This quivering hulk of a man with layer upon layer of flabbiness called me tonight to warn he was going to be at Canal on Tuesday! Jamie's words were pure bikespeak, "I just hope I don't get too far behind".---TRANSLATION: "I'm going to grind all you weaklings into dust, especially The Boss, who I am going to dethrone".
Above, Aaron on the left, Steve O sitting in the back of his car and on the right, SuperDave, on a cloudy morning prior to 65 miles and many hills.
We have ridden many Blue Jay rides with temps in the 90’s and high humidity so what a welcome relief to have a cloudy day with temps in the 60’s for most of it, although there was that gusty wind. Good turnout even with several people riding in Peletonia. Craig Butler (The Boss) was there and his challengers were Mitch T, Larry P, Joe G, Aaron (former Sausage Hill guy), Steve O and then maybe a slight notch below that were Pastor Mark, Mitch the Engineer, Mark V and many others. As officially the co-ride leader (although for this 2nd BJ ride I was a bit of a sluggard, avoiding remarking the route), I eagerly embraced the prospect of being the sweeper so I’d have an excuse to take it easy. As we left the parking lot and navigated the byzantine streets of Newark, I saw Mark V and decided maybe I would instead just suck his wheel for 65 miles so at least I’d get around the cursed route in a decent time.
The Octopus, a.k.a. Flyin Tuna, a.k.a. Cindy B assumed the ceremonial role of leading us out. Mark V, and by extension me, was well back as the lead group got to the base of Blue Jay. Out of deference, everyone continued to line up behind Cindy and the somewhat slower pace allowed Mark and I to catch on to the back of the front group. Ahead, Larry and Mitch were nervously twitching as they shot sideway glances at Mitch, waiting for him to make the first move. I actually thought about shocking everyone and taking a flyer out the front but realized that would be stupid and humiliating as everyone would surge around me as I would be left gasping. So, I just sat on when suddenly, Mitch surged , thus setting off a chain reaction. At the last second, I decided to give it a go too, but just to the top of the climb. The pace was furious and quickly a long line developed of otherwise normal people who for some reason, enjoy punishing themselves. The Boss led, followed by Mitch Tallen, maybe Joe G., then Aaron, then Larry and then me. We swept around the corner and hit the next to last ramp when I pulled around Larry, then alongside him and then….every red emergency light and emergency horn in my system simultaneously erupted and I began spewing oil. I limped to the top of the last ramp and alone now, enjoyed the coast down the hill, waiting for multiple catches and passes of those behind. Steve O passed me, which is expected but then no one as I wobbled up the next steep hill and began coasting down its back side. As the road rose again, Engineer Mitch and Pastor Mark passed but I had recovered neither the endurance or desire to catch on and watched them ride away. I decided to see if I could get to the end of Blue Jay before the next catch occurred and did and then once turning on Brownsville, I decided to just plug along at a consistent pace and wait for a good group to come along and draft off them. As I approached the last long hill on Brownsville Road, I heard voices behind me but once at the top and turning left at Flint Ridge, I looked back and saw no one. What the heck, maybe I’d pick up the pace and try to reach Zanesville without being caught, doing some solo work and settled in for the long ride down Poplar Fork to #40 then a quick jog to Mt. Perry road down to Coopermill. I had regained eye contact with Mitch, Mark and a 3rd cyclist but they were about 200 yards ahead as I gained the tail wind on Coopermill. As I rounded a turn, there they were, having paused to figure whether to go left or right at a fork, Mark, Mitch and Aaron. What a great group of overly competitive types, all seeking to destroy the others whenever we came to a hill. We were hammering with Pastor Mark showing amazing endurance and pulling more often than not, but paying for it when we slipped around him at the last minute to claim fictitious KOM points. Finallly, we cruised to the Market west of Zanesville.
At the half-way point in Zanesville, Craig paused to entertain us but while doing so, Mitch T and Larry P slipped away up the big climb at the start of the return. Too late, The Boss looks up to see his quarry getting a head start. He ain't happy about that and had to satisfy himself by applying a beatdown to the already down trodden.
Pastor Mark appeared stunned when, after unwrapping his sandwich, Cindy asked for half and began reaching for it before Mark could find a polite way to say NO! At food stops, one must selfishly guard one's food from "The Octopus". We had a great time during the Zanesville break and I successfully avoided peer pressure to rejoin Mitch, Pastor Mark, Steve, The Boss and others on the return to Newark. Instead I found SuperDave, Kevin K and Brad and mostly rode with them for the return to Toboso, where I took the additional loop for more miles, found too many more hills, short cutted the route and ended with 75 miles and 6000' of climbing. Sorry for the long report.
