Pre ride radar seemed to indicate most of the rain would pass just to the south of New Albany and as it turns out, this was the case. However, others must have reasoned differently so the turnout wasn't as large as last week, maybe 30-35 cyclists. Not there was Todd Lee and so I took his favored parking space under the only tree that provides shade. I felt very privliged and somewhat cool too.
Pre-ride talk centered on Saturday's Mountain Mama ride in Monterrey, West Virginnia, a place so remote it makes Barrow, Alaska seem like a teeming metropolis. At least 5 people are going down without already securing a place to stay, hoping to find a place once down there but unless they enjoy sleeping in a briar patch, there will not be room at the inn. Of those I know going down are Tuna, Amanda, Franz, Jon the Dentist, Retro George and his friend Big Chainring, Kevin H, Randy D, Pastor Mark and several others, to face the 10,000' of climbing distributed over 9 climbs in a 100 mile route. I've done the ride a couple of times and the food stops are fantastic, they don't time you so no pressure to race the route. The veterans know to leave a few minutes early to avoid the crush of cyclists on the first downhill, where a woman went left of center the last time I did the ride, impacted with a truck and died.
We headed out old 161, which has the unusual distintion of being an uphill ride coming from the west and it is somehow uphill coming from the east. After contemplating this for a long time I finally figured out this 5 mile stretch of 161 is the top of the globe, where regardless from which direction you approach the top of the globe, it is uphill until the top is reached, right? Therefore, the top of the world is between New Albany and Granville. Cool. We started out at a reasonable pace and then a Walker guy sprang from the pack and drilled it, then a Eshelon/Trek twosome, two-timed us, clearly trying to see how many of us they could drop, always taking a long look back when they came off the front. Their problem was a cross wind put lots of pressure on the front but in the back, we were lined right to left and not too uncomfortable. We reached #310 with a 22.7mph average and 10 people. Then we turned onto Jersey Mill, my personal Waterloo, where an extended downhill stretch kicks me out if the group pushes the speed above 33 for very long. The Walker guy drilled it again and the group rocketed away. Too bad but switching out of my compact crank isn't worth the trade-off in the hills. I later learned the group inadvertently took a wrong turn and only did 37 miles. I rode alone for a long time into Granville, up and over the ridge and out New Burg to Stone Quarry. There the B group of Mark V, Jon the Dentist, Mike Mills, probably 10-12 came by and I jumped on, riding with them the rest of the way in for a 20.4 average over 43 miles.
After the ride, Retro George, temporarily employed until enough money can be saved to allow his return as a cycling bum, drove to meet us in New Albany. Jon the Dentist thinks George is driving Jon and friend to WV. George says Chainring is driving with 2 others in separate van I've got my spies out along the road to take images and file reports so hopefully there will be a good story to tell. Also note Nathan has checked in from India and posted a comment. Maybe he'll keep us posted as he and daughter navigate India for 3 weeks. Keep the reports coming Recumbent Dude.
While there is still 30 minutes to go in the day, a new record was established, absolutely smashing through the previous record of page hits. I have to thank Amanda for what is a great image of her on the bull. Amanda is an interesting personality and that image, the joyful exuberance, perfectly captured our friend. We are so all lucky to be part of a community of people like Amanda, me of course, Todd Lee, THE Tuna, Margarita Rick, Boss, the retired Group Killer (he's taking me to Ruth Chris to pay off his bet), Retro George, Peggster, Mitch the Engineer, Recumbent Dude, Pastor Mark, Sarge (Donna), Dennis the Italian lover wannabee, SuperDave, Satan Mick, Drugged Out Randy D, Kevin H., etc... and etc... By the way, I communicated with Ginger and she is riding a triner and getting ready to KICK ASS! once the doctor ok's it. And Belinda, bought a rode bike and is plotting to unseat Tuna as top female cyclist from Licking County.
