Dang, another hot & humid ride. As soon as each of us assembled our bikes, we immediately headed to the shady area. Above, Doug and Glen roll in.
Traditional ride leader Gus Cook had not arrived by the usual start time so I nominated Doug McConaha as the replacement ride leader and off we went. As Jeff S noted, it's not like we have to argue about the route since this ride follows the same route each week. Other than the ride out 161, which gets kind of boring, it's a good route thereafter with a mix of hills and rollers.
On our way out 161, we picked up the tardy Gus as well as John and Anthony Sada and with that we had 19 as we rolled into Alexandria. The pace was maybe a little higher than normal as we entered Alex at over 20mph. As usual, the strongest in the group didn't work us over too badly so any level B could probably hang in there or at least catch us on the regroup points, of which there are 2-3 along the route.
The 2nd regroup point, after the Stone Quarry climbs, allows everyone to fill up on fluids. Jon Morgan doing just that as he looks back to study the carnage left in his wake.
We, the carnage, catch back on and are allowed a moment to also tank up. The stops provided no relief though because it was then that the humidity, heat and sun really made their presence known. In fact, as the last of our group caught on, Crazy George, he urged us to get going as he was not going to pause. Numerous turns later, we rolled back into the parking lot with a 20.3 avg for 38 miles. A good group ride with something for everyone.
Ric Noland, veteran ride leader and esteemed member of the cycling community, has once again taken time to create multiple routes for cyclists of multiple levels of fitness and weight. See links below for the A, AB, B & C routes. Same start location as usual Meijers off #33 in Canal Winchester. Whoa, check out sunset at 8:40, darkness is further encouraging on our fun.
I believe this is the 10th version of Andrew Hall's Sugar Grove roving ride. Due to the difficulty of the route and the distance from Columbus, it's never had a huge turnout but I thought this year's turnout was kind of low, maybe 25-30?
Those who did attend were in for the usual treat, including Old Chubb on the left and Steve O.
Luke Russell came down in a car packed with the elites, Gus Cook, Dave C and Marty. Also there was Larry P, sporting an old Roll kit. After a couple of announcements, we headed out into a sunny morning. After a few miles, we hit the day's first big climb which strung everyone out. I was waiting for a couple of my favorites to appear when Larry P rolled by, an all-timer favorite who rides me mercilessly and so I jumped on his wheel. Soon, we formed up with Julie Wu, Michael, Kevin, Frank Seebode and hey, a good working group. After working through the 2 other kind of major climbs on the opening segment and before we reached #93....
...we were passed by a whirlwind and sucked up in it's vortex as....
....Luke Russell pulled alongside with a "Hi Mark" and quickly pulled past with Dave C, Marty, Gus and a couple others. Immediately Larry, Julie, Michael, Kevin and me jumped on and enjoyed a good draft all the way to New Straitesville at mile 26, where I bugged out with Larry, MIchael and Kevin as all others kept going, including Dustin, Brent and Steve who we overtook along the way.
Not long did we wait before Mark C, Flyin Tuna, Jeff S and others arrived. Mark C emerged from the market with not one but 2 cans of Mountain Dew, a Gatorade and a Snickers hidden in his pocket. Actually, Mark has lost 12 pounds recently but does allow himself to binge eat during long rides.
George rolled in too and after a break, our groups separated with Larry, George, Jeff and me headed for the 70 mile route while Flyin Tuna, above preparing to make a nonsensical point to me, headed out for the 96 mile option. Not much more can be said about the day as we endured the 18 mile grind on Marietta Road before dropping into Bremen and then on to Sugar Grove.
Are you ready to jump into the fire again? Although it will not be nearly as hot nor nearly as humid as last Sunday's Roll ride, there is another hilly Hell ride on tap. See you there for an 8:00am start out of Sugar Grove at the Berne Union High School parking lot. Maps available at the start. Oh, a chill just went down my spine thinking about that climb on the triple nickel. The routes:
First, let's get the important stuff out of the way. I have been relieved of the burden of carrying and caring for Dan's Pump. Above, Dan is giddy to have his pump returned and I have the evidence to prove the transaction should Dirty make any claims otherwise.
It was an evening for wild outfits as Pete H wears an interesting design and then there must have been a soccer field nearby as a participant came through.....
.....looking for a ball that must have slipped by both the goalie and goal in an adjoining field.
Nothing like sitting in traffic on I-270, looking at your rearview mirror and observe the driver behind staring at their phone just before they slam into your rear end, as happened to Jon Hastings. That stinks.
They came early and often, including Mick on the left, Doug M with back to us and John on the right, helping someone with the map. Our 2nd consecutive good Thursday for a ride, a record for this season.
Shannon, aka Group Killer made a rare appearance. Later, on 161, I survived two of his pulls. He must not be quite as strong this season cause otherwise, I'd be out the back of the pack.
More of the heads of state rolled in; Pete, Marty and Travis.
