I arrived at the New Albany Starbucks to find Isaac sitting in a chair and this line of bikes in front. I said, "Oh good, Marty is here." Isaac replied, "How can you say that with absolute certainty?" Funny but he is correct, it is possible that another machine like the above is out there.
Good turnout, around 25-28 including some new people who wanted to try a Gus Cook managed event at which the claim of a strong B, conversational pace is accurate. Of course, this assumes you can ride at the pace and breathing permits conversation. For me, barely so. Earlier in the season I sucked. Now, I really suck. New guy Shawn in the orange/grey kit.
Hey, there's Dirty Dan. Someone asked about the nickname and whether he was safe to be around. I told her the best way to describe Dan is to think of XXXXX (a particularly squirrely and well known bike handler) on steroids but with intent. However, it won't be a problem for you because Dan exhibits this behavior only toward me.
Besides the usual folks, Dustin was here too, along with Larry P, Mark V, Flyin Tuna, Steve Nelson, Jeff S, Ron, Jay P, etc.. We rolled out 161 but quickly left it at Kitzmiler and followed a route that eventually brought us to a stop sign at Dutch Lane where....
....Larry P tumbled backward into the culvert on the right. It was as graceful a fall as I have seen and just as quickly he jumped up, grabbed his bike and sprinted to the road before I could catch the image. He appeared unhurt too. Dustin came alongside and told me he wanted it on the record he had nothing to do with it. Luke took responsibility but according to Larry, it was just one of those things. He was looking left, thought the group was going but instead it stopped. Tires touched and boom.
If this were Washington and in the world of politics, they would be known as a power couple; Luke & Lori. Lori is working on a report from her recent experience racing in Oregon. I'll have a link to it when available. Fatigue was getting to me and I had been plotting an out, not coincidentally at the base of Marion Road. With my manhood being called into question I continued on, one of the last to arrive at the gas station in Utica. Needing 90 minutes to recover, I got only 10 before we headed east on Blacksnake. I was lagging badly and leapt at the opportunity to hang back and ride in with Jeff S, joined by Cindy and Mark V beginning in St Louisville. I'm already wondering, when Jeff returns to form, to whom can I fall back? Our route did not exactly match the rest of the group so our 68 miles lagged their 72. Marty had a bike problem, crank arm fell off, so he had to use Uber to make his return.
Making his first appearance in a long time and wearing what is a collector's item (Savage Hill kit), Larry P came out to try his luck with the A group.
Our great Genghis Kahn, ride leader of ride leaders, a leader I dreamed would some day reappear, a dream I thought impossible but here he came and early too. All is right with the world once again.
Dennis G, stretching or napping. Dennis is working from a closer location so may be able to make more Thursday rides.
Actually, there was a lot of stretching going on.
Katherine, advancing through a golf tournament that, with another win or two, will be competing in VA in the finals. Golf and cycling, two activities that require a lot of time if you want to be good. Don't know how she does it, probably just gifted.
The always smiling Doug M without a smile. We were listening to Marty describe peloton favorite Dave Chesrown's plight. A back pain has kept him off the bike and finally, surgery to repair the problem this week. Heal well buddy.
As it was another Thursday of heat, humidity and threat of rain, the turnout was limited to about 60. We have not had one of those 90 cyclist turnouts yet but when I saw Marty roll in, it put me at ease that the threat of rain was not real. The fairest of all fair weather cyclists would not come out if he thought we'd have rain.
At 6:00pm, Rick called us together. There were some boos and jeers but mostly it seems the group will accept him back, especially since the alternative is.... The Riveters headed out and finished with a 23.5 avg. Then the A group rolled out and the pace surprisingly did not have me on the rivet. Paul D is in Oregon and Scott B was absent so could that be it? I began to think, maybe we are holding those guys back and maybe I should design a graduate certificate that will be given to them next week, officially giving them passage to the Rivet group. Yeah, that might be a good idea. Anyway, we enjoyed the first time experience riding Old Maids Road and eventually hit the Alward climb. We had started with 23 but at the top, maybe 15ish? I checked with Gus that we would regroup at the 310 stop sign and with his agreement, I did what any wily veteran who can barely hang do. I eased up. A small gap opened but no worries until the group did not pause at the stop sign. Newcomer Larry P, probably oblivious to the regroup notice, kept going, followed by everyone else. Yikes but I was able to close the gap and we headed east on Hollow Road where we picked up Joe Hall and Muscle Dude. After the York climb, we hit Alexandria but there I had to head back so I could get home prior to dark to prepare for....
