Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dog days of Winter

Thorns and Roses - -Abbreviated Holiday Version

Homeroom Attendance 
Mother Theresa
Love Train 
2 Saddles 
Sonic Boom 
Jim Cobb – The Rabbit – another regular member of the leadership group for the Thorns N Roses. 
Elise Cobb – Popsicle, The Beast 
+Approximately 3 of our finest cycling friends and guests. 

Approximately 12 cyclists Occupied the Brueggers Bagels parking lot ready to take flight.  One rider did not take on the typical genome structure of a Thorns and Roses participant.  This guest was in fact a dog.  I am not talking about the common expression used for some of our younger members of the Thorns and Roses, this was a bona-fide pooch by the name of Zinfindel ..I think. 

Gog and Mother Theresa were taking the beloved doggy out for a spin in the dog trailer, which was fitted to a Classic (read heavy) bike.  The crew stood around staring at this impressive rig and were eager to see the biscuit biter in action.  

Group 2 included the usual suspects wanting of 4 millimoles of lactic acid or more.  Jim Cobb commanded core leadership of this group with Steve, Dean and Sonic Boom making playful escapes.  The route was intended to be Green Level West, Luther, 751, Hume Olive, Richardson, Olive Chapel, Kelly, Old US 1, Beaver Creek to home.  However given the Holiday activities of some of the members that day, plus the eager nature of some of the riders to aerobicise...this group re-colonized into 2 different objective classes at the 751 bypass.  Group 2A took off in escape formation, led by the strong, young and vibrant Green Pants Steve, his trusty pal Dean, and Sonic Boom.  Group 2B rechartered a new course through the Lapland of Jordan Lake proper to allow for early afternoon holiday merriment.   

All riders had a great day of cycling fun, with the longest route at 46 miles, the shortest at about 20+/- with Group 2B logging something in between.   

Happy Holidays to All! 

Merry Christmas from Zin, one of the Thorns N Roses newest riders.  She traveled 23 miles miles at a comfortable 12 -13 mph average.  She hopes to join more rides with the Roses in the New Year.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bike Cornucopia

write up provided by Lee Duncan aka Sonic Boom.  In a previous life Lee, as a soldier during WW I discovered Rin Tin Tin - the first Dog of silent movies.  ( Google it you will find this to be true)

From wikpedia
The first of the line (c. September 10, 1918 – August 10, 1932) was one of a litter of shell-shocked pups found by American serviceman Lee Duncan in a bombed-out dog kennel in Lorraine, France, less than two months before the end of World War I. When Duncan found him on September 15, he was still blind and nursing.[1]
The two pups from the litter that Duncan kept were named for woollen dolls called Rintintin and Nénette that French children gave to the American soldiers as good luck charms. Duncan returned to the USA with them at war's end. Rin Tin Tin settled at his home in Los Angeles, California, though Nénette had earlier died.[2] Rin Tin Tin was a dark sable color and had very dark eyes.
Nicknamed Rinty by his owner, the dog learned tricks and could leap great heights. He was filmed making a 11-foot leap at a dog show by Duncan's acquaintance Charles Jones, who had just developed a slow-motion camera. Seeing his dog being filmed, Duncan became convinced Rin Tin Tin could become the next Strongheart. He later wrote, "I was so excited over the motion-picture idea that I found myself thinking of it night and day."[3]

The Thorns N Roses want to give Thanks to Lee Duncan for his continued service in finding and promoting screen plays to this blog and to have also discovered one of Americas best big screen artists know to all as Rin Tin Tin.

Now for Lee's newest screen play
Bike Cornucopia

David Bridenbaugh – Mr. Bridenbaugh
Steve Cope - Captn Carbon
Lee Duncan - Sonic Boom
Jim Cobb – The Rabbit – another regular member of the leadership group for the Thorns N Roses.
Elise Cobb – Popsicle, The Beast

It was a nice Saturday morning for giving thanks; a special holiday honoring the early cycling settlers and a time to enjoy a special harvest feast of visceral lipids.

There were a few less than a cycling dozen ready to hit the proverbial cycling trail.  But first we attacked the challenge of the day, which was, where in the heck are we going?

The Wampanoag cycling tribe huddled together to come to some decision and it was decided that the crew would head out of Preston, then sail the "Velo Mayflower" through Cary West, 751, Hume Olive, Old US 1, Beaver Creek and then Holland Chapel to home.

Upon making this decision and uniformly committed to be free of couch potato persecution, the Brueggers Plymough colony headed off.  The separatists were in good spirits and commenced merriment.  Upon entering the New World of Cary West, it became increasing clear that they had not properly planned/prepared for the early onset of winter.  This was further demonstrated by the high degree of cooperation to keep warm against the assailing winds.  Not even the silver buckled Captn Cope sprinted for county lines during this phase.

At mile marker 17, the cycling settlers moved due East, seeking the unNorthern Passage through Hume Olive.  This is where the wheels came off the ship.  Mr Bridenbaugh fueled from a morning feeding of Frosted Flakes (I wish I were kidding) hit the escape hatch and headed for the Old US 1 finish line.  Others tried to follow and where met by resistance, specifically exponential levels of wind resistance at the committed rate of speed.  Another explorer known as Jim "Martin Frobisher" Cobb led another equally important conquest across the Hume Olive divide.  The cycling friends who joined him were in thanks at the US 1 Stop Sign for surviving the long arduous journey.  

After spending some time among the indigenous people of Apex it was time for the gang to head back for Black Saturday and Sunday religious affairs.  Leading the Turkey Trot home was Jim "Martin Frobisher" Cobb, accompanied by the resilient and determined Popsicle Beast dba Elise Cobb.

On this final journey home to Plymouth Plantation, the Father / Son team of Nick and Travis served up a huge serving of Stuffing and were gracious to let the group come back for Seconds.

Nearly home and everyone sickened from the elements, Captn Cope broke the Mayflower Compact and sprinted for the county line in victory.  All the colonists rejoiced in the playful match of the day.

Overall, the ride served as a Cornucopia of fun and sport, with Team Thorn finishing out the day's journey at 52 miles with a 18.5 MPH pace.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Ride Together, Right Now

David Bridenbaugh – Mr. Bridenbaugh 
Steve Cope - Captn Carbon 
Todd - B3 
Lee Duncan - Sonic Boom 

It was a bright beautiful morning and we had about 14 riders ready to go. 

Everything was going smooth came old flattop, he came grooving up slowly, he had joo-joo eyeball, he's one unholy roller, he once had hair down to his knees,--he's got to be a joker, he just do what he please--- it was Cope. 

Oh great, now we had some riff raff in the house.  Despite the distraction, the group moved forward with a plan to execute the typical flight path-- across the Carpenter Firestation, down Del Web AARP Blvd, 751, Lystra Petrol and Holland Chapel to home.  We also agreed to a Moratorium on hills. 

As we pulled out of the parking lot, Bridenbaugh said hey: "You may say that I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one.. I hope the Stems will join us ..And the world will be as one"...  What?? said Todd! 

And with these prophetic words, the group decided to ride together, and were kind and polite.  The steady pace continued through the first stage of the cycling event.  Nothing too crazy and the behavior exhibited experience and maturity--but more so a symptom of eating excessive amounts of Halloween Candy. 

As the group road out towards 751, the hills started to form, and one young rider, Shane was looking a little cold...He had toe-jam football...He had monkey finger ..He uttered "I know you, you know me" 
"One thing I can tell you is you got to be free"..and with that he pushed about 500 watts through his cycling machine and the blood splattered.  "Ouch, that hurt" everyone yelled.. 

Geez ..and who was ready to blast off next...none other than the Father / Son team of Nick and Travis.  As they started to wake from their cycling slumber.. Nick had Walrus Gumboot and Travis had tights down below his knees, and as they road past on their bikes you could feel their disease...Sonic Boom shouted, .."lets stay together, right now"...or until the light. 

After the light, Sharon and Todd were willing to keep Sonic Boom company as they finished the King of The Mountain stage and rolled into Lystra Petrol.  That was hard work, and it was now time to feast on Hostess Trans fats. 

With everyone feeling a little tired from battling the cold temperatures,  one member of the Thorns yelled out "how many miles to go?"   

