Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Blowout

Saturday June 7th
In attendance representing the “Testosterone” Riders were:
Kevin Smit
Ron Clanton
John Majikes
Steve Cope
Todd Pechner
Davin Perkins (neighbor of Kevin and Theresa Smit and the Sparanos) – His first time with the group.
Brian Farkas
Ernest Davis

In attendance for the “Smell the Roses” riders were:
Theresa Smit
Tracy Clanton
Jae Brainard
Sheila Augustine – her husband Doug rode solo earlier in the day.
Mary ann – her first time riding with the group.

Introductions for the new folks to the ride were completed with Steve Cope asking for the $20 drafting fee to be collected from each new rider. So far Steve has failed to collect one thin dime from any rider. Kevin Smit owes Steve several Thousand dollars for all of Steve’s victories each time he attacks on Up-Chuck or each time he chased down a rider on the horizon.

John Majikas was standing next to his bike and was explaining to Kevin why he did not go out and buy a new bike as a result of his numerous flats this season. John has had well over a dozen flats this season and has not yet failed to flat on a ride that he and Kevin were on together. The last time he flatted the entire “Testosterone” riders grouped voted for John to buy and new bike. That group was very disappointed to see that John was still with his possessed Steel Frame bike. John was valiantly defending his reasons for not buying a new bike and was using the argument that he has ridden many times since his last ride with the group without any flats. BAMM.
All eyes turned to John.
The entire rear tire had just exploded off the rim of his bike, and yes Kevin was very close by.
John’s expression morphed from ride and confidence to shaken and disbelieve.
John then went to work to quickly change the tube and replace the tire onto the rim.
Borrowing a floor pump from one of the other riders John began the process of forcing air into the tube with each stroke of the pump. John bent down to pull the pump off the tube having just reached the proper air pressure …. BLAMM.

John was seen throwing his hands in the air as he told everyone to go on without him since he was now out of spare tubes.

No one was ready to let John miss out on the days ride. Steve and Brian and Ron all jumped in to assist.
Steve and Brain looked at the tire and concluded that it was not holding the bead on the rim properly and that what was needed was a new tire and tube. Ron ran to his truck and returned with a brand new (High end – expensive) tire that was still in the box. Ron also produced a brand new, still in the box, tube. Within minutes from the original exposition John is ready to ride with a new tire and tube installed and pressurized.
Everyone mounted their bikes and headed out onto the roads of Cary, NC. John was riding with full confidence that he has already achieved his quota of flats for the day’s ride. The ride began as many do with a slow steady buildup of speed and rpms as the group makes the turn into the Preston neighborhood. The major difference today was that Ron was not leading the initial charge up those early hills on High house. Instead he was lagging behind with Kevin, John and Brian Farkas. The new guy Davin was seen at the front with Steve and Todd and Ernest. Steve was already engaged in full nonstop conversation with the new rider making him feel welcomed to the group. The “ Testosterone” riders remained together in a poorly formed pelaton with no one rider taking the lead position. The pelaton acted more like and ameba that slowly changed shape as it headed in its desired direction.
As the blob made the right turn onto “RON’s PULL” Steve Cope and Todd set themselves up for the traditional draft and resulting slingshot they would receive from the long pull and Stellar Draft created by Ron Clanton on that straight section of road.
Ron was still in the back of the pack as everyone slowed d swinging wide to let him through to the front. “I am going to hold back and just ride this section at a reasonable pace” Ron told Kevin. “I think by pushing so hard early in the rides I burn myself out and then struggle the rest of the ride”, he continued to explain. “Smart move, I always fail to recover from any of my feeble attempts to charge hard” was Kevin’s supportive response.
During this brief conversation Steve, Todd, Ernest, and Davin all continued to expect something to happen. Davin being new to the group had no idea that the others were looking for the traditional easy ride by drafting the all powerful Ron on this section of road. With that lack of knowledge Davin became restless and assumed others were waiting on him to take a turn at the front. He accepted that self imposed challenge and moved quickly to the front. That was all that was needed for the others to abandon Ron and join the new guy on an attack that, until this day, was always set aside for RON to Command. John Majikes was clearly contemplating joining the lead group but stayed within the comfort of Ron, Kevin and Ernest who was heard saying “it is still early, there will be plenty of time to catch them, and lots more opportunities to attack”. With that the trailing group worked together to form a more organized pace line that produced a slow acceleration and shared effort at the pull position.

