The Ashmore brothers. They all look alike to me so Steve O made name tags and Matt and Pete will forever attach the tags to their jerseys during the pre-ride parking lot routine. Later, the brothers went off route and lost, thus the title of this report.
Younger Phenom Nick, driving now, and riding now, stronger then ever. No New Albanistas around this Tuesday so a chance for some of us to maybe hang with the A group, as long as guys like Nick did not ride too hard....no luck there.
Things became a bit toasty around Mark C's sign-up vehicle so many of us.....
.....sought refuge in the shade. The "C" group had 2 new members tonight so that's good. Keep on coming out and fill the "C" ranks. Yes, the routes are hilly but this isn't the Sierras, just the foothills of the Hocking Hills and a good way to burn calories. Corvair on the right and riding very strong.
Smallish "A" group again and with the New Albany Yankees missing, not quite the quality of past weeks but still, Younger Phenom Nick, Euro Patrick, Paul Stock, Kevin on the left, the old Lion of Canal:Steve O, Pete, Matt, Luke and Hendra, down from OSU campus. I think he said he is a junior so may have to put up with his beat downs for another year before he graduates and moves to greener pastures. He's a good guy so that makes the beatings more endurable.
In total, maybe 35-37 for all groups and 10 of us rolled out in the "A" group with numerous catcalls directed at me, "See ya soon", "You suck", "Take up golf again", "You won't make it to the stop sign with those guys", etc.. It sounded like all those comments came from one guy, my buddy Ryan R.
We got on to Eastern Waterloo, then the awesome Pickerington Road. Some ride leaders keep the part of the road south of Winchester Road, off the routes because the 4 hills there are so daunting, some cyclists zig and zag and are all over the road, making it kind of dangerous. By the time we got to Winchester, some of us were gassed. In the lead up to the Winchester Road stop, even Steve appeared to be waning but Patrick came alongside and gave him a push to help close a gap. We crossed Winchester and hit the first hill and quickly, 5 of us dropped anchor, Steve, Kevin, Matt, Pete and me.
Routes like this expose the weak. No real drafting opportunity where one can sit in and hide for awhile, the gratient just doesn't care and so the other 5 quickly disappeared. Of the remaining 5, Steve made the best of it, putting a little gap into me but upon cresting the final hill, there was the first 5 waiting!!!!! Been years since I saw the "A" group do that and I suspect Patrick had a lot to do with it. All 10 back together, we kept going, making a left on Alspach then a right on Rock Mill. Kevin, not yet in the form of last year, dropped off, then Matt. I was doing ok but following super gutterer, Steve O and so, without the draft, I too dropped out at mile 13, figures. Matt came alongside and towed me in to Amanda. The front 7 had slowed a little and we could always see them but the light in Amanda did not cooperate and we did not catch back on.
Continuing south, we got on to Hunter and that debilitating long climb where Pete dropped out, along with Steve. The difference being Pete came back to join our merry band while Steve lone wolfed it. The three of us worked together pretty well, making a left on Sixteen, a right on Stoutsville, etc... Then, we reached a turn that is the usual turn north, I think it is Fosnaugh School Rd but it was not signed. Matt and Pete kept going west as I turned. Reaching the crest of a hill, I could see Steve and yelled back, "This way" but the Ashmores did not hear me so at that point, I soloed back in, finishing exactly with a 20mph avg, 43 miles and 1800' of climbing. No word if the Ashmores made it back in.
Here it is, the route that Mark C has elected fo Tuesday's route. Looks like a great evenng for a bike ride.
This could be a good option for Saturday, May 18. There is a COP ride but it starts at 7:00am and is only 50 miles. Not a bad option but found the below ride and it is different enough, may be a good option. The entry fee is $25 and proceeds go to the Humane Society of Licking County. It is not a race but the event is timed so you know..... Plus, each finisher receives a medal!!! and a T-shirt if you pre-register. In addition to the $25, there is a one-day $10 fee that essentially covers insurance. The main thing is these are probably new roads for most of us. If I find a link to the route I will put it up.
Kevin H, aka Pepe LePew, or Polish Pony sent me the below information. Sounds like a good deal.
ProBikeKit has Continental Grand Prix 4000S tires for 35.99 each if you buy four
or more. These are some of the best tires I have ran, matter of fact it is the
only tire I buy today. You will not find a better deal that I am aware of on
this tire. I have bought several items from ProBikeKit in the past without any
issues. Plus they are offering free shipping.
Most cyclists who participate in rides do so without knowing the feverish work behind the scenes by whomever is the ride leader. OK, I am exaggerating the effort to lead a ride and those of us who have, have made mistakes. At least once, each ride leader has prepared a route without road names (see below), each of us has at least once included a road on the route that was not a road but an unmaintained Forrest Service road (see above), each of us has yelled at the start that the route is clockwise when instead it is counterclockwise, at least once, we have put a food stop off the route but if you did not know the stop was off the route you would have missed it and all of we ride leaders have put a turn on to an unsigned gravel road leading through a creepy cemetery.
The challenge of getting through Lancaster is a daunting one. Go around or go straight through? So all ride leaders have made the mistake of creating a meandering route through the city rather than a direct one and finally, all ride leaders have asked to borrow a pair of cycling gloves because we forgot to bring ours, even though the missing pair of gloves is sitting on the hood of the ride leader's car. BUT, have any of us ride leaders committed all of these mistakes on the same ride? Until today, April 27th, a day which will live in infamy, nope, never happened before.
Happier times, in the parking lot before the ride. Mark & Karen Rossi are in a good mood because their 40 pound tandem is about to be replaced by a custom made, carbon fiber bike that is 15 pounds lighter. I am very excited about this news because now they can pull us on the flats and up the hills. Steve O on the left, munching a banana and just now I am thinking I should go see if I can find the peel on or in my car.
