Not a Bad Day for a Ride
Not a bad day for riding. 32 at the start with get this, light winds out of the east. At 32 degrees, that is kind of a line of demarcation in the minds of the weak between ridable and nonridable. However, I showed up to ride anyway. There were 10 of us including Steve O, Mark C, Jeff S, Flyin Tuna, Green Caboose, John S, Kayla, a young gun from Cyclist Connection, Evie and I think Eve was there too but hard to say for sure since I saw a pair of eyes peering out from beneath so many layers of clothing that made her appear to be preparing for deep sea diving rather than cycling.
Mark C with the liquid requirements fulfilled for the ride.
Mark C came up with a great route that took us north on Havensport, working our way to Basil Western where we went west, north on Stoudetown Rd, east on Stemen then down to Bickle Church and then followed that all the way to Millersport Rd and into Millersport, stopping at the Valero gas station. Eve had dropped off the pace early on, as did Evie and I think Flyin dropped back to support. The good folks at Valero allowed us to stay inside and the usual kidding around ensued. At that point we had 24 miles. Soon, Tim Tyler, Jon the Dentist, Lon H and Lisa came in for a stop as part of their 100 mile route. Heard John Gorilla has ridden every day the last couple of months, to/from work on a mountain bike. One morning he fell 6 times from the ice. Where there is a will there is a way.
We headed east and then had a long stretch on Lake and then went farther east on Pleasantville before looping back on Carrol Eastern and working our way back to Coonpath for 51 miles and 1600' of climbing. Jeff, Steve and John stayed out for some extra miles. My rear end began hurting at mile 44, which is farther along then on past rides so guess some progress is being made. I asked Steve to apply Shamie Butter but after a long pause, he declined.
Da Boss Checks In
Craig B, better known as Da Boss, gave me an update that will send chills up the spine of some. Work location has confined him to beating the crap out of the Canal Tuesday evening cyclists but now, he has been appointed as Governor Kasich's director of environmental, energy, and agriculture policy. Setting aside the enormous good a guy like that will have on the state level, it also means.......are you ready for it........he will be able to participate in some of the Thursday New Albany rides. Ouch. The Green Machine, Muscle Dude, Mick, John Morgan, etc... have no idea except Da Boss' work hours are going to increase so he may not be in his normal form, we'll see.
As already posted, we'll be riding out of Gloryland Nazarene Church on Coonpath at 10:00am. Because winds will be from the east/southeast, Mark has come up with a route over to Millersport with 50 and 40 mile options. He will have maps too! Probably have two groups to keep every one happy with the speed options. A faster group for Roy, Lance, Dave Z, Alberto, Frankie A, etc... and then a less faster group for the likes of me.
Kenda Dave Request
Kenda Dave has asked that the below is posted to alert the people who remember he used to ride that he will participate in Peletonia. Apparently, fearful that he will struggle to raise the needed donations, he is getting an early start. Help him out if you can.
Dear Fellow Cycling Friends,
Some of you may have already gotten wind of this, but I've decided to participate in Pelotonia this year. Last Year, due to work related travel schedules (....and a corresponding bike accident) I was not able to participate in this ride. Since doing the inaugural Pelotonia, I have been looking forward to the challenge of doing it again. It was an uplifting experience that will last me a life time! As you know this involves cycling for a great cause, and I've emailed you because I need your help in helping me reach my fundraising goal. Large or small, every donation makes a difference. 100% of every donation will fund essential research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. By supporting Pelotonia and me, you will help improve lives through innovations in research with the ultimate goal of winning the war against cancer. I would love to have your support. This truly is a unique opportunity to be a part of something special.
When you follow the link below, you will find my personal rider profile and a simple and secure way to make any size donation you wish.
Think of this as a donation not to me, or Pelotonia, but directly to The James. Please consider supporting my effort and this great cause. Here is the link to my rider profile:
I hope to ride with you guys and gal soon, thanks for your support!
