Surprise visit by Down Hill Racer.
Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Jeff Roussel – Down Hill Racer – stopped in to say hello – he was visiting family in the area having just moved to Virginia this last summer. It was great to spend what little time we had to catch up.
Rob Robertson – Top Rookie
Andy Hartsfield – Just back from his bike ride in the Czech Republic
Barb Hartsfield – also just back form the bike ride in the Czech Republic
Gary Millichep (spelling is questionable)– 2nd time riding with the group – Gary is training for the Beach to Battleship Triathlon.
Jim Cobb – 2nd time riding with the group
Elise Cobb – 1st time riding with the group.
Max Ivanovich – 1st time riding with the group – he is tapering for a Triathlon in a couple of weeks.
Marianne Mahn - #1 in the Bush
Joe Pittman – Immortal Man
Lee Duncan – Sonic Boom
Shawn Richardson – Dessert Flower
Todd Pechner – Slow Todd - Joining the group as they headed out of Preston.
The day was shaping up to be a great day to ride. The group was eager to see were GOG was planning to take them. He started off suggesting the ride would be between 40 – 45 miles. He also went on to give hints as to what roads they would likely be traveling.
The group all rolled out of the parking lot and worked to remain in a tight pack early. However they were missing Mother Theresa and the Harfields who were there to watch out for Theresa who was realizing she still had the covers on her cleats.
The trailing troupe was quick to catch up as GOG was effective in slowing the pack down in an effort to keep all riders together for as long as possible on this days ride.
All made the light at Davis drive. GOG and Top Rookie were pleased that Mother Theresa was also able to successfully time the green light. Mother Theresa is working on obtaining a second nick name. Several that are appropriate include: “Last Off the Line”, or “Slow to Start”, or “I Was Not Ready”.
As the pack rolled thru the round-a-bout in Preston they were met by Slow Todd who was able to hang out there waiting to the Thorns&Roses to swing thru his neighborhood. Slow Todd had limited time to ride due to family commitments. He was using the ride to help him recover from his recent Triathlon event were he placed high in his age division. Only GOG would be in a higher age division but that has no impact on the fact that Slow Todd was proud of the job he did and rightfully so.
The group was directed to make a left onto Lewis Stevens followed by another left onto Carpenter Upchurch. The group all make the swing towards High House and the next quick turn out of Cary. All anticipated the hill and the expected attacks as the riders made their way to the stop sign at Holt. The group did not have to wait long at all the group to assemble at the top of the hill. From the advantage of those still climbing the hill it appeared that Dessert Flower and Sonic Boom battled it out for the King of the Hill with Dessert Flower taking the win.
The pack was then directed to turn left onto Holt towards Apex. A pace line was formed as this section of road is narrow and heavily trafficked. At the next stop sign GOG was checking out his gear shifting that had been demonstrating issues, as a car pulled out around the pack and made a left turn. “What You Can’t Wait” GOG shouted at the driver. At the same time GOG noticed the driver was pointing to the front of the pace line as if to say “I am sorry they told me to”.. At the same time Desert Flower was trying to inform GOG. “ I told her to go, it was clear” he said in a feeble attempt to calm down GOG who is known for his quick response to inconsiderate drivers.
“Rats I did not notice you had asked them to swing on by, Sorry.” GOG said realizing he is always ready to confront an inconsiderate driver.
The pack rolled thru a left turn onto Old Jenks once all traffic was clear.
“You need to command your rights” Sonic Boom said in support of GOG’s earlier tirade.
The Thorns N Roses were now all making the right turn onto Old Salem as they headed into the bowels of APEX and the sections of road used as staging for the “TINGEN SALT FLATS”. That is a section of road heading out of Apex that allows all riders and drivers to set land speed records. Today was no exception for both Bicycle Riders and the Porsche Club. Just as the Thorns N Roses assembled into a perfect single file draft line they were startled by the Porsche club who launched themselves and there mighty sports cars into high gear as they zoomed past the riders on the left. There was no “ON YOUR LEFT’ as each cars gear box silently tapped the next gear.
