Sunday, March 14, 2010

An intense start to the season and Daylight savings

Satuday March 13

Wet roads in the morning threatened to keep cyclists away from the days planed ride.
The temperatures and chance for sun shine trumped the wet roads as 17 cyclists turned out for the ride.
Those in attendance included:
Jen Serino – Slow Jen Fiz
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Kevin Smit – GOG
Steve Cope – Capn Carbon
Lee Duncan
Dwight Mouton ---- Spelling
Suzy Nesbit
Deb Hollis
– Two Saddles
Jeff Giordano – Claim Jumper
Taylor Wofford – DOC - Congrats to you for finishing your internship and being assigned to a local Hospital.
Shawn Richardson – The Green Flash
Christy Miller – Pink Triassholete
Frank Lewis
Karen Kemerait
Paul Miller
Joe Pittman
– Immortal man – riding old school steel bike
Tim --- Fast Tim Second time with the group – first time he rode he killed the pack with his pace.

The group was asked if there were any time constraints and none were noted. “OK, how does 40 miles sound for the days ride”? “The roads are wet so be careful on all turns and any white strips that will be slippery”. “Assume every puddle has a huge POTHOLE underneath it”. “lets all work to stay safe” GOG was heard explaining to the group that had assembled.

“Takem on out Capn” GOG said as he waved his arm in the direction of travel. An off the pack went, with each cyclist slowly navigating the tight wet turns thru the back parking lot and out onto High House were the first split was created. The first 7 cyclists jumped onto High House just ahead of a line of cars. The remaining pack held up until there was a large enough gap to let each riders safely enter the road way. This separation remained as the pace was quick from the start. Not until the light at Davis did the groups reassemble. GOG had already shared the planed route with Mother Theresa who would likely be riding at a slightly slower pace than the group that had assembled. It was clear from the start that the THORNS were well represented, leaving only a couple of Stems, and two ROSES to try and do their best in holding on for the day’s ride.

GOG was working from the back of the pack as he shouted out the first set of turns, eventually pointing the pack out onto RONS PULL. Here GOG expected the pace to explode from the start. Oddly enough the group of cyclists slowly formed a single file draft line. This allowed all riders to tuck in for the pull that was taking shape at the front of the line. The pace on RONS PULL allowed all to remain in contact with the cyclist ahead of them. It was only the last ¼ mile when first Capn Carbon pulled out of line and jumped from 4th location to launch his attack. He was followed immediately by the Green Flash, then Frank, then Claim Jumper, Karen, and finally Lee. GOG and the others continued to work hard just to sustain the pace established by those lead riders before the speed play attack from Capn Carbon.

The pack paused long enough to ensure all including the ROSES were still in tow. GOG rolled on thru and led the way by turning left onto Carpenter Fire Station Road. This maneuver put him in the pull position will all others single file as they timed the light at 55 perfectly. GOG held the pace well under 20 mph as he was hoping to keep the pack assembled as long as possible thru the busier roads as they headed towards the outskirts of Cary. As the pack closed in on Yates Store several riders started shouting to GOG about those that had been dropped from the pace line. GOG asked if it was Theresa and Deb who had fallen back. Someone may have bike problems they responded. With that new information GOG asked them to hold everyone up as he planned to turn back to investigate.

Just then he saw Mother Theresa and Two Saddles as they were still in the draft line. GOG and Mother Theresa stopped to discuss how to address the situation while not holding up the group. GOG could see down the road and noticed Capn Carbon ripping the tire off of the rear rim of one of the cyclists bikes.
“OK, you lead the pack slowly onto Yates Store and then OKelly towards 751”, “I will check on the situation here, and then chase on after you and the pack if they go slow enough I will be able to close the gap” GOG explained to her. GOG knew that the pack would have to ride very relaxed if he had any chance to catch them. He also knew that Capn Carbon would have NO PROBLEM chasing down the pack regardless of how long he was delayed or how fast the pack would ride.

GOG and Mother Theresa said goodbye with her and Two Saddles headed on down the road and GOG headed back to the two cyclists doing road side repairs. Just as he rolled up he saw that THE Green Flash had turned back to join the repair process. Fast Tim had a slow leak and wanted to fix it before finding himself miles out of town and now way to get back. The repair was being completed as GOG said “We are headed to Stagecoach”, “Theresa is gong to try and keep the pack slowed so you can catch up”, “If I have any chance of catching them I will leave now, I know you can pull everyone back”. The Green Flash was there as well to help with the chase group. The 3 strongest riders, Fast Tim, Capn Carbon, and The Green Flash would have no problem running down the pack.