At the start was Steve O, Jon Morgan, Marty S, Tym T, Steve Fields, Blair S, Mike M, Flyin Tuna, Jeff S, Rossis, Evie, John Sada, Mitch O and Scott Henningsen. We set out in bright sunshine, light winds and got onto Rainbow, through Lancaster where some of us became lost, eventually out of Lancaster, up Christmas Rock, Snortin Ridge, followed by a series of state routes that eventually brought us to a point on the route that if you knew Grandma Fays was a turn or two further off the route, you knew to stop. Fortunately, we all have experience in the area and we stopped....for a very long time cause that was a lot of climbing for April. Tym, Steve, Marty and Jon got away from the pack and were on their own while sub groups formed behind.
Leaving the food stop, we got on to more fantastic roads including Culp, Unger, 374, Big Pine, Kreashbaum, Starr, Wildcat Hollow, Pleasant Valley, 180, etc.... including Sullivan, the rock strewn road up the back side of Firetower Road. Actually, Sullivan is not the back side but probably more like the "side side" and I am sure the home owners have never seen a bike on that road before today. As we all pushed our bikes, Steve O yelled to me, "You better filet Dan over this" and I am all to happy to do so, tongue firmly in cheek and appreciative of his efforts at putting together the ride. After the ride, some of us stopped at a local pizza place that is a favorite of Steve O's. It was easy to see why it would be a favorite. Good food, good atmosphere and lots of women with missing teeth. Oh, we finished with 86 miles and 6000' of climbing. Others finished with 98 miles and 7500' of climbing.
Steve Oxley and Dirty Dan Resatar are training for the 3 State 3 Mountain ride and need distance and hills for Saturday. They have been kind enough to extend an invite to anyone who wishes to join them. The route is 98 miles with a 86 mile option and the long route will have about 7000' of climbing. I plan to attend and ride at my usual leisurely Saturday pace and I hear several others are going to join in too. You can ride with Steve and Dan or you can hang back with the likes of Mitch O, Jeff S, or hang further back with Flyin Tuna, Evie or even farther back with me. At least a couple of others will join but probably should not mention their names. I will have a few maps and give them to those most deserving. Below is more information from Dan:
The starting point is Bloom Carroll HS (same as Fall HOOT). We roll at 9am.
Regarding the pace...It will be like our typical Saturday rides. I'm sure some will want to attack some hills and spin up others. No worries either way. We can regroup at the top of each climb and keep everyone together. We did this on the Great Seal ride last Saturday and it worked out great. Steve and I just want the hill work and miles and its always more fun with more people!
I'm going to load the route into my Garmin, so between this and the limited supply of maps Mark will provide, we should be good. Hope to see you there! Note the refueling stops are at mile 42, 65 and/or 80.
Probably this image says everything that needs said about the conditions of tonight's ride. The ride leader is wearing a "hoodie" and for good reason, it was cold, windy and spitting rain. Plus, the poor guy had to be lectured by Grand Poobah about making a left turn out of the parking lot rather than a right turn to avoid the two traffic lights. After getting on Waltons Parkway, we can hang a right on Kitzmiller or Beech to get over to the 161 dragstrip..
Soon, Shannon was joined by a more agreeable fellow, Doug McConaha. Note this is about 5:45 and the background is bereft of cyclists because who wants to ride in the wind and cold again???? For me, it was a nastalgic time. I remember this route well from last year. I hung with the lead A group up Alward and beyond, well beyond my usual dumping off point so I felt good about my prospects for tonight. You have to understand, with so few cycling accomplishments, people like me hang on to memories like that.
Doug is joined by Chris G, Dave Chesrown and Pete C. I keep seeing Pete's name high on the finishers list at the Cat 3 events. Wonder what it is like to have memories of actual accomplishments in cycling? A few more cars roll in and the numbers begin....
.....to build. Mick on the right, my riding companion from last week. And then....
....at the last minute, a tsunami of cyclists, almost excluisvely of the A variety. In fact, of the 26 A's who showed up last week, just about all were back with the addition of Ron Budzik, Tym and Lisa Tyler, Terry Griffith, Gus Cook (I think he was here last week), have not seen Billy Campbell make an appearance yet. I run into Rob Rhodes around Granville but he hasn't made it out yet, Mitch Tallen, no sight of him yet, Danny Alarcon was here for the first time, Alison from Team 614 along with Maya (spl?) were out for the first time. The parking lot was swarming with talent and there I was in jeans and jacket, not riding. I felt kind of stupid. Hey, how about those black kits with light blue accent? That is one of the better racing kits I have see
So, when Shannon called them together, there were 39 cyclists. Geesh, even Marty S in the black and white with back turned, a well known avoider of crummy weather, was here to ride. Shannon sent out the A group, the few that remained, looked at each other and they rolled out with the A group too.
I could not resist shadowing the group for a few miles. I figured with the tail wind, rather than a cutting cross wind, a larger then usual group would hang together but by the time they hit the Alward climb, the group was very strung out and then mostly shattered on the climb. Shannon and Pete C reached the top first followed closely by Marty and a few others. Went home and pulled weeds. Now that's fun and wow, heck of a calorie burn yanking on those dandelions.
