Another foggy start but not for long. Brian, our leader, had bike problems so had to drop back to bike #2, which is quite a bit heavier. I was ok with anything that made his ride more difficult. He and his wife Deb are both attorneys who had a practice in CA but quit the business while maintaining their license, to start up the bike touring company. They now live in Utah and run a number of century, double century, tours and races.
We got out on to Santa Rosa Road again, headed west and the fog lifted as usual. Wayne, the guy in the rear, is a prison guard at a max security prison. He told me some good stories and it helps me better understand why I should not end up in prison. He also always carries a blunt instrument with him so he can kill bad people when it becomes necessary. This helped me better understand why I should continue to be a good person, at least around Wayne.
We passed a large grove of what I think are pecan trees. Made it to the 101, turned left and reached Jalama Road. The next 12 miles are a freakin grind with a difficult 2 mile climb that is steep followed by others that are also steep but eventually...
....a glorious descent to the ocean and a state park that contains a market that serves the world famous Jalama burger. It don't get no better than this. Not even a Bladensburg pancake can approach the taste of a Jalalma burger.
So far, the day had been sunny with high clouds. Temperatures were lower by the coast but as we climbed out, it was 70ish degrees with light winds.
I reached the top of the hardest of the various cllimbs coming out of the coast and noticed a whif of smoke to my left. I looked back to see if there was a fire but no. I was instead staring into an oncoming cloud, exactly at eye level. Very cool except at that moment, the winds picked up dramatically, the tempersature dropped at least 10 degrees and it began....
....to get a lot darker. The clouds whipped past me, it became very dark and then started to rain. I stopped riding and pulled my jacket from my pocket and as I struggled to put it on, buffeted by the wind, I looked back. WOW! I was staring into the middle of a mass of black clouds, the wind was now howling, raining and very cold. I wanted to stay and experience what was a unique phenomenon for me but cars coming from the beach may not see me so I shoved off and screamed down a long descent. Somewhere in there I passed a large snake, coiled and looking for Ohio steak but I avoided it. Also saw a large fox trot across the road but finally reached the 101. Each of us had our own version of what we saw on the ride out, ranging from a snake covered in blood to one ready to strike. I swear I barely made it out alive but maybe that snake was not coiled after thinking about it.
I folded in behind the tandem, on Santa Rosa Road back to Buelton and then passed an ostrich farm. More than 20 of them roamed around the farm. I'm pretty sure I know what the two on the left are doing but not sure what the dude on the right is doing. Either just watching or waiting his turn. Well, that's the end of a 75 mile ride with 4900' of climbing. I arrived back at the hotel soaked from the rain and perspiration and shivering. Oh oh.....
A recocery ride after the Figueroa grind. Today, 85 miles with "only" 4600' of climbing. We get on our bikes with another thick layer of maritime fog and 46 degrees but it soon lifts, giving way to sun and warmth. Geesh I like it out here. We take Mission Drive to the town of Buelton, take Santa Rosa Road into Lompoc, work through that town and then into the wild ag region with nothing but farms and growing crops. There is a 3 mile climb in there that rarely exceeds 5%, I think on Blacks Road followed by a screaming descent to Casmalia, which is nothing more then a few ramshackle buildings and one restaurant. Even the market closed a few years ago.
At mile 35 we have a sag stop. We picked up a couple of new members, Alan and Yvonne from Argentina. Yvonne was once on the Argentina national ski team and a very strong cyclist. Another guy, Chris arrived too but we lost a women who complained all she got were route sheets and a power bar. This type of tour is not for everyone. There is a guide each day but he rides at the front and if you can't keep up, you're on your own with a map and 1-2 designated sag stops. There is a good selection of food and drinks and the knowledge if you had a catastrophic bike problem, there is a phone in the van and it would come get you. I don't want anything more then that but some do and there are plenty of all inclusive tours like Trek, C Carmicael, Undiscovered Tours, Cycling Escapes, etc... who provide that type of service.
