Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sept 19 and 20 2009 Thorns become PRICKs

Thorns become PRICKS go faster and farther

Those in attendance include.
Steve Cope – Capn Carbon
Jeff Giordano – Claim Jumper
Beth Gonzalez
Frank Lewis

John Majikes – Story Teller (new nickname)
Shawn Richardson – The Green Flash
Taylor Wolford – DOC
Mary Walton – Nice Rack
Ron Clanton
Brian Martin – first time with the group – fresh off of MS150 weekend
Dileep Dadlani – first time with the group – races regularly with Josh (Moving Violation). Dileep is a double threat as he is always pushing Capn Carbon and Josh so his nickname will be “Double D. “ Deadly Dileep.
Josh Carter – Moving Violation - aka where is my diamond ring (posted by THE DISH)
Jen Serinao – Slow Jen Fizz
Willi Stewart
Sheri Stewart
Ryan Williams
– first time riding with the group. Read to learn why his nickname is MONSTER
Patti Lewis – Patti Melt
Jim Paistrant
Todd Pechner
– Slow Todd
Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa

Those that participated in the Thorns ride included:
Shawn (The Green Flash),
Jeff (not #6, not with the broken collar bone, not downhill racer, but AKA Claim Jumper),
Slow Todd (wearing the ladies no sleeve InsideOut jersey as usual),
Josh (Moving Violation),
Dileep (no nickname yet (YES HE DOES) but he shaved his head to be like Josh),
Brian (fresh off the MS 150),
Ryan (former racer and first timer who works as CSH),
Sherri and Wilie (fresh off the MS 150 and a week’s rest),
Mary (There is something about Mary? and she lost her rack since her last appearance),
Frank (also a former racer who is dangerous and cannot be trusted),
Christi (The Pink Triathelete – note Sherri that I did not call her a Triassholete),
Love Train (NOT – no show – loser),
Jim Palistrant (Powered by Java),
Slow Jen (back from her vacation at the Outer Banks),
and Steve (Capn Carbon).

Of special note, the GOG showed up with his classic steel framed Jeoffrey Bock touring bike which garnered a lot of attention from the group in the parking lot.
Mary was especially impressed by Kevin’s multiple racks AND cool looking fenders. Everyone else immediately assumed that GOG would be immediately dropped due to the weight of his dinosaur. Also, Ron was present, looking strong, and looking forward to leading the group down “Ron’s Pull” at a very high pace. Prior to leaving the parking lot, the GOG disclosed his planned 71.5 mile ride to Capn and Willy as the GOG surely knew he would be dropped before the end of the parking lot. He informed both Capn and Willy because the GOG knows that Capn cannot follow any directions and does not know any roads even though he has been riding the same ones for nearly 4 years. Shortly after the ride got started, Capn quickly rode up next to Ryan and Dileep (both hard core racers) to explain what the rules were with Ron’s Pull which would be the first opportunity for some speed play after the easy riding chit chat and banter up through Preston. Capn said that the group "MUST respect Ron for at least half way down the stretch along the railroad tracks and then could attack to see who can be the first to the end of the road". Ryan and Dileep wondered why this guy drew such RESPECT and Capn simply replied "NIKE (Just Do It)".
As the group entered the stretch known as Ron’s Pull, Capn looked for Ron to take the pole position but then to his amazement, Ron was not there. He was apparently dropped coming out of the parking lot along with Theresa and Patti as well as all the ROSES because he was in a conversation with the GOG.

Lessoned learned for Ron – never hang with the GOG or any of those not focuses on a Clock or you will be dropped!

With no Ron, the group quickly picked up the pace and the attack became very serious. First Josh, then Capn, then Jeff, then Ryan, then Jim, then Capn, then Josh, then everyone else until finally Ryan took off like a bottle rocket and dusted the group. Who invited this guy anyway as he is a MONSTER? Only problem is that he pulled up short of the “traditional” line, which is where the pavement changes color toward the end of the road. Capn snuck past Ryan and claimed victory but upon further review, Ryan clearly dominated the attack and had he known where the real finish line was, would have easily won.

Cap’n owes Ryan $100.

