Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weekend Ride: Saturday, December 20

Riders In Attendance:
Roses: Jae Brainard, Tracy Clanton, Carolyn Sparano
Thorns: Ron Clanton, Steve Sparano

Route: Jae's Ride, or the Cisco Ride
Distance: 125 miles (when you add up the group's cumulative mileage, in other words, 5 riders X 25 miles each). ; )

The Sparano's arrived at Bruegger's parking lot around 8:20 to find the Clanton's getting ready alongside Jae. The day was a balmy 50 with a decent fog but no wind.

The Sparanos, thinking they were running a little late due to the prior night's corporate parties, asked when everyone else had arrived and found the others had just pulled in. The Sparano's were late partly due to the aforementioned partying, but also due to the extra time needed to get Carolyn's bike from the Smit's house. Kevin had recently replaced a broken front derailleur cable and adjusted the gears on the bike the were so graciously letting Carolyn ride. Steve had to get the bike from the Smit's garage since they were busy playing Sherpa for Steve Cope on his ride across the USA. See Steve Cope's blog at However, despite plans that would have made it easy to obtain access to the bike, Steve had to resort to a minor act of breaking and entering in order to enter the Smit residence and get the bike. Kevin and Theresa will have to call to get the details on that portion of the adventure.

Note to Blog Reader: Please note that this is the first incident of the day where Kevin, from 1,500 miles away, was sabotaging the day's ride. More on that in a bit...

Ok, so the group left the parking lot with the plan for Jae to lead the group and take us out to the RTP area rather than out west to the Jordan Lake area. Everyone agreed it sounded like a great idea for a couple of reasons: first, it was a new route, second, it has very little traffic, and lastly, no one else had any better ideas. Pretty much par for the course for this group.

As we were finishing up deciding on what layers to wear, a new fellow named Tim rolled up and asked to join in. Due the already excessive number of "Tims" in the group, we almost banned him on the spot, but after some executive consultation among the leadership team, we accepted him into the group. We quickly briefed New Tim on the ride essentials of no drop, pace of about 15 mph, distance of 30 miles, lots of banter and New Tim still wanted to ride with us. New Tim noted that any ride was better than sitting on his butt all day so we took that as a compliment, and we were off.

We headed out through Preston and out Carpenter Upchurch (Ron's pull) and Tracy and Ron (on the tandem) did not disappoint. Tracy and Ron (now called Tron since it's easier to type) pulled the entire way. New Tim seemed to like the pull and the increased pace and moved up and back with ease. It was apparent Tim was a strong rider based not only on his riding ability on Ron's Pull but also re: comments about riding he's done with the hammerheads from CSH.

Today, instead of heading over Hwy. 55 and onto our usual weekend route, we turned right at end of Ron's pull and took a right on Koppers road which took us out to McCrimmon Parkway, over Davis drive to Hwy. 54. Somewhere along this route New Tim decided to drop off and continue at a different pace than what the group was currently riding.

It was then during this portion of our ride that Kevin's second attempt at sabotage surfaced. As Tron and Steve were out front chatting away about the upcoming holidays and other events, we heard from the back "hold on, hold on....we have a problem." Tron slowed while Steve doubled back to find Carolyn and Jae pondering an issue with Carolyn's chain and how to correct the situation. Apparently, Carolyn's chain had hopped off the large rear chain ring and was now wedged between the large rear chain ring and the spokes. Steve then proceeded to free it from its place and return it where it belonged back on the rear cogs. After a quick clean up in the wet grass to remove most of the grease from his hands, we were cleaned up, saddled up, and back on the road.

As we returned to biking, Ron commented that the bike's rear derailleur may need some work to adjust it and keep it from happening again. When I mentioned that Kevin had done some work recently to replace a broken front derailleur cable and adjusted the shifting as well, we all quickly (and simultaneously) realized where the problem MIGHT have originated. I noted that I would like to take it in to be serviced and we speculated about the comments we might get from the mechanic like..."well, honestly, in all of my years working on bikes, I've never seen work quite like this before...." As always, the group always has the leader's back. ; )

We followed McCrimmon Pkwy. to 54 and up into the RTP area. This took us out to Hopson Road where we turned left and headed West. We knew we were getting close to the Durham Wildlife and Skeet Shooting Club since we could hear the distinct sounds of shotgun fire in the distance. There was quite a lot of clay pigeon hunting going on that morning.

We were not long on this portion of the ride and we heard another request for assistance from the back but this time it was Jae! Her issue was that her front chain ring had lost the chain and needed some help to get it back on. It took Jae only a matter of seconds to return it to its proper place and we were back riding again. The group couldn't resist this opportunity to ask if Kevin had been anywhere near Jae's bike in recent weeks. It turns out, this was not the case. But Kevin is always with us...however, no evidence of sabotage this time.

The group slowed so we could turn onto Louis Stephens and there was a sound that could only be described as a shrill shrieking, squealing, squawking noise. This was the result of Carolyn's and Tron's brakes squealing. It was kind of like nails on a chalkboard, only more annoying. We then turned left onto Louis Stephens drive and followed it until it ended back at Davis Drive. This portion of the ride allowed Tron to really crank it up and and get some cardio work in. As we climbed one rolling hill, I think I saw Tracy filing her nails faking pedal strokes as Ron cranked solo up one ascent, but I can't be certain. The rest of the group followed them as they cruised through the rolling portin of the ride. There was absolutely no traffic out here and made it a great ride.

We approached the end of Louis Stephens at the intersection with Davis Drive. Normally, this is a serene and peaceful setting far removed from traffic noise, however today the squealing brakes once again pierced the silence. The group commented that there was no way we'd be sneakingup on anyone with those brakes.

At this point, the group had ridden about 17.5 miles and the plan was to simply double back the way we had come and return home to the start for a 35-mile ride. Another option was to turn right onto Davis and thread our way back resulting in about a 25-mile route. We turned right. ; )

We followed Davis down to McCrimmon Pkwy and turned left. Ron noted that he was hoping there would be another mechanical issue at this point so we could stop in at the Starbucks located in the shopping center on the corner. No issues, so we rolled on and followed McCrimmon to Koppers which becomes Louis Stephens (the Cary version). Jae noted to Tron that we would follow Louis Stephens back and turn left at the Yellow Barn. The Ron half of Tron asked "what Yellow Barn?" Jae said, " you know, the one that's right there on the corner." Ron looked puzzled and rode on. As Tron approached the turn and saw the Yellow Barn that's been there for every ride the group has ever been on and which pre-dates the group by about 100 years, he jokingly noted, "That must be new!" We then decided that it in fact must be one of those blow up buildings that was put up for the Christmas season which explained why Tron (really Ron) had not noticed it before. Oh well, Ron won't pass up a chance from now on to note how striking the Yellow Barn is.

The ride ended back at Bruegger's where, in honor of Steve Cope, we all powered through a few sausage, egg, and cheese bagels and washed them down with a gallon of coffee. Each of us then ordered a giant stack of pancakes, two orders of waffles, a pound of bacon, and finished it off with dessert which included a cheesecake for each of us. ; )

After some route plotting, I was able to include our ride profile from today's ride. It wasnt long but we encountered some serious climbs, see below.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Weekend of Dec 6 and 7

Saturday December 6th.
Matching Steve Copes epic mileage.
The write-up is brief due to the realization that no write-up can match the entries provided every day by Steve Cope on his BLOG
The premise of this weekend’s rides was to collectively work to ride at least 80 miles both Saturday and Sunday in an effort to honor Steve who is averaging 80 miles day after day as he travels from San Diego, Ca. to Saint Augustine Fl.

In attendance – helping to reduce the number of miles each much accomplish to make 80 miles total.

Ron Clanton
Tracy Clanton
Jae Brainard
Todd Pechner – Slow Todd
Eric – friend of Slow Todd’s
Josh Carter
Kevin Smit
Theresa Smit.
And riding solo later in the day – Dayn McBee – who knew the group would be too slow for him and would not cover enough mileage for him.

These 8 riders (with out Dayn) now only had to ride 10 miles each to collectively cover the same mileage as Steve Cope is doing solo day after day. Oh yea and he is riding a touring bike fully loaded with an extra 60 + lbs of gear.

The start was delayed slightly to allow the temperatures to climb up from 26 degrees. There was frost on the ground and some of the small puddles were frozen.

As the group began preparing for the ride Josh announced that he would not ride if the water bottles that were on his bike atop the car were frozen.

Everyone agreed that would be an indication to scrub the ride.
With everyone surrounding his car Josh removed his bike from the rack and discovered that the water bottles were not frozen.

With that everyone went back to putting layer upon layer of clothes on to help insulate themselves from the cold and wind. Sunglasses kept fogging up with each breath that was exhaled into the frozen air space surrounding each rider.

Once on the road the group split immediate into the “Roses” and “Thorns” with the “Thorns” riding smooth, quite, and slower than normal due to the missing catalyst for chit chat and periodic sprinting.

Ron and Kevin had not been on the bikes for several weeks and it clearly showed. They both were beaten by Slow Todd on every climb.
Josh rode well but clearly was using this ride as a recovery ride from his normal workouts with his Race Team.

The route did include “Ron’s Pull” (Ron did his typical acceleration in the lead), UPCHUCK and the rolling hills of Mount Pisgah as well as Green Level and Wimberly.
The route was a standard winter season distance and pace.
The “Thorns” did 25 miles at a slow pace of 15 mph. Slow Todd and Eric each completed 40 miles that day by riding to the start and then doing extra after the group ride was over.
The Roses did 20 miles at a 13 mph pace.
Dayn who rode later matched Steve Cope’s Calorie burn for the day, so he single handedly came much closer to the work level Steve did that day.
Collectively the group (without Dayn) covered 215 miles – We suspect Dayn did 80 miles on his own.

Sunday December 7th.

Beware of Black Toyota Tundra Crew Cab Pickup Truck.
In attendance.
Tim Travitz – Slow Tim
Kevin Smit ( no “GOG” during these dry cold winter days)
Theresa Smit.

Todd Spain stopped to talk to the group as they drank coffee and pondered the start of the day’s ride. Todd is a Triassholeete and leads many rides in the area. His rides are only for the strongest riders as they typically ride 60+ miles at average speeds of 21+. We all shared with him the story of Steve Cope and his trek across the US. Todd asked us to send him information about our weekend rides and a link to Steve’s Blog. He plans to add our rides to his calendar that he publishes to the biking community.

His web site is

If you go to that site and page forward to Saturday or Sundays you will see our group listed there. If you click on the link it expands into greater detail about our rides and the spirit (or lack of) for our rides.

The three riders headed to the parking lot to finish the preparations for the day’s ride, after completing their LARGE Coffee’s.
The day was slightly warmer than Saturday’s ride however the wind was much more intense.
The riders elected to ride together with Theresa doing a solid job of riding along at 15+ miles per hour for the first half of the ride.
The route taken today included the hill just on the edge of Cary Glenn, the long relatively flat section encompassing all of Luter Shop, Martha Chapel to Lake Jordan, Kevin’s crawl to the turn at Olive Chapel and back home on Luter Shop to Green Hope.

The ride had two encounters with drivers that had little to no patience or respect for cyclists.
The first was at the turn onto Carpenter Fire Station Road. The driver was approaching the stop sign on Carpenter Fire Station, as the pack readied themselves and then made the sweeping left hand turn onto Carpenter Fire Station. The woman who was now at the stop sign thru her hands up in the air signaling her disgust in having to yield to the bicyclist who had just made a legal left hand turn. The only thing that would warrant her response would be if she had no intention of making a legal stop and the group might have forced her to apply the brakes to bring the car to a full legal stop.

The second encounter was very bazaar.
The group was approaching the strawberry patch on Luter Shop road. Kevin and Tim were riding side by side with Theresa drafting close behind. Kevin saw in his mirror a vehicle approaching far in the distance from behind. Kevin announced to the group that there was a car back and he charged forward to place himself and the rest of the riders in a nice tight single file. This would allow for plenty of room to share the road with the approaching vehicle. There were no other vehicles on the road, which should have allowed for an easy passing situation.

