Saturday Oct 16.
Those in attendance included
Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Ron Clanton – Just Ron
Tracy Clanton – Rose Pedal
Deb Hollis – Two Saddles (Just back from her Triathlon )
Steve Cope – Capn Carbon – on his fixie
Shawn Richardson – The Green Flash
Rob Robertson – Top Rookie
Mary Ann Feagan
Marianne Mahn - #1 in the Bush
Paul Franklin – First time riding with the group
Kim Barker – First time riding with the group.
Kiki – Now with a nickname – read to find out her new name.
The Smits arrived with just enough time to pull the bikes out of the van and for GOG to run around collecting names of the participants. He briefly welcomed the new first timers, said a few quick hello’s before the Roses took off ahead of the Thorns and Stems. The Roses are far more anal about the start time than the Thorns. The Thorns were all still chit chatting as the Roses rolled away.
GOG had planed to try and keep the Thorns and stems together as much as possible during the days ride. He was not going to divulge any of the planned route. The Thorns have been riding the various routes long enough that even with a slight hint of were the group might be going they can mostly deduce the rest of the way, especially if told how many miles the day’s route is expected to cover.
The Thorns pulled out of the parking lot with GOG in the lead. The group remained well under control as he directed to riders through the standard exit route from Cary. During this time GOG did share a little more information about how the group rides with the First Timers. They were ready for what ever the group might do and showed little concern for the fact that the route can be altered based upon situations that may occur during the ride.
GOG continued to remain in control as he commanded the pack towards Jenks Carpenter and its long hill up to Holt. The attack on the hill unfolded with GOG finding himself able to capitalize on the momentum from the previous down hill run. This put him in an unusual spot near the front of the attacking group. This surprised even Capn Carbon who shared these kind words with GOG as Capn scampered past him “nice job old man”.
What GOG did not know is that the majority of the pack was held up due to a near accident. Apparently one of the cyclists clipped the lip of the road where it transitions between blacktop and the cement curb area. Their front tire was violently sent into a wobble that was miraculously controlled by the rider with assistance from Top Rookie who was there for the rider to bump into, which actually kept the rider from falling over. A great job of bike handling by those two.
While all riders were finishing their climb Capn Carbon demanded to know were the ride goes from that point. “I have a time constraint and need to be back by 11:30”, “I need to know where the route goes so I can turn back early if needed” he demanded.
GOG knew at that moment he was no longer in control of the Thorns. The information he was about to share would launch the Thorns into speeds that would shatter his hopes of keeping the Thorns and Stems together, and the plans that GOG had for the group were just about to be thrown out the window.
“We head into Apex, DO NOT Do Tingen.”, “Instead turn right at Hunter, stay on it all the way to the Church”. This was all GOG wanted to share in the hopes that the Thorns would reassemble with the Stems at that point in the ride.
“OK but then were do we go” demanded Capn Carbon.
“To Toddy Goodwin, and then Wilsonville” GOG said in a low defeated tone.
He did not want to share any more information about the ride from that point. His intent of only sharing that much was to force the Thorns to then wait there at Wilsonville to allow the Stems to regroup with them. From there GOG was planning to take the group down 64 to the Parker Creek Camp group where he and Mother Theresa had set up camp. They would then invite anyone who wanted to comeback after the ride to go boating and sit around the camp fire. GOG also expected to then direct the pack onto Big Woods and then the route home.
Well none of that happened.
Before the Thorns entered Apex the split occurred. Mother Theresa was having a bad biking day and GOG was not going to leave her to ride by herself. He was joined by Todd McBride and #1 in the Bush to form the stems and keep an eye on Mother Theresa.
The stems did not even ride together much. Each rider found their own pace as they responded to the various hills and stop lights, with Mother Theresa finding all the red lights along the way. At no point did the stems loose site of each other and did regroup at the church at the end of Olive Chapel road. The Thorns were no where in sight. After a short rest they then set out towards Tody Goodwin and as they did so they again each fell into their own pace, riding solo but within site of each other. The Stems paused at the end of Tody Goodwin before making the turn towards Wilsonville. The run towards Wilsonville did see a temporary draft line by the Stems with Mother Theresa slowly falling off the pace.
NO ONE, not a single biker was at Wilsonville when the Stems arrived.
