One thrown chain, 3 Flats, and two new nicknames
The weather had turned cooler and dryer.
The riders assembled with many arriving just as the clock ticked 7:30 am.
Those in attendance included.
Starting with the Roses:
Deb Hollis – “Two saddles”
Patti Lewis – “Patti Melt”
Mary Ann Feagan
Christy Wing – First time with the group
Starting with the Thorns:
Steve Cope – “Capn Carbon”
Jen Serino – “Slow Jen Fizz”
David Bridenbaugh – Mr. Bridenbaugh – sporting a brand new Ridley carbon fiber bike.
Carrie Zelna – now with a nickname read on to find out what it is
Doug Augustine - now with potential nickname – vote on your choice by commenting to this blog entry
Kevin Smit – “GOG”
Tim Travitz – “Slow Tim”
After very brief introductions the group rolled out of the parking lot with the “Thorns and Roses” separated before entering High House.
Kevin and Theresa were both expecting an ugly ride for them as they had been off the bike for the last couple of weeks with the most resent one being filled with crab eating and beer drinking rather than biking.
The pace of the Thorns was relatively controlled as “Capn Carbon” was busy chit chatting with others. The usual suspects to prompt attacks were not in attendance. Kevin was already sensing that his legs were soon ready to argue with him as the pack rolled across Davis drive and into the roundabout prior to exiting the Preston neighborhoods.
Kevin was near the back of the pack as the group closed in on the turn that would take them onto “Ron’s Pul”l or back into the Cary Neighborhoods. The ride leader at that point was “Mr. Bridenbaugh”. With full confidence he signaled left turn. The entire pack all looked around to see where “GOG” was and if he was in full agreement with the directive from “Mr. Bridenbaugh”. “GOG” did not confirm nor deny the directive. A short hesitation from the pack allowed those in the rear with “GOG” to catch the pack and as “GOG” followed the command provided from “Mr. Bridenbaugh” the pack once again turned their focus on the road and those ahead of them.
“GOG” had shared with a handful of folks prior to the ride what he was planning for the day’s ride. He selected a few individuals who he felt would likely be the ride leaders of the “Thorns”, and those who splinter from the group forming the “Stems”. These individuals would respond with attacks and would also appreciate the concept of a no drop style ride. This way they can attack for long periods knowing where the route would lead, and then would also slow long enough to recover and bring the pack back together. Those who get splintered would have the confidence of knowing that someone in that group also knows the route, and they would likely see the “Thorns” soon enough in the distance circling to make sure all are safe and trouble free. “GOG” always singles out “Capn Carbon” as the one person he confides in regarding the day’s route. He does this knowing “Capn Carbon” will be in every breakaway/ attack, and “Capn Carbon” has demonstrated time and time again that he will stop to help any and all riders as needed. “GOG” also knows that even when “Capn Carbon” has been told the route, he will likely miss a turn or two, which adds great fun to the ride.
The pack was now traversing the quick right and then left off of High House and onto Jenks Carpenter and the first hill attack of the day. “I had a great first Triathlon”, “It was fun and I look forward to doing more”, “ I want to get better on the bike though”, “How do I get faster on the bike”, “I averaged 18 mph, and others were going by me as if I was standing Still” Don Zelna was excitedly describing his most recent personal experience to “GOG”. “You need to ride more like Capn Carbon – attack and recover” was the brief explanation to Don. “You mean scorch or Cope-ing” was Don’s response indicating he had read the most resent email banter and also understood the concept of how to do speed work on a bike.
“You need to attack on each hill and respond to each county line sprint” “GOG” went on to drive his point home. “Be ready because at the bottom of this hill is the first attack of the day, it is about being in the best gear and jump while your rpms are still high” he went on to explain.
If only “GOG” could follow his own coaching advice.
By this time the pack was already zooming downhill and had only a few yards to go before the base of the climb. “GOG” and Don were now in the last two spots in the draft line. “GOG” shifted up two more gears putting him in some of the highest gears he can push. On those last few feet of downhill momentum “GOG” decided to see if he could spin the big gears and stay in them for as long as possible.
The pack up ahead was already beginning to splinter with riders pulling out wide to pass those who were holding their line but giving into gravity. “GOG” was in full sprint in a big gear as he rushed past a clump of riders that were all jockeying for positions to get around others as they too were mounting their attack. “NICE MOVE and FROM THE BACK OF THE PACK” was the cry from “Mr. Bridenbaugh” as he was startled to see the old man blow on by. “SHIT – Tee hee Hee” was heard from “Capn Carbon” who until that point was only working hard enough to stay inches ahead of the others.
