Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jan-26: Cabin Fever 103

With only two short errand rides, and no 200 this month,
A solo populaire on Sunday afternoon was just the ticket I needed.
I can usually fit the Bahama Beach ride into four-and-half hours,
If I stick to the standard route rather than go a-winging-it.

[Experimentation above copying the RWGPS provided map and profile images. 
I'll try something else next time.]   

I thought it was going to be mostly sunny all ride, and
It was brilliantly sunny for two or more hours, but then
The thin clouds started to filter in.
Clouds that slowly thickened in the last two hours.

I thought the high temperature was expected to be the upper 40's (Fahrenheit).
I doubt it got quite that warm.

I thought I was in the 39/14 gearing (you figure out the gear inches if you want), but
Only about a mile into the route, it seemed harder than it should have felt.
Slight headwind, slight incline -- but it seemed to be a slog.
No wonder -- turned out I was in the 39/13, which is significantly harder than 39/14. 
I changed to the 14.

That felt much better.
As if someone else was doing the pedaling for me.
That was GREAT.

I stayed in the 14 for the rest of the ride.
Partially out of determination -- partially because the rear derailleur would not move.
I did surrender and use the 30 chain ring on the Michie Wall and on lower Ghoston Rd.
However, in each of those cases, to get properly aligned in the 39 once the steep was complete,
I had to go to the 50 for a bit.
Although one rando fracquaintance claims there is no such thing as a tailwind,
For those newbies who don't know this, there is no such thing as a tailwind in cycling. There are headwinds, crosswinds, or "I'm feeling good!" Apparently we'd been feeling really good heading out, because we now had a very stiff wind in our faces for the ride home. 
I think I'd been helped significantly by a breeze that was mostly at my back
All the way to Stem, and even some of the distance to Grissom (or I'd been protected by trees). 

In contrast, the last 12.6 miles (20-kms) from Grissom to finish were into a tough headwind.
I've ridden parts of Bruce Garner and New Light roads six hundred or more times.
I've had more "death marches" finishing on BG / NL into a stiff SW wind than I can remember.

53-minutes it took me to cover those last 20-kms.
I've done those same roads, from further out, Pokomoke at 16.2-miles (26-kms) to be "exact,"
In as few as 54-minutes.

This ride finish was not a death march. but I did start to feel-it in my legs.
However, I knew there would be no need to call for a rescue from Bruce Garner Rd.
I did have to do that once when I had terrible cramps,
And once when ... well, I guess I just plain wimped out.

All in all, I had a great ride, and rescued my RUSA P-series and my M-series.
Now at P-25 and M-59.

Due to "life," I'm abandoning my RUSA R-series and my C-series.
Those got to R-41 and C-47 in December.

The future brings new hope, and
The possibility of a renewed R-series.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why Ride?

A month or more ago, on the bikeforums UltraDistance forum, someone asked:  "What makes you long distance riders want to ride so much?" 

One randonneur (from Pennsylvania) replied in part:  "I have decided I'm going to keep riding long distance until I have a ride where I don't hate myself sometime during the ride.

Although that was the flippant portion of his reply, it made me pause and think, and this is what I noted in response to the immediately above [I've made four edits from the original]
I've hated my bike;
I've hated bicycling;
I've hated randonneuring, sure that it was invented solely as a torture device / method.

I've hated the pain in each of my buttocks;
I've hated the pain in my lower back;
I've hated the pain in each of my feet, calves, quads, hands, and in my right tricep;

I've shed tears of pain because of an extremely painful tendinitis in my right leg;
I've yelped due to the pain as my shorts tried to whittle the end off ... something.

I've hated the rough road;
I've hated the look of the next climb;
I've hated the never-ending FLAT road.

I've been "fed-up" with the person(s) with whom I was riding;
But I've never hated myself (while cycling).

