As some of you know, Steve O and Mark C went on a training ride Thursday as they prepare for the start of their Pittsburg 200 ride in a couple of weeks. This time, they rode to the northeast, into the wind, eventually picking up the Top of Ohio route. Early, Steve noted that his feet felt like they were "swimming" on his pedals, which had recently been rebuilt. Steve's cycling shoes would easily and unintentionally disengage from the pedal and then at mile 25, the right pedal came off. Fortunately, Mark's in-laws lived only a couple of miles away so Steve one legged it to their house. The pedal was reinstalled yet too much force on either pedal and the shoe would separate. Not surprisingly, Mark trounced Steve at every stop sign sprint, and enjoyed doing it too. The route took them by Bellfountain (spl?) but did not take them into an area populated by food stops so they eventually stopped at a YMCA and raided a snack machine. From there, they rode with the wind and arrived back at the start point with 200 miles, a 17.4 avg and just slightly after dark at 9:00pm. Does not sound like fun.
Meantime, normal cyclists gathered at the New Albany parking lot on a cool and windy evening. Not too many people showed up early and even by 5:30 the crowd was rather light. After looking at another creative route by Shannon and checking the wind, I had another vision. It's amazing how these pop up prior to certain rides. There I am chatting with someone when suddenly, a fog rolls over my eyes displacing the current scene and replaced by an image of a cyclist, he rather looks like me, alone out on Chatham Road, strong head winds buffeting the brave cyclist plodding back to the west, darkness rolls in, cyclist forced to bum a ride on the back of a cattle truck and arrives back at the parking lot at 10:00pm. Then, the image sequence disappears and I take it as a sign. Forget that cut throat A group, ride with the friendly B's instead!
Cool start for our ride tonight, forcing the should I or should I not wear arm warmers decision. Here, Dave C decides to put them on. .
The A's, which is really a misnomer as the name of a group. This group should be renamed something like the "Juggernaut" group or "Giro" group. Combining 6-9 Cat 3 guys working together at the front spells TROUBLE for those of us who have a job, a wife, kids, a lawn to mow, are elderly, sick and weak. Here, Terry on the left with Dave C, John G, Marty, another Terry and unknown dude.
Shannon's routes tend to break the mold of routes we typically ride but sometimes there is a road that looks a little sketchy and tonight, a few people had misgivings about getting out on Mink for 4+ miles. Farmer Mike, described an alternative and so after 30 people left the lot in the A group, around 30-35 of us departed with the B group.
In all, there were around 70 people who eventually shoved off so another strong turnout. Now I know, no one gives a damn about the B group but the B's do and so it is for them that I describe what happened last night, in brief. Christian, Dennis, Katherine, Mark V, Jon & Kim Sada, Peggy, Denver Dan, Farmer Mike, Gary and many others cruised through the countryside, sometimes paused to regroup and frequently watched Sada jump out of the pack any time there was a rise in the road to claim those KOR (King of Riser) points, before folding back into our group. Even with the efforts to regroup, we were down to around 7 people by the time we emerged from Jersey Mill onto old 161. We arrived back at the parking lot with 37 miles, a 20.9 avg and 1100' of climbing. The difference in intensity between the A and B group is vast. I believe the gap has grown in recent years. Now, about that A group. They pulled in right after we did but with 45 miles and an average around 24. I've asked for additional details and may have more to post later.
Around 40 people showed up for the Canal Winchester ride, with temps around 70 and about perfect, other than 15mph winds out of the west. which consumed Poobah's attention for the duration of the lead up to the start. Mitch Tallen, on the right, forgot his water bottles but successfully cruised the parking lot to find an alternative. It's always good to see Mitch show up for the Canal ride. He raises the intensity level just enough to ensure I get my ass kicked..
