John Day, probably because it reminds him of wrestling with offense lineman in the mud during his college football career at OSU, really enjoyed participating in a very muddy, Hilly Billy Roubaix last Saturday. Below is his story after being asked about the ride, in his own words, so it will all be true.
It was awesome, the weather was terrible. It did rain pretty hard, but it never was lightning and thunder, and reminded me of the rain I rode through at DD last year descending before the fourth aid station... As for the H. William Roubaix, I've never been on a ride like it before. I was in Morgantown the night before, so I stayed in the hotel as long as I could before race start time, 10am. Then when I got there I got soaked in the first two minutes getting my bike off the roof of the car. Then we stood around getting pre race instructions for five minutes, then there was a neutral start and more waiting, then we were off.
I told myself that wet is an absolute, so we couldn't get any more wet than we already were. There were a lot of racers, so it was crowded and intense for me, but got some good advice to let the line thin out and save a sh"t ton for the finish. I walked the second climb due to overcrowding and steepness, losing people riding away from me, then distancing myself from those behind on the descent. We hit mile 6 and I remember thinking, that's it? Then we hit this section I will never forget. Someone passed me saying don't ride through the puddles, they're actually holes and deeper than you think. Well most of them were unavoidable, and this is where Scott Young crashed out of the race.
Mud and ruts were every where, with steep drops off the left side of the road. I would see Scott at the end of the section, walking his bike, which was too bad because I was ecstatic that I had made it through and only fell three times into the mud. He told me the worst was over, and for riding conditions it pretty much was until a crazy trip up a creek, and another up a former road, now muddy and I was forced to walk. A lot of it was on pavement though, some of it flat which allowed me to get up to 20 mph at times. There were climbs that made me glad we ride the hills we do- a lot of people walking where I gutted it up past them in granny gear. But the whole time I kept thinking, this is great! It was so much fun, I appreciated my Surly so much. I had thought about riding my mountain bike, but I passed so many people spinning out on the hills that I'm glad I had gears that made me push a little more. And it's definitely a dirty ride. You know it's a good ride when you find yourself at the car wash spraying down the bike, and your arms and legs and shoes! It was a hard ride but I'm learning I'm a big fan of the metric century or thereabouts (this was 70 miles). Centuries are fun but unless I'm in tip top shape the last twenty miles get to me. I would rather come back and improve my time (6:21- would have podium'd third for Clydesdale but I entered the men's open) than do the Diabolical Double any day.
The titular head of the sourthern Canal Winchester gang, their cycling strength roughly equivalent to the 1969 New York Mets' baseball prowess, has come up with another fine route, this one quite flatter than last week's. The above A route, along with the Supe B, B & C route can be found at this link. Be sure to thank Ric for his continued tireless effort to produce fun routes. Bet few of you know Ric was at the parking lot last week until way, way after dark trying to account for a couple of cyclists who did not return at an appropriate time from the Summer Solstice route. It's no wonder we burn through ride leaders so quickly.
Yes, that's George Hincapie in front but check out who is behind him, Lori Nedescu, who while finishing an impressive 33rd overall, won the ladies' division with an average speed of 20.58 at this weekend's Blood, Sweat & Gears event. Weather cut the route from 100 miles down to 50 but did not appear to cut into the turnout much as 876 cyclists participated The local paper, WautagaDemocrat, had this quote:
Lori Nedescu was the first woman to finish. The Columbus, Ohio, native finished with a time of 2:31.37.6.
Nedescu originally registered to ride the 100-mile course, but became impressed with the difficulty of the 50-mile course. She was also impressed with the area, especially the scenery.
It was her first Blood, Sweat and Gears ride.
“It was awesome, beautiful,” Nedescu said. “It ended up being a gorgeous day. The climbs were gorgeous and the climbs hurt my legs, which was a lot of fun. The descents are a little tricky, but nothing too bad.”
The entire article can be found here: http://www.wataugademocrat.com/sports/carpisassi-wins-blood-sweat-and-gears-ride/article_b4eaa15a-5f26-5b68-90e3-51162acd076a.html?mode=jqm
Meanwhile, some of the local guys did well too, just not as well, with Marty Sedluk in 5th and Luke Russell in 6th place. Fred Matute of New Albany was in 9th, Steve Fields in 46th. Because the route had been shortened, the pace was quickened as Marty had an average end of ride speed of 21.93.
True story. I hate the fact I have to state that out of concern I post too much that is not true but rest assured, this is all true. I arrived at 5:30am for a group ride on Monday but observing who else had arrived (old and slow) I started the car's engine and thought, "Gee, I don't want to spend a day in the air conditioned condo so what to do, what to do..." Well, I was 4 hours from Flagstaff and the high point in the state of AZ, Humphrey's Peak, a must do hike. Arriving back home, I packed all I needed, told my groggy wife I was going out for a hike (all true of course) and drove. Arriving in Flagstaff, I maneuvered through a very busy town, picked up the 180 north toward Grand Canyon and after 6 miles, hung a right towards the Snow Bowl and bang, there I was. Above is a mountain but not the mountain. Looking in the other direction is.....
