New Ride Start Location (please park close to 3rd street entrance)
New Albany Methodist Church
20 3rd St
New Albany, Oh 43054

WEEK 3

Ride With GPS downloadable routes
45 Mile A-Pace  http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4514343
32 Mile B-Pace  http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4514388
20 Mile C-Pace  http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4514690

 
 
Here are the routes for tonight's COP Canal Winchester ride, beginning at 6:00pm from the Meijer parking lot off Diley Road.

A - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4401463

SB - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4421054

NB - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4421274

C - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4421331

 
 
Cyclists riding on Hardscrabble Road had an encounter with the driver of the below black, Honda Accord.  Cyclists claim there have been other incidents involving this same car and driver dating back to last fall.  The whack job may live on Hardscrabble, a popular road for cyclists so watch for him, report any incident to the sheriff and if you can, catch the encounter on video.
 
 
Dan Resetar led a ride on 4/27/13.  It was his first time as a ride leader.  He made mistakes.  Lots and lots of mistakes.  However, they were not intentional mistakes so that's good.  The mistakes though were so voluminous that the committee decided it would be in his best interests and the interests of the cycling community to suspend him from further ride leader responsibilities, pending remedial courses and a final review by the committee.  I am pleased to announce that Dirty Dan has been reinstated as a ride leader with full bennies and compensation.  Dan has promised that future rides will comply with standards such as:

1. It is ok to have a small portion of the route on an unpaved surface as long as said surface is ridable (see above image for example of unridable surface).

2.  A food stop, if it is off the official route, must be communicated to the group so they know where the heck to leave the route.

3. Running a route through Lancaster is ok as long as it is direct but running a circuitous and winding route through Lancaster is a no-no.

4. It is not ok to shout the route is clockwise on the map and then lead the group in the counterclockwise direction.  This can be confusing to map readers who are dropped from the group.

This is but some of the more glaring transgressions made by Dan but that is all behind us now.  Welcome back Dan!

 
 
A good turnout of 15 cyclists for a hilly alternative to COP's flatish SPOT ride.  There were a few fence sitters who opted for SPOT because they feared the hills, skeerdycats like Mark C, Pepe Lapew and a couple others.  We had Dirty Dan, Katherine Graham, Jeff S, Engineer Mitch, Eva, Larry P and Lisa A, Brent, Mark V and son, Crazy George, Kenda Janet and Paul, Flyin Tuna...I think that's it.  We shoved off into the cool morning air, heading east on Black. over to Canyon where we lost the Kendaistas and George. On through Granville, south on Jones and the hills and climbing were piling up.  After 20 miles and 2000' of climbing, I began to ask legitimate questions about the accuracy of the amount of climbing.  The intensity of Thursday's ride and then with Larry P and Dirty Dan driving today's pace, I was suffering. 
We stopped at a gas station in Newark and as we readied to depart, I noted I was the last to get the cool weather clothing back on, having lost the knack for doing it as efficiently as the experts around me.  We got over to St Louisville then the St Joseph climb, then eventually to the base of Reynolds where we stopped.  I led a spirited effort to persuade the group to go the longer route into the wind and up the big climb.  Mark V, Eva and Mark's son took the short route.  Meantime.....
Katherire Graham tired of the discussion and walked over to a cow pen to talk to the animals.  They paid rapt attention to whatever message she was giving them and it reminded me of Dr. Doolittle, talking to the animals.  Hmmm, Dr. Doolittle, not a bad nickname.  The long route group stopped in Utica at yet another gas station.  As we shoved off, Jeff S had some trouble getting started and ended up losing his balance and fell to the ground but he is ok.  Earlier, Mark V's son had fallen over at the steep ramp at the end of Jones Road.  Poor kid is riding a sprinter's dream of a bike but for climbing hills, not so good.

Eventually we headed south on Northridge into Alexandria then farther south on York, crossing Morse Road where a sign warned of a bridge being out.  A farmer yelled at us that we would not be able to cross the barricade but to avoid more miles, I was willing to backstroke with my bike on my stomach if necessary so I plunged down the hill with Larry to check it out.  The barricade had been effectively constructed to not only keep out vehicles but also cyclists, walkers, joggers, really anything larger than a snake. 
The destruction was impressive but Larry and I pioneered a route that included a leap of faith around a pole over a chasm.  I wouldn't suggest this be on the Thursday evening COP ride anytime soon.. 
We finished with 71 miles and 4400' of climbing.  We hooked back up with the Kendas, George, Mark V, son and Eva at the parking lot and exchanged stories.  By the way, exciting news about Dirty Dan coming soon.
 
