Smallish turnout for one of the classic COP Roving Rides. Andrew's Sugar Grove ride, Mitch O's Rocky ride, Blue Jay and a couple others stand out from the schedule of weekly rides. Above, Marty on the right brought in some heavy hitters, Pete C, Terry G, etc... to join in with Nick on the left, Brent, Kenda Paul, totaling maybe 45-50.
Andrew calls everyone over for the pre-ride announcements which included....
....an announcement from Frank Seebode of bike-ohio.com, letting us know the status of this fall's OFC (Ohio Fall Challenge) which is somewhat similar to COP's CFC (Columbus Fall Challenge). Frank's version is certain to take place with food stops secured, a date, a plan and someone to drive the project. Had it not been for Frank's effort, COP's CFC would have fallen off last year's schedule and without him under COP's tent, may do so this year.
So, we roll out for an early climb to the top of a ridge on Sugar Grove Road, have an extended chase on the ridge line, plunge back into the valley, climb again, spit out on 93 and enjoy a relatively flatish cruise toward New Straitsville. Somewhere along there, Marty and the Jets cruise by and soon thereafter, so to do Steve O and Dustin. At the time, our band of cyclists had Corvair at the front so Steve and Dustin pulled away as they doggedly pursued Marty's group. Then, Jeff S went to the front and we began to reel the boys in. Someone noted, "That's kinda sad, how can they catch Marty if they can't even pull away from this bunch." Unfortunately, After 5 miles, Jeff had to take a breather and then I pulled, and slowly the elastic was stretched and we began losing sight of the two-some. Seeing what I was doing to our chase effort, I slid back, others took over and we made the catch at the base of the ramp before the town, where I attacked, flashed by Dustin like a leopard passing a platypus and claimed the sign spint win!!!!
The "old timers" sitting in front of the market in New Straitsville were not quick about sharing their chairs so someone told them to get up or we would kick their asses. They seemed none too worried and remained seated, except for the store owner who went inside to check us out.
Andrew chats with Kenda Janet, who was part of a second wave to arrive. Once, this proud lioness rode side-by-side with our gang but all those corporate paid dinners and junkets are taking their toll. Now we see her at the start and an occasional food stop and that's about it. I hear Kenda Dave is off the bike now too. Ah well, like Team Discovery, Festiva, Postal Service, etc... all teams eventually go to the scrap heap.
We rolled out and quickly climbed, then ahd a nice descent and valley ride into Murray City, got on to 78 and rode around the Burr Oak park, turned on to 555, gutted our way up that beast and soon entered the lovely stop at....
....Portersville. Spent way too little time there with Andrew, Doug and Sam looking at something then shoved off, passing one of my favorite stops in Moxahala and then and finally, facing the long grind west on Marietta before stopping a final time in Bremen.
Once we were many, now we were few. Brent, on the left and recovering from a fall, had not participated in a long ride for awhile so he was tanked at this point. Being a caring and compassionate guy, I escorted him on a shorter return, then headed back out for more climbing and more miles, finishing with 101 miles and 6200' of climbing. Upon my return to a nearly vacant lot, I discovered six banana peels placed strategically on my car, a water bottle extending from the grille, a bag of trash tied to a rear door and the top of a package inserted under a windshield wiper. Outraged, I called around to see if someone would snitch but so far, it's a tight lipped bunch but someone will step forward soon so I can begin to plot my payback.