Satuday May 16th.
“Thorns”, “Stems”, and “Roses” the group grows in numbers and ability.
The day started of overcast and cool with the sun poking out during the last hour of the ride.
The start of the ride had 20 riders poised to enjoy the day.
Those in attendance riding with the “Roses”
Lori Brogdert (hoping I spelled the last name correctly) – rode to the start on her bike
Andy Brogdert – rode to the start on his bike
Those in attendance riding with the “Thorns and Stems”
Kirsten Hawkins – rode to the start on her bike
Steve Cope – “Capn Carbon”
Todd Spain – “TriTodd”
Todd Pechner – “Slow Todd” – rode to the start on his bike
Dayn McBee – rode to the start on his bike
Kevin Smit – “GOG”
Christy Miller – “Pink Triassolete” – rode to the start on her bike
Jeffery Roussel – “Down Hill Racer” – rode to the start on his bike
James Lawn – First time riding with the group (young whipper snapper from NC State)
Shawn Richardson – another first timer with the group and also a young whipper snapper from NC State.
Nicole Lewis – A New Graduate of NC state. (WAHOO NICOLE) also a young whipper snapper – she introduced both James and Shawn to the group
Dan Bakley – First time with the group – “Slow Todd” introduced him to the group. – rode to the start on his bike.
Davin Perkins - back riding with the group after being off the bike for a full season.
Prior to the start Kirsten had made mention of a time constraint she had needing to be back by 10:30 am. Kevin then solicited the group to find anyone else who may have a similar time constraint. Davin needed to return early as did Suzanne, and TriTodd. With that information Kevin suggested that they all start and ride together and those that needed to return early would be pointed in a straight route home allowing them to return in time.
The ride had a smooth comfortable start as everyone worked to introduce themselves to the first timers and to welcome back those who have been off their bikes for a while. The “Thorns”, “Stems”, and “Roses” all remained together through the Preston Neighborhood and to the intersection of Carpenter Upchurch and Lewis Stevens. At that intersection the “Roses” turned right and headed down “RON’S PULL” while the “Thorns” and “Stems” headed left into the hills of Jenks Carpenter and the climb up to Holt. The pack was poorly formed with the usual characters pushing for position in anticipation of the first attack expected at the climb up to Holt. This action splintered the group initially with “Down Hill Racer”, “Capn Carbon”, Davin, Doug Augusting, “Pink Triassolete”, all three young whipper snappers all forming the lead group as they charged down the hill towards the pending climb. Those more relaxed and confident of their skills held back to enjoy the spectacle and to time their response to the hill. Then suddenly in response to his jittery nature “Slow Todd” exploded out of the trailing group to jump the gap to the leading group. The hill scattered the group with each rider doing their best to match the challenge presented by gravity and the gradient of the hill. At about the half way point into the climb Dayn was seen passing “GOG” and as he did so he reached out and gave “GOG” a shove to the side, then with a smile he danced on up the hill as if to say “Catch me if you Can”. “GOG” was already close to maxing out his abilities and could only smile back.
Once at the top of Holt the group was directed to make the right towards Highway 55. The short run on Holt had the pack falling into a single file pace line which quickly gapped into two single file pace lines.
The group made is safely across highway 55 and again formed into single file gapped pace lines. The lead group was configured with the young whipper snappers, “Capn Carbon”, “Down Hill Racer”, “Dayn”, “TriTodd”, “Slow Todd”. This configuration remained for most of the day forming the “Thorns” in the lead and the trailing group now dubbed the “Stems”. The “Stems” enjoyed the ride as they carried on conversation and a comfortable yet challenging pace. At this point in the ride those riding as “Stems” included; “Pink Triassolete”, Davin, Dan, Doug, Suzanne, Kirsten, and “GOG”. The two groups rode on past the turn at Roberts and thru the stop at Jenks to the right turn onto Wimberly. Once on Wimberly the two groups formed again however “GOG’s” mass was great enough that the acceleration downhill, due to gravity’s pull on his mass, allowed him to coast thru the gap and join the “Thorns” for a brief moment. As he passed the “Stems” and some of the “Thorns” he was heard singing the praises of gravity and the joy for that moment of possessing great mass.