The driver of the pick up truck elected to stay within his lane and in doing so was dangerously close to the cyclists as they hugged the white line. The driver then signaled his distain as he passed the lead cyclist (Kevin) by blasting his horn and swerving into the space occupied by the lead cyclist. Kevin was able to keep the bike on the road and waved good by to the driver as he completed this brilliant mature maneuver in his large pick up truck. The driver then stuck his finger in the air to continue to signal his distain for the riders. Kevin blew the driver a big kiss to let him know we are all loved. The driver continued to wave his middle finger to signal his love for cyclists. Then the pickup brake lights came on followed by a wild right hand turn onto a gravel road. The pick-up then spun a donut as the driver was working to turn the truck in an attempt to come from behind the group to again harass them. Kevin Sped up to cut the driver off and stopped at the entrance of the gravel road. This action caught the driver by surprise. Sort of like David vs Goliath, a 16 lb bike daring a 6,000 truck to come on out. The group could see the driver struggling with what his next move would be. The driver had his window down which allowed him to inform the riders that they had not right to be on HIS ROAD, and with that he pealed out of the Gravel road back onto Luther Shop just in front of the defiant Kevin and sped on down the road waving his middle finger to make sure he made himself clear.

The group rode on in complete confusion in how some drivers are so passionate about their believes that bicyclists are not entitled to be on the roads.

Theresa claimed she saw the driver pull into the farm at the corner of Holland Chapel and 751. That is the Farm that also builds the multimillion-dollar yachts.
The group continued onto Martha Chapel and the run towards Lake Jordan. The wind was in the groups face and no one pushed hard on that section of road. After a short break at the end of Martha Chapel the bikers made the left hand turn onto Farrington Road. Kevin took the lead with Tim announcing that he had no intentions of taking the pull position away from him on the short section of road known as “Kevin’s Crawl”. Kevin did crawl during his pull to the turn at Holland Chapel.
Theresa was beginning to feel the distance and pace and struggled to maintain her position in the small pack.
Theresa again reminded the group that she saw the pickup pull into the farm at the end of the road they were now on. The riders all agreed to see if they could see the truck and maybe get the license plate. Kevin was secretively hoping the driver was close by so they could have an intelligent discussion regarding the legal rights of Bicyclists and the rules of the road for all vehicles. He was hopeful that the driver would be in a receptive mind and might learn how it is to be riding along on 1 inch tires always looking ahead to be in position to dodge road side debris, potholes, with hands on breaks to avoid the cyclist ahead. The driver would then learn how his lack of understanding could have created a situation that could have cost him years in jail had he succeeded in truly removing the cyclist from the road.

There was a black Toyota Tundra Crew Cab pickup in the parking lot of the Farm/Yacht Builder. The group continued on down the road as Kevin circled in hopes that the driver would emerge from one of the buildings. No driver so no true confirmation that this was in fact the vehicle that harassed the group earlier. Kevin did get the license number.

WYL 5722

Keep an eye out for that vehicle. Hopefully the driver will be in a much better mood and would be willing to share the road next time he encounters a cyclist on HIS ROAD.

The rest of the ride was relaxing and smooth as the three riders made way towards the start finish.
Theresa was now in full BONK and fell steadily off the back.
Tim commented that no matter what speed we rode she would fall off the back. She fell off when going 13 mph so the leaders backed down to 12 she then worked to keep the gap and fell off even more, so the leaders fell off to 10 mph and she worked to keep the gap and fell off more. It is as if she is telling herself I cannot keep up and does not recognize that the pace by the group in front had deliberately slowed for her benefit.

The group reassembled at the rail road crossing by Green Hope High School and stayed fairly close together those last 3 to 4 miles into the end.

The 3 riders each did 31 miles at an average speed of 14 mph.
Collectively they matched Steve’s mileage and average pace.
Well done.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

(Steve's) Raw Hide!

These lyrics were created by Kevin and & Theresa while sitting on our balcony in St. Thomas consuming a Cabernet and watching every move Steve made. Palm trees rustling in the background, hearing the waves gently lapping the sugar white sandy beaches as our footsteps dissolve on the shore, breezes gently caressing our bare shoulders, yachts and tall masted sailboats tickling the sun as it sets upon the diamond sparkling azur blue waters of St. Thomas harbor afforded the time, mental acuity and inspiration for this tune.

This tribute is ment to be sung to the tune "Rawhide".

Hear song at

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though the knees are achin’,
Keep the shamie dryin’, Raw Hide!
With panniers a packin,
Just cover and stow and rack 'em,
Soon you'll be digging deep inside.
In my head I’m Bloggn’
Soon I’ll be a loggin’, as fans await the end of my ride.

Movin’ on, Headin’ up,
Headin’ up, Movin’ out,
Movin’ on, Headin’ out, How’s your Raw Hide?
Getting’ up, Bloggin in
Loggin in, Checkin’ out,
Rollin out, Settlin’ in, How’s your Raw Hide?

Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Though your cheeks are swollen
Keep them hubs a rollin'
Raw Hide!
Rain and wind and weather
My mood couldn’t be better
With Wilson forever by my side.
All my pals I'm missin',
Good fishin’, golf, and disin’,
All waitin’ for the end of my ride.

Movin’ on, Headin’ up,
Headin’ up, Movin’ out,
Movin’ on, Headin’ out, How’s your Raw Hide?
Getting’ up, Bloggin in
Loggin in, Checkin’ out,
Rollin out, Settlin’ in, How’s your Raw Hide?

Keep movin', movin', movin'
Though thighs are burnin’
Keep your wheels a Turnin’
Raw Hide!
Don't try to analyse 'em
Just tear, gnaw and snack 'em
Feel the energy burst deep inside.
My Spot is calculatin',
Each mile I am makin’,
As I get closer to the end of my ride.

Raw Hide! Steve’s Raw Hide!

Here are the links for your reference:

Lyrics at

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sunday Nov 15th last ride with Captn Carbon until Jan 2009.

Those in attendance
Steve Cope – “Captn Carbon”
Tim Travitz – “Slow Tim”
Jeffrey Roussel
Dayn MCBee
Suzanne McBee
Bob – Friend of Dayn and Suzanne
Kevin Smit “GOG”
Theresa Smit
Jae Brainard
Patty Lewis
Sheila Augustine
Mary Ann Feagan

The “Thorns and Roses” were established even before leaving the parking lot. The “Roses” saw that Dain and Suzan were on the ride and immediately realized only the strongest would survive even a casual ride with that pair. Jeffery was also realizing early that he may be at risk during the days ride and communicated that by informing the group “he had not been on the bike for a month and that his right knee was tender and needed a more relaxed ride”. “GOG” and “Slow Tim” were too slow mentally to provide an early defense that would help explain their inability to hang with the “Hammer Heads” on the day’s ride.

Jeffrey led the group out of the parking lot and into the Preston Woods neighborhood. He pressed the pace as if in an effort to demonstrate that even with a sore knee and no saddle time for a month he could challenge this group. The “Hammer Heads – Dain, Suzann, Bob, Captn-Carbon” all rode in a tight pack using this first attack from Jeffery as a warm-up for the day’s events.

The group continued to ride at a stiff pace (relaxed for the Hammer Heads) at about 15 – 17 mph as they made their way to the right turn onto “Ron’s Pull”. No one rider took the lead as the pack rode in a disorganized double draft line along this stretch of road. Near the end of the road (about 100 yrds from the stop sign) an elderly gentleman in a late model Chevrolet made his best attempt at passing the group without having to cross the double yellow line. There was no oncoming traffic , there was a stop sign 100 yards ahead, and yet this driver felt compelled to get there ahead of the riders who were riding close to the speed limit for that section of road. As the car squeezed past the riders “GOG” saw the older gentleman shaking his head back and forth in his disapproval of the situation. As the car cleared the pack “GOG” saw that the car’s bumper had a “I love Jesus” sticker. “GOG” excitedly shouted out as he pointed to the bumper “I Love Jesus Too”. In a matter of seconds the pack was now poised at the same stop sign as the “I Love Jesus” driver. This allowed “GOG” to bend over and greet the driver with a pleasant “Have a Nice Day” and wave just as the riders made their right hand turn away from the late model Chevrolet.

It would be interesting to track the make/model/year of each vehicle that harasses the riders. The findings may show that the majority of vehicles that are less than willing to share the road are older model American Made Pickups, and full size older model American Cars.

The group made the turn onto Carpenter Fire Station, crossed the RR tracks and Highway 54 with ease. The traffic on Carpenter Fire Station was only intense for the short section between 54 and the Church as drivers were doing their best to get to Church on time. The pack rode mostly single file as they rolled on towards the turn onto Yates Store and the short 8% climb of “UpChuck” that challenges all riders.

“I am looking for someone to lead us out” shouted “Captn Carbon”. “I refuse to use my fat wide body to break the wind and set up your sling shot maneuver” was “GOG’s” reply. “Slow Tim” was already in the lead and had established himself as the sling shot target. The pack now scattered as each rider worked to gain speed and position for the base of the climb. The results were predetermined but every rider still attacked as if they had a chance to take the prem. Dain and “Captn Carbon” easily slid to the crest of the hill with “GOG” and “Slow Tim” working off of each other to make a best effort. Suzann and Bob were followed by Jeffery who was nursing the sore knee.

The pack slowed and circled allowing all to regain position in the pack. “Slow Tim” had slipped ahead to take a bio break and was found coming out to the woods as the pack slowly coasted towards him. The group now found themselves on the rolling hills of New Hope Church. New Hope is a challenging section of road that requires repeated response to the attacks presented at the base of each hill. This section of road always scatters the pack and this day was no different. The pack splintered into 3 groups. Dain, “Captn Carbon”, and Bob in the lead with “Slow Tim”, “GOG”, and Suzann several yards behind followed by Jeffery who was clearly playing it smart and not forcing his knee on the many climbs. Left turn onto Mt Pisgah Church road and its 3 good climbs, fueled more attacks, and forced Jeffery to continue to manage the strain being placed on his sore knee. Kevin had not fully appreciated the need for selecting a flatter route on Jeffery’s behalf. The hills of Mt Pisgha did not splinter the pack as much as the earlier hills of New Hope Church did, possibly due to the effects of the down hills allowing riders like “GOG” to benefit from mass and gravity to catapult him at least 2/3 rds of the way up the other side.

The left turn onto Farrell road had the group slowing to allow Jeffery to close the gap and benefit from any drafting the pack could provide. Jeffery had fallen far off the group and only caught the pack as they stopped at the next right turn onto Luter Shop road. “I am headed back to Cary” Jeffery announced as he waved the group and turned in the opposite direction. “Stay Safe” was the reply from somewhere in the group.

The remaining pack mounted their bikes and pointed them towards the strawberry patch at the end of Luter Shop. The pack remained intact with all riders able to maintain the relaxed pace of 17 to 20 mph into a stiff head wind, partly due to Bob and Dain leading in the pull positions as the others stayed tightly packed behind.

A right turn onto 751 and the left onto Martha’s Chapel still found the pack huddled together and working against a continuous head wind. The ride down Martha’s Chapel came with no attacks, just a solid 20+ pace against the wind. Left turn onto Farrington put the riders into a single file format with “GOG” near the tail section of the draft line.

“GOG” was now in a dilemma, does he take his rightful position in the front of the draft line on the section of road known as “Kevin’s Crawl” , or does he hold on as best he can at the back of the pack expecting the “Hammer heads” to plow forward up the incline. This battle raged in his head for at least a minute during which time the “Hammer Heads” maintained a steady pace as the climb began to unfold. Then as if the decision was unanimous Kevin “GOG” increased his cadence and speed to roll past the bikers one at a time to position himself at the pull position. With ever increasing effort he continued to press the cadence and speed reaching 22 + mph towards the crest of the climb. No other riders challenged him until they were over the top and headed down the other side. “GOG” had again sustained the pull position for the entire length of “Kevin’s Crawl”. Clearly the other riders demonstrated their respect by not taking the pull position away from “GOG”. In the near future on this section of road, when Kevin is more out of shape and even older then he is now, the respect from these other riders will still have Kevin in the pull position even though with his best effort doing 12 mph on a good day.

The group made the left turn onto Holland Chapel as they turned towards Cary. More pace line riding with the “Hammer heads” now back in control at the front of the peleton. A right and then left put the group of riders back onto Luter Shop at the Strawberry patch. Dain was seen repeatedly glancing at his watch and then staring into space. Then without warning he announced “Hey we can make the 10 am ride with the Bicycle Chain ride”. “What” was the cry from Suzann and Kevin. “Come on Babe” Dain egged Suzan into joining them. “Slow Tim” and “GOG” each looked at the other indicating they had no plans to rush on to join yet another ride. “You guys need to take off and turn at White Oak”, “Tim and I will going back to the start” Kevin announced as he released the “Hammer Heads” to finally enjoy the day’s ride without being held back.