Holy Mackeral. We go from 40 miles last week to 45 miles for this week's A route. At this rate, we'll do a century route in July or at least 70 miles. Thanks to Shannon for coming up with another good route. Also, there was some talk last week about Shannon's training camp out of Helen, GA. It was in early April and 23 people attended, including Tri-Andrew, Katherine and Christian. Yes, it's a tri camp but the emphasis is on cycling. Helen, GA is a kind of neat place, as if someone uprooted a Danish village and dropped it in GA. The surrounding area has fantastic roads for bike riding and includes, the climb up Brasstown Bald. Ahhh, the memories I have of riding one of those 100 mile, 10,000' routes that finished with a climb up Brasstown. So steep and then rounding a corner there is what the locals call "The Wall" and where I unclipped and pushed my bike. True, I have unclipped many times but that was an epic unclipping. The Wall at mile 97, can't beat that. Anyway, this link takes you to details about the tri camp and no doubt Shannon will have info later this year for the one in 2014. http://www.hfpracing.com/teamhfp/training.htm.
The Tuesday COP Canal Winchester ride. It's point of differentiation from other local group rides are the hills so we try to always have lots of hills on the routes but sometimes work in a flat route just to be different. The ride attracts climbers who come and go over time as they age or become fat but one of those still in his prime and fresh off multiple trips to train in sunny CA is Jon Morgan.
Jon is the "Morgan" in "Shore Morgan Wealth Strategies", a New Albany based company. I asked him who are his favorite all time investment advisors, expecting him to say John Bogle, Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, etc... but no, he said "Charles Ponzi". I gave him a quizzical look and he explained, "Anyone can invest to mimic the S&P 500 but that guy was a genius to come up with the scheme that made his name famous." OK, I just made that last part up, Jon didn't say that but thought it was kind of funny. Jon is a good guy and always has a smile on his face. Note the north background of the parking lot behind Shades Restaurant has undergone a profound change. The white building is gone. I also thought what the bulldozer did to the building is analagous to what Jon does to most of us on our bikes.
Tonight's ride leader, Andrew Clayton on the right, bows before Dan Resatar. Dan rode Saturday, Sunday and Monday and swore his legs were fried and he was going to ride at an easy "B" pace. I immediately liked that idea as I too had ridden those three days, finishing with hill repeats of Thresher and Thornwood late yesterday. Plus, I wanted to be fresh for Thursday's weekly, "Get My Butt Blown Out the Back of the Pack" ride.
From left to right, Mark C, Andrew, one of the Ashmore brothers and Ryan Roe. Pastor Mark had also ridden three days in a row and said he would ride at a B pace, maybe a C pace. Beware Pastors making false promises.
Hey, Hendra drove down from campus to check out the Canal scene. Mark C on the right, hmmmm is that the early onset of man boobs forming? I'm doing Mark a favor. With the verbal jabs thrown at him last night and what I write here, it will motivate him to get back in shape and lose the tractor tire around the waist.
Steve Oxley in the background in white jersey on his bike. The Lion of Canal is slowly recovering from the flu or cold virus but you can still tell by the sound of his voice there are lingering effects. He too dropped in with the B group as he is not quite regained his normal fitness level.
Hendra, I think I heard, was riding for the 6th straight day of at least 50 miles at a race pace. He was with the lead A group to the very end, which included Jon, Rich Lewis, Euro Patrick and Paul Stock. They finished with a 21.9mph average, down a little because they did not know the route/turns.
Keith in the middle with the Hincapie shorts. Not only did he hang with a fast paced B group but at the end, he was driving the pace, at age 69. Very, very impressive. A good guy to have in the peloton. If I was asked to evaluate, I'd say, on a road bike, he is stronger then Farmer Mike, which I bring up only as a point of reference. Kills it on the hills too.
Good turnout of around 41, including Steve Hewittt leading out a C group. I think that group had 5 members and needs more of you to come out. Unlike the other groups, they ride at a real C pace and tend to stay together. I have been remiss in not promoting this opportunity.
A small but very strong A group formed of Jon, Rich L, Euro Patrick, Paul Stock, Hendra, Kevin....a total of 9. A small A group and it appeared some of the guys that usually roll out with the A group dropped back with the B group. Once the A group departed, 26 B's rolled out and as I earlier said, I was looking forward to a relatively easy ride, probably with a subgroup of Mark, Dan and others who would drop back because remember, their legs were fried and they wanted to recover, yeah, right. Early, the pace was pretty quick and I looked ahead and there was Dan R pushing the pace in front. I asked Mark C, "Guess who's out front?" He guessed correctly and we began referring to Dan as "Dirty Dan".
The route took us over to the Slough climb and only then did Dan slide back. I noted the pace was not very high and since I was in the back of the pack, thought it'd be fun to see if I could make it to the top first. Almost made it but Mike Murphey and either Pete or Matt Ashmore nipped me at the top. Oh well. We regrouped and Dan returned to the front. It was a good route and the pack stayed together for the most part, including Kevin H aka Pepe LaPew, Ryan R, Jeff S, Steve O, a guy we picked up from the A group, Mark C, Eric the Dispatch photographer, Corvair, Keith, Mike M, Mitch O, etc...
Somewhere out there, Pete or Matt Ashmore asked me if I missed not having the Rossi tandem to draft. That's funny. We rolled south on Rockmill and hung a left on Duncan, a road that we rarely visit but it's a good road having a variety of turns and upon exiting it made a right on Westfall and a left on Shaw, then left on Crumley and a right on Mt Zion and someone said, "This must mean we don't have to do Royalton", which has a nasty climb. We then made a left on Royalton, hit the first climb, then the second, plunged into a steep descent and climbed out of the valley to the Rockmill intersection. Our numbers had thinned but we paused a bit to regroup because afteral, this is the B group. Throughout though, the Ashmore brothers showed amazing fitness and it is a wonder why they are not pounding the Morgan's, Lewis', etc... of the world. Fine fellows both and I am lucky to know them.
We rolled on and reclaimed the parking lot with a 20mph average and 38 miles. Dan pulled at least 60% of the time and occassionally, I would ride up alongside and ask how the fried legs were doing. We also had almost exactly 2000' of climbing.
