Sunday, August 30, 2009

End of August Bike Rides

Saturday August 29th.
In attendance:
Riding with the Roses
Ron Clanton
Tracy Clanton
Barbara Hartsfield
Jae Brainard
– on her new bike
Christine Pechner
Carolyn Sparano
– Sporadic Carolyn

Riding with the Thorns:
Steve Cope – Capn Carbon
Josh Carter – Moving Violation
Todd Pechner – Slow Todd
David Cole – leader of the Wednesday Night Old Mellow Vello rides
Tim Devinney – The Love Train
Jeff Giordano – Claim Jumper
James Lavin – just took his PHD entrance exam and ACED IT..
Nicole Lewis
Suzy Nesbet
Shawn Richardson – The Mean Green Machine – Super Pickle – The Green Flash (any one of these describe Shawn) I like the Green Flash – like waiting at the beach at sunset just to see that short burst of color as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean. Not always there but when it is, it is bright green and only lasts a moment and is impressive.

Riding with the Stems:
Kevin Smit – GOG back on the bike after a month of traveling
Theresa Smit – “Mother Theresa” a true saint for having to live with GOG.
Carrie Zellna – Mother Goose – on her brand new bike.
Patti Lewis – Patti Melt
Debra Hollis – Two Saddles

The group assembled behind Brueggers with Kevin straining to remember names. He did bring with him the emergency contact list that helped him quickly check off those who were in attendance. Kevin was so rusty at organizing/leading the group that he failed to introduce David Cole to the pack. Kevin also knew from the start that he would have to turn Capn Carbon and the Thorns loose early in the days ride due to the dynamics of the group. After a 10 minute late start the pack was off. Ron Clanton did not provide his normal alarm clock service to the ride leaders and allowed them to dilly dally far too long.

The groups rolled out of the parking lot and onto HighHouse with the Roses holding back forming the first gap/separation of intent.

The riders were joined on the climb up High House by Todd and Christy Pechner as they had ridden towards the start from their home. All finished the climb followed by the flowing right turn and immediate left into the neighborhood of Preston Corners. The pace remained a comfortable 16 mph as the group was warming up both physically and mentally. Each rider was participating in various chit chat with an occasional SLAM on one another as things slowly warmed up. On the climb in Preston Slow Todd was explaining how his rear derailleur had blow apart on an earlier ride and had to be replaced. The shop told him he was lucky that the derailleur had not taken out any spokes as it slammed into the wheel during its destruction.
The Thorns and Stems were all still together as they rolled thru the green light on Davis and into the round-about. The pace was slowly climbing to 18 mph with the pack all still enjoying conversation and occasional banter.

David Cole (new to this group) was riding in the middle of the group absorbing the aura (learning the Spirit of the ride). David is a very strong rider and was here to check the group out to see if it is worth his valuable riding time to continue to associate with this unruly/disorganized/inconsistent/informal/non-club of cyclists. We all hope he sees some value in the way the group rides so he comes back and rides again with the group. David is a strong supporter of Cycling in the area and is a natural leader as well as a fun person to be around. I think once he warms up to the group he will be more than capable of slinging his share of Trash Talk on others.

The Thorns and Stems were directed to make the left turn from Lewis Stevens onto Carpenter Upchurch, pointing them all back towards High House and eventually into Apex. “As we head into Apex remember no more than two abreast and make sure you obey all traffic lights and signs” GOG was heard reminding the group of APEX’s crack down on cyclists. The group was now getting itchy having just been given a clear directive of heading towards Apex. The Thorns jumped on it hard as they made that left turn. Kevin was in the middle of the group keeping an eye on Theresa and other potential Stems to see how well they reacted to the sudden movement by the Thorns. “I Got a Problem” was heard by Kevin as he slowed to look around as to what the issue maybe and who it was. He discovered that Slow Todd was already off his bike and looking at his rear wheel. “I Think I blew a Spoke” Todd went on to describe. “Capn” yelled Kevin in an attempt to let him know to hold up the pack. By now half the Stems and all the Thorns had jumped through the next light and had already made their turn towards Apex. “Hold em Up” shouted Capn to the others as they were pulling away. Capn turned and joined GOG to see if there was any assistance they could provide Slow Todd.
Sure enough a spoke on the freewheel side of the rear wheel was broken at the hub. In looking to see if the spoke could be removed and the tire trued they learned that the spokes and rim combination did not allow for any adjustments other than with special tools. Slow Todd came to the realization that he was done for the day. Luckily he was only three blocks from home. He bent the broken spoke around a good one to keep it from flopping around and then limped back home from there. GOG and Capn both now turned their attention to the rest of the pack.

