motion; 13.5 mph.  

Q-1 tot: _21 rides; _967.6 m; _65h57; 14.7 mph; 1136 RUSA kms.
Q-2 tot: _24 rides; 1954.2 m; 134h57; 14.5 mph; 2573 RUSA kms.
Jul tot: __2 rides; _219.8 m; _14h01; 14.6 mph; _314 RUSA kms.  
YTD tot: _47 rides; 3141.6 m; 215h56; 14.5 mph; 4023 RUSA kms. 

Eddington Cycling Number:
After this ride:  113.
Meaning that I have completed at least 113 different rides that were at least 113 miles long. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Jul-03: IvaHawk 104

Another early morning on the "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" perm-pop.
This time with my friend Iva "IvaHawk" A.

Prompt 0600 start.
Sun trying to peak over the horizon of trees and between the clouds.

We timed our arrival at the stop-light for NC-98 poorly.
We had to wait at least a minute-and-a-half.
The entire time there was a slow-motion tennis-volley of vehicles on 98.
Luckily, a southbound vehicle pulled up to the light and that tripped the induction loop.

Only 2 or 3 northbound vehicles between 98 and Old Weaver Trail.
Southbound traffic, headed into Raleigh for a day of work, etc., was the usual heavy load.

Iva and I were chatting about all the important things of our worlds,
And my cycling brain, the course knowledge part, rolled over to automatic.
Iva and I were chatting away, having a grand time,
When I suddenly realized that we were descending toward Falls Lake, again!
The "Oxford" route does not descend to Falls Lake a second time outbound.
Uh-oh, on non-thinking auto-pilot, I had made the turn onto Old Weaver
As if doing the "Denny's Store Sortie."

"Iva," I yelled, "we're on the wrong course!"
A couple bonus miles for us on the day.
One might expect a little better from the route-owner.

Back on course and cruising along, we made nice time.
There was intermittent weak sunshine between mostly dominant clouds.
The advantage of that being that the temperature would be retarded in its daily climb.
And that would allow us to stay cooler.
Silver lining.

We, by which I mean Iva, needed a nature break outbound.
[I can't recall what we used to call those on "Irregulars" rides.]

According to the note I made on my control card,
[Surprised I bothered to look, aren't you]
We arrived at the turn-around control just east of Oxford at 0816,
[The receipt is time-stamped "08:19:39"].
Given the pause at NC-98, the ~ 2.1 bonus miles, and the nature break,
That seemed a pretty good outbound result.
Especially as we had chatted the whole way.

We left the control at 0830, rode the kilometer on US-158, and
Turned southbound on Antioch Rd into a surprise.
Apparently, we had been feeling really, really good on the outbound / northbound trip,
Because we were now confronted with a significant southerly headwind.
[Significant by central North Carolina standards, that is.] 

There was no chatting on the homebound leg;
The person behind could hear words spoken from the person in front,
But the wind carried the responses of the one behind away toward Virginia.

My notes on the control card indicate that we arrived at the finish at 1039,
[Surprised, again, aren't you -- that I actually looked at and referenced the card]
Adjusting for the couple minutes of pauseage due to waiting for traffic at stop-signs,
2h07 in-motion on the homeward bound leg.
[Oh, that's much better than I thought.  
We must have hammered it pretty hard coming back. 
Hammered for us, that is.  
These things are all relative, you know.] 

--> Oxford 104-km perm-pop; 72.4 m.;  4h41 in-motion; 15.4 mph. 

 - pre-ride commute:  5.6 m.;  0h23 in-motion; 14.5 mph.
 - - Oxford:  66.8 m.;  4h18 in-motion; 15.5 mph; elapsed time:  4h39.

Q-1 tot: _21 rides; _967.6 m; _65h57; 14.7 mph; 1136 RUSA kms.
Q-2 tot: _24 rides; 1954.2 m; 134h57; 14.5 mph; 2573 RUSA kms.
Jul tot: __1 rides; __72.4 m; __4h41; 15.4 mph; _104 RUSA kms.  

YTD tot: _46 rides; 2995.2 m; 205h35; 14.6 mph; 3818 RUSA kms. 

