Kevin Hollingshead, aka Polish Pony, was involved in a bike on bike accident this weekend, sending me the above image and report below. Get well soon.
As you already have heard, I am now an official cyclist. They say you are not a cyclist until you go down, 21,000 + miles later and I finally did it. My neighbor and I had already ridden around 30 miles and was returning from Amanda via Rock Mill Rd. We turned west onto Marcy and was going to turn right onto Heister, my neighbor was riding on the inside of my right rear wheel, he didn't see me motion to turn right and I essentially turned right in front of him:-( We both went down at over 24mph and to avoid doing a face-plant on the road I rolled and my right shoulder took the full impact. I jumped right up, turned around and saw my neighbor laying face-down on the road. I yelled if he was alright and he got up with just some road rash. He asked how I was and I tried to raise my right arm and could feel and hear grinding and assumed I had broken my collar bone. Within 10min I was in an awful lot of pain and he called 911. The squad took me to Lancaster Hospital and was administering morphine when a car wrecked right in front of the squad on Rock Mill Rd. The squad stopped and one of the medics attended the wreck while the other two medics took me to the hospital. The morphine really didn't help the pain so they gave me delotin at the hospital, which I must say is better than Jack Daniels! The x-rays revealed I didn't have a broken collar bone, but a grade 3 separation of the AC joint. I have attached a copy of my x-ray and a copy of the grade 3 separation for your pleasure and I won't hold anything against you under the HIPPA law:-)
I have an appt. with the orthopedic tomorrow and not sure if surgery will be required yet. From what I've heard and read I could be looking at 4-6 weeks recovery. Now to the important stuff, the bike doesn't look that damaged and I will be taking it over to Rick tomorrow to let him work his magic. Outside of that I'm gonna miss you guys in the Peloton, but hold my spot:-)
As expected, after Saturday's sleet/rain/cold the turn out for the MOC ride was good, including probably every wearer of Kenda garb who lives within 50 miles of central Ohio. There was Mario, CT, Kendas Dave, Paul & Janet and others. So many Kendas I can't remember them all and they all look the same to me anyway.
Poobah checks out a new Colnago with Di2 group.
We gathered at the entrance, including Dan in the center who, by not using Kenda brand tires, had two flats today to add to others on recent rides. May be time to change tire brand. 18 of us, including Steve O, Nathan, Poobah, the aforementioned Kendas, Arron, Mark & Karen Rossi, Flyin Tuna, Jeff S, Kevin K & others.....
....rolled onto the streets of Delaware. Poobah was concerned about the wind direction, noting it would be in our face on the way back. Of course, considering where he would be in our group at that point, it's like simultaneously worrying about the weather in Barrow, Alaska. It's just not relevant.
After awhile, the speed ramped up, the group got stretched out and a lead group of 5 of us arrived in maybe Darby or something like that for a food stop at the local school. Soon, everyone else joined us in the gym for PB&J sandwiches, bananas, drink & Doritos. While this was a good mix, a couple of us left the school needing a Mt Dew or Monster fix so we planned to stop in a store as soon as possible. Immediately upon leaving the store, the route splits appeared and the weak took the short cuts and the strong (Steve, Nathan, Aaron, Jeff, Dan, me & Poobah) took the 100 mile route. The split occurred so quickly, I did not have time to hurl the usual insults.
Nice route, eventually taking us to North Lewisburg where we ran into a large group of people who were on the 88 or 91 mile routes, including Denver Dan, Frans, Jimmy, etc... There were two Jimmys seen on our route today. There was the Jimmy at the rest stop and there was the Jimmy in our group. You didn't note me mentioning a guy by the name Jimmy in our group? We all know him as Aaron but Nathan called him "Jimmy" for the first 57 miles until we set him straight. Because my riding distances have been so light the last 3-4 weeks, I expected the last 70 miles of this ride would be brutal but I was still in good shape at this point, mile 57 while Nathan takes a quick nap to recover and Aaron was looking around for that group that took the early split.
Head and cross winds began to take their toll after leaving North Lewisburg but we kept plugging along with Steve O taking over whenever he noticed one of us flagging at the front, which was frequently. The only downside to that was he couldn't help but pull away from us, which left whoever was 2nd in line, first in line and pulling again. Eventually, Steve gave up on us and rode away with about 5 miles to go. Couldn't blame him, like Tiger Woods forced to play golf with a bunch of 15 handicappers, it gets old watching guys look for their golf balls in the woods all day. We finished with 101 miles, a 19.5 mph average and 2500' of climbing.
Yep, last night, on the same night that the NFL was conducting its draft of college football players, we had the NFL ride, the Not For Long ride. Why is that you wonder? Well, since the weekend race is Sunday rather than Saturday, every A cyclist that has ever shown for a Thursday ride was at this ride save for a very few exceptions. Rich Lewis, Mitch Tallen, Dave Chesrown, Marty, Billy Campbell, Chris Grisvard, Pete C, Shannon, Rob Rhodes, Christian, Tim & Lisa Tyler, Gus & Peggy, Mike Rea, Doug M, Rick Miller, Jon Sada, Eddy, Paul Stock, Muscle Dude, Dustin, Jon Morgan, Ron, Mick, Dan, Dennis....30 leaving the parking lot.
It was a little chaotic during the lead up to the ride. Suzzane B, from COP, pulled in with a set of maps and the official COP sign-up sheets and soon thereafter, Shannon pulled in with maps and unofficial sign-up sheets. Uh oh, I hoped this would not evolve into a permanent split but a few moments in private resulted in Shannon now having the imprimatur of COP and all is well with the Thursday New Albany world, still. We did follow two different routes, the A's using Shannon's the rest using Suzzane's but that was only for tonight.
