Marty finished 5th, with a time of 4:59:44, no doubt a great feeling to have broken the 5 hour barrier. Just behind him was Luke Russell at 27th place with 5:06, then Steve Fields at 65th place with 5:22 and Matt McCune at 99th place with 5:34. Don't know Matt but do a 102 mile ride with 9000' of climbing in 5:34 and barely crack the top 100? Tough field for sure.
Above the Desert Heat
Oh yeah, while the people in the valley suffer through another day of 105, I drove to the Marshall Gulch trailhead, thousands of feet above the valley where the temps are 20 degrees cooler. The Tucson area has received 0.61' of rain but up here, water babbles in the brooks.
Climbing to the Marshall saddle I made a left on the Wilderness of Rocks trail where it emerged into an area of, well, rocks. Miles after mile of little vegetation but billions, maybe even trillions of rocks of all shapes and sizes.
Great views to the southwest and then, off trail for a couple hundred yards to.....
.....the Mount Lemmon pools. Water was stagnant and not too inviting so I did not strip and swim.
At mile 6, I hit the Mount Lemmon trail and made a right, with grand views to the west. If you look closely, you can see Picacho Peak on the center right, from here nothing more than two tiny black peaks. This being roughly the half way point, I sat and ate an apple while enjoying the views. Soon, the trail went up and there was some serious and extended climbing.
I walked through a meadow of ferns.....
....closing in on the top, among the desolate landscape from a long ago fire, new Aspen trees are emerging.
The trail hooked up with a fire service road and gave a solid view to the south with Mt Wrightson way out there. Images are so inadequate compared to the real thing.
The road approached the fire lookout station (upper left on the rocks) and then kept climbing and soon I found myself above the lookout and soon even above the top of the ski run before locating the start of.....
.....the Aspen trail which overlooks the village of Summerhaven in the distance.
Weird. The wind was blowing and while it passed over the standing tree trunks it produced numerous pitches of whistling. The limbs had fallen off, erosion or varmints had tunneled in to the trees and so the effect was as if standing with dozens of bottles and blowing over the top to produce noises. From here it was all down hill and I finished with 13 miles and several thousand feet of climbing. Fun day. Below, the drive back down to the oven.
Blue Jay Roving Ride Images
So, I hear the turnout for the Blue Jay ride was good, considering the heat and route and most importantly, me not being there to pull the masses in. However, pre-ride I worked hard to bring in the cyclists through an aggressive email campaign, robo calls and even promising appearance money (you don't think Tym Tyler and his entourage show up for free do you). A professional photographer, Randy, came out too and took many images (below is Flyin Tuna and unknown cyclist giving it the "I am #1" sign). You can view the images here: https://www.facebook.com/Sasquatchsportsphotography/timeline
A few people have asked for the gps files for Saturday's Blue Jay roving ride and so, below are the links to both routes. Cindy will have maps and cue sheets at the start, this Saturday at 8:00am out of the Newark YMCA but her maps tend to be way too small so probably you should print your own, download the route to your device or bring a magnifying glass for Saturday's map.
66 mile route:
36 mile route:
Here it is, a route for the ages or at least for this Thursday. I know some of you are saving yourself for "Blood Sweat & Gears" or the COP Blue Jay ride, both on Saturday but come out anyway and soft pedal. IMPORTANT: The ride start is not from the usual location at the Methodist church but from the Park N Ride at the corner of Beech and old 161 for this week only. Someone contact Crazy George and his followers who do not access the internet and let them know. For more information and the gps route files, go to: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
I spent much of the day riding with Dustin who was riding fantastic. There was a lead group that worked its way down to about 8 riders. At the time I did not know much about Jeremiah Bishop but I could tell that he was super-fast. There were several other riders that were riding really well and we made sure that they did not get too far in front of us. There were several times that the pace really picked up and it was not always on the hills. The lead group of riders would break up at times and we worked hard to catch whoever was off the front. When we rode through the gravel section Dustin’s shifting must have clogged up and he had trouble shifting the rest of the ride and was stuck in the big chain ring. If not he would very likely have been the first finisher.
