Kind of a small turnout for what to me is the hardest ride conducted under the auspices of COP, the Roving Ride to Bremen. There is probably no climb of greater distance than 1/4 mile but it is a constant up and down and after 80+ miles of it, you have had enough. Well, likely you had enough long before that but what is the alternative but to stay on the route and finish the damn thing.
Some of Team Roll showed up including Larry P, Lisa A, Mike Rea, Amy and then Paul Stock, Jeff S, Mark C, Kevin H. Corvair, Mitch the Engineer, the Rossi tandem, around 20 cyclists. We shoved off into beautiful sun, light wind, light humidity a perfect dam for a ride. Meanwhile, south of us there was another group ride and Jon Morgan has fallen again but he is ok, other than some road rash. Luke Russell also went down, landing in a ditch but he too was ok and riding with us Sunday but more on that later.
As our ride progressed, if we went more than a 1/2 mile without climbing I wondered if we had got off the route. Eventually, after the wall on Pen Road, Flagdale and Marietta Road, we descended to.....
Somerset where a couple of motorcyclists tried to pick up Corvair. Had circumstances been different and they had propositioned me, I think I would have accepted just to get off this ride. Actually, I was taking it as easy as the route allowed, riding with whoever was at the back, happy to be burning some calories and admiring some great scenery.
We later hit the gas station in Bremen and headed a little farther south to add Pumpkin Vine before plodding back north. Around mile 60, Paul Stock jumped from the pack on a short climb, I followed and then rode him like a pony throughout the entire ascent of Ridenour Road to 188, then in to Thornville then south to 13. What a trooper is that Paul that he didn't seem to mind me drafting for the duration. We (he) had put in such a gap on the group that we kept going, him to follow the route that put him back on Fairmont Road for the return, me on an alternative route that was a little flatter. I finished with 84 miles and 6000'+ of climbing. Well, on to Sunday for another 80 mile ride, this time at a more spirited pace that broke my legs.
Flyin Tuna steps up to lead a COP ride out of Heath, Ohio as part of her "Granite Saddle" tours. So called because by the time you finish this up and down and up and down route your bike saddle will feel as if it is made of granite. I'm not sure if The Cycling Club is having a Saturday morning ride as have not received notice of the ride so, it looks like "The Cindy" is the place to be for an 8:00am start. Start location is Heath High School, 300 Licking View Dr. Heath OH 43056. Below are links to the 80, 70 and 50 mile routes.
The late afternoon began like most other late Thursday afternoons, the early birds gathering for the sign-in at Rick's truck. Above, Bruce Rogers, if I had to guess, pointing in which direction the gas station is so a restroom could be accessed. I get that question a lot and the only down side to having this as our gathering place.
In the background, the official pace car of the Westerville Bike Race, being held Saturday. In the foreground, Rodney, making his first appearance this year at the New Albany ride. Only third time riding outdoors this year too so I think his expectations were low.
I find that I take too many images of the "stars of cycling" and not enough of the little people so above, some of the "little people of cycling".
Corvair shows up in a new jersey. I asked what is "Twin Six" and someone said it is a brand rather than a team name.
Rick on the left, preparing a couple of pre-ride announcements. Marty Sedluk in the Garmin jersey on the right, now ranked 8th overall in the state of Ohio. Hendra I think is 6th. Beyond Marty in the image is Jon Morgan, out for the A group ride so officially back in the action after injury recovery.
New guy, Kyle in front, decked out in full UK racing team kit. So, on with the action. A small group of only 15 left the parking lot in the A group. Not sure why their numbers were down because in total it was a large turnout. Looking back I saw Gus Cook, John Sada, Katherine, etc... so it was to be a very strong B group chasing us. We zipped out to Kitzmiller, hung a right on Jug (where Dave Chesrown came streaking through to join us), reached Mink, made a left and right back on to Jug and pulled in to Alexandria with a rather pedestrian 23mph avg. I thought the coming hills may have had an influence on the opening section or maybe the guys just wanted to keep me in there to disappoint me later. Who knows what their conspiratorial minds are thinking?
We made a left on Mounts and Dave encouraged me to get to the front so if I did fall back, I'd fall back within the group but I don't like to get in the way so stayed in the back but, good news, the group did not really attack the hill and I stayed in, making a right on Lobdell Road. For some reason, I thought the route would turn right at Battee and warned Lori N about the descent but dang, bad information from me as the group kept chugging along although Pete C did turn on to Battee. That was it for me, I had slowed, anticipating the turn and then unable to catch back on. In the same predicament was Lori and up ahead Dave C dropped his chain so he was out too. So, at mile 14 we formed a sub group, turning right on Hardscrabble, left on Battee, left on Burg and then a right on Dry Creek, eventually reaching 161 where a left and a quick right brought us to the bottom of Chatham, one of my least favorite roads.
