Monday, October 20, 2008
The Showdown @ Black Creek 200k
The days trip to Black Creek, NC began in north Raleigh where many of the usual suspect gathered. When I arrived on the scene, Mike D. and Dean were already unloaded and were doing a final check of gear. A short while later, Jerry arrived with the coffee and Branson brought the chocolate au pain (I think). This was a perfect start to a great day in the saddle.
The only concern was the weatherman's accuracy. The rain pelted the area most of the night. The day would prove to be cold and breezy; a few scattered sprinkles. Nothing for Randonneurs to fret.
The other riders arrived, Byron had a pastry and we were off. The ride started and ended with 10 miles of rollers. I felt last weeks run on every single incline. I dropped off the back early and rode most of the day with Dean. We wouldn't see the other riders until we were outside of Black Creek.
Stories of the desolation in Black Creek were way off. On Saturday, there was a festival on Main. People were everywhere with their hot rods and tractors. Some wore costumes (very tall cowboy). A country & western band performed in the town's gazebo. Dean and I didn't waste any time. We got our cards signed and were off.
We found le peleton finishing a biscuit or two at Bojangles and rode to the next control together -- mostly. A quick regroup and a snack and we were off. This theme continued for the next 40 miles. Riding - regroup. The group was splintered by strong pulling in the wind! I fell off on a long uphill and rode solo for a while. I looked at my clock when I hit the century mark and was motivated. I was making great time and riding strong. Until I wasn't.
New theme: "I feel strong...until I'm not." This makes me chuckle because when the energy runs out, it takes a while to figure out exactly what happened and a while longer to do something about it. It is a feeling of helplessness.
The next regroup was at the Sheetz 10 miles from the finish. The lead group was sitting in the outside cafe seating sipping lattes. Perfect, I gulped down a cup of coffee while we awaited the other riders.
Like I mentioned in the begining, the last 10 miles of this ride roll right up to the finish. I found myself riding alone for the last few miles of the day. I would also finished with the...ahemmm, distinguished honor of Lantern Rouge.
Moving time: 8:26
Stopped time: 1:18