Who are all of you???? I can't express in words how incredulous I am over the 250+ people who visit this blog every day. The upside to this is.....well there is no upside. The downside is I feel pressure to put content up here every couple of days. Some days I get over 400 hits of unique visitors yet at these rides, so few of you show up. I don't get it. Well, I kind of do get it I guess. I visit a blog called "Tough Ascents" every few days hoping he will post another ride report from So Cal cycling. It is very strange that this stupid blog could have created so many nameless and faceless visitors. But why are you nameless? What is the downside to posting your identity? It is possible I had a glass of wine tonight.. I helped my daughter and her new husband move into their new home. Ahh, the memory of moving out of an apartment into a real house...that is quite a thrill. The thrill of paying it off is good too. Wow, not only does Saturday look ok weather wise but now so does Sunday and then some decent days next week. I may get in decent shape after all for the California training camp. Poobah, you're going to get that sand kicked back in your face when I come back from that. I am going to ride so many miles and so many of them up into the mountains that no amount of riding in Florida can compensate.
Ohhhhh, I have been largely ambivilent about riding but suddenly, just today, I have decided I am going to train and train and ride hard and harder and....yes.....Da Boss will be in my sights.....OK.....but maybe Tall Dude or maybe Recumbent Dude....OK...that's too ambitious....maybe Flyin Tuna or Green Caboose....OK, maybe too ambitious but I am going to kick Sarge's ass and maybe Peggster too. Watch out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday Plans Shaping Up
Mark C plans to lead a ride out of the parking lot of Gloryland Nazarene Church on Coonpath Road at 10:00am on Saturday. Non, now, now, I know what some of you rubbery kneed types are thinking, "Oh that means it will be too hilly." Not true. Mark recognizes most of us are not quite ready for the knee buckling hilly routes so this will be flat to rolling of 50 miles with a shorter option. Will probably stop in Amanda. Let me know if you think you can make it. I'll have an update on Friday
Kevin H, Recumbent Dude & Poobah
Some members of the peloton have been missing over the winter so I am trying to find out what happened to them. One, Kevin H, also known as the Dominican Donkey, Polish Pony, Pepe LePew or his preferred nickname, "Itallian Stallian" checked in with this report:
Where do I start? Ok work, work and some more work. but it has settled down and I decided to not go to Fort Worth Texas, however, I was offered an opportunity today to consider Hopewell, Virginia.
Now onto the good stuff, I have been doing my normal off-season training and it is going well. I have added some strength training in and started running some. My cardio is doing well and I am 8 pounds over my in season form, which is good considering the training I am doing. I've added an inch to my breast size so that too is good. I hope to be in good form by early spring and plan to do all the big rides as long as I am not heading to Virginia. If we go it could be as early as June......More to come. Oh yeah, I've been experimenting with new colonge and because I like them all, I'm going to begin dousing myself with a cocktail. Topping it with "Windsong" that I steal from my wife is the kicker. Give you a reason not to draft when I'm at the front.
OK, thanks Pepe, now on to more news. Recumbent Dude revealed to us that he bought another upright bike. This time a tricked out Massi. Told the bike shop he did not care which components or wheels, just make it exactly like Poobah's new Massi. Speaking of Poobah, he was in Florida riding again. I'm already expecting to have sand kicked in my face by Todd for at least the first few months. It going to be a loooooong season.
Green Caboose it be
Tall Dude is to be commended for outing Amanda's backdoor attempt to have a favorable comment made about her in the comments section below. I think now, after 5 decades of living, I have heard it all. That Amanda would stoop so low is I guess not that surprising but why she did not just create several of her own comments under different names kind of leaves me scratching my head. It reminds me of the time Frank Stinehart said he put a block under his front wheel when riding a trainer to increase resistance??? Tall Dude, the Cycling Blog salutes you!
Now, after much thought, partly because she rides a green.white bike with green trimmed tires, partly because she rides on the back of a tandem but not at all an implied reference to any physical similarity, we bestow Amanda with the honored nick name of "Green Caboose". And so it shall always be so.
Well, I must say there was quite a good comment section for ideas about Amanda's proposed nickname. Personally I liked Lisa A (by the way, where were you today?) idea of "Shoeless Amanada" which reminded me of the somewhat famous baseball player, "Shoeless Joe Jackson" who was infamous for his part in the Blacksox scandal of the early 1900's. However, on the ride today there were lots of votes for "Green Caboose" Kind of hard to argue against that. To be fair, Amanda and Roy are in KY for a 200k ride and the Green Caboose...err...Amanda is out of the state so probably should wait for her to get back and weigh in with a comment before making it official.
