Wow, still in the 50+ mile distance for the A route and you can see it and the others here, including links to the GPS files: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/ Rick has two distinct B groups so don't let the madness of previous Thursdays deter you from participating in the "Mother of All Evening Group Rides."
Famer Mike on the left just bought a new van and awaiting a new bike, wished he had the good luck of Jeff, finding a $20 on the road while riding to the start.
So, the New Albany/central Ohio A's have been roaming the earth, looking for a place to call their own on Tuesdays. Their odyssey began at the Canal ride but they came, they saw, they conquered and it's a long drive so then they began visiting the Dublin ride but as I was told, their kind was not welcome. Now they have begun to gather in our shaded parking lot. Initially, Marty would slot in and ride middle of the pack, then Jon Morgan, then Doug McConaha and tonight others arrived such as Tym Tyler, Rich Lewis, Muscle Dude and Ron Budzig, along with a couple other guys sporting team kits..
I hope the Cycling Club embraces this misunderstood, mistreated minority and welcomes them to our Tuesday ride. Probably the club will but then the question is, how can the ride remain a "B" paced ride.....it can't, it's not realistic to expect all that pent up power to pedal so slowly. Just last night, our average speed went from a previous high of 19.3 to 20.3 so there was restraint but the addition of the fastest made our ride faster.
George doing what he does best, talking. Last week he doubted he could hang because he had ridden three consecutive days. This week, he doubted he could hang because he had taken a couple days off. What's the answer? "Hincapie" got his Trek back with the metal sleeve for the bottom bracket and must now go through what is usually the pointless exercise of having that part fail before he can apply for a replacement frame.
Marty, on the left, rode a gravel ride earlier in the day so just came out to socialize, above with Craig Rice, Rich Lewis, Farmer Mike and Gus.
Gus let us know that a local cyclist, while riding in Montana this week, descending a hill, died when a car pulled out in front of him. I did not recognize the name so can not type it here but saddened to know that another husband and father has died while participating in cycling. Gus used this as an opportunity to warn us about running stop signs and safety and with that we took off. Jay P immediately fell off his bike, above straightening back to the upright position. Odd timing.
And so, a group of 40 B's with another 10+ having already departed in the C/D group, left the parking lot in a long line. The group was split at the New Albany light and I don't think we ever regrouped but that was ok as we hurtled out old 161 and arrived in Alexandria with a 21.9 average. We rolled through the village, hit the Mounts hill, right on Lobdell with some very dicey loose gravel, emerged at Hardscrabble but did not regroup, soft pedaled out Battee to Louden where we regrouped a little and then hit Stone Quarry with a regroup there. Then back to the parking lot with 38 miles and as said before, a 20.3 average. With the influx of strong A's what is the best course forward, split off a real A group at the start or continue as is with some restraint shown and a couple of regrouping points?
Many from Central Ohio are headed to the little village of Monterey, WV, this Saturday, to participate in the Mountain Mama ride, one of those 100 mile, 10,000' climbing events. This one is a little different from most, rather than have a giant climb at the end, the route features 9 climbs, evenly dispersed across the 100 miles although one of those is at the end. So remote is the location, few make it to the event, usually no more than 250-300. However, Central Ohio usually has a strong contingent and this year is no different with Steve Oxley, John Day (Muscle Dude Jr.), Dustin (Old Chubbs), Brent, Rick Miller, Amanda (Corvair), Mark V, Mitch O, Cindy B (Flyin Tuna), Mark C (Wolf in Pastor's Clothing), Philippe, Greg Dubois, Ted M and a couple others I'm sure.
One on this list has given up his room at one of the more desirable hotels from a list of very undesirable options, citing the weather forecast. Monterey is on top of a plateau and above it rise mountains so cool weather is the rule rather than the exception. Precip is forecast at 60% and at that elevation, way up in those mountains, will it be rain or snow? Dress carefully my cycling buddies.
A smallish turnout of around 30 for the COP roving ride out of Sugar Grove on a very excellent route of 76 or 96 miles. Above, the too cool to listen group of Dirty Dan, Flyin Tuna, Mark C, Beth Hale & friend ignore Andrews request to gather for ride comments. I wish I could be in the "too cool" group but I instinctively did as instructed and listened to Andrew. Then off we went with a few of us, Muscle Dude Jr,. Steve O, Brent, Philippe, Dirty Dan, Larry P and Andrew getting a little ahead at the first big climb of the route and then at mile 25.....
