Being a weekday, we chose the lowest traffic route that Bob or I "own" / manage.
We wanted to beat as much of the heat and rush hour traffic as possible.
The earliest Bob could make a start was 0545, but
As that seemed rather "forced," we chose to start at 0600.
And that would mean riding about 40-minutes in the dark.
New Light Rd presented a "parade" of southbound caravans while we rode northward.
So many vehicles heading toward Raleigh.
Traditional schedule schools back in session likely a major contributing reason for the extra traffic.
I cannot ever recall that much southbound traffic on New Light Rd at that time of day.
But, by the time we got to Grissom, 12.5-miles (20-kms) into the course,
The high volume of traffic was done with.
We settled in for the usually pleasant ride up to Franklinton,
Then beyond that on West River Rd to Sims Bridge Rd.
Sims Bridge Rd -- named for the bridge that crosses the Tar River.
Just after crossing the river, Sims Bridge Rd takes a right turn,
And the interesting down-and-up, curving begins.
A pleasant ride all the way to Rocky Point.
[I've never understood the "Point" in Rocky Point.
The crossroads is located on dry land, perhaps at the cusp of a grade from all direction.
Well, not quite -- coming from the north, one would be on a short, false-flat decline.]
The road changes name after passing through Rocky Point, and
Flattens out a bit, but it is still a pleasant ride all the way to Epsom.
[Or it could be IF one weren't counting the minutes to the Epsom AM control.]
We arrived at the Epsom AM control (@ 36.4-miles) after 2h30 elapsed, 2:27 in-motion.
That isn't the earliest I've ever arrived at that first intermediate control, but
It may be among the five earliest.
Some chatting with a local or two -- always a smart thing to do.
That is my opinion, and I'll be sticking to that opinion.
According to the note on my Control Card,
A note I surely made only after arriving at the "lunch" control in Warrenton,
We left the control 18-minutes after we had arrived.
Some day I need to take a few photos from along the route.
Until then, readers will have to settle for the google-street-view.
Or look in previous "Egypt Mtn" blogs for a few photos.
The second intermediate control is an Info Control in / at Drewry, 17.5-miles from Epsom.
Bob and I engaged in some humorous (?) banter regarding the correct answer to the Info Control.
Not gonna' describe the banter.
If you wanna' guess at the banter and/or hazard a guess at the correct answer: ride the route.
I've repeatedly written that the 10+ miles after Drewry are my favorite of the route.
But as I type this, September 29th, the only things I can recall of those 10 miles are these:
The view from before the beginning of the declines of the two separate valleys
That are in those 10 miles.
[Again, check the google-street-view or come ride the route.]
The Warrenton Control is an Open Control.
The cue sheet and control / brevet card suggests the Hardee's just after entering town.
However, we rode nearly another mile, including a quarter-mile off course,
To get to the Subway, arriving 4h48 elapsed, 4:27 in-motion for our control.
[I recall riding the "Egypt Mtn" route with LynnL when I first used the Subway;The note on my control card indicates that we spent 42 eating lunch and chatting.
There is a Chinese restaurant next to the Subway;
Lynn commented, "the [fast-guys] like Chinese food; they might to control there."
[Note: I've never gotten around to trying the Chinese restaurant.]]
Meaning we left the control after 5h30 elapsed on the day (i.e., 11:30 am).
The route leaves Warrenton headed more or less to the west.
A couple little roller things, but the net elevation change is DOWN.
Then, a 1.3-mile 2% incline.
Well, RWGPS indicates it is approximately 2% the entire climb, but
Based on what happens to my pace, the incline seems steeper than that.
I'm always relieved to get to the crest of that climb and the turn onto Stagecoach Rd.
Oh, and the first couple hundred yard on Stagecoach Rd, those are also upslope.
It is a shallow incline, but the road surface, rough chip-seal, makes it tougher than it might be.
[Note: North Carolina chip-seal is not nearly as debilitating as Texas chip-seal,
Which is being referred to as "Gravel-Seal" by some Hound-Dog-1200 riders,
Which 1200 is underway on its second day as I type this.]
I seem to have lost my way typing this blog report.
I've drifted into ride-this-road, turn-that-way, the-pace-was-such-and-such.
Those are boring.
