Imagine if you live in central Ohio, it's December, January or some other winter month. When the weekend arrives, you're looking forward to riding but alas, it is 30 degrees with icy roads so you gird yourself for another session on the indoor trainer, right? But wait, just a few miles away, there is a road that leads you 25 miles into a valley where the temps are 20-25 degrees warmer so you and your buds drive into the valley and jump on your bikes in 50-55 degree temps with brilliant sunshine. Wouldn't that be great? Alas again, such a great alternative does not exist for us Ohioians but out here in AZ, while our peers are baking in the daily temps of 105+, such an option does exist, only in reverse. I hit the base of MT Lemmon at 8:30a, and already it was 92 degrees but half an hour later, I was cruising along the ridge where it was 72 degrees. Headed for the "Wilderness of Rocks" hike, a nice 9 mile out and back. Loads of mountain biking and hiking options up here and the day time high was the mid 80's.
Unfortunately, somewhere out there I lost my cell phone. Since I have an antique, I was not too bothered by this but while driving home, my wife called and a women, who had found my phone, answered. Ah-Oh!!! When I arrived home, I gave my wife the old, "Lost cell phone excuse" to explain why a strange women answered. Arrangements were made for me to drive back up the mountain the next day and retrieve it at the General Store. I checked out the fire lookout while up there and had a good time talking to the ranger who occupies this little shack at about 9000' above sea level.
Yet another day later, I jumped on the winter beater bike and began the arduous trek up Mt. Lemmon. I stopped at "Seven Cataract" lookout and saw these guys climbing a hoodoo.
I kept plugging away. Speaking frankly, what kept me going was knowing that if I turned around, there would be nothing to do in the valley where the temp this day was 108. I tried golfing one afternoon and the heat was not that big of a deal but geesh, I absolutely suck at that after so many years of neglect. Hard to believe but I once was down to a 2 handicap and now, I hit the ball short and crooked, not ideal for that game. Above, a fellow cyclist takes a break to admire the view.
After 19.5 miles of climbing, I had gained 5400+ feet of climbing and then a 1 mile drop, roughly a 1 mile climb and then coasted into the little town of Summerhaven, a more aptly named place does not exist. A major fire swept through here in 2002 and wiped out the trees and most of the homes and businesses but many have been rebuilt. I had a hamburger at the restaurant and enjoyed the views, one of those, "Life does not suck" moments. I became chilled sitting in the shade and so shoved off for the descent. It was interesting to descend through the temperature change, I'm sure I noted the shift into the 80's, then the 90's and towards the bottom, the blast of 100+ heat. Ended the day with 51 miles and 5700' of climbing. As usual, dozens of cyclists were climbing or descending the mountain but a couple of days later, a 55 year-old cyclist went left of center, crashed into a wall and died. The trip to the Grand Canyon coming tomorrow.
Steve Fields and I had a great time. We enjoyed the ride but what really makes the weekend fun is renting a nice cabin and hanging out with friends all weekend. We took an easy spin with a group of friends on Friday and met up with a bunch of riders for dinner. Everyone was sharing their strategies and how they were going to finish strong. I knew that some of the guys would hit the first hills too hard and fade later in the ride. Many of the guys that we hung out with over the weekend live in Florida. One of the guys drove out to what I think is the toughest climb of the day. It is a 1,200 ft climb and the last section is over 20%. He said that he did the climb that morning and it did not seem too hard. I tried to explain that we would hit that hill with 60 hard miles already behind us and it would feel a little different. He was not buying it.
The course record was set in 2009 and was 4 hours 49 minutes. Most years the first place rider takes over 5 hours to finish but
the last few years it seems like the guys are picking up their game. This year we had the honor of having Scottie Weiss, otherwise known as the Pocket Rocket set the pace. Scottie has 10 years of Pro Cycling experience and his favorite tactic is getting away early on a very hard and hilly long course. Scottie set a new course record this year of 4:38 and everyone who tried to chase him got a great workout.
At 80 miles into the 103 mile ride with 9032 ft of climbing, I had 17 guys still in front of me. My chip time of 5:02:39 would put me in
12th place this year, I finished with 3 other riders who came around me at the “no sprinting allowed” finish line which put me at 15th place. Next year I might sprint. Steve Fields had a great ride at 5:07, it was our best finish for both of us. Every year it seems like a really fast bunch of riders and this year was even faster.
