We headed out Jug toward the village of Alexandria and the ride out had an unusually high number of interruptions that included a truck pulling out of a driveway towing a pontoon boat, which caused our group to compress as we skidded to a stop. We exchanged well intentioned remarks with the driver but as I was at the back, I got most of the verbal abuse as the driver passed. Life at the back of the peloton reminds me of what NBA centers say about playing the post position, it's described as "Hell in the Hole". Sure, life at the front is no day at the beach as you are working harder than me but as the intensity builds people start drifting back. There I am, usually the last outpost of the peloton and the back drifters make a final effort to catch on, usually fighting me for that last wheel. Elbows are thrown, helmet butts are common, cursing is the norm, aggressive behavior with one's bike, the surges and slowdowns are more pronounced......it's hell to be at the back.
Anyhow, we arrived in Alexandria with a rather modest average speed of 23 mph. We turned on to Mounts and hit the opening ramp. I struggled but clung to the main group until roughly half way to Hardscrabble Road, I was done. Sada was the first to catch me and we rode together briefly before Steve Nelson came by, at which point John jumped on his wheel. At Hardscrabble, Lisa and Mick came by and I jumped in with them but I did not make the eastern turn on to Battee, instead going straight and riding with John S down to Raccoon Valley Road. We split there and I rode back into Alexandria, out Outville to Morse where I planned to catch the A group coming back through, which I did and enjoyed the ride back into New Albany. Finished with 34 rather than 38 miles as prescribed by the official route and a 21.8 avg.
Forecast for Saturday's COP, Covered Bridge ride not looking too good but don't forget there is Westerville Bike Club's Dry Run ride on Sunday. Sounds like 8:00am is the start time when most will be shoving off.