Eventually we came out of the wild and into just the remote areas of wineries and agriculture, along #135 heading in to Los Alamos.
Just before Los Alamos, a broad expanse of flowers. The season is a week or two ahead of schedule. I see lots of snakes on the road this trip and hundreds of ground squirrels crossing the road. One ran into my front tire but bounced off. Their radar must be off as many litter the roads, run over which is unusual. We stop in Los Alamos and then head up Drum Canyon Road, a 800' climb on dreadful pavement.
We emerge on 246, check to see our fillings are still secure after a very bumpy descent and head east with a tailwind into Solvang. I take a detour to add a few miles and pass a home with unusual trees. They have a conventional tree shape yet have pine needles. Tomorrow is the classic ride to Jalama Beach. My cold symptoms are getting a little worse but something about riding in the sun and warm temps is its own medicine.
A heavy layer of maritime fog greeted us as we stood around shivering in 44 degree temps in the parking lot. But, as is usually the case, a few miles inland the fog breaks, ushering in another day of sun and warm temps. Light winds too which is important at the top of the mountain. A couple of years ago, a guy was bombing the descent, rounded a corner and was blasted by a cross wind that sent him into a ditch with broken bones.
After 12 miles and 1100' of climbing, we reached the start of the climb to the top of "The Fig". I use this climb for a very slow time trial, going all 9.82 miles without stopping and comparing my times to other trips up the mountain. It's about a 4000' climb with 3/4 of a mile through a dirt section.
Always a grind and with only one downhill section, always climbing. I reached the top in 1:25 so not my best time but understandable given the weather circumstances that kept me off the bike too often in the two weeks leading up to this trip.
The mountain range in the distance is where I was on Saturday at the top of the Refugio climb. Lake Chumash is visable in the center.
The wild flowers are out so lots of people drive up to see or photograph them.
About half way down, the good views continue. Ended the day with 55 miles and 5700' of climbing. Unfortunately, I've acquired a cold virus so that sucks but the show must go on and tomorrow is the ride out to Casmalia.
So, the first day with the Planet Ultra, Solvang Spring Tour. 10 people showed up but only tour guide Brian, on the right and mountain bike racer Martin in the center are the real deal, equivalent to "A" strength cyclists. Wayne on the left is a good guy from northern California and strong on the flats but falls back on the hills. The other participants range from a woman from Chicago who showed up with a bike having flat pedals for her tennis shoe wearing feet, Wayne's wife, a couple of guys from Livermore who are "C" and "B" cyclists, a lady from New Jersey a couple from Utah who are "C" and some other lady from Utah who is a "C". Fortunately, there is not a "we'll all ride together mentality" but instead, the four of us take off and ride the routes.
Every 30 miles there is a sag stop and they are not selfish with handing out the goods. Nice assortment of snacks and drinks.
We shoved off on an opening day ride around the valleys. Headed out Ballard Canyon Road where I stopped to take this image. This road (upper right) is my favorite and ends at the top of a climb at someone's house who have a vineyard for a front yard with fantastic views down canyon. Reached Los Olivos, crossed #154 and headed out Foxen Canyon Road.
I was happy that I could hang with Brian and Martin as we road up the two major climbs before turning left at Palmer in Orcut, got on to Cat Canyon with a nice 300' climb, coasted down to Los Alamos, hung a left at Alisos Canyon Road and took that back to Foxen Canyon.
After a 400' climb to the top of Foxen, there is a very enjoyable 6 mile descent that ends here, at Zaca Station Road where we paused to allow the others to catch up. Ho hum, yet another vineyard in someone's front yard, this time for the Firestone tire company family.
We headed back to Solvang, passing this stand of Eucalyptus tress, to finish with 68 miles and 3600' of climbing. A good start with way much more to come.
After finishing my ride with the Bulldog Cafe group, 40 miles and 3300" of climbing, I donned normal clothes, ate at a sidewalk cafe, confined myself to ice teas which took a lot of willpower, changed back into cycling gear and rode 7 miles to the base of the Refugio climb. Above you can see a concrete barrier that warns vehicles to go no farther and a few cars around for hikers and mountain bike riders.
