Saturday, September 10, 2011

MS 150 weekend - Thorns N Roses scattered to the wind

Several folks were supporting the MS 150 in New Bern NC.  A great weekend of fun and fantastic weather with riders accomplishing lots of miles (some more than others) at fast (some faster than others) speeds on flat roads with limited head winds.  All for a great fund raising cause.

Those staying close to home had a great week end of rides as well.

A special shout out goes to Cort Bennett on Saturdays Thorns N Roses ride.
One of those in attendance wants to regognize Cort for his solid support of the Spirit of A No Drop Ride.
The rider took the time to send an email to recognize his choice to support the spirit of the Thorns N Roses.  Here is the content of an email sent to GOG asking to recognize Cort.

"I'd like to add a "thank you" to Cort Bennett who rode with me on the Saturday Thorns N Roses ride. 
I was - by far - the slowest rider in the group and I was prepared to go it alone once the groups splintered off.  But Cort rode with me the whole way and I really appreciated that!" . 

Well done CORT.  You likely had a personal expection to get in X number of miles at XX speed. You however demonstrated the TRUE Spirit of the Thorns N Roses by Choosing to abandon your needs and took the stance to make sure No One Rides Alone.  We all want to Thank You and others who demonstate a willingness to periodically support the Spirit of a No Drop ride. 

In addition to Cort and the rider he rode with on Saturday Sonic Boom has provided the following write up.

Thorns and Roses Lite (A Thorn's Account of the Events)

The Saturday ride was low calorie for sure. About 8 riders graced the Brueggers parking lot in proper uniform. It was decided that we would ride 52 miles at a solid pace since there were only a few Thorns in attendance.

These individuals included Demian (nickname in process), Vick (nickname in process), Shaun (Green Flash), and Lee (Sonic BM). The riders took their mark after gaining executive order and rolled out of the parking lot. Everything was going swimmingly well, until Shaun spotted a dog on the side of the road and requested the others to continue on (he was powerless to continue). Apparently Shaun loves dogs so much that he needs to stop on occasion to pet and talk to them. After he caught up, the riders entered the roundabout in Preston Station and exited out in route to Cary West.

The riders took a left at CVS and cranked up the hill and turned right as they progressed up berry patch corridor. Demian with his extensive training background as a Cycling coach, pulled ahead and increased the speed of the Peloton markedly. Demian was giving helpful advice on pedal cadence etc as the group cruised along. After intermission, Shaun took the helm once again. Along the Thorns cruised on... out to the Lystra gas station and then up the big bad Lystra hill. Our new enlistment Vick did a great job of pulling himself over the land mass, and was showing terrific improvements in fitness from his last ride with us.

Once over the other side, the small group visited Jack Bennet and turned right on Big Woods. Lee decided to spend it all -- and tried to attack Big Woods, which was a very risky and tiring maneuver .. ultimately leaving him exposed when Vick attacked.

Everyone came together at the end of Big Woods and caught their breath. After a moment of reflection and star gazing, the group crossed the road and traveled up to the Wilsonville gas station. The small pack held together well and cruised into the SAG station for some extended R&R. After 13 seconds of rest, all entered the Fearrington express lane and held a nice consist pace back to home... with a few well executed attacks along the way.

The group traveled about 52 miles at a 20 mph average speed. Although the attendance was light, the intensity and fun was not.. and everyone went home for a nap.

The End

Monday, September 05, 2011

Labor day ride

A handful of thorns showed up at the standard start time only to learn that several folks had determined on Saturdays ride to leave at 8 am vs the 7:30 ish announced time.

Rather than wait for those still to arrive and assemble the band of Thorns launched themselves into their days ride.

The others continued to wail for the later start time.
Some of those looking to ride later included;
Ron Clanton – Just Ron, back in town for a short stay and ride.
Tracy Clanton – Rose Peddler also back in town for the a short visit and ride.
Rob Robertson – Top Rookie – looking to get more miles in the saddle in preparation for the MS150 ride.
Chip – Sorry Chip can not remember your last name.
Todd McBride – B3
Perry Hurt - POE
Rod Davis
Ginny Davis
Jae Brainard – GO GO GO Girl
Theresa Smit – Mother Theresa – back from helping move her sister in-law to Florida
Kevin Smit – GOG – back from helping move his sister to Florida.

The group was looking to just get in a few easy miles to start the day and to beat any rain that was predicted to arrive in the early afternoon time period.

