A worried Matt Ashmore gazes at Coonpath Road, on the lookout for late arriving Pete, who arrived just in time to roll out with around 15 of us. Unfortunately, in the background, Kenda Janet walking away after informing us that once again, she and Paul will not be able to roll out with us. Something about Paul not being able to get ready in time but it appeared he was dressed and good to go while the high powered executive was not, unless that is a new and very unstylish cycling kit she is wearing. So, we left the parking lot without one of our favorites.
The pace, coupled with the relentless winds and hills, caused an occasional gap between those who like to ride at an easier pace on Saturdays (or can't ride at a faster pace) and those who wanted to ride harder. Here, Dustin, Matt and Pete are far ahead while Larry P, Woody, Kevin H, Mark V, Chris, Mark C, Flyin Tuna, Andrew, Brian and the rest, hang back a bit.
We rolled into Amanda for a break and to check weather radar. At the start, it appeared the most we could ride was 50-60 but in Amanda, the rain had made no progress toward us so we began thinking of doing more, maybe the 80-100 mile route.
The Rookies, Matt and Pete, parked in front of the gas pump, oblivious to the drivers lined up behind them. They'll learn the finer points of break behavior. We shoved off and upon reaching the prison at the top of Revenge, took Blue Valley towards #33 and then.....
....in to Sugar Grove where Kevin H led an extended session of radar watching and map reading. The rain, when it arrived, would last a long time and no one wanted to get way east and be stuck so we jointly decided on a plan. After climbing Savage, we'd hang a left on Duffy and work our way back toward the parking lot.
Muscle Dude Junior or John, on the right if you are unsure. He looked at me and asked if I was "Mark". I said yes. He asked if I was "Mark Wilson, the blogger." I said no, never heard of the guy. By the way, the store in Sugar Grove is under new ownership and they treat cyclists like royalty. Good folks. Our ranks had thinned a bit but we picked up some new cyclists and headed north, got to Duffy and those who had intended to go farther east on the 80 mile route, gave up the chase and rode in with us, finishing with either 61 or 74 miles. Of course, that rain never materialized but the wind increased and contributed to a very long day, despite the limited distances, for a Saturday ride.
The Spring HOOT ride, that's the nasty looking thing above, is Saturday. Many of us are rolling out at 8:00am from the Gloryland Nazarene Church off Coonpath Road in Carroll, OH. Just take #33 south and hang a left on Coonpath and the church is about 2 miles down on the left. Lots of distance options so come on out.
The winner of the Granville Climbing Challenge, posing with the prize, a stuffed tiger. Dirty Dan on the right, finally showing he is putting the crushing defeat behind him and forcing a smile as the presenter.
Some early enrollees, Allison on the right, David Smith signing in, Kayla Starr rolling up in the background, John, Franz, etc...
Don't know them but maybe they read the blog and would like to see themselves.
A youngish looking couple sign in.
And still more came, including lots of the "Backroom Coffee Roaster" guys, Surge, Pete C, Rich Lewis and there's Hendra and Kevin Henshall. Last time he showed up we were at 30mph exiting the parking lot.
Large turnout of about 60, surprising given the heat, humidity and those nasty winds out of the south. There was some talk among the peloton's elite that since the route was flatish, there wouldn't be a lot of drops so they began to conspire and hatched a plan. Since I am outside this "Circle of Trust" and rightfully so, I and many others were oblivious to what was to come. Twenty-three of us shoved off in the A group, getting on to Walton's Parkway, with the wind on Bevelhymer, right on Walnut with the cutting cross wind, north on Green Cook, east on Fancher and then a long stretch north on County Line. Mostly the pace had been moderate with a couple of spirited sessions thrown in there as we approached the right on Wesley Chapel. Here, the parking lot plan hatched. As I turned the corner, looking ahead, there was already a 25-30 yard gap between a front group of maybe 6 and everyone else. Immediately, it became every man for himself as people dove to the left of whoever was in front of them. Multiple groups of 3-4 were strung out chasing that front group. Jon Morgan came sprinting by, then Marty and it appeared they caught on but many of us did not. Someone noted later that the same thing happened last year but I can't remember what happened last week, let alone 365 days ago.
I got in with Doug McConaha, Gus, Mick and Dirty Dan. We went north on Clover Valley and the last of the tail wind section before turning east on Foundation and rolled into the village of Croton. For some reason, we went north, off the route for about 1/2 a mile before catching our mistake, turning around and returning for a tour through Croton and then out east although we lost Doug who rode home. Too bad because for what we were about to enter, the wind tunnel, the more the better. We got on to Appleton and a remorseless grind into the wind, continuing on to Louden and then a right turn on Stone Quarry. Here, we caught up with Jay, Surge and one other guy and also noted the winds had died a bit. Almost all of us took turns with a pull and worked together pretty well, west on Concord into Johnstown, south on Caswell, a quick dip on Duncan Plains before getting back on Caswell, then Miller, Burnside and finally to Jug for the return. Here, Surge went to the front and just killed it for awhile and I struggled to stay on but survived, thankful that Gus took a moderately paced pull thereafter. We finished with 48 miles and a 21.3 avg. Meantime....
The plotters and survivors of the plot, gather around Rich, having finished with a 23.1 avg. Impressive considering the wind.
The Thursday New Albany ride is the same as I posted last week so scroll down a little to find. Now, important news to report. Next Tuesday, Gary and Younger Phenom Nick will be at Canal to participate in the usual ride festivities but also, if you've wanted to make a donation to the "Get Nick to Cheesehead Country Fund", you can. As some of you know, Nick is going to Madison, WI to do two Jr. National Championship races and will be there for several days. Trips like this are not cheap so if you want to help, you can make a contribution to Gary or Nick. All funds will be used directly to cover the trip cost and not to enrich me.
