Early in the day, weather radar made things look grim for an outdoor event but it all dissipated (unfortunately as my garden, images to come, needs the water) and the wind died and it was a nice evening for a bike ride. Here, Poobah shows up to brag about all the women flocking to him during the Horsey Hundred of last weekend. Todd was a little burned out from all the riding and took tonight off but had to stop and give us the business anyway.
Sluggish turnout with few quality A's other than Da Boss, beginning to get his cycling legs back under him and now stands at around 400 miles for the year, Steve O, Nick, Spence and Paul Stock.
Also there was David Smith, winner of the GCC and still reveling in the victory. Note the Bengal tiger close by. By mid season, David will probably have worn all the fur off it from frequent rubbing and I'll have to replace.
About 34 cyclists with Mark C, tonight's COP ride leader, calling them out on a shortish route of 36 miles. Actually, Mark got pressed in to duty at the last minute so did not have time to prepare a better route. A small A group rolled out that included the aforementioned 5, Jeff S, Ryan R and a few others. After Monday's ride, I just wanted to take it genuinely easier and chose to hop in with the B group and enjoy a B ride pace. With me were Kevin K, Reynoldsburg Dan, Nathan, Mark C, David S, Andrew C, Mark V, Trevor and others totaling about 18. Things got off to a rocky start when traffic kept a large group from exiting with Dan, Trevor and 3-4 others. Note to those who first exit the parking lot: don't ride hard until everyone gets out. By the time we branched up to the front group, our numbers had dropped, too bad.
We headed into Lithopolis and out the other side via Elder and then Winchester. Our group got whittled down some more and I turned to Mark V and said, "At this rate the only ones left will be the 3-4 guys who should have gone out with the A group." For one who is mentally challenged, I do have my occasional moment of clairvoyance. We missed the scheduled turn, went a little farther south but got back on the route, eventually crossing Cedar Hill and on to Amanda Northern where we turned north. By now, we were down to Nathan, Mark C, Andrew C and me. Just outside Lithopolis, we picked up Ryan, who had hung with the A group for a few hundred yards before falling back, short cutting and soft pedaling so he was fresh. I was the lead out man prior to the Canal stop sign warning sign and Ryan took the bunched sprint. Rolled into the parking lot with 38 miles and a 21.5 avg. The front group of Nick, Steve, Paul, Craig and Spence finished with 22.4 avg and 36 miles. Yep, a nice take it easy B pace.
I subscribed to another analytical site, mainly for the purpose of confirming the site visits fed to me by my primary source. The stupid cycling blog now has over 1000 unique visitors with 600+ uniques visiting yesterday. I don't know what to make of this. For you new to the blog, the purpose of it was a place to record my thoughts on most rides in which I participate and then when I'm in my 60's or 70's or maybe 80's, have something I can read and reflect back that I was truly mediocre. Probably some day I'll force a great grandchild to drive me to Alward or Thresher and brag, "Here sonny, I beat Flyin Tuna up this hill, one of my great accomplishments in life." The secondary purpose of the blog was to provide something to read for those who missed a ride or who otherwise wanted to keep up with what was going on in our crazy cycling world.
As always, I encourage and urge anyone else who wants to give their perspective on a ride, from the A, B or C view, to type something up and send it to me. I am grateful that for rides I can not attend, Nathan, Amanda, Cindy, Marty or Nick have been willing to provide reports. I also find that a lot of people are sending me images that I gladly post here so keep it up. Mark C and Steve tell me they raised approximately $9000 for the benefit of the family for whom they cycled to PA. If the blog had anything to do with that then I am pleased.
How much longer can I keep it up? Good question but I have such rich material with which to work (think about it, it's not hard to imagine the wackos that frequent our rides) that I don't plan to stop anytime soon. It's true, when a whack job posts an irrational comment I do wonder if I should keep going because I don't want my writing to upset the unbalanced but because there are so many of you who apparently enjoy, mostly, to come here, what the heck, I'll keep plugging away.
Pretty exciting stuff here. John Morgan, pedaling comfortably, unaware that John Sada is bearing down on him from behind. I heard Morgan just nipped the fast closing Sada. Image provided by "Deep Throat".
We know who they are, the "Oh, I want to take it easy tonight so I'm going to fall back with the B group" or, "I'm tired from my wife making me do chores so I'm going to drop back and take it easy tonight." and then they drill the B group. The B crowd, cast into the wind from merciless hill attacks by the "I'm gonna go easy tonight" guys, are grumbling. When a ride leader calls out for the B group to depart, the usual B's that populate the B rides expect the pace to be, well you know silly them, a B pace (16-19mph avg with some regrouping). Probably is a good idea for a "Super B" group to be sent out so the guys who don't have the nerve to head out with the A group have a place and then the people who want to ride at a B pace can ride at a B pace. Last night's B group had a 21.5 avg. Well, more to come about the COP Canal Tuesday ride.
