Friday, November 16, 2018

Five Perms - May to July

My 200+ km Perms since my pre-ride of the Raleigh Region 300.

My 300 pre-ride on April 22nd had gone as anticipated,
Maybe even as I had planned.
If I planned such rides.

The high temperature the day of the pre-ride was in the 70 to 75 F range.
In other words, not hot, but not chilly, either.

If I recall correctly, the temperatures the day of brevet-proper were not so moderate.
Some of the riders looked a little bit worse for wear from the heat that day.
But, I digress. 

Although I had gone five months between my previous 200+ km ride and the 300 pre-ride,
I've been more focused, or interested or whatever, since the 300.
As noted in the post regarding the 300, I did not do the local 400.
Nor did I do the local 600.
I have, however been doing one or two 200+ perms every month.
Each was hot to very hot conditions, but each ride had felt fine, more-or-less.

May-02:  Road to Hicksboro

My recollection is that the early Wednesday morning temps were roughly 40F.
Why else did we wear jackets and long sleeves and knee or leg warmers.
Leastways, I recall "de-clothing" at the first intermediate control,
Underwood Grocery, approx 33.2-miles into the route,
But have no photographic proof.

Bob and I had started the ride at 0700
[At least I think it was an 0700 start, and 
Evidence from the Timberlake control is consistent with an 0700 start].
We had found the 4-miles on Red Mill Rd (miles 14.8 to 18.7 of the route)
To be busier than we would have liked.
[Why that was a surprise is beyond me. 
After all, I have not allowed an 0600 weekday start of my Bahama Beach PermPop, 
Which shares the same first 18.7-miles with the Hicksboro route, 
Since mid-2014.]

The cycling, after getting off Red Mill Rd, lasting all the way to the second intermediate control
At Timberlake, was a non-eventful enjoyable eventful.
Strange to describe that section of the route in that way
Since much of the most interesting part of the Hicksboro route is in those miles.
NC-Bob, RUSA #5843, sitting on the new bench at the suggested Timberlake control.  [The time-stamp on this photo is 11:02 am, suggesting that we had covered the first 46.1-miles in 4 hours.  That's not fast, but is quick enough for middle-to-back-of-the-pack riders.] 
The typical lunch stop on the Hicksboro route is in Stovall, 76.4-miles into the route.
Actually, Stovall is the only place to grab lunch on the route,
Esp. if doing the route in the standard clock-wise direction.

By the time we reached Stovall, it was starting to hot-up noticeably.
Lunch in the gazebo in the center of Stovall provided a chance for some recovery.
I recall having to force myself to get going again.
(Bob did not seem to be in stress while in Stovall; he waited patiently for me.)

It's a short, but sometimes (often) tough, 13-miles from Stovall to the next store control near Dabney.
We arrived at Dabney after 2 pm.
I still thought, rather unfoundedly, that we might finish by 5:30 pm for a 10h30 elapsed time.

However, the heat continued to build, reaching into the lower or middle 80's F
Before we got to Grissom, some 12.5-miles (20-kms) from the finish.

If I recall correctly, we took quite a bit of time at the extra stop at/in Grissom.
I was feeling the heat and was a bit tired.
More interestingly, Bob was also feeling the heat, and was also a bit tired.
[This ride may have been Bob's first 200-km of the year with heat; 
It certainly was my first 200+ km ride of the year with heat.] 

We got back on our steeds for the final push through the late afternoon heat to the finish,
Which we reached at 6:18 pm for an elapsed time of 11h18.
(The in-motion time for the 205-kms was 9h10 -- meaning we'd had 2+ hours of stoppage time.)

May-05Egypt Mtn

Harvey, RUSA #11802, occasionally indicates he wants to get an R-12.
I keep telling him that R-rides don't just happen,
That they have to become part of the Family Schedule.
[So far, R-rides making the Family Schedule has not occurred in Harvey's World.]

Harv wanted to get in a 200+ km ride in May.
The available date was the first Saturday in May.
I figured I could "double-up,"
Which in this case meant two 200's, three days apart.
[A far cry from when I would do consecutive day 200's, 
And/or three consecutive days doing 200's.]

After all, just half a month earlier, I had done that 300 pre-ride on no training, and
After my legs had stopped hurting,
I had found that I was stronger riding upslope.
Maybe that was just a mental impression, but
A large part of randonneuring is mental, right?

