No Boss, No Rain, Yes Wind
While Craig B is the unquestioned Boss of the peloton, pre-ride activities are presided over by the boss of the parling lot, sometimes referred to as "Sarge", Donna O, shown on the right with Peggy. Donna rules the parking lot with an iron fist and most of us become trembling, weak kneed and spineless in her presence. She can and has blackballed cyclists for violating rules. No appeal, just one day the cyclist is there and the next he is not. Fear the Parking Lot Boss!
Mitch O, a great guy and never without a large set of keys attached to his waist. They must be the spare set for opening the President's "football" of nuclear codes because the keys are never out of sight. Mitch even snaps them onto his cycling shorts.
The evening's early buzz was speculation over The Boss' whereabouts. Craig rarely misses the Tuesday beat-down and we refused to believe we may escape being taken to the woodshed until 6:00pm arrived. In Craig's place were the usual assortment of Bianchi Bi twosome, 3 Jenis, 3 Walker guys, Mitch T, Steve O, Jeff, Kevin H, Randy D, Retro George, Andrew and several other strong types.
Saturday & Misc
Saturday's ride for me was uneventful and not worth a ride report but did see some interesting stuff on which to comment: Our group was pausing on its way to Mt. Vernon for a map check when a large group of 15-20 cyclists flew by and I noted Greg Hall was in the mix. I caught the group and Greg told me they were headed to Apple Valley and as I dropped back I saw a chase car following with food and drinks. Now that's a group ride I'd like.
I have tried for many years to grow corn and each year been thwarted by raccoons who circumvent every defense to destroy the plants before I can harvest. This year, I brought the corn onto the back deck where I can monitor and provide a better array of defensive weapons, including a dog, motion detector and tripwire that springs sharpened bamboo shoots across a common entry point and lastly, an emergency teargas bomb that is released if a corn stalk is pulled from its container. The image shows something I have not seen from my corn plants before, an emerging something that I think is called a tassel. My plants have never progressed this far. I am cautiously optomistic and if ears are ever harvested, I will bring them to the Tuesday and Thursday COP rides and share, along with the cucumbers and peppers and even the tomatos. We can munch on them while climbing Revenge.
Hottttttttttt But Dry--New Albany
Jeff S, our dedicated route maker and leader who arrives at least an hour before the start time to claim a coveted spot at the school's parking lot in New Albany. Jeff is one of the most considerate cyclists I know. For example, when pulling at the front, he will not shout, "Car Up!", unless the vehicle has already gone well over the center line and is making a beeline for us, or at least for him. I guess he doesn't want to worry us. As far as road debris, his focus is so extraordinary that he ignores everything except for boulders that would stop a cyclist cold, road holes that would swallow a bike or deer, bear, Sasquatch or similar sized carcus. Ordinary pot holes, road kill, stones, rock, gravel and that sort of thing is ignored because he doesn't want to bother those behind him. What a guy. Oh, he also likes to take long pulls and then drop back only to become impatient and roar back to the front for another long pull. He likes to sacrifice his comfort for ours. Some are offended by the manuever but they don't understand the kindness and self sacrifice by this man.
Dennis of course, polishing his steed. Next to Steve Oxley, Dennis is the most fashion conscious cyclist I know. Note the rims match the jersey and how about that bright orange Orbea frame? Black shorts match black bike accents. One cool dude who continues to ride solely so he can finally drop me, as he always does at some point in the year. This year taking a little longer because the big goof ate too much over the winter.
SuperDave. A nickname given to him by others, several years ago when he was, well, super. Never saw the guy stand to climb, preferring to ride while seated, no matter how difficult the climb. He's been domesticated and is now just like many of us who have been tamed by wives, family, work and other obligations. Always good to see him come out.
