GOG planed the day’s route to be very Filling, Spicy and HOT. He peppered the route with as many hills as he could in the 50 – 60 miles, including one large Tia Pepper labeled Lystra. He used special UV Rays Hot sauce that required layers of sun Block. This UV Ray sauce resulted in a burning sensation that no amount of water could remove from the experience. GOG stirred this all up utilizing the forces of Mother Nature’s Head Winds. The route was so filling that each rider monitored, for themselves, when they had been fully satisfied. Some consumed 40 miles worth others 52 miles worth and yet some were looking for the full experience and consumed all 60 miles worth.
At the end of the ride some complained of the UV hot sauce, some of the Spicy hills, some of the portion they were expected to consume. Others ranted and raved about the experience and made it known they would love to do it again.
The largest attendance, The Longest, hottest, Hilliest ride for the Thorns and Roses this season.
Rob Robertson – Rob wins the White Jersey for the Best Rookie rider. Rob has only been biking since November of 09. He has consistently met the challenge of the Thorns and is riding stronger each day. Rob is totally hooked on biking and wishes he had started years ago. ROB’s nick name will be TOP ROOKIE.
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa – pushing herself each ride to hang longer and longer with the pack.
Kevin Smit – GOG – continuing to have BONKING issues – not one of his best seasons so far.
Harlan Allan – Harlan does a great deal of mountain biking and is smooth and solid on his road bike.
Jim Coughlin – been riding with the Thorns and Roses only a couple of weekends and already worthy of a nick name. Jim is a very strong rider, and loves to participate in the banter that takes place on each ride. He clearly belongs with the group. Jim has not ridden in very many pace lines and is just now picking up tips on how to ride in a pack. Currently his riding style has a tendency to surge and then fall back then surge and fall back. This is a tactic that Domestiques use as they fall back to the team car to gather water bottles and race up to the ream leader to distribute fresh water to him and the rest of the team. Jim is a lot of fun to ride with as he passes you and then falls back behind you. The other riding style Jim currently has is to drift left and right rather than hold a steady line. This is another technique used by the Domestiques to block other riders from gaining position on the teams ride leader. I think a great nick name for Jim is Domestique.
Ron Clanton – Ron has been with the Thorns and Roses for about as long as the group has been formed. He has never done anything that GOG could use against him in the creation of a nick name. Ron is just Ron. When GOG was visiting with Ron and others on the challenge GOG is having in coming up with a nick name he suggested that Ron is Just Ron. Everyone loved it and so after 4 or 5 years of riding with the group, and from a casually conversation about the challenge of naming him Ron’s nickname has been born. Ron Clanton is now – JUST RON.
Tracy Clanton – Rides with Ron on their tandem a great deal. She like Ron has been a regular with the Thorns and Roses for the many years the group has been in existence. Tracy enjoys the Roses and peddles the tandem with soft smooth peddling strokes that makes it challenging to keep up behind the tandem as they blast down the road. Tracy has no aspirations in becoming a Thorn; she takes great pride in being one of the founding ROSES. She, along with other Roses, continues to promote the spirit of a social ride. Her nickname is now – ROSE PEDDLER.
Carrie Zelna – Mother Goose. Carrie is one of the strongest female Thorns in the bunch. She was with the Pack of Thorns all 60 miles and at the top of every climb. WOW she can really give the Boys a thrill.
Megan Heggarty – this was Megan’s first ride with the group. She attempted to ride with the Roses but somehow was gapped and then followed another rider who took a wrong turn. Megan continued to ride in the area and eventually found herself re-connecting with the Roses. She then finished the ride with them. After sitting around socializing with the Roses she decided to head out to find Nicole who had started with the Thorns and was finishing with the Stems. Megan somehow found that group as she was headed out on Green Level towards Luther. Not clear if Nicole saw Megan first or if Megan saw Nicole first but they were both excited to see one another. So once again Megan sniffed out the riders she was looking for. Then when completing the ride with Nicole and others she realized she had lost her car keys somewhere on the ride. She thought long and hard on where that might have happened and determined it might be found at the Tobacco trail parking lot on White Oak Church road. Nicole then drove out there to see if it was where Megan had predicted. Sure enough Megan was able to sniff out the location of her lost keys even from that far away. No other rider in the history of this group has been able to sniff out not one, but two of the ride groups on a single day, and then sniff out a set of lost keys. From this day forward with the Thorns and Roses Megan will be known as BLOOD HOUND.