Our beloved ride leader, Rick Miller, makes a few announcements as the parking aisle is packed, cyclists jammed between cars and even....
...stretching around both ends of the corner. It made counting difficult but at least 80 and maybe 90 in our group. Marty led out a large contingent of A's. I think I inspired others to join. They look at me and think, "Shazam, if that guy can hang with them then surely so too can I."
I post the above only to prove I did make it out of the parking lot. It was a bit chaotic getting out of New Albany as we merged with a large group coming from a different exit. As such and I should add, completely unbeknownst to us, our group was split at the light at #62. That light is very short and some of us should have looked back to see if everyone got through. Rick, after having made arrangements for someone to sub for him as the B ride leader, was one of those stuck, along with Dirty Dan and his pump and others. But hey, life goes on and....
....on we went. We rode two astride briefly and then it became one very long column of around 20 from the original group of , who knows, maybe as many as 30 in the A group. The pace was pretty intense as Group Killer put in a couple of good pulls that had me on the rivet. When we reached Alexandria, our average was 24.9mph. At the stop, a look of bewilderment crossed the faces of many as I turned left. My guess is most did not know the route, some saw me turn and figured I had just left the group to do a shortcut and now didn't know which way to go. Quite a gap was created and so I jumped on Doug's wheel and we kept going, making a right on Moots and almost reaching the summit before the gang caught us. We managed to catch the tail and hung on all the way to Granville, above rolling through the entrance. I know, you are probably thinking, "Dang, you rode that hard and even had time to take pics?" Ahh, no. As we approached the Thresher climb I just decided not to needlessly slay myself and was dropping out of the pack.
Simultaneously to my decision to sit up, so too did this guy, whose name I forgot to ask. He admitted to having found the blog a few weeks ago and get this shocker, also volunteered that he enjoyed it. Now that is a first! The curse of the blog will cause him to disappear, like all the others. Recall that guy from about 4 weeks ago who also said he read the blog? He gone. Never seen him since. The mad dash out 161 had thinned the herd a little as we....
...turned onto Thresher. I forgot to check my avg at the bottom of the hill but at the top it was still 23.6. I left the route, turning left onto Louden after emerging from the school property and pedaled to New Albany. There, I checked my phone and my wife had been trying to reach me. I didn't have to pick her up after all (see below). Meantime, Travis, Marty, Luke, etc... stayed on route and finished with a 22.75 avg. Dang, that is fast.
Arrggghhhh, the Thresher climb. My wife is going to Chicago on a bus with some buds to run the BTN 10K event and I have to take her so I am limited to 2 hours on the bike tonight before heading home to pick her up. Wow, it appears at the foot of Thresher I will have to turn around, a nice coincidence. Here are the details and remember, print your map and/or download the route: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/
It's true. It was not human error that cause the Thursday crash. A team of forensic film studiers watched the video of the crash on the big screen and in slo-mo. Careful observation determined the chain suddenly and without warning or prior written notice, dropped from the large into the small front ring. However, the forensic team, was only able to positively determine the cause of the crash, not how it was initiated. It is possible John inadvertently touched the shifter and if you have Di2, you know how sensitive the shifters can be. Likely though, according to the forensic specialists, John applied so much torque/power to the down stroke that the frame bent under stress and the chain popped off. Actually, I made that last part up cause it sounded good.
The sun seemed unusually intense so the early arrivals gather in the limited shade, including Tim in the foreground and Farmer Mike.
Tym Tyler rolled in, just back from 20 days in France. He and Lisa have been to most of the more desirable cycling areas, up and down the west coast, AZ, Italy and France. They prefer France and perhaps a permanent move will take place at some point in the future.
Doug McConaha in the Velescience kit talking to Ron about house rehabbing. Doug has an ambitious house project underway.
Ron Budzig arrived along with Rick in red and added to the mix were Crazy George, Gus, Jap P, Benton, Axel, around 25 in total for the usual 38 mile route that included crossing an unfinished but passable bridge on Lobdell Road.
We regroup at the end of Stone Quarry, all relieved to get that road out of the way. The John Sada crash was a topic of conversation among some of us and while there are some competing explanations, it seems almost certain it was not mechanical and apparently there is video evidence to support the latter conclusion. Just as hot a topic was the close call with a car that someone had during the Ridge Runner Saturday ride coming out of St Louisville at route #13. It may be my imagination but I think as the season progresses, we may lose a little focus, maybe take some things for granted, loss of concentration, something along those lines. Stay sharp out there! Once regrouped, we completed the journey back to New Albany.
Arriving at about 8:30, the primary lot at the Rockmill Brewery was full so I was directed to a secondary lot where already there were a lot of cars. I think around 90 cyclists had indicated they would attend, probably 50-60 actually did so. I was more careful than usual to make sure all windows were up and the car locked since I still carry Dan's pump. Dan was a late scratch but in his daily check-in, I assured him I am keeping the pump scratch free and clean it every day.