...Humphrey's Peak. I look at that and think, that has to be more than 5 miles from here but head across a meadow, past a ski lift and soon.....
...plunge into a thick growth of Aspen and pin. The white trunked Aspen are beautiful but soon fall away and are replaced solely by pine, which eventually become shorter, then scarcer and finally....
....I reach the 12,000' foot sign and emerge at a saddle with some signs and a great view of the ski runs below.
There are 2 or 3 false summits which is good to know prior to starting a hike because nothing bums me out on a hike then reaching what I think is a summit only to find, no, there is another, only higher. I started the hike kind of late, around noon but with the elevation change, it was 85ish at the bottom and becoming cooler as I climbed, windier too.
I read that a couple of weeks ago the upper reaches of the trail were snow covered but the snow had now receded to the north facing slopes. Don't know why but there were several crows on the snow pack looking for something. I walked out about halfway across the snow but the thought of the headline, "Ohio Dope Killed During Avalanche" deterred me from going too far. I kept climbing but also noticed I was panting rather heavily, which is not all that odd on a steep climb but....
.....I reached the summit and was breathing hard and I thought, "Is this the big one?" and looked around to see if there was an appropriate spot for a helicopter to land to carry me out. I so much looked forward to sitting at the top and enjoying the views but when I arrived. a swarm of gnats descended on me.
The swarm was unmoved by my swipes at then and looking down, there were dozens coating my arms and legs. Yuck. I did not bother to sign the register at the top, instead headed back down. Within 40 yards, the gnats were gone. Why at the peak only they are pervasive I do not know. As I walked down, I continued to notice I was short of breath and concerned about my well being when suddenly it dawned on me, "Ya big dope, it's the elevation and lack of oxygen that is doing this to you." He, he, he. Why I had not thought of this previously I don't know but at almost 13,000', it isn't the same as walking around my yard in Granville, OH.
The views, in all directions....it evokes the thought in me, it's so good to be alive and life will suck when I can't do this anymore. I think that is a long time yet to come but nonetheless makes me appreciate what I can still do. 2:23 to the top probably is not a great time from the parking lot but my hiking legs are not too fit right now but will be in the fall. The north rim of the Grand Canyon can be seen, Vermillion Cliffs, lots of features.
Heading back down, I reach a boulder field with a fine view of Locket Meadow. It looks like an island surrounded by water but nope, just grass around a grove of trees. I continue down but frustrated that the knarley trail is making the going very slow, slower than my ascent time.
At last I reach the meadow and upon reaching the parking lot, jump in the car and drive south, arriving by 10:00pm. A long day for sure.
Good looking route that includes the Welsh Hills Road climb but that descent is very sketchy with a blind corner 3/4 of the way down. Pay attention and be careful. I shall attend next week's ride to fulfill my role as inspirational figure so try to soldier on without me one more ride. Remember, print your own map and more info can be found at this link:
In red, Brent Jenkins wearing his game face and ready for action if the New Albany folks were brave enough to show on the home turf of the Canal people. Throughout Thursday, I began receiving updates of which NA cyclists were coming down. First Jon Morgan, then Marty, then Patrick, then the Angel of Pain, aka Lori Nedescu, then Luke Russell, Travis I, a literal who's who of central Ohio. However, not to be outdone, the Canal side got a major shot in the arm late in the day when The Flyin Tuna announced she too was coming down. Sure, on paper it did not look like much of a match but never underestimate the Tuna and her friends.
Brett from Cyclist Connection shows his enthusiasm with this cool wheelie. A special thanks to Andrew Clayton for the images.
Now how bout that!?!?!?! The Donald taps into his enormous wealth to finally buy a new jersey. Not quite a race fit cut but looks good on him nonetheless.
Canal's heavy hitter arrived, Steve O.
The sign-in process began early as there was a group of B and C cyclists who planned to shove off at 5:30 rather than 6:00pm. This group was led by Grand Poobah and curiously, Flyin Tuna did not ride out with the A group but instead slotted in with the B,s, which included Matt Ashmore, Ryan Roe, Engineer Mitch, The Donald, etc.... Soon thereafter, at 6:00, the A group rolled out having about 15 cyclists, Steve O, Scott Young, Brent J, Marty, Patrick, Jon, Luke, Travis, Angel of Pain, Jeff Rutnow, Jr. Muscle Dude, Andrew Clayton, Ryan, Spencer and a couple of others.
Andrew, Muscle Dude and Brent dropped off earlier than I would expect but I heard the pace was high for the ride south. Coming through Amanda and out Clear Creek Road, the pace got very fast going up the climb toward Hopewell Church and there, Lori dropped back and then, as shown in the image above, missed the turn to Revenge and ended up on #33, going north to Lancaster. Later, she would be rescued by good guy Luke. As you would expect, the climb up Revenge tore the group asunder, even catching flu stricken Jon, Scott, Steve and others as Marty, Travis, Luke and Patrick really turned the screws despite a fairly strong head wind. This foursome was able to maintain their gap all the way on the return other than Luke, who dropped off on Amanda-Northern Road at Royalton. Patrick, Travis and Marty ended with a 21.5mph avg. Pretty strong for that route of 54 miles.