Dustin, one of the bright lights of the Canal Winchester boys, arrived. Dustin has been having back problems and frequent treatments are cutting into his riding. Unfortunately it was something else that took him out early in the ride.
Trapped in a day long gloom that exceeded the forecast by several hours, it was still raining as I left Granville but the horizon began brightening, the rain stopped and upon arriving in New Albany, the sky was clearing but the wind, geez, here it came again. Had to be 15-20mph out of the northwest. Poobah admitted that he had studied the map and knew where he needed to be at each turn to stay out of the wind. He is so crafty. Here, Todd continues his interview of fellow cyclists, trying to figure out where all the power has gone. Pete C tells him badminton is not a bad sport.
Our swarm pulled out of the parking lot, hit the corner and then, BOOM. Shannon turned on the after burners and we rocketed out 161, turned left at Kitzmiller, jetted out to Jug, turning left and accelerated. Meanwhile, Dustin was commenting to me that the road felt like it was rolling and then a few minutes later, POW! Flat tire. A few minutes later, POW! Paul Stock with a flat, the group spread to avoid, reformed and the group rolled on, inexorably onward. The speed and intensity began taking its toll, Rick M drifted back (knowing his ride schedule, he had probably already done 100 that day), I jumped across the gap while noting Lisa drifting back, Dennis then Ron but kept my nose close to Mick's wheel when suddenly, a largish gap opened in front of him. Too late to notice and too tired to cover it was over for me. Mick, Lisa and I turned left on Clover Valley, then Dennis caught up and we arrived at Miller Road to find the lead group turning around and re-emerging onto Clover Valley.
We joined back up with the wind whipping across the road but I was fine and just before turning right and down wind onto Green Chapel, I had a vision. Yes, I could see the future clearly, I was going to ride with the group all the way to Louden and then turning south, I would get cut out with the cross wind and ride all the way back into that freakin wind, of which I am sick of now. I sat up and turned around, finishing with 15 miles and a 20.4 avg. I've been looking at my ride results over the last several weeks, not good.
In case you were not aware, there is the Ride4Autisim ride out of Cyclist Connection in Canal Winchester on Saturday, beginning at 9:00am with multiple route options found here: www.ride4autism.com and a COP Roving Ride out of Johnstown but it is promoted as mostly a "C" pace at only 42 and 52 miles. On Sunday, there is the MOC (Mid Ohio Century) ride out of Delaware. Check the www.outdoor-pursuits.org web site for more information. If Saturday's forecast holds, probably be a huge turnout for the MOC.
Craig, aka Muscle Dude, made the trek south again and this time brought Jon Morgan with him too. Here, Poobah passes on his vast knowledge of racing Cat 6 back in the day to the Young Phenom's Nick and Logan.
It was a blustery, blowy, tempestuous, airy, brisk, gusty evening across the windswept plains to the southwest and south of Canal Winchester, where we rode. It was also freakin windy and the cross winds..... oooooohhhhhhhhhhh. It was all about position in the peloton for tonights ride and after drafting behind every person at least once, I can say that Muscle Dude and Euro Andrew are the best wind blockers. Above, Logan Leland, came out for his first Tuesday Canal ride. Logan has had quite a bit of success on the race scene this season, winning the Cat 4/5 in a field of 60 at Harrison's Tomb Road Race, 10th at the Cat 1/2/3 at Germantown and 10th at the Cat 1/2/3 at Lynchburg. For fun, he came out to pound us.
Mark C did his best to come up with a route that early took advantage of the typhoon force winds out of the northwest before swinging back north into diminishing, cyclone force winds. Despite the wind and cool temps, a largish crowd showed of 44 with more first timers, including Butch and Peggster, Ryan Roe (here emerging from his car in the background) and others. Ryan, living the life of a responsible hubby and father with little time to ride, is temporarily behind the fitness curve.
Nathan, wearer of one of the more freakish looking jerseys, telling his brother-in-law Dean about watching "Kill Bill Volume II" in his van before the ride. Someone else told me it was some other movie if you know what I mean but what Nathan chooses to watch in his van and why he arrives 2 hours before the ride to do it is his own business and the behavior is not that odd.....
So, the A group was looking rather intimidating. Mitch Tallen, Jon M, Muscle Dude, Logan, Euro Patrick, Nick, Dustin, Jim Rauck, Scott, Poobah, Steve O, Mark C, Jeff S, Nathan & others that had approximately 18-20 of us leaving the parking lot in the A group. We had just crossed Winchester on Waterloo when the sound of a gunshot signaled a flat, this time in Jeff S's wheel. We then soft pedaled all the way into Lithopolis, which was kind of curious but not unwelcome as there was no way Jeff was going to fix the flat and rejoin. Through Lithopolis and out Elder to the road crossing we moseyed along. Upon crossing the intersection, one of the group's useful idiots (me) yelled something and so Logan took off and the action ramped.
We hung a right (maybe on Oregon Rd) going north, the winds swept the peloton and I was caught out in the vicious cross wind but fortunately, this stretch of road was brief and I managed to hang on. I noted Poobah sitting comfy to the right of someone up ahead. I admit, I was envious, even jealous of his drafting ability. Certainly I aspire to have that skill one day soon. We made a left on Berger, back into the cross wind briefly on Richardson, left on Hayes and then right on Braun. Yes, a flat route but with the wind, I could see those at the front were working hard and I admired them for it. Eventually we got onto Pontius and upon reaching Duvall, Mark C from the rear screamed "Left". What is interesting here is the bulk of the group had to slow and turn around while Mark, Steve, Mitch and 1-2 others managed to make the turn unimpeded and then rode hard, later describing it as "soft pedaling".....hah!