Given the forecast, heat, humidity and GOBA, I was surprised to see a nice crowd of 30 show up for the ride. With GOBA especially competing, it seemed there were no B or C riders. Lots and lots of racer types and strong A's, with probably as many as 25 starting out with the A group. We motored out old 161 and a nice pace that kept everyone together then Terry, who has made rare appearances on Thursday but who is clearly just as strong as usual, went to the front and pulled hard for a long time. This shelled many with maybe 8-9 of us making the turn onto Jersey Mill and that long, downhill section. The group hammered and the speed quickly sent me out the back, unable to maintain the constant low to high 30mph descent (the only downside to having a compact crank). The gap was so large I could not catch on and soft peddled until a nice group of Dennis, Greg H, Kevin & another guy came along and we rode together into Granville. Kevin had dropped back so I waited for him, intending to go up Thornwood on to New Burg and catch back up with Dennis' group. Unfortunately, I did not see Kevin so took the 1/4 mile shortcut and regrouped, which included Jeff S. We rode back to New Albany on a nice route and many complimented Jeff for his fine route making. Now, not to be a backbench critic but I do wonder why our routes stay at 40-42 miles when daylight would allow for a 50-55 mile epic. We arrived back in the parking lot with 43 miles and a 20.3 average. Jeff showed us a weather radar screen that had an upside down shaped "U" of green and red surrounding us but other than a very brief sprinkle, we had stayed dry.
Summer Solstice Canal Ride!
The Summer Solstice Ride is of unknown origin but I do remember Brad the Dentist hosting it as far back as the late 1990's. It was then a Wednesday Canal ride rather than today's Tuesday start day but has always been held on whichever Canal ride fell closest to June 21. The route usually was flatish towards Amanda before heading southeast via Clearcreek Road to Revenge and then up that famous climb over to the prison and down Christmas Rock and a fairly hilly return. Now that the route is in the hands of Psycho Sadist Routemaker Ryan, the route finished with a climb up Slough, before finishing the 53 miles back behind Shades Restaurant.
Brutal Blue Jay
Flying Tuna loves the attention that she gets prior to the ride start. Menwhile, Mark slaves away painting road markings, recruiting riders, calling the County to make sure there will be no road closures and frets about rider satisfaction. Tuna stands in front of a copier for 5 minutes and then preens in front of everyone at the ride start and thinks she is overworked. Life is not fair.
Coming temporarily out of retirement was Group Killer, who seemed to enjoy the camaraderie that can never be found running alone on the bike paths. However, he keeps telling me about all the soccer moms he oggles as he runs past. Sick.
Cindy so loves the Tuna nickname that she has begun to wear a rhyming jersey.
We had a decent turnout for what many consider to be the Queen of the roving ride series, the daunting Blue Jay ride. So named because the route takes us out BJ where we climb over 800' to Brownsville Road and then at the end of the ride, we return on BJ, with 700' of climbing. Probably a few people decided not to attend based on the previous evening's forecast which was wrong. At the start, we had cloudy skies and 15 mph winds out of the northwest but the rain was long gone.
At the market in Z-ville, some riders like Amanda, arrived looking kind of fresh while....
....Peggy & others looked a little beleaguered and wishing they had followed the previous night's forecast for rain.
We left the market with a large group but got kind of strung out, finally arriving at Toboso, where the start to an optional 27 mile loop was available. Just before, I stopped to snap the unusual wood carving from a front yard. Craig, Steve, George and Jamie headed for the extra miles while most headed south for the return on Blue Jay. For me, three straight days of cycling had taken its toll and I wanted nothing but a flat return so I headed back on a bike path. There was a penalty for my deviation from the hard way. The path was dark with many holes and broken areas making for a bumpy ride. I removed my sunglasses and held them as I rode. After a few miles, I glanced down and noticed both lenses were gone!!!!! I stuffed the frame into a back pocket and a few miles later, discovered the frame had some how fallen out! I arrived at the parking lot with 60 miles and 4400' of climbing. Those who stayed on course had 65 miles with 5900' of climbing. Jeff S, who had agotten lost, had over 7000' of climbing.
New Albany at its Best
Large turnout for the New Albany ride. Good mix of cyclists including Roy, finally making consistent appearances as he recovers from health issues. Judging by how much weight he has lost, once he regains his fitness he'll pull a surprise like Armstrong on the climb up Sestriere at the 1999 Tour, or something like that.