Late in the ride I was solo off the front pedaling as fast I could with Jeremiah Bishop and Josh Beck working together chasing a minute or two behind. The rest of the group had broken up and they were each riding solo behind us. Jeremiah & Josh caught me half way of the last climb and I got on Jeremiah’s wheel as he passed. I did not look back but Josh was right there on my wheel for a moment. When Jeremiah looked back and saw me he picked up the pace and Josh dropped off and I was struggling to stay on Jeremiah’s wheel. As we made the final turn Jeremiah picked it up again and I dropped off a little but was able to catch back up and was still thinking about when I would come around him. When we could see the finish sign Jeremiah got out of the saddle and put a gap on me, I looked back to make sure that no one was behind me that could catch me and I just rode in behind him. There was not much I could do about it.
We gathered up at the finish and talked for a while, after a few minutes I asked him his name and then realized why I was having such a hard time staying with him. Jeremiah was really nice and introduced me to the other guys as they rolled in and told all of them I had come in 2nd behind him. It was fun hanging out with them and after a while we headed over for some food and drinks together. There are no prizes handed out for KOM’s or for finishing first, it was all about challenging yourself and spending the day in the mountains and meeting new people.
And yes, it is a couple of days later and I am still tired.
The group hikes put on by "ALT", "Mr X" and "Tucson Hiking Club" have mostly petered out as the temperature has risen but recently a new group was formed, "High Noon Hikers". It's niche, rather than start hikes early, do so around noon, which makes a lot of sense for 9 months out of the year but for the other 3, sure, why not? The organizer, "Kim" wanted to do the Flat Iron trail out of the Lost Dutchman State Park at the Superstition Wilderness, I signed up mentioning I had done it before and for this hike, our roles were reversed as I became the hike leader. The above is not our destination, it being behind the formation visible in the foreground. We hiked the steepish slope to the right and then went up canyon via the Siphon Draw.
At the top of the Draw, the canyon narrows but offers great views to the west.
Farther up, more great views.
Then it gets really steep and the going is difficult requiring some route finding. Kim, a sub 5 minute mile runner, pushed me all the way to the top where we navigated the 12' wall to make it to the top of the......
....Flat Iron which had some plants in bloom I had not seen on my previous 3 trips. If you are ever in Phoenix, you have to do this hike. Only 6 miles round trip but lots of climbing.
Descending, we entered the Siphon Draw and noted the temps were rising. fortunately, I had frozen some liquid the night before and it was a relief to drink something cold. Below, you may be able to see downtown Phoenix in the center. Dang, a car sitting in the sun with temperature at 105 is HOT.
Garrett County Gran Fondo--Results
The organizers decided not to time the entire event, instead sticking to past practice of timing the significant climbs and posting the cumulative results. Of course, strategy plays a part in the outcomes. If you are riding to compete for climb rankings you can soft pedal between climbs and then kill it on the 5 climbs. If you are riding to see how high you can place in the overall or going for a personal best on the overall, then your climb times may skew south a little. Anyway, I apologize if I missed anyone but below are the names I caught while scanning the results with the first name plugged in there for reference.
Marty Sedluk came in 2nd today, 75 yards behind the winner, Jeremiah Bishop. Bishop is not some schlep from MD but a professional mountain bike racer, 11 time member of USA Cycling Team, gold medal winner in the Pan American Games and in 2007 was ranked the #1 mountain bike rider in the US. More to come.
I thought I ought to get acclimated to the heat, prior to me leading a hike on Sunday so drove to the base of Mount Lemmon and prepared to head up the Soldier Trail, 5 miles with lots of climbing. Just as I shoved off, a cyclist came by, likely on his way to the top, a long, long climb. Made me think about my friends driving to MD for the Gran Fondo. I have someone lined up to take pics and someone to file a ride report so stay tuned. Quite a contingent of folks going over there.