How about that thrilling SPOT ride? Another Saturday of temps in the 40's and winds in the 20's. One more weekend like this and I'm bugging out for warmer climes. I was looking forward to a century ride with Steve O and all was going well until about a mile into the ride, our group hung a right where the road marking indicated a right should be made. One member of our group urged us to stay straight and so Kenda Janet, Kenda Dave, Flyin Tuna and me stayed straight while the others turned right.
Seems one member of our group flashed back to the Covered Bridge ride and recalled a contrived routing over a bridge she did not like, knew the Covered Bridge route came back into Canal Winchester so we eased to a stop just east of Shades Restaurant to wait for our group to overtake us. We even coasted to a stop next to yellow road markings that showed the distance options for the ride. There is just one problem with the plan, this was not the Covered Bridge ride or route and coincidentally, one of us noticed the yellow markings on the road had the letter "B" extending, rather than the letter "S" for SPOT. Thus, we were now miles away from our group who were boring steadily into the winds going away from us.
We got back on the SPOT route, picked up Aaron to bring us to five and plugged away. I dreamed of the Rossi tandem, a few miles up the road and how I should have been drafting comfortably behind them. I was motivated to catch and pursued them with such vigor not seen since I was pursuing the little red head girl when I was in 4th grade. Alas, despite my efforts and those of my fellow cyclists, we never saw the Rossi's, Oxley or anyone else who started from the parking lot. We did overtake Kenda Paul who is just now getting back on the road after a season counting beans at a Columbus-based accounting firm. Probably we should have eased up and allowed him to draft because it would have been 0 fun to be out in that head or cross wind alone. But no, we rode inexorably onward until, we reached an intersection that indicated route options. We paused, looked west and felt the full force of the ferocious wind and jointly decided, "Let's not go that way." and so, headed on a shorter route option.
Soon we were confronted with another route option and there too we took the shorter option. Soon we came to an intersection that did not give an option, just indicated we should go south and here we chose the road less traveled, which was also going toward Canal Winchester. We limped back to the parking lot with a nice 40 mile warm-up ride and proceeded to dump our bikes into our respective cars and drive away, never to know what happened to that part of the group who stayed on the route but now, they know what happened to us. No pictures due to a dead battery.
And so, once again, it begins, the famous New Albany COP Thursday ride where the young, the old, the fit, the fat, the guys with beards and those without gather for a relaxing evening on the bike. Farmer Mike, on the left, arrived back in town after a winter in Florida, ready to go at the age of 70. He has a moutain bike race this weekend. He was asked if there is an age maximum for competing in those events but no, he will dominate the 70+ age group for 10 years before moving on to the 80+ group. Garth Prosser on the right.
Jeff on the left, recovered from a nasty spill he took last year when his tire entered a crevice on Morse. Fortunately for him, I was in the area and able to drag his body off the road prior to a semi driving by. We are discussing appropriate compensation for my selfless act. Betsy (I think) on the right with those cool designer sunglasses. Later, she punished a strong B group with 25+mph sustained pulls.
John signs in on the left while Hendra Balisades, an OSU cyclist, signs in as well. Hendra is the real deal, another young, light superfit guy to make my life miserable.
Jon Morgan signs in. He was in the lead group that hit the base of the Thresher hill with a 25.5 average and emerged at the top a little slower then that.
Katherine Graham on the left. Not satisfied with being an elite cyclist, she has taken up golf. Hah, sure becoming good at cycling is not a big deal but golf??? Good luck with that. You are about to enter the most frustrating of sports.
Mick signs in on the right and behind him is Flyin Tuna, Dan R and Paul Stock. The pace was so intense, even Paul got dropped and took a short cut back, accompanied by John Sada and one other guy.
Yet more rolled in, John Sada on the right, Marty S, Kevin Henschel, unknown guy, Tri Andrew having dropped 15 pounds and trained with Shannon in GA, Garth, etc... Sada came up to me prior to the ride and said he had received a call from someone who claimed I was taking shots at him via this blog. Come on, who would go to the bother of calling John? That's classless but I'll give this person the benefit of the doubt and think he said someone was making comments about John on my blog and John misinterpreted. I asked John if he had actually read the blog to confirm but no, he took the tipsters word for it. Geesh. Anyway, on to the action.
Traffic made exiting the parking lot a problem and we were confronted with a long line of cars all the way to the left turn. If this becomes the norm, we'll have to look at relocating maybe to the parking lot at the corner of Beech and 161. It was a bit of a mess. Upon making the turn, the pace went from 0 to 30 as quickly as would a used Toyota. No warm-up, just hammering out to Kitzmiller where guys were already dropping out. Beyond that, the cross wind was roaring at 20mph with gusts to 35mph and quickly more dropped. A two bike gap opened in front of me as some guys dropped and I could not catch the pack. Dave Chesrown said something like, "This is crazy. We should start a second echelon" and I hung back with him but just ran out of gas, before freakin Beech. Later I heard Kevin Henschel had been the instigator of this but it certainly culled the herd as the lead group went from 26 to maybe 12 in no time.
I cruised along and soon, here came Dan R, Mick, Tri-Andrew and then we picked up Steve Fields and had a nice working group, first to Alexandria where our average was 24 then into Granville where our average was 25. Throughout, the lead group dangled out there and clearly they had slowed but we were no threat to catch. We hit the Thresher hill, regrouped at the top and then found Kevin H fixing a flat on Burg. We added Craig, aka Muscle Dude to the group but made a wrong turn right on Louden, rather than a left and added to the route. Out Louden to a left on Sportsman Club then a left on Northridge got us back onto the route. We cruised out Jug and made it back to the parking lot as the sun was setting with 42 miles and a 21.5mph average.