There was a popping sound coming from the sudden vacuum of the vortex in space created by the “Hammer Heads” as they jumped into action. The scene was much like that from a Star Wars or Star Trek movie when the ship goes into Warp speed. The vacuum was so intense that it actually sucked the air from the trailing riders lungs.

“Slow Tim” and “GOG” realized in that instant that they had made a very wise decision for themselves. These two riders continued the 17 – 20 mph pace as they worked their way back onto Green Hope High School road and the crossing at the RR tracks in front of the High School.

Upon arrival at the High School RR crossing they me the “Roses” who were also on the last leg of the day’s ride. These riders all worked together those last 4 miles to the start/finish at Brugers parking lot.

The two remaining “Thorns” had ridden 35 miles at a 16.3 mph average. The “Roses” had ridden 25 miles at 14 mph pace. Steve Cope “Captn Carbon” and his fellow “Hammer Heads” were only half way through their 70+ mile day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

send off party for Steve Cope

Please note that Steve was almost 2 hours late to his own party.

We have several photos to look at.
Double click on the picture to view the entire album and slideshow.


There is a video of the gifts presented to Steve however YouTube limits the video length to 10 miniutes and this Blog limits videos to 100 mb in size. The video in its shortest format is over 600 mb and 30 minutes long so we have no way to display on the web. Rambyte is looking to see if one of the XXX video sites is willing to host the video since we all know those activites take longer that 10 minutes.

If you do not want to visit one of those sites please request a DVD of your own and Rambyte will work to get you a copy, he just needs to edit out those parts that would serve the XXX sites well.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday Nov 9th

Bright sunny day, temperature around 44 degrees.
Those in attendance included.
Steve Cope (captn Carbon) on his carbon framed Kestral.
Kevin Smit “GOG”
Steve Sparano – “Sporadic Steve” – today he was Steve the “Spurt”.
Josh Carter – new member of a local cycling team.
Tim Travitz – “Slow Tim”
Patty Lewis
Sheila Augustine
Doug Augustine
Theresa Smit
Jae Brainard

The pack rolled out of the parking lot onto the early morning empty roads of Cary.
Immediately Steve Sparano Spurted into the lead with Josh hot on his rear wheel, closely stalked by “Captn Carbon”. In the distance behind the lead group Kevin was found making every effort to slowly convince his old body to respond to this first attack of the day. Kevin’s body is slow to warm up and requires tender care during the early phase of a ride. He has learned over the years to respect the need to warm up slowly, if he is to survive even the easiest of rides.

Behind Kevin the “Roses and Doug” were huddled together as they made their way into the Preston Neighborhood. The lead pack did not slow nor look to see who was in their group. Kevin was left riding alone with the lead pack already through several turns and now out of sight, Doug was seen making the jump from the “Roses” towards Kevin’s position. Doug caught up with Kevin as they made the turn towards Davis Drive. Kevin was able to catch a glimpse of the lead pack as the leaders were released by the green light to cross the road. Kevin made a jump to only be caught by the next RED. He slowed and worked as best he could to time the next green, which was being prompted by a line of cars waiting on the other side of Davis. Kevin timed this well but then stuttered as a car was working to make a left turn across his path. The car waited on Kevin and Kevin waited on the car to finally be waved on past by the driver of the vehicle. Doug waited for all this to transpire only to be caught by the next Red light. This was the last time Kevin or the lead pack confirmed the location of Doug.

Kevin shot on into the round-about and exited in time to finally hook up with the lead team. The pace did not slow as Steve the “Spurt” was still pushing the pace. He did not even look back (nor care) who was with him as he made the next several turns, including a left turn away from “Ron’s Pull”. Kevin was impressed with the solid leadership and confidence displayed by Steve. Kevin did later provide some feedback regarding the need to insure all riders were in tow on the “No Drop” philosophy of group rides.

The group made the quick right and then left onto and off of High House putting them on Carpenter Jenks road and the hill towards Holt. The pack all arrived at the crest of the climb together with Kevin demanding a pause to let Doug catch up. As the group circled Kevin slid back down the hill to see if he could detect Doug in the distance. No riders at all in the distance as Kevin did a brief wheel stand near the bottom of the hill. Slowly Kevin turned the bike back up hill to rejoin the group that was now displaying a lack of confidence in the direction to take. “Left turn” commanded “GOG”, and the pack fell into line behind “GOG” as they made their way towards APEX and the country roads towards Sharron Harris Nuclear Plant.

The group road under control thru the heart of APEX with the left turn at the Water Tower placing the pack on the fast rolling hills of Tingen. Each rider took turns at the pull position as they swung through the countryside at a comfortable 21 to 23 mph only to be slowed slightly on the longer climbs leading to Friendship road. It was on the last two climbs prior to the turn onto Friendship that “Captn Carbon” demonstrated he could still take the prem.

The pack assembled again as they swung left onto Friendship road and paused at that point to shed layers of clothing and to take care of any bio break needs. Back on the bike and the group continued their jaunt through the country side riding between 17 and 21 mph. At the turn near the Harris Nuclear Plant the ride intensified as Kevin taunted ‘Captn Carbon” at the base of a long climb. The response was totally predictable resulting in Steve Pulling the pack accelerating the full length of the climb. Once over the climb that group again took turns at the pull position with Steve Sparano and Tim Travitz each doing the majority of the work all the way to Old Highway one. Just at the group closed in on the left turn onto Old Highway One, they spotted a lone rider already navigating the turn.

“Lets GO Guys” Captn Carbon cried as he jumped out of the saddle to take chase. The pack did their best to take pursuit with Steve leading the attack. It took only a short half-mile of all hills to catch and pass the lone female rider. The group continued to pound the pedals as if to announce their superiority over the overtaken rider. The group slowed slightly to make the right turn onto Beaver Creek Road. As the pack reassembled they spotted the same lone female rider up ahead of the group. She had taken an earlier turn (short cut) to get to Beaver Creek Road and was now in the lead again.

The “Thorns” re-ignited the chase and set out to recapture the dominant position. Kevin was in the lead as the pack pulled up behind the rider. He elected to back off and draft her for awhile (knowing Capt Carbon would strike up a conversation with the rider). “We normally charge a $10 drafting fee” “Captn Carbon” announced to the lone female rider. She immediately reached back behind her with her palm facing up in anticipation of Kevin paying her $10 for drafting her.

The group rode together for the next couple of miles with limited chit chat, and no formal introduction of names between the lone rider and the “Thorns” . At the first big climb the “Thorns” rose out of the saddle and powered on up the hill leaving the lone female rider to her solitude. She clearly made a good decision not to engage in chit chat with the band of rebel bikers.

The pack continued to work well together taking turns in the pull position the entire length of Beaver Creek to the first rest stop at Highway 64, 31 miles into the day’s ride. Just as the pack was slowing to make the turn into the gas station Kevin’s rear shifters failed. He was stuck in the smallest cog and could not down shift to easier gears. At the stop Steve Cope, Tim Travitz, and Kevin all worked to try and determine the cause. “Captn Carbon” suggested the issue was the cheep Campagnolo Equipment Kevin had elected to use on his bike. “Slow Tim” agreed and said the real name for the equipment on Kevin’s bike is “CampyNoGo”. After some tugging and pulling on the rear derailleur shifter cable the Bike began to shift again.

After the short rest the group remounted to head across Highway 64 and onto Farrington road with a right turn onto the hilly rough road of Horton Pond aka “Hemorrhoid Hell Road”. The group continued to ride strong with each rider taking turns in each position of the small peloton. Josh was quick to relinquish the pull position each time he found himself there.

Josh had ridden a fast hard training ride Saturday with the Race Team. They had ridden 65 miles at a 21 mph avg (ouch). So Josh decided to ride with the OLD MEN of the “THORNS” group rather than punish himself a second day with his Racing teammates.

The route made the quick right turn onto 751 with lots of heavy traffic to then make the left turn onto Luther and its rolling hills leading to the right turn onto Green Level. Luther is a stretch of road that Kevin always struggles with as it slowly climbs towards it end at Green Level. Josh kept Kevin company as the two worked to minimize lost ground on those ahead. Kevin and Josh continued to lag behind as the group rode Green Level to the last climb before the turn onto Green Level Church. Steve “Spurt” Sparano was again in the lead pushing the pace and setting the direction. Left turn off of Green Level Church onto the bike path forced the pack to slow to a more comfortable 14 mph pace and associated cool down as they headed back into Cary.
The group finished the ride navigating the dangerous lip created by roadwork at the entrance to the Start/Finish. 46 miles at 17 mph pace on a beautiful sunny yet cool day.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Cope can not Start in the Rain.

Saturday Nov 8.
Assembled at the start.
Theresa Smit
Kevin Smit “ GOG”
Steve Sparano “Sporadic Sparano”
Tim Devinney - “Fast Tim” – “The Love Train” rode in on his bike.
Jae Brainard.

As the group sat and drank coffee they watched the rain come down hard and then let up and then come down hard again. Steve Sparano checked his Blackberry to see if the weather radar showed any hope for clearer skies. He also checked his email to see if Steve Cope had responded to an earlier email to ensure he was planning to ride this morning. There was a response from Mr. Cope. “woke up, saw it was raining, rolled over to go back to sleep. Do not mind getting wet, just do not like to start in the rain”. Steve Cope will have lots of opportunities to start in the rain and snow as he sets out to ride across the U.S. on Nov 22nd from San Diego Ca.
About that same time Sheila Augustine placed a call to Theresa to see if the group would be interested in going to the YMCA to do Spinning class in lieu of riding in the rain.
The group elected to each go their own way.
Fast Tim headed for home on his bike.
Steve Sparano headed home with the intent to mountain bike later in the day.
Theresa, Jae, and Kevin ended up joining Sheila, and Patty at the YMCA.
The Roses all did Spinning class and Kevin ran (jogged) on a treadmill.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunday November 2nd

In attendance
Steve Cope with his fully loaded Surly Long Hauler.
Theresa Smit
Heather and Ralph Pinney
Kevin Smit

The weather was cool with a warming Sun shinning bright. No wind to battle on the days ride. The group elected to all ride together. Steve was prepared to ride with the groupas a warmup for his training ride that would entail the group ride plus any miles required to complete 80 miles for the day.

The pack headed out of the parking lot with all riding smooth and strong. Steve and Kevin continued their discussion of the logistics for the first week that would face Steve on his planned trip across the US. Kevin had suggested that Steve give himself on extra day at the beginning to sort out any issues with the shippment of his bike to the West Coast. He also discussed with Steve some of the challenges that would face Steve as he works his way out of San Diego and into the Dessert on a Weekend. San Diego to the Dessert in the winter is a heavily traveled route for RVs pulling Dune Buggies and may make it a challenge to Share the Road. The Route is also Known for is heavy wind, with many a RV or Semi Truck blown off the road as they work their way up and over the Pass out of San Diego. Oh yea did we mention that there are Mountians just outside of San Diego and they will cover most of the first 100 miles of the biketrip. Oh yea and then there is mile after mile of nothing but Dessert with blowing Sand.

Steve began to show is first sign of concern as he locked into each nugget of wisdom Kevin prevailed upon him.

Kevin and Theresa have worked with many of their friends in San Diego to receive Steve and his Bike, and then to help Launch him on his way back to the East Coast.

We will all be able to track Steve’s progress by visiting his BLOG.

His journey begins with his flight to San Diego on Friday Nov 21st with his first official day of riding starting Saturday Nov 22nd.
Wish Steve a safe and enjoyable Journey.

Help give him a proper send off by joining the Smit’s and others Friday Nov 14th for a Pot Luck.
Look for an eVite from Theresa Smit.
Bring items that will help Steve on his Journey (gag gifts are also expected/appreciated).
The Smit’s are considering providing Steve with a One Way Ticket back to Raleigh form anywhere in the US. If Steve is smart he will mail his GPS tracking device to track its journey via UPS while he flies back home. He can then update his blog as if he was doing the ride. That way no one will know he whimped out.