In the shelter of the parking lot, it was easy to be deceived by the ferocity of the prevailing winds that howled out of the south. Mark C was this evenings ride leader and came up with a new route of 51 miles with plenty of hills at the start. Mark set aside wisdom, experience, responsibility for fellow riders, good judgment, sagacity, sapience and prudence to pursue a route that left no margin for error. Has he made it back yet? No one knows. Hey, a new rider in the center, Owen.
A light turn-out, highlighted by Luke on the right, Euro-Patrick and Brian. Only 35 shoved off on an epic journey into the vast unknown.
The Canal version of Muscle Dude. Not quite up to THE Muscle Dude but he is young and has potential. I think his name is Doug?
In the foreground, Dirty Dan, making weak attempts to explain away his scurrilous behavior, fingering Rob and Dustin for their triumphant march into Granville, well, well ahead of Dan on Saturday. Dan has a long way to go but the potential is there and we continue to be patient while he matures. Mark V on the right and Matt Ashmore in the center.
Hey, Randy Brown makes an appearance. He rolled out with a very small A group.
In fact, that is about the extent of the A group, circling Craig Rice as he tries to get ready, just a few minutes late. That traffic out of Columbus is such a pain.
Maybe 6 go out with the A, maybe 4 with the C and the balance with the B group, including the golfer, Katherine. She's headed to the Memorial on Friday to check out the PGA Tour event. She asked if running naked down the 1st fairway would get her on TV but I told her recent policy changes by the networks discourages showing these acts.
So, we headed out to Slough and hit that hill, made a right on Amanda Northern and hit those hills and then regrouped at a stop sign. Taking what was left of the B group, we headed south, got over to Rock Mill, then Sand Hill then coasted through Amanda and then further to the south and always into that wind which had to exceed 20mph. By now we were down to Mark C, Muscle Dude (dropped back from the A group), Matt A, Katherine, Corvair, Kevin H, Brian, Dirty, Jeff S, Mitch O...maybe 1-2 others. Upon reaching the 51/43 mile split, 4 of us took 43 and around 6 took the 51.
We had a good ride back, arriving at 8:25, at 8:35 the first of the A group, Patrick, Pete A and Steve O arrived. The minutes ticked by, I left at 8:40 I left the parking lot. 51 miles into hills and strong wind, we probably should have modified the route. No margin for error in there for a May ride.
Denver Dan, a long time participant at the Thursday New Albany rides has been missing and has been missed this season. However, I have good news to report. Rather than a mild stroke and after a battery of tests all came back negative, apparently Dan was afflicated with a type of virus, which ran its nasty course over several months. Dan is back on the bike and, after selling his dental practice, spent a couple of weeks in Australia. Dan plans to be back out on Thursdays sometime in the next few weeks.
Over the weekend, I received the below email which I present here, unedited:
Unconfirmed sources are alleging course deviation by Rob Rhodes and Dustin Reed.
Incident #1: Rob Rhodes observed descending down Licking Valley Rd. Hill (into Hanover) bypassing 7 Hills Rd.-Marne Rd.-Main St. segment, thus eliminating 1.3 miles,100 ft. of climbing, and a tunnel.
This would make Dustin the winner, but wait....more scandal!
Incident #2: Dustin misses right turn onto Bolen Rd. descending Licking Heights Middle School climb. Conflicting reports confirm he heard the shouts of the lead group to turn around which he appeared to do initially, however he was never seen again until he mysteriously appeared at Wilkin's Corner. Note that the lead group even eased up to wait for him to catch up. Did he cut out the hilly Loper Rd. portion of the route and instead head through the more forgiving terrain of downtown Newark and then north on Montgomery thus eliminating 1 mile and 250 ft. of climbing? Only Dustin knows the true story.
I think we need a full investigation. This event can't seem to escape scandal.
Normally, charges like this would kick off a full scale investigation and both Rob and Dustin would be called in for interviews but I had to consider that the source for the above tip was none other than Dirty Dan, the 3rd place finisher who not coincidentally, would be declared the winner if the above claims should be true. Therefore, and after great deliberation and evaluation of Dirty Dan's character and nickname, I rule that the above is nothing more then the desperate attempt by a desperate cyclist to gain fame on the back of a false claim. The results, already published, are final. Let us not shun Dan but bring him into closer embrace so that we may help him find his good side.
Enough with the parking lot stuff and on to the action out on the road. We rolled east on Broadway, past the farmer's market and a few other booths where people are selling goods. I think that is Blair on the right. Initially, Tym Tyler rode away from us a few times but always came back as his plan was to ride with Lisa. Being a good husband denies one the opportunity, probably the likelehood, of winning this meaningless event and the coveted stuffed tiger.
The pace quickened as we rode the long hill out Burg and New Burg, where I stopped to snap the above image of about 20 of us in the group. After taking the image, I thought how stupid I was to have lost the pack and had to work hard to regain it. In that group were Rob, Dustin, Tym & Lisa, Woody, Larry P, Jeff S, Blair, Steve O, Kayla, Kevin H, Mitch O, Flyin Tuna, Eric the Dispatch Photographer, Adam, Dirty Dan, etc...