No point in dragging this ride on any further, GOG thought to himself. He adjusted the route to head back towards Cary. He continued to ponder his options. Should he direct them down Horton Pond? No, it is two rough and hilly, and then there is the challenge of Green level and its traffic and ugly hill. Should he do Martha’s Chapel? No, there is no point in adding any extra miles.
OK then we will do the boring relatively flat Holland Chapel, then Luter Shop and on in.
But how best to finish the ride from the edge of Cary. Do we do Nicole’s Roller Coasters, or Sears Farm? How about something we have not done in a long time? Lets do UPCHCUK but from the opposite direction. That is actually a fun fast down hill and not a very tough climb back up to Carpenter Fire Station. That is it. We will do UPCHUCK in reverse. GOG now had a plan that made him feel like he was offering something special for the riders.
The group of Stems completed their ride in the same fashion. Each rider riding solo but well in sight of each other.
The Stems completed 41 miles at a 16.4 avearge
The Thorns ended up also with around 40 miles at a 18+ average.
Items to note regarding the Thorns ride. Prior to arriving at Wilsonville the Green Flash blew a spoke on his rear wheel. They took just enough time to find the suspect spoke. It had disintegrated and was no longer physically attached to the hub or rim. Only a gap in the spoke pattern remained. They tweaked the spokes that surrounded the gap in an effort to true the wheel enough for the Green Flash to continue his ride.
At Wilsonville Kim Barker asked the Green Flash “What spoke is missing?”
“The one that is no longer there” was his snide remark.
“I can see you are a Smart Ass” she snipped back.
An excellent exchange of BANTER. Well done you two.
It is all about the Banter not the Bike.
While sitting around after the ride Top Rookie told GOG he had a great nickname for Kiki. She was sitting there and insisted he tell everyone. “No, No, No”. “I will let GOG know of my suggestion later and he has the final VOTE on the name”. Rob said with great joy. “Kiki will just have to wait for the next ride write-up to learn what her nickname is”. GOG said with a big teasing grin on his face.
Top Rookie giggled with delight.
Later that weekend.
“So here is my suggestion for Kiki’s Nickname” Rob said softly and with great excitement.
A short pause as Rob looked in all directions to make sure he was not overheard.
“TWIKLE TOES” he shouted.
Another short pause.
“Perfect”. GOG announced. “It is because of her peddling technique”. GOG said to confirm how Top Rookie came up with the nickname.
“Yea, she peddles with her toes down and her heals up”. “You ride behind her and you can see the entire bottom of her shoes”. “TWINKLE TOES”. Rob Shouted again.
A high five was exchange between the two in honor of Kiki’s New Nickname.
Sunday Oct 17th.
A small gathering of Thorns and Roses.
Today maybe the pack will hang together.
Those in attendance included:
Rob Robertson – Top Rookie
Karen Robertson – Rose Bud, Billy Goat Gruff, Unstable, ……
Kevin Smit – GOG – on his fixie
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Marianne Mahn - #1 in the Bush
Shawn Richardson – Killer Bee on his black and gold Fixie.
“OK James and Shawn not sure what you are looking for but you are the only Thorns here today. I was planning a casual 25 - 30 mile ride with everyone hanging together. If you are interested in jumping in with CSH let me know and I can plan the route to accommodate that. Otherwise I am planning a different route.” GOG was heard as he tried to warn and accommodate the Thorns at the same time.
“Not looking to go hard, not needing to jump in with CSH” James explained to GOG, as Shawn just nodded in agreement.
GOG knew his route would be followed as he had planned for, and that all riders would stay together providing for a nice relaxed ride of about 30 miles.
The riders were slow to warm up and slow to start the Chit Chat. Before the pack had left the round-about in Preston the pace was gaining speed as was the chit chat.
GOG directed the pack towards Highway 55 on High House and into the Summerset neighborhood. This path put the bikers onto the green way system that goes thru a tunnel under Highway 55. In that tunnel plan to hear Primordial Screams from several of the Bikers, GOG being one of those who loves to send out a high pitched scream that echoes off the walls of the tunnel.
Out of the tunnel and onto a couple of miles of the scenic greenway system. The Thorns and Roses demonstrated great respect for all those sharing the path. The rode well under control, announcing all runners, walkers, bikers, and providing plenty of room for safe passage.