Huh, still no Jeff S as Thursday’s talented ride leader but the Jeff stand-in was there. Jeff had the sign-up sheets positioned side-by-side on the hood of his car, ample pens and a route that again HAD THAT FRIGGIN JERSEY MILL ON IT!!!!!! Although, to be fair, instead of going straight out #161 and then onto Jersey Mill, we took a circuitous route south and north and would not hit JM until mile 16.
Huge turnout for the ride but noted the A group was a little down and lots of new riders, bringing the start total to 51 with 16 pulling out with the A’s. Among the latter group was Mick, Paul Stock, two Walker guys, Colnago Dude, Big Muscle Dude, Dennis, Nathan and Terry. I noted the Walker guys had ridden over from Granville so they would only ride the outbound route with us and that meant they were sure to hammer. We headed out for a brief ride on 161 before turning right on Babbitt and then worked out way over to Cable, a very rough road. The Walker guys pushed the pace and to slow it, I took a long pull. Dennis came off the front on Cable and joined me in the back and said, “Dude, this is a bad place to be”, thinking if the group turned up the hill on Caswell, we’d be caught out if/when a gap developed but I assured him the route did not turn east until Patterson and so we were good. Nevertheless, as we approached the turn onto Headleys Mill, I rushed on the outside, cut the corner and settled into the 5th spot. The pace continued to be high and soon we turned right on Patterson and that long uphill stretch. I stayed on Muscle Dude’s wheel and emerging at the top, I turned to note a front group of 5 had a gap on the rest but then a long pull by me allowed practically all the A, B & C riders to regroup before we turned right onto #161. There, one of the Walker guys drilled it and we sustained 30+mph all the way to 310 and then the turn onto Jersey Mill, where I signed off and soft pedaled with Recumbent Dude into Alexandria, north on Northridge, left onto Concorde and left onto Castle. We paused, waiting for the B group to arrive and soon they did and we jumped on with SuperDave, Tri Mike, Flyin Tuna, and a couple others I know but don’t know. I finished with a 20.5 average and 39 miles. The 4 who survived the A group had a 21+ average but I forget the exact number. See many of you at the Brutal Blue Jay ride on Saturday.
For those who are unaware, Armstrong is in Dublin and this morning, sent a message out via his Twitter account announcing he was riding that afternoon and anyone wanting to join him was welcome to come. At the start, 1000 cyclists showed up and the enjoyable reading can be found here: http://www.velonews.com/article/97144/armstrong-s-tweet-turns-out-more-than-1000-riders-for-a
Mitch the Engineer on the left, practicing his version of the Moonwalk. Peggster in the middle with her friend Butch, who encouraged me to keep tormenting Peggy. However, I told him I much prefer witnessing, rather than initiating the drama. I sought to keep a lower profile and avoid Peggster on Tuesday.
Fearing Peggy would make good on her threat to have me blackballed, I arrived early and was granted an audience with Sarge, the real beloved ride leader. I pleaded my case, had many willing witnesses to support my side and thus, no ban is forthcoming.
The sign-up area was a busy place with Margarita Rick, recovered from Swine Flu on the left, Roy making a rare and welcome appearance as he recovers from health issues, Canal Susan in blue and speaking of Canal, Ty Jordan, also rode in. Ty used to be the largest, fastest human on two wheels. I've never ridden with anyone as huge and as fast. Now, after taking an extended sabbatical from cycling it appears he is back, just as large but not as fast. That should change.
Perfect evening for a bike ride. Mid 80's, not much humidity and great people, well mostly. Suffering from burnout, I had negotiated with Mark V, Recumbent Dude and others to form up a "Super B" group but the A group was announced and as they rode by the pull was too great so I slotted in behind Paul Stock. Conspicuous by his absence was The Boss. The route was flatish and I told the Jeni's guys the advantage of weighing 99 pounds would be negated so they should just sit-in with the group, which of course, they did not. Around 16 of us rode out Basil Western at a medium speed, then right on Caroll Northern and again, speed was medium as we rolled in Caroll. However, at the light on #33, the group was split and incredibly, the front group, which included me, rode easy for a long time until the back group caught back on. This took the average down from in the 22 range to mid 20 and so the end average speed was skewed. Anyway, we got onto Lamb, Mt Zion and turned right onto Royalton. The group was still mostly together as we came out of the valley and hit the Royalton Hill, where I was still feeling good and emerged at the summit with Steve O, Kevin H and Kent, who had not ridden with us in a long time.. The rest were strung out but none of us wanted to push the pace and soon we had a group of around 8, including the human yo-yo, Retro George.
