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)