Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Tale of a Kinder Gentler Ride

Roses Ride Saturday – June 13

Jae – Rose Matriarch
Sheila – It's Freakin hot
Theresa – Stem supporting the Roses
Deborah - Two-saddles
Patty – Thorny Rose
Beth – Can only pedal while talking
Maryann – not scared off by exaggerated tales of Thorn distances and pace

After getting virtually left in the dust of the Thorns the previous week to be picked up by the Stems it was an easy decision for Sheila and Theresa to rejoin the more reasonable style of the Roses. Roses actually carry on conversations and stop occasionally for butt breaks and power food. And yes they also ride at a not-so-shabby pace of over 15 mph for 35-40+ miles.

The Roses & Thorns took off and stayed together thru Preston and across Davis, then the Thorns turned left on Carpenter Upchurch and the Roses opted for a right turn on Jae's Jog (aka Ron's-pull). Sheila, Theresa and Jae took turns pulling the line past Green Hope high school and then the group stopped for a brief discussion before doing the gig-jog to cross 55 on Carpenter Fire Station. Beth had to turn back before UpChuck so she could make the other 50 commitments she had for the day.

Note for the Thorns:

There are more things that need to be done during the weekend other than a 40-50+ mile bike ride. There are kids to haul to events, shopping for groceries, volunteering at the church, cleaning the house, gardening, lunch with the parent(s), doing work that did not get done during the week, laundry, mowing the grass, paying the bills, making hair appointments, getting our nails done

and did a mention shopping...

Back to the ride.

Deborah wanted to try to pull so Jae attempted to instigate a rotating draft line yelling to Maryann to tell Sheila who was in the lead to swing out to allow the next in line to take the lead. Theresa, who does not hear so well with wind in her ears, didn't get what was going on and proceeded to tell Sheila that Jae wants her to go, go, go faster and pick up the pace.

That lasted until the turn to Upchuck where Theresa dropped back to find out the true intent of Jae's instructions....
Ok we can try that down Martha's Chapel then, now that we all (especially Theresa) understand.

Drafting to a Rose is normally something we only participate in when trying to survive a very windy day or long grueling ride with a willing Thorn/Stem to let us tuck in behind them. This draft-line concept, of rotating the lead is only something that we have watched, while doing other productive work, on the Verses Network running of some foreign cycling race where the peloton consumes the leaders in the last 5 miles of some 100+ mile day of some 30 something day race event.

The Roses can do this, how hard can it be?

All regrouped at the top of Upchuck and continued on, making a right on New Hope Church Rd., where the rolling terrain allowed the group to carry on conversations, around what was going on in each of thier lives as this was one of the few opportunities to talk. Jae was looking for something to do Friday night, Sheila thought is was freekin hot, Patty was very proud of Nicole for getting into the PHD program, Maryann had been showing more houses so perhaps the economy is picking up, Theresa grilled Patty on her methods of assigning her husband yard duty tasks, and he did them! Deborah just gave notice to quit her job and was excited about her new freedom!

The group needed no brake before turning left onto 751 heading for Martha's Chapel.
The group survived the long pulls up the two steady climbs on 751 then turned right at the church and assembled there to try a “Roses pace line!”. “Every 30 seconds the lead swings out”, shouted Theresa.

The Roses executed flawlessly the first rotation of all 6 riders. On the second rotation the rear riders yelled “car-back” so the lead would not swing out into an approaching passing car (as these riders are all well practiced moms always on the look out for the safety of their herd). After this short delay the precision continued until the left turn at the lake. The “Roses” all congratulated each other on a superb execution of the pace line, after all, it was not that hard to do. There was no more mention of trying this technique again, they had mastered it and can execute again anytime they desire.

After a brief nutrition break (Deborah recommends Crank brand gue) the group headed up “Theresa's Tug” (aka Kevin's Crawl) with Sheila relieving Theresa to finish the crest with Patty in tow. They then made the second left onto Horton's Pond where the discussion continued on with Deborah describing the mental stability of Dentists and the plethora of 4 year old horse droppings in her pasture. The riders did the jig-jog onto Luther and then a group vote (Roses are a democracy not Thorn lemmings) took the right on Green Level and its 3 hills prior to the next left at White Oak Church. Taking them back to Green level and onto the familiar last 7 miles back into Preston.