On Monday, there was a ride out of Utica at 6:00am hosted by Rick Miller, there was a ride out of New Albany hosted by Marty and then there was a 9:00am ride out of Granville....BINGO! Good mix of cyclists, Tym & Lisa Tyler, John and Kim Sada, Nathan, Farmer Mike, John Marten, tri couple, Cathy N, tri women who just got back from a triathlon in Austin so hung back, Lon H and a few others I did not know. Oh, a guy who arrived late, then gabbed way too much delaying the start by 15 minutes and then had rap music for our entertainment eminating from his I-POD (no ear phones) all the way around the route. Just a little annoying but hey, every group has at least one.
60 mile route through Millersport (parade), on to Pleasantville, then Baltimore and back to Granville. Moderate pace for a hot day kept the group mostly together except towards the end when Tym turned the screws a bit so our group got shaved down to 6-7.
From Marty, picture of Wladimiro D'Ascenzo from Bellante Stazione, Italy, who won the New York Gran Fondo this year. Marty said he was a nice guy and came over and talked to Marty and he congratulated him.
Marty said he thinks we would all pedal a little faster if we had girls in black slinky dresses at the end of the ride. I did have Janet in a slinky Kenda jersey but she bailed on the award ceremony so she could ride with the girls out of New Albany shortly after we departed Granville. Kendaites are not known for their reliability.
To summarize, as we lounged around the Utica gas station, Nathan and David SMITH were attempting to blitz the route with no stops, Marty and David were blitzing the route even while stopping because they are them and fast too and several others did a stop and go. Dozens of others just enjoyed the Utica life, chatting with locals, donating to a fez wearing dude or sipping Mountain Dews. Eventually we began to clear out and got on to Blacksnake Road, a left on Cooksey, a right on Bell Church, crossed Martinsburg, right on Purity and upon reaching Pine View, my group turned left while I stayed straight, cruising south to the market at Wilkens Corner. I calculated I'd have to wait about 45 minutes for the first group to arrive but.....
....yowzah, Marty, David and a guy from New Albany out on a solo loop, coasted in. They stayed for 5 minutes and headed out. Maybe 5-10 minutes later, Kevin Swabb, Bob Stoll and Steve (forgot his last name) rolled in followed closely by Nathan. Now, oblivious to the dumb (me), I missed David SMITH streak by without stopping. Kevin, Bob and Steve stopped briefly to refuel while Nathan abandoned his plan, exiting the market with a Mountain Dew, water, ice cream bar and sundry other high calorie items, while taking a seat. My only worry was who would open the van with the coolers if Nathan stayed too long?
Also there was Gary V, who had missed the Pine View turn but did not seem too upset about it. I figured my journalistic duty was finished and shoved off shortly after the threesome had done the same. I took the turn on to Loches, enjoyed the down hill into St. Louisville, passed a few short cutters, hung a right on St Joseph, cursing myself for putting it on the route, plodded up Chatham, said Hi to crazy dude and finally, pulled into the parking lot with 54 miles and 3600' of climbing. Marty and David were long gone and I began receiving emails, text messages, carrier pigeon deliveries and smoke signals, all claiming that Marty and David had been seen riding left of center! This was a serious breach of the rules but I was willing to let it go. Then, some people began making principled complaints that M&D had violated the neutral zone roll out of Granville. I was in a tight spot. I like those guys but I have an obligation to uphold the rules of the event so finally, under tremendous pressure, I gave each of them a 20 minute time penalty.
I walked over to Kevin S and asked, "Which of your group won the Granville sign sprint?" Steve was the answer so I summoned him over and gave him the coveted tiger......but wait.......out of the blue, someone said, "But wait!" "You are about to commit an injustice!" In fact, none other than David freakin SMITH finished ahead of Steve!!!!!!! I turned to David and asked, partially in disbelief, "Is this true?" YES AND DAVID SMITH IS THE WINNER OF THE BENGAL TIGER!!!!!!! How about that look of glee, huh? To be official, I checked Marty and David C's time, 3:31:03, added their 20 minute penalty, making it 3:51:03, looked at David's Garmin which showed, 3:31:02 and WOW!!!! David Smith is the winner of the 3rd Granville Climbing Challenge, HOW BOUT THAT!!!!
As I was sitting in the back of Nathan's van, sipping a Coke, Gary, Axel and Dan rolled in and it was brought to my attention they had left 15 minutes early. Another breach of event rules and on the spot I banned them from the next 5 COP Roving Rides, a move that COP leadership has since endorsed. It felt right to give the middle of the pack award to Dan because he left early and finished in the middle and seemed a worthy winner. He too....