While I recognized many of the cyclists, including Kyle Z alongside Farmer Mike on the right, most I did not.
There were a lot of people having a jersey that I thought said "Grill" on the front and even asked Jeff S if he knew where was this restaurant. He corrected me and said that is "Roll". Opps. A woman in the Team Roll kit, the very generous host of the event (que sheet, marked roads, water/food stop at Buena Vista and food after the event) made a few announcements as we....
....watched with rapt attention. It was a very hot and humid day with thunderstorms forecast for mid afternoon. As I stood there and listened, it seemed as if you could feel the heat rise. David Smith, center, would later have to deal with complications from the combination of heat/humidity/hills but he made it around.
We headed for the exit, including a guy on crutches on the right. Once on the road I did not want to look back and discover him gaining on me so kept my focus forward and soon, as if I have not suffered enough indignities out on the road....
.... a guy wearing swimming trunks passed Andrew Hall and me. We eventually caught and passed him though.
Coming through Lancaster, I got in with a small group that included Kyle, David Smith and Corvair. As we prepared to turn left on Eckert, I went straight, having decided the night before I'd like to avoid the dreaded climb up Chickencoop. Arriving in Sugar Grove, it was like an oasis in the middle of the Sahara. Soon Isaac arrived, happy to have finished with the loop I skipped. Isacc soon shoved off, then I did too just as Marty Sedluk and a couple guys arrived. Reaching the climb on McGreary and soon thereafter Snortin Ridge, I kept my forward speed at 0.001 above that which would cause me to fall over. The sun baked the exposed climbs and reaching the Roll refuel stop at Buena Vista, it too....
...baked under the sun but did have cold water, cold Cokes and snacks. Again, very generous and well placed too. The Roll rep was excited to see the bike a prominent member of our peloton rides. Out of the box, the bike weighs around 14 but with the improvements made, is 11.8 pounds. A real climbing machine.
We did a nice loop of Buena Vista/Little Cola/Clapper Hollow rather than the usual Opossum Hollow/Jack Run loop. Above we ride along CH. I thought CH is longer but not as steep as Jack Run but rounding a curve, there was what looked like the "side of a building steep" wall. Just sapped me of energy and I thought about unclipping and pushing the bike, I kid you not. After a brief stop at the refuel station again, I enjoyed the coast down Middlefork and then suffered on the climb out of the valley. At some point during the sun baked climb, I decided I had had enough of the hills on this day and made a B-line for Amanda. It took awhile after making a bad turn or two and reaching Clearcreek Road, Marty and gang encouraged me to jump in as they neared Hopewell Church. Nope, nothing but evil and pain in that direction so turned east and reaching the gas station, sat on a bench for probably 30 minutes, with 3 different drinks. I exited Amanda via Sandhill and raced an approaching storm to the parking area, finishing with 72 miles. Later, after a weigh-in, I discovered I had lost 8 pounds of fluids during the ride. Days like this make me wonder why I stopped playing golf. I could be sitting in a cart with a beer, contemplating how to not shank my next shot.
Saturday is the Ridge Runner Ramble and I think Marty is leading a group out at 8:00am. Below are the two main routes of 80 and 50 miles. You may want to avoid that long, very rough, stretch on Morse and just drop down to old 161 on the return. If you have not yet registered, there is a day of registration but it is $45-55 so kind of steep to ride a route many of us ride frequently. Then on Sunday is the ROLL ride out of Rockmill Brewery. It appears that is on everyone's list. Do a Facebook search for it to find the details. All are welcome and there is no cost. Note no food stops on the routes but you can go off route to find one or two.
When he comes, Chris G is always an early arrival so he can begin the bike cleansing project. I must say, it is a through cleaning.
Arriving early also provides one with the opportunity to pick up veggies at the farmer's market as Jeff S has done. Jeff is regaining the form that once made him known as the "Pull King" and he even went out with the A group tonight Made it to Beech Road so that's a respectable start.
With an unusually good weather day following several crummy ones, you would think the turnout would be high and it was. Above, Mick and Andrew observe the sign-in process.
Our is not the only group to form in the vast parking lot but then there are groups and then there are...
....GROUPS as more than 80 cyclists showed up for the Thursday New Albany ride.
Jon Morgan arrived bearing Dan's Pump and handed it to me so now I carry the burden of returning it to its rightful owner. Dan has been calling, emailing and texting me every day to ensure I would bring it one step closer to Dan. I'm thinking of ratcheting up his anxiety level by holding the pump hostage for a few days. Nothing a payment would not resolve though.
Distance cyclist Jeff Stephens, on the celeste colored Bianchi was here too. Jeff, an infrequent attendee, said the ride seems to have gotten faster. Well, it has, it really has. Back in the day, the A group would ride the route together with a sprint finish at the end. Today, there is a sprint start and it is sustained by some very fit people.