Maryann was feeling her first time back in weeks with the Saturday ride and suggested a turn right to go High House back into Brueggers. The Roses without hesitation were very happy to support this plan as they truly understand the concept of a 'no-drop' ride.

At Brueggers they found Ron and Tracy there waiting to join in on further discussions of how they did not invite Jae out with them to a movie, and how lengthy the last ride write-up was, as well as other biking banter while awaiting the return of the Thorns.

So this write-up will end this now in keeping with the promise to make the write-up readable within one beverage consumption. “Roses Rule!” The “Roses” did approximately 34 miles at about 15, but who keeps track of these things?

Capn Carbon is a hero (but navigationally challenged)

Saturday June 13th.

Another Warm (Hot) humid day was unfolding as the following individuals assembled for the start of the day’s ride.
Those grouping together representing the “Roses” included;
Beth Gonzales – Thanks Beth for helping us solicit area shops for Door Prizes for the Kassel Smit “Make a Difference” Fund raiser. Your efforts are helping us Make A Difference in his memory.
Deb Hollis – still working to get back in shape to rejoin the “Thorns/Stems”
Mary Ann Feagan –Welcome back after several weekends away
Jae Brainard – the TRUE LEADER of the “Roses”.
Patti Lewis – Nicole’s Mom.
Sheila Augustine – sometimes a “Thorn/Stem”
Theresa Smit – Sometimes a “Thorn/Stem”.

Those assembling for the “Thorns/Stems” included;

The Youngsters:

Nicole Lewis – just been accepted into the PHD program at State (congrats) – also single handedly has promoted these rides so effectively that we have more than doubled in our normal numbers. She has been telling all her young wiper Snapper friends from NC State to come and ride HER Rides. She also warns them that they will be riding with people that are her parent’s age, but that they are “OK”.
Nicole was also asking everyone to sign a letter she was going to get to some bikers she knows that are riding across the US and building houses as part of Habitat for Humanity. How COOL is that!

It was later calculated that there is at least a 40 year spread of ages in this dynamic, diverse group of cyclists. Yes “GOG” and Theresa could be their GRAND PARENTS, if they had started their family with a teen pregnancy.

Sean Kurdys – the NC state Triathlon club’s “COACH” (Not a young wiper snapper – but not as old as the other group either)
James Lavin – Young NC State Wiper Snapper
Rita Beard - Young NC State Wiper Snapper – still without cleats and still pushing the pace line.
Cameron Cooper - Young NC State Wiper Snapper (YNCSWS) think about it.
Shawn (forgot your last name sorry) - Young NC State Wiper Snapper (YNCSWS)
Erwann Domalain - Young NC State Wiper Snapper (YNCSWS)
Josh Carter – another youngster who is breaking into Racing as a Cat 5 Racer (not part of Nicole’s NC State group).

Then not in order of age are the not so young riders;

Steve Cope – “Capn Carbon”, “The Angry Chipmunk”, “The Gnat”, “ The Chihuahua”….. and anything else you might want to call him.

Kevin Smit – “GOG” – stands for Glistening Older Gentleman, however others are substituting “Goat” in place of Gentleman. Maybe G.O.A.T stands for “Greatest Of All Time”.
John Majikes – rode to the start with a backpack full of cross county biking stuff. He is training for a four day self supported ride starting in mid/late June.