James Lavin – NC state Triassholete – Pushed the pace upfront with the Thorns.
Brian Martin – another hammer head that also pushed the pace for the Thorns. GOG fails constantly to remember Brain’s real name and repeatedly calls him Dwight. Sorry to both Brain and Dwight.
Vicki Welch – second time riding with the group and rode on the days ride with the Roses.
Christy Miller – Pink Triassholete – rode with the Thorns up to the Lystra Gas Station then led a group back from there to the finish. Those with her had had their fill of the days ride with many of them planning to run long on Sunday and did not want to impact that planed run. Pinky was actually doing the ½ marathon that next day in Umstead.
Rita Beard – Rita is a strong rider and has ridden with the group a couple of times. She started the ride with the Thorns and then elected to join Nicole and others as the Stems group was formed.
David Bridenbaugh - Mr. Bridenbaugh – was asked to lead the Thorns. Mr. Bridanbaugh has ridden with the group for many years and knows all the roads and their nicknames. This made it easy for GOG to convey to him the planned route. GOG also knew that Mr. Bridenbaugh would do everything in his power to ensure the group remained intact and that no one would have to ride alone. As always THANK YOU MR. BRIDENBAUGH for your leadership.
Nicole Lewis – Nicole has been a huge supporter of this ride group. She continues to tell others about the group and encourages them to join in on the fun. She has been so successful at that that some of the new riders asked if this was Nicole’s ride. Nicole even has a section of road named after her. She christened the road by her excited explanation of how the hills there allowed one to ride it much like a roller coaster. Nicole has an intoxicating personality that puts a smile on everyone around her. She is a social butterfly that has no fear of meeting and greeting others. On rides she flits in and out of the pack fluttering between the cyclists to interact with each of them. The entire time she is riding she continues her smooth riding technique and appears to be powerful and yet delicate on the peddles, applying just enough power with each stroke to meet the needs of the moment. Everyone notices her when she is around. On the days ride she was stopped by more than one cyclists and motorist who knew who she was. At one point on the ride GOG dubbed her the Social Chairman for the Greater Raleigh area. She is truly a Social Butterfly that puts a smile on all around her. So Nicole with be known as SOCIAL BUTTERFLY, or BUTTERFLY for short.
Debbie Springer – GOG has not yet ridden with her long enough to share any pertinent information.
Matt Fowler – No solid information on this rider yet. Stay tuned as both Matt and GOG must find away to ride together a couple of times. Or, any one in the group is welcomed to turn Matt in for any biking fopaux.
Joe Pittman – Immortal Man – Rides up front with the Thorns, and can be called upon from time to time to act as ride leader. Joe loves to tear it up, but also understands the spirit of the ride and helps keep an eye on the group.
Jeff Giordano – Claim Jumper – another rider that is always capable of riding with the Thorns but finds just as much pleaser to ride with the Stems. Claim Jumper is another rider who helps keep an eye on all those in the pack. You can count on him to stop and help if needed.
Lee Duncan – Sonic Boom – from the first time Lee rode with the group all the Thorns took notice. Lee has always been there to challenge and to accept all challenges thrown out during a days ride. Lee is even a greater threat to the Thorns since he moved from his heavy Steel is Reel bike to his new All Carbon Cervelo. Lee needs to make sure he keeps a close eye on his bike. Several Thorns have been overheard plotting to have someone steal his new bike so he is less of a threat to them.
Jae Brainard – One of the founding Mothers of the Roses. Jae consistently takes the reigns and leads the Roses on Saturday rides. She has several routes she uses and makes her choice on that day depending on the collective size and ability of those riding with her. Jae does not yet have a nickname, and may never have one. How do you give a nickname to a Matriarch?
