Mark planned on Steve arriving this afternoon for the weigh-in but Steve, anticipating Mark would be in a dehydrated state after some activity, arrived this moring with an official scale, gently lifted Mark onto it and below is the result. At this moment, Mark is driving to Dunkin Doughnuts to reward himself. Have to admit, very impressive and those 18 and 20 mile trail runs, overnight forced vomiting, spitting, long session in a sauna, etc... did the trick.
Geez, Mark C, he who is running out of time to make the 165 weight by March 1, panicked over his weight and so rode 100 miles on Monday and trail ran 20 freakin miles on Tuesday and is hiking Alley Park today. He is right at 164 and eating little. I believe he is going to make it but will confirm tomorrow. Have spoken to Steve to find out the weigh-in strategy and it makes sense. More to come tomorrow.
1) What about that forecast, huh??? The Accuweather 15 day forecast, worthless for our climate but nonetheless encouraging, shows 8 straight days of 50+ beginning next Tuesday and Saturday and Sunday now look good, although some wind.
2) A friend loaned me a mountain bike and I rode with this person on Tuesday on a grassy, somewhat muddy course. Wow, was that difficult and can't imagine some of you doing 100 mile rides on this type of bike. It was like pedaling up a long but not steep route for an hour on a road bike. Then I ran 6 miles and my weight is finally starting to go down. I am somewhere south of 300 pounds but hope to be at 140 or somewhere north of that by the time I arrive in CA for the training camp.
2) I received this message and if you have a set of wheels you want to sell, send me a comment and I will hook you up:
One of the guys I work with is getting into Triathlons this year and
he’s looking for a pair of deep dish wheels (50-60 mm deep). Can you
put an update on your BLOG asking if anyone interested in selling a
pair of deep dish wheels. I recall Todd Lee…oops I mean Grand Poobah
was selling a Masi bike some time back and I think a set of Spinergy
wheels. With all the top riders reading your Blog I thought it would
be a good place to put some feelers out to see if there is any
3) Regarding Mark C's weigh-in, last week Mark did an 18 mile trail run and upon returning home, the scale read, "164.7" which would put him under the 165 goal and a winning bet with Steve O. Steve was visably nervous on Sunday as he described this and what was his plan for weighing Mark on Thursday, March 1, the official weigh-in day. Should Mark get under 165, Steve will be forced to accompany Mark as he rides to his parent's home in PA, a 180+ mile ride over brutal hills. The blog has set up a video cam to catch the weigh-in on Thursday and will report the results asap.
The Cold Sunday New Albany Ride
Upon my arrival at the parking lot, roughly 9:40am, there was only Steve Oxley and Kenda Janet. Understandable since the overnight low was lower then forecast, as was our start temp, 28-29 degrees. I began contemplating heading to a coffee shop for an hour but then Flyin Tuna arrived, thus making my coffee shop stop idea no less appealing. Then, shocker of shocks, Todd Lee, aka Grand Poobah, the dean of the central Ohio cycling scene and warm weather maven, pulled in, soon followed by....
Corvair with her new bike, then Mark V, then....
....Kenda Dave appearing to be wearing a flak jacket under his vest, then Kenda Rick and then Arizona George and then...well that's it, 10, but for such a cold morning, a pretty good turnout. I distributed the maps, outlined the 60 mile route and off we rolled, with Kenda Janet jabbering at an intense rate. Some of us have guessed that she prepares for the rides by drinking a cocktail of Monster/5 Hour Energy/Mountain Dew/coffee but she was also excited about staying at "W" in San Francisco, arriving today so there were mitigating circumstances.
We headed out 161 but got off it quickly and over to Cable, up Col du Alward, out Hollow but then, something different, a left on Watkins and an extended stretch on Wesleyan Church. Kenda Rick was struggling a bit since he has been off his bike more then most. Off season is odd. During the season, I gaze around the parking lot and think, "That guy will kick my ass today", "That guy will grind me to dust", "She's going to make me cry", "I'll be in pain following that guy", etc... With the offseason, fitness level is sporadic and you never know except for one guy and that's Mark V, also known as March Mark because he's been on the trainer and he is already at peak riding stamina. Also, although the start of the ride was cold, after a few miles the sun had its effect and we were all toasty and the temperature was never an issue.
