So many dreary days this year but not today as cyclists began arriving on a beautiful day for a ride, including Derek in the OSU jersey. Unfortunately, Derek's chain was locked into one rear gear, the 15, which would present a challenge when we reached the climbs. In fact, I don't remember seeing him in Utica so he may have had to turn around.
People were happy to be here, including Gus Cook, above on the right. Ron in the background does not appear to be happy but undoubtedly he was smiling on the inside.
So proud was Dan that he had to whip his latest acquisition from his jersey and show it to me; Dan's pump. So sophisticated, so high tech with the flexible piece that stores within the tube ready for use and Dan's pump was later called into action. Dan's pump did its duty, performing heroically but alas, based upon the end result, it failed but the fault did not lie with the pump. In fact, by the end of the ride, Dan no longer had possession of Dan's pump. More about that later.
More and more cyclists arrived for "Marty's Ride", the 4th edition of these Saturday get togethers, held sporadically through the season. I counted 31 at the start with more new faces, which makes me wonder what happens to some of the old faces not attending. Billy, a transfer from San Francisco was new, a woman some referenced as "the lady in green" was new, Craig Rice was new, having fully recovered from a skiing accident, etc...
The mingling and socializing stopped once Marty began slowly pedaling away. No shout of "Let's go!" just Marty starts to leave and we all follow, into the sun. Other groups were in the distance but we soon left 161, making a left on Kitzmiller and then multiple lefts and rights as we worked our way to the northeast, toward....
...Utica. The pace was kind of erratic, slow at times, fast at times, the latter probably coinciding with when Ken was unrestrained at the front. Just kidding. Would not want to besmirch a cycling buddy like that, well not often anyway. What is that, a Reese's Cup he is unwrapping? No way?
Farmer Mike was with us, resting on a cement barrier. Euro-Patrick too, leaning against his bike in white.
Only 13 of us left Utica, headed to Bladensburg while everyone else, who made it to Utica, opted for a shorter option, except for Mike on the right, who went on to B-burg. Lori and Peggy had bugged out earlier as they wanted fresh legs for the Zanesfield race on Sunday. Dave Chesrown had also turned around, not feeling all that well or was the pool siren song playing in his ears?
I dropped off the pace quickly. No way I could hold that for long and finish the route so I soloed on to B-burg to find the group munching on cookies, bought from these ladies in support of 4-H. I too bought a package of two. chocolate chip and they were good. Pete C said the pace would moderate from that point forward. That Pete, such a kidder that guy. Ha, ha, ha. I urged them to leave as I still had a break planned and so....
....eleven shoved off, including Jon Morgan above and Dan, with his pump. Farmer Mike and I regrouped and took a more direct route back, hooking up with John and Anthony Sada outside Granville and then finishing with 86 miles. Meantime, Dan had dropped out of the group but later came upon Jon and Pete, fixing a flat on Pete's bike. Having gone through two tubes and now stuck, Dan was there to provide a third and a good pump. The new pump worked brilliantly and there was no user error but no luck. Apparently there was a slit in the tire and the tube would burst once a certain psi was reached. Pete's day ended there as Dan rode on having left his pump with the two, to be retrieved later this week. To Dan's credit, he finished the entire 96 mile route and is planning to attend Mountain Mama in a few weeks.
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.