Saturday, May 26, 2007

May 26th ride Cope Whimps out or the creation of the Wilted Roses riders

Saturday May 26th bike ride.

Coming and going.

Those in attendance
John Majikes and his brother Matt.
Kevin and Theresa Smit
Steve and Carolyn Sparano
Jae Brainard
Steve Cope
Sarah Powell.

John quickly introduced his brother to all riders. Matt was stopping with his family to visit John on their way to Disney World. Matt is training for a fund raising ride to help fight diabetes. Matt’s young son, Daniel, has type 1 diabetes, and has had to use and insulin pump since he was two years old to help regulate his blood sugar. Both John and Matt will be riding the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International) Ride to Cure Diabetes. The ride is on June 23 and is a 100 mile ride.
Please contact John at
and pledge any amount to help the cause.

Matt brought his bike and wanted to ride with this motley band of cyclists to see if what John was telling him had any truth at all.

Each of the ride members provided lots of condolences to Matt for having to grow up with John as a brother. Matt was quickly beginning to understand that this group was fun loving and treated each member with equal disrespect. This seemed to generate a large smile on Matt’s face. A group of riders that do not take themselves serious is hard to find. With that said we all wanted to know where the heavy hitters were today.
Where was coach ?
Where was Brian Farkas ?
Where was Ernest Davis ?
Where was David Bridenbaugh ?
Where was everyone else ????????
Time to join the fun.

The answers are as follows.
Coach was in Wilmington moving his daughter from one college housing situation to another.
Brian was recovering from his brutal attacks from last weekends ride. He rides till he pukes and then licks his wounds until fully recovered for his next session of attacks on the pack of riders. ( Truth is he was visiting his mother who was recovering from a hip replacement operation).

Ernest was in the mountains of Virginia mountain biking and supporting his wife Amy while she did the century (100 miles) at Mountains of Misery on the roads near Blacksburg Virginia.

Ernest provided a write up of his mountain biking adventure and the ride route. I will include that as a supplemental ride write up.

David Bridenbaugh shows up only when he gets board hammering the peddles by himself and is need of good comedy relief. David is a hard charging bicyclist that needs to use our standard rides as a rest day.
Clearly this weekend did not fit into his Herculean riding regiment.

Everyone else ?

For the group that was there they each got ready to ride as we discussed who was riding with who, how far, and what route. The smell the Roses and the Testosterone (soon to be renamed the wilted roses) groups both elected to ride the 33 mile route. They however elected to ride in opposite directions. Smell the roses would take the counter clock wise approach and the (newly named) wilted roses would ride in a clock wise path. The clock wise path would put the hills closer to the fist half of the ride. Off the two groups rode. The spit in direction occurred in the first ½ mile. The roses took the normal turn into the Preston neighborhood, the wilted roses stayed straight on high house across Davis and left after the bridge. We have not ventured onto this road for most of the year due to construction. This area is now wide and smooth and again a favorite for bikers. The Wilted Roses (formerly known as the testosterone group) rode a smooth pace early to try and warm up for the early arrival of hills. Matt seemed to enjoy the camaraderie and silly combative chit chat. John was clearly proud to have his brother in attendance as a member of the ride group. We learned that Matt’s longest ride to date this year was 21 or 24 miles. This was going to be his longest training ride of the season. Our mission was to subject him to head winds, hills, high speeds, silly antics, and verbal abuse. The greatest gift we could bestow on a new team member. Matt sensed that this was all about to unfold and that seemed to spur him on to feed it back and respond to all challenges. We worked well together as a pack. The fat man along with Steve Sparano, and Steve Cope did a great deal of pulling from the front. Kevin was still recovering from his Tuesday and Thursday rides with Spin Cycle. He had two strong performances on these days, and was bragging to all about how well he rode. This was also his level setting speech to let everyone know he was not at the top of his form due to these back to back stellar performances.

The reverse route was interesting and challenging. Amazing how a simple change in direction can re-ignite the joy of the route, and throw new challenges at the rider. Having the hills early in the ride forced a slower warm-up and an early thigh burning experience, yet allowing for a longer cool down with the pack staying more closely aligned towards the end. The two groups riding in opposite directions meet on Martha Chapel Road.
The Smell the Roses group was all smiles and had a solid draft line established. The wilted Roses where all scattered about with little form or function, they were in total chaos at that time in the ride.
This was partly due to the constant bantering, and short feeble attacks from Steve Cope. It was on this stretch that the pack was passed by a lone rider on a recumbent bicycle. What is more amazing is that we had plenty of warning that we where being overtaken as Kevin announced early on by spying this individual through the use of Kevin’s mirror. Everyone in the pack watched as Steve Cope slowly moved towards the front of the pack to position himself for the pounce on this lone rider. The pace quickened as Steve began to crouch for the attack.
The packs banter became a hushed whir of wind and rear cluster.
All eyes were on Steve Cope as each team member readied for the anticipated chase and a coordinated effort to dominate this lone rider.
Closer the lone ride approached. The pack breathed and peddled as if transformed into a single living organism. Hear he comes Kevin whispered to all. Steve Stood on the Peddles, leaned forward. The sound of subtle gear shifting could be detected under the rhythmic breathing of this newly formed organism as it anticipated its next move.
The lone rider swung wide as he raced past the group. His missionary position on the bike startled even the most seasoned rider in the pack.
This recumbent had the rider riding with legs higher than head. The high cadence of the riders peddling technique had the bike swaying back and forth and bouncing up and down.
All eyes were on Cope.