Cope...suffering from early onset hypothermia..yelled back, "One and one, and one is three" "Got to be good-looking 'cause it's so hard to see".  Todd once again responded with What?? 

OK, let's all get back then.  And with that the group played nice on the return trip back..with the exception of a decisive County Line Sprint where Cope and Bridenbaugh dominated. 

Overall a great great day of riding among friends at a 16 to 17 mph ave for 40 miles. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yowie Cycling Encounter

Those in attendance on Saturday.

Those in attendance on Sunday

Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Craig X
Lee Duncan - Sonic Boom
Jae Brainard – “GO GO GO Girl”

On Sunday morning we had 7.5 riders ready to go according to census data.

As we assembled into the parking lot, a few cyclists noticed a large shadowy figure off to the back and snapped a few photos as it scampered into the woods. Was it a Sasquatch (see picture)?

As it turned out, it was GOG entering the tree lined area of Brueggers Bagels to take a natural break. Phew!!

The small group rejoiced because the only thing more rare than seeing Big Foot is a GOG and Mother Theresa sighting. We were delighted and quickly tried to capture the two and bring them into captivity.

After a short team huddle, GOG called out the play -- "we are going to take a complicated escape out of Cary with lots of turns and weirdness." Luckily our new friend Bart understood the directions and demonstrated his competence by calling out streets along the intended path. This dude knew what he was doing.

The crew hit the road, following the directions as instructed until our faithful Roses Leader "GO GO Go Girl" ejected assorted cycling items out of her jacket. The group slowed down and let her collect the belongings which turned out to be mace and I think a taser, brass knuckles and a bear trap. Mother Theresa and GOG yelled "OK were good, release the Kraken"...and with that the 4 man Thorn team was born.

Team Thorn included Craig X, Vick, Bart and Sonic Boom... and we immediately started to chase the invisible rabbit. Up and around we went until we found our way to Green Level West and out to Lewter Shop. We had some awesome pulls and most everyone was rested from the rainy Saturday the day before. Craig X and Vick were all set to do the Halloween Habitat Century, but as mentioned were shut down by the rain. It was noticeable that they were taking their frustration out on Bart and Sonic Boom as they pushed the pedals in Anger. At one point, Sonic Boom fought back trying to serve the 2 Angry men some cycling justice on Holland Chapel, but the do-gooders were too much and could not be playfully dropped. Now that the group was totally gassed out at about 15 miles into the ride, we cruised to Lystra gas station on auto pilot.

At Lystra gardens and resorts we hopped off our bikes for some delicious treats to consider our next move. Originally Craig X and others had to be back in the parking lot by 10:30AM, but some how through cell phone negotiations they were free to about 1PM or longer. With the extended curfew, it was decided that we would do Lystra, Big Woods and Wilsonville to home.

Upon our decision the 4 man group headed towards Lystra riding at a cautionary pace and in good formation. Everyone made it up Lystra in good shape until Bart had to head back for baby duty. We said good bye to our spatially gifted General, and the trio continued forward entering Jack Bennet and up Big Woods. Vick took the lead up Big Woods and pulled the group the entire way -- wow. After that we summoned Craig X to help us because we didn't have enough power for interstellar travel. Craig X took a commanding position and pulled the scrappy Thorns up and towards the Wilsonville gas station where we took one final rest break. Sensing weakness in critical thinking skills from our belabored efforts, Sonic Boom tried to trade snacks with Craig X, but Craig was too smart and knew a bad trade when he saw one.

Now limping, Team Thorn willed themselves across Fearrington pass and back one last time over Holland Chapel and to home.

The short recovery ride turned into a 52 mile 18 to 19 average speed event with everyone happy to see our cycling friends and ready for our next adventure.

The ROSES enjoyed thier 33.4 mile ride out to the lake and back.  They traveled at an average speed of 14.6 mph.  The sun and calm air made for a very enjoyable ride.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cold Play - Front Row Seats

Saturday Oct 22 nd
Yet Another great story of the adventures of the Thorns as told by Lee Duncan (Sonic Boom).

Yup, another Cold one. The Mercury logged about 42 degrees during the first few strokes of the pedal. This was a day for full frontal -- that is, keeping minimal frontal area exposed to the wind. Certainly a day that could have inspired the makers of Wind Stopper fabric.

Despite this, about 20+/- aerobic soldiers occupied the parking lot at Thorns and Roses cycling emporium. To keep cognitive frustration at bay, the decision was to maintain the familiar with the typical Cary escape: Lystra, Big Woods and Wilsonville to home. This route has something for everyone, not to mention about 2,000+ feet of total climbing.

The riders organized to their intended heart rate zone for the day and rolled out of the parking lot. Another great parade ensued out of Cary with the common discussion topic being the most substantial appendage affected by the cool weather conditions. This continued on for the first 7 miles. Right out of the Hand Book, as the light turned green at the gas station of Carpenter Firestation Hollow, the riders took flight.

More rapid than eagles the Green Flash's coursers they came, and he whistled, and shouted, and ridiculed them by name; "Now, Jim Cobb ! now, Rob Robertson ! now, Todd McBride and Love Train!

On, Don! on Dean! on, Bridenbaugh don't complain! To the top of the hill! out towards the Mall!

---Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"---

So the group pushed it hard, until their morning pastries and abdominal stiches arrested their progress. From there on out, the soldiers rode together well until the contagion known as cellular micro trauma infected about 90% of the riders at the Lystra gas station. Their next of kin then continued on to finish the ride as a memorial.

A great ride was had by all, with the surviving Thorns completing 57 miles at a 19+/- ave speed for the day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thorns and Roses Tribute Ride

Saturday Oct 15th
It was a beautiful morning with the sun peaking up over the horizon and the weather extraordinarily cooperative--people simply had to show up. With the trap bated and set, the cyclists started to arrive at the historically unconfirmed birthplace of cycling -- the Thorns and Roses clubhouse. One by one they arrived, small ones and tall ones, young and those named Paul ones--about 20 +/- riders in all. A great bonus was the arrival of a few Thorns and Roses "framers": Steve Cope and David Bridenbaugh + the Raven Rock Ramble Founder and Organizer.

The Green Flash worked to develop a community organizer project and stationed The Jets on one side of the parking lot and The Sharks on the other -- translation A and B group. The concept design of the ride would be a traditional exit through Cary, out through the previously known Del Web development, 751, Stage Coach, numerous Farrington named roads, Lystra, Jack Bennett, Big Woods, Wilsonville Gas and home. After proper disclosure and a review of the game rules, the pistol fired.

The cycling flash mob hit the streets, talking and getting CV updates on recent activities. The merriment continued through the largely ceremonial first lap of the Champs-Elysees where no one challenges and everyone raises their water bottles in celebration of the day. This mood and comradery continued until the curtain fell with the Green Light entrance of Carpenter Firestation; and with that the gate flew open and the jockeys spurred their horses into action.

The rest was a blur, however it was noted that all riders were rotating well, riding safely, and at the same time (Thorn Account) trying to make their friends suffer in the worst way.

A great time was had by all, with the final group finishing at 57 miles moving at a 20 mph +/- average speed.

Sunday, October 02, 2011


Brrrrr. It was a cold start to the ride AGAIN, what was up with this weather? Perhaps Fall got a little ahead of itself.

Considering the beautiful weather on Saturday, I was curious who would show up for the Sunday recovery mixer. It turned out to be Mr reliable, Vic and a new recruit Shane. Both were filled with optimism and ready to ride. It was decided that an out and back would be the course of the day and with that the 3 riders pulled out of the parking lot.

As we started on the road out of Preston, it was learned that Vic had completed a 100 mile Century ride the day before and was ready to add to his war chest with the Sunday ride. I told Vic he was my hero and that he encapsulated what I wanted to be when I grow up.

And Shane, our new recruit ---- revealed that he was 15 or 16 years of age. When he made this confession, I thought about what I was doing at age 15/16 and I believe it involved watching Beavis and Butthead. I was not focused and committed to anything to the degree that Shane was, and I could see that this was a young man with a bright future in whatever he decided to pursue.

The 3 riders made their way through Carpenter Firestation huddled together to fight off the bursts of chilly wind. It seemed more like early November than early October, and we all felt like dedicated cyclists for riding on such a frigid morning.