“GOG” was then passed by everyone as he was lamenting about having great Mass and the drag that Gravity imposes. At the very front of the “Thorns” “Capn Carbon” and Shawn were seen sparing each other to see who was the dominant “Thorn” on the climb.
All found themselves next at the left turn onto Green Level and its two hills. As these next two hills unfolded the pack was found emulating the motion of a Slinky as it makes its way down a set of stairs.
The left turn onto Luther from Green Level had the pack pause very briefly to grab some water and assess everyone’s condition. The pack was off again headed towards Lake Jordan or where ever it was Kevin had planned for the day’s route. “Capn Carbon”, Shawn, Dayn, “Slow Todd”, and “Down Hill Racer” all continued to challenge one another with each and every hill. Luther eventually ended at highway 751 forcing the pack into the right turn onto 751. It was here that those needing to head home early said their goodbyes. The early birds continued on 751 to the berry patch and the turn onto Luter Shop that lead straight back home. They were led by “TriTodd” and Suzanne, as Kirsten, Davin, and Dan all headed back. The remaining “Thorns” and “Stems” made the left turn onto Horton Pond and its rolling hills.
The group splintered into the two right from the start. The “Thorns” light it up with Dayn, “Slow Todd”, “Down Hill Racer”, Shawn, James, and “Capn Carbon” charging forward. “GOG”, “Pink Triassolete”, Doug, and Nicole worked together to push their own pace line. At the end of Horton Pond the “Thorns” were found circling waiting for the “Stems” to arrive and for “GOG” to indicate the next turn. Many were anticipating a right hand turn that would lead to Lake Jordan and Lystra. “GOG” however rolled thru the intersection and drifted left onto Farrington pointed towards Highway 64 and the many possible variations available for the remainder of the route.
It did not take the pack long to run down “GOG” and then roll on past him. The pack was found circling in the gas station parking lot at the corner of Highway 64 and Farrington. “Where do plan on the route going” Dayn asked. “GOG” pondered the best reply. If he informs Dayn of the intended route then that would be the last time anyone would see Dayn and others who would enjoy hammering the rest of the route. If “GOG” does not inform Dayn then Dayn and the other Hammer Heads would get very frustrated having to slow and circle at all intersection as they waited for “GOG” and the slower riders.
“OK, I was planning on a totally new section of roads for the group”, “take 64 towards Big Woods, however do NOT turn right, instead make a left away from BIG WOODS”. “At the next intersection make a right onto N Pea Ridge and following it back to 64”. “Then cross 64 and continue until you hit 15/501”. “Once there turn right onto 15/501 and take it to Jack Bennet and then onto Farrington and then on into the finish”.
“GOG” had just given out the entire last 2/3rds of the day’s route to the Hammer Heads.
They all lit it up and powered down Highway 64 to the left turn at Big Woods. Those remaining to form the trailing group of riders were “GOG”, Nicole, “Pink Triassolete”, Doug, and James. The Hammerheads were quickly out of site even as the trailing group road at 21 mph down highway 64.
At the turn the “Thorns” elected to circle again allowing all riders to regroup as they now found themselves on roads not yet traveled in prior rides by the group. The pace was slowed with all staying together until the last downhill and the stop sign signaling the next turn. The “Thorns” now confident they were on the correct path jumped into the right turn and again challenged anyone to hang with them if they could. This group of Hammer Heads was beginning to splinter with “Slow Todd”, and “Down Hill Racer” falling off the pace and riding in the no-mans land between the “Thorns” and “Stems”.