.....a crew to arrive to take down 3 dead trees that are leaning toward the house and beyond my ability. It took them 35 minutes. Ob boy, I get to play with the chain saw as all I had them do his bring the trees down.
Strong group tonight. Aaron C wanted to extend the route to include the climb in Granville where the challenge is being held this Friday but people show up for the 37 mile route and adding 10 miles didn't get too many excited. Plans made, girlfriends/wives waiting, etc...
New guy on the left, Geoff, Michael, Doug M, Nick plus Tym & Lisa, Glen, George, Chase, John K, Aaron C, Ron, Soji, Peter, etc... Someone said the pace last week was Tuesday visited by Thursday and since George dropped out of the group last week in the first couple of miles, we agreed to have a warm-up for a couple of miles.
Glen having a funny pose with Lisa. I think they went to high school together or were close in classes.
Gus Cook had texted me the day before and asked me to be tonight's commander. I toyed with the idea of doing something radical, ride the route clockwise but in the end we headed out 161 as usual, following Chase who bombed the Jersey Mill descent into Alexandria, chugged up Mounts, Lobdell, Battee and at last. paused at Louden for regrouping.
Then on to Stone Quarry where we regrouped once again with Peter on the right, caught by the camera. I thought I had surprised everyone on the Caswell steps but Ron caught me at the end as I was wheezing and slowing drastically. I enforced the regroup at the top and then on to the right turn at Beaver where my bike hit a bump just after the first ramp and a spoke broke. Groan. I bid farewell to the group and soloed in. Good news is Rick is nearby today and the bike will be ready for Thursday.
I know, I know, rumors of his return have been swirling for weeks but I have it on good authority from the ride leader himself that Rick will be there, this Thursday. Under the substitution efforts of Steve Hewitt and me, the peloton has dissolved into groups of barbarians cutting each other off, shooting through red lights, flipping boogers on the bottom feeders at the back, just a chaotic mess but law and order shall return, Thursday, 6:00pm.
Route A/B 45 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15389679
Route C 33 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15389833
There it is, about .2 of a mile but steep in places, hitting 18%. From the event organizer, below are additional details for this Friday's event. Starting at 5:00pm and ending at 8:00pm. I have asked Mike Cauley, former nationally ranked distance runner, to do repeats up and down the hill while in his customized white mankini. The start point is at the first goal post, below.
Just five days from the inaugural Alpe d'Denison Hillclimb Challenge -- a short, sweet, lung busting, leg burning, gut checking sprint (on a bike) up Ebaugh Hill on the back side of Denison University!
Some of you have asked for details:
- How do I get there? Use the East Gate entrance into Denison University (off North Pearl Street/SR 661) and follow signs. Participants will turn right on Ebaugh Drive and park in a lot on the left. You'll be directed from there to the registration tent and start line.
Spectators will continue up Washington Drive to a parking lot near the top of the hill on the right. Spectators are encouraged to bring their cowbells, other noise-makers! (And if you're in true Alpe d'Huez spirit, costume up!)
- Where are the start and finish lines? The start is near the first goalpost as you ride toward the hill from the parking lot on Ebaugh Drive. The finish is at the crosswalk on the top level of the parking lot that's at the top of the hill. Both are marked with yellow duct tape on the road (unless the rain washes it away) for those of you who want to take a few practice runs this week! It's about 400 meters of pure uphill fun!
- Can I pay with a credit card? Sorry, no. We will only be able to accept cash.
- Are there age groups? Yes. They are: Under 40; 40-49; and 50 and over. Prizes in each category for both men and women.
- When does the after-party start? You're welcome to head down to Moe's whenever you're done hillclimbing (or spectating!); the door is open early! We'll shut down the Hillclimb when the last rider has taken his or her shot at it, and head directly to Moe's. There will be a karaoke contest (bring friends to vote for you; $1=1 vote!), great raffle prizes, a 50/50 raffle, and Homestead beers on tap. Everyone is welcome at the after-party!
The distance ends at this crosswalk. May be a wild scene with spectators lining the road, people wearing themed outfits, cowbells. Should be fun.