OK back to the day’s ride.
The route selected today by Kevin was one that would provide the hills early in the route and travel towards Lake Jordan on roads that are usually ridden later in many ride routes.
At “Ron’s” pull the pack took a left hand turn back towards Cary and the neighborhoods of Jenks Carpenter Road. This then led the pack to a right turn onto Holt (with a quick stop to peal off layers of cloths) followed by a quick jump across Highway 55. This allowed the group to get to roads less traveled by Cars and Trucks. A right turn onto Roberts Road found the group still bunched together as the speeds increased all the way to a right turn on Green Level Church and the next left onto Green Level. The pack splintered momentarily on Green Level with each climb of this part of the route. The group paused at the turn onto Luther for a drink from water bottles. The pack was again riding well together at comfortable speeds, allowing for additional chit chat.
“Comon Steve Lets GO” Kevin challenged Steve as the one steep hill of Luther unfolded in front of them. Kevin sprung out of the saddle and bolted on into the distance toward the crest of the hill. Kevin was not seen again until the next intersection where he circled waiting for the pack to join him.
“Had to rub it in didn’t you” Steve shouted out to Kevin as he closed in on the Circling Victor.
“Feels good” was Kevin’s reply.

The pack took another brief break at the corner of Horton Pond. Ralph commented on the rough surface of the previous road and was informed that Horton Pond is just as bad and is nick named “Hemorrhoid Hell”.
With that the group once again headed on down the road accepting and responding to each of the rolling hills that dotted “Hemorrhoid Hell”.

Ralph and Heather were brought up to speed on additional information Steve Cope had gathered related to his ensuing trek across the US. They learned about tires, tubes and the merits of various brands and how well they hold the road. They also learned that Bikes cannot Hydroplane in a rain storm. (Steve needs to better explain the logic behind that).
They also learned of Steve’s communications to people like Beaver, Bed Post, Non Stop and a few others of Kevin and Theresa’s San Diego friends. They also leaned that Steve is very concerned and yet interested in meeting some of these folks. Steve quizzed Kevin on what the nicknames were all about. This then led to an informative narration regarding the San Diego Hash House Harriers and how this “Drinking Club with a Running Problem” would give each member a nickname based on some interesting aspect of the person or act they may have been caught doing on one of the runs.
To learn more about Kevin and Theresa's previous life in San Diego and the San Diego Hash House Harriers visit the following link

Let your imagination run wild.

The group made the turn onto Farrington and headed towards the turn onto Holland Chapel which would send the pack back towards the start/finish.
This stretch of road has only one hill section and proved to be exciting for all.
Kevin and Steve were ridding side by side as they headed down to the bottom of the climb, Ralph and Heather were close behind with Theresa bringing up the rear. The road is two lane with double yellow line. Kevin noticed a car headed towards them at the top of the hill. Upon Checking his mirror Kevin saw a white Pickup Truck approaching fast from behind.
Within a Second there was a loud Long HONKING from the White Truck followed by Smoke from all four tires as the TRUCK locked up the tires with the bed of the truck headed into the opposite lane and the cab of the TRUCK headed towards the edge of the Road. The Screeeeeching sound of the tires came long after the event unfolded.
Kevin continued to monitor the situation ahead and in his mirror to see Theresa off the road standing straddling her bike as the TRUCK moved past her location. Ralph and Heather were both still on the road making progress towards the climb as the TRUCK was now within inches of their rear tires but finally under control. Kevin and Steve were now close to cresting the hill the car up ahead had since past (without slowing even with the truck locking all tires up). The TRUCK now seeing a clear path (Double Yellow LINE STILL IN EFFECT) revved its old tired Gas Guzzling V8, swerved into the oncoming lane and announced its disappointment that progress had been slowed due to the bike riders. The Truck did make a clean pass only to make an immediate right turn within 200 yards after passing the bikers. Kevin and Steve only looked at each other in total confusion as to what mental process was executed by the driver of the TRUCK.

The group rode silently for several more miles each with their own thoughts and reflection of life and how a simple JERK can impact it without their control.

The route continued towards Cary on similar roads. Luther Shop, Green Hope, “Ron’s Pull”, High House, and on into the finish in the parking lot of Brugers.
The group covered 29 miles at a comfortable 13.5 mph.

Steve filled water bottles, grabbed a bagel sandwich and then headed out for another 50 + miles.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Steve Cope learns an important lesson.

Sunday Oct 12,2008
In attendance
Jae Brainard
Theresa Smit
Kevin Smit
Heather Pinney
Ralph Pinney
Steve Cope – fully loaded down on his touring bike.

The group elected to ride together with the “Roses” leading everyone on their favorite flat, low traffic, smooth roads ride into the RTP area.

Theresa set the pace early and was riding as if on a mission. She did not ever look back to see who she had dropped early in the ride.
Those dropped included Steve Cope, Kevin Smit, and the Pinney’s. Jae Brainard on the other hand was right there with Theresa pushing her to drive on even harder.
Kevin and Steve worked to ride together along with the Pinney’s who had ridden with the group only once before. The Pinney’s learned of the rides through Coach Dotson who does Spinning classes with the Pinney’s.
The group rode without forming any draft line even with the stiff head winds encountered that day.
The route is an out an back that covers 32 miles. It is a great ride for the off season to keep everyone on their bike. There is also one section of road that would be a great place for anyone wanting to do a time trial.

As the group headed back Kevin and Steve were discussing the following interesting facts.

Steve Cope with his new Steal frame touring bike and fully loaded panniers actually weighs the same as Kevin Smit and his lightweight Carbon Fiber bike.

This fact was then used to compare and contrast Steve’s performance on his bike to Kevin’s. Kevin was able to accelerate much faster, climb quicker, and sustain higher end speeds longer and faster.


Steve came to the realization that Kevin is actually a much stronger biker than he is. Kevin went on to remind Steve that not only is Kevin a much stronger biker (when comparing the effects of equal weight to ability) Kevin is also older. As a person ages their target heart rates naturally drop. This suggests that Steve Cope is able to push his circulatory system such that he can demand and expect to get greater blood flow to his muscles due to a higher heart rate. Kevin on the other hand has to accomplish the same task at a lower heart rate. This suggests that Kevin is able to do the same work with less blood flow to the vital organs.
Steve now has the realization that Kevin is truly a BIKEING GOG and should receive all the respect of any major deity.

You do not need to bow before him just heap much praise his way.

The riders all rode to the finish together having covered the 32 miles at a pace of 13.6 mph.

Steve Cope had to rest and refuel before he could return to the bike and finish his day’s mission. He had ridden to the start and was looking to add an additional 40 miles to the days ride which would provide a total of 80 miles for the day. He had accomplished that same objective the day before. This magic distance is to be repeated day after day for 5 weeks as he makes the ride from San Diego to Florida starting in late November.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

End of September rides

Saturday Sept 27, 2008
Those in attendance for the “Roses”
Theresa Smit
Tracy Clanton
Dani Devinney
Sheila Augustine

Those representing the “Thorns”
Nate Poerschke (Nicole’s puppy dog)
Nicole Lewis
Morgan Brooks
Tim – Devinney
(fast Tim – The Love Train)
Doug Augustine
Jeff Roussel
riding his new ALL STEEL is REAL bike.
Rich Hunt Rode to the start and circled nervously until the pack was headed out
Ron Clanton
Kevin Smit
Deborah Hollis
(ridden with the group at least once before about 6 weeks ago) She also did the MS150 ride and did the Century minus 10 miles due to a crash on the ride. Glad she is OK and ready to ride again. (and she rode HARD on this day’s ride).

The group assembled slowly as the young Triassholettes each struggled to get ready after a tough night of College partying.

Poor Morgan did not even smile as she groped her way through the steps involved in getting herself and her bike ready for the days ride.
Nate stood around and watched Nicole scamper around in total excitement for the ride.

The adults (long out of College) all looked at each other and without saying a word each conveying their solid understanding of what it was like when they were in College, and what a Friday night might have been like, or better yet what the morning after a Friday night might have felt like.

The adults, “all wise”, to the effects of partying hard before an early morning event had no words of wisdom for the youngsters. That wisdom only comes thru the experiences one survives.

The pack was off headed towards the Preston Woods neighborhood. Immediately the pace was pressed into speeds of 17 – 19 mph with Rich, Jeff, Fast Tim, Debra, and Ron all pushing the Triassholetes to respond. Kevin was dropped before leaving the parking lot. The Roses were forming in a tight social group with no intention of blasting into the streets.

Kevin was only able to catch the “Thorns” when the pack circled at the early intersections looking for his commands of “Right Turn”, or “Left Turn”. Kevin was planning to have the group travel one of the early season ride routes in reverse order. This would present the group with rolling hills during the first half of the ride, and would cover about 40 miles total.

The “Thorns” regrouped as they crossed Davis drive and headed into the round-about. From that point on the group would splinter for short sections (usually on the hills), but be together during the flat sections with speeds hitting upwards of 29 miles per hour during Herculean pulls by those in the front of the draft line.

The first and fastest of these Pulls came early in the ride as the group swung right onto Rogers Road. The momentum grew exponentially with Ron taking first Pull position. Ron established an increased momentum with Jeff slipstreaming past him to take to Pull, to then have Fast Tim slide into the Pull Position. This Leap Frog Style of Drafting continued with the same players each Leaping to the front only to then have another leap past them. The Pack was able to close the gap each time one of the three in front would swing out to jump into the lead. Normally a well organized draft line has the lead rider swing out and slowly drift back past each rider to take the trailing spot. This would allow everyone to maintain his or her proximity to the wheel in front without having to traverse a gap generated by the person in front surging to pass the lead biker.
The Leap Frog Style of draft line was this groups attempt to act like “Steve Cope”. Those feeling the urge to attack would do so long enough to jump into the lead only to have the next “Steve Cope” wanabe do the same to them.

As the group continued to ride this pattern of “Cope Attackers” spread to each member in the group. Deborah was quick to join the fray and attacked on almost every hill. Rich matched Deb’s attacks to leap frog her and then be leaped back by her. Jeff and Ron continued their quest for the lead position on all the long flat sections with Fast Tim always there to be the spoiler and take it away to only have it taken back.
Nate DOMINATED the PULL position on the full run down Martha Chapel from Horton Pond to the gas station at Lystra. Nate pulled the group along in such a demanding way that no one challenged him until the last few yards when Kevin and Fast Tim slid past to be the first ones into the parking lot of the gas station.
Up until this point Morgan rode in stealth mode. She carefully positioned herself in the middle of the pack . She spoke no words. Her chain was well lubricated and did not make any clatter or chatter signaling her position. Kevin on several occasions would lose track of Morgan only to be jolted by her as she slid past on his right to maintain her place in the pack.

Nicole rarely was less than 3rd or 4th in the draft line riding effortlessly and with a huge smile. She smiles so big that at the end of the ride she has to brush her teeth to remove all the bugs that had accumulated during the ride much like those on a grill of an 18 wheeler.

At the corner of Martha Chapel and 751 Rich left the group to add some miles and speed to his work out. He was still very jittery and needed to ride long and ride hard, and with out Cope on the ride to challenge him he needed more than the group could provide on this day’s ride.

Nicole and Morgan made their play for victory as the pack was headed towards home. It was on Luter Shop near White Oak Church Road that Nicole followed by Morgan made their jump. Their technique followed the Morgan School of Stealth riding. It started by Nicole asking if the route would take the pack to the rollercoaster hills of Cary Glen (Nicole’s Coaster Ride). When informed that the route would take everyone there she and Morgan made their move. They slowly moved to the front. The pack all expected them to drift back shortly. Then the two stealth riders pulled away enough to form a gap but not to announce an attack. The pack now assumed that the two were just not paying attention to the pace and where the pack was in relation to the finish. Then the two jumped hard on the pedals to generate a considerable gap. The pack now figured that two were trying to get to “Nicole’s Coasters” first. ‘Nicole’s Coasters” were still a couple of miles down the road so the pack assumed the two riders jumped way too early and would be swallowed up as they slowed prior to the destination. Then as if someone let air out of the two riders tires they slowed and rejoined the pack.

“County line, County Line didn’t you see the sprint for the County Line, Where were you guys” Nicole asked as she took full credit for the sprint to the County Line.
“Oh we just thought you jumped too early for the Roller Coasters” ‘ “The only one that attacks to a County Line is Steve Cope” was Kevin’s reply.
So there was another example of each rider in the group trying their best COPE imitation even the “County Line Cope” was being imitated on the days ride.

