Scott Billman rolls in on his new winter beater bike, a cherry red Trek that kind of matches his kit. He got a price from the Trek store that was too good to pass up for this aluminum framed machine.
Others roll in, eventually totaling 18, including the bare legged and ride route innovator, Issac. Geesh, are those sun sleeves he is wearing? Everyone else had tights, gloves, jackets but not this man of steel. Corvair in the foreground, Eva behind her and the Ken Buddell resplendent in red.
Peggy Cook arrived and someone noted an unusually high concentration of women, 7. Juia Wu, Kim, Lisa Tyler, Eva, Corvair and Lori N.
We departed the parking lot and whether it be in season or out of season, had to pause at the exit but not for long as soon....
....we were cruising east on old 161 with strong winds buffeting the group out of the south. One gust rocked the group and we scattered but of course, quickly found our way together. Actually, hunkered slightly to the left of those in front of me, it wasn't too bad. Rumor had it winds were strong at the front for the duration but I did my part, complimenting each cyclist as they drifted from the front. My ability to provide moral support knows no equal.
We regrouped a couple of times, including at the top of the Morse Road climb out of the valley. We turned right here and then made a right on Weslyn Church that exposed us to winds roaring from the south. Dang, I was glad when we made a left on York Road and once more into the straight head winds. As usual, I spread good cheer to anyone who took a pull and drifted back. We lost a few as we crossed #16 on our way south but for the most part, the pace was civil and we arrived in Granville at mile.....
....28 with a 19.7mph average. I stayed outside of the River Road coffee shop but eventually, the chocolate chip cookie siren song worked and I trudged inside and bought one. As a cookie aficionado, not bad. Tym and Lisa bugged out for home, Peggy headed straight back, Philippe declined to stop and so our group got whittled down.
Isaac put the Beechwood climb on our way out of town and I discovered I was as tired there as I was when we entered Granville. I struggled to hang on and when we reached the right on Hardscrabble, I went straight with Dave C and Jim. Eventually I ended with 48 miles, yikes that wind out of the south/southwest was ferocious. The others ended with 55 miles while Eva and Corvair got in a healthy 60 due to a missed turn or two.
From in front of the Starbucks in New Albany, 10:00am start time, Sunday. There will be a few regroupings with an anticipated average speed of 18-19mph. Monitoring FB reveals Luke R, Lori N, Issac M, Travis, Kim, Eva, Travis I, Ken Buddell and a few others plan to attend. Forecast start temp is 47 with kind of strong winds out of the southwest. Here is the link to the route:
Tuesday and the start of the PGA Merchandise Show. The first day takes place on the largest driving range in the US, in the Orlando area. Body types are not like what I typically see at our group rides. Of course, hitting every club currently offered makes one thirsty so......
....here is an idea that maybe we should work into our group rides. And, of course one becomes hungry so....
....there are plenty of spots to grab food and sit in the Florida sun. Next two days are for wandering in the Orlando Convention Center, oh boy.
With all the focus on the impact of the winter storm on the east coast, deservedly so, there was some drama playing out in KY too. I learned of it Saturday morning when a friend texted me a 35 mile stretch of I-75 was closed. Listening to a Cincy radio station filled in some blanks. Thousands were stranded over night with emergency personnel visiting the area, delivering supplies. Having left my house at 8:30am, Saturday, I hoped it would be cleared by the time I arrived. Updates said the highway was reopened, then closed because of an accident, then reopened so when I arrived.....
....it was open but I had caught the back end of the traffic jam and had to wait 65 minutes. Could have been worse. I read a paper, took pics of passing emergency vehicles and counted 50 power trucks and tree trimming trucks headed north. No doubt they were going to I-70 and then east to lend a hand around the east coast. I arrived in FL mid afternoon on Sunday.
Monday, in Clermont, FL dawned sunny with a forecast high of 70. Andrew Clayton, who is spending the winter in Sebring, drove up to experience the hills of central FL. We got going at 10:00am with a temp around 52. We immediately entered hill country and of course I had to show him.....