10-years ago:  

On Jul-04-2004 [pre-blog, and certainly pre-rando], I made my one and only appearance at a prominent local charity ride, the "Firecracker."  The ride doesn't start until 8 am -- well, by the time all the announcements, etc. are completed, more like 8:10 am.  It was HOT.  It seems it is always HOT for the Firecracker.  I rode a 29-lb. (that includes saddle-pack) mountain bike with slicks and "cages" for the pedals (i.e., clips).  I completed the 31.7-mile "50k" ride in 2h22 in-motion, 13.3 mph avg. 

A certain person named Lynn did the "100k."  Even she noted that it was HOT.  I think she did the Firecracker one more time, but then swore off the event as too crowded and too hot.  

Ha!  I just recalled -- we were supposed to go to a party given by one of Lynn's cycling friends, but the directions were so atrocious, and despite assurances from the host that she would leave her cell phone on in case anyone had trouble finding the party in the wasteland that is Cary, NC (my description, not the host's), we were unable to contact the host, and we never made it to the party. 

5-years ago:  

On Jul-03-2009 [which was before I took up the rando thing], I rode my first ever "Kerr Lake Loop."  Back then, MikeD had a mini-map of the rando Kerr Lake Loop permanent on his blog, and I painstakingly ripped off the route using that mini-map (except I missed one turn, but the result was just as good, or nearly so).  Here follows a link to the blog post / report I made back then -- one thing, that ride was the first time I and the Irregulars rode over "Stovall Mtn" -- I knew what to expect because I had driven Mountain Rd previously -- the others kept wondering where the "mountain" was, until they saw it.  Oh, and the report made at the time skips over the mountain-passage -- because I thought it unwise to scare Irregulars who were not on the ride that day from giving Mountain Rd a try some time in the future.  [2009 was before many of the Irregulars had ridden a century, and certainly BEFORE most of them went on to do one or more of the audaciously named North Carolina mountain centuries.]  

Jul-03-2009 blog report:  ("Irregulars" Kerr Lake Loop)  

Interestingly enough, not quite six months later, I introduced MikeD to Mountain Rd, and he promptly modified the rando Kerr Lake Loop.  (Pizza in Stovall, and a mountain)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Jun-29: Sunny and Mild 138

Completely sunny day.
But, surprisingly, low humidity.  :-)

Just me and Lynn.
Lynn agreed to ride mostly-with me until the Berea control (at approx the 55-mile mark).

We each noted that it was definitely cooler than it had been the day before.
Lynn indicated that she had gone back in her house to change to a jersey with sleeves.

Range Rd was much prettier in the dappled early morning sun.
(However, I think that section would have looked better if the sun were lower in the sky.)

In the deep shade on Range Rd,
After I had backed off my effort and Lynn had disappeared up the road,
I was able to check the temperature on the mostly useless new cycle confuser.
62 degrees Fahrenheit at approx 7:45 am.
That's rather cool for central North Carolina this time of year.
(It had been about 10 degrees warmer the day before.)

This route is definitely a much nicer visual experience on a sunny day than on an overcast one.

The forecast was for a NE wind 5 to 10 mph.
E to E/SE seemed more like it.
Given the direction of the route, and the resulting impact on apparent wind while riding,
I'm thinking it was probably an East wind.
Rather than a tailwind, or at least a quartering tailwind,
It was a quartering headwind all the way home.

By agreement, Lynn left the Berea control some 5 or 6 minutes before I did.
She finished the ride 29-minutes before me.
Meaning she put about 23-minutes into me in the final 30-miles of the course.
I'm confident that many local fast-crew randonneurs understand.
Also many local non-randonneurs.

At the corner of Old Weaver Trail and New Light Rd (8-miles before the finish),
I came upon a group that looked to be led by G + W of TLC-4-Bikes.
Turned out it was a subgroup being led by W.
G was off riding longer.

Anyway, W introduced me to the group as "Uncle Martin."
I thought that a bit strange.
But, as W indicated, I did teach G + W the roads when the first moved here from Dallas.
She pointed out that I "knew all the roads."
Maybe "Uncle Martin" makes some sense.

Then Wendy mentioned that I did long rides.
One woman (unknown to me) asked how far.
I told her it was going to be either 92 or 98 miles, today.
She gasped.
Then I told her that I had ridden 98 miles the day before,
And 77 the day before that.
I thought the woman might faint.
[I suspect that 30 or 35 miles is a long ride for said woman.]  

