Good turnout for today's ride, another cold, dreary start. For a change, wouldn't it be neat to start a ride in sun and warmth? Maybe in June. Twenty-two at the start, then a few people joined in rolling out...26 total. Approximately 10 of us were racing tomorrow so the pace was almost guaranteed to be moderate and get this...it was. Just a good group of people enjoyable to be around.
Someone said something funny cause Flyin Tuna thought it hilarious. Mark V in the forefront. He and wife are going to spend a couple of months in Tucson this winter, including March when I will be out there. I'll work to show him a rattler.
We roll out into a medium stiff wind out of the east. Among the luminaries who came out were Isaac, Danny A, Dirty Dan, Marty, Kim, Peggy & Gus, Meredith, Mark V, David Smith, Flyin Tuna, Ron, Luke & Lori, Doug M, Philippe, George, Tym & Lisa, John Sada, Brent Jenkins, Farmer Mike, Jay, etc...
We roll into Alexandria and note George out in front. As he is inclined to do, he tries to get a head start on the hills and did so on Mounts, Hardscrabble...
....where we stopped to regroup while George went on to the Stone Quarry rollers. Turning right on Northridge, those who were racing Sunday, headed back to the barn, reducing our number to 16. We rolled through SQ and closing on 661 via Dry Creek, a road that resembles roads around Normandy after the invasion (thanks to Isaac for the idea), Ron.....
...had a flat. George, oblivious to this and wanting to maintain his gap on the Chattam Road climb, kept going. Putting our break to productive use, Cindy tried to bring up weather radar on her smart phone but the technical difficulty of it was too much for her so I rode ahead to 661 where....
...others were waiting and there, Jay P concluded approaching rain required us to turn around. Note while we awaited the weather decision, I noted Isaac was the only person wearing "Laces" so not sure I should yet invest in a pair. Later, some of us realized George was not with us and we hoped after he got to the top of Chattam, he would realize what had happened and turn back. To be fair, some thought he would just keep going. We finished with 44 miles, the last 1 mile in a spitting, light rain and hoped George would be ok. I thought about driving the route in reverse to find him but realized he did not know the route and thus would not be following it.
9:00am, from in front of the New Albany Starbucks, Saturday. Lots of options for cutting the route short. Should be a broad range of fitness and some of the stronger types are racing Sunday so their pace will be "moderate". If you are an A, B+ or B cyclist, heck maybe even a C+ you should be comfortable but just in case it is otherwise, bring a map of one type or another.
Rick Miller had to scratch himself from his ride leader duties so he assigned the task to me. I am happy to cover, inadequately of course, but it did cut into my promise to take a pic of everyone but I'll make up for it in the coming weeks. Above, Mike Rea signs the register, as does Farmer Mike while Andrew and Steve talk about TOSRV.
Good guy Danny Alarcon begins to unload his new machine. Very high end, very fast, very expensive but with his Audi association, he got the discount.
While a large contingent gathered in the center of the parking lot, waiting anxiously to hear my pre-ride comments no doubt, lots of sub groups form too, usually the elites and not the schleps, why is that? Hey, there is Muscle Dude on the left (obviously) with Doug McConaha.
Some of tonight's cream of the crop, Jon Hastings, Terry G, Luke, Marty & Lori. Four of them would comprise about half of the first group to hit the parking lot at the end of the ride with an incredible 24.4 avg.
David Smith signs in and with the minutes ticking rapidly toward 6:00pm, I made a final call for sign-ins. I announced that Rick was going to start a 4th group next week to attract those who maybe are intimidated by our usually large group or by group rides (get the word out) and with that, hopped in with the rivet group purely for reporting obligations.
Of we go, around 20-22 of us, left out of the parking lot, through the final town stoplight and breezing out 161. Initially, we were the usual two abreast and then, soon after crossing Kitzmiller, we were single file. This is a bad sign. It means (for the uninitiated) that the pace was too high for someone to hang to the left or right of the lead cyclist so everyone ducked somewhere in the extended line. Someone up there was killing it (I was so far back I'd need the Hubbell Telescope to make out who). With the wind coming in from the left, there was a limit as to how far right one could draft unless you're comfortable riding in the gutter or through yards.