The Cyclists turned left at the CVS, bypassing Cary park to try and keep the hills at bay. However, with a quick burst of speed the riders shot up the small undulation of Green Level Church, over toward Morrisville Parkway and out to the Berry Patch. Each person took meaty rotating turns at the front, keeping the speed solid and reflexes sharp. Shane showed great cycling courage with several large pulls and Vic demonstrated that he had bottomless endurance. At the midpoint, the dynamic few-o put the ride on cruise control and chatted about cycling, weather, current events with a few select moments of banter seasoned in.

A great ride was had by all at 32 miles with an 18.5 mph pace.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thorns in the Mist

Write up provided by Lee Duncan - Sonic Boom.

This movie would definitely get 3 out of 5 stars. It was a morning of indecision.. very foggy, dark with moments of light rain. Starting at 6 AM, the decision to ride the bicycle was overturned every 10 minutes: yes/no/yes/no/no/no/yes. Just under the buzzer I decide to get out on my bike and brave the elements. Heck 30% to 40% chance of rain was not going to scare me away. As I pulled into the Thorns and Roses clubhouse it was just as expected... The 2 gentleman before me would have had profiles that detailed:

-Enjoy engaging in activities that are slightly uncomfortable

-Love challenging convention of good judgement

-Oh and biking among friends

These 2 Desperados included Deputy Steve and Deputy Dean. Both the men were defiant against the current weather conditions - read that "in denial." But as long as I had a friend to share the miles with, I was ready to roll out. All 3 men loaded up and headed on their way to adventure. As the miles and conditions wore on the men, great stories of courage were shared.

Deputy Steve, a very young man by all accounts is an Engineer - possibly something to do with fluid. Anyway, Deputy Steve had a bright idea the day of Hurricane Irene to race the storm up the coast so he could spend some time doing solo ascents up the elevated terrain (by foot). This young man woke up at 2AM, drove 12 hours, possibly in a NASA Diaper until he approached a mountain of reasonable size in the great state of New York. Upon arrival, the Park Ranger advised him that no logical person should make such an effort given that Hurricane Irene was hot on his trail. But Deputy Steve is unlike mere logical people... He scaled the mountain doing 1,000 to 2,000 feet of trail climbing, and once at the top was rewarded with a rain storm complemented with dangerous lightening. Down he went bouldering the rocks as the deluge continued..finally making his way back to the car. A stunt self proclaimed as among the craziest ever in his life.

Deputy Dean, the second crazy man told of a story where he had wrestled with a tree branch and unfortunately was out maneuvered. The result was several leg injuries etc the day before. Even more outrageous was that Dean was a professionally trained Architect. He had been recovering from days in the rack, drafting and creating designs and structures for 12 hours in succession. Realistically an endurance event far more challenging than the Hawaiian Iron Man. Everyone was impressed.

Having adequately exchanged Bios to maintain warmth, the 3 riders cruised on-- over upchuck, New Hope Church, Pisgah Church, 751, Marthas, Farrington, Old Farrington, Stage Coach, 751 and home. Although the riding was unpleasant, the opportunity to learn about the exciting lives of our friends made for a terrific morning on the bike.

The cold and wet blue man group traveled 40 miles at a 18 mph pace.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

MS 150 weekend - Thorns N Roses scattered to the wind

Several folks were supporting the MS 150 in New Bern NC.  A great weekend of fun and fantastic weather with riders accomplishing lots of miles (some more than others) at fast (some faster than others) speeds on flat roads with limited head winds.  All for a great fund raising cause.

Those staying close to home had a great week end of rides as well.

A special shout out goes to Cort Bennett on Saturdays Thorns N Roses ride.
One of those in attendance wants to regognize Cort for his solid support of the Spirit of A No Drop Ride.
The rider took the time to send an email to recognize his choice to support the spirit of the Thorns N Roses.  Here is the content of an email sent to GOG asking to recognize Cort.

"I'd like to add a "thank you" to Cort Bennett who rode with me on the Saturday Thorns N Roses ride. 
I was - by far - the slowest rider in the group and I was prepared to go it alone once the groups splintered off.  But Cort rode with me the whole way and I really appreciated that!" . 

Well done CORT.  You likely had a personal expection to get in X number of miles at XX speed. You however demonstrated the TRUE Spirit of the Thorns N Roses by Choosing to abandon your needs and took the stance to make sure No One Rides Alone.  We all want to Thank You and others who demonstate a willingness to periodically support the Spirit of a No Drop ride. 

In addition to Cort and the rider he rode with on Saturday Sonic Boom has provided the following write up.

Thorns and Roses Lite (A Thorn's Account of the Events)

The Saturday ride was low calorie for sure. About 8 riders graced the Brueggers parking lot in proper uniform. It was decided that we would ride 52 miles at a solid pace since there were only a few Thorns in attendance.

These individuals included Demian (nickname in process), Vick (nickname in process), Shaun (Green Flash), and Lee (Sonic BM). The riders took their mark after gaining executive order and rolled out of the parking lot. Everything was going swimmingly well, until Shaun spotted a dog on the side of the road and requested the others to continue on (he was powerless to continue). Apparently Shaun loves dogs so much that he needs to stop on occasion to pet and talk to them. After he caught up, the riders entered the roundabout in Preston Station and exited out in route to Cary West.

The riders took a left at CVS and cranked up the hill and turned right as they progressed up berry patch corridor. Demian with his extensive training background as a Cycling coach, pulled ahead and increased the speed of the Peloton markedly. Demian was giving helpful advice on pedal cadence etc as the group cruised along. After intermission, Shaun took the helm once again. Along the Thorns cruised on... out to the Lystra gas station and then up the big bad Lystra hill. Our new enlistment Vick did a great job of pulling himself over the land mass, and was showing terrific improvements in fitness from his last ride with us.

Once over the other side, the small group visited Jack Bennet and turned right on Big Woods. Lee decided to spend it all -- and tried to attack Big Woods, which was a very risky and tiring maneuver .. ultimately leaving him exposed when Vick attacked.

Everyone came together at the end of Big Woods and caught their breath. After a moment of reflection and star gazing, the group crossed the road and traveled up to the Wilsonville gas station. The small pack held together well and cruised into the SAG station for some extended R&R. After 13 seconds of rest, all entered the Fearrington express lane and held a nice consist pace back to home... with a few well executed attacks along the way.

The group traveled about 52 miles at a 20 mph average speed. Although the attendance was light, the intensity and fun was not.. and everyone went home for a nap.

The End

Monday, September 05, 2011

Labor day ride

A handful of thorns showed up at the standard start time only to learn that several folks had determined on Saturdays ride to leave at 8 am vs the 7:30 ish announced time.

Rather than wait for those still to arrive and assemble the band of Thorns launched themselves into their days ride.

The others continued to wail for the later start time.
Some of those looking to ride later included;
Ron Clanton – Just Ron, back in town for a short stay and ride.
Tracy Clanton – Rose Peddler also back in town for the a short visit and ride.
Rob Robertson – Top Rookie – looking to get more miles in the saddle in preparation for the MS150 ride.
Chip – Sorry Chip can not remember your last name.
Todd McBride – B3
Perry Hurt - POE
Rod Davis
Ginny Davis
Jae Brainard – GO GO GO Girl
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa – back from helping move her sister in-law to Florida
Kevin Smit – GOG – back from helping move his sister to Florida.

The group was looking to just get in a few easy miles to start the day and to beat any rain that was predicted to arrive in the early afternoon time period.

The group discussed their options for route and settled on the RTP to the gas station on 751 route via the bike trail. With the route in mind the group rolled out of the brueggers parking lot and on into the Preston Neighborhood. Jae altered the route thru Preston by directing all riders onto Morrisville parkway and then onto Lewis Stevens by passing the Big Chicken landmark.