Meantime, the lead group stayed on the route and finished with a 23.7mph average. Unbelieveable for the first New Albany ride in April and with all that slashing cross wind. Unreal.
Whoa, 20mph winds out of the south with gusts in the 30-40mph range. The ride out old 161 will be interesting as the weak among us battle for position to get out of the cross wind. Then the climb up Thresher and so on and so forth and so painful. Shannon, the official ride leader, will be out of town so he asked me to stand in. As you know, I am much stricter and demand an orderly parking lot. No cig butts or empty energy drink cans are to be left laying around. Women are to be given deference at the sign-in sheet line and no line jumping. When signing in, you must print neatly and take no more than one line for your signiture. No cursing or swearing in front of children. No spitting of tobacco juice within range of my car. AND ABOVE ALL ELSE, THERE ARE TO BE NO BANANA PEELS LEFT ON MY CAR!!!!
During several hikes this winter, Mitch O made comments about a ride he was planning. He kept details close to the vest until this week when suddenly, out came the email notice with route and cue sheet, as you can see above and below. Setting aside the unusual presentation, this will be a great route that will begin at 9:00am out of Great Seal State Park.
I am usually loath to promote a ride that conflicts with the good people of COP but the fact is, several/many of us have been doing fairly hilly/long routes and the thought of doing another flatish route, like the SPOT ride out of Cyclist Connection this Saturday, well....... If you are looking for a challenging ride, come join us for a fun time. Note there is only one food stop at mile 24 of this 66 mile route.
With fierce winds attacking us from the south, we we ride south and then ride back north with a strong tailwind. 38 miles for the A route as we build slowly toward a 60 mile climax some time in late June.
I heard around 100 showed for the Woodstock ride and considering the conditions, that's more surprising then getting Grand Poobah out of warm Lancaster but he made it, as did a bevy of other of central Ohio's fittest, including Dan R, Kenda Janet, Kenda Dave, Jimmy, Kevin K, Jeff S, Corvair, Flyin Tuna, a good crop of Roll members including Larry P and....wait for it....Lisa A!
I admit, this is one of my least favorite routes, flat, way too many turns, curious routing through sub divisions, circuitous routing through towns but geesh, who put down those road markings? One turn marking placed at intersections is a recipe for disaster but everyone stayed upright so that's good.
Kenda Dave and Corvair. Dave, also known as Kwai Chang Caine or Karate Kid III, has been taking Karate for awhile and suffered a kick to the ribs from his sensa. The pain became so bad he went in for x-rays and upon returning to the mat, took another roundhouse kick to the same ribs. Ouch.
Although I posed, paying homage to a famous sign. I was deeply offended that Poobah would ask me to pose for this given there were 3 Kendas in the group. A group that is far more notorious then I for shortcutting.
As we gathered in a market, somewhere in some small town, Team Roll rolled in including Larry P and none other than Lisa A. She is back on the bike and the peloton has missed that beeming smile and a winning personality that is rivaled only by Kenda Janet and of course, me.
Seating was limited so we sat on the floor, including Evie, who bought a bag of nuts. Having difficulty opening the bag, she asked Larry P for help. Larry tore open the bag, spilling some of the contents but I'm sure the mice will be happy after the store closes. We finished with 60 very windy miles.
On Sunday, I hooked up with the John Martin's group out of Granville. There were about 20 of us including Lon Herman, Tym & Lisa Tyler, Jon, Anthony and Kim Sada, Katherine Graham, Steve Fields and a few tri-types.
We rolled out and did a simple route to Millersport and returned via Canyon Road. Only 40 miles but that was good as on Monday, I joined a group of permanently unemployed and one government worker (how do you tell them apart?) for a 102 mile flogging into Hocking Hills and back. Another windy day.
Ride Leader Shannon exults in the return of the New Albany COP Thursday ride. If I had spent the entire off season training in various warm climes with repeats up Brasstown Bald hill on one training mission, I too would be excited. Jon Morgan, in the car debating whether to ride or not but I convinced him to join the fun
Weather.com forecast 0% chance of rain through 8:00pm but the radar sure looked like rain and while I drove over to New Albany, it was raining. I passed Jon Sada and Sada junior on 161, plowing through the drizzle and later rain. I am waiting for my form to return to lackluster so I was not desperate to ride and instead assumed the role of cataloging the event. Shannon on the right, Jon Morgan, Nick and unknown on the left but he looks strong too.
Dan R joined in with the above 4 (image above this one), Jon Sada and a B/C cyclist who I suspect found himself riding alone in the very, very near term. Dan reports that he hung on for quite a while, until the Mounts rollers and later hooked up with Sada for a while before Sada popped out for home and Dan rode alone, finishing with 38 miles.
Now for the Saturday ride. Despite the 25mph winds and relatively cold temps, a group of us will depart the COP Woodstock ride at 9:00am. Mainly we chose this time because Team Roll and their dozens are also departing at that time and we figure we can just fold in behind them during the head wind sections. There are a lot of iffy statements coming from the emails but Kenda Dave and Janet are committed, as are Jeff S, Flyin Tuna, Dan R, Larry P and the Rolls, etc... May as well come out and suffer with everyone else.
Shannon has produced the first map of the first COP Thursday New Albany ride, a ride that is only slightly less famous then the great bike rides of the world. Sure, there are no pros, no Cat 1 but a retired Cat 2 or two, a plethora of Cat 3, 4, 5 and lots of weekend warriors. We observe the rules of the road, are polite to one another, complimentary of each other's abilities, generally offer to buy a beer after the ride, gentlemen and gentlewomen all. Distances are 38, 30 and 20 miles.