“GOG” watched in his mirror to see how long he would be allowed to control the lead position on the climb. “GOG” was still spinning the big gears – still no attack from “Capn Carbon”. “Keep spinning, Push the gears, don’t shift down, You are easily half way to the summit” all this was crashing around in “GOG’s” head as he continued to look in his mirror and still no response from “Capn Carbon”.
“Why isn’t he going?” “Keep pushing, spin, don’t shift, don’t falter”, were the thoughts now colliding in “GOG’s” brain. “Closing in on to the Top 1/3 of the climb” “Doing Good” then as if shot by a high powered rifle “GOG” faltered just enough to send the signal back to “Capn Carbon” to launch his delayed attack. “GOG” sensed he had signaled his weakness and quickly glanced in his mirror in hopes that “Capn Carbon” had not noticed. There in his mirror “GOG” could clearly see the excited Cope stand and throw his bike from side to side in total joy. “GOG’s” brain even suggested it could hear the shrill sound of a deranged killers knowing laugh as it was about to complete it’s evilest of deeds.
The gap was truly a large one and would allow for a mortally wounded animal to find a way to escape and hide from its killer. But this was no normal killer this was “Capn Carbon” In less time than it takes to strike a match “Capn Carbon” was gliding alongside the wounded “GOG” smiling in his most deranged way to communicate “nice try”.
And that is being SCORCHED and that is how one improves over time. Attack and recover and attack again. So far “GOG” is able to attempt an attack and then spends the rest of the day’s ride never able to recover. We all have to start somewhere and this is the best to date for “GOG”. Look for him to continue these feeble attempts, if nothing else it allows for great entertainment for “Capn Carbon” much like a ball of catnip can entertain a kitten for some time.
The riders did not wait at the top of the hill as “GOG” looked in his mirror to see most were not far behind as he too was now at the top having been past by more than “Capn Carbon” by then. A right turn put the group onto Holt and towards Highway 55 and points west of there. Taylor was riding next to Kevin as she informed him that there was at least one other behind. She had already informed “Capn Carbon” of this detail and he was already falling off the pace and turning to go back. “Let’s just slow and allow them to catch up – If they are not with us at the light on 55 we will wait there” was the command given by Kevin to the pack.
At highway 55 the group was joined again by “Capn Carbon” and “Slow Tim” who had dropped his chain on the first hill attack of the day. “Slow Tim” was the first to the base of the hill and the last one to climb it.
Roberts road was the next turn, with its long gradual downhill slope, producing high speeds in a well formed draft line. The group leading the pace line included “GOG”, “Capn Carbon”, Paul, Joe Pittman, “Slow Tim”, “Mr. Bridenbaugh”. Close on their heels included – in no specific order: Carrie Zelna, Don Zelna, Taylor, Jen Serino- “slow Jen Fizz”, Erica Mancuso, Jeff, Doug, and Taylor. Everyone was flying down the road at speeds over 24 mph for the entire length of Roberts road. The pace line slowed long enough to make a safe smooth right hand transition onto Green Level Church Road and the stop sign at its intersection with Green Level. Once onto Green Level the group almost reversed its leadership with individuals like “Slow Jen Fizz”, Erica, Doug, Carrie, Joe all pushing the pace up the long steady climb of Green Level to its crest at White Oak Church Road. “GOG” and others were able to hold on and stay in close enough contact to bark orders to stay straight at the top of the hill.
Once over that first climb of Green Level the pack splintered as some elected to race down the other side to set up for another push up the next two hills prior to the turn onto Luther. As the pack rolled over the last climb of Green level several of the leaders had regrouped and were now charging on down the road. That pack included “Capn Carbon”, “Slow Jen Fizz”, Erica, Paul, “Slow Tim”, Carrie Zellna, and “Mr. Bridenbaugh”. “GOG” was working to close the gap along with all the other trailing riders. As the trailing riders continued to push hard the gap did not close and in fact the lead group had begun to mash hard on the pedals. “GOG” expected the lead pack to make the left turn onto Luther, after all he did share the day’s route plan with “Capn Carbon”. The lead group did not slow for the turn and continued to push on past in anticipation of more hills on Green Level. “GOG” dropped his head in disbelief and then smiled to himself realizing this was a great opportunity to provide the lead riders a chance to chase down the trailing riders after they had made the planned turn onto Luther. Without barking out orders to those pulling away “GOG” directed those around him to make the sweeping left turn onto Luther. Normally this is a regroup spot that provides for a short break, however today it was an opportunity for those trailing riders to now be in the lead position.
“NICE” was the comment provided by Joe Pittman as he enjoyed the game just played on “Capn Carbon” and the other riders. It did not take the lead pack long to glance back and notice the tail end of the others making the turn they had just blown by. As the lead pack slowed to determine their next move the trailing riders continued to roll out of site on Luther. “GOG” knew that “Capn Carbon” would jump at the opportunity to chase everyone down and in doing so the other riders with him would act as Lemmings and follow his lead.