The group reassembled and headed towards the first major climb and attack of the day that would take place on Old Jenks Carpenter Road. Those participating in this first attack included, Moving Violation, the Green Flash, and Capn Carbon. Others were happy to watch the attack take place. This did result in the pack being stretched out with “Mother Theresa” brining up the rear. As she and several others were working their way to the top of the hill the pack rolled on thru making the left turn towards Apex. This was a signal that the “Thorns” had been held up long enough with the broken spoke and the slow hill climbers.
GOG circled at the top of the hill allowing the “Thorns” to pull away from those still struggling on the hill.

The gap grew bigger as the “Thorns” formed a pace line and increased their speeds towards 21 mph with the trailing riders now at the top of the hill and looking for a chance to recover. Mother Theresa was being protected by Deb Hollis (Two Saddles) as they both were now cresting the hill. GOG was joined by Carrie Zelna (Mother Goose) who was looking to ride with Mother Theresa. So GOG was now in the presence of Two Mothers, and Two Saddles. Mother Goose and Mother Theresa along with Deb Hollis (two Saddles).
At the light on Davis and Old Jenks the Four riders were now all alone, no Thorns in sight. Once thru the light these four headed towards North Salem and the rough potholes of Apex. Just as they approached the underpass at Highway 64 they saw Patti Melt who had deliberately fallen off the pace line to check on the Two Mothers, Two Saddles, and GOG.
Now four became five and the Stems were officially formed as a group. The Thorns were seen in the distance waiting at a red light. Capn Carbon had held back to discuss with GOG how to proceed. “I got to let these guys go, they are already tired of waiting” Capn explained to GOG. “I agree” GOG replied. “The route today goes thru Apex, Tingen, Friendship, Sharron Harris, Old Highway 1, Beaver Dam, Stop at Wilson Ville, then you can take them to Big Woods and on home from there”. “ I will pick up anyone that gets dropped, and we will likely not do Big Woods to keep the mileage closer to 50 miles vs 55 or 60” GOG went on to explain. “You lost me at Tingen” Capn cried. “I know were we are going” responded “The Love Train” as he too was there to help lead. “Cool you get us to Sharon Harris then I think I know how to proceed from there” Capn was explaining in his effort to take back control.

Leadership is truly a shared and dynamic experience for this group.

(The Rest of this write-up is from the perspective of a Stem. Below TITLED from a Thorn is the write up of the same ride from the perspective of a Thorn)

That was the last time the two groups interacted as the Thorns exploded down North Salem with the Green Flash taking the first Prelim at the Apex city limits. The Stems settled into a very comfortable pace line as they rolled onto Tingen and its fast run towards Friendship.
GOG was in the pull position working hard to hold the pace at a consistent 26 miles per hour and checking his mirror to make sure all were in tow. Each time he looked in his mirror he could see Mother Goose riding comfortable on his rear wheel. In further review GOG realized that Mother Goose was riding so relaxed that she was able to breath only thru her nose. GOG was gulping air thru his mouth in an effort to catch all the Oxygen molecules he could. He looked much like a Giant Blue Whale as it opens its mouth to consume plankton, while Mother Goose was breathing though her nose with the same level of effort it takes to read a book in a recliner.
This picture haunted GOG as he continued to struggle while Mother Goose continued to ride very relaxed. To make matters worse GOG then remembered that Patti Melt was in the pace line and that she had ridden very successfully with the Thorns the weekend before completing over 50 miles at an 18 mph pace. In checking his mirror he saw she to was riding relaxed in the pace line. Then to make matters worse GOG realized that Two Saddles and Mother Theresa were both in the back of the pace line carrying on some discussion about where they had lived and all the animals that they have had through there life. “GOG” was the only one who was suffering, breathing hard, and already soaked from sweating. Then to make matters worse the Stems headed in to the rolling hills near the end of Tingen. Making matters worse yet, Mother Goose, and Patti Melt both charged past GOG on the uphills as if to say “When do we start this ride?”. And To make matters worse they both were still breathing through their noses, not needing to gulp the air like the big Blue Wale they were passing.