Jeffery Roussel – Rode to the start and acted as part time ride leader to help Steve Cope recognize where he was on the ride.
Steve Sparano – “Sporadic Steve” rode to the start of the ride, and has been riding with the group regularly lately.
Davin Perkins – rode to the start of the ride with “Sporadic Steve”
Tim Devinney – “The Love Train” – How does this Older Larger Man ride so fast for so long? Was a question that was asked by one of Nicole’s NC State young Wiper Snappers.
Steve Ham….. – Steve is training for the ride across Iowa in the end of July (RAGBRAI).
Steve Marks – no dirt yet on this rider so not much to share here.
Jeff Giordano – Jeff is another strong “Thorn” and also rides the Wednesday night Mello Vello rides.
Christy Miller – “Pinky”, “Pink Triassolette”
Doug Augustine – He and Steve Ham helped “GOG” limp back to the finish on this day’s ride.
Todd Pechner – “Slow Todd” - the last of the “Thorns” to arrive on his bike.

After brief introductions and a hint that LYSTRA would be included somehow on the day’s ride for the “Thorns/Stems” the pack was off.

This Saturdays start was somewhat more subdued/controlled by those in the front of the pack. No one wanted to relive the verbal abuse “GOG” had thrown at the pack early into last Saturday’s ride. This did allow all to stay together all the way through the Preston Neighborhood as the pack was directed to head towards High House rather than onto “Ron’s Pull”. The pack responded and rolled up to the light at High House with many doing a track stand to allow a car from the left to pass. Then each rider leaned right and then left to traverse the intersection and then the immediate left turn onto Jenks Carpenter Road. “Capn Carbon” was near the back of the pack still meeting and greeting many of the riders, and to see who was going to make a play for the run up the hill towards Holt – the first attack of the day.
The pack splintered as the road rose towards Holt and the intersection there. As “GOG” made it to the top he circled to ensure all were still in tow. It did not take long at all for everyone to reassemble at that intersection. The pack was lead out towards Apex on Holt and then the left onto Old Jenks and towards North Salem in Apex. The group rode well together until the series of stop lights heading away from Cary and towards Apex chopped the group into sections. “GOG” was in the front group and was readying himself for the push down N. Salem and the edge of Apex. He and his group were at the Over Pass of Highway 64 when word reached them that someone had been dropped and was having bike issues. “GOG” pulled to group off the road to gain a better understanding of the issue and how to best address it. “One of the NC state riders broke a Chain” was the report from others who were relaying the message from the back of the pack. “Any one have a Chain break tool?” “GOG” inquired. “I do” replied Jeff. “OK, Cap’n Carbon, would you be willing to race back with the tool and help them repair the chain, and then Pull the group back to us even though we are heading on down the road?” “Cap’n Carbon” grabbed the chain break tool as he replied “YEP” and headed back towards the stranded cyclist. After a quick inventory it was realized that John Majikes was also missing and someone in the group mentioned that he had stopped at the time of the mechanical issue to assist. Just at that same moment Nicole headed back to support her NC State Comrade.
So before the pack lost any more cyclists “GOG” directed them to saddle up and head on out onto the day’s route. The route had been shared with all as “GOG” explained to “Capn Carbon” where they were going and would likely wait for him if he had not jumped the gap before then.

The “Thorns” would be difficult to control now that they had this valuable information. Once the pack made the next turn off of N. Salem and onto Hunt “GOG” told the “Thorns” to light it up whenever they wanted to, and to make sure they wait at the designated stop for “Capn” and others to regroup.

The run out of Apex was a mixed bouquet of “Thorn’s and Stems” taking turns pushing each other on the many hills that populated that part of the route. Josh (Moving Violation) was holding back and not attacking as he was using the days ride to loosen up for Sundays race, The State Games, that he planned to participate in. This left the NC state Whipper Snappers to mix it up with some of the seasoned “Thorns”, like Jeff, “The Love Train”, and “Slow Todd” to name a few.