The riders glided along on Morrisville Parkway with the only incident a chain being thrown off of Mother Theresa’s crank set. As they rode each rider was interacting with those in the group. Some were discussing upcoming cycleing events such as the MS 150 ride, while others were catching up on activities from the summer. Just Ron and GOG were discussing the joys and challenges of the RV life. Both had previous camped (RV’d) together at various locations in the state. Chip and B3 were discussing various topics of their interest. Chip took a few moments to throw a few barbs at GOG and his new Stealthy looking bike. GOG had just recently had his SCOTT frame replaced with a new one. The new frame has a very dull finish with extremely subtle detailing. This is in stark contrast to the previous frame that looked more like a neon yellow and shiny black billboard. The biggest issue with GOG’s Stealthy bike is the pilot, who is at its controls, is NOT STELTHY and still creates a large vortex as he cuts thru the air. The group truly enjoyed the banter provide by Chip. The group was still together as they waited at the light of Lewis Stevens and Morrisville Carpenter. This was the last time the group stayed together as those looking to charge ahead did not look back until the turn into the new neighborhood off of Church road and Miami area.

The pack circled in the round a-bout to ensure all riders made that critical turn. It did not take long for all to be accounted for and the pack to again make way towards Kit Creek and the Bike Trail that would serve as the portal from one area of county roads to another.

The portal offers a smooth passage way filled with many travelers. It is an ingenious device, simple in design, yet compatible with so many modes of travel. The group of cyclists was able to traverse this portal at speeds that were easily managed based on their interaction with others in the portal. The group was able to glide along in sections at 18 miles per hour. Other periods of travel were instantly converted into a reduced speed and a slight alteration in direction as they encountered walkers, or other cyclists, or joggers, or dogs on leashes. An additional technical marvel is the ability of this portal to support travelers moving in opposite directions as well as varied velocities. If more of these portals could be made available the risk of unexpected collisions might be more readily avoided. Cyclists do not enjoy being placed into environments known as high traffic areas to then be compared to atomic particles in a super collider experiment.

Upon reaching the end of the portal the cyclists were directed to make a right turn onto New Hope Church road and to continue in that direction all the way to its end at 751.

Both Ginny and Rod Davis pulled the pack along into the head wind at speeds reacing 22 to 23 mph.

Rod was recognized for his solid performance. He then shared with the group that he had just had CSH fit him to his bike. They had raised the handle bars, and change the crank arm lengths. Rod went on to explain how much of a difference it has made for him and he no long is suffering from knee pains.

The gas station at 751 serves as a great gathering spot for Bio breaks and to replenish water. The group was offered options of heading back to the finish, or adding extra miles. The vote was unanimous to head back to the finish and to pick a route that was as flat as possible.

GOG directed all out of the parking lot with Mother Theresa Leading the way. She rocketed ahead of the group and remained in her solo spot well into the rolling hills as New Hope reaches its opposite end at the top of Up-Chuck. About half way along this route GOG was riding next to Top Rookie with Ginny Davis tucked in close behind. Both GOG and Top Rookie were animated in their banter resulting in a lot of jostling on the bikes. At one point the gap between then squeezed Ginny out and she yelled at the two to settle down in her effort to not become collateral damage from their antics.

Once at the end of New Hope Church GOG slid left onto Yates Store and towards Carpenter Fire Station. The pack responded instantly knowing they would be traveling down Up-Chuck and then up its more gradual side. They all passed GOG only to have him later zoom past on the far left between an oncoming car and the pack. His momentum was provided by the interaction of his Mass and the forces of Gravity working to pull him closer to the center of the earth. Once safely down the back side of Up-Chuck the pack reassembled as they swung right onto Carpenter Fire Station. Mother Theresa was lagging behind at that point but B3 made sure she did not ride alone.

The group finished the ride rolling into Brueggers after 32 miles at an average of 16.3 mph. A great time was had by all on the ride. This continued as most of the pack then spent the next hour socializing on the lawn furniture provided by Brueggers and Carabou coffee.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Marathon Event

This write up provided by Lee Duncan - Sonic Boom (a Thorns percpective).

Saturday morning brought clouds and cooler weather upon the Thorns and Roses. As the cycling event came into session - the Roses and Thorns leaders considered the plans for the day. The Green Flash stepped up and exhorted upon the troops that we would try a "modular" cycling event (what the).. Because the earth moon and sun were in alignment -- and the conditions fair, we would try to attempt a Century ride. Upon this announcement, a harmonious gasp was echoed through crowd. Each looking to each other (and holding their young ones tightly) confirming in disbelief the words uttered from our dear leader.

Yup, a Century was planned where the Thorns and Roses would shoot for a non classical out-and-back.. making use of upchuck and the uphill side of Green Level West. Each modular unit would swing back to the Thorns and Roses club house to let tired riders off at the school bus stop. People could choose their own adventure and proceed to their vehicles upon the successive cycling eclipse. Very innovative.

The party people hoped to their bikes and pealed out to start the event. About 30 riders joined the mass - which looked like a mini CSH group as they aligned themselves onto the Highhouse freeway.

As expected, the fun hit maximal velocity during the first loop. Many new people, young and not-as-young where partying like it was 1999 + 12. All riders were dumping watts, and spilling processed oxygen. In fact, it is fair to say that the riders were about half cooked 15 miles into the proposed century (a proud moment in non economy). After we got this out of our system, the riders commenced higher levels of communication and social hazing which was a lot of fun.

Ultimately the group half life-d each successive mile post 30; until only 3 riders remained.

A great ride, no major mechanicals, no issues and a great change-up to our normal riding protocol--bravo.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fast and Fun Ride

Thorn Account - Saturday, August 20th
write up provided by Lee Duncan - Sonic Boom

Fast and Fun Ride

Main Thorn Attendance -
Mr Love Train
Mr Cobb

Great ride on Saturday with 25+/- riders in general attendance.  There was much discussion on the route, but Tangen won the top prize.  The riders left the club house utilizing the Cary Parkway off-ramp.  Right out of the gate the group was moving along vigorously, excited about getting the morning ride underway.  The main Peloton would coalesce at each traffic light -- with a number of new folks trying out the Thorns and Roses experience for the first or semi first time.  

As the TnR members entered into the badlands of Apex ,the group started to assemble into normal form.  As usual, Shaun pulled at the front with bottomless power and energy.  On many occasion, and especially during the early escape in the back woods.. the Cobbmesiter pushed the pedal to the metal.  New upstart Steve (dude in green) was bestowed the feisty new rider award, making a number of escapes and accelerations that challenged the group and added a heaping serving fun.  Not to be outdone, Don-- a fairly consistent rider with the Thorns.. spent all he had with huge efforts, recovered , and then did it again.  A great rider and one with a lot of heart.  

The famous Love Train dominated on a number of flats and destroyed on the descents; many did all they could to keep him in sight when he pulled the trigger.  A wonderful new add to the Thorns, Mr Vick can hang with the best of them and has a wonderful positive attitude that keeps the Thorns well medicated on verbal Prozac.  Dean rode with the Thorns, and not only rode strong but exhibited excessively friendly tendencies throughout.  Lee rode his new bike and was thrilled to be out in the wild.

A great ride was had by all -- with no mishaps, no flats; just good clean cycling fun.  Did I mention fast!  53 miles at 20.3ish ave speed over hilly terrain.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Saturday rain out - Sunday ride report

This write up is brought to you by Lee Duncan - Sonic Boom

Saturday was a rain day, so 15 to 20 riders joined forces in the Brueggers parking lot Sunday to enjoy some cycling fun.  At first it seemed like a sleepy group recalling their leisurely schedule enjoyed the day before -- when there was no point getting out of bed.  No Biking No reason to greet the day.

As everyone gathered, one man stepped forward to give the commencement address.

A typical out and back was the order of the day, with a few showing aspirations or loyalist sympathies for CSH.  With orders in hand, the brightly colored mass road through the common trapping route out of Cary Canyon and onto the open road.  There were essentially 3 ride leaders for the day:  a Roses leader, a Double AA+ group, and that of the infamous and rowdy Thorns.  The early hours of the ride were peaceful and somewhat cool, but everyone knew we had limited time to get back to the bike shelter before the summer furry returned.

As a participant of the Thorns, it was an invigorating experience speeding down Green Level West with the wind flowing gently between my helmet vents.  It was clear as everyone organized that the riders had grown familiar with the riding style of those around them-- and positioned themselves accordingly.  The riders were fluidly conforming in response to the terrain and obstacles with almost telepathic precision.

