Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Saturday June 24th MTB bike ride start from Kevin and Theresa's house with 2 groups doing different routes and distances.
We were joined by Larry and Kati Wu, and Steve Sparano. Great not to deal with traffic. The group quickly jumped onto the Black Creek Trail that runs from Dynasty to Old Ready Creek Road. On this greenway we paused to admire the new water fountain and associated Plaque that is has been installed there in honor of Kassel Smit. After leaving the water fountain the bikers formed two groups, and rode from the Black Greek Green way onto Old Ready Creek Road, over the interstate and into Umstead park.
Kevin, Larry, and Steve rode the outer loop of Umstead in a counter clock wise direction. Route consisted of 19 miles and a few small chain ring climbs. Theresa and Kati rode the same route with a u-turn at the entrance of Umstead located at the corner of Trenton and Ready Creak. Their distance was about 15 miles, no granny gear climbs. The Humidity was Ugly, the Temp was high, the shade was great, the breeze only when moving. Kevin planned for this by bringing his largest Camel Back water supply. By the end of the ride he had finished it off. Larry spent the majority of his time defending himself from Horse Flies. One was able to latch on and gnaw on him while biking at 17 mph. Larry could not stop at all due to these dive bombing horse fly's. Steve and Kevin had no issues with the fly's. Hmmmm - what does this suggest about Larry.
Maybe he is full of IT. Parts of the trail were rutted due to the heavy rains lately. We needed to keep a close eye on each tight turn and downhill run. The ruts that proved to be the most challenging were on the uphill climbs. Larry caught a tire in one rut on our steepest climb. This did not phase him at all, with a surge of strength Larry spun the cranks so fast that his rear tire almost jumped off the rim. Sand flew in all directions as if he was trying to chip a golf ball out of the bunker. The bike lurched forward and hopped out of the rut only to dig a new one as Larry powered his way up the hill. Steve and I have decided to enter Larry and his bike in the State Fair's Tractor Pulling contest. We figure he will bring home the trophy. This group met the others as we were exiting Umstead and heading for Black Creek Greenway. The Ladies had had a very pleasant ride, no fly's, no ruts. All smiles and still carrying on full conversations solving world issues, and discussing the steps to reduce stress, as if they had just met for the first time in several years. If anyone can invent a device that could harness the energy of chit chat they would be millionaires.
In all a great ride for everyone.
No ride this Saturday.
Next MTB Saturday ride will be July 8th. Send me an email if interested and If 10am or 2 pm is best for you.
As we get better at MTB we will venture into single track routes.

Sunday June 25th Road Bike ride.
Early arrival and departure for the "smell the roses" group. This group is working on a new name and are kicking around the idea of naming themselves " team adventure". If you study this name closely you will discover that acronym of T&A. The group included Theresa, Beth, Jae, and a first timer for the group Carolyn Sparano ( aka just days off from knee surgery ). This group assembled between 7 am with a start time of 7:30am. They rode the 20 mile loop and enjoyed each others company. First timer - just off knee surgery - led the pack pulling from the front. This just might be a spark of the competitive sprit. Problem is the group will not respond, conversation is far more important than competition. We expect to see Carolyn joining the testosterone group soon. They did encounter the Sink Hole with Beth Gonzalez almost sliding into the hole. She was wearing cleats for the first time and had difficulty getting her foot out and stopped before going over the edge. Theresa took pictures of the sink hole. Those are attached to this email.

The other group started to assemble some at 7am with most arriving between 7:20 and 7:40am. Kevin and Steve Sparano both rode to the start giving them an extra 5 miles. They also rode home that 5 miles once the ride was over. The group this morning consisted of the following individuals:
Steve Cope, Kevin Smit, Steve Sparano, Norris Townsend,
3 new members to this group
friend of Norris's -Mark (last name escapes me - sorry Mark),
Andy Hartsfield - Friend of Beth and Kati and Larry Wu, and Aileen - she was told about the ride by Coach Dotson. After brief introductions and a warning about a possible road detour due to a sink hole on Green level the group was off. The pace was slowed from the start for several reasons. Wanted to make sure all in the group were comfortable and we were not pushing to hard for anyone. Also Kevin was feeling it from yesterdays ride but would not admit that it was the major reason for slowing the pace.

Everyone visited with each other, the riders formed two draft lines that shifted and regrouped and reorganized often. Each rider did a great job of watching for and warning the pack about obstacles.

Kevin had to stop at least 2 times on the route to deal with his cell phone. The cell phone would get bumped enough in the pouch of his jersey that it started to dial contacts in his contact list. Kevin apologizes if you received a call that sounded muffled as if he was talking with a cloth over the phone. We did not add on any of the extra loops and kept the route to the original 28 miles. The pack was well behaved, no one jumped to make a break-away.
At the end the groups both decided that an earlier start might be best for all. Especially as we add more miles to the routes.