The route had originally planned to take us over to Cedar Hill but it was just chip and sealed so we turned right on Amanda Northern. There was a discussion about adding to the route with words like "Slough" and "Pickerington", two evil hills and so as they turned to add to the right at mile 26, I headed straight, later learning no one was serious about adding those hills and I missed a nice 4 mile loop. However, coming over a hill on Amanda Northern, who was wating at an intersection but none other than THE PEGGSTER so I rode in with her, Butch and a couple others.
Afterwards, a bunch of us hit Shades Restaurant, including Steve O who announced his arrival in the chair next to mine with a sharp elbow to my ribs. As is the norm, Steve ordered water and half a salad as the rest of us gorged ourselves on beer, pizza and other high calorie food. No food fight actually broke out although I thought of taking a spoon full of sour cream and flinging it at Franz to see what would happen. Maybe next time.
I received much good feedback on the before and after image of Belinda and some wondered if I had a before image of Flyin Tuna to show everyone. Prior to accepting an assignment to prepare a fitness plan for the obese, I always take a before image to serve as motivation should one fail to stick with the plan. Therefore, I am checking with Tuna to see if it is ok if I share the image with you since I would never want to embarrass. Please wait.
First a preamble. Belinda is the woman I have mentioned in earlier posts who had been riding a hybrid, very slowly, but who had grand ambitions of someday getting a "rode" bike and really ramping up the speed. Now, with that as established fact, I want to go a little farther back in time to when I first stumbled across Belinda....
...working out in the company gym. Having started training THE Tuna in similar shape and turning her into a greyhound, I decided to accept another challenge and help Belinda find that inner, yes very inner, athlete. After years of pushing and prodding and finding her a real road bike, I can now unveil the real Belinda, with whom I rode on Saturday....
25 years after accepting the challenge of turning her life around, above is what years of training will do for you. The Saturday COP ride was too far away for me so I hooked up iwith Belinda and another friend for a ride over to Dresden, discovering a very nice, secluded monster climb on Airy View road with fantastic views from the top. Also vent up and over another monster climb, Vickers Hill Road. Well, that's my Saturday ride. See everyone in Canal on Tuesday.
Jeff Schluep, my candidate for COP ride leader MVP, had to miss tonight's ride and left another Jeff to fill in. Jeff did a good job except he forgot to send out the A group and also the B group. I may discuss having him drop down to AAA level and spend some time with Peggy in Canal before bringing him back up to the big league. Above , he is looking wistfully toward the road, hoping more than Todd Lee and I show for the ride, and they did come, amazingly so considering radar and weather forecast.
Recumbent Dude, seldom riding the recumbent these days, just back from 3 weeks in India. A weight gain of 8 pounds and 3 weeks of the bike ensured he was not in his best cycling fitness but nevertheless held up well, except for failing to call out an overhanging limb that almost knocked me out cold and took Tri-Mike down. Now, about that jersey....
Weather radar was, once again, not encouraging when I left home and when I pulled into the parking lot, seeing only Todd L and substitute ride leader Jeff, I wondered if it was a wasted trip. However, Todd had whipped out the cell phone and loaded the most recent radar images and it appeared masses of green blobs were all going just south, although we were driven into our cars at least once with a brief shower. Around 5:30, cars started streaming in from all over and we actually had 25-30 at the start. Jeff S had created the maps for Sub Jeff and predictably, the route has us going out 161 and then down that long stretch on Jersey Mill where I spin out the back of the pack. Jeff does this just to vex me, I think. I decided to ride with the B;s, a good group that included Jon the Dentist, Farmer Mike, Tri Mike, Recumbent Dude, Greg Hall, Mark V and others. To be honest, my son mysteriously stated he wanted to be a pastry chef when he grew up and literally, every day I've been making trips to the store to buy mint extract, brown sugar, granulated sugar, raspberries, etc... with which he has made some very good pies, doughnuts, cakes, cookies and other treats, all of which I am compelled to taste. I've added 5 pounds in 3 weeks and feel fat and slow.