I hate to interrupt the fun I am having with the Canal Solstice ride here and on the COP Facebook page and will have more but have to update my comings and goings while out here in AZ. Saturday morning, pulled my winter beater bike out of the closet and made the quick drive to the Bicycle Ranch shop ride...6:00am start, 78 degrees. About 37 people came out, most of them looking very fit. The fit between my Ohio bike and the AZ bike are different and can feel it immediately as we head west toward Frontage Road at a somewhat relaxed pace. Turning right on Twin Peaks, I slot in around mid-pack and settle in on the multiple mile but not steep climb to Tangerine Road and then on up to the Ritz-Carlton resort on Dove Mountain. I threw in the towel about 3/4 of the way, hooked up with a couple others and finished the climb. As usual, I can count how many were in front as they came out of a roundabout and headed back towards us....15. Finished with 50 miles and an average a little above 20 but forgot to save the data so can't say exactly. Good news, Moore Road was extended and paved so no longer have to ride on Tangerine on the return, which is very busy. Off the bike by 8:30 and so odd to have so much of the day left, a day that will see the high top out around 110 degrees.
Every time my wife comes out, I introduce her to some of the area's best hikes. She has done Picacho Peak, 7 Falls, Morino Pools and Blackett's Ridge, along with the rim to river to rim GC hike and a day hike off the north rim of the GC. So, time to tackle the Flat Iron in Superstition Wilderness. That's the Flat Iron, upper right, an exciting hike that includes the Siphon Draw.
As we climbed, the views opened up to the west and I welcomed arriving in the shade, where much of the remaining route would remain. Beth does not mind if I get out in front but does mind if she loses sight of me. We had kind of a bad experience in the Grand Canyon when I got way out front, out of sight and she got off trail.
After 2 miles, we began hearing a buzzing that at first I thought it was wind rushing down canyon but soon the source became obvious. A fellow hiker was looking toward a ridge where....
...tens of thousands of Africanized Honey bees were swarming slightly off trail and about 50' above. We could not guess why they were agitated and we were wary because there had been at least 2 attacks recently in the Phoenix area. Suddenly, a bee dove towards Beth and began flying in and out. The last thing you are supposed to do is smack it because if it stings you, it leaves a chemical that bees interpret as the smell of overly ripe banana and they are attracted to it. She swaps at it, it stings her and I tell her to turn and leave down trail. I think 200 stings are equivalent to a rattlesnake bite so nothing with which to take a chance. We were about 40 yards from the first look at the Siphon Draw, bummer. Oh well, we'll try again this fall. Coming next, the hike to the highest point in AZ, Humphrey's Peak.
First off, ride leader Ric Noland has stuck his finger in the eye of the New Albany Yankees by putting out the above route specifically for the New Albanyer hordes who will participate on Tuesday. His words, and I quote him exactly, "for the visiting NewAlbany riders to help you get back. It's a freakin 8 mile route!!!!!!! Below is the actual route although it shows the group leaving from a location other than the Meijers super store. Undoubtedly another attempt to get the marauding New Albanyers to show up at a different location. Anyway, the start is from the Meijers at 8300 Meijer Drive, Canal Winchester, OH 43110
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/8652859 shows the correct route other than the start, which I have shown above. Good luck. I have not seen anything this lopsided since Germany invaded Poland (yes, I was alive for that too) but who knows, maybe the Canal boys will pull a rabbit out of the hat.
With a big thanks to Andrew Clayton for the images and to a variety of sources who wish to remain anonymous for the details, I have a report for tonight's summer solstice ride, coming soon.
"She Who Must Be Obeyed" asked what I thought about visiting Oro Valley for a few days. If you've been married for any significant period of time, this is not a question, simply a demand worded oddly. So, today arrived in the midst of an excessive heat warning but with humidity at 9%, not too bad. Tomorrow morning at 6:00am I'll roll out with the Bicycle Ranch group ride where it will be 78 and should be off the streets before it hits 100. Meantime, Rick Miller sent me the below ride report. Sounds like I missed a good ride.
We had around 65-70 riders but I didn't get an exact head count while10-15 in the A group. Pete Cerwinski led them out.
John Bodell led out the C's which had some B riders in the group with fear of a storm looming in the sky. Andrew C
They had at least 10. I led out the B group, which was at least 46 if not 50 strong.
I was going to split us in the parking lot, but decided we would roll together and could split on the road. I thought about splitting us around 310, but the monster was riding smooth two abreast and nothing crazy was happening, so I decided Beechwood would be the self select of two groups on the road. I was concerned that that there could
be some dodgy riding heading up the climb. Most of the faster riders had positioned them selves to the front prior to the left turn(including myself) onto Beechwood. I only had to remind riders once, maybe twice of being too far left. Once at the top we kept on moving with our group(around 26).
