I don't like having to depart for a ride in an hour beginning with the number "6" but if I were to make it to Logan, I had to but did see a great sunrise over light fog.
The Kenda team have an odd dressing ritual that always involves asphalt grinding.
Tim Malone on the left with Flyin Tuna and Kenda Janet. Still searching for Tim's story as I have heard it involves Olympic qualifying and a former successful cycling career. At 55, he is seriously strong, unlike the two to his left who are just seriously funny most of the time.
The title os this little ride was the Logan to Lake Hope ride, a COP aligned event. In the future, I suggest renaming it "Knee Buckler from Hell" or something like that. I admit, for a ride originating in Logan, one should be prepared for the climbing. That I was not suggests much about my mental limitations and Ryan gleefully pointed this out at my expense to whomever would listen. Ryan was late to the ride so while we waited, we decided upon which of us was going to be social and drop back with him during each climb.
The 74 mile route got started going over the Route 33 bridge and then turned left on Pleasant Valley Road. My experience with road names like this is they are usually very unpleasant but this was an exception that only offered up mostly downhill, nice rollers before we turned right on Star Route and then a left on Kreshbaum. It had been several years since I had participated in this ride so I was blissfully ignorant to the climb. We began going up a long stretch at 2-4% and I picked up the pace assuming the top was close but that was only the appetizer. The road kept going and steepening and after more than a mile of climbing finally reached the top. I was in way over my head when I looked around and saw only Steve O, Da Boss, Tim and Randy Brown near by so I eased up and waited for SuperDave and the Kendaites to come through.
First though, I was overtaken by Engineer Mitch, Ryan, Tuna, Amanda, Franz and soon thereafter, Tri-Andrew so I decided to hang with them for awhile. We got onto Big Pine and then made a left at 374 and were confronted with yet another 1+ mile climb...unreal. Andrew and I engaged in a spirited battle mostly because I kept assuming each bend in the road would bring the top and I could ease up but it kept going and going. I frequently thought this is where one should come to train for one of those ridiculous 100 mile, 10,000' suffer-o-rama events. Then we hit a nice rolling period on 664 and then got onto Chapel Ridge, 374, 56, Potter Ridge, etc... until we arrived in a little town named Creola. At this point we were at mile 36 and beginning to run low on lots of things, not the least of which was energy so using Andrew's vast knowledge of the area, he led us to a market about 1/2 mile off the route on 93. What a great find and curiously not on the map as a possible food stop.
While on the subject of the map, it was a great map. I love the 17x11" maps that give a nice view of the area and the roads were in fantastic shape too. We left the market and headed north on 93 before getting off that to pass the Vinton County Airport then onto 328 something Hollow Road then 278 where we stopped at mile 46 for more refueling. Here we ran into Gary and others. Gary was spreading rumors about the Kendaites short-cutting which I found shocking, mainly because the route was a rough circle so opportunity to short cut was nil but if there was a way to short-cut the Kendas certainly have the will to find it.
Somewhere in there was another long climb, coming out of Zaleski State Park on 278 then left on 56, then onto Laurel Run before eventually rolling into Union Furnace for another nice food stop. Here, we sat on comfy chairs that had been welded to wheel hubs and talked to the owner of the market that informed us most people were taking a short cut by heading out 328 to Nickel Plate, rather than stay on route to assault another hill. I of course insisted we stay on the route and soon after leaving the market, we were grinding up another hill before getting onto Nickel Plate and finally on in to Logan, where we encountered dozens of Pelotonia cyclists going in the opposite direction. Finished with 74 miles and 4800' of climbing. Really a very good route with great roads and light traffic.