I encouraged Dave not to wait but he was a good sport and spun up the long road while Lori and me struggled to stay in contact but while doing so we caught Kyle, the UK dude and now we had four. Rather than continue on the A route out to Dutch Lane, we turned left at the top of Chatham and recrossing 161, got on to the Sportsman Club Road rollers. Agony for me along there as Dave and Kyle took turns pummeling me. We began to discuss how we really did not want to endure the humiliation of being caught by the "Super B's" so we made Dave stay at the front as we all drafted. Actually, I took a pull but after 50 yards, Dave sped by with a look of disdain and I returned to the back Turning left on Nichols Road, I began to think we may stay clear of the B's because the route now returned to mostly flat roads. As we neared New Albany, many glances shifted to the rear to see if we would be caught in our own version of a Tour de France breakaway group with the peloton storming towards us for the disappointing catch at the end.
I rewarded Dave for his almost continuous pull of 20+ miles by cutting inside him and taking the sign sprint at Kitzmiller and old 161. Above, that's Dave on the right, describing my devious behavior. Just as we turned in to the parking lot I looked back and there were the front A group of Marty, Hendra, Pete C and 3 others bearing down followed soon thereafter by the Super B's. We finished with 45 miles and a 20.8 average. Good fun as usual.
Here ya go, a leap forward in the mileage, now over 50 for the A route. For all the routes go to: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
Remember, print your own map.
It is well known that I am not a pot stirrer. I report the facts and nothing but the facts and serve the greater good with my straight forward reporting and analysis. However, a murmur has been detected within our peloton and it concerns one of the most prominent members. So far, it is only mutterings and low level conversation but I fear it will materialize in to something larger so at the urging of one of my fellow cyclists, I will use this forum as a means of communicating to one of us who shall for now, remain anonymous.
Oh, showed up for a rain threatened Cycling Club ride out of New Albany tonight but the numbers were way down as radar showed rain moving in to the area. Above, Chelsea astride her Giant bike but is attempting to sell it because it is a poor fit and she has her eye on a different bike. I think it is a 56cm bike. Now, back to the main purpose of this posting. One of us has begun to make a habit of showing up late for rides, including tonight's and last Thursday, missing the shoving off time and trying to catch the main body after we have already left the parking lot (see last Thursday's ride report for a clue as to who this person may be). On Monday, this anonymous cyclist promised to join us on the Granville ride but failed to show at Marty's for the drive over to Granville, choosing instead to lounge around the pool drinking Marguerites I hesitate to reveal what the peloton is muttering but for the greater good and the benefit of this cyclist, many are saying he has, "Gotten Soft". There, I said it and this person knows who he is and needs to change for the benefit of us all who enjoy having him around. Get with the program dude!.
Jon Morgan led us out of New Albany towards Alexandria. By Kitzmiller Road, our group of 12 were down to 4. I barely made it to Jon to remind him this is a "B" paced ride and he immediately slowed. I am thinking that when one of the "Near Pros" shows up for a B group ride they should have to wear one of those helmet mirrors so at least they can watch the carnage in their wake if not actually do anything about it.
Dark clouds were to our north and as we went farther east, the clouds drifted south and by #310, they were crossing our path and giving us a taste of what was happening just a little farther north. We went south on Watkins and worked our way back, rain free to finish with a modest 29 miles. Well, that's it for now but stay tuned for the Thursday ride report!
I had to attend a wedding on Saturday, my son's, so I missed the excellent Ride2Recovery Honor Ride but one of my trusted confidants sent me this summary. It matches what I heard from others as well:
So Saturday's ride was SPECTACULAR! It was extremely well produced and I was really surprised at the quality of the event. It was completely FIRST CLASS. Huge fanfare before, during and after the ride. DJ and loud speaker and it was abuzz with cyclists. We had to park in the overflow lot. Over 550 cyclists signed up. We rode out with the lead group and
got a police escort at most intersections so we did not have to stop!! AMAZING. People were ringing cowbells and cheering us on, which is really pretty funny and somewhat enjoyable. I of course waved and smiled at all! The route was well thought out, by taking us out on 161 because the group was pretty large and of course going at a good clip. I saw some folks I knew but lots I didn't. I saw Rick Miller and his crew, Farmer Mike, Jon Morgan, Peggy Cook and son, Meredith and Lady Knar Shredders, Bill Gordon; and maybe a couple of others who I can't recall now! The route was very pleasant, well marked and I couldn't believe the number of riders walking their bikes up Reynolds.
The food stops were excellent, the volunteers super excellent and then when we got back....more fanfare going through the finishing arch...cowbells and stuff. The swag very nice! They gave me 2 different t-shirts! Water bottle, cow bell, food out the wazoo! I really had a great day and felt good about doing the ride and donating to injured vets who use cycling to get back to health!
My son's wedding was Saturday and with the associated events swirling around I missed putting up information about the Honor Ride but look forward to attending next year. Meantime, the wedding was at the Orchard House B&B. Every wedding I have attended has been a traditional wedding so this was on the unusual side for me but still a nice ceremony. The vows were taken in a pine forest and upon entering it I thought this was my first wedding where one should watch out for snakes. I asked someone if they had a snake bite kit. To the left of the best man was a pine tree oozing sap and then additional groomsmen. I wondered how pine sap would affect the agreement for tux rental from Men's Warehouse and in fact one of the Bridesmaids discovered sap on her dress.
