Sunday, February 21, 2010

First write up of the 2010 season

February 20, 2010
Cool start warm finish.
In attendance
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Kevin Smit – GOG
Emil Velasquez – riding a new city cruiser style bike.
Steve Cope – Capn Carbon on his Fixy
Frank Lewis
Karen Kimerait
Deb Hollis – Two Saddles
David Bridenbaugh – Mr. Bridenbaugh
Paul Estas
Todd Pechner – Slow Todd – rode up on a new Cervelo Tri bike – ebay special.
Gregg – sorry forgot the last name
Joe Pitman –Immortal Man
Lee Duncan

After the ride the following individuals stopped in for coffee and chit chat.
Patti Lewis – Patti Melt
Sheila Augustine.

Several folks debated if they needed jackets or not. Some elected to stay fully dressed, others including Capn Carbon elected to remove one layer at the start.

After a slow start out of the parking lot the group swung onto high-house after first dodging frozen puddles found in shady areas of the parking lots.

Mr. Bridenbaugh and GOG found themselves setting the pace with all others following into the Preston neighborhood. Lots of chit chatting as many were describing how they spent the last several months fighting to stay in shape. The pack that had assembled was formed with mostly with Thorns. The only two who had done nothing during the last several months were Mother Theresa and GOG. Those two had done a marvelous job of couch sitting and wine drinking during those cold snowy days and weeks.

GOG and Mr. Bridenbaugh were in their own conversation about work and past work experiences. Capn Carbon was explaining to several folks about how his son borrowed “The THING” (his yellow vw) and had ran out of gas in it just as Capn Carbon was passing him in his truck on the road. Imagine your son or daughter pulled up on the side of the road with cell phone in hand having just dialed your number and BING there you are. All great parents know how to anticipate and be there when needed. Capn Carbon demonstrated that he is as great at this as he is in all things.

Slow Todd was explaining to all about how he snagged his new HIGH END TRI bike off of Ebay. Mr. Bridenbaugh suggested that Todd needs to be careful the first time he takes the bike into a shop to have it tuned up. He was hinting that the bike might have been too good of a deal and could be on a stolen bike list. Now that would not be cool.

The group continued thru Preston, into and out of the roundabout, made the left turn at the yellow barn and prepared for the transition from warm up to hammer down. Everyone was still in contact with Mr. Bridenbuagh and GOG in the pull positions working to keep the pace comfortable for all. Capn Carbon was dancing around within the pack talking to each rider just like a little puppy dog looking for attention from each person in the crowd. “I think Cope is letting you stay in the pull position to soften you up” Mr. Bridenbaugh told GOG. “Can’t you tell by looking at me I am already SOFT” GOG replied.

The group was now ready to make the first major turn command from GOG. Does he turn them right onto Ron’s Pull and the speed play that would surely transpire, or does he turn them left and continue the warm up until the climb up to Old Jenks. “Left Turn” was the command. Slowly the group swept wide into the turn. Still in warm up mode as the conversations continued. Karen was describing a cruise she was planning to take in late March. This prompted “GOG” to enquire when and from what port, as he was also planning a cruise to the same destinations in March. Turned out they were on cruises that were one week apart and from different ports.

Right turn onto Highhouse followed by an immediate left onto Jenks Carpenter kept the pack still in tact. All stayed at a comfortable pace on the long downhill, each rider successfully dodging several large pot holes that had infested the road due to cold and ice and salt. No one pushed the pace at the bottom of the climb until GOG showed he was unable to sustain momentum. That situation is no different than what happens in Olympic short track skating when Apolo Ohno senses his opponent has a miss step on a turn. Within a blink of an eye he passes. This is what took place on the climb up Jenks Carpenter. GOG faltered, to be passed immediately by Mr. Bridenbaugh who then took Frank, Capn Carbon, Karen, Paul, Immortal Man, Gregg, Slow Todd all in line as they easily passed GOG. Then realizing what had just happened Lee dashed on by along with Emil (on his city cruiser). Only Mother Theresa remained behind accompanied by Two Saddles who was there to make sure Mother Theresa would not be dropped.

The pack at the top of the hill were demanding to know if they would be directed to turn left or right. GOG was not even at the top of the hill when he reluctantly provided the answer. No hesitation from the pack as they bolted into the right hand turn onto Holt and dashed out of sight towards Highway 55.

