Sunday, June 21, 2009


Saturday June 20, 2009

Those in attendance riding with the “Roses” included;
Jae Brainard
Lori Brogden
Andy Brogden
Barb Hartsfield

Those riding with the “Thorns/Stems” included;
Steve Cope – “Capn Carbon” ride leader for the group on this day’s ride.
Kevin Smit – “GOG”
Theresa Smit
Kim Braschwitz

Brian Farkas – back with the group after 8 or more months of not biking
Jeffery Roussel – “Down Hill Racer”
Tim Devinney – “The Love Train” – glad to be alive after being hit by a car Friday night while on his scooter.
Jeff Giordano – a “Thorn” thru and thru ready for any challenge and any attack
Christy Miller – “Pinky” – “Pink Triassolette”
John Garrity – First time with the group – Welcome John
Steve Ham…..
Steve Marks – has ridden several time with the Thorns (always in a green jersey and shorts) “The Green Machine” – likes to participate in the attacks.
Ernest Davis – riding to the start just in time to join them as they headed out.

The ride brief was brief. Something about Lystra maybe for some of those interested.
A mention that Jae was there to lead the “Roses” and “Capn Cabon” would lead the “Thorns/Stems”.

All riders left the parking lot together and remained in that format as they made the right turn into the Preston neighborhood. The “Roses” were tucked into the middle of the group just at Jae threw a chain.
“You OK” shouted “GOG”. “Yea just dropped the chain, you guys go on, we are OK” responded the ride leader of the “Roses”. That was the first split in the ride groups. It was later learned that the “Roses” had wanted to ride further with the “Thorns/Stems” before splitting but the chain issue made that split early.

The “Thorns/Stems” remained in a group with “Capn Carbon” doing a great job of leading the pack through Preston, out onto “Ron’s Pull” and down the entire length of Carpenter Fire Station Road.
“Capn” then directed the group to make the right turn onto Yates Store (away from Upchuck hill) and into the newly opened section of road.

The humidity was so high that it felt Claustrophobic to be outside. Breathing was similar to the type of breath one gets when swimming the crawl stroke in an indoor heated pool. Wet, Heavy, limited Oxygen with each breathe.

As the pack of cyclists reached the end of Yates Store and made the left turn onto O’Kelly Theresa was beginning to fall off the pace. She asked “GOG” to hold back and ride with here as the other riders were all still just warming up (Literally) for the days ride. “I just can’t keep up!”, “I don’t know what is wrong”, “They are riding at speeds I can do, but I just can’t seem to sustain right now” were the apologies being shared with “GOG” from Theresa.
“No problem, I am struggling in the heat and humidity and will be happy to ride with you”, was the reply from “GOG”. As these two trailing riders continued their journey on O’Kelly they remained within eye site of the leading pack but were unable to close the gap. “Capn Carbon” pulled out of the front group to circle back and checked on the two stragglers.
“GOG” informed “Capn” that they would ride the route at a slower pace and would be there to pick up anyone that gets splintered of the back of the “Thorns”. “You Sure you are OK” inquired “Capn”. “YES”, “we will likely meet you at the Gas Station at Lystra, if not before” responded “GOG”.

With that “Capn” bolted back to the front of the lead group where he then edged the pace up past the previous mph average. Theresa and Kevin both continued to ride a smooth pace all they way down 751, onto Stage Coach, and then the left turn onto Old Farrington and its hills leading to the corner Gas Station at Lystra. On several sections of road these two trailing riders maintained 19 mph. Theresa again made the comment, “I could keep up with them I just couldn’t do it earlier, and the hills always gap me from the pack”. She did ride a solid pace even with being dropped early in the ride. Once dropped it is very very difficult to bridge the gap (unless you are Capn Carbon – who takes great joy in running down riders in the distance).