....cruised into New Straitsville and paused at Ed's Market. Usually, the 3 chairs in front are occupied by locals and so tired was I, I had already planned to open a can of "whup ass" if they did not make room for us but they had already gone. Larry P, Lisa, Mark C, Philippe and me went on the 76 mile route and had a good time other than that 17 mile stretch on Marietta Road is brutal. Of much greater significance, the next day, Sunday, several of the women who populate our New Albany Thursday ride participated in.....
....the Challenge New Albany event, including Lori Nedusco, Peggy Cook, Katherine Graham and Allison Nuevo. With thanks to Meredith Whitney Gabriel for use of the images, above is Lori. A bad day in the water put Lori too far behind but she passed hundreds once on the bike, like that is unexpected.
Above, Peggy Cook Allison finished 3rd in the Elite Female Open Division Half Tri at 4:56, Lori finished 3rd in the 30-34 Half Tri at 5:49, Katherine finished 8th in the 35-39 Olympic distance at 2:54 and Peggy finished 1st in the Aquabike division at 3:31. Congrats ladies!
The day began unlike most, fortunately, as I cut down yet another ash tree. This one I planted when our house was built and I had some sentimental attachment to it. But, dead is dead so down it had to come. Cutting and persuading it to go where you want is the easy part, it's the cleaning, burning, cutting, stacking that is a pain in the ass so when I arrived for the New Albany ride, my back ached and I wasn't sure I was going to ride.
Before arriving, I swung by the New Albany pool to see if I could get an image of Dave Chesrown and sure enough, there he was, wearing dark glasses and staring at the "hotties". I fear we have lost Dave until the pool closes.
The parking lot energized me so I went in to my normal routine of taking unflattering images of people. Above, Ricky G on the left made a rare Thursday appearance, standing with Farmer Mike who is waiting on a new road bike having Dura Ace Di2 as part of the package.
Todd Lee asked if I could photoshop the image to give him large muscles but the computing power to pull off that feat would be to great so we'll just have to go with the unedited image.
Some of the ordinary cyclists who make up the vast majority of our rides.
Yet more ordinary cyclists. So many names for me to learn. I try to add one a week but never catch up with everyone. Or maybe I have but have forgotten so many.
Kristian stretches while more gather.
Rick called us together and read some prepared remarks about cycling safety. He also mentioned that he has the right to ban the craziest among us. I wondered if some had already been banned because the turnout was light. A round of applause signaled the end of the statement and 28 of us shoved off in the A group, including John and his son, Anthony. Seeing this made me nervous mainly because Anthony is not big enough for me to draft behind, always a concern of mine but his bike handling is at times erratic and too unpredictable. This will change in time of course but for now, he should stick with the B group for another season, although riding with that group ain't no day at the beach if you know what I mean.
We headed out 161, managed to get across 62, made several turns and at mile 12 or 13, we made a right on Vans Valley Road. Here there was a modest climb and I was in good shape but arriving at a sharp turn to the right, I saw a gap opened in front of Anthony. Fortunately, Rich Lewis and another pulled me over but then looking ahead, a large gap had opened in front of Katherine Graham. Three of us began to close but I could not hold Rich's wheel and soon found myself with Ron Budzig, John Sada, guy decked out in all red and one other. Our average at the breaking point was close to 23 so the frequent stops had skewed the average down a bit but our group of 5 kept the pace high as we took turns pulling.
Reaching Clover Valley Road, my back barking at me, I lost interest and cut out of this good group, heading south all the way to Jug and in with 42 miles and a 21.5 avg. Now for Saturday, Tri-Andrew is once again hosting the COP Roving Ride out of Sugar Grove at 8:00am. This route is one of the best on the schedule and all are welcome. You can find the routes here but paper maps will be available and the ride is free:http://ridewithgps.com/users/57043
Check this out. We head in to uncharted waters, at least for the Thursday ride, going way north and even west. Get the details, gps files and everything else here: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/ While there, take less than a minute and join the Cycling Club. It costs nothing and gets you on an email list for ride notices. With the heat and humidity at bay, temporarily, should be a great evening for a bike ride.
Good turnout, surprisingly for a hot and very humid Cycling Club group ride out of New Albany, behind Veloscience bike shop. Around 45 people with about 28 out for the B group ride, the balance for the Club Ride for C/D cyclists. As usual, there was a smattering of A's who are content, mostly, to use this as a recovery ride after a hard weekend and fit in with the "B" speed concept. Word filtered around that unfortunately, Terry Griffith crashed this weekend and has a punctured lung. Also hear Jon Morgan is in Africa, maybe on safari?
Seldom seen Dave Chesrown. Hmmmmm, had he neglected to lay a towel, reserving a chair at the pool, had the pool people run out of margarita mix, too few hotties strolling around to draw Dave's attention? Whatever the reason, we were glad to have him slot in with us. Grand Poobah on the right and the guy in the center is waiting for his Trek to be fixed, after it, like thousands of others, had the bottom bracket issue. Good luck. After going through 3 Trek frames, I'm glad I'm on a different bike.
