The Roses know how to roll.
Steve Cope – Capn Carbon
Jeff Giordano – Claim Jumper – Sand Bagger
Tim Devinney – The Love Train
Mary Ann Feagan– has a nick name read on to figure out what it is.
Jae Brainard – A Rose by any other name.
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Kevin Smit – GOG
The group assembled slowly as the skies and Doppler Radar suggested rain.
GOG and Mother Theresa were still suffering jet lag from their late night trip across the US. They had just spent the last week in San Diego California the land of Fruits and Nuts. It was like old home week for them as they moved from there to Cary NC in 1995 having lived in San Diego for 11 years. During their week in San Diego Theresa attended a conference for work and Kevin visited some of the old familiar territories they used to haunt. The actually also had a chance to visit Family and Friends while there.
But that was then this is now.
The group that had assembled was small in numbers but determined in spirit to make the effort to ride regardless of temp or threat of rain.
Kevin and Theresa both still suffering from sitting too long on an airplane were looking for an enjoyable ride with limited unfiltered Testosterone and childish antics.
The best answer for them was to ride with the ROSES and let the immature children play and do what ever it is they claim as being fun on a bike. The response from the Thorns was very similar to the response one would expect from small boys being turned loose at Chucky Cheese during a birthday party. The excitement of no adult supervision was clearly evident in the visible vibration of their bodies brought on by a sudden adrenaline rush.
And this is how the ROSES ROLL.
After the children had been turned loose the ROSES continued to take the time required to validate the bikes and layers of clothing were all correct before leaving the sanctuary of the parking lot.
Jae was in charge and did a great job of providing just enough information at the right time to allow all to plan for the next phase of the ride. Jae was seen sitting proudly on her new/used bike with its newly configured handlebars. Mary Ann was observed during Ron’s Pull as having SOLID cycling skills. She was flawless in holding her position in the draft line. Her peddling style was smooth. Her shifting methods were spot on, shifting just at the optimal point to keep her cadence within the power stroke/speed/aerobic threshold. The entire length of Ron’s pull was controlled by Theresa in the Pull Position and Mary Ann who did a phenomenal job of minding the gap. Mary Ann’s attention to the gap was the best ever observed by GOG. Her focus on that precious piece of real estate resulted in NONE of the jerking and Slowing and braking and racing to catch up experienced many times at the end of a draft line. Mary Ann’s technique allowed GOG to follow with full confidence and as close as possible to take complete advantage of the work she and Theresa were producing. At one point in the run up Ron’s Pull Jae (a ROSE by any other name) suggested the Theresa allow for a rotation in the line-up. GOG riding in third position and LOVING the draft and solid riding techniques from those two riders ahead shouted back to Jae, “NA Let her stay in front and work”. No more words were exchanged other than GOG’s non stop praise of the riding technique of Mary Ann (Minding the Gap).
At the end of Ron’s Pull the group took a short pause to drink some water and to determine if they needed to shed any layers of clothing. The run up Ron’s pull never dropped below 19 mph and was the smoothest draft line ever experienced by GOG. This is how the ROSES ROLL.
The group proceeded on past the turn onto Carpenter Fire Station as they headed towards RTP and the quite roads of a weekend vs a week day for that area. Theresa was still pushing hard against the wind and showed no signs of wanting to share that responsibility with anyone. As the riders made the left turn onto Lewis Stevens the head wind tackled them with all its force. Still Theresa was not showing any signs of relinquishing her position. GOG rolled up beside Mother Theresa and delicately balanced his position to ensure his front tire did not slide past hers. He worked hard to hold this position as the head wind continued to try and place him back in the pace line.
Mary Ann had made the decision to ride behind GOG as if to figure out his riding style. She was actually testing his ability to hold a steady speed and was quietly judging it in comparison to Theresa’s ability to hold a steady speed. Holding a Steady speed against gusting winds and periodic inclines takes a special kinesthetic awareness that only the most highly trained athletes possess. Theresa demonstrated this during Ron’s Pull. GOG was now fully concentrating on doing the same and used his position riding side by side with Theresa to practice this skill. Realizing he was being judged by Mary Ann he glanced in his mirror to determine, from her body language and her choice of distance/gap, if he was doing as good a job as Theresa. He observed Mary Ann holding back a considerable distance from his rear wheel in comparison to what she had when drafting Theresa. GOG also observed that Mary Ann was riding with both hands firmly in position to utilize the breaks as needed, that was not her position when riding 3 inches behind Theresa’s rear wheel. Jae was observed clear off the back of the pack and close to the edge of the road in an apparent effort to ensure she would not be entangled in any catastrophe that could potentially be generated by GOG.
GOG realized that the ROSES are truly an elate group of cyclists that are willing to test out the new riders, and who use wisdom to not trust completely, with out first validating they are worthy of their position in the draft line. This is the sign of a tightly nit group that all can learn a great deal from.
As the group crossed over Davis on their way toward the left turn onto Church Street the group splintered with Jae sling shooting ahead of the other riders. “Jae Loves this stretch of road” Mother Theresa informed GOG. As he observed this he expected to see the others respond and attack in kind. Nothing happened. The others actually smiled and took great delight in how well Jae catapulted her self ahead of them to take full advantage of that section of road. This would never happen like that with the Thorns. The Thorns would scramble and make every effort to take the joy of that section of road away from the person who had dared to express their own delight at that moment. In stead GREAT RESPECT was shown and in doing so all Felt the same Joy and delight as if they too were Catapulted onto this section of road.