After last week's route caused one guy to quit cycling forever, another to turn around half way up Pickerington and head directly back to the parking lot, 2 people to spew vomit and only a handful of cyclists to actually finish the route (not including the route maker) Ryan was sufficiently cowed to this week unveil a flatish, rolling route.
Jeff spends lots of time polishing and rubbing his new bike, sometimes bending over mid-ride to remove a spot from the frame. He has also been seen adjusting his helmet mirror so it reflects the bike frame for constant frame blemish monitoring.
A smallish group showed up, perhaps last week's experience caused many to look elsewhere for a ride or maybe the slight chance of rain kept them away but Kevin observed, "There aren't any C riders here."
The Boss said he did not want to ride hard and so with that pronouncement and the flatter route, it appeared a very large group would start and hang together. After a few miles of moderately paced riding, Rick Holt said his ATTD was being padded. When questioned what the acronym meant, he said his Average Time Til Dropped, funny. We headed out Basil Western, dropped south and got on a nice rolling road with a couple of short steep climbs but the group shed only 3 riders that I could see. At mile 14 I noticed a funny squishy feeling to my front tire and yelled "Flat". Someone in the group shouted if I had everything, to which I yelled "No" and hearing this, the group appeared to pick up the pace. I had forgotten my pump but....
....no worries, a couple of the dropped A's stopped and offered assistance. Soon we were back on the road and in a mile I flatted again. This time more riders stopped and with the help of Recumbent Dude, Rick, Amanda, Mark R and another guy shown in the image in the background whose name I missed, collectively we got the flat fixed again. Also helping was this very friendly dog. We continued on the route and had a great time, finishing with 39 miles and a 21.3 average, but about 30 minutes of down time for flat repair.
Steve O showed up with a new helmet. Note the almost perfect color co-ordination. White helmet with matching shirt, black accents on shirt matching black helmet accents. Black sunglass frame perfectly hides his cross eyes and the jersey is sleeveless, if not to show off guns, at least to show off pistols. ALERT!: Group Killer says he is going to show up for the Saturday Blue Jay ride, the primary route having 6500" of climbing on 67 miles with an additional loop available to bring the total to 95 miles. If the pavement drys today I'm headed out to mark the route and add many inspirational messages, including the usual, "Oxley Sucks", "Swim Tuna Swim" and similar, good natured markings. If anyone can think of additional markings please comment.
Pastor Mark Clingan called me tonight to announce with great humility that he completed the 184 miles with 11.000' of climbing. Randy, fighting giant saddle sores had to pack it in after "omly" 160 miles. The pain must have been unbearable to have stopped so close to the finish. The pair started the ride at 5:45am and arrived in Pittsburgh at 8:20pm. I'm surprised Mark did not do laps somewhere to get to 200 miles. Tomorrow they are going white water rafting but plan to make it for the Blue Jay ride.
My bike had been making a strange "clicking" sound on the downstroke so I took it to Rick Miller. Rick used to own A Gear Higher, a bike shop in Polaris, but closed it last year. Now Rick operates a repair service from his van and will drive to your location or you can take the bike to his home shop in Utica. Among Rick's more prominent and frequent customers are Jon the Dentist and Ginger so what better recommendation can there be? My bike has a serious problem and the frame needs replaced!!!! Fortunately, Trek is covering it under warranty and Rick says the defect was affecting my performance by at least 50% because of pedaling resistence that required Herculean effort to turn the crank (I just knew my recent problems were mechanical). If you want a bike repair house call you can reach Rick at 614-266-8822 or at email@example.com.
In my ongoing, strenuous effort to provide content that can only be found in many places, I offer the following, along with a report of the Jimmy move. Also, I did not participate in the roving ride today. Any ride that requires me to begin my drive during an hour beginning with the number 6, is a hard drive for me to start. First, what follows is a letter to the editor in a Solvang, CA newspaper. Solvang is where a Tour of California time trial takes place and is a popular destination for tour groups, pro cycling training camps, etc.. The woman needs counseling.
