Saturday, April 09, 2011

Fun was had by all on Cycle North Carolina Spring Ride in Oriental NC

The unvailing of the Thorns N Roses Flag - Thanks to Jim and Elise Cobb

Kevin Smit - GOG
Theresa Smit - Mother Theresa

Jim Cobb - The Rabbit
Elise Cobb - Popcicle
The Longest ride they have ever done 70+ miles
Their 22 nd Wedding Anniversary
She is riding with a broken Collar Bone
An additional nickname for Elise
Ginny and Rod Davis all Smiles evey day
First time Rod used Butt Butter, and he is SMILING.  Hmm a nickname is born.
Meet Butt Butter aka Rod Davis

Ron Clanton - Just Ron
Tracy Clanton - Rose Peddler
Stop drafting SO CLOSE

Some of the Thorns N Roses are ready to RIDE

Friday, April 08, 2011

April 9th prize winner

Awarded to the MOST.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Let it Blow Let it Blow Let it Blow

There are two write-ups for Saturdays ride on April 2nd.
The first one is offered by Kevn Smit (GOG) the second one is offered from the perspective of a Thorn and was writen by Lee Duncan (Sonic Boom).
I am also including a picture of the groups new Team Flag thanks to Jim and Elise Cobb for getting this for the group.

Enjoy the write-ups

Expected wind gusts upwards of 40 mph were predicted.

Many of the Thorns N Roses were riding the MisFits organized Spring Fling ride.
The turnout for the Saturday ride was still fairly strong.

Those in attendance included:
Doug Augustine – Rumble Strip
David Bridenbaugh – Mr. Bridenbaugh
Kaleo Bullard
Angie Chiatello
Jim Cobb – The Rabbit
Tom Davis
Lee Duncan – Sonic Boom
Paul Estes
Jeff Giordano – Claim Jumper
Sandra Henderson – first time with the group (rode very strong)
Todd McBride – B3
Joe Pittman – immortal Man
Sharon Prochazka
Shawn Richardson – Killer Bee, on his black and gold Fixie
Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Chris Stark

With the group ready to go GOG sought out Mr. Bridenbaugh, Sonic Boom, Immortal Man, and Killer Bee to ask if any of them had studied the map sent out with Thursday’s email. Mr. Bridenbaugh looked the most confident of the group regarding his understanding of the days planned route. GOG can always count on MR. Bridebaugh knowing the roads and turns no matter where the route goes.

GOG explained to the pack that there was at least one person who we wanted to make sure accomplished her goal of riding further than 35 miles. GOG told her he and others would definitely work with her to see that she made the planned 46 miles. He went on to explain to the pack that all would be riding the same route and that he would sweep making sure they could pick up any who may fall off the back of the Thorns.

The route was designed to stay away from the MSFits organized ride. GOG had also decided to explore a new way out of Cary. He did not know what to expect from traffic and was pleasantly surprised at the way the drivers shared the road on Cary parkway and Laura Duncan. The Thorns established themselves early with the split happening in the first mile of the ride.

Those remaining with GOG as they watched the Thorns attack the wind head on with Killer Bee leading the swarm included:
Sondra, B3, Sharon, Kaleo, Mother Theresa, Rumble Strip, Angie.