Shannon has a website where each week he will post the routes and where you can also find out about tri-type events at:
Have fun and be safe out there.
The famous Shootout ride that originates on University Avenue in downtown Tucson and draws as many as 200 in the winter. The winter rides draw lots of pros who winter in the area but they are mostly gone now, leaving behind lots of Cat 1, 2, etc...types, shelps like me, some older guys who ride everyday and look like they are 25 until you see their face and realize they are 70ish, a couple of fat outoftowners that you know have no idea what they are getting themselves into, assorted junior up-n-comers and Ralph, the owner of Fairwheel Bikes and the guy who started the ride back in the 70's I think.
So, now that I have mastered the art of riding up steep mountains very slowly, I figured the intensity of this ride would be a cold splash of water on the face but still, I figured I had gained some fitness. Then I heard people talking about this race and that race and the second splash of cold reality was, sure, I had one-and-a-half of good hard rides but these people had 2 months of it and then one guy said he had been using the Saturday Shootout ride and combining it with a Sunday Mount Lemmon climb to get "race shape".
Ralph came by and yelled, "Let's Roll" and so we rolled out of town with 60+, gained a few more along the way and then into the country we softly pedaled. Upon crossing Valencia, the pace immediately picked up as we hit a series of low rollers. It was kind of neat that as I dipped into a roller, above me would be a peloton 5 wide emerging from it. People began shooting out the back as the climbing began and it would do so all the way to the ceremonial end of the sprint at a bridge, although the road continues to climb beyond that point. The climb is several miles long and never steep, probably 3-4% until the approach to the bridge when it gets 8-10%. It's not the climbing that gets to you, it's the intensity. A couple of guys shot out directly in front of me and I pedal furiously to climb back on and did so. I heard one guy ask, "How much farther to the bridge?" Another guy replied, "About 2.5 miles", my sprit took a huge hit cause there was no way I could maintain this pace for that long. Plus, I was riding my winter beater bike and had screwed around with the seat level and screwed it up so my body was always being pushed toward the handlebars. It was about then that I had an epiphany. I suddenly realized why the ride is called the "Shootout" because guys like me get shot out the back and so I did, probably still a mile to go to the bridge. I took some comfort in seeing about 20-25 still in front of me.
I reached the bridge and kept going until a group of 10 came by me and I hopped on. All this story about the "Shootout" may have led you to believe I was riding in the Pro/Cat1/Cat2 group but no, I was in the "Senior Shootout" while the real Shootout ride starts 15 minutes after our group. I heard them coming so stopped to take a pic. They even have a chase vehicle. Probably around 40-50 in this group, counting what you see here and those that dropped. Upon reaching Nogales Highway, some people hang a left there for what I consider a very boring ride back into town while others return via the same route that got us to the highway. I joined this group and finished with 60 miles.
It's a very fun experience and they are used to a heavy influx of out-of-towners so all are welcome, every Saturday morning with a start time that varies depending on sunrise. Today the start time was 6:30.
I've got a golf game lined up in a few days so I headed to a driving range after the sun had set. It was a gorgeous day with highs in the mid 80's. I whacked out a few balls, noted that my golf muscles have atrophied so badly that my #5 iron shots start off on a parabolic curve similar to most people's sand wedge and goes about as far too. Then I pulled out the driver. I used to hit the driver very straight but kind of short. Now I hit it very crooked and very short. Often it is referred to as "Army Golf", left, right, left, right..... Then I walked to the putting green and threw down a couple of balls. I drew the putter head back, launched it forward, it impacted the ground behind the ball and the ball rolled left and 20' short of the intended hole. Someone asked, "Hey Sally, does your husband play golf also?" I thought shooting out the back of a group is humiliating but nothing beats the humiliation of playing bad golf. Well, tomorrow is Mount Lemmon climb day.
Andrew C sent me these images and the report, which I edited a little. Above, Brian looks over the competition.
The unusually warm weather drew out those that had been hibernating through the winter. There were at least 20 people with a bunch showing up at the last minute. Young Nick Phenom made his inaugural appearance. When told he looked a little taller, he replied that he thought that he gained muscle, thus adding weight. We can only hope that this slows him down on the uphills as he
continues to separate the men from the boys. Not only has Nick become faster, he has also become very good at staying upright while not moving, here demonstrating the trackstand.
Steve H. led out the C group, which included Eve H. and a couple of others. Eve was preparing for Bob Waddell's 200km brevet coming up this Saturday.
Above, Corvair makes it on time, again!
Mark C and I decided the B group was the place to be with what appeared to be a mean looking A group shaping up. We need to get a few more miles in before we attempt to keep up with them. Amanda O., Gary V., and a few others joined us for a nice ride out of town up to Lithopolis. The group stayed together for a while, working together to battle against the strong SW wind. A number of the A group went the wrong way at one point and ended up within sight for a while when they got back on course. They also splintered into at least two groups with the 2nd group coming within striking range. That was all Mark C needed. He saw his
bone and began pulling the B group faster toward his prey. Eventually they were caught and swallowed up, while also splintering the B group. This new group thankfully looked forward to turning with the wind and pushed the pace higher. I struggled to hang on, but eventually recovered near the end of the ride. Mark C. altered the route to take us to Canal through Lithopolis. I played the
rabbit on the downhill, as I sometimes enjoy doing, leaving the finish to the sprinters. It was a great ride in great weather! 19.3 for our group and I was tired at the end. A happy tired! Man, it's good to finally get some Spring weather!
