June 13, 2009
Carrie Zelna - “The Gullible” tell her anything and she will believe it (at least for a moment) - Thanks for helping get door prizes for the Kassel Smit "Make a Difference" Fund Raiser.
Steve Cope – “Capn Carbon”
Taylor Woffard – not the Lingerie
Steve Sporano – “Sporadic Steve”
Dayn McBee - read to learn his new nickname
Tim Devinney “The Love Train”
Dwight Mouton – on a short lease waiting for his cell phone to ring telling him his wife was in Labor. (Their 3rd Child).
Sheila Augustine - Thanks for helping get door prizes for the Kassel Smit "Make a Difference" Fund Raiser.
The group was to ride as one until after the turn for home and the interception of the CSH riders as they were headed out of town. This pattern has worked well in the past for all in the group. It provides for a comfortable warm up for the “Thorns” and stretches the “Stems and Roses” to ride at a strong clip with the day’s mileage staying around 30 – 35 for them.
A short ride description that suggested hills early on in the ride and the pack was released to the streets of Cary. It was an orderly beginning as the riders slid into the Preston Neighborhood and then Squirted out the other end at Lewis Stevens and Carpenter Upchurch. They were directed left towards the first major hill of the day that would end at the Intersection of Holt and Jenks Carpenter.
The Pack did not have to hold up long to allow all to arrive at that intersection to learn what turn was next. “GOG” had already discussed the design of the day’s ride with “Capn Carbon” so there would be no tricks to pull on “Cap’n” today.
The pack formed a single pace line as they headed out of town on Holt and towards the next turn that would take place at Roberts Road. “Capn Carbon” and many of the other “Thorns” were riding well in the back of the pace line. As the riders closed in on Roberts Road some of the “Thorns” worked their way into the lead positions. This would set them up for the fast time trial push down Roberts Road all the way to Green Level. “GOG” was near the front of the pack and watched as “The Love Train”, Jeff G, and “Down Hill Racer” began to pull away. “GOG” was at that time busy visiting with Carrie about how attack and recover helps build speed. This is something he has never experienced; he just has observed how that works for others. The small pack of “Thorns” now had a very large gap in the bank as “GOG” began to worry that “Capn Carbon” was somewhere in the back not paying attention.
As “GOG” glanced in his mirror he was startled by the movement over his left shoulder. There in an instant was “Capn Carbon” with Dayn on his wheel. “GOG” responded by jumping on the pedals and making his play to join in on the chase. 31 mph was held by those in chase, until they had successfully joined the break-away group.
The intersection at Roberts Road and Green Level was dotted with potholes, the breakaway used superior bike handling skills to avoid them at neck breaking speed. “GOG” elected to pull out and circle back to warn the oncoming Peloton of the danger.
The “Thorns” pulled up once they realized “GOG” had circled back.
Once all were warned, “GOG” then turn back to the route and rolled through the intersection yelling at the “Thorns” “What are we going to stop and chit chat at every turn or are we going to RIDE”. The grin on his face told all he was still making light of the last time he barked at the group in frustration.
The “Thorns” responded by racing past “GOG” and taking the next turn without delay. The pack was now headed into the large hills of Green Level, which would surely scatter the group. “Where should we wait next?” inquired “Capn” knowing he could not restrain the “Thorns” from shredding the pack.
“At Luther”, “You know the left turn after that old white house on the curve near the top of the last climb”, replied “GOG”. He knew he needed to provide details that included street names, and landmarks for the navigationally challenged “Capn”.
Again all riders successfully met the challenge of the hills and all again found each other at that next meeting spot. For the “Thorns” it is a sprint and wait, for the “Stems” it is a push hard and pause, for the “Roses” it is a get there and keep going type of rendezvous.
Luther is another section of the route littered with hills of various length and grade. There was no pace line formed as each rider prepared for the last two largest climbs of the day located near the end of Luther. It was there that the pack elected to hover once again allowing all to regroup. As “GOG” rolled through that intersection someone from the group shouted that Theresa had thrown her chain on the last climb and was not yet in sight. “OK” “Lets just go slow until the turn at Horton Pond, She knows the route and can catch up there” was the directions provided back to the group by “GOG”.
He had informed Theresa of the next several turns in the event she held back to cover for anyone who may have fallen off the back and had not been detected by the lead riders.
Just as the group gathered for Horton Pond Theresa and Steve Sparano “Sporadic Steve” were seen cresting the hill behind. “Sporadic Steve” had stopped to ensure Theresa was OK and to help pull her back to the group.
No resting at Horton Pond since the group was comfortable that Theresa was OK and that she had support, and knew were the route was headed. Here again no draft lines were formed as clumps of riders either attacked each other on the hills, or thru natural selection found themselves pushing up the hills at the relative speed of others around them. Or, maybe the clumps were formed by those enjoying each other’s company, and to continue the ongoing chit chat that had started earlier in the day’s ride.
The “ROSES” may have infected the “Thorns” and “Stems” with their extreme Socializing Attitudes.