Since there were several new people, Gus (right) explained the purpose of the ride and everyone appeared to get it and in fact, did.
We rolled out with Marty S on the right, riding a cross bike and Crazy George on the left. PLEASE, someone suggest new insults for George to use. If I hear him tell me one more time, "Gee, are you still with me." or, "Gee, I thought I dropped you long ago." I will scream.
The heat and humidity didn't feel too uncomfortable unless we paused, and then it blanketed with stifling pressure. Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration but it was better to be moving and so out 161, into Alexandria, Mounts, Lobdell, oh, that fantastic new pavement has now been chipped on Lobdell and Battee. Didn't notice any sealing, just tons of fine gravel spread to make the going treacherous.
At the end of Stone Quarry, in the shade, we pause. Chad, I think in the center taking a drink, Jeff behind him and others coming up from the rear. To this point, our average was 19 but it had been fairly steady and so the majority were able to regroup and then we returned, eventually making a right on Beaver Road and hitting the jets to the dead end. Curiously, one of our group kept going, making a left and running the stop sign at speed, barely missing an oncoming truck. As is usually the case, the front rider makes it but had there been someone following, that one would not. Gus later talked to the guy. Seems as if there is more of this activity then usual but maybe it is just a blip and these close calls will serve as a wake-up to us all. Finished with a 19.2 average and another good time with good people.
A few of us got together to ride a century route, some starting from Mark V's home, Dirty Dan riding up from his hut, Benton B. meeting me at my shack and we all converged at various points, forming a group of 9. Reaching Granville, under cloudy skies that warned of rain but radar showing none of it, we paused at a gas station before heading toward Newark. North of Newark, it began to rain and demonstrating mental weakness, I bailed, along with Benton. It rained all the way back to my place, shoes soaked, clothing soaked and so, I started a fire. I hung the gloves, placed the shoes and helmet as close to the fire as possible, opened the windows to offset the fire's intense heat and waited. After a few hours, the items were dry. Probably won't ride on Sunday but if I am inclined, at least the essentials are good to go.
Early arrivals Garth Prosser and Chris G discuss with Rick what happened last week during the A group ride. It's all good.
New bikes abound. Here, Pete Ashmore shows his new Giant. and....
....unknown cyclist with his new bike that matches his car. Check out the wheels.
Bad Boy Nick returned to the Thursday ride. Nick was part of a group who rode from FL to...dang....where did he say? Somewhere in the Midwest but anyway, over a thousand miles.
Rick parked so the van cast a long shadow over the parking lot. Good move.
Patrick W on the left....let's see...why did I take this image.....looking.....looking....oh yeah. May be the shortest cycling shorts I have seen in a long time.
Did you ever wonder what happens in the parking lot after your group departed? No, neither did I but Rick called out the A group and I watched and waited.....
.....then Rick stated there would be 2 B groups, a super B and a normal B, so naturally all but 5 went with the Super B group. At the start, around 70 cyclists, I forgot to count the A group but in the B group, maybe 40+.
Then the normal B's departed, all 5 of us. So funny. I was kind of tired and looking forward to a more relaxed recovery type ride. We chugged out 161 and I noticed we were gaining on the Super B's. At 310, we caught half the group, the others having gotten through at the light change and not waiting, which was good considering the size of the group. Turning right on Wadkins and left on Weslyn Church, I noticed the front Super B group had made the quick right back on to Wadkins rather than waiting and turning right on York so we all regrouped. This is where things get interesting. After the ride, Rick Miller summed things up nicely, "There are a lot of smart people in the group. There are a lot of successful people and people who have made good decisions all their lives but too many of these people put on a bike helmet and become idiots." He is correct of course. Just tonight, Rick or I saw 1. cyclists drafting a car (all the driver had to do is tap the brakes and there is a tragedy). 2. Cyclists riding 4 abreast. 3. Cyclists shooting through a stop sign trying to catch back with the group. 4. Cyclists as usual, riding left of the center line without regard to cars coming from the rear. 5. Cyclist taking a hard pull but rather than pull off the line when spent, just sit up causing those behind to take evasive action. 6. Cyclist telling Rick that Rick is taking all the fun out of the Thursday ride. Also, you knuckleheads who never ride in the A group but comment about how dangerous is the A group, are unsurprisingly, clueless. The A group is far safer than that Super B group and it's not close.