With the run down RON’s Pull now completed that the new guy vanquished by Steve and Todd the group reassembled for the single file push on Fire Station Church road leading towards Up-Chuck Hill.
This stretch of Road requires a single file draft line due to a higher degree of traffic and it’s narrow configuration. The group motored along that stretch at a solid 21 mph average slowing only to prepare for the left hand turn onto Yates Store and the pending attack on Up-Chuck. Devin was now riding in a wait and see what happens riding style. He followed the group watching Steve, Todd, Ernest, and Brian all charge down the hill with the anticipation of getting a solid jump on the attack. Ernest was the first to begin the attack on the climb followed by Steve and Todd who both attacked the hill together with Brian delaying only for an instant. Soon it was Steve and Brain battling it out they passed Ernest and as Todd was slowly left in his struggle to take the top. From the back of the pack it appeared that Brain had taken the prize at the top of Up-Chuck followed closely by Todd, Ernest, then Kevin, Davin, John, and Ron all finishing the climb within yards of each other.
A right turn onto the newly paved section of road had the riders slowing into a recovery pace that allowed each to easily roll over the top of each of the hills they encountered on their way to the left turn onto Mt Pisgah. This stretch of road the hills are more extreme, minimizing the abilily to use momentum to carry the rider towards the crest of the hill. Due to this the riders each, still recovering from Up-Chuck, now worked individually to make the best of each climb. This shattered the group into many pieces. Steve and Todd and Brian all sprinting ahead of the group followed by Ernest, and Davin, then John, followed by Kevin and Ron.

Once past the hills the groups turned left towards Luter Shop. It took the entire 2 or 3 miles of this section for the splintered groups to all come back together at the right turn onto Luter Shop. The group did a much better job of forming an effective pace line with several of the riders doing their share of the pull from the front of the line. The pace was increased due to this solid team work, only to be interrupted with the right turn and short stretch onto 751. A left turn onto Martha Chapel had the group forming back into its more efficient draft line. Martha Chapel is about 4 miles of smooth black top with a slight downhill as it closes in on Lake Jordan and the turn at Farrington. Steve Cope took the pull position for the early stages of this run, with John Majikes always near the front. Steve, Brian, Todd, Davin and Ernest all took turns at the front with the pace quickening with each rotation change of the lead biker. As the pack reached the last ½ to ¾ miles of Martha Chapel Steve, Todd, and Brain all jumped into attack mode with an immediate acceleration. John Majikes was still near the front of the draft line when this attack began to unfold. To everyone’s surprise John raised out of the saddle and powered to catch and then sling shoot past the original break away group. This spurred Steve Cope into his scamper technique in an effort to run down John. Johns jump and continued attack allowed him to continue to lead preventing Steve from closing the gap that had been generated by Johns surprise attack. Once again the pack had splintered into a breakaway and several chase groups up to the left turn on Ferrington road. Farrington road brought the group back into single pace line format. Steve informed Davin that this section of road was Kevin’s to command, stating that “Kevin pays extra taxes on the road to ensure no one else gets to lead up the slow climb of Ferrington”. This short rant from Steve had the group now all scattering and slowing to try and figure out how to extract Kevin from the Pack so he could take his honored position at the front of the draft line for the section of road now known as “Kevin’s Crawl”.

This was forming much too slow for Steve and Todd with Todd leading another charge and Steve immediately responding to the challenge. Kevin was seen struggling with the message Ron Clanton had delivered earlier in the ride. Kevin could be seen conflicted with the thought of taking his rightful place at the lead and then Bonking completely at the end of what would be a monumental effort, or sitting back as he has all day to just ride in the slip stream of other stronger riders.