Wednesday morning, I headed to Sabino Canyon to do the Seven Falls trail. The trail crosses a stream multiple times before emerging at the head of a canyon at what is called "Seven Falls" because water cascades from one level to another and so on. It's a beautiful site. The trail is also about the only relatively flat one in the area and it was good to get out for
Thursday, I rode to Oracle. a 48 mile ride out of Oro Valley, gaining 2100' in 24 miles before stopping at the Circle K for a drink, non alcoholic of course.
Then it's a downhill return. With the winter rains, there is lots of grass and flowers everywhere, along with the cacti.
Wow, a RV show. Dozens and dozens of RVs with some more than $200,000. I've run in to a lot of people who park their RV around the Tucson area for the winter and then travel the US the remainder of the year. It's an interesting life but not one in which I have much interest. Well, tomorrow is a rest day and then the Saturday Tuccson Shootout ride. I finally realized why it is called "Shootout" but more on that later.
Mark Clingan will be the ride leader for the 6:00pm start out of Canal Winchester behind Shades Restaurant. Mark will have maps, sign-up sheets and good cheer for all.
Many of you have expressed interest in knowing whatever happened to Poobah. Poobah has been riding but doing so during the warmest part of the days that are ridable and participated in last Thursday's New Albany ride. He plans to do the COP Woodstock ride this Saturday.
The cycling community concern was raised when word circulated that the beloved Steve Oxley was battling illness that had kept him off the bike. I have good news. The cold virus that floored him for many days has begun to abate and he will return, albeit in a weakened state, perhaps for Tuesday's Canal ride.
Pancake afficionado, Flyin Tuna, reports group disappointment in the quality of the pancakes in Bladensburg. The trashcan lid sized pancakes are still there but the taste has left with the previous owner.
I drove from Solvang, via Alisal Road, a narrow road over a mountain range that for some reason I did not ride this trip. It deadends at the #101 and so I headed south.
Although it is not evident here, for 40 miles or so there are great views of the Pacific.
Beyond the Mustard Seed flowers is the Refugio ridge I visited on Saturday. Roughly in the middle is the satellite array that maybe you can see if you look closely.
It is a drag driving through LA but eventually the road opens and soon vast wind farms greet one on the approach to Palm Springs. Later, I took a new road off #10 to #8 and passed something called the Salton Sea.
Just outside Yuma, AZ there were these pure sand dunes. Hooking back up with #10, I reached the exit for Oro Valley and...
....arrived in another paradise. Brilliant sun and temps in the 80's. More to come....
After the Gibraltar climb, I headed back over the mountain and as the sun was setting, so too was it setting on yet another very enjoyable trip to southern California. Above, driving out of Solvang via Chalk Hill, one of my favorite views.
Along Ballard Canyon, a new winery with building is rising from the fields. Many of the locals hate the addition of another winery and the traffic it brings.
Farther along Ballard Canyon Road, a Bison in the background and some king of steer in the foreground.
Of course, normally on the final day, I would mostly be depressed but this trip, I aint gonna go to Ohio but to sunny and hot Arizona. I'm really looking forward to that. Temps in the 80's I can handle!
I drove over the mountain pass, via #154, hung a left on Foothills Road, found the Botanical Gardens parking lot, jumped on the bike and within 3 miles, arrived at Mountain Street. In California, streets that are named "Mountain" are the real deal. This signals the start of what many refer to as, "The Classic American Climb" and I can't disagree. Sure, there are longer climbs, there are steeper climbs but there is no climb that has the package of length, elevation and freakin incredible views. Dozens of switchbacks provide views up and down the coast except, that weather system that moved in yesterday lingered and rather than brilliant sunshine, the skies were partly cloudy to start.
Climbing up Mountain, in a few minutes there is a fork in the road and if you take the middle fork, that is Gibraltar. First I scouted to this point because last year, upon arriving at the fork, I took the left turn and made a needless detour. This created some confusion with timing the climb, which I treat as a very slow personal time trial. Last year, I rationalized the detour and upon arriving at the top. calculated I had done the climb in 59:99. I was determined to make a legit sub one hour climb. Sitting at this point were two cyclists who were waiting on a 3rd. They invited me to join in but I needed to climb at my pace, not concerned about staying ahead of someone or catching someone. I coasted back down to the Mountain Street sign, adjusted the clothing, hit the start button and began the grind up.
As I climbed, more clouds rolled in and became thicker and thicker. I began overtaking the 3 cyclists but they stopped where the road dips into a small community about 3/4 of the way up. So far, the climb had been a mix of modest rises with a few steeper slopes mixed in but after the brief dip, the road never drops below 9-10%. Eventually, the road leaves the coast, cutting back into the mountain and one is greeted with a turn followed by a straightish stretch, followed by a turn and on and on and on. At each turn, I would think that would be the last and I would reach the top but no, more evil 10-15% ramps and glancing frequently at the Garmin,I despaired I would break the hour mark. Then, rounding a corner, my legs screaming, I saw the summit, marked by an intersection leading elsewhere, crossed the intersection, hit the Garmin and HOW ABOUT THAT! 59:52 and later discovered my previous times had started at the Gibraltar Road sign rather than the Mountain Street sign, so I had actually started further down the mountain and still broken the one hour time. I was a happy camper but gosh, it had gotten very dark.
I began coasting back down and stopped at this point where I found this old, burned plant to be an interesting color companion to the surrounding greyness. It began to rain lightly or maybe that is just moisture that is carried aloft by the clouds.
Lower still, the sun began to break, barely, through the clouds but still, I was robbed of the usual fantastic views.
This is how it usually appears, switchback after switchback and quite a nice distraction from the pain of climbing. Oh well.