Anyway, while it was a good route, it also required long pauses as we navigated across, #16 (twice), #37 (twice), the left off Blacks cut us into 3 groups but again, it was a good route. To the credit of a few, rather than exploit the breaks, those that got across waited and we made it around, 50 miles and a 20.4 average, skewed south by the pauses while waiting to regroup.
Another good route from Rick for tonight's New Albany ride. Legs are a little tired from yesterday's Hocking Hills ride of 87 miles so not sure what I will do, but during the ride, met none other than former professional wrestler, Dr. Death. OK, I had not heard of him before but a very nice guy who shared some of his experiences when he wrestled back in the 60's For more information on tonight's route, go here:http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
Not much to say about the weekend. I attended the Tour de Cause and felt good about contributing to the cause but that route, oh vey. Understand it is to appeal to ordinary people and of that there were hundreds, which is good. It was odd, so many cyclists and other than Grand Poobah and Julia, I had never seen any of them before. Next year, I'll keep driving past Lancaster to Mitch's Rocky ride in Circleville. Now for the Tuesday New Albany ride. As usual, two groups formed, the B group with Rick Miller, Doug McConaha, Grand Poobah (all above), Jon Morgan, John Sada, Rusty, Gus & Peggy Cook, Dirty Dan, etc... and what is known as the "Club Ride" group which I understand is a C/D, no drop group. The latter group is intended for new riders or slower riders.
The Club Group forms in the distance as they prepare to depart. Around 10-15 of that group roll out under the watchful gaze of Grand Poobah. I had encouraged a friend to come out for that group, telling him it was a real C/D group ride and he'd be fine. In cycling, nothing bothers me more than Contador winning the TDF, just behind that is an A cyclist who drops back and destroys the B group and even more annoying is an A or B who drops back and destroys the hapless C/D group. What chickenshit behavior and apparently, that is what happened to the C/D group. They rode out old 161, dropping everyone but 3-4 guys. No regrouping and we saw these 3-4 saps going north on Alexandria as our group went south. Geesh, just go out with the B group and accept your fate rather than destroy the C/D group, Richard Craniums.
Our group rolled out, stopped soon by traffic and then we too headed out old 161, around 25 of us. A great group of cyclists and with few exceptions, we hung together into Alexandria, the loop farther east to Louden then back via Stone Quarry with a regroup at Northridge and then back, finishing with 38 miles and a 19.4 average. Denise, who crashed last week was not there so hope she is ok but Rusty, who may have not previously finished with the group made it around so that was good. I get a kick out of these accomplishments by fellow cyclists and just adds to my annoyance of how anyone can drop down a class and then exhibit such classless behavior.
So, I got this nice, shiny new bike with Di2, through Rick Miller. Why a BH? Walking through a bike frame manufacturer in Taiwan a few years ago revealed the obvious, most frames are made at the same factory, by the same workers using the same grades of carbon fiber. I needed a new bike so why pay more for a BMC, Trek or similar brand, as I have always done in the past, when I could get a BH and get it through a guy who has bent over backwards to keep me riding more times then I can remember. When my pedal broke off the crank arm on July 3rd, Rick fixed it the morning of the 4th, think about that. When my bottom bracket was clacking on a Thursday ride 3 weeks ago, Rick fixed it the next day. I have to reciprocate as best I can and that is by buying a quality bike through Rick and so now I have another climbing machine, if only the equipment could make the difference I need.
Now, two good rides for Saturday. The Tour de Cause out of Lancaster is a great ride with information about it available here: http://www.tourdecause.org/. I know the Grand Poobah is riding in this one. Also, COP has the Rocky Roving Ride, an absolute classic on the schedule renown as much for the maps as the route. With Ryan Roe's assistance, Mitch O produces a map that is without equal, usually although Dave Miller runs a very close second with one of his routes later in the year. Sure, there is a lot of climbing but rather than up and down and up and down, there are a lot of flat to rolling sections punctuated by just a few nasty climbs like the one up Rocky Road then that evil little Thorton Sprung or something like that and then up not once but twice through Tar Hollow State Park. My knees are quivering just now thinking about it. 8:00am start for both rides.
First, let's get the important stuff out of the way. Friday, today, drop by the Ross IGA in Granville and grab a flyer off the bulletin board that details a fundraising event for Katherine/Team Granville & Pelotonia. Next, drive to City Barbeque on West Church in Newark and place an order while presenting the flyer (applies to carry out orders too). 25% of the order goes to Team Granville.
I have stepped up my efforts at including the little people of the group. Above, the C group gathers around Jeff F's car, waiting for when they can be released to the mean streets of New Albany.