I was not the first to drop, nor the 2nd, nor the 3rd..well who is counting but I tapped out at mile 5, yeah, that's right, freakin mile five. I sat up and settled (cause I'm a settler) for getting rolled up by the B group but then...Dirty Dan rode by and I jumped on his wheel. With a nickname like "Dirty", naturally he pulled but on the right side of the berm...that dirty, dirty Dan so I had to work a bit to keep up. We made it to Watkins. where we made a right to stay on the route. Ahead, a couple of guys wrongly turned left on Morse but we kept going to Wesleyan Church as planned (disappointed though to not be able to bridge to those two). We rolled into Granville then out Raccoon Valley, right on Hardscrabble and continued until we reached a soft pedaling Lori N on Beaver.
All along, our goal was to stay ahead of the B group so adding Lori was good and then soon thereafter, Danny Alarcon, Nick and 2 others came by, having missed an earlier turn and adding to their route. We gleefully jumped on a rode all the way back, finishing with a 20.8 avg for the 38 miles.
Coasting in, we ran into the beasts of the peloton who as previously mentioned, finished with a 24.4 avg. Unreal.
After packing my bike in the car I headed out and there came the B group. I later talked to one of them and they had a 19ish average and a very strong group, Kim, Mick, Andrew C, Denise D, Anthony S, Peggy, Flyin Tuna, Farmer Mike, etc....
First, to answer the question in everyone's mind, yes, I will be there to report on the serious business of what happens before, during and after the ride. I will endeavor to get an image of everyone cause I know that is the only reason you visit this site, to see what you look like on a bike. Secondly, you expect me to lead out the A group and dominate the Jon Morgan's of the peloton (cough, cough) but anticipating rain today, I rode Wednesday so I will settle in with a group far down the roll-out parade. Or, I may go with the A group to report on what happens during the warm-up phase, which is only a mile or two shorter than where I would otherwise get dropped. Dirty Dan called to tell me he is taking the red eye flight from Phoenix so he can make tonight's ride. Amazing how much this ride tugs at people. The place to be on a Thursday evening if you are a cyclist. Note tonight's routes are the same as last week.
Route A/B 38 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13248286
Route C 25 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13248380
Looking at weather radar, it was a tough call, I was going to make a surprise visit to my many fans in Canal but that looked like a wash out. The green/yellow blobs appeared to all be tracking south of New Albany so to there I drove and glad I did as we remained dry. Small group of 11-12 which included a new guy, Shaun, newly arrived from Charlotte, NC, there in the middle of the image. Pretty fit group that included Jordan, Nick, our leader Gus Cook, Mike M, Crazy George, Rick, new guy from Belgium and others. Modest pace except for the contested KOM points and we finished with a 20+ avg for the 37 mile route. Good time.
Travis Iles is trying to sell the above bike for a friend. Details below. With some of the lunatics that frequent this blog I probably should not put out Travis' cell # but contact me if you don't know how to contact Travis and I will put you in touch with him.
Components: Ultegra Di2, 10-speed
Wheels: Reynolds Strike
Approx mileage: 7k-9k
Wow, 45 miles and look at all the climbing! None but the brave and hard bodied cyclists show for the Canal ride, 6:00pm roll out time.
Each Sunday, John Martin leads a ride out of Granville from in front of the River Road Coffee Shop. If you would like to receive a head's up of each week's route and departure time, "like" the "Granville Grupetto" Facebook page. There is a broad range of fitness levels and the top amateurs who show up tend to ease up since they probably rode hard the day before. Ken Budell, for example, did 106 on Saturday so he was happy to chill as too did Jon, Marty, Steve Fields, etc... Of course, the climbs are rightly a different matter and there was a show-down or two along the route, including Reynolds Road.
Jon and Gus examine a loose bike bag problem.
John explains the 54 mile route to the 22 in attendance, including Flyin Tuna, a first timer. Many other notables there, Gus & Peggy Cook, John Sada and quite a few members of the COOT tri group.
