A cooler day but still a great deal of Head Winds awaited the riders.
Those in attendance included:
Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Vicki Welch – first time riding with the group
John Garitty – resting with a bike ride after his Saturday 8 mile run.
Heather Yandow – first time riding with the group, and a team member with Kevin and Theresa on the MS 150 Hibernian team.
Shawn Richardson – Killer Bee on his fixie
Kiki Rodriquez – fist time riding with the group – friend of the Pink Triassholette
David Bridenbaugh – Mr. Bridenbaugh – still complaining about be jettisoned on Saturdays ride.
Scott Pate – first time riding with the group – neighbor to Mr. Bridenbuagh
Jennifer Erdman – riding with the group for the first time.
The pack rolled out of the parking lot today without Capn Carbon. GOG was expecting either Mr. Bridenbaugh, John Garitty, or Killer Bee to push the pace on the days ride. GOG did not have any knowledge of the riding ability of those riding with the group for the first time.
At one point in the ride while still in the Preston Neighborhood GOG was looking in his mirror and spied Scott riding very comfortably. His riding style and apparel reminded GOG of George Hincapie. “Hey Scott you look like you could punish any of us on a bike, you look a lot like Hincapie” teased GOG. “Give him one or two weeks on the bike and he will give the Thorns a run for their money. And you are right he does look like Hincapie, must be the sunglasses” added Mr. Bridenbaugh.
GOG then found himself riding behind KIKI who was riding a bike that looked new or recently detailed. “WOW your rear Cluster is so clean it is blinding me, how much do you have to pay to get your bike detailed” GOG announced to Kiki. “I like to keep my rear end clean” she bantered back. Clearly Kiki was prepared for the verbal abuse and was poised to give it right back. Well done Kiki.
The pack did a solid job of staying together through Preston and onto Ron’s Pull. Killer Bee managed the pack and its pace from the pull position. He and Mr. Bridenbaugh showed great control and restraint as they worked to keep all riders in tow down Ron’s Pull. Just as the pack was passing Green hope High School GOG noticed glass in the road along the curb. Before he could yell out to others there came the tell tale sound of a flat in progress.
“WE got a Flat” GOG yelled out to the pack. Those in front slowed and then came to a stop. Those behind navigated around GOG and John Garitty who realized he had the flat.
GOG pulled up next to john, laid his bike in the grass and began to assist John with the task of fixing the rear wheel flat. The two worked in tandem. It was not a tire change that could assist a racer to get back into the race, it was not technically adept as a bike mechanic, but it was accomplished with high fives to celebrate the repair.
Back on Ron’s Pull the pace line formed and completed a smooth run to the next intersection. The pack lucked out with a green light to cross Highway 55 and onto the long fast stretch of Carpenter Fire Station. Here again Killer Bee did a phenomenal job controlling the pace allowing all cyclists to remain in the draft line.
Is it possible that the Killer Bee has a kinder gentler side to him?
GOG was so impressed with the control Killer Bee was demonstrating that he commented on the fine job he was doing supporting all in the draft line with his solid smooth pace.
GOG directed the group to make the left turn onto Green Level Church toward the Cary Glenn Neighborhoods. “Lets stay straight on this and not do the 3 Ugly Sisters” was the next set of instructions from GOG. The pack then made the right turn onto the road that heads towards the strawberry patch. This road has at least 3 names so it is easier to call it the road to the strawberry patch. It was on this road that the cyclists were slapped in the face with the full force of the day’s head wind. Killer Bee once again took full command of the front of the pace line. He held the group up until the last rider had made the turn into the wind and was tucked tightly into the pace line. He then slowly and delicately pulled the group, stepping them into an ever increasing speed.
GOG was actually starting to feel sorry for the Killer Bee because Capn Carbon was not there for him to play with. Those two enjoy attacking each other over and over and over again. It is much like watching two people debating each other with neither one wanting the other to get in the last word.
GOG decided he would give Killer Bee at least one chance to play. So as the pace line approached the county line, a favorite spot to attack, GOG slowly picked up his speed and glided up along Killer Bee.
The response was immediate.
Killer Bee locked onto GOG’s pace.
GOG then inched forward only to have his front tire position matched by the BEE.
GOG then applied even more effort only to instantly be match again by the BEE.
This went on several time until GOG was in a position of either having to shift to keep from over spinning, or to stand and announce the sprint was on.
Just as GOG was struggling with his next move a gust of wind hit him so hard he was convinced he had stepping into the ring with Mohamed Ali. His response was to gasp for air and let out a slight whimper. That was the gun shot sound Killer Bee was waiting for, he did not hesitate anymore. Killer BEE jumped out of the saddle and stung GOG as he blasted by leaving GOG still reeling from the Blow he had been delivered by the Gust of Wind as if delivered by the fist of Ali.
It took the pack a while to gather back together having just been splintered by GOG and Killer Bee. They then completed that section of road finding themselves at the Strawberry Patch. From there GOG directed the group onto Holland Chapel with the next expected turn from there to be towards Martha’s Chapel. It was on Holland Chapel (Waffle Run) that KIKI demonstrated her riding skills. She lit up the pace as she took the pull position. She demonstrated power as she pushed the pace into the 20 - 23 mph range still into the head wind. This splintered the group with Mother Theresa, Vicki, and Heather working to hold on and doing so until just before the end of “Waffle Run” (Holland Chapel).
At the next intersection GOG told the group to go ahead and ride as hard as they want to the top of Martha’s Chapel were everyone will regroup. GOG remained at the intersection resting and hydrating and visiting briefly with Vicki and Heather who were also joined by Mother Theresa. Those four rode together at a more relaxed pace having just done all they could to hold onto KIKI’s earlier pull.
At the top of Martha’s Chapel all gathered and GOG asked who was planning to jump in with CSH. KIKI was the only one planning to do so. GOG then asked Killer Bee and Mr. Bridenbaugh if they would help guide the group back in on the path that would allow KIKI to jump in with CSH. They agreed, and all but GOG, Mother Theresa, Vicki, and Heather went with them.
The ride continued as everyone made their way back to the start finish point. As the riders were exiting the Cary Glenn Neighborhood they spotted KIKI tucked in with CSH has it was headed back out towards Lake Jordan. KIKI has the endurance and skill to easily ride with, and challenge the Thorns on any Saturday ride.
The route back for Mother Theresa, Vicki, Heather, and GOG put them on the back side of Preston with several hills to survive on that last mile or two.
The group was held together in the beginning by the solid job at the front thanks to Killer Bee.
The route produced 35 miles and the longest ride of the season for Vicki. Wahoo, well done Vicki.