Saturday April 25th.
A beautiful Summer like day in Spring. The temps were already in the high 70’s and headed for the low 90’s. The breezes were light and humidity on the rise as the bikers assembled.
Those in attendance
For the “Roses”
Christine Pechner – rode to the start from home without “Slow Todd”.
For the “Thorns”
Todd Spain – TriTodd
Steve Cope – “Capn Carbon”
Jeffery Roussel – “Down Hill Racer” rode to the start on his Steel is Real Surley Bike.
Todd Pechner – “Slow Todd” – who also rode to the start but came in long after his wife arrived. This created a great deal of banter from the group as they all assumed he had slept in, or his wife actually out-rode him to get to the start first.
Kevin-Smit - “GOG” – the KING of BONK.
Suzanne McBee – rode to the start arriving late.
As the riders each trickled into Brueggers it was learned that TriTodd had started the morning by finding two flats on his bike. He changed the rear tire flat and was running out of time to fix the front so he stole the front wheel off of his son’s bike and used that for the days ride. The group also learned that “TrTodd’” wrist is still creating problems for him during swims and bike rides and he has it wrapped in what looked like elastic duct tape.
It was also learned that Jeffery had begun his day with a flat tire as well and had to change it before setting out to meet the group at Brueggers. This put him at risk of missing the start so he raced to get to Brueggers arriving in plenty of time to recover from that effort.
Just as the pack was ready to leave the parking lot they were visited by the husband of the woman who owes the beauty salon next to the ABC store. Last week the lady had asked the riders to park their cars somewhere else because they were taking spots away from her business. At that time there were only 3 cars parked as part of the group of riders. On this day there were only two cars parked as part of the group due to everyone else riding to the start.
It was TriTodd and Jeffery who explained to the gentleman that we only had two cars parked in the lot and we also visit Bruegger and Caribou at the beginning and end of the ride.
The gentleman then said sorry he thought there were many more cars involved. To help keep all parties happy it will be best to park from now on in the area just behind the retaining wall between the Brueggers lot and the restaurant that is now out of business. This will also help move the bikers out of the heavy traffic pattern of cars entering the lot.
The pack then headed out onto High House with the “Thorns and Roses” all staying tightly formed into a well organized pack. Just as the pack reached the turn into Preston Suzanne McBee was spotted heading towards them from the opposite direction. Everyone immediately recognized her as she also noticed the group. A quick exchange of banter and some hand signals that indicated she was there to join the group forced the pack to slow in anticipation of Suzanne’s sprint to catch-up.
The pace thru the Preston neighborhood was a quick as usual however on this day the “Roses” were in the middle of the pack and showed no signs of being dropped that early in the ride. Not even the first hill of the day posed a challenge for the “Roses” as they both were at the light at Davis with all the “Thorns”. Chirs had not been on her bike for several weeks if not months and showed no signs of being pushed. Theresa was focused on riding within the slip stream of anyone one she could even on the uphill climbs. The “Roses” are showing signs of strength and endurance as this season unfolds.
As the pack rolled thru the roundabout in Preston they learned all about “Slow Todds” previous weekends triathlon performance. He did very well in his age group and placed in the top 1/3 overall. His Boil did not even bother him, but he did get beat by at least 3 skirts. “Capn Carbon” has vowed NEVER to be Beaten by a SKIRT. That is why he does not enter any contests that allow women.
The group also learned about the ride “Capn Carbon” and Suzanne did last weekend. A large group of Mello Vello riders organized a one day trip to Pilot Mountain to ride 60 miles and three major climbs.
Unfortunately they were only able to accomplish 1 2/3s of the ride. The ride organizer had an unfortunate crash on the way down Pilot Mountain. He ended up OK – minor Concussion when he locked up his rear wheel and slid into the side of a pick-up truck that was headed up the hill on a hair pin curve. He was back on his bike at the Wednesday Mello Vello ride, and was also out Saturday leading another 60 plus mile ride that covered all the major hills in the local area. Suzanne’s husband Dayn was also on that ride while she elected to join the “Thorns” instead.
The group also learned about Theresa’s solid 3 days of biking the weekend before. She and Kevin along with Jae Brainard, the Clanton’s, Wayne, and other Mello Vello riders joined over 900 cyclists in Washington NC for the NC Spring ride. A 3 day event riding the flat roads of eastern NC. Theresa rode 75 miles on Friday at an average speed of 16.5 mph. She was accompanied by Kevin and Wayne who did all they could to hold on to her especially against some strong head winds. Theresa followed that up on Saturday by doing 111 miles at an average of 15.4 mph. She then elected to do a recovery ride on Sunday by riding 26 miles again against strong head winds. What an animal.