The pack all entered and exited the rolling hills of Cary Glen together. The group continued to work together towards the final run past Green Hope High School. It was on that section of road that the “Thorns” ran into the “Roses”. The “Roses” had taken a route that traveled many of the roads of RTP. The route is relatively flat and has virtually no cars on a weekend. A route the “Thorns” need to consider adding to their route inventory.

The “Thorns” finished the ride heading back into Cary through Preston Woods and the last long climb up Crabtree Parkway to Cary parkway and down the hill to Brugers.

The “Thorns” rode 40 miles at an average speed of 17.8 mph.

Sunday Sept 28th.

No write up.
Kevin and Theresa were “No Shows” Hummmmm.

Well it was nothing your imagination could consider.

When you get thier age all that is left is to sleep in once and a while.
End of Story.

Damn it.
Wish there was more to report.
Didn't even sleep that well.
Should have gone for a bike ride.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Coaches Crowd Crushes the Other Riders.

Sunday Sept 7th 2008

In attendance for the “Roses”
Jae Brainard
Sheila Augustine
Theresa Smit

In attendance for the “Thorns”
David Bridenbaugh – Mr. Bridenbauh
Tim Devinney – “Fast Tim”, “The Love Train”
Stephen Marks
Steve Sparano – “Sporadic Steve”
Kevin Smit – “GOG”
Coach Dotson – “Asshole Coach” for suggesting Lystra hill climb on every ride.
And Coach’s 3 Triassholete friends. All very Powerful riders.

The ride start was slightly delayed when Jae discovered she had a flat rear tire. Kevin helped her change out the tube. In an effort to reinsert the rear tire into the frame they were unsuccessful in realigning the center pull breaks on the bike. After several attempts to adjust the breaks Jae instructed Kevin and the “Thorns” to go on with out her.

The “Thorns” left the parking lot and headed towards the friendly roads of Preston Woods. The pace was already 3 to 4 miles an hour faster than normal with the pack zooming through the neighbor hood at speeds reaching 19 mph. This was no warm-up. Kevin was already in trouble before the third mile. The band of Triassholettes were setting the pace very early with Coach, Fast Tim, Stephan, and Mr. Bridenbaugh eagerly participating. Kevin was leading the route from the rear as usual and was able to shout the next maneuver to execute for the circling cyclists at each intersection as he would finally close to within several hundred yards of them.

Kevin had crafted a route that provided three options for distance. The first 30 miles allowed all to ride the same roads with the first decision point resulting in choice of distance and route being made at that point in the ride. The 30 mile point also provided a place to re-hydrate, refuel, and bio-break if needed.

Within the first seven miles of the ride the group had splintered at least 4 times. The street Lights that lined the main street in Apex provided the catalyst to keep the pack together for the longest period of the ride. This also set up for a fast pace line once the group was launched out of Apex and onto Tingen Road. The two Triassholes women set a blistering pace for the draft line. At one point Kevin was able to take his eyes off the rear wheel of the rider ahead of him to notice his speedometer reading 33 mph. At that same moment he caught a glimpse of “Sporadic Steve” pushing past the group to take a turn at the pull position. His pull did not last long. At the first sign of the pace slowing the two Triassholetes darted around him and reestablished themselves as the pack leaders.
Tingen’s fast smooth flat service changed into rolling hills at the same point that it changed its name to Woods Creek. The hills on this section of road had riders alternating their position in the pack as some traveled much faster downhill due to mass and gravity than others, only to lose it all on the up hills due to mass and gravity, and strength, and conditioning. With each hill the distance gap generated by the difference in mass and conditioning of the riders increased exponentially.
The group assembled again at the turn onto Friendship with the pace and pack well under control.
This remained through the turns and hills of New Hill Olive Chapel and Sharon Harris to Old US 1.
Once on Old US 1 the Group Splintered again with Coach, Fast Tim, Mr Bridenbaug, and the Triassholettes all attacking at speeds exceeding 25 mph. This left Kevin and “Sporadic Steve” working together to make it as best they could down old US1 and the full length of Beaver Creek to the rest stop at Beaver Creek and Highway 64.
Once all were assembled at the rest stop Kevin recommended 3 alternative finishes for the day’s ride. Those needing to get back due to other commitments included “Fast Tim”, and Mr. Bridenbaugh. The route they elected to follow would require them to ride an additional 15 miles traveling on Holland Chapel, Luther Shop, Cary Glenn, and on in to the finish on Carpenter Fire Station, and past Green Hope to High House. Everyone waved goodbye to the two riders as they worked to get back in time for their other commitments.
The others elected to travel down Highway 64 to Big Woods and the rolling hills that challenge the riders. The idea would then be to determine from there whether to go for more miles before heading to the finish or to head back down Farrington to Holland Chapel and then follow the route taken by “Fast Tim” and Mr. Bridenbaugh.
Kevin told Coach to lead his group on and to not look back or wait on Kevin. Kevin was already feeling the early stages of a BONK. “Sporadic Steve” said he would hang back and baby sit the “GOG”.
Coach and his team including Stephan wasted no time climbing onto their bikes and blasting down Highway 64. “Sporadic Steve” bought Kevin a large bottle of cold water to consume and to top off water bottles.
Once rested Kevin and his care taker slid onto their bikes and rolled onto Highway 64 headed towards Big Woods.
Kevin led the two stragglers all the way to Big Woods where “Sporadic Steve” took the reins and pulled Kevin up and over each of Big Woods hills.
Once at the next rest stop on Lystra and Farrington Kevin rested in the shade. He laid on the pavement and used one of the cement curbs as a pillow. He was in Full BONK mode with close to 20 miles yet to go.
Once rested Kevin began to slowly prepare for the “Death March” the laid ahead. His Baby Sitter was still willing to keep a close eye on him.
Kevin led the pace at 18 mph down Farrington and up “Kevin’s Crawl” to the turn onto Holland Chapel.
Once on Holland Chapel “Sporadic Steve” again took the reins and led the rest of the route all the way to the finish. There were periods during the last 15 miles when Kevin was unable to sustain 10 mph on the simplest of inclines. On several occasions Kevin would sit up in the seat with his hands off the handlebars to try and stretch his back only to get very dizzy forcing him to fall back to the drops of the handle bars.

Coach was still waiting at the finish to make sure Kevin did not die or need vehicular rescue. The rest of his pack had already gone home, showered, and returned for bagels. They had completed 58 miles at an average speed over 20 mph.

Kevin and his baby Sitter “Sporadic Steve” completed the same 58 miles at an average just under 17 mph.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day ride

Monday Sept 1, 2008

Labor day Ride
Ride leaders Ron and Tracy Clanton on their Tandem.
In attendance were;
Patty Lewis
Nicole Lewis
Doug Augustine
Sheila Augustine
Theresa Smit
Kevin Smit.

The ride started from the Church parking lot at Olive Chapel and New Hill Olive. The route leveraged several quite roads in the Apex / Holly Springs area.

The group road very well as a pack for much of the ride. The hills had a tendency as they always do in splintering the group. On other occasions Nate, and Doug pushed the pace which splintered the group as well.

One of those situations Nate pulled Nicole, Patty, and Sheila past the planned turn onto Sharron Harris forcing Doug and Kevin to attempt to chase them down to then redirect. Fortunately for Kevin and Doug the runaway pack pulled into the parking lot at the Nuclear Plant thinking that was the next turn. Kevin and Doug were then able to abandon their chase before totally destroying themselves.

This almost happened again on the run down OLD US 1 to the turn towards Pea Ridge. In that situation it was again Nate with Doug being chased by Kevin that splintered the pack.

The group took a short break in the shade of a tree along the side of the road that intersected with Pea Ridge. Some eat their bananas, some chewed on power bars, everyone hydrated, Kevin dealt with Sweat management and tightened down the bolts that held his cleats to his shoes. Kevin had discovered that one of his Screws was missing and the others were loose. It was here also that Doug and Sheila both realized that they had mistakenly put on each other’s biking shorts prior to the start of the ride. The group suggested that they go ahead and swap back to the correct pair while the group waited. This did not happen but all had a good laugh at their expense.

The pack was off again headed down Pea Ridge towards the turn onto Beaver Creek at Lake Jordan. Kevin was the first to arrive at Lake Jordan and was found by the group as he was resting again in the shade. He was easily identified by the group because of the tell tale signs of near death as a flock of Buzzards circled closely over him. The ride finished with a short run up Beaver Creek to the turn on Tody Goodwin Road and then Olive Chapel with their rolling hills leading back to the starting point. It was on this stretch of road where Theresa bonked and struggled to sustain the average mph prior through those last few miles.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend rides of August 23 and 24 2008

Saturday August 23, 2008
Nicole challenges the group to Lystra

In attendance for the Roses.

Jae Brainard – learning to Spin – The “Spinster”
Tracy Clanton
Beth Gonzaliz
Dani Devinney
Theresa Smit
Jeff Roussel – riding with the “Roses” on his mountain bike. ( new frame to arrive Tuesday) – a THORN among the “Roses”.

In attendance for the “Testosterone” riders (the Thorns).

Steve Cope – aka “Capn Carbon”, the Angry Chipmunk, the Chihuahua, the Gnat.
Ron Clanton – “Diesel”
Steve Sparano – “Sporadic Steve”
Christy Miller – the “Pink TriAssholette”
Tim Devinney – “Fast Tim”
Tim Travitz – “Slow Tim”
Nicole Lewis – “President of the TriASSholettes”
Morgan Brooks – Friend of Nicole’s – another TriAssholette.
Kevin Smit – the biking “GOG”.

After a brief visit in Carobou’s the group headed to the parking lot to prepare for the days ride. Kevin had made the decision to incorporate last Sunday’s finish route as part of the outbound route for this days ride. This would have the pack riding that leg in reverse order and direction. It would also then allow Kevin to add to or delete miles based on how everyone was doing. Kevin’s intent was to try and do close to 50 miles on the days ride.

Out onto High House and into the neighborhood of Preston Woods the pack rode with Jae leading the way. As the pack entered Preston Woods Kevin had worked his way slowly towards the front of the pack to find the new rider Morgan. “How come your parents gave you a Boy’s Name” he asked Morgan. “Awh you Jerk, why did you ask her that” was the cry from the pack. Kevin did not respond he just rode on past as if having inflicted the insult that was fitting for the abuse needed on this new rider. “She may never come back” the pack continued to chastise Kevin. No response from Kevin. If Morgan understands Rule #6 she will be back to enjoy the continued chatter and constant verbal abuse that comes from ridding with this band of miss fits.

The pack split at its usual spot on the first climb out of Preston. The “Thorns” continued to push on thru the intersection at Davis into the round about and out onto the road leading to “Ron’s Pull”.

At “Ron’s Pull” the pack abdicated the pull position to it’s rightful owner. Ron was quick to command the respect owed him as he pushed the pace ever faster to reach the maximum ”Diesel” speed of 24 mph. Ron “Diesel” sustained this pace thru 2/3rds of this stretch of road only to pass of the reins to the biking ‘GOG” who did everything in his power to match the power of the “Diesel” locomotive that had preceded him.

The pack was maintained thru that pull to the T intersection that would wined its way to Carpenter Fire Station Church road. On Carpenter Fire Station Church Road the Pack remained in tact with Slow Tim and “Sporadic” Sporano worked the Pull position as the single line slid down the road at 21 mph. The two riders drove the pace so hard it splintered the pack with Kevin again bringing up the rear.
Kevin had informed “Sporadic” Sporano of his plans to turn right at Yates Store instead of the left that would take the riders towards “UpChuck”.
Kevin found the pack patiently waiting for confirmation that the route was to turn right rather than left. “ON RIGHT” was the command as Kevin closed in on the intersection.

Onto the yet unopened section of new road the pack headed for OKelley. Another Left onto OKelley and the pack formed a solid pace line with “Sporatic” Sporano in the lead along with Christy, Nicole, and Morgan who was closely followed by “Capn Carbon, Slow-Tim, and Fast-Tim. Those last three riders were each working to ace the other rider out of position in an effort to ride close to Morgan. Ron and Kevin only watched the pathetic display of Testosterone from the two Tim’s and Cope.

