Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gears and Cheers and Riding on the Storm

Saturday May 22

Write up presented by Joe Pittman – aka Immortal Man.

Here are some notes from Saturday's ride.

 folks were in the parking lot at 8:30 Saturday,
numbers down probably due to the weather forecast
and imposing clouds.
4 decided to ride a shorter route, about 25 miles.
There were three Thorns who agreed to go for a

- Joe  "Immortal Man" Pittman

- Lee   "Cervelo/Sonic Boom" Duncan

- Shawn "Green Flash" Richardson
After about a mile on High House, another guy joined us awhile. He was apparently looking for the CSH ride, because after about 20 miles, we passed the CSH guys and he told me that was his group, and turned around and joined them.
Anyway, the four of us went up High House and then down at the high school ("Ron's Pull?"/reverse Captain's Graveyard). Then left on Carpenter Fletcher, left on Green Level Church road, then out past the strawberry patch and down Martha's Chapel to the lake at Fearrington. We turned left, crossed US64 at Wilsonville store, then kept going to old US1. We survived a 10-minute spell of rain, but the weather improved and didn't turn out to be a factor at all. During this time, the other three riders did most of the pulling, we spent a lot of time between 22 and 24mph; my pulls were short and slower, and grew less useful as the miles passed.

Once CSH guy turned around, I warned Lee and Shawn that I was gassed and might drop off the back, they encouraged me to wheel-suck for the rest of the ride, which I did.

They dragged me back up New Hill-Holleman, then back across US64 and down NC751 all the way to near Southpoint. Then to Yates Store Rd, Morrisville Carpenter and across NC55. I was really suffering on the hills late in the ride, and turned the two guys loose down Captain's Graveyard to the finish.

Lee and Shawn were very strong throughout, and finished the ride 52 miles at 21.1 mph.

Joe rolled in about 5 minutes later, for an average of about 20.5.

It was the fastest long ride I've ever done, thanks very much to Lee and Shawn for pulling me along, and taking it easy at a couple of rough spots for me.
Joe P

This next write up is offered from Lee Duncan aka Sonic Boom

Here is the Thorns write-up from Last Saturday, May 22nd.

Entitled: Riding on the storm

The route Saturday was planned to be a flat, fast, out and back route, with 2 planned rest stops. However, with the ominous weather prediction, just a handful of Thorns were willing to submerge their bikes, so there were 3 Thorns in attendance, with a celebrity Thorn appearance by Dileep (still negotiating appearance fees). Dileep used good judgement to adjust his route and miles for the rain, and was off with another group.

In attendance:

Joe Pittman – Immortal Man – Rides up front with the Thorns, and can be called upon to inject logic and reason when necessary.

Shawn Richardson – The Green Flash. High performance Thorn with great ability to manage the pace and organization of the group.

Lee Duncan – Sonic Boom – Riding a helium filled Cervelo bike.

The mini group assembled in the parking lot when The Green Flash made a suggestion .. "today we should try something different...let's work together as opposed to attacking and beating the crap out of each other.." The observing Thorns thought this was a breakthrough concept...

As if there was an architectural desire to put the 3 most navigationally challenged people together as a social experiment, the 3 Thorns had no idea where to go, but wanted to see through GOGs suggestion for flat and fast. So the 3 Thorns saddled up on their bikes and headed off to see what adventure awaited them.

The 3 riders headed out of the parking lot and onto High House road, and opted for a couple route changes to get into the main route as fast as possible. It was at this moment that a mystery rider whom I will call "Racer X" pulled up from behind. Racer X was wearing an "Inside Out Sports" Jersey, and sporting a Cervelo frame with big deep dish Zipp wheels. The mystery rider seemed interested to join our group, so we greeted him with great hospitality by allowing him to pull us in laborious fashion through the back route to Carpenter Fire Station Road. This was necessary, as we wanted him to pay dearly for those deep dish Zipps. He was happy to oblige.

The riders stayed in tight formation passing by the Fire Station, until taking a sharp left just after Wachovia bank (Green Level to Durham). The speed intensified as Racer X accelerated his pace, pulling the group at speeds in excess of 24 mph. The intensity stayed unabated as they continued on route up the long hill past the traditional Cary Glen turn off and then turning right on Green Level Church.

As the group continued its route along Green Level Church (highway to the Berry Patch) the ominous clouds started to appear. However Immortal Man was still feeling fresh at this point and doing great pulls, along with the Green Flash. Nothing was going to stop the riders as they were feeling strong working together.

All that changed after the rain started.

The Green Flash and Immortal man took turns shooting rouster tails into the air and spraying Sonic Boom incessantly. The tight slipstream enjoyed earlier was now a laterally staggered group, as no one wanted to be put through the sprayer. This continued off and on through Martha's Chapel and the left onto Fearrington Road. Racer X, as if the rain increased his supernatural strength, started turning the screws on the Thorns, and all held on as we cruised across the great flats of Jordan Lake. It was apparent at this point that the Green Flash and Racer X were going to be the work horses of the ride, as Immortal Man and Sonic Boom were reaching for the smelling salts. The pace continued this way until Racer X spotted the fast group from CSH and pulled a U turn, leaving the remaining Thorns to their own devices.