Harv had done the Hicksboro route, but had not done the Egypt Mtn route.
Because of that, I had arranged the Wednesday Hicksboro ride with Bob,
Followed by the Saturday Egypt Mtn ride with Harvey.

I recall not-much-to-nothing from the first half of the ride.
I seem to have a very slight recollection of mentioning the bench at the Epsom store,
And some of its "rando history," including Robert's Breakfast of Champions and
The first ride after February 20, 2016,
When local Ken inquired if we had heard about 4 cyclists that had been hit. 
I'm also confident that I carefully pointed out the Info Control at/in Drewry, and
Then reminded Harvey that he had once done a triathlon that went through Drewry. 
I probably also mentioned that the 10-miles from Drewry to Warrenton
Is my favorite section of the Perm route.

We did lunch in Warrenton, probably at the Subway, but I don't recall for-sure.

The morning ride to Warrenton had gone pretty well.
But the afternoon started getting hot.
I don't recall if Harvey had any issues with the heat,
But I certainly did,
And our pace slowed significantly.

I'm positive that I got Harvey to stop for a photo at the Egypt Mtn Farm sign.
But I cannot find said photo.
Oh, well, there are plenty of "Egypt Mtn Farm sign" photos in previous blog reports.  

Similar to three days earlier, Harvey and I took an extra break at Grissom.
A long break.
Then rode the final 20-kms through the afternoon heat,
Finishing the 210-kms in an elapsed time of 11h43.
(The in-motion time for the perm was 9h15 -- meaning we'd had nearly 2.5 hours of stoppage time.) 

Jun-16:  Triple-L 205

[The above was written, er, typed in August. 
It is now mid-November as I pick up the story again.]

This made the 18th official completion for RUSA credit that I did this course, but
I hadn't ridden L-L-L since March 3, 2014.

[I DNF'd the first two times I attempted this course in 2010. 
Once I rode just for fun as I had not contacted route-owner Byron for paperwork, etc..]

[I also once rode Triple-L three times in eleven days (Oct 16-26, 2011), with
A non-rando 100k and two other Perms in between.
Uh-oh, out-dated humble-brag there.] 
This route is the 200+ km Perm that starts closest to my residence:
  • 2.9-miles;
  • by comparison, my Bay Leaf routes starts 5.6-miles from "sleep quarters." 

Bob #5843, Harvey #11802, and I started on time (at least that is what I suppose five months later).
I recall NOTHING from the first 40-ish miles to the second intermediate control at Timberlake.
What difference does it make?

Harvey had never done this Perm route,
Although he had ridden many of the roads to get to Mt. Tirzah on non-rando rides.

The net decline to get to the control just west of Timberlake was new to Harvey.
The Triple-L suggested Timberlake control is the same as the Hicksboro suggested control.
While the three of were sitting on the bench at the c-store / gas station (see above photo),
Harvey indicated that he would be turning around at that point
Because his daughter and wife had "Father's Day weekend" plans he needed to attend.
I replied that I had wondered how he had managed to get away on Father's Day Saturday.
Harvey indicated that he had forgotten that Sunday was Father's Day
When he agreed to ride with us.
No comment.

Harvey headed back toward Raleigh as Bob and I headed toward Leasburg.

I don't recall much from the rest of the ride,
Except that the temperature did increase during the day,
And Bob and I took long breaks at the controls.
And as the ride continued on, I had increasing difficulty keeping up a decent pace.
You know the next line:
Bob just pedaled on as if there was no heat, no humidity, no repeat climbing.
(Well, maybe the heat and humidity affected him some.)

We finished the ride in 11h26.
Ugh -- I've got to get back in cycling shape!
We chatted a bit at the finish;
And then I "zipped" home, taking only one more minute than the pre-ride commute had taken.

Jun-30:  Badgett Sisters Parkway 208

Originally, the plan was to do the "3-Lake-300," but
The forecast HEAT caused Geof #5350, Tim #6016, Rick #6985, and me
To back-down to just doing a "200."

I threw me leg over at approx 0430 to ride to the start.
I had figured out a direct and mostly flat 13.6-mile route to get to the start.
It was great riding along in the dark and QUIET and warm.
Pedaling along with no effort 'cuz I might need all my energy later
To combat the repeat climbs of the middle third of the Perm course
And to deal with the forecast heat.
58 wonderfully quiet minutes after starting, I arrived at the start, and
Made use of a table outside the Subway.

