Saturday, March 01, 2008

One Rose

Kevin had a Scuba class today so I was on my own to load up my bike, helmet and the other essentials needed for the ride. I arrived at Bruegger’s around 8:40. The lines were more than 3 deep for coffee and even longer than that on the bagel side. I knew it was going to be a good day for a ride not because it was sunny and 45 degrees, but because I finally knew the answer to the Trivia Question for 10 cents off my large half-caf. The question was: Toy and recent film whose motto was “More than meets the eye.” Surprisingly enough I was informed I was one of only 2 who had gotten it right! I doctored my coffee and headed for the bagel line. I gnawed half of the bagel, took 2 Aleve and washed them down with my half-caf. I’m ready. Where’s everyone else? Jae, Sarah, Beth, Pinky, the Chihauhua, Tim the tool man, the spitfire Sparano’s, … I knew the Claytons were heading to Prague so they were MIA. OK well 9:05. I did one last pit stop and said “I’m riding!”. No arguments! On colder days snuggled in a warm Caribou chair the argument would have easily resulted in leisurely breakfast and a warm drive back home.
I donned my bike apparel including a new jacket purchased just that Monday on a shopping spree at Performance. At 45 degrees and rising I would surely be shedding it at some point early in the ride. Off I went, the lone rose.
Man! everyone was out today, cars and tons of biker’s and runners! I figured I would go the usual path to Upchuck and then decide from there how far I wanted to go. I knew I would not have much of a chance to exercise tomorrow, so better make it a good distance today. Without the other Roses to spark conversation my head just wondered to other pressing matters. I needed to clean up the yard and it would be a good day for that. I had to do laundry and then pack for my business trip to Toronto. I needed to put away all the bedding from the Improv Invasion last week. Not to mention a number of work tasks that have piled up this week. Most matters were solved somewhere between Greenhope HS and the top of Upchuck, but I knew I would have trouble recalling what the solutions were with the same clarity once I got home.
The top of Upchuck I stopped to strip, blow nose and decide which way next. The new jacket folded into its own pocket exposing a waste strap. The tights covering my bike shorts and unshaven winter white legs had to go as well. I stuffed them in the pouch, fastened it around my waste and took a swig of water. It was quite breezy, so far I had been battling a slight head wind and turning towards Lake Jordan would be directly into the wind. Better to go with the headwind first and then I will be pushed on the return! Good strategy. I headed right, out past Mt. Pisgah church, left on Farrel and then right at the T all the way to 721. I past the refurbished boat, which looked very close to being ocean ready and the nursery which seemed ready for the Spring planting frenzy. With the exception of an occasional clearing, the trees on the side of the road sheltered me from the full force of the wind, The left turn on to Farrington was a partial relief. Then I tacked left onto Horton’s Pond, sat up in my seat and let the tail wind enhance my acceleration. Nice! Payback for all the work. I floated back to 721 with the bliss only interrupted by an A**hole in a white pickup, who came speeding by within inches of my elbow! There was no one else on the rode! I contemplated the rant I would inflict on him if I was ever given that opportunity. Soon I was back to Green Level and took the right all the way to Green Level Church Rd. I then took a left into the wind and up hill so I could come in on Green Hope School Rd. I lifted my bike over the NO Trespassing RR tracks, stretched a bit and knew the wind would be my friend the remainder of the ride. I made it back to Bruegger’s before noon with close to 35 miles at a 13.8 average (good for a rose by any name). It was a sweet ride for this one rose.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Frost Bite 50 ride and Sunday recovery ride

The frost bite 50 ride Saturday Feb 23rd 2008.

A great turn out.
Steve Sparano and two of his friends Lou Soleo and Zingo ( he has no other name, kind of like Madonna) that have not yet ridden with our group, Ron and Traci Clanton, Theresa and Kevin Smit, Christine and her sister, Jim Palatran, Tim Travitz, Michael Huckabee, Norris Townsend, Bob Holtz all participated in the days ride.
Christine and her sister planed to complete the 100 mile loop. Everyone else was not committed to any specific distance and planed to make that decision at the 29 mile rest stop. The day started off colder than the weatherman predicted. It also was overcast, foggy, and a slight wind. Sun Glasses were changed out with lenses that were clear or yellow to allow for the low contrast generated by the overcast sky. Everyone in the group agreed to not get caught up in the adrenaline rush of the start and the pull of the draft lines. The Testosterone and Smell the Roses riders all assembled at the start among the 280 other riders. A brief welcome ceremony was conducted and the mob was launched onto the back roads of Johnston county. Immediately each rider was engulfed by others around them and the group that had assembled was in total disarray. Kevin as well as the others found themselves just trying to keep out of danger from other riders while trying to locate someone they knew. As the miles began to unfold each of the riders in the Testosterone group (accept Christine and her Sister, and Jim Palastran) found one another and formed a strong draft line. This draft line at times grew as others latched on. At one point the numbers likely reached 30 or more riders working to stay in the draft created by the Testosterone Team. Early on Kevin, Bob, Norris, and Ron all took turns at the front. The pace was a very respectable 20 miles per hour at the 29 mile mark. By then Ron had established himself once again as the locomotive with everyone else doing their best to hold onto his rear wheel. It was at this rest stop that the Testosterone group splintered. Ron, Bob, Norris and Kevin all electing to tackle the 62 mile route. Steve, his friends, and Tim electing to complete the 40 mile route at a continued blistering pace. Theresa and Traci representing the “Smell the Roses” were riding their own controlled ride with the early plan to complete the 40 mile ride. This would prove to be the longest of the season for those riders. Those doing the 62 mile route slowed to a more comfortable pace of 17 – 21 miles per hour with Ron leading the charge. The ride stayed cool and overcast. The winds continued to build with the hills coming in these last miles of the ride. Upon completion those doing the 62 miles averaged over 15 mph. All enjoyed the event, all had the longest ride of the season. Christine and her Sister and Jim may still be out on the route, as they were never seen. Maybe they just left the start and found a coffee shop and then went home. I doubt they will ever tell us if they did.
Congratulations to all.

Sunday Feb 24 2008.

Smell the Roses rode Umstead on Mountain Bikes.
They included; Carolyn and Steve Sparano their friends Richard and Theresa , Theresa Smit, and Jae Branard. The group rode the outer loop of Umstead. Lots of hills and a distance of 19 miles. Carolyn set the pace leaving all others in her dust. Theresa commented after the ride that this was far tougher than any of the road bike rides of the season.

The Testosterone riders met at in the parking lot of Brugers on a very windy Sunday morning. Tim Travitz and Kevin Smit replicated last Sundays ride. The major difference was that the did not see Deer and were not hassled by and elderly man in a pick up. They also rode the entire route together since Tim drove to the days start. Both Tim and Kevin were recovering from Saturdays hard charging Frost bite 50 organized ride. Even though they were recovering they both rode strong taking turns pulling from the front against a strong head wind. They completed the 34 miles at the same pace as Saturdays hard charging ride.
The riders of both groups are slowly building towards their summer legs.