So let me see if I can finish this off with something else.
It is 18.2-miles from the Warrenton Hardee's to the Epsom control.
The Epsom PM control comes too early, really.
The original PM control was at Bobbitt, but
That store was permanently closed the second time we did the "Egypt Mtn" route.
The Bobbitt store eventually re-opened, but is closed on Sundays.
And although I am a proponent of supporting the remaining remote mom-and-pop stores,
And I have stopped at the Bobbitt store to see if it would be a reasonable control location,
I've had to conclude that there just isn't enough of the "right stuff" for a rando control.
So, it is fewer than 18.2-miles from the Warrenton Subway to the Epsom control.
According to the note I obviously made upon reaching Epsom,
Bob and I left the Subway at 11:30 am -- 42 minutes after our arrival.
And we got to the Epsom control at 12:54, i.e., 6h54 elapsed from the start.
It took 1:24 in-motion from the Subway to Epsom.
Total in-motion to that point, officially 82.8-miles into the course, was 5:51.
We had obviously slowed down compared to earlier.
The climbing was no more difficult (or was it?).
The temperature was hotting up.
And, almost certainly the breeze / wind was coming out of the SW,
Meaning that after leaving Warrenton, the ride had been into a headwind.
Regardless what the breeze / wind is doing early in the day,
Regardless what direction the breeze / wind is forecast to do,
When the temps hot up during the long summer period,
The breeze / wind always shifts to coming from the SW.
Always a headwind the last half of the "Egypt Mtn" Perm during that long period period.
We left the Epsom PM control at 1:11 pm.
I still have hopes of one day getting from Epsom to the finish in 3 hours, or less.
I used to be able to count on doing that.
But I was in better cycling shape when I could do that.
Chavis Rd Info Control is officially 94.5-miles into the course.
As we slid past, I commented to Bob that maybe I needed to change the Control Question.
Trees or bushes or something seemed to interfere with the sight-line to the answer.
Egypt Mtn Rd and Egypt Mtn Farm.
Sometimes stop to take a photo, and I coerced Bob into posing this time around.
|The Egypt Mountain Farm sign is atop Egypt Mtn, approximately 100-miles into the route. The time-stamp on the photo is 1437. That indicates 1h26 elapsed since leaving the Epsom PM control. [photo credit to me]|
It's another couple miles from the Egypt Mtn Farm sign to the end of Egypt Mtn Rd.
It is "only" 27 more miles from the end of EM Rd to the finish.
I usually find myself thinking "okay, this is in the bag, all [you've] got to do is keep pedaling."
I think that even though the toughest climb is still another few miles down the road.
Well, maybe the second toughest climb, but ... that's a subject for another day.
After that toughest, or second toughest, climb of the day,
There is still the climb on Long Mill Rd, which often seems pretty darn tough.
And then there is "Cowboy Hill" on Pokomoke Rd, which can be tough.
Oh, and the last 10-kms include the Ghoston, Peed, and Mt Vernon Church road climbs.
So, really, sometimes I don't think I've "made it" until the last turn,
For the last 0.7-miles on flat Norwood Rd.
Notes and official things on the control card indicate:
4h04 elapsed, 3:36 in-motion, from Epsom to the finish.
Seems we obviously slowed considerably.
|Permanent Route Name / #||Distance||Date||Finishers||DNF|
|NC: Warrenton & Egypt Mountain / 1444||210||2019/08/21||2||0|
|Cert#||RUSA#||Name||Club / ACP Code||Time|
|RUSA-T92055||5843||B__, Bob||Randonneurs USA / 933095||11:15|
|RUSA-T92056||6218||S__, Martin||Randonneurs USA / 933095||11:15|
Oh, a relatively minor thing:
This ride was my 200th Century.
Two hundred centuries in 1,128 rides.
That is 17.7% of my lifetime rides have been at least 100.0-miles long.
Here follows some "interesting" stats --
[note: "E" is short-hand for Eddington Cycling Number] --
my current "E" is 127, meaning I have at least 127 rides that were at least 127-miles long,
but I do not yet have 128 rides that were at least 128-miles long.
To help others understand. as of the end of this "Egypt Mtn" ride,
I have completed 135 rides that were at least 127 miles long.]