An anonymous person sent me the below, which I appreciate.
Sending you a pic, in case you want to post to your blog. No worries. Not too great of an image...parking lot scene at 6pm, cloudy skies. No rain. Very high humidity! I'd say 20 A riders, and 30 to 40 B/C riders. Impressive turn out. Marty S can probably speak to the incident during the A ride... i heard there was a crash near Welsh hills road area Terry...? Backroom coffee racer i think not sure). He had to depart in a vehicle for medical treatment. Garth and Peter C told me they finished with 61 miles. The front B group was about 12 riders going into Johnstown averaging 21mph. All of us the did the Concord / Nichols Lane climbs in the big chain ring. We tore down Loudon downhill crazy fast with NW cross/tailwind From mile 20 to 25 we averaged 25.7 mph for five miles. It was windy on the return going East back to New Albany.
I chatted with a guy named "Jeff Bubba" or was it "Bubba Jeff" after the ride. His license plate on his Odyssey is RAAM VAN. He
told me he raced RAAM about 10 years back. I think i remember him.. said he had not been out to the NA ride in quite a long while. Friday night is the Tour de Grandview and i think some missing regulars from the Thursday NA ride will be racing then.
Anonymous... dont mention my name!
Craig Butler, better known as "Da Boss" and frequent participant in the Canal rides until job, family and job stole him away from us, has checked in. Craig has been participating in a few ultra marathon trail run events, the most recent being the Mohican 100, yep, not mountain biking but trail running. Craig finished 33 out of 200. Craig says that he misses riding with the group but has time for only one sport right now. This is kind of sad, first Jamie Roberts, aka "Group Destroyer" gave up cycling for running and now "Da Boss" too has abandoned cycling. Hope this is not a trend.
Now, Shannon sent out the below for this Thursday's New Albany route. Note the A route is 62 miles. Man, am I glad I'm sweltering out here in the AZ heat rather than obligated to ride (some) of this route. Note more can be found at Shannon's site, including an unprovoked attack on me!!!! http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/new-albany-cop-ride-thursday-june-27-2013/
I know many of you miss seeing me so I have good news. I shall return Friday night and will be out Saturday morning, assuming I get an invite from Mark C for a ride I hear he is planning. Had a good time at the Grand Canyon yesterday and have so many images to put up and stories to tell. All coming soon.
Well, this critter growled at me and although it may look rather small, it is a known man-killer. OK, maybe not and I have searched in vain for a rattler but so far only a couple of other types of snakes. It took me one day to adjust my routine. No more hiking in the mid day heat, which is stupid. Instead, "she who must be obeyed" and I joined a group and hiked up Blackett's Ridge out of Sabino Canyon on Tuesday. We were the last to arrive at the peak and being somewhat competitive, I was grinding my teeth watching the others walk away but I was a good hubby, which I can be in rare situations.
Then, on Wednesday, I hiked the Pusch Ridge trail and that is the real deal. Don't have to worry about rattlers on that trail cause it is so steep, the snakes would just roll down the hill. This is a friggin steep trail with 2600' of elevation gain in 2 miles. I hit the trail at 6:00am, had a nice hike in the shade all the way to the summit. Ran in to a local who described an enormous water catch that was helicoptered in to the area somewhere east in the mid 1950's and recently there has been some activity around it and he speculated they will close the trail, reintroduce mountain lions and they'll have a water source.
Somewhere below the summit with great views and of course, up here, the temps are not too bad.
The moon rises over the Catalina Mountains. The sun drops below the horizon around 7:30 so very early as we are on the extreme east side of the western time zone but the sun rises around 5:00am. The activity schedule ramped up late in the week, including a successful assault on Mount Lemmon (5400' of climbing in the first 19.5 miles) a visit to a
Here is tonight's route for the Thursday New Albany ride. I regret not being there to fulfill my "journalistic" responsibilities but if anyone cares to send me images, I'll put them up.
Headed to New Albany to hook up with the Jon Morgan Saturday ride. Various groups preparing for Pelotonia were there too and saw many out on the road.