 
I arrived early and wondered if anyone missed the notices that the start location had moved around the corner to the Methodist Church parking lot and sure enough, the unplugged one, George, had no idea.  Good to see him on the bike and healthy.  He offered to stay until 5:40 and direct any others to the new location.  Great except he didn't, forming up a rival group that left out of there.  I think there were 8-10 in that group. 
The woman on the right, maybe Emily, gave a brief talk about the "Ride2Recovery" event, information about it can be found on "TheCyclingClub" web site. Looking around the parking lot, there was a clear distinction between those who wintered in CA and FL and those of us closeted in our basements riding a trainer.  The Marty's, Gus & Peggy, Lori, Meredith, Jon Morgan and others who spent loooong periods around Encinitas, CA and the Sada's, Farmer Mike's, John Miller's, etc... who rode hard in FL, all looked so fit and rode like champs.  The rest of us looked slovenly and unfit.  However, the guy in the black/red kit in the background, next to Philippe, rode practically every day in Ohio when the temperature was above 0 Fahrenheit.  That kind of dedication is unreal but he was the exception. 
Pete C, so dominant in the spring series Masters races that USA Cycling may name a trophy after the guy.  And hey, there's Gus Cook in the background.  I spent a lot of quality time with Gus tonight.  He needs to add 20 pounds to his frame for a perfect puller but still, not bad.
Seemed like a lot of new people out but also veterans like Mark V, who is leading an 84 and 66 mile route out of Pataskala on Saturday morning, more on that soon.
Good turnout on this evening of 65 degrees, sun and winds out of the south.  I forgot to do a parking lot count but likely around 50 cyclists, including some C's.
Of course, the A group was well represented with Chris G, Marty and Hendra looking on as Rick gave a couple of announcements including he will no longer provide maps at the start.  Routes can always be found at the Cycling Club website or here so you can print your own map.  There will also now be an A+ group, an A group for the strong B's who follow the A route, B and C groups.  Makes sense.
So, close to 30 rolled out in the A+ and A group.  I think they were supposed to be separate roll-outs but no matter.  We headed east on old 161 with a nasty cross wind.  I noticed no one went left of the center line.  We reached Beech and I was feeling pretty good.  Soon thereafter I began counting my chickens before they hatched, patting myself on the back thinking, I'm going to make it to at least Granville.  But, that cross wind, ouch.  I was right on the yellow line and finally unplugged.  Quickly, I joined in with Gus Cook, Lisa T, Lori N, Philippe, Kristian, Katherine and we echeloned effectively, catching back on at #37 (yes, a red light helped a bunch))  I popped again just before York Road but drafted Lori back on to the group (yes, a stop sign heloed a bunch).

Turning right on Moots Run, the leaders hit the corner hard and were sprinting just as us at the back reached the corner and that was that.  I formed up with Gus, Lori, Philippe and soon we pulled in another guy whose name I have forgotten. Prior to the Thresher Street climb, we discussed regrouping at the top so we could work together for the return.  We did so although the new guy was pretty far back and we decided he would get caught up by the A group so we continued on what was a good route.  Left on Dry Creek, right on Battee, left on Hardscrabble, right on RV Road, then Jug and then we were reeled in my Katherine, Kristian, Mick, the guy we picked up prior to Thresher who I think was a little annoyed we did not wait for him and 2-3 others.  We rode in, finishing with 41 miles and a 21mph average.  Not sure how the front group finished.  A very fun time on the bike with good people.

Now, that unfortunate hacking incident to my blog during which insane comments were made about me going out and pulling away from Hendra, Marty, Jon, etc...  Actually, I did pull away from Billy Bob, Bobby Jo and Jimmy Dean so I felt good about that.  I also saw Grand Poobah riding with Julia and will interrogate him soon to determine if he had any part in the hack attack or should I just chalk it up to the Chinese military branch.



 
 
Holy Cow!!!  Someone managed to hack my blog account and posted the below ridiculous comment about riding twice today (which I did not) and riding away from Hendra and others.  I would have to be the most ignorant of ignoranemouses to have posted that.  I will not rest until I find the culprit and bring him/her to justice.  I have taken steps to ensure no such activity can be taken again.  I have a small pool of suspects, led by Grand Poobah among others.  Note to self: Google "How to waterboard".  Again, sorry for the misunderstanding.
 
