10 of us gathered at Cyclist Connection and after serious debate, decided on a route west and south so we'd have a tail wind back. At the start there was Jeff S, Steve O, Mark C, Ryan, Nathan, Flyin Tuna, John S, Mitch and Jeremy. It appeared as long as we did not stray too far south we would miss the rain and probably the rain would not move into the Columbus area until 4:00pm. So, off we went for a 100 mile trip. Note, I forgot my camera so I relied on Steve to provide a few images that appear here.
We did not have maps and for the most part, we did not have a clue where we were going as we were following Pastor Mark's turn-by-turn instructions that took us through South Bloomingfield, Grove City, Ashville, Darby, Little Darby Big Darby, Big Little Darby and numerous other burgs. At one stop, Mark was imparting the wisdom of the ages and we all listened intently.
At another stop, we must had ticked off Ryan as he sat alone. You know how these long rides go. Everyone is a friend until fatigue begins to set in and then everyone annoys everyone else.
At another stop, I was rooting around the cycle bag on Ryan's bike and discovered what looked a lot like a sex toy. Ryan tried to convince us it was a mini pump but I'm not sure about that.
I can't begin to describe a turn-by-turn account, just suffice it to say with head winds at 25 and gusting to 50, it was wearisome (but not as tough as last Sunday's epically windy ride). We finally arrived in Point or Mount Pleasant and had a sandwich at a gas station at mile 60. From there, it was an almost continuous route with a tail wind. Eventually, the miles began to take their toll and more and more frequently, we began to break up but still all gathered at South Bloomingfield at mile 80. After that, Mark, Steve and Nate put the hammer down and I just tried to cling to a wheel. Some people dropped back out of fatigue and some dropped to help those in trouble like Jeff S. When someone of Little Diesels caliber drops back you know it is by choice to help the struggling. That is the dilemma I faced. I don't have Jeff's stature so when I drop back it is probably assumed the weakling was suffering too much so I just kept hanging on wanting to drop back but well...you know.... By the time we reached Cedar Hill, there was Nate, Mark, Steve, Ryan and I and we dutifully followed Steve's wheel all the way to the final ramp before the Lithopolis sign where Mark surged around Steve and I shocked Mark with a sprint around him to grab the city sign points, for whatever that's worth. We continued on to Canal where I again surprised the unwitting with a sprint sign win. Seems the heavier I get the better I am at sprinting, if not the other facets of cycling.
We finished with 101 miles and a 19 mph average. It had begun to sprinkle as we headed north on Cedar Hill and by the time we reached the shop, it was raining kind of hard but still, other than that, it was a rain free but not wind free, ride. Forecast does not look good for the next month so who knows when we ride again. Steve is headed south 2 weeks from now for some 10,000', 100 mile tour and if this crummy weather holds, I may go too just to get the heck out of here.