Jon showed up with his new ride, an ultra-light Scott frame with all the latest gadgetry to make him faster then he was. Guys like this should ride steel frames for the challenge of it.
Marty organized a 78 mile route headed east and an interesting route it was. I thought I knew all the roads around Licking County but he managed to find some new ones. It was promised as a "B" pace and the boys delivered on their promise. Great route and good pace. Marty and Steve Fields are participating in "Blood, Sweat & Gears" this Saturday while Gus and Peggy are headed to Maryland for that brutal 120 mile/15,000' of climbing on the Diablo Double and I hear John Sada and entourage are headed there too. Tym Tyler may be a paid mercenary, along with a couple other guys. It was kind of surreal, riding around with all the green and blue colors, knowing that a few hours later, I'd be.....
.....in AZ for awhile, arriving Saturday evening. The next morning, got on to a trail for an 8 mile hike back through this canyon and made a jog to the left where you can see the slope descend on the left. I began the hike at 10:00am and the temp was 97. The good news is it would only get 6 degrees warmer that day but the bad news is that is still 103. You are never supposed to hike between 10:00am and 2:00pm but while I struggle with the cold, I love the heat. The parking lot at the trail head can hold a couple hundred cars but today, only 15 and I seldom saw anyone.
Caught up with a couple of guys, who you can see climbing one of the dry falls, my destination. Made the mistake of not freezing my fluids the night before so had to drink hot water beginning at the half way point, ugh. OK, now for the famous Summer Solstice ride. Flyin Tuna is leading a group out of Canal Winchester at 5:30. Joining her are some of the usual suspects and anyone wanting to get a head start, are welcome to join. The A group and strong B's will start at 6:00pm. Same sign-up routine as usual for this 53 mile route that tops out at Revenge, routes around the prison and drops back via Christmas Rock Road for the return. Mitch Tallen, the winner of the KOM jersey may or may not be back to defend his title. The winner of KOM receives the jersey, but Mitch may or may not be there for the hand over, assuming he does not win, if he is there.
Turns out 605 was open, one way going north so people parked in the original lot or the satellite lot and rode their bikes over but they came. A large willow tree, hollowed out by squirrels, fell overnight, taking down a good sized walnut so I had yard work to do before heading out of town on Saturday. People did not want to hear the truth though, they wanted to speculate about why I was not riding. The best was I had to arrive at the local jail by 7:00 to spend the weekend.
Marty S and Chris G. Someone came up to me prior to the ride to let me know he had overheard conversation at Starbucks and there would be an attack on Thresher. Wow! Now that's some good insider info and I appreciate the head's up but while they were humping up Thresher, I'd be gunning a chainsaw.
Whew, that's a relief, Elaine came back. I thought that after last week's behavior of our group lech, Dirty Dan, it may have scared her away but back she was and with Kayla too. Brian studies the map and good to see that Surge was back for another round after last week's calamitous meeting with the berm.
Farmer Mike listens to.....maybe Rene is her name? Not sure.
Rich Lewis with Todd Mullens. Don't see much of Todd on Thursdays, too bad, good guy and what ever happened to Poobah? Probably doing some flat ride on the west side of Columbus. New Albany routes are becoming far too hilly for the two-timer.
Patrick signs in and later was involved in a crash coming back into town but rolled over, bounced up and with a stitch or two, the kit can make a comeback.
Paul Stock, new guy and Corvair. I thought it unusual when Patrick, Hendra and Pete rode into the Canal parking lot without Paul. Sounds like Paul got caught out by an unusually fast start that night.
So, good turnout considering the strong wind out of the northwest, around 45-50. The A group rolled out followed by the B group, which was quite strong, led out by Dennis. With that, I turn things over to Marty, who provided the below report.
After Chatham, Craig Rice and another guy were gapped and chasing. After a mile or two I could see that they were still chasing and doing a good job of it. I felt bad for them and was impressed at how hard they were working. I figured that they could use a hand so I turned around and gave them some help. I could see some of the guys in the lead group look back and they were now having some fun with us. We slowly closed the gap but it took a long time. Craig can tell the story better. Then after we caught up Craig and I gave it everything we had and we took the Caswell Steps King of the Mountain side by side.
