Sunday, January 06, 2008

First Weekend rides of 2008

Satuday Jan 5th 2008 first ride of the year for the group.

A good turn out for this ride.
The group that had assembled consisted of:
Ron and Traci Clanton each on their own bikes (no tandem team).
This was not the first ride of the year for this team. Ron and Traci rode the News Years Day ride. They did 35 miles on Jan 1st with the Spin Cycle new years day ride.
Also in attendance this Jan 5th was Jay Brainard and Barb Hartsfield. They where excited to start the new year off with a fun ride. Theresa and Kevin Smit were also in attendance.
David Bridenbaugh had informed Ron that he would be there for the days ride. David did show up ready to ride by riding from his house to the start of the ride.
Prior to the start the group assembled in Brugers to share how the Holidays treated them and to discuss rides of interest for the up coming biking season. Ron reminded us that one of the early season’s organized rides is the Frostbite 50. Several of us had ridden this in the past and found it to be well organized and well attended. The cool thing about this ride is you can decide at several points along the route how far you want to ride. It also raises funds for a great cause to help fight a specific form or Cancer. We encourage everyone to consider this early season ride. We also met Mark Zarechi who was not planning on riding today but did promise to join us one of these next weekends. Mark was fully engulfed in a cup of coffee and some actuarial charts for his work ( I would rather ride uphill in 10th gear against a strong head wind with two flats and a broken chain – than to look at actuarial charts for work).

As the group left the warmth of the coffee shop to begin the ritual of suiting up for the ride the Temperature was 39 degrees (without wind chill).
Layers upon Layers of clothing forced a slow start to a smooth enjoyable ride.

So the pack was off with 3 riders forming the Testosterone laden group and 4 riders forming the socially correct “smell the roses group”.

From the start Ron Clanton set the pace. He blasted out of the parking lot showing no fear of the cars scrambling for the limited parking stalls that remained. Ron carried this aggressive manner as he charged up the hills of high house and into the neighborhood of Preston with David Bridenbaug working to stay on his rear wheel. Kevin was left far behind in the zone between the Testosterone riders and the “smell the roses group” which was gaining on him as he struggled to close the gap with Ron and David. Right turn into Preston found Ron and David slowing dramatically with the recognition that there were only two of them. Where was Kevin?
Ron was looking intently over his right shoulder as Kevin slowly closed the gap. Ron continued to slow in concern for the Third member of the Testosterone group. Ron Slowed even more as his head continued to peer over his right shoulder in even deeper concern for the missing team member. Kevin, who was now along Ron’s Left side realized that Ron was actually worried they had left Kevin behind, asked Ron “Who are you looking for?”. Ron’s head snapped to the left. “Where did you come from?” There was no response as Kevin continued to catch his breath. The group now glided along the neighborhood roads of Preston and across the busy light at Davis Drive, into the round about of the newer Preston area to the left turn behind Green Hope. The Testosterone Group had now established themselves at a pace of 15 to 19 mph. They could still see their breath in the cold air and were taking notice of the wind direction. Let it be known that the wind will always be in your face on a bike. No need to determine where it is coming from, it will always be there in your face. Ron Clanton was taking note of the fact that his hands had started to warm up. HOW does his hands warm up. He was wearing normal biking gloves. The ones with NO FINGERS. Kevin had gloves that had two layers of protection for all fingers with three fingers bundled together in a mitten much like a snow mobile glove is configured, leaving his trigger finger and thumb left to themselves to stay warm with just the two layers of protection. Kevin’s hands where headed towards being frostbit as Ron was announcing how warm his hands were. David looked at Kevin with an expression that suggested Ron was not Normal. You Vote.
As the group prepared to turn right onto the road that goes past Green Hope High Kevin announced he needed to stop to buckle his helmet. Apparently Kevin has so many layers of cloths to put on that he got distracted and forgot to secure his helmet before the ride.

UpChuck hill presented its usual challenge. Ron and David both attacked the Hill by climbing out of the saddle. Kevin prepared to emulate their efforts only to be stifled by the automatic gear shifts that took place. Kevin started the climb in 2nd gear in anticipation of spinning his way up the hill. Within the first few feet of the climb his gears shifted to 3rd, then 4th, then 5th, and finally as the degree of climb hit its pinnacle the bike shifted again on its own into 6th gear. Kevin had already been forced out of the saddle in response to the earlier cruel gear shifts. He now found himself throwing all 200 lbs of his, out of shape body, from side to side in an effort to convince the peddles to rotate just one more time. His heart rate monitor responded with a load beeping sound warning Kevin that he had exceeded the target and Maximum heart rate recommendation for an old man.

