Monday, May 7, 2012

Morrisville 400K Pre-Ride Report

That's a Super Moon all right.
Pre-riding a brevet can be a lot of fun. It feels a lot more like a permanent than the day-of event. The pressure’s off, and finish time is a secondary concern. You’re simply out on the course with a few riding buddies, scouting for new potholes and problem dogs. Pre-rides are intended to round up a few volunteers for game day. For the pre-riders, randonneuring becomes a spectator sport. You get to man a control or help out along the course and chat up your riding pals as they stream through. It’s good work if you can get it.

Mick, Jerry, Bob and myself warmed up the Morrisville 400K route for this Saturday's ride. Fearless Leader Al was supposed to make five, but he’d contracted poison ivy during the week and had to bail. Let me once again remind all randonneurs that yard work is is best left to professionals and spouses.

Our forecast called for heavy showers and thunderstorms. Jerry showed up without fenders. A soaking seemed inevitable and I accused him at the start of being a hopeless optimist. Turned out he was right. The showers stayed to the east of us. We passed over roads that had been recently rained on but we remained dry the entire time. The temperatures were pleasant all day. It was a fine day on the bikes, and a fine night, too, with a Super Moon briefly on display before it ducked under cover of cloud.

One delightful surprise along the route was a bluegrass session just outside Coleridge. We stopped in for 20 minutes for sweet tunes and sweet tea. Here's a picture Jerry snapped of the stage.

The pre-ride turned up a few little surprises. First, there is shoulder work going on along Flint Hill Road, and there was a lot of debris on the road, including in some of the sharp downhill curves. Exercise caution through there. Secondly, the convenience store in Uwharrie at the top of River Road is closed, so don’t count on it for a soda. Also, I believe that Andrews Store at 15/501 closes at 11 p.m. That means you will not be able to get water for the last 50 miles of the course, from Snow Camp to the finish. Plan accordingly.

Those who will be riding this coming weekend could be in luck – the weather forecast looks perfect. We volunteers will be looking forward to a little spectating.


skiffrun said...

That "bluegrass session" might be a weekly thing as the medium-slow and slower riders were treated to a similar sight and sounds last year.

"I keep remembering little moments I didn't mention in the blog. For example, just this side of Coleridge, we went past someone having a "bluegrass festival" on their front porch. 'The fast guys and gals didn't see that.'"

Maybe some will be lucky again this coming weekend.


Jerry Phelps said...

We were told that the Brady's have music there the last Saturday evening of every month from April through September. This event was a special occasion--a bridal shower.