Sunday, December 07, 2008

Weekend of Dec 6 and 7

Saturday December 6th.
Matching Steve Copes epic mileage.
The write-up is brief due to the realization that no write-up can match the entries provided every day by Steve Cope on his BLOG
The premise of this weekend’s rides was to collectively work to ride at least 80 miles both Saturday and Sunday in an effort to honor Steve who is averaging 80 miles day after day as he travels from San Diego, Ca. to Saint Augustine Fl.

In attendance – helping to reduce the number of miles each much accomplish to make 80 miles total.

Ron Clanton
Tracy Clanton
Jae Brainard
Todd Pechner – Slow Todd
Eric – friend of Slow Todd’s
Josh Carter
Kevin Smit
Theresa Smit.
And riding solo later in the day – Dayn McBee – who knew the group would be too slow for him and would not cover enough mileage for him.

These 8 riders (with out Dayn) now only had to ride 10 miles each to collectively cover the same mileage as Steve Cope is doing solo day after day. Oh yea and he is riding a touring bike fully loaded with an extra 60 + lbs of gear.

The start was delayed slightly to allow the temperatures to climb up from 26 degrees. There was frost on the ground and some of the small puddles were frozen.

As the group began preparing for the ride Josh announced that he would not ride if the water bottles that were on his bike atop the car were frozen.

Everyone agreed that would be an indication to scrub the ride.
With everyone surrounding his car Josh removed his bike from the rack and discovered that the water bottles were not frozen.

With that everyone went back to putting layer upon layer of clothes on to help insulate themselves from the cold and wind. Sunglasses kept fogging up with each breath that was exhaled into the frozen air space surrounding each rider.

Once on the road the group split immediate into the “Roses” and “Thorns” with the “Thorns” riding smooth, quite, and slower than normal due to the missing catalyst for chit chat and periodic sprinting.

Ron and Kevin had not been on the bikes for several weeks and it clearly showed. They both were beaten by Slow Todd on every climb.
Josh rode well but clearly was using this ride as a recovery ride from his normal workouts with his Race Team.

The route did include “Ron’s Pull” (Ron did his typical acceleration in the lead), UPCHUCK and the rolling hills of Mount Pisgah as well as Green Level and Wimberly.
The route was a standard winter season distance and pace.
The “Thorns” did 25 miles at a slow pace of 15 mph. Slow Todd and Eric each completed 40 miles that day by riding to the start and then doing extra after the group ride was over.
The Roses did 20 miles at a 13 mph pace.
Dayn who rode later matched Steve Cope’s Calorie burn for the day, so he single handedly came much closer to the work level Steve did that day.
Collectively the group (without Dayn) covered 215 miles – We suspect Dayn did 80 miles on his own.

Sunday December 7th.

Beware of Black Toyota Tundra Crew Cab Pickup Truck.
In attendance.
Tim Travitz – Slow Tim
Kevin Smit ( no “GOG” during these dry cold winter days)
Theresa Smit.

Todd Spain stopped to talk to the group as they drank coffee and pondered the start of the day’s ride. Todd is a Triassholeete and leads many rides in the area. His rides are only for the strongest riders as they typically ride 60+ miles at average speeds of 21+. We all shared with him the story of Steve Cope and his trek across the US. Todd asked us to send him information about our weekend rides and a link to Steve’s Blog. He plans to add our rides to his calendar that he publishes to the biking community.

His web site is

If you go to that site and page forward to Saturday or Sundays you will see our group listed there. If you click on the link it expands into greater detail about our rides and the spirit (or lack of) for our rides.

The three riders headed to the parking lot to finish the preparations for the day’s ride, after completing their LARGE Coffee’s.
The day was slightly warmer than Saturday’s ride however the wind was much more intense.
The riders elected to ride together with Theresa doing a solid job of riding along at 15+ miles per hour for the first half of the ride.
The route taken today included the hill just on the edge of Cary Glenn, the long relatively flat section encompassing all of Luter Shop, Martha Chapel to Lake Jordan, Kevin’s crawl to the turn at Olive Chapel and back home on Luter Shop to Green Hope.

The ride had two encounters with drivers that had little to no patience or respect for cyclists.
The first was at the turn onto Carpenter Fire Station Road. The driver was approaching the stop sign on Carpenter Fire Station, as the pack readied themselves and then made the sweeping left hand turn onto Carpenter Fire Station. The woman who was now at the stop sign thru her hands up in the air signaling her disgust in having to yield to the bicyclist who had just made a legal left hand turn. The only thing that would warrant her response would be if she had no intention of making a legal stop and the group might have forced her to apply the brakes to bring the car to a full legal stop.