By the title of this ride report, naturally you assume Poobah put me into the gutter again but no, easily the second worst abuser of the practice is Steve O, who does it not because he needs to because he does not, but because he likes to make me suffer. More on that later. Among the 17ish A's leaving the parking lot were Muscle Dude, Euro Patrick, Steve, Mitch T, Younger Phenom Nick V coming off a nice spring series of racing, Mark C, Poobah, Tri Tech Scott, Nathan, Jeff S, visitor Jeff from Indy, John S, Reynoldsburg Dan, Ryan R (Attempting the daunting leap from the C group to the A group) and a few others. Good B group too with Mark V (ordered a new Jamis bike on Monday) leading a largish group that included Dean, Kevin K and others.
So, we rode out Basil Western, making a left on Carroll Northern and then a quick right to get back on BW and here my difficulties began. Indy Jeff dropped out so I closed the gap and found myself behind Steve. Earlier, Steve voiced concern about the route because there had been a crash on the same route last year. He mused that he was not going to stay with the A group but he did, while keeping a 4-5 bike length between he and the cyclist in front of him. So get this, he wasn't drafting yet still rode on the white line....what the..... With Mitch T and Nick taking turns turning the screws at the front I don't need to be out of the slipstream. I pulled out of the line, looking back at Nathan who was sitting comfortably behind me and shouted, "Why is that guy guttering me, he's not even drafting?" Nathan urged me to retake my place and shut up, which I did.
If your energy level at the start of a ride is equivalent to $1, by the time we arrived at Bader, turning right, I had spent $0.99 of it. After a short distance, we turned left on Leonard where I soon dropped off at the hill. Not sure how many remained in the front group, maybe 8-10. Riding alone for awhile, I reached #37, turning right, picked up Indy Jeff and turning left at Leitnaker, Jeff S and Ryan R closed from behind and now we had a good working group of 4. Quite a few turns later and around Election House Road, we picked up Mark C and John S. The main climb on the route was at Brandt and here, Mark C and John gifted me the KOM points, we regrouped and rode in together, finishing with 42 miles, 21 mph average and 1200' of climbing. The lead group of 5, Mitch, Scott, Nick, Euro Andrew and Gutter Boy, finished with a 22mph average.
A couple of people have asked about an alternative ride for Saturday. There is one, leaving from around Lithopolis at 8:00am, led by Mark C on a rolling route to Chillicothe and back for 100 miles. Those already saying they are coming is Nathan, Flyin Tuna, Dan Farley and anyone else is welcome but there will be no maps. Seeing that this ride follows 2 days after Mark and Gutter Boy are riding 200 miles, this has been deemed a relaxed pace ride. If interested, let me know and I'll send you more details.
In case you missed it, spectacular crash today, taking out Cav and Phinney, at the Giro. You can see it here:
Also, could not help but see the humor in the below story. Replace Howe with Poobah and it reads like a typical Tuesday or Thursday COP evening ride.
The event, the next-to-last stop on the USA Crits Speed Week calendar, took place in an open field with a strong crosswind. According to Howe, riders were desperately trying to hold the wheel in front of them in the wind, and left-hand turns were forcing racers into the gutter.
According to eye witnesses, a rider trailing Howe was pinched off and forced into a field early in the race. A few laps later that rider, who Howe and others have identified as Jonathan Atkins, of Newnan, Georgia, caught up with Howe and began shaking his bike aggressively toward him, and started yelling at the 26-year-old pro. Atkins, it seems, was demanding an apology. “And then he started threatening me,” Howe said. “And then I made fun of him after that.”
Howe said a Kenda-5-Hour Energy teammate rode near him to protect him. “I thought it was all over,” Howe said. “And then, on the next lap, he came up to me and smashed my bars.” Howe recalls the accident differently than described on Twitter, where it seemed Atkins grabbed his bars or wrist and jerked Howe toward the ground. “I just remember landing on my face,” Howe said.
Howe said Atkins was still racing by the time the police arrived but that the rider later came over and said the crash wasn’t on purpose. “And I told him, ‘you better get a lawyer.’”
Reports from racers indicated that Atkins was handcuffed at the scene, but calls to both the local police and sheriff’s departments were inconclusive Sunday morning. Atkins was not arrested and said Sunday night that he spoke with police regarding the incident and that he would cooperate with officials moving forward.