“Thanks for looking after Theresa” Kevin was heard as he acknowledged the excellent NO DROP sprit demonstrated by “Sporadic Steve”, and the extra effort performed to pull her back to the pack.
At the end of Horton Pond the pack was held up just long enough for “GOG” to formally release the “Thorns” for the entire rest of the ride route.
“OK, anyone looking to either light it up for the last 15 or so miles, or are looking to Join the CSH group and get extra miles, GO with CAPN CARBON”. “Don’t worry if you get splintered we will be just behind riding the same route at a slightly calmer pace and can pick you up along the way if needed”, was the final instructions provided to the “Thorns” from “GOG” for that day’s ride.
Those electing to join “Capn” included Jeff G, “The Love Train”, and “Dynamo Dayn” ( yes he now has a nick name).
All others were going to be happy to just get done well before noon and log 35 miles at a good pace for the days ride. Besides there was still a lot to talk about in the various clumps of riders, and they knew it would be a challenge to continue those conversations if riding with the “Thorns”.
The “stems” were now officially formed as the “Thorns” left the group and charged on down Farrington to the right turn onto Holland Chapel.
The “Stems” road at a strong clip that still allowed for the very important continuation of conversation. They completed Holland Chapel and the turn at the strawberry patch. Here Susanne McBee told everyone how nice the strawberry’s smell during the picking season and how that always makes her hungry. This was the catalyst that turned all other conversations into something to do with Food.
And the conversations continued as the pack of “Stems” rolled on down Luter Shop.
“Don’t forget the sprint at the county line” Kevin shouted in an attempt to redirect everyone’s attention from the chit chat back to biking. This did seem to work as each rider’s demeanor changed. There was a short period of confusion as some tried to continue to visit while others were having and internal discussion to determine if they would take up the challenge of the county line sprint. Slowly the conversations died as one by one the “Stems” each had the same internal debate.
Up near the front Susanne, Sheila, and Doug all appeared to ready themselves for the attack.
“The county line can be recognized by the change in color of the road” Kevin provided to those considering their attack or response to attack.
Before any of the leaders mounted their attack “Sporadic Steve” pulled out of line at the tail end of the group and began to mash the gears and peddles all at once. As he pushed by “GOG” the sound he made reminded “GOG” of large blades on a ceiling fan slowly turning but at the same time moving large volumes of air. Whoosh, Whoosh, Whoosh. With each Whoosh being louder and the silence between each getting shorter and shorter. “Sporadic Steve” had jumped extremely early and in doing so gained the advantage of surprise but at the risk of blowing up before the county line.
He was well past the lead riders before they even recognized what had happened. Each took pause to now re-evaluate if they wanted to push for the county line from that far away, and to again have the internal debate of “do I throw myself into this silly game”. Then one at a time with Susanne responding first they answered the call. This had a ripple effect on the group as others were spurred to respond as well. Carrie, Doug, and Sheila all made a play to increase their speeds. Each group that responded did so more delayed than the group ahead of them, and with less intensity, and for a shorter attempt leaving “Sporadic Steve” as the bar setter and Susanne as the number one challenger followed by Sheila and Doug who were increasing their commitment to the chase/sprint.
And the winner is “Sporadic Steve” as he was able to hold on as Susanne was close to catching him at the end. The others who jumped did not slow just because there was a winner; they continued their sprint once committed.
“GOG” was riding at that point with Carrie as he announced the winner to her she replied, “I thought the sprint started at the county line”.
The pack slowly re-assembled on the fly as they continued to make progress towards the turn into Cary Glenn and the rolling hills there nick named “Nicole’s Roller Coaster”.
The group learned at that point that Theresa had prompted “Sporadic Steve” to jump early for the county line in anticipation of the sprint and the talent that was leading the pack.
As the group made the turn into Cary Glen they expected to see the CSH riders heading out with the “Thorns” in the mix. NO CSH, did they get a late start, did they take a different route?
Nicole’s Roller Coasters provided just as much speed and excitement as always with the first long fast downhill providing enough momentum to let the cyclist’s coast to the next hills crest. Then the real work began to crest the middle hill with some assist from momentum, and then the last hill that provided for no carryover of momentum.
All riders made it to the next set of turns putting them onto Carpenter Fire Station Road. Just after that turn they could see a wall of cyclists blocking one entire lane for several hundred yards. Off to the side, working to find a spot to jump in were the “Thorns”. A quick wave to the CSH riders and a node to the “Thorns” and the two groups passed in opposite directions, one just starting their push towards Lake Jordan and the other heading home from that same location.
The finishing route for the “Stems” included a run down Carpenter Fire Station and the next stretch onto Carpenter Upchurch also nicknamed “Captains Grave Yard” as cyclists travel on it headed back into Cary. However today the group was directed to turn early off of this path to roll into the Preston Neighborhood from Lewis Stevens origin.
This was were others like Susanne McBee, Jeffery Roussel, and one other elected to ride home parting company.
The Stems completed 33.4 miles at a 15.8 mph average and were done and ready to order bagels by 10:12 am.