The group assembled under a shade tree at the intersection of Olive Chapel Road and Olives Chapel Road. As they waited there several other bike groups zoomed on past as well as some individual riders all out for a day’s ride. “GOG” made several phone Calls to “Capn Carbon” to get a read on where he and his group was, and was only able to leave voice mails.
Steve Sparano “Sporadic Steve” and Davin along with “Moving Violation” all elected to ride slowly back in the direction just traveled to see if they can spot the trailing riders. The pack continued to wait patiently knowing that this is the price you pay in a NO DROP style ride.
“GOG’s” phone rang and as he answered it the group learned that “Sporadic Steve” and the others had traveled a couple of miles back down the road and did not see “Capn” and the others.
The pack continued to wait as they now were also waiting on those that traveled back to find “Capn”.
Within another 5 to 10 minutes “Moving Violation” Davin, and “Sporadic Steve” rejoined the group.
The pack was now itching to get going as the day light was burning and the Sun was gaining strength.
Then with big smiles on their faces “Capn Carbon” and the group he pulled all arrived.
They shared the fact that John Majikes had ridden his bike home to get his bike tool box only to find out he did not have a chain break tool in it. The group also learned that “Capn Carbon” being navigationally challenged missed the turn on his way to rescue Erwann and had to double back to find them.

Everyone got a good laugh out of both Johns fetching of a tool box and “Capn’s” navigational skills.

No time was spent letting the trailing pack rest as the “Thorns” with “Capn Carbon” in the lead pulled out from under the shade tree and headed to the next rendezvous spot as was described by “GOG”.
In that explanation “GOG” was looking directly at “Capn” telling him the turn by turn play on how to lead the “Thorns” to The Gas Station at High way 64 and Beaver Dam road. “Capn” responded, “You Lost Me”. Jeffery Roussel “Down Hill Racer”, Jeff, and “The Love Train” all said “We got it”.
With that the pack was off.
“GOG” brought up the rear as his legs had adjusted to standing and resting and did not want to do the spin the pedals thing.

Again there was no pace line as each rider chose the pace at which they wanted to respond to the continuation of rolling hills that “GOG” had deliberately laid in the way for this day’s challenging ride.

All made it safely to the next stop at Wilsonville (a gas station on 64). There they filled water bottles, took a short bio break if needed, and visited amongst themselves and other riders on different routes and rides. “GOG” was approached by one gentleman who asked to learn more about the “Thorns and Roses”. Emails were exchanged and “safe biking “ was the parting words.
“Slow Todd” needed to head for home due to time constraint and “Moving Violation” was looking to reduce his miles as well. “GOG” gave the two a route back home that would meet their needs, and with that they said goodbye to the group as they headed out together. It was also at this time that a lone rider joined the pack. She had been riding with the CSH group and was dropped. She was looking for someone to ride with and to help her return safely to the end. She ended up being a very Strong rider and jumped into the fray with the “Thorns” as the pack headed out from the rest stop and towards Lake Jordan on Highway 64.

“GOG” found himself pulling the “Stems” down Highway 64 and thru the turn onto Big Woods. The “Stems” were met there by the “Thorn’s”, who were they waiting for “GOG’s” next set of directions.
“OK Thorns this is a great place to time trial, see you at the other end”, and with that the “Thorns, and” Thorn wantabes” all launched themselves onto Big Woods and its rolling hills.

“GOG” continued to pull the “Stems” along Big Woods working to maintain 20+ mph. As the “Stems” rolled along they slowly swooped up those splintered off the back of the “Thorns”. One of those ended up being Kim who then pulled the pack along for a mile or more before relinquishing the Pull position back to “GOG”.

At the end of Big Woods “GOG” offered two choices to the riders. “those looking for extra miles and a long climb followed by a very fast down hill join Capn as he leads you up Jack Benett and down Lystra”, “others join me as I head back from here to Farrington and the gas station stop there.

The pack split in two as “GOG” was now starting to feel the mistake of pushing Big Woods for too long. He was overheating, nauseous, light headed, and on the verge of one of his famous BONKing episodes.

The “Stems” made it to the gas station just as “GOG” was headed into a full BONK. He had to get off his bike, request cold water, Davin went and purchased a gallon, and then bent over to keep from passing out.

“OK Nicole, do you think you can lead the Stems back to the finish going through Nicole’s Roller Coasters?” Kevin asked. “Yea I think so” was her reply. “Good”. “Everybody go with Nicole”, “I am going to continue to rest here and then limp on home”, Kevin directed. “No we can wait and all go back together” was the cry from the pack. “I don’t think you will enjoy riding at 12 mph top end for 17 miles” was Kevin’s plea.