I took a pull out 161 and noted the A group was not very invigorated and rather than losing ground, we were slowly gaining. A red light allowed us to all group and probably 25 were together at that point. The green light spurred Retro George and he rode by to assume the lead, despite me yelling at him to get back in line and with that, the pace picked up to a normal A pace. We zoomed out 161 to 310 and then a right onto Jersey Mill. Oh well, I spit the bit and soft pedaled, just hoping to reach Alexandria before the B group, which had drifted out of the pack along 161. Sure enough they came by and I hopped on, going out Raccoon Valley Road before making a left onto Hardscrabble and that long uphill. Eventually, we made it to Jug and Recumbent Dude was taking a pull although by now he was leaking oil like a Model T. The 3 weeks of heavy eating in India was taking its toll and with his head down, he failed to notice a fallen GINORMOUS tree that had a limb the diameter of a telephone pole sticking over the road. I was in the 3rd position behind Jon the Dentist, who saw the limb and swerved. I looked up just in time for the impact. No kidding, without a helmet I would have been out cold and the sudden loss of momentum caused those behind to take emergency maneuvering to avoid crashing. As I shook the stars from my head I good naturedly admonished Nathan with a “Dude, you’re supposed to point that stuff out for us.”. Too funny.
We finished with 38 miles and a 20.5 average. The lead group finished with a 22.3mph average.
The group that travelled to West Virginia to compete in the Cheat Mountain Challenge came back with a souvenir. Last year, our Craig Butler finished 2nd with a time of 5:38 and the event organizers used an image of Craig and the 1st place finisher on their promotional materials (the black cyclist images). Mitch and Peggy unfurled the banner last night as a surprise for Craig. This year, Craig was not as prepared for the event but still had a good showing, finishing 6th with a time of 5:50. Note the 7th place finisher was another Ohioian, Mark Waites. I’ve ridden with Mark before and can recall he has a winter conditioning program so intense and comprehensive that he is probably in better shape in March than in August. In fact, there were many Ohioians populating the upper reaches of the results list. Steve O finished 34th at 6:45 and Andrew was at 39th at 6:57 and at 70th was Mitch the Engineer at 7:44. Somewhere in there would have been Jeff S, whose time was not yet posted. There was a staggered start with an 8:00am group, an 8:15 group, etc… but a few cyclists took the events name seriously and cheated, starting in early groups, thus giving themselves a 15 minute head start. Members of our cycling fraternity also rode in the long metric century which at 71 miles had over 8000’ of climbing! The Peggster turned in a fine performance of 6:23 for 37th place.
I could tell by the Peggster's expression she was in a bad mood, probably freaking out over returning to the classroom to teach our children. This, plus Donna had departed early and had given the awesome responsibility of being the Ride Queen to Peggy. I tried to keep my distance, and did so until she loudly announced we were to follow the painted parking lot markings and leave the lot in the proper direction. Being nonconfrontational, I meekly asked what would happen if some of us did not. It seemed like a logical question and of course I had no intent to disobey “the Queen”. Well, she turned to me and verbally attacked like a rabid cat. I was defenseless, I mean with the age difference (she’s older) and the female thing, what could I do? I sucked it up and accepted the, “Listen you #$*#$, I’ll wring your @#@#% neck”. My head was spinning but at one point I do remember her making a comment about never inviting me to Cheat because I could not be trusted to honor the “Code of the East” (roughly translated, what happens in WV stays in WV). This was too much, considering she had previously practically begged me to come on this week’s trip but again, I was the bigger person and kept turning one cheek after another. Finally, exhausted and spent, she eased up and sent us out to start the ride. Whew!
Smallish turnout again, maybe 35 for a flatish route of 40 miles and 1300’ of climbing. 17 started with the A group, including Retro George, rolling in at the last minute. The pace was not bad as we raced into Lithopolis, out Elder, right on Oregon and left on Berger, with a fairly strong SW wind. South on Richardson and some appeared to be straining. A gap opened in front of me at some point but I was able to cover it. There was a new guy wearing a brown shirt and I watched him warily but he appeared to be ok. We turned right onto London that has a short, kind of steepish hill. I was locked on to Mitch’s wheel but looked up and a sizeable gap opened in front of “brown”. Not good. George went around and I briefly considered suffering behind him as he would no doubt ride at a pace to catch the front but decided riding with Mitch would be more fun. Pastor Mark did make the jump and they soon disappeared over the horizon. Mitch, “brown” and I rode together until Brown dropped off and then Mitch and I were alone, he taking long and strong pulls and me doing my part with a 100 yard pull here and there.
Each year, there is one day in late summer when a type of bug must hatch adn fill the air. There were thousands of them, most of which impacted on Mitch as he rode bravely in the front. We finished with a 20mph average and upon entering the parking lot, I saw Peggy and coasted up to her, anticipating an apology and in her way she did, with a squirt of her water bottle. What a pal.