Just as Todd and Steve developed a large gap between them and the confused pack an opening was generated allowing Kevin to shoot out of the pack. He was still in his large chain ring up front and smaller chain ring in the rear. Without shifting gears he was forced to stand on the peddles and pull on the handle bars to generate an increase in rpms that would catapult him across the gap between the breakaway riders and the pack. The rhythm of this effort was enhanced allowing Kevin to rocket passed Steve and Todd to form a large gap making him a single breakaway and now two chase groups. One group was formed by Steve and Todd with Todd shooting to the front with him on his arrow bars minimizing the drag generated by him and his chase group . The second Chase team was quickly organizing to do their best in maximizing the energy of a well formed pace line. Kevin knew he had to push harder and longer than normal on this slight uphill run if he was going to hold onto any of the gap he had created before being chased down by the others. Heart rate above max, legs filling with blood and lactic acid, lungs unable to fill fast enough or full enough all contributed to the ever decreasing gap between him and the chase groups.

Hold on Hold on the crest of the hill is in sight. With that chant taking place in his head Kevin looked in his mirror to see the Hugh grin on Todd’s face as the first chase group had accomplished their objective. “Don’t slow down now, Don’t Slow down now Kevin” Steve Cope could be heard as he taunted Kevin.

Todd and Steve both now relaxed, slowed, and stayed behind Kevin as they all made their way to the turn on Horton Pond. In their own smug way they had vanquished Kevin and then pretended to act as if he once again managed to retain the title of keeping the lead for the entire length of “Kevin’s Crawl”. This method of winning by Steve and Todd (pulling up at the end and coasting) still leaves the vanquished (Kevin) with the continued pressure of having to respond again and again as long as he is still allowed to finish the pull to the end of that run.
The group assembled again into a short recovery pace line as they rode the rolling hills and rough pavement of Horton Pond.


Another blowout.
The sound came from the front of the pack were Steve Cope and Brain were now riding. Everyone however looked around to see where John Majikes was and if he was still up right on his bike.

Up ahead the group could see the two riders slow and Ernest who was far in the lead turning back towards the now stopped riders.
Off the side of the road to group slowly assembled.
Brian Farkas was pulling his rear tire off the bike. A complete Blow out of tube and tire was quickly discovered.
“Well I will wait hear for someone to come back and get me” Brian announced.
“We are just at the half way point of the ride it will be more than an hour or more before one of us can get back to you in this heat” replied several in the group.
“Lets use the dollar bill Trick” John Majikes eagerly offered. “And if it works you have to tell my son that it works, since he does not believe it does”, John went on to demand.
“I only have a $100 bill”, announced Ron as if to jab back at Steve for earlier emails Steve sent regarding Ron’s ability to buy a new carbon bike because he can .
“I have a quarter” was the facetious response from Ernest.
“I have an unused Condom in my bill fold” Steve Cope snickered.
“The hole is too big for that to work” was the quick comeback from Brain.

A dollar bill was finally produced from the group.
The bill was folded to help create as many layers of material possible and still act as a patch to cover the large hole in the tire. Brain carefully replaced the blown tube with a new one from his repair kit making sure not to disturb the placement of the Dollar Bill Patch.
With the repair completed the group again headed down Horton Pond towards the turn on 751 and then Luther.

Once on Luther the group again splintered as each rider did their best to negotiate the various hills challenges. Steve and Brian were now far in the lead with Todd and Ernest making up that lead group. Kevin, Davin, John, and Ron all stayed within ear shot of each other making sure none was left behind.
A right turn onto Green Level again had the group starting this section as a single group. After the second climb Steve Cope and Todd were making a right turn onto Wimberly with the pack just cresting the previous hill still on Green Level. Without announcing the desired direction Kevin led the pack past straight on past the turn on Wimberly glancing to see Steve and Todd looking back to ensure they were not assuming an incorrect path.
The energy of the pack was sparked by the recognition that Steve and Todd had gone astray. Down the long steep hill only to be met immediately with its twin rising quickly in front the riders all stood to match the pressure of this next climb.
A left turn on to White Oak had Steve and Todd now challenging from behind to take the lead. They were met by Davin, Brian, and Ernest who responded to the hastened pace on this section of road. Laying just ahead was a fast down hill and associated climb up to Luter Shop. Kevin, Ron, and John all enjoyed the fast coast down hill with each shifting to find the perfect gear combination for the next climb. The lead riders were already finishing their climb and were out of site from the chase group. As the chase group crested the hill they saw the lead pack pulled over alongside the road with Ernest circling still on his bike as if there is an unwritten rule that does not let him rest.