Barbra Hartsfield – another rider who has ridden on and off over the last several seasons. She is a strong rider in the Roses ranks.
Andy Hartsfiled – Andy rides on occasions with the group and elected to ride the days ride with the Roses.
Angie Magdalena – Angie is relatively new to the ride group. She rode very strong with the Stems for the entire days ride.
Tom Plant – Power Stroker – has ridden with the group over several seasons. Lately he has been showing up for every Saturday ride. On this days ride he rode solidly with the Stems once they were formed at the Lystra Gas Station. Prior to that all but a handful of riders rode with the Thorns to the Lystra Gas station where the formal split took place.
Amy Holt – first time with the group. She rode with Angie and the stems for the entire days route. She maintained a smile the entire route even though it was the hottest , Hilliest, and longest ride of the season. At one point GOG commented on seeing nothing but her smiling face in his mirror for the entire length of Horton Pond (Hemorrhoid Hell). Not sure if she was smiling due to enjoying riding with the group, or riding for that far, or riding on the road nicknamed Hemorrhoid Hell. Hmmmmmm.
Shawn Richardson – The Green Flash. Another top performing Thorn. The Green Flash will incent or participate in every attack. Yet if needed the Green Flash will protect the pack and work to keep all together if the situation calls for that. The Green Flash does not yet know all the roads as well as Mr. Bridenbaugh, but he clearly knows more of the roads than Capn Carbon does.
David Oyler – first time with the group. Part of a strong father son team. Rode with the Thorns. Welcome to the group and we hope you ride again.
Geoffrey Oyler – first time with the group, the other half of the Father Son race team. We expect to see him again.
Ping Mok – Back to ride with the group for the first time this season. Welcome back Ping.
Janice Sitzes - Recently joined the group and was returning to ride again. Welcome back.
Mariann Ramsayer – first time riding with the group. Hope to see her again on future rides.
Steve Mark - Started the days ride with the Thorns and then jumped in with the Stems after the Thorns caught them having done an extra 7 – miles including the Climb up Lystra. Yes the Thorns caught the Stems even having done an extra loop that included Lystra. The Thorns are fast and hills mean nothing to them.
Jim Palistrant – Jim is best classified as a solo rider that periodically picks a group ride to jump in with based on his needs. Jim is always pushing the pace regardless of riding solo or antagonizing a group to ride faster. Every time Jim rides with the group he is quick to antagonize the Thorns into more miles, faster pace, more climbs. From this day forward Jim Palistrant will be known as THE ANTAGONIST.
The report on the days ride is best summed up in the information provided in the information related to who was in attendance. Notice the Lack of Steve Cope – Capn Carbon. He was missed, and that resulted in a faster more aggressive ride for the Thorns.
Below are short desciptions of incidents that transpired on the route that GOG was able to observer and remember, that is then followed with a brief report from Mr. Bridenbaugh who had accepted the challenge to lead the Thorns on the planned route.
GOG left the parking lot late along with Angie, Amy, and Mother Theresa. He is no fool riding with 3 lovely ladies.
The pack exploded out of the parking lot and never looked back as they feed off of each rider in the large Peloton.
GOG was nauseous as he reached the rolling hills of Mount Pisgah. He began to plan his abandoning of the route by mile 12.
Mother Theresa blew past those riding with her on the first major climb on Mount Pisgah. She is working to increase her response to the pace and to the challenge presented by hills.
Angie and Amy chit chatted the entire route while GOG had no ability to visit since he was in an early death march at mile 12.
GOG attempted to pull the team he was riding with towards closing the gap on the Thorns. It took him little time to realize it was a futile attempt. At one point he announced to Angie, Ami and Mother Theresa that catching the pack was not possible due to the packs large size and its ability to feed off of each other. What GOG did not share with them is that it would have been no problem for Capn Carbon to close the gap.