GOG paused long enough to ensure Mother Theresa and Two Saddles were safely to the top of the hill. He then rolled out onto Holt in an effort to catch the pack if they are held up at the light on highway 55. No such luck. The pack was not held up, but GOG was. Mother Theresa and Two Saddles did not make the next green light only widening the gap. The pack was already out of sight as they had made the next right turn onto Roberts Road. This turn was accomplished without GOG providing any other guidance than his hints prior to the ride on some sights the pack might see on the days ride. As GOG rode slowly towards that turn Immortal Man was spotted headed back towards the trailing riders. And there just around the corner was the rest of the THORNS. They had elected to hold up for the straggling group behind. GOG and Capn Carbon both knew that the THORNS would not tolerate any more delays to wait on those they shred of the back. With that knowledge GOG made an effort to explain to Capn Carbon the planned route. “take Roberts to the T intersection, make the right and go to the stop sign at Green Level and Green level Church, instead of making a left there stay straight and head towards Green Hope HighSchool road and Luter Shop.” GOG stopped at that point recognizing Capn Carbon was already lost.
“Mr. Bridenbaugh” GOG yelled out. “Let me describe to you the route”. “I will play sweep and pick up anyone that falls off the back of the pack”.

That was the formal split of THORNS and Roses. This was followed late in the ride by a smaller separation between GOG, Emil (on his street cruiser) and the two beautiful ROSES, Mother Theresa and Two Saddles.

All completed the planned route of 33 miles with the Thorns averaging 17 mph and the Wilted Stems averaging 15 mph and the two Beautiful Roses averaging 14 mph.

Sunday Feb 21, 2010.
The group slowly drifted in to Brueggers for Coffee and morning bagel.
Those arriving in no particular order were:
Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Rob Robertson – first time riding with the group (Welcome Rob)
Steve Cope – Capn Carbon – yes still on his fixy
John Gerritty – would have rode Saturday but elected to run 20 miles instead.
Dwight Moulton – stopping in for bagels – did not plan to ride – had band practice – reported on his 1st place finish in the 6 hour MTB race – WELL DONE DUDE.
David Bridenbaugh – Mr. Bridenbaugh – commenting on the fact that it is no warmer than yesterdays start
Carrie Zelna – Mother Goose – came to ride
Don Zelna – came for coffee and short visit before he did his weekend visit to Lowes for home project materials.
Mackenna Zelna – There with mom and dad – too cute.
Jay Brainard

Arriving late – very late – met them half way through the ride
Sara Madakowski
Mike – sorry Mike you even spelled your last name for me and I failed to remember.

Once all had consumed their coffee and morning treat the group headed out to prepare for the days ride.

It was clearly warmer by start time than what was felt on Saturday. GOG elected to leave the jacket behind as did others. Previously GOG had informed Mother Theresa the planned route. She had made it known to him that she and Jay would likely ride together at a more relaxed “ROSSES” pace.

With little fan fair the pack was off, headed out the back parking lots and onto Highhouse. It was Mr. Bridenbaugh and GOG again taking the lead as they directed the group into the Preston neighborhood.
As usual the group slid into and out of the neighborhood with a great deal of chit chat and banter. The plan for this Sunday’s ride was to finish the ride returning thru the Gary Glenn neighborhood just as the CSH riders were headed through there on their way out. This would allow anyone from the Thorns and Roses to jump in with CSH to get an additional 20 miles for their days effort. To keep the hills at a minimum GOG directed the pack away from UpChuck, and the 3 Ugly Sisters by guiding the group south away from “Rons Pull, and toward Highway 55 at High House. This also kept the pace down and the group clumped together, the path they had been set on does not have any long straight stretches until once onto Green Hope High School Road. It was there that the first splintering of the pack was experienced. There is something about seeing the road stretch out in front that generates a quicker cadence and higher speeds.
As the group started their run down Green Hope Highschool Rob Robertson had worked his way toward the front of the pack. Rob is new to riding in a group and was trying to determine if he enjoyed being surrounded by the ever fluctuating blob of chatty cyclists or to be out in front with a clear view of the road and its potential hazards. GOG thought Rob wanted to be in the front so they could ride together.

The group make the right turn off of Green Hope Highschool road and onto the pot holed section of Green level that latter smoothes out as it name changes to Green Level to Durham. The intersection at that point is a challenging right, left, left combination with traffic, tight turns, multiple lanes, and usually sandy spots. All riders navigated successfully finding themselves oddly back onto Green Level. GOG was in the lead having navigated the last set of turns with momentum on his side. Others took a more tentative approach to ensure a clean transition.

“Hey we are missing someone” GOG heard from the back of the pack. “Theresa is no where in sight” Mother Goose” explained. With the way of his hand GOG signaled all to continue forward. His gesture was met with additional Comments. “I thought this was a no drop group”, “Where is the spirit of the Ride?”. “It is only Theresa” GOG snapped back. He really loves to get a reaction.