Wendy asked me to lead the way, so I did.
Managed a short conversation with Reid while climbing Ghoston.
Chatting while riding up Ghoston was certainly better than trying to WORK it. 
I hadn't seen Reid in at least a year, maybe two.
As paltry as these last three posts are, they are my stories,
And I guess I'll be sticking with them.

Jun-28: Grey 138

Heavy overcast and high humidity on the playground.

Originally expected an easy solo ride, but that gave way to a nearly all-out effort,
Trying to whip myself into shape.

Fastest I've ever gotten to the first control,
Allensville Store at 42.3-miles in 2h46 (virtually no pauseage time).
6-minutes at the control.
I rode hard for the 12.8-miles to the Berea control.
Thinking I might catch the 3-fast-crew,
Or even jump past them if I short-stopped the "inside" control,
While they long-stopped the "outside" control.
No luck at that -- they'd gone on before I got there.

Pushed on to Culbreth, Stem and Creedmoor.
Slowed for a minute or two in Creedmoor,
And I think I lost cadence somewhere between Creedmoor and New Light Rd.

I WORKED the Ghoston and Peed Rd climbs, but
Eased up the the final climb on Mt. Vernon Ch Rd.
Still managed a PR on the course by 4-minutes.

Oh, the fast-crew finished 20-minutes before me.
Fun day.
But I certainly was tired after riding hard two mornings in a row.

Jun-27: Oxford 104

Thought of TammieN and BobB this morning while outbound on the "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" 104-km pop.

I thought I was moving quickly (for me), but couldn't really tell since the bleeping new confuser wasn't working. Was thinking that this newish "Oxford" route was my new "cadence / time-trial" route (since I can't fit my old 30-miler "cadence / time-trial" route into the schedule), and that led me to thinking about what it takes to make the bike go faster.

Obviously, being in shape helps.
But mostly I think it might be attitude.
I settled on "calm intensity" as a mental approach / attitude.

And "calm intensity" made me think of Tammie & Bob at last year's Taste of Carolina 1200 AND Tammie's "positive negativity."
Oh, yeah, for Fixie Pixie:  I finished my ride by 10 am, showered, dressed and checked email and other internet / computer stuff by 11:30 -- with the entire day yet to come! Yippee! (No more riding today. 138k, likely solo, tomorrow.) 

(1) commute to ride:  5.6-m., 0h22 in-motion, 15.2-mph; 
(2) outbound:  32.35-m. (52-kms), 2h06 in-motion, 15.4-mph; I thought I had been riding faster than that
(3) inbound:  32.35-m. (52-kms), 1h54 in-motion, 17.0-mph; very happy with that
(4) commute home:  6.7-m., 0h28 in-motion, 14.3-mph.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Jun-24: Two Turtle Rescue 104

Two turtles rescued on the ride
Just as the (northbound) climb from the Tar River begins to level off. 
I suspect it was the same turtle as the location was the same.
One rescue outbound.  One rescue inbound, about 70 minutes later.

I'm wondering if it might have been one of the turtles Lynn rescued outbound last Tuesday.
Started at 0545 officially, 0547 actually.
Got to Oxford control at 0748/9.
Left Oxford control at 0758; 
Then promptly had to wait a minute for traffic so I could get on US-158.
Had to wait nearly 2 minutes to make the "turn" onto Peed Rd.
Finished at 1001 for a 4h16 time.

About 1:59:30 in-motion outbound.
About 2:00:00 in-motion inbound.
I like that.
Lost my cadence on Lawrence Rd, and had to regather myself after the steep part of that was over. 
Lost my cadence because I was getting a bit tired.
Worked Ghoston.  Somewhat worked Peed.  Took it easy on MVC.
Putzed on the 6.7-mile commute back to the house, taking 28+ minutes in-motion.
I have taken as many as 33 minutes in-motion for that commute home.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf Pop Stats

As previously indicated, the "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" Permanent-Populaire was created so that Ricochet Robert would have a flat north Raleigh pop option upon which to maintain his P-series as he recovered from hernia surgery (The Good, the Bad, and the Unexpected).
However, there is an excellent mostly-flat perm-pop route that has been waiting
For someone to bite the bullet and ... submit it.
Given Robert's surgery and "flat needs,"
It was time to effectuate the "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" 102k perm-pop.
Robert was concerned that no one else would do the route.
I told him not to worry... .