Many people showed up to help move Jimmy Richardson's belongings, including Mark V, Fkying Tuna, Eve and hubby, Steve Houck and a few others. We had a snack break and I was a bit too slow to capture a classic scene of Cindy, with head buried in bag of snacks. So furious was the motion of hands to mouth with pretzels and chips that it reminded me of a ravenous raccoon, attacking an uncovered trash can. In this image, Raccoon is making a hasty exit but I caught her just before she could leave.
That's Jimmy in the background, confined in a wheelchair and a little medicated. In the foreground is Mark V, looking a lot medicated.
More Canyon Reports
I've received some nice comments about the Canyon report and so, in the next week or so, I'll post much shorter reports of other Canyon hikes. Including almost stepping on a rattlesnake but was fortunate that it had a half swallewed mouse in its mouth, a Canyon Pink rattlesnake I tried to touch, a Diamondback that came too close while I was sitting on a rock, reading a book and other mishaps I have been fortunate to survive.
First, let me answer the question that would compel 80% of you to come here, yes, we rode and stayed dry. You should have come. Jeff S came, as ride coordinator/route maker he is obligated to do. Strangely, he also left at 5:40, but left maps with the only two cyclists there, Mile Taylor, a former tri guy who had taken a year off and was making a comeback and me. At about 5 minutes until 6:00, a flurry of cars and cyclists swelled our ranks to 16 and I had to explain to an annoyed crowd why the ride leader had left them high and dry. I did the best I could but was soon drowned out by shouts of "Jeff is #%&%" and "Quitter" and various profane language. AT 6:04 I yelled for silence, announced the route and said for A, B, C, D and E riders to head out.
News & Notes
Roy checked in with the following comment about his health: Hey, thanks for asking. I'm getting over the shingles and some significant diabetes complications with liver and kidneys. I felt good enough to ride but it kicked my ass. Maybe ill be a B in a few months!
Some of us are going to do the following on Friday or Saturday: Jimmy Richardson had a back operation that did not produce the intended results. He has paralysis and unable to work. In the meantime, a house he was sharing with his mother, who died last year, is being foreclosed while Jimmy recovers elsewhere. His possessions have to be out by this weekend so people are going to his house on Friday to pack and Saturday to move. Jimmy is the short guy who organized the New Albany, Thursday rides and was a frequent attendee at COP cycling events. Below is information if you have time to help.
The person organizing the event sent the following: We will be packing Friday night and moving Saturday. I will be headed down Friday afternoon and should be at Jimmy's house by 3:00. You can stop and help anytime after 4 or 5:00pm Friday or after 9:00am on Saturday. If you can bring bring boxes, tape, and newspaper...that would be great. Jimmy's house is at: 1770 Piedmont Road Columbus It is just west of Cleveland Ave. on Piedmont...which is just south of the Northern Lights shopping center. If you are headed south on Cleveland from Morse or SR161, right after you have passed the GNLSC, it will be on the right. If you go past the KFC...you just passed it. Let me know if you need any help finding it. My cell number is 740-404-8270. Any help will be appreciated! Thanks, Steve
Group Killer sent me this image of his bike, in the midst of washing it and taking it apart. Seems he is sincere about retiring to focus on running. A few people have weighed in on Jamie's motives with the most logical being, he achieved all his goals (kicking all of our asses) and so nothing left to do and didn't want to spend the time necessary to stay at that level. Probably did not want to deal with part-time cycling effort and dropping back in the peloton. The other theory is, success on the bike has brought the searing light of attention, something he did not have to deal with in his prior life as a fatty nad perhaps that has created some mental issues. The final opinion is, he wants to run instead of ride for awhile.
Tuesday Night Sizzler at Canal
Hot evening in the temperature department and on the roads, mixed in with high humidity, new riders and hills caused Rick Holt to observe, "You'll have a lot of material to write about tonight." Large turnout, around 50 with two cars full of bikes showing up at the last minute, Three cyclists making their first appearance of the year from Jeni's and two guys from a B1 Bianchi team hopped out. To that mix of perceived heavy hitters was Mitch Tallen, a Savage Hill rider, Walker guy, Boss, Group Killer and the normal host of regulars. Sicko Ryan had devised a mountainous route that was sure to create a scattering of riders, early. Note to self. Remember to suggest to Ryan that he who devises such a monstrous route is obligated to ride it.
