Full parking lot as the farmer's market draws them in but few cyclists. That would change as we had around 70 cyclists by the time the clock hit 6:00pm. Steve Hewitt on the left patiently waits for people to sign in.
Husband of famous golfer Katherine, stretches.
Randy making some last minute adjustments to his bike. The H&H gang rode out with the B group so they could ride with a friend who was a first timer. Actually, there were several first time participants tonight. A typical evening interrupted by......
....bike porn. The rider of this bike shuns the limelight so I will not name him here but check out this machine. Very nice.
Hey, Garth comes out again, on the right.
The crowd builds as I begin to consider what I should say to a group that has been conditioned to my low-key approach. Should I scream at them to help with the transition of Rick's arrival next Thursday? I opted for a middle approach and stumbled through another forgettable pre-ride speech. My main accomplishment was having Flyin Tuna designated at the B group leader so I could draw attention to her top 200 finish, among women 40+, at the Garret County ride.
The Rivet group heads out and then the A group, led by Gus, Ken B, Ryan, Mike Cauley, Axel, David S, Kristian, Ian...about 18 of us....
...as we pause at the last stop light. As I looked back, I had an anxiety attack. Way, way too close to the front of the group and would obligate me to take a pull in a few miles. Be smarter dude!!!!! Anyway, we are soon cruising toward the nasty pavement section on Mink when I hear a noise that I thought was a stone hitting my frame, then behind me I heard someone say "smoke" then someone tugs on my jersey to let me know....
....I had a broken spoke. I leave the group, open the brakes but the tire is rubbing the pads. I turn north on Mink and soon the....
....B group streams by and soon thereafter the C group. The good news is Veloscience took my bike Friday morning and kind of fixed it but the new spoke is not a blade style but a non aero round spoke. I will have to acknowledge the limits this places on my speed and ride with Flyin Tuna during Saturday's Blue Jay ride. Information about that can be found below. Hope to see you out there.
Better late than never. Rick is spending some much needed family time so you will be subjected once again to the Steve Hewitt sign in show with me, at the urging of Rick, to scream at you a bit so you can be transitioned toward Rick's arrival next Thursday.
Route A/B 46 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/5545465
Route C 33 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/5545505
Rick Miller will have tonight's routes up soon but in the meantime, Saturday options. From Newark's YMCA at 8:00am is the start of the Blue Jay roving ride. The middle distance is the traditional route with water at Flint Ridge park and then food and drinks at the markets on Route 40 at mile 34. The longer route has additional stop options at Route 16 coming out of Toboso and in Hanover. Maps available at the start but you know how those collector's items disappear.
You know me, "Mr Unselfish" so while I am the brains behind the above roving ride, there is another ride that begins at 8:30am from Lancaster's Alley Park, just off Stump Hollow Road. A portion of the proceeds goes to support a Pelotonia rider. They are accepting day of ride sign-ins and for more information, email: email@example.com,
Course Map; 105 miles https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14770650
Course Map; 62 miles https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14770849
Pretty good turnout for the New Albany Tuesday group ride with 22 of us waiting for Gus & Peggy to arrive. Logan P on the right with the green socks. He must be from Ireland. Logan is a budding Riveter and likely to depart with "those people" on Thursday.
A smaller group awaits too as the seconds tick by, 6:00pm and still our ride leaders are absent. Suddenly, an audible "Oh no." arises from the group and I turn to see....
....Muscle Dude coasting in. I've missed the last two Tuesdays but apparently Craig is putting it to the group who have been conditioned to more of a congenial B pace. At 6:05, our leaders roll in and....
...we head out with climbing champ Peggy on the left. The late arrival prevented me from getting an official quote. As usual, we head out 161 where we also pick up John and Anthony, roll through Alexandria, up Mounts, right on Lobdell, past the Frisbee golf and the first real climb. Because my resource of powder is very low, I keep it dry on this climb and am....