This was not good because it meant guys like Logan would be motivated to catch and predictably, he hammered south on Goodman and the cross wind had Logan, Jim R, Craig, Poobah, Jon M, Nathan, Patrick, I and Dustin stretched from white line to white line. If you were not in that line, you were finished and I'm not sure if anyone else was still hanging on once we finally caught the "soft pedalers" at the turn onto S Bloomingfield Royalton. So, roughly a group of 13 headed east, crossing #674 getting on to Winter and finally arrived at Cedar Hill. I was in good shape here, at mile 27 and began thinking about the glory of arriving at the parking lot with this select group. Only thing that could screw up that plan was the cross wind and it did. I found myself with no protection as Poobah sat ahead and to the right of someone while riding in the freakin gravel! No kidding. I dropped back a little and Steve and Mark went around me as we approached Royalton Road with a largish John Deere bearing down on the intersection. One of its lights were out, giving me the impression the light was blinking and signaling it was turning south so surely it would slow. I was going for the intersection crossing when Nathan screamed. "Stop, Mark". I here by state that Nathan saved my life and now I am indebted to him forever. Chamois cream application, water bottle runs, whatever he needs, I am there for him.
Would the group check to see everyone made it through? Hah, not a chance and ahead, I could see the cross wind cut out Poobah, then Mark C and probably the group was then small enough there was room for everyone to fit in. The lead group finished the 37 mile route with a 21.6 avg, with Euro Patrick winning the sign sprint. I finished with a 20.7 avg and 1066' of elevation gain. How about that weekend forecast? Maybe it will change.
If riding last Saturday in the rain and temps in the low 50's was not your cup of tea, riding today in the rain and temps in the low 40's was probably less so. It was a day for the mudders to show up, the few, the brave, the desperate, I guess. Our group consisted of well, you can see most of them above. It was raining at the start, it was raining at mile 6 and it was raining when at mile 6.1 I turned around. Screw this I thought! Ended up with 10 miles because I had the smarts to take a short cut. Not sure what it did in the ride route area but here in Granville, it rained until after 2:00pm.
We had such grand plans. Mike Rea and I were bound to do 100 and most of the others were going to join us but alas, Ohio spring weather intervened. Mark & Karen Rossi and Kevin H did the 35 mile route and Karen said she was as miserable as she can recall. Not sure what the others did. For Sunday, I am headed to Bowling Green to watch my daughter Olivia, receive a scholarship so can not ride. Have not heard of any options other than the Canal ride in the morning and not sure what time that is. Let Google be your friend and search for the COP Sunday ride.
You've got to enjoy the parking lot scene prior to the New Albany Thursday ride. There is a good buzz about it, the chatter, the personalities, the pre-ride tension, observing who is there but also who is not there and the impact it will have on my ride. For example, I got an early look at Thursday's route and shuddered thinking what Rich Lewis and Shannon would do to me but.....neither was at the ride so maybe I'd be able to hang. In Shannon's place as ride leader was Jon Morgan and the people swarmed his vehicle to sign in and.......
....examine the route, critique it and calculate where they would have problems. Steve O drove up from Canal and was on his cross bike. Dennis asserted I could not hang with Steve even if he were riding a trike. Funny but likely true.
Here, Billy Campbell prepares while Poobah seeks advice from Garth Prosser. Poobah: Garth, is there any hope for me? Garth: No dude, you need to take up ping pong. Garth has had multiple high finishes in the famous Leadville 100 trail ride, at least 10th in one race and maybe higher finishes as well but always a solid top 50 place.
Farmer Mike, the largest land owner in Licking County, has returned. Tonight brought out a lot of the "Petunia" cyclists. You know, the guys and gals who are never seen during the winter but come out to join us about the time petunias begin to bloom like Paul Stock, Ron, Claude, Katherine, and Mike, all making their first Thursday appearance. The usual claims are made, "Oh, I have not been riding at all", or "This is my 11th ride of the year" and then they proceed to kick our ass.
Denver Dan on the left had a couple of guys bail on joining him on the drive to TN to participate in the 3 State/3 Mountain Challenge so if you need a ride and/or hotel room for this ride, let him know.
I forgot to count but probably 50-55 cyclists and 23 rolled out with the A group, including Marty, Jon Morgan, Dave Chesrown, Garth P, Chris Grisvard, Tim Tyler, Billy Campbell, Paul Stock, Mitch Tallen, Steve O, Doug McConaha, Poobah, Katherine, Christian, Terry, Mick, Muscle Dude, Eddy, Claude, Kenda Dave, Ron, Reynoldsburg Dan...I think I got everyone, what a memory! So, we rolled out old 161 with the usual surges and pauses, reaching 310 but kept straight through all the way to Alexandria and upon arriving at the stop sign, our average was 25mph. Turning left then a quick right on Moots, someone hit the gas on the ramp and that culled the herd a bit and upon reaching the flat, we were down to 14 cyclists. Unfortunately, Paul lost a chain and Garth had a flat so we soft pedaled for a bit until Jon and I consulted each other and decided, screw them let's go! We entered Granville with a 24.4mph avg and would have been interesting what it would have been without the slow down.
Then, a left at Thresher and as you can imagine, the herd then was really thinned. About half way up I got steered into the side of a car so lost some momentum but at the top, I was still in the front 7-8 at the left turn on to Burg Street but spewing hydraulic fluid and forced to ease. Muscle Dude came around me and charged on and so too did Mitch T but I could not hold the wheels. Rode through the rollers on Burg, through the stop sign on to New Burg and then Eddy, guy wearing deep blue jersey, passed but still not the right fit for me (in other words, he was going too fast). I waited patiently and half way up the ramps, glanced back and here came Steve O and Doug M and I jumped on, riding with them out Dry Creek where Muscle Dude and Eddy had slowed to wait for us, now we had 5 and a good working group. Noted my average then was 23.4mph. Steve O had the good fortune of being motor paced after dropping off on 161 by one of the usual Thursday regulars who was driving around in his van and jumped in to help.
