Hot, hot, hot and humid for the early arrivals in the New Albany Thursday ride but then, a couple of high clouds moved in and then more and soon, at the start there was a nice blockage of the sun that kept the worst of the heat at bay. Shown here is Gary, recovering nicely from his crash while buzzing down Rocky Road last Saturday. However, there is some questions about whether the brain is back to normal since he arrived before 5:00pm and wondered why no one was showing up for the ride. Seems he unintentionally left work an hour early, arriving at the parking lot an hour early......
Steve O rode up to make sure his financial interests were protected and serving as my CFO for post ride money donations to Paul Stock's Pelotonia effort (more on that below). I had hoped the big guns would turn out to show Steve the speed/effort of New Albany rides is overall stronger than the Canal rides but the turnout was not what I had hoped. Still, we had Terry, a rare visit from Tim Tyler, Mick, Walker dude, Jeff S, Dennis, Muscle Dude (shown below) Colnago Ron, Savage Hill Rick, probably 16-18 A's rolled out of the parking lot from a total of 60 at the start. More new people keep showing up too, which is great. Not there were Billy Campbell, Red Head Bill and his posse of killers, Marty, Claude, John Morgan and some of the usual stronger A's.
An accident at old 161 and Kitzmiller forced a slight detour out Walton's Parkway before getting back onto old 161. Jeff came up with a flatter and shorter route because of the heat, which produced some grumbling but it was the right thing to do. The pace picked up dramatically out 161 and I was not long for this world if that kept up but when we reached Babbitt to make a right, the front 80% of the group kept going straight while Jeff, Steve, Dennis, a guy who kept asking if this was the fast B group, me and two others turned. We thought the disgruntled A rider had organized an alternative route so we kept going on the route, working our way over to Mink and then the rough stretch on Cable and in the process, dropping the guy who was looking for the fast B group. However, towards the end of Cable, the lost A's streamed by and we jumped on and headed out Headleys. In this stretch, the group went to single file and my legs felt very fatigued for some reason and I began making plans for bailing out when we reached the up hill sections on Patterson except then my legs felt fine, weird. I was in good shape out Patterson and then right on 161 and even down my all time favorite road, Jersey Mill, I was ok. After reaching Alexandria we headed up Northridge where at times, Mick would take a dig, Steve took one, maybe Terry did too but I was in good shape and even rode around Steve while staring at him on the final ramp up to Concorde.
By now, our group was down to 7-9 people as we went south on Castle, out Duncan Plains, 310 and then the multiple ramps on Miller. Here too I was ok and we clearly benefited from Terry being under the weather and not making any attacks. Each time someone did dart out of the pack, the combination of a slight head wind and hill quickly evaporated momentum and we always settled back in before finally reaching Beech and then in with 38 miles and a 22.1 average. Soon, the next group came in with Dan, Cindy, Katherine, Tri-Mike and a large following and they had a 20.6 average I think.
I quickly set out the cooler with ice, beer and soft drinks and people were very generous with their donations. The Asahi Dry was a hit and I want to apologize for having held 2 of them back for selfish reasons. Probably should have had more soft drinks and even diet was requested. I'll probably bring the left over drinks and supplement it with more soft drinks for the end of the Gambier ride on Saturday. Steve O really wants to match my collection, which stands at $32, with $100 so I have a ways to go.
Some drank more heavily than others, including this odd mix of Moutain Dew washed down with Bud Lite. Even Dan, in the background, did a double take over this public display.