Very strange ride. Maybe 35 at the start but only 12 left with the A group, not including The Boss who was absent. Two Jenis riders were there, 3 Walker team mates including Rob R, Steve O, Jeff S, Dennis, Retro George, Mitch, Todd Lee and that pretty much fleshes out the group. Strong wind from the south as we headed out Waterloo, Slough, right on Alspach and worked our way over to Cedar Hill. Pace was moderate and after 2 Jenies took off, no one bothered to chase but they just hung out there not too far to bridge if a concerted effort had been made. Rob R bridged across but again, not much interest in pursuing. We reached Westfall and Jenis and Rob turned left, so too did I, Dennis and Todd but Jeff shouted straight, too late and the group split with the aforementioned going on Westfall, plus George. The Walker guys dropped off during the ride to Amanda Northern and not sure what was up with that but in Amanda we stopped and regrouped with the Jenis guys.
We debated waiting for Jeff S and crew but when it was revealed the route did not go back via Rockmill but was to go farther east to dreaded Delmont and multiple hills, we decided to get started. A left on #159 and a quick right onto Hamburg and with Jenis pulling, the pace was high. A left on Delmont and stilll the Jenis kept drilling it and I began to wonder if they knew what was ahead. Suddenly Todd sat up and commented the pace was crazy for the climb around the corner and so he, Dennis and I slowed. George kept going, in for a big surprise. The Jenis guys could care less since that hill wouldn't slow them anyway. We approached the foot of the hill and my goal was to pass George. Reaching Geroge is one thing, passing another as he wobbled furiously back and forth. I waited for an opening and went past. I was too out of breath to give him a well deserved verbal shot.
Whem, I eased up after the climb and looked back, here came George full steam, pulling Dennis. The guy has an amazing ability to recover after the climbs but reaching me, lacking the gift to quickly recover, I declined the invitation to join. Later I came across them with the Jenis, who were finishing a flat fix. The route took us west on Coonpath and then right onto Pickerington for more hills. Just after the hills the two Jenis approached and I caught on, along with Todd for a fast ride into Canal. I had turned off my computer in Amanda so don't know the details but one of the Jenis said 2500' of climbing in 43 miles, 21mph average. Most of that climbing would have been the 2nd half of the ride. Good route.
Note: Nathan (Recumbent Dude) heads for India on Wednesday and promised if he is kidnapped, he will give me an exclusive interview, if the captors permit.
The above image was forwarded to me by someone who thought it should be shared with everyone. Apparently, Amanda climbed on this bull during her tour across Iowa last week. I am restrained by somewhat good taste not to caption this as it could be captioned but if anyone wants to give it a shot on the comments section, feel free.
Kevin H posted the below reply to the Saturday Roving Ride Story, in which I implied certain things based on the evidence at hand. After reading Kevin's "story" I began thinking and began to doubt the authenticity of his story. Here's why-- First, there is no way Kevin could fold his frame enough to sit in Tuna's car. Maybe draped over the front and back seat but otherwise, I think not. Second, all that walking, from Randy's truck to the dougout to talk to some fictious person, then back to Cindy's car, during a monsoon is highly unlikely and if so, I'm sure Tuna would have complained about a wet seat. Therefore, I have serious doubts about Kevin's story and now believe more strongly than ever what I thought that Saturday as I watched the windows fog and the truck bouncing. Just an opinion.
Being that my great great great great great Uncle was George Washington, I neither can tell a lie. After we had decided to wait out the rain and delay the start until 9:00am. We each, as already indicated, retreated to our vehicles. I can’t comment on the offer made to Mark by Randy as I try and not get involved in such soap-opera’s that happen continually within the group. However, as the rain and lighting started I noticed that “Rainman” was looking for a place to take cover. So I left the protection of Randy’s truck and went to see if I could offer support. He stated that he would be alright and thanked me for the offer, he also stated that I was not from Licking County because no one had ever been as kind to him as I had shown kindness (not sure what was meant by that). As I turned to head back to Randy’s truck I too noticed that the door was closed and locked likewise the windows were fogged up, so I missed the tangled arms and legs that Mark described. Any way I noticed that Cindy’s car door was open and she was no where to be found (she must have had to go to the restroom and decided to wait out the storm there), so I jumped in her car until the storm had passed. The next thing I remember was seeing everyone getting their bikes ready for the ride. So as to the activity from within Randy’s cab I guess will always be a mystery.