Once a prominent member of the Thursday rides, Nick moved to San Diego, working on his trade of bike riding and now, newly arrived in Europe to pursue a dream of professional cycling. You can follow Nick through his blog posts at: https://nickperhala.wordpress.com/.
Late Friday afternoon, a text message came through to alert me I had an option to the long drive and early start in Sugar Grove. As much as I enjoy the Sugar Grove ride, the short drive and not as early start appealed to me and others. Gus was managing the event, promoted as a 50ish mile route with a brisk B pace and a few regroups and so it was.
Around 22 of us gathered in front of the New Albany Starbucks...
.....Lisa & Larry, Eva, Gus & Peggy, Marty, Muscle Dude, Ron and Ron, Farmer Mike, Jay P, Jeff S, Travis I, Buzz, Dirty Dan, Pete C, etc.... We hopped on our bikes and....
....rolled east into a very hazy, sunny and humid day. We followed a good circuitous route into Granville and upon reaching the final light exiting Granville, I looked back and saw Jeff S turn off the street in front of Whits'. I was ready for a break so turned around and joined him. He thought all of us had also turned in there and now it was too late to catch the group and not knowing the route, just decided to head to New Albany, finishing with 36 miles.
Note the ride start is at 7:30am. One of the prominent rides on the calendar behind only Blue Jay and maybe Rocky.
From organizer Tri-Andrew: Routes of 45, 72 or 96 miles. (Note: this is not an official COP ride) just the same fantastic routes! Temps will be In the 90s so camel-up (suggest bringing 3 water bottles). Water/food stops approximately every 25 miles. I will have a few extra leftover maps from last year's ride. Ride starts at Berne Union schools, 506 N Main St. in Sugar Grove. Take SR33 south past Lancaster. Turn left at Sugar Grove road, follow road to the left after railroad tracks and the school is on the right. Routes:
Some of the heavy hitters were absent tonight but lots of others to take their place, including Pete C, Doug M, Phillipe, Pete B, Danny A, Jon Morgan, Jon Hastings, Logan, Travis I, Terry G, Isaac M (1st appearance this season), Chase, Michael Linse, Brandon, oh Borat of course, etc... Later, they would set a crushing pace that had quality folks spewing out the back as early as 161, then Miller, Lobdell, etc... Logan said at mile 20, their average was 25mph!
Mark V on the left returned from an epic cycling experience, participating in 6 centuries over 7 days. OK, it was Iowa so maybe not epic but still, that's a lot of cycling. He is working on a flowing mane of blond or is it grey hair.
Until this evening, I never knew you had to keep a ladder in your car to retrieve the bike from the top of the car. I like those carriers but it would only be a matter of time before my bike would be swept away by a garage door or something. Jim R on the right, lost a bunch of weight and getting faster.
Previously, I mentioned Paul Djupe would be absent but it is on Sunday that he departs for Oregon for some cycling and hiking. So, here he was to put in some Merckxonian effort at the front of the A group.
Kevin on top of a nice bike with matching kit. Steve Hewitt handles the sign-in effort as our ride leader, Rick Miller, was again unable to make it. I suspect we'll have to look for a new ride leader for next season. It's just hard to keep the same ride leader going for more than a season or two. Lot of work.
Smiling for the camera as we had approximately 60+ show up for a good route of 46 miles with the Lobdell, Chatham climbs, Sportsman Club rollers, etc...
And there he is, one of the good guys of the central Ohio cycling scene, Isaac. I like to spread the group leader glory around so since this may be his only appearance of the season, I named him the Rivet group ride leader. That he did not know how to get out of the parking lot was incidental. The other qualities, leadership, humor, incredible vocabulary made him a natural fit for the job.
Scott Billman looks on as the Riveters roll out. The front group, whittled down significantly, would finish with a 22.7 avg. A very strong A group soon followed with Gus, Scott, Paul, Andrew C, Jared Alphabet, Ryan, Deniece, fellow Zanesvillian Ryan S, Ryan M, Axel, David S, Ron...21-22 total. Having missed the last 3 ?Thursday rides and struggled to keep pace on Tuesday, I was something less than optimistic for tonight's effort.
