How bout that? Aaron C has jumped in with a route and a time of 10:00am from behind the New Albany Starbucks. Now look, make an effort to get out there and show up for the ride. You have to support the brave souls who put a route together, a time and show up. Route is: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/11951794
Saturday does not look like a ride day fit for man, woman or beast. As for Sunday, winds will calmer but with a high of 44, that will keep some indoors. There is the "Pop Tart" ride at 10:00am from the Dublin Starbucks on Bridge Street but be aware, while it is a no drop ride, it is an A pace throughout for a distance of 70 miles. Looking for someone to step up to offer a route and start time for others, departing from New Albany or anyplace else. Come on, don't wait for others to do the light lifting. Jump in there.
I did a loop around Granville on Monday, only 28 miles but around 1500' of climbing. Farmers are in their fields turning the soil or applying fertilizer. I can't say this is the earliest I've witnessed the activities but it is earlier than most springs, that's for sure. As I let myself into my son's home so I can continue the building project in his basement, I can see some early blooming flowers are emerging from the ground. The buds on our magnolias are swelling. Looking at the long term forecast, it does not appear there is going to be a major freeze event but of course those things change. On Sunday, I begin the drive to AZ and am really looking forward to it, not the drive but arriving in that beautiful landscape and all the wonderful activities available to me. Don't worry, I'll be working the phone to browbeat volunteers to lead Saturday rides and will post here and elsewhere. Try not to miss me too much and I'll post lots of images and ride/hike reports, like always.
The cookie lady, Kristie arrives. I sneak a peak in her trunk and am rewarded with a view of a container having post-ride snacks. Now there is a reason to ride!
I thought two alternative rides out of Hocking Hills would pull down the numbers but for most, it is too early for torture in the hills. Paul D looks on as a crowd of 38 gather, some of whom are the Lady Gnar Shredders doing their own thing.
Like last week's warmer temps, more hibernators came out including Michael. Check out the blue sky too!!!
Ric, another first timer, in the background listens as Gus urges us to ride together for a few miles before the laws of nature take over and we split. Jay P on the right with the Dew jersey.
And so we're off and although the pace was spirited, seems like everyone hung in there prior to turning left on Hollow Road for that undulating climb to Alward and beyond. I gave it my all, thus burning through all my reserves and despite being in the first 10 at the top, had nothing for the follow. I dropped back to the next group. We kept the first group in our sights all the way to Granville where we entered with a 19.1 average.
Brad on the left with Gus and Mike M. Mostly we milled around and contemplated the options, of which there were many.
Michael, Don, Kriby, etc.. line up for a pic.
Gus, Larry, Jay, Muscle Dude, Tym & Lisa, and more prepare to shove off. Others were still debating what next to do so I thought I'd get a head start on the Jones Road climb and depart with the fit, may of whom were going long, 59 miles. I lost them on the Welsh Hills return to Granville, cut into the school and....
....this is where things stood as I pedal along the school route with Don, Kristy, Kirby, etc... bearing down on me. As I coasted to Louden, I was pleasantly surprised to find Jay, Muscle Dude, Mike M, Jason and a couple others waiting. Soon, the back group caught us and we prepared to do battle with a strong wind out of the southwest. Mike organized echeloning and while I usually prefer to veg out in back while drafting, it seemed to make the miles go by faster and we....
....arrived in the parking lot with an 18.1 avg and Kristie's container of some kind of chocolate chip/caramel treat awaiting us.
10:00am from the parking lot behind Starbucks in New Albany 10:00am being the time wheels roll, not the arrival time in case you are wondering. Two other routes have popped up in the Hocking Hills area and those can be viewed at "The Cycling Club" Facebook page. Please note, this ride is open to everyone. Several opportunities to shorten this route...like cutting off the Jones Road climb being one. We seem to attract a nice crowd of people who have carried over their mid season fitness to the off season. That's good but it would be good to see people who, like me, have spent the last 3 months being slothful, indolent, lazy, idle, lacking in zeal, etc... Maybe a day where the high breaks above 60 will turn them out? Rote: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19042996
Well, with the only difference between last Saturday and this Saturday being about 25 degrees, the hibernators came out in force. Thirty-one or so plus others who joined in during the ride. As usual these days, I cast my eyes around the parking lot and did not see many who are as unfit as am I but the obligation of journalism (I kid of course) required me to be here.