Up-up-up went the cyclists - slogging themselves towards the Tobacco Trail Sandhills and onto the main hideaway of White Church Promenade.  At the stop sign everyone caught their breath from the vigorous pace and ensured all those that wanted to be part of the group were shepherded back into the fold.  As the riders turned left onto Pre-berry Patch Parkway, no one sprinted for the county line; recalling the myriad of mechanical issues experienced from hitting the pot holes and road debris in previous Olympic Trial events.  By this time the sun was starting to rise higher in the sky and was now a growing threat -  and with this..there was more copious water bottle usage among the wily bunch.

At the end of Martha's Chapel, the Core Thorns Brigade headed left while a small adventurous few headed off to Lystra mountain in search of the great yellow Buddha -- and the rest is history.  The riders traveled approximately 30 +/- miles at a 18 - 20 MPH pace.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mercury rising

The cyclists lined up on Saturday morning promptly at 7:30AM as everyone wanted to get a head start and outrun the heat of the sun. There were between 20 and 25 riders braving the elements. The typical heads of state organized the group according to speed, distance and enthusiasm. The conversation was lively and newcomers were greeted and briefed on the typical procedure for the day's ride. It was decided that the flock of friends would head out to Tangen and prospect in the New Frontier. The ride leaders reminded everyone that the Tangen route was to be closed or detoured soon, so we needed to take advantage of it.

Not to lose any time, the riders clicked into their stirrups and headed on out.
This write up is brought to you by Lee Duncan - Sonic Boom.

The trail of riders commenced into the the heart of Cary and over the undulations that served as a wake-up call to the respiratory system. The group worked together through the trigger happy traffic lights and assorted traffic furniture along the way. At varied intervals the cyclists would coalesce and banter about the plan of the day and the recent group rides folks were involved with.

In typical fashion, about 10 miles out, the pace picked up with several members pulling off the front at incredible speeds. Surely many from the Thorns and Roses have been putting in some good miles as late summer approaches. The group stayed together quite well, even when the Peloton stretched out -- as if in pursuit of an escape group in the Tour De France.

About 25 miles into the ride, and with the mercury rising; the Thorns and the Stems splintered off with one group electing to go 50+ miles and the other 40 miles. As luck would have it, irregardless of route selected, both groups linked back up at the Wilsonville gas station and rode back to Thorns and Roses Headquarters as one happy family.

A great day was had by all with minimal bonking.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thorns N Roses scatter in 3 directions

July 9 – Saturday

Thorns N Roses scatter in 3 directions.

Based on positive feedback regarding last Saturdays route GOG elected to leverage it again for this day’s route. He did want to offer additional miles to those looking for a ride greater than 42 miles. This was to be easily accomplished by sending folks on additional loops of 10 and 20 miles. These loops all started from the same decision point and allowed an additional last minute change of mind when the extra 10 mile loop was to head back to the end, and the second loop was headed out for 8 - 10 more miles. This worked well providing options of 42, 52, and 60 ish miles for those in attendance.

Maps had been provided a couple days earlier via email. Maps were printed and handed out at the start.

Mother Theresa scurried all about checking folks in to make sure all could be recognized as attending the days ride. Waivers were signed by those new to the group. Several groups huddled amongst themselves sharing stories about their experience riding the Fire Cracker ride on the 4th of July.

GOG walked among the groups explaining the options for the days ride and identifying those in the group willing to take on ride leader responsibilities.

In addition GOG was working to identify individuals who would be willing to have their cell phones participate in the Thorns N Roses emergency Phone number calling tree. Todd McBride (B3) has taken the time to set up a Thorns N Roses Google phone number. This number (once fully operational) will be provided to all Thorns N Roses to call in the unlikely event they find themselves on one of the rides and in need of assistance. The phone number will be active and monitored by up to 6 group leaders during the rides. The objective is to have this in case a rider cannot resolve an issue by themselves and has no other means of getting back to the start. It can also be used if a person gets gapped, and then lost and needs guidance on how to get back, or how to regroup with the pack. The TNR emergency number should be treated as such. Stay tuned for more as Todd continues to work on the set up of this for the group. Thank You Todd for taking the initiative and time to set this up for the group.

Those in attendance for the days ride included:

Doug Augustine – Rumble Strip
Sheila Augustine – Total Recall
Cort Bennett
June Bennett
Jae Brainard – with a new nickname – “GO GO GO Girl” – on the rides when she is ready to Go she lets everyone know “GO GO GO” she cries in an effort to spur all others into getting going back on the road.
Kaleo Bullard – The Volcano
Angie Chiatello – Cold Blooded – loving the warm July Temps.
Scott Clark – Super Charger
Ginny Davis
Rod Davis
Lee Duncan – Sonic Boom – riding his mountain bike
Beth Gonzalez
Liz Hardy – Begs for More
Jeff Hoffert
Patti Lewis – Patti Melt
Marianne Mahn - #1 in the Bush
Todd McBride – Best Bikin Buddy (B3) – he was sporting a brand new Carbon Fiber Trek.
Mo Percy
Lisa Petty
Sharon Prochazka
Robert Renke
Rob Robertson – Top Rookie
Ken Schuster
Kevin Smit – GOG (Glistening Older Gentleman)
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa (for putting up with GOG all these years)
Sarah Tacker – Foot Loose

New to the group:
Avril Young
Jessica Kenny – another Triassholette

Arriving Late:
Steve Cope – Capn Carbon, Chiwawa, angry Chipmunk, the gnat
Steve thought the rides were still starting at 8 am. He must be too busy to read the emails and the blog, or to check his facebook page for the TNR event notifications.

The groups left the parking lot by carefully merging onto the busy Cary Parkway. Those considering the 60 miles left in the lead group, followed by those expecting to complete 52 led by Mother Theresa, followed by the 42 mile group co-led by ‘GO GO GO Girl” and GOG.

The pace on Cary Parkway was much more in control with the groups all remaining within eye sight of one another. Clearly having Sonic Boom on a Mountain Bike, and The Green Flash missing from the days ride allowed for a more orderly group ride and exit out of Cary.

As GOG was riding near the front of the ROSES he noticed a small car pulling up next to him. “I thought you guys leave at 8 am” the voice from the cockpit shouted. It was Capn Carbon dressing in full biking apparel with a bike stuffed in the back seat area of the vehicle. “Where are you headed” he shouted.
GOG thought for a second “clearly he did not read the emails, or look at the map”. “Turn at Laura Duncan and find a place to park, then you can chase the Thorns down” GOG offered.
With that the car sped off to chase down the front to the group.

All riders made the first critical turn on the route. Already the groups were establishing their pace.
GOG was riding a pace that included individuals choosing each of the distance options. Sonic Boom, The Volcano, Avril, and Jessica all indicated they were planning to complete the 60 miles but at a relaxed pace. GOG, Beth, GO GO GO Girl, #1 in the Bush, Total Recall, Patti Melt, Foot Loose all planned to complete the 42 mile loop at a 16 mph average (with lots of stops to regroup and rest).

Those electing to complete 52 miles included Mother Theresa, Cold Blooded, and Sharon. It was later learned that Capn Carbon and Jeff also did the 52 mile route. Others may have done that distance as well just not sure who. Those completing the 62 mile loop at a fast clip included:

Super Charger, Top Rookie, B3, Robert, Rumble Strip, and many others that joined them, or formed their own 60 mile pack.

The days ride offered several spots were the riders could enjoy shade as they glided through the country side. Mother Theresa commented on the fact that Big Woods was actually enjoyable due to the shade provided along that hilly section of road. GOG worked to make friends with the two new riders. He challenged Jessica to several bouts of BANTER and she responded beautifully by giving it right back to him. The group GOG was riding with caught up with the group Mother Theresa was guiding along. It was there that Cold Blooded made some comment on GOGs biking abilities only to have him spray her from his water bottle. The banter was running rampet as GOG then turned his attention to Sonic Boom who was now riding among the ROSES. “Totally different biking experience back here with the ROSES” GOG taunted. “I am getting Culture Shock from the experience” Sonic Boom responded. Both he and The Volcano had been riding along behind the Roses chatting nonstop acting like two Sorority Girls prepping for a double date. “Tee Hee Hee”, “Giggle Giggle Giggle” was the only recognizable sounds coming from those two for several hours. At one point Kaelo “The Volcano” turned the topic onto trivia.
“Did you know that Blacksmiths have their own language?” he asked. “No” came a curious reply from Sonic Boom. “Yea it is a lot like Morris code”, “it is actually done with a hammer hitting the Anvil”, “No one can hear each other talk so they pound out the messages” Kaleo continued. “The master Smith would hold the hot iron and rotate it while all the apprentice black smiths would pound the hot metal to the beat of the master Blacksmiths rhythm he would provided as his hammer taps on the anvil” Kaleo shared. The bonding that was going on between those two riders was not to be interrupted.