The Thorns collected at the end of Ron’s Pull and waited and waited and waited and waited for the GOG to arrive. Upon arrival, the GOG said to no longer wait for him as he planned to drop back and form a Stems group or even better yet, drop all the way back to the Roses. Then the Thorns blasted off, crossed over 55, and took a right onto the Up Chuck road but in the opposite direction of that nagging hill that all love. From there, the group steadily picked up the pace and near the end, Josh attacked for the final stretch. The Green Flash and Ryan jumped out of their saddles but it was too late as Josh crushed the field and surely deserves $100 from the GOG for his effort.
Another regrouping and then left onto some road that leads down to 751. A right onto 751, which led up to the Durham County line which several of the Thorns look forward to. Everyone ignored the small county line sign this week with great anticipation of the $200 waiting for them at the BIG county line sign just up ahead. The Green Flash was up toward the front and kept looking over his shoulder for the expected attack from the group. Finally, the Green Flash could not take it any longer and broke out of the peloton and put the hammer down. This got the attention of Capn and Josh who jumped out of their saddles and went after the Flash. As the county line drew closer and closer, Capn yelled out to the Green Flash that he was coming on his right and Josh said he was coming on his left. It ended up a near photo finish with Josh just barely nipping both Capn and the Green Flash for the highly coveted sprint victory.

GOG owes Josh $200.

Capn must now admits that he purposely did not tell both Ryan and Dileep anything about this sprint line, as he did not want to decrease his odds for a win. Capn knows it will be a lot different next time these guys ride with the Thorns.

After a brief recovery, the group motored down to Stage Coach road and took a left headed back toward the Lystra gas station. Capn had to yell at Dileep and Josh to get off the front and to take it easy as they both were heading to races the next day. We all know how delicate Racers are with a race looming on the horizon. Dileep is doing Bridge to Bridge and Josh the NC State racing series.

Along this very hilly stretch, the pace line got very organized the group worked like a well-oiled machine. The speed got faster and faster and faster and Slow Jen was beginning to look a little winded after her week long vacation at the beach. At one point, the Green Flash was leading the group down a long hill before pulling out to give way to Mary. Capn was right behind Mary in the perfume draft position and barked out that she DID NOT HAVE TO PULL as the pace was very fast and Mary still had a long way to go. Mary yelled back that she planned to take the pull to prove to herself that she can do it. Capn simply shook his head and watched. Mary finished her excellent pull and drifted to the left for Capn and the peloton to rush past. Only problem was that she pulled over just as she was heading up a very steep and long hill. Capn pulled the hill with authority and the group followed closely. Only problem was that Mary was not able to catch onto the back of the pace line and she was gapped.

Lessoned learned by Mary, NEVER pull to the bottom of a hill and then drop back. Always pull to the top and then drop back as this will minimize your chances of getting gapped and ultimately dropped!

Frank thought about dropping back to help Mary rejoin the group but then decided it was more fun riding up front – bad decision! In the final stretch uphill toward the Lystra Gas Station, there was a big time attack by Capn and the Green Flash but the pesky Thorns (PRICKS) could not be shaken, especially Bryan who was right there followed by the rest of the group. Then a well deserved break at the gas station.
After the break, the Thorns split into 2 groups.

The “Thorns” and the “Pricks” (no offense Sherri). The Thorns included Josh and Dileep - The Delicate Racers (ohhh, I have to race tomorrow), Jim, Ryan, Frank, Mary, Christy, Slow Jen, and Bryan. Some tried to justify their early retreat by saying they had other plans and had to get back early – WHATEVER. Of special note, Capn will admit that Josh clearly earned the most aggressive rider award for the first half of the ride with Mary a close second. Dileep was nuts for riding as hard as he did considering he was heading to the mountains the next day for a 100 mile charity event (with a timing chip so almost a race) ride. "Delicate Dileep" or "Dangerous Dileep" you decide and vote by sending an email to or leave a comment on this posting for all to see.