The “stems” all mounted their bikes and headed out under the watchful eye of Nicole.
Doug Augustine, and Steve Ham both elected to stay and keep a watchful eye on “GOG” and to make sure he survived the ride home. Thanks Guys it did help him ride at a more comfortable/faster pace than riding alone.

The following is information provided to the BLOG from Nicole as she led the “Stems” on those last miles back to the finish.

And I quote from Nicole Lewis

“I apoligize for getting these notes to you so late! There's not much
here; mostly because all I remember was the massive amounts of sweat I was
producing, but hopefully it will help.

After we left you guys at the gas station, we sped down the hill and
headed for the left turn. James friend Shawn (not Sean, oops) narrowly
missed being left behind because he didn't take the turn at first. We
rode up to Martha's chapel; the pack split up a bit. I hung back to ride
with Rita in the rear; she was kicking butt! and with no clipless pedals!
(Note: she told me yesterday that she just bought a pair; frankly I'm
scared to ride with her now, she is going to kick all of our butts. Who
did you say had the EPO?) We went past the berry patch; hunger pains
really started to hit us then. The pack was now split into me, Rita,
Davin, and John, and then everyone else. They stayed within eyesight
until about a mile from the divided road that leads to Nicole's roller
coasters. I was pretty sure the first pack (lets call them the Rat Pack!)
missed the roller coaster turn. When they weren't at the turn, we decided
to do the coasters anyways. Apparently, there was some sort of a youth
triathlon or a swim meet or something because on our way down the first
hill we had to doge pedestrians as they crossed the street to the pool.
After the roller coasters, we turned left onto ____(uhhhh)____Rd. and were
approaching the stoplight when Rita said she saw the Rat Pack ride through
the shopping center. I told them we'd take the actual road like REAL
BIKERS and catch up with them at the light at 55. Well, we didn't see
them again until Brueggers. It was a bit windy heading to 55. We crossed
over and then headed down Ron's Pull. It was a struggle! The little pack
dropped John (who headed home) at the beginning of the pull and followed
the sound of our stomachs to the bagel shop. We went through Stone Creek
and Davin told us about how you (Kevin) almost RAN OVER an old lady on
your bike! Or maybe he said that you were almost hit by an old lady in a
car. (We didn't have any bad encounters with rough drivers). Turning
left onto High House, I put up a challenge for the 3 of us. whoever gets
the fastest speed down High House wins the challenge. We didnt have to
wait at the davis drive light so we were able to pick up some prelim
speed. Davin got out in front first, and I was thinking that he won UNTIL
he STOPPED PEDALLING. My turn! I shifted into high gear (ha ha ha ha ha
ha) and pedaled furiously, passing him like a small car! (or scooter).
Final speeds: Nicole = 36.1, Davin = 33, Rita = 30. We biked back to the

and then Nicole saved Kevin with her happy beans.
My mom's friend Kim asked me if Sport Beans make you fart. HAHA!

Wow, it's amazing how much you remember when you start writing.”

The stems did around 52 miles at about 17 mph.

The Thorns did 57 miles at about 18.2 mph.

GOG and his support group did 52 miles at under 17 mph.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Intervention needed for Steve Cope

Sunday June 7, 2009

Half the size of Saturday’s ride.
Those in attendance included:
Jae Brainard – She rode to the start and was only planning to ride a few miles with the group until she turned back for home.
Theresa Smit
Sheila Augustine
Doug Augustine
Steve Cope – “Capn Carbon”
Josh Carter – “Moving Violation”
Laura Spell
Tim Devinney – “The Love Train”
Tim Travitz – “Slow Tim”
Kevin Smit – “GOG”

And the following new riders to the group.
Debbie Mostek
Paul Eppers
Barbra Wedel
Tek Kornaga

Welcome new riders.