We stayed straight at the stop sign rather than turning left but realized our mistake and got back onto the route, got up the hill and turned left on Battee, where Steve O, rode away from us but not sure he stayed on the route thereafter. Craig, Eddy and I turned left at Hardscrabble, right at Raccoon Valley, rolled into Alexandria, out Jug and there spotted two guys ahead of us. We could not close the gap, until much later where we joined up with Paul and Mitch, then finished with 39 miles, a 22.2 avg and a surprising 1350' of elevation. The "Marty" group finished with a 23.3 average. So close but yet sooooo far for me.
I slightly upgraded the analytic capabilities of the blog but don't worry, I still don't know who you are and have no interest in finding out so please continue to post anonymous comments as you want and don't worry that I will discover you visit this silly blog. However, I was curious about the country of origin and found out people from Canada, UK, Russia, Belgium, Serbia, Slovakia, India, Lithuania, Vietnam and France have visited in the last 5 days. If any of you foreign cyclists would like to send me a ride report, group ride experience or what it's like to ride in your country, I'd be happy to post it here. If so, you can post a comment and fill in your email address that is only visible to me and I'll email you back to discuss.
Tonight's ride leader, Amanda aka Corvair, asked my advice for the type of route she should produce. Before I could give her my idea of a flat one, Steve O got to her first and the result was predictable. As the maps were being passed out, the loudest of many groans came from Grand Poobah and who then began sobbing in despair. Someone suggested his nickname should be Grandpa Poobah. But wait, it got worse. Mark C announced that a road had become impassable so we were routed to, gulp, Pickerington!!!
Good turnout of around 45 cyclists, including a visit from Craig, aka Muscle Dude (on the right) from the New Albany gang. As you can guess, an elite climber he is not so tonight's hills were going to be a challenge. Would he continue the trend of New Albanites who come down and crush us? .
Whoa, would have been a good night to do the Spring version of "Women of the Tuesday Night Ride" photo essay.
A group of roughly 20 headed out with the A's, including Mitch Tallen, Dustin, Steve O, Mark C, Reynoldsburg Dan, Ashtabula visitor, Younger Phenom Nick (who loaned me a pair of arm warmers), Jeff S, Craig, John S, Scott who rides a Scott, Poobah. Kevin Olympus Dude and an assortment of others. We soft pedaled out Hill, turned right on Waterloo and upon crossing Winchester, the pace ramped up as we hit the long but gently slopped inclines up to Slough, where we hung a left. Probably this effort cut loose a couple of imposters but if not, what followed certainly would. Poobah suddenly took a flier off the front, likely to get a head start on the Slough hill. We screamed down into a ravine and Nick took an impressive line and got a huge gap, which was covered after the first climb, then another screaming descent and then emerged to the big climb. I was in the front group at the top but my legs were dead, maybe the Blue Jay effect from Sunday or just that I suck. We went straight at the bottom of the hill, turned right on Winchester and then on to the dreaded Pickerington climbs. I didn't even try to stay with the group of around 10 as they hit the opening slopes, instead pedaling with Jeff S up and over the multiple climbs. Ahead I could see Mitch and Dustin had gapped the others, then looked like Nick, Steve, Scott, Ashtabula guy, then Kevin, Mark C, Craig and 1 other. Eventually, Jeff and I turned left at Alspach and caught a green/white Lotto jersey guy who suggested we wait for two others behind us and then our group of 5 rode remorselessly on.
Getting on to Rock Mill, we gathered up Muscle Dude and now we were 6. The intensity remained high as we then caught Olympus Kevin and we were 7. Turning left on Duncan and heading east we approached Westfall and there was Mark C. I screamed, "We're coming for ya" and added him to our group and now we were 7, as the Lotto guy had dropped off. This was a good group of hard workers and with Kevin popping out of the peloton frequently to attack, I was on the rivet all the way, no surprise there. We turned left on Shaw, left again on Crumley, right on Mt. Zion and then, the evenings next big challenge, a left on Royalton. Kevin and Craig set the pace up the first long ramp and I clung to their wheels. The screaming descent through the "S" curve brought us to the next climb, then a brief coast to the base of the final climb and I reached the top first but exhausted and so used the old, "Let's regroup" trick to recover while we briefly soft pedaled. From there, we got onto Amanda Northern, a left on Marcy, a right on Sitterly and eventually back into the parking lot with a 20.2mph average, 37 miles and 2000' of climbing.
The front group had a 20.7 average and a contested sign sprint into Canal was won by the visitor from Ashtabula. Here, Steve Oxley gives away a logoed cap to the winner. Steve has decided to continue this each week with the winner receiving a cap or water bottle. However, it can only be won by not doing something stupid at the stop sign at Winchester. The sprint does not begin until whoever comprises the lead group is through the intersection. Also, the Grand Poobah rule is in effect. You must have started with the group and ridden the entire route in order to be eligible for the prize. Probably the person who accumulates the most sprint wins will get some kind of grand, year end prize but more on that later.
Interesting day to be on a bike, as usual. Hell winds, heat, crash, Subway, visitor from Chicago, nude woman sunbathing, short cutting, etc... the day had it all. The Newark YMCA is a little out of the way and with another tough slog out Blue Jay, many of the Tri-types either chose not to come out or perhaps were competing elsewhere, yet we still had a good group, Poobah, March Mark, Kim Sada, Tim Tyler, Flying Tuna, Chicago Dude (he contacted me through the blog and had asked about available rides while visiting his son at Dennison), John from Crook's Cycle Right, a couple of John Martin's regular Tri-types and then a late arriving Matt, Gus & Peggy and Kyle Wingler, so around 24 in all.