The group also learned that Jeffery led the “Thorns” last weekend and had 4 of TriTodd’s Triassholetes with him as he directed their efforts and routes. Thanks “Down Hill Racer” for being there and taking the lead. The group also learned that “Capn Carbon” led the “Thorns” last Sunday by designing a route that allowed them to then catch the Cycling Spoken here riders at the end of the “Thorns” ride and the Beginning of the “Cycling Spoken here” ride. This allowed any “Thorns” who wanted more miles to join in with the “CSH” ride. Thanks “Capn Carbon”. This may very well become a Sunday Tradition.
Back to the day’s ride.
The pack remained intact as they made the right turn onto Ron’s Pull. Kevin was in the lead position. He controlled the pack for about half the distance on Ron’s pull, working to keep the pace at or just under 20 mph. The “Roses” were solidly within the pace line. Then “Slow Todd” made a jump followed as expected by “Capn Carbon”. The rest of the pace line was content with the speed and enjoyed the game being played by the two riders who jumped. No need to wait on anyone at the end of Ron’s Pull.
The pack glided through the intersection and onto Carpenter Fire Station were Jeffery and TriTodd set the pace followed by the pack all now in single file. The run down Carpenter Fire Station remained a steady 20 mph with others like Kevin, and “Slow Todd” also taking short turns in the pull position. The “Thorns and Roses” still together as all made the left turn onto Yates Store and the next challenge known to all as “UpChuck” hill.
“Down Hill Racer” popped out of the pack to set himself up for his downhill plunge. “Capn Carbon” weaved his way through the pack to ensure he could gain full effect from the slip stream that would be created by “Down Hill” racer. The other cyclists each took a more tentative run down the hill making sure each allowed for room to maneuver around other cyclists and pot holes that continue to grow as fast as weeds in a yard.
“Capn Carbon” jumped first at the base of “UpChuck” followed by “Slow Todd” and then reluctantly by Kevin, and “Down Hill Racer” as he was already in the throws of loosing momentum. Those taking a more disciplined approach to the hill included TriTodd, Susanne, Theresa, and Chris.
“Capn Carbon” was the first to the top and he did so taunting the others by zooming past and then riding just hard enough to stay ahead while also traversing the hill from side to side (lengthening the hill for him and allowing him to scoff at those just below him on the climb).
A short group circle at the top of the hill pulled the group back together with the “Roses” still riding strong within the pack. A fast run of 19 – 21 mph through the rolling hills of New Hope Church Road towards the normal left turn onto Mt Pisgah and the “Roses” remained on the wheels of the “Thorns”. As the pack closed in on what is normally a left turn Kevin decided to change it up and instructed the pack to stay straight. This communications did not filter its way to the two lead riders who were still attacking each other with short sprints. Oddly enough “Capn Carbon” was planning to play a trick on “Slow Todd” and yelled to him that that route would go straight. “Slow Todd: was out front and “Capn Carbon” wanted “Slow Todd” to miss the left turn by going straight under his command to do so. As “Slow Todd” went on straight “Capn Carbon made the sharp left turn and started another attack onto Mt Pisgah. The plan backfired on “Capn Carbon” as the entire pack already planned to go straight per Kevin’s earlier instructions. “Slow Todd” caught “capn Carbon” making the left turn and he slowed to set himself up for a u turn. Just as he started to swing left the pack went zipping past him on all sides creating even more confusion. “Slow Todd” recovered and chased down the pack laughing as he did, now knowing “Capn Carbon” had duped no one but himself. It was not long before “Capn Carbon” was seen again nipping at the heels of the riders in the pack.
The next turn was a left onto 751 forcing the pack again into a single file draft line. The hills on 751 are longer than those on Mt Pisgah but do allow for a steady pull and resultant draft for those who can hold on. The pack was pulled along by “Down Hill” racer and Kevin as each took turns on 751 all the way to the next turn at Martha Chapel. The “Thorns” circled briefly as the “Roses” closed in on the turn onto Martha Chapel. The two long hills on 751 splintered them off the back of the pack. “Slow Todd” was nervously awaiting the arrival of his “Rose” when all of a sudden his momentum stalled, his bike wobbled, and then in perfect slow motion he and his bike hit the pavement just as Chris arrived at the intersection. Without a word “Slow Todd” removed himself from the bike and stood over it glaring at it as if to suggest the BIKE FAILED HIM. After a quick “You OK?” he picked up the bike and again with no other exchange of words mounted it and began to move towards Martha Chapel road.
