Large turn out even with the threat of rain.
A couple of new faces joined the group for the days ride.
GOG was unable to capture all the names of those in attendance and apologies for not formally recognizing their participation in this write-up. Next week look for a sign in sheet to help with this effort.
The day’s route had been designed to allow for The Thorns, Stems, and Roses to all head out onto the same route with lots of options to turn early vs completing the entire 46 mile course. After GOG explained his intentions for the ride the Roses announced they had a different idea and would ride a 20 mile route. GOG shared that information with the group and recommended anyone looking to ride that distance and pace should jump in with that groups ride leader.
The rest of the pack was treated to an alternate start out of Cary that eventually looped back onto familiar streets leading to the roundabout in Preston. Once at the big Chicken the Thorns were caught just in time as they began to faint to the right when the planned route was actually to make a left on Lewis Stevens.
The automobile traffic was the heaviest seen to date as an endless stream of cars steamed past the cyclists as they waited to make their turn. Finally a car stopped early and waved the riders thru the intersection. The riders all waived their hands to thank the driver for that kind maneuver.
It was immediately clear that the Thorns did not want to be held up for any reason as they quickly dropped one of their riders who’s chain had slipped of the front chain ring. GOG circled back to make sure the rider was not abandoned on the side of the road.
GOG was now gapped with no other riders in sight. He navigated the next several turns and still had no riders in sight. It was not until the climb up Jenks Carpenter to Holt that he could see the pack already itching to go as they paused at that intersections stop sign. The pack did not wait for all to arrive as first one then another and then the pack of Thorns bolted west on Holt towards Highway 55 and points beyond. GOG knew at that point he would likely never see the Thorns and Stems (those shredded from their midst) for the rest of the ride. The run down Jenks was expected to be fast and GOG knew the Thorns would take full advantage of that. GOG was joined by several others who elected not to attack with the Thorns. This group formed Stems (subprime). The Stems (Prime) would form much later in the ride as they would turn early due to time constraints vs the Thorns who completed the planned 46 mile route even with the threat of rain moving in.
As it turned out the Thorns altered the route at the end of Wimberly by turning left on Green Level rather than the right that had been planned. Instead of heading to White Oak the Thorns headed to Luther, and then Horton Pond, and then towards the gas station at Lystra. The stems (subprime) who were riding with GOG followed the original plan and turned right at the end of Wimberly followed by the left onto White Oak, then right onto Ferrel Road West (the site of the groups two mile Time Trial location) which took them to Mount Pisgah. From there they turned left towards 751. Once at 751 they turned left again towards Martha’s Chapel. It was on the run down Martha’s Chapel to lake Jordan that the stems (subprime) encountered the Stems (Prime). GOG’s group was headed towards the lake as the Stems (prime) were headed up Martha’s away from Lake Jordan. Several of the riders in the Thorns pack needed to head back early and elected to turn back at Martha’s Chapel while the rest of the Thorns rode onto the Gas Station at Lystra. At this point the Thorns N Roses had split into at least 4 groups all riding their own routes. To support that statement the Thorns actually altered their route a second time by not turning as designed onto OKelley. They stayed on 751 all the way to Mount Pisgah where they made a left turn to enjoy the hills it provides. At the end of that road they turned right onto New Hope Church and then elected to do Up Chuck in reverse. That dumped them finally onto Carpenter Fire Station and the roads back into Cary.
The days ride would have been fun to follow from the air. An overhead view would have provided a great deal of entertainment as the groups all did their own thing. The map was just a suggestion of how to leave town, how to head towards a handful of key landmarks, and then a hint on when to turn for home. Each group interpreted the map as they saw fit and made it work for their needs.
Hmmmm just as GOG usually alters the days ride route on the fly as he assesses the group’s needs and abilities.
Well Done Thorns N Roses.