Another group was there too, a gaggle of Lady Gnar Shredders hosting a group ride for ladies only.
The man of the hour, ride leader Luke R, got us going on a route. Note the blue shoes and blue gloves.
Those that were here are too numerous to name but it was good to ride with people I had not seen since late September like Gus & Peggy, Soku, Logan P, Jared, Ryan R, Dirty Dan (told me his goal was to inflict more pain on me then last year), etc.. Above, Gus chats with Larry Van Gogh while we wait for the light to change and then.....
.....we sprang into the countryside like a coiled spring. Above, Paul D taking a rare break from the front where he set a pace intended to break me. However, I clung to the group as we followed a circuitous route, entering Alexandria at mile 13. I regret not looking at my Garmin at that point as the pace had been spirited. Knowing the Mounts hill was coming, I spit the bit, as did Jared. We share something in common, we are mostly taking advantage of the off season by not doing much, other than eating and drinking. Sooooo, off went what was left of the group...like practically everyone and now lets see what happened next.....
Jared and I eventually reached Hardscrabble Road and stopped to wait for those behind us. A few minutes previously, the group had reached the same point where Dave C left the group, the people who are nearly in mid season form stayed on the route well ahead of us and others were behind.. Paul D supplied....
...the above excellent image to emphasize the situation.
We did not know whether to turn left or right so Jared checked the route while I.....
....looked for survivors. None appeared so we continued. We reached Moots Run Road and I was starving and wanted to turn left and go into Granville but Jared wanted to go right. Since he was doing most of the pulling, this put me in a quandary but I stayed with him.
Toward the top of the hill I told Jared I would wait again to see if some others would come along. He wanted to stay on the route and get in the 50 miles so he kept going. Soon, John and Anthony came by, then remnants from the Lady GS group but no one else. I guess the others of whom I was thinking had opted for a different return.
I selected a direct route back, pausing in Alexandria to check on a Lady GS who was stopped on the bridge. She was kind of discouraged as had been expecting a group ride experience. It's a tough balancing act, meeting everyone's expectations. I arrived at the parking lot with 38 miles. The front group, who had overtaken me on the way in, were in a good mood but so too was I. Yes, I suck but in two weeks, I'll be on the path to slightly less suckiness as I head to AZ.
Luke R created the above route. I'm thinking I'll pause in Granville rather than ride straight through the 50 miles. 10:00am start from the parking lot behind Starbucks in New Albany. The basement dwellers who have been slumped over their trainers are likely itching to get out and ride hard. Those of us who have been slumped over the TV remote can ride at an off season pace. Regroup if you want or not as there is a mix of goals in the group. Should be a strong turnout. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18939161
While we wait for ride plans to firm up for Saturday (something is in the works), I wanted to cover a topic about which maybe some have wondered; commenting on the blog. If you comment and do not type your email address, I have no way of knowing who you are (unless you comment under your real name of course). The only trail is an IP address that would yield nothing more than the city in which your comment was made. Only twice have I deleted a comment because they were made about someone else, nasty and unfair. I would never remove a comment about me as long as it was somewhat truthful. For example, if someone said, "Dang but you are a slow fat ass." that being accurate I would leave it. So, feel free to comment, knowing your anonymity is secure, if that's how you want it.
