Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Weekend rides

Traci gets a NEW BIKE

Saturday March 22, 2008

An earlier start to allow for longer ride if desired.
Weather expected to be fantastic.
Those in attendance included:
Theresa Smit, Jae Brainard, Beth Gonzales, and Traci Clanton.
Traci came equipped with a brand new high end carbon fiber FELT road bike.
It was pretty.
These ladies were in high spirits and ready to ride a strong ride as the “Smell the Roses” participants.
Those representing the “Testosterone Riders” included:
Kevin Smit fresh off last weekends Birthday Ride, Steve (missing in action ) Cope, Steve Sparano, and Ron ( the hammer ) Clanton. The group was joined early in the ride by Todd Pechner.

Everyone but Ron, had assembled in time to sit and have a small coffee prior to the start.
Ron and Traci had already had their coffee before arrival. They also had already readied their bikes for the days ride. They did join the Kevin and Theresa as they ordered their coffee, and visited as the other riders slowly strolled in for the days ride. At 8:20 Ron jumped out of the chair and announced time to get ready. With out hesitation he headed out the door towards his already waiting bike. The group that had just assembled threw down their coffee as fast as they could swallow, gathered up their belongings and did their best to follow Ron out the door. TIME is something that is very exacting for Ron.
At 8:30 am the atomic clock Ron has built into his GPS system announced that it was time to head out onto the roads of West Cary.
Just as the riders mounted their bike Steve Cope announced that he maybe riding on a rear tire that was at the end of its life expectancy. He informed the group that one year on his tires is usually all he gets. With that the pack was off.

Today’s ride for the Testosterone riders had the expected charge from the start by Ron with Steve nipping at his heals. The pack of Testosterone riders easily regrouped as they swung into the Preston neighborhood. The Smell the Roses were already out of view as they took a more kindler gentler start to the days ride.

The Testosterone group wandered through the neighborhood as a tight group, easily climbing the small hills towards Davis drive. At the intersection of Davis drive the group encountered a solo rider heading towards the group. It was Todd. Todd had not gotten the email regarding today’s ride and was headed toward the start in the chance that the group would be riding. Luck had it that these riders recognized each other resulting in the pack growing by one additional strong rider.

Todd is training for a Sprint Series Tri-athalon on April 12th. His style of ridding is to attack often, pushing others and himself as he does so. This was going to be fun watching Ron, Steve ( the chuawa ) and Todd all taking turns attacking. The group remained calm up to the turn onto upchurch road. This is the long stretch of road that leads out of Cary past Green Hope High school. This is also known to the group as “Ron’s Pull”. Ron loves to hammer hard on the section. Today was no exception. Kevin was the first to make the turn onto “Ron’s Pull” road. Ron was directly behind Kevin through the turn. “OK Kev GO” Ron shouted. “I will not take away the honors, It is all yours Ron” was Kevin’s immediate response as he pulled out wide to let Ron explode on past. Ron took full control with an immediate surge. No one responded and the gap between Ron and the others grew quick. Kevin looked around and could see Steve Cope twitching with excitement, and Todd looking around as if to suggest we needed to attack. Just then the Chuawa jumped out of the saddle and in eleven quick revolutions of the peddles he was along side Ron, yapping and barking and nipping at his heals. Todd was a little slower to respond and took a look at the gap and made the decision to settle in to the pace being maintained by the rest of the group. A pace of 21 miles per hour is just fine. This trailing group then split again as Steve Sparano slowly fell off the pace with Todd torn between Jumping to the lead group, staying in the middle pack, or riding with his buddy Steve Sparano. Slowly Todd fell back to join Steve this left Kevin in no mans land, no one to draft off of and no way to close the gap ahead.
At the intersection of Fire Station Church Road the pack reassembled and held tight the full distance to Up Chuck hill. On the down hill section before the climb the pack scattered as each rider was able to gain speed at different degrees. Then it was Todd and Steve Cope who attacked the hill with Steve Cope the victor and Todd hot on his heals. This style of speed play continued through out the day’s ride with Ron, Cope, and Todd each challenging the others. Kevin and Steve Sparano worked to maintain a steady pace and draft when they could. The wind continued to develop as a factor as the day’s ride unfolded.

