I had intended to skip the Covered Bridge ride to watch the Buckeyes but figured out I could still do a 50-60 mile loop and make it back in time. After Thursday’s New Albany ride, Dennis and I planned to meet at 8:00am but I was a little late. Fortunately, others were late too and so around 8:15, Dennis, Larry P, Aaron, Todd L, Lisa A and I took off. Interesting to ride in an area through which we ride all the time but somehow we did it on roads seldom ridden. Eventually we worked our way over to and through Amanda, out Hamburg and a right onto Meister took us into hill country with good riding up and down. Someone said there was a 55 mile cut-off but having not seen a turn-off following a circuitous route that seemed to indicate more riding to the east was coming, I stopped at the bottom of Macdonald Road for a map check, while everyone whizzed by. This was the first time I had looked at the map and noted there was no 55 mile loop so I decided to take a direct route back to Canal. I was in good enough shape time wise that I could afford a quick stop in Amanda where a local entertained me with a story about Lance’s entourage as they came through Amanda last week. I made it back to Canal with exactly 55 miles and after the game, wished I had missed the game and completed the route. Below is Dennis, dressed in a new outfit he acquired while at Martha's Vineyard for some vacation time. While I have been impressed this year with Oxley's white/black/white ensemble and Belinda's sky blue bike, sky blue jersey and sky blue helmet mix, being the only judge I believe the year is far enough along to go ahead and award Dennis the "Best Dressed Award", even though it does not match that bike.
Having only ridden 55 miles on Saturday, I headed back to Canal to catch the Sunday morning start out of Cyclist Connection and was surprised by a large group, maybe 40 cyclists for an 8:00am start. A 5K run was in progress and as we rode through Canal, the leaders were approaching the finish line. A man was leading with a woman about 50 yards back. As Donna rode by she urged the woman with a scream of, “GO, kick his ass!” We headed out Waterloo and were set for a typical route down to Amanda. Randy Brown and I had been working together and were soon alone, with me mostly gassed. At some point he swung left and I pulled through and asked if he wanted to slow and be social to let a couple of guys back on, or keep going. He replied, “Let’s be social”. No sooner had he said that he kicked it in gear again and off we went, soon cruising into Amanda. With some regrouping, we headed east toward Christmas Rock. Randy swung off the front as we approached the climb and I took over, wrongly thinking with just the two of us again, we would have a undramatized climb. WRONG! At the first ramp, he sprinted around me but I began clawing back on and even though he had an asthmatic attack that forced him to use only one lung and I think he also dropped his chain once, he still reached the top ahead of me. The route into Lancaster designated a right turn onto Stump Hollow but I wished Randy well and went directly to the 4 Reasons restaurant. Good food but I guesstimate we were there for almost an hour, a little long. I kept a low profile to avoid the punishment of riding back with Randy and instead headed back with Brad and Scott. Pulled into Amanda with 54 miles and with 109 for the weekend, that was enough.
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.