Our train heads out at noon (start times get earlier as weather warms) into the sun with low 60 temps. All is well until we go east on Dry Creek Road. That section between 661 and Burg is a disaster. If you pointed out all the pot holes your hands would never be on the handlebar. Just as we reached the final descent to 661, shouts from the rear announced....
...one of us had gone down. Mike Butsko, above receiving some help from Peggy Cook. Actually, there were nurses, doctors and a dentist in our group so the diagnosis was quick but not confirmed without farther examination, probably the clavicle. The front wheel was twisted and the fork broken. We speculated the front wheel jarred loose and then the fork impacted the pavement. With the siren of the emergency vehicle heard in the distance, a few stayed behind while the rest of us resumed, beginning with a climb up Chattham Road where we....
....paused to regroup and marveled at Marty's "Laces". A shoe development to which, naturally, I was oblivious. One of my mentors, Issac, later educated me to the development and Marty confirmed they are more comfortable and better fitting than conventional cycling shoes.
After reaching Reynolds, it appeared (well no, actually I was too distant to see anything but am told) Ken just nipped Jon at the top. We paused in Utica where Ken treated those in line behind him with drinks and snacks. I marveled at my self restraint when I did not scurry to the beer aisle to see if I could include more. We headed west via Homer Road where I saw something that warmed my heart. Flyin Tuna had loaned John Sada a dollar so he could buy a banana in Utica. Each, of the many times, Cindy fell back during our return, John was there to give her a shove forward. So nice. Lastly, above, nearing the end of the ride, I had to take a pic of Bobby, keeping pace the entire route on a mountain bike. Wow.
So happy were we, the 16, as we stood, prepared to shove off. Although, were those forced smiles considering the elements? I sure as heck was not smiling.
How bout that? Crazy George came out too! He said he has only ridden 3 times but I also know he spends most days sitting on an exercise bike at a fitness center watching TV so that counts for something and he rode very well. The carbon fiber bike that is broken cause he accidently sat on it at a place on which it should not be sat, will be shipped off soon for replacement. Meantime, he is burdened by that heavy Serotta.
Larry P, Lisa, Jon Morgan, Steve P and Lori N also came out. Lori is joining a small group in May to trail run/hike from the south rim of the Grand Canyon, down to the Colorado River, then up North Kaibab trail to the north rim, turning around and retracing the route to the south rim. All in one day. Should be a fun experience as long as the rattlers are avoided.
We head out into the gloom and cold. Above, Steve Fields, Eva, Larry and Woody pause for the light to change. Our original route of 106 miles, which I had no intention of completing....
....got whittled down as we paused at the slowest coffee shop in the US on River Road. If you enter the door for a glass of water, you will not exit for a long time. The cold had gotten to Marty Sedluk as we passed south of Alexandria so he was not there to enforce the non lingering rule. Four to five of us shivered outside and finally, our will power sapped, we went in....
,,,and most were huddled inside, warm and readying themselves for some route trimming. We exited the "coffee shop of late return", got on our bikes and headed out. A moment of clarity had hit we early on, the 20 mile climbs at 6% grade are helpful while in AZ but the short, steep climbs around here are killer. I was freakin beat when we hit Jones Road and lagged behind most, then that Welsh Hills climb....I almost got off and pushed the machine up that one! What an adjustment. Gus and Peggy Cook, me (of course), Eva, George, Larry & Lisa cut the route short for 62 miles, others did a 76 mile route and none other than Ken Buddell, stuck to the plan and did the 106 route.
Arriving at the trail head on Averlon Road, I readied myself and began hiking. Although not today's destination, the awesome Finger Rock was clearly visible so I took a couple of pics, looked down and my foot was....
...next to this guy, a Gila Monster. Although not quick, if they bite they don't let go until they have slowly input their poison. Sightings of them are rare yet here it was, about 100 yards from the road. It is the largest specimen I have seen, of the 4-5 that I have encountered.
My destination was Pontatoc Ridge and at about the halfway point I strode through this garden of Jumping Cholla. Nasty should you brush against them.
I reached a saddle with fine views to the south and then had a good view of my destination....