My expectation that tonight would attract a good turnout was correct as the vehicles lined up and people put their bikes together. I counted 75 in total but suspect I missed a few. As I scanned the parking lot, just about everybody who is anybody was there except for Farmer Mike (racing this weekend), Lisa T (probably managing the planes at CMH), Marty (in Montana) and Dave Chesrown (probably basking in the sun watching the hotties stroll by with a drink in his hand at the pool).
More of the common folk, Mark V, Cindy, David Smith and Jeff. Uncommon off the bike for sure but on the bike, ordinary cyclists with fun personalities.
Kayla Starr on the left with unknown guy wearing the Team novo nordisk kit. Kayla was run over by a cyclist about one hour after the image was taken but is ok.
They surge towards Rick's van to sign up and wonder, why is the van parked here rather than over there where it can cast a long shadow in this shade less parking lo? Rick has managed to allow us access to the church's restrooms, after making a donation so slip Rick a $5 when you have a chance to compensate him.
The crush of cyclists inches forward to hear Rick's remarks prior to sending us off. Hard to miss Patrick W's all white kit in the middle and to his right is Benton, who was part of an elite group soon after the ride started.
Approximately 27 rolled out with the A group on an interesting route (see below but riding in clockwise) and we motored out 161 before turning left on Mink and a right on Beaver and then the pace quickened and soon we began spitting out the back, Ron B, Benton, John Day, Lori N, Kayla, me & others. John took command and launched a vicious counter attack to pull us back, which is always doomed to failure unless something strange happens and well, strange it was.
After making a left on Caswell, approaching the right on Miller the lead group had stopped. Terry G was turned to the group urging that they stop going left of center to pass, forcing cars to the berm. Garth P wanted those in the back to yell when a car was preparing to pass from behind. Jon Morgan then gave instructions on some of the dangers of the roads we were about to ride....all stuff that everyone should know but there is probably a knucklehead or two in the group that are creating conditions that make it dangerous for us all. I glanced nervously to the rear, wondering if we were about to be overtaken by the B group and then we were off again, a left back on to Caswell and the long down hill, right on a badly surfaced Duncan Plains Road and then a left on #310. Here, the pace was odd, picking up and slowing down, a cherry picker truck approached going south, some of the group instinctively braked, some one stood on his peals and looked back and just like that, a touch of the wheels, someone plowed in to Kayla and down she went. Ron B got tangled up with her but he was ok and so was she other than a minor scrape.
A couple of people stopped, some paused and most kept going. I hooked up with Lori N, Benton, John Day and Crazy George who had caught on. We made it to Concorde, Northridge then the nasty Stone Quarry right, arriving at Louden to regroup to Lori, Benton, George and me. George would fall back on the ensuing hills but I encouraged the others to wait because George would be valuable, later, on the flats. So, up Liberty Church, out the Sportsmen Club rollers, crossing #661, and then the glorious down hill on Chatham to #661. Our group was perfect and each had a part to play, George on the flat and down hill, Benton on rollers and moderate hills, Lori on the steeper stuff and I drafted. Perfect. After Dry Creek, we hung a left on Burg, entered Granville, declined the Welch Hills/Jones Road loop, exited Granville and in time, with George working hard on #161, we made it back to the parking lot with 50 miles and a 20 mph average. Oh, I sold the Bianchi to Logan Leland, remember him from the Canal Winchester rides? He is a starving student in need of a bike for campus riding.
So, here it is, another great route for the Thursday crew and look at that forecast! Everyone come out for this one and let's see if we can push attendance over 100! Light wind, little humidity, moderate temps, it's like being on the coast of the Mediterranean. Where else would you want to be today but New Albany? Go here for the gps files of each route: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
The good news, Denise is ok and got back up to continue the ride after her bike hit part of a large branch and she catapulted in to a relatively soft area. It's been a time of firsts for Denise, she finished her first century 2 weeks ago, hung on to the B group for the first time last Tuesday and now can add her first crash. More to come.
I am limited to 3 bikes by "She Who Must Be Obeyed" and with a new one arriving any day now, I am selling this 1997 Bianchi Trofeo, all original components and probably no more than 2000 miles on it. It has been hanging in my garage for 14+ years. I believe it to be in good working order and surprisingly, the wheels held when pumped and do not appear to have dry rot.
The frame is 59cm, Dedacciai chromoly, double-butted with all Campy components. 8 speed (13 x 26) with a 39 x 52 crankset. Check out the nearly flawless Celeste color frame. All for only $300. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good turnout for COP's Roving Ride to Laurelville, which included Larry P on the left, Dirty Dan, Steve O and unknown cyclist. Big thanks to Tim Faigley for organizing yet another great route. This one of 84 miles and 4500' of climbing. Most of you probably think I created the Blue Jay route and use Flyin Tuna as a stooge for the sign-in but no, Tim created the ride and hosted it for a few years before the stooge and me picked up the ball and ran with it.