Our daughter, Olivia, made a couple of visits to Oro Valley and fell in love with the southwest. So much so that she eventually bought a condo near to where are ours. Meantime, she applied for a job at The Westin, a 250 acre resort complex. Several phone interviews, long waits and then while out there in January to shop for furniture, an in person interview took place. She returned to Ohio and after a few days, received the job offer, pondered it for 1 second and accepted. With a packed car, she departed yesterday and after 35 hours, arrived in Oro Valley this evening. We are very proud of this hard working and well grounded person. The really good news is that her possessions were too many to fit in her car so very, very reluctantly, I agreed to drive all that was left behind. That means I must leave our marvelous climate a couple of days sooner than I planned, leaving on the 26th by car rather than the 28th by plane. I am one heck of a father.
One of my many informants saw George at an area Planet Fitness, grinding away, training for the coming season and so took a quick pic and sent it to me. George talks frequently about being ready to take it to, if not the Riveters, at least the Thursday A group. The carbon fiber frame he cracked when he accidently sat on it, a maneuver I still can not picture, is almost fixed and will be ready for him in a couple of weeks.
As I drove toward New Albany, I passed Tym & Lisa Tyler. I slowed, yelled, "Hey" and "I'll see you later." you know the usual stuff when you are trying to stay left of the lane without veering into oncoming traffic or swerving into them. The temperature was 26 degrees. It reminded me of previous crazy riding experiences when once water that had collected in my down tube froze and I could not turn the handlebars or water bottles that froze so I could not drink...I thought I was past those episodes but today was another.
How about that?!?!? I was not alone. Luke R, Paul D, Tmy and Lisa and a late arriving Aaron C. I shoved heat packs in my gloves and shoes and it was not too bad as we shoved off at a start temp of 27. I also pulled on not one but two baklavas. I had problems during my last riding with shifting and then forgot to address it so naturally, soon after departing the parking lot the chain was clacking around and failed to respond to shifting.
Luke R, expert in many things, made some adjustments but alas, nothing worked. At mile 11, I hung a left on Watkins as the bike was unridable. The gang gave me some grief but it was not for lack of will but a mechanical that caused me to abandon. Note the bike is fixed and ready for the next challenge. I finished with 24 miles but the others hung in there and did 48. When I returned to my car, the temp had exploded to 29 degrees. I have learned not to embrace the winter cold and have no regrets. Geesh.
A day of great beauty is almost upon us. A day of such magnificence that one must ride. True, the start temp will be about 29 degrees but quickly will reach into the low 30's! What trumps all that is the SUN!!!!! Come out and be ready to roll at noon, in the parking lot behind Starbucks. The pace is whatever you desire that it be and when you rapidly pull away from the laggards, do not regroup other than for those kinda in your fitness level. Don't wait for the caboose as I will wait for the caboose, especially since I will likely be the caboose. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15982891
While I wait for an image to fulfill my "breaking news" promise of below, tonight is the grand opening of the Virtual Velo Cycle Training, 11 2nd Street in New Albany, 5:00pm is the start. More information can be found at: https://virtualvelo.com/
I do not have huge news but it is also not insignificant news. I should be able to post by the end of the week but first need to vet my sources, double check all the bases, run it through the NSA, etc...
For several years, I celebrate the day when the average day time high stops its downward trend, pauses and then....get this....begins to march higher!!!! How bout that!!!! So, on January 22nd, a Sunday, the average went from 35 to 36 DEGREES!!!!! And, wait for it.....two days from now, Wednesday, the average skips up another degree to 37 degrees!!!!!!!! Of course, you are oblivious to the change because rarely does the actual temperature reach the average (setting aside a few days we have been higher during this relatively mild winter). I mean if the actual temp equaled the averages, each day we'd be riding but looking at the forecast, few will be the days we can ride. Anyway, things are looking up on the weather front so have a drink or two and celebrate this day.
Flyin Tuna organized a Saturday hike. There were 5 of us and a dog. A dog that seemed intent on wrapping it's leash around my legs whenever the opportunity arose. It succeeded in bringing me down once, and almost did so several other times.
Zaleski State Park, just west of Nelsonville, has two good loops, a north loop and a south loop. We, Cindy, Mark C, Frank S, Jeff S and Eva, headed out on the south loop. My intent was to spread my good cheer for a couple of miles and then do some running.