We rolled into Utica with some pausing and others not. Those who paused headed out in a group of around 8 and we enjoyed a moderately paced ride out to Purity and then hit the super rollers to the turn left on Pine View where we paused to regroup. Here, Jeff S selflessly broke up a home-made energy bar. It tasted at least as good as Cliff Bars or Harvest Bars and so with his permission, I bring this amazing recipe to your attention, which he pulled off this site: http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/do-it-yourself/2013/04/how-to-make-energy-bars/
6 ounces pitted dates (1 cup)
¾ cup whole raw almonds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Anyway, we shoved off and eventually arrived at Rainrock, turning right then a left on Pinewood and regrouped at Reform. Here I was faced with a dilemma, keep going with the group on the 75 mile route or escort an easily confused Kevin H through the 66 mile route so he could return in time to make a family event. The pull of honoring my journalistic obligations to get back to the parking lot in time to interview the winner was in the back of my mind so I agreed to ride with Kevin, good guy that I am. We rode south with the gang, looking for Montgomery Road but never saw it, arriving at the stop sign at Licking Valley Road. Hmmm how'd that happen but later learned my cue sheet had left out a turn to Smith Chapel prior to Montgomery. So, we hung a left on McCown, made a couple of map checks, ran into Rob, Dan and Dustin and arrived at Wilken's Corner and the market. Along the way, Rob heard me use Dan's name and Rob asked, "Dan, what's your last name?" Upon hearing it Rob commented, "You're the Dan whose records I keep breaking on Strava." Dan agreed that yes it was him and to which I think Kevin commented why would anyone want to break the records of a guy riding the TJ Evans bike path. Ha, ha, ha that was a good one. Rob was also letting me know that he was going to gift the win to either Dan or Dustin but I informed him that the event had a long line of unknowns as winners and I needed someone with his pedigree to win. Above, Rob and Dustin wait for Dan, as Kevin and I soaked up the sun and downed a Coke.
Dirty was conflicted, about with which of us he should ride but I shooed him away, urging him on to his destiny, a greeting with greatness but a mere 22 miles away at the finish line. Emboldened, Dan shoved off with Rob and Dustin and at but a mere 21 miles from the finish line, slid out the back and soloed home for a very impressive 3rd place finish. A little ahead, Rob and Dustin battled it out on the final climb on Loches, as decribed two posts down, thus Rob stormed away for the win with a long solo effort. Meantime, Tym and Lisa rode by as Kevin and I exited the market so we caught up with them and had a great time drafting off Tym for roughly 20 of the remaining 22 miles. After arriving in the parking lot and determining the winner had left to meet a baby sitting obligation, I drove out to see what I could see.
Kayla and Steve topping out on the New Burg climb. I asked if there was anyone behind them as really, I was stalking the last place finisher so I could snap the image with the "winner" holding the turtle and then get out of there.
I ran into John and Adele, out for a run while pushing their baby.
Larry P and argh...forget this guys name., also on New Burg.
I came upon the Eric the Dispatch Photographer group and debriefed them. Sounded like Beth Hale, Evie, Tim, etc... were still back there but they had gotten off the route a few times. Sensing that if I went farther back I may run into cyclists who would be angry about the cue sheet, I immediately disqualified them for going off route, thrust the turtle into the hands of this group's weakest, snapped the image and now finished with my obligations, rode off into the sunset.
I am already thinking how to make next year's event better and may turn it into an invitation only event. This event needs a different kind of winner, someone who will be universally accepted as a true champion, someone with wide respect and the real bonifides, yes, this event needs me to be the winner. Wonder if I can get a mailing list of the area's "C" cyclists?
Kind of cold at the start as grim faced cyclists arrive early to sign in. Hmmmm, unknown cyclist in the background with a banana and later I discovered a banana peel hanging from my car's passenger side door. Could this guy have been the perpetrator?
Quickly, the hoards arrive and surprisingly, the doughnuts are a bit of a hit. I intended to pick up fresh baked doughnuts at a bakery but at the end, stopped at a gas station and just bought a cheap bag of sugar coated, which seemed to be ok. Note the tiger in the foreground, laying there wondering into which person's hands it would end. Who is the tall guy in the background? He rode with us quite a bit and is yet another good guy to have in the group because A-he pulls a lot and B-he doesn't seem to mind pulling a lot.
Dean signs in with Kayla Starr and Steve O checking out the map. Kayla has picked up some of the Kendaitis virus as it took her a long time to ready herself and missed the official start, but later caught on.
An emotional moment as Kenda Janet yet again won the GCC Beauty Queen Pageant but pauses to console the runer-up to the runner-up to the runner-up, Flyin Tuna. The day was not a total loss for FT as she later demonstrated she can dominate a certain award much like Lebron James dominates the NBA's MVP award. Kenda Janeet was also giddy over the new cassette that has been added to her bike, a 28 tooth one. That coupled with the compact crank and she is good for another year or two before the inevitable triple gets added to the bike.
Dirty Dan, so generous that he brought Steve O an extra jacket. Steve's old jacket finally failed and the cheapskate refuses to buy a new one until he is forced to, this winter. In the meantime, there are plenty of us who will provide spot garmet lending as needed. Dustin in the middle, unaware of the drama in which he will participate later in the day. Mitch O signs in too and maybe took more then his fair share of doughnuts but aside from me, I don't think anyone else was counting.
Wow! and How About That! Woody Patrick, the winner of the inaugural GCC shows up and Larry P, who came in second that year showed up too. But many wondered where were my New Albany friends? They abandoned me after I rejected paying appearance fees to get them to show. Still, there was plenty of quality, Tym and Lisa Tyler, Rob Rhodes......wait a minute.....I have received an anonymous email asking me to check the sign-in sheets to see if Rob actually signed in for the event......opps, more to come on that in the next report.
We were a few minutes late getting started as we waited for Dustin to add a pair of knee warmers and to see if Kayla could get prepared but the grumbling from the gang at the exit of the parking lot and the grumbling from those back at the cars forced me to call for the official start. Forty-three signed in and with those who I saw were there but did not sign in, around 50 of us hit the street. Next up, the official ride report, awards ceremonies and an image of John and Adele Gorrila's baby.
Rob Rhodes, too modest to stick around for the awards ceremony, soloed to victory after attacking on Loches Road, 15 miles from the 75 mile route. His closest pursuer, Dustin, aka Old Chubbs, was left to speculate about what might have been. Said a visably disappointed Dustin, "I was caught off guard. He had been waiting for me at the top of each climb so naturally when he gapped me again on that killer climb on Loches, I figured he'd wait, which is the sporting thing to do. But no, he was a phantom, now you see him, now you don't." A day which will go down in the anals of cycling histroy, has come to an end and I have so much more to tell and lots of images.
