Sunny and temps warming to 80 degrees. I headed out and got on to Kolb Road which has a 2 mile climb, at the top being rewarded with sweeping views of the southwest that includes downtown Tucson. I then headed east towards the infamous Synder Road wash. Snyder Road ends at the wash and resumes on the other side but only cyclists can get through,
With the weekend rain and snow melt, there was a couple of inches of water flow across the cement dam. No problem, just rode across it as contrasted with.....
....the same crossing in November at the Tour of Tucson. Water was more than calf high and rising so the crossing was eventually closed. Oh well, this is not November and glad the conditions are much different.
Continuing east, I crossed Catalina Highway, which heads up the beast, Mount Lemmon. Not for me today but soon.
I got on to Tanque Verde Road, which becomes Redington Road and eventually, after a steep climb, ends at a cattle guard and dirt. I continued for half a mile and found the dirt packed and ridable. Hmmm, this goes to the top of Mount Lemmon so may be doable. Have to investigate a little.
I headed south and entered Saguaro East State Park via Freeman road, an almost 4 mile climb,. The park's road is a fabulous 8 mile rolling loop with some short steep climbs and one long climb that just wore me out. The road is in great shape, traffic is all one way and cars are at 25 mph so I was overtaken only once. Many cyclists ride this as a training route but at the start, there is a very steep descent with a sharp turn at the bottom so they warn you about it with a sign for added notice. The park service employee also warned me that snakes were out now and to watch for them crossing the road. A rattlesnake had been seen earlier in the day. Finishing the loop, I headed back and ended with 62 miles and 4000' of climbing.
Towards the end of the day the sun sets, casting shadows on the face of the Catalina Mountains. I was wiped out from today's ride which I hope is from not being accustomed to riding in the heat (80 degrees) and the sun. Too, too tired.
Gosh, I have lots of images to put up from my 62 mile ride today but in the meantime, Steve Oxley and Flyin Tuna are putting on a ride this Saturday. Distance will be 50-60 miles, departing from Carroll, Ohio at 10:00am with a mix of flats and hills, nothing too strenuous since so many of us are in poor shape. In Carroll, the start location is the same as for the COP's HOOT from maybe it's the high school??? Whatever, as you drive south on 33, turn left in to Carroll and stay on that road with the school on the left in 1/2 a mile or so. Wish I was there to participate...well....not really.
I recently heard about this canyon, some suggesting it is 2nd only to the Grand Canyon in scenic beauty and since the road drops from the rim to the bottom and back out, that makes it a good place to ride a bike. Plus, Rick Miller rode this last week and gave it his thumbs up. I parked at the bottom beside a rest area that is permanently closed and headed up the north side.
Yes, a beautiful place and while there is no comparison to the Grand Canyon, it may be 2nd to it. Don't know about the hiking opportunities or availability as it is shared by two Indian reservations. After 2500' of climbing and 14 miles.....
....I emerged at the top with sweeping views to the north, well to the south, east and west too. The berm going back down has rumble strips and I was forced to spend much of the descent on the white line with semis going by. I decided not to go up the south side. Cool place and felt great to be on a bike in warm temps. Well, time to get serious about cycling in one more day but first a fitness test going up to Backett's Ridge with the ALT hiking group on Tuesday.
I wanted to ride today but Tuesday is the weekly "Beckett's Ridge Fitness Hike" put on by the ALT hiking group. I have no idea what ALT means but it is a good group of fit hikers who organize a variety of hikes each week. Beckett's Ride is the hike out of Sabino Canyon although there are dozens of other trails this is the one everyone must do. Those who show up for the ALT hike know what are their best time, the times of their hiking companions, record times very competitive. From the parking lot to the top it is 2.81 miles with 1800' of climbing, almost all of it in the final 2 miles. Any time under an hour is considered very good and while my best time is 53:58, that is not accepted as official because I ran part of the trail, a no-no. Whatever. Above, snow on the neighboring Mount Wrightson.
Only 3 people showed up, including "Bob" a trainer of Tri-types and "Gary" a Canadian transplant. Bob and Gary walk very fast. They call it "fast walking" and since I had to walk/run to keep up on the opening flat mile, I did not understand why running is disqualified from official time but fast walking is ok. I doubted I could keep up given the inactivity of the last month but once we hit the opening ramps, Gary opened a gap and I ran around Bob to catch. I did not think I could hang with Gary but I stayed on his heels and at 100 yards from the top, ran around him to reach the top at 58:02. Running that first flatish mile makes a big difference so with no running, 58 minutes is a good time. Note Thimble Peak in the background.