I was surprised by how many emails I received from people that needed their irrelevant and irreverent bike report fix. Frankly, since I had ridden the Ridge Runner Ramble route the week before as part of a nonworking member of the route marking crew, there was not much new to report. Of course any time you're ridin with THE Tuna, funny things do occur. I jumped the route and met up with Kevin H and Cindy in Utica. There were many cyclists there but I recognized few. Apparently, I've been oblivious to a subset of the cycling community who begin their rides at 7:00am instead of the traditional start time of 8:00am. Kevin and Cindy had started at 7:30 to escape some of the heat. In the above image, I caught a couple in a buggy pulling away from Utica. Later, as we rode past a couple of women in a buggy, Cindy noted Kevin had taken an extraordinarily long stare. When questioned, Kevin confessed he had never seen a pair of woman's legs more hairy than his own and that had caught his attention.
We were one of the few who rode the 100 mile route (well, ok, my distance was 65) and we welcomed a stop at Butlers in Bladensburg where "Hubcaps" or pancakes were served. Other than that, mostly uninteresting ride in the heat and humidity that made the finish more welcome than usual.
Recumbent Dude sent me an email. He is unable to currently post comments here but is following the posts and can't wait to host his own welcome back party on either the 25th or 27th (or maybe both?). Not only will he buy the 1st round but he says at least 2 additional rounds of water will be purchased. He says he is bringing me back a trinket!!!!!. I am truly blessed to have so many friends just like him. Imagine, bringing me a refrigerator magnet all the way from India.
Smaller than average turn-out, maybe 30-35 although there have been several new people, which is good. One very fit looking femaile newbie showed up looking for the group that rode a 21mph average and I pointed her to SuperDave. Otherwise, the usual mix of strong A's, such as John Morgan, Redhead Bill, Mick, 3 Trek/Echeloners, Retro George, Paul Stock, and others. Probably 15 to start with the A's, including of course our beloved ride leader, Jeff S. who was out to ride easy prior to Saturday's Cheat Mt. Challenge.
The sun is setting and George finds one last group to whom he explains why he missed the ride start, again.
The Leadville 100 mountain bike race, which climbs 14,000' over 100 miles, is Saturday. If weather does not interfere, a record will certainly not only be broken but smashed. Armstrong competed last year and finished second a couple minutes behind 6-time winner Dave Wiens who set a new record at 6:45. This year, Armstrong is in race shape and has made sure the field has plenty of strong riders to push the pace with the goal of breaking the 6 hour mark. Good article here about it all: http://www.velonews.com/article/96578/armstrong-hopes-a-strong-leadville-field-delivers-him-to-a
I was told tonight that Margarita Rick, he the holder of the deadly Swine flu, decided not to go to Cheat Moutain Challenge and attempt to infect everyone. RATS!!!!! I was so much looking forward to posting the reports of the ravaging of health wrought by Rick's passing of the virus. Oh well, guess I'll cover Ridge Runner instead.
My old Savage Hill teammate, Paul Stock (he used to school me on uphills, flats and downhills but I dominated elsewhere) asked me to pass along notice that the famous "Pedal with Pete" tour, of which Stock Consulting is one of many supporters, is scheduled for this Saturday. Click this link, http://www.pedalwithpete.org/#pwpRide for complete information on the multiple routes, door prizes, food stops and just good fun with several hundred like-minded people. Proceeds benefit Cerebral Palsy research.
Craig Butler, The Boss of Tuesday's Canal ride. During a pre-ride interview, this normally soft-spoken, humble, gentlemenly, unpretentious, unostentatious, unassuming and just one great guy, when queried about his ride ambitions for the Cheat Mountain Challenge, replied, "I will not be denied." When I asked for clarification, The Boss, who does not suffer fools gladly, clarified for me, "Let me put it simply for you, I will destroy them." Wow, how out of character to so boldly predict victory and how many will actually believe he said this with my reputation for inventing statements out of the blue???? Last year, Criag rode the 100 mile, 10,000 fett of climbing route in 5 hours and 35 minutes, finishing 2nd or 3rd. That's total time, not total time minus an hour of food stop time. And, that's riding against the best of the best of the best, coming out of WV, VA, SC and OH.
The great Peggster in nirvana-land, with Randy D to her right and boyfriend to her left. It don't get no better than that.
I arrived in Canal, having decided to take it easy and not ride with Criag and his band of marauders. Criag convinced me I had made the right decision when he said he was going to take it easy, which in bike-speak translates roughly into, "I'm going to hammer and drop everyone." But, he did take it easy and a large group stayed together on the unusually flatish and shortish route that even found a way to circumvent Cul du Slough.