The signal went out on Friday for a relaxed pace ride out of New Albany and quite a few bats showed up, Billy Campbell, Kenda Janet, SuperDave, Dennis, David, Marty & Elenor, Poobah, Brad the Dentist, Kevin Kramer and Kenda Paul. Of course, Billy & Marty are racing on Sunday so the ride description fit what was their goal for the day. We shoved off but without Poobah, who had forgotten his jersey and had to drive home to retrieve it, missing our start.
We emerged from the thick fog and some mist at the top of Caswell in Johnstown to discover that Kenda Paul was not with us. Here, Janet looks worried and conflicted, wait for husband Paul or ride with us.....she chose wisely (Paul had taken a longer route) and hung with us. Billy C dropped off after a few miles as he had something to do so we arrived into Granville with nine and stopped at the "uptown" coffee shop. After recharging, we decided to head west on Moots Way with Marty and Eleanor leaving earlier. Arriving in Alexandria, we debated whether to turn south and take old 161 into NA or go north and head in via Jersey Mill. Janet urged the north route and within a few pedal strokes we were in the sun, finally. After 10 miles or so, Janet stopped boasting about the wisdom of her choice, geeesh.
We finished with 44 miles. Kevin brought us a cooler that contained small bottles of Coke and root beer. Tasted great for a post ride drink. Sounds like a large group departing at 8:00am out of Hilliard for the Top of Ohio ride, then there is John Marten's ride out of Granville at 9:30 from the River Road Coffee House.
Mark C, in his latest installment of self flagellation, is leading a ride out of his church on Coonpath Road at 8:00am. 40-60 mile, hilly route to Clearcreek and back through Amanda. For those of you who had long/hard rides on Thursday or Friday or, if you are doing the Top of Ohio century on Sunday, perhaps you would like a more mellow alternative for Saturday. A group of us are departing from the usual parking lot in New Albany at 9:00am and headed to Granville. This will be a relaxed. recovery pace of 45ish miles. We'll be stopping at the coffee shop on the main drag, not the one on River Road because Poobah like the cina buns at the uptown place.
Also, Craig Butler, endurance athlete extraordinary and known as "Da Boss" has inquired about what is the current state of affairs and may be making a brief return to the cycling scene, perhaps this Tuesday. Don't want to put pressure on the guy because he just started riding again so he's not quite the dominator but that likely will come in time.
Thursday morning, 9:00am, I'm sitting on my bike on 669, a couple of miles west of Crooksville. Soon, Steve Oxley and Mark C come coasting down a hill and I hop on, for a wild ride. They are in the midst of a 160 mile route, I'm in for a more reasonable 92 mile route. We left Crooksville via 669 (note one of the Google cars with the odd looking camera attached to the top was driving onto each street). 669 heads east to the Muskingum River and is a hilly route on fresh laid asphalt. They were still laying it as we rode and our tires picked up lots of road debris. We commented to each other what a fun experience we would have later in the day on our return via this road. We reached the river, headed north on River Road staying to the west side of the river and upon entering Philo, ate at Subway. We then went farther north on Millers Lane (hilly), right onto Clay Pike (hilly) and passing a golf course I used to play as a kid, made a right on Pine Lake Road (more hilly), went through Chandlersville and got onto Big Muskie Road (hillier yet) but did enjoy sweeping views to the east and west before arriving at the Big Muskie shovel. Kind of neat.
From there it was into Malta for a very welcome fluid stop. The hills, the wind, the heat, the humidity and the hills again, made that Monster drink the best I've ever tasted. The Gatorade wasn't bad either. We headed north on 669 which borders the river before turning west, climbing out of the valley (groan) and following the hilly ridge into a head wind, on fresh asphalt that seemed to cling to our tires with the heat radiating from the surface.... arriving back in Crooksville with 92 miles and 5600' of climbing and just in time that I thought I could make the New Albany ride..
90 minutes in the car and I expected rigor mortis to have set in and jumped out of the car into a very active parking lot at 5:50. Lisa T on the left, Farmer Mike talking to Peggy.
Huge crowd of 60-70 cyclists.The A group was freakin enormous, at least 35 and too numerous to name everyone but all the usual suspects.