....was over the moon with excitement here but the rock was not fastened to the cedar and when he tilted the board, the rock slid off and crashed onto his head. He was a little woozy what with the heat, humidity, distance, climbing and rock to the noggin taking their cumulative toll.
Now the real waiting began but I didn't mind. Sitting in the shade, access to a cooler with cold drinks, it don't get much better than that except the minutes began rolling by and I began to lose my patience but more than that, began to lose the will power battle over whether a 3rd beer was in order. Brad the Dentist rolled in and I attempted to give him the fat Penguin but he refused the honor, saying there were others out there. Finally, these two arrived, I asked who had finished second and.....
.....awarded the penguin. I hear Kenda Paul was still out there but I didn't think he'd be in the right frame of mind to accept the honor. Well, that's it for another year. Thank you for coming out and supporting the ride, despite the brutal conditions. I also appreciate the many who personally thanked me for the effort and I chose not to disabuse them of the thought I had supplied the cold drinks too.
One of our cycling buddies, Dennis Gomolak, who in years past was referred to as "Astana Dennis" took some time off from cycling to assume the awesome responsibilities as a father. Here, he poses with his son, who is wearing a cycling kit that was previously worn by none other than Nick V, when he too was a baby. Isn't that nice. Dennis has reappeared at some of our rides, time permitting
So coveted are the Granville Climbing Challenge awards and title that they inspired some in our midst to stoop to an unanticipated level of behavior. I regret that there have been several disqualifications, fines and suspensions. More, much more to come later after my body rids itself of the affects of drinking two of Nathan's free beers. I must be clear headed when I offer the sad details of what was an otherwise great ride supported by 65-70 of central Ohio's "Who's Who" of climbing and quite a few "Who's Not" too. Below is Part 1, Part 2 will come later. Just too many images and copy to plug in at one time.
Steamy day for a hilly bike ride yet lots of emaciated cyclists showed up for an opportunity to win the famous stuffed Bengal tiger or to avoid winning the stuffed fat penguin. Also some interest in having the "Middle of the Pack" prize awarded. I thought Nathan was a good candidate for this but he revealed that his intention was to "go aero", blitz the course without stopping and shock the world. Didn't quite work out that way. The freshly baked doughnuts were a big hit.
Whoa, a tandem came out for the ride. Too bad the Rossi's did not make it as that would have been a battle royale between them.
What did work out though was Nathan's idea of bringing two coolers with a variety of drinks. Here they are in the back of his van, waiting for us.
Hey, there's Retro George. His heart procedure did not quite "take" so he'll have to go back for another. He was a late arrival and did not get to roll out with the group. Terry too was late and while we were in the parking lot after the ride, heard Terry was out on Reform or Wilken's Run Road trying to get directions. For the most part, the road markings lived up to the promotion, except for a few places. I explained this in two ways: 1. The markings were meant for a group traveling at around 15mph, not 24mph. 2. Considering the cost of the ride was $0, you got more then your monies worth.
Steve O on the left, back from his Thursday ride to PA and not feeling too bad. Lined up beside him are Marty, Dave C & Farmer Mike in the background and then Mitch O.
There she is, Miss GCC Pageant Queen Kenda Janet prancing toward the sign-up. I asked for and received a round of deafening applause for her but standing to the side was Cindy B, grim faced, hands stuffed in pockets, obviously jealous. Cindy sent me an email and demanded a recount but I suggested she lose a few pounds and maybe next year the results would be different. So, we rolled out at about 8:10, after I made the pre-ride announcements, mostly warning that all traffic laws must be obeyed, this is not a race so no stupid stuff that puts my life in jeopardy, no public drunkenness or urinating in flower beds, watch the gravel on Smith Chapel and that we would observe a neutral zone during the ride through Granville.
Off we went, here the main body prepares to make the left onto New Burg. After 2 miles, we were already strung out with Marty and Dave C far in front and as cyclists went by I could hear some grumbling about the two guys way off the front, but I did not think much of it. Bringing up the rear were a bunch that I suspected would be candidates for the fat penguin but I won't name names as that would be unkind.
We rolled out New Burg, hitting the rollers before plunging down the back side and turning right onto Dry Creek. Those who you would think would be in front were there, Tym Tyler, Kevin Swabb, Bob Stoll, Oxley, John Sada, Lisa Tyler, Larry P, Blair B, Rob Rhodes, Nick V, couple of Italian looking types I did not recognize & others. Slightly back forming up a strong B group were Dennis, friend of Dennis, David M, Jeff S, Nathan, Kenda Dave & Paul (who later was observed sleeping at the Wilkens Corner market), Farmer Mike, Mitch, Tri Andrew and lots more people I did or did not know.
