Jeff S asked if I knew the route and could signal the route to the route challenged A group so he could ride with the B group. I promised for the couple of miles I was with the A group I would be able to call out the turns. Roughly 25 "A's" shoved out old 161 and as we approached Kitzmiller, I shouted "Left Turn" but was immediately overruled by John G who said, "Straight to Beech". Since the map route also ended up at Beech but via Kitz and Jug, I shrugged my shoulders and hunkered down in the peloton. After turning left on Beech, we reached Jug and there ran smack into a huge line of "B" cyclists turning onto Beech off Jug. This was a problem easily solved by sprinting through the ranks of a fairly fast moving super B group, that is if you are capable of sprinting through a fast moving super B group, something I am barely able to do so by the time the A group regrouped while turning right on Miller, my nuclear reactor was already melting down.. By the time we reached the "S" curve, I was done. Desperate to look for the positive, I noted I was not the first to bug out....geesh, how lame.
I rode alone eventually going up Caswell into Johnstown and then out Concorde. Here the super B's caught up and I rode with them for awhile while noting an enormous difference with intensity between the "A" and "B" group. Much more than last year. They turned left on Nichols while I stayed straight, hopeful to reach Northridge and then Stone Quarry before the "A" group so I could ID who was still there. Despite a 2 mile advantage, I arrived at SQ after the lead group had already gone through but did see there were 15. Rick & Stefano caught me midway into SQ and I rode with them out Louden where Stefano hit the final ramp hard and I went harder out the back. After going through Alexandria and then Jug, the super "B" group caught me and I rode in with them, finishing with 38 miles. The lead "A" group finished with 40 miles and a solid 22.9mph avg.
Lots of ride options for Saturday but the COP Rocky Roving Ride out of Circleville High School, at 8:00am is a good one with distances of 96, 85, 70 and 50. This is a classic route with climbs up Rocky (probably hardest climb in the region), twice up Tar Hollow and other climbs. Lots of flat riding too so it's not constant up and down and shorter routes avoid some of the big climbs of course.