Again the “Thorns” were found circling at the location where N. Pea Ridge and Highway 64 meet. “GOG” was beginning to feel the effects of not having been on the bike for more than once in the last two weeks and asked the group to make a brief stop after crossing the highway. As “GOG” bent over in an effort to get blood back to his head and reduce the dizziness “Capn Carbon” was suggesting that the group all ride Lystra. He wanted to introduce the new riders to the joys of riding up Lystra. “The only way to accomplish that is to first get to the bottom of Lystra before attempting the climb” informed “GOG”. “Yea, we can do that” cried “Capn Carbon” as his excitement of climbing Lystra mounted.
The group was now ready to head back onto the road. This section of road is a continuation of N. Pea Ridge, however it changes it name on this side of Highway 64 to Mt Gilead Church Road. The group again splintered into two with the “Stems” now growing in size by the addition of “Slow Todd” and “Down Hill Racer”. The run down Mt Gilead was not flat and the sun was now coming out in full force.
Again the “Thorns” were found waiting at the corner of 15/501 to confirm the directions as “GOG” had explained way back on Farrington and Highway 64. “GOG” found it interesting that the “Thorns” still elected to race and then wait for the others in an effort to keep the group somewhat intact.
“OK who wants to ride up Lystra” “Capn Carbon” was asking. “Only Dumb Asses” was “GOGs” reply.
That is all that was need for Dayn, “Capn Carbon” and Shawn to elect to do Lystra. “We will all wait at the gas station on Lystra and Farrington for you Dumb Asses to do your extra climb” was the command from “GOG”.
The riders all set off onto 15/501 to locate the right turn onto Jack Bennet and the long downhill it would provide. “Down Hill Racer” lived up to his name as he made an initial attempt to better his fasted downhill speed. The days head wind soon put a damper on his attempt to reach 50 mph. The rest of the pack was stung all along the length of the downhill as each attacked or coasted at their own comfort level. “GOG” was firmly in the rear even with gravity and his mass working together to catapult him down hill. At about the half way point an ASSHOLE in a while Chevy pickup truck with Dulles
And wide mirrors decided to see how close he could get to each of the riders. He did not slow his speed or move over to allow for safe passage even when other cars were coming up the hill in the opposite direction. On at least one occasion he forced the oncoming car to swing onto the shoulder as they met.
Once safely at the bottom of the hill the pack reformed, although without “Capn Carbon”, Dayn, and Shawn who all headed for the climb up Lystra (DUMB ASSES). The others rode comfortably on to the Gas Station at Lystra and Farrington to rest, get a bio break, wait for the DUMB ASSES, and fill empty water bottles. “GOG” purchased a gallon of Ice Cold Water to share with the group, allowing everyone to top off their water bottles. “Down Hill Racer” needed to get back so he took off solo with the expectation that he may be caught by part of the pack towards the finish. Within a few minutes the DUMB ASSES arrived having just attacked the Lystra hill. Nicole asked “Capn Carbon” if he needed to use the LITTLE GIRLS ROOM just as two guys were walking past. They looked at each other and then at “Capn Carbon” and started to chuckle.
As soon as the DUMB ASSES had filled their water bottles “Capn Carbon” was heard saying “Are we riding or What”.
Everyone scrambled to get there gloves, and helmets back on so they would not be holding up the DUMB ASSES any longer than needed.
Back onto Farrington headed towards Lake Jordan and the turn at Martha Chapel the hammer heads were already lighting it up once again. They had generated such a gap that the trailing riders were just reaching the edge of Lake Jordan as the DUMB ASSES were already onto Martha Chapel. It was at that point that Dayn turned to “Capn Carbon” and was heard saying “I should hold up and ride part of the ride with Kevin since it is his ride”. Upon looking back and seeing the huge gap Dayn then commented “Aw what the heck lets go” and with that the Hammer Heads lit it up again never to be seen by the rest of the group until the finish.
The surviving riders finished the ride following the most direct and flattest route possible. With 4 mile to the finish “GOG” fell off the pace and found it a struggle to manage 12 mph.
