Sunday, April 4, 2021

Apr-03: Possum Track + Deer Trail

I waited until the afternoon to ride.  Actually didn't get around to riding until later than I intended, but hey, at least it was 57 degrees, or supposedly so, when I rode. 

Turned out 57 degrees felt chillier than I expected.  I was wearing a long-sleeved jersey the origin of which I don’t know.  Anyway, wherever the black jersey with the full length zip came from, it seemed like it would be plenty warm, so I dispensed with any other arm coverings.  I did wear a short-sleeved jersey from a circa 2008 MS-150 ride over the black long-sleeved jersey.  To get to the point, my arms and shoulders were chilly from the get-go, and never felt as if they were warming up.  

IF I had been doing a 100k perm-pop, I probably would have finished the 100k.  IF I were doing a 200, again I probably would have completed that ride.  But I was only intending to do a 30 mile ride with a lot of repeat climbing near the south side of Falls Lake.  After about 7 or 8 miles, I decided that I would short the ride, but would "work" the shortened ride harder than if I were doing a 200k, or a 100k, or even a 30-miler. 

Btw, instead of staying only in the 39/14 gearing, while on a false-flat downslope at about the 5.5-mile mark. I decided I would use multiple gears on the ride.  Ha!  I ended up only using two gears during the ride:  (1) the 39/14 for the first and last mile of the ride and for all the inclines, and (2) 50/14 for downslopes and the few flat-tish portions of the route. 

Net result?  19.0-miles in 1:19 in-motion.  That works out to 14.3-mph average, which is the fastest ride I have done so far this year.  

Assuming 5m00sec for the first mile and last mile (almost all of which were on sidewalks), the 17.0 miles that made up the core of the ride was done at an average of approximately 14.7-mph -- I reckon that is pretty good given the climbing I did -- and I should acknowledge that there was 1.5-miles on the flat Brassfield Rd followed by 1.2-miles of gentle downslope on Durant Rd near the end of the ride -- those two sections obviously contributed to a significant increase in the avg pace of the ride, but hey ... fastest avg pace so far this year. 

My legs were a bit stiff a couple hours later, and that lasted until after I took a "nap" starting just after 8 pm Saturday night.  I am typing this at [now 12:50 am Easter morning -- yes, just after midnight] because I woke up a few minutes after twelve midnight needing to pee -- what does one expect when one retired for the night hours earlier than usual without one's evening discharge of bodily fluids?

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Mar-27: 55.6-miles today

Longest ride so far this calendar year. 
Also the fastest in-motion avg pace -- marginally, and I mean MARGINALLY, faster than last Sunday's ride. 

Rode approx 28 miles with Gary & Wendy's TLC group ride, at an avg pace clearly less than 13.4-mph.  I know that because after zooming up Virgil Rd at a delightful fast-feeling (unknown avg) pace in the 39/14 gearing, but certainly I avg'd more than 13.4-mph on the 2.1 or 2.3 miles of Virgil Rd -- I checked the distance and avg pace to that point -- 13.4-mph for 30.4-miles -- hmmn, both ending in point-4 seems rather coincidental.  It was at that point, heading slightly downslope on Leesville Rd that I decided I would be more comfortable and faster if I finally-finally shifted out of the 39/14 gear -- [I had not shifted FROM the 39/14 since the middle of November].  Into the 50/14 I went, and kept it there across the remainder of Leesville and all of the downslope Doc Nichols Rd -- I did the 1.9-miles of Doc Nichols in 5m52ec -- I'm confident that I did faster than that years ago, but I'll take that roughly 19.4-mph on DocN.  When I completed DocN, I was avg'ing 13.9-mph since the beginning of the ride.  

Pushed it on the decline and then the incline on Olive Branch Rd to get to NC-98 -- pushed it across NC-98 -- pushed the decline on Kemp Rd and then labored up the Kemp climb to Virgil Rd (with gearing dropping as low as 39/19) -- then zoomed up Virgil again (but not as free-flowing as the first time) -- then pushed across Carpenter Pond and Mt. Vernon Ch Rd to the stop-light and NC-50.  At that point, I had ridden approx 45-miles and the avg pace since the beginning of the ride was 14.2-mph.  

Down and up on MVC to Norwood -- the up slowing me, likely in 39/19 gearing. 
Down and up on Norwood to Six Forks Rd -- the up slowing me, again in the 39/19 gearing. 
Avg pace since the beginning to that point was 14.1-mph.  Distance to that point ~ 50.3 miles. 

I cut through the "Coachman's neighborhood," thus avoiding traffic, but with climbing on short bits through the neighborhood (but a LOT less climbing than if I had taken Honeycutt the whole way).  The climb on Honeycutt from Durant to the overpass atop I-540 was quite hard.  I had pushed the previous ~ 1.3-mile downslope on Durant, but didn't push nearly as hard as I had earlier as described above -- my legs were quite tired -- the "hot interval" having "done them in."  Somehow, even with the last mile on mostly sidewalks, I managed to hold onto 14.1-mph avg pace for the whole ride. 