Eric the Dispatch photographer was there with Beth in the background and Flyin Tuna to the right. Hard to believe that July 5th would present such a great combination of low humidity and mild temperatures.
I guess around 40 rolled out including Philipe in the orange jersey and Brent in the black/red jersey. The pace was moderate and a large group of us stayed together, including Paul Stock, Steve, Mitch O, Larry P and Lisa A, Eric, Dirty, Flyin Tuna, Ted Meisky, and some new guys.We took a rolling route to Lancaster and then climbed out of there via the long #793 climb before descending on Blue Valley and stopping at the gas station on #33 at mile 32.
Now, how often have you been asked by a market's check-out clerk if you would like a bag for your drink and snack? Many times right and you always decline because you can manage 2-3 items for the short walk outside. Larry P was attempting to round every one up for the departure when Mark C walks out with a bag to hold all the stuff he purchased. So heavy was it, I think the clerk double bagged it. The guy sure can put it away though.
Meantime, the natives were getting anxious and shooting glances Mark's way, trying to will him to eat faster. The Kenda's rolled in and someone yelled. "Geez, we've been here so long even the Kendas caught us." Funny stuff and I think the break set a new record, at least in my experience and that's saying a lot. We finally shoved off, going up Opossum Hollow, right on Buena Vista, left on Jack Run, the climb up 180, right on Thompson Ridge and then finally the descent to Laurelville. Prior to leaving the market on #33, Paul ran in to his aunt and uncle in a small world moment (see below).
Some of us grabbed a sub at the gas station then departed in a small group of 6, heading north on a flatish route back to Canal. Good times, great weather and a great route.
Usual ride leader Rick Miller took the family to the Granville street fair and fireworks but no worries, he prepared a route and John volunteered to lead, above shaking hands with retired ride leader Jeff Fennel. I was curious how many would show for tonight's ride but quite a few did, over 40.
Some new people came out, including Andrew Hall, making the long drive up from Fairfield County to test the competitive waters of the New Albany ride.
Farmer Mike on the right with Bobby Goetz, a sometime attendee, better known for his mountain biking prowess.
Hendra highlighted a small A group of around 17 cyclists. Above, his new frame arrived and he is back riding his own bike after his crash of a couple of weeks ago.
Benton on the right listens to the pre-ride announcements. Benton just returned from a ride in CO.
Pete C on the left was here too, along with fellow A's like Philipe, Muscle Dude, Jr. Muscle Dude (John Day), Ron Budzig, Shannon Kurek, Patrick Warren, etc... Not there was Marty, riding and hiking in the wilderness of Montana. We rolled out old 161, hopes high save for me who had subterranean expectations after 3 weeks of relative cycling inactivity. We turned left on Kitzmiller then after turning right on Smiths Mill, the pace ratcheted up. Turning left on Beech, there was no pause and already someone popped, which was a harbinger of things to come becaue after turning right on Jug, John Day left the group with me attached to his back wheel. Oh well and looking ahead, in rapid succession, Andrew Hall, Craig Rice and Ron B all dropped as well.
John pulled me to Ron and Andrew while Craig dropped off because he did not feel well. Our foursome rode in to Alexandria with a 23.3 avg, exited the village via Mounts, right on Lobdell and eventually getting on to Louden headed north towards Dry Creek. I was not doing well so I stayed on Louden to Stone Quarry and noticed my left pedal felt odd. Soon, it began swiveling from the crank arm but I nursed it back to the parking lot. The hole in the crank arm was completely stripped but hero mechanic, Rick Miller plugged in a temporary fix and although I missed the Blue Jay ride on Friday, I made the Saturday Canal Winchester ride and more on that soon. Also, a new bike is scheduled to be delivered this week.
Yes, Thursday is July 3rd, the day before the 4th and some or many of you have other things going on but for those of us who don't have a life other than cycling, we get to ride. Even if you have a fireworks party to attend, you'll be off the bike by 8:30ish and have plenty of time to make the event. You know they don't start shooting off the rockets until 9:45 at the earliest anyway so come on out and enjoy this week's route. Naturally, I have many events I could attend but journalistic obligations require that I be at New Albany to record the happenings. For the downloadable routes, go to: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
Good turnout for the Tuesday, The Cycling Club group ride with a few more new cyclists, including Muscle Dude Jr,. John Day on the right. John is a little disappointed in his performance at a couple of the many events in which he has participated this year but compared to where he was 18 years ago, battling it out in the trenches opposite 300lb offensive linemen and compared to last year when he struggled to hang with us on group rides, the guy has come a long, long way. Looked like about 12 in the "Group" ride, kind of a C/D group and then 22 in our "B" ride.
