Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thorns getting gnarly

This post was provided by Steve Cope “Capn Carbon”

Saturday August 8th:

Good size group (20 maybe) but don't ask Capn for names.
Everyone knows he cannot recall people's names and especially road names. GOG typically sits in Bruggers with his little notebook and jots down everyone's name as they pour into the parking lot. The group has grown too large for his feeble memory. Capn did not have time to jot down names as his focus was clearly on caffeine loading and getting jacked up for the ride.

Most of the usuals were not present in an apparent protest to the lack of GOG presence lately. Does anyone know where he is or even remember him? Thankfully Jae was there to lead the Roses. She is very responsible and can be counted on in times of need.

Theresa, Teresa, Tesa, or whatever her name is was a no show once again (like GOG) and will surely lose her Roses queen title.

The NC State boys were there flashing lots of red and white. Shawn was there on his mean green machine and flashed some really cute red ladies slippers (he says mens carbon shoes) that clearly made a statement. Shawn also earned the most aggressive rider of the day jersey.

The ride started off with a major acceleration on Ron's Pull which dropped off a few Roses and this led to the first field split by dropping the Roses to Jae's leadership. The Thorns crossed 55 and then at some Fire station or Carpenter something or another road, jacked a right and thankfully avoided Upchuck hill. The pace then got fast and clearly was not "in the spirit" that the GOG typically expects. It was declared the "new spirit" and everyone rejoiced not having to wait for the GOG and hear his ranting and raving about the group going too fast.

Then, the group went left, right, left, left, left (I think) and somehow ended up at the Lystra gas station. Capn had no clue where he was or how he got to the gas station but his bike did and led the way. Thanks mostly to Shawna, Jeff (not #6 who is in a sling), and new guy Frank (OMV veteran and X-racer), the pace was fast and full of time trial like outbursts. At the gas station, some folks whimped out (led by Josh who said he needed to race on Sunday and go easy) and rolled home via some church road.
The rest of the group led by Carrie and Don, Love Train, Jeff (the Jeff that did not crash last week), the State boys, Frank, and Capn (who did I foget?) rolled toward Cul-de-Lystra.

Just prior to the climb, several of Josh's ITS race teammates went blasting past the Thorns well organized pace line. Jeff yelled out to Capn to not let them go without a fight! At this point, Shawna was already on a mini-breakaway of his own and the 2 ITS racers went blasting past him as well. Capn jumped on the big chain ring to join Shawna and they easily caught the 2 racers just at the bottom of the climb.

Then, Capn and Shawna pulled up next to the 2 racers and said have a great day with a grin on their face. Then the 2 arrogant bastar#$ (Capn and Shawna) put the hammer down, easily dropped the 2 surprised racers, and breezed to the top of the mountain. The rest of the Thorns easily climbed to the top and the proud group blasted on. The group hooked a left and then another left down Jack Bennett. Everyone was feeling great so the group decided to hit Big Woods and around the lake. It was during the ride across Big Woods that the group started to separate with everyone wanting to get as far away from the Love Train as possible. Capn did not ride the prior Saturday and was not sure what was going on : - )

The group stopped at Wilsonville for a quick break and then blasted home on some roads that Capn could not recall. After heading through the 3 ugly sisters, Don and Carrie started to feel the speed and miles. They backed off the pace and Capn dropped back to guide them in as they were not very familiar with the way home.

The front group saw the opportunity and attacked! Once Capn got Don and Carrie onto Capn's Graveyard, the directions were easy to convey and he was released. At that point, Capn saw the lead group way out in the distance and launched a furious attack to catch them. The front group organized a pace line and were too strong to be caught - well done.

Bottom line: Josh led the "stems" back home at with just under 40 miles. The Thorns did 57 miles at a new speed record of 19.2 mph. The pace must have been due to Frank as he was the only new rider. Carrie and Don broke personal records for both miles in a single ride plus their 18+ mph average was amazing‼

Sunday August 9th:
No GOG, no Teresa - yee haa.
No list of names will be provided due to short term memory loss by Capn!
A fairly small group formed in the parking lot but a good mix of riders and skills. Brian blessed us with an appearance and was flashing a new (old) rear wheel that he picked up for $30. Some of you might recall his prior 28 year old wheel used to wobble several inches left and right as well as up and down.
Another surprise was John Majikes in the parking lot full of stories and energy as usual. Then Barb arrived to ride with the Roses. Barb is a friend of Capn and was promised that there would be a Roses group which fit her riding style more than the Thorns. Only problem was that no Roses showed up - Jae, where were you! Capn told Barb to not worry and that this was a "no drop" group and she would be fine - haha.

The group rolled out of the parking lot and did the typical chit chat when all of a sudden, Dwight declared he had a flat just prior to Ron's Pull. Majikes had a great idea for him to round up all of the ladies (nobody ever said he was stupid) and get a head start with them while Jeff, Brian, Slow Tim, and Capn stayed to help Dwight get back on the road. The group agreed to meet at the top of Upchuck and off went the ladies (and John). After fixing the flat, the chase group formed a solid pace line and raced down the road at break neck speed in an attempt to catch the breakaway. The ladies (and John) were too fast and stayed away all the way to the top of Upchuck - awesome job‼ Capn was able to hold off Brian for a rare win against him to the top of Upchuck. GOG owes Capn $100.

From there, the group blasted down the road, took a left and then right to end up at the strawberry patch. The group was still very strong and Barb was riding like a pro despite her saying she was a Rose prior to the ride. As expected, there was a massive acceleration down some Chapel road toward the lake. Brian, riding on his new wheel, easily broke away from the peleton and held off a charging Slow Tim, Jeff, and Capn for the $100 prime at the lake. GOG owes Brian $100.

At the lake, the ladies group all wanted more miles and convinced their new leader John to take them up the road towards the Lystra gas station and then who knows where. The others, went up Kevin's Crawl and then headed for the CSH ride group. Believe it or not, Jeff (not the one that crashed last week) demonstrated extreme respect for the GOG by not attacking up Kevin's Crawl. He continues to deny being a Claim Jumper as GOG contends in prior write-ups. Anyway, the group breezed past the county line, through the 3 ugly sisters and then ran into the CSH group just prior to hitting 55. Jeff (Claim Jumper) and Capn turned around and joined the CSH group for another 30-ish miles.

It was a very hot day but a great day for riding. In the end, John and all of his girls completed 40 miles which was outstanding. Barb was very tired but excited to ride that far and at that pace as she rode 30+ miles the day before. Great riding by everyone today.