....one of the last to hit the regroup on Louden. Then we make a left and another left brings us to the foot of a newly paved Stone Quarry. I pick up the effort and hang with the front group. We descend and then after passing Raccoon Run on the left, hit the next ramp. Muscle Dude was in front pedaling some pretty weak sauce so I emerge from the back, pass him with an extra long stare for good measure and take off...a mini attack. Reaching the top I glance back to examine the carnage but they are all still there and encouraging me to keep pulling. We reach the 2nd ramp and I attempt to pull out but Craig calls me a sissy and pulls in behind me! WTF. Others have picked up the scent and are also yelling at me to continue the pull. I am in uncharted waters for sure....
....I reach the final of the ramp triad and am too spent to catch the peloton tail. Descending and then reaching the final rise, I coast to my band of brothers, who are having entirely too much fun at my expense.
Craig never rests. After pummeling us he rides back a ways to ride shotgun with the remaining pieces of our group. Now we head to the infamous Caswell Steps. Reaching the base, a small gap opens between Scott Billman and me and a front group of Craig, Logan and Nick. I ride Scott like a pony until he is spent but having brought us to the back of Craig's group, I am now poised for a personal record....a 2nd attack in one ride! This time, I have caught them flat footed and pass to their left, claiming tonight's KOM. At the right turn on Miller, a typical regrouping point, Craig yells to me, "Nice job John". This left me sputtering in confusion. I thought my tactic perfectly in line with the norm but then Craig attacks the regroup zone. It's like what Dirty Dan would do. Now I am too beat to respond and mostly ride in a sub group for the remainder of the route, finishing with a 20.2 avg. Another fun evening on a bike.
Wow, Ric Noland is going for the jugular with this route of 61 miles. Good luck my southern friends. I think I will attend the Tuesday New Albany ride and get caught up on the gossip from those who were in MD. Maybe if Peggy Cook is there she will give me a good comment from a champion.
B route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14708736
C route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14708739
Our friends are streaming back in their cars, SUV's and 1 RV from points east and southeast while the results of their efforts, pour in from various news agencies. Let's start with the most impressive....
.....Lori finishing 1st, for the 2nd consecutive year, among all women on the long route of 90 miles with 6630' elevation gain at "Blood, Sweat & Gears".. A participant texted me afterwards saying George Hincapie was talking to her during the ride and later, everyone wanted to know if "that woman" won again. Apparently Lori is quite the celebrity in certain circles.
In the overall, Luke Russell finished 5th with a time of 4:04, with Marty in 17th at 4:08, Matt McCune in 35th at 4:16, Steve Fields in 42nd at 4:18, Lori at 51st. and Yianni at 85th.
Lots of central Ohioans visited Maryland to participate in the Garrett County Gran Fondo and one of several distance options; Diabolical Double, Savage Century, Masochistic Metric, Fabulous 44, and Garrett's Greatest 25. It's an interesting format with no overall timed result, instead 7 major climbs are timed, which encourages regroups at the top of each and group riding to the base of the next climb. There were some technical issues with some of the timing mats and not only are 7 major ascents timed, for which you have to have 5 timed climbs to qualify for the leaderboard but some of the timed "climbs" include descents. Some of the descents were wet so.... Anyway, Peggy Cook finished 1st in her age category, David Smith was the top central Ohio finisher at 55th, Flyin Tuna was the top central Ohio female finisher at 25th but here is where, and I got this from Cindy, the technical issues blend in. Lisa Ramsey had results that would suggest she would have finished top 3 or top 5 but while she rode the 100 mile route, she had only 4 official timed climbs so that shot her off the leaderboard. Other finishers were Gus Cook, Amanda, Mark V, Paul Djupe, Eva, Jennifer and Frans,
Post ride. The Grand Poobah, totally spent and still another 2 miles to go to reach home. I asked if he wanted me to drive him, then I asked if I should call Julia, then I asked if I should call 911, then my patience expired, I drove out. Hope the sad little figure of a cyclist is ok. However, let's go back in time, back, back, back to 9:00am.