Arriving in Alexandria we had a 24.1 avg. Once we turned on Mounts and then hit the Lobdell climb, our group was torn asunder with me in the back 10% as we arrived at 161 for a regroup. We had picked up Dirty Dan and Borat along the way, to add little needed firepower to an already overheating me. Then we hit the Chatham climb and at the top, I was 4th from the last. Very humbling and discouraging for one who needs more of neither. Heading west on Sportsman Club Road, we reached the Louden stop sign. I was shocked to look around and of the original 21-22, there were still 13, not counting Dirty and Borat. Our avg was still around 22 at that point and then when we hit the ensuing rises to Northridge, I shot out the back and soloed to the parking lot. The group had already regrouped twice so that's enough. Finished with a 20.3 avg with 15 miles of soloing while the front A-sters had a 21.1 avg, skewed a bit by soft pedaling a couple of times. Then....
...Andrew C had to stroll over and gloat a bit. I mentioned I've cut back on my miles and he said he had too. From a guy who is sitting on 10,000 at this point in the season with a goal of 20,000 and he says HE has cut back. Only the lack of a 2x4 kept me from performing what I was thinking. Hey, got a couple of Saturday options that I will post soon.
Here are the Rivet/A/B & C routes for this evening's festivities. The A group catches a break cause I think Paul D will be in OR. Remember to print your own map or download to your device so you know where the heck you are going.
Route A/B 46 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15253604
Route C 33 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15253690
Riveter Lori Nedescu traveled to Bend, OR to participate in the Cascade Cycling Classic, a 5 day event. She will be competing as a Cat 2 but in the field with lots of pros (Kristen Armstrong among others) and Cat 1's. What a great experience and opportunity to self evaluate against some of the world's best. Today was the 1st day, a 90 mile road race. The day is done and results about to come through.
Nice evening for our Tuesday gathering, again in the shade as we wait for the official shove-off time of 6:05pm. Above, left to right, Gus, Peggy, Ron, Muscle Dude and Deniece.
Rick was there too but some cracks were discovered in his carbon fiber Trek so while that is being checked out, he was hauling around a steel bike that is 7 pounds heavier.
Ian on the left, expecting his brother Chad to show up to join us. A regular at last year's rides, Chad has missed all the Tuesday rides this year. Ian was admonished by one of the group's elders tonight for running a red light and then later turning in front of an oncoming car on Hardscrabble. I hear the subject has been kicked up to the full Clowncil of Elders for possible reprimand.
Among our group of 22 was George, waiting for word on the return of his carbon fiber bike.
John Williams on the left with Jon Morgan. Way, way up there on the right, in white is Mike C. Prior to the ride, Gus rolled in and said he had seen Borat wearing a mankini. When he jumped into our group just outside of town, I grabbed my camera but Borat never came to the back but I am patient and waited and waited for my chance. The speed out 161 was kinda high and we rolled into Alexandria with a 24.1 avg. No one seemed fazed by it, so, so fit are all but me.
We climbed out of Alexandria and only once we reached the regroup at Louden did I get a better look at the man in white. As some of suggested, white sun sleeves would improve the look and of course, a pair of argyle socks, white. We headed to Stone Quarry with the intent to make a right and tackle that short but steep climb on Raccoon Run Road but alas, it has just been chip & sealed so about half of us stayed on SQ and then...
...we waited for the Raccoon Runners to catch up. The first from that group was none other than....
Borat. Finished with 38 miles and a 20.8 avg but sure seemed faster than that. Big cycling event this Saturday just popped on the screen out of Sugar Grove. More to come on that and Lori N's participation in the Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, OR where she is rubbing elbows with the likes of Kristin Armstrong and many other pro, Cat 1 & 2 cyclists.
This looks like a fun event. Friday, July 29th, beginning at 5:00pm, for $20 you ride up one of the Denison campus hills. From the event:
The hill climb will go up the very back hill on Ebaugh Drive that tops out in the parking lot for the Sunset Hill Dorm and apartments. Enter the East Gate (off Pearl/661), take a right on Ebaugh Drive (just past the tennis courts), and follow that past the soccer field, and the football practice fields. The exact start location is still tbd, but will be somewhere close to the left hand curve that turns into the parking area at the bottom of the hill. The finish will be on the top level of the parking lot at the top of the hill at the crosswalk -- short, sweet, and painful (for me anyway!)!
We'll crown the King and Queen of the Hill! Bragging rights will be the most coveted prize, but there will be other fun prizes, too!