It being the off-season, some of us have had some difficulty outrunning our spoons and forks. With the bulky clothing it is hard to say for sure but it appears Mark C and Cindy B have been overtaken way too many times by utensils and that, that is carried in them.
We reached an overlook that had magnificent views of....well....a distant hill lined with dormant trees. Just beyond this point, at about mile 4, I bid farewell to the group and began running....well, more like trotting or maybe fast feet shuffling but anyway, I left them behind.
I came to a lake that the trail skirted briefly and then headed.....
...into mile after mile of tree lined trail. One of our group had observed that she thought this exciting stuff. I thought it exceedingly boring but grateful for the opportunity to burn some calories as I too have been caught by the spoon and fork way too many times.
OK, there were a couple of neat places along the way. The trail is marked by letters, "A", "B", etc but when I reached "K", I headed west and ......
..reached the parking lot, across from the very interesting Hope Furnace. Finished with 9.5 miles while the remainder of the group went off trail to the Moonville Tunnel and then rejoined the route to finish with around 13 miles.
This looks like a good time. The FOB (Friend of Blog) Shannon Kurek, aka HFP Racing Man, has 6 spots open in the 30 person training camp in Helen, GA. While each of the 3 disciplines are part of the camp, it appears cycling is the biggest part of the agenda and gives you the opportunity to climb Brasstown Bald. Whoa. The cost of the camp seems like a great deal too. For more info, click the below link.
I had kept the crowd waiting. Never a good thing. At 9:45am, my bike out and all good to go I reached for the arm warmers and .....dang, not there. I drove to get them and was back and on the bike by 10:10. Twenty-one had gathered.....
...quite a few Team Audis in last year's kits although I think Ken B was wearing the 2017 version.
Luke R staying fit and preparing for the Birkebeiner, a 50k, cross country event in WI. Note the absence of snow makes it a challenge to train for said event.
We head for the Jones Road climb that was certain to split us so probably now I should identify all who come because who knows when next I would have the chance (apologies to those I forgot). Andrew Hall, Eric the Dispatch Photographer, Steve Oxley, Luke & Lori, Danny A, Ken B, Travis I, Cindy B, Brandon W, Frank Seebode, Larry P, Jeff S, Mike M, Kyle Z, Pete P,.....
....new guy Brad in the middle. Later, someone said he looked a lot like Craig Butler and since Brad competes in 50+ mile trail runs and rarely rides less than 75 miles, we began to call him Craig. Brad is going to try to make it out for the Thursday New Albany rides this season. The group frequently paused to wait for we stragglers but that is not necessary. It's more important that you make the rides and ride at the pace at which you want to ride and don't worry about the caboose. We stragglers eventually form up, ride easy while talking about eating and watching reality TV shows. It's not as bad as it sounds.
Around mile 16, we reached St Louisville. About 10 people had ridden from New Albany so this was their turnaround point while a group of us, including....
...Larry van Gogh....
...headed toward Martinsburg. Reaching Martinsburg Road and heading north we passed....
...an auction at which at least 30 buggies were present. Then we...
...arrived at the market and took a break, This time of the year, it is striking how vast is the difference in fitness. I was so far back, so quickly, I can't say who was leading the way but certainly Steve O, Eric seems really fit, Frank, Mike M hmmmm I'll stop here cause otherwise I'd call out every name but my own. We lingered for only a few minutes and when reaching the 57 mile turnoff, we stayed on the 52 mile route. The last 15 miles was agony.
Some have grown weary of the first 10 miles into and out of New Albany so let's start elsewhere. Flyin Tuna has come up with two routes, one of 52 and one of 57 miles going to Martinsburg while passing through St. Louisville. 10:00am start from Granville's Wildwood Park which is on the south side of West Broadway. While Cindy will hammer with the stallions, I will travel the 52 mile route at an off season pace. Come out and at least start with the group and then move on at whatever pace you prefer.