Tim and Geof arrived from Wilson; it had taken them about an hour to drive to the start.
Rick arrived from Wilmington; it had taken him about two-and-a-half hours for his drive.

We started on time.
Rick, on his CruzBike was off our front almost immediately.
Tim and Geof and I stayed together, maintaining a rational pace.
Rational for out-of-shape riders; rational for riders used to the flat stuff down east.

The first intermediate control is approx 44-miles into the route, at Corbett, See map-link above.
Corbett was our first stop on the day since we wanted to get in as much as possible early in the day. 
Tim, Geof, and I had gotten spread out during the last few miles to Corbett, but
We were still riding together, using the long-bunjee-cord def'n of rando "together."
We enjoyed the cool, air conditioned temps inside the Corbett control.
For quite a bit of time.

The twenty-plus miles from Corbett to Yanceyville are quite lumpy, and
Several of the climbs get pretty steep in parts.
Also, from Corbett until the route crosses NC-62, there is not much shade.
Steep climbs, rising temps, and oppressive humidity are a wicked threesome.

The Badgett Sisters Parkway is the original NC-62 into Yanceyville.
Built in a time when roads were constructed to caress the terrain, not demolish them.
Modern NC-62 into Yanceyville is straight.
Straight up and down engineered grades; grades that are steeper than "old-62."
"Old-62," Badgett Sisters Parkway, curves back and forth while rising up and down.
The grades are more reasonable than the roads between Corbett and Fitch (see map).
And, very important, most of the distance on BSP is nicely shaded.  Outbound, that is.

We encountered Gilbert of North Road Cyclery and other fame on the Badgett Sisters.
He was riding out to meet us.
Somehow, although I was a quarter-mile ahead when I spotted Gilbert,
I ended up a quarter-mile behind Tim and Geof and Gilbert on the ride up into Yanceyville.
[Oh, thinking about it, I recall how that happened; but I'm not going to type it.  
Ask me; I might recall how it came to pass.]
We also passed the once aforementioned Rick while we on the last climb into Yanceyville.
[Is that how I ended up behind Tim and Geof and Gilbert? 
It may have contributed.]  

Yanceyville is an "open control," and Gilbert lead us to a spot just east of town
That is NOT a chain burger or deli shop.
The food and drink were great.
I think I'll be using that establishment when next I ride this route,
Or when I next do the longer version.
[However, that local shop, east of town, is a bit out of the way for a control on the 300k perm, 
So I figure I'll use one of the chain joints when I finally get around to riding my 300.
Note:  others have ridden the 300; I've ridden the roads of the 300, but not as a single ride.]

We took quite a while over lunch.
Enjoying the air conditioned cool and our food and drink
While listening to Gilbert reminisce about younger days racing in HEAT.
[Listening to stories about younger racing days on chilly days might have been more nicer. 
Attrocious (sp?) grammar the previous, but ... .]

We finally remounted and started to retrace our route back toward northeast Durham.
I got a quarter-mile or more ahead even before reaching the center of Yanceyville
While Tim and Geof continued riding / chatting with Gilbert.
I paused, under a shade tree,  just before descending the first bit of the Badgett Sisters, but
Upon seeing that Tim and Geof were still well back,
I pushed off to deal with the Sisters at my own pace.
And discovered, much to my dismay, that a funny thing had happened while we lunched:
The previous well-shaded Badgett Sisters was now almost entirely shade-free!

My lead over Tim and Geof continued to build, and Geof soon dropped Tim of his front wheel,
As each of us took the repeat climbs of the Badgett Sisters, etc. at their own pace.

I was looking for some shade at a logical place to pause and regroup, but
There was nothing until about the 77-mile mark (some 12 or so miles from Yanceyville!).
I waited.
Along came Tim who did not pause so I followed Tim.
I may have re-caught Tim, or not, but I recall that Tim was ahead of me
The entire distance on Gunn Poole Rd (see map, not flat).

Corbett is NOT the intermediate control on the return leg, but we stopped there.
To wait for Geof, but more so to again partake of the indoor air conditioning.
Geof arrived after Tim and I were ensconced in our respective chairs.
We must have been at the Corbett non-control for 30 minutes.