It is true that the route has been ridden mostly, er, almost exclusively by north Raleigh randonneurs, but recently, a local geographic "barrier" was broken.

Permanent route: NC: Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf / 2259
Cert# RUSA# Name Club Time
2014/03/02 finishers=1 DNF=0
RUSA-T39385 6218 S__, Martin RUSA / 933095  04:37
2014/03/11 finishers=2 DNF=0
RUSA-T39550 6169 H__, Michael A NCBC / 933045  05:14
RUSA-T39551 6218 S__, Martin RUSA / 933095  05:14
2014/03/22 finishers=1 DNF=0
RUSA-T40064 6628 B__, Robert D RUSA / 933095  04:23
2014/04/09 finishers=2 DNF=0
RUSA-T40174 5519 L__, Lynn RUSA / 933095  04:36
RUSA-T40175 6218 S__, Martin RUSA / 933095  04:49
2014/05/14 finishers=1 DNF=0
RUSA-T41061 6218 S__, Martin RUSA / 933095  06:24
2014/06/17 finishers=2 DNF=0
RUSA-T41949 5519 L__, Lynn RUSA / 933095  04:15
RUSA-T41950 6218 S__, Martin RUSA / 933095  04:22
2014/06/18 finishers=3 DNF=0
RUSA-T41988 6628 B__, Robert D RUSA / 933095  04:18
RUSA-T41989 5519 L__, Lynn RUSA / 933095  04:18
RUSA-T41990 6218 S__, Martin RUSA / 933095  04:26
2014/06/22 finishers=4 DNF=0
RUSA-T42134 1609 D__, Michael J NCBC / 933045  04:37
RUSA-T42135 4070 F__, Dean NCBC / 933045  04:52
RUSA-T42136 6169 H__, Michael A NCBC / 933045  04:48
RUSA-T42137 5519 L__, Lynn RUSA / 933095  04:37

Saturday, May 31, 2014

May-31: Denny's Store 138

Placeholding because I really want to blog this ride / these rides, and
I want May rides to show as May blog post.
I may be obsessive on that point.

[Edit March 3, 2017:  
It is obvious that I did NOT get back to fill out the above non-post.   
And now, I recall NOTHING about this ride.   
My Excel log indicates that I rode solo that day, and  
The RUSA website indicates that I completed the route in 5h57, 
Which was a personal record for me (at the time), 
Replacing the PR from six days earlier.  

I do recall that on each of the May-25th and this May-31st ride, 
That I was trying to be quick, trying to better a 5h45 time. 
I never did accomplish that. 

Also strange is that 
On the 25th, I cycled to the start and cycled back home, 
But on the 31st, I cycled to the start, but must have hitched a ride home. 
Can't imagine with whom I caught that ride. 

Records reveal that I rode the Denny's Store route four times in May 2014. 
Also that I DNF'd the route once. 
Work called when I was part way into the ride on the 13th, and long story short, 
I earned that DNF by turning around and going in to work. 
I did the Denny's Store route the next day, May 14th, solo, in 6h26. 

Interesting thing about that May 14 ride, 
It was the first half, the long first half, 
Of doing two perm-pops, back-to-back, solo.  

I obviously enjoyed riding the Denny's Store route in that month of May. 
I still do, but I haven't ever done the route four times again since then. 
However, one never knows what the future may hold.]  

May-25: Denny's Store 138

Placeholding because I really want to blog this ride / these rides, and
I want May rides to show as May blog post.
I may be obsessive on that point.

[Edit March 3, 2017:  
It is obvious that I did NOT get back to fill out the above non-post.   
And now, I recall NOTHING about this ride.   
My Excel log indicates that I rode solo that day, and  
The RUSA website indicates that I completed the route in 6h08, 
Which was a personal record for me (at the time).  

Records also reveal that I rode the Denny's Store route four times in May 2014. 
Also that I DNF'd the route once. 
Work called when I was part way into the ride, and long story short, 
I earned that DNF by turning around and going in to work. 