My son's side of the family is completely normal of course but on the other side, wow. An aunt wore this slash around her waist and shoulder and in it was a dog. That dog went everywhere, including the wedding pictures. Another aunt wore jeans, long sleeved flannel shirt and a golf cap which stood in stark contrast to the more formal wear of others. An uncle wore one of those Don Johnson Miami Vice white jackets with knee length galoshes. I thought those white jackets went out in the early '90's but perhaps not. Soon after the eating and obligatory side ceremonies, I gathered the kids and willing adults in a nearby field for whiffle ball and two hand touch football. I can take only so much of sitting and talking. Some of you may wonder why you did not receive an invitation. The wedding was on a Saturday and I did not want to put anyone in the awkward spot of having to make up an excuse not to attend the wedding so they could instead ride their bike. Yes, I am that considerate of my fellow cycling buddies.
How about one of Thursday's New Albany stars, Hendra Palisades, finishing first in the Frankenmuth Pro/1/2 race on Saturday!
My only ride opportunity was Monday, out of Granville with 25 others, headed to Utica.....
....then out Blacksnake Road to Bladensburg where....
.....Marty and Gus talked to a local about farming. From there we headed west where some of us were deterred by one too many gravel roads and bailed out, taking alternative routes. Finished with 70 miles and a great day for a bike ride.
3:22pm, Thursday, an email pops into my in box. Rick Miller can not make the ride tonight and he has exhausted all the alternatives prior to scraping the very bottom of the barrel, me. I crank up my office copier and after a few coughs and spurts it roars to life and manages to churn out a few copies of the sign-up sheet. Good thing no one expects maps anymore. Arriving at the parking lot, I spot Jeff S's van and ask if I can use the flat surface of the back for signing the mob in and he graciously agrees.
With all the heavy lifting over I can relax and return to the annoying but necessary work of taking images of the parking lot scene. Here, Marty tells Jillian he is headed to WV for a mountain bike race on Sunday, along with Pete C, Hendra, Philippe and others.
Marty knows how to work a crowd and soon he is talking to Ken Buedell who not only was just upgraded to Cat 3 but tonight hung in with the Elite Eight of finishers (Shannon, Patrick, Hendra, Pete C, Marty, Bad Boy Nick...hmmm, missing someone) as they finished with a 23.7 average, skewed by an off route turnaround so actual average would have been around 24mph.
Flyin Tuna came out for her first Thursday ride and hung in with the lead B group to the end, where they finished with a 20.1 average on tonight's 40 mile B route. Mark Rossi on the right, waiting for Karen to arrive in separate vehicle to reunite on the tandem. Unfortunately, some guy driving a black truck threw a container of tobacco juice at them and made a direct hit. Good for him, striking a blow for the ignorant cowards of the world.
Left to right, Jillian, Bad Boy Nick, Hendra, Chris G and Pete C. Decent but not great turnout of around 45-50 cyclists. So, maybe it is not such a good idea for me to ride 100 miles on Tuesday. Maybe too much too close to the Thursday ride and even during the warm-up, my legs were dead and soon, deader yet. I am certain I was the first to drop out of the group. Soon, I heard a noise behind me and there was Dave Chesrown, making an earnest effort to catch the group. I pulled in behind and drafted for 4-5 miles before catching Benton and then rode with him to Clouse-Willison Road where he turned to go home.
Around mile 24, the lead B group caught me and I fell in with this rather large group comprised of Katherine, David Smith, Flyin T, Benny, John (below on right), Jeff S, John Miller, Corvair, Axel and many more. Good group and also good to ride with a group for the remaining miles back to the parking lot.
The Rick Miller show continues as he will be at the parking lot with sign-up sheets and a welcoming smile for all who wish to motor around the above routes in either the A, B or C group. Specific routes and links to the gps file, go to the Cycling Club website:
Many assumed last Friday that the Masi bike was back with Kenda Paul but that was not the case. Because Kenda Paul had not recorded the bike's registration number, proving ownership turned out to be an issue. Finally, Monday evening, Paul met with the detective assigned to the case and with all the evidence Paul was able to give, he was given custody, finally. The Kendaistas ask that I remind everyone how important it is to have the registration # recorded somewhere. Meantime, it sounds as if the lowlifes are being pursued for prosecution. Meantime II, the bike has a few additional scratches but otherwise is ok for ridin.
The day began in Newark and following the Blue Jay route to Zanesville and back. Although sorely tempted, I did not take the bike path shortcut (it is closed due to high water) and did Blue Jay Road both coming and going. 67 miles and 6800' of climbing although this confirms my Garmin overstates things by 10%. Then headed to New Albany and the parking area behind the Veloscience bike shop. Hey, there's Grand Poobah and Julia.
Farmer Mike now rides each Tuesday with this group. Ho-hum, he won another mountain bike race this past weekend. Crazy George came in too as we waited the arrival of our unofficial ride leader.....