Brian had already removed his rear wheel and was again suggesting everyone go on ahead. The dollar bill did work but only for about 5 or 7 miles.
Again refusing to leave anyone behind Steve Cope offered to use his space Sew-up as a Tire and Tube replacement for Brian’s damaged tire and tube.
A Sew-up is a tube and tire combination that is glued to bike rims designed to support that type of tire. The type of rim that Brain and others were riding are referred to as Clinchers. These rims are designed to support a separate tube and then tire that is held in place on the rim much like a car tire does with a firm bead that interlocks with the edge of the rim.
This trick of using sow-ups on a clincher can work as long as the rider is very careful on how aggressive they ride especially around corners.
Brian removed his damaged tube and stuffed it in his Jersey pocket. He then removed the damaged tire and folded it forming a figure eight. He then slid each of his arms in to the holes formed by the figure eight of the fold. This allowed Brian to carry the debris to the end where it could be properly disposed. No Littering. Well done Brian.
With Sew-up inflated the group head to the right turn onto Luter Shop. Steve Cope, John Majikes, Todd Pechner , Davin, and Ernest were quick to charge on down Luter Shop. Kevin, and Ron rode a considerable distance behind. Brian Farkas was no where to be seen. This continued to the potential next turn onto Yates Store. This intersection offered several options on how to finish the days ride. Each of the riders in the lead group had made a judgment call on which direction Kevin would elect to use.
Todd and Ernest continued straight but at a slowed pace. John Majikes had made the left turn onto Yates store but was parked along side the road in wait. Steve and Davin were covering both options by circling the area. Kevin and Ron arrived at the intersection still with no Brain in sight. “Left of Right, Left or Right” Steve was anxious to learn. Kevin did not respond as he rolled past Steve and continued straight prompting Todd and Ernest to jump on ahead, John to mount his bike, Steve to scamper to try and take the lead, Ron and Davin to coast as they watched the anticts of all in the intersection.

Just as Steve rushed past Kevin to join the two riders headed straight Kevin made a U turn and announced “Let’s let Brian catch up”. “There he is” shouted Steve who was now in the lead headed away from Kevin’s U Turn maneuver.

“Lets head down Yates Store” Kevin announced once Brian was in sight.

The timing of this allowed Ron and Davin to be the first to make the proper turn onto Yates Store followed by John who had just mounted his bike, followed by Kevin who was now leading Brian in the correct direction. This lead group could then hear the remaining riders chains and gears work as they all made a U-Turn and worked to join those well down the road on Yates Store. A right turn into the neighborhood at Cary Town had the group all together and each rider preparing for the series to hills that are easily crested using the momentum built up from the first down hill in the series.
Out of the neighborhood and back onto Fire Station Church Road the group was now back tracking the earlier part of the days ride. Again the usual suspects were working to take the lead and generate the gap between them and the other riders. Kevin and Brian found themselves riding together these last few miles as they were unable to maintain the pace set by the lead riders and in making that effort found they had a significant gap between them and those trailing at that time.
Kevin made the turn into the new subdivision that wound around behind a new shopping center at High house and Davis Drive. As he entered the back street he slowed, sat up straight in the seat, removed his hands from the handle bars in a effort to stretch his sore back.

From the corner of his eye he saw a white car headed perpendicular to his line of travel. The car was approaching a stop sigh that should allow the driver time to stop, look both ways, and then proceed right or left onto the road that Kevin was on. Kevin’s instincts suggested that the car was traveling too fast to make a proper stop at the stop sigh.