Cyclists rode into the parking lot and borrowed a pump, as did I as I continue to procrastinate on the repair or replacement of my floor pump. I think I need someone to tell me "No" and then I will buy a new one even though I am certain a $5.00 part would fix mine. Ron Burris on the right, patiently waits.
And so we are off, 11 of us including Deniece above, Todd, Eric of the Dispatch, Brent Jenkins, Steve Oxley, Ron B, David, etc,,, headed out of Lancaster toward the civilized village of Granville.
Steve and I looked back at some point on Cherry Road and there was a gaggle of hens, seeking shelter in the shade from a very hot sun. After this regroup, we continued.
Deniece dropped a chain and so I whipped out the camera to get an action shot!
Farther north we rode until a train, at Blacks Road, caused us to pause. Three of our group had turned around at #40 but we soldiered on, finally arriving in.....
...a very busy Granville where we found Larry and Lisa and their group. Rather than drive to Lancaster to ride to Granville, they rode from around New Albany to Granville. I replied, yes, that is more efficient but you have to drive to Lancaster for the privilege of riding with Todd Lee to Granville then it is worth it. Todd had some kind of cinnamon twist type thingy, laying there on the table.
Dang, Granville was buzzing with a farmer's market and other events. Once we extracted ourselves from this tangle, we headed south and finished with 62 miles.
Starting at 9:00am, from the Ohio University Lancaster campus parking lot off #37 just north of Lancaster. Route is: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14641767
Another summer solstice ride, another parking lot surrounded by trees bent in half by tornadic winds as a storm skirted us to the south. It appeared we would have a cross/tail wind from the NW going out but that would change. Rides like this and Tuesday's must be what it is like to ride in west Texas.
Andrew and Jared competed in the 34th National 24 Hour Challenge, both riding over 400 miles while finishing 2nd and 3rd in their age groups. Not shown is Eve Hush who finished first in her group with 275 miles.
Farmer Mike stands in the shade while observing something....
....oh. I am often asked if there are any facilities nearby and yes, inside the front door of the Phillip Heit Center or Starbucks or yes, nearby vegetation works too.
Arriving for his first Thursday ride, Shannon, aka Group Killer astride a new bike. Unfortunately, many of the Riveters and A group cyclists took the night off as they prepare for "Blood, Sweat & Gears" or the crazy climbing event in MD.
With Rick Miller still absent, I was stunned when signer iner Steve Hewitt texted he was attending a wine event and unable to make the ride. Foregoing the group ride for wine? Yeah, I get it.
Probably the only big event weekend participant who came to ride was Gus and he understandably rolled out with the B group. A small Rivet group was sent out and then I hopped in a small...
...A group of 10. We cruised out 161 at a rapid pace with wind coming from the left or NE, having changed direction from earlier. Prior to the 310 crossover, Ryan was putting in a pretty hard effort but while close to the white line. Someone in back yelled he was guttering us. Not intentionally as he thought the wind was coming from the right or south. Pretty funny to be in a group ride and people arguing about wind direction. From the perspective of a future Hall of Famer when it comes to drafting, the wind was coming from the left.
We entered Granville with close to a 23 avg, rode to the top of Beechwood and then paused to regroup. Ya want to keep some of the group together for what was to come. Dang, it was hot as we waited. Sweat had gotten into my eyes and they burned while my interest in riding was being doused. I began formulating a plan and when we reached the right turn to Dry Creek, I announced I was going left and soloed in with 40 miles. Meantime, the Rivet group put in a, for them, rather pedestrian effort of 22.5 avg and did not do the longer route, settling for the 52 mile option.
Wow, the forecast has done a 180 and looks like we will be riding in light winds and mild temps (see Thursday's route below). Meantime, the exodus has already begun as serious and not so serious cyclists are headed either for the Garrett County Gran Fondo in MD or the Blood, Sweat & Gears in...NC maybe? Flyin Tuna and husband Rod have already departed for GC in their RV. Collectively, Paul D, Marty, Luke, Lori, Gus, Peggy & many others are participating in one of the aforementioned events so will they come out tonight and if so, perhaps the Rivet group will be treated to a "modest" pace? No, probably not.