....Gus Cook. The concept of the ride is to ride a similar route each week so no one has to create new routes, while adding a block to the route as the daylight extends. The groups are comprised of a "B", "B-" and "Club Pace". Each group regroups at least once while the latter group is a no drop group ride so beginners are encouraged to join and graduate to the upper groups when able. The B group is a true B pace although it can be a little faster depending on the mix of cyclists.
Marty Sedluk and Peggy Cook wait for the groups to be called out. Approximately 30 people shoved off in the three groups with 11 in ours, headed to Alexandria for a regroup and then beyond in to the hills. Just as we exited New Albany, the flash of a cyclist came in from the right (did he run a red light????)
and Jon Morgan pulled in to ride with us. The recovery process from the partially collapsed lung requires that he not breathe too hard so he'll be riding with B and C groups for a week or two prior to rejoining the A groups. It was good to see him on the bike and smiling. I cut the route short on Hardscrabble, seeing that I had enough for a daily total of 100 miles and then joined in with a group that began in Alexandria and were returning via Raccoon Valley Road and coming out of Alexandria, a different group caught me and so I rode in to New Albany with them. Lots and lots of people and groups on the roads this evening and that is likely to grow as Pelotonia approaches.
I showed up with approximately 25 others for the COP Roving Ride out of Pataskala. Like many (most) days so far this year it was yet again cold, cloudy, windy and the threat of rain. By the way, I loaned my white, translucent "Showers Pass" jacket to someone late last year and have forgotten to whom I made the loan. If any of you find that you have a jacket matching this description and can't figure out how you acquired it, it's mine and please return it.
We departed the parking lot under thick clouds but abruptly, the sun crept through for a millisecond. Upon seeing this, Corvair said, "Oh, I hope the sun stays out." Looking skyward, I wondered if she had both oars in the water, so to speak. We headed east on Blacks and then north on Canyon. The group gifted me the climb on Canyon so at the top I took advantage of the 2 seconds and changed out of a too hot jacket. The group approached and kept going. I coasted down, climbed through the next series of hills and was losing enthusiasm for the ride. I promised myself, if the group was waiting at James Road I would keep going but if not, I would take that as a sign that I should turn around. Whew, they did not wait and so I turned around. Finished with a measly....
....26 miles and discovered someone, Larry P I suspect, had deposited a banana peal on my windshield. Glad I bugged out as radar showed rain scattered everywhere. Then I showed up at the River Road Coffee House on Sunday morning for John Martin's ride although many were missing as they were at the New York Gran Fondo. Still, a good group of Tym & Lisa Tyler, Jeff and Karen Nichols, John, Kym and Anthony Sada and three tri-types. However, the tri-types were preparing at a speed that suggested they would just as soon prefer we left without them and so we did, 11 minutes after the official departure time.
We rode to Centerburg and back for a none too impressive 51 miles but we all had a good time. Some day I'll put together a top 10 of best cycling personalities and surely Lisa Tyler would make such a list. Between the tales of her experience working with United Airlines to her time on the bike, she is one fun person to be around. Let's see, who else would make such a list...Marty for sure, Kenda Janet of course, Larry P, Ron Budzig...actually, it would take a list of 20-30 to squeeze everyone in there who deserves to be on the list. Fortunately, those making the other list, the least enjoyable people to hang with while cycling would be very, very short. Well, Tuesday is shaping up to be another 100 mile day, split between a morning ride probably to Zanesville and then that fun New Albany ride in the evening.
I think many of us will ride the COP Roving Ride out of Pataskala but the distance is only 57 miles. I took the liberty of adding to the
official route to create a total distance of 78 miles. We would stay on the official route, riding with whomever for the first 30 miles
before going off route and heading towards Utica. Some of us may do another loop to Bladensburg to get 100 miles, something to discuss while we are taking a quick break in Utica. See you at 9:00am. Check out the COP web site for additional ride details. Here is a link to the amended route:
Our story begins with an innocent college student, desiring a bike to provide transportation around the campus of OSU. The student checks Craig's List and lets it be known he is looking for a bike. Meantime, lowlifes are also looking at Craig's List but for other reasons. Lowlifes see a student needs a bike and so while driving through neighborhoods, probably with a long list of items to steal, they happen to pass the house of Kenda Janet and Paul. Hey, there is a nice looking bike in the Kenda's garage, how about that for luck? One of lowlifes sprints in to the garage while Kenda Janet is inside preparing to take their Doberman for a run. Lowlife jumps into the vehicle with the bike and is gone, a split second before Janet emerges from her home, discovering the Masi bike is gone!
Janet immediately becomes hyper active, posting alerts in various outlets, calling pawn shops, bike shops, etc... The lowlifes contact the innocent student and let him know what luck, they have just the bike for him. A meeting is arranged and payment made, a very modest sum. Note the student is not a cyclist so it takes a little while for him to figure out the shiny bike with electronic shift thingies, exotic wheels and fancy paint job may be too good to be true. Student contacts a cycling friend who contacts a friend associated with Columbus PD who informs him if student is in receipt of stolen property he could be charged with a felony. Student is on a career path where a felony charge would be deleterious to his future hiring prospects. However, above everything else, student wants to do the right thing.
Calls are made, the Kendas are alerted and there is great relief in the House of Kenda. The End.