Maybe if / when I ride something beyond a 600?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I Had To Chuckle

Recently, Irregulars Lt. Dave and Red Rocket did the "Dyking + Peach Orchard Loop" route.
  (Click-here for a TrimbleOutdoors map.)
Each had previously done the route at least once.
Also, Red Rocket's son used to live in Louisburg, and
He used to do a lot of rides on all the roads near Louisburg with said son.

During the Dec-31-2013 Range Road Road Rover Holiday Rescue ride,
One or both "commented" about turning the wrong way and
Heading toward Warrenton instead of into Louisburg.

I asked, "how did you manage that?  Did you turn the wrong way at the end of Dyking Rd?"
After a few moments, Red Rocket replied,
"The cue indicates a left turn, but that only applies if you've stopped at the gas station."

A few days into 2014, I recalled the above exchange and
Decided to find my soft-copy (the original) of the cue sheet in question.
Here follows the beginning and then the interesting part of the cue sheet:

PUE:  Dyking 'n Peach Orchard Loop:  71 m.

@ turn go      on         comment(s)   
0.0 R 2.0 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
2.0 L 18.2 Six Forks Rd --> NL -> BG -> Pokomoke Rd --> Cheatham St
20.2 R 4.7 Mason St in Franklinton  --> W River Rd
24.9 L 2.1 Sims Bridge Rd
27.0 bR 0.5 to stay on Sims Bridge Rd bR after x-ing the Tar River
27.5 R 5.3 Dyking Rd
32.8 Refueling Stop  other side of US-401
"L" 0.7 US-401 / NC-39 Left out of the RS; R if don't stop; TRAFFIC 
33.5 bR 1.7 N. Main St (Louisburg)  --> S. Main St.

The comments clearly indicate a left turn if one has visited the rest stop, but
Turn right if you don't stop. 

It pays to look at the comments on a cue sheet.

Should anyone think I was chuckling AT RedRocket and LT, let me share the following:
 click-here-for-the-full-story; or just note this extract:
John had printed the cue sheet out in LARGE print, taking 4 pages.  I had reformatted and had the entire cue sheet on one side of an "8.5 x 11" piece of paper.  Mistake -- my eyes can't read type that small while in motion on the bike.  But John has younger and better eyes than I do -- and he had that LARGE print and a working confuser.  ... 

NC-242 was smooth and flat, and with John leading, the headwind wasn't bothering me too much; and it seemed to have little impact on John.  After enjoying many minutes of the smooth-flat, I asked John about the turn (I had looked over the cue sheet, but not really studied it while in Benson).  John's folding-over of his 4-page-cue-sheet was perfect -- Massingil Farm Rd was unreadable due to being smack dab on the fold, AND the right-hand column of comments was folded inside and hidden completely.  ...  

John took his cue-sheet out the plastic protection, and learned that we should have turned after only 0.8 miles on NC-242, AND he grinned at me and read aloud the comment:  "sign may be missing".  

As I indicated above, it pays to look at the comments on a cue sheet.  It also helps to have the cue sheet printed large enough to be able to READ it. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

RUSA Member Retention

In context of, and supplementary to, a previous post on RUSA membership retention,
Here is an interesting stat from the RUSA website from approximately 10:10 EST today (Jan-01-14).

Current membership is:  "2002 Matches Found".


It might be interesting to watch that number change over the next few days / weeks / months.


[Edit, 10:26 am EST -- now "2027 Matches Found".]
[Edit, Jan-02, 6:30 am EST -- now "2063 Matches Found".]
[Edit, Jan-04, 4:00 pm EST -- now 2184.]
[Edit, Jan-07, 8:00 am EST -- now 2269.]
[Edit, Jan-10, 8:00 am EST -- now 2363.]
[Edit, Jan-27, 6:30 am EST -- now 2646.]
[Edit, Feb-07, 5:00 pm EST -- now 2732.]

Seems I didn't stay on top of this -- wish I had; however:

[Edit, Oct-13, 5:15 pm EDT -- now 3856.]