Saturday, November 08, 2008

Cope can not Start in the Rain.

Saturday Nov 8.
Assembled at the start.
Theresa Smit
Kevin Smit “ GOG”
Steve Sparano “Sporadic Sparano”
Tim Devinney - “Fast Tim” – “The Love Train” rode in on his bike.
Jae Brainard.

As the group sat and drank coffee they watched the rain come down hard and then let up and then come down hard again. Steve Sparano checked his Blackberry to see if the weather radar showed any hope for clearer skies. He also checked his email to see if Steve Cope had responded to an earlier email to ensure he was planning to ride this morning. There was a response from Mr. Cope. “woke up, saw it was raining, rolled over to go back to sleep. Do not mind getting wet, just do not like to start in the rain”. Steve Cope will have lots of opportunities to start in the rain and snow as he sets out to ride across the U.S. on Nov 22nd from San Diego Ca.
About that same time Sheila Augustine placed a call to Theresa to see if the group would be interested in going to the YMCA to do Spinning class in lieu of riding in the rain.
The group elected to each go their own way.
Fast Tim headed for home on his bike.
Steve Sparano headed home with the intent to mountain bike later in the day.
Theresa, Jae, and Kevin ended up joining Sheila, and Patty at the YMCA.
The Roses all did Spinning class and Kevin ran (jogged) on a treadmill.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunday November 2nd

In attendance
Steve Cope with his fully loaded Surly Long Hauler.
Theresa Smit
Heather and Ralph Pinney
Kevin Smit

The weather was cool with a warming Sun shinning bright. No wind to battle on the days ride. The group elected to all ride together. Steve was prepared to ride with the groupas a warmup for his training ride that would entail the group ride plus any miles required to complete 80 miles for the day.

The pack headed out of the parking lot with all riding smooth and strong. Steve and Kevin continued their discussion of the logistics for the first week that would face Steve on his planned trip across the US. Kevin had suggested that Steve give himself on extra day at the beginning to sort out any issues with the shippment of his bike to the West Coast. He also discussed with Steve some of the challenges that would face Steve as he works his way out of San Diego and into the Dessert on a Weekend. San Diego to the Dessert in the winter is a heavily traveled route for RVs pulling Dune Buggies and may make it a challenge to Share the Road. The Route is also Known for is heavy wind, with many a RV or Semi Truck blown off the road as they work their way up and over the Pass out of San Diego. Oh yea did we mention that there are Mountians just outside of San Diego and they will cover most of the first 100 miles of the biketrip. Oh yea and then there is mile after mile of nothing but Dessert with blowing Sand.

Steve began to show is first sign of concern as he locked into each nugget of wisdom Kevin prevailed upon him.

Kevin and Theresa have worked with many of their friends in San Diego to receive Steve and his Bike, and then to help Launch him on his way back to the East Coast.

We will all be able to track Steve’s progress by visiting his BLOG.

His journey begins with his flight to San Diego on Friday Nov 21st with his first official day of riding starting Saturday Nov 22nd.
Wish Steve a safe and enjoyable Journey.

Help give him a proper send off by joining the Smit’s and others Friday Nov 14th for a Pot Luck.
Look for an eVite from Theresa Smit.
Bring items that will help Steve on his Journey (gag gifts are also expected/appreciated).
The Smit’s are considering providing Steve with a One Way Ticket back to Raleigh form anywhere in the US. If Steve is smart he will mail his GPS tracking device to track its journey via UPS while he flies back home. He can then update his blog as if he was doing the ride. That way no one will know he whimped out.