Huh, still some flowering plants in this 100 degree heat. The lack of humidity really does make a diff but 100 is still 100. Soon, my water bottles turned from cold to cool to warm to hot and when hot, the fluid tastes crummy. Reminded me to freeze some of them the night before.
As usual, some great views on the way to an old prison camp. Too hot for the rattlers who take cover this time of day. Did not see any other hikers but lots and lots of chameleons scampering around. Bike ride Saturday morning while so many are laboring over the climbs in western MD.
Back to Oro Valley, AZ
One of the important things in my life is eating well and so, our first full day back in AZ we ate at a kind of hole in the wall type of place but with great food, "Bubb's Grub". It don't get no better than that for barbeque and the owners come from WI and maintain a bar area that has the "Big Ten Network" as an option.
Ahhh yes, the mountains, ever present and inviting and I will be there very soon, including a fun hike to the Superstition Wilderness on Sunday for a repeat of the Flat Iron hike. A real classic. The downside to being out here is leaving our beloved Stella behind. Rescued from a puppy mill, in a little over 6 months she is now the queen, king, president and mullah of the Wilson house. More to come.
Thursday New Albany Ride Route
What's this? The distance is dropping already...only 59 miles after last week's 61? Rick has gone soft on us! Well, have fun out there. I am obeying the commands of my wife and escorting her to AZ for a few days so will miss this and next Thursday's ride but I'll be back, hopefully and with no bite marks on me. Here is the link to where you will find each of the routes: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
Tuesday New Albany ride
Wow, good turnout of 30+ for tonight's New Albany ride, which is a great turnout considering the wind, humidity and temperature. I need to get clarification from the Cycling Club for what is the intent of this ride. Early on, I was told it is a "B" ride but too many (in my opinion) of the real B cyclists are getting dropped as 2-3 cyclists push the pace, a couple follow and just like the Thursday New Albany ride, a group that starts out with 30 ends up with 5 at the end. If that is the purpose then fine, but I feel stupid for promoting something it is not. It is strange, we start out at the promoted "X" pace, at some point it suddenly ramps to a "Y" pace, then someone realizes, oops, we dropped all those who thought it was an "X" pace and we drop down to "X" pace except there are no more "X" riders with us so we plod along at an "X" pace with nobody left but "Y" types. The Cycling Club needs a real ride leader for this Tuesday ride, someone who is somewhat self aware and when someone oblivious to the purpose of the group suddenly takes off, just lets him go. Or, if this is just another drop ride then let that be known. A guy pulled alongside me on Jug, after two clueless types attacked and stayed away and told me, "This is just like it was 2 weeks ago. All it will do is discourage B and B- cyclists from coming out." Is that what was the intent of the Cycling Club? Again. I only want to present the facts to my 3-4 readers and not misrepresent.
The Weekend Rides
Saturday morning and I was up to join with the ride out of New Albany but the lemon of a car that my wife gave me did not start. As I sat there, looking at all the other cars in our driveway I was sorely tempted to take one but not knowing their schedule, I decided not to commandeer one of the cars and instead went back to bed. Turns out it is the distributor that needs replaced. Anyway, Sunday morning arrived and I coasted down to Granville to hook up with 30+ others for the John Martin ride to Zanesville and back. There was a super strong group of Garth Prosser, Pete C, Marty, Scott the UPS driver, Steve Fields and Luke Russell. Then there was a middling group of John Sada, visiting guy from Delaware, Gus Cook, then a low level middling group of Jeff S, Peggy and me, then a lower, lower group of others then a super low level group who rode a short route and maybe some subset of them but one thing about Blue Jay, it spreads you out.