At the end of Tingen the group paused for a moment as GOG struggled to open up the package of Shot Block that he brought on the ride. Patti Melt and Two Saddles both also had Shot Block and had not trouble opening their packs. GOG used his teeth to try and open the package and still struggled to open the package. He tugged and tugged at the plastic with little success. “You want some help” asked Patti Melt. “How did you get yours open so easy” was the cry from GOG. “You cut them open at home before you leave” was Two Saddles sharp response. With that Two Saddles handed GOG her bike as she headed into the woods for a bio break. Now GOG was holding a bike while still struggling for a simple cube of Shot Block. The anticipation of that gummy bear like morsel of caffeine and energy was making him tremble. Finally success as he popped not one but two of those cherry flavored gummy bear cubes into his mouth. He then worked to gnaw on them in between his attempts to suck in oxygen as he was still trying to recover.

Left turn onto Friendship and the Stems again fell into an unorganized pack. No real draft line formed as each rider was more interested in chit chat than drafting. This continued to the bridge and the short steep climb past it. Kevin was in the lead position having coasted fast down hill and passing over the bridge first. As the climb on the other side unfolded he pushed against the peddles in his attempt to not loose speed that had been gained on the downhill. With two thirds of the hill completed he was passed by Mother Goose as she easily slipped past still breathing through her nose, and yes Kevin was gulping for air as she strolled on past.

The group did not hesitate at the next turns onto New Hill Holliman and the next right turn just prior to Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant. It was here that the stems turned up the volume and increased their speed as they rolled into the long gradual up hill that covers the entire length of Shearon Harris Road. GOG set the pace with the hope that the others would accept the challenge of increased speed while climbing the hill. 18 mph became 19 then 20 then 21 slowly pushing to 23 before drifting back to 21 mph. A great job by the stems as all fell in line and responded to the challenge. At one point GOG was afraid that Mother Goose was going to roll on past him again in her effortless style of riding.

The pace settled down once the hill was behind the group. The pack was seen zooming along towards Old Highway One at a comfortable 19 mph pace. This pace actually increased once they made the turn onto Old Highway One and its rolling hills. Mother Goose and Patti Melt took control of the pace line and stepped up the speed to 21 mph as they made their way to the turn in Bonsal. The only recovery time they allowed for was the slow down as the group navigated the train tracks across the road and onto Beaver Dam Road. Once across the tracks the group fell back into the 21 mph pace mode and maintained close to that the entire run down Beaver Dam to the rest stop at Wilson Ville.

As the group slid into the gas station they realized that the Thorns had not waited. Probably a good thing since the Thorns are not usually interested in waiting for any length of time. GOG was ready to stop and as he climbed off his bike realized he was on the verge of a BONK. More Shot Blocks and more water were in demand. GOG bought a large water for everyone to top off their water bottles. He then bent over at the waist to help reduce the dizziness he was feeling. After this he wiped his face using a rag that Mother Theresa carries to blow her nose. “Just use this area here and you should be OK” was the advice provided to GOG. GOG was dripping wet and preceded to ring out is gloves. Unfortunately Nicole was not there to be grossed out again. The group had covered 35 miles at an average pace of 17.8 mph to this point in the ride.

Kevin was now working to determine the best route back and was playing all the options in his head. Does he shorten and flatten the route towards home or does he continue to present hills, or does he lengthen the route, or does he do both.
The Stems all seemed like they were doing very well at that point in the ride. SO More Hills and More Miles it is.

