Mitch the Engineer on the left, practicing his version of the Moonwalk. Peggster in the middle with her friend Butch, who encouraged me to keep tormenting Peggy. However, I told him I much prefer witnessing, rather than initiating the drama. I sought to keep a lower profile and avoid Peggster on Tuesday.
Fearing Peggy would make good on her threat to have me blackballed, I arrived early and was granted an audience with Sarge, the real beloved ride leader. I pleaded my case, had many willing witnesses to support my side and thus, no ban is forthcoming.
The sign-up area was a busy place with Margarita Rick, recovered from Swine Flu on the left, Roy making a rare and welcome appearance as he recovers from health issues, Canal Susan in blue and speaking of Canal, Ty Jordan, also rode in. Ty used to be the largest, fastest human on two wheels. I've never ridden with anyone as huge and as fast. Now, after taking an extended sabbatical from cycling it appears he is back, just as large but not as fast. That should change.
Perfect evening for a bike ride. Mid 80's, not much humidity and great people, well mostly. Suffering from burnout, I had negotiated with Mark V, Recumbent Dude and others to form up a "Super B" group but the A group was announced and as they rode by the pull was too great so I slotted in behind Paul Stock. Conspicuous by his absence was The Boss. The route was flatish and I told the Jeni's guys the advantage of weighing 99 pounds would be negated so they should just sit-in with the group, which of course, they did not. Around 16 of us rode out Basil Western at a medium speed, then right on Caroll Northern and again, speed was medium as we rolled in Caroll. However, at the light on #33, the group was split and incredibly, the front group, which included me, rode easy for a long time until the back group caught back on. This took the average down from in the 22 range to mid 20 and so the end average speed was skewed. Anyway, we got onto Lamb, Mt Zion and turned right onto Royalton. The group was still mostly together as we came out of the valley and hit the Royalton Hill, where I was still feeling good and emerged at the summit with Steve O, Kevin H and Kent, who had not ridden with us in a long time.. The rest were strung out but none of us wanted to push the pace and soon we had a group of around 8, including the human yo-yo, Retro George.
The route had originally planned to take us over to Cedar Hill but it was just chip and sealed so we turned right on Amanda Northern. There was a discussion about adding to the route with words like "Slough" and "Pickerington", two evil hills and so as they turned to add to the right at mile 26, I headed straight, later learning no one was serious about adding those hills and I missed a nice 4 mile loop. However, coming over a hill on Amanda Northern, who was wating at an intersection but none other than THE PEGGSTER so I rode in with her, Butch and a couple others.
Afterwards, a bunch of us hit Shades Restaurant, including Steve O who announced his arrival in the chair next to mine with a sharp elbow to my ribs. As is the norm, Steve ordered water and half a salad as the rest of us gorged ourselves on beer, pizza and other high calorie food. No food fight actually broke out although I thought of taking a spoon full of sour cream and flinging it at Franz to see what would happen. Maybe next time.