I hope summer is finding you all well. One thing as certain as time flying is the heat this summer season. above normal with no end in sight! of course, a little heat is not going to stop serious bike riders from getting in the saddle time. we just convince ourselves that we'll go early, late, whenever.
and so it was in june. the series had ended and we celebrated with a fast running of Jerrys' howlin' grits populaire the following weekend. 7 of us met early and ran it in just over 4hrs with a nice breakfast stop in pittsboro. good times! it's a fun loop you all should give a go..
I 'only' do epic lake loops-
several of us-mike d, jerry, wes, john o., tim, bryan, and myself decided to get our 200 for june "out of the way, before it gets 'hot'" the following weekend. hmm. is 95 hot? a good warmup ensued and we were putting down good tempo on our way to kerr lake. a triathlon was underway and the first bikes were coming down the road at us. Capt. Dayton says:"look sharp boys!" hehe, no prob as our 22mph train was ticking quite smoothly, thank you, without aero bars... about a mile up the road we waited as the rest of the racers poured out of a side-road. from there it was off to the dam for the picture, on to boyton where the store was not yet open, then skipwith for relief by way of the soda machines. jerry told cinnamon girl to giddy-up and soft pedal to clarkesville for lunch. we rendezvous at subway, drink copious amounts, and roll on.
by stovall the heat is for real! the boys do a number on a bag of ice, gallons of liquid, and stick their heads and helmets in the ice box! we climb the little mountain, head for oxford-last control..at the final regrouping it's frozen treats all 'round and mike rolls in coasting-he started the day fixed. cramps brought on the bright idea to flip the wheel over and viola! less cramps! the last 25 miles are insanely windy as the four '600 1st timers' go off the front and paceline our way to the firehouse. 7am start, in at 4:25. a scorcher in the books...
between 'loops' I rode my 1st 'fast' group ride of the summer: team CBC 72 mile trainer. a fun bunch of 14 went out and ripped a cool course called the bunn level beer run. it leaves the brewery in holly springs and goes south and comes back on familiar roads found on both the tarheel and 600k routes. also hot, the pace was high, avg 25-6 in some early stretches, but calming later and finishing around 20 for the day. they also run 50 milers with A and B groups and it's a good social at the end with pizza and brew. good folks.
hot ride two(o): with the firecracker 100k looming on july 4th, and a 'new' route, i decided to recon on june 20, father's day.. i had a shoot that morning so i didn't head out til 11.
damn, hot. i drank a bottle first. and left with two cold ones. i went out hard and at mile 25 was averaging 21.5mph. there were more climbs than the old route, yay! i carried 2 gel flasks, 2 bananas, e-caps, a fig bar, and cash. at mile 40 i stopped, drank two more bottles and refilled 'em. my avg faded a bit over the next 10 miles but I pushed hard. at 50 mi. the rollers from hell start and go for about 7 miles right to my driveway. i cramped a little on the first climb, and basically consumed the rest of what i had, save for some water. the next big hill bit the other leg and I was force to spin some. (small ring!) I recovered in apex and finished with a 20 mph avg., but very dehydrated. my scale showed a loss of about 8lbs! only cramps this summer and only weight loss like that. took two days but I got it back. I also knew what I was going to do on the 4th...run 4 bottles.
full moon rising: started by Byron, the full moon lake loop is a great way to get your perm on in the summer! ride it overnite by lunar light, baby! myself, byron, jerry, bryan, john o, mary and tom, martin, and brother rob showed up for this one on june 26. we rode a nice opening pace to make a store or two before a long stretch would ensue without supplies. i decided in advance a hydration pack was in order- it could be 50-60 miles between open stores and even tho dark, it would be warm...
jerry flatted and we waited, i fixed a wire, folks communed with nature, and back to pedaling we went. tom and I fought for the polka dots on the opening climbs and we stocked up and left gallons of water for the return behind the store in oxford. logistics..
the following miles were nothing short of wonderful! the moon rose like a fireball as we rolled along. i dropped back to try a pic and marveled at the sea of blinkies ahead. intense. as the moon peeked above the trees, we descended to a small lake and the bridge was lined with the lumieres of fishermen. pleasantries exchanged between us and them and the whir of derailleurs and boom boxes. very cool memory. a long grind ensues off the pond and we regrouped at the end of road before rolling on. a little store i'd never stopped at before was open late and all grabbed a drink real quick. the hope for cooler air later in the eve by the lake just wasn't happening. the humidity climbed and glasses fogged. on the dam, everyone was drenched. the flags were flying high and after the pic we're off again. the group broke in two within a few miles again and remained so for a while. boydton was the first of the post card controls: we dropped post cards addressed to byron at a few mailboxes along the way since stores were not open overnite..
once again, it was survive the steep little rollers to skipwith just to feed coins to the soda machines. post cards across the street. lets go to clarkesville! the big store there is 24 hrs and we took a load off and refueled. the grill was even open! another post card downtown and journey to stovall to drop another card, climb the mountain (hill), and head to oxford. bryan and I caught up with jerry, byron and john here. we filled from our stash, gathered our wits, and headed off for the final 25. it was a smooth run and jerry and I deulled the last climb at an insane 18mph! did I mention he was single speeding and rode his 100k route 24hrs earlier sat morning?! amazing and inspiring that Jerry...we finished up the last 3-4 miles at the same tempo, john o on our wheel now too. back at the firehouse we turned in our cards to byron and said farewell still in the dark. it was just before 5. had a donut at sunrise on the way home.
not only does a route seem completely different, it keeps your night riding chops in shape too...give it a try sometime!