I won't push nearly so hard in four weeks on Alan's brevet, and with a few more rides, increasing the distance, I reckon I'll be in decent shape to ride slowly and minimize the stoppage time and still get a decent elapsed time.  

Enjoy the ride, 

Mar-21: Carpenter Pond / "TT" Based Route -- 40+ miles

Since overheating during an attempted 100-mile ride in late June-2020, and also overheating during a late July-2020 ride, and given that stopping at convenience stores for re-supply of cold liquids was problematic during the pandemic restrictions, I've been staying closer to "home."  Luckily, there are sufficient appropriate roads quite near my sleep quarters to get in sufficient climbing rides, 40-mile rides, and even the occasional 100+ km ride
My typical goto routes have been versions of the "Possum Tracking" route(s) and a modified version of my "historical" "TT"/cadence route.  The most ridden "TT" modification is 40.4/5 miles and takes me just under three hours to complete.  Three hours is a very nice time-frame for a quick ride.
This ride was the basic "TT"40.5-miler I've been doing since the middle of last year.  For some photos of some semi-scenic spots, click on this link [-- you'll have to scroll down a bit.]  Further, since I've provided links to previous 40-miler "TT" rides, see above "40-mile rides" link, I'll not go into explaining the route. 
When you see the in-motion time and the elapsed time below, you'll know that I took no time to take any photos on this ride.  I also barely noticed anything other than the road and my pedaling during this excursion.  However, one thing I did notice was the pond on Virgil Rd where last year there was frequently three turtles sunning themselves on a log in the middle of the pond -- also, at least once, there were four turtles sunning themselves.  On this date, that pond was VERY full and the log barely broke the surface.  Additionally, since it was not summer, there were exactly zero turtles visible on the log or around the pond or on the road surface or anywhere else. 
Some stats from the ride: 
  • -> Honeycutt + Norwood - "TT" course - Norwood + Honeycutt -> 
  • 1346 start, 60+ degrees F, NE wind    --    2h54 elapsed 
  • 40.4-miles.    2:52 in-motion, i.e., only 2 minutes of stoppage.    14.1-mph avg in-motion. 
    • My fastest ride this year to date. 
  • All in the 39/14 gearing.  And that does make the finishing climbs on MVC, Norwood, and Honeycutt roads a bit difficult.  I forced myself to stay in the faux single-speed even though I was sorely tempted on the last climb on Honeycutt to shift to an easier gear.  [Maybe next ride I'll actually shift for the first time since the middle of November?] 


Mar-20: Two Errands -- One Ride

  • -> ATM -> friend's -> E.MineCrTrail -> 
  • purposes:  
    • get some $$$    
    • put friend's canopy back up (it had been taken down the previous day because of expected severe weather including strong winds), 
    • fix / replace friend's TP holder 
  • 3.94-m to ATM + friend's in 19m44sec  
  • 3.82 returning in 18m45sec 
  • dealing with strong N/NE wind for half the distance 
  • standing all the way, of course, mostly on sidewalks (except the first part to the ATM was on streets)
    • I figure if I'm not riding long, I can get in some "training" by standing the entire distance. 
  • 7.8-miles total.    ~ 38-minutes in-motion.    12.1-mph avg pace in-motion. 
Since the point of the ride was to accomplish the errands (and perhaps get in some "pretend training), I didn't notice much while en route, and certainly had no interest in taking any photos.  

Mar-13: TLC Baptist Marina plus Some Possum Tracking

So that I wouldn't wimp out on riding, I arranged to ride with the TLC group, 
Which supposedly would start their ride at 9 am. 
But I knew they would start late, so I arranged to arrive right at 9. 
No one was ready, so I rode another 2 1/4 miles or so on neighboring streets and 
Also made at least three loops around the Layfayette Square shopping center.
The ride started about 0915. 
I mostly rode with Gary + Wendy, the latter I hadn't seen since before the pandemic. 
In a reasonably safe side-by-side manner, we chatted about subjects of interest to each of us. 
The TLC Saturday morning ride usually goes through the "Coachman's" neighborhood, 
Then crosses Six Forks Rd onto Norwood Rd, 
Then turning onto Mt. Vernon Ch Rd to Old Creedmoor / Carpenter Pond Rd. 
They then turn onto Kemp Rd to Southview Rd to Baptist Rd. 
They ride Baptist down to the boat ramps (marina) at Falls Lake, 
Where they take a break, and then reverse their route back to the store. 
[While taking the break, riders from three or so other small groups also congregated near the rest rooms. 
I decided to keep well away from that mingling crowd (for pandemic reasons).] 
TLC group riders other than G+W zoomed ahead, but I stayed with G+W for some more chatting. 
However, as I told G+W, when we got back to Carpenter Rd, I "zoomed" off to get in some extra miles. 
And climbing. 
Apparently, some of the TLC riders were new and missed the turn onto MVC Rd. 
I found a frequent TLC rider waiting at the intersection where MVC crosses NC-50. 
Rather busy at that intersection -- I think she would have been better served to ride 50 yards and 
Wait at the Peed Rd / MVC Rd corner. 
Anyway, I continued on MVC to Norwood to Six Forks Rd. 
I turned left on Six Forks and continued straight onto Possum Track, and 
Then rode Bay Leaf Ch Rd down to the dead-end next to the lake. 
There, I reversed to climb back up to Possum Track, but 
I did detour through the Falls Bridge neighborhood alongside Bay Leaf Ch Rd, 
Thus adding a little distance and some additional climbing. 
[Because point be told, the exercise of extra miles was more about the climbing than the miles.] 
Down Possum Track to its dead-end, then 
Reverse to Lindley Rd to Shallowford Rd, etc., 
Finally popping out on Hardee Rd to Raven Ridge Rd. 
[As I type this on March 27th, I'm not sure if I turned onto Brassfield Rd, or 
If I stayed on Raven Ridge to Koupela -- the latter would have meant more climbing.] 
  • 51.1 total miles.    ~ 4:01 in-motion.    12.7-mph avg in-motion. 
  • Btw, I guestimate that I was avg'ing 11-mph (or about that) when I broke off from riding with G+W.  Since slightly more than half the total distance was with G+W, one can imagine that I maintained a pretty good (for me) avg pace in-motion during the later half of my ride -- where more than half the climbing was encountered. 