The run down Luther was relaxed with the pack scattered along its length. Each rider was working to recover from the 3 hills of Green Level, and were preparing for the one steep hill near the end of Luther. That hill is another great one for attacking even if there is no one to attack other than one’s self. “GOG” was prepared to push himself on that hill and was willing to do so even if there was no target other than the read out on his cateye computer and heart rate monitor. As “GOG” lined up for the attack he slid past two to three other cyclists who were not planning to attack the hill. At that same time “Mr Bridenbaugh” had unlatched himself from the group he was riding with and made his move to dive into the slip stream being generated by “GOG”. The hill is designed well for larger riders as it first presents a nice fast downhill, with no real flat bottom prior to the climb allowing for the heavier riders to build great momentum. With the proper gear choice and timing of when to jump on the pedals to spin the bigger gears these larger riders are able to reduce the effects of gravity that typically plagues them on most hills. “GOG” clicked the gear shifter two times nudging the rear derailleur closer to the smaller chain rings. He was already in the large chain ring up front and did not want to drop to the small chain ring forcing a much higher cadence than he could safely spin. Now it was a balance of proper gear choice, timing of when to spin, leg strength, and ability to survive in the Anaerobic Zone long enough to roll over the top of the climb, Oh yea and not maxing out the heart rate of a near 60 yr old man.
“Mr. Bridenbaugh” was still working to get into the slip stream of “GOG” as the two were now working to defy gravity. The two riders crested the hill together as “Mr. Bridenbaugh” clearly was gaining on “GOG” with each revolution of the crank set.
The pack was not far behind these two Gladiators as they all rolled to the stop sign at the end of Luther. It was at this point that the pack was asked to hold allowing for all to regroup before heading towards the next leg of the days ride route. As each rider was absorbed back into the group it was learned that someone had suffered a flat and “Capn Carbon” was with them helping them make the repairs. The pack now was asked to chill longer than expected to allow for the completion of the tire repair. This is the price one pays for electing to ride with a “NO DROP” style ride. Not everyone enjoys the delay, but the alternative is to someday be out there all alone with no hope of rejoining the group to ride once again in the pace line at 20+ mph. “GOG” could sense the anxiety of a few of the “Thorns” as the delay unfolded. The “Thorns” never really like to stop at all and usually tolerate the one or two short stops to top off water bottles and to take bio-breaks. Knowing that this now is adding yet another stop really was not sitting well with some.
Don Zellna and “Capn Carbon” were seen rolling up to the pack having successfully repaired the flat. In the act of repair “Capn” was able to locate the cause being a piece of hair like steel that likely came from a car or truck steel belted tire tread that had been laying along the edge of the road. “GOG” asked the group to continue to pause allowing for Don and “Capn” to recoup slightly before heading back onto the roads.
The group was then directed to make the right turn onto 751 with the next turn to be left onto Horton Pond and its 3 – 4 miles of rolling hills. No delay as all were tired of waiting and did not want the legs to stiffen from standing around any longer. Everyone made the turn safely on to Horton Pond. The pace immediately began to build. Paul dropped back through the pack to ask “GOG” “are we turning anywhere soon”. “GOG” recognized this to really mean “Can we sprint on ahead and for how far before we have to wait again”. “You can turn it loose all the way to the end of Horton Pond” was the reply from “GOG”. The smile on Paul’s face was all the further communications needed.
With the crack of a whip Paul shot to the front to the line and continued to bolt out into the lead knowing he would insight an attack from “Capn” and the other “Thorns”.
For some who responded with the “Thorns” it was a full on sprint/hill climb for 3 miles, for some it was an attempt to hang with the “Thorns” as long as possible, for some it was a, let’s just get this section of road over with. Horton Pond does not allow for any recovery due to its terrain. There is no real flat section, no good down hills, and the climbs are just long enough to either slow the cadence, or demand a gear change, or require a thigh burn push the gears response from a rider.
“GOG” was one of the last to arrive at the end of Horton Pond and rather than slow to join the awaiting pack he elected to roll through the intersection making a smooth left turn onto Farrington road heading towards Highway 64. As he did this there were a few verbal barbs thrown his way – something about “the Spirit of the Ride” – a flash back to several weeks earlier when he ranted and raved to others who were pushing the pace way too early in a ride.
Joe was the first to jump out of the group and quickly closed the gap allowing him to rest easily in the vortex generated by the girthy “GOG”. Before those two leading riders were a quarter of a mile down the road the entire pack was now enjoying the calm air of the vacuum created by “GOG” being in the front of the pace line. “GOG” was surprised that the “Thorns” allowed him to continue to lay claim to the pull position especially since he was not pulling them along at the blistering pace they normally enjoy. In fact on that section of Farrington road his efforts in the Pull position were only generating 17 mph.
