Well the unseasonably warm weather came to a halt today as 80 degree temps earlier in the week gave way to highs in the low 60s with threatening looking skies and winds from the North at 5-15mph. This was the scene as those who rode gathered in the parking lot at Cyclist Connection in Canal for the weekly Sunday ride. Present were many of those you would expect: Corvair, The OX, Grand Poobah, 3 new guys with "D" names, Little Diesel, Kenda Janet, Richard (who I propose we call "Dirty Ole' Dick"), not because he has a smell or is potty mouthed, he quite personable actually, but because he's 72, and still a solid rider and it would be funny.... anyway, Horse Satchel Bob, the Rossi Train......
There were many, roughly 25, and they gathered around our brave ride leader, Randeneur Dave, as if he were going to say something really smart or funny.... it was as expected, and I paraphrase; "Don't get killed and if you do make sure you've signed the liability release form.... oh! and were headed East so that you can suffer terribly in a solid, peloton-killing cross-wind both there and back and be gutter-ridden if you get stuck in the line behind Grand Poobah!" ... or something like that. I'm sure that's not it EXACTLY but that was the jist of it. ...and to the snickity snick of riders snapping into their pedal systems, we shoved off for places eastward.
Now I want to take a short break hear and remind those reading this, that I am somewhat map challenged in that I don't like to read them and as a result I am unable to quote all of the roads we traveled other than to say we went first toward Millersport via the nomal-ish route utilizing Bickel Church Road, Deepcut and that road that enters town. Aside completed, I'd also like to say that I've been having a somewhat successful sprinting record of late and as a result, I decided to try my luck at the Millersport sign sprint... I hung back and pounced with about 300 yards to go... there was a heated battle and victory was snatched from my grasp by the width of the finest hair by Grand-Poobah, who slyly allowed me to lead out into the headwind and... well.... it still hurts to think about it. He is as wiley and cunning as they say. I'll have to keep that in mind going forward.
I felt somewhat consoled by the idea of a food stop only moments away. There were other sprints ahead, shurly one would be mine! My eyes gleamed with the thought of some scrumptious delight at the upper deck coffee shop.... and maybe something to eat and drink too, but NO! I've yet again been foiled by another ride leader promising tea and cake at some stop, only to find out they were CLOSED!!!! BTW... I still haven't forgotten that last unfulfilled pancake promise....! You know who you are!
There was discussion among the leaders and Grand Poobah shortly shooed the lead group out of town with promise of a stop in Pleasantville.... a mere 15 miles away! We rode... climbing the increasingly hilly route, getting lost only once and soon the water tower lay in the distance and I once again hatched an evil plan to take the sign-sprint. This time, i would allow the OX to cover GP and I would cover him, to swoop in and grab the golden glory of the win at the last moment. The trap set, GP sprinted off the front with only 150 yards to go and as expected the Ox replied but was unable to close the gap and allow my snatchy, grabby, trickeration to become fulfilled. Sigh.... OK.... OK... There are more ahead. Surly the cruelty could not continue. I was soon treated to a Valero gas station, mountain dew and a glorious selection of power bars. There was a brief sit-and-feast out on the picnic bench and before you knew it, we were all freezing to death. So, motivated by the thermal craziness that is central ohio in spring, we rolled... I made my way to the front to find Poobah lazily pedaling at a solid 14, wisely gathering his flock. He struck up a friendly conversation and 30 seconds later the Grand Poobah takes his hands of the handlebars, raises both into the air in victory and exclaimed loudly "I AM the KING OF CYCLING!!!! YES! YES! YES! TRIFECTA!!!! HAT TRICK!!!! TRIPLE CROWN!!!! YEEEEESSS!" I have never seen a more horrific burst of enthusiasm and I turned to look at him only to realize... We had just ridden past the "Welcome to Pleasentville" sign-sprint sign and he had taken his third sign sprint of the day. Clever..... ...and at under 14 MPH.... Not very sporting, but clever. The ride turned westward and it was a straight shot via carol eastern nearly all the way back. I didn't try the sign sprint leading into Carol, hoping that GP would tire as he attempted another grab at a sprint... winning his fourth... One to go and you only remember the last anyway... that's the one that counts... BTW Steve. I thought you were turning of Kauffman, so that's where I turned only to find out after spending the next 3 miles catching back up to the leaders that you had turned a street earlier... OK... Returning to the warm and accurate write-up; The run up into town quickened as we approached Canal. GP began whipping the front of the draft line for more speed like a demented chariot rider. I knew his plan and I countered by refusing the front, staying firmly behind in the draft, awaiting the sprint. We turned onto the final straight-away, the sign loomed in the distance awaiting to declare the ultimate victor of the day.... He knew he was in trouble... glancing over his shoulder in the knowledge of my superior position behind him... HE JUMPED!!! Off like the rabbit from the wolf... legs pumping furiously and I covered him easily... a little too easily, but my desire to crush his warrior spirit overwhelmed me and I began my slingshot around only to find out that he'd been sandbagging!!! Side by side we traversed the final 40 yards as no other two men have ever raced in the history of cycling, in the history of racing! IN THE HISTORY OF MEN!!!!! 40 yards.... 30.... 20..... 10...... here it is...... Now you may be wondering... who won that glorious battle of the titans? I will not say... I CANNOT say! For those that witnessed it have perished from over exposure to awesomeness. I will only say, I was proud to be a part of this amazing and dramatic event... signing off... Cub Reporter: Nathan (Recumbent Dude) --- END STORY ---