Saturday, May 03, 2008

May 3rd ride

A bright warm and windy weekend of riding.
Each day had riders exclaiming how wonderful the day was.
On Saturday the Roses were represented by
Theresa Smit
Tracy Clanton
Jae Brainard
With a surprise visit prior to the start by Sara Powell. She stopped in long enough to visit and let everyone know how she misses the group and the rides. She is working on resting and healing an issue with her wrist.

Assembled for the days ride for the Testosterone riders were
Kevin Smit
Steve Sparano
Steve Cope
Ron Clanton
John Majikes

The group was herded out of Brugers by Ron as he stood and announced the countdown to the start.
Once in the parking lot Theresa was showing off her new bike to those who had not yet seen it. Her new bike and its gearing configuration seems to have provided Theresa with a 3 - 5 mile an hour advantage over her classic 1979 bike.

Kevin was last to prepare as everyone was anxious to begin the days ride. The two groups launched themselves out of the parking lot and onto the roads of Cary and soon Morrisville with the target being the run towards Jordan Lake.
During the days ride John’s classic Greg LeMond bike was misbehaving. His gears would automatically keep shifting. This forced John to ride in only his three middle gears. John needs a new bike. Everyone on the day’s ride voted for John to get a new bike. The group used Tim as the perfect mindset to get a new bike. If you recall Tim was found not long ago alongside the road with a broken chain. To solve this problem he went out and bought a brand new Cervelo.
The testosterone riders did not hesitate to demonstrate they were ready for the speed play comprised of long pulls, periodic attacks from the pack, and scampering up hills. The first of these came with the long pull by Ron Clanton hitting speeds of 25 miles per hour on the stretch of road now Known as Ron’s Pull. Those not participating in the chase were Kevin, and John who both kept a steady pace of 19 miles an hour on that stretch. As Ron, and those he pulled along, approached the T intersection that signaled the end of the pull Steve Cope jumped out of his seat, threw his bike from side to side, and slung himself past Ron to take the prize just like Terry Labonte, or Dale Earnhardt would in a stock car race. As Kevin and John approached the T intersection it was clear what had transpired ahead of them. Steve Cope was giggling with pure delight. That was all the information needed for these slower riders to know what had just taken place. The group reformed itself into an organized draft line to make the run down Fire Station Church Road and to the left turn on Yates Store, where each rider would prepare for the attack on UpChuck hill. Today’s UpChuck assault had predictable results. Steve Cope takes the preem by leaving everyone far behind as he crested the hill. Next was Steve Sparano followed by a cluster of the remaining 3 riders. Steve Sparano was the feisty one this day. On several occasions he would jump out in front to egg the other Steve into the speed play. Without fail Steve Cope would let the gap widen, then would look around as if to say “Aren’t you going to take chase”? Then realizing no one was foolish enough to join in Steve would spring out of his saddle and in just a few short peddle strokes he would breeze past everyone to close the gap and not slow until he was well in the lead. Only then would he turn and smile to announce his victory. This was how the day unfolded with Steve and Steve constantly engaged in speed play, Ron would take the lead on long stretches and pull the group along, Kevin and John were happy to carry on conversation and do their best to hold on during the Ron Pulls, and smile each time Steve would challenge Steve. During the last stretch of the ride the group splintered into 3 with Steve Cope charging hard as a solo rider followed in the distance by Steve Sparano and John Majikes, who were then followed some distance behind by Kevin and Ron. From the advantage point that Ron and Kevin had Steve Cope had become nothing more than a dot in the distance, and Steve S and John appeared as a single rider due to their efficient draft line. The group did not form again until the turn towards High House and the finish line. Once the group had collected itself again Steve Cope explained that he had to attack since he saw a lone rider on the horizon and it was his duty to take chase. It was Steve Sparano who correctly identified that lone rider in the distance as a FIRE HYDRANT. Once this was made public everyone wanted to know why it took Steve Cope so long to finally catch that lone object in the distance. A good laugh was had by all.
The Testosterone riders completed 38 miles at an average pace just over 16 miles per hour, with one stop at the gas station (turn around spot) on Lystra and Farrington Road.

The smell the roses also enjoyed the wonderful day and great friendships during the ride. The ladies were all asking Kevin to return Theresa’s new bike because she was riding much faster than before, forcing the Smell the Roses to speeds they were not accustomed to.