I was out in front as we made the final turn off Kitzmiller onto old 161. I stayed close to the shoulder and when the sprinters had enough of my cruising along they all bolted past me on my left. Craig stayed with me and we had picked up Old Mike as we rolled into town. The three of us witnessed wheels flying in the air just ahead of us. Always a terrible thing to see. The best I could tell, Will Gleason had a chain slip off his big ring and went down. Patrick Warren somehow ended up going down but managed to
roll it off and he looked like a million bucks like he always does. We even teased him that he can still wear his jersey after a few small holes are stitched up. It looked like Will broke his left collar bone and I am sure it will be very painful. He also had a case of road rash on his left elbow that will really hurt. We had Dr. Jay Passias to help us. Will’s mom and brother quickly came over and Rich Lewis helped Will into his car.
Shannon has created the above route and it and the other distance options can be seen here: http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/new-albany-cop-ride-thursday-june-13-2013/
With 605 closed in front of the school, we will park elsewhere, with the below a suggested spot from Shannon but we will gather our bikes in the normal parking lot location and depart on our bikes from there. As you can see below, there are bike paths or side walks that can be followed from the alternate parking lot to the traditional start, which is just north of the image. Hope the weather clears in time for the ride.
Good turnout with still more new people coming out. The women on the right, maybe her name is Wendy, is new. Ross standing, waiting patiently as newbie occupies both sign up sheets.
Eve, David Smith and the Rossi tandem, still without their new tandem, which is due at Cyclist Connection by Friday for the build-out. I have a spy who works inside CC and will try to get an image of the carbon fiber machine.
Ricky G shows up, second from right with my buddy John. Since my last body guard quit cycling last year, John has agreed to protect me from the cyclists I anger. His job will be busy.
Euro-Patrick signs in.
Seldom showers were there too. Guy on the left makes the original "Tall Dude" look short.
The A group, maybe 10ish, roll out. So many "legit As" that I can not identify them all but Paul Stock, Hendra, Euro-Patrick, Craig Rice, Steve O, Pete A, Jeff S, Claude, Rick, etc...
New guy in the Trek jersey with Dane. Around 44 in total for tonight's ride into the foothills of Hocking Hills.
The b group rolled out with 25+ on a 49 or 43 mile route. After rolling through Amanda and reaching #159, Mark C, Matt A, Corvair and John Day chugged southward toward the McDonald climb while the remaining 8-10 of us headed toward the Delmont climb and 43 miles. We regrouped at the Stoney Hill stop sign, headed west on Westfall, then north on Amanda Northern and eventually back to the parking lot. I'm keeping this scintillating story short as I have things to do today but trust me, excitement galore on this ride. Patrick, Hendra and not sure who they allowed to hang with them finished with around a 22.1 avg..
The sunset is late enough that we can make that annual excursion to visit the McDonald climb. A route is 49.8 and can be viewed: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2668660. The B route is 43 and the C route is 35 miles. Maps and sign-up sheet at the start.
Smallish turnout for one of the classic COP Roving Rides. Andrew's Sugar Grove ride, Mitch O's Rocky ride, Blue Jay and a couple others stand out from the schedule of weekly rides. Above, Marty on the right brought in some heavy hitters, Pete C, Terry G, etc... to join in with Nick on the left, Brent, Kenda Paul, totaling maybe 45-50.
Andrew calls everyone over for the pre-ride announcements which included....
....an announcement from Frank Seebode of bike-ohio.com, letting us know the status of this fall's OFC (Ohio Fall Challenge) which is somewhat similar to COP's CFC (Columbus Fall Challenge). Frank's version is certain to take place with food stops secured, a date, a plan and someone to drive the project. Had it not been for Frank's effort, COP's CFC would have fallen off last year's schedule and without him under COP's tent, may do so this year.
So, we roll out for an early climb to the top of a ridge on Sugar Grove Road, have an extended chase on the ridge line, plunge back into the valley, climb again, spit out on 93 and enjoy a relatively flatish cruise toward New Straitsville. Somewhere along there, Marty and the Jets cruise by and soon thereafter, so to do Steve O and Dustin. At the time, our band of cyclists had Corvair at the front so Steve and Dustin pulled away as they doggedly pursued Marty's group. Then, Jeff S went to the front and we began to reel the boys in. Someone noted, "That's kinda sad, how can they catch Marty if they can't even pull away from this bunch." Unfortunately, After 5 miles, Jeff had to take a breather and then I pulled, and slowly the elastic was stretched and we began losing sight of the two-some. Seeing what I was doing to our chase effort, I slid back, others took over and we made the catch at the base of the ramp before the town, where I attacked, flashed by Dustin like a leopard passing a platypus and claimed the sign spint win!!!!