We rolled out burg to dry creek, then a quick left right to start another climb on Chatham. It was a good pace but nothing major, had a couple stragglers but we regrouped at the stop sign. Headed down towards 657(I took this moment to add some nutrients to keep me energized for the rest of the ride). At the back I conversed with Kyle Zander about doing the 58 mile loop, he agreed we should do it. So at the stop everyone was coerced into riding the 58 mile loop.(except David Smith) Up Preston we went there was chatter about Reynolds and which way we were heading and are we going up the steep side. I assured them that we would be heading up the longer side heading back west. We made it to Reynolds with no issues, in our group we had Craig Rice(SR muscle dude)john day (JR muscle dude)
Gus/Peggy Cook several others that I got names of, who I haven't really met before. We were blessed with having the precarious riding of John Sada, there was a push at the bottom corner where Wince intersects Reynolds, I set back and watched it unfold. Good steady climbing by the group. We regrouped at 657 and headed to Dutch Lane.
At this point we had avoided all rain, just some wet roads. We made our way to liberty church and down to London St. Made the right onto stone quarry. The skies were blackening up to our west northwest, there was chatter of tornados and thunder storms, the wind started to pick up as well. We headed west, the pace quickened(because of the looming conditions) we dropped a few riders, but by the time we got to Northridge, the skies had cleared and we
Very good ride!
I believe our avg was 19.8
Wow, tonight's ride includes the Reynolds Road climb on the A route. Well, I am headed to AZ for a few days so will miss the ride. Should anyone wish to send me a ride report with an image or two that would be great. Have fun, be safe and I'll be back before you wish it. For more info on the route, go to: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/
I was given the assignment by the intelligence branch of the New Albanyers to attend Tuesday's Canal ride and report back with information helpful to the cause. I created a dossier on each of those I perceived as a threat to the dominance of NA cyclists. Please note many of the images had to be taken at a distance as if the group discovered a traitor in their midst, losing my camera would be the least of my worries. Above, the Grand Poobah. Strengths: Guile and Cunning are his middle name. Weaknesses: Not at full strength so likely to be thrown out there during the warm-up phase to create mischief. Pay attention if he pulls his pump from the frame for no apparent reason.
Steve Oxley. Strengths: He strong. Weaknesses: If there is a middle aged, unattached woman with a large gap in her teeth, Steve may never leave the parking lot. Someone bring along their sister and this threat may be eliminated before the ride even starts.
Scott Young, left. Strengths: All phases of the game. Weaknesses:......
.....dresses in parking lot prior to the ride. Note the open hatch on his vehicle. Would be easy to steal a pair of shorts or jersey with no fear of being chased. If he starts the ride, he will finish with the lead group.
Dustin, aka Old Chub. Strengths: Weight. Impossible to lose him on the hills if he has been riding, which he does, every freakin day. Weaknesses: A strategically placed 6 pack of any Scottish Ale by his vehicle and you can be sure the temptation will cause him to turn around mid ride. Note to Dustin's right is Brent Jenkins. I was unable to collect enough information to compile a complete report but he too is strong but may be challenged to stay with the lead group.
John Day, aka Jr Muscle Dude. Strengths: Weight. He'll kill ya on the down hills and flats. Weaknesses: Weight. Although noticeably slimmer than in the early spring, he still has a couple more pounds to go so probably will lose him on the steeps of Revenge. Note shown but at last night's ride is Pete Ashmore. Family obligations prevent him from competing as well as past seasons so not likely to hang with the lead group of New Albanyers.
Now on to the ride report. I witnessed something different. A crash at the sign-in station. A guy just coasted into another guy, partially fell but was caught while having his chain come off. I like that both Tuesday and Thursday rides are led by mechanics. Approximately 27 came out for a very humid evening of cycling.
Above, The Donald with a big smile on his face. He has applied to become a double for the real Donald. Eric to Donald's left, Matt Ashmore and Corvair behind.
The scheming has begun. Ride leader Ric announces to the crowd that next week is the summer solstice ride, it will likely be invaded by a marauding force but fear not. The outsiders do not know the area so will follow their GPS devices to the bottom of Hargas Lake while the locals will have the correct route on the maps given at the start. Devious indeed.
The A group headed out, all 7 of them, on a 52 mile rolling route. I headed out with the super B's and enjoyed a 50 mile ride with old friends, The Donald, Pepe Lapew, Flyin Tuna, Eric of the Dispatch, Jeff S, Poobah, Mark & Karen Rossi on their tandem, Corvair, a few others too. We finished with a 20.6 avg and afterward.....
The A's were plotting. I heard talk about bringing chains and brass knuckles to recreate a scene similar to the Texas motorcycle gang fight. I suspect cooler heads will prevail and it will be a clean match. I hope after this build-up, the NAers come down but one of the leading members caught the flu so.......
I think this Thursday is the Summer Solstice New Albany ride and then for sure next Tuesday (6/23) is the grand daddy of all summer solstice rides, Canal Winchester with its fabled climb of Revenge at the midpoint. I detect some rumblings that members of the New Albanites will travel into the deep south and participate. Some of the readers of the blog are probably oblivious that there was a time of tranquility between the Tuesday Canal and Thursday New Albany rides. Each group stayed within its boundaries and each thought.....
