Cat 2 Gabe, not satisfied with bringing one ringer with him, this week brought two, Kevin and Nathan. Also there were Ted M, Steve O, Da Boss, Patrick (former Euro racer who rode with us last year and then moved to NC but is back), Little Diesel, John S, Young Phenom Logan, Younger Phenom Nick, Randy Brown, ....a total of I guess around 18-20 A's out of a total of 49 cyclists who showed up for a hot evening of riding.
One of the parking lot's good guys volunteered to try to mend the rift between Da Boss and I by bringing both parties together for a meeting by the Ford Tempo. I arrived at the designated time but this was Craig's response to the entreaty....turning his back and walking away. However, later, Craig apologized for his crude behavior toward me, in his own way, and we are fast friends again.
Here, we listen in awe as Logan (on the left) describes his weekend exploits of finishing 3rd in the Cat 4 road race, 3rd in the Crit and 12th in the time trial. Lacking any time trial gear (no aero bars, no streamlined helmet and certainly no TT bike) Nathan volunteered to loan Logan his gear. Logan is normally fairly stoic but he was grinning when I asked him about the weekend rFor his part, Nick described kicking my rear end up each of the hills during last Saturday's Hillacious Hill ride, a feat not so uncommon so don't get cocky kid.
With a forecast high of the low 90's, I came up with a flatish route of 40 miles. With hindsight, I should have stretched it out into the upper 40's and will do so next time. We got into Lithopolis and then out Elder where it looked like Gabe's buddies took a flyer off the front but no one bothered to chase and since they didn't know the route, had to wait for us. We hung a right on Oregon where Logan took a flyer but that too was ignored and soon he too rejoined the fun bunch. A few more turns got us onto Walnut Creek Road and the pace had been moderate, in fact, at one point I told Steve, "We've got to get someone faster up there." To which Steve motioned for me to move forward but well, you know....
I noticed Da Boss was taking extended pulls but not strong pulls and here I realized this is how he was apologizing to me. After all, Craig is a man of few words, mostly because he doesn't know that many and party because he has a difficult time stringing them together so by riding slowly, he was trying to keep me in the group! What a great guy! We headed south on Walnut Creek and it's a long story but came upon the fast "B" group, which we passed but a couple of "B's" jumped in with us, Rick Holt and Nathan Recumbent Dude. This is a clear violation of peloton etiquette. If one starts with the "B" group one must finish with that group. There shall be no forward group jumping, only rearward fall back as required by lack of fitness.
We eventually turned east on South Bloomingfield Royalton Road, paused at the crossing of #674 and while doing so, the heat of the day had an effect and I thought of pulling the jersey zipper all the way down but the pace quickened too soon to afford the opportunity. We got onto Winter and approached Cedar Hill at mile 26. Along the way, Ted M, who had been drafting behind Nick pulled along side of me and said, "You think Cindy's hard to draft behind, you should try this." I had to admit, Nick is not nearly as broad in some spots so he may be a tougher draft. At Cedar Hill, I was still in good shape because of the modest pace but decided I had had enough and checked out, heading north on Cedar with a 22mph avg at the time. I ended up with 35 miles and a 20,7 avg while the lead group finished with a 22.2 avg.
Mark C Update: After suffering the serious beatdown of a couple of Tuesday's ago at the hands of the Damn Yankees, Mark has kept a low profile (OK, he had to attend a youth camp) but has been seen riding on his own several times so apparently he is training for a comeback and is planning a ride out of Logan for this Saturday.