Kristie Nation, back from the "Death Ride-Tour of the California Alps" cycling adventure. It was a 129 miles, 15,000' climbing event. I have entered my annual summer burnout phase so the A group rolled out with Marty warning, "This is the ride for everyone who wants to ride on the rivet." and I passed. Then the B+ group rolled out and then the B group and into that small group I jumped. Just want to burn calories and enjoy riding a bike I guess.
Along the ride toward Granville, we gathered Jillian and Jr Muscle Dude who was having chain problems. Jr. told me the A group missed a turn and got off the route while he was with them. Riding up the Thornwood climb, his chain broke and so we waited at the top while Rick applied the fix. The delay required us to shorten the route a bit to beat the setting sun but eventually we got back on route.
....we approached a very large group of cyclists. John Sada had crashed (other than torn jersey and some road rash, it appears he is ok). First reports said his brakes had locked but there would have been no reason for him to apply the brakes at the time and if brakes just lock up on their own, I'm finding something else to do. Then it was suggested that maybe some debris may have lodged between the brake pad and rim, similar to what happened to Lisa A a couple of years ago but the road appeared clean of any debris. Later, someone who was behind thought he had rotated his front wheel too much while sprinting and then lost control of the bike. Anthony has it on video so maybe the truth will reveal itself. Anyway, our group finished with 46 miles while way, way ahead, the A group finished with a 22.5 avg.
Check out this neat image. Lightning started a fire about a mile from our AZ home but the terrain in that area is so rocky, they are letting the fire burn itself out.
It is official, Jon Morgan makes the transfer to Dirty Dan's personal emissary (note my hand extended to receive) because Dan is traveling to exotic places (Wheeling, WV). Thus the transfer complete, I will effort to transition Dan's pump to Dan as soon as convenient to both parties. More to come, soon.
Note the short ride on Dry Creek (upper right) where a bridge is out so I think we will cut through the school on Burg then make a right on Louden and return to the route. All the routes available here: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/ And remember, print your own map and download the route to your gps device, Dave Chesrown!
Busy day so I have to keep this swift. For a postponed ride, not a bad turnout for the Tuesday Canal ride played out on a Wednesday. David Smith on the right, the real skinny guy. There's a deserving nickname in there some where. Have to give it some thought.
Jr Muscle Dude will be in France a week from now pedaling up Alpe d'huez while honeymooning. Lucky guy.
Mark Rossi astride the tandem. I forgot to count but probably 20-25 came out including....
...Randy Brown with a new Trek bike. The previous one, purchased in 2003 and having spent a night in the bottom of a river a couple of years ago, had a bottom bracket problem covered by warranty so Randy leapt at the replacement opportunity.
The A group, always kind of small, rolled out with Randy, Dirty Dan, Jr MD and Steve O. I'm pretty sure I could have drafted the entirety behind at least one of them but I wasn't interested in riding very hard so went out with the B+ group which included the Rossi tandem. And so, enjoyed riding and talking with the Rossi's as we eventually lost the tail of our little group set for a 50 mile ride through the hills. It became apparent at the hour mark that we would have to make an adjustment to the route. Starting at 6:05 and at our current pace, it would put us back at the start at 9:00 but with the clouds portending an early dusk and head wind coming back, maybe after 9:00. We made a left off Delmont on to Westfall, getting back on the route later and finishing with 42 miles.
I think it was 1997 when I lost my man card, the day I first stuck a foot through a pair of lycra cycling shorts. True, I have done things to earn the man card back but then subsequently lost it again and each time, cycling is involved. So a few of us gather last night for the New Albany Tuesday ride from behind Veloscience bike shop, from where I bought a new pump. The pump is not on a scale of "Dan's Pump" but Geoff assured me it was just as good and that he used the same model when he rode across the US. That's good enough for me. Probably 7-8 of us at the start and then....
...Marty rolls in. He had ridden earlier in the day so on the fence as to whether to roll out with our group. Radar was monitored and rather than head east on the normal route, sure to engage the rain, it was decided to head north. Just then, Jon Morgan coasted in and so me, being a personal emissary of Dan, who had loaned Jon and Pete his pump on Saturday, asked about the health of the pump. Jon assured me it would be returned to Dan, as agreed, on Thursday.
The signal was given to roll out and, looking at a decidedly ominous sky to the north and east, I decided to pack it in, another loss of the man card. I drove through rain on the way back to Granville but north of New Albany? Maybe they made it without the rain.
So many dreary days this year but not today as cyclists began arriving on a beautiful day for a ride, including Derek in the OSU jersey. Unfortunately, Derek's chain was locked into one rear gear, the 15, which would present a challenge when we reached the climbs. In fact, I don't remember seeing him in Utica so he may have had to turn around.
People were happy to be here, including Gus Cook, above on the right. Ron in the background does not appear to be happy but undoubtedly he was smiling on the inside.