Prior to the day’s ride “GOG” had been given a request from “Moving Violation” and “Capn Carbon” to design the route so they could be on the way back and hook up with the CSH ride. They wanted to make contact with this group at the point where the CSH riders leave the Cary Glenn Neighborhood. It is at this spot that the CSH ride splits into two groups, the A group full of “Hammerheads” and the B group which rides more like the “Stems” on a good day.

So “GOG” considered this as well as the group’s make-up and elected to accommodate the “Thorns” request.

After brief introductions of everyone to the new riders and the explanation to the new riders how the group performs the NO DROP and still allow for periodic attacks by the “Thorns”. It was also at this time that “Cap’n Carbon” gave “The Love Train” grief for wearing a long sleeved shirt on the days ride.

Kevin announced that the day’s ride would cover about 35 miles and will in fact attempt to be headed back to the finish in time for the “Thorns” to peel off and jump in with the CSH ride as it heads out of Cary.
This may become the pattern for all Sunday rides from here on out. That way those who are looking for a recovery ride of about 35 miles can expect that, and those that want to get extra miles can ride the first 2/3rds of the ride with the “Thorns/stems and Roses” and then hook up with the CSH ride.

The group rolled out of the parking lot and headed for the Preston neighborhood. Theresa and Jae took the lead positions, as the newer cyclists were tentative in where they belonged in the pack. The pace was much more realistic compared to Saturday’s blistering start.

The group rode in a clump with no formal draft line forming until the turn onto “Ron’s Pull”. “Cap’n Carbon”, and “Moving Violation” did not have to hold back out of respect for Ron since he was not on the days ride. So those two leaped into action. “Slow Tim” and “the Love Train” knew what was about to unfold and fell into place behind the two lead cyclists. The newer riders were all riding together and had missed the original jump and were forming their own draft line. “GOG” was hoping to again assist Theresa, Sheila and anyone else, who wanted to suck his tire’ to press the pace as they made their way down “Ron’s Pull”. “Grab on” “GOG” shouted to Sheila as he made it clear they were going to attempt to jump the gap. Without hesitation she and Theresa, Laura, and Doug all fell in line as “GOG” began to slowly ramp up the pace. This small group of riders were able to jump the gap of the group ahead and then roll on past as they pushed to the front of that line. The cyclists were now in two groups rather than 3. Up a head Kevin could see that both “Moving Violation” and “Cap’n Carbon” had attacked the leading group and were now both off the front end attacking each other.

A brief pause at the end of “Ron’s Pull” allowed the riders to all regroup and prepare for the fast run along Carpenter Fire Station Road. During this stop “Cap’n Carbon” again asked “The Love Train” why he elected to wear a long sleeved shirt on the ride. “The Love Train” whispered back “because my domestic Bitch has not yet done the laundry”.

After a muffled chuckle by those close enough to hear the whispered response the pack was off onto Carpenter Fire Station road. This stretch of road seems to always produce a quick pace and at the same time keeps all riders in a nice tight single file draft line. Today was no exception as all just feel into place.

“Let’s head into the 3 ugly Sisters” was the navigational instructions provided to the group. This information is only valuable to those who have been riding with the “Thorns and Roses” long enough to know the nicknames of various sections of the routes they frequent.

The “Thorns” responded with proper left turn hand signals so others would understand what was about to take place. This also allowed the “Thorns” to mount another attack against each other as they then made the right turn into the Cary Glenn neighborhood and the 3 hills that lay in the way. Those trailing could only watch as “Cap’n Carbon”, “Moving Violation”, “Slow Tim”, and “The Love Train” all charged on ahead. The trailing riders were caught up in the frenzy as well, as each rider launched their own response that scattered the riders throughout the 3 hills of Cary Glenn. “GOG” held back to make sure the turns were navigated by all and then he too elected to mount an attack on himself. His effort shot him past all, falling just short of catching “Cap’n Carbon”, and “Moving Violation” who were now slowing down as they crested the last hill of the neighborhood. “GOG” felt good about his individual effort and smiled to himself.