However, this is not the end of the entire story and more come when I am granted permission from the House of Kenda.
Rick Miller, the Thursday ride leader, called me Tuesday afternoon and asked that I be the ride leader substitute for him as he is on his way to New York. Naturally I agreed but Rick, maybe fearing a repeat of the fiasco of two weeks ago when there was a mix-up with a replacement, also asked Jon Morgan to be the ride leader. So, we both showed up prepared and there was Jeff S, ride leader of three years ago, ;ending his van for the sign-in process.
I under stated the extent of Jon's injuries from his crash of last week. He had a partially collapsed lung and maybe like most of you, I assumed he'd walk around with a tube down his lung for a couple of days and then be good to go but no, it was quite a bit more complicated. An incision is made through his side and a tube inserted through the rib cage in to the lung. Ouch and Jon was laid up in the hospital for 3 days. It was great to see him out, prowling the parking lot like a caged animal, anxious to get back in the action.
Jon's bike with a cracked seat stay and several broken spokes. Probably a replacement has already been ordered and it's good that Scott has a pretty generous frame replacement policy so Jon does not have to pay full boat for a new frame.
Hey, a Masi frame. Could the thief be so brazen as to bring it out for our Thursday ride? No, just another Masi frame but not the missing Masi bike. Good news is Kenda Paul's stolen bike was recovered tonight. I have asked for an exclusive story on the recovery so we'll see. I mean, why should the Kendas give me the story? There they were, a few years ago, completely anonymous schleps riding their bikes and I turned them in to stars on bikes.
With the wind, clouds, threat of rain and temps in the low 50's, the turnout was light, approximately 27. Jon took a minute to encourage the group to learn from his experience, take the extra second to point out road hazards, alert other cyclists to potential problems, enjoy the atmosphere & camaraderie of our Thursday ride and know that the cost of going down is high with medical expenses, lost work, bike replacement, etc... I heard Shannon Kurek and Terry Griffith also went down last week but other than road rash, they are ok.
The Thursday ride does have what I believe to be a unique atmosphere. Almost without exception, it is comprised of a great bunch of guys and gals. I get the sense if instead of cycling, the Thursday bunch found themselves together on a diamond playing softball, in a bar drinking, playing golf, hiking, really anything, it would be a blast. People like Jon, Marty, Patrick, Hendra, Farmer Mike, Jeff S, Mark Rossi, Gus, Peggy. Ron B, Mick, Jay P, Eugene and Phillipe (that's just some who showed up tonight) contribute mightily to what we have going on Thursdays. Let's keep it going and collectively pay a bit more attention to the world around us when we are out there jamming the pedals.
Dang, here it is mid May and people were dressed as if it was February.
A new guy approached me and asked if I thought his extra bike would be safe after everyone left the parking lot. I urged him to at least reposition the car so the bike was against a hedge and out of sight. He ended up taking it apart and putting in his car but missed the B roll out.
Lastly, the C group, such as it was, rolled out and with that my duty as the back-up to the back-up to the real ride leader was finished. I have a new personal rule. Any ride that requires me to turn on the car heater during the drive over is a ride in which I am not participating. Soft, so friggin soft. Hmmmmm, mid 90's in Tucson, what about.....
The Kenda Masi bike was recovered Thursday evening. More to come.
From Kenda Janet comes this bad news:
STOLEN 2013 Masi Evoluzione Carbon Bike with Reynolds Wheels/56 cm
Please HELP us find this bike. It was stolen from our garage in the Powell/Dublin area at 6:30 am ET this morning, 5/15/14.
Email at email@example.com.
Obviously, the thief has no idea that he has purloined a bike so identifiable that it is too hot to move through normal channels. Kind of like stealing Ruth's 714 home run bat or Nicklaus' 6th green jacket or even the original Mona Lisa. I suspect the bike will be found. Keep your eyes and ears open.
For all three routes, go to: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/ Currently, forecast calls for rain to move out by late afternoon so come on out and ride in the A, B or C groups.
Like many of the missing, Paul Stock has been attending to his parental duties but will return to the Thursday New Albany ride in a couple of weeks. THE Muscle Dude should be showing up in a week or two as well.
I rode the Blue Jay route Tuesday morning, kind of scouting the route as part of my exhaustive preparation for the COP Roving Ride on June 28th. Along for the ride was Jeff S and Flyin Tuna. The route is as hard as ever as we finished with 68 miles and 6000' of climbing. There will be a longer option on the 28th. Wanting to do 100 miles for the day, I jumped in with the Cycling Club group ride out of New Albany. Among others there were Doug McConaha, Gus & Peggy Cook, Keith, Crazy George, Jay P, Bill around 14 as we slogged through brief showers over to Alexandria and beyond. I miscalculated and finished the day with 99.8 miles but that's ok. We crossed the infamous Jersey Mill Road cut-out, the scene of Jon Morgan's fall during last Thursday's ride. I can see now why he went down, it's a loose and uneven mix of gravel. Fortunately, Jon is well on his way to 100%, recently having a tube removed that had been shoring up a partially collapsed lung. The grapevine tells me he will be back next week.
