Friday, March 1, 2013

Carthage Coffee Run 200K

I rode the CCR 200K yesterday, in central North Carolina.

Cold:   It was 35F/2C at the start, and was predicted to reach 55F/13C.  It never made it.  In fact, it got colder in the morning.  Not bad if you dress for it, but alas, I didn't.  What was I thinking?

A few miles from the start, crossing over Jordan Lake, I was daydreaming about swimming there in the summer.  Shortly thereafter, I got hit with a gust of frigid arctic crosswind.  Instant core chilling wind.  Luckily I didn't have to stop for the next hour.

Wind:  Amazingly, I never fought significant headwinds.  Lots of gusty crosswinds.  And some gusty tailwinds.  Little help, but psychologically wonderful.

Mystery quiz photo:  Click the photo to enlarge.  What is it?  Answer is in the photo album.

Detours:  Sanford was a busy place yesterday...

A construction crew was tearing up the pavement on Charlotte St to work on pipes or cables or something.  Flagmen at each end of the project had reversible stop and go signs.  It took the first flagman a few seconds to realize that I wanted to ride through, but then he dutifully called on his radio to his partner, then flipped his sign to go.  I felt like royalty.

Next, I discovered the CSX railroad crossing in Sanford is being refurbished.  All the pavement was gone, and the crossties looked like they had all been replaced.  I detoured one city block away to the next crossing, then one block back.  The scene was deserted in the morning, but on my return I got to watch track maintenance rigs at work.  Foamer.

Speaking of foamers, when I detoured one block away, I took a photo of the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroad 'diamond' in Sanford.  That's railroad lingo for the intricate trackwork where two railroad lines cross each other at grade.  See wikipedia.  

Economy:  The economy may finally be improving.  I spotted 'life' in several dormant housing construction projects south and west of Sanford.  Love to see monster homes on tiny lots sprout in the countryside.

Dogs:  None.  Zip.  Nada.  I heard about eight dogs bark at me, but none chased me on the road.  Must have been too cold.

Traffic:  Extremely light.  On Lower Moncure Rd between Moncure and Sanford, I saw or heard more airplanes at the adjacent little airport and in the sky than I did cars.  Most of the day was long stretches of Zen Cycling.  and Zen Ascents.

Auto-peletons:  I hate packs of cars with no space between them...

My first near-miss was on Old US 1 when a pack passed me from behind into oncoming traffic.  The lead car passed safely, but the followers could not see the oncoming traffic until too late.  Lots of horns, scattering, and dirt flying.  Uff da.

Then on my return, on NC 751, the leader of a pack passed me with his right turn signal flashing.  I saw him coming in my mirror, so I slowed before the right hook.  As expected, he jammed on his brakes to turn right.  That left me alongside his lemmings, who all jammed on their brakes and skidded and swerved left and right, stopping awfully close to me.  Stupid tailgaters.

ATT:  I rode the American Tobacco Trail on my return trip.  The section in Durham County from Chatham County to Massey Chapel Rd is now paved.  No more slimy clay mud pits.  Yay.

The entire trail was almost deserted.  In 13mi/21km, I passed only two horses, two wheelchair riders, two cyclists, and maybe a dozen runners.  Empty.  Totally bucolic.

Photos:  Click here to see my photo album.

Conclusion:  Another great day on the bike.


skiffrun said...

First: I'm confused: two R-rides in February?

Second: Okay, foamer, ever been to Rochelle, IL? I have; perhaps even to participate in a high school athletic competition -- memory unclear and Rochelle would not have been a usual opponent for my high school. I've been through Rochelle many times, but never knew that there was a Railroad Park there.


skiffrun said...

I forgot:

"Zero-eth": such a long post by sag-standards!

sag said...

Ha, on all three counts.

0. Agreed. It's pretty bad when I got bored halfway through proofreading.

1. Yes. Two Rs in one month. Overachieving?

2. Wow, the Rochelle railroad park looks great. Putting it on my list.

skiffrun said...

"Yes. Two Rs in one month."

Next thing we know, you'll be doing two R's in April: Alan's 200 followed by Alan's 300.
Will March make R-48?