I obviously enjoyed riding the Denny's Store route in that month of May. 
I still do, but I haven't ever done the route four times again since then. 
However, one never knows what the future may hold.] 

May-17: Late Afternoon Bahama Beach 103

Placeholding because I really want to blog this ride / these rides, and
I want May rides to show as May blog post.
I may be obsessive on that point.


[Edit Apr-04-2015:  
It is obvious that I did NOT get back to fill out the above non-post. 
And now, I recall NOTHING about this ride. 
My Excel log indicates that I rode the "standard" route that day with Biker Bob, and
Completed the route in 4h49. 

Oh, wait, now I recall: 
Bob was in Raleigh, I think to do a short version of the Tour de Cure, and 
Decided he'd rather do a late afternoon Bahama Beach with me, 
Rather than a longer Tour de Cure option. 

My recollection is that I got off from work at about 3 pm, with aching legs. 
The first half of the ride was a struggle for me. 
We paused on Cassam Rd because I needed a moment to regroup, and 
Nibble a bit and take a good drink. 

After the pause, I decided to go "all out," regardless how much it hurt my legs. 
In particular, on Bruce Garner / New Light Rd, I went into "time trial mode." 
At one point, I called back to Bob that I hoped the TT was hurting his legs, 
Because I was inflicting significant pain on mine.  ;-/

My legs felt better after the ride than before. 
A lesson I need to recall this year.] 

May-14: Two Pops Ride

In addition to my usual goal of HAVE FUN, I have three "real" cycling goals this year:
  1. K-Hound,
  2. Mondial, and 
  3. I'm not sayin'. 
I'm WAAY behind a K-Hound pace.

So, rather than just doing a long populaire, or even a 200k perm,
I decided to take a page from "Scary" GaryG's playbook,
And double up on populaires (I have seen that GaryG has done three pops on the same day).
Doing 'Denny's Store Sortie' starting at 0600,
And 'Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf' starting at 1300.

The Denny's Store ride would be solo.
MickH scheduled to join me for the Oxford ride.
Denny's Store 138-km

I like this route.
And once one gets into and beyond Butner, there's NO traffic.

Range Road starts with what is often referred to as "Range Wall,"
Which many would laugh at, but ... it's intimidating to flatlanders. 

My favorite part of Range Road is a few miles later.
Early on a Spring, Summer or Fall sunny morning,
The sunlight dapples the road between leaf shadows,
Making for a pleasant minute or two.

After Range Rd, Bahama / Mt. Harmony Ch Road has a couple climbs that slow me down.
There are also a couple scenic places.
The hillside with the several old tobacco drying barns comes to mind.

After passing Mt. Harmony Church, Johnnie Jones Rd has a lot of soap-box-derby potential.
And a popper or two.
A nice pastureland scene, and some views of distant hill ridges.

From Surl to Allensville, I'm usually just concentrating on pedaling,
Hoping to get to the control sooner than usual.
It's only 13-miles from the Allensville Store control to the open control in Berea.

It takes me about 19-minutes to get to the Denny's Store corner from the Allensville control.
If riding with others, I usually try to stop at the Denny's Store sign and take a photo.
I even sometimes do that when solo, or take a photo at the cemetery just before the crossroads.
But this day, I had another photo plan. 
So I "sped" on toward Berea.

I can "speed" toward Berea after cresting the climb just after Denny's Store,
As there are no noteable climbs and (I think) it is generally a slight downslope.

I always like it when I arrive at the Berea control an hour or less after arriving at Allensville.
This day, after the above mentioned crest, the bike was moving at a fast pace,
But it seemed as if I was putting no effort into the pedaling.
The effortless pace continued after the short stop at the Berea control.
(I took advantage of the 2 soda cans for $1 special.
I got Pepsi's and poured most of the liquid into the empty water bottle.)

I arrived at Culbreth (crossroads) in what seemed to be no-time.
I stopped to take some photos of the farm-house at the corner.
Or rather, what used to be the farm-house.
View more-or-less from the corner.
Taken from under the tree seen in the prior photo.  (I think that's from where I took this one.)
Three chimneys and part of the "front garden".
After taking 5 or 8 minutes for the above photos,
I remounted and found that the effortless quick pace was still happening.  :-)

Past Shoofly, through Stem, down Brogden Rd to and into Creedmoor,
Effortless pace still.  :-)  :-)

I stopped at the Southern States in Creedmoor to get cold water in my bottles.
I also called Mick to let him know that I would certainly be on time for a 1 pm Oxford start.