The "old timers" sitting in front of the market in New Straitsville were not quick about sharing their chairs so someone told them to get up or we would kick their asses. They seemed none too worried and remained seated, except for the store owner who went inside to check us out.
Andrew chats with Kenda Janet, who was part of a second wave to arrive. Once, this proud lioness rode side-by-side with our gang but all those corporate paid dinners and junkets are taking their toll. Now we see her at the start and an occasional food stop and that's about it. I hear Kenda Dave is off the bike now too. Ah well, like Team Discovery, Festiva, Postal Service, etc... all teams eventually go to the scrap heap.
We rolled out and quickly climbed, then ahd a nice descent and valley ride into Murray City, got on to 78 and rode around the Burr Oak park, turned on to 555, gutted our way up that beast and soon entered the lovely stop at....
....Portersville. Spent way too little time there with Andrew, Doug and Sam looking at something then shoved off, passing one of my favorite stops in Moxahala and then and finally, facing the long grind west on Marietta before stopping a final time in Bremen.
Once we were many, now we were few. Brent, on the left and recovering from a fall, had not participated in a long ride for awhile so he was tanked at this point. Being a caring and compassionate guy, I escorted him on a shorter return, then headed back out for more climbing and more miles, finishing with 101 miles and 6200' of climbing. Upon my return to a nearly vacant lot, I discovered six banana peels placed strategically on my car, a water bottle extending from the grille, a bag of trash tied to a rear door and the top of a package inserted under a windshield wiper. Outraged, I called around to see if someone would snitch but so far, it's a tight lipped bunch but someone will step forward soon so I can begin to plot my payback.
Katherine G, showing off her new set of clubs. I am told she is becoming something of a legend at the local driving ranges. Hits a drive, starts running and can catch the golf ball before it lands. Spent last Friday at Muirfield following the pros around. Just a matter of time before the golf bug bites so deep she becomes a beer guzzling regular riding a golf cart at one of the courses we pass on Thursdays.
Elaine Schaaf, a first time Thursday cyclist who battled frequently with Kayla Starr in the Cat 1/2/3 races this year. She is the real deal and made quite an impression in the parking lot too. Dirty Dan, Dennis and I were standing behind my car chatting about nothing in particular when Elaine grabbed a towel, changed in about 15 seconds into her racing kit. Naturally, Dennis and I averted our gaze and repositioned our bikes so as not to watch but Dirty, well, that nickname fits now more than ever.
The splendid Farmer Mike, winning his age group, naturally, at the Mohican 100k race this weekend but also finished 14th among 44 in the 50+ category. Jeff in the background and Gus, sharing a laugh when I mistakenly congratulated Mike for winning the 80+ rather then the 70+ age group.
Our great ride leader, Shannon, turning to me for the answer to the question a cyclist posed, "What will we do next week when 605 is closed in front of the school". I'll be filling in for Shannon so we'll still meet on our bikes in the same place, since there is no way to get the word out to everyone but car parking will be wherever you can find a place. Plenty of parking options close by.
Very cloudy skies, which probably kept some away as only about 35 showed to ride. With no Grand Poobah to lead out a B group and no one stepping forward to take his place, we all shoved off together and let things sort themselves out on the road.
As we turned to line up and exit, Gus rides up to Muscle Dude and asks if that's a see-through jersey and are those really his ribs showing through. Some of the regulars were missing, Dave Chesrown is in Taiwan and now in China, touring factories, Jon Morgan not there, no Rob R, no Pete C, no Doug M, whatever happened to Chris Griswald? Marty was there but already had 110 miles on his legs from the day before, yep a pretty sorry bunch, well not really. Shannon, Terry G, Nick, Hasting, Gus, Mick, Muscle Dude, Surge and a few others.