In an instant Kevin rolled back forward in an effort to secure the handle bars for a possible evasive maneuver. Just as his hands made contact the car swung wide right placing it now side by side with Kevin who was already throwing his bike wide left into the oncoming (open) lane to avoid direct contact with the drivers door. “HEY HEY HEY” was all Kevin could shout as he continued to make the evasive maneuver. The car’s driver stomped on the break and was now looking very surprised and ashamed at the realization she had just about Killed someone through her inattentiveness.
Kevin continued unscathed to the finish.
The Driver returned home to change her shorts and regain her composure.
Hopefully for a period of time she will remember that situation and adjust her driving habits to minimize the risk of being in that situation ever again.
The “Testosterone” riders finished the day with 4 total BLOWOUTS covering 41 miles at an average pace of 16.5 mph.

It was learned that the “Smell the Roses” riders had to return to the start/finish early due to a large bulge that had developed in Jae Brainards rear Tire. This was discovered just as the group crested Up-Chuck. To ensure Jae got as close to the end as possible before a major Blow out all riders in the group elected to escort her back towards the end. As it turned out they all made it to the finish with Jae continuing to ride around in the parking lot in order to end the day with 20 miles on the odometer. The others elected to call the ride short of 20 miles and were loading up their bikes when they heard a load BAALAAM coming from the back side of the parking lot. Jae’s rear tube blew through the casing of the tire just as she completed the last yards allowing her odometer to click over to the 20 mile mark.
Between the 14 riders this day there was a total of 5 complete Blowouts impacting only 3 of the riders.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

End of May first of June Rides

May 31 and June 1st.

In attendance on Saturday May 31st.
Theresa Smit
Tracy Clanton
Jae Brainard – crank arm destroyer
Sheila Augustine
Doug Augustine
Patty Sheila’s friend
Beth Gonzalis

Kevin Smit
Ron Clanton
Steve Cope
Tom Plant
Brain Farkas
Mr Bridenbaugh ( David ).
Todd Pechner was participating in an Olympic length Ironman and was not in attendance for the day’s ride.

Today’s ride had everyone participating in leading sections of the ride, even Steve Cope. Those leading the charge from the parking lot were Ron and Brian followed by Steve and Mr. Bridenbaugh and then Kevin and Tom. Kevin spent these first few miles explaining the various riders techniques, riding styles, and behaviors, to Tom. Kevin explained that Ron will always charge out of the gate and that Kevin is unable to match that pace early in the ride due to his need for a long slow warm-up. As the group rode thru the Preston Woods neighborhood Tom pointed down one of the streets letting the group know that he lives in that area. This results in a short ride for Tom to the start finish of the weekend rides. The group was not up for a long ride today so all elected to do the standard route that included Ron’s Pull, Up-Chuck, and Kevins-Crawl (section of road he tries to ride hard as the pack rides on Farrington road from Martha Chapel towards Horton’s Pond). So no surprises for the group and everyone was free to attack and harass at will. The group made the turn onto Ron’s Pull with a strong head wind keeping the group at bay. Steve jumped out in an effort to see if anyone else would fall for his trap. No one did, and he quickly rolled back to the back of the pack shaking his head in discuss that no one was up for the challenge.

Ron worked his way to the front of the draft line and all others tucked in tight behind him. With the strong head wind no one was willing to push Ron’s pace by their actions of slowly sliding along beside him expecting the usual surge to ratchet up the miles per hour. Instead of this normal response all riders were happy to let Ron set the pace unchallenged. Ron worked harder than any other time on this stretch due to his commitment to pull the pack against the steady gale force head winds. Everyone felt the work being provided by Ron as each was able to monitor the speed undulations’ registered with each hill and new gust of wind. No one wanted to feel the total pain Ron had subjected himself to on their behalf, so all remained in the single file draft line.
Once Rons’ Pull came to an end the group made the quick right and then left onto Fire Station Church Road. This section of Road always has several changes of pack leaders. It is a long stretch that has several narrow and then double lane sections with rolling hills scattered along its length. Today’s mix of ride leaders was no different. The first to jump into the lead to help pull was Steve Cope. This was so unusual that all riders had some form of comment that Steve was willing to do his share of the pulling. Behind Steve was Tom followed by Kevin, and then Brain, Mr. Bridenbaugh, and Ron. Steve was not in the front long before Kevin informed Tom that drafting Steve Cope was futile. Steve’s profile on the bike does little to block the wind for other riders. Tom seemed to instantly recognize this fact and pulled out wide to then charge past Steve to take the Lead Pull position. In doing this Tom pushed the pace increasing the mph by 3 or 4 miles an hour. Just like the chain reaction of a locomotive lunging forward with each trailing car being jerked forward the pack of bike riders each responded with a sudden surge to stay coupled with the draft created by the rider ahead. Tom pulled for a long stretched followed by Kevin who then gave up the lead to Mr. Bridenbaugh, Brain, and Steve Cope as all three prepared for the run down and then attack up on Up-Chuck. The remaining 3 riders all having pulled for long stretches were now left with the challenge of surviving Up- Chuck with tired legs, and elevated heart rates. They also wanted to remain in eye sight of the game that was about to unfold as the other 3 riders would attack the hill seeking to be the victor.
The show was one to remember.

