We gathered and we hiked, Steve Oxley, Eva, Flyin Tuna, Mark C, Eve and me. Clear Creek trails are hilly with some good climbs but to access you have to drive south of Lancaster so it's a long drive for some of us. I brought a weighted backpack just to burn more calories. Just after we started....
...Eva began to wonder if she had locked her car. I assured her I had seen her hit the remote several times but she ran back and locked it again. This is ok but if she began to worry about it again, then we have a full fledged serior moment going on. She did not repeat. We climbed out of the valley on the trail to the east of Starner Road and.....
.....ran into Donna, Richard and Jeff F trudging in the opposite direction. We split into our respective groups and continued. Closing on the picnic area, the straps on my pack had begun to grind through flesh and bone so I turned around. Eventually, I finished with a little over 8 miles while the others had 12. I guess having to cut it short defeated the purpose of carrying an extra 35 pounds. On the walk back, I noted the south facing slopes had no snow but snow was forecast to come late Saturday night so probably won't look like that in a day.
Saturday morning, January 31st, there will be a group hike from Clear Creek Metro Park, parking at the lot next to Starner Road. About 9 miles of hiking bliss. Pace won't be too hard and you need the exercise so meet us at 10:00am. You don't need hiking boots, just ordinary running shoes should be fine so don't let equipment get in your way.
Below, an AZ hiking buddy sent me this image of a summit register they found during a hike this week. One looooong month to go before my return.
If I have to be in Orlando at the PGA Merchandise Show, walking and talking, having a room on the top floor of the Rosen Plaza hotel with a view of the west and a setting sun each night, isn't bad. When you wear running shoes every day of the year, wearing dress shoes for 3 days is kind of painful. Wearing T-shirts every day of the year and then going to a collared shirt with jacket, feels odd. Well, on my way back to Ohio, stopping at a Hampton Inn outside Knoxville and be in the great state of Ohio on Saturday afternoon.
I parked next to Minneola Lake and on a lovely morning of sun and 70 degrees, shoved off on a day that was also very windy, Sunday, 20mph out of the NW.
I reached the top of Sugarloaf Mountain and there as usual was the home where a retired air force guy puts out fresh water for cyclists, every day. I'd like to meet him some day and express my gratitude for his service to cyclists and our country.
After slogging through hills that few of you would believe are possible in Florida, I headed east and eventually got into flat land, stopped at a gas station for the usual stuff and headed back to Clermont, finishing with 57 miles and 2300' of climbing. My legs were toast after this ride came on the heels of others the previous days. Well, got to make the short drive to Orlando on Monday and check in to the Rosen Plaza for a few days of hanging out with boring golfer people.
Unlikely there has ever been a more glaring oversight by the blog, but I failed my fellow cyclists by not alerting them to the accomplishment of Eve Hush and Andrew Clayton. In 2014, the pair set a record at the "National 24 Hour Challenge" for Tandem Recumbent, riding 308.7 miles. There, now everything is right with the world again.
Lori, who has inspired many with her cooking, food choices, nutrition expertise and kicking most of our asses on the bike, has launched a web site. The site includes a blog which is different from mine, it offers entertaining and insightful comments so check it out too.
Wow, that drive via #33 through Ohio, but eventually the bridge over the Ohio River is reached and there a van with bikes on the back headed south, just like me. Odd. Typically, the weather is cloudy throughout Ohio and then clears soon after reaching WV but today it was sunny in OH and cloudy all the way to FL.
Also weird, I usually see far more patrol cars in Ohio then the entirety of the drive from Ohio to FL but not this time. More just in GA than OH. I stopped somewhere south of Columbia, SC at a Hampton Inn. It was enjoyable listening to spots talk rave about my Buckeyes all day. Above, frost/ice hit the trees at the high points of the drive through WV.
I reached Clermont, FL and checked in at yet another Hampton Inn. Thursday I leapt on the bike and rode north over the hills, including Scrub Jay, above with an orange orchard on the left. I don't much like FL, too flat and boring for me but in this one area, there are some good climbs on lonely country roads.....
....including the infamous Sugarloaf Mountain with great views of Apopka Lake in the distance. Rain moved in around 3:00 so I headed back to the hotel. I'm pretty sure this is the first day I burned more calories than I consumed since early December. I am a walking eggroll right now.
Well, well, well. A friend who wishes to remain anonymous called me today and suggested I check out the Strava account of a number of different cyclists, including Philippe, the French Climbing Machine. There has been some serious riding going on, if not outdoors then for sure in the dark and dank basements and garages on trainers. I know, some of you are thinking, "You dumbass, you can't post a stationary trainer result to Strava." but some are downloading Powertap and other device results to Strava and then....then there are the boys riding around southern California in the Encinitas area. I, for the good of the 2-3 readers on here, feel compelled to do some research and report the results. Driving to FL on Tuesday.
In honor of Lori Nedescu, the most prolific poster of healthy meal images in the short history of the internet, I repost one of her many good images above and salute her recent stunning accomplishment of finishing first in the "First Day of Winter 50K" race. 50k, yeah, about 30 miles.
In honor of a series of books I read during my formative years in grade school, I say, "See Mark Drive. Drive Mark Drive. Drive Away From Ohio." And so, I am headed to Florida next week for a trade show in Orlando and to again spend a few days riding the hills around Clermont, FL.
Speaking of travel, Kayla is again headed to So Cal and is permitting me one interview during her visit. Don't know if she ran into the famous on this trip, as she did on the previous one, but I will find out and report.
With the temp at 30, not too cold for a ride but ouch, winds at 18-20mph, I went trail running instead and finished in time to drive over for the start of the Veloscience ride at 1:00pm. I passed Tym and Lisa Tyler on the drive in. They looked cold.
Actually, I arrived just as the group was rolling out and did not recognize hardly anyone, not because there were not people there I would know but with all the clothing, usually all I viewed of a person was a narrow slit framing their eyes, covered by a pair of glasses. I heard they rode 30 miles and it appeared there were around 35 people who participated. Surprising.