We headed out, a swarm of cyclists descending on the roads of Licking County, alert to the threats of low lives who have nothing better to do than give us the finger or blow exhaust at us. Upon reaching the foot of Blue Jay, Marty, recovering from an effort at the Peckerhead tour/race out of Mansfield....attacked! Luke jumped to Marty's wheel but it did not appear anyone else could catch on at least initially and I think Marty won the KOM points on the first climb. Meantime, many of us slogged up the first, second, third, etc... climbs and when reaching the final climb, I saw John Sada ahead of me and nipped the unsuspecting at the top before descending to #668. There, I hooked up with Gus and Jeff and we more or less rode together to the market in Zanesville. Actually, Gus had got away from me and then gone off route before recovering, just as we were leaving the market.
A good group of Lon Hermann, Kathleen, Jeff S, Peggy Cook, Suzzane and Crazy George departed the Zanesville market and rode together to Fling Ridge where we hooked up with Rick Miller. The water and shade was enjoyed by all and we lingered for awhile....
....lingered some more and then shoved off, heading west on Flint Ridge, working our way to Granville where I abandoned the group just before Granville to return home with 87 miles and 6600' of climbing. Above, Kathleen fills here water bottle and is preparing for the Garrett County Gran Fondo with Peggy and many others from central Ohio. good luck. I wish I could join you but alas, I have to go somewhere else. More on that, much more on that, later.
Tonight they came early and often, including Luke beside his Bianchi and behind him, Lori, munching on a very healthy salad. I noticed Lori did not go for an exhausting run prior to the ride so she would be ready to roll this day.
Our ride leader, Rick Miller came with some concerns about the distance of the routes, including 61 miles for the A group. He received some communication from members of the peloton about the length but the good thing is rather than a route going way east for 30 miles and then back, the route never got as far east as Granville so one was never too distant from the parking lot and there were lots of route "haircut" options should they be needed.
Marty, Nick in the background, Hendra, Luke Russell and Dave Chesrown, part of a 7-9 member sect called the Unsullied. They have never been dropped, never watched the peloton rocket away as they fade, don't know humiliation, so envious am I.
Patrick Warren. By day, a member of the health care field, but by 6:oopm, a killer and member of the Unsullied.
Check out Tym Tyler's new haircut. Gone are the flowing locks that threatened to overtake Lisa's in length.
Muscle Dude Jr, John Day in the middle. Friday morning he will be on his bike riding that dreaded "Frank" route out of Malabar Park so he was going to ride easy but you know, started with the A group, continued with the A group for 30 miles before throttling back.
So, at 6:00, Rick called us to order, around 70, and explained a last minute change to the route that would take us east on Blacks Road rather than Beaver Run Road and off we went, around 28 in the A group. Out 161, right on Harrison, left on Morse and right on Headleys Mill we rode at a fairly moderate speed. We caught a tractor that really slowed us down and followed it just shy of the left turn on Hollow with its multiple uphill ramps. Lisa Tyler somehow managed a gap on the field at the turn and we followed, the mass overtaking her but she clung on and hey....what's this....so did I to the top. It was a pretty good pace to #37 where a right and a quick left kept us on Hollow all the way to York Road, turning right.
While driving to the ride I noticed a couple of cut-outs in York so I made sure to warn Jon Morgan who has had issues with cut-outs of late. We got across each and cruised to #16 for a brief stop before crossing and heading farther south to the left turn on Blacks. Our average at this point was only 22.7 and while I am the last person to complain of a moderate pace, it left me to wonder why. Maybe it was the length of the route but if so, who makes these decisions and where are they made? Maybe I need to spend some time at the Starbucks as part of my pre-ride itinerary. Anyway, we killed it on Blacks and reached Canyon with the looming ridge to cross. I tried to stay positive about my chances but reality, you know and so at ramp #1 I was good, ramp #2 I was ok, ramp #3 I was drifting back and noticed Kayla, Maya and Lori too were drifting and I was already thinking how I would report this, kind of a "Beast and the Beauties" sort of thing but alas they had something in the tank and did not drift all the way back to me and at ramp #4....
