The pre-ride session got off to a rocky start when, unable to find real large doughnuts at the store, I had to settle for a bag of small doughnets. This produced some major grumbling from Flyin Tuna, who is working tirelessly at building her own doughnut, if ya know what I mean. Thereafter, things began looking up with the arrival of Grand Poobah Todd, Amanda, Jeff S, Steve O, Dennis, Kenda Dave and surprisingly, Kenda Stefano for a total of 9 cyclists. The 9:00am group had only 2 show for the 22 degree start and that is 2 more than I would have guessed. At 11:00am, the temperature was a toasty 32. Before showing off, Todd volunteered he had an announcement and claimed to be Tiger’s 21st mistress, a claim some of us voiced was believeable.
We headed toward the Rushville Coffee House via the normal route that is kind of hilly with an extended stay on Rainbow and Plum and some small hills on Coonpath. Also a factor was a strong SE wind. We kept the ride social with some of us taking off to form a breakaway group while other times hanging back with those who are clearly working too much and riding too little. As we converged on Rushville, a group of Todd, Dennis and I battled furiously up that long, steepish climb to the Coffee House and the welcome warmth within. We gathered in the bottom floor, lounging comfortably on sofas and padded chairs. Life was good as we soaked up drinks and bagels. The Kendas had cut the ride a little short because of time pressures and we missed the opportunity to beg Stefano for free tubes. RATS.
As is normal, Cindy B approached and suggested we change the route to spend less time on Pleasantville road by taking Leitnaker and Leonard before jumping back on the route at Bader and Bish. I learned long ago it is best to just acquiesce and today was no different (actually, it was a better route). We all rode together up Gun Barrel and west on Pleasantville but somewhere on Leitnaker, Dennis picked up the pace and soon he, Todd, Steve and I were riding hard and kept up a furious pace all the way back with Todd sprinting from the back of the pack to claim every conceivable sign sprint. Going into Canal, Todd reached into his bag of tricks to claim the final city sign sprint when, upon appearing to lose ground to Steve, reached over and patted Steve on his rear, disrupting Steve into a spasm of laughter and Todd won, again.
Finished with 52 miles and 2700’ of climbing. 39 degrees at the end of a great day for riding. Sure, it’s cold and yeah the wind is a pain but the satisfaction of having participated is always great and we hope to see more of you in the future. We speculated on what has become of Craig “The Boss” and I opined whatever he is doing it is maintaining his distinct and decided advantage over me. Rumor is he is looking at new bikes and probably training diligently.