Let the word get out that, at 11:50am, despite the rain, I was undeterred. I got the bike out and rode to the front of Starbucks but no cyclists and upon the return to the parking lot, still no one of interest so then and only then, I decided to pack it in. Then, suddenly and without warning....
...Isaac emerged from a car and began to prepare. He was decidedly unenthusiastic about riding. We chatted a bit and then....
....Luke, stylish dressed as always and in Italian garb, showed up and then Frank S swooped in. Each of us had arrived via a different direction and each of us had encountered rain. Luke checked radar and passed the screen around so we could all see....it don't look good folks. I had no option, considering I am creating a "Man Cave" in my son's house while being burdened with a crushing regular work load at home but to move on to more important things.
Naturally, the remaining 4 were bummed that the life of the party was moving on. But, what happened? Were they simply spewing pessimism so the weak minded among us (me) would move on and they could then ride happily? Entirely possible but they retreated for coffee, reemerged at 12:45 and got in a 44 mile ride. Meantime, I got busy as a carpenter. I managed to fire a nail into my hand, saw a portion of a not so important finger, accidently apply "Liquid Nails" between fingers and misread a Level, thinking it showed horizontal when instead it was vertical. This will be a very creative Man Cave.
Noon, 12:00, at New Albany Starbucks in New Albany, a group will form and then ride the below route. I will be there to lead an off season pace while Luke and Isaac, among others, will be there to lead an A/Rivet pace.
I profusely apologize for the lack of content this week. It must have been awful to check in on the blog and continue to see an image of me on a high school golf team. Analogous to walking in and catching your parents, no probably grandparents, having sex.
I have a good excuse though. I came down with an ugly cocktail of symptoms that ranged from blood flow from every orifice, ear ache, sore throat, cold spells, hot spells, vaginal discharge, loss of memory, dizziness, runny nose, anxiety, yellow skin and those are just from the first day. Things got worse thereafter!!!! I was conflicted because a team of doctors diagnosed Black Death while my wife said it was a cold virus. I was walking around with a head that felt like a swollen pumpkin.
My body finally shrugged off the unhealthy chains this morning and I went for a short trail run. How about that! I felt pretty good although I still have a pumpkin head. I hope that will pass in time.
844 of you visited the blog this week. I can never shake the awe that generates with me. Can there be that many cubicle dwellers that are so bored they come to a site like this? Apparently yes. With site restrictions at work removing porn sites, I guess that gives this site an advantage. Well, time to get back at it. There is a hike on Sunday but details are sketchy still yet a bike ride on Monday so.....more on that later.
Today, as I struggle for content during the lull of winter, I watched a guy by the name of Justin Thomas win the PGA Tour's Tournament of Champions. His grandfather, Paul was the head pro at Zanesville Country Club where I worked for a season as an assistant, his father Mike was on the ZHS team with me!!!! There I am, top row to the far left. I was the token guy from the poor section of Zanesville and with Title IV, I got on the team!!! This was before you had to have a minimum GPA of 1.5 too. Note the sytlish white belt. I still wear it often. I post this only to establish some cred with you cyclists. While you pass me rapidly on the hills and, truth be, on the flats and down hills too, know I could kick your ass, if I practiced a bunch, on the golf course. Many years later, after a failed attempt to turn pro, I won the....get this....the Licking County Amateur. That plaque hangs on my office wall and I polish it every feakin day.
From Cindy B: A few of us are planning to hike on Saturday at 10:00, starting at Boch
Hollow State Nature Preserve, 7000 Beach Camp Road, Bremen. None of us have
been to this preserve; it looks like there could be around 6 miles of
All are welcome. We hike at a fairly fast pace but can form two groups if needed. Too cold to ride so if you want to get outside, come join us.
Yes, the sidewalk and parking lots were filled with cyclists in a gleeful mood as demonstrated by Todd Larson, who photobombed the image but that's ok as it added much to the image. I walked into the Veloscience shop and....