We took the usual route up Chatham, crazy dude yelled at some of us, down the other side and making a left onto Marion, up that hill then a right on Reynoldsburg Road and on in to Utica where we massed, sweating profusely. Well, ok, some of us did not turn left at Marion, instead turning right and a quick left onto Preston and Weaver, passing a head turning sight at the corner farm before turning on to Reynolds and the big hill. At the Utica gas station, we paused longer than normal except for Nathan, who did a stop and go, David Miller who kept going with two water bottles and a camelback and of course Marty and David, way ahead of everyone. That's the end of Part One, cause too many images and too much else to describe. Part II to come later.
Nature had a hand in creating this one-of-a-kind prize. Carved by nature's forces over centuries and unearthed by my dog while digging for moles, this prized piece of Ohio sandstone sits atop not a cheap piece of pine but an expensive length of cedar with the customized message declaring the winner of the person who finishes roughly in the middle of the pack after tomorrow's Granville ride. See you there at 8:00am off West Broadway at Wildwood Park for distances of 97, 70 (the "race" route) and 49 miles.
Remember the days when the we rode routes of 40 +/- miles, heading frequently out old 161, then jumping on Jersey Mill into Alexandria, R Valley Road into Granvillle then coming back a few different ways and we'd be happy? Well, there is a new sheriff in town (Shannon) and I hope he sticks with this ride leader thing because each week there seems to be a new and more interesting route that takes us on roads we have not previously ridden. OK, some can say the roads are too busy like Mink and Morse but I have not seen any uptick in traffic on these roads as compared to others we normally rode before, GREAT JOB and keep it coming! Some of us think the routes will top 60 freakin miles prior to Summer Solstice. Some speculate we'll do a century ride at the rate the distances keep spiking upwards.
The crushing demand of preparing for the Granville Climbing Challenge, working with the highway patrol, sheriff department, Granville police, air force, selecting road paint color, marking the route, conducting the GCC pageant, finding a suitable gown for the queen to wear, recruiting podium girls, making map copies, mixing the dough for the doughnuts (hey, why is "dough" produced "doe" while "rough" is pronounced "ruff" should it not be pronounced "roe"?), checking the forecast, arranging to bring in Italian climbing specialists for the event, etc... too much work to prepare the normal Thursday New Albany ride report so....
....will keep it simple. First, Mark V finally got to ride his new machine. I told him replacing his previous clunker with the shock absorber on the back would make him twice as fast. Tonight he proclaimed I was correct. He blows up twice as fast. Now....about that cycling outfit.
Maybe 60 at the start and the usual mix of A's with 23 departing the parking lot.....
Dennis, good guy with best match of cycling clothing to car color. Dennis is a new father so he's not been on the bike as much. He sent me a pic of his son in cycling clothing that previously was worn by Nick. Will post later.
Good group of B's and Super B's too. So, we rode out 161, hung a right at Harrison, left at Morse and cruised through Jersey and then things really picked up. Had a gap open in front of Ron or Mick and I could not cover so that was that. Rode into Granville with Ron, up Thresher, out New Burg and at the 50 mile turn-off at Dry Creek, Ron took it while I stayed on the 45 mile route. Eventually, the super B group led by a guy in a Magco jersey, with Mick, Farmer Mike, Dennis, other Dennis, Poobah, Nathan, Peggy, both Sada's, John, Mark V, maybe 15 in all caught me and I jumped in. A fairly blistering pace west on Sportsman Club reduced the group a bit, then south on Castle, Duncan Plains, Caswell, right on Miller and eventually in with 45 miles and a 21mph avg.
Front group of Marty, Shannon, Dave C, John Morgan adn Rich Lewis arrived with a 22.4 avg and 50 miles. There was talk in the parking lot of even more creative routes coming, longer and hillier.
More big news for the COP Granville Climbing Challenge, this Saturday at 8:00am from Wildwood Park. Kenda Janet, on injured reserve, has won the Granville Climbing Pageant and will be there to award prizes and give the ceremonial kiss on the cheek to the winner, last place finisher and middle of the pack finisher! The pageant Queen is super excited and that's before she drank her first energy booster of the day.
Maps have been made and unlike Flyin Tuna's maps, the route takes up 95% of the available paper space rather than a measly 20% of the paper. This means you can view the route without squinting. Also, the roads will be marked and you will be so impressed that you will think to yourself, "For havens sake, this is the best marked route ever!" Giant doughnuts at the start that I will buy from gas station on the drive over so they will be super fresh. Later, I will have an image of the prize for the "Middle of the Pack Finisher". It is inspiring.