Oh, for you 66 milers, I apologize for the bad cue sheet. "Ridewithgps" said to make a right off Purity on to Montgomery but in fact, the road was signed for Smith Chapel with the Montgomery turn about 100 yards after turning on to Smith Chapel. I know many of you, including me, kept cruising south but thankfiully, after only 1 mile, you arrived at a stop sign and surely there realized the mistake.
UPDATE #3--A very nice Disney stuffed turtle has been acquired for last place and a giant Disney tiger is set for first place. The turtle has a nice grin on its face while the tiger has a rather serious look but otherwise these will make fine giveaways at Crhistmas to some deserving child, should you not want to keep them for some reason after you finish first or last. Also, Denver Dan is doing well, having just come back from a vacation in Australia. Not sure if he will attend the ride. By the way, Both A, B and C cyclists are welcome and I have heard from cyclists from each category, confirming their participation.
UPDATE #2-- Celebrity Alert! Kenda Janet will attend. Yes, although this high powered, corporate executive and high flyer has a very busy schedule and normally does not enjoy rubbing shoulders with the little people, she has confirmed she will attend.
Below are the four available routes. Please note I have edited the cue sheets to remove turns that differed from the route. I will have maps and cue sheet at the start. Weather looks to be almost ideal and far different from last year's heat and humidity. Light winds, sun, start temp around 50 at the start time of 8:30am. I've had several out-of-towners call me about the start location. Take #37 into Granville, turn left on Broadway and the Wildwood Park is on the left about 1/2 mile after making the turn.
The 50 Mile Route:
The 66 Mile Route:
The 75 Mile Route:
The 100 Mile Route that mirrors the 75 but wuth a 25 mile loop upon returning to Granville:
5:15--I arrive at the parking lot. No cars around. Begin to feel foolish about arriving so early on an evening when clearly it is going to rain and thus no ride.
5:17--Continuing to feel odd for being the only person in the parking lot, save for a couple of teachers departing, I retreat to the rear lot by the tennis courts so I can monitor who comes (if any) to the forward lot, the normal gathering place for cyclists.
5:18--Began feeling odd that perhaps someone will think this lone guy is eyeballing the cute highschoolers so bring cell phone to my ear to act like I am taking a call.
5:19--Began thinking I probably look like a creeper eyeballing the cute highschoolers while pretending to be talking on the cell phone. Wonder if anyone is calling the police on the creeper so drive back to the front lot and there, in white van, is Pepe LaPew, aka Kevnin H.
5:20--Paul Stock arrives but does not get out of SUV as rain begins. Paul confirms he did leave the comment that he too slid around the Shade's floor but has better balance then Mark W and did not go down.
5:22--Farmer Mike and John Miller roll in. They say radar looks like rain so they soon depart.
5:25--Paul Stock departs but Shannon, the supremo ride leader arrives but stays in truck.
5:35--Dirty Dan arrives in maroon van. He has already ridden 50 miles today so riding again is not high on his list of priorities so he soon departs.
5:36--Kevin H departs.
5:41--Shannon sends out emaal saying he thinks all will blow through and ridable by 6"15.
5:41 + 1 second-- I laugh out loud at this fool's optimism.
6:15--I send Shannon an email and ask if his prediction was valid, knowing full well it could not be.
8:15--Shannon email back they rode 48 miles (off the posted route) and had some rain for last 10 miles. I feel like a creepy, foolish dumbass for not hanging around to ride. Heck, nothing unusual about that. Wonder who all rode tonight?
OK, Shannon has put this out and you can see more by visiting his website: http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/new-albany-cop-ride-thursday-may-23-2013/
While I wait anxiously for Shannon to post tonight;s New Albany route, for your enjoyment is a pic of Miya, holding the fat penguin for coming in last at last year's GCC. Actually, she was not quite last but close enough and besides, those still out on the road I knew would not be in the mood for this award.
Denver Dan, winner of the middle of the pack award from last year's ride, hefting the rough hewn cedar plank with genuine Ohio sandstone rock. Like last year, a middle of the pack award will again be given, along with a last place award and of course for 1st place, a special award maybe cash too.. Couple of updates. Kayla Starr, recently granted Cat 2 status will ride with us Saturday...how about that! I also had a request to create a 100 mile option so I did, well 98 to be exact (the 98 mile route returns to Granville completing 75 miles and then goes west and back to Granville). So, there wil be 98, 75, 66 and 54 mile options. The winners are declared for those riding the 75 mile option except for last place, that goes to the person finishing the 66 mile route, in last place (you can't expect me to hang around forever do ya?). I'll have maps and que sheets at the start but having the route marked is looking uncertain as I'm riding tomorrow evening, the little woman and I have a mixed couple golf league on Friday so....
On a far more serious note, I heard that Dan suffered from a stroke at some point this past winter, I think. Does anyone know anything else? The parking lots just are not the same without his upbeat personality.
The threatening weather kept some away, one of the New Albany Yankees called me from the Canal parking lot where it was raining and decided to head back north and catch an alternative ride. The parking lot dried quickly, the clouds departed and the temperature went from 68 to 85 in a matter of moments. All was good to go well before 6:00pm. Above, from left to right, Dirty Dan, Steve O, Ryan, Brian and Franz. About 35 came out but the "A" group was underwhelming in quality but still, there was Paul Stock and Luke and.....a still recovering Steve O......Pete and Matt Ashmore....... Hmmm, when the New Albany boys don't show up it's pretty thin around here.
There he is, David Smith, the King of the COP, Granville Climbing Challenge, stretching out those rarely used cycling muscles but he said tonight there is a 50/50 chance he will be there this Saturday, if not to defend his crown, at least to participate.