For those who participated in the glorious march on the south of yesterday, you have the opportunity to attend 2 summer solstice rides in the same week with now the New Albany version. Rick Miller will be back next week but in the meantime, has given his blessing to these routes which are repeats of last year's solstice routes:
Remember, print your own maps and choose your route carefully. The Rivet/A route has the Beechwood, Reynolds going west/south, Stone Quarry climbs and 58 miles.
The Robert E Lee of Canal, leader Ric Noland, a look of shock on his face confers with General Longstreet after the disaster on the slopes of Revenge last night becomes apparent. What now? Send the wounded Johnny Rebs south while regrouping for a counter attack on Thursday up north in New Albany? Yes, there is a 2nd Summer Solstice ride, this time in New Albany. More to come on route, etc... soon.
5:00pm, in front of Meijer's for the kick-off to the Canal Summer Solstice ride otherwise known as the Assault on Mount Revenge". Here, the C groupers gather with Steve Hewitt leading them out, around 12 of them and the parking lot was then empty save for Grand Poobah who had ridden from his home in Lancaster and reported the winds bending the trees in half were no joke.
Soon, the first of the Riveters arrived, The French Climbing Machine as David walks to greet him. Philippe was the first of many who told me I needed to improve my Photoshopping skills. I admitted that actually, I was using Microsoft Paint and it's kind of limited as are my skills with or without better software.
Then, at 5:30, Todd Lee led out those who wanted to get a head start but first they sang a rousing version of happy birthday to me. I even received gifts, totaling by the end of the night, one can of Monster and some kind of Fig bar. This group had around 10 people.
Pete Ashmore discovered that the water bottle holder he had removed for the Grandview crit had not been reinstalled. Yikes, 90 degrees, winds usually associated with a typhoon, hills and a mountain, got to have that 2nd bottle so I think he stuffed it into a back pocket.
More Riveters arrived, Dave Chesrown and Lori.
How about that? Mitch Tallan on the right and also Chris Fisher, wearing one of the old Savage Hill kits on the left with another Savage Hill clothed Chris in the middle who hung with the Riveters throughout.
One of the best hopes for the Canal group, Paul Stock with Betsy Thompson who has been teaching Paul tri skills that have made him a better swimmer and runner but there has understandably been a slight diminution of his cycling prowess.
At 6:00pm, 26 or so of us head out. It was kind of strange with the parking lot full of Riveters and near Riveters as other then some late arrivers, all the B and C cyclists had already departed. Among the New Albany visitors were Tym Tyler, Dave C, Marty, Luke, Lori, Kyle, Philippe, Jon Morgan...an armada that I thought would be a challenge for the Johnny Rebs of Canal. There was a 57 mile route and a 52 mile route. I chose the 52 mile route for a lot of reasons that are obvious to the seasoned reader.
Luke Russell in blue/orange. Later, Luke would storm Revenge and take the KOM title. There used to be a jersey passed year to year to the KOM champ but after one guy won it, he kept it. If you are wondering why I am using two images of our escape from the city it is because coming off the bypass, the 52 mile route went left on Waterloo and everyone but Mark V and me kept going. I assumed their route would join mine from the right a mile up the road at Winchester Road, no, then I thought they would rejoin at Slough, another mile up the road but no. I later learned they were going parallel to me on Cedar Road as I went south on Amanda Northern. Not until mile 13, as I approached Westfall Road did I see them stream east as I continued south. Upon reaching the center of the village of Amanda, our routes finally met and...
...I got in with David, Chris Fisher, Betsy, Scott Young and Eric the Dispatch photographer. I enjoyed my group ride but of course with Revenge looming on the horizon, it would break us up. Eric and I emerged together at the summit behind Scott and David. Eric towed me to Christmas Rock Road where he paused and I kept going.
Mean time, we were spread out over a variety of routes back. Some were on the 57, some were on the 52 and Dave Chesrown was doing his own thing on Crumley Road. For me, the balance of the route was a torrent of head and cross wind, heat, hills accompanied by solo misery. Mercifully.....