Saturday brings some good options for a ride but one, the "Big Fat Group Ride" was postponed until later in the year. Otherwise there is the COP "Welsh Hills Roving Ride" a 57 mile route beginning in Pataskala at 9:00am. Here is a link to the route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4077393 and here is a link to additional information: http://www.outdoor-pursuits.org/cycling.calendar?eventId=893126&EventViewMode=2&CalendarViewType=1&SelectedDate=5/14/2014. Note the route will undergo a minor change to avoid the gravel portion of Hankinson.
Then there is Bike Ohio's tour:
Tour of the Hocking River - Lancaster Ohio - 35 to 100 mile courses. Terrain flat to hilly. The 100 mile route has 6800 ft. of climbing. 50 miles and under courses are as flat as they can be. The route picks up the Hocking River in Bremen and goes to Logan, and from there the Century and 78 mile routes go to the Hocking Hills. Cost is $35 by 5/14, $40 5/15 - 5/16 and increases to $50 the day of the event. Cost for 17 and under is $20 by 5/14, $25 5/15 - 5/16 and increases to $35 the day of the event. Children and their parents/guardians must sign a release at the start of the ride. More information can be found at: https://bike-ohio.wildapricot.org/Events.aspx?eventId=811867&EventViewMode=EventDetails
Lastly, Rick Miller will be tending to a conflict and has asked that I fill in for him on Thursday. Yes, the good times will roll again as I release the hounds to racing unsafely on open roads. Stop sign jumpers, cunning warriors of the peloton, red light runners, gutterers, inside passers, squirrelly cyclists and others who flaunt the rules of the road are asked to come so they can be educated and learn the error of their ways. The grapevine has again spoken and I hear an enforcer has been hired to dole out chops to the pencil necks of the offenders.
Geesh, looking at the Saturday morning weather radar, I abandoned plans to ride the Roll Rockmill ride. I just could not believe that the narrow slot of clear air between rain to the north and south would be maintained but maintain it did and so the Rockmill ride was ridden without a drop of rain. Mean time, I busied myself shampooing the carpets, putting dishes away, watching TV (the old Rifleman series is on AMC) and was so bored and so angry with myself when I saw that narrow slot was maintained. Well, there is always tomorrow and so I hooked up with a group out of New Albany which included Dirty Dan and Flyin Tuna along with about 15 others. Somewhere out old 161 the groups split, most going south on Watkins while our group continued on to Utica, then back to Granville and then....I split off to add more miles. Pretty spirited pace and I finished with 80 miles and 3900' of climbing.
Kayla Starr embraced the concept of the "Women of the Thursday Night New Albany Ride", an annual event for the blog, by lighting up when I explained why I was pointing the camera at her. This year, I added a new category, "Cross Dressers" so now it is "Women & Cross Dressers of the Thursday Night New Albany Ride".
Now for the cross dresser, Grand Poobah. Last year he admitted to wearing women's clothing under his cycling gear so I thought I should be kind and include him in tonight's line-up.
Our ride leader, Rick Miller, was at the parking lot more than one hour prior to the "wheel's up" 6:00pm start time. He was unfairly criticized for not having a back-up ride leader last week in his absence but he had arranged for a back-up. Just some miscommunication between he and the back-up ride leader.
Miller's van was parked to provide the only shade in the parking lot on this welcome and surprising warm evening with temps in the mid 80's and strong winds out of the southwest gusting to 25mph. I spent most of my time parked in the shade, popping out now and then to surprise a woman with a photo request. Yes, I feel creepy doing this but journalistic obligations require me to do so, one time.
Actually, the crowd was so late arriving that I missed several good image opportunities but caught Maya out on Burg where we watched as Mick recovered his senses from crashing. More on that later.
Karen Rossi, who provides the power in the Mark/Karen tandem.
I think a first time participant at the New Albany ride and after this, probably we'll never see her again. Honest, I'm harmless.
Another who rises to the challenge of appearing to be happy about this, impressive since this was after the long, hot ride.
Julia Hilty, advising Grand Poobah on his diet so he can rid himself of a health issue that prevents him from getting out there with the A and B groups to lecture us on ride etiquette.
Amanda Orr, better known as Corvair for her unreliable arrivals. I missed so many opportunities because the crowd rolled in, in waves at 5:55 including Peggy Cook, Kym Sada and others so if you don't see yourself, there is always next year. Now, on to the action!
Large crowd of over 60 cyclists with a huge A group comprised of too many to list. Rick addressed the group and recommended that with so many of the roads little more than pot holes linked with patches of level pavement that on some roads we should ride single file. With that, The A+/A group was instructed to ride out and so we followed Jon Morgan out of the parking lot.
Wow, we had a pace car for the first 2 miles. How cool is that except I was so far in the back of the pack it would have had to be a semi for me to notice once we got on the road. In the foreground, the back of Jr Muscle Dude, John Day who pushed his 230 pounds through last weekend's 3 State/3 Mountain Challenge in TN, finishing way up in the top 100. Impressive.