.....it had the superior cyclists/force. Because I had the rare opportunity to travel into the heart of both camps and witness the stamina and strength of each, I suspected one was stronger than the other but kept silent so as not to arouse the passions. Unfortunately, over time, things were said, boasts made, general dissing of the opposition and so, the northern forces girded themselves for battle and in 2013, headed south to Canal Winchester.....
....where the south fought not so valiantly, their lines were easily breached, flags taken......
....symbolically speaking, the village was laid to waste. The New Albanyers returned north with their booty and silence descended over the south. BUT WAIT......
....the south has a new generation err...actually it's the same old cyclists but with very short term memories and they are again talking, yapping, eager for another chance at the New Albanyers. Naturally, I refrain from stirring the passions, playing with cyclist's emotions, stirring the pot, that type of thing. However, I feel it my duty to warn the Canal boys that a squad of New Albanyer Special Ops troops will return, next Tuesday. With gps devices, no longer do they need to carry along a token Canal cyclist. They are coming, they are not taking names and they are not chewing gum. Get Ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will play my part and have a link for the Summer Solstice route as soon as able.
Flyin Tuna manages the sign-in process with an unusual level of competency although she did tell someone there was food in Toboso. Above, Ted M, Mike Rea, Lisa and the driver for a vehicle that carried the photographer for the newspaper, "Heath News". Yes, we have hit the big time.
Paul Stock took a look at my map and said, "Now that's a map." I was humbled. It's good to acknowledge the effort of one of the little people, behind the scenes working tirelessly to make this a good event.
Ken Buddell on the left joins a growing crowd yet the numbers were a little disappointing until I rode to the front parking lot and there I found hordes, well a couple dozen anyway. Had a good turnout of around 40, which is good because this route, coupled with the usual heat and humidity, is not for everyone. It is one tough ride.
We headed off through the mean streets of Newark. While yes, Tuna and I co-lead the ride, she is mostly in a ceremonial, kind of the titular position while I am naturally, the star...no that is over shooting things a bit,,,I am the well, the adjectives escape me for the moment. Anyway, I made it a point to spend quality time with each group.
The pro peloton would develop quickly so I had to get in my encouraging words with Luke, Marty, Pete, Lori, Ken, etc.. while we were in the warm-up phase cause I wouldn't be seeing too much of them later. We hit the slopes of Blue Jay and the group was torn asunder. I believe that means broken up. Some of us regrouped after Blue Jay, a group that is like the elite ameteurs comprised of Larry P, Eva, Ted M, Lisa, David Smith, etc... When we arrived in Toboso I announced I needed to spread my magnificence among others and tried to drop back to the schleps of the peloton, Flyin Tuna, Mark V, Jeff S, etc.. but try as I might, I could not slow enough. Oh well, I arrived at the Zanesville....
...market and hey, the pro peloton was still there, along with Blair Beavers, tanking up for the next leg.
The pro peloton departed, allowing the elite amateurs and schleps to mingle. David Smith, in yellow/blue on the right had one of the classic lines. After I noted he had been waiting patiently for us to gather ourselves said, "It's not as long as when Mark C is eating a sandwich." Hey, that's a good one.
Stretching the legs helps but still to come is that steep climb up like 10 yards after we leave the gas station.
The guys were hesitant to use a pink Port-o-John but eventually overcame their reluctance. Eva, center right, headed to CO for a tour late this week. We headed out of the shaded spot into kind of oppressive heat and humidity. Along the way, I had an entirely irrational thought, why not extend the route beyond the 67 miles? Yeah, brilliant! So, when we arrived at the Mt Perry Road turnoff, I kept going but did not make a left on 668, instead stayed on 204 and on to Glenford. Did anyone else notice the countryside smells were stronger than usual? It was as if manure had been spread around the fields and than no rain to wash it in to the soil for a few days.
I got through Glenford, headed north on Geo Ice Road and eventually to 668 and north to Flint Ridge Park where I enjoyed a cold water replenishment. Once I was headed north again on 668, I was overtaken by Marty, Luke and Lori so enjoyed the draft until reaching Blue Jay they dutifully turned left but I continued to the Staddens Bridge Road return. Arriving in Newark, I was greeted with steady showers that stiffened once I arrived at the YMCA. Wow, this is the 3rd time this season I have been soaked during a ride. Not sure what that means other than I am out there so long, there is a seasonal change so lucky it did not snow. Ended with 76 miles and 5200' of climbing.
I made a slight change to the routes for the return through Newark so below are updated links. Note the 4th link is a ride segment that avoids the Blue Jay return using a somewhat flatter Staddens Bridge & East Main roads. Having checked all the weather sites, as of 3:00pm rain is forecast between 30-80%. If the ride is cancelled or postponed for an hour, we will post it on Facebook's COP page or you can call me at 740-504-9769 (no solicitations or offers of marriage please).
How about that? Perhaps a sales rep for Raleigh shows up. Until today, I did not know Lapierre was a brand owned by Raleigh. I think he rolled out with the A group but a bad night for we who are members of the cannon fodder club. Guys like......