 
I'm a little concerned about my first appearance at the Thursday New Albany ride.  After 6 weeks of hard training and then 4 days of recovery, I am so strong I no doubt would ride away from Hendra, Marty, Jon, Terry, John, Billy-Bob, Bobby -Joe and Jimmy Dean.  So, instead I am riding in the morning with Jeff S and Flyin Tuna to Breman on an 80 mile ride and then with that tempering my legs, I will be at New Albany to make it more fair then it otherwise would have been.  If you would like to participate, we will leave Hoback Park in Heath at 9:00am.
 
 
My last day in paradise, I decided to hike to Table Mountain, a unique feature in the Catalina Mountain range.  It would take3 miles of trail then 1.5 miles of bushwhacking through fairly thick underbrush up a canyon before reaching the bottom of the "table" and then a very steep climb to the edge of the table, overlooking a few hundred foot drop.  Within the first mile I saw a couple standing and yelling at me, "snake".  I walked close to them and they told me it was at the base of a tree.  Looking in and hearing the distinctive rattle, I did not see the snake.  No, it sounded closer and to the right.  The woman started to move and I barked, "Don't move until we've located the snake."  She went anyway and then I saw it.  Gosh, they blend in so well but out of strike range although it was coiled and ready.  I tossed stones at it until it went away from the trail.
Soon thereafter, I ran into this guy, Tim who had just had his own encounter farter up the trail.  He had looked away from he trail and then looking back, there was a rattler laying just where his foot was about to fall.  He was able to alter his stride just enough to catch only the tail and then gathered himself and jumped away before the snake could strike.  Later, Tim emailed me a few cool videos of other snake encounters.  He has quite a collection.
The environment was a snake's wet dream.  I slowed my pace to a crawl, watching, alert.
Ugh, tall grass right t the edge of the trail.  There could be thousands of rattlers in there.
I reached a crude dam at about mile 3.  There, I found a couple of guys taking a break and they had just seen another snake on the path where I had just tread.  Now I decided going off trail would be a bad idea.  I went a little farther to at least find where one leaves the trail to head towards Table Mountain but I di not find it. 
So, at the 3.5 mile point, I turned around and walked slowly back to the trail head.  Six weeks out here was a heck of a lot of fun and so much more to do but I'll be back, maybe June but if not, certainly November.  Back to Ohio with the first order of business being to set up an alternative to the flat SPOT ride on Saturday.  I can't do that route again, nothing personal to the ride leader. 
 
 
Very Important.  The Thursday New Albany ride start location has permanently, for this year, changed:

New Albany Methodist Church
20 3rd St
New Albany, Oh 43054

For more info, follow this link: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/



 
 
A demonstration of extraordinary foresight to report.  Andrew Clayton, ride leader of Tuesday Canal Winchester ride, has already cancelled the Tuesday ride.  At first, it seemed a little quick triggered but then I looked at the latest forecast, 38 degrees and 1-3" of snow.  Probably the right call but second guessers will be out in abundance if it is 40 and no snow. 
 
 
I planned to drive to Mount Graham and do that climb but that is 2.5 miles away with no water anywhere near or at the top and then I began thinking, why sit in a car for 5+ hours when Mount Lemmon is right around the corner.  So, I headed up and noticed I was pedaling comfortably in sprockets two sizes larger than the last time I rode about 2 weeks ago.. Hmmmm.  I seemed to be flying up the mountain and how about that?  Beat my best average by 1.1mph.  I stopped to eat at the restaurant in Summerhaven.
Lots of grey headed people here who glanced at me as if I was a space alien although I had a nice chat with a couple from Iowa.  The surrounding slopes show rebuilt cabins from the Aspen fire of 2003.  Odd that the burned tress are still standing but lots of smaller ones growing skyward.  I headed back and reached the left turn toward Ski Valley and it was as if a hand was pushing me and so....
...I headed toward the slopes bereft of snow and after almost 2 more very steep miles, reached the ski area with the Iron Door Restaurant, at which I have previously eaten. I paused, looked around and oh my......
.....the gate to the observatory was now open.  What to do, what to do?  I had come this far so what the heck, I chugged on up what was even steeper than what I had already ridden.  The grade was 8-11% for another 1.5 miles and after so much climbing, well, actually it was not too hard.  I think 6 weeks of climbing on trails and the road has had the desired effect albeit climbing slowly.
At 9000'+ elevation, the views?  Oh my, oh my.  From the base of the mountain, I had gone up Green Mountain, Mount Bigelow and then Mount Lemmon to....
....the Sky Center Observatory and there is the loyal bike to prove it.  From the base of the climb I had come 28 miles, slightly less than 8000' of climbing.  The temperature in the valley was 94 but up here, around 65 and nice.  I coasted down and finished with 64 miles and 8400' of climbing.  Time to pack my bike into the box and send back to Ohio so got that done and now, one more hike along a snake infested trail.  More to come soon.
 