Pastor Mark, proudly wearing evidence he participated in the Mountain Mama century ride in WV last weekend.
The start of the ride got off to an odd start with Sarge declaring all the A's to leave but no one did. Finally the C's shoved off and then too did the few A and B riders. Not sure why the turnout was low but probably the strong sw wind, humidity and high 80 degree temps had something to do with it. Mark V and I rode into Lithopolis and merged with Sarge, Peggy, Canal Susan, Andrew (soft pedaling in preparation for Cheat) and a few others. We mostly rode together until the 32 mile cut-off and only Mark V and I took the longer route. Soon though, a large group of strong B's, who had waited in the parking lot for a friend, approached and Mark and I jumped on. Greg H was in there and we all took turns pulling and then at the end, all drafted behind Mark Rossi and wife on their tandem. Fun night.
Jeff S on the left, asking Craig why he allowed everyone to hang with him. Andrew in the center, earlier telling me he would be nipping at Craig's heels all the way to the Cheat finish line. Wish I was there to watch the finish, where I expect the top 5 spots to be occupied by Craig, Andrew, Steve O, Peggy and Mitch, in that order. NOW THE SERIOUS NEWS: Margarita Rick has the Swine flu, this is, for once, a truthful statement. Rick had signed up for Cheat and apparently, is still going to go. The gang going to Cheat want the added challenge of seeing if they can avoid getting the flu, sounds like great fun. I heard 1-2 of them actually plan to drink out of the same bottle as Rick. These guys are hard core.
Belinda has put out the below ride option for Sunday. Belinda has also informed me, actually demanded, that her nickname is now and forever, "Blazing Tuna". Not certain where she got the inspiration for that nickname but suspect it has something to do with her deep seated ambition to topple Cindy B on the female rider list. In fact, Belinda turned down a trip to Vegas this week so she could stay in Ahia and train in those Knox County hills.
I would like to invite anyone interested to join us for a bike ride in Knox County this Sunday 8/16 at 8am. There will be two groups/two routes. Glenn has agreed to lead the 50+ mile ride which has more hills than I can handle. I’ll lead a slower paced ride for 34 miles that uses the Kokosing Gap bike path a lot. The shorter route does have 3 hills to challenge us. The two routes are designed to keep the two groups together as much as possible, including arriving in Danville at LuLu’s for breakfast at about the same time. Both routes go through some really beautiful country side. The longer route uses Tiger Valley Road outside of Danville and those views are amazing.
If you are interested, please park at the Kokosing Gap trail parking lot, across from the Kenyon Athletic Center. Please feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested. I did post this invite on the Licking County Bike Club forum as well. I have attached maps below, but remember it was my first attempt at map-my-ride so they are not perfect. I’d love to know if you think you would be interested. See you then!
Recumbent Due has been gone, two weeks, as of this Thursday, on a vacation in India with his daughter. While no one has really noticed he has been gone we should probably do the right thing and celebrate his return with an after ride "Welcome Back" party on either a Tuesday or Thursday evening. Nathan/Recumbent Dude has posted many comments on this site and perhaps will let us know on which Tuesday or Thursday he will be making his comeback into the ranks of COP's "D" group. So, Nathan, save some money for the 1st (2nd too?) round of drinks and let us know on what day we can celebrate your return from knife wielding fanatics. Look forward to hearing about the adventure.
So many cycling choices in this cycling Mecca of central Ohio. I chose to ride with Jeff S and Mark V as they marked a 60 mile portion of the Ridge Runner Rambler, starting from Granville’s Wildwood Park at 8:00am. A previous night’s forecast of 10% chance of rain and sunny skies failed to materialize and it was a cloudy start to the ride. We headed up to Utica for a short break and to make a long story short, ran into a farmer who was taking pigs to the Hartford fair and somehow discovered his brother helped build my house (small world story).
Out Blacksnake past the chocolate wheel and upon reaching Martinsburg road, the yellow road marking work began with Jeff and Mark taking turns applying the paint. We stopped at Bladensburg and although my stomach ached for a stop at Butlers and a grilled cheese sandwich, we instead grabbed candy bars at the gas station. We headed south towards Fallsburg when it began to rain, a nice steady rain at uncomfortably cool temperatures. The rain quickly dissipated the paint so we took refuge on the front porch of the pizza place in Fallsburg, waiting for the rain to stop. Mark V flirted with the female proprietor of the pizza shop and got her hopes up that he would revisit next Saturday, also implying dozens of cyclists would stop to eat. It appeared to me Mark was trying to get a free meal coupon from her but she was too shrewd to fall for Mark’s idle promises.