This ignited the Thorns to take pursuit. The pace line was relegated to the fate of a slinky as the Thorns pulled at the lead and the Stems responded as best they could to contract and catch up from the rear.
“Make the first Left Turn, Do NOT go all the way to the end of Tingen” Shouted GOG from somewhere in the middle of the pace line.
Those in the front demonstrated a keen sense of hearing as they swept sharply into a left hand turn. “Hold Up and we will re-group” GOG Gasped again from somewhere in the pace line.
Tic Toc Tic Toc.
There is Elise and Marianne
Tic Toc Tic Toc Tic Toc Tic Tic tic tic tic tic tic
There comes theresa.
All are back together again.
GOG rolled toward the lead riders to once again provide the vital information on the next set of turns. “GOG, YOU better come back here and see your Wife” a voice from within the back of the pack warned. Immediately GOG turned and slowly glided towards the back of the stopped pelaton.
“What are the next set of turns, Where are we Going, I need to know” Demanded Mother Theresa.
“Stay straight on this road until it ends, then take a right and stay on it till it ends, That will put you at Friendship. Then make the left and stay on it till it ends. That will put you onto New Hill Holliman. Then make the right at Sharon Harris, and follow it all the way to the end at Old US 1, then take a left on Old US 1 to Bonsil, where we will turn right onto Beaver Creek Road. Take that all the way to Wilsonville and the stop at the gas station” GOG responded.
“How do we Get to Friendship?” Mother Theresa barked in frustration.
“Stay on this to the end, then make a right. Stay on that until it ends, that is were you will find Friendship” GOG went on to reiterate.
All eyes and ears were focused on that exchange.
“Divorce in two weeks” was an announcement from within the pack.
“I get the boat, I get 4 of the 12 bikes, We will sell the rest and split the proceeds” came from within the Thorns N Roses.
“We need to let GOG keep the RV, That will be his new address, once Mother Theresa is done with him in court” were the only kind words shared from within the Thorns and Roses.
GOG rolled passed the taunting crowd to suggest it was time to move on.
At the end of Old Holly Springs Apex Road the group paused to allow all who were still struggling with the hills to catch up. “I have to turn around here, Got family obligations” Slow Todd said as he made a U turn back towards Cary.
Dessert Flower was observed practicing his Track Stand while waiting for others to regroup. ‘You need to teach me that ” begged GOG. “Just Turn your front Wheel” Dessert Flower spouted.
Somehow that is not enough information for GOG to work with.
The group hesitated only long enough to see if GOG and Mother Theresa would have an additional exchange. None took place so the pack quickly launched themselves onto Holly Springs New Hill Road. Little did the group know that waiting for them were Pot Holes the size of Manhattan and cars passing on the left blocking the only safe passage around those pot holes.
On top of all that the pace was now well beyond that seen on the “Tingen Salt Flats”. There was no time to shout or point out the obstacles. Each rider had to be fully focused on the speed, traffic, and multiple road hazards to ensure their own survival. Amazingly all made it to the next regrouping spot at the turn onto Friendship. It was here that GOG made the decision to cut the Thorns loose. He provided ample description of the planed route. Acknowledgement was given back to him that the Thorns would have no issues following the expected route. “I will sweep and bring along the others” GOG announced. ‘Taking one for the team” Jim Cobb responded in appreciation for the sacrifice GOG was making for all.
Those electing to ride with the stems included:
#1 in the Bush
All others were already drooling with the thought of being turned loose to attack each other without having to stop and wait on anyone else.
The rest of the ride for the Stems was smooth with no real road hazards or drivers to content with. Andy and Barb were questioned non stop by GOG regarding their fantastic bike tour of the Czech Republic. They did a fair amount of off road/dirt trails which explained the use of mountain bikes by the tour company that organized the ride.
Marianne “#1 in the Bush” pulled the Stems along a large portion of Beaver Creek with GOG taking over the rains for the last couple of miles.