Mar-12: Errand Ride and More

  • -> friend's (to spray more weeds):  Honeycutt-Brassfld-RavenRidge-Koupela -> TLC -> 
  • 1.63-m going, 8m00s,  10.3-m ride, all in 39/14 gearing 
  • standing all the way 
  • 11.9-miles total.    ~ 56-minutes ride time.    12.7-mph avg while in-motion. 
That's all I care to type regarding this ride. 
[Actually, 15 days later as I type this, I don't recall much of anything worth even the above.]

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Mar-07, 09, 11: Even More Errand Rides

Continuing with the minimalist posting(s) for errand rides: 
  •  -> friend's -> TLC-4-Bikes ->  
    • stopped in at the bike shop to chat with owner/mechanic, but he / store was quite busy  
  • (return original of Duke Hosp papers previously picked up Mar-03 for copying / analysis) 
  • colder than sunny apparent 50F should have been -> "shorted" ride 
    • gonna' be hard to get in adequate shape for the late April 200 brevet if I keep "shorting" rides 
  • standing all the way, of course 
  • 4.3-miles total, almost all on sidewalks.    ~ 20-minutes ride time.    12.6-mph. 
  • -> friend's -> E.MineCrTrail ->   (re:  adjust drain pipe pitch) 
  • 1.62-m going,  3.88-m return via hilly n'hood + trail 
    • I've been going and coming via the flat way along the two major roads, but I've decided to start returning via the neighborhood way, which has two or three neighborhood quality (short but steep) climbs each way.  Additionally, if I'm limited to just an errand ride, I've decided to include at least one round trip on the "E. Mine Creek Trail" -- a one-mile each way greenway which is currently unconnected to other greenways -- or at least a "connection" is not obvious to the uninitiated.  
    • By the way, going through the neighborhood on the return and including the greenway, which drops more than 100 feet from the north end to the south end, results in total climbing on the errand-commute route of 39-feet-per-mile (and considering that the "going" 1.62-miles probably has less than 60-feet of total climbing, ...)
  • standing all the way 
  • 5.5-miles total.    ~ 28-minutes ride time.    11.7-mph. 
  •  -> friend's -> E.MineCrTrail ->   (re:  spray weeds) 
  • 1.64-m going,  3.82 return via hilly n'hood + trail  
  • standing all the way 
  • 5.5-miles total.    ~ 27-minutes ride time.    11.9-mph. 


Friday, March 5, 2021

Mar-04: No Clouds, 60+ degrees, but Very Windy

Another "PossumTracking" ride. 
This one rather short as I fit it in between some work and a planned recreational phone call. 
First 3.3-miles round trip to drop off some health + injury claims paperwork back to a friend. 
Then, about 40 minutes of on-line work, which I learned of just as I arrived at the friend's. 
Then, an 18.5-mile "PossumTracking" ride. 
  • all of Honeycutt, then 
  • Bay Leaf Ch Rd to the lake, turn-around and climb back to the intersection with Possum Track Rd, but I did add the Falls Bridge neighborhood loop on the return climb, then 
  • Possum Track all the way to the end, then reverse to 
  • Lindley Rd and through that neighborhood, 
  • to Hardee, Raven Ridge and then onto Brassfield Rd all the way to Durant Rd, then 
  • down the incline of Durant Rd to 
  • Honeycutt, and then back to my abode.  
All while wearing short sleeves and short-legged bibs and short-fingered cycling gloves. 
Perhaps not as much looking around as I might have done, but
I did realize that I was pushing up against the time for the recreational phone call to come in, so 
Even though I thought of taking a couple photographs (of previously photo'd locations), 
I just kept pedaling on. 
IF there is ever anyone that reads this and would like to see a map of the course, 
Check some of the previous "PossumTracking" posts for embedded maps of prior ride maps.

