Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 21st Thorns melt down

Thank You Lee Duncan - Sonic Boom for this creative account of the days ride for the Thorns.

Classroom Attendance

Immortal Man
Green Flash
Sonic B-M
Nice Man w a New Bike

Title: The Jordan Lake Triangle

What a great turn out. As I rolled into the parking lot on Saturday it was teaming with neon and melt extrusion polyurethane --- AKA spandex.

It had the feel of a summer ride, with lots of friends and a double serving of enthusiasm. As the riders started to get organized we had to find leaders for the different groups. In an effort to provide one possible route, Sonic Boom explained a possible adventure. It was a strange experience, like when a child explains to their parents something that is very important to them, and in the end given the response "well that's very nice dear" with a pat on the head. Not knowing the names of the roads and acting out the turns using interpretive dance was not giving a high level of confidence to the group; not to mention a vague guesstimate of total mileage between 30 and 100 miles. They weren't having it.

Luckily Steve Cope was able to make a more appealing route suggestion to the masses, and off we went. The Thorns started off with about 8 to 10 riders at the beginning of the parking lot, and by the bottom it was reduced to about 4. This was attrition on a dramatic scale. These 4 included a nice man with a new bike, Immortal Man, the Green Flash and Sonic Boom. The fabulous 4 road up to Davis Drive and turned Left at Morrisville Carpenter. The plan for the day was to ride out by Del Web, hit 751, cruise up Fearrington in reverse and up to the Lystra Gas Station. The pace was very brisk with a computer average of about 20 mph up the long incline.

Because of the fast pace, Sonic Boom's legs were ready to explode. Luckily we were at the Lystra gas station and could indulge in tasty visceral fat creating treats. A few moments later Mr Popularity showed up... Capt'n Carbon with his fan club. The rowdy crew overtook the gas station like bike week at Myrtle Beach---all that was needed was the Capt'n in a pair of chaps. Sorry, try and erase that visual if at all possible. Moving on..

After a little while at the snack bar, we lost another one and only had 3 in registered attendance. The 3 Amigos included Immortal Man, the Green Flash, and S-B. Feeling beat to a pulp we decided to indulge in a suffer-fest and headed towards Lystra. For a moment we were excited because a huge group of cyclists turned down the Lystra Concourse --and we welcomed the prospect of climbing the mighty beast amongst the masses. Unfortunately, the cycling mob turned off towards Big Woods and we had to give up on our cycling fantasy.

Up we went climbing the widow maker and eventually meeting at the other side in the un-shade. Everybody knows that Lystra doesn't give up her dead, and so we waited for the final member of the group as we baked in the hot sun. When the 3rd member arrived, we learned that there was a mechanical issue with Immortal man's bike and he needed to return back to the safety of base camp. After verifying his return plan, the group proceeded..which was now down to Mr Flash and SB. The 2 crime fighters continued on...turning left on Jack Bennet and a right up Big Woods. The hills kept coming and coming and Sonic Boom was on the verge of a physical and mental break down. Luckily young Flash was feeling fresh and forged ahead. Not much further down the road a steel splinter took out SB with a puncture-- which was fixed utilizing the cumulative knowledge, skills and equipment among the two surviving members.

And with that, the 2 cruised back and into home plate---finally safe.

Distance: approx 56 miles

Ave speed: approx 19.7 mph

Monday, May 16, 2011

Durham Bulls

Classroom Attendance

Jim Cobb – The Rabbit
Shawn Richarson - Green Flash
Lee Duncan - Sonic B-M
Todd McBride – B3 (Best Bikin Buddy)

Title: Durham Bulls

On Saturday morning Team Thorn consolidated in the parking lot wondering if we could outrun the rainy forecast that was predicted. We could stay close and play it safe, or we could explore new terrain in Durham where we have limited experience and greater interaction with motorists. Exactly, we chose the Durham route.
Off we went utilizing the escape hatch out of Cary and enjoyed the typical commuter route into the triangle, minus the spilled coffee in the crotch. It was a nice change with windy roads and some hills to start. The group stayed together and worked well as we escorted ourselves beyond the Cary city limits. A few miles into the ride, we enjoyed the calming delight of some stop lights, train tracks and other roadside attractions including a routine traffic ticket for one unlucky driver. If they only had decided to ride their bike…

One unexpected observation was that there were a lot of hills on the route. Seriously, a ton. The mountainous terrain jumped out of no where, punishing the lungs and our resolve to overcome the mighty giants of Durham. And then that resolve went out the window as a few pulled off to go to McDonalds.

What is this!? Oh, they aren’t getting coffee and hash browns, they just need the gentle embrace of the toilet koozie (not the outdoorsy type for bio relief). A few moments later we were back on the road and climbing the hills again. This continued on for about an eternity, but we loved it because it felt like an adventure.

As the riders approached Cary prefecture, it was determined that we still had time on the shot clock, so the Green Flash suggested that we add on another mini loop. Because we had been so successful staying out of the rain, why not push our look a little further? And we did.

The group pulled into the parking lot just shy of 12 noon and were extremely ecstatic to be able to get out and ride and enjoy time with friends.

Distance: approx 45 miles
Ave speed: approx 18.5 mph
Calories burned: Equiv. to 1 Happy Meal