A couple of people stopped us on the way down to say they saw a Gila Monster and while we looked for it, we did not see it. Snakes are out kind of early and last week, a guy was on a hike, walked by a wall of broken stone when the person behind, spotting a rattler, screamed "drop". The guy turned and was staring, neck high, at a black tail rattler that did not strike. Dang lucky.
I needed new bike tires so as usual, I called Rick Miller. Always willing to drive cross country to satisfy a customer, we hooked up south of Tucson at I-10 and made the exchange. What a guy.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a cyclist who so dominated us that he became known simply as "Da Boss". Canal rides, New Albany rides, 100 mile century rides throughout WV, PA, GA, etc... he was da best. Work got in the way as he went from a regional EPA guy to Kasich's "Special Assistant for Environment & Energy Affairs" responsible for authoring various legislative initiatives in the Ohio legislature and while he ran 50 and 100 mile trail runs, his cycling prowess dimmed like a flame thrown into water. It was like watching Michael Jordan's final year with the Wizards. But Wait......a breakthrough......Da Boss has been named head of Ohio's EPA and has decided to rejoin the ranks of the cyclists!!!!!!!!! The last thing I want to do is create expectations or put misplaced pressure on him as he probably just wants to come out and enjoy our rides. If what I am hearing is true, Da Boss, aka Craig Butler, is returning to cycling!!!!!
I was all set for a ride Sunday morning, after an all day rain on Saturday produced about 1" of rain. As I was readying to head for the ride, an email came around that the ride was cancelled. 50 degrees and partly cloudy and they cancel. What the.... So I headed to Sabino Canyon, about 1/2 a mile away for a hike. Last night, I hit an Italian restaurant around the corner, talked to a guy next to me and he went to school at Dennison Uni in Granville. Small world.
Before hitting the trail, a blacktopped road goes across the stream. A couple hours later, the river had risen above the bridge but I was able to hop on the wall and got across.
Reaching 7 Falls, there were lots of people who had come out to check the water flow.
Heading back out the views down canyon. It felt great to get out in shorts and T-shirt, running/hiking in the sun and temps in the 60's. Hard to describe the feeling on this 9 mile route. Temps back in to the 70's and 80's coming next.
What kind of horse is that, almost back at the parking lot.
I was scheduled to fly to AZ on Friday but renting a car for a month at a time several times a year is kind of expensive so decided to drive my beloved blue Camry out here and leave it. Always wanted to drive this one time and in so doing, crossed the mighty Mississippi.
West Texas, 500+ miles of nothing but above. Fields of wind turbines and pumping wells gives the only variety. Note to self: Don't do this again. Passing through Midland and Odessa, mine was the only car on the road. Everyone drives a truck of one type or another. So glad when I hit I-10 and soon passed in to.....
.......New Mexico, the "Land of Enchantment". Thick grassland with mountains in the distance and blue skies. I stopped in Deming, NM after 13 hours of driving. Note to Self: Don't stop in Deming, NM.
At last, crossing in to Arizona and I'm headed straight for those mountains and a little beyond.
Fifteen showed up Saturday for a ride out of New Albany. Larry P puts the finishing touch to his outfit while our ride leader, Kenda Janet, poses with Flyin Tuna and Lisa A.
The Rossi tandem showed up, a valuable addition for the wide swept return from Granville, Mark V, John and Jeff S came too. John turned around about half way to Granville and Mark V had a later commitment and so he too
Janet, ever the publicity hound, thrust her head into the image at the last minute but that is a few Roll people who also came, including Eva, who was riding strong. Our group got split at Northridge Road and so most of us headed to....
....the "uptown" coffee shop (Steve O above) while the others, thinking we had gone south.....
....went to the River Road Coffee Shop. We hooked up and headed back in to a stiff, 20mph head wind. Upon our return, I went back to Granville in time to see....
....Younger Phenom Nick jump from the start line, with Luke, in the Cat3/4 race which he won.