Next it was 3 miles on dirt, rocks, boulders and mini canyons, climbing 1600'. The image does not do justice to how rough this section is and few people on road bikes climb this but that's all I have and the reward at the top is worth it. Each year the surface is different and this year, while the ditches are worse from rain runoff, otherwise the dirt is packed down nicely so I only had to dismount twice when trucks came down. It's a one-lane road afterall.
During the ascent, there are curiously 3 asphalt sections, each 30-50 yards long but otherwise, a crummy surface. At the top, one can stay straight and coast to the ocean or hang a left and go another 6.5 miles, gaining another 1900'. I've ridden this once before and the views are the best in the area. Ocean to the right, valley to the left on a very narrow strip of land. It's kind of eerie with no cars, seldom another bike, no homes, the wind howling, etc...
Ocean views to the west.
The loyal bike at the entrance to the fenced off satellite array, Santa Ynez Valley beyond. There is a dirt road, W Camino Cielo Road that I have been told takes one from.....
....this point to State Route 154 that goes from Santa Barbara, over the mountain down to Santa Ynez valley. Maybe 10 miles so....
....there is #154, the silver strip slightly left of center, heading into Santa Ynez. Could I make it to #154 from here? I really wanted to but the next 10 miles is an unknown, it was 4:00pm so if I had a flat or mechanical I'd be out there in wilderness after dark with mountain lions, bears, cougars, rattlers.... So, I turned around and headed back, finishing the day with 74 total miles and 6800' of climbing. However, on the ride down the dirt section, my front tire went into a ditch and the bike stopped abruptly. I hovered for a split second attempting to regain my balance before going over the top, saw my life flash before me and toppled down. Ouch but I was ok while feeling stupid. I'm feeling pretty good otherwise and looking forward to riding with the Planet Ultra tour.
Yes, the infamous Tuesday Canal Winchester ride is back and with it the thing that made it famous or infamous, hilly routes not for everyone. This coming Tuesday, April 2, THE Amanda Orr, aka Corvair, is leading the ride and will be at the parking lot on time, with maps and sign-up sheets. This is where the dreams of many New Albanyistas flamed out when they came out to challenge the well muscled climbers from Canal. This is where many have started but never finished the route. This is where I am making stuff up to make it kind of interesting for the reader. So, at 6:00pm, Corvair will be at the parking lot behind Shades Restaurant to lead out the very first Canal ride of 2013. Meantime, I will be in sunny California and largely oblivious to what you poor suckers are doing back there in sucky Ohio.
Awoke Saturday to a forecast of 75, light winds from the west and sun, but a crisp start to the day, 45 degrees for the 9:00am group ride out of the Bulldog Cafe. Good group of guys including the guy on the left who flew in from Singapore, where he has lived for 20 years, spending a few days in Solvang then flying to Morocco for a couple of days then on to England to where he is moving. Guy on the right broke his arm last year during a race and the scars are nasty looking. As we waited, a guy with a long beard rode by at a pretty good pace and everyone yelled his name. He's going out on tour with Whitesnake soon as guitarist or drummer I think. I also hear Bo Derek lives nearby. Now that would be a great get, an image of Ms Derek, famous for her role in the movie "10".
18 of us rolled out, headed east on Mission Drive/#256. Once we crossed #156 and got on to Armour Ranch Road, the intensity picked up and we went single file. Followed a rolling route and I was happy I hung in with the front group as we rolled in to Los Olivos at mile 18, then out Foxen Canyon Road.