All riders were reassembled at the corner Gas Station on Lystra and Farrington. There they rested briefly in the shade, topped off water bottles (thanks to the sag stop for the organized MisFits Ice-cream ride), and visited with a rider that had been scooped up by “Capn Carbon”. This rider was amazed that he had been swallowed up by the group as he was charging down the road at over 21 mph. He now elected to ride with the group as “Capn Carbon” went on to explain all about the “Thorns” and “Roses” and how they roll.

“OK”, “I said we would do Lystra”, “so we are going to climb up jack Benett, and come down Lystra” was the new set of instructions from ride leader “Capn Carbon”. With little delay the pack was off and this time with Kevin and Theresa included in the pack.
As Jack Benett’s long steady climb unfolded several riders moved to the front to press the pace and to meet the challenge of the climb. Those making a play for the front positions included; Jeff G, Jeffery “Down Hill Racer”, Tim “the Love Train”, Steve Marks “The Green Machine”, Ernest Davis, and Steve Cope “Capn Carbon”. Those climbing consistently thru the entire climb included; Christy Miller “Pinky”, Kim, John Garrity, Kevin “GOG”, Steve Ham…., and Theresa.

No one had to wait very long for the tail end of the group to arrive at the end of Jack Benett and the intersection at 15/501. “OK” “Lets make the turn here towards Lystra, do the down hill and meet at the corner Gas Station again, anyone who wants to climb Lystra can join me as I will turn at the bottom and climb to the 2nd c rest and then back down again all the way to the Gas Station” were the next set of instructions provided by the ride leader. “He is sick, just plain sick” was the reply provided by Jeff G.
With that the pack was off at an easy pace riding the shoulder of 15/501 to the next right at Lystra.

Lystra’s first 2 miles are a slight uphill with several small crests to conquer prior to the fast 1 ½ mile down hill towards its end. Each rider made the turn onto Lystra and immediately picked up the pace in anticipation of the fun/fast downhill that can produce coasting speeds of just over 40 mph.

The pack became strung out during this first 2 or 3 miles as each rider was now feeling the heat and humidity and now the SUN. During the last mile prior to the down hill “GOG” elected to crank up the rpms and mph to see if he can launch himself into the down hill with as much momentum as possible.
As he struggled to increase speed he realized several things.
1. He started the run to the downhill too early.
2. The heat and humidity had already zapped him.
3. He is still too out of shape to push the peddles for any distance greater than a few yards.

Kevin was able to reach 46.6 mph as he was the second person to descend Lystra. As he was in the steepest part of the downhill he tucked into a tight streamlined posture and took the middle of the lane for safety reasons. His eyes were watering from the wind as he observed a vehicle coming up the hill partly in his lane due to the fact that the car was passing “Capn Carbon” who was already starting his climb up Lystra.

Back at the corner Gas Station all riders regrouped for a brief stop allowing all to arrive safely.
The pack was now directed to make the run down Farrington and to the easy climb up Martha Chapel. “Capn Carbon” did a great job of keeping the group together all the way to the strawberry patch.

At the strawberry patch those who still had the strength to attack were all readying themselves for the sprint to the county line. “GOG” informed “Capn” that he will likely fall off the pace as he anticipated the increase in speed from the ride leaders. “We will do Nicole’s Roller Coaster” was “Capn’s” comeback. “Great, after the run down Capn’s Grave Yard” lets take everyone back into Preston and then the back way into the finish”. “You know how to get them there?” “GOG” attempted to inform and then confirm how to finish the day’s route with “Capn”. “I think so” was all that was supplied by “Capn”.

The pack pulled away from Kevin and Theresa as they once again struggled to beat the heat and ride without BLOWING UP. Steve Ham… had elected to ride with the two trailing riders as well.

The rest of the ride was one of survival for the 3 trailing riders. At one point in the ride Steve Ham… was riding nice and easy only to comment “On RAGBRAI I will still have another 50 miles to go for the day”. Then there was great silence as all three measured how they felt and tried to project how bad another 50 miles in the heat, hills and humidity would be like. Please note IOWA is NOT FLAT, and IS HOT, and HUMID.