So proud was Dan that he had to whip his latest acquisition from his jersey and show it to me; Dan's pump. So sophisticated, so high tech with the flexible piece that stores within the tube ready for use and Dan's pump was later called into action. Dan's pump did its duty, performing heroically but alas, based upon the end result, it failed but the fault did not lie with the pump. In fact, by the end of the ride, Dan no longer had possession of Dan's pump. More about that later.
More and more cyclists arrived for "Marty's Ride", the 4th edition of these Saturday get togethers, held sporadically through the season. I counted 31 at the start with more new faces, which makes me wonder what happens to some of the old faces not attending. Billy, a transfer from San Francisco was new, a woman some referenced as "the lady in green" was new, Craig Rice was new, having fully recovered from a skiing accident, etc...
The mingling and socializing stopped once Marty began slowly pedaling away. No shout of "Let's go!" just Marty starts to leave and we all follow, into the sun. Other groups were in the distance but we soon left 161, making a left on Kitzmiller and then multiple lefts and rights as we worked our way to the northeast, toward....
...Utica. The pace was kind of erratic, slow at times, fast at times, the latter probably coinciding with when Ken was unrestrained at the front. Just kidding. Would not want to besmirch a cycling buddy like that, well not often anyway. What is that, a Reese's Cup he is unwrapping? No way?
Farmer Mike was with us, resting on a cement barrier. Euro-Patrick too, leaning against his bike in white.
Only 13 of us left Utica, headed to Bladensburg while everyone else, who made it to Utica, opted for a shorter option, except for Mike on the right, who went on to B-burg. Lori and Peggy had bugged out earlier as they wanted fresh legs for the Zanesfield race on Sunday. Dave Chesrown had also turned around, not feeling all that well or was the pool siren song playing in his ears?
I dropped off the pace quickly. No way I could hold that for long and finish the route so I soloed on to B-burg to find the group munching on cookies, bought from these ladies in support of 4-H. I too bought a package of two. chocolate chip and they were good. Pete C said the pace would moderate from that point forward. That Pete, such a kidder that guy. Ha, ha, ha. I urged them to leave as I still had a break planned and so....
....eleven shoved off, including Jon Morgan above and Dan, with his pump. Farmer Mike and I regrouped and took a more direct route back, hooking up with John and Anthony Sada outside Granville and then finishing with 86 miles. Meantime, Dan had dropped out of the group but later came upon Jon and Pete, fixing a flat on Pete's bike. Having gone through two tubes and now stuck, Dan was there to provide a third and a good pump. The new pump worked brilliantly and there was no user error but no luck. Apparently there was a slit in the tire and the tube would burst once a certain psi was reached. Pete's day ended there as Dan rode on having left his pump with the two, to be retrieved later this week. To Dan's credit, he finished the entire 96 mile route and is planning to attend Mountain Mama in a few weeks.
Rocky Road Roving Ride
One of the highlights of the cycling season is the Rocky Road, COP roving ride. Not to be lost in the shuffle are the maps. That alone makes it worth the drive to Circleville. And then those climbs, Rocky, Clark Hollow, Tar Hollow, the wall, aka Thornton Sprung, my knees are quivering just to think of that one.
July 11, 2015. 8:00 am whole-group, prompt departure.
A,B,C+ experienced riders. Pickaway County YMCA, 440 Nicholas Dr, Circleville, OH 50, 65 & 75 mile options featuring southeastern Pickaway County, northern Ross County, Tar Hollow State Park and Rocky Road. Bring your climbing gears! Food/water stops are available but limited, so prepare accordingly. Restrooms available at the start. Peggie Shaw peggie17 AT yahoo.com Mitch O'Donnell goodjohan AT yahoo.com
If you wake up too late to make the drive to the very worthy Rocky ride, there is this alternative, starting at 8:00am from in front of the New Albany Starbucks, parking behind.
This Saturday’s route includes a stop and regrouping in Utica, those that want a shorter route can head back from Utica. Then a stop at the Davidson's Market in Bladensburg, this little market makes deli sandwiches and has bench seating out front. We will then stop in St. Louisville and then keep it rolling back to New Albany. Note that this super scenic ...route includes riding through a covered bridge that crosses Wakatomika Creek. We will try to regroup at the top of longer hills and try to keep the group together. It’s fine if the group breaks up on hills but we want to make an effort to regroup so people can pace themselves on this longer ride.
Many of us enjoy having a coffee before a ride so let’s get there a little early and drink some coffee and roll out at 8am so that we can be back for activities like swimming pools.
What's this? Matt Ashmore, one of the Canal Boys up north for the New Albany ride? Could he be the lead element, maybe a skirmisher from the south, signaling the imminent arrival of the southern Rebs? Alas no, they are still licking their wounds from the summer solstice ride. Because the Canal Tuesday ride was rained out, Matt came north to get in some miles.
Dirty Dan showed up riding regular tires with tubes. He's weary of calling his wife and friends to pick him up around the counties every time his glued on tires failed him. Smart man, eventually.