Also there, former OSU d-lineman John Day, better known as Junior Muscle Dude, rolled up to the start line with 39 other Cat 5's at the Alligator Mound Road Race in Granville. Fighting vicious crosswinds (but a nice tail wind along Dry Creek Road), John hung with the leaders finishing 11th in his first race. After the race, John likened it to returning a fumble for a TD against Michigan.. OK, I made that up but I think he exceeded his expectations and look for him to roll up to other races soon. Also at the race was Tym Tyler competing in the Masters division, Terry G in the Cat 3/4 and Hendra P in the Cat 1/2/3. Hendra finished 3rd, later commenting: ""I'm not good at TT so doing a solo is the last thing in my mind but today when i was doing my pull at the front, somehow i got a 10s gap. It wouldn't be cool to slow down and wait for them so i decided to give it a go. Lasted for a lap before getting joined by 1 other guy. Worked together before my legs cracked one lap before the finish. And yes i'd like to hear your wonderful drafting tips"
Kenda Janet is leading a ride out of New Albany, the usual start place for the Thursday COP rides, at 10:00am going to Granville and following this route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3817914. Probably we will stop in G-ville at either the River Road Coffee shop or the Main Street Café, but only briefly. Everyone welcome and don't worry, hardly any of us are in shape either so come on out. One more thing, Janet is strict on start time so we will depart the parking lot at 10:00am so allow time to get there and ready yourself.
To accelerate the snow melt, I scoop snow from the piles alongside the driveway and dump onto the driveway. Although it works at any temperature when the sun is visible, with sun and temps in the 40's, the snow quickly melts and evaporates. Just doing my part to get rid of the stuff. Counting down the days for a return to Tucson, about 9 days now and the time is dragggggggging by. Before then, Saturday looking good for an organized ride. I hear Flyin Tuna is planning something.
All of us have our breaking point and for Pepe LaPew, aka Polish Pony, aka Kevin Hollingshead, that point was reached last week. He and wife Becky abandoned snowy Ohio for the Florida Keys.
Of course, that long winter of inactivity and lounging around the beach has an unfortunate side effect....Kevin went in for a Bro fitting. Heard he is a "DD" cup now.
Key Lime pie with 6000 calories.
The sun sets on another glorious day in the sun. You can go to Kevin's Facebook page to view many other great images.
Long-time readers of my silly blog may recall a piece about a new cycling club called The Cycling Club, from early 2013. The purpose of the club is not an alternative to Westerville, COP or any of the smaller cycling groups/clubs but a new resource for cyclists in central Ohio. Behind the scenes, a group has been working feverishly to fill out the club's purpose and are going to informally report, this Thursday. This is open to all and all are welcome to hear about club rides, the club's purpose, proprietary jerseys now available (I've seen them, very cool), web site content, etc... In particular, the club would like to see more women and juniors join so it is not just about the "A"/racer types. Joining is free too! So, from the club is the following invite:
Please join us for a gathering of theCYCLINGclub on
Thursday February 20th, 7:00PM
at Plate, 29 S. High Street New Albany
Cash Bar, snacks.
It was too good to last. Shannon Kurek is not able to lead the Thursday New Albany rides as his plate has become even more full with his participation in the organizing of the new "Challenge New Albany" event. You can read more about it here: http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/
Good for him but a big loss for those of us who enjoy the Thursday rides. Either someone can volunteer to be the official ride leader for COP or I suppose it will become an event similar to the "Wednesday Worlds" which I think also used to be a COP event. Now, if you are interested in assuming ride leadership, probably Shannon's routes would be available to you so all you have to do is go through the file, select a route, show up around 5:30pm with sign-up sheets, ride the route and mail or email the sheets to COP and then do it all over again each Thursday. Pretty simple.
A friend of mine in AZ sent me this image. I go back in a couple of weeks and to say that "I can't wait" is one of the grandest understatements in the history of history. On the other hand, how bout that forecast for the remainder of February, beginning next Monday? Lots of days with temps in the 40's, 50's and perhaps 60's.
So, Pepe Lapew, aka Polish Pony, aka Kevin Hollingshead is promoting participation in the Garrett County Gran Fondo, of which the Diabolical Double is one option. Sounds like Steve Oxley, Flyin Tuna, John Day and Kevin have already signed up and doing what they can to get others to do so too. I was on the verge of registering for it when out of the blue, an email pops in my "in box" from someone with personal knowledge of the event. I found the content so interesting (and funny) that I am posting it below to provide some candid observation for those who get caught up in Kevin's recruiting pitch and may be sitting on the fence about committing. The sender of the email wishes to remain anonymous but has given me permission to post.
