Fifteen showed up Saturday for a ride out of New Albany. Larry P puts the finishing touch to his outfit while our ride leader, Kenda Janet, poses with Flyin Tuna and Lisa A.
The Rossi tandem showed up, a valuable addition for the wide swept return from Granville, Mark V, John and Jeff S came too. John turned around about half way to Granville and Mark V had a later commitment and so he too
Janet, ever the publicity hound, thrust her head into the image at the last minute but that is a few Roll people who also came, including Eva, who was riding strong. Our group got split at Northridge Road and so most of us headed to....
....the "uptown" coffee shop (Steve O above) while the others, thinking we had gone south.....
....went to the River Road Coffee Shop. We hooked up and headed back in to a stiff, 20mph head wind. Upon our return, I went back to Granville in time to see....
....Younger Phenom Nick jump from the start line, with Luke, in the Cat3/4 race which he won.
Also there, former OSU d-lineman John Day, better known as Junior Muscle Dude, rolled up to the start line with 39 other Cat 5's at the Alligator Mound Road Race in Granville. Fighting vicious crosswinds (but a nice tail wind along Dry Creek Road), John hung with the leaders finishing 11th in his first race. After the race, John likened it to returning a fumble for a TD against Michigan.. OK, I made that up but I think he exceeded his expectations and look for him to roll up to other races soon. Also at the race was Tym Tyler competing in the Masters division, Terry G in the Cat 3/4 and Hendra P in the Cat 1/2/3. Hendra finished 3rd, later commenting: ""I'm not good at TT so doing a solo is the last thing in my mind but today when i was doing my pull at the front, somehow i got a 10s gap. It wouldn't be cool to slow down and wait for them so i decided to give it a go. Lasted for a lap before getting joined by 1 other guy. Worked together before my legs cracked one lap before the finish. And yes i'd like to hear your wonderful drafting tips"
Kenda Janet is leading a ride out of New Albany, the usual start place for the Thursday COP rides, at 10:00am going to Granville and following this route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3817914. Probably we will stop in G-ville at either the River Road Coffee shop or the Main Street Café, but only briefly. Everyone welcome and don't worry, hardly any of us are in shape either so come on out. One more thing, Janet is strict on start time so we will depart the parking lot at 10:00am so allow time to get there and ready yourself.
To accelerate the snow melt, I scoop snow from the piles alongside the driveway and dump onto the driveway. Although it works at any temperature when the sun is visible, with sun and temps in the 40's, the snow quickly melts and evaporates. Just doing my part to get rid of the stuff. Counting down the days for a return to Tucson, about 9 days now and the time is dragggggggging by. Before then, Saturday looking good for an organized ride. I hear Flyin Tuna is planning something.
All of us have our breaking point and for Pepe LaPew, aka Polish Pony, aka Kevin Hollingshead, that point was reached last week. He and wife Becky abandoned snowy Ohio for the Florida Keys.
Of course, that long winter of inactivity and lounging around the beach has an unfortunate side effect....Kevin went in for a Bro fitting. Heard he is a "DD" cup now.
Key Lime pie with 6000 calories.
The sun sets on another glorious day in the sun. You can go to Kevin's Facebook page to view many other great images.
Long-time readers of my silly blog may recall a piece about a new cycling club called The Cycling Club, from early 2013. The purpose of the club is not an alternative to Westerville, COP or any of the smaller cycling groups/clubs but a new resource for cyclists in central Ohio. Behind the scenes, a group has been working feverishly to fill out the club's purpose and are going to informally report, this Thursday. This is open to all and all are welcome to hear about club rides, the club's purpose, proprietary jerseys now available (I've seen them, very cool), web site content, etc... In particular, the club would like to see more women and juniors join so it is not just about the "A"/racer types. Joining is free too! So, from the club is the following invite:
Please join us for a gathering of theCYCLINGclub on
Thursday February 20th, 7:00PM
at Plate, 29 S. High Street New Albany
Cash Bar, snacks.
It was too good to last. Shannon Kurek is not able to lead the Thursday New Albany rides as his plate has become even more full with his participation in the organizing of the new "Challenge New Albany" event. You can read more about it here: http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/
Good for him but a big loss for those of us who enjoy the Thursday rides. Either someone can volunteer to be the official ride leader for COP or I suppose it will become an event similar to the "Wednesday Worlds" which I think also used to be a COP event. Now, if you are interested in assuming ride leadership, probably Shannon's routes would be available to you so all you have to do is go through the file, select a route, show up around 5:30pm with sign-up sheets, ride the route and mail or email the sheets to COP and then do it all over again each Thursday. Pretty simple.