Mr. Bridenbaugh carried the greatest momentum into the bottom 1/3 of the hill with Steve and Brain tucked in his slip stream. Steve was the first to jump and did so swinging wide to the left in an effort to block Brian from catapulting around him on the left. Just as Steve was about to cover the middle third of the hill Brian did catapult himself far left into the on-coming traffic lane. As he jumped into the oncoming traffic Brian also jumped out of the saddle throwing his bike wildly from side to side in an effort to disrupt any chance to draft him. Instantly Steve Cope sat back in the saddle and was seen fidgeting with his left cleat. Mr Bridenbaugh was next seen overtaking the now vanquished Steve. Once all riders had assembled at the top Steve informed the group that he had mechanical problems that had his left foot coming out of the peddles, at the most critical point in the climb.
Tom, Kevin, Ron, and Mr. Bridenbaugh all congratulated Brian on a brilliant attack and the first victory of the season against Steve Cope. Steve was now 0 for 1 on the days attacks. We have all been waiting to see who would school Steve this season, and it ended up being one of his oldest friends and bike racing competitors. Keep in mind that this is Brian’s third time on his bike in the last two years. Hmmm the angry chipmunk can be tamed.

The group continued with a right turn at the top of Up-Chuck. The rolling hills that lay ahead were perfect food for the riding style of Mr. Bridenbuagh. He deftly uses momentum and his locomotive peddling power to consume each of the rolling hills as if they were laid out for him to devour much like kernels of corn on a cob. Take them one row at a time and keep on rotating the cob until there is nothing left. This left all far behind except for Steve Cope who was barking at Mr. Bridenbaughs heals this entire undulating stretch of Road.
A left turn off of Mt. Pisgah had the group scattered into 4 clumps with Mr. Bridenbaugh and Steve far in the lead, followed by Tom and Brian, followed by Kevin, and then behind him was Ron. It took the full length of this next run to reassemble the group with all riders working in a recovery mode. A the turn onto Luter Shop Ron made the decision to turn left and head on back. His stellar pull early in the ride against the gale force wind had taken its toll. The group made sure he was ok and with his approval the remaining riders turned right towards the strawberry patch. The riders were now working again as a team to pick up the pace towards the next turn on 751. Within a half mile the Tom recognized another rider who was headed towards the group. Upon meeting he challenged the riders to reverse course and join the group. We learned that this rider like Tom was training for the upcoming Tour de Cure. He was planning on covering 75 miles for his day’s ride. The group informed him they were only planning to do about half that distance for the day. He introduced himself as Ravin and agreed to ride part of the days ride with the group.
A right turn on 751 and left onto Martha Chapel had Tom pulling the full length of this run. At Farrington the group made the left turn and started the run up the road known as “Kevin’s Crawl”. Ravin was in the lead with Brain, followed by Kevin, Steve, Mr. Bridenbaugh, and then Tom. As the road changed into a positive elevation Ravin fell off his pace putting Brian in the lead. Kevin was slowly pulling his rpm’s into optimal rhythm for his charge up this stretch of road. Kevin took the lead from Brian as the elevation continued to slowing increase. Steve Cope was right there nipping at his heals. Steve made sure Kevin knew he was there by trash talking Kevin’s riding skills the entire duration of Kevin’s pull.
The group made the left turn onto Horton Pond with a brief pause after the turn to allow for all to regroup. Ravin elected to continue on past the turn as he was now working towards his 75 mile goal. The group waited for Tom to be seen working towards the group. No Tom. At this point the group agreed to split up in an effort to find Tom.
Kevin and Mr. Bridenbaugh would continue on Horton Pond road. Steve and Brian would turn back down Farrington to try and find Tom. If they did not find him on that stretch they would turn right onto Holland Chapel expecting that Tom may have turned one road earlier. Holland Chapel parallel’s Horton Pond. At the end of each of these runs the group would gather at the Strawberry patch.