....the little Wildebeast was toast BUT WAIT!!!! I kept fighting and riding hard and.......
....I escaped, rejoining the group just as they recrossed #37. Yeah, it was good to be alive as we rode west on Hayes, then a left on Grandview and a right on Gale where we passed my house but none of my family was out to witness the phenomenon of seeing me in the group. Crossing #16, we got on to Weslyn Church and I began to drift again...dang I hate when that happens. By the right turn on Outville at mile 31, I was done. Here, John Day decided to drop back and to make a long story short, we followed the B route for many miles at a relaxed pace before Dirty Dan and Crazy George caught us at the top of Jersey Mill. We rode in together, finishing with a kind of sad 19.9 average. Meantime, the lead group finished with a 21.6 avg.
Geesh, it's not even the Summer Solstice and already we are at 61 miles. Hope none of us marginal cyclists have a flat on this route. Good luck boys and girls and for the gps files go to the Cycling Club's website: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
Light turnout for this evening's ride as rain was swooping in from the west but it held off. Despite the low numbers, only 14, there were more new people including Rick Wilson on the left, Mike in the center and back riding after a 2 year hiatus and one old-timer, Farmer Mike. After the ride, Mike described his vegetable garden and it seemed to contain every plant known to humans. Look for him later this summer to show up with baskets of excess.
There is a group of B-, C cyclists who leave a few minutes prior to our departure and their group was small too.
Our group of Gus, Peggy, Marty, Farmer Mike, Crazy George, Jeff S, Benton, Christy, Mike, etc... headed out under cloudy skies, high humidity and kind of cool temps with winds out of the east. The pace returned to a "B" pace so last week must have been an anomaly. Upon reaching Alexandria we did the Mounts/Battee/Louden/Stone Quarry loop before jumping on Concorde for the return, finishing with 37 miles and a 19.2 avg. Better yet, once back in the parking lot.....
....Christy brought out home made, healthy (she claimed) baked goods and I was the first to pounce. Peggy Cook and Christy discovered they both lived in San Francisco within 10 miles of each other, then lived in Utah within 10 miles of each other and having met just recently, again live within 10 miles of each other.
The health conscious in our group were slower to respond but eventually all did except for Marty, who claims my promotion of him has created so much pressure to fulfill expectations that he has to eat healthy and turn away from snacks.
The decision to attend the Garrett County Gran Fondo Savage Century or Diabolical Double was taken out of my hands when I realized "she who must be obeyed" and me were going to be out of town on vacation for a couple of weeks. Someone who registered for the ride sent me a link to a very funny ride report from the 2012 Gran Fondo, a portion of it seen above. Click on this link to read the entire article and note what he says about the initial descent: http://richmondvelosport.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70:the-2012-garrett-county-gran-fondo&catid=17:tangard&Itemid=4
Good luck and try to have fun.
Saturday Ride Report
Many showed up for the COP Heart of Ohio Tour, including Marty, spreading sunscreen, under the flawless sky. The horizon, so flat and so unlike where we were going on our bikes.
Kenda Paul modeling the latest Kenda clothing. Mark V on the left, sang once during each 25 mile segment, adding pain to our ears that rivaled that in our legs.
Dan Farley (in yellow) slotted in with our group of around 20. To his right is Dustin aka Old Chubbs.
To the west we rode through pastoral summer scenes and then a couple of miles from Amanda, a late starting Marty, Dave C and Luke R rode by, picked us up and pulled us in to the village. As it was only mile 25, I decided to keep going. Upon cresting the climb to the top of Revenge Road, Paul Stock rode by and so I swiftly yanked my bike behind his and drafted him to Blue Valley Road, where we descended. Towards the bottom, Gus, Peggy and a group of around 8 coasted by and so I swerved in behind them (see a pattern developing here?). I drafted the group to the tiny village of Sugar Grove, so named because at its founding, there was a grove of Sugar Maple trees in the vicinity. Here I refueled and waited for the original group to arrive....