Here, Shannon jumped into the back of his truck and announced some common sense rules that must be followed, such as no more running red lights, no more stop sign jumping to create gaps.....
.....saying all this under the watchful eye of COP's ride chair, Suzzane B (no, not the one with a beard). Tonight's route was another creative one, ok, all the way out 161 to Granville but then, through Granville and up Jones Road, very nice and a return for 41 miles I figured I could hang on for a mile or two and after turning the corner onto old 161, an ICBM was ignited and off we went. Hey, my legs felt great for some reason and I was fine all the way into Alexandria where we turned left and then a right on Moots and finally, with a group that was now down to 20-22, we arrived in Granville with a 26.3 average. Here, I bugged out and returned via Raccoon Valley, Jug, etc... finishing with 31 miles and 123 miles for the day. Soon, the lead group arrived, Marty, Jon Morgan, Dave C, Terry, Mitch Tallen, Pete C and a couple others, with a 23.3 average....or 23.6, something like that.
I showed up at 4:30 tp participate in the Oxley/Clingan warm up ride, thinking that may be, given the forecast, the only opportunity to ride. Upon returning to the parking lot, Steve H predicted rain by 6:00pm. Mark and Karen Rossi hopped out of their van and said Jim Gynal (spl?) said no rain until 8:00pm. After viewing radar screens on various phones, it looked to me that we'd get hit around 6:45-7:00pm, so I sat this one out....
....but others signed in, totaling 30, including Jon Morgan making the drive down from NA on the left, Paul Stock, .
We decided to abandon the official route which included the climb up Delmont past the old pig farm, a classic. Instead, the group was to head south while keeping a wary eye to the west and as soon as the sky appeared the least bit threatening, either turn around or head east to Amanda Northern Road and come back in. Here, Mitch T, Poobah, Andrew C, Mark C, Steve O and Euro-Patrick are poised to launch from the parking lot. Patrick entered his first mountain bike race last weekend, finishing 4th. Mark and Andrew, last Thursday, rode 200 miles in the cold and mist, including 3 hours after sunset. Ahhh, to have a job where one works but one day a week.
The group arrived back at the parking lot at 7:00pm, just missing the wind with a 22mph avg for the lead group.
It's a somewhat well known fact that I married above my station in life but it is a burden I must live with, gladly. The "She Who Must Be Obeyed" proclaimed recently that she likes boulders in the landscape. So, this sent me off on a journey of the property, looking for a boulder. Previously, I have lugged large rocks into the midst of our mulch but this time, I was after a larger prize. I hiked into an area on which an old barn once stood, the only evidence of it being the foundation boulders. I dug out one, allowed the snakes and creatures living under it to slither away, and began prying and shoving and pushing it out of the bush and into, the brush. The thing is enormous and to give it a size perspective, asked my son to stand on top of it. Huge isn't it?
I shoved and placed my enormous bulk against it and thought of the dude who was condemned to rolling a boulder uphill from Greek mythology. OK, I'm exaggerating a little.
OK, that was a plastic army guy but here is a softball perched on top, still pretty freakin big. no? I managed to roll it.... .....about 15 feet and had to pack it in, just like riding with Marty & company on Thursdays! I am undeterred. I need a tractor but since I got rid of the old Ford 8N, I've got nothing but a weak back and orders from the boss so I will plug away, like Hercules pushing on the pillars at the entrance to Ceuta and eventually, will roll the beast into the designated spot, 100' distant. Oh, about that Tuesday Canal ride, yes, we rode and more to come later!
Dave Chesrown sent me the below. Curious to see how others from our local cycling community did in the race but results not yet posted for overall finishers. However, for part of the route, Marty was King
Just wanted to let all our fellow riders know that local boy Marty Sedluk was the winner of this weeks Ohio Spring Race Series Strava Challenge. How it works is Strava picks a segment on the race that all categories are measured on, this includes the Cat 1,2,3 pro's the Cat 4,5's and the Cat 5's. Every week leading up to this had been won by a Cat 1 or 2 Pro becuase they are just that fast. Kudos to Marty for putting it on the pro's and everyone else on this segment http://app.strava.com/segments/1196022