Mar-03: Another Errand Ride

See previous post for background. 
  • -> friend's ->    (get some papers re:  Duke Hosp stuff) 
  • ~ 4:30 pm +,   8m48s going,   8m,18s returning 
  • standing all the way 
  • 3.2-miles total, almost all on sidewalks.    ~ 17-minutes.    11.2-mph.  
For summarization comments, see the previous post. 

Feb-25, 26, 28: More Errand Rides

As noted previously, in prior years I never bothered to record my short errand rides (even up to 8-miles in length) in my Excel log, let alone blog those rides.  However, most of my cycling of late has been short, ~ 3.2-mile round trips to a friend's to help with chores or "chores" or deal with some health insurance claims paperwork; therefore, although perhaps not totally thought out, I decided to start recording and blogging those short rides.  [I could have, perhaps should have, recorded the same rides that I did the first week of January, when I sometimes did multiple round-trips on the same day, but I hadn't thought of recording or blogging them at that time.] 
  • -> friend's ->    (exchange some papers re:  Duke Hosp stuff) 
  • ~ 4pm +,  1.62-m each way,   8m28s going,   8m,04s returning 
  • standing all the way 
  • 3.2-miles total, almost all on sidewalks.    ~ 16-minutes.    11.6-mph.  
  • -> friend's ->   (exchange papers re:  Duke  +  get cooler from shed) 
  • ~ 9am +,  1.62-m each way,   8m40s going,   8m,12s returning 
  • standing all the way
  • 3.2-miles total, almost all on sidewalks.    ~ 16-minutes.    11.4-mph. 
  • -> friend's ->   (put box-fan in crawl-space) 
  • ~ 2pm,  1.62-m each way,   8m18s going,   8m,12s returning 
  • standing all the way
  • 3.2-miles total, almost all on sidewalks.    ~ 16-minutes.    11.6-mph. 


If I would blog these as they happen, I would have a few words regarding conditions and sometimes cars blocking the sidewalk in one or more places; but although those words would make these blog posts more interesting, those words aren't all that important.  What I hope is important is that although these rides are very short, they may be helping to keep me in some kind of cycling shape that I can use as a base to train-up for the April 200 brevet, and the May 300 brevet.  


Friday, February 26, 2021

Feb-24: Possum Tracking + Reversing

Instead of doing another "Possum Tracking" ride with multiple different loops as I have done several times in the previous 6 or 9 months, I decided to ride Bay Leaf Ch Rd and then Possum Track and then through the usual neighborhoods to Deer Trail, at which time I would essentially reverse my route, thus doing all of Possum Track in both directions for the first time in about 12 years.
Let's start with an embed of the route ridden, except that this starts from a public location, to whit, "TLC-4-Bikes" in Lafayette Village, whereas I actually started from my abode, which is where the extra distance between the embedded route and that reported later in this post (IF I remember to include the actual ride stats): 
Recently, I've been doing rides staying in faux single-speed gearing of 39/14.  And that seems rather strange that I've been able to complete the rides in that gearing.  Typically, if I faux single-speed a ride, a route north of Raleigh, or even south of Raleigh, I've used 39/15 gearing, which is 7 or 8 % easier.  Maybe if I had been doing a lot of cycling about, 39/14 would make some sense, but I've barely been doing any bicycling.  Perplexing as that seeming contradiction may be to me, I guess I've learned that I can do the rides I've been doing, even the semi-recent 100+ km ride in late November, in that 39/14 gearing, and having at least some measure of stubborn determination, I have refused to go to easier gears within the ride and nearing the end.  I cannot, however, claim that I won't change to an easier gear if I add a bit more tough repeating roller climbing. 
And, to come clean, I had intended to finish the ride on Honeycutt Rd instead of cutting through the "Coachman's Way" neighborhood.  IF I had finished on Honeycutt, the route / ride would have been a tenth-of-a-mile or two shorter, but I am confident that there would have been more total climbing -- and knowing that, at around the 19-mile-mark of the ride, I decided that I would do the "Bay Leaf Ch Rd" loop, which would include steep-enuf climbing into the strong south wind, but I would skip Honeycutt in favor of Coachman's Way. 
Although my head was often on a swivel during this ride in the 65 to 70 degree temps with plenty of sunshine, I took no photos.  As an aside, this was the first 70 degree day for the Raleigh area this winter -- we usually get a 70 degree day once every week or two during the winter.  This winter has been chilly and WET -- 14 days with at least some rain in January, and February looks to be headed toward 22 +/- days with at least some rain. 
I've been including Deer Trail (Rd) in my recent "Possum Tracking" rides because the ramp to get back up to a flat portion of Honeycutt Rd gets steep enough to knock my speed down to 4.5 - 4.8 mph (for a short section); I'm usually back to 5.3 +/- mph by the time I slip past the stop-sign onto Honeycutt.  If one zeroes in on that point in the ride, approx 13.3-mile-mark of the embedded map, one will find that that RWGPS will report a climbing incline significantly in excess of what shows in the "Metrics" section of RWPGS.  I took a screen-print and copied into a Word document -- if I knew how to embed that screen print here, I would.  The best I can figure out is to put the Word document out on Google-docs (or whatever that is now called), but I haven't put anything "out there" for several years, and I've forgotten how to do that. 
There was another steep bit -- an unexpected steep bit -- at approx the 16.1-mile-mark.  Very short, but steep enough, and catching me unprepared, my speed dropped to roughly 3.2 - 3.5 mph.  I thought it was to serpentine a bit at that point.  I was also concerned I might be about to fall over,  However, I was able to muscle the bike and me to stay upright and to get up that section. 
Total ride stats: 
  • 29.5 miles, 
  • 2:17 iin-motion, 
  • 12.9 avg mph, 
  • 2h18 or 2h19 elapsed -- i.e., no noticeable automobile traffic. 
  • However, there were several fast, intense cyclists, and one group of two with whom I crossed paths at least twice, and I think it was actually three times (those two did not seem to fit in the "intense" category. 
  • Oh, also a few walkers and runners. 
  • Almost everyone enjoying the exercise in shorts and short-sleeves -- although the two-some cyclists reference just above appeared to garbed for 50 - 55 degrees instead of 65 - 70.   
That's my non-humorous story for this ride, and I reckon I'll be sticking with this story. 
[Unless I figure out how to do "Google-docs" -- in which case, I might edit this.]  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Feb-19-23: More Short Errand Rides