Once at the end the group learned that Shawn made a great showing for himself by hanging with the big boys only to crack slightly at the end. Dayn and “Capn Carbon” never took the pressure off the entire ride. The “Thorns” and “Stems” finished 54 miles at a 17 mph pace. The “Roses” completed 35 miles at a 15+ mph pace.
Josh Carter – “Moving Violation” showed up while everyone was loading up their bikes to head for home. He could not ride earlier and was now planning to head out for a ride on his own. “Capn Carbon” elected to go back out and ride with Josh. This gave “Capn Carbon” and additional 30 miles for a total of 80+ for the day. GET A LIFE !
Sunday May 17
Wet What the Heck.
Those in attendance representing the “Roses”
Those in attendance representing the “Thorns”
Steve Cope – “Capn Carbon”
Josh Carter – “Moving Violation”
Tim Divinney – “The Love Train”, “Fast Tim”
Kevin Smit – “GOG”
The threat of rain was all around. Doppler Radar suggested it was about to get worse.
The group elected to head out thinking to do a shorter ride to be done prior to the rain.
In looking at the Doppler radar it appeared that the storms were further away if the group headed towards Apex rather than the normal Lake Jordan area. So “GOG” was quickly putting a route together in his head that would take the “Thorns” into Apex and then any number of routes back towards home.
The group swung onto High House and into the Preston Neighborhood. Nice slow start with the pack riding in a slight mist as they exited the roundabout in Preston and into the intersection at Carpenter Upchurch road. It was at this spot that the “Roses” elected to turn right towards familiar roads and the “Thorns” turned left towards Apex and any number of routes possible in that direction.
The mist was not increasing and in fact was letting up as the “Thorns” worked their way thru Cary and into down town Apex. “Wahoo looks like we will have dry roads and cool temps” was the joyful comment from “GOG”. Within the length of Old Salem road the Mist had returned and included brief drops of rain. Just as the group slowed for the stop light on North Salem and Highway 55 the riders could see that the road up ahead was WET, and in fact the air up ahead appeared to have a fuzzy haze about its appearance. No one mentioned it but they all saw the clear demarcation of dry and NOT DRY.
No hesitation from the group as all riders cleared thru the intersection and headed towards the pending dampness.
Just as the group of cyclists reached the left hand turn onto Tingen the Humidity reached the total saturation point. No one wanted to turn back with the fun filled fast Tingen lying just ahead.
“Capn Carbon” jumped on the pedals and cracked the pace up immediately pulling the entire length of Tingen at speeds of 28 mph. “GOG” was working desperately to hold on. The rain in the face plus the spray from the rear tires, not to mention “GOGS” sweat in his eyes made it very challenging to see. The spray forced each trailing rider to slide off the rear wheel slightly putting the spray just at the side of the riders face and reducing the effect of a draft from the bike ahead. The group formed more of a tight echelon than a peloton. As the rolling hills of Tingen loomed the pack splintered with each rider working their best to meet the challenge of each of the climbs. And again it was “GOG” bringing up the rear.
At the corner of Tingen and Friendship the group stopped long enough to express the fun each had in the rain and on Tingen. The group also discussed the fact that “The Love Train” was missing from the ride Saturday due to his Choir practice. The group then learned he sings in Latin in Church’s. The group then asked if he had to sign a waiver promising not to defile or deface any religious objects or deities, and that he would not sing cuss words in Latin. A brief chuckle was had by all.
The rain had again stopped and the pack was directed to make the left turn towards Sharen Harris. As the group rolled on down the road the Rain returned with an even greater force. No sense in turning back now since all were as wet as they could get. “GOG” did decide to alter the route slightly with the intention of reducing the miles normally expected on this particular route. As Kevin was redrawing the route in his head the pack of cyclists continued their 19+ mph pace towards the intersection of Friendship and New Hill Holleman Road.