Amy and Angie were happy and rode very comfortably trusting GOG would lead them on the correct path. They had no fear, and assumed GOG knew and had the ability to take good care of them. Little did they know.
At Lystra Gas Station GOG and his small band were reunited with the Stems. The Thorns had demonstrated no patience as they had already headed out to climb Col De Lystra. At the Gas Station GOG was already in the early stages of a BONK and was thinking of heading back to the start. Nicole took no pity on the GOG as she was laughing at his dew rage that he wears under his helmet to assist with his sweat management. GOG had no energy to banter with her as he struggled to figure out how to get more water into his water bottle. Then GOG spotted Rob ( TOP ROOKIE) who had been wanting to do the climb on Lystra. “Rob you elected NOT to do Lystra” he asked. Rob had a very confused look on his face. “The Thorns already headed out to do the climb, I am not headed there, Don’t have it in me Today” GOG went on to explain. “Who else wants to do Lystra” GOG shouted. Other than Rob only Jim (Domestique) wanted to climb Lystra. Christy Miller ( PinK Triassholette) had already rallied a group to join her in heading straight back to the start finish. Many of them including her were planning long Sunday runs and did not want any extra miles, heat, or hills to ruin that. GOG then recognized there was yet another group stuck in the middle. They did not want to climb Lystra and its extra 7 – 10 miles, and they did not want to yet head back. GOG now needed to step up to the plate and offer them an alternative and a ride leader. GOG first made sure Pinky had full control of the group headed back to the Finish. Pinky is very capable of leading the group and with little fan faire all said their goodbyes to the group. Now GOG’s attention was on Top Rookie and Domestique to help them plan their assault on Cul De Lystra and their route back to the start finish. GOG plotted a route that should provide them the climb and an ability to latter catch up to the Stems if all rode at the pace expected. GOG then rounded up the remaining cyclists to assure them he would be there to lead them on a great run down Big Woods and on into the finish with as many hills as possible. IT was then that Angie took GOG to the side and said “do you really want to do this? Your health is more important than the groups needs”. WOW she sounded like GOG’s Mother, and yet she was very observant. GOG was struggling and she was concerned, Thank You Angie. She has the Spirit of the Ride already figured out.
All said goodbye as the group was now formally splintered into The Thorns (who left before all were assembled) the Thorn chasers ( Top Rookie and Domestique), one group of Stems headed back to the finish, and one group of Stems headed towards the Big Woods time trial run.
Those headed towards Big Woods did a solid job of remaining together its entire length. Several riders took turns in the pull position as the rolling hills challenged the group and the group responded by forcing themselves to retain close to 20 mph average on its 5 mile length. At one point on that section of road the pack was climbing one of the longest grades while Rita was attempting to have a conversation with GOG. “ So, how have you been” she asked. GOG knew Rita was showing no disrespect, she just did not recognize an old man having a small heart attack. GOG’s response was delayed and calculated to be as brief as possible and yet responsive to her inquiry. “GREAT” responded GOG. Then the Pack was headed down the back side of the climb and GOG was able to provide more information. “yea I took early retirement, but am back doing some consulting while also doing Real Estate, Also spent some time with my Mom who just had a Heart attack and helped her shop for foods low in sodium, not an easy task to find floods low in sodium, have to do all fresh” he was heard choking out in small short sentences. This appeared to be too much information as Rita elected to fall back towards the end of the pace line. GOG really has a way with the Ladies.
The Stems finished their time trial run on Big Woods and had just stopped at the intersection at Highway 64 to rest and regroup. Before they could collect themselves the Thorns rushed in and surrounded them, having just completed an extra 7 – 10 miles including the climb up Col De Lystra. Before the Stems could collect themselves for the turn onto Highway 64 several of the Thorns had jumped across the intersection and were already powering towards the gas station at Wilsonville.
After the push across Lake Jordan the Stems and Thorns had all arrived at the next rest stop. All used the stop to fill water bottles, and to use the portable bathroom. GOG used the time to sit in the shade and to consume a couple of cubes of ShockBlocks. Nicole busied herself by visiting with all the other cycling groups that had stopped at the gas station. She was telling several all about the Thorns and Roses when suddenly she noticed her hair dresser had just pulled up in their car. Clearly Nicole knows, or will soon know, all residence in Wake County.