There had been some discussion and abruptly the group stopped. The absense of one of the usual participants seemed to motivate the group to change normal protocal. Usually, the group would regroup after a 300' climb a few miles down the road but now they decided to keep going, turn right at the bottom of the hill and copntinue on a 5-6 mile route that gains about 700' with a sprint finish at someones house. All this was static to me because I was surely not going to be in there for the sprint finish. We shoved off, hit the climb and I hung on about half way and spit out the back, hung on to a guy's wheel for half of the remaining climb, shot back and finished alone at the top, 12th in the field of 18. I thought not too bad for an aged, fat guy coming out of an Ohio winter. Upon reaching the sprint finish, which had long been decided, we reversed course and ended up back in Solvang but with only 40 miles and a good 3300' of climbing and an average of 18.5. I thought it odd that a Saturday morning ride would be for nothing longer than that but maybe when you live in a climate that allows for riding every day but maybe 4-5 days each year, they make up for it with quantity of rides?
Unfullfilled, I decided to head up the classic Refugio climb with its 3 miles of packed dirt, rocks, boulders and ditches, gaining 1600' then onto a paved road of 6 miles, gaining another 1500' with the best views in the area. My destination is an array of satellites that maybe you can see just to the right of the tree branch at the very top. More to come.
I arrived at the Columbus airport to find someone had arranged for a quartet from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra to come out and send me off with music. Hey, thanks for whoever arranged that.
I flew to Phoenix, rented a car and drove to Solvang, arriving on Friday morning. Don't ask why I decided to drive 500 miles. I arrived in Phoenix at 6:30pm on Thursday, spent a couple of hours at a rest stop in Palm Springs, CA and arrived in Solvang at 7:00am on Friday morning All I can say is I will drive 8 hours rather than sit in a plane for 2 hours. Plus, I have to fly out of Phoenix in 3 weeks so it makes sense if you think about it, for a long time. Got the bike box out of storage at the hotel, put the bike together in the parking lot while talking to the lady who is leading the Trek Travel Women's tour. Rode over to Dr. J's bike shop where they made sure all the bolts and nails were installed properly and then rode around the valley to make sure everything was ok. Winds were 25+mph and lost interest after 20 miles.
Kind of tired after a long 24 hours and fell asleep while calculating the Wilson family ncaa bracketts. My oldest daughter is leading but like Reds' manager Sparky Anderson was quoted, after someone asked him about the standings back in the mid 70's when the Reds were 10 games back of the Dodgers, "They may be 10 games ahead but they are chasing us." The Reds ended up winning the division going away and what a confident comment to make. Anyway, I may be a point or two back but my wife, children, son-in-law, future daughter-in-law or chasing me, I think. Much, much more to come.
There are a number of critical issues to pass along that I have forgotten to mention on previous posts.
1. Butlers Restaurant in Bladensburg is under new management and name, "Mz B's" is the new name but we have been assured the pancakes are as good as ever. There will be an organized ride to trek to the restaurant and find out for ourselves. Flyin Tuna will lead both the ride and the eating. More to come.
2. A new cycling club has been formed called, "The Cycling Club" Don't know much about it other than a web site is being created and soon the group will begin posting ride opportunities.
3. Allison Nuovo, who frequently rode the Thursday evening COP rides, won the Lake Hope race as part of the Ohio Spring Race Series, this past weekend. Ever since she took a 15 mile pull into the wind during a Saturday ride last year, during which I sat in for the duration, I knew that woman was bound for greatness. Kayla Starr came in 2nd. Looking at the men's Cat 4 & 3 results I saw several familiar names, most of whom also ride Thursdays including Marty Sedluk, Jon Morgan, Rick Miller, Pete Czerwinski, Danny Alarcon, Younger Phenom Nick, Young Phenom Logan,Terry Griffiths and Mitch Tallen.
4. Trail Building!!! From John an Kyle:
We would like to have another trail day on Saturday April 6 at 10:00. This would be on Saturday to avoid any issues people might have with Easter Sunday.
The goal is to finish the trail across the creek and up the hill. We'd like to get 3 more trail days in by the end of May to complete the 2 miles of single track in phase 1. As always, gloves, pruners, garden rakes and trail tools are good to have. Bring water for yourselves. It is probably equidistant to walk from the northwest corner of the park off Mounts Road or park by the gas well on Mounts Road and walk north. I would say, park near the gas well and walk north. If there isn't a gate there, you could
probably drive north on the multi-use trail.