UPDATE: Nathan, aka Recumbent Dude, is bringing a cooler with cold drinks to share with those who finish around him. What a guy. Andrew Hall is coming buy only if I have a pari of podium girls so I am working on that.
Still waiting to hear from Mark or Steve, underway on their ride to PA.
Entertaining start to our Tuesday Canal ride. The paper out of Lancaster sent a photographer to take a group pic of Mark C, Steve O, Trevor and Andrew C, each riding to PA this Thursday. The best part of this image is Kevin K, asked to steady a light while smoking a cigar on the left. You can read about their adventure and the worthy cause that spawned it here: http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/article/20120523/NEWS01/205230303/Residents-bike-185-miles-raise-money?odyssey=nav|head
More to come later.
What a great route for tonight's Canal ride. There I was, Tuesday morning, sifting through the maps, sorting by mileage and found two at 44 miles. One was hilly, really hilly that included the climb up Delmont past the old pig farm. The other route was mostly rolling and a much more enjoyable route. I selected the rolling route, went to the library to make 40 copies and later drove to Canal. Someone looked at the map and said, "Wow, we're climbing Delmont." I grabbed the map and sure enough, I had pulled the wrong route but wow, what a route if you like that sort of thing.
Light turnout, only about 35, including Ringer Gabe & friend, Dustin, Randy Brown, Nick, Euro Patrick, Jeff S, Ryan R, Reynoldsburg Dan, Scott, rolling out with the A group. A largish B group rolled out soon thereafter and an uneventful ride other than Gabe and friend got off the front of the A group, missed a turn and were never seen again. Eventually, only 5 guys survived, Nick, Patrick, Dustin, Randy and Scott, rolling back to the parking lot with 44 miles, 21.4 average and an impressive 2000+' of climbing.
Actually, there is more to tell but I'm running behind as preparations for the Granville Climbing Challenge are taking a lot of time. As noted previously, I found the perfect first and last place prize but the appropriate "Middle of the Pack" award is proving to be elusive. Someone suggested a lump of coal, which is not bad but I don't know where to buy that. As is custom, will have doughnuts at the start of the ride which is at 8:00am at Granville's Wildwood Park. The 70 mile option is the 'race route" but there is a 42 mile option and a longer than 70 option too. Fuel stops at mile 18 and 48 in Utica and Wilkens Corner.
Also, I'll have updates on Mark, Steve, Andrew and Trevor's progress as they plod along to PA today. Dustin in joining them too for part of the ride.
Well, I'm speechless, What a great ride report and gives some perspective on just who we are trying to hang with on Thursdays!
From Marty Sedluk, always humble.
The cycling community in New York was buzzing this weekend. Central Park was filled with cyclists wearing the distinctive green wristband all day Saturday. You could see groups of up to 150 riders stretching their legs and getting ready for the big ride on Sunday. On Sunday morning we rolled out and Manhattan was swarming with cyclists wearing the black fondo jersey.
I was told that there were over 5,000 riders total, about evenly split between the 60 mile and the 110 mile routes. The 110 mile route having over 8,500 ft of elevation.
When we arrived they had the cyclists seeded by age and racing category. Some who did not get a 200-500 seeding worked things so that they were with us in the 200-500 bib corral. Bibs 1-200 were previous winners and special invited guests. We were quickly joined by other central Ohio cyclists including a Larry from Olympus Homes Team, Pete Czerwinski, Andys Burns, Steve Fields, Jon Morgan, Rick Miller, Isaiah Wallake, Tym Tyler, Craig Rice and of course John Sada. Sada showed up and explained how he got himself and his helpers into the 200-500 corral. He was not going to leave anything to chance.
It was a nice cool morning and they staged us on the George Washington bridge. It had an amazing view of the city on one side and a great view up the Hudson where we would be riding on the other. They had some upbeat music playing and everyone was pumped up, some showing it more than others. You can guess about who was showing it more.
Now this race is really almost two races in one. They have 4 timed climbs and if you win the climbing award you get an expensive sparkly Italian road bike. For most of us who have no chance winning the bike against European climbing experts flown here just for the event, we just want to ride our best and finish first like a normal group ride.
They started off pretty fast and soon we were riding through a park that is due to be repaved in a week. Then a nice big hill and the group starts to break up. From this point on I ended up riding with Jon Morgan, Pete Czerwinski with Andys Burns in the group.
The biggest climb of the day was Bear Mountain and it really broke up the peloton, this climb went on for something like 4 miles. At this point we were about 45 miles into the course and had lots of hills ahead of us. I was trying to pace myself but be close enough to the lead riders so that I could catch them when it flattened out. There were a couple of guys who just rode away from us on the hills. The 4 timed climbs make up less than a third of the climbing on this course, we had lots of road ahead of us and two more timed climbs. As we came down the mountain we could see the riders going up. I was later told that Andys was about the 8th person to come down the hill, I was about 10th and Pete was not far behind me, maybe a rider or two.
