How bout that? Aaron C has jumped in with a route and a time of 10:00am from behind the New Albany Starbucks. Now look, make an effort to get out there and show up for the ride. You have to support the brave souls who put a route together, a time and show up. Route is: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/11951794
Saturday does not look like a ride day fit for man, woman or beast. As for Sunday, winds will calmer but with a high of 44, that will keep some indoors. There is the "Pop Tart" ride at 10:00am from the Dublin Starbucks on Bridge Street but be aware, while it is a no drop ride, it is an A pace throughout for a distance of 70 miles. Looking for someone to step up to offer a route and start time for others, departing from New Albany or anyplace else. Come on, don't wait for others to do the light lifting. Jump in there.
I did a loop around Granville on Monday, only 28 miles but around 1500' of climbing. Farmers are in their fields turning the soil or applying fertilizer. I can't say this is the earliest I've witnessed the activities but it is earlier than most springs, that's for sure. As I let myself into my son's home so I can continue the building project in his basement, I can see some early blooming flowers are emerging from the ground. The buds on our magnolias are swelling. Looking at the long term forecast, it does not appear there is going to be a major freeze event but of course those things change. On Sunday, I begin the drive to AZ and am really looking forward to it, not the drive but arriving in that beautiful landscape and all the wonderful activities available to me. Don't worry, I'll be working the phone to browbeat volunteers to lead Saturday rides and will post here and elsewhere. Try not to miss me too much and I'll post lots of images and ride/hike reports, like always.
The cookie lady, Kristie arrives. I sneak a peak in her trunk and am rewarded with a view of a container having post-ride snacks. Now there is a reason to ride!
I thought two alternative rides out of Hocking Hills would pull down the numbers but for most, it is too early for torture in the hills. Paul D looks on as a crowd of 38 gather, some of whom are the Lady Gnar Shredders doing their own thing.
Like last week's warmer temps, more hibernators came out including Michael. Check out the blue sky too!!!
Ric, another first timer, in the background listens as Gus urges us to ride together for a few miles before the laws of nature take over and we split. Jay P on the right with the Dew jersey.
And so we're off and although the pace was spirited, seems like everyone hung in there prior to turning left on Hollow Road for that undulating climb to Alward and beyond. I gave it my all, thus burning through all my reserves and despite being in the first 10 at the top, had nothing for the follow. I dropped back to the next group. We kept the first group in our sights all the way to Granville where we entered with a 19.1 average.
Brad on the left with Gus and Mike M. Mostly we milled around and contemplated the options, of which there were many.
Michael, Don, Kriby, etc.. line up for a pic.
Gus, Larry, Jay, Muscle Dude, Tym & Lisa, and more prepare to shove off. Others were still debating what next to do so I thought I'd get a head start on the Jones Road climb and depart with the fit, may of whom were going long, 59 miles. I lost them on the Welsh Hills return to Granville, cut into the school and....
....this is where things stood as I pedal along the school route with Don, Kristy, Kirby, etc... bearing down on me. As I coasted to Louden, I was pleasantly surprised to find Jay, Muscle Dude, Mike M, Jason and a couple others waiting. Soon, the back group caught us and we prepared to do battle with a strong wind out of the southwest. Mike organized echeloning and while I usually prefer to veg out in back while drafting, it seemed to make the miles go by faster and we....
....arrived in the parking lot with an 18.1 avg and Kristie's container of some kind of chocolate chip/caramel treat awaiting us.
10:00am from the parking lot behind Starbucks in New Albany 10:00am being the time wheels roll, not the arrival time in case you are wondering. Two other routes have popped up in the Hocking Hills area and those can be viewed at "The Cycling Club" Facebook page. Please note, this ride is open to everyone. Several opportunities to shorten this route...like cutting off the Jones Road climb being one. We seem to attract a nice crowd of people who have carried over their mid season fitness to the off season. That's good but it would be good to see people who, like me, have spent the last 3 months being slothful, indolent, lazy, idle, lacking in zeal, etc... Maybe a day where the high breaks above 60 will turn them out? Rote: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19042996
Well, with the only difference between last Saturday and this Saturday being about 25 degrees, the hibernators came out in force. Thirty-one or so plus others who joined in during the ride. As usual these days, I cast my eyes around the parking lot and did not see many who are as unfit as am I but the obligation of journalism (I kid of course) required me to be here.
Another group was there too, a gaggle of Lady Gnar Shredders hosting a group ride for ladies only.
The man of the hour, ride leader Luke R, got us going on a route. Note the blue shoes and blue gloves.
Those that were here are too numerous to name but it was good to ride with people I had not seen since late September like Gus & Peggy, Soku, Logan P, Jared, Ryan R, Dirty Dan (told me his goal was to inflict more pain on me then last year), etc.. Above, Gus chats with Larry Van Gogh while we wait for the light to change and then.....
.....we sprang into the countryside like a coiled spring. Above, Paul D taking a rare break from the front where he set a pace intended to break me. However, I clung to the group as we followed a circuitous route, entering Alexandria at mile 13. I regret not looking at my Garmin at that point as the pace had been spirited. Knowing the Mounts hill was coming, I spit the bit, as did Jared. We share something in common, we are mostly taking advantage of the off season by not doing much, other than eating and drinking. Sooooo, off went what was left of the group...like practically everyone and now lets see what happened next.....