Upon leaving Creedmoor, I decided to purposefully pull back on the pace / effort.
(Certainly you know that the "effortless" pace had required some effort.)
The idea was to conserve some energy for ride #2 -- i.e., the Oxford route.

I finished the ride with an official completion time of 1226.
6 hours, 26 minutes elapsed time officially.
Given the 4 minute late start and the ease-off-the-pace the last 16-miles,
I was quite pleased and stoked for the second "half" of the adventure.
Oxford 104-km

Still to be written.

May-09: Hicksboro 205

I had Friday off, decided to do the 'Road to Hicksboro,'
Advertised on the NC-rando-list-serve, expecting no responses.  Instead, got two: 
  1. TomD, with whom I had ridden about 300-kms of the 2013 NCBC 600 brevet, and 
  2. StevenB, who is a NC-2010-rando-rookie, but a person who I had never met. 
Also, eventually, Ricochet Robert decided to join the ride.

Tom indicated that he was looking for an easy ride.
If he stuck with me, he would get what would qualify as an easy ride (for him).

Steven indicated he was just looking for a ride.
Tall, thin, and I think he had shaved legs -- NOT a recipe for an easy Martin pace.

Ricochet Robert is in very good shape and getting faster, maybe is now nearly-fast.
I think I need to find a way to inflict a difficulty on him in order to slow him down.
I decided to use my "Lynn tactic" on them.
Get in the lead to slow them down.
It didn't work.
Especially when the climbs on St. Mary's Rd began.

The three drifted off my front wheel,
Leaving me alone to ride past the historical St. Mary's School, etc..

I arrived at the first control, Underwood Grocery, 33.2-miles into the ride, at 0911.
As we had left 3-minutes late and I had about 1-minute of "pausage" en route,
I had taken 2h07 in-motion --> an avg of 15.7-mph in-motion.
If I had had a working confuser, I might have been worried.
We left the control at 0919, and I used the downslope to get ahead of the guys again.
Again, to try to slow them down for a bit.
It didn't work, again.
They unceremoniously dropped me on the climb on New Sharon Ch Rd.
At least that left me on my own on the subsequent, mostly-Martin-friendly rollers.
I arrived at the Timberlake control, 46.1- miles (yes, those controls are rather close together),
Anyway, I arrived at 1010, with 50-minutes in motion --> avg 15.4 in-motion for that segment.

One nice thing about that segment:
That dang yellow dawg that was a nuisance every ride last year,
Did NOT make an appearance on this ride.
We left the Timberlake control at 1025 after a 15-minute stop.
We had picked up a SW tailwind, but the temps were climbing fast.
I grabbed the lead on the downslope out of Timberlake,
Hoping to stick with the guys for awhile.

Either I stuck with them, or they took it somewhat easy,
Until the first non-trivial climb on Jim Latta Rd.
If I recall correctly, I did not see the others until the non-control lunch stop in Stovall.

I guessed that Ricochet had told the other two that I would likely re-catch them on a downslope
After the bigger climbs.
Robert likely recalls that from previous rides, and
Especially from last year's NCBC 300 + 400 brevets,
Where I caught Robert and Byron on Coleridge Rd at the same spot on the two rides.

Robert may think I can catch people on downslopes, but
Robert is in the best (fastest) shape of his three-year cycling career,
Whereas I am decidedly NOT.
I can still ride fast downslope, but I labor upslope and the gaps become to big to bridge.

My "pausage" time in Stovall was 23-minutes.
Most of that time, no one was giving any indication of wanting to get going.

Leaving Stovall, again a downslope, and I got in front,
To again try to slow the guys and stick with them for awhile.
That worked for the 6 or so miles to the Hicksboro Info Control,
But soon thereafter, on "Ricochet's Ridge," the guys drifted off my front wheel, again.
I admit I was cussing the guys by this time.
Ride "with" -- ha.

I got to the Dabney control (89.3-miles) at 1336,
Just in time to get behind several lottery players.
I had cover the distance from Timberlake to Dabney at an avg 15.4 mph in-motion. 

