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Monday, March 29, 2010

Howling for Grits Again

Saturday March 27 still had some of that winter cold lingering around, at least until 10 a.m. or so. Five of us (Jerry, Joe, Sridhar, Wes, and myself) met at Farrell's Store for a 9 a.m. start on Jerry's permanent populaire. Temps were in the upper 30s, forcing us to lug around some extra clothing and gloves that could be pulled off as the mercury rose. Jerry, Joe, and Wes rode away from Sridhar and I on the first major climb (Lystra Rd), and things pretty much stayed that way for the entire route, other than regrouping at controls. Wes was on his almost new Coho that he had Chuck build with S&S couplers for ease in transport to next year's PBP.

The historic Chatham County courthouse in Pittsboro suffered a major fire earlier in the week, but our General Store Cafe was open for business and makes a nice midpoint control for lunch. The 3 fast riders had already ordered their food by the time Sridhar and I arrived, but they had to wait until last to actually receive some grub. "Slow and steady" apparently won out.

The ride was good other than having one yoyo in a black pickup deliberately pass us close and then use his windshield washer to give us a little sprinkle.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Black Creek Permanent 3/20/2010

I had proposed riding this 200K permanent in mid February, but one of those frequent (for 2010) NC snowstorms killed that idea, so I was glad to see that Mike O had posted a request for riders to join him last Saturday. The weather was beautiful, although I'm glad that I wimped out on the side of caution and wore my "lobster claw" gloves. Those who suffered with half finger biking gloves had a miserable hour or so at the start of the ride. My little rack pack from Performance was enough to hold the gloves and a light jacket, as well as some leg warmers that I took off around 10 a.m. at the first control.

Seven of us (Mike D, Sridhar, Lynn, Dean, Alan, Mike O and myself) met at Wakefield HS for the 7:30 a.m. departure. After a few miles I found myself alone, riding behind the fast group of Mike and Lynn, and ahead of the others. The second group caught me at a long light and we stayed together the rest of the way. Well, almost the rest of the way as I had a minor bonking attack with only a few miles to go. Not sure why, as I ate what I usually do on a 200K, and drank more than normal including a couple cans of V8 juice at controls. Oh well, a convenience store was nearby so I exited the group and replenished my food and drink. I caught up with Sridhar about half way up the last hill as he was taking a break trying to work out some leg cramps. I wasn't paying close enough attention to the road signs at the top of the hill and took the right onto 98 instead of crossing and going to the OLD 98. Time for some "bonus" miles, but after I had gone about half a mile and not seen the left for Falls of Neuse I figured out my error and went back, just in time to catch Sridhar, who had followed me, from going too far down the hill.

Mechanical issues were limited to Sridhar dropping his chain and Dean breaking a spoke. I thought I had included a FiberFix repair spoke in my kit, but must have left it at home. I did remember a spoke wrench, and Alan gave a quick roadside tutoring session on wheel truing. Dean nursed that 23 spoke rear wheel another 84 miles but I understand he is looking into some sturdier wheels for his next brevet.

A great day to ride, and I'm one more brevet closer to an R-12. 9 more to go!