All in 39/14 gearing + standing all the way
I could do this route in a bigger gear, but ... 
And standing all the way is a training exercise, 
More mental than physical, I reckon. 
More follow-up to my recent exercise adventure
Not following-up on the exercise adventure, but following-up on the reason for the exercise adventure.  
1.6+ miles each way.  3.2-miles total.  9min in-motion each way; i.e., 18-min total. 
Almost all on sidewalks. 
[An interesting thing I learned from reading the "Harry Potter" books: 
In Britspeak English, "pavement" means the same as Amerispeak "sidewalk."] 
More follow-up to my recent exercise adventure. 
Not following-up on the exercise adventure, but following-up on the reason for the exercise adventure. 
1.6+ miles each way.  3.3-miles total.  9m,25sec going, 8m,15sec returning; i.e., 17-min total. 
Almost all on sidewalks. 
[Wind-shift between going and returning?  Or just more loosened up?]
More follow-up. 
1.6+ miles each way.  3.3-miles total.  9m,29sec going, 8m,35sec returning; i.e., 18-min total. 
Almost all on sidewalks. 
[I absolutely know that there was a wind-shift between going and returning. 
Even though there were only 10+ minutes between -- a storm front was moving in.] 
More follow-up. 
Future such errand rides will be for other reasons. 
And there are plenty of other reasons in the offing. 
1.6+ miles going.  1.9 miles returning (simplest way to avoid a car was to make a small detour.) 
3.5-miles total.  
8m,42sec going, 10m,00sec returning; i.e., nearly 19-min total. 
Almost all on sidewalks. 
These are NOTHING stories, but I'm trying to get back into the habits of: 
  1. riding more often, and 
  2. blogging every ride, soon afterward (that used to be the "required" protocol). 
Those are my stories for these rides, and I'll be sticking to them.   

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

3.5-miles today. Woohoo!

1.6-miles (maybe plus an extra .01 or two) to the target location.  9m,00 sec in sun-bright conditions. 
Severe-clear skies.  Not a cloud to be seen. 
Some follow-up to activity the night before -- not the exercise I documented, but the reason behind that exercise. 
Upon completion of the follow-up, headed back to my hovel. 
Oops, not quite to the stop-sign, I recall that there is a task I forgot to do. 
Circled back.  
0.3-miles,  1m,15sec to complete the "circle"-back.
A piece of equipment returned to its storage location. 
Back on the bike. 
Truly headed for my hovel. 
Fingers get a bit chilly -- that didn't happen on the way to the target location. 
I conclude that the breeze must have a significant North component. 
1.6-miles,  8m,19sec for the return.  
Into the wind, I pedaled harder, I guess. 
Actually, I know. 
Total distance and time-in-motion:  3.5-miles,  18m,34sec. 
All standing.  All in the 39/14 gearing.  Almost all on sidewalks. 
That's my story, and I reckon that I will be sticking to it. 