Both Andy and Barb rode very strong demonstrating the value of a week long bike tour.
Todd McBride was always in GOG’s mirror as if to let him know “You can not drop me”
A very strong performance by all riders that day completing 50 miles at averages of 17 and 18.6 for the two groups.
SUNDAY Oct 10th
Casual ride with surprise TIME TRIAL.
Yes a TIME TRIAL. The first ever unofficial self timed non-sponsored TIME TRIAL with the Thorns N Roses. GOG has been struggling with the idea of having a series of Time Trials through out the year for the group to enjoy. He has explored several routes to hold the Time Trials on. Each route would present different distances and terrain. The major issue holding GOG back from launching this concept is LIABILITY. He can not afford the cost of insurance, police, medical staff, and course marshals to help ensure everyone’s safety. To bad great ideas come with risk to the individual who wants to present them. It would not be fair to GOG’s family if they were sued because of thier Great Idea.
Any Lawyers out there want to chime in on how to protect the person or persons who would suggest this to the group.
GOG is even concerned about the fact that others may view him as the ride organizer/leader. The truth is that GOG and Capn Carbon got together several years ago to re-ignite their biking passion. Others caught wind of their rides and asked to join in. those people then told others. Then Steve Sparano “Sporadic Steve” created a Blogg and gave GOG author privileges and suggested they write about the weekend rides. Then the group decided it needed a name. First name was “Testosterone and Roses” This was fitting at the time since none of the ladies wanted to ride hard and attack each other. They were more interested in a social ride that also challenged them physically, more a Smell the Roses type attitude. Then several strong Triathlete training women came out and challenged the “Testosterone” group. This forced a name change to a more fitting :Thorns N Roses” that exists today. This ride group is not formally managed by any one person. There is no fee to ride. It is a gathering of like minded bicyclists. When GOG and Capn Carbon are not in attendance the ride group continues to ride and natural leaders within the pack guide the day’s activities.
SO in a court of LAW can there be an individual found to be responsible for what happens on any given day. What is the line that can not be crossed to keep this group fun and interesting and challenging and safe, without fear of someone being sued?
Well GOG took that risk on this Sunday’s Ride.
Those in attendance included:
Kevin Smit - GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Tim Divinney – The Love Train – Riding his wifes bike – his is broken and being worked on by the Cycle Surgeon.
Marianne Mahn - #1 in the Bush
Jeff Giordano – Claim Jumper
Jae Brainard – arrived on bike
Shawn Richardson – Killer Bee – arrived on his black and gold fixie. The ladies said he needed a new name for the all Black clothing he was wearing. They want to call him “Tarantula” He does have long legs and arms and did look very menacing.
“OK everyone this will be a slow relaxed ride under 30 miles, There will be at least a 2 mile stretch where you will have the opportunity to go as fast as you want”, GOG announced to the group. No more was shared until Tarantula pushed the issue. He always wants to know as much as possible of what the route, distance, and terrain might have in store. GOG did confide in him that he has planed an unofficial Time Trial effort for anyone wanting to give it a try.
The pack rolled out of the parking lot and onto High House.
The pace was well maintained. GOG can only attribute that to Tarantula waiting to see when and where the Time Trial Section would take place. Tarantula was happy to ride in the middle of the pack riding smoothly and quietly in anticipation of when he could be unleashed. The other riders spent their time chit chatting and trusting that GOG would hold true to his word that the day would be casual and short, and if they wanted to they could go fast for a short stretch. “Must be some fun down hill” they were thinking to themselves, and only if I want to do it”, they went on to tell themselves.
The route to the start of the Time Trial was as direct and flat as GOG could engineer. It included the bike path through the Sears Farm Neighborhood, out onto Green Hope High School Road, and eventually onto Luter Shop. There was only a short 30 yard sprint to the county line forced by Tarantula who was riding next to GOG at the time. Tarantula could not help himself even knowing GOG would never be a match for him
The Love Train glided up to GOG and said “I was not even paying attention, when I realized he was sprinting for the line it was too late” GOG only smiled knowing that the Love Train like all the other Thorns just can not help themselves. Like the movie “UP” when the dog sees a Squirrel it completely distracts him and he must respond “SQUIRREL!”. The Thorns are like that dog. When an attack occurs or a county line approaches, they must “ATTACK”.
