Saturday June 12th recap: A "Storny" Day
We again had a good crowd, with several new faces. I got the following
Joe - Immortal Man
Jim - Domestique
Jay - queen of the Roses
Ken - with Jay
Ginny - 1st time rider
Phillip - brother of Deborah
Deborah - sister of Phillip
Shawn - Green Flash
Rob - TR
Additionally, we were joined by a rider as we headed out. I got his name, but then promptly forgot it - my apologies. The entire group headed out together and rode to the Big Chicken, where Jay and the roses split off. The Thorns and Stems (henceforth called "Storns") headed into Apex via Holt Road. For some unexplained, and very strange reason, TR kept finding himself at the front of the pack. I don't know if the Thorns felt sluggish, or the Stems felt thorny, but the speed merchants never really broke away from the pack. Weird... but I figured the separation would hit as the gaggle turned onto the Tingen Salt Flats.
And here, gentle reader, I must relate an incident that will go down in Thorn infamy. At approximately 8:33am, Captain Carbon, wheeling his way down I-95 towards Miami and a flight to Spain, felt a grim disturbance in the force. He doesn't know what occurred, but it was very uncomfortable, sort of a combination of gout and gas. Here's what happened. As the Storn group turned onto Tingen Road from the north, two lady riders (in matching ensembles, no less) turned onto Tingen Road from the south in front of our group. At last, one thinks to himself, we'll get to see the Thorns in action - those poor riders are going to get well and properly shredded and the Stems will get to watch. So what happens?
The ladies chug merrily along - the Thorns pedal complacently behind them. I was stunned. We finally passed them about 2 miles later - almost at the US-1 overpass. I pulled up to James, asked what's up... got a shrug. I pull up to Green Flash, and learn that he's fighting off a mechanical issue, his bike wasn't shifting properly. From there, though, things picked up and we got up to the more appropriate 26-27mph down the Salt Flats. We grind through the four hills and arrive, still together, at Friendship. Your correspondent had a brief brain fart at this point, and thought we were going to turn left, but was quickly put straight by everyone who actually read the cue sheets I handed out (doh!!!). We turned right, and were back on course.
The Storns continued on, hitting Old US-1, Humie Olive, New Hill-Olive Chapel, and Tody Goodwin in turn and running at a great pace. Finally, on Tody Goodwin, the Thorns got a small degree of separation. As they broke out, the remaining riders encountered the huge CSH "A" Group turning onto to TG from a side road. The Storns got mixed in with the CSH group, and some of us got to witness a 4 bike pile-up as someone in the CSH group wrecked three others at they tried to turn onto TG Road. Don't think anyone got hurt, but at least one rider was royally (and loudly) pissed off. The Storns turned onto Beaver Creek without further incident and pulled into the rest stop right after the Thorns arrived.
After some brief hydration and conversation, the entire Storns group took off again. The Thorns forged ahead, but never got out of sight or very far in front; everyone regrouped at each intersection or turn. We rolled down Holland's Chapel, Lewter Shop, Farrell West, Mt Pisgah, and New Hope Church Road without incident, and very fast.
As we turned onto the Tobacco Trail, a couple of riders headed straight, and back to Cary. The rest of us, restraining ourselves, rolled up the railroad track to O'Kelly and from there to Yates Store Road and Carpenter Fire Station Road. We crossed NC-55 and decided to forego the sightseeing tour of Preston subdivisions, opting instead to go down the Graveyard route to High House Road. And there, after leading us all on a merry chase, the Thorns finally broke out and got a little separation from the pack. They rolled into Brueggers about a minute ahead of the Storns. We ended up doing 48 miles at an 18.4mph average. It was a great ride!
Sundays ride has not write-up but Mother Theresa did capture some names of the folks in attendance.
Here they are;
Jim – Domestic
Rob – Top Rookie
Brian (Kevin calls him Dwight)