Robert was anxious to leave the instant I got away from the cashier.
He apparently was feeling well rested from the extra time he had been there,
And failed to see the line of lottery players that had taken up my time at the control.
I "saluted" Robert's impatience with a possibly appropriate gesture.
Since the turn at the Hicksboro Info Control,
We had been riding head-on into the southerly headwind.
And it had been quite hot for the middle of May.
Several of us were showing some effects from the heat.

Leaving the Dabney control, I did NOT attempt to get in front to slow the guys.
I knew that after three miles of more-or-less flat roads,
We would have several miles of mostly downslope to creek.
I figured I could hang with the guys until the bridge, but
I knew I would lose them on the climb away from the creek.
Also, I needed to take a "natural break."

Therefore, I bid the guys adieu, and urged them to leave their cards with Robert.
I stopped for my pee, 1-minute, and could still see the three in the distance.
However, I had no intention of trying to catch them (or even hold the separation).

The heat had continued to build.
The headwind had also continued to build.
I thought the headwind a bigger issue.

I will note that the tar-snakes on Pokomoke Rd were a bit disconcerting.
The tar was hot enough that I felt my rear wheel slide sideways on the tar.
I may need to come up with a different 200+ Perm,
One that does NOT finish coming in on Pokomoke / Bruce Garner / New Light Rd.
[That road is also a bit of a problem in the winter, 
Because one is riding straight into the late-day setting sun. 
NOT a good thing.]

Anyway, I passed through Pokomoke and ...
As I approached the c-store at May Store Rd,
(BTW, said store is NOT noted on the cue sheet -- that store has been mostly-closed recently)
I saw Ricochet Robert, astride his steed, ready to leave the store.
I pulled in and learned (from Robert) that Tom and Steven were taking a bit of break,
But that Robert needed to finish the ride as quickly as possible.
I'll also note that Robert looked quite fresh.

Tom was looking the worse for wear, and
Steven indicated that he was "floating."
I concluded that neither minded waiting an additional 20+ min. for me at that non-control stop.
[Although the following photo did not exist at the time of our prolonged stop at the May Store, I imagine that each of Tom, Steven and I would have appreciated just a little bit of what this photo "hints" at.]
Photo credit to John Lee Ellis, Colorado RBA.  His back yard after a May-12 snow storm.

Upon leaving, I took the lead, not to slow the guys down, but to do an honest pull.
I led for about a mile-and-a-half (or maybe less), then rotated to the rear of the line.
Tom took the lead for perhaps two-and-a-half miles and rotated to the rear.
Steven took over and led then rest of the distance on BG / NL Rd.
It seemed that the pace slowly ramped up, Steven's legs ahead of me becoming a blur.

Tom and Steven may have expected me to drop them off my front wheel.
However, Bruce Garner / New Light is "my road."
Just ask any Irregular or Biker Bob.

I've done parts of that finish perhaps 600 or more times.
[There are only two safe ways across Falls Lake to north Raleigh.]
I know that stretch of road better than the back of my hand.
Tom had ridden it last Fall, and perhaps on other rides.
However, I'm reasonably confident that it was Steven's first time seeing that road.

I passed Steven twice:
The first time after the last bump before the lake.
The second time just as / after the turn off New Light Rd onto Ghoston Rd.
I know how to carry my speed around that corner and onto the first climb on Ghoston, and
I refused to give up my speed / momentum / cadence for anybody.
It only took Steven and Tom 50 or 100 yards to re-pass me.

I took it easy on Ghoston, Peed and MVC roads.
That's a familiar refrain from my rides and posts.

I arrived at the finish Bay Leaf Open Control at 1704,
Having averaged 13.4-mph in-motion since Dabney.
It had been hot, but I think the headwind had a bigger impact on me.

I didn't learn whether Tom and Steven had suffered more from the heat or the headwind.
All four of had ridden to the start / finish.
Robert and I had ridden from our respective homes.
Steven had stayed the previous night at Umstead park.
Tom had driven to Gorman, which is on the course, at approx the 15-mile point.
My guess is that, at the finish, he wished he had driven to the start,
Rather than force himself to do a 160-mile bike ride.