...and they did, led by Mark C who eschewed the usual Hershey bar for a banana but still drank the usual Mountain Dew. We shoved off and soon hit the slopes once again. While on one ascent, I felt a prolonged tug at my jersey and turning, there was Tym and Lisa Tyler. Note to readers, I much prefer a slap to the head, elbow to the ribs or splash of water over anything that impedes my uphill progress. Not too soon, we arrived in.....
.....Bremen, where the route splits for the 80 and 100 mile options. Having already eaten back in Sugar Grove, I paused, formed up with Gus, Peggy and Paul and kept going on the 100 mile route. I followed as Gus set a fearsome pace east on Marietta Road and then north on Flag Dale. Partly from my desire to try to enjoy these rides at a more moderate pace but mostly because I was gassed, I waved them on when I fell back.......soon, Tym and Lisa passed me yet again. Lisa commented how hard was the route and I said "hard" did not begin to adequately describe it.
I had gone about 35 miles without a break so stopped in Rushville where I was joined by Crazy George and Lisa A. George and I headed out but at Pleasantville Road, where the route headed north on a 3 mile loop, I stayed on Pleasantville and headed back to the parking lot, finishing with 98 miles. There, Lisa Tyler asked sincerely if I had a bad day and to shrug it off because everyone has a bad day now and then. My bad days are piling up at an alarming rate that far exceeds the "now and then" description.
With the forecast for Sunday looking dismal, I figured I better do the century route and so no surprise that the Sunday COP ride was cancelled on Saturday evening, the John Martin Granville ride was cancelled Sunday morning and Rick Miller's ride out of Utica was cancelled too. As it turns out, probably the COP and Martin rides could have been completed as most of the rain stayed north. Oh well, chance to catch up on things around the homestead.
The annual COP, Spring HOOT (Heart of Ohio) tour is Saturday and it sounds as if many will ride this including possibly Marty & Friends. COP is being coy about releasing the gps file for the route and if the maps are as bad as in previous years, you don't want to rely on that unreadable document so here is the route from the 2013 Spring HOOT, with no guarantee it will be the same as tomorrow's but probably so: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2599743.
Most are starting at 8:00am.
Near perfect evening for a bike ride and so the cyclists came out in force, including Doug McConaha on the right who finished on the podium at last Saturday's Westerville Bike Race.
While standing in the shade of Rick Miller's van, I observed Flyin Tuna surreptitiously remove a plastic bottle from her car and attempt to slip it into her jersey but the oaf dropped the bottle and pills scattered on the blacktop. What were the pills, why was she attempting to hide them, why is she so clumsy...who knows. Note Mark Rossi, Andrew Clayton and David Smith enjoying the scene.
Jeff Fennel on the left with a new guy who has been coming out to most rides this year. Someone said he weighs or used to weigh close to 300 pounds. Keep coming out big dude and some day you'll look like me....well, that is probably discouraging so keep coming out and just leave it at that.
Tonight's route was, let's see, what is the best adjective to use here, well so long and so hilly was it that Shannon brought out the climbing machine rather than the time trial bike. The A route was 55 miles and 2700' of climbing.
The adjacent parking lot serves as a warm-up circuit and many cyclists go round and round to loosen their legs for what is to come....pain.
Wow, I counted over 80 cyclists. The A group had around 25 and I hear the B group was broken into three groups. Lots of C cyclists too. Even with the large group there were quite a few of the usual suspects who were not here such as Hendra, Tym & Lisa, Ron Budzig, Karen Rossi, etc....
However, in place of the usuals were the unusuals such as Paul Stock (above) and Craig Rice, The Muscle Dude. Note the white arm sleeves worn by Jon Morgan, to cover the road rash from Saturday's fall. Luke and Lori on the right. Lori ran a couple of miles prior to the ride.
