|Mark's Cycling & Hiking Blog||
Flyin Tuna manages the sign-in process with an unusual level of competency although she did tell someone there was food in Toboso. Above, Ted M, Mike Rea, Lisa and the driver for a vehicle that carried the photographer for the newspaper, "Heath News". Yes, we have hit the big time.
Paul Stock took a look at my map and said, "Now that's a map." I was humbled. It's good to acknowledge the effort of one of the little people, behind the scenes working tirelessly to make this a good event.
Ken Buddell on the left joins a growing crowd yet the numbers were a little disappointing until I rode to the front parking lot and there I found hordes, well a couple dozen anyway. Had a good turnout of around 40, which is good because this route, coupled with the usual heat and humidity, is not for everyone. It is one tough ride.
We headed off through the mean streets of Newark. While yes, Tuna and I co-lead the ride, she is mostly in a ceremonial, kind of the titular position while I am naturally, the star...no that is over shooting things a bit,,,I am the well, the adjectives escape me for the moment. Anyway, I made it a point to spend quality time with each group.
The pro peloton would develop quickly so I had to get in my encouraging words with Luke, Marty, Pete, Lori, Ken, etc.. while we were in the warm-up phase cause I wouldn't be seeing too much of them later. We hit the slopes of Blue Jay and the group was torn asunder. I believe that means broken up. Some of us regrouped after Blue Jay, a group that is like the elite ameteurs comprised of Larry P, Eva, Ted M, Lisa, David Smith, etc... When we arrived in Toboso I announced I needed to spread my magnificence among others and tried to drop back to the schleps of the peloton, Flyin Tuna, Mark V, Jeff S, etc.. but try as I might, I could not slow enough. Oh well, I arrived at the Zanesville....
...market and hey, the pro peloton was still there, along with Blair Beavers, tanking up for the next leg.
The pro peloton departed, allowing the elite amateurs and schleps to mingle. David Smith, in yellow/blue on the right had one of the classic lines. After I noted he had been waiting patiently for us to gather ourselves said, "It's not as long as when Mark C is eating a sandwich." Hey, that's a good one.
Stretching the legs helps but still to come is that steep climb up like 10 yards after we leave the gas station.
The guys were hesitant to use a pink Port-o-John but eventually overcame their reluctance. Eva, center right, headed to CO for a tour late this week. We headed out of the shaded spot into kind of oppressive heat and humidity. Along the way, I had an entirely irrational thought, why not extend the route beyond the 67 miles? Yeah, brilliant! So, when we arrived at the Mt Perry Road turnoff, I kept going but did not make a left on 668, instead stayed on 204 and on to Glenford. Did anyone else notice the countryside smells were stronger than usual? It was as if manure had been spread around the fields and than no rain to wash it in to the soil for a few days.
I got through Glenford, headed north on Geo Ice Road and eventually to 668 and north to Flint Ridge Park where I enjoyed a cold water replenishment. Once I was headed north again on 668, I was overtaken by Marty, Luke and Lori so enjoyed the draft until reaching Blue Jay they dutifully turned left but I continued to the Staddens Bridge Road return. Arriving in Newark, I was greeted with steady showers that stiffened once I arrived at the YMCA. Wow, this is the 3rd time this season I have been soaked during a ride. Not sure what that means other than I am out there so long, there is a seasonal change so lucky it did not snow. Ended with 76 miles and 5200' of climbing.
I made a slight change to the routes for the return through Newark so below are updated links. Note the 4th link is a ride segment that avoids the Blue Jay return using a somewhat flatter Staddens Bridge & East Main roads. Having checked all the weather sites, as of 3:00pm rain is forecast between 30-80%. If the ride is cancelled or postponed for an hour, we will post it on Facebook's COP page or you can call me at 740-504-9769 (no solicitations or offers of marriage please).
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.