Once the three trailing riders swung onto “Capn’s Grave Yard” Kevin suggested they go into the end thru Preston and the back way onto Cary Parkway. “Why do you want to do that” asked Steve Ham….
“More miles and more Hills” was the reply from “GOG”.

Without argument the three riders accepted the last challenge of the day.
These three completed 53.3 miles at an average speed of 16.8 mph.

The “Thorns” led by “Capn Carbon” did 47 miles at an average pace of 17.8 mph.
They did not elect to do the extra miles and hills at the finish but rather came in straight off of “Capn’s Grave Yard” and onto High House. (Capn probably did not know how do the route described by “GOG” earlier)
It was also learned that on “Capn’s Grave Yard” Jeff G, and “The Love Train” did everything they could to hold onto “Capn” as he pulled them along at 28 mph in his attempt to add more victims to the “Grave Yard”.

The following link was supplied by Kim and her Garman monitor.
It will show the route, pace, and elivation for the days ride.
Thanks Kim for sharing

Check out this Garmin Connect activity: Saturday Ride Click Here

Subdued Sunday

June 21, 2009

Heat was not as sever as on Saturday.
Many of the riders were still trying to recover from Saturday’s high heat and humidity.

“Capn Carbon” and “GOG” worked together to design a route that would provide for 30 -35 miles and with a return trip that allowed anyone who wanted the chance to jump in with the CSH ride as it heads out of town and towards Lake Jordan.

Those in attendance included;
Steve Cope – “Capn Carbon”
Kevin Smit – “GOG”
Theresa Smit
Kim Braschwitz – she has been telling all her friends about these rides and had 3 of them show up for this days ride. – She also earned her Nickname on this days ride. Read on to find out what it is.
Laura Spell – read to learn what her new Nickname is.
Ying So – one of Kim’s friends joining the group for the first time
Jeff Giordano – back for more
Steve Ham….
Jeffery Roussel
– “Down Hill Racer”
Karyn Long – one of Kim’s friends also joining the group for the first time
Mike Long – joining the group for the first time came with Karyn
Paul Eppers
Barbara Wedel

Todd Spain “TriTodd” stopped in just long enough to say hi to everyone and then he headed for the start of the CSH ride.

Short introductions were made and each rider was challenged to meet and greet more while on the day’s ride.

Jeff and Jeffery both took the rains and led the pack out of the parking lot and onto HighHouse.

The pace was very comfortable allowing all to form two draft lines as the group headed into Preston.

At the light on Davis drive Jeffery zoomed over to press the walk button in an attempt to speed up the red light green light pattern. Just as he pushed the button the signal changed from red to green and the riders jumped across the intersection. Jeff and Jeffery both continued to take the lead positions and worked to block the pack from pressing the pace or from sporadic attacks. They were not challenged allowing them to keep the pack in formation and at a pace that all could enjoy while continuing to visit with others. The only times the pack was scattered was at the turn out of Preston and onto Lewis Stevens due to cars and then again at the end of Lewis Steven’s again due to cars.

Jeff and Jeffery continued to control the pack from the front as they directed all onto “Ron’s” pull. “GOG” expected to have to work hard to hold onto these stronger “Thorns” as they would be expected to ramp up the speed to well over 20 mph on this stretch of road.

17 mph was established and maintained the entire length of “Ron’s” pull, not even “Capn Carbon” pulled out of line to press the pace. About half way down that road “GOG” noticed that Barbara’s rear was wiggling slightly. “Hey your rear end is Wobbling slightly” he shouted to the rider in front of him.
Those around them went silent as they worked to understand what was just suggested by “GOG”.
“Are you referring to my rear wheel”? asked Barbara. “Yea that too?” replied “GOG” with a big grin on his face. “It looks like you have a couple of loose spokes” he went on to explain.

Once at the end of “Ron’s Pull” Kim was heard asking “IS that ALL YOU GOT”. This comment is now Kim’s Nickname. This did not stir the ride leaders into being egged on to push any harder. The double pace line remained intact even down Carpenter Fire Station road with the pace increasing slightly to 19 mph on that stretch.