Slowly Steve lowered himself down onto the seat and sat up straight.
The pack slowed in total surprise to this unanticipated response from Cope.
30 seconds of silence became a minute and then two.
“If Brian was here he would have attacked” announced Cope.

What went threw each members mind is as follows;

You are right Brian would have attacked.
But Cope would also.
But Cope did not attack.
Why didn’t Cope attack?
Does he need Brain to attack?
Was the rider on the recumbent too low to the ground for Steve to swat at and do dental damage as a form of intimidation?

We can only wonder what Steve Cope was thinking.
Steve broke the silence and everyone’s mental debate with the following comment.
“Aren’t you Proud of me for not attacking?”

This was clearly his method of putting spin on the fact that he whimped out and could not even consider an attack without Brian to set the stage for him.

Kevin used diplomacy and found a way to help Steve live with the fact that he WHIMPED out.
Kevin announced.
“Very mature of you Steve”.
That is all Steve needed to feel safe to not have attacked. Steve continued to share with each rider in the pack how his maturity came into play that day.

On this ride we learned about how Steve Cope blew the engine on his pick up truck trying to show off to some young college girls on his way to a fishing trip. How Red Neck! We also learned that Steve can not get it up with out Brian there to set the stage for the attack.
We learned that Matt has never ridden so hard for so long on so many hills, and with so many a## holes.
We learned that Kevin likes to wine. Not news.
We learned that John still claims to have a new Mercedes sports car – that we have not yet seen.
We learned that Steve Sparano Can ride just as hard as he does any given day even having jet lag from his vacation to Italy and having consumed 3 bottles of wine the night before.

The smell the roses riders completed their 33 mile ride at record pace.
The group finished strong and entered to final destination only 15 to 20 minutes behind the Wilted Roses riders. Each of the riders in the Smell the Roses ride said they enjoyed the ride , that they felt strong, That Jae set the Pace early on and drove the pack hard with her strong preformance. This was attributed to her new hair cut that streamlined her and helped her to keep cool during her gruling pace setting pulls. Towards the end Carolyn and Sarah pulled the others along in response to the finish line. They acted like Cope, Coach, and Brain Farkas do as they begin to smell the finish line. Each member of the Smell the Roses group were very proud of their accomplishment and each said it is getting easier and even more fun than the last ride.

The group all assembled to visit, share stories about the ride, eat bagels, and drink coffee, or other drink.
Matt ordered Pizza and shared with the group.

A great ride with Great People on a Great day.
Don’t miss out on the fun and friendship any longer.
The season is in full swing.

Friday, May 25, 2007

May 19th and 20th 2007 ride write-ups

May 19th Bike Ride.
Attended by the most consistent riders of the season.
Theresa Smit and Sarah Powell.
These two riders headed out on the regular 24 mile route. They rode smooth and steady the entire way. They elected to climb UpChuck just for the challenge.
At the end of the ride they had completed the route at an average of 13 mph and were able to chat the entire way. A Successful ride.

May 20th Sunday ride.
This morning ride was attended by the following in order of appearance.
Kevin and Theresa Smit.
John Majikes. His first ride this season with the group, however he had been seen riding weeknights with the group out of Cycling Spoken Here.
Jae Brainard
Steve Cope and Brian Farcas in the Yellow Thing both gentlemen unshaven for days.
They claimed they had been out in the mountains training for a month just to get ready for this ride. The intimidation techniques had begun.
David Bridenbaugh arriving on his bike. This was also his first ride with the group this season, however he also has been out hammering the peddles on some individual rides.
Sara Powell.
And Finally Coach Dotson. Coach is also one who has been doing many training rides on his own or with other groups.