We headed south and soon arrived at the monstrous Techniglass road, followed by Loches. At least two climbs broke the demarcation line of 20%. I had gotten a little ahead of the road painters and upon reaching Martinsburg Road, I was faced with an additional climb to stay on the route by going left, or an immediate and long downhill by going straight. Soon, I was coasting off the route and into St. Louisville. I arrived back in Granville with 67 miles and 4500’ of climbing. No images to share with you of the ride except IT IS THAT TIME FOR A FARM REPORT!!!!!!
Yes, through careful cultivation and loading of Miracle Grow and every other plant steroid I could find, I harvested my first ear of corn. Note the beautiful color and texture of the kernals. This was one fine ear of corn and instead of eating it, I had it bronzed and put on a trophy. Unfortunately, just as I was poised to pick the bountiful harvest, the racoons invaded my porch overnight and ate every stalk and corn (see below). These must be very fat coons after gorging themselves. Don't feel too sorry for me, I have picked many giant cucumbers and the tomatos are about to turn red too.
Early August and weather for a mid-October ride. 40+ cyclists showed up, including Jamie, once Group Killer, then Group Wounder and now…..maybe Group Lover. Folks, this former tiger has been defanged and who wouldn’t be if they rode once a month or so? Anyway, it was good to see him roll up a minute before the start. Also toeing the start line were 3 Trek/Echelon guys, Mick, Terry, Jon the Dentist, Dennis, Jeff S, Retro George, Greg H and a couple of new guys, including a visitor from Detroit. We rolled out and as usual Jeff had created a great route with a nice mix of hills and flats and thankfully, not that damned downhill stretch on Jersey Mill that almost always causes me to lose contact. I thought I’d have a chance at hanging in there tonight. I noticed a very strong group of B riders including Farmer Mike, Tri Mike, Mark V, Flyin Tuna, SuperDave, Mark Rossi, Peggy, a gal that used to ride with OU and a couple of others. As stated previously, very good turnout.
Kind of slow start but as we emerged from the “S” curve on Jug, Jamie sprang from the pack and hammered, causing everyone to desperately grab a wheel. Fortunately, the turn onto Clover Valley suspended the surge momentarily but the pace picked up on Miller, all the way over to 310. As we turned onto 310 someone shouted, “Car right” and half of us paused while a yahoo on a front porch shouted, “Hit em.” I’ll never figure out what causes such animosity towards cyclists from subhumans. A quick right onto Duncan Plains and still the pace was fairly strong. Across 37 onto Castle then a right onto Concord before stopping at Northridge. Faces appeared strained and I thought about going straight onto Hardscrabble but figured if I was “on the rivet” so too were most of the others and so joined everyone on the long uphill slog on Northridge to Sportsman Club. The group became strung out but Dennis and I worked together to stay close and we regrouped on SC. Topping out at the Louden intersection we roared down that hill, all the way to Racoon Valley Road. I began to notice the pace and hills were taking their toll and after each person surged to start his turn at the front, within a few hundred yards the pace would diminish and so we rolled into Alexandria, out Jug and cruised back into the parking lot with 42 miles and a 22.8mph average, 1300’ of climbing.
Interesting drive home. First I got a call from Belinda, she of the new Trek and plotting her displacement of Tuna on the list of top female cyclists. Belinda, freed from that 50 pound hybrid, is now flying up hills and tonight tackled Blue Jay as part of a group ride. I think she said she was headed out there for multiple repeats this weekend. Damn, I’ve never encountered anyone as driven as her. Shortly thereafter, Tuna called me to make a major announcement (look, she would strangle me for saying this but it is noteworthy and her friends would want to know). Tonight, committed to hanging with the strong B riders, she hung in there all the way and, for the first time ever, cracked the 21mph average!!!!! In fact, exactly 21. Way to go! Prior to the ride, Cindy advised me she and Belinda are plotting their revenge against me. Truthfully, I have instigated so many jabs through this forum (trust me, she gets back verbally all the time) that I deserve whatever they cook up. However, to keep things stirred up I noted that two half-wits make a full wit and I had real reason to be afraid. I immediately asked for terms of a truce but Cindy seemed uninterested. I’m in deep trouble.