“Lets Stop here at the gas station on Highway 64 to fill water bottles and take a bio break” announced “GOG” as he rolled to a stop in its parking lot. This was the first planed break for the day.
“What time do you usually get back from a ride” asked Erica. “I don’t know maybe around 10:30 or 11” replied “GOG”. “Do you have a time constraint, I forgot to ask at the start if there was anyone needing to get back earlier” he went on to say. Kevin could tell that the pace and delays so far had the group far behind normal. “Yea I do need to get back soon” Erica responded. “I can just turn around here” she said. “You could also follow us to Big Woods and then turn right there and head over to Lystra and then turn for home from there”, “Others may elect to go that way as well rather than do the full planned route”, “I am usually one of those always willing to turn back early” Kevin went on to say. “I can go back with her” offered “slow Jen Fizz”, “Me Too” announced Paul.
“That is great”, “We never want to send a lone rider off from the group” Kevin went on to explain.
“Thanks for helping make sure everyone rides with a buddy” he continued.
So the first major split of the group took place 20 miles into a planned 50+ mile day. To that point there had been one thrown chain, and one flat and now one planned stop. The clock was running faster than the rider’s progress on the ride. “GOG” was actually thankful due to the fact that he had not been on the bike for a couple of weeks and this slower pace was working to his liking. Others however clearly wanted to get on with it. After the brief stop everyone said goodbye and ride safe to Erica, “Fizzy” and Paul as the groups headed in different directions.
The “Thorns” were quick to jump onto Highway 64 to setup a fast pace line in the shoulder section of that road. Jeff, Taylor, Joe, “Mr. Bridenbaugh”, “Slow Tim”, and “Capn Carbon” were seen powering towards Lake Jordan and the planed leftt turn away from Big Woods. Carrie and Don Zelna and Doug were continuing to ride in the slip stream being generated by “GOG” as he did his best to continue the drive at 17 -19 mph. The group came together again at the next turn as the “Thorns” politely waited on the “Stems”. The group was now headed towards North Pea Ridge and away from Big Woods and Highway 64. There was no traffic which was a welcomed relief to the noisy fast heavy traffic of Highway 64. Jeff was riding now very comfortably alongside Kevin and was asked why he was not provoking any of the days attacks on “Capn” and the ride leaders. “Not feeling the best today” was Jeff’s reply. Kevin only wished on his best days if he could ride as strong as Jeff does on Jeff’s off days. After that brief exchange Jeff rejoined the lead riders as they were now chasing down Carrie Zelna who was gliding along comfortably at 19+ mph while climbing a hill and looking at the birds and the trees, and the flowers and thinking to herself what a beautiful day it was. Carrie is a joy to ride with. She is always smiling and if one listens carefully they could swear they could hear her singing quietly to herself some nursery rhyme type songs. Maybe we should nick name her “Mother Goose”. Carries posture on the bike is not what you would expect from a “Triassholete”. Rather than riding in the aerodynamic TriBike configuration she elected to outfit her bike with Upright handle bars. This puts her in a body position that allows for what is typically seen on the greenway style riders on their hybrid bikes. So there is Carrie riding upright at 19+ mph climbing a hill looking at the birds, and flowers, and singing some nursery song to herself. A new breed of “Triassholete”. She may actually inspire others to adopt her riding style and attitude. Imagine the Ironman in Kona with everyone riding a hybrid and singing to themselves and smiling the entire 112mph leg of the bike ride.
The group did not wait long at the turn onto Pea Ridge. Here again “GOG” could sense the need to turn the “Thorns” loose once more. “OK Thorns stay on this all the way to the next stop sign where it crosses back over Highway 64”. Before Kevin was able to finish the sentence the “Thorns” were well down the path towards that next rendezvous. This section of Pea ridge is not flat and not really hilly, but it is a long slow gradual incline all the way to Highway 64. There was a very short pause to regroup before launching the “Thorns” once again to attack each other over and over again all the way to the next turn at 15/501. The “Stems” continued to glide along in the draft of “GOG” as they rode consistently around the 19 mph mark. At one point on this stretch of road a minivan elected to race past the “Stems” just in time to hit the breaks so it could wait on a passing car to move by tothen make a left hand turn. “GOG” could only dart to the right and slip by the Van on the remaining few inches of the shoulder, he had to allow enough space so he did not take out the passenger side mirror. “NICE MOVE” he shouted at the driver of the van. Doug Augustine was far enough behind to successfully slow and wait behind the van. This was the only vehicle incident for the days ride and of course Kevin was the magnet. There seems to be some strange force in the Universe that consistently aligns Assholes in vehicles with the space occupied by Kevin on his bike. Maybe it is just pure physics. Two large bodies of Mass are attracted to each other and Kevin’s Mass can rival most vehicles.