The group paused again just long enough to all to gather to the exit point of Cary Glenn. Here the group would be directed to make a left turn followed by the right onto Luter Shop Road.
Luter Shop is a relatively flat 2 – 3 mile stretch of road with a “Sprint to the County Line” in the middle of the run.

Josh – “Moving Violation” was looking to take back his winning ways from Steve – “Cap’n Carbon” who had most recently taken the county line sprint victories.
“Moving Violation” elected to jump very very early. It was his plan to wear “Cap’n” out prior to the actual sprint. Josh is much younger than the seasoned racing veteran “Cap’n Carbon” and assumed the old man would not have the endurance to push early and then sprint. “Cap’n” tucked in behind Josh and sucked his rear wheel. Josh has not learned how to shake off a wheel sucker and continued to pull Steve along the entire run up to the sprint. Then with a crack of the whip the sprint was on and over just as quick. “Cap’n Carbon” was able to raise both hands in victory yet again.

“Wow that was a display of Wisdom over Youth” Laura announced to the pack who all had witnessed the event unfold in front of them.

Josh and Steve slowed enough for the peloton to absorb them. They used the next mile as a recovery period and to relive the sprint with others who were willing to listen.

The pack next made the move onto 751 long enough to travel to the left turn onto Martha’s Chapel.
Here again the “Thorns” all lined up for the race to Jordan Lake. “GOG” elected to hang with the “Stems” as he watched “The Love Train”, “Cap’n Carbon”, “Moving Violation”, and “Slow Tim” all set themselves up for the push to the lake.
Everyone else fell in line behind “GOG” to ride in a more comfortable 21 mph slipstream.

At the Lake the “Thorns” were found circling, as did Kevin and then each of the other “Stems” until all were gathered together once again. It was at this point that Theresa had made the discovery that many of the newer riders were also members of the Sir Walter Raleigh Hash House Harriers. Kevin and Theresa are old Hashers from way back having been members of the San Diego Hash House Harries for over 10 years prior to moving to NC, and then ran with the Sir Walter Hash for another 4 or more years after that. For those of you who do not know about the Hash it is a Drinking Club with a Running Problem. You can go to any major city in the world and find a Hash group. Kevin and Theresa have run with Hashes in France as well as Cities traveled in the US. If you are interested in this running club feel free to talk to Kevin or Theresa about the Hash and what makes it so much fun. After this bit of information was shared with the group about the newer riders “GOG” asked if everyone was ready for “Kevin’s Crawl”.

“GOG” lead out the pack making the left turn onto Farrington as he headed towards the gradual climb away from the lake and to the turn onto Holland Chapel. He began the pace at 17 mph in hopes of having as many folks as possible hang on, as he would then ramp up all the way through the climb.
17 became 19 then 20 then 21 then as he continued to pull through the last 1/3 of the climb Kevin was able to reach 23.7 mph. Looking in his mirror he could see he had gapped all but a few “Thorns” who were also now faltering. Reaching deeper Kevin wanted to push past 24 mph just as the climb got to its steepest point, only to crack himself and now was slowing back down to 21 and then 19 mph. “Cap’n Carbon” could smell the defeat in the rider ahead and used that to jump past those ahead of him and to instantly close the gap placing him squarely in the draft of Kevin’s rear wheel.
Kevin could sense he had just been tagged, and looking in his mirror all he saw was the large wide smile on “Cap’ns “ face. “I need to learn to hold on and push through a little longer”, Kevin Wheezed.
“YUP” was all “Cap’n” said with a hint of gleeful joy, as he again was able to prove his biking prowess.

The two lead riders were found by the pack circling at the left turn on Holland Chapel.
The pack slowed slightly allowing for recovery by “GOG” and to again roll through this section of the route as a group. The chitchat had increased, as the new riders to the group now felt more at home with the other riders.

By the end of Holland Chapel the “Thorns” had once again managed to walk away and were now already thru the turn at the strawberry patch and headed down Luter Shop towards their rendezvous spot with the CSH ride group. They would have one more race to the county line as they were now backtracking towards Cary Glenn.