The group rolled on in the cool dry October day, gliding up and over the small undulations in the road. “Hold Up Here Everyone” GOG shouted from the middle of the pack. “Here?, Why Here, Who are we waiting on” Growled the Tarantula.
“OK, Sweep the rocks out of the intersection, Notice this turn, Make sure you look left long before arriving at this sport, You will be making a right turn here, Please be careful and look for cars and other bikers, This is not a closed course, You will be coming from that direction as you do your 2 + mile TIME TRIAL effort”. There it was. GOG had just exited some, confused others, and challenged all to an individually timed 2 mile effort on their bike.
“Follow me to the next turn, make note of any obstacles in the road” GOG went on in his effort to ensure all understood the risks they may be electing to encounter for themselves.
The pack rode on with a total focus of everything GOG had suggested they focus on.
At the next stop sign GOG announced the start and stop location for the 2.2 mile loop they would be doing if they chose to time themselves in the first ever Thorns N Roses, non-sponsored unofficial, non-sanctioned, open course Time Trial.
Follow this link to see the course.
“OK, no one needs to do this, You are on your own, You are responsible for your own safety, you will time yourself” GOG again said in an effort to cover his ass.
“ will go in reverse order with the least experienced to the most capable” GOG was trying to be politically correct.
“I will take the challenge to call off the order, It may not be politically correct but here goes”.
“Kaleo you have only ridden a few times, you will go first”
“Jae is next”
“Followed by Theresa”
“#1 in the bush next”
“KIKI is next”
“ I will follow Todd”
“Love Train you are after me”
“Then Claim Jumper”
“Chris and Shawn you two can battle for who goes last”.
“Anyone who wants to share your time I will log it, or you can send me an email so I can share, if you do not want to share your time or you do not want to do the Time Trial that is perfectly fine” GOG again made sure no one was being forced into something they did not want to do.
“Sure don’t do this, There will be no mention of it in the BLOG, and you will not be the subject of any Banter” Claim Jumper and The Love Train were both taunting the pack.
One at a time each rider jumped off the line. Each waiting there turn by allowing the rider ahead to make it around the curve and out of sight before they then jumped on the peddles.
Those with the greatest skill off the line included:
Mother Theresa – who was clipped in – held in place by GOG – and upon the first rotation of the crank set realized she was in a very big gear and almost lost her balance. This was followed by her famous high pitched scream.
#1 in the Bush had a similar start but with out the scream.
KIKI observed the previous starts and elected to NOT have anyone hold her in place. She started with one foot off the peddles. The excitement of trying to accelerate quickly created a situation that had her free foot slip past the peddle. She then had to slow, look, and clip in before truly leaving the start line. She giggled at the effort.
Here are the riders in order of start and their times.
Kaleo - 7 +
Jae – 7 min
Mother Theresa – 8 min
#1 in the bush – 7:24
KIKI – 6:30
Todd – 7:15
GOG – 6:14
Love Train – 6:25
Claim Jumper – 6:1399999999999
Chris – 6:15
Tarantula – 5:50
All riders commented on how bad they felt for the first ½ to ¾ of a mile. How the legs ballooned up and it took that first mile to get into the proper cadence.
“We need to do this at least once a Month” KIKI squealed in delight.
Note #1 in the Bush had to visit the bushes again on this ride.
Once the time trial was complete the pack all rode together towards the start finish completing 28 total miles.
Please follow this link to the draft of the Thorns N Roses Jersey.
Thorns N Roses Draft Jersey layout
Be aware it is a 15mb pdf file. There will be some minor tweeks and we are still working on the proper color scheme. Cost is still unknown at this time.
Plan on letting us know if you want one and what size.