We hung a left on Kitzmiller then a right on Jug and you could feel the cross wind bite in to the peloton but there was enough tail that it wasn't too bad. I clung to the centerline trying to stay in John's considerable draft. We made a left on Clover Valley and I found myself riding alongside Marty Sedluk, who likes to play it safe in the back, covering gaps as needed, rather than mix it up in the churning front. Also, Marty had already ridden 140 miles earlier in the day with 7400' of climbing so he was good to just chill. I hear he is over 5000 miles YTD.
We hung a right on Miller, flew through the rollers, left on Alward, right on Duncan Plains and then, ugh, a left back on to Alward. Soon, we all got popped as a group of 3 separated themselves from us. Starting from the back, I worked through him and her and him and her, nearing the top of the climb I got passed by him and her and him and her. Yes, all that extra weight takes a toll the longer is the climb. What luck! A passing car slowed the peloton and we all regrouped, making a right on Concord. Dang, I was gassed and so at mile 14, dropped out with a 24mpg avg. Reaching Northridge, I could see others who had also dropped and all along the gut busting Stone Quarry I wished someone would pause so we could form a new group. What luck!....
At the corner of Burg and Stone Quarry, Mick, Ron Budzig, Maya, Eric (guy in white Kenda outfit) and Noah (left in image) had stopped but not to regroup. Mick had fallen cutting through the turn of loose asphalt but other than some blood, was good to go. We briefly debated which route to take, continue on the A or slip to the B route and we chose "B". Just as we were shoving off, Dirty Dan came through and I tried to talk him in to joining us but he shouted he needed the miles and stayed on the "A" route.
Our group of 5 hung together all the way back in, finishing with a 21.6 avg and 37 miles. Meantime, out on the road, the A group was blitzing through the A route and unfortunately, Jon Morgan hit a bad patch of road on Jersey Mill and went down. He is ok other than bruises and road rash. 1-2 other guys went down too but I have not heard more. Another fun evening on the bike. On my drive home, as I was going east, I passed.....
.....Dirty Dan....oh wait...she looked so similar on a bike that I accidently pulled her image in but instead, I ran across.....
.....Dirty Dan. I was driving east when I saw Dan trailing Crazy George. Stunned, I turned around, thinking Dan had probably just caught George and was preparing to drill by. I followed for a mile and George was putting a gap into Dan! All that work and travel has caught up to my buddy. I pulled alongside and Dan claimed he had just pulled for several miles, as the gap increased between he and George. It put me in a somber mood.
While I have made it a habit of participating in the Canal Winchester ride each Tuesday, during cycling season, it is a long drive and I'm always on the lookout for an alternative and may have finally found it. The Cycling Club has a group ride out of New Albany behind the Veloscience bike shop off Market Street. I can ride my bike over, ride the outbound route and then head home. I kind of like that and the ride attracts fun people like Gus & Peggy Cook, Farmer Mike, Pete Horvath and others. Any ride that includes Peggy & Gus is bound to be a fun ride.
Also, someone called me today and asked if I was boycotting the Canal ride. No, I'll be down to fulfill my journalistic obligations and report on that ride soon but will ride it infrequently. Also, riding Thursday morning with a small group through Hocking Hills and then painfully participate in the Thursday New Albany ride. Should be a huge turnout and maybe an opportunity to do the "Ladies' of the Thursday Night Ride" feature where I prowl the parking lot and awkwardly ask the ladies if I can take their pics for the blog feature.
Farmer Mike in the foreground, at 71, he is not strong for his age, he is just strong. Rode 95 miles on Saturday on his mountain bike with John Miller and one other guy. Today's route went to Alexandria and then from there, Gus led a group of the willing on an extra loop towards Granville. Once back to Alexandria, I left the group, rode home with 42 miles and where I returned to my duties of distributing mulch. We are dog sitting my daughter's Doberman this week and she seems to have won the queen of the mountain over our beloved Stella, a rescue dog from that St Loiusville puppy mill of last Fall.
Well, onward we go to now a 47 mile route for this Thursday. Maps for all three routes can be found here: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
Check out Kayla in the Ohio rankings for Cat 2 and just behind is Allison, a frequent Thursday New Albany participant.
And for Cat 3, there's Maya at #1 and Lori down at 17th but that must reflect lack of race participation or maybe she runs 10K events prior to the road races. Also see Kelli Strang at 15th who I rode with during a CA bike tour with husband Frank a few years ago.
Check that out. Terry Griffith is the top ranked Cat 4 in the state of Ohio. Some other recognizable names from the Thursday New Albany rides and/or central Ohio in there too. But wait, what about Marty Sedluk? Success has its costs and so Marty has now gone from the top Cat 4, relinquishing the spot to Terry and is now.....
....the 21st ranked Cat 3. Quite a few names on this list we recognize from the Thursday ride such as Nick V, Dane, Will, Pete C, etc... and then there is Panzerwagen.....
....Hendra is the top ranked Cat 2 in the state. On the ladies side, lots of those names you will also recognize, coming soon.