Not every man has a body that can pull off this look, shorts with see through patches on the side of the thigh. Jeff S is one of the few.
They begin to arrive and gather in clumps. The elites with the elite, the schleps with the schleps, etc... Above, Kyle and Ken Buddell. Who is that guy in the middle? Seems I should know his name as I see him at enough rides.
The long aisles of the parking lot keeps cyclists spread out and makes my job of gathering gossip and rumor all that more difficult. Jillian on the left, then Tim, on up Farmer Mike, Jeremy and the French Climbing Machine.
Ringer Alert!!! Guy walks around with cycling jersey and Scottish kilt. I predict he will climb on his machine and kick our asses and we, or at least I, can say I was ridden off the wheel of a guy wearing a skirt. But no, the kilt came off soon after I took the pic.
Under thick clouds we gather to listen to Rick's pre-ride pronouncements. It was like a November ride only warmer as Rick made his usual good points. Tonight he suggested that if you are kind of a marginal A, you should begin with the A group, push the pace all you want rather than start with the B group and wreck their pace. Then, when you have worn yourself out, there is the B group coming through to pick up the carcass. Since my miles are down in June and so far in July, Rick's good sense direction had not swayed me from my decision to ride with the B group but then Luke pushed me so....
...off we went, around 26-28 in the A group. With only around 55 in the parking lot, the B group must have been pretty manageable. Jeremy on the right, with whom I would later spend quality time. So, off we went with a strong tail wind. Out 161, the pace was high yet it did not seem that we were working too hard. Things like this can be thought but never said. Just then, Dirty Dan pulls alongside and says this is the easiest paced A group in which he has ever participated. It just so happened, a lot of the pulls were being taken by kind of the marginal A's while the killers lurked, hungry, behind.
We reached 310 with a 24.9 avg. Then Ken Buddell took over and we went from two abreast to a loooonnng line. To my left, Luke Russell pulled through so I jumped on his wheel and he pulled even with Ken for awhile. Earlier, in the parking lot, Luke had predicted he would have a tough night and sure enough, he kind of like, well, blew up. I don't think that I am overstating things too much but Luke being young, as well as strong, he recovered quickly and pulled us back to the group as we reached the right turn on York with a 25.2 avg. Yikes, that had gotten rid of some, but not all (I was still there after all) of the marginal A's.
We headed north on York, left on Morse, dove into the valley and up the ramp on the other side, made a right on Outville, where only my location close to the front kept me from sliding all the way out on the opening ramp. Gawd I was beyond fried at that point. I recovered a bit on the downhill prior to turning left on Weslyn Church, received a too brief reprieve at the #16 crossing and at that point, just wanted to hang on until we reached my house on Gale. I did too but after making the left turn onto Granview, I lost the tail and thus the draft and I was finished. My average was 24.9 at that point and I wondered how far it would fall before reaching the parking lot. A bunch I concluded. I stayed on route but upon reaching Canyon, I rode up the hill, cutting off the 4 mile segment....
....and I waited to see who would reach the top first. None other than Marty, of course with Luke just a ways back in green and then....
....a couple more came through and then Dave Chesrown, flashing me the peace sign. I got back on the bike and joined a group of Kyle, Gus Cook, Mike, Danny A and a couple of others. I kind of felt like an interloper since they had made it through the crucible of Lee/Thornwood/Seminary while I was taking a break but I did not feel so guilty as to not take advantage but only for awhile as I dropped off on Blacks. At Outville Road, I stopped and waited. Soon, Jeremy approached and I suggested we cooperate. My definition of cooperating is I take 30% of the pulls and you take 70% but probably the mix was more like 50/50....ok, 60/40 as we eventually caught Paul and 3 others on Morse. From there we worked together in the true spirit of cooperation and I finished with 46 miles and a 21.2 avg. Up ahead, Travis, Marty and a couple of others finished with a 22.2 avg. Luke touched wheels with someone, managing to stay upright but in so doing, lost the tail of the group and fulfilled his prediction that he would not stay with the front group. Kind of lost it on a technicality.
An interesting new route that reaches all the way east to Thornwood, not to be confused with the Thornwood climb in Granville. Kind of busy road that one so take care on the right turn off Lees Road. Load the route to your gps unit or print the map cause few maps at the sign-in. For more info: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/
Ric has come up with a good route but with the forecast being what it is, will anyone get to ride it? Assuming the forecast is off, here is where you go for the details: https://www.facebook.com/groups/53811046325/permalink/10152831497276326/
Twenty-six of us gather in front of Starbucks for a Saturday morning ride east of New Albany. Although this Saturday get together is not a weekly event, it does serve to fill in between the various BSG, Mountains of Misery, etc..type of events. A lot of new faces including....
...Eric and a late arriving friend or protégée of Jon Hastings.
There were perhaps hundreds of runners/walkers who came out for a Firecracker 5 event so space on the sidewalk was at a premium.