It was at that intersection that Kevin altered the route. Normally the group would turn left however today in the rain they were directed to make a right turn onto New Hill Holleman. This road is usually busy with traffic but today the traffic was almost nonexistent. This was a good thing since the road is also filled with pot holes that on today’s ride were now small lakes to be avoided at all costs. The group did a good job of working together announcing and then avoiding the potential pit falls that could be lying just beneath the surface. The direction on New Hill Holleman is also pocked with several hills much like the one in the last few miles of Tingen Road. As the group headed back towards Cary and Apex “The Love Train” asked “ you are not planning on taking us back into Apex on Olive Chapel Road are you?”. “NOPE, I have a much better route planned” was “GOG’s” reply. “BLESS YOU, I hate the hills on that road” was the immediate response from “The Love Train”. “ I do not have a clue where I am” was heard coming from “Capn Carbon”. “We were on this road Wednesday night” was the information supplied by “Moving Violation”, in his effort to help the always navigationally challenged “Capn Carbon”. This bit of information only made “Capn Carbon” more confused. The rain was now a steady downpour.
Half way up the longest climb of that section of the route on a curve “GOG” checked his mirror and craned his neck to look ahead into the curve before signaling the left turn onto Tody Goodwin.
The pack made a smooth turn onto this section of road with “Capn Carbon” and “Moving Violation” increasing the pace on the slight incline. The pack was spurred along at 21 mph up and over each of the rolling hills. The rain had subsided for now and remained that way the entire length of their run to the next T intersection at Beaver Dam Road. Once at the intersection the group again took a very brief pause allowing “GOG” to waddle up to the group. There were also two riders seen approaching the intersection from Beaver Dam Road and headed towards Highway 64. This was the direction the group was about to take as well.
“GOG” rolled on thru the intersection and onto Beaver Dam knowing that if he stopped at all “Capn Carbon” would be heard asking “What are we riding or what?”. The pace again reached 21 mph as the group closed in on Highway 64 and the roads leading towards home. At that intersection “Capn Carbon” pulled off into the parking lot at the gas station only to notice that “GOG” had again rolled into the intersection keeping his momentum from reaching a complete stop. Without hesitation “Capn Carbon” did a quick u-turn and bolted to the front of the pace line in an effort to encourage “GOG” into adding to momentum rather than coasting and losing any momentum. Now thru the intersection with “Capn Carbon” in the pull position the pace was again ratcheting up to and over 21 mph. “GOG” was focused on keeping as tight to “Capn’s” rear wheel as possible. This lasted only a short while as the pace remained in the low 20 mph range even as the road began to rise slightly in elevation. “I can’t Hold on, Sorry” was the cry from “GOG” as he slid to the outside allowing “The Love Train” and “Moving Violation” to fill into the prime drafting spots. “GOG” was now a solo rider once again only to be brought back into the pack after they coasted uphill towards the turn onto Holland Chapel Road. The rain was still holding off as the group made the turn towards Cary.
“I thought for sure you were going to chase down those two riders ahead of us” Josh was heard calling out to Steve. “What riders ahead of us” was Steve’s confused reply. “The ones we talked to back on Beaver Dam Road” was the frustrated comeback from “The Love Train”.
Clearly “Capn Carbon” does not know where he is, does not remember things even after a brief moment, and only has one speed – FAST ALL THE TIME.
After that brief bit of banter the group took off again remaining together the entire length of Holland Chapel thru the short right and left turn onto Luter Shop the pack road just fast enough to keep “GOG” within the pace line.
“GOG” knew that soon he would be riding solo again as the sprint for the County Line lay only a mile or two away. Sure enough the pace multiplied as each rider (not “GOG”) made a play to try and tire the others out just prior to the sprint. From a distance “GOG” saw the sprint unfold with JOSH CARTER – “MOVING VIOLATION” taking the county line sprint victory from STEV COPE _ “Capn Carbon”. That is two days in a row that “Moving Violation” has beaten “Capn Carbon” on the sprint to the county line.