Kenda Dave dropped back with Rick while the rest of us reached Outville, made a left and a right on Goose Lane (who lives in that huge house on the left?), crossed 16, missed our turn right on Granview and instead reached 16 again and headed into Granville, cutting our route short by 6 miles. The uptown coffee house is closed on Sunday so we dropped down to the River Road Coffee Shop where service is always slow but there, GP actually ordered and consumed a Stromboli and Janet ate her mashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich and as usual we had a great time.
Flyin Tuna pointed out to everyone that the fabric of my jersey appeared to be stretched from the zipper, suggesting some great stomach was forcing the spread (actually just a defective jersey that I wear in the winter). Of course this produced howls of laughter from Janet and Amanda, who have it in for me for some unknown reason.
Kenda Janet ignoring us as she plugs in to social media, Arizona George on the left.
We headed northeast via Hankinson, left on Cambria Mill, down 661, left on Dry Creek, up Stone Quarry, right on Northridge, left on Castle and the hills and distance began to take their toll with some stretching out of the peloton. Grand Poobah recovered from the Stromboli and actually took a pull on Jug but with the wind coming out of the south, rode right of the white line and I simply pointed this out as I was next in line and getting eaten by the crosswind. For this I was called a whiner! We finally arrived back at the parking lot with 54 miles and 2300' of climbing.
Unbeknownst to most in our cycling community, a wager was made between Steve O and Mark C, shown here weighing himself. Steve promised Mark that if Mark got his weight down to 165 by March 1, then Steve would accompany Mark on a bike ride to Mark's ancestral home in PA, a 180 miles or so very hilly ride. Mark would have to lose around 50 pounds to reach this goal and as of last week, Mark was at 172 so quite an improvement but still a little ways to go. This is a ride that Steve would like not to make so he is hoping that Mark does not reach his goal but the weigh-in is this week and I am endeavoring to get a camera to the event so the final weight can be shown. More to come later.
Looking good for the 10:00am ride out of New Albany elementary school, the traditional starting point for the Thursday evening COP ride. Looks like quite a few are coming for a 60 mile ride to Granville and back taking some little used roads for variety.
Saturday is not looking good for road cycling but Sunday sure is. On Sunday there is the Andrew Hall 2:00pm trail run out of Slate Run Metro Park, starting from the Buzzard’s Roost Picnic Area. but I'd rather ride. 9:00am forecast is for 29 degrees so what about 10:00am for a start time out of New Albany at the usual start place. Like to do 60 miles and will have a couple of maps, probably ending up in Granville at the up town coffee house unless we change our mind and decide to hit the River Road place instead. Let me know if you can make it.
ok, 10:00AM it is. Have a good range of cyclists coming ranging from the strong (Steve Oxley, Larry P) to the weak (me) to middle roaders like Kenda Janet, Dave Miller, Flyin Tuna, Corvair probably Jeff S and others. Again, everyone is welcome.
Trail Run Sunday
Andrew Hall, who has organized a trail run each Sunday for a few weeks, had another this past weekend at Clear Creek Metro Park. Clear Creek probably has the toughest routes with some serious climbing and so this likely discourages some people from coming out. However, there were 6 of us at the start, Andrew, his buddy Sam, Recumbent Dude (Nathan), Dean, Mitch O and me. We headed immediately to the ridge via the Fern Trail, topping out at .9 miles and we were huffing and puffing and regrouping. After 7 miles and 1200' of climbing, I had enough and bugged out with Mitch and Sam departing a little sooner. Andrew, Nathan and Dean headed out via the road to get in a few flat miles and likely ended with around 11 miles. This Sunday, Andrew is headed to Slate Run, which is quite a bit flatter for a 2:00pm start. Not sure which parking lot is designated as the meeting lot but someone will probably post in the comments section.
Got out for some hill repeats today and briefly rode with Rob Rhodes, who had just split off from Billy C and who had run into Marty S in Utica. I had only 15 miles but over 2000' of climbing so that was ok. Hope we can ride this weekend.
The Mardi Gras Party Report
The evening of the John & Adele Mardi Gras party at their home, high on a hill in Granville had arrived. I warned John that my demand on his wine inventory would be so great that I would bring a bottle with me to help make up for the loss. Upon arriving and giving up the bottle, I made a beeline for their refrigerator and without being invited, began clawing at the foil of a cold bottle. John was helpful by removing the cork so I did not have to smash it against the counter to open. We were among the first to arrive but soon there were Adele's friends from work, John's friends from work and a collection of gaunt looking people the likes of which reminded me of Civil War veterans suffering from malnutrition. Yes, the cyclists had arrived.