A friend of mine in AZ sent me this image. I go back in a couple of weeks and to say that "I can't wait" is one of the grandest understatements in the history of history. On the other hand, how bout that forecast for the remainder of February, beginning next Monday? Lots of days with temps in the 40's, 50's and perhaps 60's.
So, Pepe Lapew, aka Polish Pony, aka Kevin Hollingshead is promoting participation in the Garrett County Gran Fondo, of which the Diabolical Double is one option. Sounds like Steve Oxley, Flyin Tuna, John Day and Kevin have already signed up and doing what they can to get others to do so too. I was on the verge of registering for it when out of the blue, an email pops in my "in box" from someone with personal knowledge of the event. I found the content so interesting (and funny) that I am posting it below to provide some candid observation for those who get caught up in Kevin's recruiting pitch and may be sitting on the fence about committing. The sender of the email wishes to remain anonymous but has given me permission to post.
I did the DD about 3 years ago. For me, it was something I was glad that I did but I didn't want to go back because I didn't enjoy it very much. It is a ride designed for natural climbers and I am not one. However, I enjoyed the descents. It was by far and away the hardest ride I have ever done. Except for the last 20 miles on the DD, it was a constant up and down. Never a flat spot. You can't train too much for it. My arms and hands really hurt afterwards from all the out of saddle climbing. When I returned to the hotel I saw a guy walking backwards down the steps.
The starting town leaves a lot to be desired. Few decent restaurants and lodging. I stayed in the WISP hotel and it is a ski resort that has seen better days. Deep Creek lake is pretty but packed with summer homes and cottages for the Washington DC folks. Although they call it a Gran Fondo, it isn't timed. The route was nice and the support and rest stops were very good. I remember going past one young lady squatting in the middle of the road at the top of a climb. She was down so low a car could have driven over her and not touched her. I asked if she was all right and she just said "I'm peeing." I took her word for it.
When you get to Westernport somewhere on the latter 1/2 of the route you come into town at the top of a steep street blocked off by a guardrail. The route turns right and you don't go down the street but instead circle around to the bottom of it. Then proceed through town to a rest stop. If you want, turn left at the bottom of the street and try climbing up. It is short and concrete that is all broken up because it is slipping down the hill. The road is used in the Savageman triathlon. I made it up while a couple rednecks drinking beer on their front porch cheered me on, hoping I would fall over.
Mitch Tallan, his shadow above, visited Southern California last week and was able to get in a couple of days of riding around Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley. While I had read about the drought, the above image gave me a vivid illustration of its impact. This is what it typically looks like in July, not February, when green normally is the dominant color. Above, Mitch was riding up the Happy Canyon side of Figueroa Mountain and paused at the dirt section to take this image during his 9 mile ascent. Read Mitch's report below.
I started on the Los Olivos side rather than Solvang after reading somewhere that if you rode from the West you got the gravel on the ascent rather than descent. This was Friday morning. It was warm in Santa Barbara, close to 60, and above that by the time I started.
I parked in front of some coffee shop in Los Olivos and decided to dispense with leg warmers though I did have long sleeved base layers on, and started on 154 heading SE and was on it for a bit longer than I cared for looking for Happy Canyon. I ended up turning left onto Armour Ranch figuring it had to lead to Happy Canyon and it did. Took Happy Canyon to Figueroa and the fun started. I didn't think the climbing was all that hard-at first- though I was mostly in my lowest gear, 39x25 on carbon rims and tubular, til I got to the gravel section. It had rained a bit over the last two days and the gravel section was more like muddy grit with deep ruts where trucks and jeeps had gone through. By that time, the road had become inundated with some fairly good sized rocks that had obviously slid from the surrounding embankments. The third pic from my iPhone shows the condition of the muddy/gritty section. Around the bend it got much worse and it was all I could do to maintain traction up the hill while still rolling forward. Mud and grit was scraping between my Conty Sprinter rear and the seat tube.
From that point, I have to confess that the climb was now getting a bit challenging. I was alternating between seated and standing climbing fairly regularly the rest of the way. As you know, the surrounding scenery is pretty much out of this World. I came up on one other cyclist on a fancy Trek rent-a-bike complete with Shimano D12 and a compact crank and I rode with him for a little while-he was from Roanoke VA and he kept encouraging me to leave him behind which I ultimately did maybe a half mile from the top. He was a small guy wearing a bunch of winter gear and he told me I was nuts for riding bare legged and at that point I had to agree with him. About two miles from the top, the sunshine and the warm air disappeared and was replaced by wind, fog, and
cold air. There was easily a 20 degree change from the west side to the east side of the mountain.
Then came the descent which as you know is mostly decent followed by a short additional climb and then all steep switchback descents from there all the way back to Midland School where it becomes flat. I gotta confess that on carbon wheels, with cold hands and legs, the switchback descents were a bit hairy. Todd Mullins and I descended Brasstown Bald with less concerns than I had going down parts of Figueroa. My front brake pads were visibly deforming and shredding from all the braking I was forced to do. Would definitely recommend alloy wheels rather than carbon for this route. So that was Figueroa.