The after party at Moe's will include the usual Friday night karaoke with a twist. Fans (and I use that term on purpose) will be able to vote for their favorite singer with their dollars. The most money wins -- and so does cancer research because all the "votes" will go to Pelotonia. (If the winner is a Pelotonia rider, their votes will go to their account! :))
There will also be great raffle prizes so far including 4 rounds of golf and two carts at the Denison Golf Club, a $50 gift certificate for dinner at the Buxton Inn, 4 tickets to the Funny Bone, 2 rounds of golf and a cart at Raccoon International Golf Club, Velvet ice cream, and Whit's Frozen Custard. (More to come.)
I know, Hillclimbers will think they can't go to Moe's because they're sweaty and they stink. They should take solace in the fact that there will be a lot of sweaty people who stink there. No worries!
Flyin Tuna says she will be there with cow bells to urge you up the hill and much more importantly, I want to confirm I will be there, taking your pics while....
....running alongside in my customized Mankini. Could you possibly need more motivation than that? Proceeds go to support Pelotonia.
Our group departs Granville into yet another low humidity, sunny Saturday morning. David Smith leads us with Steve O and Ryan ahead of me. Check out Ryan's socks. It appears these argyle socks are a trend. That I would notice it and contemplate adding a pair to my wardrobe means the trend has nit its nadir and you will soon be stuffing those socks into boxes destined for Goodwill.
We travel Louden, Liberty Church, right on Sportsman Club to the dark descent on Chatham, made sketchy by recent chip & seal. Cindy carefully navigates above. The Ridge Runner route descended this too and I think someone crashed. The gravel is especially thick at the top but not bad once the descent begins.
David and I got out in front and head toward Reynolds Road and the climb there. The view is....
...idyllic, pastoral scenes.
Coasting down Reynolds toward Utica, a herd of sheep crossed our path. Thanks to Jeff S for sending me the image.
Some guy at the Utica gas station was sporting a wild pair of socks. I don't think I could handle the derision if I began wearing this but maybe something more subtle, like all white or all black. That probably defeats the purpose.
No visit to Utica is complete without viewing the chocolate wheel on Blacksnake Road as we head to Bladensburg where....
...I hit the market for a slice of ham and cheese. David Smith waits patiently for me as we had decided not to don the feedbags at the restaurant. To be good sports, we did spend a couple of minutes with the rest of the group as they ordered their drinks with Steve's request for a drink of half hot chocolate, half coffee with ice, momentarily stumped the waitress. David and I proceeded back to Granville, finishing with 64 miles and 4000'+ of climbing.
The COP Ridge Runner Ramble is the primary option, an event that benefits the Homeless Family Foundation. If you have not yet signed up, the day of ride registration is $50. I hear the turnout will be very good with a strong group departing at 8:00am led by Jon Morgan, Luke R, Marty, etc... I can't confirm the route is above but it is what was used last year so it will be close.
Now, for those of you who are looking for something else. Or who are cheap like me but married to a prolific writer and sender of checks to various charities so can ride guilt free without attending RRR and a route that is similar to every Thursday route , there is this. From Granville's Wildwood Park, 8:00am. I believe Steve O, David Smith, Cindy, Engineer Mitch and others will be there. Stop at market or gas station in Bladensburg.
There is also the Tour de Cause out of OSU Lancaster, registration opens at 7:00am following routes of 12, 21, 40 & 70 miles. Additional information at http://www.tourdecause.org/#story. A very worthy cause and I participated last year but the route is very flat and probably meant for the casual cyclist of which there are great numbers of course.
At 4:00pm, with a red/yellow spear of moisture headed directly at New Albany, I decided not to attend the ride. A check with Dirty confirmed he had quit the idea of riding. The I checked future radar and it showed the spear breaking up at the tip and sliding south so at 4:45 I began the journey while checking in with Rick Miller who said he would wait until 5:00pm to make the official call on the ride. I reach the parking lot and not many cyclists milling around.
Those that are there are staring at the screen of their smart phones. Interpretations range from we're going to get hit to we're going to stay dry between a northern line and a southern line of storms. I'm not superstitious although my monthly visit with my palm reader is coming next week but it made sense that since I did not ride last Thursday and would have stayed dry so if I ride this week, under similar circumstances, I'll get soaked. That's how it works, right?
A few more arrive, including Chase and then....
...seldom visiting Tym Tyler rolls in, reporting that he rode through rain coming out of Granville.
A formidable group gathers, including Patrick, on the right who has tried to make each of the last three Thursdays but has been hung up with traffic.