Yipee!!! Before the Tour began, Jamie Roberts, a.k.a. The Rookie, bet me a steak dinner, Armstrong would not finish on the podium. Ho, ho, ho. These youngsters who think just because they can grind me into dust on rides, that translates into knowledge about the pro scene. I am embarrassed to have picked Jamie's pocket but let this be a lesson about the evils of gambling!
OK, at 7:00am Saturday morning, I checked out radar and saw a very ominous and threatening line of green, yellow and red heading toward Columbus and especially Heath, Ohio. I figured no one would show for Cindy's roving ride but I had an obligation to go and take a picture of her standing forelornly in the parking lot. Geez, despite the forecast, when I arrive there was Mitch, brothers Randy & Kevin, Nathan, Mark Wells, Bremt and a guy with half of Home Depot's lumber yard on the front of his bike. Nathan had the phone radar, a few calls and we decided if we waited untiul 9:00, the rain would pass and we could still ride. It began to rain and we all retreated to our cars, with Randy D asking me to join he and Kevin in their truck, I declined. It started to rain and shockingly, through Randy's truck window, I saw a flurry of arms and legs, shirts flying off and then nothing but foggy windows....glad I declined that invitation.
Soon though, the rain passed, we all regathered and Nathan assured us the next batch of rain was somewhere back in Wyoming so off we went. Cindy and others are headed to Mountain Mama next Saturday but I don't know why since we ride the equivalent of that every freaking Saturday! This tortuous route was nothing but up, sometimes down, but never flat on roads like Flagdale, Pen, Fairmont, Midland Oil, etc... I played the sweeper role and I was exhausted by the time we stopped at Marietta Road. To the south the clouds were gathering and it did not look good. We rode into Bremen and stopped at that brick restaurant. We stayed a long time as the equivalent of a North Sea squal raked the area. We brought our bikes inside and over the course of an hour+, Mitch managed to eat 3 ginormous pancakes while rushing to the restaurant's bar whenever radar came on. We had a great time and once again I was reminded how much this cycling thing provides great opportunities to enjoy the company of some really neat people. Get this, Nathan is taking his daughter to India for a 3 week vacation. Now that's creative.
Several calls to friends and family convinced us that we were past the worse of the weather and so finally, just before dinner menus were passed out, we left the restaurant. It was still raining lightly but what else could we do? The really great news was the strong winds were now behind us but when we turned west on #37, it was a cross wind and the rain seemed very cold. Then we turned north and soon the rain stopped and damn if it was not pleasant, even though we were SOAKED TO THE BONE by then. Soon, it began to rain again and soon we were miserable,,,,,,again. Fortunately, the return was much flatter than the outbound trek and we arrived around 3:00, with 70 miles, soaked clothing and just under 5000' of climbing.
The Mountain Mamaians are Tuna, Kevin H, Randy, Amanda, Franz Mark C and several others who will tackle a 100 mile century with 10,000' of climbing.
Gigantic turnout for the New Albany ride. Well over 50 cyclists, including Andrew from the Tuesday ride and even Group Wounder (Jamie) making a surprise appearance. Poor Jamie, he clearly misses us (didn't he retire from cycling back in June???) because the bike paths are soooo lonely with only a few dozen soccer moms out there trolling for afternoon entertainment....wait....I think I'll start that jogging thing too!!!