At the end of the Green Way the riders found themselves on Edgemore avenue that would then lead them to Sears Farm Road followed by Green Hope High School Road, and the way out of Cary towards all points west. It was hear that GOG expected the Two Thorns to attack each other (Top Rookie is also a Thorn, but is expected to show constraint since his wife is riding with him). They did not but did slowly pull others at ever increasing speeds. The pack made it to the next turn at Green Level only to turn just in front of a pack of bicyclist who had left from the Bicycle Chain location in Cary. GOG was in the lead position and watched in his mirror as the double pace line of the Bicycle Chain group swallowed up and then spit out all the Thorns and Roses who had just made the turn onto Green Level.
As the last rider of the Bicycle Chain cleared the front of the Thorns and Roses GOG was surprised to see that none of the Thorns jumped to take advantage of this double pace line.
It did not take long for Top Rookie, Killer Bee, and James to slide past GOG. They said nothing. They then slowed and looked around as if to ask. “Can we GO can we Please”
“Lets regroup just after the county line Sprint” GOG shouted out to them, giving them permission to mix it up a bit. Instantly all three Thorns were working together to close the gap on the Bicycle Chain riders.
“I hesitated too long, can’t catch them now” Todd told GOG.
“You can catch the Thorns, They will then pull you into the pace line” explained GOG as they both watched the Thorns in pursuit of the pace line. In no time at all the three Thorns were safely tucked into the end of the double pace line.
GOG and the others found the Three Thorns gliding along beyond the county line. “Thanks for waiting up guys we will regroup just at the next road”.
A short break and the pack was directed to make a right off of Luter Shop towards Mount Pisgah. Jae was the first to attack the hills of Mount Pisgah. She was followed closely by #1 in the Bush. GOG and Killer Bee both had to let loose on the down hills as their Fixie’s demanded high rpms at the peddles, only to then demand the two stand up and pump hard on the up hills.
At the end of Mount Pisgah both Killer Bee and James were looking for more miles than what was planned. They elected to head towards Lake Jordan as the other turned towards RTP and Cary. Everyone said their goodbyes and wished them a safe fun ride.
“Next turn at the Tobacco Trail”, “Karen’s Crash Alley” GOG announced. “I have crashed on that path too” Jae informed the group.
All slowed and navigated thru the narrow gates that keep cars off but allow for bikes and walkers onto the Tobacco Trail (Crash Alley). Again all riders were respectful of the multi use path. Today’s ride on Crash Alley had all riders completing that section without any bumping or crashing.
At old Kelley they were directed to turn right and head towards Cary, however GOG was planning on turning all towards RTP once they had made it to the first left turn off of Old Kelley.
The riders enjoyed doing this section of a regular route in reverse. The scenery and Hills are so different when riding in opposite directions.
After the run across highway 55 the pack reassembled at Lewis Stevens. “This would be another great spot for a time trial” Jae was heard explaining. “Yep, I had already mapped it out on Google Earth, Just not sure were to start.” “If we start here and do an out and back we do not have to worry about stop lights” GOG went on to clarify his idea.
“Jae can you set your computer and measure the distance one way to the end of this section for us, then we will know how long an out and back time trial would be”. GOG went on to ask.
“Jae you want more time trials?”, “I did not know you were a competitive person” GOG said in amazement. “Just with myself” she said with a smile and with total conviction.
Everyone rode that section of Lewis Stevens. It is wide, smooth, had several long gradual inclines. Perfect for an out and back time trial location. Look for it in the future. Another Sunday Time Trial opportunity.
At the end of Lewis Stevens everyone agreed the road would make a great time trial spot. Jae then took the lead as she suggested everyone stay on Davis to the second stop light and then turn right back towards Cary. Most everyone already knew were they were and how to get back home from there.
On the way back the group encountered another cyclist on the road. It was Peng Mok who has ridden with the group a couple of time before. He was just starting his day’s ride. He rode with the pack for about a mile or two before turning towards points west as the pack was turning east towards the Preston neighborhood and the last 2 or 3 miles of their ride.
The Sunday ride covered a relaxed and entertaining 25 ish miles.
James and Shawn planed for a total of 50 miles when they left the pack on Mount Pisgah.