Jared and I eventually reached Hardscrabble Road and stopped to wait for those behind us. A few minutes previously, the group had reached the same point where Dave C left the group, the people who are nearly in mid season form stayed on the route well ahead of us and others were behind.. Paul D supplied....
...the above excellent image to emphasize the situation.
We did not know whether to turn left or right so Jared checked the route while I.....
....looked for survivors. None appeared so we continued. We reached Moots Run Road and I was starving and wanted to turn left and go into Granville but Jared wanted to go right. Since he was doing most of the pulling, this put me in a quandary but I stayed with him.
Toward the top of the hill I told Jared I would wait again to see if some others would come along. He wanted to stay on the route and get in the 50 miles so he kept going. Soon, John and Anthony came by, then remnants from the Lady GS group but no one else. I guess the others of whom I was thinking had opted for a different return.
I selected a direct route back, pausing in Alexandria to check on a Lady GS who was stopped on the bridge. She was kind of discouraged as had been expecting a group ride experience. It's a tough balancing act, meeting everyone's expectations. I arrived at the parking lot with 38 miles. The front group, who had overtaken me on the way in, were in a good mood but so too was I. Yes, I suck but in two weeks, I'll be on the path to slightly less suckiness as I head to AZ.
Luke R created the above route. I'm thinking I'll pause in Granville rather than ride straight through the 50 miles. 10:00am start from the parking lot behind Starbucks in New Albany. The basement dwellers who have been slumped over their trainers are likely itching to get out and ride hard. Those of us who have been slumped over the TV remote can ride at an off season pace. Regroup if you want or not as there is a mix of goals in the group. Should be a strong turnout. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18939161
While we wait for ride plans to firm up for Saturday (something is in the works), I wanted to cover a topic about which maybe some have wondered; commenting on the blog. If you comment and do not type your email address, I have no way of knowing who you are (unless you comment under your real name of course). The only trail is an IP address that would yield nothing more than the city in which your comment was made. Only twice have I deleted a comment because they were made about someone else, nasty and unfair. I would never remove a comment about me as long as it was somewhat truthful. For example, if someone said, "Dang but you are a slow fat ass." that being accurate I would leave it. So, feel free to comment, knowing your anonymity is secure, if that's how you want it.
Our daughter, Olivia, made a couple of visits to Oro Valley and fell in love with the southwest. So much so that she eventually bought a condo near to where are ours. Meantime, she applied for a job at The Westin, a 250 acre resort complex. Several phone interviews, long waits and then while out there in January to shop for furniture, an in person interview took place. She returned to Ohio and after a few days, received the job offer, pondered it for 1 second and accepted. With a packed car, she departed yesterday and after 35 hours, arrived in Oro Valley this evening. We are very proud of this hard working and well grounded person. The really good news is that her possessions were too many to fit in her car so very, very reluctantly, I agreed to drive all that was left behind. That means I must leave our marvelous climate a couple of days sooner than I planned, leaving on the 26th by car rather than the 28th by plane. I am one heck of a father.
One of my many informants saw George at an area Planet Fitness, grinding away, training for the coming season and so took a quick pic and sent it to me. George talks frequently about being ready to take it to, if not the Riveters, at least the Thursday A group. The carbon fiber frame he cracked when he accidently sat on it, a maneuver I still can not picture, is almost fixed and will be ready for him in a couple of weeks.
As I drove toward New Albany, I passed Tym & Lisa Tyler. I slowed, yelled, "Hey" and "I'll see you later." you know the usual stuff when you are trying to stay left of the lane without veering into oncoming traffic or swerving into them. The temperature was 26 degrees. It reminded me of previous crazy riding experiences when once water that had collected in my down tube froze and I could not turn the handlebars or water bottles that froze so I could not drink...I thought I was past those episodes but today was another.
How about that?!?!? I was not alone. Luke R, Paul D, Tmy and Lisa and a late arriving Aaron C. I shoved heat packs in my gloves and shoes and it was not too bad as we shoved off at a start temp of 27. I also pulled on not one but two baklavas. I had problems during my last riding with shifting and then forgot to address it so naturally, soon after departing the parking lot the chain was clacking around and failed to respond to shifting.
Luke R, expert in many things, made some adjustments but alas, nothing worked. At mile 11, I hung a left on Watkins as the bike was unridable. The gang gave me some grief but it was not for lack of will but a mechanical that caused me to abandon. Note the bike is fixed and ready for the next challenge. I finished with 24 miles but the others hung in there and did 48. When I returned to my car, the temp had exploded to 29 degrees. I have learned not to embrace the winter cold and have no regrets. Geesh.
A day of great beauty is almost upon us. A day of such magnificence that one must ride. True, the start temp will be about 29 degrees but quickly will reach into the low 30's! What trumps all that is the SUN!!!!! Come out and be ready to roll at noon, in the parking lot behind Starbucks. The pace is whatever you desire that it be and when you rapidly pull away from the laggards, do not regroup other than for those kinda in your fitness level. Don't wait for the caboose as I will wait for the caboose, especially since I will likely be the caboose. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15982891
While I wait for an image to fulfill my "breaking news" promise of below, tonight is the grand opening of the Virtual Velo Cycle Training, 11 2nd Street in New Albany, 5:00pm is the start. More information can be found at: https://virtualvelo.com/