Not since the Soviets vs the US have we seen an arms race of this magnitude. Area bike shops have been busy. Seems as if all of the peloton's participants have spent the winter investing in the most sophisticated cycling technology, looking for an advantage or at least to keep them current with their peers. Kyle Zander's bike has a neat paint scheme. Kyle graduates soon and is looking forward to a month or two off prior to becoming a working stiff like the rest of us.
Good turnout of 15, including Philippe, Doug McConaha, Kim & Anthony, Peggy & Gus Cook, Sergey, Ken Buddell, Aaron C, Ryan O'Rourke, Mike McClinchie, Ryan Havlicek, Benton B, Kyle Z and me. I regret that wearing lobster gloves cuts into pic taking so I have few to share. The talk prior to shoving off was about the windy conditions of last Saturday's return from Utica. With gusts over 50mph, it wreaked havoc on the group, pretty funny and glad I went south for a ride.
We had a good route but made frequent in-ride adjustments, heading east, making a left on Beech, then right on Jug and north on Clover Valley rather than going north on County Line so if you intended to catch us on the way north as I suspect someone did, we slid to your east. We were on Clover Valley just short of forever and at mile 8, the thinkable happened, I popped off the back. I found the intensity a shock to my system even though every member of the group probably thought we were soft pedaling. A stop sign intervened and I caught back on, hung on until mile 13 when, there I went again.
Arriving in Hartford, the group was waiting. How nice but I insisted they not do that because it's not fair to the others who are out for something more ambitious then I....just finishing. We again left the route, exiting Hartford via Bennington Chapel, then a right on Appleton and on to Louden. The cross winds were fierce but since I was positioned pretty well, I was able to hang on while a couple others, denied the advantageous spot, could not so the group sat up a couple of times and regrouped. Somewhere on Louden a couple of pigs sprinted across the road. I asked if they were wild pigs and Doug confirmed that since they were outside their pen, yes they were wild. Funny. From studying the route, I knew we were to make a right on Stone Quarry prior to coming back east and entering Granville so I.....
.....stayed on Louden to shave a couple miles off the route and took a spot on a bench in front of CVS to await the arrival. Minutes ticked by, I talked to locals, I enjoyed the warmth of the sun, I munched on a snack and then it struck me like a 2x4 against the head...Noooooooooooo, the group is not coming and I am going to be a pilgrim into the wind, solo. Thinking it was a mechanical, I retraced part of the route, went through the Granville middle school and with that, got onto Raccoon Valley Road and began the return to New Albany. I passed the hours thinking about what I would do each day in AZ when I arrive on Tuesday, trying to visualize what it would be like to be entering New Albany, fantasizing about being really fit and not in my current predicament, you know the usual stuff. I passed the golf course so slowly I was able to watch multiple shots and diagnose swing flaws. I marveled at a worm, crawling west and distancing itself from me and yet, I finally made it!
54 miles and in the parking lot discovered Philippe and found out the group, after dead ending at Northridge off Stone Quarry, had just continued west and ended with less than 50 miles. Shortcutters!
Beginning behind the New Albany Starbucks, 11:00am, Saturday for a ride of 60 miles. The link for the route is:
Looks like there will be a good turnout. Note you should know the route and not arrive expecting the group will wait if you drop behind. It's the time of the year when some have ambitious goals that require a faster pace and no one should expect them to stop when I drop...errrr. when you drop. With what is likely a largish turnout, probably some will not mind pausing once in awhile but come prepared. Among those coming, are Gus & Peggy Cook, Dave Chesrown, Mike McClinchie, Aaron Chancie, Tanya Cool, perhaps Amanda if she can make it in time, maybe Luke & Lori and other stars and anonymous members of the central Ohio peloton.
Well, well, well. Cruising around Strava I found the below information to share with you so you can see how your ytd miles (if you keep track) compare with those who post on Strava. Note I know not everyone posts to Strava and maybe those who do don't have all their rides recorded there and this does not include miles spent on a trainer but it is what it is.
Rick Miller--454, Marty S--1906, Isaac M--586, Jr Muscle Dude aka John Day--340, Andrew Clayton--2395 freakin miles, French Climbing Machine--1055, Doug McConaha--1041, Luke R--440, Danny Alarcon--1726, Ken Buddell--1125, Patrick Warren--595, Jon Morgan--1435, Terry Griffith--575, Dirty Dan--447, Kyle--445, Me--249 and sad but that is about to change.
Silent Dave hosts the Saturday morning COP ride out of Cyclist Connection, my choice for this Saturday because forecast winds out of the southwest made the route (see below) desirable along with an early (9:00am start) to avoid the worst of the winds. In the background, Ryan, the only really fit cyclist to show up to join us out of shape schleps. Our small group of 10 shoved off and soon things settled in with Ryan, me, Kenda Paul & Janet and Flyin Tuna relentlessly pushing ourselves south.
We reached Amanda at mile 20, grateful for the opportunity to refuel and sit in the sun, working on our tans. Some of us speculated that the Kendas would undermine our will and choose to take the 40 mile option which immediately would head north from here but do be clear, that was not the case. Janet, rather than refuel using the traditional PB&J, brought a waffle this time. Only 5 miles to go before the route turned to the north and we shoved off with Dave now in our group. Eventually reaching Thomas Hill Road and bending the route westward, we then hit Dozer Road and were at last, headed north and riding a strong wind.