After a short moment of silence the riders voted their conscience and continued forward with no further concern for Mother Theresa or Jay. They either trusted that GOG knew were riding together at a more relaxed pace as planned, or they truly did not want to wait and felt comfortable dropping other riders even though the “spirit of the ride” is to keep the pack together.

Mr. Bridenbaugh and GOG were back in the front of the pack pointing out Pot holes that had infested the road due to the cold winter. All riders were still in constant discussions on topics of all varieties. GOG and Mr. Bridenbaug were discussing prior work experiences as well as his new Campy component set that was installed for him by the Cycle Surgeon. GOG also had just had his SCOTT serviced by the Cycle Surgeon as has Jay, and Ron. The Cycle Surgeon even makes house calls. Check him out at

The group remained under control as the county line on Luter Shop approached. NO ONE made a play for the county line. That had to have been a first. Capn Carbon did not even pay attention as he floated past that sprint line. GOG owes no one any money as he was actually the first to coast over the line.

The group took a very brief pause at the strawberry patch. As they rolled onto 751 Mr. Bridenbaugh slide in line behind GOG sending a signal to all others to follow suit. Lots of traffic kept the pack single file all the way to the left turn onto Martha Chapel. GOG and Mr. Bridenbuagh took the rains and led the group down the slop to Lake Jordan. At the half way point of Martha Chapel the group encountered an Asshole with keys to a muscle car. This Asshole was determined to harass each of the cyclists as he directed the car to speed up and swerve towards the group to see how close he could pass, or not. GOG heard it coming and saw the red macho machine in his mirror. This allowed him to hold his line as the car was directed to come the closest to the lead cyclist in the group. GOG signaled the Asshole letting them know he was noticed and had done an A Number 1 job of driving and sharing of the road. This game that had been played splintered the pack with each rider creating their own buffer to survive in reducing the possibility of cycle on cycle collisions. Amazing how the brain and body naturally make adjustments to support survival. As time passed each cyclist recovered their position in the pack and continued their trek towards Lake Jordan. Near the lake Mr. Bridenbaugh told GOG to keep the pack moving as he was looking to duck into the woods for a bio break.

A short pause allowed all to consume water from their water bottles, and for Mr. Bridenbaugh to reinsert himself into the pack. GOG signaled the next move as he pushed the handle bars to the left and slowly applied pressure to the peddles. As he did this he noticed two cyclists headed down the hill on Farrington towards the turn at Martha Chapel. “Hi KEVIN” a woman’s voice was heard. GOG was already past these two riders and did not notice who might have called his name. it was Capn Carbon who recognized that Karen and Mike were the ones headed towards them from the opposite direction.
“turn around and join us we are headed back to the same spot you are” Capn Carbon suggested. The entire pack heard this and slowed in anticipation that the two riders would indeed turn and join the pack. Sure enough in no time at all the pack had grown by two additional cyclists.

The group was now being led by GOG as he slowly pulled the pack up “Kevin’s Crawl” . No one attacked the front of the pack allowing GOG to set the pace as he saw fit, or as his fitness allowed. This was followed by the left turn onto Holland Chapel.

The pace slowed slightly as now Karen and Carrie had moved towards the front of the pack. They were both in deep discussion regarding their training regiment and the body aches and pains that are a natural reaction to the effort. Mother Goose was lamenting about her ankles always being soar and also how her Hips were in constant pain. “I will be happy to give your hips a deep massage” GOG chimed in. Rob was riding next to GOG at that point and almost fell off his bike suggesting GOG’s comment was politically incorrect. Rob is just learning that the group is all about the BANTER and not so much about the bike.

The pack continued to ride comfortably with Rob now setting the pace with GOG at the front of the pack. The Chit Chat never ended. The amount of conversation generated by this group would choke the Facebook services.

At the end of Holland Chapel the group slid back onto 751 to then swing left onto Luter Shop at the strawberry patch. Time was 10:16 am. Capn Carbon was calculating were the CSH ride group would be and where the Thorns and Roses would potentially intersect the group. Then from behind the pack an DUMB FUCK in a PICK UP elected to pass the group at the same time another pack of cyclists where meeting the group head on. This forced both groups of cyclists to adjust their line of travel to allow the large RED TURD to pass thru. Just as the PICK UP passed it made an immediate right hand turn onto Green Level. What a DUMB FUCK. GOG demonstrated his approval by generating a WHAT WHERE YOU THINKING Sing with his right arm. The DUMB FUCK in the PICK UP knew he was just that as he was looking in his mirror as it to suggest concern about his most recent maneuver. The DUMB FUCK in The PICK UP made some gesture. GOG tried to decipher the arm movements from the cab of the Truck. Surely those were jesters of SORRY, MY MISTAKE.
From his peripheral view GOG noticed that the other cyclists who where approaching from the opposite direction also attempted to communicate to the DUMB FUCK in the PICK UP TRUCK.