Martin's route had us going out Blue Jay, hang a right at 668/Brownsville and follow that all the way to Somerset. Since he was unable to make the ride, we took the liberty of amending the route to get over to Poplar Forks/Mt Perry Road, avoiding the traffic and super rollers on 668. Naturally, things got stretched out on Blue Jay and after I got to 668, I kept going to the top of the big climb and stopped at Flint Ridge where soon, Mark, Kim, Flyin T, Chicago Dude & Poobah arrived, along with Matt who had started late but caught us (Peggy and Gus made a wrong turn out of the Newark "square" and were temporarily lost). We went east on Flint Ridge and eventually arrived at Cooperider, got onto 204 and decided to climb up Amish Ridge Road. In the meantime, Flyin T talked Chicago Dude into heading back and we were down to 5 and the others? Well, they made a left at 668 by mistake, arrived at Rt. #16, turned around, made it to Gratiot and headed back to the Y with around 50 miles. Tim T was riding with Lisa later in the day so he went off doing his own route .
We got back onto 668 and slouched into the Somerset Subway, beat down with 29 miles and 2700' of climbing. Soon, Gus and Peggy arrived to swell our numbers and we were at 7, then Matt announced he was heading home and then we were at 6. We discussed the return options and I suggested taking 757 to Glenford, then Geo Ice and Hopewell Indian back to 668, which would put us close to Rt. 40 and down wind all the way to Blue Jay Road. Todd began sweating profusely and by the time he finished browbeating me, we decided to head west on a flatish 204 after arriving in Glenford, taking it all the way to Thornville and Rt. #13. Todd distinguished himself by sitting in behind Gus, all the freakin way and making Peggy, Kim, Mark and I fight for the limited spots out of the wind. It got ugly back there with 30mph+ cross winds and I tried to pry Todd loose but the guy has no shame. At one point, Gus turned to Todd and asked, "When did you turn 75?" Now that was funny and in reply, Todd ducked back behind Gus for an extended period.
Reaching Newark, we got onto a bike path and then onto a road where we passed in front of a house where none other than Flyin Tuna was sitting on her porch sunning herself. Todd shouted something unkind to her, I may have shouted some things too and then Todd plowed into my back wheel, sending him to the asphalt. I blame the whole thing on Cindy. Todd picked himself up, examined the bike, all appeared ok and we finally reached the Y with 59 miles and 4300' of climbing. Fun day and I made up the part about the naked sun bather but everything else is true, or close enough.
Weather forecast said no rain until noon. Radar suggested otherwise so no surprise that many people opted out of the Woodstock ride. Still, there was a pretty good crowd, including Ted M giving us an update on his recovery from a nasty crash last month. His front tire fell into a crack in the asphalt on a screaming descent and sent him over the handlebars. Ted is back on the bike for solo rides and will be back in group rides soon..
Plenty of debate about clothing choices and I made some stupid ones. Dressed for 50 degrees but should have dressed for 50 degrees and bone chilling wet instead. Jeff S, Flyin Tuna, Kenda Janet, March Mark V and I headed out on the flatish route but had already scaled back our distance goals from 100 to 60 miles. Note Kenda J's clothing choices required a complete canvassing of the vehicle with all 5 doors open at one time, as Mark V pointed out.
It began raining by 8:01, just as we shoved off from the parking lot but it was light and spotty. Soon, the intensity picked up, the road puddled and we were soaked save for the area protected by the rain jacket. We paused under the Route 23 overpass to examine our alternatives. No one wanted to keep riding if the current state of affairs remained....steady, cold rain. Because I calculated Kenda Janet would be the first to abandon and take a straight shot back to the parking lot, I simply said I would support whatever my Kenda buddy planned to do. No ulterior motive there eh? Unfortunately, the rain paused and we decided to stay on the route, eventually arriving in Kilbourne at the small market. My feet were numb and once Janet began making frequent noises about cutting the route short, I adopted the, "Oh I can't let her ride back alone" routine. After all, how could I ever look Kenda Paul in the eye if something happened to Janet, riding alone? Yes, a humanitarian I am. Finished with 42 wet miles.
Opps, forgot to mention the time of the Sunday ride. Poobah called me and shouted at me to get it right! Sunday out of the Y, going to Somerset for 60 miles is an 8:00am start. Sounds like Flyin T, Kenda J and Corvair are coming, along with Poobah.
Looks like COP's Woodstock is the ride for Saturday. Most of us doing the 100 mile route, starting at 8:00am at a brisk pace. Flat route for the most part unfortunately. Also see the "Tom's Trillium Tour" ride is this Saturday and that's a great route starting I think in Nelsonville but too far to drive given the uncertainty of the weather. For Sunday, John Martin has a ride out of the Newark Y to Somerset and 60 miles. Broad range of cycling fitness typically show for this ride so if Saturday is a rain-out you might consider this for Sunday and of course there is the ride out of Cyclist Connection on Sunday too. Have a good weekend.
Yes, all is right with the world again, the Thursday New Albany ride is back and it brought out people not seen since last fall. Including Dennis, aka Style Queen, aka Muscle Dude Junior....Dave K, aka SuperDave, aka Alphabet or just SupeDave and many others. Here, Dave attempts to explain the route to Poobah. It was a good route, even though most of us had to ride the route to find out what was the route. Note to ride leader: Hit the enlarge button on the printer a couple of times for us old people.
Rick Miller pulls up in his newly painted repair van. Wrap around graphics will be added soon, should be sharp looking when finished. Poobah attempting to get a free tune-up on the left.
