We headed south and in our group, I was tagging along in the #12 spot when after awhile I yelled back to Nathan, inquiring as to how many additional cyclists were in our group behind me, "25" he yelled. But then, after chugging through the hills of Cedar Hill, things slimmed down a bit and as we passed west of Amanda, it appeared to me, as I infrequently popped my head in the airstream to look, Steve O, Mike Rea, Stefano, Blair S and Steve H were taking most of the pulls with Mark C, Kevin H, Nathan, Kenda Janet, Jeff S, Ginger, Grand Poobah, Mark V and me hanging in there along with Corvair and Flyin T who were popping on and off. As we approached Tarleton, I regret having to report an event that at least will result in someone's man card being pulled and surprisingly it did not involve Poobah.
As most are aware, the road entering Tarleton is mostly a broken surface of holes and so, the village sign is not contested with a sprint.....except Nathan, aka Recumbent Dude, yanked his upright bike out of the line, DROPPED INTO THE AERO BARS and began pumping for the village sign. He was pursued by Ginger, using classic, respectable sprinting skills that have been honed for years. She had almost overtaken Mr Aero when he was saved by the arrival of the sign. Those who witnessed the scene began letting out guffaws and wisecracks and we laughed about it all the way to Laurelville, except when the pace picked up , dampening the good mood. Some where in there I took a token pull..
Somewhere along there Ginger asked me if anyone in California ever says they are impressed that someone from Ohio could ride the mountains so well. To that I replied, "Ginger, I've never done anything on a bike that ever impressed anyone." and we had a good laugh with that line. At Laurelville, we had 65 miles and after noting the time, realized I could still catch the last half of the Buckeye game and I headed north. Many people were out and the countryside was filled with activity, trees producing flowers, forsythia ablaze, flowers blooming, warm air...what a great day for cycling and to be a Buckeye fan too.I finished with 98 miles, the other 4 would have finished with 107.