....the famous Sugarloaf Mountain climb. In the distance, mist mostly hides a large lake but it is a beautiful spot and people stop all the time for the view.
Check out the jags on the profile of today's route. We could have stayed in hill country for the entirety of the ride but I figured I'd be good for too few miles so I took him west where at mile 37, we stopped in....
....Dewey Center for a break. Soon thereafter we headed back, reentering the hills before finishing with 64 miles and 2500' of climbing. Andrew's Garmin had us at 2700' but the above map has 1900'. Can't reconcile the difference.
Saturday, this is iffy, depending on how much snow falls overnight but a group is hiking out of Clear Creek Metro Park at the base of Starner Road, on a 9ish mile and kind of hilly route. Start time is 9:30am. Looks like the usual group of hardy hikers will be there but a Level 2 snow emergency rating, or worse, cancels. I won't be able to update so use common sense when you prepare to shove off on the drive down #33. If you know Flyin Tuna or Steve Oxley, they can give you the update Saturday morning.
Sunday, 11:00am start from in front of the New Albany Starbucks, 40ish miles to Granville for coffee. A ride led by Lori Nedescu who says it will be an off season pace. Who knows, maybe it will if the ponies can be harnessed. Perhaps a better indicator of the pace is knowing who, as of today, plans to be there. I see Kim, Julia Wu, Luke Russell, Ken Buddell, Travis I, maybe Meredith, Aaron Chancey, Mike Cauley.....
You know me, the colder, windier, drearier the conditions the more likely I will be on the bike but I have to head to FL for business but am taking the bike and will ride on Monday and maybe Tuesday. Look for the report from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.
The forecast called for a 20% chance of rain with a temperature that would not move much around 33 degrees. So, naturally, it rained all the way to Nelsonville and then on to Zaleski State Park, rained lightly for the entirety of the hike and rained during the drive home later. Nice job forecasters! The parking lot was full, which I like to see.
The impressive Lake Hope Iron Furnace where between 1854-1874, iron ore was smelted. Apparently there was a community of people who live around it. Nice place to start a hike. There being both a north loop and a south loop, I chose the south loop as it is a little longer at 9.9 miles.
Around mile 3.5, I came to the lone overlook on the route. The view, when the sky is clear, is good and in the valley below is the Moonville railroad track and tunnel. Mark Clingan took us on a hike a few years ago where we dropped off this trail and hiked off trail to visit the tunnel. I happened to catch up with a couple of guys here, one of whom is in the image to the right.
Soon after visiting the overlook, the trail reaches a large lake, covered in ice on this visit. There is evidence of beaver activity in the area.
There are several shallow caves along the route, especially when nearing the point at which you leave the loop to return to the parking lot.
Note the orange paint on the tree in the above image. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. The trail was muddy today but not too bad. I arrived back at my car rather soaked, 2:35 hiking time with some running in there. Really glad I thought to bring a change of clothes.
I've posted a lot of images from around the top of Mount Lemmon in Tucson while riding up it or hiking on it but this is a different one, taken by someone this weekend after a cumulative 40" of snow has fallen in recent days. The view is from the Cookie Cabin in Sumerhaven. Ski Valley, another 1.5 miles farther up the mountain, is open and doing great business.
A good turnout of 19 on this dreary day with a game time temp of 47. Isaac said the sun was out as he drove in from the west and so too did a couple others. Reports of sun as near as Westerville so we were hopeful it would come east but it did not. A broad range of fitness so if you could not find someone with whom to ride you would have either been a pro or not very fit.. Pete C, Ken Buddell, Travis I, Chris G, Flyin Tuna, Eva, Larry P, Kim, Meagan, Sam Kieffer, Brandon, George P, Frank Seebode, Woody, Benton, Isaac M, Sergey and Mike.
We rolled out the usual way on pavement that was damp but not puddled with water so rarely did I swallow the cocktail of road juice flung from the back of a tire. Eva in blue just came back from a trip to Poland so she was making the usual and understandable noise about not being fit enough to ride with us but she had no problem that I could discern during the entirety of the ride.