The start of the Bill Hall trail, so named after a former park ranger and an exhilerating route into the wild. Cameras don't come close to capturing the beauty.
This is a long report. It could be a lot longer too because I left out quite a bit but I hope you enjoy it. In 2003, I talked a friend and fellow cyclist, Greg Dubois, into joining me for a backpacking adventure off the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I had a few of these trips under my belt, including the exact trip Greg and I had planned, as well as several day hikes to the Colorado River and back off the South Rim so I thought I had all the bugs worked out. We were lucky to come out alive.
We flew into Vegas, rented a car and took the scenic drive to the North Rim, checking into the Kaibab Lodge. We packed our back packs and bought everything that we were unable to bring on the plane, including fuel for the stove and lots of water. Our plan was to leave 2 quarts in the car so it would be there when we got out, each carry a gallon to a cache point 3.4 miles from the Bill Hall trail head (so it would be there on our way out) and then have 4 quarts with us for the long walk to the river. We turned in early because we wanted to be at the trail head at 5:30am, to allow plenty of hiking time. On my previous trip to this trail head, I had spent the night in the car but that was not comfortable and it gets very cold during the night, even in late May, at the Rim's elevation.
The drive out to the Bill Hall trail head is 31 miles, along forest service roads through thick forest and the pace is slow. However, we arrived on time, assembled everything and shoved off. Our intent was to spend two nights in the Canyon. The temperature that morning was in the mid 40's which is kind of warm for late May but the day time high in the inner Canyon was expected to be 105. The trail rises moderately at first with the elevation soon causing heavy breathing but then it drops abruptly though broken ledges of the Kaibab limestone.The first part is very steep and rocky, requiring great caution (there ain't any guardrails around here). We hiked in the shade for a long time but the temperature was rising quickly as we went deeper into the Canyon and the sun rose higher overhead (did you know the temperature difference between the rim and bottom is 25-30 degrees?). Eventually the trail moderates and normal walking is a welcome relief. We came across a guy who was hiking out and who had one of the soles of his hiking boots fall off. He had some tape and had been able to partially tape it back but it was still kind of funny watching him trudge along with the rear of the sole flopping open. Let me tell ya, losing the sole of your hiking boot in that environment is not good......and yes,8 miles into the trip, my right boot sole came off. I could not believe it! These Technica boots had been with me for many miles of backpacking in the Canyon. Fortunately, Greg had some string and some medical tape and I lashed the sole back to the boot. We discussed turning back but I was determined to press on. About a mile later, the sole of my left boot came off too..incredible but true. More string and tape around the sole and boot body kept the parts together but it was like wearing heavy flip-flops with the heel flapping open every time I lifted my foot and the toe flapping open to collect trail debris that would lodge between the middle of my foot and the sole. It required frequent stops to clean out the debris and somewhere, I lost my sunglasses.
Our first major destination was Thunder River, so named because it gushes from a limestone cavern under hydraulic pressure and is also known as the world's shortest river as it runs 1/4 mile before it dumps into Tapeats Creek which eventually reaches the Colorado River. Where the water gushes from the cavern there is an area that receives constant mist and it is an oasis of greenery. Prior to our arrival we had traversed the Esplanade, a broad, flatish layer of rock that is like walking on the moon, dropped through the red rock to Surprise Valley, formed when a large area slumped into itself. At the rim of Surprise Valley you can first hear and then see the incongruous view of Thunder River in the middle of a desert environment. The trail drops rapidly with Tapeats Creek roaring by, having received Thunder River's contribution. The environment is absolutely spectacular, awe inspiring, dangerous and the panoramic views, wow. At times the exposed trail takes one well above the creek before dropping again. This is a wild section with great hiking. We finally reached Lower Tapeats campsite on the Colorado River at mile 10.4, but oddly there was no one there (this is a common stopover for rafting parties) and so we decided, since it was still kind of early, to hike the 4.1 miles along the river route over to Deer Creek Narrows. Big mistake.
