Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Feb-11: 'Road to Hicksboro' 205

I hadn't done the "Road to Hicksboro" 205-km perm since June-2014.
A ride I did not blog.
And about all I can recall from the ride is that Turbo-Tim and I were glad,
Or at least pretended to be,
When Lynn rode off down the road, leaving the two of us to suffer.
Subsequent to publication of this post, I stumbled across this photo from the Jun-2014 "Road to Hicksboro" ride.  Photo obviously taken by Turbo-Tim because that is Lynn and me sitting on the benches in Stovall at approx the 75-mile-mark of the perm route.  Stovall is the usual lunch stop, and on decent weather days, lunch is eaten under the shade offered by that gazebo.  Specifically regarding this photo:  Lynn appears to be calmly resting, having been taking it easy on Tim and me.  I, on the other hand, appear to be worn out and desperately hoping for some recovery.  
Results from that Jun-2014 "Road to Hicksboro" adventure:

Permanent Route Name / #Distance Date Finishers DNF
NC: Road to Hicksboro / 1938 205 2014/06/14 3 0
Cert# RUSA# Name Club / ACP Code Time
RUSA-T41865 5519 L___, Lynn Randonneurs USA / 933095 09:34
RUSA-T41866 6016 L___, Tim Randonneurs USA / 933095 10:58
RUSA-T41867 6218 S___, Martin Randonneurs USA / 933095 11:02

Okay, back to the ride this post is supposed to be about.  

When needing wanting to ride a 200+ km perm, and
"Needing" to do one of my own (since June-2014) on short notice,
I had mostly been riding the "Egypt Mtn" 210-km perm.
EM has less climbing and seems to be better than Hicksboro for weekday rides.
At least that is my perception, to which I'll be sticking, at least for awhile.

But the work schedule opened up for February 11th, and
I'm trying to get back into cycling shape, and
I certainly owe it to the route and other randonneurs
To stay familiar with my own routes.
So, advertise I did.

The result of advertising, you ask?
This is how I put it on Facebook, the evening before the ride:
3 Mondials, 2 of those with a RUSA Cup, 1 of those a [PBP] Ancien, the other an Ultra Randonneur and currently at R-85.
3 rookies. Well, 2 rookies with #s greater than 11-thousand. One of those a rando virgin, but I've probably ridden [a few] thousand miles with said "virgin." The 3rd "rookie" has only four or five rando rides to his credit, yet his # is the lowest of the six riders, yes, including the 3 Mondials. 

7 am start.  A bit chilly.
But, hmmn, randonnesia has set in, I don't recall getting cold.
And I know all of us, or most of us, shed clothes as early as the first intermediate control,
At Underwood Grocery, approximately 33-miles into the course.
I'm shedding clothes.  Robert on his phone.  Hans and Harvey chatting about who-knows-what. Been 33-miles mostly with headwind to this point.  But about to embark on 47-mile tailwind section!  [photo credit to Bob]

However, I get ahead of myself.
I recall everyone else was faster than me on the climbs that are Snow Hill Road,
But I can't recall being pained about that or by the effort on Snow Hill Road.
I gather that there is a definite advantage to backing off the effort when climbing and out-of-shape.

Oh, wait, now I recall:
Robert, Hans and Harvey appeared to leave Bob, Daniel and me behind.
Daniel, Bob and I got to the stop-light at US-501 well after the other three.
I think I made a comment or two, probably including that I wondered
If they would wait at the Underwood Control.

We didn't have to wait that long.
Robert, Hans and Harvey had pulled over and waited at the next minor roadside.

All together, we each enjoyed the horse farms and associated homes along St. Mary's Road.
Somewhere after the horse farm estates, but still on St. Mary's Road,
Harvey suddenly exclaimed, "hey, my friend ___ lives there!"
[This wasn't the first time Harvey had ridden on St. Mary's Rd, 
But it may have been long enough ago that he may well have forgotten.]

Turning on to Schley Rd, one pops up a short incline and then into some easy rollers.
Harvey commented on the hills, so I mentioned that these were definitely "Martin hills,"
And a few yard later pointed to a particular sign.
[Next time, somebody needs to take a photo.] 

Leaving Underwood Grocery on New Sharon Rd,
There are a couple downs and ups that lead to the toughest climb on the route,
Cresting out at about the 37.5-mile mark.

After that, the route is some decent roads, rolling up and down,
With some of the ups sufficient for me to drop off the back.

But, in general, on this ride, we had a good enough time
That nothing in particular sticks in my mind.

Guess I'll just finish off this post by ripping-off borrowing some photos that Bob took.
Daniel.  Between Underwood Grocery and Timberlake controls.
Strung out line.  Back to front:  Hans, Harvey, Robert, and that must be me in the distance ('cuz the kit color is wrong for Daniel and Bob took the photo).  [How did I get that far ahead?  This must be a shallow incline just after a noticeable descent.]
L to R:  Harvey and Hans, with Daniel behind.  All enjoying the smooth road surface.  [photo by Bob]

Somewhere between the Timberlake control and the non-control lunch stop in Stovall, Robert tried to hang a new nickname on Bob.  I didn't understand the nick, and I certainly don't recall the proposed nick.  My recollection, refreshed at the Feb-18 Highpoint Region 200k out of Lumberton, is that Bob didn't quite understand the reasoning behind Robert's suggestion.