The group reassembled as they waited at the slow light to cross Highway 64. Lots of other biking groups were out and riding in all directions. One of those groups was the Hurricane bike club that rides out of CSH on Saturdays. They pulled up behind the Stems and made the jump thru the light at the same time. The Stems fell in line behind the Hurricanes and drafted them all the way to Horton Pond. The Hurricanes continued on straight towards Lystra while the Stems made the right turn onto Horton Pond and its rough surfaced road and rolling hills. The Stems continued to ride strong and took no time at all to cover the distance. Mother Goose did drop off the back for a brief moment to adjust her tire pump, which had somehow rotated into her crank arm. Once she had corrected the situation she took no time at all to race back to the group. At the end of Horton Pond the group was directed to make the right turn onto Green Level and were informed to also make the next left onto White Oak Church road. More hills more miles.
It was on While Oak Church that the group began to splinter slightly with Mother Goose and Two Saddles electing to fall off the pace slightly. No stopping or resting as the pack turned at the end of White Oak Church onto Luther Shop headed towards home. Luther Shop was used to pull the pack back together, however Mother Goose and Two Saddles had rolled on ahead and just about missed the next turn onto Yates Store. Again GOG had made the decision to add more hills and more miles.
The group was now headed into Cary Glenn and “Nicole’s Roller Coaster”.
The pace and the pack both disintegrated on the other side of Cary Glenn.
GOG had ridden on ahead and was waiting for the group to reassemble at Carpenter Fire Station. This took a long time but once the riders were insight Kevin rolled thru the right turn and slowly peddled assuming others would follow. As he looked in his mirror he could see the others stalled at the intersection with little movement. So GOG slowed even more in an effort to suggest they close the gap. One by one the trailing bikers began their push down Carpenter Fire Station. First to catch GOG was Mother Theresa. “Deb is in trouble, She has a terrible Head Ache” Theresa informed Kevin. “Does she need to rest in some shade or have one of us go get a car for her” was GOGs reply. “Not sure, she has a cell phone and may call her husband” Theresa went on to explain.
GOG slowed even more to allow for a one on one contact with Two Saddles. Mother Goose and Patti Melt rolled past to join Mother Theresa up ahead. “Never had a Head Ache bring tears to my eyes before” Two Saddles told GOG. “have not drunk enough water” she went on to explain. “I need to stop sometime and call my husband to let him know I will be late, needed to be back by 10:45” . “I am sorry I did not know of a time constraint or I could have shortened the ride” GOG said apologetically.

RATS I failed to ask that important question before the ride start GOG thought to himself.

Now the Stems were split with GOG and Two Saddles working together as a team to finish the ride as smoothly and comfortably as possible. The two Mothers and one Melt all continued to blast on to the finish knowing GOG was with Two Saddles and would do what ever was needed to get them both home as directly and safely as possible.

The Stems ended up riding 51 miles at 16 mph pace.
The Thorns rode 61 miles at an 18 mph pace
The Roses rode 30 ish miles at some pace – they do not care about distance or speed. They ride to enjoy the company of others, to get in some exercise, burn some calories, and have fun.

Something for everyone.

Saturdays ride from the perspective of a Thorn
Write up provided by Capn Carbon

Good group of strong riders showed up to see the GOG and Theresa blow up. The State clan (Mean Green Shawn and James - Nicoles "friend" were proudly led by Nicole. Also there was Jeff (claim jumper, not #6, not downhill racer, and not with the broken collar bone) who proclaimed he was going to compete in a swim race tomorrow as his excuse in case he got whooped. The Love Train was there and he appeared to be a bit grouchy again but proclaimed he was strong although still a bit over weight. Suzie (love Train called her Suzie Q and I do not think she liked it) and rode a personal best distance and speed - awesome job! Josh (Moving Violation) was in attendance but announced he had to get back early for his girlfriend's (aka The Dish) 21st birthday. Slow Todd joined in route, and finally, David Cole (legendary cycling ICON from NCBC and OMV with bionic calves) joined the group for the first time. The ride was a bit disorganized early on as Kevin (GOG) was tired before leaving the parking lot and he had hoped to keep the Roses, Thorns, and Stems together as long as possible. To everyone's amazement, the GOG ordered the group to Apex and not the greatly anticipated Ron's Pull. Just prior to crossing High House, Slow Todd broke a spoke and could not continue - good thing he was close to home! Capn and the GOG agreed that Slow Todd was not worth wasting any more time on and discarded him: - ).