 
Although I was not there, I have many in the peloton who feel it is their responsibility to keep me informed and so, after talking to many, I can file this brief report.  Rick Miller had a brief presentation at the beginning and a New Albany police officer was there to add weight to the presentation while describing his own pursuit of cycling lawbreakers.  Then the group rolled out, around 30 total into an environment of clouds and very strong winds, probably 25mph+.  No doubt this kept the crowd down. During the warm-up, Dirty Dan was mixing it up at the front, dirty, dirty Dan, making the warm-up session rather short and life unbearable for a few.  Jon Morgan was up there too, probably inspired by Dan. Dan dropped off the pace after establishing himself as the pace setter.

The pace was very fast out Jug Street with a tail wind and then, entering Alexandria, the old habits arose as the lead A group turned right on to #37 with cars approaching from the left.  Rather than pause to make sure everyone got through, it appears the front group pushed the pace and so a gap was created.  This, by anyone's definition, is chickenshit stuff and the type of event that Rick is striving to avoid.  My very limited experience with the A group is that it is just one or two people who initiate this stuff and others follow so they are not dropped.  To be fair, since I did not see this, maybe the telling of the story was exaggerated.

The return, in to that strong wind, created more gaps but still, the lead group had a 22.8mph average.  I'll be there next Thursday, as long as it is sunny and 80, to post what I witness, at least during the warm-up phase.

 
 
I have driven to the Superstition Wilderness to hike trails like Paralta, Siphon Draw, Flat Iron and of course the one to Weaver's Needle.  As I reach the northern most points on these trails, I wonder, what lies beyond the next ridge?  Once I was in Las Cruces, NM, looked to the west and wondered, what lies beyond the horizon and so rented a car and drove west to find out.  It was pretty much more of what I had viewed from Las Cruces.  Later, on a different trip, I had to go from Las Cruces to Phoenix, AZ but rather than fly, I drove just to find out what lay beyond.  Well, some copper mines in Globe and not much more but anyway, I have this need to know what lies over the horizon.  What luck!  I discovered a road goes to the west of the Superstition, then north then east and.....
.....wow, there is a freakin huge lake.  I could not believe it.  The road is good and I even passed a couple of cyclists.  The above does not do justice to the area.  Unreal views.
I stopped at Boulder Canyon Lake, walked across a road and headed up the Boulder Canyon trail.  After a long climb, I reached a saddle and wow, there is Weaver's Needle right of center.
Looking back from where I had come, I could see a dam at the head of a canyon, holding back all that water.  There was a marina (out of the image) with well over one hundred boats, a restaurant and more. 
Looking to the south, there was Battleship Monument and just to the right of it, the tip of Weaver's Needle.  From this point the trail went down toward that river bed maybe you can make out in the center.  That is the Labarge River, dry at that point but water was running farther up canyon.
At mile 3.3, I reached the dry river bed and here, my destination lay up river and off trail.  I had read that you should stay on trail and then drop into the river bed when you reached a saddle so I kept going.  Those rocks are hand and foot sized and not difficult to walk but I followed the advice from the internet and stayed on the trail..
The trail went up toward a saddle and there I found the foundation of an old structure. 
Long ago, someone had hacked out a water catch from the rock.  It was about 15' deep.
Someone had carved out a depression in the rock and made a fire pit. 
I finally dropped into the river bed and followed it up stream where I encountered running water and then the canyon became narrow and the rocks turned in to boulders, huge boulders and the going went very slow as I picked my way through this unmarked route.
The river bed appeared to end up against this jagged wall,  From internet reports, I knew the canyon turned sharply to the left and then sharply to the right to get around the above but it was getting late and I turned around. I went back down canyon/stream bed.  It is hard to describe the environment.  Scrambling around house sized boulders to end up unable to go forward, retracing my route, finding an alternative, very slow going.  I kept going down stream, wandered around a bit after not finding the trail out of the rocks, decided I needed a gps hiking device and have begin researching the topic (I actually panicked a bit when I could not find the trail for awhile_.  Finally. I found it and headed out of the canyon.
Geesh, what great views to the south and....
.....from the same spot, great views to the north.  You should right click the above image and save it as a full screen shot.  Might be the best view I have seen in AZ with the lake and everything else.  Below I reach the lake and the trail head.  Finished with 11 miles and quite a bit of climbing.   So much more to see here and I'll be back.
 