Mark V, volunteering to manage the sign-in process. I noted a wad of bills clutched in his hands and did not think anything of it but someone, maybe Cathy Miller who was standing there but not certain it was her who said, "COP ought to do an audit with this guy handling the money." Immediately, I leapt to Mark's defense and said, "No, Mark is a man of honor. He will take only that to which he thinks himself entitled." Later, Mark told me he and his wife are headed to San Francisco and Napa Valley so I wondered if I had said too much to defend him. All in good fun.
I talked to Marty in the parking lot and he described the Harrison's Tomb Road Race scene of yesterday, during which he got in a 4 man break that included Terry Griffith. Reaching a hill, Marty turned it up a notch, looked back and saw he had a gap. He thought about waiting, thinking the 3-some would work together to catch but feeling good, Marty put his head down and stayed away, taking forst in the Cat 4 field. He also knew that if Terry was in the group sprinting for the line, he would win and if that were the outcome, Marty would have been just as happy. You should know that Marty shows up for these races as a lone wolf. Most of the other guys are on 5-7 man teams who are working together to put their strongest in developing breakaways, making Marty's win all the more impressive. Well, on to the Cat 3 races I guess.
We met at 9:00 and as I pulled in to the parking lot, leaving were Mark and Karen Rossi on the tandem. Oh how I wished I was behind that monster. drafting comfortably for the first 50 as they battled the head wind. However, we were to have a large group and I could find drafting space in there. However, had a few no-shows so it was just Marty, Tym and Lisa Tyler, Jon and Anthony Sada and Dick, who happens to live around the corner from me. Meantime, unbeknownst to us, Gus and Peggy Cook were driving to Milford Center where they would backtrack to find us.
Our problems started immediately from the parking lot. Rather than follow the "circle with line" road markings, we began ignoring those and following the "chevron" markings. I noticed this but I lacked standing within the group to question the group's decision making. Lisa commented that we seemed to be riding with the wind a lot but that too was ignored. We followed the chevrons into a park where there was a finish line for an event. As the event clock was ticking only to 4 minutes, we won. After checking the map, we discovered we had ended up under the corner of the map where the emergency numbers are placed. Still, we were within the confines of the 8.5" x 11" map, albeit barely, so being an optimist, I was encouraged. I was however, discouraged to realize to get back to the route, we would be directly in the path of the near tornadic winds.
Chiefly Marty and Tym took the majority of the pulls to Milford Center. arriving with 32 miles. Gus and Peggy, well, they too had gotten off route and we never saw them or at least I never saw them because while sitting in the market, panting, beaten mentally, I exposed my soft side once again and decided I liked a tail wind and wanted no part of the next 25 headwind miles to Bellfountain. I returned to Gahanna with 52 miles and then went home to mulch.
From Terry G:
It was awesome to see Marty off the front today. He drove a 4 man break in the toughest, deepest Cat 4 field I have ever seen. Guys from 5 states going for the upgrades and a purse of $200. I was fortunate to be 1 of the 4 and had a front row seat to the destruction until Marty (effortlessly according to Val) road away from me and the other 2 guys to finish solo, smiling ear to ear. I think we all knew this was eventually going to happen and probably even a little over due.
Tongues were wagging in the parking lot. 5:30 and no ride leader. Former ride leaders, now on ride leader emeritus status, Jeff & Jeff, were dumbfounded. This sort of thing never happened on their watch. Note how cold the Jeffs looked. As I stepped out of my car, a blast of cold wind hit and right then, I decided not to ride. Yes, I have become soft as Gus Cook told me in an email.
Peggy and Corvair discussed possible routes as 5:40 arrived and no ride leader. Last year's ride leader, the great one, Shannon Kurek, was here but keeping a very low profile in the back parking lot.
5:45 and the ride leader's spot is still empty. Tick-tock, tick-tock.....
Crazy George showed up, giving up his plan to form a rebel group from the old start location. He asked for forgiveness and I usurped the ride leader's responsibility and granted forgiveness. His followers, Ron Budzig among others also showed up.
5:50, puzzled looks abound Mick especially appeared troubled.
At last, Jon Morgan rode in, unaware that he had been designated the back-up ride leader to Rick Miller. Jon panicked but I took him aside, instructed what to say, act like you are in a position of authority, speak in a masculine voice with no squeaks and make declarative sentences that do not invite questions. Mostly he did a pretty good job. With that, out of 35 cyclists, maybe 20 rolled out with the A group, then Jeff S led out the B group and Steve Hewitt led out the C's.
Since the route headed toward home, I stopped to take a couple of images. Here the A group passes through Jersey at mile 6. Must have been a fast start because already there were 5-7 off the back.
With strong winds out of the SW, I hung back to see if I could catch evidence of any lane violator's but no, other than Marty at the 310 stop, they adhered to the rules of the road. I returned home, continued the job of burning thousands of limbs from a recent AEP line trimming job along our property and was warm and toasty. Only thing missing was the marshmallows. Most of the trees in the background are ash and either dead or dying from the Emerald Ash Borer. That stinks but glad I planted 400 Red Oaks about 20 years ago. Otherwise I'd have a field in a year or two. Looks like there will be a group ride out of Johnstown on Saturday, going to Bladensburg. More on that later.