GOG rolled away totally confident that the 3 remaining riders would manage just fine. As he approached the turn onto Yates Store he saw the pack all standing and waiting for the 3 missing riders.
“Theresa went on” one of them announced. “I thought you guys would have gone with them” GOG replied. With that all cyclists mounted their bikes and followed GOG as he made the right turn towards Okelly Road. The pace was slow and steady as each rider was happy to allow the missing riders time to catch up. Then with each 1/10 of a mile the pace quickened as if to suggest going slow as too painful.

Left turn onto Okelly had Dwight asking where they were, then out loud he was heard suggesting he knew that this road would end up at 751 and the gas station. SO WRONG. GOG went on to explain this road would indeed take them to 751 but much further North than the gas station.

OKelly is a busy, narrow, hilly road that was showing the signs of suffering from winter temps. The lead riders did a good job of warning those behind of the many small pot holes that pocked the road surface.

The pack did not catch Mother Theresa and Two Saddles until the last climb up towards the intersection with 751. It was also at the top of OKelly and 751 were Capn Carbon and The Green Flash rolled up to the pack. No Fast Tim. It was learned that Fast Tim could not seat the tire on the rim properly and was uncomfortable with the mushy feeling he was getting from the rear tire. He had elected to turn back and headed for home. “Yea he just wimped out that all, he cant take the pace” GOG taunted knowing that Fast Tim would be more than capable of the days ride, and would likely go back out for more miles.

After a very brief pause GOG instructed the leaders to take 751 to Stage Coach and from there to Old Farrington. “We doing Lystra”? asked Frank. “NO I don’t think we are ready for that, I know I am not” GOG replied. Then after second thoughts he added “Maybe you are, and anyone who wants to do it I am sure Capn Carbon would love to take you there”.

Then without delay the pack was pulled out onto 751 by Frank, Lee, Paul, The Green Flash, Capn Carbon, Karen, Slow Jen Fiz, Claim Jumper, Immortal Man, Dwight, Pinky, Suzy, Taylor, GOG, Two Saddles, and Mother Theresa.

Now with all the THORNS, minus Fast Tim, in full force the pack splintered into at least 3 to 4 groups. Several attacked the big hill others worked to stay within range; still others did all they could to make the summit. GOG used his momentum to roll past several riders only to have them walk on by as the hill sucked the momentum and was then demanding power output. GOG and Pinky crested the hill together but found themselves off the back of the second group. Hold On GOG I will pull you back to them she yelled. GOG was still in shock as continued to monitor his heart rate which was dangerously high for an old man. PINKY never looked back and easily left GOG riding solo between her and the few others behind him.

GOG was still coasting down hill towards the turn onto Stage Coach when a mini van came up behind him and honked their horn. GOG waved to acknowledge they were there, and then another HONK as the van was now riding right behind GOG. It was a double yellow line, no on coming traffic, GOG was as far right as was safe to ride, and yet there they stayed off his left shoulder. The pack up ahead was easily sliding through the left hand turn onto Stage Coach. GOG now had to signal his intentions, slide into the lane to command his rightful spot, and then time the oncoming traffic and green light for his left turn maneuver. The Van held back, did not honk any more, allowing GOG to concentrate on a successful tight turn.

The pack was seen just up ahead slowed as they were waiting to ensure all made the turn safely.
Just then Immortal Man slide off the side of the road right in front of Pinky. “Woo Joe, You always do that right in front of me” she went on to explain. “I am glad you have great bike handling skills” she added. “I am glad I am riding on these big fat tires” he responded with relieve. Joe located a spot where he could jump back onto the paved part of the road and delicately maneuvered his bike into position back in the pack.

“We got Everyone” shouted Capn Carbon as he began to accelerate away. “NO Not Yet” answered GOG.
This had no impact on Capn and those around him. They were off to push the pace the entire length of Stage Coach. GOG slowed in an attempt to make sure he could see who was making the turn behind him. Frank had slowed as well and was headed back towards the intersection. He did not notice that Karen was already in the attack that was taking place on ahead. Frank took his time to realize that none of the lady’s in the back was Karen. Frank would now find himself gapped by all other riders. He then turned and took pursuit of the breakaway groups. In the mean time GOG, and immortal Man slowed enough to allow Taylor to catch them as they both were waiting to see that everyone was safely through the last turn. Taylor brought Suzy with her and helped form a small pack of riders that would stay together until the next stop at the Lystra Gas Station.
Frank who had been riding solo caught the second breakaway group at the stop sign at the end of Stage Coach. Frank then jumped past the group and set his sights on the THORNS who were already down the road and up the first climb on Old Farrington Road.