At that time I did not know how many riders were in front but I knew that I wanted to catch them. I stopped for a quick drink refill and ended up riding with Pete on and off for much of the ride. On the last climb I was told that there were 8 riders in front of me and I could see two of them. When I caught them I found that they were Italian and had a strong accent, one of them really wanted some water. I let him have my water and hoped that it would help him pedal faster. He was really sucking on my water bottle but all I was concerned about was riding faster. Just before the last water stop I get joined again by Pete and a small group of guys. One of these guys we later learned came in second overall on the hill climbing challenge. This guy was fast and aggressive. He repeatedly tried to drop us but we worked together and would catch him each time. Eventually it was just me and Pete working together to catch this super hill climber and overall speedster. We were followed by this nice but tiny little rider from Bogota Columbia, he was not able to take a pull but I liked him. I would try to point out all of the pot holes when we came back on the same pot hole filled road that was in need of repaving. Little Bogota rider was very appreciative.
About 5 miles before the finish Pete gets a flat on the pot hole road and I continue with little Bogata on my wheel. We catch the young super hill climber and he has run out of gas, I continue with little Bogata still on my wheel. We catch up with Andys who was riding alone on the final road to the finish. We almost get wiped out by New Jersey traffic but make it to the finish with Andys and I finishing side by side and my little Bogata friend on my wheel.
The Gran Fondo New York was held Sunday, with 2359 finishers. The four major climbs are timed and the winner of the event is the person who has the lowest combined climbing time. The winner had a time of 31:53 and of the locals who participated, their times were: Marty Sedluk--42:52 (140th place) Jon Sada--46:46 (319th place) John Morgan--50:21 (579th place) Rick Miller--55:45 (1031th place) Craig Rice/Muscle Dude--57:07 (1144th place) Of course, the above is different from where they actually finished for the entire 110 miles but the finishing times are not posted. I'm trying to get additional information.
The 3rd, COP Granville Climbing Challenge is this Saturday, 8:00am from Granville's Wildwood Park. Above are last year's winner, who spanked us rather convincingly. This year, the route will be marked, to avoid the confusion of last year and that nasty climb on broken pavement on Houdeshell is being replaced with a nasty climb with pavement.
The first person to reach the Granville village sign on the return, after riding the full route, will receive this very cool stuffed tiger and cash money totaling what I can find in the seat of my car. Last year's winner received around $1.57 but of course it's about the prestige. Note how prestigous the award looks next to this pic of Armstrong. Imagine yourself holding the prize and it will happen for you, maybe.
The last person to finish the full route, or, if I can't wait that long, the shorter route, will receive this very nifty fat stuffed penguin. Last year's winner, Flyin Tuna, is gunning for this award to add to the Hippo she won. However, I hear there is a strong field of challengers. I'm still shopping for the suitable "Middle of the Pack" award. To be eligible for this award, one must finish roughly in the middle and to have previously never won a cycling award. This will of course be somewhat arbitrary but I just want to make someone feel good about being an average cyclist. More to come on the event in the coming days.
Gotta hand it to Flyin Tuna, she came up with a great route to Bladensburg that had it all, especially a stop at Butler's Restaurant and that attracted a good group of 15 that included, Dennis, Poobah, Mitch O (making a rare appearance), David, Reynoldsburg Dan, Mark V, Jeff S, Mark & Karen Rossi, Nathan, Amanda, Frans & John.
We headed out of the Newark Y into an early morning of warmth and sun and after navigating Newark's downtown, sprang onto the rolling roads headed toward Hanover. From there we headed north, got onto Reform and that nasty climb,hung a right at #79, then a left on Cullison, screamed down a hill on Frampton and shot through a covered bridge, a good climb on Mt Zion and after 30 miles, rolled into Bladensburg.
This is what brought Mitch out, a plate of pancakes with strawberries and whip cream. Oh, sausage on the side. We all hoped he'd be able to keep it all down during for the next 43 miles.
This is what was left after 60 seconds.
Rather than head back to Newark, we continued north, rolling into Millwood and then west where we temporarily became lost. We had maps but they were not much good without a magnifying glass. We finally got back on the route, hung a left at Kilduff, signaling our return south, rode through some super rollers on Grove Church and then I shocked the peloton with a sign sprint win at Martinsburg. Here, as we coasted into the gas station, we finally realized how hot it had become and so camped in the shade. Nathan both camping and sleeping.