The Pricks (the tips of the Thorns that hurt people) (or those with the wrong SPRIT of the ride) included Jeff, Slow Todd, Willie, the Green Flash, Capn, and Sherry. All pressed forward and pursued the planned 70+ mile route. It should be noted that throughout the earlier part of the ride, Sherry was dominating her husband Willie, catching the attention of Capn. As Capn pressed Willie on the observation, all Willie kept saying was “wait until Jack Bennitt”. Well, as the group started up the very long and steep Jack Bennitt hill, Willie came to life and charged to the front with a major attack! Capn, Jeff, and the Green Flash watched in amazement but then mounted their own attacks. At the top, Willie was able to dominate his wife Sherri for a small stretch of the ride which is all he really wanted to accomplish for the day. A left onto 15/501 and then another left onto Gillian (?) road as the group kept motoring at a high pace. At the turn onto Gillian (Mount Gilliad), Sherri lost her chain and stopped on the side of the road. Willie crossed 15/501 and looked back over his shoulder but did not respond. Capn quickly turned around to help Sherri as he always helps out riders in need. (What a SWEET HART). After getting back on the road, Sherri gave her husband “the look” as if to say, “thanks for nothing”. The group chose to ignore their antics and rode on!

Along Gillian, Willie attacked which led to Sherri, Capn, and Jeff all taking strong pulls to reel him in. Then Capn looked back and said, where is Slow Todd? The group then agreed to ride to the end at the rt 64 intersection and wait there for Slow Todd. They waited, and waited, and waited. Finally Slow Todd arrived and Capn asked if he had a flat tire due to the long gap. Slow Todd quickly responded that he merely had a flat lung and was not able to hang with the group.

Across 64, down some road and then back to 64 at the Big Woods intersection. Right turn and East on 64 to Wilsonville for another quick break and refueling. After the break, the group turned right and headed toward Bonsoil (where the old train is) and old Rt 1. At Bonsoil, the group was directed to go left by Willie when all of a sudden, Slow Todd went right. Right there in front of everyone’s eyes was a County Line sign which Slow Todd easily sprinted past. Then he turned around and sprinted past the same County Line sign once again for a double victory.

GOG owes Slow Todd $200.

This shocked the Green Flash and Capn as they felt tricked by Slow Todd and frustrated that they let his wheels get ahead of theirs. This was clearly a first. The group got organized again and maintained a 22+ pace for many miles toward the Harris power plant. A quick right and past the Progress Energy climbing poles and past the cooling tower. A left at the bottom of the hill and a quick right onto Friendship. Up and down all of the hills on Friendship led the group eventually to the Apex Peakway (not really sure how we got there). It was on the Peakway that Jeff came out of his shell and attacked on several of the difficult climbs. The group quickly recognized that he had been holding back all day and saving some juice for the end. The Green Flash and Capn tried to attack Jeff but were unsuccessful. A left onto the Apex Main Street and straight through to High House and back to the coffee shop for some needed caffeine. In the end, the group of Pricks rode 66 miles at 20.1 mph average, which are both records for this ride group. Willie and Sherry were exceptionally strong after taking a week off the bike. Jeff, Slow Todd, the Green Flash, and Capn also rode hard and burned a lot of matches throughout the day with many County Line sprints, hill challenges, and surges in the pace line. Everyone went home tired and feeling like they had a GREAT ride.

Now to hear from the stems.
A kindler gentler group.

As always the stems start the morning expecting to be Thorns, for as long as possible, with the assurance that one or more will be shed to form the thorns.

GOG as mentioned earlier was on his 1979 custom built classic touring bike with fenders and two GREAT RACKS. The bike can best be described as a Tank with gears that can climb a tree.
Too bad it is underpowered.
Thank GOD it is geared for an underpowered motor.
The bike has a triple chain ring up front 45/40/26 and a 5-speed rear cluster of 28/24/18/15/13.
This provides for a dramatic jump in each gear shift and a minimum gear ratio of less than 1 to 1 . That is what allows for the bike to be underpowered and still able to climb a tree. The challenge then is to manage the balancing act of keeping the bike upright at very low speeds as well as the challenge of maintaining 18 mph at high rpms due to the low gearing.

The bike had not been ridden for over 25 years so GOG took it to the BEST BIKE MICHANIC in the LAND to have it serviced. The “Cycle Surgeon”

He delicately took each component apart and nursed it back to prime condition. Some of the parts on this bike are no longer replaceable and the Surgeon knew he had to breath new life into them.
As a result of his efforts the bike functioned better than the day GOG took delivery of it back in 1979.