GOG led the small now trailing pack the entire length of Stage Coach, Old Farringronl, and Farringron to the Lystra Gas Station. The traffic on Old Farrington was heavier than expected keeping all riders in single file. The small pack found the THORNS at the Lystra Gas Station, with all resting and ready for the next challenge. As GOG slowly dismounted his bike a single rider rolled into the parking lot from Lake Jordan. It was FAST TIM. He had ridden home with his low tire, changed bikes, and hammered from there towards the Lystra Gas Station in an attempt to catch the group coming from the opposite direction. Perfect timing on his part would now allow him to hook up with the THORNS and do at least another 20 + miles of Speed play.

The Thorns were getting anxious to head out as discussion drifted towards the number of miles left and their current average speed. It was The Green Flash who was most excited about the possibility of breaking 19 mph average for the days ride. “How many miles back from here is it” one of the THORNS asked. “Probably no more than 20 miles” replied GOG. The group had just ridden 20 miles with the THONRS averaging just at 19 mph even with a slow start out of Cary. “For those needing more miles there is always Lystra, Jack Bennet, or Big Woods” GOG announced. The stir within the THORNS was immediate. All looked around to find Capn Carbon knowing he would be game to do more, and discounting the fact that even if GOG wanted to do more he had no hope of leading them at the speeds they wanted to achieve. The Green Flash was clearly again the most excited with the thought of extra miles and the possibility of breaking into the 19+ mph average.

“I think I am going to wait for the ROSES and ride back with them” Doc announced.
“I do not care to do any extra miles, I will be very happy with 40 for the day” replied Dwight, who also had a time constraint. “Me too” cried Suzy. “My knee is starting to talk to me, and I have been challenged to rest my injured leg” lamented Pinky.

Just then the ROSES glided into the parking lot for their rest stop.
“Come On DOC, You can ride with us, we will get you back safe and sound” challenged GOG.
“You are doing very well for your first time out this season, I know you can continue to hang with us” he added.

At that same time the THORNS were already gathering to leave the gas station. The Green Flash, and Capn Carbon were joined by Lee, Claim Jumper, Paul, Fast Tim, Karen, Frank, Immortal Man, and Slow Jen Fiz.

A formal split with 3 distinctive groups all working towards separate goals.
The THORNS looking to add 5 – 10 extra miles at speeds that would not jeopardize their already astonishing 19 mph average with 20 challenging miles already completed.
The Stems (Those with aspirations of someday being a THORN) were hopeful of completing another 20 miles and stay between 16 and 17 mph for the day’s average pace.
The ROSES whose goal was to complete the route safely.

The ride back to Cary for the Stems was smooth with several folks taking the pull position at various points in those last miles. DOC did a great job of staying with the group, and kept her spirits high as she was clearly proud of the strong effort she had been displaying. Pinky was a bubbly as always even with a bum knee. Dwight pressed the pace the last few miles to make it home in time for his prior commitment.

At the end of the day the Stems rode 37 miles at 17.1 mph average.

See the Stems route and metrics by clicking on the following link

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Intense start for Thorns And Day light savings

The Roses completed 43 miles at 15.5 mph – VERY IMPRESSIVE, and on one of the tougher routes.
The THORNS CRUSHED IT completing just over 53 miles at 18.9 mph average.

The season maybe starting off late, but it is also very intense.

Sunday March 14th.

Day light savings

Threat of rain and few to arrive kept the Thorns and Roses from their ride.
Those that showed included:
Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Rob Robertson
Steve Cope
– Capn Carbon.
The group ended up monitoring various weather channel satellite loops on their iPhones and Black Berries. This was a strong signal that no one was truly committed to ridding or at least not riding until later in the day. Seems that all needed more time to adjust to Day Light Savings. As they sat and pondered the possibilities of riding other cyclists arrived but with no intention of riding at that time or with the Thorns and Roses.
Jim Palistrant arrived for Coffee and time to relax with his wife.
Brian Martin Arrived with his family for bagels and coffee
John Garrity arrived in full biking apparel but had plans to ride later with Todd Spain - TriTodd and the group that leaves from InSideOut Sports.

That was the extent of the Thorns and Roses attempt to ride on the first day of Day Light Savings.