At the Strawberry patch the group reassembled and still no Tom. The group speculated that he may have turned back and followed Martha Chapel in an effort to retrace the day’s ride in reverse. With that the group set off down Luter Shop towards White Oak. They worked again as a team with Steve Cope providing a good deal of the lead effort. A turn onto White Oak had Steve, Mr. Bridenbaugh and Brian all setting up for the up hill climb and associated attack. Kevin knew the best he could do was watch from the rear to see who the victor would be. The attack started early on the down hill stretch as Mr. Bridenbaugh worked to ensure his momentum could be maximized on the early stage of the climb that lay ahead. The other two rides were tucked in so tight that they looked like one bike with three riders. Just as the momentum began to fade for Mr. Bridenbaugh the other two shot to the left to scramble on past. At that same moment Steve jumped out to the saddle with this left leg shooting out wide of the bike frame. Brian quickly took advantage again and hoped wide to the right to continue his acceleration. Mr. Bridenbaugh was very much still a part of the attack and he to powered past the angry Chipmunk. Kevin could only smile as Steve was heard again claiming that he had mechanical problems. Mr. Bridenbauh and Brian continued their attack “taking no prisoners” along the way. They did not back off until long after the climb only slowing to wait for the group at the next turn. Kevin and Steve finished the climb together and upon reaching the level section of road encountered the “Smell the Roses” riders heading down White Oak in the opposite direction. As the two groups passed they waved. In that group Kevin and Steve spied TOM. It was later learned that Tom and the “Smell the Roses” riders actually crossed paths twice before he decided to turn and join them on the rest of their ride. At that same time Steve Cope yelled to Tracy Clanton that the group had lost Ron. This generated an immediate reaction form Tracy who had to stop and call Ron to make sure he was OK. Steve is a trouble maker for sure. Once the “Testosterone” riders had assembled for the left turn onto Green Level Steve was telling everyone how his peddle system has failed him this entire day. Kevin pointed out to the group that when a rider kicks their heal in an outward motion the peddle system releases as it was designed to do. He then described what he witnessed during the more recent hill climb. “guys, I saw Steve kick his heal out to the left just as you two started to press the attack”. With that all the riders had some additional information to now Trash Talk Steve. Steve was now 0 for 3 on the days major attacks. A bad day of biking for the Chihuahua.

The ride continued down Green Level with a right onto Green Level Church and then the left onto the 4 mile bike path. This works as a great cool down for the end of the ride, and was the first time on this stretch of the ride for Brian Farkus. Once back onto the roads of Cary Steve and Brian continued their attack on each other. The last run down Cary Parkway had Brian and Steve shifting into the biggest gears, and spinning at well over 100 rpms as they pushed their bikes working to keep each others front wheel ahead of the other. At one point Brian had deliberately drifted far left forcing Steve to either brake and fall behind or drift left keeping the pressure on the attack. Steve being the animal he is continued the attack and drifted left into a UPS truck that saw what was taking place and slowed its speed to avoid the drag race that was unfolding just in front of it. Not sure if the UPS driver was putting his next scheduled delivery on hold to accommodate the game that was taking place at that moment. Just as the battle reached maximum velocity the two gladiators were forced to slide to a stop as the lights at Cary Parkway and High House announced a full stop for traffic in the direction of the two combatants and a full speed ahead for cross traffic. Steve and Brian had to ride the brakes hard with the momentum still forcing them into the intersection were each had to make a right turn to avoid any contact with traffic crossing their paths.
Giggling each one congratulated the other in the efforts to take the stage and in their abilities to avoid disaster at the end. “Boys”, Christy would have been heard saying if she was there.