It is with a very heavy heart that I must announce I am leaving my beloved state of Ohio. But not to worry, only for about 3 weeks. Yes, it is that time of the year again, the time to leave behind our glorious winter weather for the land of sun, mountains, valleys, oceans, sceneries, wineries, etc... Yep, California here I come with the first ride reports to begin probably Friday. Don't visit the blog for the quality writing, of which there is none, come back often for the images, of which there will be many, along with the usual poorly written reports. There will be lots of climbing, The Fig of course but also, Gibralter, Refugio, Tepsequet, Painted Cave, the agonizing Jalama Road to Jalama Beach for a Jalama Burger, Harris Grade, Old San Marcos, Pine Mountain out of Ojai and more. The forecast last week predicted temps in the mid 60's but each day it kept getting better and it appears temps will be in the low to mid 70's.. Way too hot for this Ohioian, yeah, right.
And since I'll already be out west, why not spend a few days in Oro Valley, AZ? Correct, no reason not to. So the blog will keep going and then return to Ohio when I have gotten sick of all the sun and blue skies. In the meantime, I'll keep posting known ride options for the Ohioians and try to get one of my ink stained wretches to fill in with a ride report now and then.
Looking for a place to ride on Friday? Seein the forecast is not good for the weekend? Want to get out of that crummy factory job for a few hours? Want to ride with good people? Well, OK, 3 out of 4 is what we have to offer. Noon, Wildwood Park in Granville on the west side of town is the place to be for a 60-70 mile ride going south and then riding the winds back to the start. Probably go to Bremen or something like that and have a brief stop to refuel midway through the ride. Steve O, Dustin, Dan R, Janet, Cindy, Jeff S & many more will be there. Come on out.
On Friday, I hooked up with Steve O, Dustin, Dan R and Jeff S as they had ridden up from Dustin's house, thus making him the official ride leader. Rather than a ride leader, Dustin was more like an empty jersey, refusing to make any route decisions, quickly agreeing to whatever we proposed, nervous about even voicing an opinion on where we should stop, etc... The poor guy assumed the opposite approach of Dan, meek, mild milquetoast.
Riding over to Alexandria, I waited maybe 1 minute before they came through and we then headed out Mounts, got over to Dry Creek, over the climb on Welch Hills Road and into Granville where we paused for a drink at the coffee shop on Main Street. I discovered that as long as Steve continues to ride his 40 pound steel bike coated with mud, as long as Jeff rides his 40 pound steel bike, as long as Dustin remains but a shell of his former self and as long as I ignore Dan's flyers off the front of the peloton, I can hang with them. I left them in Granville and rode around for awhile, finishing with 55 miles while they ended with 65.
Saturday morning brought Silent Dave's COP ride out of Cyclist Connection and a chilly 32 degree start. Above, people begin forming an audience well before the official start so they would not miss Dave utter a single word. Eventually, about 20 of us eagerly gathered and waited and soon Dave began to speak. You know how some ride leaders pontificate endlessly with turn-by-turn instructions that no one can later recall? Dave is concise, to the point, no wasted words, just a brilliant summation of what the route will be, "We will go east, then south, then west and have a good ride." That's it and what else needs to be said?
As we prepared to shove off, someone noticed Mitch was fixing a flat. It is times like this that you find out who are your friends and so 9 of us waited, including Mark C, who had earlier, crashed in the parking lot. Seems Mark had his head down, slowly coasting through the parking lot when his front wheel impacted one of those concrete parking slabs and he went over his handle bars but luckily, landed on his head so no harm done. We eventually headed out a few minutes after 9:00am, and along the way to Lancaster, picked up Catherine and Kristian so we had 12 when we rolled in front of Four Reasons Restaurant for a quick stop.