---But the group held together through the rest of the trip: Beaver Creek, Old US 1, New Hill Olive Chapel, 751, Okelly Chapel, Stonewater Glen and back through Carpenter Fire Station road to Home. It was a great ride as the Thorns all worked together to get through the difficult weather conditions.

The band of Thorns rolled into the parking lot at 11:05AM, completing 52 Miles at a 21.1 MPH computer average. A ride that lived up to the expectation of flat and fast. Because the ride went so well, the small band of Thorns took an oath that day to Never Ever cooperate in that fashion again.

Gears and Cheers

This next write up is a brief description of the Gears and Cheers ride.

The threat of rain did not dampen several folks to make the trip to the start of the Gears and Cheers ride.

Those in attendance included:

Kevin Smit – GOG

Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa

Rob Robertson – Top Rookie

Jim Coughlin – Domestique

Laura Spell – No name yet – GOG is watching closely to assign a fitting nick name to Laura.

Jason – Friend of Laura’s – he rides normally wit the CSH A riders, and showed great restraint by staying with the group on the days ride. On several occasions he would ride on ahead and then loop back to rejoin the group. Other times he would deliberately fall way back and then push to chase the group down..

Phillip Burton – planed to do the shorter ride distance. There just might be a name in the works for this rider after the days ride.

GOG and Mother Theresa brought a 10 x 10 pop up canopy and lawn chairs. Their plan was to sit in the shade at the end of the ride and sip wine.

Most of the Thorns and Roses that were in attendance planed to ride the metric Century, Phillip had announced the most he had ridden on any day so far was 34 miles and he was not prepared to double that by doing the metric Century. He was riding a shorter route. This was all the group needed to start applying peer pressure on Phillip to join them on the 62 mile route and not do the shorter wimpy route. The route had many rolling hills and a few steep short climbs. The threat of rain grew with each minute of the clock. There were rest stops at 10, 20, 35, and 50 miles that the entire group took advantage of. There was one BIG BAD DOG on the route that almost devoured several of the riders. GOG barked at the DOG and pointed to it as if to suggest it should stay put, and it obeyed him as he went by.

Phillip started the ride with the group but made it known he was planning to do the 40 mile route vs the 63 miles everyone else was planning to ride. At the 9 mile mark The pack rolled over the markings that told those on the route wanting to do the shorter route should make a left turn others looking to do 62 should stay straight. GOG was at the front of the draft line and did not give a shout out to Phillip to make the marked turn. Phillip was sucked along onto the 62 mile route. After about a half mile GOG was heard saying “Hey Phillip I see you decided to join us after all”. It then dawned on Phillip that he had been duped into the 62 miler. “Don’t worry we will all work together to get you thru to the finish, Trust Us” GOG said with a great big smile on his face. The group did a great job of holding a pace line that only splintered on the various climbs. They then worked to regroup once there was any lull in the hill action. No one was dropped or allowed to fall back out of sight. Laura rode a very smooth, solid, and powerfully as she rode pushing her pace to match the pressure of each hill. Jim - Domestique rode for periods in the draft line and then would surge on up the road to then drift back into the safety of the pace line. GOG attempted to keep himself near the front of the pace line in an effort to control the pace. On several occasions the sky appeared ready to unload on the cyclists but managed to restrain itself until long after the ride was completed. Those doing the shorter route reported that they had been rained on.

Rob – Top Rookie rode will within his abilities and seemed to enjoy the more relaxed pace and each of the rest stops. Mother Theresa rode very strong and did her best to attack the hills until she ran out of gas near the end as everyone was then beating into a strong head wind.

Philip did Awesome. He rode smartly in the slip stream of the draft line and near the end he and GOG had a two man break away working as they pushed hard into the head winds. Well Done Philip. He was Clearly ready for the longer miles. On this ride he doubled his longest ride of the season.
Double your miles Double your Pleasure. Hmmm maybe there is a name there.

Upon completion of the ride the group all met in the lawn chairs under the shade of the 10 x 10 pop up tent provided by Mother Theresa and GOG. The group enjoyed the food and wine tasting provided by the ride organizers. They continued to enjoy extra wine that GOG brought and when that was gone several purchased bottles of wine from the winery to share with the group. Lots of stories were shared between the riders as the clock slowly ticked towards supper time and beyond. The Thorns and Roses were the last group to leave the venue as the winery was preparing to close and lock their doors. A great time on the bike and a great time after in the shade drinking wine, listening to the live music, and the many stories provided by the members of the group.  will do this ride again.

To see the route click here