The Canyon is a very inhospitable place and when you've been dragging your boots through the dirt and sand and adding weight with every step...we should have stopped. Now, in the inner Canyon it rarely rains. It rains plenty at the rim but evaporates before reaching the inner Canyon, a one mile change in elevation. We headed west, parallel with the river on a trail that rises and falls, spectacularly so at a point where the trail rises 800' in .7 of a mile. The route forces slow going with scrambling over house-size boulders, down climbing rocky outcroppings and even walking along a sandy shore. At the point where the trail turns abruptly up that 800' slope, I instead followed a bighorn sheep path and kept going. Greg had been behind me and after not seeing him, I waited and then began to shout his name. I honestly thought he had died, how else to explain his absence? I wondered how I would tell his wife and began walking back, still yelling his name. Suddenly, he called me and I looked up and realized the rookie Canyon hiker had followed the trail and I had not. Gesh.
At the top of the rise, one is greeted with awesome views both up and down river but we were distracted by dark, broiling clouds and a howling wind. Soon it began to rain, a nice, steady, soaking rain that felt good considering the temperature was around 100. There was plenty of lightning and thunder too, What a scene as we trudged on. At one point, I distinctly remember putting my foot forward and at the same time, a large snake slithered between my legs while another slithered ahead of me. Normally this would produce a scream and racing heart but I was so tired I didn't care. I've had plenty of encounters with the Western Diamondback and the unique Pink Rattlesnake in the Canyon and it scares the bejeebers out of me but I don't know what kind of snake they were. You see, it was dark and at night, the snakes come out.
We were fortunate in that most of the trails in the areas designated "wild" and "remote" are marked by cairns, not a recognizable trail. Cairns are also called "Ducks", so named because in nature, a rock perched on another is normal but 3 or more rocks perched on each other is not and so that is what marks many routes. They are called ducks because with the smallest rock on top and the largest on the bottom, the shape kind of looks like a duck. The famous river trail has an obvious foot path.
We kept going into and out of side canyons, traversing scree slopes on narrow paths a couple hundred feet above the Colorado. Each side canyon looked like the last and I'm sure I drove Greg crazy with frequent pronouncements of, "This is the last one before we hit a rise that goes over a saddle and into the Narrows". We finally reached the base of a long rise that does lead over a saddle. I remember sitting on a rock, rain pouring and feeling fairly miserable and more tired then I have ever been. I dragged myself up the trail, down the side of the saddle and into Deer Creek Narrows. I was kind of delusional and wanted to just lie down but there is a permit process that requires stopping at a designated area so in pitch dark we stumbled around and eventually found our spot. We each set up a lightweight tent but because it never rains in the inner Canyon, nor had any been forecast, there was no protection from the rain. We laid there, rain dripping through the tents but did sleep or pass out. We had walked 16 miles over very rough terrain.
The next morning we decided to hike out and forget spending another night and then I began filtering water from Deer Creek as we would need about 4-5 liters for the portion of the route that would lead us to our water cache. The PUR water filter, which had served me well broke but somehow I nursed it along, gaining the needed water. Greg started ahead of me while I filtered the water but once I started, I did not see him on the trail above. I shouted his name and he answered, from a spur trail that led to a dead end. In an act of bravery (snakes, scorpions, tarantulas), he bushwacked across a thicket of brush and reeds that stood over 9'. He finally emerged and we proceeded up the limestone face to Deer Spring, spewing from the face of the limestone.. We kept going up and eventually navigated a narrow scree path, that crosses slightly above the water, able to feel the rumble of the surging water beneath us and hearing the accompanying loud roar. One can be forgiven for leaning hard to the left as the view into a deep chasm taking in the surging water.is intimidating. After some serious climbing we reached Surprise Valley and then the Esplanade, where we missed a cairn and headed toward the wrong trailhead. After a mile I began to doubt the direction because we were walking out of sight of some views I remember from my previous trip. We circled back and found the right trail. We found our water cache and things were looking up. As if enough odd things had not occurred, we approached a scrub pine tree and in one of the forks there was a sealed 1 lb.summer sausage. Someone had left it for later retrieval and everyone honors the code of not raiding someone's cache. After 29 miles of hiking (both days) dragging flopping soles through the trail, we reached the rim, at 6:00pm. We both agreed it was the hardest thing we had ever done. Greg headed back to Columbus and the next day, I plunged back into the Canyon. I love that place.