Get this, Rick came over on Wednesday and finally installed my new bearing in the bottom bracket. Before, a strong counterclockwise push sent the pedal traveling about 3/4 of a turn (no joke). Now, the pedals would go round and round. Ohhh la la!!!! However, we also discovered 3 cracks in the frame, probably from stress created by the bracket wobbling during each pedal stroke. During the ride, that damn clicking from the bottom bracket started anew. I have been promised I will definitely get a new frame now. I WANT THAT YELLOW ONE FOUND IN BICYCLE MAGAZINE!!!!
20-23 cyclists started with the A group. We headed east of course and eventually got on that damn Cable road with a pot hole every 2'. Things were very dicey so I dropped to the last person so I could better skirt the danger, not caring if I got separated. I hung on the back and we approached a dead end, with a left turn that would take us over to that nice uphill with sevreal ramps on the Col du Alward. I decided what the heck, better get to the front and so I cruised well left of center and by the time we turned onto Alward, I was in the top 5. Satan Mick led a furious charge up the steep first ramp and so there was the usual crush of exertion from everyone and soon the strongest began to emerge, miraculously including me, freed from the laborious past pedaling resistence. I slotted in behind Mick and Jamie and felt great, all the way to the top. A right on Dog Hollow or something like that and I looked back at the carnage. Some of my favorite people were strung out and I felt badly and ordered a slowdown, which everyone ignored.
We hammered out that road but slowed prior to 310 and there was some regrouping. A right and quick left continued the onslaught until mercifully we had to stop to cross 16. I was in the 2nd spot and acted like I was struggling with clipping in so I could slide back and avoid a pull (this trick works every time). We sailed east on Deeds but apparently someone behind me had a chain problem so Dennis and Retro George stopped with him, leaving me at the end of the line with Jeff S. The problem with being a backender on what was still a fairly large group of 11-12 is the accordian effect at the turns. Tim Tyler rode hard through the corner onto Gale and a couple of us got caught out and had to sprint, catching on just as the road turned up toward my house on Granview. The group rode hard through the Granview turn as a guy in front of me dropped off and I was unable or just unwilling to close the gap. Later, Jamie admonished me for my failing. I knew the route, know the turns and should have been closer to the front, like that cagey vetern Todd Lee, who I noted was always tucked in the 4th or 5th slot. Later, John Morgan fell, taking down Andrew but Andrew appeared to be ok, all too willing to show us his rashes, everywhere. The lead pack of 8 finished with a 22.9 average for 41 miles. After Granview, I eased up hoping Dennis would catch on but their repair effort took a long time and I never saw anyone for the rest of the route, finishing with a 20.7 average.
Hey, don't forget THE Tuna is hosting a roving ride out of Heath, come to 10 new red light cameras so be careful--Saturday.
I apologize for the poor quality of the image (supplied by Bob Waddell) but the person on the left was Steve Barbour, dead because a dumb shit drunk, at 6:15am Saturday morning, ran him over. Boy, what a completely senseless loss of life that literally and figuratively could have been any of us.
As I left home for the ride, my 16 year-old-son called out, "See you later tubby." During the course of the day my adoring son typically also calls me, "Chubby", "Chubs", "Lardbelly" and "Jellybelly." This, while my adult friends sometimes ask if I'm anorexic. Arrived kind of early in Canal Winchester to find the parking lot behind Shades newly paved and Todd Lee occupying the primo, shade covered parking spot. I expect he and Jeff S to engage in a season-long battle over first arrival to claim the spot and knowing the zeal with which Jeff S covets parking spots, they likely will come to blows before too long.
For those of you who are unaware, Steve Barbour, a well-known, respected and well-liked cyclist, frequent ride leader at COP events and general good guy, was struck by a vehicle, Saturday morning, while riding to the Roving Ride start, another ride he had volunteered to lead. A visitor to Steve's hospital room offered the following, tragic report. Reports from the accident scene suggest the driver was intoxicated and has been charged, currently, with vehicular assault.
Can't remember driving to a July ride with the car heater on but that's the kind of day it was and because it did not appear a warming trend was imminent, many of us dragged out the arm warmers for the start to this cool, cloudy and windy day. Vacations and fear of the weather brought out only the bravest of the email group, Steve O, Mitch O, Margarita Holt, Larry P, Mark V, THE Tuna and me, all gathered at Granville's Wildwood Park.