Everyone finally regrouped at the 64 overpass just before Apex. The route was disclosed by GOG and the Thorns blasted off as if they were itching for a fight. A left on Tingen and then the pace went from 15 to 20 to 25 to 30+. It got fast, real fast. Coming down the hill, David Cole caught Capn playing games with the group in an old trick to wear them out before the big hill just down the road. It worked as Capn was able to blast to the top of the following hill first closely followed by Shawn and everyone else. GOG owes Capn $100. The Thorns then turned left onto Friendship and blasted off toward Harris with a strong pace line. Josh and Shawn had several surprise attacks on the rolling hills which kept things very interesting and fast. Shawn was arrogant and rode strong all day - nice! Then Nicole lost a water bottle which almost took out The Love Train. Both riders stopped and Capn had to go back to see what happened. Love Train asked why nobody was worried and checked on them and then Capn simply said he went back to get the incident documented in the blog, not because he cared. Tim chuckled and figured such. Then more paceline work at 20+ mph with Capn pushing each lead rider to pick up the pace. By the time the group got to Wilsonville, they were ready for a rest! After a quick break, Josh declared he needed to head back (The Dish needed attention and he was looking for "man points") and Nicole, and James decided to join him and bail out to shorten the ride. Suzie was concerned about the pace and Capn assured her she would not be dropped (haha but true). Then the CSH group came to a stop at the light and the group agreed to join them (after seeing Dwain McBee) as they headed to Big Woods. Capn made a judgment error as he did not realize they were not taking a left and crossing the lake but rather taking a different route than Capn had planned. Half way through the intersection, Capn gave the order to the Thorns to pull out and go left. This got ugly as the light changed and a truck almost got into a few of the Thorns - whoops - sorry!!!!! The group did make it through alive and then proceeded across the lake before turning right onto Big Woods. As usual, the pace quickened on Big Woods and a time trial was on. Capn dropped back to Suzie to let her know what was about to happen and promised to wait at the next intersection. Then as if a fuse was lit, Love Train, Shawn, David, Jeff, and Capn ignited and the speed quickly climbed with each taking a strong pull. In the end, Shawn demonstrated strength and youth by beating everyone to the top of the last hill - GOG owes Shawn $100. Another regrouping and everyone eased up to the Lystra gas station for a final quick break. Then down the hill, over the lake, and a left up some woman's Chapel road. It was here that Suzie got into her aero bars and hammered up the long hill with everyone trying to keep up. At this point, Capn discovered that he had broken something on his flaming red bike's headset as it was making all kinds of noises and popping sounds. Then the County Line approached and everyone knew $100 was on the line. Jeff suggested a group sprint without standing up to make it fair for Capn who was afraid of his bike exploding every time he stood. Then Shawn, Jeff, and Capn sprinted for the line with Capn narrowly getting the win despite his bike moaning the whole way. GOG owes Capn $100. The group pedaled through the 3 Ugly Sisters and then came home down Capn's Graveyard. As with prior weeks, Capn was not able to drop anyone and struggled to hold the pace. Word on the road is that the name "Capn's Graveyard" will be removed if Capn cannot sustain a blistering pace no longer. The group than finished at Bruggers with a total of 60 miles at an 18.6 mph average. As mentioned earlier, this was a Personal Best miles and pace for Suzie!!!!! David Cole was a key factor in the faster than normal pace and said he enjoyed our ride format (attack, recover, then regroup). Jeff and The Love Train rode strong but controlled as they had other plans for the weekend - whatever!

Sunday August 30th.
In attendance:
Waiting in Brueggers for the group was Jeffery Roussel (Down Hill Racer). It was great to see him since his crash and broken collarbone, that is still in the process of healing. Jeffery informed the group that he is loosing weight in the form of muscle mass and will have a long slow recovery. When he is ready we will design rides to help him get back in shape and up to speed. Miss him on the rides as he was one of those would support the SPIRIT of the rides and would work to help others along the way. Get well soon my friend.

Others joining included:
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Kevin Smit – GOG
Steve Cope – Capn Carbon
Brian Farkas – Now with a nickname
Taylor Wolford – Doc
Todd Pechner – Slow Todd
Jae Brainard – still on her new bike
Pat Ryan Hunt – on her new bike.
Steve Sparano – Sporadic Steve – back from Scout Master Training.

As the group slowly arrived Brian Farkas told the group he had come today just to watch Kevin and Theresa suffer from their long time off the bikes. Then Brian reached over and rubbed GOG’s belly. “I had to do that”, “They say rubbing a BUDDA BELLY brings good Luck”.
Brian was already into the SPIRIT of the ride by dishing out the trash talk early.
The group said goodbye to Down Hill Racer as they headed out to the parking lot.
Once in the parking lot everyone began the process of readying themselves and their bikes.