The group discussed their options for route and settled on the RTP to the gas station on 751 route via the bike trail. With the route in mind the group rolled out of the brueggers parking lot and on into the Preston Neighborhood. Jae altered the route thru Preston by directing all riders onto Morrisville parkway and then onto Lewis Stevens by passing the Big Chicken landmark.

The riders glided along on Morrisville Parkway with the only incident a chain being thrown off of Mother Theresa’s crank set. As they rode each rider was interacting with those in the group. Some were discussing upcoming cycleing events such as the MS 150 ride, while others were catching up on activities from the summer. Just Ron and GOG were discussing the joys and challenges of the RV life. Both had previous camped (RV’d) together at various locations in the state. Chip and B3 were discussing various topics of their interest. Chip took a few moments to throw a few barbs at GOG and his new Stealthy looking bike. GOG had just recently had his SCOTT frame replaced with a new one. The new frame has a very dull finish with extremely subtle detailing. This is in stark contrast to the previous frame that looked more like a neon yellow and shiny black billboard. The biggest issue with GOG’s Stealthy bike is the pilot, who is at its controls, is NOT STELTHY and still creates a large vortex as he cuts thru the air. The group truly enjoyed the banter provide by Chip. The group was still together as they waited at the light of Lewis Stevens and Morrisville Carpenter. This was the last time the group stayed together as those looking to charge ahead did not look back until the turn into the new neighborhood off of Church road and Miami area.

The pack circled in the round a-bout to ensure all riders made that critical turn. It did not take long for all to be accounted for and the pack to again make way towards Kit Creek and the Bike Trail that would serve as the portal from one area of county roads to another.

The portal offers a smooth passage way filled with many travelers. It is an ingenious device, simple in design, yet compatible with so many modes of travel. The group of cyclists was able to traverse this portal at speeds that were easily managed based on their interaction with others in the portal. The group was able to glide along in sections at 18 miles per hour. Other periods of travel were instantly converted into a reduced speed and a slight alteration in direction as they encountered walkers, or other cyclists, or joggers, or dogs on leashes. An additional technical marvel is the ability of this portal to support travelers moving in opposite directions as well as varied velocities. If more of these portals could be made available the risk of unexpected collisions might be more readily avoided. Cyclists do not enjoy being placed into environments known as high traffic areas to then be compared to atomic particles in a super collider experiment.

Upon reaching the end of the portal the cyclists were directed to make a right turn onto New Hope Church road and to continue in that direction all the way to its end at 751.

Both Ginny and Rod Davis pulled the pack along into the head wind at speeds reacing 22 to 23 mph.

Rod was recognized for his solid performance. He then shared with the group that he had just had CSH fit him to his bike. They had raised the handle bars, and change the crank arm lengths. Rod went on to explain how much of a difference it has made for him and he no long is suffering from knee pains.

The gas station at 751 serves as a great gathering spot for Bio breaks and to replenish water. The group was offered options of heading back to the finish, or adding extra miles. The vote was unanimous to head back to the finish and to pick a route that was as flat as possible.

GOG directed all out of the parking lot with Mother Theresa Leading the way. She rocketed ahead of the group and remained in her solo spot well into the rolling hills as New Hope reaches its opposite end at the top of Up-Chuck. About half way along this route GOG was riding next to Top Rookie with Ginny Davis tucked in close behind. Both GOG and Top Rookie were animated in their banter resulting in a lot of jostling on the bikes. At one point the gap between then squeezed Ginny out and she yelled at the two to settle down in her effort to not become collateral damage from their antics.

Once at the end of New Hope Church GOG slid left onto Yates Store and towards Carpenter Fire Station. The pack responded instantly knowing they would be traveling down Up-Chuck and then up its more gradual side. They all passed GOG only to have him later zoom past on the far left between an oncoming car and the pack. His momentum was provided by the interaction of his Mass and the forces of Gravity working to pull him closer to the center of the earth. Once safely down the back side of Up-Chuck the pack reassembled as they swung right onto Carpenter Fire Station. Mother Theresa was lagging behind at that point but B3 made sure she did not ride alone.

The group finished the ride rolling into Brueggers after 32 miles at an average of 16.3 mph. A great time was had by all on the ride. This continued as most of the pack then spent the next hour socializing on the lawn furniture provided by Brueggers and Carabou coffee.