Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Feb 16 and 17 2008 Weekend rides

Saturday Feb 16th ride.
The locamotive ride.
A great turnout.
In attendance representing the Testosterone group were:
Tim Travitz, Tod Pechner, Steve Sparano, Ron Clanton, David Bridenbaugh, Christine (triathlete), and Kevin Smit.
Christine wanted to know were the Chipmunk was. If you recall the last time she rode with us she wanted to know were the little dog was.
Oddly enough everyone knew who she was inquiring about.
Steve Cope (the Chihuahua ). Steve’s high energy and constant yapping can only be described as the human version of a Chihuahua.

Those representing the “Smell the Roses” included:
Traci Clanton, Jae Brainard, Theresa Smit.

A great group of riders

Today’s ride is best described as the Ron and David Locomotive Ride.
These two riders set the pace and the distance for the Testosterone group.

Ron started it with emails announcing that he was up for a 50 mile ride and David Bridenbaugh was fully on board with that idea. In reading this chain of emails Kevin was hoping that both Ron and David would not make it to the start of the ride. Kevin knew that it only takes one fool for the pack to follow.

Ron and David are planning to ride the full 100 miles of the Frost bite 50 next weekend.
It is called the Frost bite 50 not the Frost bite 100. Hmmm.
Many others who have signed up from the group are planning on the 40 miler.

So with Ron and David at the lead, the group of Testosterone rides rocketed out of the parking lot and onto High House. The start was much like a Locomotive lunging forward with all the other rail cars bumping and jerking into line.

The group stretched and contracted as each rider worked to find the correct spin and gear for this aggressive start. Ron is notorious for his hard charging style at the start of each ride. In the past this was not an issue as the group usually would reel Ron in as the ride unfolds. This was not the case this day. Ron and David worked as the locomotives pulling a heavy train up steep grades and along straight tracks.

Their efforts splintered the group on several occasions. The first being the long straight shot along Carpenter Upchurch road which takes the rides past Green Hope High School.

As this fist locomotive pull began Kevin and Christine quickly fell off the pack. “Don’t let me hold you back” Christine said to Kevin. In a broken response created by labored breathing Kevin replied “ You are not holding me back, I am slow to warm up”. “Besides they will burn themselves out and we will slowly reel them back in”. Little did Kevin know that Ron and David had other ideas for today’s ride.

The lead group did hold up at the next intersection to let the stragglers re-attach to the train. A more sane pace was provided as the group wound thru the turns and rough roads leading to the next long run after crossing highway 55.
On this section of road the pack was again stretching and contracting as the pace began to build. For at least a couple of miles on Carpenter Fire Station Road the pack was zooming along at 29 miles per hour. Again the group splintered as they reached the turn toward UpChuck Hill.

UpChuck presented its usual challenge to all. Ron and David with Todd and Tim all attacked the hill leaving Steve, Christine, and Kevin doing their very best to summit the hill without blowing a knee cap, or sending their heart rate monitors into the twilight zone.
Right at the top of the hill found the lead group circling as if vultures waiting for the wounded to show themselves. Back into a pack again for a short time as the locomotives showed no concern for the rolling hills that lay ahead, let alone the increase in today’s planed distance, and the groups current average speed.

One the group rode with the continued splintering and reassembling of the pack until the turn onto 751. Here again the lead group of David, Ron, Todd, and Tim swept thru the turn and then made the immediate left onto Holland Chapel Road. This road is a little rough with several small inclines. The trailing group made the turn onto 751 but elected to travel past the first turn and instead made the left onto Martha Chapel Road. This road is very smooth and is mostly down hill. Kevin, Christine, and Steve all road comfortably with no intention of trying to see if they could get to the intersection at Farrington road before the Locomotives would. Oddly enough this splintered group of three made it to that intersection before the hard charging lead group. “Lets all regroup with a short stop at the corner store at Lystra and Farrington” Kevin barked to the riders as they screamed past on their way down Farrington from Holland Chapel. With out hesitation this lead pack picked up their intense pace as they rushed past as to make sure the 3 stragglers had no hope of jumping onto the train.
By the time the 3 stragglers made it to the gas station/store at Lystra and Farrington road the lead group had already refueled, hydrated, and taken bio breaks. With this short stop quickly coming to an end Tim announced he was under a time constraint and needed to head for home. This was the first of several casualties generated by the intense pace of the locomotive team. At this same time the remaining riders were contemplating how much of Big Woods they would ride. Do they do an out and back and return the same route home, do they do Big Woods and then make the left turn at 64 and loop back onto Farrington. Christine still had 4 and ½ hours of riding to complete to accomplish her training ride. She planed to do the out and back and follow that up with the long steep climb up Lystra before she headed for home. This prompted Ron to suggest we ALL CLIMB Lystra first then do Big Woods. “You are F@#K#*& NUTS” Kevin shouted.
The pack all found this humorous as Ron was heard saying “What? was that a bad idea ?”