Slow Todd was there riding on a loaner rear wheel from the shop as they are now trying to replace the broken spoke he had on Saturday’s ride.
GOG was there with his Fixed Gear Bike and was apprehensive as to how he and it would handle the pace the hills and the draft line.
Mother Theresa and Jae Brainard were there also concerned about their ability to keep with the Thorns and Stems. GOG was totally confident that those two would be able to hang the whole way.
Capn Carbon was there on his Creaky Carbon Fiber bike. He had pulled the head set apart after Saturdays ride to try and determine the cause of the loud Crunching and Creaking noise when he stood on the peddles and would throw the bike from side to side in his many sprints of the earlier day’s ride. He had discovered that one of the parts (the cone) had cracked so he turned it slightly in place to a position he felt would not stress the crack and then put it back together. DO YOU WANT THIS MAN WORKING ON YOUR BIKE? This is what is considered a road side repair job not a finished product. Lets hope he finds the time to complete the repair before he and his bike go in opposite directions on one of the next rides.

The pack took off out of the parking lot and onto High House with little effort. All rode well together thru the Preston Neighborhood and onto the round about on the other side.

GOG needed to flatten the ride as much as possible for his survival on the fixed gear bike. The gear ratio is 48/16 which feels like riding in the big chain ring and then somewhere in the middle cogs of the rear cluster. So every start would require him to stand on the pedals just to get momentum. Every hill required him to stand its entire length. UPCHUCK was out of the question for the days ride as he is not sure how to replace kneecaps that would explode from the effort. The fixed gear bike also requires a tentative approach to all down hills, as there is no coasting on a fixed gear bike. This means GOG would have to resist the peddles to slow the bike as the crest of the down hill and then continue to resist as best he could until finally letting gravity take full control. On the down hills once he abdicates to gravity his spin cadence would reach close to 130 rpms, bouncing him in the saddle. This would also keep his heart rate high not providing for any recovery before the effort on the other side to make the climb up from the trough of the hill. On the flat sections he could draft others but had to constantly press and then resist the pedals to hold his position without overlapping the rear wheel in front of him. This was a totally new riding experience for GOG, one that took far more concentration than normal. GOG would have to anticipate much further ahead than normal and use his legs to react to any change in speed and to take all bumps without standing and coasting.

The route that GOG designed turned from Preston off of Lewis Stevens Left onto Carpenter Upchurch. The route then turned right onto High House and continued straight on High House across 55 where it changes its name from High House to Green Level. Kevin then guided the group into the neighborhood that would exit them on the other side onto Green Hope High School Road. Prior to this he had told Theresa and Jae how the route would unfold so they would not get lost if they fell off the pace. Jae know exactly the route and confirmed that by telling Kevin that it was also the way the Cup and Cone ride went.
The pack followed GOG onto the right turn on Glenmore road and its multiple short hills through the neighborhood and out the other side on Sear Farm Road. All were still in the group as they made the left onto Green Hope High School road. The draft line worked smoothly pulling all riders along all the way to the end of the road and the right turn onto Green Level Church Road. The pack scattered here to avoid the many potholes infesting that section of Green Level Church Road.

Up ahead there was new construction and the need to jog right onto Green level to Durham Road and then a quick left back onto Green Level Church. As the group approached this known detour they noticed the Road Closed blockage was missing. Only one person trusted that the missing blockage meant it was ok to stay straight. Sporadic Steve was the lone explorer to see if he could short cut the detour. As the pack worked their way through the detour all were looking for Sporadic Steve to POP out ahead of them. Then from the back of the pack came Sporadic Steve. The road is not open yet even though the blockage is no longer in place.
Everyone settled into a comfortable pace anticipating the jump for the county line that lay about 2 or 3 miles ahead. Capn Carbon and Brain were in the middle of the pack slowly setting themselves up to launch their attacks. GOG was riding near the rear of the pace line as he was still trying to work out how to draft safely on a fixed gear bike. He to was thinking about joining in on the county line sprint. Slowly GOG rolled through the pace line to keep a watchful eye on both Brian and Capn Carbon. He knew they would not announce the attack and would in fact be focused on each other allowing GOG to sneak into the jump if he timed it properly.