As we rode on Cedar Hill, a cyclist approached and there was Jeff Schluep, headed south to try to find us and so he did. Good to get caught up with the Schluepenator. Soon thereafter, Mitch Tallen streamed by also going south and it was good to see him on a bike after last year's horrific accident. We finished with 51 miles and 2300' of climbing. During our ride, we wondered where some of the usual suspects were if not here, such as the Rossi tandem, Polish Pony, Oxley, Clingan, Engineer Mitch, etc... Maybe next week.
Silent Dave, a well known and regarded distance cyclist but who chooses his words very carefully, is leading a ride out of Cyclist Connection, 9:00am start, Canal Winchester. With winds forecast to be 15mph out of the southwest, note Dave's brilliant routing so you can ride the wind on the return as you travel through the rolling hills south of Canal. The routes are 40 and 50 miles with the latter distance viewable here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/12242766. I believe this is the ride that Kenda Janet will do so dozens will follow her to Canal.
And so it begins, the first (and last?) heavy snowfall that required something other than a broom to remove from the driveway.
Finished, Stella examines the job and concludes it is not bad.
The custom built birdfeeder that I fashioned from aged plywood a few years ago. The birds love it or at least what I put into it. Hey, forecast is improving so looks like a ridable weekend.
You know me, Mr. Encouragement. With that in mind, I pass along the dreadful image below but note in the bottom, left corner,,,,,you see it? That's right!!!!!! The average day time high is now 40 freakin degrees. How bout that and how about the forecast? We'll be riding this weekend for sure!
In 2 weeks, I will be looking at something far different from the below but in the meantime, I have to look at the below, as I shove off with a friend on a cross country ski route. Having survived that without a fall, I got back on the bike trainer and then did it again the next day...woohoo!!!! Now to the important stuff. Sunday, a group of us are doing a 10-12 mile hike at Mohican State Park.....
.....parking at the #3, the Covered Bridge parking area. We will shove off at 10:30. All are welcome and you should come. What the heck else do you have to do? This is a fast paced hike with one stop, during which we bring out a variety of snacks and then continue with the hike. For a better look at the start place, click here:http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/Portals/parks/PDFs/parks/Maps/Mohican/mohicanparkmap.pdf
I finally did it. After several years avoiding a self sentence on the bike trainer, last night I finally got on it....
....my torture machine, the Computrainer. The first half hour went by slowly of course but the last 10 minutes of my 1 hour experience was more like what this poor guy.....
....had to endure. Dang, that looks painful, a Spanish torture device called the Mule. Cycling outdoors this weekend is out but rumblings about a hike on Saturday or Sunday. Will keep you updated.
A last minute plan came together and a ride notice put out there around 9:00am dragged in eight cyclists for an 11:00am departure from behind Starbucks in New Albany. Kim, Julia Wu, Kenda Paul & Janet, Meaghan, Eva & Cindy B headed towards Granville with winds similar to last Sunday, just not as strong. We got off 161 at Mink and wound our way to Alexandria where Kim, Julia and Meaghan headed back to NA, leaving us with five. We reached G-ville at mile 24 and headed into River Road Coffee Shop. Once seated with our drinks, I was given a verbal, but good natured, drubbing that left me mostly speechless. The Kendas also managed to whittle away our motivation for a circuitous return and got us to go for a more direct one.
Entering Alexandria, I spotted a cyclist ahead and we caught up with Ken Buddell who was out spinning and avoiding putting himself under too much stress as he is battling a cold virus. Therefore, he fit right in because our pace would not put him under any pressure. Ken left us on Burnside to go to Jug as we turned left on Beaver, eventually returning with 40 miles. Couple of days ago I went into my basement to look at the trainer but left it there. Seeing the forecast, I am thinking about dragging it out of retirement. Ugh.
We have a plan. 11:00am from New Albany Starbucks, going 45-50 miles. Keeping the pace off season so the back benchers can hang with a group but if you want to go faster of course that is ok too. I'm going to keep some who end up riding alone in a group.
I bailed on the Saturday ride, too early for how cold it turned out to be but some people rode and then enjoyed bites and drinks afterward. Lots of people are riding Sunday but few are making their plans public. Someone is riding out of Carroll, OH but no definitive time and no definitive route, might be a ride starting from the base of Starner Road off Clear Creek Road south of Lancaster but nothing definite so you are on your own. Sorry bout that.
For Saturday, we have this sort of different route, starting at 10:00am from the Olde Towne Tavern with parking at the Franklin Park Conservatory (see map) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/12048565. The intent is to ride the route with a few regroups but no stop midpoint for a break. I'm kind of leaning toward a break in Lithopolis at mile 38. We exit and enter Columbus via a bike path so easy out and easy in.
The shadow of Punxsutawney Phil, yesterday, was not seen so that means rather than 6 more weeks of winter, the winter will soon be over!!!!!!! While I usually ignore this weather forecaster, especially if his shadow is seen, I take it as a positive sign. True, a coin flip has as good a chance but even a positive flip of the coin would be a promising sign to me. But wait.....that's not all.....
....did you notice....wait for it...............the average day time high temperature has begun to creep back up!!!!!! The lowest day time high cratered back around January 28th but now is tracking, inexorably HIGHER!. Not just here but if you are reading this anywhere in the northern hemisphere, the same holds true for you too. This is however, bad news if you live in places like New Zealand, Madagascar or Chile. This is my recollection from my days at Zanesville High School and that's been a long time ago so I can't say with certainty all of the above is factual.
What I can say with certainty is, the forecast for this weekend is looking pretty good so there will be an abundance of rides popping up on the schedule soon.