As the Stems also were covering this same section of road “GOG” announced to the group that the County Line sprint lay just ahead. He then went on to spur both Theresa and Sheila into mounting an attack on one another. As he did this he set the stage for both to jump onto his rear wheel so he could lead them out. Sheila responded, Theresa grunted and looked as if she was willing to be prodded into an attack. It ended up being Sheila and “GOG” who made a run at the county line each racing against and imaginary opponent. It also appeared that Laura had made the jump as well and was also challenging herself to race against an invisible attacker to the county line.

The three each slowed in order to recover and to be pulled back into the peloton. As the Peloton closed in on Cary Glenn they recognized “Cap’n Carbon”’ who was already nipping at the heals of the A group CSH riders. “Teach them a Lesson” Kevin shouted to Steve as they passed by each other. Next the peloton recognized Josh, Tim Travitz, and Tim Devinney as now all the “Thorns” were on their extra miles riding now with the CSH group.

The “Stems” at full strength headed into the Cary Glenn and the same hills they took earlier heading out towards the Lake. The hills going back towards Cary thru this neighborhood are nicknamed “Nicole’s Roller Coaster”. Yes this section of road has two separate nicknames depending on what direction you are traveling.

Sheila was in the lead as all the pack tucked into a streamline downhill racer profile. Just at the bottom of the largest fastest longest downhill two little girls holding hands on roller blades were trying to traverse the road. The youngest became startled and turned back and fell in the middle of the road. Suddenly bikers were scattering in all directions to avoid the little scatters who know were crying and in panic of being run over.
It almost looked like Sheila was trying so hard to be first that she pushed the girls over in a desperate move to try and slow or block the trailing riders. ;-0

She would never do such a thing, although she has been getting a lot more aggressive on the bike. Just keep a close eye on Sheila from now on, especially if it looks like you might pass her on the bike.

All the riders avoided an accident by slowing and dodging the skaters with Theresa stopping to see if she could help the young skaters.
Eventually all made the transition thru “Nicole’s Roller Coaster” and onto Carpenter Fire Station road and the last few miles towards the end.

The pace picked up again at the turn onto Carpenter UpChurch, with this section of road known as “Captain’s Grave Yard”. Yes this is also known as “Ron’s Pull” when traveling in the opposite direction.

“Let’s take the back way home”, Theresa yelled to the front of the pack. Theresa was looking to finish the ride with extra hills, maybe the ride had not been enough of a challenge for this “Rose” turned “Stem”. The pack splintered with Kevin, Doug, and Laura all pulling away from the others.
The group assembled again at the left turn onto Lewis Stevens and the roads that lead into the Preston Neighborhoods. The pace remained under control as all were now working to cool down on these last 2 miles to the finish.
The “Stems” completed 35 miles at a 16 mph pace.

As “GOG” was finishing up stowing his bike he noticed “Capn Carbon” visiting with Paul, Barbra, and Debbie. “You turn back early?” was the question from Kevin to Steve.
“Nope, we rode realy realy hard.” “only 3 of us left standing once we lit it up at the Lake and headed back to Cary” was the reply from “Capn Carbon”.

Steve had ridden with the A group back to Lake Jordan and home in the time it took the “Stems” to finish their last 10 miles. Steve went on to explain that they were averaging well over 27 mph the entire way back from the lake. He also shared the fact that one of the other two who survived the pace back to town with him is a PROFFESIONAL BIKE RACER.

Steve’s next comment shows just how pathetic he has become.

“You know I really should go back out a get in some extra miles” “ I am comfortable with my speed work, but I feel I need more endurance” “Especially if I am going to kick it up a notch”.

“What are you needing to KICK it UP a Notch For” was Kevin’s next question.

“Well you know” was all Steve could think of.

(How sad how truly sad).
Steve needs our help.
Lets all please let him know that it is OK to relax a little and "SMELL THE ROSES" once in a while.

Just then the remaining “Thorns” (Josh, Tim D, and Tim T) all rolled into the parking lot having all ridden 45 miles with the last 20 being much faster than their first 15 with the “stems”.

There maybe the need for even more intervention.