Group Killer (maybe more like group wounder now) made a rare appearance and, upon observing the array of talent assembled in the parking lot said, "I hope I don't get dropped." Jamie was also fighting pre-race anxiety and complained of an upset stomach. Yes, the many Cat 3's that show up now are different from those that showed up in April and May. They are at their mid season form, toughened by races and training rides and they are fast. And I have to face facts, I am an old guy now, worn down by a grindingly difficult life, having performed back-breaking work in copper mines in AZ, salt mines in UT, coal mines in WV and even now, as a mall cop/guard I am on my feet alot chasing your miscreant children.
Anyway, there were 38 of us, including the usual good guys like Dennis, SuperDave, Jeff S, Retro George,Tri Mike, Jon the Dentist, Farmer Mike, Group Wounder, Todd Lee, Paul Stock, Franz, 3 Walker guys including Rob Rhodes and Kyle Wingler, Muscle Guy, Recumbent Dude, John Morgan, Savage Hill and a host of others, including Flying Tuna. Might have been the fastest group of the year. A hundred yards into the ride, we turned onto that long uphill stretch towards Kitzmiller, a traditional warm-up zone but Rob R went to the front and just hammered. Everyone grabbed a wheel and tucked their heads down. Man, it was fast and upon reaching the summit at Kitzmiller, the pace increased on the downhill stretch and then that several mile uphill to 310. Rob and another guy kept rotating and I kept cursing, but hanging on. Lots of guys dropped along this stretch but I have no idea who. We crested the hill at 310 and finally slowed up a bit before the right turn onto Watkins and that steep ramp. I noted that as Rhodes turned the corner he did so tucked and riding fast. My cornering skills suck and when I turned onto Watkins, there was a gap after I came out of my ultra cautious braking. However, good ole Geroge was right there and I figured if I rode with him, he might catch the group and by the time we reached Weslyn Church, we had. I had to thank the guy because he did most of the work
We made our way into Granville and it was cool as we coasted through town, watching people prepare for the firework display. Later Dennis said he, Jeff S, Dave and Tuna had been tempted to stop for cotton candy and elephant ears because Granville's street fair was in full swing. We headed out Racoon Valley and made a right onto Louden. I was still in pretty good shape and midway out Louden, noted our average was exactly 24mph at mile 33. Oh but that wind, out of the northwest and strong, as we headed north, began to take its toll. A couple of guys dropped and I was leaking oil badly. The rider in front of me was riding the white line and so I was getting little drafting benefit....ok, I dropped. Soon, George came by, towing 2 others and I hopped on. Walker guy Kyle had dropped off ahead of me and he joined us too. We hit Stone Quarry as Kyle put in a good dig up the first hill and soon we were riding alone and continued to do so all the way to Northridge but halfway towards Alexandria, you know who flew by and we jumped on. Fairly uneventful balance of the ride brought us into the parking lot with a 21.7mph average and 43 miles.
Jamie was there and was feeling rather good that he had hung on as long as he did, finally dropping off what was left of the original group on Northridge, now just 3 cyclists. His average was 23mph, ready to return to running and preparing for the Columbus marathon. His training seems odd to me, comprised of base building which is not helpful to high intensity cycling.
Jamie prepares while Dennis and I yell, "You look fat!" and "How much weight have you added?" Then Jamie stood up and we noted he had plugs in, listening to music and thus missed our very creative taunts.
Franz made a rare appearance. Seems that work is interfering with the important things in life--cycling. Appears he is ingesting a pre-ride substance to build endurance.
Left to right, Dennis, Dave and Jeff S, post ride.
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.