Dave Chesrown signs in, more squinting at the map on the right.
The sun reflecting off the asphalt made it seem warm but the movement of the air suggested otherwise. Maybe 58 degrees at the start which produced a range of wear, some guys with ear wraps, tights & jackets, some with just shorts and jerseys. Regardless, we headed out at 6:00pm and out of the 45 cyclists at the start, 25 were in the A group and a strong group it was, led by Rich Lewis, Dave Chesrown, Shannon, Jon Morgan, Craig, the real Muscle Dude, Grand Poobah, Mike Rea, John Sada, Rick Miller, Danny Alcorn, Mitch Tallen, John Gorrilla, Mick, Terry and just a bunch of other guys too strong, too young and too fit. Note John G wearing the backpack and riding a cross bike with real cross tires on the left.
We rode out old 161, hung a left on Kitzmiller and then on Walton Parkway, the speed ramped up and here we go. Not being used to the intensity, early on I figured I would not be long for this world. We made a left on Beech and with a right on Jug, Shannon, Rich and Dave took turns turning the screws to the pack fodder and we began shelling a few people. I was behind John G but eyeing his bike suspiciously, not sure he could hang with the group on that anvil. Upon seeing a couple of bike lengths open in front of him, I pounced! Yes, my only moment of glory, passing a guy riding a 100 lb bike with knobby tires but I have to take my moments when I find them.
We rolled into Alexandria with an average over 23mph and approached the left on Mounts. A surge hit the first ramp and we were up and over with the group largely intact but then the group hit the rollers at good intensity and riders were shelled, including Mick, Poobah and others and then.....yes....100 yards short of Hardscrabble and at mile 16, I was done. I think there were still 12-14 in the front group but I was no longer part of it, bummer. My average was 22.5 at that point, turning right on Hardscrabble and then a left at Battee. A right on Louden brought me into the head wind and I rode the remaining miles never seeing anyone else and my average plummeted, finished the ride at 20.1, 36 miles and 1050' of climbing. Ahead, there were 10-12 who finished together in the lead group with a 23.1 average and a call to make the route hillier for next week so be prepared. Rich won the monster pull of the ride award for a sustained effort at 32+mph.
Sooooooo....the Tuesday Canal ride this week was my responsibility to lead, or at least to show up with the sign-in sheets, maps and a cheerful, positive, can-do attitude, even though I had no intention of riding in that crap. 46 degrees and falling rapidly, 20mph winds out of the north/northwest and gusting to 31mph. Be I ever so desperate to ride that I have to ride in that and well, I hope to never be in need of a ride that much.
I laid the sign-up sheets on the back of my car and retired to the warmth inside, with newspaper, to pass away the time. Unfortunately, the few that came to the ride appeared to be backsliding on their commitment to ride so I emerged every so often to shout encouragement, buck up the buckling, strengthen the weak and otherwise be a good cheerleader. I forgot my camera so I have no good images to share except I did take an image of the sign-in sheet when I got back home.
Note how people like Steve O, grab multiple lines with their signatures, what's up with that? Former ride leader Jeff S takes up the minimum space, as does Nathan, John S and others. DON'T BE A SIGN-UP SHEET HOGSTER! Also at the ride were Euro-Patrick, Ross, Dane, Mark V, Craig L, Andrew C and a couple of newbies, 10 in all. They headed out on a 38 mile route and I guess most completed it but not sure.
From John Martin:
2010 Specialized Tarmac Size 54 Compact crank Current rear cassette is a 12-32 with a mountain bike derailleur (Original derailleur is available) Size 54 - suitable for someone 5'9 -5'11 range. Perfect condition - at BikeSorce now getting complete springtime tuneup Carbon road bars Pedals not included Price: $2950.00.
Probably John would not want me to put out his email so if interested, send me an email or comment and I'll hook you up with John.
Kind of cold at the start, around 37 degrees and that probably deterred some people from coming out yet we still had 22. Well, we had 22 until David discovered he had forgotten his bike shoes....here we go again, another bailout because of missing equipment. Good mix of cyclists led by Steve O, fresh off a 150 mile ride the day before, Mark C, Kendas Dave & Janet, Dustin, new guy Dan from Reynoldsburg, Jeff S, Grand Poobah, Nathan, Flyin Tuna, Ginger, Bruce, Evie, Pugilist Mark R, John S, Aaron, Fred, argh, who am I missing?
Now that I have made it clear to Grand Poobah that I have no interest in him, he has shifted his sights elsewhere.
We headed out on a neat route that took some of us on new roads and as previously posted, we did see some of the views I had promised such as passing babbling brooks with fishes jumping from the water, we did see an albino wolf jump into our midst, we did see a view of the coast and water and gosh was it a beautiful day of sun. Worked our way over to Millersport with a steep hill thrown in there that I do not recall ever riding before today. Dustin got a head start on us and won the KOM points with a vicious battle behind him for 2nd.
We pulled into the Restorante Velero and chose to eat on the patio with the view of the water and coast. Beautiful isn't it? Todd L had been whining about the necessity of eating a cinnamon bun from the Granville Coffee House so I looked all over the Velero for one for him since we were a smidgen south of Granville. After awhile, we headed west, then south and hey, there's Coonpath Road again and soon thereafter back in the church parking lot with 63 miles. Good group and good fun, as usual. Then on Sunday, I hooked up with John Martens group out of Granville, along with 20+ others. Lots of tri-types who demonstrated they may be strong on flatish time trials but Blue Jay...not so much. But then, how many tri courses have that kind of climbing on them, like none I know of. Also there were John Sada, Tim & Lisa Tyler, Kyle Wingler, and a couple others who are real climbers. My interest was a social Sunday pace and I just hung with the tri-types but gosh it took a long time to cover the 48 miles.