We returned via Peatmoss, Horns HIll, etc... and after 73 miles, rolled back into the Y parking lot with 4400' of climbing. I have not been on some of those roads in a long time and the route is deserving of a roving ride at some point in the future, Speaking of which, next Saturday is the Granville Climbing Challenge. More to come on the expansive list of prizes (first place, last place and middle of the pack place), cash, marked roads (really!) and lots of climbing.
What a great ride, route and weather. Unfortunately, the experience was marred when two creatures, having about the same BMI (Body Mass Index) collided west of Millwood. Only one of them was able to walk away. Much more to come, as well as working on the Gran Fondo New York report.
On Wednesday, I resumed my volunteer work at the son-in-laws fence building project. For some reason, I could not be the "Cut Man" who stands at the saw and cuts the posts to length, I could not be the "Hold the Post Vertical Man" who stands next to the post and makes sure it remains exactly in place, no I was the "Carry 80 Pound Concrete Bag Man." This guy picks up 80 lb bags, places in wheel barrow, distributes bags to each of the 45 holes. Later picks up each bag and opens in the wheel barrow, adds water, shoves 80 lbs of concrete around to mix it, shovels out 80+ lbs of concrete into each hole and when enough is in the freakin hole, told to cap each hole off with dirt. Oh yes, and when a hole was off center, I had to shave it with the post hole digger. After 6 hours of this, I short cutted the project and left them with 10 holes to fill. I was beat and today I was stiff and tonight I was not so good so I asked Young Phenom Nick to provide his version of the ride, which starts a couple of captions below.
A very light turnout early with some of the usual suspects already off to New York yet a couple of new guys showed up, Nick of course but also Euro Patrick making his first visit to join in with Shannon, John G, Doug M, Mick, Terry, Rick (first time this year), Tym & Lisa T, Gus & Peggy, Steve Nelson, Dave C, Poobah, around 22 who left the parking lot.
John Gorrilla in the middle became a first time father last Friday. Adele and baby girl are doing well.
Shannon and Doug M in the middle, Peggy, Gus and John G in the background. Some how, by 6:00, it was another large crowd and we left the parking lot, out 161, right on Mink, left on Condit then on to Headleys Mill and a left on Alward. I was dropped immediately and even missed the formation of the back-up A group which looked to have 5 people. When I reached the top of Alward I had a 22.5 avg but then soloed around a short route of 30 miles and 20.7 avg. Great route tonight of 46 miles. Now, Nick picks up the action:
We started out and I was a little nervous not really knowing the roads. It was a fast start much like this Tuesday. On the first climb (Alward) 10 miles in there was a small hill. It split the pack In half. After that I just sat in around mid pack just saving energy. The same 3-4 guys were pulling for a long time. ( it was the ride leader, a man in the new Hampshire cycling jersey, and a few other power guys.
Once we hit Raccoon Valley we were down to about 20 riders. It was a long tempo up Hardscrabble Road and I just sat in still conserving fuel and feeling really good. ( using Todd Lee's advice.) We dropped a team 614 rider and a man named John rode home (John Gorrilla maybe). After the climb it was just a speed fest! Very fast.
The last 15 miles I decided to make a move on Miller. Me and the other Tuesday rider (Euro Patrick) with the Eddy Merckx bike rode off the front. We were caught by the ride leader, and about 8 others. We had a gap and we team time trailed all the way to the end with a 24 mph avg. I was very impressed and had a good time. I had a lot of fun!! Which was very nice. It was different to ride with other people. (sorry if I didn't know many names.) it seems a tad more serious than Canal. Not as hilly but very fast. I'll definitely come back again.
On August 2, 216BC, Hannibal decisively defeated the Roman army in what many historians claim was the most lopsided military victory in history. On May 15, 2012, the northern hoards from New Albany invaded Palookaville, otherwise known as Canal Winchester and had a grand time. Gabe the Ringer & Buddies, Marty Sedluk, Jon Morgan, Dave Chesrown, Mitch Tallen, Rick Miller and others arrived to give the old Canal crowd some excitement. Here, Craig Butler, now with 340 cycling miles on his legs this season and Steve O observe the assemblage of talent. They, Dustin and Nic were the best hope Canal had to offer.
Pretty good turnout of between 45-50 cyclists, including Mark C, Andrew C, John S, Nathan, Jeff S rolling out with....
....these guys. The carnage began immediately out of the parking lot. The warm-up was replaced with burning rubber and of the 17 who left with the A group, after a few miles, we were down to 10. I think a couple of people just realized too late that there was no warm up and got caught out. I would have been too except Jon Morgan saw what was happening and paced a couple of us back to the front group. We got onto Pickerington Road and the group mysteriously slowed way down, which is always ok with me. Crossing Winchester Road and approaching the hills, the speed picked up and I settled in with Jeff S and Nathan. No point in riding on the rivet when the outcome is preordained anyway..