 
New Albany COP Thursday Night Ride to continue.


The Cycling Club will now be leading the New Albany COP Thursday night ride. We are co-marketing the ride with COP. Keeping with COP’s ideology, this is a “group ride” not a “group race”, we will be concentrating our efforts to help continue having a safe ride. With this being said, we need to take a deeper look at ourselves and ask if we are riding as safe as we can, am I doing the best I can. You might be a good rider but you could be a great rider. This is not talking about your fitness or race results, but your ability to ride in such a way that others use you as an example to the new riders of how you should ride. We are riding shoulder to shoulder with guys and gals on these group rides each person’s safety depends on everyone in that group. We need to be good stewards of this sport, we need nurture the newer riders, give them tips to help them be a better rider and continue to grow as a cyclist. This newer cyclist doesn’t have to be a brand new rider; he/she just might be new to riding in groups, or just has lack of knowledge of riding on the road. So when we come across these individuals we need not be afraid of speaking up and sharing our knowledge and nurturing them in a constructive manner to help facilitate the safety of the group.


Some of the main safety issues we will be addressing will be the running of Stop signs and Traffic lights

There is no good reason to run a stop sign, your average speed is not so important to run stop signs. The safety of the group whether there is traffic coming or not is irrelevant to stopping or not stopping at the sign or signal.  Most of us sane people, if we were to ask them if they would run a stop sign or traffic light in their car, they would answer NO. Then why would we do it on our bike, as cyclist we are under the same traffic laws as the cars. This is where I am asking you to become a great rider and help the ride leaders to lead and ride by example.

At a Traffic light, it is one thing to be stopped at a traffic light and it not change and you proceed with caution. It is a totally different thing to see that there is no cross traffic coming and proceed thru the intersection at speed, that rider just ran a red light and should be given a ticket/we don’t need that type of rider on our ride, so that rider needs to change or we will ask them not to participate in our ride. 

Where and how to ride on the road

We should be keeping to the right of the road if your single filed up we would recommend riding approximately 16-24 inches inside the white line (on the road not on the berm, this makes you more visible to traffic coming from behind and gives you room to move to the right if need be it).

Riding two abreast, this does not mean one rider on the white line and one rider at the center of the road. We should be to the right of the road with a safe distance between riders this distance changes per the level of the group. The A group should be bar to bar to take advantage of the aerodynamic efficiency with their experience. The B group should be very similar to the A group maybe a little more space between the riders but not much more. The C group will typically have a little more distance between the riders also, not always necessary. The key is to ride consistent and predictable, if we ride in this manner; we should have very few to nearly no accidents out on the road.

There should be no reason any rider should be crossing the center line of the road while riding (just because there is no line on the road doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a center)

 

We look forward to having a successful year of riding, I know I have said a mouthful, although we are safety focused, we do enjoy having a spirited ride keeping in mind safety. We all have families and want to make it back home to them.

 

Thank you Rick Miller VP of The Cycling Club

Thursday Night COP Ride main contact rick@ricksbicycleservice.com

 
 