Chris G had a brief mechanical prior to reaching the final New Albany stop light, regrouped just as the light was turning red so the group was split. However, by the time we made a left on Kitzmiller, we were together again. We got onto Jug, missed one left turn as Larry P, our route developer, was asleep at the switch but made the next left on Clover Valley. Within a few pedal strokes, Woody had a flat. I rode with the group, racked by guilt as I knew that he knew that I knew he had a flat. My conscience got the best of me at the right turn on Miller and I circled around.
I ran into Eva and Cindy, who informed me Larry had stopped with Woody and we would soft pedal until they caught up. About then, Cindy's front tire went flat. Unable to even get the tire off the wheel, I had to help. Although she has had as many flats as anyone, I don't think she has ever had to actually fix one since there is always someone around who falls for the helpless woman routine. It works though.
Meagan came riding along and so now there were four of us and soon, Larry and Woody arrived and not only were we now six but.....
...they took over the flat fixing effort and so soon we were back on the route, following it until Burg St, where we proceeded into Granville as planned, arriving at the 25 mile point.
As we exited the coffee shop, we saw Travis & Co, around 6 from the original group, waiting in front of the CVS and getting ready to shove off. I hear they had maintained a relaxed pace and regrouped several times. Their group had also had mechanical issues, including two flats and a broken spoke. Just as the "go" decision was made, Cindy discovered while we were in the coffee shop....
.....that front tire had gone flat again. Ack!!!!! Larry discovered what he thought to be a particle from an old flint arrow head lodged in the tire. Once removed, he completed the task of fixing the flat and we returned to New Albany with 47 miles. Hope we can get out again sooner rather than later.
Saturday, 10:00am start to allow fog to dissipate, behind Veloscience bike shop in New Albany. Larry P has come up with the below route but many/some of us will take Burg St into Granville and finish with 48ish miles rather than the 59 mile route shown here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/11735229
Corvair making a point to The Donald and Mark Hemming just before we shoved off on a 10 mile, rolling hike from Old Man's Cave over to Ash Cave and then on to Cedar Falls prior to returning. The temperature was around 30 and sunny.
We decided, with likely icy conditions on the gorge trail, to leave it for later and take the rim trail. We paused at the damn overlooking the lake to make sure Jenn, Corvair and Frans knew where to turn and then Steve O, Mark, The Donald, Flyin Tuna and me continued on to......
.....Ash Cave and that neat water fall, which was running rather strongly due to recent rains. Mark H is an interesting guy and it turns out he was in Phoenix, hiking some of the same trails I hiked while I was out there. I think we'll meet up next fall and I can introduce him to some spots he has not visited. We climbed out of the gorge and hiked on to Cedar Falls, stopping at the....
....fire tower where Donald, Jenn and Corvair climbed to the top. Just when Mark reached the top, we took off. Ha, ha. After reaching Cedar Falls, I left the group to run back and upon reaching Ash Cave, I took the......
....gorge trail to Old Man's Cave. The trail received plenty of use and has eroded in places. Some trail work is needed and I wondered if anyone has taken a tumble into the river in some spots.
Several places the water cascades off the rim.
Eventually I reached the water fall at OMC and then headed up and out to the parking lot. Looks like we'll be doing the Wildcat Hollow, 15 mile hike next weekend or maybe the Zaleski 12 mile northern route. I'll post something on that soon. Well, back to splitting wood. I sold two cords last week, woohoo! I do it for the exercise (the splitting not the selling) and since I have way more than I can burn, I charge a very reasonable amount and provide way more than a cord.
You, yes you, are invited to participate with a group of fit and fun loving people, starting at 9:30am from the parking lot at Old Man's Cave. To get there, just head south on #33 and take the #664 Road exit, going to the right. You'll see us at a large parking lot about 10 miles from #33. We will hike from Old Man's Cave to Ash Cave and then on to Cedar Falls and return. Total distance is about 10 miles. Come to hike or run, whatever.