My favorite pair of brothers, Pete and Matt, with a new phenom in blue, Luke. Have not ridden with Luke yet but they say he has potential.
A new guy in red with Katherine and Mark V signing in. "Red" went out with the A group but don't know how well he did. So, we rolled out and I'll keep this short because, while it was a good route to do once in awhile, it was flat with a short and steepish climb in the middle and not much exciting happened, except for Paul Stock's violation of the rules.
Straight east we went and I tried to keep the B group together as much as practical, asking one guy taking a pull to rise from the tuck position in the aero bars, asking a couple of guys to ease up when the shelling of the group got to be too much, asked and was granted a couple of stops for regrouping, etc... Still, on the return to the west there were only maybe 8 of us from a group that started with around 18-20, Brian, Mike M, Katherine, Kevin H, Ryan Roe, Mark C...and then we passed Paul Stock, Dirty Dan and Steve O fixing a flat. Later they caught us and we jumped on and rode at a brisk pace toward Canal.
So, there were three A cyclists in our group. As we approached the Canal sign, Paul Stock exploded from our midst and took the sign sprint, over some of the B regulars. How desperate must "Tood Lee's Brother" be for a win that he is compelled to jump the hapless B group? Finished with 47 miles and a 20mph average.
The end of the ride. I probably should not tell this but I fell again. Yep, not from the bike but while walking the hall of Shade's Restaurant. The linoleum must have just been waxed because as soon as my cycling shoes hit the surface, my feel began fishtailing like a car on an icy street. Quickly, my weight went to my heels where the small plastic piece contacted the floor and Bam! Down I went on my back. Quickly, I scrambled to my feet to see if there were witnesses and yes, a patron emerging from the rest room caught the entire episode. I told Mark C and the compassionate one suggested I begin wearing a helmet both on and off the bike. I figure I will have hit the trifecta if next I fall out of bed.
UPDATE: The Lion of Canal, ole Steve O, demanded that I have a 100 mile option and he is correct! There should be one and there will. So, 100 miles, 75, 65 and 50 miles.
I've had a couple of people call me, including a recumbent cyclist from PA, asking about the Granville Climbing Challenge for this Saturday. The long route (75 miles and 6100' of climbing) can be found here, with cue sheet and exporting options: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2547388. The route will be marked with 4 available food stops on the long route with shorter options of 65 and 50 miles. Start time of 8:30am out of Granville's Wildwood Park off Broadway.
Prizes and food are still being accumulated and collected so I can not yet announce the winner's share or what prize they will collect but rest assured, the prize will be a cuddly little creature not unlike what last year's winner. David Smith held aloft upon being named the winner (let's hope the rule breaking that plagued last year's event will not repeat itself).
I understand an alternative route is also available out of Rick Miller's house in Utica, for those wanting a later start time (9:00am) and a route a little farther north of our route. The ride schedule is becoming crowded, which benefits local cyclists.
After a relentless stream of hilly routes from both the Canal and New Albany rides, Tuesday is flat and likely fast. The A route is 49 miles, B route (turning left at New Salem Road) is 43 miles and the C route (turning left at Millersport Road) is 34 miles. You can view or make copies of the route here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2545138. Maps will be at the start, as usual. Also, we've got some great new routes coming, courtesy of Andrew Clayton, who is spending his idle time making routes for us to enjoy, including a 60 miler. One more lastly, I'm getting some feedback from cyclists about the A and B group rides. Everyone expects the A group to ride, ride hard, until the last man, woman, men or women are left at the end. The B group is expected to regroup several times throughout the route. If you want to drop back to the B group and pound those poor devils until you are riding alone, have the courage to go out with the A group, where you'll be riding alone soon enough.
Tym Tyler, preparing for the start of the Big Fat Group Ride, which benefited the Licking County Humane Society. Lot of competition for this ride, the COP ride out of Clear Creek having the unusual start time of 7:15am so I doubt too many showed up for that, Frank Seabody had a tour I think out of Lancaster that drew in Kenda Janet and Mark V, among others, a ride organized by Mark C that passed the large rusty bucket known as Big Muskie and then there was weather radar.....
Who is this and why did he follow me for miles and miles? The driver of the SAG vehicle of course. John Sada brought him, along with 3 hired guns, Marco, a Cat 1/Pro, Scotty Moro from Australia and "Mike". They were to support John, pull when needed and try to escort him around to a first place finish. Early in the ride, glancing back, I saw a vehicle behind us so I instictively motioned for it to pass. It pulled alongside and there was the SAG vehicle, thinking I needed something. Too funny when I realized my mistake. I'm not used to that kind of service.
Gus and Peggy Cook showed up and while talking with John Marten, told me their main motivation for riding was so they would not get excoriated on the blog for quitting. Hah! I am as much a hypocrite as anyone but given my history, I'd never judge anyone for not riding on a rainy day. The only time I ride in the rain is when I am caught out in it, except for today since radar suggested once we got north and east we'd be in the clear.
John Sada in the right and quite unhappy that Marty and Dave C chose not to ride. All his preparations with the SAG and hired guns was in anticipation of a great battle for first place with those guys but as it turned out, Muscle Dude, Gus and Tym provided plenty of competition.
Farmer Mike came out for the start but decided not to ride. Given his schedule, probably a good thing he took the day off. Gus on the left, Kym Sada on the right.
So, 15 of us at the start, with 10 of the usual serious cyclists, each of whom I think I have already listed. Lisa on the left had to work later in the day so bugged out after about 20 miles.