Doug McConaha, showing his injury from a crash at the Hyde Park crit last weekend. Check out that splint on his finger, which fell off during the ride causing a delay. Never have I had to yell to the group, "Wait, Doug lost his finger" to request a slow down.
Guy in sleeveless jersey was new. Rolled up, asked if this was the Cycling Club group ride and if there was a cost. Farmer Mike quickly sprang to action and asked for $100. We headed out, led by Gus and Jay, east on old 161, hit Jersey Mill, rolled in to Alexandria, out Moots, got on to Hardscrabble and eventually Burg. The good news of the day was Grand Poobah, Todd Lee, is coming back, apparently getting the upper hand on a minor health problem that has a major impact on his cardio output. It was great to see him hang in for so long. We reached Stone Quarry and the group largely held together but.....
...we waited at Northridge for others to catch on, including Marty Sedluk, who, after back to back weekend results maybe never duplicated by other Ohioans lagged behind. OK, he was hanging back to help some laggards but nevertheless, we mad a big deal about waiting for him. Dang, was it hot and humid although Peggy appears to be just fine while the rest of us wiped buckets of collective sweat from our brows. Regrouped and headed west, the skies began to look ominous but we made it back with no rain and a 19.3 average for 38 miles.
It was forecast to be another hot one so I drove out of the valley to the town of Oracle, about 2000' higher in elevation and the point where the Catalina Mountain range kind of peters out. In the image above, after that ridge line in the foreground the ground plunges in to a deep valley before emerging to a mountain range in the background. I was headed in the opposite direction, up the ridge behind me.
At times the trail followed a narrow path, at times a jeep road with Mount Lemmon in the background. The trail approached the daunting summit of Apache Peak and I hoped I would not have to scale.....
.....the steep slopes and I did not. The trail diverted to the side, avoiding unnecessary climbing. Maybe you can make out the trail about half way up the image.
In the distance, I could see Biosphere 2, a popular tourist attraction. It's kind of comforting to know that if I became lost, as a last resort I could just go cross country and eventually reach that, although today's trail was well marked and only an idiot could get lost, hence I had some reason to be concerned. Below, having reached a dirt road that leads to several abandoned gold mines, I turned around at mile 6. In the distance, a plume of smoke identified the location of a forest fire. If I followed the trail I would eventually reach, at mile 13, the top of Mount Lemmon but that is for another day. Ended up with 12 miles and 3000' of climbing. Well, back to Ohio and the Tuesday New Albany ride.
Marty finished 5th, with a time of 4:59:44, no doubt a great feeling to have broken the 5 hour barrier. Just behind him was Luke Russell at 27th place with 5:06, then Steve Fields at 65th place with 5:22 and Matt McCune at 99th place with 5:34. Don't know Matt but do a 102 mile ride with 9000' of climbing in 5:34 and barely crack the top 100? Tough field for sure.
Oh yeah, while the people in the valley suffer through another day of 105, I drove to the Marshall Gulch trailhead, thousands of feet above the valley where the temps are 20 degrees cooler. The Tucson area has received 0.61' of rain but up here, water babbles in the brooks.
Climbing to the Marshall saddle I made a left on the Wilderness of Rocks trail where it emerged into an area of, well, rocks. Miles after mile of little vegetation but billions, maybe even trillions of rocks of all shapes and sizes.
Great views to the southwest and then, off trail for a couple hundred yards to.....
.....the Mount Lemmon pools. Water was stagnant and not too inviting so I did not strip and swim.
At mile 6, I hit the Mount Lemmon trail and made a right, with grand views to the west. If you look closely, you can see Picacho Peak on the center right, from here nothing more than two tiny black peaks. This being roughly the half way point, I sat and ate an apple while enjoying the views. Soon, the trail went up and there was some serious and extended climbing.
I walked through a meadow of ferns.....
....closing in on the top, among the desolate landscape from a long ago fire, new Aspen trees are emerging.
The trail hooked up with a fire service road and gave a solid view to the south with Mt Wrightson way out there. Images are so inadequate compared to the real thing.
The road approached the fire lookout station (upper left on the rocks) and then kept climbing and soon I found myself above the lookout and soon even above the top of the ski run before locating the start of.....
.....the Aspen trail which overlooks the village of Summerhaven in the distance.