Communications is the key to positive results. The PLO, HESBOLA, and The IA-TOLA all understand the value of communications just like DUMB FUCK PICKUP TRUCK drivers do.

Now back to the ride and the road that laid ahead GOG settled down having just participated in diplomatic relationships with DUMB FUCKS in PICK UPS. The pack continued the ride with limited comments on the event that just transpired.
The only memorable comment came from Karen. “Feeling FISTEY? Kevin?”
Nothing more needed to be said.

Rob and GOG continued to ride unchallenged at the front of the pack. It is fare to mention that there never was a draft line. This is due to one of two reasons.
1. No one really was there to challenge any one.
2. The conversations were more intense than the ride.

As the ride continued down Luter Shop towards Cary, Carrie slid up next to GOG to ask the following life altering question.

“Where is the County Line” , “it is up ahead less than a mile” GOG responded.
“You will notice it due to the change in pavement color, when it goes from black to gray, and it is near the house that has all the new trailers for sale” he went on to stay.

“OK”, “So is that were the sprint starts?” Mother Goose asked.
“NO”, “That is where the sprint to the county line ends” GOG informed Mother Goose.
“SO”. “Where does the sprint start?” she asked.
“That depends on you and how long you think you can attack until the line” advised GOG.

Just as the conversation between Mother Goose and GOG was finishing the County line came into view. GOG checked his rear view mirror to see that Capn Carbon was fully engaged in conversation (likely the same conversation he starting in the parking lot at Bruggeers).

GOG was now struggling with the realization that he has been riding the couch for 2 months drinking bottle after bottle of homemade wine while others like Capn Carbon, Mr. Bridenbaugh, Immortal Man, Mother Goose, Karen, ……. had all found methods to continue to stay physically fit. Should he make a play for the win at the county line or admit to himself that there is no way his 2 months of couch surfing supports any attempt to win any thing more than concern for his health.

Than in a BRAIN FART GOG went for GOLD.
He glanced in his mirror.
NO Challenge From Capn Carbon.
Shit – rpms are maxed out, Heart Rate is maxed out, Oxygen debt is maxed out.
GOG then took another reality check in his mirror.
The smile on Capn Carbon’s face had already filled the entire surface of GOG’s mirror.
That is not the normal sound of a car, or a Truck, or anther bike.
That is the NORMAL sound OF CAPN CARBON as he easily vanquishes all challengers.

The race was over before it even began.
GOG is a slow learner.
GOG is naïve.

The pack did not respond other than to continue forward as if not even realizing that two to their group had charged on ahead.
Slowly Capn Carbon and GOG were swallowed up.
The pack was now slowly closing in on the turn into Cary Glenn. It was Mother Goose now in the lead. Then she suddenly sat up tall in the saddle and looked around to see where GOG was. “I do not want to get too far ahead”. “Not sure you will tell me about the next turn if I get too far down the road ahead of You” she said nervously. Mr. Bridnbaugh laughed with total understanding as he has been a victim of GOG’s playful games.

GOG directed the pack into a left turn From Luther Shop onto Yates Store in and effort position them for the interseption of CSH.

Perfect timing placed the Thorns and Roses at the round about in Cary Glenn as the CSH riders were finishing their climb up to the round about. The group said good by to Capn Carbon as he made a full circle of the round about to join CSH. The pack also said HI to those they knew in the CSH group.

The remaining Thorns and Roses met the challenge of “Nicole’s Roller Coaster” finding themselves finally onto Carpenter Fire Station Road and the last run towards Cary.
Karen and Mike had made it known that they actually had started their ride from inside Out Sports, and needed to get back to there via CrabTree Crossing in Preston.

“We will get you back there so you can finish your ride to Inside out and we can finish just above Brueggers” GOG was happy to inform.

The Thorns and Roses finished their ride of 33 miles at an average of 15 mph.
A great ride for early in the season.

GOG, Rob, Carrie, all relaxed drinking coffee as Capn Carbon instantly showed up having just completed an additional 20 miles in the time it took the earlier finishers to order coffee. Capn Carbon was also finishing his 53 mile ride as the ROSES (Mother Theresa, and Jay) finished their 33 miles.

A great weekend of Bicycle rides, with a great group of friends.