I had an epiphany early when I noticed practically everyone who arrived brought with them a bottle of wine and it dawned on me that I should begin hosting a party now and then. Arriving were, Todd Mullins, Kyle Wingler, Peggy & Gus Cook, Mitch Tallen, Rick Miller, Alex Okolish & a couple others maybe but my memory is a little foggy for some reason. Gathering from where everyone is at this point in the new year with their cycling miles, it's going to be another loooong cycling season for me. Seems everyone is over 700 miles and Rick even said he's in better shape now then when we rode in July....how's that possible? Heard some interesting conversation but probably shouldn't put it out there for public consumption since embarrassing people would be counter to the purpose of this blog. At 9:00pm, I began getting anxious because my Buckeyes were tipping off against Meatchicken and by 9:30 I couldn't take it anymore and departed the party to catch the 2nd half. After watching that debacle I realized I should have stayed at the party. Geez.
Welcome to Ohio
Thirteen showed up for the 9:00am ride out of New Albany but was surprised there were not many more given the forecast. At the start were Rich Lewis, Billy Campbell, Kevin (Olympus dude), Doug M, Jeff S riding a new cross bike with very knobby tires to which he has not taken a rasp and begun filing to smooth, Kenda Janet as the only female type, Blair B, new guy Arizona George, Larry P, Steve, Mark V and Trent L. Later, Kenda Dave joined us in Granville so a total of 14 eventually.
Left to right, Rich, Billy C drawfed by Rich, Doug, Steve and part of Kevin.
Rich suggested a route that eventually put us north on Dutch Lane before swinging south to Granville for 60 miles. We shoved off onto old 161 but at the first light, one of us had a minor mechanical so those that noticed waited and those that didn't kept going and with that, the group was split with 7 in a front group and 6 in a rear group. Our rear group, consisting of Larry, Steve, Janet, Mark V, Jeff and me made an in flight decision to modify the route and got onto Jersey Mill in Alexandria, Mounts out past Lobdel Reserve where Larry commented that Kyle Wingler is basically running the place and building bike/trail running trails. Good to know that's an option. In Alexandria, we picked up new guy Arizona George who had dropped back from the front group and he fit right in with our kind of off season pace.
We turned north at Hardscrabble, then right at Conner and Larry suggested me hop on to Raccoon Run, a paved road other than the final dirt packed down hill that spewed fine mud on us all and then a right at Stone Quarry, right at Loudonville, left at Dry Creek, right at New Burg and eventually in to Granville where we stopped at the "uptown" coffee shop. After some debate, we went south via River Road, crossed 16 while dodging traffic, hit the hills on Canyon and finally circled around to #37, crossing it and getting onto Hayes Road. Thus began the long slog into a fairly strong head wind. Jeff S had struggled at times with maintaining our scintillating pace while pushing all that rubber, so much so that Kenda Janet observed, "Gee, how come when Oxley rides his cross bike he can keep up?" Of course, Steve's tires are smooth and I suspect so too will Jeff's when next he brings out his cross bike.
We finally pulled into the parking lot with 50 miles and a surprising 2900' of climbing. None of us looked too strong at this point other then Larry and Steve who still had 10 miles to return home, thus they ended with 70 miles.
Wow, what a Winter huh? Forecast turns back to great for Saturday. Riding out of New Albany sounds good to me and I bet there will be a huge turnout. The 9:00am forecast temp is 38 degrees so that looks good. Besides, there are likely to be a couple of groups starting at that time so we can morph into one at the start.
Got invited to a Mardi Gras party Saturday evening and sounds like mostly cycling types will be there. I just bought a camera that is the shape of a shirt button so am going to wear it and try to catch some of the area's elite cyclists in compromising situations that I can exploit for your enjoyment.
So, I walked out onto a limb yesterday, confident that by Wednesday and with only 3 days to go until the weekend, the forecast wouldn't change too much but, alas, now Saturday is rain, Saturday night rain/snow and Sunday is windy and cold. How could those geniuses at weather.com have missed that? Maybe Saturday's rain will start later in the day or be hit and miss so we can still get in a good ride. I've got little, little plans for this season so I have to start putting in some longer rides, especially since I've firmed up the plans for CA training late in March by making flight/hotel reservations.