The Thorns were first to mount up and head on out towards Cary. Jim Palistrant (The Antagonist) asked GOG “are we doing Pee Ridge”. The expression on Jim’s faces was one of great expectations and hope that the Thorns would be adding lots of extra miles and even more hills. “NO, just headed back towards the end with as many hills as I could plan for” replied GOG. “So how many more miles” Jim asked. “ Probably 20 miles and Lots of smaller hills peppered in for good measure” responded GOG. “So maybe another hour of riding then” announced Jim. Jim seemed pleased with the answer and elected to continue to ride with the Thorns rather than engineer a longer hiller solo ride for himself.
A couple of the Thorns elected to remain at the rest stop with the knowledge that the Stems would soon be headed back as well. This was the intent of the planed route, to allow several spots were riders can jump between the various packs that form on the days ride.
The Stems soon headed out by crossing over 64 and rolling on down Farrington to Horton Pond and its undulating hills and rough surface. The surface of this section of road saps the strength of a rider as arms, legs and butt all work together as a suspension on a car does to soften the ride experience. This section of road is known to the group as Hemorrhoid HELL.
The group next made the turn onto Luther after s short jig and jog onto and off of 751. Here again the pack was met with more hills. A very short rest at the next Tee intersection to hydrate before turning onto the next set of hills on Green Level.
It was after the first short climb on Green Level that Nicole and Megan were reunited. Megan was heading back out from Cary to find Nicole and let her know she was OK. They stopped to hug as the rest of the Stems planned their approach to the next climb.
As the pack crested the hill were Wimberly intersects Green level a truck puling a trailer of sailboats navigated a passing effort around the riders and then a sharp right turn onto Wimberly. GOG had just passed the intersection when he heard CRUNCH, SLIDE, SCREECH, THUMP, BUMP, RATTLE. He quickly glanced in his mirror to see if any riders were down. All riders were up and accounted for. At the next brief rest stop on White oak Church those who had been passed by the truck explained to the group that the truck pulling the trailer made the turn onto Wimberly and the trailer tipped over spilling the sailboats all over the road. The driver had made the turn much too aggressively and paid dearly for that.
Next the Stems headed down Lewter shop and then into Cary Glenn and the section of road/hills known to the group as Nicole’s Roller Coaster. GOG asked Steve to take anyone who wanted to attack that section with him but to regroup on the other side prior to turning onto Carpenter Fire Station. Steve knew exactly what GOG was asking for and he assured GOG that he would take the lead. GOG continues to look for and challenge others to lead as the situations arise. Over time GOG will be able to rely on a large number or riders to take over the leadership of various rides. This will become more and more important as GOG continues to get Slower and Slower on the bike.
Steve did a solid job of leading the group and then bringing all riders back together after Nicole’s Roller Coaster. GOG then asked the group to make sure everyone re-grouped one more time near the beginning of Capn’s Grave Yard (corner of Morrisville Carpenter and Carpenter Upchurch). This would allow Mother Theresa to then direct the group into the end by traveling thru the back side of Preston keeping everyone off of the high traffic area of High house Road.
As the cyclists were riding single file and somewhat splintered on Carpenter Fire Station Road GOG heard from behind “Get out of the way, HEE HEE HEE”. IT was TOP ROOKIE, and Domestique. They had completed their Run Up COL DE Lystra and were now running down the Stems. A job Well Done by these two strong riders. Rob (Top Rookie) was particularly pleased with his performance and was taking great joy in having run down the pack of Stems.
Mother Theresa took control at the last regroup point, slowed the pace to allow for each rider to warm down as she guided all through the remaining turns and final hills for the days ride.
NEXT IS THE REPORT FROM MR. BRIDENBAUGH.