Again Ron and David slowed in an effort to allow the team to reassemble.
Once all three were together the group rode on at a pace that allowed for a slow recovery of heart and breathing rates.
The team pulled up to another unscheduled stop allowing Ron time to change batteries in his GPS. YES his GPS. The group has ridden this route at least 4,323 times but we needed fresh batteries so we would not get lost.

On the group rode for another 7 minutes only to stop again for Ron to find a tree (outhouse) to eliminate all the water he had consumed on the ride.

Not a great deal of conversation on this mornings ride. Kevin did little to add to the conversation for two reasons. His stomach was not quit right, feeling a little nauseous. When he did try to talk it was slurred due to frozen lips and jaw mussels that made it a challenge to form words. The group also learned that the cold air passing over their teeth made the teeth hurt. This forced the team to breath as best they could through their noses. Only during a climb did the mouths open to consume the cold air.

These riders finished the ride with an average pace of 14.8 mph for the 32 miles.
The smell the roses riders were already back from their ride of 20 miles. All had felt a and celebrated a strong sense of accomplishment in having taken the initiative to show up and then ride in the crisp cold air of an early January day.

Sunday Jan 5th 2008 ride report.

Earlier scheduled start than yesterday due to expected warming trend. Even with an hour earlier start the Temperature was warmer than yesterdays ride at its finish.
Another good turn out for these early season rides.
Kevin and Theresa Smit were joined today by Steve Cope, Jay Brainard, Steve Sparano, and Tim Travitz. As the group relaxed prior to the ride Kevin asked Jay about Saturday’s ride and if there were and special events or situations that were worth noting. Jay was quick to respond. “We ride to eliminate Trauma and Drama and therefore have nothing more to share than a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie”.
This is truly the Spirit of the “Smell the Roses” group and a reason that Theresa seeks out these rides every weekend. Imagine her life every day with Kevin the King of Trauma and Drama.

As everyone assembled their bikes and readied themselves for the days ride Steve Cope mounted his classic Vitus aluminum framed bike ( you know the one built with space age technology in 1977) and rode over to visit with a couple of individuals who had their bikes on the back of vehicles. Steve learned that these two individuals had already completed their ride on the horse trails in Umstead park. The bikes they used were cyclo-cross bikes. These are a form of dirt and street bike hybrid. By the time Steve had chatted with his new found friends the rest of the Pack was headed out of the parking lot.
Normally at least two groups form based on pace and distance. Today all riders were riding as a group with Steve Cope and Theresa Smit riding in the back. They were spending the largest amount of energy chit chatting rather than peddling. The riders all enjoyed a smooth transition into and thru the Preston Wood neighborhood. As usual the two groups formed as the riders emerged out of Preston Woods climbing the first hill of the day and across the road at Davis Drive. The guys quickly formed into a small peleton leaving the ladies to enjoy their ride and their own conversations “no Trauma no Drama”. Steve Cope and Steve Sparano set the pace with Kevin and Tim enjoying the draft presented by the lead riders. It was entertaining to watch both Kevin and Tim work to reposition themselves behind Steve Sparano rather than Steve Cope. The two Steves do not generate the same degree of draft. This group of riders continued their trek along the country style roads that are quickly being transformed into new neighborhoods by the continued efforts of local builders. Soon the group will be required to drive for an hour west to get to the edge of town and back into the countryside. Kevin and Theresa may need to consider selling their home in the heart of Cary to relocate to the NEW Heart of Cary several miles away.

On the group rode with Steve Cope sharing the story of how he slammed the car door on his thumb, and the creative bandage applied on it by one of his daughters. Think MaxiPad.

No one really attacked on UpChuck which is an indication that each rider knew they were out of shape and just wanted to get the climb over with. This group continued a crisp yet controlled pace through out the days ride. Once again returning to the start , in the Brugers parking lot, the group discovered they had ridden 33 miles at an average pace of 16.4 miles per hour. Very acceptable for an early season ride. Not sure which rider set the pace with each taking turns at the lead.

The ladies arrived within minutes of the guys return to the parking lot. They had ridden 25 miles at a relaxed pace of 13 mph with a long stop to visit with a local policeman. It appears he was asking them if they had seen a large group of Bike Riders taking over the road and not letting drivers pass. They had not noticed this group (of about 30+) however the guys had passed them going the opposite direction near the end of their ride.

No Trauma No Drama.
So says Steve Cope.