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.