All 35+ of us swarmed into the middle of town and then out old 161. The pace was kind of moderate with a strong pull or two put in by Shannon. We made a right on Mink, then Condit, south on Headleys Mill and still, a very easy pace, which usually means bad things. Yes, we turned left on Hollow and that series of hills. The green light was on and the group exploded. I hung with the main pack, crossing the intersection and going towards 310 when suddenly, and expectedly, my legs gave out and I gave up the chase. Quickly I fell in with Mick, Katherine, Jeff S, Dennis, Corvair, Farmer Mike and a couple of others. We missed the right turn on Morse, got back onto the route in Alexandria, making a right turn on Mounds, Turning right on Lobdell, the front A group passed us and here, Mick jumped in with them amid some shouts of alarm as maybe it was not the smoothest re-entry I've witnessed.
We turned on Battee and things got strung out where I caught up with Gus and Mick and thought maybe the three of us could work together and stay ahead of everyone but then, after turning on to Hardscrabble, we came across the scene below.
Surge was ok after a check by Gus, who sounded as if he knew what he was doing. Elaine too seemed to have experience looking for problems while Muscle Dude frequently asked people if they spotted any scratches on his new bike. Not sure who was at fault but it sounded that he almost stayed upright after riding along the grassy shoulder you see behind for about 30 yards but then went over the handlebars. Fortunately, he was ok. We approached Northridge and with the clouds and time spent at the examination, some of us went straight on to Concorde, including Surge, Elaine, Dennis, Jeff S, Katherine, Corvair and a couple others. Surge began to feel some discomfort in his shoulder and no doubt the road bumps were not welcome but he seemed to do better later in the route so hopefully it is nothing serious. We finished with 38 miles and a 21.3 avg......now.....mean while,,,,I have been sent this anonymous report of the action ahead.
It was very cloudy but no rain, the turnout was light. I had ridden 110 miles yesterday so that was fine, just wanted to burn some calories and have fun. Things were mellow early on which was great for me.
The group was smaller after Hollow and then we caught a few riders on Mounts that must have taken a shorter route. Then we dropped down that steep hill where Morgan over cooked it last year. I was up front with Hastings and we had a moderately
strong pace. Then Shannon and his sidekick Nick passed us with Craig in tow. I dropped back on Hastings wheel. I could see that Craig had dropped back a couple of bike lengths, that is a tough situation. He is no longer getting a draft but we were 5 bike lengths back. What do you do? When the hill started to pick up again I came around and passed Shannon and Nick and
only Nick joined me. The two of us kept up the pace and were joined by Shannon and Terry on Hardscrabble. Hasting was
chasing and although he falls back on the hill he was able to catch up when we stopped and turned North on Northridge. He was really excited that he caught us.
Then on the last hill of Stone Quarry, Terry got out in front and we dropped Hastings. I think that hill is a hard place to create a gap, they always catch up on the decent and turn onto Loudon. Then Nick really found some energy on Sportsman
heading East on the grade between Loudon and Northridge. I created a new segment and saw that we were only a few seconds off the KOM.
Here it is, this evenings A, B and C routes. While it is currently raining, do not despair, it may move through in time to ride.
One of the best roving rides of the season is this Saturday, starting at 8:00am out of the Berne Union school parking lot and hosted by none other then Tri-Andrew. The long route ventures far east into 4 different counties and includes the ride along the ridge above Burr Oak Lake. The food stops, well, let me tell you, until you have sat with the locals outside the market in New Straitsville, you ain't experienced nuthin.
Gary V signs in. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Nick V fund. I am somewhat worried about Grand Poobah's effort. He gave me the classic, "I sent him a check." line, hooowwwww original is that one? I later told Gary to be on the lookout and to let me know if the check doesn't arrive. Kevin H quipped, "Yeah and if it bounces, Todd will write you another."
Some old, new faces turned out, Claude, who claimed this was his first group ride of the year but that he has been training in the gym. Held up pretty well as it turns out. He's taking classes so is unable to make it to many rides.
Another guy who used to be a regular, Rick, making his first appearance at the Tuesday Canal ride.
Just about a perfect evening for a bike ride but the sun was intense so the shade seekers were numerous.
Kevin on the left, Nick and Gary V. A good route that was a little confusing, made so by my last minute changes to avoid a road closure and a potentially busy section of Coonpath.