The day before, Thursday morning, I started out on a small group ride from the "Dolphin Fountain" at State Street in Santa Barbara right at the pier and it was just six of us. Apparently the prospect for rain scared off the others. That ride was memorable because two of the guys hammered the whole time and it was all I could do to stay on their wheel. Two hour ride that I believe is a
standard loop for the locals. We ran into Dave Lettieri (former Olympian and bike shop owner) and a buddy of his about half way through and they turned around and joined us. Dave was riding his Trek cross bike with front and rear disc brakes and fat knobby cyclocross tires on it, and he lagged behind a bit on the hills though I think it was to stay with his friend who looked to be only an average rider, but he is ridiculously smooth and no doubt strong. Dave rides what I call "all out Euro style"-14 cm stem with negative rise-so that his back is absolutely flat and he is laid out over his frame like a European pro, and of course, he looks the part despite being 49. As you no doubt know, Dave is just naturally cool as though he was born in Santa Barbara even though he is actually from Scranton PA, the armpit of the universe.
Luke (works in Dave's bike shop) is a real character. Everything out of his mouth is a wisecrack. Great guy. So that was pretty much my trip. I got to ride a couple of hours just before sunset on Tuesday as well, so I got three rides in. Our first three days, Monday through Wednesday we were actually in LA and we spent only three days in Santa Barbara. I actually drove from LA to Santa Barbara on Tuesday just to get on my bike, before returning to LA afterwards.
Big thanks to Mitch for sharing his experience. You too can bring entertainment to the masses stuck in Ohio's winter by sending me your report so we can all live vicariously through your experience. Why, something from Marty would be good as he rides around Encinitas, CA and Hendra down there in Greenville.
Mark Clingan was featured in today's Columbus Dispatch regarding his passion for sled collecting. Thanks to Jeff S for the head's up. You can read the article here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2014/02/06/collector-finds-that-sleds-still-fly.html, (copied below) but the link also takes you to a video where Mark is interviewed. I did not see any bikes so assume he has sold them to finance his hobby. Note Eric the Photographer from our group rides shot the video and images.
Mark Clingan has an understanding wife and a big garage.
A man needs both to have a collection of 75 vintage sleds.
He has one by the front door; three in the foyer; three more in the family room; and the rest in the garage, which resembles a loosely arranged museum of 20th-century sledding.
The garage encompasses a mass of Comets, Sky Planes, Silver Streaks, Lightning Guiders and Golden Falcons (with flight a leading sled metaphor at one time) dating from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Clingan, 52, doesn’t just collect sleds.
He also rides them, often showing up at sledding hills near his home in Fairfield County with three or four vintage sleds in tow.
“I tell everybody I love collecting antiques I can play with,” he said.
Antique doesn’t imply fragile.
On a recent morning at Alley Park in Lancaster, he subjected his 1928 Flexible Flyer Racer to more than a few diving starts and bumpy runs.
It held up well.
Sleds represent a recent obsession for Clingan, senior pastor at Gloryland Church of the Nazarene near Carroll. (He refers to himself as the “crazy sled guy who preaches on Sunday.”)
Last year at an antiques mall, he saw an old sled that awoke memories of the joyful winter hours he spent sliding down a quarter-mile hill near his childhood home in western Pennsylvania.
Soon, he was buying sleds.
His wife, a teacher, was happy he had finally found something to interest him when he accompanied her to antiques malls.
His favorite is the Airline Cruiser, a Flexible Flyer from the 1930s that is longer than 5 feet.
He also has a Norwegian bobsled with a steering wheel and hand brake, a Flexible Flyer with wheels (so a child could go sledding in the summertime) and several 1950s sleds with chrome trim reminiscent of cars from the era.
He has bought them at prices ranging from a few dollars to a couple of hundred.
And he thinks the day is coming when they’ll be worth more.
According to Joan Palicia, a New Jersey author whose book Flexible Flyer and Other Great Sleds for Collectors is considered the bible of sled collecting, Clingan might have a long wait: Sleds of the 20th century were made in mass quantities, she said, and aren’t rare.
They are rare enough, though, to attract attention on sledding hills, where youngsters with plastic saucers find his wooden sleds exotic.
“And the first thing I get is ‘Can I try one?’ I usually bring three or four because, if I don’t , I won’t get to sled-ride.”
It’s a happy coincidence that a snowy winter came along just as his obsession was kicking into high gear.
“I kind of feel bad,” he said. “Everybody else is tired of the snow and looking forward to spring, and I want to sled-ride some more.”