Included in our group was Kenda Janet. It is sad to see her come out alone, the remaining member of the Kendas. Their numbers once dominated the parking lots, if not the actual rides but now, Kenda Poobah I hear is leading hikes at an assisted living joint, Kenda Dave discovered ice cream, Kenda Paul counts beans at an office in downtown Columbus, Kenda Rick, who knows, Kenda Farmer Mike is in Florida and I think out of Kenda gear so it is only Janet now, the last of the Kendaohicans. To think I once actively campaigned for a spot on the Kenda team but was rejected by a unamimous vote.
Janet hung tough for the ride, riding the entire route without shortcut, while describing her recent trip to New Orleans, as a high powered corporate executive. She was at a trade show at a convention center and I made the mistake of asking how much time she had to work in Verizon's booth. Ha, ha, ha. She gave me the, "Work in a booth, are you simple minded?" look and made sure I knew she was in the hospitality rooms, high off the convention floor, watching the peons work the booths.
After our pit stop, Eric the Dispatch photographer, new guy Doug on the white Giant, Jeff S, Mark C, Mitch, Flyin Tuna, Catherine, Kristian, Mark V, Janet & scratching my head over who the 12th person was, headed back to Canal. We finished with 60 miles and 2400' of climbing. Back-to-back days are tough this time of the year so I struggled on Saturday but then Sunday, rode the "Granvile Climbing Challenge" route up to Utica, then east via Bell Church, south on Purity where a section of the road is closed, left on Pinewood, on to Long, got over to Reform and Rainrock, #79 and into Wilkens Corner. Then up Purity, left on Loches into St. Louisville where I ran into Ted M, Greg D and Joe G and then continued on to the St. Joseph climb, Chattham and back into Granville for 67 miles and 4500' of climbing. Less then 2 weeks until I head to California and I am woefully out of shape, as is the norm.
One of the most recognizable personalities in the peloton, Craig Rice, aka Muscle Dude, has begun distributing an impressive array of sports performance, energy, weight-management and nutritional products, under the AdvoCare brand.
I bring this to your attention because not only has Muscle Dude personally benefited from use of the products, and impressively so, but he has also managed some of our local hammerheads in the use of the products. Craig is well versed in managing participants through AdvoCare's "24-Day Challenge" which is comprised of a10-Day Cleanse phase and a 14-Day Max phase.
I probably should not name the locals who Craig has helped so instead, using Craig's words,"The AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge totally changed by body composition. I lost 17 pounds, lost 2” from my waste and lost .5” from hips while gaining 1” in my chest, .25” in my arms and .5” in my thighs. I have continued to use several of AdvoCare’s Performance Elite products have lost an additional 3 pounds while gaining strength and endurance."
If you'd like to discuss the products and program, email Craig at email@example.com or call him at (614) 325-2639. He is anxious to pass along what has worked for him and others. Knowing the names of some of the cyclists who have already participated has caused me to conclude, it is going to be another very long season of having sand kicked in my face every Thursday evening ride.
This is my kind of snow. Beautiful to see, enjoyable to shovel because of the exercise value but best of all, it was melting even as it was falling. Unfortunately, we central Ohioians are steeped in experience with snow storms followed by days of cold and wind but this was different. The high today will be 40, followed by days and days of glorious warmth. Dan R is already asking about the ride plans for the weekend and so I'll find out what the elites of the peloton plan to do and post it here soon.
Also, someone asked about posting the faces and nicknames. This is found by clciking on "The Characters" on the right side. I discovered today that several of the descriptions disappeared but I fixed that. The descriptions are a little dated and I need to add a few.
What a stretch of crummy days for outdoor activities. I rode the Blue Jay route on Monday and found the roads to be in good shape for the official BJ ride in June. Noted that at mile 36 I had 3600' of climbing but it slacks off a bit thereafter. Then, rain or snow Tuesday through Friday, with things looking so bleak for cycling that I dragged the trainer out for the first time in 3 years and used it for an hour. By comparison, this makes running on a treadmill seem exciting. Awoke Saturday to find still more snow falling and after consulting with Dan R, the official ride leader, decided to postpone the ride to Sunday. A couple of guys did not get the word and so Ricky G and Scott the UPS driver rode alone out of Cyclist Connection.