The group was together again at 15/501 long enough for Kevin and “Capn” to agree that the run down Jack Bennett would be the safest route to take to the next rendezvous spot at the gas station on Lystra and Farrington. Again the “Thorns” launched themselves onto the wide shoulder of 15/501 and without looking back finished that run with a sweeping right turn onto the long downhill of Jack Bennett. Taylor announced that she too would jump with the “Thorns” to see how long she can hold on. This spurred all the other “Stems” to join her in that futile attempt.
“GOG” elected to continue his pace setting effort – solo – at 19 mph.
The run down Jack Bennett was relaxing and produced speeds in the mid 30s. As “GOG” rolled towards the bottom of the hill he saw Doug Augustine slow and stop his bike to inspect his rear wheel. “Everything OK” he asked as he rolled past Doug and now Taylor who was also checking on him. “GOG” checked his mirror to see if all were ok. Doug and Taylor were seen pushing off and clipping back into the pedals.
The stop at the Gas Station at Lystra allowed for a quick bio break, and water to be purchased and shared by the group – topping of water bottles for the last 20 mile section leading home.
“Take them thru Nicole’s roller coaster and down Capn’s Grave Yard” instructed “GOG” to “Capn Carbon”. This would be the final time those two riders would see each other until the finish.
Everyone wanted to play “Thorn” resulting in the pack forming quickly behind “Capn’s” wheel as he set the pace out of the gas station and down the road to the turn at Martha’s Chapel. Along those last 20 miles “GOG” was expecting to ride along and pick up all who splinter off the back and revert to being “Stems”. Doug elected to join Kevin from the start as an additional sweep. The two riders were quickly dropped by the pace line long before the bridge across Lake Jordan and the following turn onto Martha Chapel. Now alone on the road the two trailing riders prepared for the turn onto Martha Chapel slowing just enough to time the left turn prior to the car from behind blocking their move and allowing the on coming traffic to pass by safely. “GOG” drifted into the left side of the lane and signaled his intention expecting the trailing car to slow appropriately also allowing Doug to drift into the proper position for the left turn. “GOG” was mid way through the turn when he heard TTTTTTTTDDDDD TTTTTTDDDD TTTTTDDDD. He immediately thought of the sound made by a car drifting out of its lane and onto shoulder rumble strips. “WHAO WHAO WAHO I got a problem” Kevin immediately slowed, turned his head, then made a U turn to see Doug manhandling his bike into the left turn and then stop. The car that had been following slowed only enough to miss Doug by also veering to the right.
There are no rumble strips on the side of the road there. The sound Kevin heard was that of Doug’ s Flat front tire flopping its sidewall against the pavement as Doug attempted to lean the bike into the turn.
Doug pulled off the road not even aware that he had stopped in the middle of a mud puddle. He was still trying to figure out how he managed to keep the bike up through the turn. “You know I thought something was wrong with my bike going down Jack Bennett” , “it was wobbly so I stopped and checked the back tire, and it was OK”, “Then at the Gas Station when I got off my bike I was Wobbly so I figured it was me not a tire” Doug was heard explaining this mostly to himself.
What proceeded next was the worst flat tire repair in the history of bicycling.
First - the steel bead on the tire was so hard to get off that one of the tire wrenches broke in the process
Second - the first replacement tube was pinched – punctured by the tire iron while the two worked together to try and pry the bead back into the rim.
Third – neither rider had the strength to work the hand pump properly to get full pressure into the tire.
Forth – The mud now caked into Doug’s cleats had to be scraped out using pieces of metal debris from the edge of the road.
In the end almost 40 minutes had past.
The two riders had now exceeded the cut off time to complete the tour.
So we now have potential nick names for Doug.
Rumble strip – for the sound his flat tire made during the turn
MR. GoodWrench - for his stellar tire changing ability (he did have help that was no better).
Wobbly – for the description he had explaining how both he and his bike felt
YOU can vote on your choice of Nick name for Doug by leaving a comment to this blog entry.
Together they collected all the dead tubes, cardboard boxes they came in, tire irons – good ones and broken ones, valve stem covers, and extra stem nuts, making sure there were no tell tale signs of a road side repair left behind. The two then climbed on their bikes and road casually on down the road towards the end. Just prior to their crossing at Highway 55 Kevin’s phone rang. He let it go to voice mail knowing that he would return the call once at the light. As he placed the call he could hear Theresa in the background picking up the call and informing everyone at her end “Well at least we know they are not DEAD”. “Hello” was then the greeting she supplied to the caller at the other end of the line.