New phenom Luke (in blue) who has a refreshing attitude and who craves feedback on his group riding skills and group etiquette. Jon Morgan has given him some pointers and is quick to point out that Luke has great potential. Of course, the same was once said about me and now look at me. Steve O chimed in, "Yeah, now he is a crippled blogger." or words to that effect. How true.
A smiling Mark C, leader of the B group who rode the A route and again, cut it very close at the end but still, they made it. So, good turnout tonight of 46-48 with an unusually strong A and B group. Jon, Hendra, Muscle Dude, Paul Stock, Luke, Pete aka HJB (Human Jumping Bean), Nick, Steve O, Old Chubbs Dustin, Jeff S, Claude, Scott Boss, Kevin, Randy Brown and a few others headed out first on a 53 mile route. We paused a couple of minutes and then Mark led us out in a large group having Dirty Dan, Poobah, Katherine, Corvair, Matt A, Mark V, Kevin H aka Pepe Lapew, John Dey, Ryan R, Dane not Dean, etc... Good C group too so keep coming out. Steve H is there every week to lead the new and recreational cyclist on slightly shorter routes.
The B group arrived, largely intact, at the A/B route split at mile 16 at Stringtown Road. Mark C took maybe 3-5 people with him but the hoard went with us. I thought it best to carry those that came with us for a few miles, rather than leave them fending for themselves so far from the finish. I lassoed Kevin H a couple of times to let some people back on, gave Poobah a tongue lashing for white lining while taking a .1 mile pull, regrouped a couple of times and then we got onto Lake Road. going north with most of us still together. Then, the front A group of Dustin, Jon, Hendra, Paul, Scott, Luke, Pete came by and all thoughts of being a caring ride leader went out the window and so Katherine, Kevin H, Claude (who we picked up earlier) and 1-2 others jumped on the A tail. The pace was not so hot so I rode to the front to see what was the impediment, oh, Dustin so I rode by while encouraging him to pick up the pace and promptly, rode past the Canal Road turn.
How embarrassing as most of us over shot the turn but we regrouped and headed west. As we got closer to Baltimore, the pace slackened so I rode to the front to see what was the impediment, oh, Dustin again. I tried mocking him but made the mistake of verbally assaulting a guy who is more quick witted then I. I retreated to the rear again. We made a right on Cherry and about half way to the next turn, Pete was being a little erratic, jumping left and right of the wheel in front of him and nearly taking Katherine down a couple of times. She announced she was done and sat up with Kevin and I doing the same. We rode in together, joined at the outskirts of Canal by Craig, Steve O and a couple others and finished with 48 miles and a 20.3 avg. Meantime, the lead group finished with a 22.3 avg and 53 miles.
Below, Craig's new bike and a near perfect complimentary kit to match. It was his second ride on the new machine. I heard a rumor that someone is bringing a scale to the Thursday ride to weigh the bike. Wouldn't want someone to be taking advantage of us by breaking the minimum weight bike rule.
Here is tonight's route with links to the A, B and C route and cue sheets:
– 52.5 miles, 1868’ climbing - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2577191
B – 47.9 miles, 1337’ climbing - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2577244
C – 38.9 miles, 1233’ climbing - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2577264
A few newsworthy items, Gary and Nick V will be at the ride tonight and if you would like to make a contribution to Nick's grand adventure to WI for the national junior race, you can do so directly. Being an amateur racer traveling the globe is not cheap so help the kid out if you are inclined. The annual Summer Solstice ride to the top of Cul du Revenge is June 18th. I unfortunately will not be able to be there but Andrew C will be the ride leader for this fun trip to one of the area's most scenic mountains with fabulous views of the prison. I'm working to get the prison warden to turn out the inmates so they can be standing at the fences, cheering/jeering you on. Remember, no picture taking and no poking stuff through the fence for a relative. Official start time is 6:00pm but typically the C group departs at 5:30, Poobah leads the super seniors at 5:45, Flyin Tuna leads the "blue haired ladies" at 5:50, Canal Muscle Dude John leads the 200+ weight class at 5:55 but as I learn more I will post more. Lastly, the 25th will be the second annual 60 mile route, which Amanda is leading, I unfortunately will not be there either.