.....Luke Russell showed up. As I rode alongside Luke out 161, anticipating a match-up as we were only two back from the front, I pleaded with him to think of me as his grandmother when we reached the front. I hoped with this mental image, he would soften the punches. Oh and the strong just kept rolling in.....
....two weeks ago, Patrick was in the south of France, riding every day for 2 weeks. Listening to him describe climbing up the Alpe and other famous climbs, my legs began to feel like jelly. Marty, arrived, Ken Buddell, Chris G, Pete Czerwinski,Travis, Goeric, Larry P, Philippe, Lori N, around 20 that would make up the A group. Lori had a good weekend. Rode the 80 mile HOOT route on Saturday, ran and won a 5k Sunday morning, came in 3rd in a 3/4 crit Sunday afternoon followed by a pack finish in the 1/2/3 crit. Any one of those would be a good day for most of us.
Our ride leader, Rick, was late arriving so Steve Hewitt found sign-up sheets and began the process. I had waited patiently for my turn to sign in when it was abruptly interrupted by that distinctive sound of carbon fiber snapping. We all looked up and.....
....discovered someone had placed their BMC bike in front of their van. Then decided to move the van in while doing that, rolled over the bike. Too, too bad. Hope insurance covers it and what a crummy way to start and end a ride in one fell swoop.
Rick arrived with only a few minutes to spare. He was not in a peaceful state of mind.
Chris G rolls through as I snap a pic of the gang awaiting the start of the ride.
Rick called the bunch together, again totaling around 70+ to give an impassioned plea that we not do stupid stuff on the road, especially riding left of center. With that, off we went.....
.....into a hot sun, over hot pavement with a hot wind out of the south. The kind of night when you have a love/hate relationship with stops. Grateful as I am for a pause but the oppressive humidity/heat hits hard. We rolled out 161 with a pace that was noticeably faster than last week. At the 310 stop we were right on 24mph avg. Up Wadkins, left on Weslyn Church, right on York, the briefest of pauses at #16, screamed down York to Blacks. The speed was high but also noticed someone was hitting it hard after turns and stops. We shed a few along the way. My strategy is to survive the vicious pulls by those who pull viciously (Ken Buddell, Pete C most notably my legs tell me) and recover during those who can but don't usually punish. After the down hill rocket ride on Blacks, we reached #37 with still a 24mph avg. Crossing 37, someone hit a slight ramp hard and I was done, at mile 20 something.
I had planned to stop at the top of Canyon and take pics of the first ones to top out in the Super B group but suddenly, the idea of standing in that sun and heat lost its appeal so I rode home (having ridden to New Albany at the start)....
...drank lots of water, grabbed a cold beer form the fridge, waited at the driveway for the Supes B's, drank said beer rapidly, coasted down to the corner and here they came. Gus Cook, Danny A, Mike Rea, Jeremy and others. Very strong group. They looked hot and tired then....
....then Katherine and Glen rolled through. Glen was out of water so I was happy to refill for him with ice cubes. Then...
....the regular B's came through, Kim Owens leading the way. So, for the 29 miles of the route I completed, I had a 21.3 avg (the avg sure do drop like a stone when ya get out of the draft and throw the Canyon climb in there) while the lead A group finished with a 22.4 avg. Hey, don't forget the Blue Jay ride on Saturday at 8:00am from the Newark YMCA.
Yes, it is the same as last week but it is a good route and deserves to be ridden again, especially since Rick will be here and wants to ride the route, OK? See the links here: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/ And remember, print your own map if able.
Good turnout although within the above group three are 2-3 sub groups. It's the time of year for the Pelotonians to begin training and they are out in force, in this and other parking lots in the area. Rick in red is headed to Clermont, FL to do some hill training next week. Well, actually he'll only be there for one full day but maybe he can rent a bike.
Jeff awaits the start of our ride. I think that Michael in the background staring at me. Think that's his name.
Strong group with Jon Morgan, Tym Tyler, Gus Cook, Marty, Jeremy and of course, the guy with his mouth wide open above in yellow/orange, Crazy George. I'm a little worried about George as he dropped from the group prior to Kitzmiller at around mile 2. Knowing him, he's probably ridden for multiple consecutive days and needs to take a day off.
Twenty-six of us headed out in a long pace line with a nice tail wind on our 38 mile trip west of New Albany. As usual, the strongest rode mellow while the weakest rode hard. We rolled through Alexandria, hung a left on Hardscrabble with that long climb, right on Battee, regrouped at Louden, hit the Stone Quarry hills and.....
Regrouped for a 2nd and last time. Looking back....
....I see Kristie tapping feverishly on her smart phone, probably placing an order for ingredients to produce another batch of something that tastes great and is bad for me. We finished with a 20.8 avg to go with those 38 miles and at the parking lot....
....Kristie pulled a container of brownies from her car. Actually, thinking I would not be around post ride, she gave me a bag that was waiting for me in my car. Dang, this is not your mother's brownies. As I have said before, this is bakery+ quality stuff. Note Jeff S above reaching not once, not twice but thrice, claiming they were for him and those at home. Sure dude, whatever. Jeff did burn a bunch of calories on the 100 mile HOOT ride so got to replenish them one way or the other.