The second encounter was very bazaar.
The group was approaching the strawberry patch on Luter Shop road. Kevin and Tim were riding side by side with Theresa drafting close behind. Kevin saw in his mirror a vehicle approaching far in the distance from behind. Kevin announced to the group that there was a car back and he charged forward to place himself and the rest of the riders in a nice tight single file. This would allow for plenty of room to share the road with the approaching vehicle. There were no other vehicles on the road, which should have allowed for an easy passing situation.

The driver of the pick up truck elected to stay within his lane and in doing so was dangerously close to the cyclists as they hugged the white line. The driver then signaled his distain as he passed the lead cyclist (Kevin) by blasting his horn and swerving into the space occupied by the lead cyclist. Kevin was able to keep the bike on the road and waved good by to the driver as he completed this brilliant mature maneuver in his large pick up truck. The driver then stuck his finger in the air to continue to signal his distain for the riders. Kevin blew the driver a big kiss to let him know we are all loved. The driver continued to wave his middle finger to signal his love for cyclists. Then the pickup brake lights came on followed by a wild right hand turn onto a gravel road. The pick-up then spun a donut as the driver was working to turn the truck in an attempt to come from behind the group to again harass them. Kevin Sped up to cut the driver off and stopped at the entrance of the gravel road. This action caught the driver by surprise. Sort of like David vs Goliath, a 16 lb bike daring a 6,000 truck to come on out. The group could see the driver struggling with what his next move would be. The driver had his window down which allowed him to inform the riders that they had not right to be on HIS ROAD, and with that he pealed out of the Gravel road back onto Luther Shop just in front of the defiant Kevin and sped on down the road waving his middle finger to make sure he made himself clear.

The group rode on in complete confusion in how some drivers are so passionate about their believes that bicyclists are not entitled to be on the roads.

Theresa claimed she saw the driver pull into the farm at the corner of Holland Chapel and 751. That is the Farm that also builds the multimillion-dollar yachts.
The group continued onto Martha Chapel and the run towards Lake Jordan. The wind was in the groups face and no one pushed hard on that section of road. After a short break at the end of Martha Chapel the bikers made the left hand turn onto Farrington Road. Kevin took the lead with Tim announcing that he had no intentions of taking the pull position away from him on the short section of road known as “Kevin’s Crawl”. Kevin did crawl during his pull to the turn at Holland Chapel.
Theresa was beginning to feel the distance and pace and struggled to maintain her position in the small pack.
Theresa again reminded the group that she saw the pickup pull into the farm at the end of the road they were now on. The riders all agreed to see if they could see the truck and maybe get the license plate. Kevin was secretively hoping the driver was close by so they could have an intelligent discussion regarding the legal rights of Bicyclists and the rules of the road for all vehicles. He was hopeful that the driver would be in a receptive mind and might learn how it is to be riding along on 1 inch tires always looking ahead to be in position to dodge road side debris, potholes, with hands on breaks to avoid the cyclist ahead. The driver would then learn how his lack of understanding could have created a situation that could have cost him years in jail had he succeeded in truly removing the cyclist from the road.

There was a black Toyota Tundra Crew Cab pickup in the parking lot of the Farm/Yacht Builder. The group continued on down the road as Kevin circled in hopes that the driver would emerge from one of the buildings. No driver so no true confirmation that this was in fact the vehicle that harassed the group earlier. Kevin did get the license number.

WYL 5722

Keep an eye out for that vehicle. Hopefully the driver will be in a much better mood and would be willing to share the road next time he encounters a cyclist on HIS ROAD.

The rest of the ride was relaxing and smooth as the three riders made way towards the start finish.
Theresa was now in full BONK and fell steadily off the back.
Tim commented that no matter what speed we rode she would fall off the back. She fell off when going 13 mph so the leaders backed down to 12 she then worked to keep the gap and fell off even more, so the leaders fell off to 10 mph and she worked to keep the gap and fell off more. It is as if she is telling herself I cannot keep up and does not recognize that the pace by the group in front had deliberately slowed for her benefit.

The group reassembled at the rail road crossing by Green Hope High School and stayed fairly close together those last 3 to 4 miles into the end.

The 3 riders each did 31 miles at an average speed of 14 mph.
Collectively they matched Steve’s mileage and average pace.
Well done.