Then Ken Buddell strolls over to the group carrying his dog. I took this as an omen. It would be raining cats and dogs in a few minutes.
Check out that sky as at 5:55pm, final radar checking takes place. Hmmmm, our ride leader has not yet arrived. When I spoke to him at about 5:15 he was in Johnstown so I called and he was hung up there and not going to make it to us. I announced this would be an unofficial COP ride, set up the groups and around 25-30 of us....
....departed the parking lot. Grey skies to the south, to the north well, in all directions, some more threatening then others. About one mile into the ride, it began raining, medium strength. I began thinking how it would suck to ride 46 miles soaked. I am in hyper burnout mode and a hang nail is enough to cause me to quit a ride. Thus, I turned around. Well, the various groups made it. The Riveters with a 22mph avg, the A group with 20mph avg. Well, three is almost always tomorrow or the weekend. Several ride options for Saturday, some more appealing then others. More on that later.
Will tonight be the long awaited return of our leader, Rick Miller? Oh joy. We get to climb Jones Road.
Route A/B 46 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15090825
Route C 36 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15090897
I extended the olive branch of peace with Muscle Dude. I've been kind of hard on him, exaggerating his group rules breaking, crotch itching in front of the ladies, calling me names, spitting upwind of the group...pretty much everything you can think of save for dropping into the tuck position when taking a pull. So there I was, wait......is there any sentence that needs to start with the word "So" yet I find myself using and hearing that word often. Why is that? Anyway, So there I was, riding alongside the big fella on Concorde Road, chatting about roads we used to visit but no longer do, telling him how much fun it has been for the blog to use him for content opportunity, small talk type stuff. All was well and peace and good will was back. Then on the run in to New Albany....the rest is below.
Ian and new guy Nick on the right, A light turnout this late afternoon, probably driven by the temp and humidity level or maybe the approaching spotty storms that were destined to dissipate so we rode dry.
Ron on the right with a very fit looking Farmer Mike. Mike's been riding a lot, financially secure with all the sharecroppers working his vast land holdings and providing a steady revenue stream.
What the group lacked in quantity, about 14, it made up for it in quality and then added to it on the road by picking up 5 more. We departed with Logan, Muscle Dude, Gus, Axel, George, Ron, Mike, Jay P, Ian, Nick, Michael, Mike Cauley added the Sadas briefly, two new guys and toward the end, Jon Morgan. The 2 new guys were picked up out 161 but rather than drifting to the right as we approached, they rode left of center, pedaling until we passed--Don't do that!
I put in a good effort on the climb by the disc golf on Battee bud discovered after doing so that it was too freakin hot for that nonsense so settled into the back of the pack as we climbed Stone Quarry and even by KOM hunting grounds Caswell. As previously stated, I had a nice chat with my buddy Craig and all was going so well as I took a longish, hard pull on 161. Then prior to the climb to Kitzmiller Road, but with plenty of pavement to cover prior to the climb, I pulled out. Craig was behind me and immediately began jib jabbing me! Rather than ease into the pull, he turned on the nitro switch and I was unable to catch the back. During my solo into New Albany, I decided to not let the incident ruin the progress I had made defusing the crises. At the entrance to the parking lot, as I turned in with Craig proceeding elsewhere I happily said, "See you Thursday Craig." And what did he say, he freakin called me a "rookie". I snapped and yelled back "Whiner" and for good measure threw in, "Complainer". Later, someone asked if I was serious....come on, no one needs to ask that. It's all in good, clean fun.
Wow, General Noland is really got them Johnny Rebs on the fitness program as they continue to post the 50+ mile routes, hoping through training, weight loss, better equipment, recruiting, etc.. they can claw their way back to competiveness with the north.
One of the class acts in the peloton, Luke Russell who, by the end of the ride, would set new Strava records for the Clark Hollow, Thornton-Sprung and Rocky Road climbs, the 3 significant climbs on today's COP Rocky Ride. Steve Fields on the left.
Eric on the right, Dirty Dan, detouring from his usual all black ensemble now riding a creaky BMC to replace his creaky Trek. Later, at the foot of Tar Hollow, Dan would once again exploit my fragile mental state with disinformation.
Yes, there was some grumbling that the ride organizers had failed to provide a gps file of the route but got to give them credit for providing snacks and water at the start.
Good turnout, around 45 as co-ride leader Engineer Mitch emphasizes how bad are the pavement conditions on some of the descents.