It's nice to review a week where I actually got to ride 3 times. First, Flyin Tuna wanted someone to ride with her to keep the rednecks off her so I volunteered on Tuesday and we did a 35 mile ride during which she dropped back frequently, swore about her lack of fitness frequently and I wondered if she was going to ride with the "C" group this year. Then, on Thursday, Pastor Mark organized a ride from his place with Steve O, Jeff S and Randy Daum. Now, it must be said that Randy was in sorry shape the last couple of years as he fought severe back pain. It was so bad he had to take multiple pain killers, including Percocet or something like that, leaving him kind of loopy during rides. Imagine if you were on some kind of drug that left you completely uninhibited regarding your speech and what you might say. Well, Randy said some goofy things and may have alienated 1-2 cyclists but he had his back operation, is off the meds and has returned to normal so give him another chance. We rode into 20+mph winds but had a fantastic afternoon of sunny skies and temps well over 60 degrees. Rode about 35 miles but with the wind it felt like a 60 mile ride.
Now, we come to Saturday, a cold start at around 33 degrees and again, lots of wind. None but the hearty and brave showed up including Recumbent Dude, Jeff S, Kenda Janet, Franz, Larry the Legend, Kent, Flyin Tuna and the surprise, Suzanne Birk, COP's ride chair, who brought a well needed dose of class, sophistication and beauty to a peloton that is usually sorely lacking in these traits. We headed out via old 161, south on Babbitt, over to Cable and then the nice climb up Col du Alward, to Hollow, etc.. Suzanne dropped off the pace and the opportunistic me leaped at the chance to drop back and suck all the dirt possible from this unsuspecting mind. I grilled her on COP activities, the good and bad of ride leaders, etc.. just as I was getting into the really good stuff the group had stopped to let us catch up and that damn Tuna warned Suzanne not to talk to me!!!! Grrrrrr. We continued on, making a right on York, crossing #16, over to Deeds, left on Gale, right on Grandview and finally into Granville and a stop at the River Road Coffee House after 25 miles..
The place was packed but we found seats and relaxed for a couple of minutes. I wolfed down a chicken salad sandwich and we began discussing the ride back options. Surprisingly, Larry P wanted a direct route back and soon everyone else agreed. To be fair, Larry was riding a real cross bike from Walmart. Not a tricked out cross like Pastor Mark rides with xxx light road wheels or the filed smooth cross tires that Steve rides. Larry's bike was "Bobolink" or some brand from Walmart and it weighed a ton yet he dominated us. The wimpy recumbent dude exclaimed he would ride in whichever direction the dominant female wanted to go so with that, it was settled, we would go back via the #161 bypasses and a straight shot back. That Larry soon whipped us into form by organizing an echelon that everyone seemed to grasp other than Janet. As most of you know, during an echelon, as you pull forward and slide in front of the previously leading rider, you slow a bit to allow the cyclist coming up from behind to pass and pull in. However, Kenda Janet made a habit of pulling over and then speeding up to make the next person work their ass off to get in front. Many of us suggested tips but it was far too complex for Janet and Larry offered to send her the "Echelon Training Manual" to her so she could study. We finally rolled back into New Albany with 43 miles and windblown hair (for those who have hair). Brutal return...just brutal. Oh, get this...in Granville, Suzanne tells Flyin how much COP appreciates all her effort at supporting the roving rides. I was dumbfounded. That's like thanking the guy who cut the tree down that was milled into a broom that was used to sweep out a dirty room for keeping the room clean! I mean what the heck??? Must be a woman thing.
One of the peleton's most beloved figures, Amanda O, has been nagging me about creating a nick name for her. At various times, she has named herself "Hot Mama" and "Fast Panda", two names that don't quite hit the mark. In the former case she's not a mama and in the latter case, she's not that fast. I've been scratching my head over this one for awhile and am stumped. If anyone has any name ideas then let em fly. I attach this image as inspiration for the naming process.
Saturday's forecast continues to improve with a high of 46. The overnight low will be fairly warm so let's ride at 9:00am out of New Albany. Distances will be around 40 and 55 but you can always add on if you want. Will pause at the River Road Coffee Shop at the halfway point.