This Saturday is the 10th anniversary of the COP Blue Jay Ride. Created first by Tim Faigley and Jim Richardson, after a few years they gave it up to the incapable hands of Cindy Berard, aka Flyin Tuna. Sensing imminent disaster, I stepped in to handle all the heavy lifting, planning, organization, promotion, route marking, communication...pretty much everything while installing Cindy as the titular (holding or constituting a purely formal position or title without any real authority) head of the ride. In this role she excels, standing in the parking lot prior to the ride while struggling to manage the sign-in process.
In addition to the below route options, with the 67 miler being the original, we will have maps of such fine quality that even Engineer Mitch and Silent Dave, two outstanding map makers, will be impressed. Laid out on 11" x 14" expanse of paper will be the routes, Cindy's personal cell... phone #, sheriff number, pizza delivery guy's #, etc... To truly impress, the map may be, get this, color!!! However, due to restraints on resources, we advise that you print your own map just in case we run out, which is likely. Lastly, foremost in your mind is the question, "Yee Gods, what must be the cost to attend such an event?" It is free. Just get yourself to the Newark YMCA on Church St in lovely Newark, OH for an 8:00am start. There is a food stop in Zanesville and additional water at Flint Ridge Park. You can also grab a Coke at the Dollar General store on Route 40. Lastly, don't forget there is an ice cream shop directly across the street that you can visit post ride and I will probably bring doughnuts for your pre-ride snack.
Now, this route is difficult (a glance at the profile will confirm that claim) and not for the weak, unfit or fat. Therefore, I think it my duty to inform you of another ride. Meredith has organized a ride, for women only, that can be found by going to Facebook and searching: "Lady Gnar Shredders presents: Saturday Morning Rides". If you are a male, weak, unfit or fat, come on out anyway and ride the Blue Jay 37 mile option. Below are the links to the gps files. Try to print your own map but we will have a few available.
Of course, one can not say it is a successful organized group ride unless one can attract the limelights of central Ohio and so with the arrival of the high powered corporate executive, Kenda Janet, this was a success. Unfortunately, Kenda Paul crashed about a week ago and now with a separated shoulder, he is out of action for awhile. However, the Kenda show must go on and Janet does so alone for now.
Eva and Andrew were there too, along with Flyin Tuna in the background. With about 165 attendees, a pretty good turnout. We left the parking lot with 15 including the aforementioned along with Steve O, Jeff S, The Donald, Mike Rea, Rick, Larry P, Brent, Andrew Hall and son Nathan and Eric. We shoved off promptly at 8:00 and soon were headed...
...west on Westfall and a moderate pace under cloudy skies, cool temp, high humidity and light winds.
While the rain had moved far east of us, the clouds and moisture in the air made it seem that rain was imminent. Nice view south over a field of hay. At around mile 30, we pulled into Amanda. Most of us were ready to keep going and hit the food stop in Sugar Grove but.....
...The Donald emerged of course with an arm load of snacks while announcing we would food break here (and likely everywhere that had a market, pop stand or anything that served anything. I wondered what Mark would consume on this stop so angled for a better view....
...ahh, the old standby, Mountain Dew, Snickers and whatever else was hidden in those expansive pockets. I wondered why Mark always wears the same jersey and finally figured it out. This jersey has the largest pockets of any that he owns. The pockets come in handy at market stops.
Now there is a downside to all that calorie consumption, you are next to last to arrive at the top of the Revenge climb. Coming through Sugar Grove it appeared that Janet and I would be the only people doing the 80 mile option but as so often happens, put in a few climbs and distance and eventually, like the fall of a row of dominoes, there is an evolution in the parking lot convictions.
We arrived in Bremen and placed our sandwich orders. As I was the first in line, I then watched Eric sneak his order in front of mine and then everyone else piled theirs on top and thus I was the last to be served. Afterwards, the groups split with Janet and me joined by Mike, Eric and Brent on the 80 mile option (actually 84) while the others did the 100 with Andrew and Nathan having earlier split on the 60. Uneventful return, which is good.
The traditional route has been altered because of road closures. I believe the below to be the new route for the 100 milers but if you encounter a road marking that differs from the gps file, go with the road marking. If nothing else, this will give you an idea where the food stops can be and how much climbing you can expect. As for start time, sign up is from 7:30-9:00 but there is a Flyin Tuna/Kenda Janet/Jeff S/Mark Clingan group rolling out promptly at 8:00am and then there is a Luke Russell group rolling out at 8:30. I have not heard what the 8:30 pace will be.
Farmer Mike on the right, Flyin Tuna on the left making a rare Thursday appearance. Mike was cruising to another category win at the Mohican 100 when his seat post broke. I would have so much to say if that happened to Flyin's bike but with Mike, well, it's just bad luck.
Last week it was cloudy and cool, this week they were headed for the shade. Looks like it is Kyle, Philippe, Doug and Glen there now but the group grew as each minute ticked by.