GOG looked around to see the smiles and delight of each rider as they watched their comrade express herself at that moment in time.
And this is HOW THE ROSES ROLL (with great respect).
The group then made the left turn onto Church road. GOG was given permission to lead the group on that section of road. This was accomplished without any verbal command or confirmation of duty. Instead it was as if it was deemed so by forces of Nature that can only be felt and not explained. Clearly the ROSES are in full control of their place in the world order and are in sync with the Rules of Nature that govern Gravity, Quantum Mechanics, and the forces of Dark Matter that explain how the Galaxies were born and how they interact on the smallest levels.
Onto Miami Blvd with NO Traffic, and a left onto Hopson putting the pack of cyclists onto roads headed into the RTP area and onto roads that were currently enjoying the healing period between the week day heavy traffic burdens they bare 5 of the 7 days.
This phase of the ride had no order as each rider was truly enjoying the ride and elected to ride with no specific expectation or need to concentrate on a draft line. This was as if the roads spoke to the group, if we are allowed to heal and show no concern for the heavy traffic then so should you.
A left onto Lewis Stevens Dr found the group with a deeper focus as they responded to the small hill that lay in front of them. Theresa was in the lead down the hill with Kevin close at her side followed by Jae and Mary Ann. Jae slowly pulled in front only to have Theresa push to keep her cadence high causing her to slide past Jae. This was not out of respect or to mount and attack, this was a demonstration of riders responding to the climb in their own manner. Mary Ann responded in her own way by continuing to demonstrate perfect gear changing technique to keep her rhythm in check. GOG was totally out of his element as he was so focused on the delicate and supportive ballet that he was observing as each of the ROSE’s Danced their part in total harmony climbing the hill.
And this is how the ROSES ROLL.
The pack then found themselves at the light on Kit Creek and High way 55. A light that shows no respect for cyclists. GOG knew that the light would taught the cyclists to break the law and jump threw the red light, that was its purpose in life and it was not going to make an exception because the ROSES had arrived there.
GOG was focused on traffic in all four directions and the potential of any yellow light that could be used to the cyclist’s advantage. 3 minutes turned to an agonizing 5 minutes that was threatening to morph into 8 minutes before GOG recognized an opening. A car was approaching from the left, one was waiting in the right turn lane as the lights on highway 55 turned Yellow. “We have YELLOW” GOG shouted with glee. He jumped on the pedals and paused long enough for the car to make its right turn before dashing across the highway. As he did this he looked in his mirror to see if the ROSE’s were in pursuit. NO. They were all still standing still as if held fast in a tractor beam by the red light. Red light = suspended animation, Green = plan to get ready to go and if not fast enough then switch back to suspended animation with Yellow followed by Red. GOG slowly climbed the hill that lay ahead in hopes that the ROSE’s could break the force of the red light tractor beam. NO. There would be no movement until the RED turned to Green, and then it would be questionable to see if the ROSE’s could then switch fast enough from suspended animation to getting ready to go, to realizing they needed to go before stopped again by the strange Yellow/Red light force. This time a car was planted directly behind the Roses allowing for a longer Green than normal. The Roses just made it past the point of no return before Green Turned to Yellow. GOG saw that they all stalled momentarily as if the Yellow was going to force them into suspended animation as they were now in the middle of High Way 55. The car that had been the force used to turn the Red to Green was now itself stuck in suspended animation as it waited for the cyclists to finish their long slow journey thru the tractor beam zone.
And this is how the ROSES ROLL (slowly and attentively through intersections/almost dangerously slow). Clearly the ROSES need to Bloom much quicker in the changing of colors at a stoplight / or from any stop.
Once safely, but painfully slowly, through the intersection the ROSEs were once again riding as individuals towards the area of the ride known as Yates Store.
“We can either turn at Carpenter fire station or go on to UpChuck” Jae was heard as she offered the options up to the group. None of the Rose’s responded, resulting in a period of time for each to contemplate not only their own choice but to weigh their response to anyone who might support one choice over the other. Up and down the small hills of Yates Store and still no verbal commitment from the Roses. Slowly Theresa pulled up ahead of the group. Knowing she was pushing the pace early on, each of the remaining riders settled into the thought of expecting UpChuck to be the choice provided by this rider now in the lead. As the point of no return approached for UpChuck Theresa drift left and then turned left onto Carpenter Fire Station. No one argued No one commented, they were all happy to follow as if to say they were glad it was not up to them to decide either way.
And this is how the ROSES ROLL. (Anyone can call the ride at any time for any reason).
Theresa again in the lead pushed the pace even harder than earlier in the ride. She was demanding all fall in line behind at 20+ mph. The only ROSE ready to respond was GOG and he was doing his very best not to be dropped by Mother Theresa. “Theresa smells the barn doesn’t she” yelled Jae (a Rose by any other name).
The Roses finished their ride by traveling the back side of Preston and into Brueggers from Crabtree Crossing. They completed 27 miles at 14.7 mph.
They all enjoyed the ride.
They all appreciated the camaraderie.
They all took joy in each other’s skills and abilities for the days ride.
They all respected each other and did not try to attack or show up any other rider.
They all were ready to ride again on Monday and Wednesday morning with each other.
They all finished the ride with the right amount of effort to help them jump-start the rest of the day.
They all took pride in being a member of the ROSES.
And this is how the Roses Roll.
Sunday Oct 18th
Some rides show up and rode however there was NO
So was there realy a ride.