The “Testosterone” riders covered 35 miles at a 16.2 mph pace.

Sunday June 1
In attendance.
Steve Cope
Jay Brainard with damaged crank arm reattached to the bottom bracket. (not sure how long it can continue to hold against her powerful peddling technique)
Theresa Smit
Kevin Smit
Tim Travitz arrived on his bike – after several weeks of missing the rides.
Tom Plant who also arrived on his bike (back for more punishment even after being abandoned on Saturdays ride).
The group was also joined by Ernest Davis who had not ridden with the group for over a year. Kevin and Theresa had run into Ernest and his wife the evening before. Kevin Trash Talked Ernest about his missing attendance and how he needs to get back on the road bike and off the mountain bike.
Ernest Trash Talked back about how Kevin’s Writing skills are 3rd grade level at best. He went on to say that he does not read the Blog for several reasons. The first was already mentioned, it frustrates him too much to have the English language, grammar, sentence and paragraph structures abused at the level Kevin produces. Second Ernest said he first looks to see if there is a sign off on the page without having to scroll down to find the ending of the article. Since that never happens he does not bother to waste his time on some long drawn out poorly written piece of information.
Lets all vote to have Ernest do the write ups so everyone can enjoy them without being tortured by Kevin’s attempts at literature.

The group was glad to see Ernest again and immediately made him feel welcomed by harassing him for being away so long.

Steve Cope explained to everyone in attendance that he had cleaned his peddle system and did not anticipate any further mechanical issues with them.
The group then reminded Steve not to kick his heals out during the steepest part of a climb. Steve was put on notice that everyone was ready to watch his attack to see if he continues to deliberately sabotage his efforts if it looks like he can not take the stage on an attack.
With everyone ready the group left the parking lot to begin their day’s ride and friendly banter. The “Testosterone” Riders elected to ride a reverse route towards Holt and Roberts road. This decision puts the hills at the early stages of the ride and allows for little warm up before the pace increases and the attacks begin. All the riders took turns again today leading from the front. Tom rode very strong the entire day with each turn at the pull he increased the average mph by 3 to 4 miles per hour. Everyone learned that Tim had been missing in action due to respiratory issues and long hours and/or days out of town on business. Steve’s peddle system behaved as if new holding him fast in place. Ernest road the strongest of all with long steady pulls from the front. He was there on each attack and appeared to be relaxed the entire ride (not fully challenged). Kevin road hard to keep with the group and by the half way mark was starting the early stages of a “bonk”.

The ride continued along Green Level with its succession of long climbs. The group held together through the turn onto Luther and formed a tight draft line during its length. This riding form also continued the entire length of Horton Pond. The group then charged down Farrington towards Martha Chapel. Once on Martha Chapel Tom elected to take the lead position and Pull the entire climb from Lake Jordan valley to the turn at 751. A solid effort that had all the rest doing their best to hold onto Tom’s powerful performance. A turn onto Luter Shop at the Strawberry patch had the group head for the finish about 12 or 13 miles away. Steve Cope and Ernest did the majority of the pull along this section. The group waved goodbye to Tim as they passed by his subdivision off of Yates store road. A left turn onto Green Hope High School road had the group again working as a team to finish the ride together. The cyclo-cross at the rail road tracks allowed for a brief respite from the bike seat as each rider would dismount and carry their bikes for a few yards. From this point the group only had 4 miles to the finish by wandering thru a shopping center and onto High House for that last push to the finish.

The “Testosterone” riders covered 30 miles at a 17.2 mph pace.
Ernest covered 36 miles due to his extra ride to and from the start to his home.
He will never know this since the article is far to long and poorly written for him to review.
We hope to see him on next weekends ride, and look forward to having his wife join the ride. She is a stronger rider than Ernest, she likes long distance rides in the Mountains. One Sick individual.