On Saturday, I rode the Kerr Lake Permanent 200K. The ride begins outside of Raleigh, NC near Falls Lake and wanders through North Carolina, around Kerr Lake in Virginia and back. I completed the ride without getting lost or missing any turns! This is a first. Well, this is only true if you don't count the drive to the starting point. I began the ride 1 1/2 hours late! (This will prove to be a problem later.)
All week the weather reports looked grim for the ride. Rain and thunder showers. Yuck. I prepared by putting on the fenders and taking the rain coat. I began the ride heading north and reached the first check point without incident. No sign of rain at this point. The temperature was already heading north along with me. I continued the journey and in no time was at Kerr Lake dodging boaters.
There was actually a bass fishing tournament at Kerr Lake. This was very evident by the fishermen on boats wearing NASCAR pit crew chief style fishing shirts laden with sponsors.
After crossing the dam, it dawned on me that I was in Virginia. It became even more evident when I crossed Hwy 58. This is the road that takes us back into Hampton Roads. This is where the depression began to set in a little. The ride to the next control seemed to take hours (maybe it did). Everything was better when I reached the half way point. A huge weight was lifted. There are two information controls on this route. The first requires you to find a statue and record the inscription and the other asks for the post office numbers (not the zip code). The latter is pretty much the half way point.
The good spirits continued as I wandered through the tobacco rows. When I hit the 80 mile mark, all pain seemed to disappear. Maybe I was going down hill with tail winds. Highly unlikely. During the ride up to this point I had been nursing some DOMS from Thrusday's workout combined with ordinary riding pain. When the pain left, I was able to finally have fun on the bike. The pace picked up. Good times.
I reached the last check point, which is also the first check point. I was HOT and it was time to cool off. I couldn't really waste any time because some clouds were forming in the west. I saddled up and headed south with the same vigor I had for the previous 25 miles. The clouds got darker and soon they began spitting on me. So much for a dry day.
The skies opened with 12 miles left. For a while I continued the pace hoping to finish as quickly as possible. When I reached 10 miles or so, i hit a wall or maybe a hill. Needless to say, my pace slowed considerably. Nothing I could do to get going. Now that I think about it, another Hammer Gel would have been a good remedy. Too bad I used them all. Note to self: take 1 or 2 more than I think I need.
About 1 mile to the finish and the sun came back out. Just in time for me to load up the bike and get out of wet clothing.
This is a nice route. No major climbs. Few dogs; the dogs that are loose only attack when you are tired and one of them was a beagle! There are plenty of gas stations and little country stores along the route. I would recommend that you twist someone's arm to tag along for company as 8 - 10 hrs alone can get long.
Ride time: 9.5
Total time: 10.5
Why Do You Ride
5 years ago