Everyone took time to shake hands and reintroduce him or herself. We had not seen Brian for almost a year. He had not ridden since then. This became very obvious when he pulled his bike off the back of the Thing. Dust flew everywhere. When he spun his tires to see if they were true you could hear the spokes pinging. Brian then did a quick check to see if he could find the loose spoke. As he squeezed each pair it was clear that almost all the spokes needed attention. Brian was wondering what to do to fix this problem. No one had a spoke wrench on them. Kevin suggested that from the looks of how loose the spokes were Brian could tighten them by hand. This is exactly what he did, and it made a difference. We all got a good laugh out of this new bike mechanic technique.
Tires pumped, helmets on, computers reset, feet clipped in the group headed out of the parking lot. Slow and steady as we all headed into the Preston neighborhood. The two groups split on the last hill out of that neighborhood. The Testosterone group jumped across Davis drive as the Smell the Roses group stopped for the light. Kevin and Steve Cope pulled the entire stretch from this point on past Green Hope, on to and along Fire Station Church road, and on towards UpChuck hill. The others in the pack road in the mighty draft created by Kevin. Steve Cope is too small to draft behind so everyone in the back kept shifting and changing positions to gain the advantage of drafting behind the fat man. As you may recall last year Steve Cope described the draft that Kevin produces as if you were sitting in the eye of a hurricane. No wind at all, calm and peaceful.
As UpChuck approached we all looked to see if anyone was going to challenge John who loves to race down the hill in preparation for the climb. The group scattered, each coasting and dodging the various pot holes that have been generated by all the heavy construction equipment. As the hill approached the group discovered that all riders were now clumped together. To everyone’s surprise there was not clear attacker. We all were in the hunt for the summit of UpChuck. Brian looked to his right and almost fell of his bike from surprise and his nervous laughter. He was neck and neck with the fat man and we were working our way through the crowd towards the summit. This was a total shock for Brain and the others. Remember Kevin has been riding with the Smell the Roses group for several weeks. The pack did a good job of reaching the summit without being splintered much at all. Right turn at the top of the hill had coach and Steve Cope in the lead. Kevin and John Majikes were pulling the others along and closing the gap on coach and Cope. With in a ¼ of a mile coach and Steve dropped into the peleton and once again coasted in the eye of the hurricane. As we reached the left turn at Mount Pisgah Church Road the leaders slowed to make the turn. Coach swung into the lead and rounded the turn. He then quickly announced that someone else could take the pull for awhile since he had just taken his turn. The hills on this stretch of road come one after the other and is a great place to test your attacking skills. This began even before the first climb. The pace quickened with David Bridenbaugh, Steve Cope, Brian, and Coach all responding to the surge. Kevin and John road at a steady pace with each hills crest taking it toll on heart and lungs. The lead group stopped at the intersection of 751 and Mount Pisgah long enough to yell clear and zoom into their left hand turn. Kevin and John made a valiant attempt to get back into the pack. They hung on with Kevin staying tucked in the pack and John slowly giving way to the steady climb up 751 to the left turn on Martha Chapel. The pack coasted allowing all members to regroup. The road had been recently paved and was so smooth we could feel the smooth surface in our handlebars. Kevin and Coach took the lead position and began the long pull all the way to lake Jordan. At one point a pack of motorcycles raced pass, with every one challenging those pulling in front to jump behind one of the motorcycles and draft them. Once to the intersection at lake Jordan the group was challenged to make a decision. Do we do our normal 32 mile ride or add extra miles by turning right and heading for Lystra. On right the pack announced. No extra miles today. Kevin again lead the pack along this road towards Horton Pond. We road single file as this can be one of the busier roads. Left turn onto Horton Pond.
Several riders took turns on this stretch pulling in the lead. Kevin and Steve Cope and Coach all taking turns. Right turn onto 751 from Horton Pond, Left turn onto Luther.
Now the dynamics of the ride changes. This is were those riding in the eye of the hurricane began their push toward the end of the ride. We still had 10 to 12 miles to go and now the hard chargers were taking control of the pace. David Bridenbaugh (the locamotive) put his chain into the larger rings and began his heads down attack. Cope, Brian, and Coach all responded by falling in line behind. Kevin and John waved goodbye to the group. The stretch on Luther has one great down hill and then a long steady climb usually into a head wind until the turn at Green Level. The group waited long enough to see that John and Kevin were still on their bikes and ready to make the right turn onto Green Level. Kevin told the group in the lead to make the turn on Wimberly. John and Kevin did a good job of keeping the group insight. As we approached the turn at Wimberly the lead pack zoomed on past. Kevin and John shouted to get their attention as the two of them made the right turn onto Wimberly. The pack pulled and immediate U turn and quickly swallowed up John and Kevin. Down the hill the pack motored hitting 30+ miles per hour. From the bottom of this hill it is a long mile or mile and a half climb to the turn at Jenks. This is were the Testosterone began to fly.
Brian and Cope had been watching closely to see if David was still ready to attack the hills. David began his charge up the hill. Coach was slowly losing ground on him. Steve and Brian urged Coach to attack as they road up side by side to his handlebars. Like shot from a cannon those two exploded up the hill catching coach off guard and reeling in David. This was the last time that John and Kevin saw any of the group ahead.
Kevin and John continued to ride a steady 17 to 19 miles per hour and still no sign of the lead group. We can only imagine that some where in there battle Steve Cope swatted at one or all of the riders, That David Bridenbaugh likely broke a chain from his powerful peddling stroke, and Coach attacked non stop for fear someone’s tire might get ahead of his. Later Coach was questioning how it is that Steve and Brian could accelerate so quick.
As stated earlier.

The smell the roses riders stayed true to their mission.
They chatted non stop.
They by passed upchuck hill.
They rode steady completing the 25 miles at a 13.2 mph pace.
Sarah attacked all hills. She also increased her rpms into the low 100’s.
Jae rode as strong as always
Theresa leveraged gravity on the down hills, only to suffer gravity’s pull on the up hills.
Great ride something for everyone.