So if the majority wants we can start both groups at 7:30am with a 7 - 7:20 assembly time.
Email me back and let me know your vote. AND Remember that next ride that is led will be Sunday July 9th. Invite a Friend.

July 8 - 9 Ride Recaps

Saturday July 8th MTB bike ride into Umstead.
Left later than planed. We left the house early afternoon and rode the outer loop with the additional out and back to the ranger station. Total mileage was 20. Those on the ride included Kevin, Theresa, Steve Sparano, Carolyn Sparano, and Mike Huckabee. Mike and Kevin set the pace early in the ride. The extra out and back they did allowed the others to pass them on the trail.

Kevin got a call from Steve Sparano who was with the others and wanted to know were Mike and Kevin where. We informed them we right behind them and ready to catch them on the ugly climes that lay ahead. At the time Kevin was already struggling with his disk brakes. The hydraulic fluid had bubbles in the line causing his rear brake to stay engaged. Kevin would stop periodically to wiggle the disk brake in an attempt to push the calipers back into position so his rear tire would spin. This only lasted temporarily as each time he used the brake it would seize up and stay engaged. Kevin tried to ride the rest of the route without using his rear brake. This still did not solve the problem. Kevin got a real work out and his rear disk brake grew tighter as the ride continued. By the end of the ride Kevin's rear wheel locked up solid and would not roll with him walking the bike. If he rode the bike there was enough weight and force to roll the wheel with great effort on the peddles.

Sunday July 9th Ride.
Early assemble and start for everyone. Those on the ride included Kevin, Theresa, Steve Sparano, Mike Huchabee, Steve Cope, Coach Dotson (back from a cruise), Eileen Campbell Fike, Andy and his wife Barb (?) (This was her first time with the group), and Jae.

Kevin, Steve S, and Mike rode to the start giving them a 5 mile warm-up, and 5 mile cool down at the end. The group arrived early enough to have bagels and coffee and discuss the idea of adding additional miles to each groups ride. The smell the roses group was to add an additional 8 miles giving them a total of 28 miles. The others planed an additional 8 miles as well giving them 36 miles. The riders were all off together and stayed together much longer than any other time. The groups did not splinter until UP CHUCK HILL. This is were the two groups parted ways with one group turning towards 751 and the smell the roses group kept on straight. The smell the roses group not only added additional miles they also clearly were riding at a much stronger pace.

I am attaching the two routes for you to see were we went. I did not map out the extra miles coach did.

Smell the roses route

Others except coach who missed every turn.

Coach was pulling hard at the front of the draft line. He pulled so hard that he became a one biker break away. This lasted only until he missed a turn and had to double back to find the pack. On the first missed turn Steve Cope volunteered to chase coach down to let him know he had blown past the turn. Thank goodness coach actually took time to look back to see the lone figure of Steve working as hard as he could to close the gap. The truth is if coach would not have looked back he would have made it all the way to Highway 64 because Steve Cope had no chance of catching coach. Coach was trying a new training technique. In cycling there are big gear pusher, and there are spinners. Coach has been an excellent spinner. Spinners utilize the heart and lungs to do much of the work. Coach decided he needed to build bulk SO> He did the entire ride in his larger chain ring. This meant he had to stand up on the hills and grind it out on each climb. This did not slow him down, and in fact he was like a race horse in the starting gate the entire ride. Again once he and Steve Cope recognized the last stages of the ride they exploded for the finish line. The entire pack rode at a strong clip the entire day. We averaged just over 15 mph. Several folks took turns at the lead pulling for others. We did not drop anyone and never intend to. It is not about speed it is about safety and fun, (then speed). At one point on the ride Eileen was smelling the roses so much that she ran off the rode and into the weeds. Her biking skills allowed her to continue to stay upright and bring the bike back onto the rode. At the next opportunity to stop she then cleaned the shrubbery out of her rear derailleur. Once at the end we again shared stories about the ride, and said our goodbyes until next week. We were approached by another biker who was enjoying a bagel and coffee and asked if she could join us.
We Welcome her to join us this next week end.

Her name is Beverly Allen. Please make sure you introduce yourself to her if you see a new face in the crowd Sunday.

Next rides are
- Saturday July 15th MTB start at 10 am from the Smits house.
- Sunday ride July 16th: Early assemble between 7 am and 7:30am with the riders off at 7:30. Assemble at Corner of High house and Cary Parkway in the Bruegger Bagel parking lot.