As the pack was preparing to make one of the many climbs on OKelley “Capn Carbon” miss shifted his new bike causing him to quickly loose momentum. Ron “Diesel” just about slammed into the “Gnat “ but for great bike handling was able to slide past the stalled rider resulting in the lose of his momentum.

Picture a “Diesel” Locomotive delicately dodging a small VW and then coasting to a near stop on a hill. Now imagine that VW unaware of the near fatal situation grinding into gear and spurting on up the road. Now picture the “Diesel” Locomotive recovering from the lose of momentum that took 12 miles to build along with the emotional realization that one’s life just passed before their eyes in the last 3 seconds.

Kevin was thrown into the mix as he was also following “Capn Carbon” and his miss shift.

In less than 30 seconds Kevin and the “Diesel” were left in the middle of the climb all alone. None of those ahead had an idea of the disaster that was narrowly avoided. The Testosterone was still pungent in the air as Tim, Tim, and Capn Carbon continued to push for position closest to Morgan as the pack charged up the hill and into the distance.

Ron “Diesel” Clanton and Kevin did not gain position back into the pack until the scheduled rest stop at the gas station on Farrington and Lystra some 12 miles later.

The stop at Lystra allowed for topping off of water bottles, wiping of brow, and an asinine suggestion from Nicole. “Lets do Lystra” Nicole said with glee, and high energy.
She learned this trick from “Coach the Asshole” who also suggests the group climb Lystra every time he rides with the group. So Nicole was anointed the new “Asshole” for suggesting the climb.

Kevin was planning on taking the pack to the run down Big Woods, and calculated the extra distance that Lystra would provide. “If we do Lystra that would add an extra 10 miles and one nasty Climb” he announced to the group. Fast Tim said “Yea but the ride down Lystra is worth it, last time I hit 47 mph and I want to beat that”. “We need to take Morgan there” another cried. There were no other replies from the group. The group continued to rest and hydrate as Kevin mounted his bike and prodded the pack to follow suite.
Out of the gas station and onto Lystra road the pack began to assemble. The Y intersection lay ahead. The left fork towards Big Woods the Right Fork towards the climb on Lystra. The group rode orderly but very slow looking for Kevin to lead the way.

Into the Y intersection and no words were exchanged as the pack continued to ride conservatively as their fate was now understood. Kevin in the lead swung onto the right fork followed by Ron, Slow Tim, Christy, Sporatic Sporano, Nicole, Morgan, Fast Tim, and bringing up the rear behind Morgan was Capn Carbon. With in a half mile the base of the hill presented itself to the pack as if to dare them to proceed. Just at that moment “Capn Carbon” bolted past the pack to attack the hill, and did so in an effort again to display the Testosterone of the moment, as if to suggest “Morgan Look at ME”. Slow Tim responded to the attack and also charge ahead as a warrior headed blindly into the horde that awaited them. These two warriors were the best the pack could throwh at the foe. All other riders fell of the pace as if in full retreat.

The riders all worked individually as they responded to the challenge presented by Nicole the “Asshole” and Lystra. Kevin and Slow Tim made it to the end of Lystra at 15/501 only to realize that “Capn Carbon” was not there. He had ridden back down part of Lystra to check on Morgan. Eventually the pack regrouped as Kevin launched them NOT back down Lystra but onto 15/501. Fast Tim was visibly disappointed with the realization that his land speed record down Lystra would have to wait for another day.

The pack rode the shoulder on 15/501 to the left turn onto Jack Bennet where they began the long descent towards Big Woods. “Near the bottom of the hill make the right turn onto BIG WOODS” Kevin shouted as the riders began their attack down hill. First to go was Sporadic Sporano. He was followed by Fast Tim who LOVES TO GO DOWN hills FAST.
“We can’t let them get away” Christy screamed as she rocked past the pack in pursuit. Slow Tim and Capn Carbon jumped just before Nicole and Morgan gathered for the attack. The two more mature riders (Ron and Kevin) elected to watch the scramble unfold in front. As the hill began to flatten Big Woods popped up on the right. Kevin saw that all riders in front had blown past the turn as he swung thru the right turn and charged onto Big Woods with the “Diesel” in tow. Kevin held the lead position through most of the first climb on Big Woods. He was first past by “Capn Carbon” who only smiled as he gracefully glided past. Next was Slow Tim, followed closely by Sporadic Sproano who was pushing the pace in another of his many attacks for the day. Kevin crested the Hill now in 4th place and unable to latch onto any of the rear wheels of those who had since left him in their dust.
The three riders ahead were already becoming miniature figures as Fast Tim rushed by Kevin spraying him with sweet much like the spray from the bow of a boat.

Just then Christy was next to Kevin and working to egg him into taking pursuit, but to no avail. Realizing she was all alone Christy dug deep and powered on ahead to chase down those in the distance. Next was Nicole and Morgan who did not pause to prompt, they just flew past focusing all energy on the attack that had been mounted. Kevin and Ron were once again riding solo each as if in the pull position for some invisible pace line and with no one from that pace line to spell them in their effort against the head winds.

Ron “Diesel” and Kevin coasted down the last hill of Big Woods to find the pack waiting in the shade for the splintered riders.
After a short pause the group worked its way onto Highway 64 headed towards Farrington. The “Diesel” took the pull position with Fast Tim, Slow Tim, Capn Carbon, Sporadic Sparano and Kevin followed by Christy, Nicole, and Morgan. The pace established early by Ron the “Diesel” ratcheted past 24 miles an hour in short order with Kevin and those trapped behind him unable to hold on. Those able to respond were found waiting at the gas station at the top of the hill on Farrington and Highway 64. Another opportunity to top off water bottles, deal with sweat management, and to wait for heart rates to return to the safe zone.

Back on the bikes Kevin led the charge down Farrington to the right turn onto Holland Chapel and the roads headed towards the start/end. Once onto Holland Chapel the pace picked up as Kevin abdicated the lead position to “Sporadic Steve” who continued to push and attack at several locations. As the pack settled into the fast pace the riders splintered with Kevin again leading from the rear. The lead group was discovered headed back towards the trailing groups as they made the turn onto Luter Shop Road.
The group of riders attempted to once again form an organized draft line, however those in the rear were unable to maintain much more than 14 mph. Fast Tim, Slow Tim, Christy, and “Capn Carbon” all pushed closer to 19 to 20 mph pace, with Nicole and Morgan working to pull Kevin, Ron, and Sproadic Steve in an effort to close the gap. “Lets do Cary Glenn” Kevin bellowed to the leading group of riders. “The roller coasters?” asked Nicole. “Yes, Nicole’s Roller Coaster” Kevin replied. Nicole’s excitement could not be contained as she pushed on to join the lead group and in doing so dragged Morgan along.

The leading group was no longer insight by the time Ron, Kevin, and Sporadic Steve were at the intersection of White Oak Church road. This was the half way point on Luter Shop. This band of splintered cyclists continued to crawl towards the next left turn onto Yates Store. Once at the intersection none of the lead group was in sight. “Left Turn” Kevin squeaked. “Is this shorter” asked Ron. “No” was Kevin’s response. “Is it Flatter” Ron inquired. “Definitely Not” answered Kevin. “And we are going this way BECAUSE” Ron asked. “we are already suffering so it wont make it any worse” was Kevin’s confident reply. With that the group swung into Cary Glenn to find the rest of the pack waiting prior to the run at the hills.

The three hills proved to excite all those on bikes as they rushed down hill only to roll well into the climb on the next. Once “Nicole’s Roller Coaster” was completed the pack headed onto Carpenter Fire Station headed towards the long red light at Highway 55. Again the pack split with those in the rear group consisting of Ron “Diesel”, “Sporadic Steve”, Kevin the biking “GOG”, Nicole the “Asshole” (for suggesting the climb on Lystra) and Morgan.

This remained the organization as the two groups worked the last several miles.
The lead group Splintered yet again as the pace was ratcheted up on the road known as “Ron’s Pull” as the group pushed towards the end. Headed in the direction towards the finish this road would best be named as “Ron’s Pull” in reverse, or “llup s’noR”.
On “llup s’noR” Slow Tim looked over at “Capn Carbon” with the realization he had nothing left for the attack and said “I am Spent, Its all yours”. “Capn Carbon” needed no additional prodding as he was already coiled and ready for the attack. Fast Tim, and “Capn Carbon” were left to attack each other as Slow Tim pulled up to finish solo.

The Testosterone (Thorns) covered 58.5 miles at an average pace of 17 mph. Slightly longer and faster than originally planed “Thanks Nicole”.

Sunday August 24th, 2008.
The “GOG” Bonks hard

Those in attendance for the Roses:

Jae Brainard
Theresa Smit

Those in attendance for the Testosterone Riders:
Steve Cope aka all his nicknames
Brian Farkas
Tom Plant – knows to Capn Carbon as “Robert Plant” from Led Zeplin.
Tim Travitz – Slow Tim
Kevin Smit – “GOG”.

The group was willing to again let Kevin provide the route with limited information being provided as the riders slid out of the parking lot.
Thru the Preston Woods neighborhood the riders eased their way towards the turn onto “Ron’s Pull”. Kevin directed the pack to turn away from “Ron’s Pull” and push towards the neighborhood climb towards Holt. Tom was riding strong at the front of the pack as the group turned left onto Holt headed towards Apex. Remaining together the riders encountered little traffic as they swept past the boutiques that make up main streets shops in Apex . On past the closed shops towards the left turn on Tingen the rag tag band of cyclists continued past the water tower and rail road tracks that mark the perimeter of Apex and the start of the country roads that laid ahead.

Slow Tim took the reins as the group rolled onto the gradual negative slop of Tingen. He pulled the pack along for several miles at 24 mph. Kevin was next in line and took the reins from Slow Tim only to lose speed reducing the pace to 21 mph. Kevin held onto the lead position long enough to pass the reigns to Tom as the hills began to raise the elevation on the group. Tom pulled thru the rolling hills and onto the fast flats leading to the final climbs prior to the left turn onto Friendship road.
A short pause at the intersection had the group ready to travel the flat area of Friendship to the left turn onto New Hill Holland Road and the short run to the right turn onto Shearon Harris. The group stayed together through these sections of roads with the pace increasing on Shearon Harris. Kevin and Tom were found drifting off the back of the pack as the group readied for the left turn onto Old Highway 1.
The left turn onto Old Highway 1 found the pace increasing with all riders doing their best to maintain a solid pace line. At the first rise in the road Kevin took a brief pause from applying power to the peddles to hydrate and in doing so fell out of the draft’s sweet spot. This occurred as those in the front of the group added pressure to increase the speed. Unable to catch the group Kevin rode most of Old Highway 1 Solo.

The group reassembled again in Bonsal as they slowly traversed the rail road tracks and positioned themselves onto Beaver Creek Road. This section of road is another excellent place for a well organized draft line to push the pace. The draft line formed with Kevin working to stay in the middle of the pack. He focused full time on the rear wheel of Brain Farkas as first Slow Tim worked the pull position then “Capn Carbon, then Brian Farkas, and lastly Kevin took the turn at the pull position brining the pack on into the stop at the gas station of Beaver Creek/Farrington rd and Highway 64. Tom had fallen off the pace line and was working his way solo to join the group at the rest stop. Water was purchased, water bottles topped off before the group lead by Kevin headed towards Holland Chapel. This was a repeat of Saturdays ride at this point in the ride.

Kevin pulling all the way to Holland Chapel where he would begin to officially BONK. Kevin did well on Holland Chapel along with Tom who until today had not been on his bike for about 4 weeks. Tom road very well for someone getting back after that long away from the peddles. Kevin has no excuses for his lack of endurance or in ability to respond to attacks on the road. Kevin is a “Comfort Zone” rider. He did try to explain away his early Bonk by blaming the Hot Dogs and Beer he consumed at the previous evening’s Durham Bulls game. This however does not explain the issues he encounters on virtually every ride.

As the group closed in on the roads of Luter Shop, Green Level, Green Hope High School Kevin’s ability to maintain speed dropped to a level where he was fighting to hold onto 13 mph. Once in a BONK there is little to do other than finish without passing out. Tom held back with Kevin to ensure he would survive to the end. Slow Tim, Brian, and “Capn Carbon” had long dropped the other two once on familiar roads.

Tom continued to monitor Kevin and provided stimulating conversation during those last few miles just to keep Kevin from drifting off into unconsciousness. Kevin was unable to respond other than to inform Tom that he apologized for being such lousy company since he did not have the energy to engage in the conversations provided by Tom.