Good ride today but the experience began the evening before when I was soaking my aching, weak muscles in the spa and sharing it with a guy who is in town for a "Personal Best" Tri training camp.  I thought the most excruciatingly boring experience was listening to a golfer describe every shot in the round of golf but nope, that has been surpassed by listening to a guy ramble on and on about every tri event, times, places, etc...  Louisville, Ironman, Lake Placid, crashing waves and my eyes glazed over and he finally asked what I did.  When I told him I worked in the golf industry he said, "Oh, I'm good at that too!"  Geesh.  Anyway, he described a training ride the camp took, which revealed a new route to me so for that, it was almost worth being brought to tears of boredom.  I headed north to Catalina, took #79 towards Phoenix but 10 miles in hung a left on a paved road called East Park Link. It was 18 miles of flat, which was a nice change of pace.  Above you can make out Picacho Peak. 
I was stopped by a train for quite awhile at a frontage road at I-10.  I rode 5 miles farther north to a market, at mile 45, where I saw a group of "Hells Angels Arizona" jacketed bikers.  These guys appeared to be the real deal and I confirmed it when I walked by one of them and said, "How's it going." and got only a grunt in reply.  There was another gang there too but smaller in number.  I sized up the situation and decided to get out before guns were drawn.
Rode toward the town of Marana on the west side of I-10, still very flat while passing a farm with neat views of distant mountains.  Then it was east on Tangerine which is an 8 mile climb but not steep and lots of false flats.  Finished with 84 miles and 2900' of climbing.  Rode the next day with a group and had a good time, finishing with 50 miles.  I have been asked how many miles I have ridden and only 765 for March.  With 30 out of 31 days sunny and all but two having temps in the 70's and 80's, some of you would have been over 1000 miles but the hiking, 64 miles, has been fantastic and do I have an adventure to describe next.  Note to self, buy the freakin GPS device for hikes.
 
 
 As most of you probably know, COP had a challenge finding someone to replace Shannon as the Thursday New Albany ride leader.  Rick Miller and the Cycling Club agreed to provide the service and the inaugural 2014 ride is this Thursday.  Arrive in time to sign in and hear the pre-ride announcements.  Same ride as before but a little more emphasis on safety, especially for that lawless C group.

A Ride gps  http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/373060279

B Ride gps  http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/373080093

C Ride gps  http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/387056768

 

 
 
The day got off to an interesting start.  As I walked toward my car in the morning, a woman with a frantic look on her face approached.  Would I kill a scorpion that she shook out of her shirt?  Hmmm, ok.  I had seen a scorpion scamper across a path a year ago but other than that and rumors they are everywhere, I had not seen one.  Sure enough, there at the base of the wall in her condo was a small scorpion.  It's the small ones that are respected the most because their poison is stronger than the large ones. My record for killing insects is spotty.  I hit as often as I miss.  Therefore, I cleared the area around the scorpion in the event I missed, raised my foot and splat, got it on the first try.  She asked if it was dead...ah yes.  Soon thereafter, I jumped on the bike and rode the 24 miles out of the valley through Catalina and Oracle, AZ, a ride I have done many times but this time, I reached the top of the climb, above, and plunged 9 miles into the valley to the very small town of San Manuel.
Throughout the outbound ride, the wind had been strong behind me and appeared to exceed the forecast of 15mph (later I checked and it was 25mph).  After a break at a gas station, I headed back to Oro Valley into that wind, beginning with the 9 mile climb out of this valley and then on home, finishing with 74 miles and 3900' of climbing.  I am comforted by the fact that when I return to Ohio, I will be strong on our 5, 10 and 15 mile climbs.  Oh, wait..... Only now have I realized I've been training for a marathon when it is a sprint I will experience upon my return to Ohio.  The intensity of the New Albany Thursday rides ought to be quite the shock.
 
 
Some of the members of the central Ohio peloton have been competing in various USA Cycling events and so with the utmost respect, I offer the following thoughts in celebration of their successes.  Henda Palisades aka Panzerwagen, has been doing well in the Cat 1/2/3 with a 7th, 9th and other high finishes as a Cat 2, Lori Nedescu, better known for running but with an engine that allows her to compete at anything requiring endurance, is now racing as a Cat 3, Tym Tyler is winning pretty much every Masters 55-60 event in which he rolls up to the start line, Pete Czerwinski dominates the Masters 45-54 or competes highly in the Cat 3 events, Kayla Starr is doing well as a Cat 2, Maya Wei-Haas is doing so well she it is a matter of time before she too is a Cat 2, Terry Griffith is doing well in the Cat 4 events and part of a Backroom Coffee Roasters juggernaut, Luke Russell has graduated to Cat 4 (I think that's the Luke who rides out of the Tuesday Canal rides, correct?), but the head scratcher for me is the performance of one Marty Sedluk,  They can't just stick him in with the Pro/Cat 1 category so of course he is working his way through the ranks but geesh, after a winter of cycling in AZ, CA and the Turks & Caicos, competing against Gord Fraser, Lance Armstrong, Brad Wiggins and Alberto Contador, I kind of expected higher finishes but I suppose he is keeping his head down and slowly moving up through the ranks.  If I missed someone, it is a mistake and not intentional.  Whatever happened to John Day, aka Junior Muscle Dude?
 