The groups eventually all made the planned rest stop and mileage decision point at Wilsonville. GOG and his group rested long enough to fill water bottles, take on Gator Aid, and take a bladder break. Mother Theresa was waffling on her commitment to complete the 52 mile route. Several of those looking to do the miles were not about to push her into something she was not ready to do. GOG on the other hand reminded Mother Theresa that in less than two weeks she needs to be ready to ride 60 – 70 miles each day for 7 days as she participates in RAGBRAI. Mother Theresa succumbed to the pressure and agreed to do the extra miles. Those hoping to also ride the 52 miles were pleased with her decision.

The groups all said their goodbyes with the 52 and 62 mile riders heading out towards Big Woods and the remaining group looking to do 42 miles headed down Farrington to Martha’s Chapel.
As the 42 mile riders were in the last mile of the ride #1 in the Bush was overheating and sought the shelter of a shade tree. GOG told the other to go on and that he would share the shade with #1.
While the two rested in the shade several of the 62 and 52 milers rolled past on their last mile of the days ride. All looked in good spirits and made sure GOG and #1 were OK.

After the ride several folks gathered in Brueggers to eat, hydrate, and continue the socializing that this group truly enjoys. Later they were joined by Mother Theresa, Cold Blooded, and Sharon. Mother Theresa was spent. She Thanked Cold Blooded and Sharon for helping her limp back into the finish.

The rest of the day Mother Theresa Napped.
Great routes, great folks to ride with.

Sunday July10th

Book Ends help keep the pack together.

The days route is becoming routine for Sunday’s. It is the CSH route in reverse and allows those looking for extra miles the opportunity to join CSH as they are headed out of town as TNR are headed back in. The start time and distance and pace also allows those who want to ride and attend Church the opportunity to do so. This Sunday the pack was back at the end of the ride by 9:30 am.
Those in attendance included:

Scott Clark – Super Charger – Riding a time trial bike.
Michelle Duff – back with the group after a year – welcome back
Jessica Holland – Twin Peaks
Patti Lewis – Patti Melt – riding for the second day in a row.
Marianne Mahn - #1 in the Bush
Todd McBride – Best Bikin Buddy (B3) – sporting yet another new Trek. Yes two new bikes in two days. He decided to trade the one he rode Saturday in for a different model.
Carrie Mitran
Liz Patrin
Shawn Richardson – Killer Bee on his black and gold Fixie
Paul Schmidt
Suzy Schmidt
Kevin Smit – GOG – on his Fixie
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Robert Speer

New to the group:
Virginia Jo Lovvora – aka Jo – welcome to the group Jo.

Little time was spent readying the bikes as each rider was already straddling their bike as GOG gave a brief description of the days ride and asked who was planning to join CSH near the end our TNRs ride. Only Killer Bee raised his hand high.

The pack was off and headed towards the Preston Neighborhood with GOG and Killer Bee leading on their Fixed Gear bikes. GOG could see in his mirror that all riders made the transition onto High House with ease and were all in Tow. The pack swept into Preston remaining together. The pace was not slow, but the corners were not attacked allowing all to navigate together thru the turns and twist of the Preston Nieghborhood. The pack all made the short light across Davis drive and on into the round about.

It was at the turn onto High House when Killer Bee and Super Charger launched themselves into their ride. All others gathered at the light and waited for GOG and those he was riding with to join the pack.

From that point on B3 took the lead spot and GOG took the rear. Two book ends working to keep the stack of riders all in a row. It was a pretty sited to look up the road and see a well maintained pace line. B3 did a fantastic job of monitoring everyone in the line to make sure he did not set a pace that would splinter the pack. This continued all the way to the climb up to White Oak. Those arriving at the top of the hill slowed slightly allowing others to finish the climb and then fall back in line. All stopped and rested briefly just before the left turn onto Leuter Shop and the run to the Strawberry patch. Once at the Strawberry patch the group rolled on to 751 and continued to make way to Martha’s Chapel.

The group separated slightly on the run down to the lake with individuals each riding at their own pace and in some cases forming smaller packs.

The turn onto Farmington (Kevin’s Crawl) was dominated by Mother Theresa who attacked that incline much like she did on last Sunday’s ride. GOG was happy to remain the trailing book end. After the turn onto Holland Chapel (Waffle Run) Mother Theresa and those in pursuit of her did not slow. GOG found himself pausing at the turn long enough to form a splinter pack that worked together to slowly chase down the individuals being dropped by Mother Theresa and the group riding with her.

One by One the trailing pace line grew as it slowly swallowed up those individuals gapped from the lead pack. All regrouped once again and remained as a pack most of the distance to Green Level. Mother Theresa had “Burnt All her Matches” by her strong performance on Kevin’s Crawl and Waffle Run, and was falling further off the pace. B3 had dropped back to attend to her and to ensure she did not ride alone. As the riders approached Green Hope High School Road GOG asked #1 in the Bush to hold the pack up at Sears Farm before heading onto the Green Way. She did a great job of getting all to that location and finding a nice shady spot to rest until Mother Theresa and B3 could arrive. Once all back together the pack carefully made their way on to the greenway. All did a great job or riding in control and made every effort to share the multi use path. The end of the days ride had the riders navigating the bike path of Sears Farm followed by the dance onto and then across High House into the parking lot and finish at Brueggers.

30 miles at a 16+ mph average with all riders finishing as a group. The book ends did a fine job of monitoring the pack.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Seeking enlightenment from Buddha found sitting under the tree.

Saturday July 2.

GOG and Mother Theresa had planned ahead by plotting a route that would provided something for all in attendance. The route would;
challenge the Roses to go a few extra miles,
allow the Thorns and any stems that wanted to follow, several opportunities to add miles
allow those who were planning to ride on the 4th of July to get in a solid 42 miles and not burn themselves out.
The work they did in mapping the course was saved and placed on the web for all to review prior to the days start. Two sided copies were printed and readied to be handed out at the start to those who wanted one.
The earlier ride start time was announced a week in advance to help beat the summer heat and humidity.

Those arriving to participate included:
Cort Bennett
June Bennett
Jae Brainard – there to lead the Roses as she constantly steps into that leadership role.
David Bridenbaugh – Mr. Bridenbaugh – another one who consistently plays a leadership role for TNR.
Kaleo Ballard – Volcano
Scott Clark – rides with the group periodically. A thorn who has been seen assisting others by placing a hand on their back and pushing them up hills at speeds only a strong rider can produce. Due to this behavior Scott will now be known as TURBO CHARGER.
Jim Cobb – The Rabbit – another regular member of the leadership group for the Thorns N Roses.
Ginny Davis
Rod Davis
Tim Divinney – The Love Train, The Love Boat – another cyclist who can be counted on to step in and play a leadership role if needed.
Lee Duncan – Sonic Boom – known as one of the authors of the Blog Entries for TrailsandTribulations.
Roger Ehrlick – Blow Out
Beth Gonzalez
Jeff Hoffert
Jessica Holland – Twin Peaks
Deb Hollis – Two Saddles
Marianne Mahn - #1 in the Bush
Todd McBride – Best Biking Buddy (B3) – NO ONE understands the spirit of the ride better than this individual. He has consistently been there to ensure no one rides alone. A solid leader of the Thorns N Roses group. Make sure you thank him for his focus and dedication to the group.
Carrie Mitran
Ann Munn
Mo Percy
Stephen Percy
Joe Pittman – immortal Man – another strong rider who has stepped in to help others get thru the ride if they  had mechanical or physical issues on the rides.
Sharon Prochazka
Dean Rains
Shawn Richardson – Dessert Flower – on his white Fixie. Few will argue that Shawn is the strongest rider of the Thorns. He is consistent in attendance only taking time off to get married. Shawn does a great job of balancing the needs of the Thorns that surround him while also supporting the spirit of a No Drop Ride. If you should choose to try and ride in his presence be prepared to be pushed harder, faster, and longer than you would have ever imagined. The speeds produced by he and his group have actually turned back time proving Time slows as you reach the speed of light. Make sure there is at least one other person or group behind you before you let go of the tow rope, those gapped will need to form their own pack and chart their course back home.
Kiki Rodue – Twinkle Toes – a brand new fire fighter. Way to Go KIKI.
Kevin Smit – GOG (Glistening Older Gentleman)
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Robert Speer
Alisha Woodroff

New to the group;
Brian Kemp
Vic Brown
A surprise visit by a long lost rider – read to learn who was found out on the route.