This group worked together the rest of the way making sure all knew what turns to make, as well as keeping an eye on each other in case of physical or mechanical challenges. IAs they reached the outer skirts of Apex they spied Tom Davis who was waiting to join the Stems.  He had done a strong leg workout the day before and just did not feel he could hold onto the Thorns with our doing damage. As the group lef the shelter of the town and it tree lined streets it turned out to be a challenge to stay in a tight draft formation due to the strong buffeting from the wind. It seemed to hit the riders from all sides, first pushing the riders backwards, then delivering a body blow from either the left or right sides. Even with the strong wind the group of riders forming the Stems did a good job of pushing the pace at 18 mph. Some would fall off the pace only to catch up again at the next turn, or stop sign. Rumble Strip seemed to be the strongest of the group as he would push to the front of the line in an attempt to pull the others along in his slip stream. Kaleo fell off the pace as the group left Apex and headed towards the turn on Robertson road.  The pack held up momentarily to let him catch-up.  He did not come and did not come.  GOG then suggested Mother Theresa take the group on towards the next turn at Humie Olive and GOG would circle back to check on Kaleo.  It did not take GOG long to find Kaleo and B3 headed his way.  B3 had deliberatly dropped back to keep and eye on Kaleo (no one rides alone).  GOG learned that the wind was so strong that it knocked a contact out of one of Kaleo's eyes and he stoped to remove the other one and was now flying blind.  GOG and B3 ride on ether side of Kaleo to make sure he did not slip of the edge of the road or cross the centerline.  The two were acting as seeing eye dogs for Kaleo.  The three caught up with Mother Theresa and the others at the next turn onto Humie Olive. From there they again did a fair job of working together against the wind and hills.  The next seperation occured at the turn onto Sharon Harris.  GOG pulled out his phone to check the status of Mother Theresa and those with her.  He was concerned that she and the others would not recognize the turn at Sharon Harris. Just as he heard Mother Theresas phone ring a voice next to him said "I am not going to answer that".  It was Mother Theresa with her group in tow.  As the group reached to point of no return a split in the group occurred. At that point those who were trailing new how to return home and Mother Theresa made it known she new all the rest of the turns from that point on. She suggested those that want to push on do so and she would sweep the group. GOG, Rumble Strip, B3, and Sharon did not hesitate to act on that suggestion. Those 4 turned into the wind and prepared to attack the rolling hills of Old US1 as they drove towards Bosil and the next turn. GOG found himself setting the pace on that stretch of road only to relinquish the rains once the group turned onto Beaver Creek and the run down to Lake Jordan. GOG tried to hold onto the rear wheel of Rumble Strip but found he did not have the spark to do so. At that same time GOG felt his Jersey pocket vibrating. He reached in to his pocket slowed the bike to a stop, and pulled out the phone to answer the call. It was mother Theresa who was informing him that they had just left from the spot where the Stems made a deliberate split in the group. They had stayed at that spot to help Angie who was suffering from Hypothermia. Mother Theresa was worried that Angie might even go into shock. Both Mother Theresa and Kaleo had put their jackets on her as she lay on the pavement to get out of the wind and to absorb any heat radiating from the concrete. Theresa said to continue and that she would keep GOG informed as they planned to make it to Bonsil and reassess the situation. By now B3 and Sandra had stopped up the road to allow Kevin to finish his phone call. B3 did glid back to GOG to make sure all was OK. Once the call was over GOG, B3, and Sondra took chase on Rumble Strip who was now gliding along wondering what happened to the draft line that had tried to form behind him. The 4 did not get back together until near lake Jordan where they were each met with the strongest buffeting wind gusts of the ride. As they closed in on Wilson Ville GOG’s Pocket started to vibrate once again. He sat up on the bike reached into the pocket and answered the phone while working to maintain his speed. The others in the group responded by giving GOG plenty of space to navigate one handed in the gusts. It was Mother Theresa informing GOG that someone needed to continue on with little to no delay at Wilsonville, and to then come back to Wilsonville to pick up Angie. Mother Theresa and her group were doing everything they could to get Angie to Wilsonville but no further for her. GOG acknowledged the mission and assured her Angie would be picked up.

Once at Wilsonville GOG said his goodby’s knowing both B3 and Rumble Strip knew how to lead themselves back to the start. GOG timed it perfectly as he spied a rider in s full Livestrong kit poised to make the light across 64. GOG jumped ahead of the rider only to have that person slide past. GOG slipped in tight behind the rider and went into total focus on the gap between GOGs front tire and the rear tire of the Livestrong Kit rider. GOG was sucked along up hills at 19+ mph and reached sustained speeds of 25 mph on the flatters sections of the remaining miles. The two were close enough to have been considered a tandem team. They separated at the intersection of Green Level and Morrisville parkway. GOG turned left there headed towards Carpenter Fire Station and the Livestrong Kit rider turned right towards Green Level and Green Hope High school road.