Unexpected Exercise

The following was originally posted on Fakebook.  I intend to copy over and NOT edit.  As a result of NOT editing, the presentation in Google-Blogger may be a bit ... not the usual "look."  (Fakebook and, as of their recent "improvements," Blogger each include a LOT of unnecessary / superfluous HTML code which usually results in something ... not the "look" I prefer.) 
So ... frequently, occasionally, once in a great while, I think maybe I should start doing daily sit-ups and push-ups.
Yesterday, I was giving the idea more consideration than usual, but incoming phone calls or incoming texts or no reason at all, I didn't do any sit-ups or push-ups.
Good thing actually, as at approx 6 pm, or just after, I got a call (or was it a text) about some dripping water visible through a grate/vent in someone's house foundation. Phone discussion ensued and, as a result, I went to check out the situation by going into that person's crawl space.
I hadn't been in that crawl space for maybe 10 years(?). I was expecting an easy trip in the crawl space along the south foundation wall, where there was always lots of space (the house is level, but the ground slopes downward from the north end of the house to the south end -- LOTS of space in the southwest corner, very little in the northeast corner -- and it gets tight about 2/3 the way from the south wall to the north wall).
Surprise! When person had a new heating/cooling system installed some 4 1/2 years ago, new ducts had been installed, too. Big, roundish, soft-sided ducts -- reaching all the way from the bottom of the floor joists to the ground -- well, maybe an inch or two above the ground.
Pointing my flashlight along the length of the duct (and btw, that "flashlight" was actually my cycling headlamp -- one with an internal battery that is re-charged by plugging into a USB port), I knew that if I couldn't get under that duct, I would have to crawl and then shimmy 2/3 of the way from the entrance (in the south wall) to the middle of the house, and then shimmy (and maybe be able to crawl some of the way) to get back to the kitchen sink area / the area with grate-vent in the foundation.
I tested the firmness of the duct near the entryway. Deep sigh! I was consigned to the long crawl / shimmy.
Crawled 20 or 25 feet. Then shimmy along on my belly. Then as the space was getting tight, on got on my back to truly shimmy my way at the "turn" under hard ducts and water and waste pipes, in between and around brick columns holding up the middle of the house. At one point, I wasn't sure how to make the turn / if I could make the turn. But I knew that I HAD to make that turn. So ... I paused for a moment to consider my options. I may also have needed a short rest -- after all, it isn't easy to crawl/shimmy along at my age and given that I am NOT used to doing such activity.
After a couple moments, I knew what to do to make the turn -- I think I leveraged my feet/legs against one of the brick columns to make the turn.
Then, it was shimmy, shimmy, shimmy on my back for 10 or so feet. After that, I was able to flip over onto my stomach, but there was not room to actually crawl. Trying several approaches, I finally settled on doing virtual push-ups on my elbows, and using my toes/feet to push me forward when lifted off the ground by the elbow push-up -- probably 6 inches per elbow-push-up. There was a bit more space as I approached the kitchen sink area, but not enough to actually crawl.
I won't go into what I found when I got to the target area because the point of this post is about the exercise gained / incurred needed to make progress in the crawl space.
After completing the inspection of the target area, I had to reverse my crawl space journey. More elbow-push-ups, more shimmying on my stomach, more on my back, more shimmying on my stomach, and finally actually crawling the last 20 or 25 feet. I did pause a couple times to rest as I was winded, getting sweaty, and my arms were tired.
So ... I assert that I got in a long push-up session last night.
And an hour or two ago -- it takes quite a while to type all this -- I decided to do some sit-ups and some push-ups. I won't type how many of each I did, but I will type that my arms were instantly giving off the message that they are tired, thank-you-very-much, so the push-ups should be categorized as half-a__ed ones.
I hope that I have the guts to do sit-ups every morning and also the "guts" to force my arms and shoulders to do some push-ups every morning. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Indoor Blues

Swiped from a Fakebook comment -- one word dropped, one word changed, punctuation added. 
Cycling kit's all clean and dry. 
Water bottles filled so high. 
Drive train lubed and ready to fly. 
I got them rainy weather indoor blues.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Rain Expected Every Day for the Next Week

With the exception of next Wednesday, Feb-17. 
That's gonna' have a serious impact on my training for possible brevets.
OR, it would have a serious impact if I hadn't already torpedo'd "training" 
By not riding during the latter part of January and early February 
When I repeatedly failed to get on the bike and go for some 3-hour tours. 

Re: Lynn's infected knee

So that I can remind myself later (and since no one reads this blog):  
To: Bay Leaf Irregulars
Sent: Saturday, January 2, 2021, 06:22:37 PM EST
Subject: Lynn