“We are just about to enter” Capn’s Grave yard” was the message relayed back to Theresa. Doug and Kevin finished the ride both having learned that tires with Steel Beads are Not easy to change during a ride.
The “Thorns and Stems” rode 52 miles that day.
Some rode much faster than others.
There was one thrown chain and 3 flats.
Sunday July 19th.
One section of road changes names, one section of road gets a new name.
5 riders get nicknames.
A cool dry day.
The plan was to ride as one group 30 – 35 miles with the group returning along the route that CSH rides as they are headed out of Cary. This would allow for those who want more miles and a stiffer pace to jump into the CSH ride using the “Thorns- Stems-Roses” ride as a warm-up.
Those in attendance
Kevin Smit - “GOG”
Steve Cope – “Capn Carbon” riding his old classic bike.
Kristine Pryzgoda – rides once a year with the group just to stay in touch.
Zachery Cope – a true mini me of “Capn Carbon” riding on Capn’s Carbon bike.
Tim Devinney – “The Love Train”
Dani Devinney – “Domestic B” – ask the “Love Train what her full nickname is. She is back on the bike after a long time and rode very strong on this days ride.
Ying So – a strong consistant rider - read on to learn what his nickname is.
Jeff Giordano – read to learn what he stole from Kevin and what his nickname is now.
Larry Kaminiski – first time with the group – and earned a nickname on this first ride
Greg Ahlbrook – first time with the group and second time on a bike. – He did great – and also earned a nickname – read to learn his new nickname
Brandy Burns – first time with the group
Doug Augustine – “Mr. Goodwrench”, or “Rumble Strip”, or “ Wobbly” – we need to vote on which is best suited for Doug. I vote for RUMBLE STRIP. Read Saturdays’ write up to help explain the options. Learn also what section of road is named after Doug from his ride this day.
Patti Lewis – “Patti Melt”.
The days ride began after brief introductions and an explanation of how the ride would unfold for those newer riders to the group.
The pack stayed together early in the ride with the group chit chatting all the way to “Ron’s Pull”. It was here that the ladies took control of the front of the pace line and executed a well orchestrated rotating draft line amongst Sheila, Patti, and Theresa. All others were relegated to no closer than 4th pull position. The rains were passed to others only after the three ladies had perfected their rotating draft line which lasted well into the length of “Ron’s Pull”. The group was next found single file on Carpenter Fire Station Road with several folks taking turns at the pull position. At one point the entire pace line slowed and stopped to allow an ambulance to pass safely by. Jeff was in the lead as the pace line drew close to a potential turn into Cary Glenn. “Straight to the stop sign at Yates Store and the run up UPCHUCK” was the orders given from within the pace line. Several of the new riders had not yet had the joy of climbing UPCHUCK so Kevin elected to expose them to it on the days ride.
The lineup of the attack of the hill unfolded with “The Love Train” playing lead out man, Jeff hot on his heels, Zachary following his Dad, and then the rest allowing for large gaps to form as they were making sure they did not have any issues with the holes in the road on the downhill run. Kevin had warned the new riders to the group of the Hill, how it is known as UPCHUCK, and of the rough roads leading to the base of the hill.
Kevin was behind the leading pack as it was seen racing down hill while he coasted to save any and all energy. Others were scattered behind, each picking their own line for the hill climb. Kevin shifted into large than normal gears to see if he could attack hard at the base and shift if needed/able during the climb. As Kevin reached the bottom of the hill he could see the lead group already splintering on the bottom third of the climb. He elected to wind up the rpms and swing wide left to provide for safe passage and to prevent anyone from jumping on his rear wheel. “Capn Carbon” was in the lead pushing only hard enough to remain in the lead of others in that leading pack. Zachary was seen pushing well into second place as Kevin’s momentum was still working in his favor allowing him to spring past Zachary. Just as Kevin found himself in second place “Capn Carbon” was looking back and laughing at Kevin’s attempt and informing him that Zachary was closing in on him. “I am in the wrong gear” Grunted Kevin as his momentum and rpms drained faster than a beer bong. Fortunately for him Zachary was also in a stiff gear and was struggling alongside him with that same sinking feeling.