,,,cool, yes? No trail at this point, just picking out a route among the boulders aided by cairns to show the way. At the base of that rock wall are a couple old mines where prospectors long ago thought they might find gold.
Now I'm closing on the end of the ridge and reaching it, paused but needed to head back as I had a lot to do to be ready for tomorrow morning's flight. I was walking and began to hear what sounded like a car or truck traveling over rough pavement. The sound was coming below where I could see the suddenly the air overhead was filled with a swarm of bees. If you can run about a 1/4 of a mile you can escape but the terrain did not offer the option and I thought running may provoke so I squatted. I was scared as bee sting attacks are not all that rare and many times deadly.
I thought the swarm was hovering but instead they were moving up hill. It was so large I could not initially detect the movement. I briefed a sigh of relief and my very shaky legs began moving. About 10 more steps, a large brown snake shot across the path in front of me. I began to think it is probably a good time for me to get out of here.
I'll miss the mountains, the views, the blue skies, sun and abundant opportunity for hiking and cycling but the cycling season in Ohio is fun too so not a bad trade-off.
All are invited for a 9:00am roll out from in front of the Starbucks in New Albany. What a route, created by the brain trust of Ken Buddell and some modest assistance from Marty. I'm not a century kind of guy so I'm looking at that St Louisville stop at mile 50 and then leaping over to the mile 75 point and continuing from there. I've had some in depth discussions with others and we are thinking of going at whatever pace can be mustered with a regroup in St Louisville where those who want the shorter, 75 mile-ish option will head back. Know the route. No regroups along the way other than at non lingering refuel stops. Here is the link to the route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13235051 Come on out or.....
......COP has their annual Mid Ohio Century (MOC) ride. For your reference, above I posted the elevation profile of the 100 mile option. There are shorter options too with a similar profile. In all seriousness, if you have not been riding much, this is a fine option and there is likely going to be 150+ cyclists participating so the social aspect will appeal to many.
If the rain holds off, this is the route you will follow for tonight's New Albany ride. If my plane arrives on time, I will drive by each group screaming "I'm back" while attempting not to run over any of you. With the weekend approaching, no doubt your thoughts have been dominated by the "where should I ride" question. The Mid Ohio Century, aka MOC is Saturday but that is a very flat route or you are welcome to join a group rolling out of New Albany at 9:00am. More on that later. Below are links to this evening's routes:
Route A/B 38 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13248286
Route C 25 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13248380
Been riding quite a bit in the last two weeks. I enjoy a route over Gates Pass and then farther west prior to turning back and climbing over Picture Rocks Road. I ran into a group of 25-30 cyclists from Montreal while pausing above. Then I thought one last ride up Mount Lemmon, my 4th on this trip, would be in order so....
....headed up on Tuesday with light traffic, both bike and vehicular. I only counted 65 cyclists coasting down today. Reaching the village of Summerhaven I paused.....
...at the Cookie Cabin but did not go in where pot bellies are forged. I instead ate a salad at the Sawmill Run restaurant, enjoying just sitting there and draining multiple ice teas. Then it was....
...time to coast down. Depending on wind direction, even a cautious descender like me can rarely touch the brakes and today was one such day. Finished with 60 miles and 6600' of climbing.
While riding around southern AZ, I have had 3 really close calls with vehicles. Close as in it felt like the leg hairs were brushed or you could easily reach and touch the vehicle. Two of the encounters were guys driving white trucks. This week, a woman riding in the Galena area was confronted by the above goofball and then Ken Buddell was threatened today by another yahoo again driving a white truck. What does the color white and driving a truck cause dipshits to turn into cowards? What motivates an adult male to stop his truck, get out and threaten a woman? I don't understand.
Here ya go, a fun route for the Tuesday Canal Winchester ride, departing at 6:00pm from Meijers. The Canal rebels are riding these hills while the Thursday New Albany Yankees are riding the flats. Sooner or later, that vast fitness difference has to be reduced, right? No, not likely. Anyway, here is the A route:https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13197746
Shorter options available, with maps, at the ride start.