One item of note. The Yacht is no longer in its location at the corner of Holland Chapel and 751.. The product had been moved to the coast where they are finishing the final touches. Rumor has it that it sold for $2,200,000.00 . Yes it was a pretty boat.

As the group worked their way towards the start/finish the level of attacks lessened and the group settled into a tight single file formation.. Just as the group made the turn onto Green Hope School road Steve Cope sat up in the saddle and said he had broken a spoke.
The group slowed as all eyes were looking first at the front tire then rear in an effort to see the wobble that is expected from a broken spoke. No wobble. What was causing such a concern from Steve? A bubble was then detected on the side of his rear tire. The sow-up he was riding had just let loose and had the inner tube sticking out of the sidewall. Steve pulled up long enough to let some air out of the tire, and push the inner tube back into the confines of the sow-up as best he could.
This trick worked until the last long fast down hill of High House when the hissing sound signaled its last dying breath. Steve yelled at Ron to go on ahead and come back with his truck. The pack was about 1 mile to the end at that point. Ron rushed back and jumped in the truck to rescue Steve. We learned that Steve elected to continue his ride on the flat tire as he only had that last mile to finish.

The days ride had the Testosterone riders covering 36 miles at an averatge16.4 mph pace.
The Smell the Roses had increased their mileage today to include 27 miles at their respectable 13 mph pace. Job well done. The new bike worked great for Traci.

Easter Sunday
March 23rd.

A slightly later start due to colder morning.
The sun was out and the wind was already a factor.
Those in attendance included:
Theresa Smit and Jae Brainerd representing the Smell the Roses.
Those representing the Testosterone riders included:
Kevin Smit, Steve (slow poke - last place finisher) Cope, Tim Travitz.
The riders all layered on the cloths including leg warmers, arm warmers, and jackets.
The day was sunny but very cool with a stiff breeze.

The ride started out as all do by heading into the Preston Woods neighborhood and wound out to the turn at UpChurch road, also know as “Ron’s Pull” road. Normally the pack takes a right and heads towards Morrisville. Today however Kevin directed the Testosterone riders to make a left turn and head back towards the neighborhoods of Cary. Once at the intersection of Holt the pack was ready to turn right and head towards Lake Jordan, however Kevin again challenged the group to turn in the opposite direction. This new route had the riders pointed towards Apex and its busy streets. A right turn in the heart of Apex finally had the riders working their way out of traffic and onto the rolling (scenic) hills of Olive Chapel Road. This had the wind at the riders back as they worked their way from hill crest to hill crest with a brief stop for water at Olive Chapel and 751. Steve Cope was completely lost, but Tim knew exactly where they were. Kevin informed them that this new route was part of his Birthday ride route and he wanted them to see some of the scenery it provided. The group continued their trek westward towards the southern edge of Lake Jordan. A right turn at Olive Chapel and Todd Williams put the pack on track to intersect with Farrington south of Highway 64. A right turn on Farrington presented the riders with a near head on from the wind. It was clear at that point that they had been benefiting until that point from a substantial tail wind. Tim took the lead with Steve Cope tight behind. Kevin played with the gears working to find the one that would allow him to draft behind Tim’s strong pull into the wind. Within minutes Tim’s pull left Kevin pushing himself through the wind as he fell off the pace produced by the lead riders.

At the corner of Highway 64 and Farrington the group again consumed water as they waited for the traffic light to provide save passage across the busy highway. On the green light the group pressed into the wind and headed towards Holland Chapel. At Holland Chapel they would be turning directly into the wind and would have to face it head on all the way to the finish. They managed to maintain a respectable 15 to 16 mph pace into the head wind.
The group finished all together and had accomplished a 34 mile ride at an average pace of 15.6 mph.