Kristie was busy today making..hmm....looks like around 48 Oreo cookies. Let's see, there were approximately 70 cyclists minus 48 cookies means some will go hungry after the ride. Therefore, showing extraordinary leadership qualities, I decided I would be one of the 22 who went hungry. Besides, although I ate nothing today that looked so good, I did eat plenty today that was the calorie equivalent of an Oreo.
Could this be a group of women out to try to catch Steve O? Alas, Steve did not make a repeat appearance after last week's ride.
Mick under the red helmet was tonight's B+ ride leader. Andrew Clayton was the B ride leader. As I departed after the ride out 161, I saw Andrew riding with only 2 others so must wonder if he adhered to B ride leader rules that seek to keep the group together or simply pounded the poor souls leaving them gasping and broken?
Mike Rea on the right. With about 5 minutes until 6:00pm, I yelled for everyone to come over so I could pass along instructions given to me by the absentee ride leader, Rick. Don't ride left of center and watch for the broken pavement on Wadkins. With that, Ken Buddell led out the A group and I followed but was alarmed by who did not come out. Glancing at.....
...our group of 18 as we waited and waited to exit the parking lot, I was absolutely convinced mine would be the first body blown out the back of the peloton. Jon Morgan on the left, Pete Ashmore on the right. Others in the group included Patrick W, Marty, Chris G, Philippe, Doug M, Jeremy, Joe I, Michael L, etc...
We finally got away, made the turn on to 161 and were off. With a headwind headed east, it appeared the guys in front were working hard as I basked in the draft at the rear. One guy rotated off and after pulling alongside me confirmed, yes it was taking some effort up there. We reached the 310 intersection with a 22.1 avg so somewhat muted compared to past rides. We zoomed down toward the Wadkins turn and I kind of coasted toward the front of the pack anticipating the charge up the hill but I hung in there and then after crossing Morse, the broken pavement kind of kept the speed down so I hung on a little longer.
A left on Hollow and then a right on York brought us to 16, followed by a brief pause before gunning down to Blacks where we made a left. Something didn't feel right...what could it be....oh, I was still in the pack as we reached 37 and then crossed it. I began to think the impossible, could I last the entire route with the front group? Short answer: NO. Upon hitting Canyon, I was well placed, at the back of course and when we reached the start of the climb, I clung on for about 6" before sitting up and enjoying watching the entire group ride away. A scene with which I am some what familiar but still, after 22 miles and a 22+ avg, nothing to be ashamed of...neither to be proud of though too. But wait, the group would have to cross 37 again and they could get stuck there for a verrrrry long time so I rode hard and upon reaching 37, oh well. Then I began thinking, but wait, the crossing at 16 could delay the group but upon reaching that, oh well. Up ahead, I could see a single followed by a foursome but I was unable to catch and thus soloed in with 47 miles (ok, I skipped a turn or two) and a 20.7 avg.
Meanwhile, and the reason you have rapidly scanned the above to get to this, the group shrank but those that finished first did so with 52 miles and a 22 avg.
The Thursday evening New Albany route with more details here: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/
Also noteworthy is this tip from Rick (oh if only it were that easy, to just remember to keep the pace rather than legs and lungs failing to do so):
TONIGHTS RIDING TIP On climbs remember to keep the pace of the guy/gal in front of you. If everyone does this no one can be in the middle or in the other lane where on-coming traffic has to decide on killing the group or potentially himself by veering off the road. Please be safe and make good decisions!
AND REMEMBER, Print Your Own Map!!!!
A cloudy, gloomy, kind of cold evening for a ride with light winds out of the NE. A good evening to skip a ride if ever there was one but I needed to check out the Canal ride and also examine Corvair's bike for evidence of brake locking. As she left to sign up, I sauntered over and gave the brakes a quick check. Seemed to work ok.
Jr. Muscle Dude on the left arrived and then left after discovering his shoes did not match his pedals. Hate when that happens. I was saddened too by my buddy Steve O having so few eager beavers desiring of a relationship in this parking lot although he did look snappy in that red jersey and white sun sleeves.
There were approximately 31 at tonight's ride. The A group had only four, Brent Jenkins, Paul Stock, Scott Young & one other guy. Ric Noland split the B group so there were 8-9 in the B about that many in the B+ and then Steve Hewitt led out the C group.
Closing on 6:00pm there was the usual rush for the final sign-ins with Brent on the left in red and The Donald...errrrr I mean Mark Clingan on the right with the Rwanda jersey.
Ric gave the usual pre-ride instructions and sent us out on our respective routes ranging from 37 to 52 miles. I rolled out with the B group having Ric, Mark V, Corvair, Bruce and others alongside. It was a nice relaxed pace on a fairly flat route to the east and back. Finished with a 19mph avg. As I drove east toward Granville, I came upon the A group, dismounted from their bikes. Scott had a cut in his front tire and it being tubeless, there was no fixing it so I was happy to offer him a ride back to the parking lot where he was able to retrieve his car and drive to his bike, safely stashed in a bush. At least I think that is how it turned out.