GOG’s average mph Jumped a full 1 ½ mph in those 10 miles. The average immediately began to degrade has he found himself alone and struggling the last 7 miles.

GOG continued to fight to make time so Angie would not have to wait long at Wilsonville to be picked up. Finally GOG made it to the last turn and stop light that would put him onto High house and the run into the finish. As he sat there to his surprise B3, Rumble Strip, Tom and Sondra all flew past him as they were coming into Cary on High House. The three had taken a slightly different path into town.

GOG had stayed on the planed route. He was so fixated on that plan that he did not consider any of the shorter options into town from Wilsonville. He had actually completed the entire planned route and ended up with 3 more miles than those who used their heads to plan a more effective return to the start.

GOG jumped into his van and drove to Wilsonville to pick up Angie and Kaleo who stayed to keep her company. Angie had finally stopped shivering and was still in layers of jackets that had been donated to her by the other riders. It was good to see everyone return safe and sound.

This next write up is from SONIC BOOM.

Jim Cobb – The Rabbit

Shawn Richardson – Dessert Flower, Green Flash

Joe Pittman – Immortal Man

Lee Duncan - Sonic B-M

Chris Stark - TBD

David Bridenbaugh – Mr. Bridenbaugh

Jeff X (I forgot your last name again)


The crew took off out of the parking lot and headed in the wrong way again out of Brueggers. This was the typical Hurricane escape route that we had run during the past arctic season. Several people had been recovering from hard rides the week before and were feeling very challenged. The sore legs were further punished by the early onset hills in the main township of Cary and then out towards the great land of Apex. It was a bright crisp morning and speeds were reasonable but consistent to begin.

There were a few undecided Thorns with us at the beginning.. understandably they wanted to see if they could tolerate our childish antics. After a few stop lights, the Thorns entered the Magic Kingdom of Apex. From the entrance there were a some attacks, most of them very respectful and polite. Feeling unsettled by all the hugging, Sonic B-M made an effort to show everyone what a jerk looked like (a move enabled by the long and restful energy incubation achieved while hiding in the back).

Almost as if it were planned.. Jim Cobb (Rabbit), Joe Pittman (Immortal Man), and Chris Stark (under nickname observation) took turns pulling the group; with Jeff X maintaining a solid pace line and moderating the group's efforts as our crew chief. When everyone got tired, we could always count on the Green Flash to carry an unreasonable amount of responsibility as our strongest rider of the day. The most aggressive rider jersey certainly had to go to David Bridenbaugh, whom made a number of very very powerful escapes, all while comfortably seated (which is the international signal for -- you are all weak, kneel before me). It was a shocking display of raw unbridled-baugh power that seemed to continue on without limit.

As the group continued on.. many work efforts were traded with Jeff X making a strong pull as we approached the conclusion of the day's ride Overall a very strong, consistent effort from EVERYONE.... The Band of Brothers did 45 +/- miles at a 19.5 MPH pace.

SUNDAY April 3rd
Winds had died down, temp was pleasant.

Those in attendance as specified by the sign in sheet were;
Jae Brainard – Matriarch
Jim Cobb – The Rabbit
Todd McBride – B3
Ann Munn
Heather Pat – Two Timer
Shawn Richardson – Dessert Flower – on his white Fixie
Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa

This small band of Cyclists formed a pack to ride together expecting to complete between 30 and 35 miles at a relaxed pace of 15 mph not including the stops to regroup. The group did a fine job of supporting each other by keeping all in sight. If there was a significant gap those in the lead would pause at the next intersection/announced turn to allow for a re-formation. The route was one that left Cary thru the standard Preston Neighborhood path and onto Lewis Stevens. They then headed into the RTP area via McCrimmon Parkway, Church St. , Keystone Park Drive, Davis Drive, and a left onto Hopson.