Mother Theresa was found working the crowd to ensure all that were in attendance was being recorded.

GOG worked the crowd to make sure everyone knew the days route. As he discussed the route and walked folks thru the turn by turn instructions he realized that an important turn was left off the cue sheet. This forced him to make sure everyone who got a cue sheet know of the missing turn and would be able to correct that as they approached that key left hand turn from New Hill Holliman onto Toddy Goodwin. GOG and Jae Brainard briefly discussed the feasibility of the Roses agreeing to ride the 42 mile planned route. “We did 37 miles last weekend so this should be just fine to step it up to 42 today” she assured GOG.

Soon all riders were ready and anxious to get the days ride underway. GOG welcomed the new comers to the group and attempted to explain how a no drop ride works. “If you get gapped just keep riding straight, someone will always be at the next turn to make sure you don’t miss it” he boldly announced.

With that the pack was off onto Cary Parkway headed towards Apex. This way out of town has only been accomplished 3 other times by the group. GOG was concerned that those in the lead would miss the first turn, and was more concerned that they would take an incorrect turn into APEX. The split in the group was immediate. The Thorns catapulted ahead splitting that group into two, forcing two additional splits in the Stems, and leaving the Roses at a stop light. GOG was in the first Stems group and was already fighting to maintain that pace and position. He was confident that Jae and the Roses would be able to follow the cue sheets he did not know that the group had been delayed by a red light as he and the others were now closing in on the first turn. He was not confident that the Thorns would pay any attention to the cue sheet and the critical turn as they arrived in APEX. His concern forced him to dig deep to try and catch the Thorns to advise them of the left turn rather than right turn into APEX. He pushed hard and was rewarded by a red light that had held up the Thorns just long enough for him to slide into their midst. He quickly gained the attention from Mr. Bridenbaugh, Dessert Flower, The Rabbit, Top Rookie, and B3 to make sure they new of the left turn vs right turn into APEX. GREEN LIGHT.

GOG was now all alone again.

It did not take long for the stems to swallow GOG up and hold him in a protected spot in the middle of the pack. This worked to everyone’s benefit by allowing GOG to make sure the Stems were properly guided into a left turn at APEX rather than the normal right turn into APEX. As the stems made that turn GOG pulled to the side of the road to ensure any others trailing would also be guided properly. Best Biking Buddy slowed to provide support for GOG. “You go on ahead and get them properly thru the next few turns, we are following the same path as Slow Spokes use to get to Tingen” cried out GOG.

With that information Best Biking Buddy jumped to the task of chasing the group down that was now ahead of him. GOG continued to wait as small groups rolled up to the turn. As each rider slid by GOG he told them to make a right turn at the next light. Finally all but Jae and her group had made the intersection were GOG was waiting. A brief discussion with Mother Theresa to determine the where abouts of Jae suggested that the Roses infact had a cue sheet and should be just fine. Both GOG and Mother Theresa then headed out towards the next turn. As they approached that turn GOG realized some were shooting on past the light and headed straight vs taking the turn as instructed. “Right TURN, RIGHT TURN” he bellowed. The riders slowed and navigated back to the proper route.

The route was shared two nights earlier in the email, the route was described again at the start, the cue sheets were handed out, and yet GOG finds himself still playing the role of sheep dog.

The Thorns N Roses were already split into no less than 4 groups even before leaving the confines of Cary and Apex. The route continued with out incident as it headed out of Apex on everyones favorite fast road known as “Tingen Salt Flats”. This road allows everyone the thrill of riding fast. It was Ann Munn who pulled the group Mother Theresa and GOG were in at a consistent speed of 24 mph. A fantastic pull by her the entire length of Tingen.

The group was splintered as expected as the “Tingen Salt Flats” dissolved into Woods Creek and its 4 nasty hills known to the group as the “4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse”. A short break at the end of Woods Creek allowed all to take on water and for GOG to describe the rest of the route starting with a right turn towards old US 1. “OK everyone ready lets head out” GOG announced. As he prepared to clip in Mother Theresa was leading 3 of the riders left on Friendship, away from old US 1 and toward Sharon Harris. This would allow them to add an additional 5 miles to the planed route. GOG thought ‘WOW’ they are really riding well today and looking for extra miles as well. #1 in the Bush was following GOG and shouting back to the others “You Are Going the Wrong Way”. GOG looked in his mirror to see Mother Theresa and the others performing a perfect U turn. Apparently they were not planning to do extra miles after all, just did not pay attention to the information provided in the cue sheet or verbally by GOG. The group enjoyed the early morning shade provided by Friendship as they rolled on towards Old US 1. It was #1 in the Bush that set the pace for the group as she maintained the pull position at speeds reaching 20 + mph. From there they made the easy transition onto Olive Humie and once again enjoyed the shade provided by that section of road. It was on Humie Olive that Mother Theresa pulled the pack along at speeds of 20+ mph. GOG was happy to suck on all the ladies tires as he enjoyed the protection of being in the draft line. Some how he knew he was going to suffer latter in the ride. GOG has been on his bike only twice during the previous 2 months. He knew today’s ride would be the furthest he had ridden in a long time.

At the end of Humie Olive the group slid right onto busy New Hill Holliman for a short mile or two before making the left onto Toddy Goodwin.

Toddy Goodwin is peppered with small rolling hills and the pavement is rough enough to drain the strength from the legs, back, and arms. The group splintered during the run towards Beaver Creek on Toddy Goodwin. GOG pushed himself in an effort to attack each of the small climbs. This would prove later to have been a poor move on his part. The group came together once again at the end of Toddy Goodwin to once again take on water and a short rest. “We get a long rest and can take on new water just down the road at Wilsonville” GOG announced as he readied himself to clip in. He then headed towards Highway 64 and the rest stop. Immediate he recognized the early signs of a BONK. Slight nausea, light headed, a desire to yawn, no power in the legs. As the group rolled into the gas station on Highway 64 GOG parked his bike and went into purchase a gallon of water for the group to share. He topped everyone’s water bottles off and then sat on the window ledge to try and recover from the ever growing BONK. Others in the group offered him GU, power bars, and Shot Blocks to help. He sampled one Shot Block and a power bar loaded with caffeine and sugar. It took GOG a long time to realize he was not going to get any better. “OK lets mount up” he was heard grumbling under his breath.

The group pulled out of the gas station and lined up for the sprint across Highway 64’s short green light. Once upon Farrington GOG once again took the reigns and led the group all the way to Martha’s Chapel. It was there that Mother Theresa exchanged the pull position and powered her way all the way to the top only to have to stop and wait on those she shattered in her wake. From here the group was led onto Luter Shop and headed towards its end at Green level. Just as the group reached the Tobacoo Trail GOG spied a single rider headed in the opposite direction. After a short delay both riders pointed at each other. “TIM” cried GOG. It took GOG a moment to gather himself only to notice Tim had started to perform a U turn just as GOG was also performing a U turn. “Keep going” he shouted to the others in his group as he and Tim Travitz (Slow Tim) both advanced on each other. It took little time for the two to engage with GOG performing another U turn putting both on the path back towards Cary and the Start Finish for the days ride. “How Are You” asked GOG. “Good, just getting back on the bike for the second time after a year” replied Tim. “I need to ride a lot to get into shape to ride with you guys”, “I have been reading the blog and you guys are riding too strong for me currently” Slow Tim complained. “The Blog does not explain how most of us ride, It is usually from the perspective of the Thorns, The rest of us ride much slower and usually shorter distances” GOG informed Slow Tim.

“Good”, “I might consider coming out to join you then” Slow Tim replied.

