The Queens of today's peloton gather prior to the ride, Kenda Janet, Corvair and Flyin Tuna. It was time for FT to go it alone as a ride leader, after being my unloyal lieutenant for many years at the Blue Jay ride. I arrived with a great deal of trepidation because I did not think her ready but we would see.
Hard route and remote location tamps down the turnout as about 35 arrived on a wonderful morning for a bike ride, way east in Heath, OH. Even "The Donald" was here, sporting his Fruit Loops jersey. The Don certainly loves attention. A new guy from France has begun attending the rides, in the "I Shares" kit. I told a couple of people he rode with Floyd Landis and they believed me.
Rather than start the ride at 8:00am, Tuna started her announcements about then and once the droning finished, we rolled out at about 8:10 but not for long cause our parking lot had no facilities so we rode about 1/2 a mile to....
....a baseball complex where people lined up. I am not one to criticize so let's just say I found this a curious way to start a ride. Anyway, we shoved off a 2nd official start at about 8:30. As I always look at the bright side, it allowed for socializing. But then, some of our group got off track and we rolled into....
....Somerset at about mile 35 where many studied the maps and began thinking about shortcutting...it's a hard route with upping and downing all the time. Being a positive kind of guy, I chose to think of all the coasting such a route provides.
More people arrive as rumors swirled that Flyin Tuna had put out two gps files, one for the people with whom she wanted to ride and one for everyone else. Must have been a mix-up since I was in the former rather than latter group. Those who had down loaded the wrong route began to stumble in famished and short of fluids as....
....Flyin T spent most of the time bent over trying to avoid being noticed. We were at the gas station for so long, Kenda Paul stated that, "Rigor mortis has begun to set in." Quite a large group, Ryan, Matt, Dean, etc... headed out on the 55 mile return but by doing so.....
....they missed easily the best view on the route, Zion Road on the way to Bremen. Unfortunately, also on the route was that really nasty climb on Pen. Arriving in Bremen, some stopped at the Subway, overwhelming the lone worker while the balance of us hit the new gas station and sat and ate in the interior. Good food, good seats. We regathered and were headed out when someone realized Flyin T was not around so....
....we gathered in the shade and called her. She was still out on Marietta Rd, helping Corvair fix a flat. Such a selfless person that FT. The above gang decided to wait for her while those of us going out on the 72 mile option moved on. We got strung out a bit before regrouping at a market in Thornville. Studying the map, I noticed FT had us returning via Honda Hills and Fairmont. That is just cruel so I convinced the Kendaistas, Frank S and Bruce to join me on a somewhat flatter return to the west of the little Alps. We finished with 71 miles and 5200' of climbing. I discovered the group on the 84 mile loop did finish but around 4:00pm. Dang, 8 hours to cover 84 miles. Reminds me of my days riding in the Licking County club rides as a beginning cyclist.
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.