I did the DD about 3 years ago. For me, it was something I was glad that I did but I didn't want to go back because I didn't enjoy it very much. It is a ride designed for natural climbers and I am not one. However, I enjoyed the descents. It was by far and away the hardest ride I have ever done. Except for the last 20 miles on the DD, it was a constant up and down. Never a flat spot. You can't train too much for it. My arms and hands really hurt afterwards from all the out of saddle climbing. When I returned to the hotel I saw a guy walking backwards down the steps.
The starting town leaves a lot to be desired. Few decent restaurants and lodging. I stayed in the WISP hotel and it is a ski resort that has seen better days. Deep Creek lake is pretty but packed with summer homes and cottages for the Washington DC folks. Although they call it a Gran Fondo, it isn't timed. The route was nice and the support and rest stops were very good. I remember going past one young lady squatting in the middle of the road at the top of a climb. She was down so low a car could have driven over her and not touched her. I asked if she was all right and she just said "I'm peeing." I took her word for it.
When you get to Westernport somewhere on the latter 1/2 of the route you come into town at the top of a steep street blocked off by a guardrail. The route turns right and you don't go down the street but instead circle around to the bottom of it. Then proceed through town to a rest stop. If you want, turn left at the bottom of the street and try climbing up. It is short and concrete that is all broken up because it is slipping down the hill. The road is used in the Savageman triathlon. I made it up while a couple rednecks drinking beer on their front porch cheered me on, hoping I would fall over.
Mitch Tallan, his shadow above, visited Southern California last week and was able to get in a couple of days of riding around Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley. While I had read about the drought, the above image gave me a vivid illustration of its impact. This is what it typically looks like in July, not February, when green normally is the dominant color. Above, Mitch was riding up the Happy Canyon side of Figueroa Mountain and paused at the dirt section to take this image during his 9 mile ascent. Read Mitch's report below.
I started on the Los Olivos side rather than Solvang after reading somewhere that if you rode from the West you got the gravel on the ascent rather than descent. This was Friday morning. It was warm in Santa Barbara, close to 60, and above that by the time I started.
I parked in front of some coffee shop in Los Olivos and decided to dispense with leg warmers though I did have long sleeved base layers on, and started on 154 heading SE and was on it for a bit longer than I cared for looking for Happy Canyon. I ended up turning left onto Armour Ranch figuring it had to lead to Happy Canyon and it did. Took Happy Canyon to Figueroa and the fun started. I didn't think the climbing was all that hard-at first- though I was mostly in my lowest gear, 39x25 on carbon rims and tubular, til I got to the gravel section. It had rained a bit over the last two days and the gravel section was more like muddy grit with deep ruts where trucks and jeeps had gone through. By that time, the road had become inundated with some fairly good sized rocks that had obviously slid from the surrounding embankments. The third pic from my iPhone shows the condition of the muddy/gritty section. Around the bend it got much worse and it was all I could do to maintain traction up the hill while still rolling forward. Mud and grit was scraping between my Conty Sprinter rear and the seat tube.
From that point, I have to confess that the climb was now getting a bit challenging. I was alternating between seated and standing climbing fairly regularly the rest of the way. As you know, the surrounding scenery is pretty much out of this World. I came up on one other cyclist on a fancy Trek rent-a-bike complete with Shimano D12 and a compact crank and I rode with him for a little while-he was from Roanoke VA and he kept encouraging me to leave him behind which I ultimately did maybe a half mile from the top. He was a small guy wearing a bunch of winter gear and he told me I was nuts for riding bare legged and at that point I had to agree with him. About two miles from the top, the sunshine and the warm air disappeared and was replaced by wind, fog, and
cold air. There was easily a 20 degree change from the west side to the east side of the mountain.
Then came the descent which as you know is mostly decent followed by a short additional climb and then all steep switchback descents from there all the way back to Midland School where it becomes flat. I gotta confess that on carbon wheels, with cold hands and legs, the switchback descents were a bit hairy. Todd Mullins and I descended Brasstown Bald with less concerns than I had going down parts of Figueroa. My front brake pads were visibly deforming and shredding from all the braking I was forced to do. Would definitely recommend alloy wheels rather than carbon for this route. So that was Figueroa.