Time to Return to a Real Sport
After much thought, I've decided to return to golf, kicking cycling to the curb, other than ceremonial appearances every Tuesday and Thursday for the COP rides and Saturday and Sunday mornings. I'll still go through with the CA training camp trip but it will be more about consumption of vast quantities of food and drink than about cycling. Here, I am getting back into the groove by taking practice swings but soon began hitting balls that explode off the club face at incredible ball velocity before disappearing into a small circle of snow at the back of the range. My golf swing has been compared to a hitting machine in its consistency.
I once worked in the golf shop at a goat track of a course called Jaycee Public Golf Course. Mostly my time in the shop was spent grilling hamburgers or collecting money for green fees. At the course was a large group of 50-60 golfers who collectively made up the "Beer Box Gang". There were retirees, vacationers, night shifters, those caught between high school and what came next and just plain golf bums. A sub group of 10-12 of us played virtually every day and within this group were some colorful characters. Among them were C. Nasser, manager of the local movie theatre and who claimed to be the nephew of Gamel Nasser, former president of Egypt and R. Means, who spent time in prison for armed robbery, worked for a trash hauling service and always played golf in a shirt that bore the "You Call We Haul" promotion.
Betting was a big part of our games and it was expected if you found yourself ahead late in a round, your opponents would "press" the bet which was a doubling of the original bet. There were even presses of the press so by the time the 18th and final hole was reached, the pressure had mounted with the potential loss/gain of money. One day, I was working in the shop when Nasser and Means came walking off the 18th green with their hands around each other's throat. Tension had been building within our group because Means had gotten into Nasser for more than Nasser could ever pay. A few days passed when news hit that the theatre had been robbed and the manager beaten. Official news accounts stated that the robber had hidden in a broom closet when the theatre closed and then surprised the manager (Nasser), beat him and stole the money that had been collected that day. Police eventually apprehended the crooks who were none other than Means and his brother. Unofficially, we all believed it had been an arrangement between Nasser and Means to settle the debt. Means went back to prison and Nasser soon left the state and our group regretted losing two of our more colorful characters.
Saturday is rounding into a good day for cycling with a high now forecast for 40. Cindy has volunteered to try another ride out of New Albany, probably at 10:00am. Let me know if you think you can make it so she knows how many maps to bring.
Poobah Sells & Saturday Ridin
The weather was a little too dicey on Saturday, coupled with so many weak-kneed people bailing, caused a cancellation of the New Albany ride but Steve O had put together an alternative out of Canal at noon so I drove down there. Imagine my surprise to see an ad on the wall of Cyclist Connection showing Grand Poobah selling one of his multiple Masi bikes. Took issue with some of the description as I thought the line, "Never ridden hard" should have been in there and while he says it was "Never Raced" I don't think that's quite accurate. What about all those times we are preparing to enter a town when Todd cuts to the inside, sprints on the shoulder and blazes to all those sign sprints? Dude must have the all time COP record for most sneaky sign sprint wins. I'm tempted to put in a bid just to have and hang on my office wall out of respect for the great one.
Strong wind out of the west so we (Steve, Mark C and John S) headed west on a flat ride toward Airplane Road or something like that before getting on to Ashville Pike and decided to head to Ashville. At mile 18, I had enough and wanted to get back to watch the Buckeyes. Arrived back at the parking lot with a measly 33 miles but a very sore rear end signaling it's not just the muscles that need riding time.
Skipped out of the Sunday morning Canal ride and found out it apparently has split into two groups, those that arrive at the time in the COP newsletter at 9:00am and another group that is now leaving at noon. I rode but only did hill repeats in Granville, where the wind is not much of a factor.
Still flurrying here, coupled with all the abandonments by the weenies, better make the cancel official. For Sunday, there is the ride at 9:00am out of Canal.First a good joke:
The owner of a golf course in Georgia was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help.
He called her into his office and said, "You graduated from the University of Georgia and I need some help. If I were to give you $20,000, minus 14%, how much would you take off?"
The secretary thought a moment, and then replied, "Everything but my earrings."
OK, CB's New Albany ride is at 11:00am. Will head to Granville and have something warm at the River Road Coffee House before returning. Distance will be around 40 with longer option.
