Saturday, April 23, 2011

Threat of Rain did not keep the riders away

Those in attendance included:
Theresa Smit - Mother Theresa
Todd McBride - B3
Kim Barker
David Bridenbaugh - Mr Bridenbaugh
Josh Carter - Moving Violation
Tim Divinney - The Love Train, The Love Boat (new nickname due to his swimming skills)
Matt Fowler
Deb Hollis - Two Saddles
Joe Pittman - Mr Immortal
Sharon Prochazka
Dave Pynaker
Don Shupe
Robert Speer
Matt Fowler
Mike Bracco

GOG provided the Thorns and Stems options of completeing 45 - 52 miles.
He shared this route with Mr. Bridenbaug, Todd McBride B3, Immortal Man, Moving Violation.
Mr. Bridenbaug announced that the Thorns will likely to the longer distance but keep it slower than normal.  They figured more like 18 mph vs the 19+ usually accomplished by the Thorns.  GOG then announced to the group that those not wanting to go the full distance or that pace need to regroup at the Wilson Gas Station and follow one of the others who know the alternate route as described by GOG.

GOG then announced that Mother Theresa would be leading a group on a 30-35 mile route at a more reasonable 15 mph pace.  With this information the group immediatly formed into two with at least a half dozen lining up with Mother Theresa.

GOG did not ride.  He is resting and preparing for his back surgery scheduled to Thursday April 28th.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A beautiful day for a bike ride.

On more than one occasion during the days ride someone in the group commented on how fabulous the day was.
The group grew in size as the clock closed in on 9 am the starting time.
A call came in to Mother Theresa asking what route the days ride would take. The Augustine’s wanted to make sure they could leave from their home on bike and intercept the riders as they headed out of town. GOG conveyed the planned route with enough detail to help the Augustine’s head out with confidence they would intercept the pack at or around Green Hope High School.

Those who had assembled in the parking lot included:
Kevin Smit – GOG
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa
Jim Cobb – The Rabbit
Elise Cobb – Popsicle, The BEAST (still riding with broken collar bone).
Todd McBride – B3 (Best Bikin Buddy)
Laura Spell – fresh off of several Triathlon events and gearing up for many more – a TRI-FINATIC, She really enjoys doing it 3 ways (swim, bike, run). Hmmmm a nick name is buried in there somewhere. (3 way).
Sharon Prochazka
Paul Schmidt – no relative to Kevin and Theresa SMIT
Perry Hurt – welcome back to the group
Mary Carol Ruppen – MC first time riding with the group. Longest ride to date was 13 miles in Umstead.
Lee Duncan – Sonic Boom
Shawn Richardson – Killer Bee on his black and Gold Fixie

Jumping in later on the route:
Doug Augustine – Rumble Strip
Sheila Augustine – keep an eye on her, and report anything she does or says on a ride, she is ripe for a nickname.

GOG welcomed the new faces to the group and introduced them while asking the pack to make sure they are tested not so much for their biking skills but to see how well they participate in the banter.

GOG then informed the Thorns of the days planned route. “we have some new faces today so we will keep it relaxed and the mileage will be at or below 30 miles. You Thorns will likely not want to be forced to ride at that pace or distance. So I will share with you what we are doing and you can adjust as needed”. “The route will go out the back way on Crabtree Crossing, left onto Morrisville Parkway, stay straight all the way until Capn’s Grave Yard, turn towards High House and pass by Green Hope High. Then turn right on High House and take it all the way to White Oak. Turn Right on White Oak to its end. Turn left onto Luter Shop, Be prepared to turn early off that onto West Ferrell. Take it to Mount Pisgah. Take a left onto Mount Pisgah to 751. Turn right on 751 to the gas station at New Hope Church. Make the right there and take it to the Tobacco Trail. Take the Tobacco trail to Okelly. Make the right on Okelly and then the right on Yates Store into the Del Webb subdivision. Next turn is the left onto Carpenter Fire Station and the run on into home.” As GOG provided this information both Killer Bee and Sonic Boom nodded their heads indicating a complete understanding of the days route.

Without any further delay the group was led out of the parking lot and onto a short section of sidewalk that kept the group off of busy Cay Parkway. There was a great deal of small branches, pine cones, and insulation (likely from Lowes in Sanford) strewn all over the pavement. The cyclists did a great job of informing others so all had the time to dodge these additional obstacles; the standard potholes were still there as well.

The Thorns made their first move on Morrisville Parkway only to be briefly held back at the light on Davis Drive. The three Thorns included The Rabbit, Sonic Boom, and Killer Bee. The group was not seen again until back in the parking lot where they described how they altered the route to provide 5 extra miles.

The Stems and Rose did a great job of supporting each other by slowing or waiting on the other side of an intersection for those in the rear who were caught by the light.
The group took a short pause at the turn from Morrisville Parkway onto Capn’s Graveyard. This allowed all to catch up from the multiple stop light traps, and to take on some fluid, as well as shed some layers of clothing as the sun was warming up the morning. Once all tasks were completed the group was guided thru the intersection after waiting for several vehicles to pass. Just as they began the run down Capns Crawl two cyclists approached from the opposite direction. It was the Augustine’s who had called earlier to make sure they could intersect the rouĂ© and join in as the group headed out of town.