MIB, Marty in Black. He's going low key on us.
So we shoved off into a glorious morning of sun , moderate temp and low humidity. What are the odds that on back to back Saturday's we'd be riding in nirvana. Early, I kept my eye out for the Luke & Marty express and as soon as they flowed past, I jumped on. I know, you're thinking, "wait, I thought you liked to do moderate paced Saturday rides." and I do but selfishly, I was thinking of that poorly stocked store in Tar Hollow and how it'd be a good idea to get there ahead of the heavy eaters. It was an enjoyable pace with Marty and Luke pulling for almost the entirety of the 21 miles to the entrance to Tar Hollow State Park where we arrived with a 20.2 avg.
When it comes to cycling, I have the mental toughness of a butterfly. I also do not embrace the suck very well. So I asked Dirty Dan to describe the climb and he told me it gets really steep at the top. Immediately I eased up as everyone rode away. That Dan....what a jokester. The road to the top stays pretty constant at about a 5% grade, no wall, no steep, just a nice, long, modest climb. I coulda hung in there! I was so far back at the top, I did not see where to make a turn so waited until Gary & 2 others came through and jumped in with them. Reaching the store, I relaxed in a chair on the front porch and watched the Tuna Express arrive.
The heavy eaters hit the store's shelves. The Donald sat with 2 Snickers and a Dew. Now, meantime, the Tuna Express people gathered at a water pump and did not enter the store. In fact, they left quickly, leaving Donald behind. After letting them know of the Donald's predicament, they waited and soon our large group was good to go, reentering the park via Clark Hollow Road which in fact has a nasty wall toward the end of the climb. I'd give Dirty the benefit of the doubt by him mistaking this climb for the other but with his history, that would probably be way too generous.
That is a tough climb. Ryan in the middle looks spent because I think he got the KOM or maybe Eric did. I was cross-eyed so couldn't say but I managed a 2nd or 3rd place. Brad B on the left, Eva on the right.
We regrouped and spun toward that god awful Thornton-Sprung torture test. That's got to have a 20% pitch in there somewhere. Earlier, Luke sped up it in 59 seconds. I had a pedestrian 1:28, fueled by looking to my left at the first part of the climb and spotting that pesky Cindy B starting to go around me. Dang, she'd be a human Roman Candle if she ever beat me on a climb so thusly motivated, I put in the max effort.
And then we reached the nastiest of them all, Rocky Road. I hung back here because I sensed something special would happen, possibly an unclipping by the recovering Jeff or overeating Donald that I should capture? Alas, no as they both acquitted themselves well.
The stop in Kingston was yet another eating opportunity for The Donald as he emerged with 2 Dews and a Marathon bar.
We hung around but eventually 5-6 of us, Eric, Ryan, Andrew C, etc... departed, finishing with 68 miles and a 17.5 avg.
Sorry for getting this out so late. Sunday morning, 9:00am, Granville, River Road Coffee Shop on River Road following the route below. Pace is kind of a casual A pace. Some tri people show up who ride the range of C to A so most of you should be good. For additional miles, start at the Phillip Heit Center in New Albany at 7:55am with Marty & the Jets as they ride to Granville and jump in with the regular crew.
Details are sketchy as I sit here cleaning corn from the garden, 2:30pm. Beginning at 8:30am from New Albany there is an A/B paced ride of 50-60 miles with a stop in Granville. Or, south in Circleville, at 8:00am is the COP's Rocky ride which is a great route that includes Tar Hollow State Park and the infamous climb up Rocky Road. I don't have confirmed gps files for the route but they always have great maps at the start. YMCA, 440 Nicholas Dr, Circleville, OH
At 4:00pm, "weather.com" showed 10% chance of rain but by 5:30, the skies to the north were darkening so Jon and French Climbing Machine check weather radar....uh oh.
Kristie arrives but again parks her baked treats far from the maddening crowd. I need to buy orange cones and put them in a prominent parking spot, reserved for the baker. Hey, the most brilliant guy in the parking lot, Don on the left. I still glow from his acknowledging that this blog is a beacon of truth.
Check the sky, above right. Chris G and Scott Billman.
My ongoing effort to capture everyone at least once yielded this result. Obviously, he is not accustomed to a stranger pointing a camera at him for no apparent reason. Remember to smile.