Well, well, well. Lots of the people that populate our rides did very well this weekend. Having sand kicked in my face by so many of them, gosh, all of them, is an honor. Among the highlights, Danny Alarcon finished 2nd in the Cat 4, Deneise Davis and Kim Owen going 4th/5th in Cat 4, Sergey, Travis and Shawn going 3rd/4th/5th in Cat 3 with Ken Buddell in at 10th, etc... all results found here: https://www.usacycling.org/results/?permit=2016-254
For someone with a fear of heights, today's hike was going to be a challenge, beyond the usual challenges of distance, elevation gain and trail conditions. I gave her every opportunity to not go but she wanted to check off a box and say she has summited the Flat Iron, looming over us, upper left.
The opening section is hard but no real exposure and Olivia emerges, triumphant, at the foot of....
....Siphon Draw. I've posted this image several times and it is always awe inspiring and as usual, the image does not convey the steepness of it yet....
....she made it to the top and we rested, surveying what lies ahead. The route follows the drainage to the left of the Flat Iron. Really steep, bouldery..a lot of fun.
And so it begins and eventually....
...we navigate that final 12' wall and follow a.....
.....short trail to....
...the top of the Flat Iron. In the distance, Superstition Peak but much else is obscured by dust that has been stirred by strong winds which made today a good day for hiking rather than cycling. Temperatures were in the mid 70's.
Descending the ravine we can see the short up climb to the top of the Siphon Draw which lies on the other side.
Check out the two lizards in the rock gap and immediately after spotting that....
....we saw an unfortunate baby tarantula being dragged somewhere by a wasp, which will use the spider as a host for its eggs. Sorry for the bad focus. Gruesome way to die, having your insides eaten by baby wasps. Well, we shifted our attention to the descent of the Draw and Olivia did fine, using her "5 Point" hiking technique.
My daughter Olivia is nearing the end of her visit so we celebrated her trip with a visit to Café Torino. Olivia, who spent some time in Italy, tells me the food is authentic Italian and gave it her thumbs up.
I had a very good risotto dish with seafood and celebrated the end of a very grueling day. Note the empty wine glass. I am easy to please and will eat anything put in front of me even if over cooked, under cooked, obvious waiter spit in my food but for heaven's sake, don't let my wine glass go dry for an extended time!
What made the day grueling, mentally if not physically was.....I went golfing!!!! And, how bout that??? My hiking Treksta shoes work just fine on the golf course too.
The first hole. Very nice but I hit several bad shots and thus began the grueling experience of playing 9 holes. So frustrating. I shot a 43 that included a birdie! How about that...yeah, I know, not much but a good rest day of fun. I called Rick Miller, the esteemed Thursday New Albany ride leader to give him a pep talk. I told him, "Good luck". What more can be said?
Whew, had to do some searching for this but here it is, tonight's routes. Have fun, stay safe, no chickenshit stuff on the road that you will survive but maybe not those that follow.
Route A/B 37 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/4637773
Route C 24 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/4637781
First the big news....I reupped on the blog so you have another 2 years to be bored by my postings...how bout that?!?!?!?!? I am sorry I have not been posting more about my AZ experience but been riding quite a bit and for a variety of reasons, pic taking is taking a back seat. However, a cold front moved through Sunday night and it rained, so unusual. When I took the above pic it was raining but hard to see.
By 9:00am it had moved out so I rode to mile 2.5 on Mt Lemmon, keeping a good pace and stopped there to take a pic. How about those clouds! So rare yet I don't miss them much.
Then I rode to Saguaro Park East and rode around the 8 mile loop and again, how about those clouds!!!!!
Then I rode back to the car and still...those freakin clouds!!!!! I don't like them much but I think I already said that. Finished with 54 miles and a bunch of climbing then rode the next day and then the next and...I know...a distinct minority of you are thinking, "Dang, that guy will be a machine when he returns to Ohio" but alas, ask yourself this question, "Has he ever come back a machine?" The answer is no. Just a guy who enjoys riding around the mountains and lovin the views. You'd think the views would become passé but I find I gawk at them all the time.
Ric Noland, known for spreading his mechanical gifts among the flock of cyclists, has come up with a flat and fast route for tonight's sunny, Tuesday Canal ride which starts not from Krogers but from Meijers, on the east side of Canal Winchester.