And, of course, Crazy George was here too in the bright green jersey. Note the open mouth as it is always open and always talking. He is rounding in to form and that is good to see. And now, on to the action!
We left the parking lot and on to old 161 headed east with a light wind coming out of the north, temperature around 70 and low humidity...what's not to like? I slotted in beside Todd Mullins and even managed to exchange a comment or two as my breathing was not too taxed. I found myself way back in the peloton but the leaders were rotating frequently and by the time we reached the right turn on Watkins, I was kind of close to the front, which is good when headed into a turn with an uphill ramp. No one really pushed the pace so I rode kind of comfortably to Morse Road, turning east, watching the cyclist in front of me. Glancing up, what the.... The group just exploded with a group already gapping a 2nd group and a gap to some of us coming through the corner. That was tricky, very tricky and unlucky if you were in the back, like me.
Gus Cook, Mick and me worked together as we turned off Morse Road, making a left on Outville and almost caught the group at Moots Road but it was not to be. We arrived in Granville with a 23.7 avg, hit every freakin light through the village, headed east of Granville and reaching Jones Road, made a left while agreeing that we would regroup at the Sharon Valley Road dead end. We rode together with Gus setting the pace, turned left at SV Road and upon reaching Welch Hills Road, there was Craig Rice so now we had four. As we followed the route back to Granville and out via New Burg, we discussed what to do and finally decided, what the heck, let's do the full 55 mile route. As we plodded and suffered up Chatham, I commented that suffering like this, together, forges great friendship. Or, it just makes suffering easier to manage. Reaching the top of the dreaded Chatham Road at Chestnut Road, we waited briefly for Craig who is not quite in as good shape as normal.
We headed west on Chestnut and our group began leaking more oil as Mick slipped back. Crossing 661, we kept plugging away making a left on Liberty Church and basked in the long down hill before making a right on Stone Quarry, arghhhh will the hills never end? A left turn on Northridge followed by a right on Concorde and now, finally, the hard climbing is behind us as we made a left on Nichols Lane, then a right, then a left on 310, a right on Duncan Plains and a left on...opps, more climbing on Caswell and here, our group went from leaking oil to gushing oil as Craig and Mick fell back. We were now close enough to New Albany that leaving someone behind was ok so Gus and I worked together eventually getting on 161 and hooking up with Crazy George, who is very strong on the flats, gliding back to the parking lot with a 20.2 avg and all of the 55 miles. Meantime, the Marty, Patrick, Luke and 5 others from the original 25 finished with a 22.7 avg.
Geesh, two routes over 50 miles. Check out those short cut opps in case you find yourself over your head way out east. Click here to see each route and to make a map copy as no copies will be available at the ride start: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
Tuesday New Albany Ride Report
The Cycling Club Tuesday ride. Heretofore a congenially paced ride for those aching from a hard weekend of riding, for those wanting a real "B" pace and for those stronger then a B pace but don't mind slotting in and socializing. It was fun while it lasted but so many newcomers who are not steeped in the traditions of the Cycling Club have torn it all asunder. Who would be responsible, Flyin Tuna on the left, infamous for her near lethal jackrabbit spurts after rest stops and ride starts? Or.....
....would it be John (on the right) a solid member of the Thursday New Albany Kiler B's who would bring the killer spirit to this ride or....
.....Terry Griffith (on the right behind Gus Cook), the #1 ranked Cat 4 racer in Ohio who hasn't ridden at a B pace since he was 14? Terry probably finds a B pace as foreign as a Pilgrim from Plymouth Rock finding himself in the 21st century. Or, would it be Gus Cook, competitive instinct aroused and chasing breakaways at breakneck speed? Or, maybe another newcomer, Dave Chesrown, would be responsible for the break in Tuesday protocol? Actually, it was all of the above.