At High House Tom said his goodbyes as he headed on his bike towards his home, and Kevin headed down the hill towards the finish. Tom was confident that the momentum of the down hill would provide the speed needed for the wheels to act as gyroscopes keeping Kevin’s bike in an up right position even when the rider is in a semi conscious state.

Back at the finish Kevin worked very slowly and deliberately to dismount his bike, remove the water bottles from their cages, remove the bike computer, change shoes, poor water from his water bottle onto his head – invoking a brief snap back to consciousness, removal of the front tire, and then hoisting the bike into the bike rake on top of the van.

Once accomplished Kevin joined the others who were in full high energy conversation. Kevin slumped into the picnic bench and continued his stupor as those around him droned on and on about something.

The days ride covered 45 miles at 16.8 average pace.
Later after the ride “Capn Carbon” called the biking “GOG” to ensure he was OK.
All is good and he will live to BONK another day.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

August 16 and 17 - Cope goes FULL CARBON, Roses Rule the Road

Saturday August 16
Cope goes full Carbon

In attendance
Those riding with the Testosterone (Thorns) group
Steve Cope - Sporting a brand new Full Carbon Kestrel that he stole from some lady off of Craigs list.
Brian Farkas – Keeping it real on Steel
Tim Devinney (fast Tim – the Love Train)
Doug Sorry Doug can’t remember your last name(Fast Doug)
Pat and Rich Hunt – Both Hammer heads
Suzan and Dayn Mc Bee– First time for Dayn with this group ( he did not crash so maybe he will be back)
Ron and Tracy Clanton – on the tandem
Todd Pechner – Slow Todd
Steve Simpson
Kevin Smit – the biking GOG (Glistening Older Gentleman)
Miguel – First time with the group and first time on the bike since July.
Davin Perkins
John Majikes – continuing to build up for his ride across the US in the summer of 2009.

Those riding with the Roses
Dani Devinney
Christy Pechner (not Christine Damn it)
Sheila Augustine
Patty Lewis
Jae Brainard – I am spinning more (at least 35 rpms) - The Spinster.
Lori Crossland – first time riding with the group ( Welcome to the madness Lori )
Theresa Smit

The Thorns were set to ride a new route that included several miles of roads outside of Apex. The “Roses” elected to cover some of the standard roads with hopes of doing 30 to 35 miles. The two groups headed out onto the roads traveling through the Preston Woods neighborhood with the “Roses” leading the way. IT was at the turn onto “Ron’s Pull” were the two groups went their separate ways.

The Thorns turned left headed for High House and the roads that would wined thru the Cary neighborhoods onto Holt and Old Jenks, and into Apex on Salem/old US 1.
Kevin had scouted this route out and included the plan in his previous email to the group. He also developed and provided a cue sheet for those that wanted one at the start. His preparation and communications of the route would allow for those that wanted to ride on ahead to do so without concern for keeping the pack together. Kevin would ride near the back to ensure all riders made the turns, and because he is unable to ride with the Hammer heads for more than 10 yards.
This route provided lots of rolling hills, limited vehicle traffic, and at least 3 long high speed stretches of road.
The group splintered early as the Hammer heads made their first attack up the hill headed towards Holt.
They all hovered there waiting for the majority of the pack to catch up before jumping on the gears. Kevin knew at this point that there was no way the Hammer heads would be contained. Each one of them could be seen twitching as they hovered at the intersection, each looking to see who would lead them out. It was Slow Todd that provoked the pack to go. He made is move once he saw the last straggler slowly come into view from the bottom of the first climb.
As that rider continued to make their way towards the turn the Hammer heads were already scampering down Jenks working to form an efficient pace line.
The Hammer heads established themselves early and were made up of all those excluding
Kevin Smit
John Majikes
Ron and Tracy Clanton – except later on the fast stretch on Tingen were they lead the charge at over 30 mph.

The next time the Hammer heads were seen by the stragglers was after the rail road tracks on Tingen. This time they allowed the stragglers to all arrive prior to the next attack. This was mainly due to the fact most of the Hammer heads had either ridden back towards the stragglers, or were slowly circling in a School parking lot. The slow momentum of the stragglers actually caught the Hammer Heads off guard as the slow parade of bikers continued on past the circling vultures.
By the time all were gathered the Stragglers had formed the front of the pace line. The Hammer Heads were still scrambling to establish themselves as the pace was increased by Ron and Tracy (the Tandem Team). This team worked the gears and rpms pulling the pack into speeds over 30 miles an hour.
The Tandem Team set up the momentum for the next series of attacks. The first coming from a group consisting of Pat, Rich, Slow Todd, Brain, Mr. Bridenbaug, and Fast Doug. This group pulled past the Tandem team and established a gap between themselves and those in tow behind the tandem. Kevin was the next to jump. He past the tandem doing 35 miles an hour, his best speed to date not going downhill. Kevin’s Solo attack was not good enough to close the gap on those ahead, and was used by Dayn (Crash Gordon) to help him jump the gap that Kevin could not close. As Kevin did everything he could to hold the 35 miles an hour Dayn screamed past so fast that the colors in Dayn’s jersey blended together forming and orange/yellow glow.
Kevin was then past by the rest of the Hammer Heads in this order.
Suzan, Steve, Fast Tim, Davin, Steve Cope.
Kevin was then past by the Tandem, Miguel, and John Majikes.
Yes Kevin was now in his familiar spot – LAST.

After several miles of fast pace line work Tingen morphed into a series of Rolling Hills as it also changed its name to Woods Creek.
The rolling hills shuffled the order of riders at each downhill and subsequent climb. Kevin was past and then past many of the same riders as each would find their method of traversing this section of road. As Woods Creek made its last long climb towards the left turn onto Friendship Brian Farkas was seen falling back off the pace towards those riders brining up the rear. Kevin being one of those was later passed effortlessly by Brian as he sprinted from the last passion to regain his spot with the Hammer Heads as they closed in on the intersection. Obviously the Hammer Heads had not attacked the series of hills hard enough for Brian and he had to create his own challenge just to get a work out. He later claimed that he wanted to make sure everyone in the rear was OK. Brian never worries about those in the rear. He only worries about those in front or about those preparing to make an attack.

The Hammer Heads were all stopped at the intersection by the time Kevin and his band of stragglers arrived. Kevin noticed that many had laid their bikes down and were resting on the side of the road having had enough time for a power nap before those trailing would arrive.

Left turn onto Friendship road set the stage for another slow build of momentum as this road much like Tingen has lots of opportunities for a high Speed pace line to form. Just as the pack began to form a Solo TriASSholete rushed past the group. “Go get em Cope” was the cry from the pack. Steve was seen looking around in anticipation of others willing to join him in the pursuit. The only one DUMB enough to go was Slow Todd. Slow Todd can always be counted on in Joining Steve Cope on any and all “impossible missions”. By the time these two organized themselves the distant rider was well out of sight around the next curve.

The next time the pack saw Steve and Slow Todd they were circling at another intersection waiting to rejoin the group. Due to the many twists and turns on this road the Pack was unable to witness the chase down (that may have happened). It is interesting that the two riders elected to wait for the pack in an area where there was no way to confirm a successful capture of the elusive TriASSholete.

The pack was all together with the next left turn onto New Holland road. No one was trailing the pack as all riders had worked to stay in the pace line leading to this intersection.
New Holland was a short run with a hill climb just prior to the right turn onto Shearon Harris Road.
The Hammer Heads had obviously used the run on Friendship to rest, recover, and prep for the next series of attacks that would take place on Shearon Harris.

As if someone shot a starters pistol the Hammer Heads all took flight down Shearon Harris road, not to be seen again until the left turn onto Old US 1 some 3.5 miles later.

At the intersection of Old US 1 and Shearon Harris Road a gentleman in a pick up truck stopped to inform the group of riders that he owned a warehouse just down the road on old US1. He offered to let the group park in his parking lot and use that as their start and finish spot. He was thanked heavily by the group. Each of the bikers looked surprised as the driver waved good by – requesting they all have a safe ride. “WOW, a supportive Pick Up Truck Driver”, “I have never met one of those” was the response from Kevin to the group.
Mr. Bridenbaugh turned right at the intersection and waved good-by to the group as he headed towards home early.

The pack made the left turn onto old US1 and rode single file as they looked for the next right turn onto Beaver Creek Road. Beaver Creek Road is heavily traveled by bicyclists in pace lines. The 6.5 miles that make up this road are smooth with slight inclines and sections of shade, and minimal head winds from the protective layer of trees lining both sides of the road. A perfect place to organize a sustained pace line.

The Hammer heads proved once again that their recovery rate is quick compared to the sluggish Stragglers. Once again the riders splintered into the two groups in a matter of a few revolutions of the crank arms.
Kevin and his slugs met the Hammer Heads at the gas station on 64 and Beaver Creek Road. The Hammer Heads had already consumed Gater Aid, filled water bottles, had their bio-breaks, and another power nap before the trailing riders had made this scheduled stop.

Across highway 64 onto Farrington and the short run towards Hortons Pond kept the group in tact as they all rode single file.
Right turn onto Hortons Pond and again those ready to attack were unleashed. Hotons Pond’s 2 mile stretch is filled with rolling hills making a perfect spot for multiple attacks. No time was wasted as the Hammer Heads broke into small attack teams each attacking the other. Fast Tim was a little slow to respond. Upon looking around he realized he was ridding with the SLUGs. This was not what he was prepared to do so he immediately dropped his head and powered on to join one of the attack teams.

What the Hammer Heads did not realize is that the SLUGS also formed attack teams. They were seen challenging each other on several occasions causing the Slugs to splinter. The Slugs attacks unfolded as if filmed with high speed camera’s and played back in slow motion. The attacks were so subtle that many of those being attacked did not recognize the event.
At the end of Horon’s pond the Hammer Heads were again circling and acting very nervous. The short 2 miles was not enough to burn off the attack instinct and they were each itching for more.

Kevin recognizing this primordial emotion in those riders he suggested the Hammer Heads go on and not wait any more for the SLUGS. “You guys know the way in, I will act as Sweep to make sure all get to the end safely”.
Before Kevin finished his sentence Dayn, Cope, Brian, Pat, Rich, and Fast Doug all headed for the next turn onto Luther. They were immediately followed by Suzan, Slow Todd, and Fast Tim.
Davin looked at the sluggish group of riders and elected to start heading toward the finish with them.
“you are my ride home Kevin so I will ride with you” Davin was heard informing the group. So the remaining riders consisting of Steve, Kevin, Davin, John, Ron, Tracy, and Miguel (first ride since early July) all clipped in and headed towards the last few miles towards home. “You picked one of our longest and fastest rides to date to join the group Miguel” Kevin said in a consoling tone.

The Hammer Heads did not look back, they did not take a head count to see who was with them and who was not, they just disappeared.

The remainder of the ride was similar to the run on Horton Pond. The rolling hills on Luther started out steep with a fast downhill followed by a slow grade to the right turn onto Green Level.
Green Level had two good climbs with one long fast downhill to the right turn onto Green Level Church road. The Slugs did a great job of staying in an organized pace line on the last section of Green Level reaching speeds of 26 mph.

John Majikes waved goodbye to the group as they turned onto the bike path. John Continued past this spot as he was headed for home. The bike path is a great 4 mile cool down after a long fast ride. The trailing group of riders each slowed as they maneuvered the twist and turns, and dodged the runners, walkers, dogs on leashes, and young kids on bikes that were all taking advantage of this great path.
About half way down the path a Young Cyclist on a BMX bike was riding towards the group when he turned and began to race as if to beat the pack to some imaginary finish line ( a young Steve Cope in the making). This young rider was seen standing on the peddles, throwing the small bike from side to side to maximize his power to the peddles. Just as the rider was getting to maximum speed he suddenly was thrown to the ground and was seen sprawled all over the path. “Dude you OK” Kevin yelled out to the downed rider.
The group slowed to see what they could do the assist this downed cyclist. There on the path was the young cyclist crank arm with peddle still attached.

