Canal Winchester - September 14, 2011 - The Tuesday COP ride out of Canal spawned nice temps and moderate wind this week as 27ish showed up for the test of grit and will. Present were many of the usual candidates; Myself (Nate) along with Green Caboose, Pepe Le Pew, The OX, Little Diesel, Pastor Mark, Grand Poobah, Style Queen, Jeremy (needs nickname), Leader Mitch, Tri-bar guy whose name I can't remember despite riding with him frequently, Mr. Rossi as a single, Ryan (also needs nickname) and a few others.
Early arrivals to the parking lot looked a bit gloomy, thinking that the wind would be a major factor, but after a gander at the map a few grins appeared. Mitch provided us with a route that sent us out Amanda Northern where the “select” would be early. Eyes measured the parking lot, trying to decide who had eaten their Wheaties today and early battle plans were laid.
Mitch gave his usual rousing ride brief ensuring that everyone knows he likes vodka, tequila or something else I can't remember (sambuka????). The A's were then called to the line and about 5ish responded. Now it gets important here so pay attention. I don't recall all who were there but I do remember Pastor Mark, The OX, and Poobah (maybe Ryan too?) were among the heavy hitters.
...and then the B's were called to duty and a largish group responded including Pepe Le Pew, Mitch, Dennis, Tri-bar guy, Myself, Amanda and most of the others.
Immediately upon hitting the road the pace was brisk and I wondered what evil lay up the sleeve of the early leaders. I hung back watching as Dennis (style queen), Mitch, and Kevein (pepe) rotated on and off the front quickening the pace even more as we made the right onto Waterloo Eastern Road. Knowing that an early select lay before us I did as Dennis taught me and stayed off the front and in the draft. Before long, a glance up revealed the A's not far off and being pulled in.
The turn onto Amanda northern uncovered today's wiliest rider as Mitch sprinted to the front and took an aggressive lead at the beginning of the couple miles of the Amanda Northern pain-fest that exploded the B group like dynamite leaving bodies behind en-mass. By the end of that slog only a few remained and the As were still within reach.
We turned onto Royalton, where we were thankfully spared the horrific 6 climb section and with regular lead switches and a careful echelon in place the a group remained in sight.
All the way through the ride it seemed to be a slow motion tug of war as the A's were pulled in and away. I envisioned Pastor Mark of there whipping them up in his normal fashion and found out later that Grand Poobah was trying to organize a rotation to reduce the impact of the cross-wind. (This produced a litany of jokes afterward that there isn't space to cover here. Ask about it Thursday or next Tuesday)
The turn Northbound onto Goodman, then Lancaster Rd to Elder is where the Magic of the night happened though. Unfortunately Tri-Bar dude and I blew off the back right at the Goodman turn as Pepe took to the front and laid down the hammer, so I'll have to tell this part as told to me and just make up the parts I don't know as is appropriate for this blog.
With the A's in sight all evening, the turn onto Goodman produced some sort of anger in Pepe that spurred him to new and unthinkable speeds. The ultimate result was that before long, the trio of Pepe, Mitch and Style Queen Dennis (*I name them so that they may receive their proper congratulations and honorifics when you see them next) caught the A group and as is proper, mocked them for the remainder of the way to Canal.
The parking lot was riotous with tales of woe and glory as I rode in with Tri-Bar dude a minute or so in trail. Averages were being compared and as expected, the B's average was higher and mightier than that of the A's. Fights broke out, Names were called, accusations of foul play were thrown down and I think I even saw someone spit some of their post-ride recovery drink out their nose.
All was shortly forgiven though, as the group headed into shades for a beer and a burger to make sure that no weight loss was actually achieved. One can not really describe the post-ride scene in the parking lot with something so mundane as words, but you should ask anyway and watch them try.