Among the glitterati to attend the ride were Luke Russell, Marty, Farmer Mike, Andrew Clayton, Dave Chesrown, Lori Nedescu, Danny Alarcon, Jeremy W, Ken Buddell, Joe I, Kyle Zandler, Dan Resetar, Jeff S, Eric, Crazy George who is rounding back into form after bronchitis, Jon Hastings and others. At a couple minutes after 8:00am....
...we rolled out into a beautiful morning of sun and cool temps. The pace was higher than the previous Marty inspired Sat morn. rides and someone came alongside me and said, "I thought you said it would e a moderate pace." as we pulled into Alexandria with an average well above 20mph. We hit the climb on Mounts, passed a still closed Lobdell Rd, got on to Dry Creek and just as we were closing on 661, I noticed Dirty Dan drifting back. No bang, no ppssssfffttt, no shout of "Flat" just drifting out of line. Looking back, I could see Dan dismounting so following my credo that cyclists watch out for cyclists, I turned back.
And boy, am I glad I did. Not because Dan needed my help, but because I got to sit through the most entertaining flat fix effort I have ever witnessed. Jeff S joined in too and boy, am I sure he regretted it because it soon became apparent he traded the group for the opportunity to ride with me for the balance of the route, having completed only 19 miles to that point. Anyway, Dan was riding a set of wheels that had the tires glued to them. That's a head scratcher for me but I understand for the elite there is some weight or performance advantage so it makes sense that Dirty would ride them.....
Dan quickly and professionally removed the wheel and whipped out a can of some kind of chemical solution. I guess the tire is filled with gas and this foamy stuff, simultaneously acquiring the needed pressure and sealing the hole. Soon, an odd smelling white foam was spread on Dan and anything within 20 yards. I heard some stirring by the residents of a near-by house and was certain the Haz Mat team had been called in. Unfortunately, the tire remained flat, apparently the seal had been broken between the rim and tire when Dan failed to navigate his bike around a pothole so deep, fishes could be seen swimming in it.
Only when we were certain Dan had a way of getting home (above calling a friend cause Dan had already used up his one "come and get me" call to his wife) did Jeff and I depart. We finished the route of 68 miles, missing the group in St Louisville by about 5 minutes. I later heard the average end of ride average was 19.3.
Saturday, July 4th, there is a ride that departs from in front of the New Albany Starbucks with parking behind in the spacious parking lot. However, there is a 5k run that makes it necessary that you enter the parking lot off #62 rather than from Market St. I suspect most of you enter via that way anyway, We will shove off at 8:00am on a wondrous route through the idyllic countryside on some roads that few ride:http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7695716. I believe the turnout for this is huge with Dirty Dan, Angel of Pain, Luke R, Marty, Jeff S, hordes of others.
That same day, far, far south of New Albany is a ride out of the Logan Conference center on Chieftan Drive, starting at 9:00am. Includes Wildcat Hollow, Big Pine valley, Happy Hollow, Thompson Ridge descent into Laurelville for food stop, Middlefork, climb up Buena Vista, Cantwell Cliffs, Buck Run, and climb up Miller Rd. Great scenery in the heart of the Hocking Hills! Like the above ride, all are welcome. I hear Flyin Tuna will attend this one but don't allow that to deter you from attending.
Then, on Sunday, Rick Miller, ride leader on Thursdays, has invited all to ride from his home
18735 Utica Rd
Utica, OH 43080
(I want to be clipping in to my pedals)
Pavement, with some
climbing to rolling hills
I will be riding at a consistent pace not
killing it but not lolly gagging either avg. in the hills would be closer to
Feel free to leave as a group and ride it how ever you want or hang with
Ryan, on the left, overlooks the mob scene as 70+ manage to maneuver their bikes through a parking lot packed with farmer's market car parkers. Ryan made the seldom made mistake of admitting that he reads the blog. Alas, none who volunteer such info ever stick around for long. There must be some public shaming mechanism that forces admitters to recuse themselves from future rides. Well, entering Granville, I discovered the fireworks display was tonight rather than Friday and I had promised my wife I would take her. Opps, I turned around and set a new personal best time back to New Albany and in fact, was able to attend the fireworks show. More to come on tonight's ride.
The Thursday New Albany route and oh what a route. The tricky descent on Morse into the valley before the sharp climb out of it, the Hankinson climb, ouch the Welsh Hills climb, all in 51 miles. See it all here: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/ and take the 5 minutes to download the route to your gps device. I hear last week the A groupies were missing turns and no one knew the route. Remember too to print your own map.
The sun sets on yet another hot day in AZ. The monsoon season arrived a couple of weeks early so it actually rained, briefly today in some parts but in all parts, we were greeted to a great sunset. However, this is the end of a fun day that needs to be described in images and limited copy because probably none come here for what I say rather for what I see.