This brings us to Sunday. Few are capable of leading a ride and fewer still are ever given the honor of doing so. While Steve O and I were discussing on Friday where we should ride, the time, the winds, the route, etc... we decided to give Dan Resetar the opportunity to make these weighty decisions. Dan's been riding with us for about a year and in that time observed some of the greats lead rides so it seemed like a good time to give him a chance to show us what he has learned and maybe move him into the ranks of the elite, ORLs (Official Ride Leaders). Alas, Dan was overwhelmed by the responsibility and only my good nature will prevent me from enumerating all the miscues, mistakes, blunders, faux pas, errors, missteps, oversights, screw-ups and oopsies that my good friend committed. During the ride, I consulted with Mark V and Steve O and we decided another 5-10 years of seasoning will be needed for Dan.
We shoved off, bundled to the max to ward off the 27 degrees and kind of strong winds out of the northwest. We exited Canal and eventually got onto Sitterly, headed south. Early on, it appeared Mark V was struggling a little and evidence emerged that he was getting cross-eyed from the effort when he not only mistook a stop sign for another cyclist, but also began speculating what would make this person ride on a day like this, despite the fact he was riding on a day like this and ought to know. Upon reaching the intersection and discovering the cyclist was a stop sign, Mark said, "The red had me confused." I made a mental note to keep an eye on Mark for the remainder of the ride. Later, as we traveled through the stark landscape of greys and browns, Mark commented how lucky we were to be riding in Ohio through all this great scenery. I made a mental note that he needs mental assistance and long term care.
We went left on Alspach, got over to Sand Hill/Rock Mill, went left on Wilson and rode that all the way to #22 and then Hamburg. The plan was to go up Christmas Rock, down Revenge and into Amanda. Mark decided to stay on Hamburg all the way to Amanda, avoiding the hilly loop. Not wanting Mark to ride alone where a mechanical could doom him, I decided to ride alongside. Sure, the ride leader should have been part of this decision making process but he was already coasting down Revenge, screaming, "Screw him, make him work for it!" The 5 miles along Hamburg to Amanda was into the wind and snow and gave us
perspective on what the post Amanda stop would be like for the remaining 17 miles. Ugh.
Towards the end of our hot drinks, standing inside the Amanda market, Steve and Dan arrived. We shoved off together, via Sand Hill. Cold? Yes, it was cold. The character of our group was called into question with murmurs of, "I don't know if I can make it." and "Let's stop at one of these houses with a van and ask for a ride into Canal." and "I can't feel my face anymore." Sad but true. We got onto Amanda Northern and it was suggested we stop at Mark Clingan's house but no one wanted to go east since afterwards we'd have to ride back west into the winds. Eventually we got onto Cedar Hill Road and one member of our group was so out of his mind, he pointed out an old Chestnut tree where years ago he had lost his virginity. I asked if he remembered what the guy's name was, demonstrating that I still had my wits about me. We glaciated into Lithopolis, and moved slower still on to Canal, where we quickly threw our bikes into our vehicles. Finished with 47 miles and 2000' of climbing while Steve and Dan finished with 55 miles. As I was pulling out, Dan knocked on my door and perhaps realizing he had blown his big opportunity, pleaded with me to take it easy on him in this report. I of course did.
Yep, the first ever and maybe annual, "Dan Resetar too Warm Not to Ride" ride is Sunday, at the new time of 1:00pm out of Cyclist Connection in Canal Winchester. Dan has a 54 mile jaunt through the country with a stop in Amanda. Yes, it will be cold but hand warmers, feet warmers and suitable clothing will make me comfortable. Starting temp should be about 31, warming rapidly to 33 under perfectly cloudy Ohio skies. You won't want to get out of the car but think about how good you'll feel about yourself when/if you finish. Because of the clothing I'll have to wear, anything more than a moderate pace will turn me into a sweat bucket so I will not be browbeaten or verbally abused into going any faster. Commited to riding are Dan and Steve O and probably many more will want to participate. Come on out and ride.