For those not randonneurs (or even if you are but haven't seen what I posted to the NC-rando-Facebook-group), New Year's Eve day, just before noon, Lynn was suddenly suffering excruciating pain in her left leg.  To shorten the story:  
  • I transported her to Wake north Ortho urgent care, and that included actually carrying her some of the distance to the car -- been a long time since I've lifted circa 130 lbs onto my shoulder, wasn't sure I could do it -- but in dire straights, one can sometimes do things -- and acting as a crutch as we slowly and agonizingly made our way down the ramp (built 4 1/2 years ago by the Bay Leaf Baptist Ch group that builds a ramp every Wednesday -- or at least that is what they did then).  Lynn loudly vocalizing the pain -- in all the years Lynn suffered from problems and pains in her hips and legs, from the pains associated with the knee replacements, from all the stuff from being bashed into by that vehicle in 2016, I never once heard Lynn call out in pain.  Oh, she would comment on it, there might be a grunt, but there was never a sound of agony -- this time, while I was carrying her, she was near screaming from the pain in her leg. 
  • We spent several hours at the Ortho urgent care.  35-mm of fluid was drained from the left knee.  After that, Lynn was still in agony, but not as severe as before.  At one point, waiting in the treatment room, Lynn commented that she had been run over by a car, but that had not hurt nearly as much as the knee and leg on this day. 
  • I picked up new meds from Harris Teeter at 4 pm.  Our thinking was that she would start to feel better as the new meds kicked in.  Naively we thought that the main treatments had been done. 
  • However, around 9:30 New Years' Eve, Lynn texted that a friend from down the street was transporting her to Duke Raleigh Hosp because the Wake Med people had called and told her to get to her Orthopedic docs at Duke pronto. 
  • Long wait at Duke Raleigh -- the on-call doctor could not be located, could not be located, could not be located, could not be located. 
  • 2 am, NYD, decision made that Lynn needed to go the Big Duke over in Durham. 
  • 2:30 am, but hosp can't arrange transport until 7 am.  
  • Lynn at Duke in Durham around 8 am. 
  • Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Lynn called -- not texted, but called -- right at noon; she was distraught because she was being ignored, including needing to pee. 
  • 2:30 pm -- supposedly on way to surgery on the knee. 
  • Surgery actually didn't start until 3:30 or 4 pm.  
  • Purpose was to wash out the infection in the knee, wash it off the metal parts of the artificial knee, AND to replace a plastic part in that knee. 
  • Bacteria cannot penetrate metal, but can and does penetrate even the hardest plastics. 
  • Finally done with surgery, mostly recovered from the anesthesia, and in a regular room by around 7 pm. 
  • She'll be at the hosp for at least several days while they culture the bacterium causing the trouble -- so they can use a targeted anti-bacterial agent instead of shot-gunning the process. 
  • Recent news is that the bacterium is growing quite slowly.  
  • Lynn's voice sounds strong.  She is disappointed / nearly distraught, but I reckon that she will let that emotion show to only a few. 
  • Prior to learning that she would need surgery, Lynn's biggest concerns during this epic was that she wouldn't be allowed to volunteer at Wake Med north (the only volunteer job being allowed these days is folding linens) and that she would lose her "Meals on Wheels" route.  Regarding that last, she even mentioned having me do the driving and taking the meal packages to the doors while she officially picked up the packages and rode along in the car.  I haven't spoken with Lynn since about 6:50 am today (Jan-02), but I suppose that the volunteer situations have dropped down the priority list of concerns.  (She did off-hand remark that it will be a long time before she rides a bicycle again.) 
  • She will be on anti-biotics for a long spell, again.  
Anyway, I thought that at least some of y'all might be interested, and hearing from close to the source would be better than hearing via a convoluted rumor-mill. 
Oh, I'll be dog-sitting (at least during the nights) until Lynn returns home. 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Feb-06: Short Possum Tracking Ride

On Saturday, February 6, 2021, 04:01:41 PM EST, <> wrote:

Whopping 18.8-miles today. 
Repeating roller climbing miles. 
All in the 39/14 gearing. 
[I pretty much needed to short the ride because I decided to NOT shift from the 39/14.]

IF I had used gears, or had ridden in the 39/15, I could easily have gone further, but ... 
I was being a bit stubborn. 

Actually, the 39/14 was not even a hint of a struggle -- although I did do a fair bit of just spinning / grinding on several climbs, e.g., the third climb outbound on Honeycutt Rd, Bay Leaf Ch Rd back up to Bay Leaf Ch from the lake -- until after I rather unwisely decided to include Deer Trail Rd in the mix. 
Deer Trail gets steep before getting to the stop sign at Honeycutt -- I recall Lynn expressing how difficult / steep that was a year or two or three before she did her first rando ride in 2009.  We used to do almost all our riding on the roads I've been "keeping" to since late July-2020.  
Anyway, I thought I was fine, despite the speed having dipped to 5.4-mph on Deer Trail just before the stop sign (and 4.6-mph as I turned onto Honeycutt without actually stopping at the stop sign), once on the FLAT section of Honeycutt and then on the flat of Brassfield Rd, and was going to do some more rolling / hilly stuff, but then I realized that I had forgotten to bring my phone with me and I remembered that my last real ride was in mid-December and I want to be able to walk tomorrow, and whatever. 
So I turned to take the 1.3-mile decline on Durant Rd to return to Honeycutt.  The first mile or a bit more on Honeycutt is a climb, with varying percentage inclines of course -- and although I kept the pace up to a semi-reasonable one, I was tempted to shift to an easier gear, but I refused to do so.  
Honeycutt on the southbound return flattens considerably once it gets to / crossed I-540, and suddenly it felt as if I was moving quite quickly -- a check of the confuser revealed 12+ mph.  That was not the first time on the ride that I had experienced an apparent fast speed only to find that I was only going 12+ or 13+ mph.  
However, Honeycutt's southbound flat is rather long and I may have been motivated by the slowness of the "fast" pace and suddenly I was going 14+, then 15+ -- I don't know if I made it to 16+, but if I did, it would have been just before cutting through the gas station at the corner of Honeycutt with Falls of the Neuse Rd (and after the gas station, it is almost all sidewalks to get back to my hovel. 

I was intending a simple three or four or five line / sentence summary, but suddenly found myself explaining and explaining and explaining. 