We rolled out into light rain but within a couple of miles, it ended, briefly picked back up later around mile 15 but then stopped for good and at 10:30, the sun poked through and later yet, it was a glorious sunny day with some thin, high clouds. I assumed the hired guns would blast off the front, pulling Tym and others with them but no, it was a true group ride for the first 25 miles into Wilkens Corner, where we ignored the first food stop. Then we hit the hills and I dropped back, eventually emerging into Hanover. Having sophisticated snack needs, I stopped at the market for a Coke and Payday. While sitting in front of the market, Peggy Cook rolled by. Hmmmm, that probably made me in last place for the day but who cares? It's just a tour to ride and enjoy the scenery and route.
I caught up with Peggy at the Flint Ridge good stop, thought briefly about taking the 70 mile cut-off but instead, plunged into the hills of Hell by going south on 668. Arrived in Brownsville and continued south, more Hell hills. Just when I thought all was lost, we made a right on Cooperriders Rd, pass through a covered bridge, made a left on Gower Road, passed through a very cool covered bridge, arrived back on 668 and coarsed through more Hell hills, arriving in Somerset, above.
The balance of the ride is a blur of hills but finished with 95 miles and 6400' of climbing. Mean time, up ahead an hour or two, Tym and Gus arrived at the bike path in Newark, for the final 3 miles back to Granville. Since the path was packed with people, they slowed down and were caught by John and the hired guns so I give the "win" to Tym and Gus. I finished with 6:30 and a very healthy 65 minutes of break time so total ride time was around 5:30. Great route and thanks to Tym for organizing.
Farmer Mike, spends more time examining the map then any other cyclist. He was soon thereafter on the phone with Kyle Wingler, guiding him in but I did not see Kyle out on the road. Mike is on a cycling tear, riding most days while winning mountain bike races on the weekend.
Dennis G preparing to sign in. Note the flawless late afternoon sky in the background. It was a near perfect time for a bike ride. Quentin (spl?) glides by on the left
John on the left, new guy Brady Berg behind him, Paul Stock's shoulder on the right. A very light turnout tonight, maybe as few as 45 cyclists. I know a couple of "B" cyclists have said they are not returning because the "B" group is too chaotic. We'll try to send out two B groups next week but the concern, as always, is no matter what you call the first "B" group, "Super B", "A/B", whatever, everyone heads out with the first "B" group.
Kayla Starr made it up for her first New Albany ride of the year and later termed her experience as "awesome".
Shannon was in Portsmouth for an event so I filled in and within minutes, lost control of the unruly band of cyclists. I was curious how much climbing we could find at the end of this very hilly route. Climbs up Hardscrabble, Stone Quarry, 661, Hankinson, Dennison campus, ouch. I of course also, as always, wondered how quickly I would get spit out the back but I had one thing going for me, Shannon was not there. It is always helpful to have one of the guys who rotate at the front putting in viscious pulls, out of town.
Twenty+ of us rolled out in the A group, including what I thought was a ringer, guy in khaki shorts, T-shirt and satchel around the neck. Paul and I speculated he was a visiting Euro pro sitting in for some fun but he exited the group a couple of miles into the route. We turned on to 161, left on Kitzmiller, right on Smiths Mill and then a left on Beech, where a gap developed already but following Gus' wheel, I was able to bridge.
We got on to Jug, taking it out to Mink, a left and a quick right back on Jug. Some where in there Pete C or Terry G unleashed a strong pull yet that down hill stretch that is frequently bombed, proceeded at a genteel pace, which was good. Rolling through Alexandria, we paused for two passing Sheriff cars and a light that cut into our average but we were still in the 23's as we rolled out Raccoon Valley Road, still at a gentlemenly pace, likely because we were approaching the turn to Hardscrabble and that long series of ramps and false flats. Ron Budzig drifted back while saying, "I don't want to get in anyone's way" and all I could think was, "You just put someone in front of you who is going to get in your way."
Of course, upon turning left, the pace accelerated but I managed to hang all the way to the top, following Rich Lewis' wheel with Scott, who rides a Scott bike, the UPS driver on my right. Good company for suffering. We made a right on Northridge and I glanced at my computer, "18 miles" and I contemplated dropping anchor since Stone Quarry was approaching. I hate that road! We rolled along the series of bumps, tore through the descent, navigated the mild turns across the bridge with Dave C pulling at the front. Hitting the final longish hill, I was ok at the bottom, red lights flashing in the middle, hydraulic fluids pouring from every orifice near the top and exactly at the moment I was about to pop, I felt a shove in my back, which helped a lot. My good friend Dave C gave me the nudge I needed to hang in there. What a guy!
We approached New Burg, which was the turning point for the B route, sensing I was not long for the A group, I headed right, finishing a 23 mile effort. I rode into Granville where I spotted Crazy George riding the opposite direction and then as I approached Beechwood, across from Wildwood Park, here came Kayla, John, Dennis, Farmer Mike, Axel and a few others, screaming down the hill. I was thrilled that I would not have to solo in and it gave me an opportunity to ride with the Super B group. You know what I discovered, they don't ride quite as fast as the A group. Yep, quite the revelation. Finished with 44 miles and a 22.2mph avg, benefitting greatly from the shelter of the B group the last 18 miles or so. The A group finished with 48 miles, 1800' of climbing and an average I think at 22.9 or 23. I forget exactly what I was told.
After the ride, we mingle for a few minutes.
Madness, sheer madness I say. It's Tuesday Canal rides that are supposed to be hilly not New Albany. I mean come on!!!! Up Hardscrabble then on to Stone Quarry, then Dennison U climb??? No one will come out alive from this climbing cauldron of fire. Sorry for the hyperbole. To see more, go to Shannon's site at: http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/new-albany-cop-ride-thursday-may-16-2013/ Wait just a minute. Shannon is supposed to be out of town and I am to step in. Hmmmm.... maybe I'll alter the route so we'll go back and forth to Alexandrian via #161 a few times instead...