Cindy B has volunteered to lead a ride out of New Albany on Saturday. With an overnight low of 22, probably we should start at 10:00am for a ride over to Granville, warm up at the Coffee House on River Road and then take either the direct route back or an alternative longer route, depending on the group. Probably no maps but one of us will sweep the route to make sure everyone stays in the game. Let me know if you are leaning towards being there. Look, no one is in great shape or has their cycling legs under them so don't use that as an excuse not to get out there.
Recumbent Dude Makes One Up
In one of the best demonstrations of too much time on one's hands due to crummy weather, I turn things over to Recumbent Dude, who has invented a ride report, predictive of what will transpire during the first COP Tuesday evening ride.
A Look into the Future of the First Ride of the Year -
There was an amazing turnout this Tuesday for the planned New Albany ride. The weather has finally decided to give us a break and brought us wind-free moderate temps and dry roads for a change. Most of the regulars have turned up; Craig (the Boss), Mich T. Larry P, Joe G. Steve O., Pastor Mark, Recumbent Dude, Mitch the engineer, Mark V, Flying Tuna and most of the Kendaites all finally dusted off their cycling steeds, greased their chains and cycled the air pumps for the first ride of the season in suprize 62 degree, tropics-like weather.
As the official ride leader, Jeff called the parking lot to order and gave the instructions to the 50+ participants. Following a few questions about things like; “What direction do I turn these foot-thingies?” and “What are these things on the front of the handlebars for again?” the A’s were ordered out of the parking lot. Needless to say, there was no mass-exodus despite the huge turnout. Exactly zero people moved toward the exit, despite the Polish Pony twitching and doing breathing exercises toward the back of the group in the general direction of the exit.
It wasn’t until the C riders were called, that there was movement to leave, followed by the C-, C--, Super-Ds, D+s, Ds and stragglers. All looked wobbly, having not ridden for what seemed like decades. Several riders appeared to be wearing diapers and further investigation revealed that they had actually stuffed down-filled bed pillows down the back of their cycling shorts, having had a vague recollection that when you don’t cycle much for a while, upright bikes truly are torture devices created sometime in the 12th century by the Spanish Inquisition. The only one not grimacing in pain appeared to be Recumbent Dude, who appeared in his usual fit spring form, ready for early season triathlons down south. If last year is any indicator, he should be peaking for the year just about any day now only to fade from over-training till about late November when he will be ready to go again.
Flying Tuna assumed the ceremonial leadership position, leading the groups out. We took the normal route out Old 161. It didn’t take long for the break, suddenly Mitch surged setting off a chain reaction. Most of the lead group decided to work together to hang on but at the top of 161, most were gasping for breath having been on the rivet since leaving the parking lot. We hit the first stop light along 161 with a solid 15.5 average, 3.1 miles on the odometer, and the discussions about cutoff began. Mitch, having laid the beat-down, smoothly and quietly dropped to the back with a devilish grin, mumbling about having to lead the whole ride.
Making the first left followed by a left and then a right we were back on 161, headed back toward town (having to decided to cut off). The pace quickened with the downhill and several short breakaways were attempted. Before long the group was winded and mostly coasting. Fortunately Todd Lee drove by, honking his horn offering to moto-pace us back to the parking lot. This was universally accepted as a great idea, and in her enthusiasm, Cindy took the first spot in line, sat upright on her bike and euphorically exclaimed her patented phrase... “I’m a FLYING TUNA!!! “
This show of excitement energized the group, and while tightly hanging on to the moto-draft they quick-paced back to the parking lot to clock in a 17.3 average on 6.2 miles!!! Not bad for after a century of no sunlight and no riding eh!?
Yes, check your long range weather forecasts and rejoice. Appears the crummy weather pattern in place since mid November has broken. Appears the return to normal temps will be sustained. I'm giddy with the possibilities.
Meanwhile, Up Northwest....
Craig Butler hosted a 15 mile trail run around something called Hargus Lake. He, joined in the fun. The homeless bum in the middle is actually Andrew. Now, I have a question. For all you who asked to be notifed whenever there was an outdoor activity this winter, there was an off-trail hike, and there was a normal hike on Saturday and there was a trail run on Sunday. Two showed up for the extreme hike, three for the sedate hike and four for the trail run. What are you all doing if you're not taking advantage of these opportunities to have fun and burn lots of calories?