I'm slotting in with a tour group again because it forces me to ride harder since I'll be around quite a few other cyclists, some, ok many, of whom will be stronger then I and it's good to be able to have support if there is a mechanical that I can not fix (pretty much anything other than a flat tire). Due to reasons to be explained later, I have to miss the first day of the schedule but will be there for the second day which is......the climb up Figueroa Mountain! As I sit here with excess flab draped over my belt, an array of bon-bons spread before me I can only shudder at the thought.
The Sunny Weekend
Wow, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday sun and 40's. It does get better than that but not for the middle of February. For some, Monday is a ride day with a day off from work due to President's Day. Unfortunately, I am not part of that crowd but heard Flyin T is planning a ride For Saturday, Dave Miller has his COP, Wonder Winter ride but it's through the mean streets of Columbus so think I'll pass on that. Give the guy credit for coming up with a creative ride but I'll take country road ridin. Probably something originating from New Albany makes sense.
Well, the weekend was a bit of a bust. Had several emails from people going out of town to ski, installing bathroom tile or just hitting the trainer rather than go outside. Peggster, a cross country skiing expert, informed me that you needed a base of 4-5" before that activity could happen so I installed wood flooring on Saturday and then trail ran 5 miles on Sunday. Pretty boring stuff but there's always next weekend (hope that's the case for all of us for a long time).
Jeff S and Jeff F, long time Thursday COP ride leaders have spit the bit for this year and so far, COP has had no luck rounding up a volunteer(s) to take over. Without the COP imprimatur we can still ride of course but it's good to have someone show up with a route and maps, scream when we can leave the parking lot, etc... Guess we can just show up, haggle over a route and take off or adopt the Wednesday Worlds strategy of riding pretty much the same route every week. If anyone out there wants to step up and take over the COP ride leadership, contact Donna Bush or Suzzane Birk of COP.
Saturday can officially be described as unridable, unless you're on your cross or mountain bike, neither of which I have so am plotting something that will either be off trail hiking into remote canyons and creeks or just plain trail running. Will have something on Friday that is official for you that are interested. Unfortunately, the really hard hiking/trail running with hills, deep and dark hollows, rushing rivers, cascading falls, fallen trees, abundant wildlife, etc... is a fer piece from the Columbus area but it's usually worth the drive.
UPDATE: Well, it's almost 11:00pm and we have 0.0000001" of snow on the ground so no cross country skiing. Looks like maybe south of here there is a little more snow but not much. Everyone who responded to the Bat signal said they were going north to ski or putting in new tile in the bathroom or participating in a cycling training path through Westerville (Kenda Janet) or whatever....good luck to everyone. I'm goig to run the incredibly wet and muddy trails around the Dennison Bio Reserve,
How about this weather? Daylight getting longer, average day time high temperature going higher since January 28, what can go wrong now? Anyway, Saturday wasn't such a great weather day but with the green radar blob approaching from the west I bailed on the New Albany ride and made the long drive to Old Man's Cave and trail running with Mark C. We took the rim trail over to Cedar Falls, paused there to catch our breath and headed on to Ash Cave. I bailed on the run at the fire tower and returned to the parking lot via the lower trail. Wow, some serious erosion has taken place along the river, washing out the trail in a couple of places. Wonder when that happened? Mostly we had run in very light rain but on the return the intensity picked up a bit but didn't get too wet. Finished with 8 miles running and came home to lay hard wood flooring. I think that day I finally burned more calories then consumed, the first day in a long time that happened.
Headed down to Canal Winchester for the COP ride out of Cyclist Connection. Eleven people showed, including Younger Phenom Nic, Olympus/Walker dude Kevin, Gary (Nic's father), Mark V (not wearing the Red's jersey), Dave, Eve, etc... Nic claims to have gained 6 pounds this winter and I encouraged him to drink plenty of milkshakes.
Nic, Kevin, Mark and I got away from the group and we hung together for 10 miles or so until making a right off Pleasantville Road onto Burchey and then a left on Carroll Eastern, Nic and Kevin got away from us. After 25 miles we rolled into Millersport, Nic and Kevin kept going while Mark, Gary and I hit the gas station for a break. Headed back to Canal and finished with 49 miles and glad to have gotten out for the first spirited-paced ride of the year. Long, long way to go to mediocrity but I'm on my way at last.