Big news to report. David Smith, on the left, a parent now, has ridden little and unable to defend his title of King of the Granville Climbing Challenge ride. This ultra fun lark through the peaks and valleys north and east of Granville, is on the 25th of May and should be on your calendar of things to do. Great prizes (kind of sort of), doughnuts at the start (may be a day or two old with a bite taken out of them), prize for first, middle and last place finishers, coveted stuffed animal for the winner (I still have to shop at K-Mart for it), challenging route, etc... On the right, Pete Rose makes an appearance.
Nick on the left, in need of cash to support his pilgrimage to a WI race (details below). Nick was performing wheelies in the parking lot but I was too slow or the wheelies to quick, to get a good image. Pete Ashmore (or is that Matt), on the right.
Everyone heads to the shady spot after readying themelves for tonight's brutal route. Katherine on the left just bought a home in Granville. Sounds like a great location, near Wildwood Park.
Cyclists elbowing for position to sign in or check the route. Good turnout of around 40-42.
Remember Nathan, aka Recumbent Dude who accepted a job in San Fran and moved he and family out there? Have not seen his brother-in-law Dane since last year but he made a surprise appearance, in the center. Dane assures me the reason Nathan does not return phone calls and reply to emails is because he is too busy. Now that's a new one.
Only a couple of the New Albany boys came down, Jon Morgan and Rich Lewis but that was enough to stampede many of us into the B group. Maybe 12 rolled out with the A's while the B group had 25 and quite a few C's, including two new ones.
After exiting the parking lot and pausing at the light, Mark C looks back to see if I am still there. Trying to stay somewhat fresh for the New Albany punishment, I hung back and enjoyed the company of Ryan Roe on all the climbs, or whoever else would fade, which was always Ryan. Good route tonight, although with the strong SW winds, I should have switched the direction since the first half was flat down to Amanda and then uber hilly on the return. We finished with 43 miles and 1950' of climbing, probably 1500' of that in a 15 mile stretch that included the awesome climb on Delmont past the old pig farm, Crumley, Coonpath to Pickerington, etc... I forgot to ask how the A group finished but got to give credit to them for always keeping a token Canal boy with them who can provide turn-by-turn directions.
If you did not read the initial pre-ride report post of Tuesday evening, I made the mistake of inserting a line about dreaming of cyclists as I went to bed, which precipitated the first few comments you see below.
From Nick's dad Gary comes the below message. Other than being a lousey person to draft behind, Nick seems to be a well grounded kid who deserves some support. I pledge one dollar for every minute I finish behind Nick at each of the next few Tuesday Canal rides. True, this could end up costing me hundreds, maybe thousands but it is for a good cause.... wait, on second thought, I retract that pledge but will make a donation. See what you can do to help too.
Nicholas is going to Madison Wi. Over the 4th of July to do two Jr. National Championship races. Road race on the 5th and a Crit. On the 7th. We have to get there a couple of days before so he can pre ride the courses.
Nick will be racing against other 15-16 years from across the country.
I'm sending this out to ask if anyone would like to donate to help with travel and lodging. We will use the money only for the trip.
The Tuesday Canal Winchester route will be the same as was posted last week (scroll down a little) since we were rained out last week. Should be a nice evening for a bike ride and all are welcome, even the New Albany Yankees.
Ten of us showed up in Granville. Today's route was to follow Tym Tyler's Licking County Humane ride route. Since I've signed up for the ride (May 18th got to www.tacosports.org to sign up), I thought it would be ok to pull the route off "ridewithgps" and follow the very helpful pink arrows found on the road. The day got off to a bad start while sitting in my car adjusting clothing, Steve O began banging on my window. He wanted to borrow a jacket for the ride and borrow a brown belt for use later at a retirement party he was to attend. This put me off my routine and I placed my car keys on the passenger seat. There they stayed until after I locked the car and discovered the keys were not with me. Fortunately, being only 5 miles from my house, it was a problem easily solved after the ride.
Crazy George rolled in, along with Dustin, Brian, Dirty Dan, Jeff S, Flyin Tuna, Corvair, Steve O and Mark C. We shoved off, not realising that Mark C was in the rest room but he eventually caught up. Temperature was hovering in the low 50's and sptting a little rain so I put on my rain jacket prior to the start. Big mistake.
George dropped back fairly quickly as we followed a good route with some new roads. However, after only 20 miles, some of us decided we had had enough and they gathered on one corner with the balance of the group on the opposite. Each of these guys should have a capital "L" on their forehead for abandoning so soon. Really not a surprise other than Dustin being with them. Old Chubbs is still a shadow of his old self but with the next 5 months of no work and all play, that will change quickly.
We got on to I think Mary Furnace Road, which is kind of sketchy but if you stay alert it is fine and rolled into Wilkens Corner. Pies were for sale and there was some talk of taking the scissors to Flyin Tuna's jersey to convert 3 pockets into one so we could fit a pecan and apple pie in there. We got back on the road, rolling through Hanover while I began to lose enthusiasm for the ride. Wind, clouds, cold and my jersey was soaked from wearing the non breathing rain jacket and well, I gave Corvair the map at a food stop then rode alongside Dan and told him what were my plans, asking him to keep quiet for 100 yards and then bolted out of the group heading west. Finished with 55 miles and found the replacement set of keys once back home. I hear the others finished with 65 miles as they too had cut the route a little short. One thing for sure, we had no regrets about not being able to to TOSRV. Yikes, that wind on Sunday out of the west must have made for an interesting day.
What an odd day. First, these derelicts show up in my driveway demanding food and water. I refused and went inside for the gun. I figured the paintball gun would do the trick but when I came back out, armed to the teeth, Dustin, Steve O, Adam
and Ricky G had moved on.
Showed up kind of early in New Albany and there was the old ride leader, Jeff Schluep, returned for the first time since he retired from New Albany ride leadership two years ago. Also there early was Poobah, going out for a warm-up ride and then the three above, Farmer Mike, whose vast land holdings rival what the NPS has, on the left, John Miller and Crazy George. Note the sign they subconsciously gathered around.