With the sprint behind them all riders settled into a more reasonable pace again allowing “GOG” to remain in the pack.
Now contemplating the finishing route path “GOG” suggested they ride into Cary Glenn and “Nicole’s Roller Coasters”. In a surprised tone “Capn Carbon” was heard asking “Are you sure you want to do the extra miles and hills?”. “GOG” was not dead yet.
Just as the pack was directed into the neighborhood the skies darkened. “YEA I figured we could do a few more miles and hills and do them in pouring rain” was the smart ass remark from “GOG”.
Into the 3 climbs, the riders accelerated. Just prior to the last long climb out of the neighborhood the storm front hit dropping the temperature all at once. “GOG” was expecting snow any minute as the pack exited Cary Glenn and turned onto Carpenter Fire Station road. The group again altered their pace allowing for “GOG” to hang on as part of the pack. They all hit the green light at highway 55 and rolled onto the turn onto Carpenter Upchurch. This is the section of road that “Capn Carbon” makes sure he dominates and lays claim to demolishing any and all riders that are still in the pack with him. In the direction back towards the finish this section of road is known to the group as “Capn’s Grave Yard” as he buries all who try to hang with him. This section of road headed in the opposite direction is known to the group as “Ron’s Pull” for his monumental acceleration and pull during the early phases of a ride.
The pack was now falling in line behind “Capn” in an effort to see how long they would hang before being buried. “GOG” was in the tail position still working to recover from his earlier efforts to survive the days ride. Just as “Capn” started applying physical abuse upon the pack “GOG” was working to replace his water bottle into the cage when it slipped from his tired hands and rolled across the road.
Too add insult to injury the Rain was back and adding to the physical abuse. The ride leaders were then found circling back to see if Kevin was ok as he also was circling to go back and recover his water bottle that had now rolled into the ditch on the other side of the road.
Once the water bottle was back in its cage the pack was off to finish the last 2 – 4 miles in the rain.
“Capn Carbon” took little time to leave the group in his wake. All made the green lights thru High House and into the fast downhill towards Cary Parkway.
“GOG” again well behind the pack was working to time his move into the left lane for the pending turn into the Brueggers parking lot. The pack was several yards up ahead, a line of cars were passing on the left, a gap in the cars was forming just at the right time for “GOG” to signal and move left while a car was barring down directly behind him in the right lane. Just as “GOG” made his signal and was already well committed to the left lane the car behind decided to also move into the left lane. “GOG” and car were now intimately close with the car’s horn blowing and “GOG” waving thank you. The pack up ahead saw that “GOG” had set the stage for all to now enter the left lane and set up for the turn into the finish.
“Man I thought you were a hood ornament” was the quick comment from “Capn”. “I have no clue why that guy changed lanes into my lane after I had signaled and made my move” was the only reply from “GOG” as he too was convinced he was close being a hood ornament.
With the rain still coming down the riders rolled up to their vehicles and began to tear down the bikes for transport via car.
Theresa was found sitting in their car as she waited and waited and waited on Kevin.
“You said you guys would do a short ride maybe 30 miles at the most, I have been waiting for hours, what were you thinking riding in the rain, it is not safe”.
“The Roses were smart enough to turn back once the rain began”
“we only did 11 miles”
“ Why didn’t you call me”.
Kevin just stood there and took the verbal attack knowing there was no justification for having as much fun as they all had just had.
In an effort to help soften the attack from Theresa each of the other riders had comments like.
“Best ride ever”
“Great route let’s do that again soon”
“Riding in the rain was a Hoot”
“Thanks Kevin for a fantastic ride”
Kevin only stood there in the rain waiting for his punishment and to delay having to get in the car where he and Theresa could continue her scolding of him.
The “Thorns” rode 44 miles IN THE RAIN at an average of 17 mph.
And had a lot of fun doing it.
Join them next time in the rain.