Mother Theresa had worked her way to the front of the pace line and took solid command of the pace. She pulled the group along at a steady speed of 18 mph. GOG was seen drifting towards the rear of the pace line and then pushing himself forward towards the front. He was herding the pack as an AKC Registered Australian Sheppard. The pack all arrived at High House together thanks to Mother Theresa’s talented pull from the front. She then rolled onto High House and again established her command and control position. GOG once again swung out wide in an effort to gain full view of all in tow. Mother Theresa continued her power pull the entire length of High House and Green Level charging head first into the wind at 18 and 21 mph. GOG, B3, and Rumble Strip all rolled past her at as Green Level begins its climb to White Oak. “How about we spell you for a while” GOG announced. “Yea I could use some help, I wont be able to keep this up on the hill” she chocked out between deep breaths.

It was there that the group began to splinter with GOG, B3 and Rumble Strip all attacking the hill. GOG crested the climb at 21 mph just as his heart was coming apart in his chest. The three circled at the top waiting for the shattered group to arrive one at a time. Sharon was one of the first followed closely by Paul, Perry, Popsicle – The Beast, and the others. With out rest The Beast headed towards Luther Shop and slowly others followed, however with a lot less enthusiasm. MC was heard saying under her breath “Maybe this was not such a good idea today”. She was just about at the longest distance she had ever ridden and had already ridden faster than ever before. As the group rolled towards the Tobacco Trail crossing Perry informed GOG that he had to turn back do to work commitments. They said their goodbyes and the group was now down one rider.

The pack never fully reassembled until the end of White Oak were Rumble Strip, B3, and The Beast were all hold up to let GOG and the rest join them. MC rolled up to the group and when asked by GOG “how are you doing MC” she replied with a smile. That was good enough and the group was directed to make the left turn onto Luter Shop. The county line sprint was only yards away and to B3’s amazement no one challenged for the win. “Not what the Stems and Roses are all about” chimed GOG. The group did a nice job of staying together as they enjoyed additional chit chat wile getting some great exercise on a beautiful day. The right onto West Ferrell went very smoothly. All arrived next at the turn onto Mount Pisgah were GOG rolled on thru into the left turn. No Rest just GO. This repeated its self as the group rolled up to the right turn at 751. There was no traffic so once again GOG led the way by sliding thru the right turn announcing “CLEAR” as he did so. 751 was fast and again the climb was a place to practice a short attack. Hills do help make for a stronger rider if they are leveraged as places to challenge ones ability. 3 ways to survive a hill. 1. Let it slowly weigh you down as you lose momentum and rpms. 2. match the pressure with pressure – work to keep speed consistent while also shifting at the correct moments to keep rpms from dropping significantly. 3. Increase speed as the hill unfolds – apply extra pressure to not just match that presented by the hill but give it slightly more with each revolution of the peddles. The trick is to apply slight amounts and compound those slowly.  Or if you are a Thorn you attack and never look back.

At the crest of the hill GOG made the right hand turn and pointed to the parking lot of the gas station so that THE BEAST would not clip GOGs wheel as he maneuvered into a stop at the gas station. The Beast was on GOGs wheel the entire climb as if to announce “is that all you got old man, I can match it one handed – she is riding with a broken collar bone. What a BEAST.

“We can take a bio break for anyone who needs one” GOG informed the group once all were in the parking lot. No one showed any interest in a Bio Break but they did continue their chit chat and consumption of fluids. “Ok Todd you know were the Tobacco Trail is, take us there” commanded GOG.

With that the pack rolled out of the parking lot and onto the smooth surface of New Hope Church road. Within a few yards Jae – The Matriarch rolled past GOG and B3 and asked permission to turn it loose. “GO JAE GO” GOG encouraged. Jae LOVES that section of road and lights it up each time she rides it.

This section of road needs to be nicknamed “Jae’s RUN”.

As the group rolled up to the Tobacco trail GOG asked a couple of folks exiting it on bikes as to what the condition of the trail was. “CLEAR, No Debris” was their response. That was good news and the Stems and Roses slipped between the gate posts and onto the paved downhill grade of the Tobacco Trail.

Lots of “Good Mornings” were exchanged as the group shared the trail with runners, walkers, and other cyclists. At one point GOG rolled up to a jogger and began to banter with him. “DUDE you are cooking along at 8.4 – now 8.7”, “hang with me man, You can do it” The runner laughed and waved as GOG slowly crept past. MC was next to GOG as he interacted with the runner. “There is a Law that prevents the harassment of Runners” she informed GOG. “Crap, I bet there will be uniformed officers waiting at my door when I get home” he chimed back with a big grin. Some boys never grow up.

“OK next turn onto OKelley we will be greeted with heavy traffic and a short climb” GOG shouted to the pack. “And no Shoulder” added Jae – The Matriarch. Each rider navigated the exit of the Tobacco trail while also looking for cars, and dodging other cyclists entering the area. The climb up Okelley split the pack again forcing a short pause at the turn onto Yates Store to ensure all made it safe into the next turn. MC was holding up great. She had already gone over 10 miles further than her longest ride to date of 13 miles. The group held up at Carpenter Fire Station just to make sure GOG did not plan a cruel trick like sending them onto UPCHUCK before heading for home. To everyone’s relief GOG made the turn onto Carpenter Fire Station and in dong so made it clear they would not be doing UpChuck and in fact they were all pointed in the shortest flattest route back to the start.

The group strung out on Carpenter Fire Station in an effort to minimize the impact to the heavy traffic, and to push the last few miles as the ride was winding down.

All said goodbye to the Augustine’s near the point they had joined the ride. Then everyone finished by riding into Cary on Morrisville Parkway with the last turns putting them onto Crabtree Crossing and finally a short section of Cary parkway into the parking lot at Brueggers.

A 30 mile ride at just over 15 mph average. All enjoyed the route, the day and all congratulated MC for more than doubling her longest distance on a bike.