We approached the left on Alspach and I tried to get a group organized, especially urging my fellow cyclists to hold up for Rick M, who doesn't know the area. So, we had Nathan, John S, Jeff S, Rick, Mark C and a couple of other dropped A's for a good group. Except, it didn't stay that way very long. Rick didn't have his climbing legs on or probably was saving himself for the Gran Fondo NY so he dropped back, as did Nathan and only 4 of us rolled into Amanda where the front group had taken a break. I soft pedaled out of Amanda with the intent to hook up with Rick and lead him out of this maze of roads but never saw him so headed west on Bowman while the others went up Hunter. A few turns later and I was back on the route on Fosnough School Road (by the way, this was a great route tonight) and soon, Hannibal's group came by. I dove onto the back and held Mitch T's wheel until a left at Peters Road and a right back on to Fosnough left me panting and I was dropped a 2nd time. Still in the group were the usual suspects out of New Albany but also Nic, Dustin and Craig Butler but no Steve O.
Upon reaching Ridge, I hung a left and then a quick left again brought me onto Cedar Hill. Looking back, I could see Hannibal's forces approaching yet again! WTF! I'm about to get dropped a freakin 3rd time!!!! Can't these guys stay on the route so I don't get humiliated more than 1-2 times a night? So, I latched back on and drafted for awhile up the long climb on Cedar Hill and then bid them farewell, dropping back. Some how they had missed a turn back there putting me ahead of them. I hoped they could navigate the remaining few turns and in fact, their unfamiliarity with the route and roads probably kept the group larger then it might otherwise have been. Rumor was they even regrouped once or twice, an unheard of accommodation.
At Sitterley, I came up on a struggling Mark V, recovering from two full days of TOSRV and then soon, a group led by Steve O, with Kevin K, Jeff S, couple of dropped A's who had taken the longer route, Nathan, etc... came by and I jumped on with them, finishing with 41 miles, a 20.1 avg and 1600' of climbing. The front group finished with 43 miles, a 22.9 avg and considering the hills, that's smokin.
Ohhhh, helped a guy dig 45 fence post holes today. Had a gas powered digger but it kept getting hung up in rocks or some holes were too close to an electric or phone line so they had to be dug manually. 33" down with a post hole digger. Ouch. Anyway, running out of time so Saturday's ride report has to be brief. We parked behind Mark C's house and....
....rolled out into a cool, sunny morning, Dan Farley, Craig Butler, Mark C, Flyin Tuna, Jeff S, John S, Andrew C and head down to Chilicothe, taking in Rocky Road. Tried to find a Subway but failing that, jumped into a Frish's Big Boy and received excellent service from "Brandy". Nice kid and we tipped her well. Ended up with 84 miles and 3600' of climbing. Good to see Da Boss out and riding again but with only 280 miles, he is not yet the dominating force so more like Da Middle Manager of the peloton. Craig is planning a 100 mile trail run for this summer. As usual, we had a good time but missed some of you who were doing TOSRV. Bet that Sunday return was fun in the rain.
Several locals are heading to New York this week for the "Gran Fondo New York", about which you can read here: http://www.granfondony.com/competition.php. Looks like a fun, yet challenging event of 110 miles and 8000+' of climbing with 4 timed climbs and prizes for top finishers. Rick Miller is taking a group, including Muscle Dude, Marty, Jon Morgan and Pete C. Rumors abound that John Sada is putting together an elite team of 4 domestiques whose purpose is to escort him around the route and finish ahead of the aforementioned "Rick's Gang". Apparently the 4 have to be super climbers and be willing to provide support as needed and in exchange, their entry fees are paid, along with food and lodging. One of the "Super 4" who have been identified is a legit Cat 2. Ought to be good stories coming out of the event which I'll do what I can to post here. Resu
Not sure if the person submitting this wants to be identified so it will be an anonymous report from Yesterday was a great ride. We had a nice easy rollout until Mink rd when things picked up. Mink is a busy road that we usually avoid and at least one guy ended up riding in the gravel off the shoulder before hopping back onto the road. I was surprised by the number of people dropped on Mink, the crosswind took its toll. Concord was steady and the group slowed toward the end, they might have been thinking of Stone Quarry.
We hit Stone Quarry with a brisk pace and dropped a couple more riders. Then when heading north on Liberty the pace picked up again and continued onto Sportsman. A few more were left behind.
The rest of the ride was a steady brisk pace with several riders helping at the front. The only attempt at a break was on old 161 where the group was split in half but with John Gorrilla and Shannon working tirelessly to close the gap you knew that it would not last long.
Dave Chesrown showed a 24.1 mph average which I think is the fastest so far this year. I think there were about 12 riders in the lead group at the finish.