The group was now making their way onto Green Level followed by the turn onto Carpenter Fire Station. Slow Tim continued to ride and visit with GOG all the way to the Preston Neighborhood. It was there that he said his goodbyes and headed back home. GOG was again starting to BONK in a big way. Mother Theresa and the others led the way onto the last 2 miles dictated by the hills of Crabtree Crossing. GOG was starting to BONK even more as he slipped onto GrabTree Crossing. “SHADE on the left, Must Rest in the SHADE” GOG was now talking to himself. Without delay he pulled across the road, unclipped, slowed, stopped, dismounted, pulled the bike off the road and leaned it against a tree, pulled both water bottles from their cages, removed his helmet, sat down in the grass, crossed his legs, and dowsed his head with hot water form one of the water bottles. “AHHHHHHHH” repeat the dowsing “AHHHHH”.

As GOG sat in the shade runners past and waved, automobiles past, a family of bicyclist past. Then as if my magic Mother Theresa was there infront of him. “You OK” she asked nervously. “Yea just started to BONK” GOG responded. Then Jae Brainard ad the group she was shepherding rolled up to GOG having just made the turn onto Crabtree Crossing. GOG and Jae discussed the challenges the Roses had as the start of the days ride and how they cleverly resolved the issue to the follow most of the days route after that. “We were passed by the Thorns on Tingen” Jae explained to GOG. Just then Best Biking Buddy rolled up to the group having also just made the turn onto the final few miles of the route. He along with all the others were making sure GOG was OK. “Thanks everyone, I have been off the bike far too long and today’s ride really challenged my conditioning” GOG explained. GOG then began to stir signaling to all that he was indeed ready to complete the last 2 miles. This signal allowed all to turn and head towards the finish. It was B3 who remained to validate GOG was in fact planning to limp on. B3 did not leave GOGs side as GOG slugged his way to the end.

“You must have done more miles than planed” GOG suggested to B3. “Yea the group I was will followed the Thorns onto Big Woods after the rest stop at Wilsonville” he responded.

“why did you stop and check on me?” GOG asked B3.

“saw a Yellow clad Buddy sitting under a tree, with several other gathered around gaining enlighten and I wanted to gain enlighten as well” answered B3 with a grin on his face. “NICE” answered GOG.

End of days results

Roses completed 40 miles and did so ahead of some of the Stems. Nicely done.

One set of stems riding with GOG completed 42 miles at around 16.4 mph

One Set of Stems riding with B3 completed 52 miles at a good clip

Thorns completed 52 miles as well

Sunday July 3rd.

Go hard and go again with CSH or
Go easy and enjoy the 30 miles out to Lake Jordan and back.

Those in attendance included:
Jae Braindard
Scott Clark – Turbo Charger – Go Hard and Go again with CSH
Jim Cobb – The Rabbit
Ginny Davis
Rod Davis
Marianne Mahn - #1 in the Bush
Todd McBride – Best Bikin Buddy (B3)
Sharon Prochazka
Shawn Richardson – Dessert Flower (on his white fixie and wearing his TNR Jersey) – Go hard Go again
Rob Robertson – Top Rookie – a ride leader the group can count on.
Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Chris Stark
Emily Edens – second time with the group.

The days route has been ridden several times. It mimics the CSH route out to Lake Jordan and back. However it does so in reversed order so those who want to jump in with CSH can do so as TNR is on the return legs of the route.

The days ride was uneventful. Dessert Flower and Turbo Charger were both released early. Those two made it known they planned to do extra miles by jumping into CSH on the way back into Cary. All others would complete the route within their own pace. Many were planning to ride the next day on the Fire Cracker ride and were using this days ride to stay loose. A notible event occured on "Kevin's Crawl".  Mother Theresa descided to challeng GOG on this sacred piece of blacktop held for GOG to always tke the sprint up Farington from Martha's Chaple to Holland Chaple road.  She attacked as if possed by Capn Carbon.  GOG began to BONK late in the ride yet again, however he did not perform the yellow Buddha in the shade of a tree maneuver like he did the day before.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers Day Weekend rides

Many New Faces

Saturday, June 18th

The Saturday Morning ride culminated quite well with approximately 20+/- riders meeting together in the parking lot of Brueggers.

The chore of the day was to find a route that would offer challenge, adventure, the right distance. The group stood around in deep contemplation until a man with a colored cape / jersey appeared ..whom I have been informed goes by the name Captain America.

Mr America provided an outstanding route that would take the group into new unsettled lands. We all agreed and were off.

The route out of Cary was traditional and we entered toward the historic district of Western Cary that included the Fire Station and CVS store. At the Green Level Church light, prevailing voices suggested that we continue to the corner of Upchuck Ave. As the flock rounded the corner, the riders got into formation: group A, those willfully entering Hypoxia and Group B those with good common sense.

The friends entered the 200 meter climb feeling strong and tackling the challenges put before them. The group also was very grateful to have broken the Green Flash curse with no flats (section where the Green Flash was senselessly flatted in the week prior). Up and around the corner to the holding section the group went. All made it to the top and were ready to go.

The riders continued on by signaling down Mt Pisgah/Ferrell/Lewter and culminating at the open section of 751. At this point, it was announced that there would be a "Race to the Lake". With this the lead out trains organized and everyone was ready to squander the glycogenious reserves acquired from yesterday's breakfast of Lucky Charms. The race was conducted in Lady like and Gentleman like fashion with Caption Carbon throwing down the hammer and announcing his return from Retirement with a powerful acceleration. The group caught their breath at the corner and headed to Lystra gas station for tasty treats.

After a short intermission, everyone took their seats and was ready to tackle Mr Jack Bennett. Jack Bennett in general is known as a very comfortable, stable and likable route when taken from the 15/501 side. But Jack breaks character and unleashes his fury from the Lystra entrance. The agony was very impressive, as the group dug deep to climb the long and arduous hill. It is realistic to suggest that Jack lost a few friends that day.

At the stop of 15/501 a few of our friends said adieu and went on their merry way back to the Thorns and Roses Club House. One final group remained with Captain America at the helm.

From this point on it got a little foggy and entered entirely new territory.

Available field notes detail that the group entered many scarcely used roads, crossed a huge bridge only wide enough for those on bicycle or foot to enter and at one point there may have been a unicorn. Both those facts are not easily confirmed, especially the scarcely used road portion.

The remaining group arrived back at the clubhouse at about 12 noon with 50 to 55 miles behind them with an average speed of 17 to 18 mph. Many many new faces and guests rode that day and were a wonderful addition to the group.

Fathers Day Ride

Sunday, June 19th

Another beautiful day was on tap for the Fathers Day ride. About 12 people were riding with the group with some additional attendance as a result of Special Father's Day privileges. As everyone discussed the plan of the day, Best Bikin Buddy (B3) took ownership and communicated where the members would go, the spirit of the ride and that we would be riding at a recovery pace. Everyone agreed and the group took to their bikes. Just as with the day prior, the cyclists went through Preston Passage at a "talkable" pace.

The group discussed activities of the day, yesterdays charity ride and procrastinated chores left to be completed by day end.

All was well through Carpenter Fire Station and cornering up Green Level Church. Some of the newer riders were explaining that they just got into cycling and really enjoying it, especially with the cast and characters of the Thorns and Roses.

As the group continued out to Lewter shop, some behavioral issues developed. B3 and Cobbmeister (Rabbit) in a great turn of character actually provoked county line sprints, this was a remarkable sight.

The two drifted out of the pace line and were accelerating at an estimated 22 to 27 mile per hour pace towards their goal. The move took most off guard and the dynamic duo easily secured the victory. The guests found the horseplay very entertaining to watch. After the short sprint, the group came together once again and road through the Berry Patch.

At the corner of 751, the ridding gaggle took care to negotiate the traffic and to safely enter Martha's Chapel. Heading down Martha's, everyone worked together and coalesced quite nicely at a well tempoed rhythm. Among the quiet, once again Cobbmeister and B3 emerged, looking to complete the "box set" of trophies for their mantel -- and punched it. Both victorious winning the 2 selections of the day.

With the lake portion complete, the group then entered their homeward return towards Hollands Chapel where the cyclists basked in the sun, enjoying their time with new and old friends. The cyclists road for approximately 31 miles at a 17 to 18 mph pace.