So, we rolled out, headed through downtown Newark, in dire need of repaving, reached the foot of Blue Jay, had a less then enjoyable time gaining 800' out to Brownsville and rode on to Zanesville. The lead group rode conservatively and all hung together for the most part. As a true ride leader, I hung back and made sure people made the turns and in general was a great ambassador while Cindy selfishly rode as fast as someone at that level of fitness can ride, ignoring her leadership obligations. By the time I arrived at the gas station, the lead group was gone but I had a fun time cavorting with Todd, Kenda Dave, Janet, Dennis, Larry the Legend & others. You know, the camaraderie of these rides, the goofiness, the razzing, the put-downs, the occassional candor are, for me at least, a very important part of the enjoyment of this entire experience. Were it just the pain and suffering, I'm pretty sure I would not do this activity.
The Kendaites, Todd and I headed out of Z-ville, reaching Ridge where we turned west and after some consulation, Todd, Dave and I decided to forego the southward turn on Morgan and to stay straight on Ridge to Route #40 where we went west and then picked the route back up by turning right on Mt Perry. The three of us became separated and eventtually, I soloed in with 61 miles and 4800' of climbing. Meantime, the lead group broke down to Dave C, Canal Oxley, Canal Clingan, John Morgan and Craig Butler....yes....Da Boss!. Steve took the lonely longer option, ending up with 100 miles while the others continued on to Blue Jay, Craig, amazingly, continued to ride hard and eventually, it was he and Dave C who finished together with Canal Clingan and John M finishing together behind them. Everyone else was strung out behind these four. The average mph for the lead group was 18.2 so for that route, that's pretty good.
Not at the Blue Jay ride was Marty, who rode the 100 mile, 13,000' of climbing Blood, Sweat and Gears in Boone, NC. I hear he turned in a terrific time of 5:21 to finish 49th out of 562 cyclists. My investigative assistant reporter has done some digging and using a Deep Throat source within the New Albany Yankees, Dave C and Marty are probably the best climbers with maybe Marty having inched ahead. For flat to rolling terraine, consistent with the New Albany routes, Rich Lewis, John G, Pete, John M and Marty may be the best with Dave in there too. This does not include some of the other strong riders who show up. So, the Brewers do have their big bopper, Craig Butler, behind him is Steve and slightly behind him is Mark and then just a bunch of Punch & Judy hitters. The Yankess have a very deep line-up with an all-star bench too.