...it was eventually over and Jon Morgan celebrates the fact that they did not have to call 911 for me. The front group finished with a 21.5 avg, mine was 18.3 but hey, with some more group riding I easily could have been 18.4. Glad that one is over.
In my youth, I spent time living in a ghetto prior to marrying into poverty and being lifted out of my situation. Therefore, I can move easily into and out of the two camps. Canal and New Albany. I like and respect both sides but thought for newcomers like Benton, who is making his first foray south, I should provide fair warning. It can be a culture shock. I have asked that the parking lot be a weapons free zone for this one ride and trust Ric Noland to enforce the rule so.....
...familiar gadgets like the above will not be on display or possibly in use. However, all Canal cyclists carry those long, nasty looking frame pumps that in a pinch, can do real damage. Now, on to some other head's ups....
.....I've always found it curious that hardly any of the New Albany cyclists work so they have lots of time to ride. I guess it is family fortunes passed down from generation to generation. Canal is similar in that few of them work but it is because they can't find a job, at least not a legal one. So, never ask where one of them works. You don't want to know about meth labs.
The Canal men are real men and the Canal women are real men too. It must be a tribal thing but Canal women pride themselves on length of arm pit hair so try not to stare.
Obviously there are cultural difference. New Albanyers enjoy fine arts, fine dining, fine times while Canalers brag about their international interests in cuisine, Scottish places mostly that most of us otherwise know as "Mcdonalds".
Mainly, just show up, be quiet, avoid eye contact and upon your return to the parking lot, be thankful if all you have lost are the.....
Ric Noland, ride leader of the Canal group is busy opening a 2nd shop and has not yet posted tonight's route but it is certain to be this one, which was followed last year. If he is able to post the route later and if it differs from this, I will let you know. Also, below is the C route, which includes the Revenge climb but a more direct route back.
The C route as provided by Steve Hewitt and departing at 5:00pm. I suspect Todd Lee's 5:30 group will follow this too.https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14572439
Sure, looks as innocent as the driven snow but behind those tattoos and neutral look is the mind of a killer. Watch out for the Kamikaze who will gladly sacrifice himself if it means taking out a few Yanks.
Not my best edit job but you get the idea. If at the base of Revenge, any Canal Rebs are still hanging with the New Albany Yanks, Marty will give them a look and a smile and ride away with the other Yanks.
I do not know if Lori will take the pilgrimage south to the land of the English and lay waste to them but here's hoping that she does. Of course, Lori has bigger fish to fry, Saturday at "Blood, Sweat & Gears" where she finished first female last year and surely stronger this year so who knows?
...as if the advantage of youth, fitness & equipment is not enough, George, has proclaimed that the Force will be with the New Albanyers, always.
I admit some of my photoshopping is a bit rough but if I can't find the right frontal images I have to go with what I can find in a minute or less. To the main point we go though. Steve Oxley, known in certain circles as a Playa, will no doubt be riding with the Riveters from New Albany on Tuesday's Solstice ride. Beware his audible shouts of "left turn", "right turn", etc... all meant to deceive. He is a dirty trickster so pay no attention to whatever he says during the ride.
Remember, for those who think they need an extra 30 minutes, Todd Lee will be leading you out of the parking lot at 5:30, Tuesday. At the edge of the parking lot where it meets the street, Todd will return to the back of the group where he shall remain for the entirety of the route.
Luke Russell is being too cagy to confirm his attendance but I believe he will be there. The Road Warrior at Canal?
Surely the Canal/Fairfield County boys are quaking in their cycling shoes and if I were to release the actual names of the maulers from New Albany who will be traveling south, oh my. For a quick visual image, think of cyclists on horseback with drawn sword, thundering toward the unprepared Canal cyclist. It will be over quick my southern friends. More to come as we gallop toward 6:00pm, Tuesday, Canal Winchester, Ohio, Meijers' parking lot. No chains, no knives, just bikes.
