Now here is a very odd, strange, weird, bizarre and just plain impossible story no will believe. This guy, Jared, approached me and asked if I was the "Mark with the cycling blog." Before I could respond, my buddy Dennis frisked him to make sure he was not carrying a weapon. Then I reminded Jared I was wearing glasses and then and only then did I admit, yes, I was that guy. To my utter surprise, he publically admitted he enjoyed reading the blog and wanted to give a name to one of my numerous references to "anonymous dudes" that ride in the peloton. Expect to see many images and references to this brave guy in the future in order to honor his courage.
To deflect recent charges calling into question my sexual orientation, I decided to do the 2nd annual "Women of the Thursday New Albany Ride" or WOTNAR. However, doing so will undoubtedly open me to charges I am a creeper. For example, here I secretly take an image of this unsuspecting woman. I felt creepy doing this. However, walking up to a strange woman and asking if I can take her image also makes me feel creepy. Anyway, I had a job to do so the creeper prowled the parking lot.
Of course, some women were looking forward to the opportunity to have their good looks promoted to a wide audience, like Amanda. She is so anxious I had trouble keeping her out of some images. After the ride, high from the free drinks Paul Stock was handing out.....
.....she posed for more images...
....and more, what a camera hog. One of Amanda's jealous rivals said, "I bet she wore those short shorts just because it was WOTNAR night!
Beats me who she is but creeper had to take the image.
Marty made his wife Elanour come out tonight just to have her picture taken. Out of respect for Marty, I took a couple of images and instead of selecting the most goofy image, as I usually do, I selected the best.
Flyin Tuna. What else can be said that has not already been said about this strange woman.
Don't know her but deserves to be in this catalog. Hey, there's that great guy Jared in the background and John G too.
Katherine the Great. Supposedly her lineage goes back to medieval England where a relative was royalty. I ran out of time and was unable to take more images of the many quality female-types that populate the New Albany ride. If you were there and you don't see you pic, don't think you did not qualify, I just didn't see you during my creeper phase.
RINGER ALERT! I thought this was one of Marty's ringers. Cat 1 dude shows up with goofy helmet, baggy shorts, tennis shoes and then kicks our ass. Not this time, he really was a B or C cyclist but he sure looked like a disguised ringer.
The ranks of the A group swell larger every week. I need to get to know more of these guys to figure out who they are. There were at least 15 who ride at a Cat 3 level. Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers (Steve O) drove up from Canal again and with him came Tri Andrew but the latter rode with the B group. The A ranks were filled with Billy Campbell, Steve, John Gorilla, John's friend, Jon Sada, Dave Chesrown, Trek group assassins Pete Czerwinski and Chris Grisvard, Jared, Christian (rode Cat 4 at Grandview and married to Katherine), Claude, Rick, Paul Stock, Kenda Stefano & many other fit and fast dudes.
Jeff S asked if I knew the route and could signal the route to the route challenged A group so he could ride with the B group. I promised for the couple of miles I was with the A group I would be able to call out the turns. Roughly 25 "A's" shoved out old 161 and as we approached Kitzmiller, I shouted "Left Turn" but was immediately overruled by John G who said, "Straight to Beech". Since the map route also ended up at Beech but via Kitz and Jug, I shrugged my shoulders and hunkered down in the peloton. After turning left on Beech, we reached Jug and there ran smack into a huge line of "B" cyclists turning onto Beech off Jug. This was a problem easily solved by sprinting through the ranks of a fairly fast moving super B group, that is if you are capable of sprinting through a fast moving super B group, something I am barely able to do so by the time the A group regrouped while turning right on Miller, my nuclear reactor was already melting down.. By the time we reached the "S" curve, I was done. Desperate to look for the positive, I noted I was not the first to bug out....geesh, how lame.
I rode alone eventually going up Caswell into Johnstown and then out Concorde. Here the super B's caught up and I rode with them for awhile while noting an enormous difference with intensity between the "A" and "B" group. Much more than last year. They turned left on Nichols while I stayed straight, hopeful to reach Northridge and then Stone Quarry before the "A" group so I could ID who was still there. Despite a 2 mile advantage, I arrived at SQ after the lead group had already gone through but did see there were 15. Rick & Stefano caught me midway into SQ and I rode with them out Louden where Stefano hit the final ramp hard and I went harder out the back. After going through Alexandria and then Jug, the super "B" group caught me and I rode in with them, finishing with 38 miles. The lead "A" group finished with 40 miles and a solid 22.9mph avg.
Lots of ride options for Saturday but the COP Rocky Roving Ride out of Circleville High School, at 8:00am is a good one with distances of 96, 85, 70 and 50. This is a classic route with climbs up Rocky (probably hardest climb in the region), twice up Tar Hollow and other climbs. Lots of flat riding too so it's not constant up and down and shorter routes avoid some of the big climbs of course.