From Gus Cook, announcing the Tuesday New Albany ride is starting up: Yup, Spring is here... sort of. Join for the first Tuesday Night Club Ride of the season. Prompt take-off from the Heit Center Parking Lot at 6pm, with the standard Tuesday route from last year 'til we have more light. Speaking of light, tail and headlights are encouraged due to early sunset.
Approx. 37 mi. course, Spirited B Pace with a few gather-ups. Group will get larger as the season progresses, hopefully including a full range (A, B, C) leaders and participants soon.
Route Link: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13056965
I have not been posting as much from out here because mostly I am cycling and the views tend to get a bit redundant but below is a new one from the end of Trails End Road. A 65 mile ride.
Wow, the start list swelled significantly since when I checked on Friday. Lots of late or day of entries so check them all out here:
Well, well, well. While looking over the registration list, there are several familiar names for the Zanesfield race this Sunday. Ouch, check out the temperature forecast for the morning. You've got to be tough (Matt Ashmore) and have the proper cold weather gear (Matt Ashmore) and not be a weather weenie (Matt Ashmore) to show up for this race. Among the names I recognize from having eaten their dust for many years are Travis Iies (wait, he's "only" a cat 3???), Danny Alarcon (that off season weight loss will have him rocket to the win. You heard it here first), Matt Ashmore (making noises that the cold might deter him from the start), Sergey (I see he has vaulted from a 4 to a 3 but destined to go lower), Luke Manning, Shawn Aker, Chris Fisher (dude used to live at the bottom of Savage Rd so how could you not be a strong cyclist), Scott Billman & Doug McConaha (those latter two are 55+???), Lori Nedescu (wonder how she's doing makng the transition from elite marathoner to peddler?), Denice Davis (don't think I have ridden with her since she crashed on a Tuesday NA ride) and...when you reach my advanced age you forget names so I apologize if you are reading this and have reached this point and not seen your name even though you have bashed me on the bike.
Le Buzz, the most popular place from where group rides meet. Looking around the parking lot there are dozens of singles and groups forming to prepare usually to head to....
...Mount Lemmon and one of the various parking areas prior to the town of Summerhaven or to go even higher. I jumped in with a group of 15 who were headed to mile point 15, Geology Pt Vista, although I planned to go farther up road.
I hit new personal best times at a couple of places, including breaking the one hour mark at 7 Cataracts Vista at mile 9 but while pausing briefly to take a bite, John, a good guy with whom I have ridden a few times now, passed me so I arrived 2nd at the above overlook at Geology Pt.. From there, you can see several miles down the road. I waited around for awhile and then a visitor from Switzerland joined me to go higher up.
At Pallisades, mile 20, I stopped to fill the water bottles and ran into a couple of guys visiting from Montreal. Always fun to talk and compare notes.
How about that? I think it is a Crabapple tree, here at 7500' elevation, just like in my yard in Ohio. So, I arrived at....
....Summerhaven but did I stop there as I did last week? NO, I did not and made a right and slogged up the 1.5 miles to....
....Ski Valley where snow can still be seen on the above north facing slope. My Swiss friend and I discussed going around the gate and heading another 1.5 miles to the observatory at pavement's end but....
....instead we took images of each other and coasted down....
....great views eh?....
....to the Sawmill Restaurant where I sat, rested and ate a salad. I have eaten more spinach, veggies and fruit in the past month then probably any previous year. Today I am 7 pounds lighter than when I arrived and kind of motivated to reach 10. As usual, the parking lot in front of the restaurant is full and as I wait for the salad, cyclists stream by headed to the infamous Cookie Cabin.
I finish the day with 62 miles and 7300' of climbing. A nap is in order upon my return home. Speaking of which, I will be back in Ohio on the 21st, in case anyone is wondering. That is a Thursday but too late to make the New Albany ride but will be there, weather permitting, the following week.
Mark is a long-time cyclist who enjoys poking fun at himself but most especially at his friends. No nicknames or comments are intended to offend, accept them in the humor they are intended.