The bikers then began a slow methodic search for the bolt that must have come out that would hold the crank arm on to the bottom bracket. It was also at this point that the group realized the Miguel was missing. Kevin headed back down the path in an effort to find Miguel while the others continued looking for the missing bolt. Within seconds Miguel was spotted coming down the hill on the path. Kevin quickly turned back to join the search for the missing bolt. No luck. Kevin stopped to inspect the crank arm and to determine if it could be slid back into place well enough for the young rider to get home.
“Hey the bolt is still in the Crank Arm, It must have just come loose, Anybody got an Allan wrench to loosen it, slide the crank arm on, and then tighten it down?” Steve Simpson came to the rescue and secured the crank arm on to the bike. The young rider immediately jumped on his prized position and sprinted on down the path.
The group now fully formed followed on down the path to the tunnel under highway 55. As the group entered the tunnel Kevin let out a “Yippy yi Oh” that echoed an amplified in the tunnel. This startled a woman jogger as she was exiting the tunnel at the other end. She stopped and looked to see what was going on behind her only to smile at the riders as they emerged from the dark bowls of the tunnel.
“Never stops being fun to yell and get the echo” she said in an ever knowing manner. “Nope” Kevin replied smiling back at her as they slid on past the lady.

The ride that day was completed in fine fashion with each rider getting what they wanted from the days effort. 46 mile at an average for the Hammer heads of 20+ mph and the Slugs average pace of 17 mph.

It was learned that ultimately the Hammer Heads splintered again near the finish with only 4 remaining for the final sprint.
Those remaining included
Brain Farkas – jumping at the most opportune moment to take the win
Fast Doug.

The remaining contingency of the Hammer heads fell off the pace and rode to the finish somewhere between the front 4 and the Sluggish Slugs.

Sunday August 17 2008
The Roses RULE
"Captain Carbon" is born

Those in attendance were
Tim Travitz – Slow Tim
Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit
Jay Brainard
Sheila Augustine
Doug Augustine
Ryan Augustine – Fist time with the group ( Doug and Sheila’s high school aged Son).
Steve Cope (named later on the ride by Slow Tim as “Captain Carbon”)

Steve now has at least 4 nicknames from this group
First he was known as the “Chihuahua” for his high energy and constant nipping at your heals on the ride.
Second nickname was provided by Christy Miller who could not remember his nickname and artfully called him the “Angry Chipmunk”
Third nickname Steve has compares his weight to strength ration, his peskiness, and the ability to draft him as if one was trying to draft behind a “Gnat”.
On this ride Tim Travitz was so surprised by Steve’s abandonment of the “Steel is Real” club with the purchase of an all Carbon bike that Tim started calling Steve “Captain Carbon”.

With the group being somewhat smaller Kevin was altering the ride plan in his head. He was scheming to work the route and pace to allow the “Roses” and Testosterone (Thorns) riders to remain together. He was hoping to push the “Roses” to a new distance and average speed best ever effort. “Lets all try to ride together today” Kevin announced looking at “Captain Carbon” and Slow-Tim. “That’s cool with me, me two” they were both heard being supportive.
Keeping the route and plan to himself, Kevin led the group out on to familiar roads. The pack did a great job of keeping together. Kevin was very encouraged when the group was able to make the first climb in Preston Woods together. This is typically were the “Roses” fall immediately off the pace and the Thorns never look back. The group rode smooth during the early stages of the ride. Lots of chit chat (mostly from “Captain Carbon”) and at a pace of about 13 to 15 mph as the warm up continued all the way to “Ron’s Pull”.
This section of road is also known by the Roses as “Jay’s Run”. Jay like Ron loves to take the pull position and build the speed all the way to the T intersection. Out of pure respect the Thorns moved into position behind Jay as she slid into her place at the front of the draft line. Jay pulled the group along reaching speeds of 22 to 24 miles an hour. Kevin was 4th in line and could observe the cadence of the riders in front of him. “Captain Carbon” and Slow- Tim each spinning around 100 rpms and in the lead pulling like a locomotive was jay spinning at 38 rpms. She was in the biggest gears her bike had. The rest of the riders were still on the small chain ring in front – not ready yet for the thigh burn of pushing big gears. The pace line remained in tact with all riders drafting behind Jae until she waved the next in line to the pull position. Slow Tim took the lead and maintained the same pace established by Jae all the way to the T intersection. The pack traversed the quick right and left putting them on the launch pad for Carpenter Fire Station’s long fast run towards the Turn at Yates Store.

Doug took the reins on Carpenter Fire Station and pulled the pack along at 19 to 21 mph. The Roses and Thorns all worked together to help each other stay in close for optimal draft. Ryan was seen riding towards the front of the draft line to stay in close proximity to his dad. He would then drift back down the line to spend some quality time with his Mom who staged herself behind the wheel of the Kevin the “Biking GOG”.

The turn onto Yates Store had the group all scattering as each prepared for the fast downhill and tough climb known to the group as ‘UP Chuck”. Ryan was provided some guidance on how to watch for rough spots on the road and to prepare to shift early and often. Once that guidance was provided the group began looking at Steve Cope who they expected to set up for his attack of the Hill. Steve was also looking around to see who he could draft off of on the downhill with the intent to use that to sling shot into his attack.

As he was looking back Slow Tim slipped away, put his bike into high gear and charged full force down the hill. Steve eventually caught a glimpse of this maneuver and launched himself into the fray. The rest of the pack all began their decent individually with full attention being paid to the obstacles in the road, while keeping an eye on those riders around them. Kevin Coasted down the hill, put his bike into one of the middle gears. He tried to find one that would allow for a high cadence at the bottom of the hill, and not so high a gear that he would have to shift on the way up,( providing he could continue to keep the cadence high). Kevin’s Gear selection was a little too easy for the bottom of the hill forcing him to coast longer than desired so the peddle rpms would be able to match the bikes speed. This however did allow him to carry that same Gear thru 2/3rds of the climb. This technique also allowed Kevin to slide past Slow Tim, and Steve Cope who were both fixed on each other during their attack. As Kevin slid past them Steve Cope, “Captain Carbon”, Stood out of the saddle to increase his power stroke and to work to match Kevin’s momentum. “Well Done” Steve said to Kevin as he pulled alongside with at least the last third of the climb still ahead. “Thanks” Kevin replied as he looked over to see “Captain Carbon” grinning. Kevin realized immediately that Steve was riding effortlessly beside him and had strategically placed the tread of his front tire just inches ahead of Kevin’s. “You are toying with me” Kevin yelled to his tormentor. With that Steve continued to walk away easily cresting the hill just as Kevin’s heart rate maxed out with the tell tale sharp pain in his chest. Time to shut it down.
Once all riders had assembled at the top of “UP Chuck” Kevin requested that the group NOT do the normal turn but stay straight on Yates Store. This maneuver would eliminate the rolling hills that always shattered the previous attempts to keep the Roses and Thorns together. By staying straight the group was able to ride together and recover on the flat section of Road that led to the next right turn onto Luter Shop.

The right turn onto Luter Shop found Doug once again in the Pull Position. Doug maintained this spot for the majority of this length of road. Slow Tim and “Capn Carbon” both took short turns at the pull with Doug quickly taking back that spot.

A right turn onto 751 and the left onto Martha Chapel, “Rose Petal Pull”, had the group all slowing to consume water and to prepare for the fastest run of the day as they would push towards Lake Jordan.

Slow Tim established the draft line followed by “Capn Carbon”, Doug, Ryan, Kevin, Sheila, Theresa, and well in the back was Jae. This draft line remained intact for the first ½ mile as the speed gradually increased with Slow Tim at the lead. Then as if bored with the Pace Jae, working much like a locomotive, pulled out of the pace line and motored past each rider in the draft line. This then triggered Theresa and Sheila to fall in line behind Jae as the “Roses” took command of the Pace line. Within minutes the “Roses” were pushing the pace to 24 and 26 mph. This group of 3 riders each took turns pulling and then signaling the next to take the lead. They rotated in this configuration during the entire stretch of road. As the pace line closed in on Lake Jordan Theresa launched an attack with the help of the “Roses” who worked to block any counter attack from the “Thorns”. This was fun to watch and was coordinated so effectively that the Thorns could only sit back and marvel at the solid performance from this band of Bikers.

A right turn onto Farrington had the group pushing towards the gas station at Lystra. Slow Tim and “Capn Carbon” pulled away from the group and pushed hard towards that target. Ryan pulled himself out of the pack and charged forward in an effort to catch the runaway riders.
Once at the gas station each rider filled water bottles and visited with other bikers who use this land mark as a scheduled stop.

As the group continued to recover they were joined by the 86 year old Strawberry Picking rider that Steve Cope had attacked several rides ago. We learned that he rides about 20 miles a day. We all agreed we wanted to grow up to be just like him.
Once everyone had rested Kevin announced that the route on to the finish would not be back in the direction just traveled. “We are going to take the Roses on some new roads for them” he informed the group. “How much further is it than going back the way we came” Jae wanted to know. “Oh it is about the same distance, in fact it might only be 15 miles vs 20 if we were to go back the way we came.” Kevin said with a gleam in his eye.

With that the group was off headed past Lystra on Farrington and the y intersection that then put them onto Old Farrington road. The “Roses” were beginning to tire at this point and the pack had a hard time keeping all riders in the draft line. Kevin hung back with Sheila, and Ryan as Slow Tim, Doug, and “Capn Carbon” pushed the bigger gears and higher speeds. The group was now split into 3 clumps as the riders worked to stay single file while heavier traffic worked to share the road with the riders. As the miles unfolded the middle pack could see Doug splintering off of the lead group. “Lets go get him” Ryan suggested to Kevin. “Have at it, see if you can run him down” Kevin said encouraging the young rider to run down his dad.
Ryan jumped into action and almost accomplished his goal before the road came to an end at the next T intersection. A quick right followed by another quick right onto Stagecoach had the pack back together.
Kevin set the pace and worked to hold the stronger riders at bay so the “Roses” would not be destroyed with the pace. This lasted the entire length of Stagecoach. Stagecoach is a nice smooth section of road with easy hills, little traffic, and a fair amount of shade. As the group closed in on the next T intersection Sheila was heard to say “I really Like Stagecoach”.
The group now had to make a right turn onto the busy 751 and its two or three climbs. This sun was now in full force and the “Roses” were starting to wilt. Kevin again worked to control the pace on this section of road knowing that the traffic would add to the challenge the “Rose’s” were dealing with.

The left turn onto OlKelly put the riders on to a section of road that was more country like. It had lots of rolling hills, no shoulders, and some sections that were not as smooth to ride as one would like. The traffic also proved to be an issue. Normally this section of road has very limited traffic. The issue on this day’s ride was with one car that refused to pass the “Roses” as they trudged their way towards the next turn. This car then blocked several others from being able to pass due to the blind curves, hills, and continuous double yellow lines. This lasted for several miles as the “Rose’s” anxiety continued to rise with each new car now in tow behind them.

Finally Jae found a small area alongside the road, pulled the “Roses” off the road, and waved the convoy of cars to pass.

It was also along this section of Road that “Capn Carbon” began to sneeze non stop. The only explanation for his sneeze attacks is that he is allergic to CARBON. He had been on this new all CARBON bike for the last 4 days and his tolerance for “CARBON FIBER” had been exceeded. The only known cure is to go back to FULL STEEL.

A short pause was provided as the riders all assembled on the “Yet opened” section of Yates Store.
Slow Tim, “Capn Carbon”, Ryan, and Doug all used this new pavement to push themselves hard towards the next left turn onto Carpenter Fire Station Road. This left turn would point the riders towards the finish about 7 miles away.
Kevin continued to keep in contact with the “Roses” to ensure they continued to press on with the challenge he had provided them. They each did a great job of tucking in behind him as they worked to keep the average pace at a new record for that group. Kevin would periodically glance in his mirror to see the white teethy smile of Sheila who was continuing to ride strong behind him.
The two Groups each pushed the pace as they headed towards the last section of road that would take them off of Carpenter Fire Station and onto the road that runs past Green Hope High School.

On that section of Road “Capn Carbon” always can be counted on to charge hard towards the finish. Joining him in that effort was Slow Tim, Ryan, and Doug. The “Roses’ and their single Thorn maintained 19 mph on that last section of road. The turn onto High House had each rider now doing their best to take advantage of any downhill and timing their approach to intersections in an effort to hit the lights all green.

On into the finish had the “Roses” covering 40 miles at an average speed of 16.8 mph. A best for that distance and pace for the group. Job well done.
The "Roses" RULE.