Close to the start of the Narrows.
Deer Creek Narrows. The depth of the Narrows deepens as you get closer to the Colorado and then a falls ends the Narrows. Wild place.
Misc News & Notes
Mark V forwarded the above comic. I tried to think of whom it reminded me the most and realized we all fit the profile. For a better image http://comics.com/pearls_before_swine/2009-06-02/
Before & After
Someone asked if I had a befoe and after image of Jamie. The above was taken spring 2008, coming up the steepest hill in Licking County.
The new Sevens, proudly owned by Jeff S and Flying Tuna. The bikes must have made a difference, Cindy recently recorded her first 20mph group ride average and Jeff recently, well, don't know, just keeps riding hard and fast like before.
Without other calves against which to compare, this pair of calves looks rather ordinary but in truth, had Jeff S flexed, the explosion of muscular mass would have required a wide angle lens to capture.
While crawling around the parking lot looking for interesting images, I came across this interesting pair of socks, worn by Craig Butler, The Boss.
The lone figure is Dennis, who spent the week in Chicago eating and drinking way too much. Dennis and I were team mates on Savage Hill racing team but because he was first string, he gets to still wear the jersey. Because I was third string, I am not allowed to wear the jersey so mine sits in mothballs.
Ginger Update--Several people have inquired about Ginger and the standard reply has been, since she is racing she doesn't have time for us. Not true. Out of respect for her privacy, all I should say is, May was a tough month, leading up to a scheduled surgery, which went well last week. Ginger will be laid up for awhile but expects to rejoin the peloton this fall. Send her an email to cheer her.
Way ahead of the start, a few of the cyclists are nevertheless ready to go, including Jeff S on the right, Craig (the Boss) behind and to his right, Nathan (recumbent dude) in the foreground and the guy yapping to his left is George. Between them is Andrew, still recovering from a triathlon.
Huge Turnout for New Albany
Mark V, before the start of the ride, is in his van, naked, changing into cycling clothes. Unfortunately, I was too slow to grab my camera and I missed Cindy with her face pressed against the glass, watching.
Cool sunny weather brought them out in droves to New Albany. Recently, a reader of this blog said, "Yeah but only strong riders show up for those rides" but these COP sponsored rides from New Albany and Canal Winchester attract A. B and C rated riders so there is a speed for anyone reading this (including you Belinda).
Who else but Retro George, my arch nemisis but a really good guy. Yes, he looks old and he probably does not know how old he is but he's at least 60 and incredibly strong. He can ride for a very long time on flat to rolling terrain at 25+mph but gearing creates a small problem on the steep hills.
Another who else, Group Killer, meditating and mentally preparing to destroy us. A little over a year ago he weighed 271 and now is at 178 and unhappy that he is not 125. In the 14 months he lost close to 100 pounds I lost, well, 0 pounds. Jamie decided to pursue some goofy 1/2 marathon goals which will deprive him of cycling time so instead of destroying us, he will merely be able to hurt us a lot.
Our concern and actions about our economic health manifests itself differently for each of us. Tonight, Mitch O took frugality to a new level by wearing what can best be termed a "200 yard" jersey. From 200 yards it looked like any solid white jersey but upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a burlap bag, dyed white with three cut-outs for his neck and arms. While I admire MItch's creativity, the unintended consequences made this a bad choice.
George informed me that just after I had stopped on Saturday's ride to take pics, his heart raced to 170 and he had to stop. Jamie abandoned the poor guy but soon, George got back on his bike and proceeded to P, passed by Mark V's group, Amanda and Dave. I think George was the last person to hit the parking lot that day but he was out again today and had no problems.