While Mark C was dragging me around wild terrain deep in the woods, Steve O led Eve and Cindy on a 5 mile hike at Clear Creek. Here, the bumblebee emerges from a hive, ready for a hike (image sent anonymously to me).
Portions of Clear Creek are very hilly and the three received a good workout.
On Sunday, I actually got out on the bike around 4:00pm. Nothing long, just into Granville to do repeats up one of the hills there. Earlier in the day, around 10:30, I saw three other cyclists riding on one of the new bypasses along #161. Kind of looked like Tim Tyler or maybe Jon Sada. Hey, forcast looking better and we may have a good opportunity to ride next weekend. Someone come up with a plan.
Dew Disaster in Hocking Hills
We met at 10:00am, pulled on our day packs and headed up the slope, off trail. Sometimes we cheated and walked along deer trails but mostly it was just scrabbling along the slopes, into hollows until we came to the inevitable rock face signaling the end of that hollow's trek. Then we would either head back down hollow or if able climb up and out of the hollow and drop into another. Each hollow produced spectacular rock and ice formations.
Into the wild we go. Not much snow on the ground but lots of ice. Each of us fell a few times but nothing serious.
We had to squeeze through some crevices on our way out, searching for a break in the rock face so we could climb out.
We were about 3/4 up this steepish area but had to take an alternative when too much of the space was covered with ice. A fall here would certainly cause a broken ankle at least. This was at the base of Airplane Rock and when we reached the top...
...we paused to drink water, Mountain Dew for Mark.
Lots of neat areas under rock overhangs. Somewhere along here we took a break and I drank water and Mark had another Dew. Mark was in good spirits because we had made such good time on our hike, he was able to
After hiking about 3 hours, we paused and I drank some more water and Mark discovered his 3rd can of Mountain Dew had a hole in it and its contents had leaked, soaking the backpack. Mark grabbed Dew #4 and guzzled it while a tear was visible streaming down his face because of the defective can. We decided there was nothing to do but push on and after 4+ hours, we arrived back at the parking lot. Good workout for sure.
Final Saturday Plans
So we're on for the off-trail hike at 10:00am off Big Pine Road starting from the parking lot where the rock climbers/rappelers meet. I don't want to overstate the hiking conditions as it may scare some away. No real exposure on rock cliffs or anything, just a strenuous hike that sometimes requires pulling oneself up and over tree trunks or scrambling up slopes too steep to walk upright. Better bring an extra pair of gloves. Now, for those wanting something more sedate, Steve O will be at Clear Creek Metro Park at 10:00, meeting at the parking lot at the bottom of Starner Road for on trail hiking. Probably do 6ish miles but opportunity is there for more or less. I believe Peggster and Flyin Tuna have chosen to do that. Steve is normally tough enough to handle the off trail hikes but concerned it may throw out his back as he has had issues with that ever since his days on the high school bowling team. Hope to see you out there. Sunday ride plans depend on road conditions after tonight' snow. If ok (likely) we will meet at New Albany and ride to Granville, stopping briefly at the River Road Coffee House before returning on a couple of options. Probably start at 10:00 on Sunday but again, will post more tomorrow.
The "extreme" hike for Saturday is on. We will meet at Gloryland Nazarene Church on Coonpath Rd at 9:00am to drive down to carpool or you can drive directly and meet at 10:00am at the rock climbing/rappelling parking lot off Big Pine Road. From #33, take the exit (I forget the #) that takes you to Old Man's Cave and turn right on to Big Pine. The parking lot is on the right after a couple of miles. We'll be hiking for 3-4 hours and this off trail route will include Airplane Rock and other neat sites seldom seen. I think this is on the north side of the road and not as uppy and downy as the south side but still a great all body workout nonetheless. Let me know if you plan to come.
Kenda Pro Cycling Team
A good friend to the blog, sent me a link to this image and asked if I could pick him out of the crowd. I admit to be envious that he gets to drive around CA during the Tour of California. While I was able to find Todd, I could not find Kenda J, P, R or D.