18.8 miles -- 1h29 in-motion -- elapsed probably the same -- a whopping 12.6 avg mph pace. 
The route? 
Honeycutt - Bay Leaf Ch down and up (but without the extra loop onto the side residential road) - Possum Track to the bottom -- back up to Lindley Rd to Shallowford (actually, I missed the turn onto Shallowford, but that only added a couple hundred yards as Lindley cul-de-sacs shortly after the intersection with Shallowford) - Shallowford to Pendelton to Hardee to Raven Ridge to Brassfield - straight on Deer Trail - right onto the flat section of Honeycutt - left on Brassfield - left on Durant - right on Honeycutt. 

I think I'll draw a RWGPS track just to get a gross climbing estimate -- but I won't save the route. 
To get an idea of what the course entailed, this RWGPS track is a longer version of what I did today: 
Anyway, training has renewed.  I think. 

RWGPS came up with 970 ft gross climbing in those 18.8 miles --> avg 51.6 ft climbing per mile. 
I conclude that I got in a decent workout. 
Enjoy the ride, 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Comparing 2021 RWGPS to 2013 RWGPS, Part 2

I decided to have a look at the change in the RWGPS climbing estimates for the "Bahama Beach" perm-pop. 
Using the same 'free-route' variants viewed in 2013. 
I know that (several years ago) RWGPS modified their algorithms to estimate gross climbing. 
On a bicycle forum and/or the randon-google-group-list-serve, 
I have mentioned the change in the RWGPS algorithms 
Which, it is my opinion, made the estimates for rolling hill routes less accurate 
While possibly maintaining the quality of the estimates for climbing mountains,
But I have no mountain route data to examine / compare. 
At least one person parroted the RWGPS propoganda 
That the change was so that their estimates would more closely reflect 
The climbing reported by Garmin and other GPS devices. 
I responded that I did not accept that RWGPS explanation because 
As best I can recall, every person that has ridden the "Bahama Beach" standard route 
With a GPS device reported climbing estimates ranging from 3200 to 3900 feet. 
Below is reproduced most of the chart from 2013, 
Followed by a revised chart showing the figures RWGPS reports today. 
And the total comparison summarized below that. 
The change ("reduction") varies only slightly by variant. 
After all, most of the route for each of the noted variants is the same. 
The average reduction of 19% is nothing to be sneezed at (i.e., ignored). 
Oh, as I have been known to say and/or type: 
NONE of the climbing estimates from ANY of the sources can be deemed "accurate." 
They can, however, provide some amusement as one or a group compares routes.  

2013 RWGPS gross climbing estimates

Route Name start miles RWGPS ft/m
5 Bahama Beach (std rte) Bay Leaf, NC 64.6 3,587 55.5
6 Bahama Beach - "Wave at Bernie" v.1 Bay Leaf, NC 68.0 3,771 55.5
1 Bahama Beach - "Taste of Johnson Mill Rd" Bay Leaf, NC 71.1 4,215 59.3
8 Bahama Beach - "Hall Rd" Bay Leaf, NC 65.1 3,583 55.0
7 Bahama Beach - "Mt. Tabor / Hampton Rd" Bay Leaf, NC 66.1 3,644 55.1
4 Bahama Beach - "3 Hayes" Bay Leaf, NC 65.9 3,690 56.0
3 Bahama Beach - "Mangum Dairy" Bay Leaf, NC 69.8 4,017 57.6
2 Bahama Beach - "Bold Run + Mangum Dairy" Bay Leaf, NC 72.2 4,205 58.2

2021 RWGPS gross climbing estimates

Route Name start location miles RWGPS ft/m reduced
6 Bahama Beach (std rte) Bay Leaf, NC 64.6 2,918 45.2 19%
4 Bahama Beach - "Wave at Bernie" v.1 Bay Leaf, NC 68.0 3,081 45.3 18%
2 Bahama Beach - "Taste of Johnson Mill Rd" Bay Leaf, NC 71.1 3,349 47.1 21%
8 Bahama Beach - "Hall Rd" Bay Leaf, NC 65.1 2,916 44.8 19%
7 Bahama Beach - "Mt. Tabor / Hampton Rd" Bay Leaf, NC 66.1 2,977 45.0 18%
5 Bahama Beach - "3 Hayes" Bay Leaf, NC 65.9 2,985 45.3 19%
1 Bahama Beach - "Mangum Dairy" Bay Leaf, NC 69.8 3,302 47.3 18%
3 Bahama Beach - "Bold Run + Mangum Dairy" Bay Leaf, NC 72.2 3,387 46.9 19%

"2013" sum
542.8 30,712 56.6

"2021" sum
542.8 24,915 45.9 19%

 -- std deviation of the "reductions" reported --

BTW, I never did get around to riding the "Johnson Mill Rd," the "Mangum Dairy," and the "Bold Run + Mangum Dairy" routes for RUSA km credit.  However, now I am thinking of giving those audacious routes "a go" since I won't feel the need to keep the actual route ridden close to the 103-kms perm-pop credit.