Hot and humid conditions, with a Hell-wind out of the west, for the Thursday New Albany ride and Jeff, counter intuitively, continues to stretch out the route distances as the daylight decreases. This time a flatish 46 miles that took us north to Croton, south to Alexandria and than back to NA. Another large turnout for the start with a wave of strong riders, too numerous to list but thankfully, Rob Rhodes was not there to punish us.
The west wind made a long stretch out GreenCook agonizing as it cut through the peloton. Those few fortunate to ride to the right of a cyclist could have sold their spots to those strung out without protection, many of whom dropped off. One guy came up and urged us to start a second line and we did but after I took my turn at the front, I was rewarded with an unprotected spot at the end of the line. We turned onto a gravelly road, Boston I think, and a guy dressed in orange jersey and maybe orange shorts, slid and went down. As is typical, that overly agressive Todd Lee had attacked at the turn, responsible for sending a guy into a heap (of course I'm kidding).
After that, another windswept stretch on Clover Valley and then a wind aided, long uphill on Foundation, we arrived in Croton. Out Bennington Chapel with the wind again behind us and then I flatted. I screamed "Flat" but no one stopped. The days when everyone would stop to stand and watch the flat fix are over. Worse yet, as I removed the tube, a large group of dropped "A's" and "B's" went by and Mark V asked if I had everything I needed and after hearing what I needed he said, "Oh, we don't have any of those!" So, not only do they not stop, they also ridicule you as the pass by. I'm a pilgram in a strange world, but wait....Jon the Dentist came out of the pack and produced a CO2 cartridge and inflated the tube (my pump is sooooomuch slower). That Jon is a great guy. Anyway, Jon, the recovered orange clad guy and I rode together for awhile before we got separated and I returned into the wind along Jeff's favorite stretch of road, old 161. Finished with 20.4 average and verbal abuse at the end.
Lots and lots of cyclists for tonight's Canal ride. I forgot my camera so no good images to post and also discovered my dog had taken my gloves after leaving them out to dry. Not a good start. However, there were lots and lots of cyclists for tonight's CSo many in fact that Peggy ordered me to take the sign-up sheet around to the late arriver's cars, thus enabling said late arriver's habit of being late but I lack the courage to say no to the Peggster. One guy wished I had not come around. He asked me to dismount my bike and hold a faulty pump to the tire's nozzle while he pumped. Thinking I had to yank the pump away from the nozzle quickly to avoid air leakage, I also yanked the nozzle out of the tube and so, with 4 minutes prior to the start, he had to replace his tube. Thank you very much.
Jeff S and Dennis. Here in the sunlight and prior to the start, Jeff looks normal. Later at the food stop at "Grandma Feyes" above Old Man's Cave, Jeff's shirt was soaked with perspiration and with the high beams on, appeared he was auditioning for a wet T-shirt contest.
The Margarita Twins. Rick on the left has been known to arrive early for a ride by spending the night before at a local pub, staying out until 2:00am and then sleeping in his car at the ride start. Steve O on the right has begun drinking heavily because he hangs out with Rick.
Nicknames are given based on circumstances but can never be given because the individual insists they be called something. In this case, Amanda O likes to be called, "Hot Mama" and while few can argue that point, I am waiting for her to do something really stupid so her official nickname can be granted. For example. many ask why Cindy B's nickname is Flyin Tuna. Cindy and her husband watch Discovery channel every night. One day, during a ride, Cindy was telling me about a Discovery show about the fishes of the sea and how fast each could swim, with the tuna being especially fast. As we crested a hill, with tears of boredom streaming down my face, Cindy picked up speed and screached, "look at me, I'm a flyin tuna!" Thus a nickname was born.