In the mean time Theresa had already swung thru the turn and was continuing to press solo down Martha’s Chapel. The pack gathered slowly making sure that “Slow Todd” was indeed OK. Theresa was now well down the road as the pack pulled itself into formation. For the longest time no one was concerned about the lone rider who had made her move on the pack earlier. Finally “Slow Todd” made the charge only to again be followed by “Capn Carbon”. These two riders were the only ones concerned that Theresa may have just put a move on the entire pack. The pack again displayed a great deal of discipline as it kept all together while ratcheting up the speed.
The pack could see Theresa in the distance as the two worked to chase her down. It took half the length of Martha Chapel before they caught her. Theresa sensed them coming and prepared to jump on their rear wheels as they went by. She did a good job of timing it and held on only dropping off near the end of Martha Chapel. Theresa may soon be joining “Slow Todd” and “Capn Carbon” in there periodic attacks on one another.
As the riders reached the end of Martha’s Chapel they could see a fast moving pace line of riders rushing down Farrington headed towards Lystra. “Go Get Em” Theresa cried out to “Capn Carbon” and “Slow Todd”. “Capn Carbon” needed no encouragement as he was already in full pursuit. The “Thorns” had not yet finished their run down Martha Chapel as “Capn Carbon” was folding himself into this new pack of cyclists headed towards Lystra. That was the last time the “Thorns” and “Roses” saw “Capn Carbon”.
“Left onto Farrington” was the command from Kevin (GOG). His plan was to guide the cyclists up “Kevin’s Crawl” to Holland Chapel were they would say goodbye to the “Roses” who would head for home while the “Thorns” would do Big Woods and Lystra. “GOG” was in the pull position and held the pace line down to 14 mph up “Kevin’s Crawl” in an effort to allow the “Roses” to remain in the draft.
“YOU realy want to do Lystra?” TriTodd asked. “I considered it” was the reply from “GOG”. “How about we do Pea Ridge instead” was the rebuttal from TriTodd. No more discussion on that topic as the “Thorns” pulled off the side of the road to allow Suzanne to take a phone call and to say goodbye to the “Roses” who really pushed the pace for themselves and were now pointed towards the finish with about 15 miles to go.
Once Suzanne was off the phone the “Thorns” turned towards Highway 64 on Farrington. “GOG” was again at the head of the pace line pulling the pack at 19 to 21 mph. Across 64 at the lights indicating that the “Thorns” were indeed headed towards Pee Ridge and not Big Woods. “GOG” remained in the pull position for a short while on Beaver Dam road still working to hold the 19 – 21 mph pace. “TriTodd” then pulled up alongside and suggested that “GOG” take a break as “TriTodd” took the lead position. Now traveling at 24 mph the pack made their way to the right turn onto Pea Ridge Road just past Lake Jordan. The pack bunched up on the climb with “Slow Todd” and “TriTodd” pushing at 19 mph during the entire climb covering several miles to the left turn onto New Elam Church Road. At this point the road was marked with several areas that had just been patched. The patches still had small loose pea sized gravel/sand, there were also areas were gravel driveways puked large gravel stones into the path of the cyclists. As the cyclists started down one of the many hills “GOG” was coasting and drinking water from his water bottle just as he hit the edge of one of the Driveways and its mine field of stones.
A rear flat.
“I got a Flat” was the cry from “GOG” forcing the pack to turn back to see what damage had been done.
“GOG” pulled his bike into the shade and began the slow process of changing his rear tube. “GOG” was already into full sweet management issues and bending over to fix the tire only put salty sweet into his eyes. Everyone watched and waited as “GOG” worked ever so slowly to complete a task that normally should be accomplished in 1 to 2 minutes. “Down Hill Racer” had a micro floor pump that came in very handy allowing “GOG” to get a full 120 lbs of pressure into his rear tire. “TriTodd” took a picture of the pathetic tire changing effort and sent it from his phone to his Twitter site for all to enjoy. During this entire process Susanne was having a great time chit chatting in a bubbly tone about many subjects none of which this rider can remember. “I believe you must be on Prozac to be so DAMN HAPPY all the time” was the mean remark from “GOG”. “NOPE”, “ Just Beer and WINE” was Susanne’s quick response.
“GOG” only shook his head as he wished he could bottle some of Susanne’s “SPIRT of LIFE” and use it for himself.
Back into the saddle each rider now made their way to old US highway 1 and the path back towards home. The temperature was well into the low 90’s as they made the turn.
“Can We STOP”, “I need to use the restroom” was the plea from Susanne. “Yes, for you we will stop” was the reply. “Who needs Water” was the question from “Down Hill Racer”. Jeffery ended up buying the biggest jug of water available and shared with everyone. Thanks “Down Hill Racer”.