With a forecast high of 108, even with a humidity level of around 10%, it is still freakin hot in the afternoon. Yet, if you lived out here during the summer, you would learn to adjust your schedule to wake at around 4-ish, be out the door at 5-ish when it is 75-80, enjoy 4-5 hours of activity and then get the you know what back inside. As I have said hundreds of times, a summer out here is far, far, far, far, better than a winter in the Midwest. Or, you drive into the mountains, which I did today. At about mile 11, I parked at Windy Point Vista, got out the winter beater bike (even though it is summer) and looked down into the valley below.
Others were up here too, some preparing to down climb the rock walls but I was preparing to upclimb the road to Summerhaven, then to Ski Valley and then to the observatory. I shoved off and began the grind of about 15 miles, up..
After reaching the top of General Hastings Highway and just before it drops to the village of Summerhaven. I came across a cyclist on a mountain bike who was completely wiped out. His speech was barely coherent as he described ascending.....
...up the back side of Mount Lemmon. He had started in Oro Valley, gone through Catalina and Oracle before hitting the dirt road and planned to coast down the front side via the paved road I had ascended and then work back toward OV. Instead, he had enough and was calling someone to pick him up. Coasting down the mountain would not have been a problem but navigating back to Oro Valey in that heat????
Who would have thought I would not visit one but two ski slopes while out here, no way but yes. Above is one of the ski slopes that are very popular in the winter and early spring, about 2 miles above Summerhaven. However, the road does not stop there, it becomes steeper as you wind through thick forest to.....
...the observatory. My second time here on a bike but with the caveat that I did start at mile 11 rather than at the bottom.
Then I coasted down to Summerhaven and stopped at the Sawmill Restaurant. It was a lovely 78 degrees as I thoroughly enjoyed a salmon blt but wait, the story does not end here....
....Friday, I persuaded my loyal wife to accompany me on a hike to the top of Sombrero Peak. That woman is a real trooper, to be dragged with nary a complaint from the pool and out here to this! The trail is very sketchy, lots of loose gravel on steep, rocky sections and she navigated it all. Then, prior to the final down climb, I suggested she take a seat on a boulder and while sitting, her feet slid out from beneath her and she fell. Ouch. No damge other than a mark on her back where she hit a pointy rock. Then.....
.... we later headed out to eat. I had the windows cracked to release some air pressure and like everyone, once you jump in the furnace that is the inside of the car, you immediately jack on the air and roll up the windows. After doing so, Beth screamed. Looking over, I saw her hand pinned between the window and frame. Ouch again. That woman needs a vacation, from me. Well, we're home now and looking forward to having my ass kicked repeatedly on every ride for the rest of the season.
John Day, probably because it reminds him of wrestling with offense lineman in the mud during his college football career at OSU, really enjoyed participating in a very muddy, Hilly Billy Roubaix last Saturday. Below is his story after being asked about the ride, in his own words, so it will all be true.
It was awesome, the weather was terrible. It did rain pretty hard, but it never was lightning and thunder, and reminded me of the rain I rode through at DD last year descending before the fourth aid station... As for the H. William Roubaix, I've never been on a ride like it before. I was in Morgantown the night before, so I stayed in the hotel as long as I could before race start time, 10am. Then when I got there I got soaked in the first two minutes getting my bike off the roof of the car. Then we stood around getting pre race instructions for five minutes, then there was a neutral start and more waiting, then we were off.
I told myself that wet is an absolute, so we couldn't get any more wet than we already were. There were a lot of racers, so it was crowded and intense for me, but got some good advice to let the line thin out and save a sh"t ton for the finish. I walked the second climb due to overcrowding and steepness, losing people riding away from me, then distancing myself from those behind on the descent. We hit mile 6 and I remember thinking, that's it? Then we hit this section I will never forget. Someone passed me saying don't ride through the puddles, they're actually holes and deeper than you think. Well most of them were unavoidable, and this is where Scott Young crashed out of the race.
Mud and ruts were every where, with steep drops off the left side of the road. I would see Scott at the end of the section, walking his bike, which was too bad because I was ecstatic that I had made it through and only fell three times into the mud. He told me the worst was over, and for riding conditions it pretty much was until a crazy trip up a creek, and another up a former road, now muddy and I was forced to walk. A lot of it was on pavement though, some of it flat which allowed me to get up to 20 mph at times. There were climbs that made me glad we ride the hills we do- a lot of people walking where I gutted it up past them in granny gear. But the whole time I kept thinking, this is great! It was so much fun, I appreciated my Surly so much. I had thought about riding my mountain bike, but I passed so many people spinning out on the hills that I'm glad I had gears that made me push a little more. And it's definitely a dirty ride. You know it's a good ride when you find yourself at the car wash spraying down the bike, and your arms and legs and shoes! It was a hard ride but I'm learning I'm a big fan of the metric century or thereabouts (this was 70 miles). Centuries are fun but unless I'm in tip top shape the last twenty miles get to me. I would rather come back and improve my time (6:21- would have podium'd third for Clydesdale but I entered the men's open) than do the Diabolical Double any day.