Once at the top Kevin and the two Copes circled once before the entire pack was there and making the right turn onto New Hope Church Road. The pace elevated as all riders enjoyed the smooth pavement presented on this section of road. The rolling hills did nothing to slow the pace as each rider found it easier to ride fast on this smooth surface. Kevin was riding in the middle of the pack as they were instructed to remain straight all the way to 751. At 751 Kevin rolled through the stop sign making a left turn onto 751 and the run up the three hills to the turn at Martha’s Chapel. Larry Kaminski was next to follow and he was joined by Ying So and then the others with Dani Devinney pushing the pace keeping those behind her up with the leaders. Larry and Kevin continued to set the pace upfront and made efforts to splinter the pack on each climb. Larry easily matched every attempt Kevin made to raise the pace. Larry looks to be another “Take No Prisoners” Komakasi style rider. Kevin could also still see the solid efforts of Theresa, Patti, Sheila, and Dani as they continued to pull the others along remaining in contact with the lead riders. A solid job of driving the pace line by those ladies. Riding very comfortably with them was Kristine and Brandy both chatting with each other. The Copes were keeping each other company and tucked in with them were Doug, Jeff G, Greg Ahlbrook(second time on a bike – “Two Timer”), and “The Love Train”.
The turn onto Martha Chapel did not produce the immediate pace line as expected. Martha Chapel is typically a very fast gradual downhill slop all the way to Lake Jordan. A well organized draft line can hit and sustain 30 mph with the sprint going out just as the road flattens and the lake comes into view.
The group remained unorganized for the longest time. Finally Jeff took the initiative and “JUMPED” away from the group as if to say “Are we going or NOT”. This was responded to by “the Love Train”, the COPES, Doug Augustine, and Larry Kaminski – “Kamikaze Larry”.
Kevin tried to prod the Ladies into forming a pace line to respond in kind. No one made the move so he slowly began to press the pace with Theresa, Sheila, and Patti all falling in line behind. As the run down Martha’s Chapel unfolded Zachary fell off the back of the lead group and was not swallowed up by the chase group until near the end of the run. Once at the intersection of Martha Chapel and Farrington Kevin was seen circling several times as each trailing rider was allowed to regroup and take the first short break of the days ride.
And then the UNTHINKABLE happened.
Jeff who was the first to attack on Martha’s Chapel was also the first to attack on what is known as "KEVINS CRAWL". He again “JUMPED” early to lay “CLAIM” to the next section of road. This sacred piece of ground has always been were Kevin is allowed to pull slowly past each rider to take the Pull position and remain there all the way to the next turn. This section of road has always been “CLAIMED” as Kevin’s.
Jeff jumped onto “Kevin’s Crawl” like some one during the Gold Rush “Jumping someone else’s Claim”. This was accomplished while Kevin was still circling and making sure everyone was OK before setting them out onto “Kevin’s Crawl”. Kevin did not notice Jeff’s move and was in no particular hurry to release the group until all had responded with a convincing OK signaling they had recovered enough for the next section. Kevin then released the group only to notice that Jeff and Now Kristine, and Patty, and Sheila all were well down “Kevin’s Crawl”. How can this be, what had he done to deserve such disrespect.
Did they really believe they could “Jump His Claim”.
Kevin had no choice but to attempt to run them down. Jeff was already at the steepest part of the climb with the ladies all working in a draft line starting their climb. Kevin was still back at the intersection at Martha Chapel and initially considered just remaining at the back of the pack. Then he thought “I have always been the first over the top” “Yes I am usually caught but allowed the victory anyway” “How can I live with myself if I just let this go unanswered” “I have no hope of catching Jeff anyway so why try” “Because you own this section of road”, and with that Kevin pulled on the handle bars, dropped his heals, and prepared himself for the painful lung burning event that was to take place. 11 mph quickly became 17 mph on the initial flat section of road that was still alongside the lake shore. Kevin knew this lasted only a few feet and prepared for the sudden sensation of lactic acid build up in his thighs. To counteract this he changed his attention to focus on using his hips and shins to pull up on the pedals rather than his thighs to mass on the pedals. This he knew would only last for an instant as his brain and body would catch on to his game and report back to him that they had wised up and now would punish him with a higher heart rate, and the sensation of drowning due to lack of Oxygen. The only Hope Kevin had to respond to this was to have placed himself in position of passing the ladies. This would trick the brain into thinking that the body was willing and able to make the next jump to the lead rider. The adrenalin rush gained from that small victory could help with that next gap attempt. As Kevin rolled past the ladies his speedometer registered 22 mph providing yet another psychological boost to the failing body. Kevin knew better than looking at the heart rate monitor, because the story it would tell would undermine the false sense of strength he was currently wielding over himself. He also knew not to look up the climb as this would surely destroy all the work he had invested into tricking himself that he was truly a great bike rider capable of racing up hill and jumping the gap to a breakaway rider much stronger than he. But now what, Kevin was in familiar territory, the dead zone known as NO-MANS land. He no longer had a target within reach, he had the steepest part of the climb still ahead, his games and tricks were now old news and his body was angry at the game he tried to play on it.