Oh, get this, while riding Blue Jay, I came across Lisa T. who was fixing a flat. Being a considerate, kind cyclist, naturally I stopped to see if I could help. Nope, she had everything but I hovered just in case, if nothing else to keep the local rednecks away. First, Lisa reinstalled her old tube rather than the new one but hey, that can happen to anyone. Then, after replacing the old tube with a new one, she ran most of the CO2 out of the cartridge prior to shoving it onto the tube nozzle. I won't lie, I got a big kick out of this scene. Fortunately, I had my micro pump and after she pumped for 5 minutes, I took the 2nd shift and some time later, had the tire pressure up to 80-90. Another fun day on the bike but which days are not, when partially spent on a bike.
Hardly the most difficult climb in the area and may not even break into the top 5 but it is a classic climb in every sense of the word, Gibraltar. 3000' of climbing with multiple switchbacks all the way to the top save for a very brief descent into a mountainside community before climbing back out. The switchbacks provide expansive views of Santa Barbara, the coast, the Pacific and the Channel Islands. Stunning views all the way to the top. People consider the start of the climb from different points, either from the ocean (tack on another 1000') from Foothills Drive, from Mountain Drive or from where I start, where the road is signed Gibraltar. There, I ran into a guy who was riding a mountain bike with knobby tires. I asked, "Are you going to ride to the top on that and if so, don't embarrass me by passing." He laughed and said he rides up the mountain 3 times a week and chose the mountain bike to increase the resistance.
My previous best time was 1:09 and I kind of thought I'd have a good shot at getting under an hour but as I shoved off, so too did the other guy and he began talking and I forgot to restart my computer, instead looking down and seeing the time read 10:25am. I quickly left him behind (whew!) but came to a fork in the road that I had not remembered and turned left, while continuing to climb....wrong turn idiot. I stopped the computer, turned around, coasted back to the fork and got onto the correct road while restarting the computer. Not sure how much time I lost but at least a minute.
The climb is a little steep in sections at the start but not bad until it gets bad. Make a 180 degree turn, hit a ramp, make another turn and another and on and on with fabulous views. After coasting through a 100 yard downhill through that community, it gets very steep with many pitches in the 12-18% range. Finally, closing in on an hour, I ride to the back side of the mountain, riding hard (for me) but it keeps going and keeps going and I begin to panic, come around a turn and there is East Camino Cielo Road, hit the computer and it's 11:26 so that's 1:01 from the start. What to do...I rationalize that when I first looked at the computer it was 10:25 but early in the minute or late in the minute? How long did that detour take....at least a minute...therefore, my time was 59:59:59, yes, just under one minute.
Then I followed ECC for 7 miles of mostly down hill, most of it along the spine of the mountain with views to both the coast and valley all the way. Amazing.
Reached the end of the pavement, turned around and headed back, gaining around 900' to Gibraltar. Along the way I wondered if there are people living out in the vast wilderness off the grid and someone told me indeed there are. Some can be found while fighting fires and they the firefighters stumble into their "home sites".
Hard to beat this view. Coasted down with 32 miles and 4400' of climbing. Had planned to ride over and do the San Marcos and Painted Cave climbs but just ran out of motivation.
Mark C has stepped up to lead a ride, Saturday morning out of Gloryland Nazarene Church on Coonpath Road, about a mile east of #33. Start time is 9:00am. The route will go northeast, close to Granville on new roads that have never previously seen a bike. Yes, spectacular scenery on a flatish to rolling route..see the dogwoods in bloom, see the redbud trees, see babbling brooks, see fish jumping out of streams, see nature in all of its glory, see bear cubs frolicking in meadows, moose herds....all the way to Hebron, Ohio! Total distance is 60 miles with myriad of shorter options (just turn around and retrace the route whenever you want). This may be the year's most spectacular ride so join us for the comaraderie, for the exercise, for the calorie burn and for the fun of it. Broad range of cycling fitness will be represented from what I hear. Maps at the start.
THIS JUST IN!!!! Kenda Janet is a firm committment. That should pull in dozens more....but wait...Steve Oxley is in the house!!!! but wait....Little Diesel is in.....Flyin Tuna is in......come on commit to be in. This ride is open to everyone.
I said I would have the Gibraltar climb report by tonight but got hung up doing chores demanded by "She Who Must Be Obeyed". So, here is something to tide you over, riding along E Camino Cielo Road, about 4000" above the coast. Now, meantime, sounds like the Canal ride season got off to a sizzling start. As many of you know, the bullies from New Albany came down and dusted the Canal Winchester Mudhens, rather frequently and rather decidedly last year other than Steve O who hung in there as the token Canal rep. You know how offseasons go however, free agency, trades, fitness improvements and.....probably the same as last year other than there was some muttering around the post-ride parking lot about how those that showed up from New Albany could not pull away from the group and I have heard some bold talk from others. The front group's average was about 22.6mph. I of course would never stir the pot of controversy as the blog simply observes and reports and never, ever tires to create the news.....
As I drove back from the Gibraltar climb, I remembered there was an obscure but highly rated restaurant, Cold Spring Tavern, somewhere around the top of the mountain off #154. I hung a left at Stagecoach Road and about 1/2 mile down the mountain, there it was. It was a stage coach stop in the late 1800's and much of it is preserved, including a bunkhouse where the labor gang stayed while building the #154. I ordered lunch, sat next to a 4-some from Norway who kept me entertained with stories.
Still to come those images from the Gibraltar climb and judging by the 700+ page visits so far today, you are anxious to see them. Realistically, it will be around 10:00pm tonight before I can post so get back to work. Oh, weighed myself this morning and actually lost a pound during my trip. Judging by the routes that makes sense but if you had followed me around post ride each day, you would have bet significant weight gain, geez if you only knew.....