The group now started the long 15 + mile drive towards home. Old US 1 is full of rolling hills and NO SHADE. “TriTodd” took the lead position and lit it up to 22 – 24 mph up hills. His steady pace and position on the road allowed “GOG” to ride within 2 inches of his rear wheel. He road with a confidence level that had the pack roll past biker after biker, some of whom grabbed on to the end of the pace line. At one point “Slow Todd” had slid past “GOG” to take second position. Then after a couple more miles “TriTodd” rolled off the front putting “Slow Todd” in the pull position with “GOG” in second and “Down Hill Racer” in third followed by Suzanne. At this point those that had grabbed on earlier had since dropped off the back. “Slow Todd” pulled for a short distance than rolled off. “OH NO” “GOG” felt the sudden impact of trying to hold 24 mph uphill while tired. He suddenly knew there was trouble. “I can’t Hold this pace the best I might be able to do is 17” he shouted to those behind. As soon as he was done delivering that message he realized he was DONE. “SHIT” he mumbled as he was now pulling out of the pace line. “I am in trouble” he was heard telling “Slow Todd” as “GOG” continued to fall towards the rear of the pace line. “Down Hill Racer” was now in the pull position and decided he needed to ratchet the pace back up to 24 mph. “GOG” was now falling further off the pace and had no hope of jumping onto the rear wheel of Suzanne as the pace line bolted on head.
YES he BONKED. Just that quick with no warning “GOG” was spent. He worked his best to stay upright as his pace was now a struggle at 11 mph. The pack was no longer in sight and all the cyclists that had been passed earlier were now easily zooming past the wounded “GOG”. The town of Apex was still 5 miles away. “GOG” knew that he needed to find shade and cold water to help with his recovery from the BONK. Food would also help but would have to come much later due to the nauseous sensation swelling within him. His eyes were trying to roll to the back of his head forcing him to shake his head periodically as if that would keep his eyes looking forward.
Now with 1 mile to go he spotted two riders in the distance riding slowly as if to suggest he was gaining on them when in fact they were slowing more and more to close the gap. It was “Slow Todd” and Suzanne who were now gliding along waiting to envelop the lone rider. “You OK” “Slow Todd” asked.
“NO Man I am Spent”. The three limped into APEX were “TriTodd” and “Down Hill Racer” were waiting under a shade tree for the others to arrive. “GOG” guided his bike up a driveway and onto the sidewalk were the shade was waiting for him. He dismounted, laid down his bike, removed his helmet and cloves and sat himself down on the cool grass. “I will be OK, just need to recover for a few minutes, I know my way home from here, I have a phone, I will be OK, You guys go on, I do not want to hold you up” he spoke in a slurred manner. No one spoke they all just stared at this lump on the ground. Finally it was “Down Hill Racer” who said “You don’t look very good”. Everyone else continued to stare.
“I Bonk all the time, I just need to rest a few and then I will limp on to the finish”. “Please go on, do not wait on me to recover, If you don’t go you will force me to leave before I am ready too” again in a partial slurred form of speech.
“You would not leave Me” Suzanne said in a defiant tone.
“OK, I am ready” Kevin said as he stood.
As soon as he stood Kevin was forced to bend over putting his head between his knees to keep from passing out.
Sitting back down Kevin was now found pulling his helmet to him as he then placed it under his head as a pillow now finding himself laying rather than sitting in the grass.
“OK” , “ I will call Theresa to come and get me” Kevin said in defeat.
That was what was needed for “TriTodd” and “Down Hill Racer” to have permission to finish the ride.
Suzanne and “Slow Todd” continued to monitor “GOG” for signs of shock until Theresa was seen approaching in the car.
The “Roses” completed 35 miles at a 16 mph pace. GREAT RIDE.
The “Thorns” were entertained by the antics of “Capn Carbon”, and “GOG” with “Capn Carbon” remaining with the pack he chased down and completed 80 miles at 19 mph average. While “GOG” provided entertainment value in his tire changing abilities and his trick in BONKING.
The “Thorns” who actually made it to the finish completed 46 miles.
No SUNDAY report.
"GOG" stayed in bed still working to recover from his BONK.
In checking his blood pressure that Sunday morning it was 100/55. That is a very low ready for "GOG" who takes medication for high blood pressure.
Rumor has it that Sunday's ride had many riders.
Some in attendance included.
and at least 2 other of TRITODDS Triassholetes.
Several of the "Thorns" did the ride including Big Woods, and then jumped into the pack of Riders headed out from Cycling Spoken Here.