The vote was to do Big Woods with the turn onto High Way 64.
Once at the turn of Jack Bennett Rd and Big Woods the Locomotives again took control. They charged up the first long climb with Tim in toe. Kevin, Christine, Steve, and Todd were slow to respond at first. Then Todd climbed out of the saddle and spun to close the gap on the lead group. His actions were very similar to the type of response one sees from the Chihuahua. That lead group now with 4 strong riders did not let head wind or hills intimidate them. The gap grew greater as they charged ahead. The splintered group did their best to form their own pace line and maintained a respectable 20 – 23 mph charge along this stretch.
Once at the intersection of Big Woods and 64 the two groups were united. Christine was realizing that normally she is 2 hours into here routine ride at this point but today’s blistering pace had her there a full half hour early. This means she has to do more miles to accomplish her objective of 5 ½ hours in the saddle. She figured she would have to ride Big Woods back and then Out and Back again before climbing Lystra. Kevin suggested that a better plan would be to find a nice shady picnic table where she can rest. As long as she keeps one hand on the bike during her extended rest it would count towards time on the bike.
The group wished her a safe ride and with that the group was down one more rider.
Onto 64 with the pack now consisting of David, Ron, Todd, Kevin, and Steve. The head wind was on full force into the face. The climb from Lake Jordan to Farrington Road laid ahead. Kevin did all he could to suck on the rear tire of the pack. He was able to maintain this for about 30 seconds. Steve never even had a chance to regroup as the pack took off before he made it through the intersection of Big Woods and 64. So know the Testosterone riders were 3 strong and two splintered solo riders.
Once on Farrington and then on Horton Pond the group remained in tact. The Locomotives had accomplished their objective of ride hard, ride long, and now decided to protect the weaker riders by riding at a reasonable 16 mph pace and block the wind for those who had struggled all day.
As the riders headed back to the start Todd pealed off to head for his house as he had ridden to the start from home. Also David Bridenbaugh said good by with just 4 miles to go to the start because he like Todd and Tim had ridden to the start of today’s ride from home. The three remaining riders wound their way through Preston by making several turns that ultimately had them climbing the long gradual climb on CrabTree Crossing.
Ron in the lead easily making the grade followed by Steve and bringing up the rear Kevin. Kevin had been cramping for the last 10 miles. With each turn of the peddles either thigh or calf would warn him of a pending full on cramp. With this knowledge Kevin knew he could not climb out the saddle to respond to a hill. He also knew that he could not increase nor decrease his cadence. Any change in motion would surely produce a debilitating cramp. Kevin shifted and shifted again to meet the ever increasing grade of this last climb. Now his thighs and calves on both legs were simultaneously twitching with the warnings of a full on cramp. A cramp that would be so sever Kevin would have no choice other than to glide to a stop and fall over just like the character on Roan and Martin’s laugh-in did as he road to a stop on his tricycle only to tip over.

A challenging ride for some.
A rewarding ride for all.
The Testosterone group completed 52 miles at just over a 15 mph average.

The smell the Roses riders covered over 20 miles and had a great time visiting and sharing stories.

Sunday Feb 17th ride.

Two riders for the smell the roses included.
Theresa Smit and Jae Brainard.
Those representing the Testosterone riders included Kevin Smit and Tim Travitz.

Kevin and Tim left the parking lot at a reasonable pace and agreed to keep the ride smooth and steady. Tim had ridden to the start and already had well over 7 miles in the saddle. Kevin was working through his slow warm up period. As the two traveled along the normal route they elected to flatten out the days ride by going straight at the top of Up-Chuck hill and then right onto Lutter Shop road. This team enjoyed the long stretch along this part of the ride. One of the events that added to the experience was 4 deer standing in the middle of the road looking at what was headed their way. As Tim and Kevin were surprised to see 2 additional deer bolt from the woods at the edge of the road and dance across the street into the woods on the other side. This prompted the other 4 to follow suit. It was wonderful to see that all the development has not yet destroyed all wild life in the area. Tim and Kevin made the turn onto 751 and then the left onto Martha Chapel road. On this favorite smooth downhill stretch of road these two riders encountered another type of wild animal. This was not an uplifting experience as this wild animal lashed out at the two riders. Tim and Kevin were riding side by side on a quite portion of the road with no yellow lines and no oncoming traffic. Kevin was checking out the conditions in his mirror and noticed that a White Pick Up Truck had suddenly appeared in the short time between his last glance in the mirror and now. Seeing this Kevin sat up tall in the saddle and announced to Tim that an Asshole had just arrived to harass them. Just as Kevin made this comment the driver positioned the bumper of his pick up truck within inches of the rear tires of the bike riders as if he was needing to draft. Kevin slowly turned his head to make eye contact with this aggressive driver to notice it was an elderly man. Upon eye contact the driver made the decision to complete a valid (delayed ) lane change. As this elderly man accelerated to pass he extended his middle finger to share with the bike riders his opinion of our purpose in life.
Kevin thanked the individual for making a proper lane change and passing maneuver. Both bike riders were then able to relax and again and slipped back into the healthy zone of exercise. Just as they did the pick up truck began to slow as if to antagonize from in front since it didn’t work from the rear attack. The riders did not slow and continued on their path with the gap between them and the now stopped pickup truck closing rapidly.
As the riders reached the tail gate they could see the driver signaling them to come up to the driver side window. Kevin seeing that there was a double yellow line took the effort to help the driver recognize he was asking the bikers to pass on the double yellow line.
Frustrated with his lack of driving rules knowledge the driver speed on to what ever destination he had. From that point on the riders were able to enjoy the rest of their biking experience without further hazel. Upon the trip back towards the start/finish Tim checked to make sure Kevin had the strength to complete the last seven miles as Tim planed to turn towards home as their route passed by his home. The two separated with the last seven miles yet to unfold. On into the finish both riders continued Tim with only yards to complete and Kevin with seven miles to complete.
Another successful ride with plenty to remember and share.

34 miles at 15 mph average.