Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Jan-10: Lumberton 200 Pre-Ride

On the 9th, Lynn and I rode my Bahama Beach perm-pop, reversed (i.e., counter-clockwise), with the "3-Hayes" variant.  It was a WET roads, sometimes misty, sometimes almost a sprinkle, but mostly a wet, foggy ride, with water droplets just hanging in the air, or condensing on one's clothing as one road through.  It was a damp, filthy mess of a ride, esp. filthy to the bikes.  As a result of all that, I was determined to wait for the weather to clear on Sunday before I started the pre-ride -- that was agreed between RBA TonyG and me.

The alarm woke me at 4 am on Sunday so that I could head to Lumberton and start the pre-ride in a "timely" fashion.  At around 4:30, I sent Tony an email that I'd be leaving soon for Lumberton (a 100-mile drive, btw).  A few minutes later, I posted a similar note on that Facebook thing.  I don't have a "smart" phone, only a flip one.  Therefore, I don't look at FB or emails when I'm out riding.  I didn't check FB again until oh-dark-thirty on Monday.

Despite what I had emailed and posted, I didn't leave right away.  There were still rain squalls coming through north Raleigh; the radar showed a similar situation for Lumberton and points east.  Further, since Lumberton is east and mostly south of Raleigh, and the front was drifting to the south and east, it would be several hours before Lumberton and areas east would have clear skies.  [Click here for a RWGPS map of the route.  Tony created the map, but since he once informed me that he sometimes re-purposes his RWGPS maps, I copied his creation into my account.] 

Tony had requested that I text him from each of the controls.  What follows is the text from the several texts I sent to Tony and friends BobB, Iva, and Lynn -- I sent them all the same texts.  There were a few short responses + re-responses, but I won't reproduce those here.
  • The first text, which I apparently deleted after sending, was sent at about 8:45 am as I sat waiting for second-breakfast of a "Colorado Omelet" at the "IHOP" in Lumberton.  It simply indicated that things were finally clearing and I hoped to start soon, maybe around 9:30.  I now re-produce the texts I sent.  I might, repeat might, insert a couple or a few thoughts or facts that were not shared via texts. 
  • 10:24 am.  Started at 10.  Flat on Ivey Rd.  22 minutes of riding
  • 10:45 am.  Problem was/is tyre.  Patched tube, booted tyre.  If flats again, will limp back to Lumberton[I have carried a spare tyre on every ride since June-2010; however, the tyre that flatted had been filling the role of spare tyre until the middle of December-2015, when I tossed the rear I had been riding and replaced it with the then spare.  Unfortunately, I forgot to pack a spare for the rides since then; in other words, I had no spare tyre on this solo ride.  FYI, the tyre that was the problem on this ride -- it is now making its way to the rubbish heap.] 
  • Roseboro control, 1:17 pm.  
  • [I can't recall when I got to Garland "outbound," probably around 2:30 or 2:45, but I stopped there to get an "energy drink" -- to wit, an "Arizona Sweet Tea" -- first finishing the "Mt Dew" I had acquired in Roseboro.] 
  • Delray control, 3:34 pm.  Now the hard part.  58 miles into that wind.  May take 6 hours[I recall that I left Delray at almost precisely 4:00 pm.]  
  • [I reached Garland, inbound, at approx 4:50 pm.  I swapped out the warm weather gear I'd been riding (it had gotten as warm as 21C, 70F, during the day, with the tailwind and quartering tailwind (mostly); but it would start to get cold quickly after sunset).  Removed the somewhat damp long-sleeved jersey I'd worn all day and replaced it with a clean long-sleeve, put the short-sleeve I'd also been wearing all day on top of the clean long-sleeve, put on knee-warmers, swapped short-fingered cycling gloves for some warmer gloves and mittens, and added my shell on top.  Oh, and also put the refective vest back on (I'd worn it all day as the easiest way to carry it).  I did not bother with the arm-warmers, nor the "neck-gaiter" that I often wear when I expect cold.  I also picked up a couple "Snicker's" bars to nibble on during the remainder of the ride -- first food since the IHOP omelet.  I left Garland at approx 5:15, riding into the disappearing daylight.] 
  • 7:08 pm.  Fyi, @ White Oak.  Changing headlight batteries.  
  • [I stopped at Tar Heel a little after 8 pm to pee.  I hadn't been in the gas station there since the last time I did Dean's "Tar Heel 200" perm several years ago.  The tables we used to sit at are no longer there.] 
  • 9:30 pm.  Done
Hmmn.  Not much there if I don't include the responses -- it probably would have made a better post to include only the texts, but I decided to include the several additional comments.  Sorta' like the en route FB posts people make, but without photos.

I took no photos on the day.  Spare time that I might have used to do that was consumed by that flat tyre.  And the incessant, incessant, incessant wind.

I got home at about 2:15 am Monday morning after stopping en route from Lumberton to take a couple quick naps.  I checked FB before retiring to my bed.  There was a very nice PM from Tom Florian, resident of Lumberton, randonneur, ultra-racer, physician, etc., indicating that I should call him if disaster struck.  That was very nice of Tom.

My plan if disaster had struck, was to call Tom (whose phone # I have because of ride host/organizer activities in Jan/Feb-2015).  If Tom wasn't able to help, my plan B was to call LeeAnn, whose number I have because of the same reason I have Tom's.  My plea to LeeAnn would have been that there was a Hound that need rescuing -- those that are FB friends with LeeAnn should understand that comment.

Monday morning, I wrote a quick pre-ride report that I sent to the NC-rando-list-serve, essentially noting that all the bridge work from the last few years is done, and that the road, for the most part, were smooth.  I hope there is a decent turnout for the Jan-16 Highpoint Region Lumberton 200 + 300 brevets.  I'll be there, but not riding.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

RUSA Member Retention

Two years ago, I posted the active RUSA membership count early in the year.
I was wondering what the active count is now compared to then.

Yesterday, Jan04, about 9 am EST, the active membership was 2181.
Compare that to Jan-04-2013, 4 pm EST was 2184.

Seven hours short of of exactly two years later -- active membership down by 3.


Btw, I did check the active membership late in December 2015;
There were over 4000 active members.  


[Edit Feb-12-2016:  about 8 pm EST, active membership 2717.  
Compare that to Feb-07-2014, when membership was 2732. 
Five extra days, membership down 15.]