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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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
New to the group;
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:
Scott Clark – Turbo Charger – Go Hard and Go again with CSH
Jim Cobb – The Rabbit
Marianne Mahn - #1 in the Bush
Todd McBride – Best Bikin Buddy (B3)
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
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.