Theresa (Mother Theresa) was expecting to also ride as far as possible with the Thorns knowing at some point she would be shed with out mercy only to be swallowed up by the stems.
Patti Lewis was slow to arrive in the parking lot. She arrived as the ride brief was being provided to the Thorns, who normally do not give a damn about anything other than how to attack Capn Carbon.

Theresa elected to visit with Patti as the Thorns exploded out of the parking lot. This put Theresa and anyone she pulled along with her into “no mans land”, or into a decision to ride with the ROSES, not a bad choice at all.
GOG had already made the jump with the Thorns only to be in the dilemma of looking in his mirror for both Mother Theresa and Patti Melt to join him as he knew they were both capable Stems and budding Thorns.
GOG continued to try and hang with the Thorns while also spinning at 112 rpms while falling off the pace line as each mile unfolded.

GOG kept the pack of Thorns in site all the way to the right turn onto Yates Store as the pack was directed toward O’Kelly and 751. Then his Phone Rang.
Was it Mother Theresa or his Mother who was visiting from Florida or one of His Real Estate Clients. No need to choose. If it was any of them they demanded his full attention. GOG pulled off the Back of the pack informing those around him he had to take the call. The Thorns DID NOT CARE. Clearly this was not a physical or mechanical issue so no need to slow or wait.

The Thorns do not ride with the same SPIRIT as all others in the group.
The Thorns DO not Ride with the same spirit of the TOUR de France.
In the Tour the Spirit of the ride suggests you never attack the Yellow Jersey when it is down. If Lance had to take a call on the climb to alp d’Huez others would have waited.
The Thorns are not that mature of a group and are unable to show RESPECT. For them it is about who’s wheel is currently ahead of another’s. That is why those at the head of the Thorns are now known as “The PRICKs”.

Kevin GOG took the call from his client then realizing he was abandoned on the road by “The PRICKs” and placed a call to “Mother Theresa” in hopes that she and anyone with her were still planning to ride as Stems. His message suggested he would continue SOLO on the Thorns route and would sweep up any that were shed as well as allow for those racing to catch up to join him.

GOG rode SOLO all the way to the first planned Rest stop at the Lystra Gas Station.
It was there that he found Taylor (DOC) and John Majikes (Story Teller) still recovering from a 22+ mph pace at mile 24 in the ride.

Upon exiting the rest stop the 3 riders were met by (Mother Theresa) and (Patti Melt) who had listened to GOG’s earlier voice mail and looked to hook up with the Stems for a long fast ride.

The Stems then continued the route up Jack Bennet to 15/501 to Mount Gilead and its rolling hills down to lake Jordan and the left turn onto Seaforth Road and onto High Way 64.
The Stems expected to hook up with Slow Jen Fizz who had ask GOG to tell her of a good place to short cut before the days ride began. He told her that if she waited at Wilson Ville she would have 40 miles completed and the Stems would find her there and likely short cut the last section to finish with just shy of 60 miles. Upon arrival at Wilson Ville there was no Slow Jen Fizz, so GOG assumed she either went with the Thorns (Pricks) or found her own way home.
The rest of the route for the Stems was familiar as they headed down Farrington to Holland Chapel to Cary Glenn and On In to the finish. The stems completed 58 miles at 16.5 mph average.

Sundays ride. Sept 20th.

GOG still attempting to learn how to ride in his Classic Touring Bike.

Those in attendance:
Steve Cope – Cap’n Carbon
Tim Devinney – The Love Train
Jill Fitzgibbons
Jeff Giordano
– Claim Jumper
Perry Hurt – First time riding with the group
Patti Lewis – Patti Melt
Christy Miller – Pink Triathlete
Kevin Smit – GOG – on his 1979 classic custom touring bike
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Carrie Zelna – Mother Goose
Don Zelna
– first time with the group, rides Wednesdays with Old Mello Vello
Doug Augustine – Rumble Strip
Sheila Augustine

The ride was clearly more subdued than Saturday.
GOG did NOT share with anyone the route, forcing all to stay close together for at least the first half of the ride.

The ride wound its way thru the Preston Nieghborhood as usual. Upon exiting Preston the pack was directed towards Highhouse and away from Ron’s Pull.
As the riders slowed for the light at High House a cry came forward from the back of the pack. “Flat TIRE”. All held up to see that Perry Hunt had flatted and that Cap’n Carbon was already in tire changing mode.
“We are timing you” was the cry from the pack as Capn took no time to flip the bike over pull the rear wheel and extract the problem tube from the rim.