Barbara was asking “GOG” about cadence and if he monitors his. The discussion touch on spinning and the value of not pushing big gears and the techniques involved in shifting and the timing of shifting on climbs.

The next intersection had the pack turning left onto Yates Store. Each rider prepared for the run to and then up the hill nicknamed by the group as “UpChuck” which is what all feel they are about to do as they crest this short but steep climb. This hill is also a great place to attack each other to see who can claim victory at it’s crest.

Jeffery, Jeff, and Paul, all readied themselves for the expected attacks. “Capn Carbon” positioned himself strategically to observe those just ahead of him, keeping them within striking distance once he decides to respond to any effort they may produce. “GOG” elected to roll into position near the middle of the pack to warn those around him of the many pot holes and to also find a spot to maneuver and stage his attack - if his momentum and gear selection were in sink.

As the attacks unfolded each rider was stalled by gravity with “Capn Carbon” working only hard enough to ensure he could crest the hill just ahead of everyone else. “GOG” was watching all this unfold and measuring his response to the gear selection and his momentum to see if and when he would attack. “GOG” made the snap decision to see if he could spin and maintain the momentum up the hill for as long as possible. This was not a formal attack but rather a reaction to best make the crest of the hill for him. In this effort he rolled past all in front while standing and spinning the crank arms so hard that the front derailleur could be heard rubbing the chain as the frame on his bike would bend with each stoke of the pedal. The Crest of the hill was just feet away as “GOG” rolled up shoulder to shoulder with “Capn Carbon”. “Where did you come from” chuckled “Capn”. “GOG” could not reply as his heart rate had already maxed out and he was now well into the anaerobic twilight zone.

A high five was exchanged between the two riders as they slowed once over the crest and continued to the next intersection/ rendezvous for the group. “Capn” and “GOG” began to circle and were joined by each rider as they made that location. The last to arrive was Theresa. This prompted Jeff, and Jeffery, to leave the circling and head towards the next intersection. “GO Straight all the way to 751” was the orders shouted from “GOG” knowing he would not be able to guide them from his trailing position.
Kevin began to follow those two riders but noticed in his mirror that the pack was still stalled at the intersection and in fact some appeared to be huddled over Laura’s bike. Kevin made a u-turn to rejoin the pack and ensure all was OK. “MY Cleat came off the bottom of my shoe” cried Laura as she was digging in the dirt to try and find the screws needed to fix the problem. She was only able to locate one of the screws and with help from “Capn Carbon” they reattached the cleat as best they could. At that same time Barbara was looking at her rear wheel and trying to spin it only to discover that the wheel would not complete a turn and would rub on the brake pads. She and Paul tried to realign the wheel but the results were the same. Upon closer inspection by “Capn Carbon” and “GOG” it was clear that the loose spokes had gotten worse. “GOG” positioned the tire to identify the culprit Spokes as “Capn Carbon” fetched his spoke wrench. In time that would make a pit crew chief grin “Capn Carbon” had trued the wheel. “WOW he is good” exclaimed Laura. “Yea he was not only a bike racer in his day but also a bike mechanic” was the historical bit of information supplied by “GOG”.
All repairs completed and the pack was off onto New Hope Church Road. The speeds on this section of road held steady even up and over the several hills found early on this road. “GOG” had a brief conversation with Laura about the impressive Power Strokes she produces that resulted in her Screws becoming lose and her cleats falling off her shoes. He suggested that her nickname might be “Power Stroker” or “Screw Lose”. In retrospect she does push some mightily big gears so “Power Stroker” it is.

The pack reformed at the turn onto 751 with Jeffery once again setting the pace for all to follow. This run up to Martha Chapel kept the pack in tact up to the very last climb. No need to circle at Martha’s Chapel since all riders were close at hand.
Another double draft line formed with Jeff and Jeffery again in the pull positions. The run down Martha’s Chapel was the most subdued and controlled of the season. Speeds did not rise about 19 mph, and it was not until all could see Lake Jordan in the distance before the attack would begin.