Good turnout for the Steve Hewitt led "Honeysuckle Tour" starting out of Berne Union HS in Sugar Grove. I counted 30.
Randy Brown in the middle, wearing his signature blue socks. Every time I see Randy I can't help but think of him standing in a storm swollen creek a few years ago, looking for his bike after it slid under a guard rail and dropped into the water, without him. One of the classic stories.
Mark V makes a point to Kenda Janet who is waiting on a new bike. Should be riding it in a couple of weeks. A Masi of course with electric everything, maybe a motor too?
Gary V on the left and Todd Lee who confirmed he is leading a group out of Canal, on Tuesday, at 5:30 for the assault on Revenge.
Logan came down for his first experience riding the Hocking Hills. Now, about those green socks..... Rex in the middle. We rolled out and soon, all too soon, reached the climb on Pump Station. If at the start of the ride you had taken a poll of who would be least likely to attack I would have tied with Steve Hewitt but I patiently waited, climbed, lagging behind, waited, waited...reached a false flat...put the chain in the big ring and just as Steve, Logan, David hit the base of a ramp....I leapt. I hit the ramp with momentum, it rather than any strength of course, propelled me past the group and then gapped the disbelieving. Of course, it wasn't long before Logan and Steve reached me and then we worked together to the top where we hooked up with Randy, who had attacked out of the parking lot and soon Keith hooked up as well and off we went
Eventually we reached Starner Road and with my fate preordained I told the guys not to wait. Pedaling alone for a bit, I stopped to wait for my peeps. First Rex and two others went by but I judged the effort to be a bit much so waited some more and here came David S, Flyin Tuna and Mark V, perfect. It all went well other than we chose the Mt Olive climb alternative, knowing it had recently been chip-n-sealed although it appeared mostly chip and little seal. About half way into the climb, a car came down, I was in a narrow, uphill gap, kind of panicked and unclipped. Thus I was pushing my bike up Mount Olive and later, Strava gave me a "PR" for the segment. Hooray!
At around mile 40, we reached the town of Logan and the real excitement, where we found the cyclist Logan, Steve and Keith. Now, about those green socks. Discovering that Logan had never ridden Savage or Chickencoop, Steve sketched a route to Sugar Grove that included those climbs and others too.
We noticed activity in front of our gas station stop and at first I thought it involved a gang of bikers but a guy driving a truck had been arrested (note the beer can on top of the truck) for DUI. His truck had been observed weaving and someone, maybe the bikers, called the police. Good for them and who knows, may have saved one of us. Then,,,,
...Kenda Paul exited, balancing a Coke, water and two slices of pizza. He made it to our resting area with 1 of the 3.
Once in the shade, it was tempting to stay and so we did, as various other groups came and went while we lingered and lingered and wondered, why is there a pair of cycling shoes laying on the concrete?
Then, a guy wearing a cape wandered around, spent some time talking to us and did not appear to be attached to a vehicle. The gas station mascot I guess.
Then the shoe mystery was solved and soon we remounted our bikes....
...climbing out of Logan and finishing with 53 miles and 4000'+ of climbing.
Steve Hewitt is leading the 11 Annual Hocking Hills Honeysuckle Tour. The route is marked with yellow arrows and triple "X" prior to most of the few bad/dangerous spots. Steve says, "We also scouted a couple of new roads and added them to the route this year. After Kreashbaum we follow Big Pine to Culbertson Rd/Unger Rd to connect with Blackjack. There's a screaming down hill at the end so pay heed to the Triple X's. We will start from the Berne Union High School parking lot in Sugar Grove at 8:30AM (later start to allow travel time to Sugar Grove)."
While the route is "only" 54 miles, it is easily extended, one way is to head west to Laurelville. A, B & C cyclists welcome. The gps file is:
Also, Lori Nedescu is leading a ride out of Healthy Phil's at 8:00am on an interesting route that first goes west into Columbus, breakfast at Katalina's at mile 39 prior to heading into Granville and a return to NA. 90 miles.