After Corbett, the route is not nearly so lumpy, and I recall that Tim was ahead of me.
But Geof was probably behind.  I could be wrong on that.
Tim was inside the Underwood Grocery control when I arrived.
Not sure of Geof's whereabouts.

We took a long time at the Underwood Grocery control.
I recall that each of us slowly enjoyed an ice cream treat.
Then we headed out for the final 25-miles.

Tim well out front, then Geof (for awhile), then me.
I recall that I had some slight mechanical issue leaving Underwood Grocery.
Thankfully, a car or two slowed down as I tried to coast onto the roadway.
I don't recall the actual "mechanical" issue -- it may have been a leg cramp, but
I got it sorted out and did not have a repeat of the problem.

Late in the ride, Tim will up the road, Geof found some energy,
And he may have finished moments before I did.
Or maybe, me being more familiar with the lay of the land and workings of the roads and stop-lights,
I may have lead Geof into the finish.

Anyway, Tim and Geof and I each were credited with a 12h40 elapsed ride time.
My in-motion time was 9h37.  Three hours off the bike, mostly to get out of the heat.
Rick, you're wondering, was credited with a 9h51 elapsed ride time.
We had apparently taken roughly 3-hours more than Rick for lunch and the return ride.
Rick must have been in shape.
Or maybe it was that damn CruzBike!
[To ensure that no one takes that the wrong way: 
I count Jim and Maria Parker, owners, inventors, etc. of CruzBike as friends. 
I wouldn't make a fun pejorative comment if they were not.]

Jul-14:  OakElmOak 209

Another adventure in the heat?
Maybe it was, but what I recall most is this:
  • the final 3-mles or so outbound to Elm City had been recently chip-sealed with WAY too much loose gravel, 
  • I had a flat tyre midway that loose stuff (and I thought changing the tyre in the shade would be a good idea, but that meant NO BREEZE to keep the mosquitoes away -- after finally completing the tyre change and stepping back to the edge of the roadway, there was a slight cooling breeze.  Ugh! 
  • btw, the flat was because my rear tyre was down to just threads, no "rubber," in some places!  Better to get a flat tyre on a FLAT road than while screaming downhill! 
  • Trying to convince Bob #5843 and Daniel #11331 that riding north out of Elm City and then cutting west on whatever road we came across was a better plan than retracing the loose gravel chip-seal road.  The exchange went something like this: 
As we prepared to leave the turn-around control, I suggested we take a "safety detour" by riding straight north until we found a road headed west, and then continue heading west until we got to highway NC-58.  

Bob:  "how far until we get to such a road?"

Me:  "I dunno.  But at worst, there is a road to the west that intersects that road that we're looking at right there at US-301; if we don't find an earlier option, we'll use that road."

Bob and Daniel:  "How far is that?"

Me"  "I dunno."

Incredulous looks from Bob and Daniel.  Bob asks, "what is that name of the road?"

Me:  "Hell if I know!"  More incredulous looks.  

Bob:  "Maybe we can verify using Daniel's Garmin." 

Me:  "Okay."

Opinion:  Daniel's Garmin:  a useless piece of cra, er, junk.

Finally, after wasting perhaps 5 minutes not getting any signal or useful information from that Garmin, I said, "I'm going that way; you guys do what you want." 
  • Daniel was immediately off the back, again.  We waited a couple times; basically to make sure that he got back to the cue-sheeted course.  Then we rode on, no longer stopping to wait.  
  • Bob texted Daniel to let him know where we had stopped for lunch in Spring Hope.  Bob and I were at that location for at least 40 minutes.  No Daniel. 
  • Bob and I continued our ride, figuring that we would eventually catch Daniel. 
  • We reached the McD's that we were using for the "open control" start / finish.  Still no Daniel.  
  • Daniel showed up about an hour after Bob and I had finished.  We waited so I could collect his card and verify successful completion of Daniel's appointed round.  In the back of our minds was also the possibility of needing to make a rescue drive. 

12h32 elapsed time for Bob and me.
My in-motion time:  9h32.

13h30 elapsed time for Daniel.
(Max allowed time for 209-kms is 13h56.)

My next 200+ km adventure was the pre-ride of the Raleigh Region Picnic Brevet.
But that is going into a new post.