What a diabolical route you picked for today!!! Not sure if you got a
report from anyone else with the Thorns. This was definitely the
strongest group of Thorns I have been out with in a while. I don't
remember the names of everyone that was with us (about 7-8 riders total
I think). After we left the first store stop on Farrington, I resorted
to "leading from the rear" so I wouldn't get dropped. SONIC BOOM could
not be slowed today. He attacked relentlessly, he attacked the climbs,
he even attacked downhill on Jack Bennett! I kept thinking he would
eventually run out of energy, but did not happen. Can somebody hide his
new bike? Immortal Man had a really strong ride today and about
splintered the pack on Big Woods. Killer Bee did a great job helping
keep everyone together. I think he may have been first over Lystra, but
I was too far back to tell for sure. Once we left the second store stop
at Wilsonville things settled down and I think heat and fatigue were
becoming a factor for many of us. We slowed to a more reasonable pace
(20ish??) and rolled back into town. I turned off at my usual spot near
Davis Drive, knowing that Immortal Man and Killer Bee would shepherd the
group back to Brueggers. Thorns averaged a little over 19 mph, total
distance for me was 58.9 miles, probably 56-57 for the pack. Super
strong group today, ouch.
Thank You Mr. Bridenbaugh for sharing what happens within the ranks of the THORNS.
A solid performance by all riders.
The Thorns completed 57 – 60 miles at an 19+ mph pace.
Top Rookie and Domestic completed 55 miles at 18 + mph pace.
The Stems completed 53 miles at 16.4 mph pace
The Roses did their consistent 35 miles at a smooth 14 mph pace.
Later that day several of the riders posted on their Facebook pages how well they enjoyed the challenging ride that was presented them that day.
Sunday May 16th.
A small turn out. Many others were focused on their long runs, or swims, or were participating in the Umstead half Marathon. Still others were at home recovering from Saturdays Filling, Hot, Spicy ride.
Those in attendance included;
Rob Robertson – Top Rookie – back for more, completely addicted to biking.
Jim Coughlin – Domestique – with the same excitement he had the first time he rode with the group.
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa – She earned this name from others who view her as a Saint for putting up with GOG all these many years.
Kevin Smit – GOG (Glistening Older Gentleman) – named by one of the Barista’s at Caribou when she was asked if Kevin had finished one of the days rides. Her response was “You mean that Older Glistening Gentleman?” The truth was that Kevin was Sweating so badly they had to mop the floor after he left the counter top area.
Fernanda Barrera - first time with the group. She was sporting a Time Trial Bike that was used on the Tour De France. One of only twenty built. Fernanda and her husband are from Mexico and had moved to the area about 2 years ago. She is working her way back into Triathlon shape after having been away from it being a new Mother.
The group rode very relaxed the entire day. GOG elected to treat the group to one of the ROSES routes. The Route included rolling down sections of Green Hope High School Road, and Lewter Shop. Top Rookie took the win at the county line on Lewter shop. The route then swung onto Farrell and then onto the hills of Mount Pisgah. GOG then directed the pack onto New Hope Church towards the Top of Upchuck, to then lead the group onto the paved section of the Tobacco Trail. This was a fun, easy, scenic change of pace for the group. The route left The Tobacco trail as it intersected with Okelly were the group had a couple of hills to climb prior to turning onto Yates Store and the additional hills it presented to the group. GOG then directed the pack to make the left turn onto Carpenter Fire Station road and the final run on into the finish at Brueggers. On the ride the group learned more about Fernanda and her special bike. The bike is so unique that she is unable to locate bolts to fit the water bottle cage. Apparently Pinarello who made the bike only machined enough bolts for the twenty bikes and maybe an extra bolt or two and no long have any to replace the one she is missing. In addition her Campy Carbon Aero front wheel was making nocking noises as if the bearings were needing attention. She planed to take the bike in to one of the best bike mechanics in the area, The Cycle Surgeon – Matt Loder. We hope to ride soon again with Fernanda and her Tricked out Tour de France Pinarello Time Trial bike. Maybe she can convince her husband to come out and join the fun as well.
The group rode a comfortable 27 miles at 15 mp