Weird. The wind was blowing and while it passed over the standing tree trunks it produced numerous pitches of whistling. The limbs had fallen off, erosion or varmints had tunneled in to the trees and so the effect was as if standing with dozens of bottles and blowing over the top to produce noises. From here it was all down hill and I finished with 13 miles and several thousand feet of climbing. Fun day. Below, the drive back down to the oven.
So, I hear the turnout for the Blue Jay ride was good, considering the heat and route and most importantly, me not being there to pull the masses in. However, pre-ride I worked hard to bring in the cyclists through an aggressive email campaign, robo calls and even promising appearance money (you don't think Tym Tyler and his entourage show up for free do you). A professional photographer, Randy, came out too and took many images (below is Flyin Tuna and unknown cyclist giving it the "I am #1" sign). You can view the images here: https://www.facebook.com/Sasquatchsportsphotography/timeline
A few people have asked for the gps files for Saturday's Blue Jay roving ride and so, below are the links to both routes. Cindy will have maps and cue sheets at the start, this Saturday at 8:00am out of the Newark YMCA but her maps tend to be way too small so probably you should print your own, download the route to your device or bring a magnifying glass for Saturday's map.
66 mile route:
36 mile route:
Here it is, a route for the ages or at least for this Thursday. I know some of you are saving yourself for "Blood Sweat & Gears" or the COP Blue Jay ride, both on Saturday but come out anyway and soft pedal. IMPORTANT: The ride start is not from the usual location at the Methodist church but from the Park N Ride at the corner of Beech and old 161 for this week only. Someone contact Crazy George and his followers who do not access the internet and let them know. For more information and the gps route files, go to: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
I spent much of the day riding with Dustin who was riding fantastic. There was a lead group that worked its way down to about 8 riders. At the time I did not know much about Jeremiah Bishop but I could tell that he was super-fast. There were several other riders that were riding really well and we made sure that they did not get too far in front of us. There were several times that the pace really picked up and it was not always on the hills. The lead group of riders would break up at times and we worked hard to catch whoever was off the front. When we rode through the gravel section Dustin’s shifting must have clogged up and he had trouble shifting the rest of the ride and was stuck in the big chain ring. If not he would very likely have been the first finisher.
Late in the ride I was solo off the front pedaling as fast I could with Jeremiah Bishop and Josh Beck working together chasing a minute or two behind. The rest of the group had broken up and they were each riding solo behind us. Jeremiah & Josh caught me half way of the last climb and I got on Jeremiah’s wheel as he passed. I did not look back but Josh was right there on my wheel for a moment. When Jeremiah looked back and saw me he picked up the pace and Josh dropped off and I was struggling to stay on Jeremiah’s wheel. As we made the final turn Jeremiah picked it up again and I dropped off a little but was able to catch back up and was still thinking about when I would come around him. When we could see the finish sign Jeremiah got out of the saddle and put a gap on me, I looked back to make sure that no one was behind me that could catch me and I just rode in behind him. There was not much I could do about it.
We gathered up at the finish and talked for a while, after a few minutes I asked him his name and then realized why I was having such a hard time staying with him. Jeremiah was really nice and introduced me to the other guys as they rolled in and told all of them I had come in 2nd behind him. It was fun hanging out with them and after a while we headed over for some food and drinks together. There are no prizes handed out for KOM’s or for finishing first, it was all about challenging yourself and spending the day in the mountains and meeting new people.
And yes, it is a couple of days later and I am still tired.
The group hikes put on by "ALT", "Mr X" and "Tucson Hiking Club" have mostly petered out as the temperature has risen but recently a new group was formed, "High Noon Hikers". It's niche, rather than start hikes early, do so around noon, which makes a lot of sense for 9 months out of the year but for the other 3, sure, why not? The organizer, "Kim" wanted to do the Flat Iron trail out of the Lost Dutchman State Park at the Superstition Wilderness, I signed up mentioning I had done it before and for this hike, our roles were reversed as I became the hike leader. The above is not our destination, it being behind the formation visible in the foreground. We hiked the steepish slope to the right and then went up canyon via the Siphon Draw.
At the top of the Draw, the canyon narrows but offers great views to the west.
Farther up, more great views.
Then it gets really steep and the going is difficult requiring some route finding. Kim, a sub 5 minute mile runner, pushed me all the way to the top where we navigated the 12' wall to make it to the top of the......
....Flat Iron which had some plants in bloom I had not seen on my previous 3 trips. If you are ever in Phoenix, you have to do this hike. Only 6 miles round trip but lots of climbing.
Descending, we entered the Siphon Draw and noted the temps were rising. fortunately, I had frozen some liquid the night before and it was a relief to drink something cold. Below, you may be able to see downtown Phoenix in the center. Dang, a car sitting in the sun with temperature at 105 is HOT.