The day before, Thursday morning, I started out on a small group ride from the "Dolphin Fountain" at State Street in Santa Barbara right at the pier and it was just six of us. Apparently the prospect for rain scared off the others. That ride was memorable because two of the guys hammered the whole time and it was all I could do to stay on their wheel. Two hour ride that I believe is a
standard loop for the locals. We ran into Dave Lettieri (former Olympian and bike shop owner) and a buddy of his about half way through and they turned around and joined us. Dave was riding his Trek cross bike with front and rear disc brakes and fat knobby cyclocross tires on it, and he lagged behind a bit on the hills though I think it was to stay with his friend who looked to be only an average rider, but he is ridiculously smooth and no doubt strong. Dave rides what I call "all out Euro style"-14 cm stem with negative rise-so that his back is absolutely flat and he is laid out over his frame like a European pro, and of course, he looks the part despite being 49. As you no doubt know, Dave is just naturally cool as though he was born in Santa Barbara even though he is actually from Scranton PA, the armpit of the universe.
Luke (works in Dave's bike shop) is a real character. Everything out of his mouth is a wisecrack. Great guy. So that was pretty much my trip. I got to ride a couple of hours just before sunset on Tuesday as well, so I got three rides in. Our first three days, Monday through Wednesday we were actually in LA and we spent only three days in Santa Barbara. I actually drove from LA to Santa Barbara on Tuesday just to get on my bike, before returning to LA afterwards.
Big thanks to Mitch for sharing his experience. You too can bring entertainment to the masses stuck in Ohio's winter by sending me your report so we can all live vicariously through your experience. Why, something from Marty would be good as he rides around Encinitas, CA and Hendra down there in Greenville.
Mark Clingan was featured in today's Columbus Dispatch regarding his passion for sled collecting. Thanks to Jeff S for the head's up. You can read the article here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2014/02/06/collector-finds-that-sleds-still-fly.html, (copied below) but the link also takes you to a video where Mark is interviewed. I did not see any bikes so assume he has sold them to finance his hobby. Note Eric the Photographer from our group rides shot the video and images.
Mark Clingan has an understanding wife and a big garage.
A man needs both to have a collection of 75 vintage sleds.
He has one by the front door; three in the foyer; three more in the family room; and the rest in the garage, which resembles a loosely arranged museum of 20th-century sledding.
The garage encompasses a mass of Comets, Sky Planes, Silver Streaks, Lightning Guiders and Golden Falcons (with flight a leading sled metaphor at one time) dating from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Clingan, 52, doesn’t just collect sleds.
He also rides them, often showing up at sledding hills near his home in Fairfield County with three or four vintage sleds in tow.
“I tell everybody I love collecting antiques I can play with,” he said.
Antique doesn’t imply fragile.
On a recent morning at Alley Park in Lancaster, he subjected his 1928 Flexible Flyer Racer to more than a few diving starts and bumpy runs.
It held up well.
Sleds represent a recent obsession for Clingan, senior pastor at Gloryland Church of the Nazarene near Carroll. (He refers to himself as the “crazy sled guy who preaches on Sunday.”)
Last year at an antiques mall, he saw an old sled that awoke memories of the joyful winter hours he spent sliding down a quarter-mile hill near his childhood home in western Pennsylvania.
Soon, he was buying sleds.
His wife, a teacher, was happy he had finally found something to interest him when he accompanied her to antiques malls.
His favorite is the Airline Cruiser, a Flexible Flyer from the 1930s that is longer than 5 feet.
He also has a Norwegian bobsled with a steering wheel and hand brake, a Flexible Flyer with wheels (so a child could go sledding in the summertime) and several 1950s sleds with chrome trim reminiscent of cars from the era.
He has bought them at prices ranging from a few dollars to a couple of hundred.
And he thinks the day is coming when they’ll be worth more.
According to Joan Palicia, a New Jersey author whose book Flexible Flyer and Other Great Sleds for Collectors is considered the bible of sled collecting, Clingan might have a long wait: Sleds of the 20th century were made in mass quantities, she said, and aren’t rare.
They are rare enough, though, to attract attention on sledding hills, where youngsters with plastic saucers find his wooden sleds exotic.
“And the first thing I get is ‘Can I try one?’ I usually bring three or four because, if I don’t , I won’t get to sled-ride.”