Well, I'm sitting in the Santa Barbara airport waiting to board a flight that returns me to Ohio. As usual, I ain't happy about it!!!! Above, a scene from Ballard Canyon, looking southwest. Still have to post the Gibraltar ride report with amazing images. Partly I want to get it on here because I reference these goofy reports when preparing for a new visit. I've read through the reports thus far and cringe at the sentence structure, vocab and other mistakes I've made (I'm good at run-on sentences). But, it takes more than a little time to cobble these reports together so cut me some slack. I did graduate from high school even if my writing suggests otherwise.
As I left Santa Ynez Valley, I did so via the #154 and close to the top of the climb, made a left on Painted Cave Road, a very, very steep road that connects to W Camino Cielo road which takes one over to Gibraltar Road. I had a video device with me and stopped to record some of the more striking scenes. Came down Gibraltar, came to a stop sign where there was a cyclist and unsure if I was to go north or south on the #101, I asked in which direction was the airport. It was Dave L, owner of Fastrack about whom I did a brief report last week. What a coincidence.
So, after Sunday's absolute epic ride, I headed to Santa Barbara to ride Gibraltar, what some people call "America's Classic" and it is a classic climb. Not the hardest in the area but geez, it's got it all. Then, at the top I hung a right on East Camino Cielo road and rode 7 miles to the end of the paved section, with views superior to what I witnessed on Sunday. I'll be back in Ohio late Tuesday but Mark C will be leading the Canal Winchester ride and with luck and the help of Fed Ex, I'll have my battered and beaten bike by the weekend (it's squeakin like crazy). Oh, I broke my record time up Gibraltar today (less than an hour) and am feeling really good about my fitness. I suspect during this week I have passed certainly Flyin Tuna, probably Style Queen, probably fat boy Ryan R and...well that's about it but now I'm tired of riding and have decided to pick up running.
Lastly, get this small world moment. I was born in Zanesville, Ohio as some of you know. Zanesville was the birth place of the famous Western novelist Zane Grey and once, Bob Hope in a movie said he was not from Zanesville but from South Zanesville. Anyway, tonight I strolled into Solvang Brewing Company restaurant and sat next to a guy who I overheard talking about riding out to Jalama Beach today. I could not resist but strike up a conversation. As I travel about AZ, CA and FL, I run into thousands, perhaps millions of people who used to live in Ohio but this guy, Dan P, was born in......yes.....Zanesville. What are the odds of that!?!?!?!
More to come later on the famous Gibraltar climb.
Headed out #246, making a right on Refugio and got a look at today's destination, the satellite group you may barely be able to see on the ridge. Passed Kalayra winery on the right, which sponsors a women's racing team. Windy day with winds 20-30mph out of the north, down here in the valley, up on that ridge?
After 4 stream crossings that had some running water but not too deep, over a few bridges, I reached the end of the paved portion of the road. It wasn't until then that I thought yesterday's rain may have had an impact on the road, smacked my helmet in disgust for missing the obvious but began the climb. Two years ago the road was scraped, filling in the old ruts and was still in fairly good shape of packed dirt, rocks and boulders and small water run-off ruts. As long as there was a slope in the road, the surface was ok as water had not settled but when level, my tire would sink into the mud. It's a 3+ mile climb gaining 1600'. Resistance increased greater than the incline would suggest so I got off my bike and....
....oh, that explains it. Had to stop a few times and work the mud out from around the front and rear brakes but eventually made it to the top.
At one point, after cleaning the mud and debris, I turned and had this view. As is always the case, at the top I found a man standing beside a car staring at the end of the pavement. For people driving to Santa Ynez, some or all gps devices instruct them to drive up from the 101 via Refugio, which is fine and paved but at the top is a sign indicating the road is closed, as it is always, on the valley side. A high clearance vehicle could make it but today, with the mud, I wouldn't try it. 2 other cars approached and they too had the same problem. Nothing to do but turn around and find the next exit.
My plan was to make a left and climb West Camino Cielo road to the satellite cluster, a place I had never visited. This section is 6 miles and gains 1800'. The road condition is good and the winds behind me except when they were not and then, the cross winds were ferocious. The strongest I'd ever experienced and the gusts would either propel me forward without pedaling when behind or force me off the road when from the side. I can't guess the wind speed but certainly more than 40mph. The views to the ocean side were fantastic to the right and....
....the views to the Santa Ynez Valley side were equally impressive. At one point, a large gray fox jumped onto the road, saw me and scampered into the underbrush. Very cool. Yes, an absolute epic ride, winds howling, steep ramps, the views, no cars, no people, great pavement it was as if I was at the end of the world. fortunately, for most of the route, there was a 50-100' wall of earth to block some of the wind but when there was not, WOW! Above, that's the Chumash Lake beside #154.
Finally, I reached the end of the pavement and there was a dirt road leading to the satellites and I kept going. Noticed the wind was picking up the sand from the road and blasting my back as now I was completely exposed with no barrier. I wanted to linger here and knew the dirt portion kept going all the way to #154 but I had reached my goal and it was time to get the heck out of here. The ride down into that head wind...I can't describe it. Sometimes I had to stop and wait out the wind gusts before proceeding. Most of the time I rode with one foot unclipped so I could brace myself from unanticipated blasts. At last, I reached Refugio Road and originally had planned to drop down to the coast on the paved road side and then come back up but I had enough of the wind and headed down the dirt side. Surprisingly, the mud had dried from the wind and I got down rather easily.
Unfortunately, I erased my Gramin settings but finished with 32 miles and well over 4000' of climbing. A day to never forget.