Wow, is this Arizona? First the Saturday forecast changed from rain to cloudy and now Sunday's forecast did the same. Woohoo! I sent an email out to a few people and those that responded wanted to do the New Albany to likely Granville route. I'll have more details by tomorrow about a start time but either 9:00 or 10:00am. Note Dave Miller also has a COP ride scheduled out of London via the bike path to Xenia and back on Saturday. I don't want to undermine his ride but that's a long drive for some of us and riding a bike path is not attractive. Sorry Dave! Guess for Sunday there is the Canal Winchester ride out of Ric Noland's Cyclist Connection shop or there will be another ride out of New Albany.
UPDATE: Well that sucks, forecast flipped back to rain but weather.com says 40% so maybe we can ride. In case not, here is an option from Mark C for trail running. Mark is known to run rain or shine and you can always show up and just hike. Regarding the New Albany ride, weather permitting let's ride going to Granville, 45ish miles with option for longer. Sounds like Larry P, Todd L, Flyin T, Jeff S and others will be there. All are welcome as usual. Off season pace unless you want to go faster. I'll post the time later today after looking again at weather forecast.
Update #2. If not raining, how about 10:00am out of New Albany, normal starting point for a ride? If raining, I'm trail running with Mark C. Rain not so much a factor for trail running. Anyone have riding plans for Sunday? See Mark C's decription of the trail run and note Andrew is hosting a trail run on Sunday at 2:00 I think out of Clearcreek Park.
So, who is interested in a trail run at Old Man's Cave Saturday? I'm planning to start at Old Man's Cave at 10 AM and run to Ash Cave, then back. That would be about 11 miles.
There are shorter alternatives as well.
Old Man's Cave to Cedar Falls and back = 6 miles.
Old Man's Cave to Ash Cave = 5.5 miles. We can come get you and drive you back to the start.
Old Man's Cave to Ash Cave back to Cedar Falls = 8 miles.
The blog's Male Cyclist of the Year award goes to.....Marty Sedluk. Were there a couple of cyclists in our midst who were stronger then Marty and to whom I was oblivious and off my radar screen? Maybe but with his 2nd place finish at the Florida race being so impressive and the fact he is friends with Katy Perry, who can beat that? Besides, maybe some day Katy comes into town, wants to play golf and Marty asks me to fill out a foursome! Lots of things to consider when handing out this prestigious award. In image above, that's Marty in the middle, signing autographs for Steve O and Gabe.
Honorable Mention--Gabe the Ringer. Cat 2 racer pummeled the hapless Tuesday Canal cyclists and always with a smile on his face. Below, resting prior to the Tiesday Canal beatdown. Many more award winners to go and coming shortly.
The Female Cyclist of the Year award goes to....Flyin Tuna. Are there stronger cyclists then Cindy?....Yes, hundreds just in Central Ohio alone but the award is based on more then just where you finish in the peloton. One has to mix displays of voracious eating, good humor, patience, willingness to pose over a toilet acting as if she is vomiting, etc... Who among us can combine all these admirable traits and yet also be a fairly strong cyclist?
Call of Nature Award....Claude. Who among us has not done the same? OK, not so conspiculously but most of us have been there, done that but elsewhere and not so public.
The winner of the "Look, I'm Freezing in the Middle of July" award goes to Denver Dan, caught here at the top of a mountain in Denver during a tour in July.
Winner of the "Best Comb Over of the Year" award goes to Mark Clingan, shown here with helmet hair after a ride last season. Dude, just shave if off already and stop, stop sign jumping.
Most Embarassing Moment of the Year.....Tall Dude, asking if Eve is going to ride hard that evening. Geesh, Tall Dude, hope you're riding that trainer this off season and if you're going to ask, make sure low lifes like me are not around to hear you.
And many more winners to come including best dressed and best cross dressers!
The winner of the Senior Citizen Cyclist of the year award goes to Farmer Mike. Still holds vast acerage in Licking County but has the little people doing all the farming while he rides, every day. I think he turns 70 this year and is an inspiration to all but especially those of us closing rapidly on that age like me and the runner-up winner: Grand Poobah, seen below without his cycling gear.
This choice is obvious, Amanda Orr, a.k.a. Corvair for winning the "Farmer Tan of the Year Award"
Eve wins the "Gee, I Ain't Won Anything Before Award" for her stellar performance, coming in last and claiming the prize for the last place finisher at the Granville Climbing Challenge ride.