We gathered, around 30-35 of us for the usual ride to Alexandria and beyond. We headed out together for what was a moderately paced ride out old 161, left on 310, right on Jug and in to Alexandria. Then we entered the hill country, left on Mounts, continue left on to Battee, emerged on to Hardscrabble for a brief regroup then back on to Battee, left on Loudon and then left on to Stone Quarry. The pace had progressively gotten faster and when we hit SQ, it ratcheted up another notch. Looking down at my Garmin, I saw our average speed was 19+mph. I looked back and quite a few of us had dropped off and so I did too, torn between staying with the pack to draft into the head wind or falling back to organize a sub group for the way back. Hmmmmm, what to do, what to do. I did neither and rode along between the pack and the stragglers, of which I was now one, watching wistfully as the pack pulled away.
Wait, what luck, they paused on Concord so I was able to rejoin and enjoyed the ride to Johnstown where an agreement was reached among a few; maybe they should cut back a bit seeing as we were now down to 12 cyclists. Crazy George had been dropped, Benton and some usually fairly solid B cyclists were no longer there. And so a truce was reached and we finished with around 38 miles.
Check out this wonderful interview with Mike Dietlin, winner (again) of the Legends Division of the Mohican 100 and that's 100 miles not 100 kilometers. Click the link below:
Sunday John Martin Ride Report
Wow, great weather huh? Large turnout for John Martin's Sunday ride out of Granville, 33 I think including Rick Miller who joined us out on Louden Road as we headed toward Mt Vernon.
And there was Dave Chesrown too, driving a multi, multi person van so if there was a catastrophic weather event he could pick us up. More important, Dave was on time and beginning to round in to shape after a month of international travel, home building, time spent moving, etc... Dave is very busy so give him some slack as he deals with the dilemma of being a working schlep with little time to ride like most of us.
Lori N on the left and to her right is Anthony Sada, Kristy, Peggy Cook, Kym Sada and on the far right, John Martin who organizes these rides most Sundays while also sweeping the route. Today we went to....
....Mt Vernon for a brief stop after a very moderate pace to this point at mile 30. Would the pace, could the pace continue at this pleasant speed? No, of course not as the 60 milers, including Meredith, Kym, Anthony, Lon H, Kristy departed back to Granville. Marty, promised he would not instigate anything once on the road but if someone else did, he would be up for the challenge.
First though, we had to make it through "Allergy Alley" the bike path to Millwood. The path was covered with and lined by every seed pod, seed, allergen known to humans. At the back of the peloton, where I dwell, it was a swirling mist of airborne stuff and soon, I was beset by a hacking cough and runny nose. If you are not allergic to anything, after emerging from the path you probably would be. Eventually, we got on to Hazel Dell and the long climb to Bladensburg. Luke Russell and Marty stayed at the front and set a brisk but not scathing pace so I was able to hang in there.
Upon reaching Bladensburg, we ran in to Tate and Ben, two Cat 2 types with Tate taking 2nd at the women's 1/2/3 Westerville Bike Race behind Kayla Starr. Gus Cook ordered turkey and cheese slices so I asked for the same but to describe the portion as a "slice" is not accurate, more like a "hunk" or "slab" to describe the wrist buckling weight of the meal. We lingered but not for long as Marty frequently commented, "We don't want to linger for too long" and I challenged him a couple of times to explain why not.
We went south on Henpeck, west on Bell Church and here the jets were turned on and we flew over the rollers across Purity Road then Martinsburg Road and then just short of the "wall" on Bell Church, my legs just died. It was sad, they have been good to me over the years but I guess a combination of Saturday's 84 hilly miles, old age coupled with poor genes was too much and I fell off the pace. Once in Utica I left the group and followed what I thought/hoped to be a slightly shorter route via Reynolds/Weaver/Preston/Chatham and on to Granville and while it was shorter, it was so only by 1 mile. I thought about waving down a passing car but kept plugging away, reaching Granville with 81 miles and around 3500' of climbing. 164 miles for the weekend was more than enough.