It was Brian that launched the attack, and he did it from a ¼ mile out. This would be a tough sprint for GOG if he were to participate. His cadence was already very high and he had no extra gears to jump to. What the heck, he threw himself into the mix knowing he would quickly be spun out and then it would be a matter of how long he could hold that just to make the county line. Up ahead Brain was still in the lead and using all the tactics of a sprinter to keep Capn Carbon from being able to draft or pass him. Brain was seen darting from lane to lane and throwing his bike and his body from side to side in an attempt to block the road as well as add additional power to the pedals. Capn Carbon was seen trying to match each move. This scene was much like a World War I dog fight between Manfred von Richthofen (learn more about the Reb Baron)
the Red Baron and any of the 80 others he claimed victory over.

GOG was close behind but had no hope of matching the speed and talent of the two entangled in the dog fight just ahead of him. Then as if the bell rang for two fighters in the ring the action stopped and the riders sat up gliding to a reduced speed. Both congratulated each other on a great dog fight. “you owe Brian a $100 bucks” Capn was heard telling GOG.

The pace line formed once again as all were working together to complete the run towards the Strawberry patch and the next turn.

Once onto Martha’s Chapel the pace line formed into two groups with Capn Carbon, Brain, Pat Ryan Hunt, Todd Pechner, and Sporadic Sporano all charging on at well over 24 mph. The other pace line formed with GOG, Doc, Mother Theresa, and Jae.
GOG owes Brain $100 for taking the Prelim at Lake Jordan, although he declared victory by sitting up and raising his hands in the air just as Capn Carbon was pulling along side with several yards still to go to Lake Jordan.

The group circled several times as they waited on all others to make the end of Martha’s Chapel and to take a brief rest. GOG then made the left turn onto Farrrington Road and the section now known as Claim Jumper Alley (aka previously known as Kevin’s Crawl).

The respect shown to GOG on this section of road was amazing. Here he is no long the owner of this section of road on a fixed gear bike doing his very best to climb in a gear that made every muscle fiber scream at him, and no one even considered overlapping his rear wheel. This was probably the slowest GOG had every traversed this section of Road and ALL RIDERS lined up single file behind him. No attacks, no verbal attacks, just total reverence. WOW it was heart warming. GOG was GLAD that CLAIM JUMPER was NOT on the ride this day.

The pack made the left turn onto Holland Chapel and the pace stiffened once again. This time it was Sporadic Sparano and Pat Ryan Hunt pushing the pace. The group splintered with all strung out along the path creating a situation at the end to the road that put several riders onto 751 and then the turn onto Luter Shop only to slow to a crawl to allow others to come into view.

Once reassembled the pack fell in line behind GOG and Capn Carbon who were riding in the lead positions with them occasionally riding side by side and then alternating who was in the pull postition. With the County line looming in the near distance both Capn and GOG had the same idea. Gradually Slow down to see how the pack reacts and who jumps. Capn even took it further by whispering to GOG that he was not going to participate in the attack. “Lets See who jumps and how they react to me not chasing”
The pace slowed and then slowed again with both GOG and Capn giggling under their breaths. As the county line came in sight Todd Pechner and Brain both rolled past the leaders, scrambling behind them was Sporadic Steve and Pat Ryan Hunt. It was another victory for the RED BARRON as he destroyed all those who attempted to dogfight with him. GOG owes Brian another $100 for the county line Prem.
The group made the right turn into Cary Glenn in anticipation of the rendezvous with CSH. GOG had shortened the ride by a couple of miles and did not expect to intercept CSH until much closer to Cary. The rides continued through Cary Glenn and “Nicole’s Roller Coaster”. They made the run down the full length of Carpenter Fire Station and onto “Capn’s Grave Yard” and still no CSH. Capn was holding back and did not work to drop the pack as he led the group the entire length of “Capn’s Grave Yard”. It was not until the turn onto Lewis Stevens before Capn and Slow Todd were allowed the ability to abandon the Thorns and Roses to jump in with CSH as they headed out of town towards Lake Jordan.

Now down two riders the Thorns and Roses finished their ride through the backside of Preston and onto Cary Parkway and the entrance to the Parking lot behind Brueggers.
The group completed 35 miles at 17.8 miles per hour average. A strong ride for Mother Theresa and Jae.
After the ride Taylor (DOC) stopped Kevin and Theresa in the parking lot to explain what it was like with them gone for several weeks.
“You know it just wasn’t the same with your guys gone”………… “the rides were much Faster with you gone”.
There was a very long pause as Kevin analyzed the comment.
“Thanks, I Think” was all he could respond.