My legs felt terrible during the "warm-up" but after coasting down from the overpass, just like that they felt great. We turned right at Central College/Jug and then left at Clover Valley. With such a small group, I could not inconspicuously hide in the back and also maintain a shred of shame so I took a pull alongside Shannon, he burned me out in a few yards so I had to rotate back. We reached the usual turn at Green Chapel but someone yelled "straight" and we kept going, all the way to Rt. #62, where we turned right and then quickly right again, discovering we were off the route. I took a pull but was quickly passed by OSU kit dude, which was ok with me but Billy must have been concerned I was losing it and shoved me forward, which is also ok but I was in good shape.
Crossing Mink, a couple of guys held up to allow traffic to pass and it gave me a chance to scan the skies as we slowed to regroup. Wow, to the south and east, the sky was very dark. I told Ron I was going to bug out and intended to do so at Green Chapel but as we approached, there was the B group having followed the correct route. I could only imagine the derision to which I would be subjected by the usual suspects who were populating this group if I turned out so I kept going. We turned left at Caswell and approached the ramps that would carry us to Johnstown. I moved to the middle of the group and then saw an opportunity for fun. There was Billy C in the 2nd spot, behind Shannon. Oh, that would make a good story, to be able to say on the same week he got passed by a mixed couple tandem, worse yet, he was beaten out of KOM points on Caswell (I know so what, especially if he was oblivious to a challenge I made up out on the road). So, like an old, worn out Green Mamba, I STRUCK!!!! I pulled ahead of the group but unfortunately, Billy is a young, full of energy Black Mamba, realized what I was up to and beat me by a bike length (or two). Our average was 23 at the top of Caswell and with 13 miles.