 
Between the Santa Catalina and Santa Maria ranges is Aqua Caliente hill.  The Ocotillo are impressive with green leaves from each stem, topped by reddish blooms.  A 9 mile round trip hike with some up and downs before a very steep final 1/2 mile climb to the summit.  Calling this a hill is accurate only when compared to the peaks around it. 
I climb up to a saddle, drop into a canyon, climb out to another saddle, below you can make out the trail.
As others have noted in various hiking guides, this trail has the best example of a fake summit there is.  Walking up a fairly steep slope (that would be it on the left), headed toward that top and just before reaching it the trail suddenly heads away from the peak, dropping down slightly and then....
......oh man, was that final 1/2 mile steep.  Reached it in exactly 2 hours.
Very windy at the summit so I stopped long enough to sign in, take about.....
....one image and headed down.
There were some great and broad views to the southwest.  A King snake raced across the trail while I was jogging so I slowed and took more care.  A woman was bitten a couple of weeks ago and the snake did not release its bite until emergency personnel showed up.  I can't imagine what that would be like, standing or sitting, waiting for help while a live rattlesnake clung to your leg.  While that image is enough to keep me careful, I also am told the treatment is $200,000.  Note to self, check insurance coverage.  Oh and that snake?  It was released after removal.
 
 
One of the blog's readers suggested I share the below link, which takes you to the above site.  I recognized quite a few names of cyclists who have signed the petition and the site provides links for taking additional steps in support of the effort.

http://www.bikecleveland.org/2014/03/28/take-action-ohio-house-removed-safe-passing-law-from-hb145/

 
 
From Andrew Clayton come this announcement:

The Tuesday night rides start up on Tuesday at Canal Winchester.  I changed the starting location this year due to the parking that will become scarce once the car museum opens up.  We are going to start from the SW corner of the Meijer parking lot now where there is plenty of parking, restrooms and water available.  This should keep us out of some of the town traffic as well.  Due to the different starting location, I just wanted to give folks a little heads up.  They are predicting 70 for Tuesday! Can't wait!

 
 
After a couple of weeks of sun and warm temps in the 70's and 80's, I decided to check out California.  Once that decision was made, should I explore around the Encinitas area north of San Diego where Marty Sedluk has made a 4th home, ok, I'll do that.  But then I began thinking about the Santa Ynez Valley area where I have been many times and so what the heck, drive 9 hours to what you see above. 
I really enjoy the restaurants in the area and ate at one of my favs on Monday evening and then jumped on the bike Tuesday and headed out Ballard Canyon Road and then Foxen Canyon where I saw a herd of goats, with the two above munching on the leaves. It is all uphill and after 15 miles, elevation gained is around 1800'.
The maritime fog persisted so the views were not as good but still....
At the top of the Foxen Canyon climb, the sun began to break through to the west and north.  While this area is spectacular, I would not want to live this close to the coast where practically every morning you awake to clouds and what looks like rain.  Sure, it burns off 90% of the time but I need to explore south of here for an eventual move out of Ohio. 
I stopped at the Sisquoc store and then kept going northwest, passing this oddity, a nursery growing cactus.  Geesh, just drive east a couple hundred miles and you can dig them out of the sand by the thousands.
More acres have been planted in grapes.  You people are drinking way too much wine.
Along Foxen Canyon Road, you pass the Rancho Sisquoc winery with the San Ramon Chapel, built in 1875..  The original owners were part of a land grant from Mexico that goes back in to the early 1800's when 37,000 acres were acquired.  Not a bad stomping grounds.
Reaching the top of Tepusquet, the views northward are incredible.  It's around a 10 mile climb but not steep until the end.
Emerging from the Eucalyptus trees along Foxen Canyon.
The oak trees are everywhere, dotting the landscape in the farms and fields.  Finished with 84 miles and 5400' of climbing.  A great day for a bike ride.  Then, the forecast changed and it began to rain.  The next day was forecast for rain and blustery conditions for the following day.  I looked at the forecast for Tucson and it was sun and 80, so, I checked out of the hotel and headed back, driving through Palm Springs and 60mph winds, finally reaching Tucson.  Well, much more cycling and hiking to come.  I'm coming backc when Ohio weather improves....checking that forecast....ugh.