It was there that “Capn Carbon” moved slowly up the pace line as he stalked the two Jeff’s. Just like a lioness waiting for the best moment, he allowed the two lead riders to slowly roll off the front. Now Jeff and Jeffery were no longer protected by the pack but had put themselves out in the clear for all to see. No other support to help them maintain speed against the head wind. Yet “Capn Carbon” was seen bouncing from wheel to wheel as he continued to creep towards the front of the pace line knowing all the while that those left in the pace line would naturally increase speed thinking also of the targets that lay ahead. “Capn Carbon” paused only long enough to judge the speed of those two targets, against the speed of the pace line, and the distance to travel before he could subdue his pray.

Then without warning he jumped, throwing his bike from side to side, ever accelerating and as he did so the two pray were beginning to falter. He had timed the situation perfectly.

“Capn Carbon” had once again proven his superior skills as a stalker/attacker of other riders.

This entire episode spawned several others to emulate “Capn Carbon”. “Come On Kevin Lets get em” shouted Barbara as she, and Karyn were seen jumping into the gap and taking chase, as did Kim, and Paul, even the new rider Ying So made a play.

Once at the intersection of Martha Chapel and Farrington the pack was directed onto “Kevin’s Crawl” which is also known to the “Roses” as “Theresa’s Tug”. The first onto Farrington and headed up hill towards Holland Chapel was Karyn (no one had informed her of the honored pull position that is always awarded Kevin on this section of road). She was followed by “GOG” who was now already working way too hard to pull past Karyn who was then responding to increase her speed as if both were vying for that honored pull position. Jeffery Roussel was found tight onto “GOG’s” rear wheel and had the look of a rider who was not going to let anyone get away. The three remained locked into the ever-increasing response to each other’s effort. “GOG” slowly crept past Karyn to then see Jeffery Roussel Squarely in his mirror. “GOG” knew he would be challenged all the way up this climb today. Together he and Jeffery slowly pulled away from Karyn as they reached 22 mph on the last part of the climb. “GOG” backed off just shy of the major crest as Jeffery rolled on past and into the downhill that would place him at Holland Chapel. “GOG” continued to coast as he was then passed by Karyn who was next to the turn onto Holland Chapel. “Capn Carbon” had not made a play out of pure respect for “GOG”.

The group was back together and lots of chitchat continued the entire length of that section of road.
It was learned that one of the riders parents (Mike Long) ? had owned the land at the corner of 751 and Holland Chapel and had sold it not long ago to Apex Nursery.

The turn at the strawberry patch had the group all looking forward to the last 15 miles on home along with the sprint to the county line. This and UpChuck were the only two attacks mounted by “Capn Carbon” on this day’s ride with the “Thorns”. He saved his full attack energy for the second half of his ride that included another run to Lake Jordan and back with the CSH riders.

The rest of the route included the turn into Cary Glen where “Capn Carbon” was able to join the CSH ride as they were exiting this same neighborhood. The “Thorns” continued onto “Nicole’s Roller Coaster”, out of Cary Glenn and onto Carpenter Fire Station. The pack did splinter slightly as they made their way to and then thru the light at Highway 55. The pack regrouped just prior to the run down “Capn’s Grave Yard”. It was on “Capn’s Grave Yard” that several folks elected to light it up. Those included Kim who was first to jump. She was later followed by Jeff, and Jeffery. Also looking to push the pace for those last couple of miles were Karyn, Ying So, and Paul. The others were happy to ride together at a sustained speed of 19 mph all the way to High House.
Onto HighHouse the group timed it right to get the green light and from there Theresa led the way back to the finish at Brueggers.
The group completed 33.3 miles at an average pace of 16.8 mph.

Kim "Is That All You GOT" shares her Garmon monitor information with the group
click to see the route and elevation and average mph.

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