The skies never did clear and the mountains were shrouded by heavy clouds. I had intended to climb Old San Marcos Road, cross the 154 and then hit the wickedly steep Painted Cave climb up to Camino Cielo Road but the thought of riding back into those clouds swiped the motivation and I returned to the Botanical Gardens parking lot, packed up and headed back to Santa Ynez Valley. The Gibraltar climb from Mountain Street was 6.77 miles and 2761' of climbing. The total for the day was 18 measly miles and 3500' of climbing. On to Arizona for hiking, the Shootout ride and probably an assualt on Mount Lemmon.
ALERT!!!!!! For those of you looking for something different, Flyin Tuna is leading a ride out of the Newark YMCA at 9:00am, headed to Bladensburg for a stop at the restaurant to confirm if new ownership has maintained the quality pancakes. Distance will be around 70 miles. If you don't want to waste time sitting in the diner, there are two markets in town for a quick stop-n-go as an alternative. Knowing Tuna, if there are maps they will be way too small and of poor design so best if you bring your own. Among those who are schedule to attend are Kenda Janet, Mitch O, Dan R, Corvair and several others. Get out there and find out why Tuna and others have that permanent marsupial pouch around their midsection.
Watching the loss to Wichita State was not fun and then awoke Sunday to rain. However, that was ok and enjoyed the day doing something other than riding a bike. OK, may have had a glass or two at something called the "Wine Ghetto" in Lompoc, a concentration of tasting rooms for wineries that are too small to support their own rooms at their vineyards.
Today was an exception to what has been an otherwise fantastic stretch of weather with daily highs in the low 70's and intense sun. However, I note the forecast for Oro Valley, AZ, my next stop, is daily highs in the 80's and intense sun. First though, a time trial up Gibraltar, tomorrow.
Andrew Clayton sent me these images with his version of what happened and then below is Corvair's version. The facts do not always line up between the two versions but I chalk that up to the thrill of riding the first Canal COP ride coupled with having done so in strong winds and 40 degree temps. Also, Jon Sada called to inform me that even though the first official COP New Albany ride is not until the 11th, he and several others will be at the New Albany school parking lot for a 6:00pm ride tonight!
From Andrew: We had our first Tuesday Night Bicycle Ride at Canal. You will be amazed to hear that Amanda showed up at 5:00 PM, 1 hour before starting time. She had 20 maps and liability forms, even with a nice pen for the hard-core riders that showed up. There were around 10 people that showed up, including Mark Clingan. Amazingly, regulars such as Steve "The Ox" and Sloopy were missing. It was between 40-45 degrees with a nasty, strong NW wind. The long route was 28.5 miles and the shorter route 25. The group split up into 3 groups to start with. Dan Restafer took out the 'A's, Mark and I made up the 'B's, and Amanda hung back with the 'C's. It was a good ride for the beginning of the season.
Basement wench here. I wanted to report to you about last night's ride. It was a balmy 41 degrees when we started last night's ride and I showed up promptly to the Shades parking lot at 5pm, to find only Andrew Clayton in his van, staying there for about 15 minutes for anyone else to show up! He has pictures of me to verify I was there EARLY. You may have to assign another nickname to me as I may now be more reliable than a Corvair…
Anyway, 11 people showed, including Donn "tall dude", Ross, Mark Clingan (in his son's old Buick, complete with puke green plush interior) Jimmy R, and a few others. Among those regulars missing were Oxley and Schleup,Todd probably off in Florida trying to get a tan. We all took off at a nice 18 mph pace, me leading us down the wrong Waterloo road which was an error on the cue sheet. After that, before turning on Slough, The group separated and it was me, Tall dude and Ross in the chilly wind. I eventually fell between those two and the front group, and watched as everyone got farther and farther away, but I could see the lead group for many miles, about a mile ahead. Andrew said Jimmy R took off. I lost them at Winter road. After that, it was a long, windy, cold
trudge back to Canal, where at the corner of Perrill and Winchester I caught back up to Ross and Donn.
You can either put this in the blog or smother us with more tales of warm, sunny Cali, of which I prefer. Hope you are enjoying yourself. Should be warm by the weekend. It was only 39 degrees when we finished the ride, and most of us got into the car and cranked up the heat!
Well Corvair, there are more high grade images and low grade reports to come, including the climb up Gibraltar while overlooking an unusually unsunny Santa Barbara. Many thanks for being this year's first Canal ride leader, arriving early and providing a report but it is not "basement wench" it is "ink stained wretch" as the title for filling in with a ride report.
Like healthy cabbage arising out of the dirt to the sun, I too arose from the confines of a dirty cold virus and answered the bell for the sunny Tepusquet century. That was one strange cold virus. A quick one that at its worse was very bad but thank goodness the worse was for only one day and I felt great for this day.
We rolled out Mission Drive, headed west to the dreaded Drum Canyon Road. Brian, Chris and I got away from the group and had a spirited battle to the top, before descending the worst paved road in the history of paved roads. As we neared Los Alamos, the road improved and hear we pass a local out walking her dog.
The famous flagpole that marks the turn onto Drum Canyon. We paused to wait for Wayne but he never showed, having turned around. By this time in the week, the cumulative total of miles and climbing wears on most. We shoved off for Cat Canyon.
Later, the tandem caught up and we passed many tracts of plowed ground or land where strawberries and cabbage were being harvested.
We got on to Tepsuquet for what is surely the best 12 mile of paved road in the area as we climbed to the top of Teqsuquet. It's a rolling start and then maybe 6 miles of up but it is never steep, mostly 4-5% all the way but still, after a few miles it starts to drag. I lost Brian's wheel on the way up. He's riding strong today. We.....
....descended the other side to #166 where we promptly turned around and went back up and over. Reaching the sag stop, I looked at my watch and saw I had to hurry to make it back in time for the Saturday Buckeye game. Made it back for the tip-off with 91 miles and 6800' of climbing.