Lisa A <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Hello! It's July -- Tour de France time, so we thought we would have a "Tour de Mark" and honor him with a second stage. In addition to the great ride on July 11 reliving Mark's hard core Hocking Hills ride -- (thanks to Woody) we thought we would hold the "Col de Antrim" stage. This ride will be an easy pace up the path, ending at the Urban Coffee house, where we have a "coffee roast" and share a few stories about Mark. Here is the schedule;
Tour de Mark (Col de Antrim) -- Assault on Olentangy Bike Path
2:15 - Meet at Park of Roses (we'll put black cards in spokes to ride up the path -- like arm bands!) 2:30 - Leave Park of Roses as a peloton, head north
3:15 - 3:30 Arrive at Urban Coffee at base of Worthington Hills
3:30 - "Coffee Roast for Mark" -- with stories, memories, expressions (everyone who wants to share)
4:15 - ish -- Ride back to Park of Roses (or wherever people are going)
If you are not able to make the ride (or prefer someone else to share your story) please fell free to send a memory to me in writing. I will read it at the "coffee roast."
Although you don't have to, it might be helpful if I have an idea of how many people will be joining us (to prepare the coffee house). Let me know if you'll be coming if you know -- but please don't hesitate to come even if you decide last minute or aren't sure. We want everyone to come out. Looking forward to seeing everyone on August 8 at 2:15. Best, Lisa
Ginger, has gotten behind the below event and asked that it be brought to your attention. Note G also inquired about a ride this weekend so apparently she is recovering well and probably in race form if she is willing to begin joining us again for rides. Always good when one of us comes off the DL to get back in the game.
August 26th 2009
BUY TICKETS ONLINE $10
ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT OUR FILM MAKERS & THE JAMES CANCER HOSPITAL
I would like to personally invite you!! All I get out of it.....is a free T-Shirt!!
You all know my passion for cycling!! So I thought this would be a great movie to bring to CBus to share with you. While were having soo much fun, you will know it's all for supporting the arts and our fight against Cancer.
Thank you to Pelotonia + ROLL for believing in me and supporting my vision!! Also thank you to National Engineering, Raison Rack, Team COBC, Jerry Ballard Salon, and Kernocopia for supporting my efforts to bring this to the big screen as well.
This is just my personal invitation & announcement to all of you!! I have included the actual CBus movie premier poster as well. And I am sure you will be hearing more in the coming days about the event!! So help me fill 300+ great little cycling bottoms Wednesday evening!! It will inspire you to ride!!!
Hope to see you all there!!
Many times, I have watched weather radar and shrugged off what appeared to be a hopeless forecast to make the long drive to Canal Winchester and yet, I don't think this year there has been one time we did not get in a Tuesday ride. This time, though, that solid mass of green, yellow and red drifting just to the south of Granville, and a call to my forward weather observer, Pastor Mark, convinced me it was hopeless. I grabbed the COP newsletter, discovered a Tuesday New Albany ride for "B" riders and headed there instead.
They typically have between 6-12 cyclists and despite dark skies, 10 showed for a 34 mile route. Included were SuperDave and Jon the Dentist, among the names most would recognize. It seemed a good, simpatico group and it was. The route was mostly flat with only 600' of climbing and with only a couple of exceptions, the group stayed together. Fairly uneventful ride, berreft of the usual "group killer" instict of which we are all guilty on the Canal ride, at least in the "A" group, or maybe it was there tonight but at a "B" pace so I didn't notice it so much. At one point, going up a long but only 3% grade hill, Jon appeared to be working furiously but we all hung on and after half a mile we came to a turn and Jon pulled off the lead,. I couldn't help but chirp, "Is that all you got?" and he good naturedly took another hard pull but a head wind kept him from splitting the group as we rode comfortably in his slipstream. Finished with a 20.4 average. I must say, SuperDave is making impressive improvement from an extended period of semi-retirement from cycling.
UPDATES: Important Announcement. Belinda H, after months of begging for a "rode" bike finally placed a winning bid on ebay and is now the proud owner of a Trek WSD road bike. On her first time out, freed from the 35 pound shackles of that hybrid, she saw an increase of 2 mph to her normal average while just fooling around. Two hills that have previously vexed her were easily defeated and her words to me tonight were, and I quote, "Tell Cindy to be afraid, be very afraid!" The showdown is coming, maybe this year and I can't wait to report it, or at least make something up on which to report.
Recumbent Dude continues to file reports in the comments section about he and his daughters exciting 3 week trip across India. Keep them coming Nathan.
Porch Corn: I have sad news to report about my porch corn. The cloudy weather and too much shade has conspired to produce very puny ears. For the umpteenth year in a row, whether it be racoon attacks, deer trampling or crummy weather, I just can't get no corn satisfaction. Images to come soon.
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.