It’s a happy coincidence that a snowy winter came along just as his obsession was kicking into high gear.
“I kind of feel bad,” he said. “Everybody else is tired of the snow and looking forward to spring, and I want to sled-ride some more.”
We have passed a major weather milestone. Yes, the average day time high began to climb a day or two ago. Woohoo! Unfortunately, forecasters are predicting the horrid pattern that inflicts us each day will continue in to March. Is it ever not this way? Well, come March, I will be elsewhere but more on that to come. Meantime, continue to sweat profusely on those trainers while I bide my time, trying to limit my weight gain to 1 pound per half day.
If you have to come to Florida for business, you may as well come down a few days early and hit the hills of Lake County. Rising from the surrounding flat lands is the Lake Wales Ridge and is crossed by lonely country roads that provide a great environment for cycling. Roads like Sugarloaf Mountain, Buckhill, Scrub Jay, etc... are up and down like Blue Jay Road east of Newark, OH. Usually, these roads are filled with cyclists but with today's temp (54) and winds (gusting to 20mph) I saw only 3 others.
The view from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, the highest point in peninsular Florida at 312'. The climb to the top is not exactly daunting but at about 1/4 of a mile and grades sustained between 8-14%, it beats the bike paths. Short ride today of 40 miles with 2700' of climbing. Warmer tomorrow and lighter winds.
On the ride back, I saw a large group of kids playing what I assumed was flag or two hand touch football but nope, it was the real thing and there were some bone crunching tackles. One kid caught a pass and was immediately lifted in the air and slammed to the ground. It was like old time NFL.
Kyle Wingler is looking for some able bodied people to come out with gloves and appropriate clothing to hack through brush and add to the mountain bike trail at Lobdell Reserve. Having participated a couple of times, this is great fun....well, it's better than sitting around watching TV....well, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye! Here is Kyle's message:
Time to work on trails ,I hope some of you are able to come out and help this sunday 1-19 the weather should be good for trail building .We can meet at the gas well area on Mounts rd at 9:30 plan to work for 4 hrs ,bring good boots leather gloves and dress in layers .If anyone has any questions please call me at 6145060825 thanks.
Hendra, aka Panzerwagen, is gearing up for racing season and posted the below.
It is with a very heavy heart and guilt ridden conscience that I depart for Florida, to the hilly central area around Clermont/Mt. Dora, etc... on Tuesday. I know, many of you will want to know when I will return and to that I do not have an exact answer. But rest assured, I shall return.
Upon arriving at the parking lot in New Albany, it was looking kind of bleak. Flyin Tuna and Jeff S were sitting in their cars and making no effort to ready themselves for a ride. After inquiring, they stated they were sitting tight and likely going to abandon. Discouraged, I retreated to my car and called Kenda Janet to see if she and Paul were on their way. Sadly, no, they had spit the bit. Just then, Steve O arrived and so that spurred us to emerge from the comfort of our cars and began the ride readying process. Within minutes, others arrived, including this new guy, Philippe, originally from France, transferred from Texas to our garden state.
Little Muscle Dude, John Day came out in conditions he probably judged to be balmy since he rode last Tuesday when the temperature was -3 with a wind chill of -27. Only rode for 18 minutes that day but still, the toughness, coupled with the proper technical clothing, is admirable.
Wow, Hendra rolled in too with friend Joe. Shaking visibly, it was easy to imagine Hendra recalling fondly his days riding in Indonesia where the temperature is a tad bit higher. A total of 10 of us rolled out including Dirty Dan, among those not already mentioned. Dirty is taking some heat from co-workers who have discovered his nick name and drawing inappropriate conclusions. The nick name committee is considering a modification, maybe changing to "Dusty" instead of "Dirty". Have to think about that.
A 33 degree start with fairly strong winds out of the SW. The pace was reasonable with Hendra taking it easy on us and so too did everyone else who could have put a hurting on the weak and I. We got on to Dutch Lane where John had a flat. Some of us kept rolling for a mile but then turned around to watch the flat fixing and doing so, turned in to a wicked, wicked head wind. Immediately, some of us began second guessing the primary target of Utica and once John had his tire pumped back to life, Jeff, Flyin T and I headed south toward Alexandria and then back to New Albany, finishing with 39 miles. Did not hear from the others but hope they had a good time on the 63 mile route. Ok, here is the route, http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3889773.