This short delay is what the SPIRIT of the RIDE is all about.
Even though some of the riders could be seen twitching with the need to get going they managed to restrain themselves for the benefit of the ONE.
Christy Miller (Pink Triathlette) was very anxious as her parents were visiting from out of town and were staying at her place. She was partly concerned that she would not be home in a timely manner when they got up, but more concerned with the fact that her mom might take the opportunity to rummage thru her dresser drawers. Hmmmm what might she be looking for?

Once the tire was changed the pack rolled onto High House and then the immediate left onto Jenks Carpenter and the Hill that lay ahead. No solid attacks were mounted as the pack rode up the hill to Holt. A short pause at the top and then GOG announced the next turn by gliding into a right hand turn onto Holt.

At one point on Holt GOG asked Claim Jumper to make the decision of going down Roberts road or staying straight on Jenks to Wimberly.
“Lets stay straight and do Wimberley” Cried Claim Jumper.
Soon after that exchange Jill asked GOG if there would be any hills.
GOG was now conflicted with sharing all the details or just the next significant event that met Jill’s request.
“realy only one long grind on Wimberly”, “There is a great down hill prior but you loose momentum prior to the climb” was the response from GOG.

It was at the turn onto Wimberley where the pack splintered at first. Those in front had a strong idea of how to loop back into Cary just in time to hook up with CSH. They attacked the entire length of Wimberley with a strong acceleration on the up hill climb to the intersection at Green Level. “GOG” was near the back of the pack with only “Mother Theresa” and her baby sitter Carrie Zelna (Mother Goose) trailing.
The Pack showed great respect and constraint as they patiently waited knowing the only correct turn was a left onto Green Level. GOG could have just as easily turned them right and looped them around onto White Oak. This might have been his choice if any of the lead riders had turned left. Since all were showing great respect he did not try to surprise them and instead rolled on into the left turn all expected.

Slowly the pack reassembled onto Green level and the rolling hills that led to the Turn onto Luther. It was Claim Jumper that slowly carefully positioned himself to easily take the county line prior to the turn onto Luther. He had no challengers as all continued to ride in a very subdued manner.
With the turn onto Luther GOG turned to Jill and told her there was at least one more hill that lay ahead. “The hill is steep and short with a great downhill and lots of momentum to work with that may take you half way or more up the other side” he went on in an apologetic tone.
The pack rolled on well with all in tow.
Sheila Augustine turned to GOG and said “I like it when you don’t let anyone know the route”. “Ya it tends to keep everyone together better” GOG replied.

Luther ends at 751 and requires a right turn followed by a quick left onto Horton Pond and its many rolling hills. Now the pack clearly knows what to expect. Horton Pond has not turns and dead ends into Farrington. It is safe to accelerate and attack the entire length without fear that GOG would turn the group early.

This knowledge was all that was needed to splinter the pack.
Those with a Thorny edge took full advantage of this stretch of road and rocked down the road.

Others continued with a more subdued ride and continued to ride comfortably thru the hills of Horton Pond.
GOG was again one of those near the rear of the pack and was pleased to see the group that had raced ahead waiting at the end of Horton Pond for all to re-group.
GOG rolled into a right turn onto Farrington and proceeded to lead the riders to the right turn onto Holland Chapel.
It was here that Sheila fell off the pace and was surrounded by The Love Train, Patti Melt, and Rumble Strip. They were there to make sure she was OK and to enforce the SPIRIT of the RIDE. Thank You all for your attention to those in the group.

The next turn put the group at the strawberry patch and the race towards Cary.
No longer would the group be contained as each rider was looking to accomplish something unique for themselves on this days ride.

Rumor has it that Claim Jumper took the county line and that Capn Carbon owes him $100.

The CSH group was intersected as they were exiting Cary Glenn just above “Nicole’s Roler Coaster” Those electing to jump in and ride extra with CSH were:
The Love Train
Claim Jumper
Capn Carbon.
All others continued their subdued pace on into Cary completing 34 miles at 15.6 mph pace.