The pack separated slightly on Church St. as some were caught at the light while others pushed the pace on that stretch of road, only to then do several loops in the roundabout on Keystone Park Dr to let the group gather once again. All made the turn off of Davis onto Hobson together and were still working to stay together as they then turned left off of Hobson on to Lewis Stevens. This was where the pack encountered its fist short climb of the days ride. It was also here that Two Timer demonstrated her climbing abilities having spent most of her Biking miles on her Mountain bike riding the hills of Umstead park. She walked away from the Thorns who did not respond as they typically do when under attack from someone in the pack. Two Timer did not let this be her only attempt to School the Thorns on how to glide up a hill. Each time the Thorns were slow to react to her subtle maneuvers. The riders were separated once again as some were caught at the long light were Kit Creek crosses Highway 55. The group did not reassemble until the next major turn onto Okelley. Those arriving at Okelley had a long delay as they waited on others to reform. It was learned that several of the folks who were trailing stopped to remove a layer of clothing as the Temperature was climbing well into the low 60’s.

Once reformed the group discussed the route options from that point to the finish. Matriarch suggested turning one street early off of Okelley to help eliminate any traffic they might encounter as they make their way to the Tobacco Trail. GOG warned that the hill on that short cut would challenge Dessert Flower who was on a fixie. GOG had ridden the route once before suggested by Matriarch and had nearly been thrown off his Fixie as the RPMs were uncontrollable due to the steepness of the downhill.

Dessert Flower was willing to give it a try but was over ruled by GOG. So the pack formed a single file formation and prepared for the short ride down Okelley with its narrow / non-shoulder and high traffic volume. The traffic did present a small problem with navigating the left turn onto the Tobacco Trail, but all made the turn smoothly and safely. The Tobacco Trail was strewn with tree limbs and small branches that had been torn from their respective trees as a result of the previous days strong Winds.

The group all exited the Tobacco Trail onto New Hope Church road. It was there that GOG contemplated out loud as to the next several potential road s to include in the days ride. He considered Mount Pisgha and its hills. That would then force another decision to go all the way to 751 and its heavy traffic and additional hills, or turn early onto West Ferrell to then find themselves turning onto Lewter Shop followed by a run into Cary Glenn and on towards home. Or do they skip hills altogether and just run the full length of New Hope Church to then turn around and go all the way back to Yates Store and then into Cary Glenn. A vote from the Matriarch settled the debate within GOGs head. Stay on New Hope Church and then head back towards Yates Store and Cary Glenn towards Home. GOG then turned his attention to thinking about how to utilize the smooth road of New Hope Church as a future potential “Thorns N Roses unofficial self timed open course TIME TRIAL” opportunity. New Hope Church can be split into two sections. The Section from Yates Store to Mount Pisgah has two to three short hills. The section from Mount Pisgah to 751 is flat and smooth. The challenge would be how to navigate a u-turn at any point while in a time trial style ride. A u-turn at mount Pisgah from 751 provides a wide long range view of potential traffic that might interfere, but the u-turn would need to be done within the narrow confines of New Hope Church road and would also provide a 3 mile out and back distance.

A u-turn on New Hope Church at Yates Store would provide for a wider U-Turn spot, however the corner is not as wide open for viewing traffic patterns that might impact the turn. Performing a U-Turn at Yates Store starting at 751 would also introduce a distance of 6 miles with about 2 miles of hills, and a need to pay attention to cross traffic of those coming off of the Tobacco trail. Hmmm what to do.

The pack all rested briefly at the gas station at 751 and new Hope before heading back towards the turn at Yates Store. Mother Theresa led the pack as she pulled the group at 18 mph up until the last hill on New Hope were she was slowly passed by The Rabbit, Dessert Flower, Two Timer, B3, Matriarch and eventually GOG. Great pull by Mother Theresa.

The route scattered the back additionally as they each headed onto Nicoles Roller Coaster only to be spit out onto Green Level and the lights at Carpenter Fire Station. GOG held up at that light to ensure Mother Theresa and Matriarch also made it to those lights before he set out towards the final miles into Cary. The group all came together one final time as those in the lead waited for GOG and the others to join them at the end of Carpenter Fire Station. From there all knew their way home down Morisville parkway and Crabtree Crossing.

The group completed 33 miles at a reasonable 15.7 mph average.