A small turnout. Check out the dude on the far right with those wild blue socks and then to his left, a guy with no socks. I honestly do not know what is the norm these days or maybe there isn't one. White socks, black socks, blue socks no socks...I think I used to read a book having that title by Doctor Suess awhile ago.
Oh and then "The Bike" rolled in. I think Marty is a tad embarrassed by the attention and so I must do my utmost to keep the publicity glare going. It seems we are a house divided, white rims or black rims. I think it is classier with the black but those who prefer gaudiness, probably the youngsters, prefer white.
Too soon though, our attention turned back to radar and it looked like the above, pure ugliness, going northwest to southeast and appeared it would cut across our path as we headed east. Nonetheless, out I went with the A group which was small, maybe 9-10, Ron Budzik, Gus Cook, Scott B, Paul Stock, Rick, Axcel, Kristian, etc...
We made it this far, then through the roundabout which brought us face to face with roiling blackness. Rick triggered the exodus back to the parking lot. Four of us in one fell swoop. I got stuff back in the car and while driving east, I saw Axcel abandon and then others. Farmer Mike rode into the gas station seeking refuge as it began to rain...
....I returned home and began to toil in the garden when I heard a noise and dang, there went the Rivet group and I later learned other than wind and a very brief rain, they got around dry. Check out the Irish dude, Logan in green jersey now wearing black socks. I returned to weeding and reaping the reward of planting seeds weeks ago. Radishes, onions, pumpkins, corn and watermelon pulled from our rich soil. Many minutes went by when another noise and....
...the lone cyclist, Dirty Dan, rode by while shouting, "Loser". I took it he was calling himself that for having dropped so far from the pack and headed toward yet another post sunset arrival at the parking lot. I'll have the Saturday ride option up soon.
Bending to the will of the many, Marty has, at least temporarily, switched out the white rims for the black rims. The comments on the bike having the white rims ranged from, "It's what a pimp would ride." to "That is way cool.". I came down exactly in the middle, of course. Note the Thursday route details below.
Please note, the above map shows three routes but for Thursday, the "B" route of 46 miles is the Rivet/A/B route with links below.
Route A/B 47 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14926588
Route C 34 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14926667
The day began with a trip to the bank where the drive through window person always has a treat for Stella. I know, you're thinking, "How nice. Old retired dude deposits his social security check." No, not yet. Dang, that humidity came back in force and it was around 90 when we....
....gathered for the Tuesday New Albany ride, in the shade of course.
We were waiting the arrival of Gus & Peggy in our small shady space when Muscle Dude rolled in to join us. I think Craig heard that attacking the regroup zone, spitting upwind of following cyclists and pinching our butts is generally frowned upon cause he was much better behaved during this ride. In the foreground, Mike M who popped a spoke on Saturday and forced to ride a cross bike tonight, Axel who lost his chain as we ran out 161 and Flyin Tuna who lost her mind a long time ago.
More arrive, including Doug McConaha on the right and Rick, center-left. I think we had about 24 cyclists who were relieved when at 6:03....
...Gus and Peggy rolled in and described a twist to the usual route that included that climb on Raccoon Run Road while bypassing the Caswell climb for Miller Road. We headed east on 161 and soon passed Ken Buddell going west and a bit later, Marty riding the new bike but with black rims rather than the white ones. There seems to be universal thought that the black will look better than the white but he flashed by so quickly it was hard to have an opinion on the change.
With the Caswell steps off the route, I gave a better effort on the Lobdell climb out of the valley and just as I was flagging, someone gave me a much needed shove in the back. Then we hit Stone Quarry where that beautiful new pavement has been chipped & sealed. Ian turned around here but it is only the first ramp that has been treated. I hung on with Craig, Chase, Kyle, Gus, Peggy and Mike to the bottom of the Raccoon hill and boasted to Muscle Dude...
....that he better watch out for me but typically, one can not watch another when that person is behind as I watched Craig disappear, ahead (that makes sense to me but probably not you). That I held off Kyle Z on the climb impressed me until I saw he already had 90 miles for the day. Poor guy, graduated and starting a job in a couple of months. Enjoy it while you can kid. Hey, check out the updated standings from the climb...who the heck is Gary Delmore? Wow.
Wow, check out the A route of 54 miles and 3000' of climbing. Wow. Not sure anyone in the rebel A camp can cover that route prior to sunset but there are some bailout options. Stay safe!
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.