...the place is packed with new bikes. Some where in here is Scott Billman's new ride which I am told has a motor in the frame but it was in a roped off area and I could not get close to it. Later, somehow, lots of people carmmed in here for Mellow Mushroom Pizza and Kristie's cookies.
I wandered out to a filling parking lot and hey, there is Dirty Dan, Flyin Tuna and Steve Oxley, ready to roll.
The Cookie Lady, Kristie on the left with Don N and others with whom I would end up riding the 40 mile route.
The odd thing about today, other than a one in eleven billion weather day of sun and warmth (sort of) was I did not recognize very many cyclists. Some who I thought would be here were not but on the other hand, you could be my brother or sista and with all that clothing, I would not recognize you
The crowd mounted and I counted a bit over 80! Amazing! Some Riveters were here like Philippe, Doug M, Travis, Ken Buddell, Danny A, Kyle, Sergej, ...Riveters disguised as A's; Scott Billman and Paul Djupe, etc... It got to be about 10 after the official start time when suddenly a guy wearing a Veloscience kit (maybe Geoff?) rode through and....
...we started to ride except for the dude in summer clothing who crashed but quickly remounted and was good to go.
Steve Fields on the left and others got stopped at #62 and already the large group was split and slit many times at various stop signs and intersections. I got in with the Kristie and Don show with Allen, Andres, Michael, Cindy and a couple others. Good group and we motored around with....
...a few stops to regroup. A great day for a ride and we finished with a bit under an 18mph average. Others on the long route finished with a 20.5 so no one was killing it and watching the Strava Fly-bys, looked like other groups regrouped too.
On Sunday, take a relaxing morning and then head to Veloscience for the start of the annual New Year's Day ride, at 1:00pm. Sober is the way to go but no one will judge you if you have a massive hangover, just come out. Below are the two official routes. Should be a massive,......no that is understating things, more like a ginormous turnout so come out and have your pic taken to appear here, where no one will see it but at least you can say your pic was on a rarely visited web site.
Also, click on the link below and join the Cycling Club Facebook page. Rides will be posted once the season gets going.
Surprised that so many came out for a cold but sunny start to our 45 mile ride from New Albany to Granville and back. Even Dustin, on the right was there, a guy who rides like he is on the bike every freakin day but this would be his first ride since October. Meredith on the left with Don and Kim, Larry P in the background.
Hard to take your eyes off the custom made leg warmers but behind that is Meredith's new bike.
Jeff S on the left with Connor and Eric. I had promoted the ride as an "off season pace" but with Connor I should have said "off season pace divided by two subtract 50%" The kid killed us but then so too did Dirty Dan, Eric, Dustin, Don, Larry...well pretty much everyone turned the screws on me. Hiking around AZ does absolutely nothing for cycling while the reverse is not true. Or, I just suck at cycling no matter what I have been doing. Yeah, that's probably it.
We head east. The most remarkable but unseen point to this image is while wearing lobster gloves, I managed to extract the camera, push the "on" button and snap the pic while also reinserting the camera into my jacket. I was a wee bit over dressed while also using arm/feet warmers. Toasty is probably the correct word to describe how I felt at the ride start. By mid point of the route, sweat was pooling where ever there is a cavity formed by layers of fat so I was carrying a lot of extra weight! We lost Kim and Meredith in Alexandria as they selected a direct route back to NA. We arrived....
...in Granville with an average speed above 18mph. We sought relief in the coffee shop on the main drag through Granville. Don said his coffee was the best he had tasted in a long time. We lingered but not excessively, emerged back into the sun and headed back. Some of us struggled (I won't name names) on the return but we always regrouped for her. The pace was still kind of high and I think the average was 17 at the end while fighting a small head wind.
Ride out of New Albany behind Veloscience/Starbucks, going to Granville for a quick stop prior to returning. Route is easily cut short if you want. 11:00am start following this route:
Off season pace but if you want to move faster, no one will whine about it.
Mark is a long-time cyclist who enjoys poking fun at himself but most especially at his friends. No nicknames or comments are intended to offend, accept them in the humor they are intended.