When notified, they cracked up. George had a second procedure in January and is slowly rounding back into form. I think this second operation fixed the heart problem so now it's just a matter of regaining fitness and maybe losing a pound or two. Good to have him back.
I rode over to the football field to use the Porta-Potty and upon exiting it, jumped on my bike crossed the gravel driveway, front wheel rolled into a tire track, front wheel abruptly stopped, back wheel lifted off the ground, I lifted into the air and unceremoniously, toppled over the front of the handlebars to the ground. My first thought was to jump up, look around and see if anyone had witnessed this incredible display of ineptness but whew, no one watching. I wondered if this was a bad omen as I
got back on the bike, knee bleeding.
I returned to the parking lot when suddenly, Dirty Dan's back tire exploded. He fixed it in time to roll out with the A group and, looking at me, shout loudly for all to hear, "You won't last 2 miles with those guys." One day I must review my actions to see if I can figure out why I make people say these things.
Huge turn out for tonight's ride, including a substantial group of "C" cyclists. I know I take way too many images of the "A" folks so am trying to get more variety.
At about 5:50pm, someone suggested tonight would be a good evening for me to take images for the annual, "Women of the Thursday Night New Albany Ride" feature. Too late to undertake that jouney through the parking lot but probably next week. Above, Lisa T and Kim S share a laugh.
Other than winners of the Giro and Ron Budzig, few other men can wear a pink jersey and look fashionable. Don't recall seeing this guy in the Mt Dew jersey before. Quite a few new faces but hey, what ever happened to Kyle Wingler? Have not seen him out yet.
Some of the Team 614 hanging out in the outer parking lot. Parking spaces were rare with the hoards of cyclists and a high school kick ball team playing nearby. Still think that parking lot at the corner of Beech and old 161 would be a better place for ride starts. Maybe next year we'll have to move out there. Would allow routes farther east, including Reynolds Road.
At least 60 cyclists at the start. I rolled out with the A group, feeling pretty good not having a Tuesday ride wearing on my legs. Maybe 25 "A's and all the usual suspects but also Wes, aka tatoo dude, making a first ride. I don't know why but I thought the route would be ridden counterclockwise but it was clockwise so upon reaching Kitzmiller and turning left, I had no clue what would be the future turns. We turned right on Central College and on to Mink, making a left. The pace had not been too bad and I commented so to Mick but he told me to keep quiet. No sense stirring the beasts within the peloton.
Howeever, something stirred the beasts and the pace picked up dramatically. I was still in good shape as we approached Johnstown and survived the ramps into town. I bet we lost a couple after making the right turn because going through town the pace stayed very high and if you were not aware, you may have gotten caught out and dropped. We turned right on Concord, eventually reaching Northridge where we paused for a turning car. I looked back and there was Jeff S but no Dirty Dan. He was not the only person to have dropped. Our numbers had been culled and what came next would cut into us even more. Yep, a right turn onto the dreaded Stone Quarry, kind of a very mini Pickerington Road from around Canal Winchester.
I clung to Hendra's wheel, who had a rough race in PA last weekend, getting dropped on the first climb. Must have been a very fast group to drop Hendra that soon. We tore through the climbs, bombed the descent, hit the final climb and I had survived with the front group although Pete C and Jon Morgan put in a small gap on us. I was a happy guy, very, very happy and pleased with myself. Then we turned left on Louden, where I needed just a wee bit of let-up to recover just a fraction. But no, we turned quickly right on Liberty Church. I was a sad guy, very, very sad and displeased. By the second ramp, I was done. So, at mile 19 it was over for me with at the time a 23.4 avg.. Ahead, 3-4 guys turned left on Sportsman Club Road but I stayed on the route and hooked up with Mick, riding out to 661.
We decided to turn right here, cutting 2 miles off the route and hoping to rejoin the group but for some reason, Mick bombed that steep down hill prior to the right turn to Dry Creek and just kept going south. Never saw him again. I shouted to him to turn but a mower drowned out my warning. I got on to New Burg, looked back and here the beasts came. By now it looked like 14 were left, Doug Maconaha, Marty, Dave C, Jon, Tym T, Rich Lewis, Steve Fields, Terry G, Shannon, Pete C,... mostly it was a blur to me other than when Dave Chesrown came by he said, "Hey short cut cake."??????? I was bewildered that this would come from Dave. Before I got hold of Dave he was an anonymous cyclist but the exposure I have given him has turned him into an obscure cyclist and this is how he repays me? Et tu, Brute?
Oh well, a thick skin I have developed and I happily jumped in with the group, turning right through the school parking lot, left on Louden, right on Raccoon Valley Road all the way into and through Alexandria and out Jersey Mill. About 3/4 upp Jersey Mill I was flagging badly and dropped out, soloing the last 11 miles into the wind and watching the avg speed drop but still finished with 21.8 avg, 44 miles and 1500' of climbing. The leading A group finished with a 24.1 avg and 46 miles. Big thanks to Shannon for another creative route.
At the end of a ride, during which Paul Stock hung with the 24.1mph pace, he felt the need to polish his bike. Out came the Windex and ultra soft towels for the task of wiping the sweat from the horse.
Shannon Kurek has come up with another great route. In fact, I hear whispers that he is to be given early entry into COP's "Ride Leader Hall of Fame" based upon his parking lot behavior enforcement (some say similar to Patton), his rule of the peloton (some say like Armstrong) and his compassion for the weak and those afflicted with mechanicals (some say like Mother Theresa). I spend too little time with him during the ride to be able to comment on the latter two categories but he does rule the parking lot with an iron fist and no one gets out of line. To see more of the route, go to Shannon's site: http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/new-albany-cop-ride-thursday-may-2-2013-2/