OK back to the day’s ride.
The route selected today by Kevin was one that would provide the hills early in the route and travel towards Lake Jordan on roads that are usually ridden later in many ride routes.
At “Ron’s” pull the pack took a left hand turn back towards Cary and the neighborhoods of Jenks Carpenter Road. This then led the pack to a right turn onto Holt (with a quick stop to peal off layers of cloths) followed by a quick jump across Highway 55. This allowed the group to get to roads less traveled by Cars and Trucks. A right turn onto Roberts Road found the group still bunched together as the speeds increased all the way to a right turn on Green Level Church and the next left onto Green Level. The pack splintered momentarily on Green Level with each climb of this part of the route. The group paused at the turn onto Luther for a drink from water bottles. The pack was again riding well together at comfortable speeds, allowing for additional chit chat.
“Comon Steve Lets GO” Kevin challenged Steve as the one steep hill of Luther unfolded in front of them. Kevin sprung out of the saddle and bolted on into the distance toward the crest of the hill. Kevin was not seen again until the next intersection where he circled waiting for the pack to join him.
“Had to rub it in didn’t you” Steve shouted out to Kevin as he closed in on the Circling Victor.
“Feels good” was Kevin’s reply.

The pack took another brief break at the corner of Horton Pond. Ralph commented on the rough surface of the previous road and was informed that Horton Pond is just as bad and is nick named “Hemorrhoid Hell”.
With that the group once again headed on down the road accepting and responding to each of the rolling hills that dotted “Hemorrhoid Hell”.

Ralph and Heather were brought up to speed on additional information Steve Cope had gathered related to his ensuing trek across the US. They learned about tires, tubes and the merits of various brands and how well they hold the road. They also learned that Bikes cannot Hydroplane in a rain storm. (Steve needs to better explain the logic behind that).
They also learned of Steve’s communications to people like Beaver, Bed Post, Non Stop and a few others of Kevin and Theresa’s San Diego friends. They also leaned that Steve is very concerned and yet interested in meeting some of these folks. Steve quizzed Kevin on what the nicknames were all about. This then led to an informative narration regarding the San Diego Hash House Harriers and how this “Drinking Club with a Running Problem” would give each member a nickname based on some interesting aspect of the person or act they may have been caught doing on one of the runs.
To learn more about Kevin and Theresa's previous life in San Diego and the San Diego Hash House Harriers visit the following link

Let your imagination run wild.

The group made the turn onto Farrington and headed towards the turn onto Holland Chapel which would send the pack back towards the start/finish.
This stretch of road has only one hill section and proved to be exciting for all.
Kevin and Steve were ridding side by side as they headed down to the bottom of the climb, Ralph and Heather were close behind with Theresa bringing up the rear. The road is two lane with double yellow line. Kevin noticed a car headed towards them at the top of the hill. Upon Checking his mirror Kevin saw a white Pickup Truck approaching fast from behind.
Within a Second there was a loud Long HONKING from the White Truck followed by Smoke from all four tires as the TRUCK locked up the tires with the bed of the truck headed into the opposite lane and the cab of the TRUCK headed towards the edge of the Road. The Screeeeeching sound of the tires came long after the event unfolded.
Kevin continued to monitor the situation ahead and in his mirror to see Theresa off the road standing straddling her bike as the TRUCK moved past her location. Ralph and Heather were both still on the road making progress towards the climb as the TRUCK was now within inches of their rear tires but finally under control. Kevin and Steve were now close to cresting the hill the car up ahead had since past (without slowing even with the truck locking all tires up). The TRUCK now seeing a clear path (Double Yellow LINE STILL IN EFFECT) revved its old tired Gas Guzzling V8, swerved into the oncoming lane and announced its disappointment that progress had been slowed due to the bike riders. The Truck did make a clean pass only to make an immediate right turn within 200 yards after passing the bikers. Kevin and Steve only looked at each other in total confusion as to what mental process was executed by the driver of the TRUCK.

The group rode silently for several more miles each with their own thoughts and reflection of life and how a simple JERK can impact it without their control.

The route continued towards Cary on similar roads. Luther Shop, Green Hope, “Ron’s Pull”, High House, and on into the finish in the parking lot of Brugers.
The group covered 29 miles at a comfortable 13.5 mph.

Steve filled water bottles, grabbed a bagel sandwich and then headed out for another 50 + miles.