And then there is this interesting event, called the Peckerhead Invitational to which I believe all are invited. Information about routes and everything else can be found here: http://39x23andcounting.blogspot.com/
This is a free event but you are encouraged to make a donation to cover the cost of the event and you must rsvp on their Facebook page, which can be found on the above link.
Danny Alarcon injured himself in a wake boarding wipe-out 2 weeks ago but is almost healed. With Philippe and George.
Steve Hewitt again handles the sign-in chore while I am free to roam the parking lot, ear to the ground for news. Note Rick in red/white on the left, one of the superb bike handlers in the group. He rides a straight line, motions when changing a lane, courteous to those around him, predictable and riding very strong this year. Mick on the right.
Dirty Dan. Of all the nicknames, none is more deserving and it is not necessary to list the many and myriad reasons for "Dirty". However, beware. A strident follower, member and sympathizer of the Fairfield County/Canal cabal, it is easy to imagine Dan throwing himself and bike into a line of New Albany Yanks, taking 2-3 out during the warm-up phase at next Tuesday's Summer Solstice ride. He won't be riding this new BMC but a squeaky, 10 year old, rattletrap Trek so putting one more scratch or squeak into that machine is irrelevant to Dan.
Farmer Mike, Paul Djupe and Mick, left to right. Paul is looking at me the way a shark looks at a minnow. The confident look of one who is about to rip my legs off. Paul, Eric, Logan and 1-2 others made my life miserable for 2 hours in the A group. But, I hung on to the bitter end and finished with a 21.3 avg, which was not too far from the soft pedaling Rivet groups avg of 22.6. Luke, not wishing to earn a deserved reputation, hunkered down in the Rivet group and did not attempt an audacious solo as he did last week.
Dave Chesrown, back right, listens as George describes, as he did for everyone at one point prior to the ride's start, his performance during the humid and hot Saturday ride. He hung in there for 80+ miles and was rather proud that he finished stronger then he started.
Naturally, radar coupled with wind, cut into the attendance and I again forgot to count but probably only 55 cyclists. I used the last couple of minutes to whip the group into a fever pitch, some were even frothing at the mouth, as I described the many wrongs committed by the southern cyclists from Fairfield County/Canal and how an ass kicking was deserved. Gosh, I think we may have to rent buses to get everyone down there. Remember, Tuesday, from in front of Meijer's, Canal Winchester, 6:00pm start for their A and B group, a senior citizen start of 5:30 and a C start led by Steve Hewitt at 5:00pm. I'll continue to provide valuable updates leading up to the day of days.
The Rivet group headed toward the doors and soon, so too did the A group led by Gus Cook, Eric the Dispatch Photographer, Logan, Paul D, Ron K, Ron Budzik, Scott Billman, Mick, Christian, David Smith, Ryan, Axel, Nick a new guy with torn shorts hung together with safety pins, maybe 20-25 of us. The pace was, I thought, rather hard as we cruised out 161, right on Wadkins, eventually onto Blacks and then to the foot of the Canyon Road climb. I was not doing well so took the opportunity to tell each of the remaining 12-15 cyclists we would regroup after the climb. This was entirely and ashamedly self serving cause I was pretty sure I'd be last up that climb. That I was not is a testament to Gus' willingness to ride into the cross wind with room for me to draft to his right.
During the soft pedaling regrouping just after the #37 crossover, my legs recovered and I was ok from that point forward. We passed my house on Gale and where, later, my daughter spotted what was probably a B group participant peeing in my lilac bushes! WTF people! Use the woods but not my lilac bush!!!!! Anyway, we lost a couple more cyclists on the Raccoon Valley and Jersey Mill roads but finished with 52 miles and our average of 21.3 was skewed a bit from a couple of regroup soft pedaling so it really was a hard effort. Well, got to go but will put up a Saturday ride option later today.
It's 11:00am, Thursday and hearing nothing from Rick, I'm assuming he is tied up with RAMM responsibilities so I have posted this info on FB and here, assuming this is the route he would have chosen. It matches with what was ridden last year: Below the Rivet/A/B route and the C route.