Then as if predicted long ago Kevin’s 3 years of always first to the top of “KEVINS CRAWL” came to a sad end. Once over the top Jeff was seen slowing and drifting back just behind Kevin to learn what the next turn would be. Once Kevin had gained the strength to signal a left turn onto Holland Chapel Jeff bolted ahead to be the first to the turn. No words were exchanged between the riders until after the turn was successfully completed. Jeff was the first to talk. “SO Why is that called Kevin’s Crawl”. Ouch, was all Kevin could think. Here was Jeff the “Claim Jumper” rubbing his victory into the open wounds of his most recent victim. Jeff had truly not been aware of the unwritten law that Kevin shall always be the first to the top of “Kevin’s Crawl”.
Please do not be hard on Jeff the “Claim Jumper”, He did not mean to Disrespect “GOG”. He was just acting in the spirit of a “THORN”.
The next time Kevin finds himself on that section of road it will be difficult to push for the top. The next time the group rides what was once “Kevin’s Crawl” please allow him to handle this giant disappointment in total solitude as he struggles to make the climb up from Lake Jordan on now what is known as “Jeff’s Jump”.
The pack assembled quickly on Holland Chapel with Doug Augustine setting a blistering pace. In fact he had been working the front of the pace line a great deal all day and was there for every attack. Note – he did show great respect on Kevin’s Crawl.
When asked by “GOG” what it was that allowed Doug m"Rumble Strip" to ride so strong all day his reply was “WAFFELS”. Apparently he and Sheila got up early enough to make and then consume well over 4 WAFFELS each.
As the ride unfolded on “Doug’s Waffle RUN” Kevin asked Brandy how she was doing. She replied, “Fine, I am having fun”. This was great news and indicated that the group had not punished her to the point that maybe she might come back.
Doug’s "Rumble Strip's" continued pressure at the front of the pack scattered the cyclists all along the length of Holland Chapel - “Doug’s Waffle Run”.
It was here that Dani informed “The Love Train” that he was going too fast.
Jeff "Claim Jumper" needs to be blamed first due to his run up “Kevin’s Crawl” – now “Jeff’s Jump” which set the stage to punish all those behind him. tthat was then followed by “DOUG’s WAFFLE RUN” on Holland Chapel putting a nail in the coffin of several of the riders. “The Love Train” was only reacting out of instinct and cannot be blamed for going too fast. He was actually showing great restraint.
The group barely re-assembled at the Strawberry patch. By this time not only were Dani and the now punished “Love Train” missing from the back of the pack but Greg Ahlbrooks “Two Timer” and his riding buddy Larry Kaminski “Kamikaze Larry” were well behind. Larry was playing the role of a true support domestic for “Two Timer” by riding along side and encouraging him as he was in the middle of a monumental “GOG” like BONK.
“Capn Carbon” , Zachary, Jeff, Ying So and Doug "Rumble Strip" were all smelling the county line sprint and could not be contained. Ying So clearly is not an average SO - SO rider. He is strong and always in the hunt. Due to his solid riding style his new nickname is “SO - SO”. “Capn Carbon” was planning on joining the CSH riders as they leave Cary and was ready to get on down the road. Kevin did not have to release these riders as they had made that decision for themselves. The others remained close to “GOG” as he was turning his attention more to those now suffering from the powerful hands that punished them on “Jeff’s Jump” and “Doug’s WAFFEL RUN”.
Basically without a word “GOG” told “Capn” to let his people Go.
The “Thorns” were not seen again until the finish accept for “Capn Carbon” who waved to the remaining “Stems” as he was now in the pace line of the CSH ride headed back towards Lake Jordan.
Those finishing miles scattered the “Stems” as many powered on to the end with “GOG” joining “Kamikaze Larry” and “Two Timer” at a pace that allowed the now fully BONKED “Two Timer” to limp on into the finish. This small band of bikers exchanged stories of previous BONKING episodes with “GOG” providing the lion’s share of stories.
It was learned later that Capn had lots of mechanical issues with his classic bike during the CSH ride.
It has been reported that after the sprint for the county line his seat tilted up, and it was learned that his handle bars came loose. His handle bars apparently became loose in the head set and as long as he was riding in a straight line he did not notice. It wasn’t until the turn at the strawberry patch that he noticed his bike still going straight even though his handle bars were turned. The CSH hammer head group did not stop to help, and he had no Allen wrench to tighten the bars. Finally one of the trailing riders from the B group stops only after “Capn Carbon” begged for him to stop and after he promised he could pull the rider back to the CSH pack.
After the quick adjustment “Capn” did in fact pull himself and his rescuer back to the pack. “Capn” did not stop there but continued past the B group and then on past the Hammer heads as if to say “HA TAKE THAT”.
The end of another great weekend of riding with a great group of folks.
Thinking of those from the “Thorns and Roses” who are riding across Iowa the last week of July.