I can think of two appropriate new nicknames for Bob.  Both are related to his 2016 PacTour:
  • "NCBob".  As I understand it, early in the sign-up for the aforementioned PacTour, there were two Bobs, and our Bob suggested he'd go with "NCBob" on his PacTour nameplate. 
  • "Mr. Retta":  A month or so ago, Bob told me that, after he had signed up for one of the PacTour Arizona weeks, Susan had sent out the PacTour email newsletter including the headline "Retta Is Coming!"  After Bob reported that, I replied to the effect that it seemed he was almost superfluous. 
Ricochet Robert -- whose idea was responsible for the creation of the "Road to Hicksboro".  With a grimace?  [photo by NCBob]
NCBob:  "Llamas.  Best to position yourself upwind."  [photo by NCBob]

Once the Llama House is reached, it is just a straight shot on Pokomoke / Bruce Garner / New Light Rd, and then the typical Ghoston - Peed - Mt. Vernon Ch finish.

I'll close this report with a quote from Harvey:  "Great day, group, conversations."


"Road to Hicksboro" 205-km Perm; 126.7 m;  9h22 in-motion; 13.5 mph; rando elapsed time: 10h53.

Jan tot:  _4 rides;  _314.7 m;  24h08;  13.0 mph; _451 RUSA kms
Feb tot:  _2 rides;  _191.4 m;  13h52;  14.0 mph; _309 RUSA kms.
YTD tot:  _6 rides;  _506.1 m;  38h00;  13.3 mph; _760 RUSA kms.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Feb-01: 1001 Carolina Days

My previous ride, in addition to being the fifth anniversary of the Bahama Beach perm-pop,
Was also my 1000th ride.
Or, at least it is recorded in my records as my 1000th ride.

Today, with BobB, #5843, we did the "Bay Leaf - Oxford - Bay Leaf" 104 km perm-pop.
1001 rides for me since I've kept records.
1001 stories.
Many on this blog.
[Not all my rides have been in North Carolina, only the VAST majority of them.]   

This ride was much easier from the first pedal stroke than the ride three days previously.
Of course, the "Oxford" route is easier, read flatter, than the "Bahama Beach" route.
But I think the main thing making it easier was that I was on a "lucky good" day,
Instead of a "lucky bad" day.

An interesting thing or two from the ride:
  • The wait for the light to change at NC-98 was almost no wait at all.  Not quite, but almost. 
  • However, the previous wait to turn onto Six Forks Rd probably set a delay record.  We timed getting to that turn, 3.2-miles into the course, very badly.  It felt as if we waiting for five minutes, and we may have actually had to wait that long.  
  • The surface over the rebuilt bridge on Lawrence Rd is very smooth.  
  • And that's about it. 

We had periods of chatting and long periods of riding without words.
The only subject I can recall is Bob asking if I had read John Lee's blog post
Comparing Audax UK brevet ride distances to RUSA brevet ride distances.
I hadn't read the post at the time, but I did shortly thereafter.

The wind was rather indeterminate.
Giving the impression of an apparent headwind both directions.

Oh, an interesting data item from the ride:
2h15 in-motion outbound; 2h15 in-motion homebound.

This ride put me over 500 RUSA kms for the year,
Bob over 1000 RUSA kms (or maybe he accomplished that in January).

P-unknown-count for Bob.
P-26 for me.
(I interrupted my original P-series after 35 months, and restarted the next month,
So ... you do the math.)

Also, Bob and I are each on target of an NC-P-12-Explorer-Challenge "award."

Oxford 104-km Perm-Pop; 64.7 m; 4h30 in-motion; 14.4 mph; rando elapsed time: 5h00.

Jan tot:  _4 rides;  _314.7 m;  28h08;  13.0 mph; _451 RUSA kms
Feb tot:  _1 rides;  __64.7 m;   4h30;  14.4 mph; _104 RUSA kms.
YTD tot:  _5 rides;  _379.4 m;  32h08;  13.2 mph; _555 RUSA kms.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Jan-29: Fifth Anniversary Bahama Beach

Exactly five years ago, Jan-29-2012, MickH, #6169, and I opened the Bahama Beach account.

Today, Jan-29-2017, it was fitting that Ricochet Robert, #6628, and I
Celebrated the fifth anniversary by riding this 103k "free route" perm-pop together.
Fitting because Robert has ridden the route more times than anyone else,  
And because I am the route-owner

I was drafting an involved post that included information on the history of the route,
Including who had ridden it the most, the fastest, the slowest,
Who might have been the most notable randonneur, etc., etc..

However, in the end, I decided that approach was getting rather silly,
So just this report:

It was a hard ride for me / a hard day for me, from the very beginning.
I think it may have been a hard day for Robert, too.
After all, he had to take it easy on the "flats"
And wait after every climb (and there are many of those on Bahama Beach).

We considered doing the standard route,
The original not-a-free-route routing, thru Creedmoor,
But decided to avoid the possible extra traffic that might entail.
[Extra traffic -- HA!  That might have been half-a-dozen cars.]
Instead using the "3-Hayes" variant to bypass Creedmoor.

However, as we approached the decision point as between "3-Hayes" and "Hester Rd,"
Robert suggested we use the "Hester Rd" variant to remove some climbing.
I was more than willing.

As noted above, it was still a hard half-day on the bike, for me.
Robert's day?
He will always be cheerful happy,
But I imagine I wore him out, his having to wait so much.

Bahama Beach 103-km free-route Perm-Pop, with "Hester Rd variant"; 66.2 m; 4h46 in-motion; 13.4 mph; BB elapsed time: 5h30.

Jan tot:  _4 rides;  _314.7 m;  28h08;  13.0 mph; _451 RUSA kms
YTD tot:  _4 rides;  _314.7 m;  28h08;  13.0 mph; _451 RUSA kms.