Rallying around for the start. The route attracted climbers and out of the 31 cyclists there, me, Dennis, Randy D., Jeff S and Cindy were the only ones over 150 pounds. Otherwise, everyone else had the prototypical man's head on women's body type look with guant cheeks, ribs protruding and not an ounce of fat....what was I doing here?
Woody Patrick organized the 1st annual Mark Bell Memorial Ride, starting in Lancaster on Bovine Road. Judging by the turnout, weather, route and just good people, it was a great success. Now, about the route...holy cow. I should have looked at the on-line link Woody provided of what was one of Mark Bell's favorite routes. Sure, I expected Christmas Rock, Revenge, Snortin Ridge, Jack Run and the Rock House climb but those are mere speed bumps compared to the Tourmalet-type monsters on state routes 374, 664, 56, 999, etc...
As mentioned above, the route brought out central Ohio's climbers, plus a few wannabees who just came out for the fun and workout. At the start there were 30-35 cyclists including Todd Lee, Dennis, SuperDave, Flyin Tuna, Amanda, Sarge, Retro George, Jeff S, Larry P, The Boss (just back from a vacation in PA), Steve O, 4 Jenis guys, Mitch T, Margarita Holt, Randy Drum, Lisa A, couple of Team Echeloners & others. The sun was out at the start, hot temperature and high humidity for a very hilly 70 mile ride having a 54 mile shorter option.
We rolled out Bovine, making a right on Hamburg and a left on Christmas Rock. I was content to hang in the back for a recovery-type ride day but ahead was Dennis, looking back at me with that smirk, and so I had a dig and got somewhere in the middle of the field riding with Dennis and others. We cruised along the ridge to the downhill on Revenge and then over to the Snortin Ridge climb. Pretty uneventful all the way over to and down Jack Run with Randy D pulling us along and then up to Rock House where a large group was waiting. The blue sky had been temporary and as we waited for folks to fill water bottles, I heard someone, as they checked their phone screen provided weather radar, exclaim, "Rain's coming."
A large group of us took off, with another group behind. Our group had Mitch T to keep the pace fairly high but he was not pressing things too much and we mostly stayed together until Larry P and others rode by from the 2nd group. We jumped onboard and rode hard to Conkles Hollow along 374 and after summiting a huge climb, screamed down hill and ended up at South Bloomingville with lots of empty store fronts and also having missed the short cut turn at Big Pine. Damn! Making a left on 56 we worked our way over to Ash Cave and 374, then past Cedar Falls and finally stopping, after another giant climb, at the turn-off for Old Man's Cave. Another climb brought us to Grandma Fey's store and we stopped to refuel.
As we arrived, Craig's group had just left and it looked like it was he, 2-3 Jenis, Steve O, Randy Brown, George and a couple others (I'm waiting on my spies from that front group to give me a report that I will post here later). We hung around the store and pretty much everyone decided to bypass one loop and take the direct route back to Lancaster. The climbing was taking its toll and the weather was very overcast and threatening. We were already soaked in perspiration and so as we left the store it began to rain lightly but it was a welcome relief with the rain temperature being about the same as the sweat temperature. We worked our way back over to Rock House and then to Jack Run and that infamously steep climb. My condition had been deteriorating rapidly and as we rode towards the hill, but not yet to it, I first fell off the wheel of Margarita Holt, then Lisa A and another guy and soon was last in the field. I crawled up Jack Run losing more ground to those ahead and figured my mechanical issue with the bottom bracket rubbing was contributing some extra resistance. The rain now was not pouring but steady hard with thunder but no lightning. Prior to the climb up Revenge I got off the bike and rotated the pedals backward, curious to gauge the resistance....geez, ok maybe it was contributing a lot to my demise. I limped into the parking lot and was surprised that George's friend Big Gear was right behind me, securing the last spot. 65 miles with 4950' of climbing but it sure seemed more than that.
Greg Hall, arriving early for a warm-up. Like all but Peggie & Cindy, whenever I try to capture an image, they turn their back.
The group starting to form for the ride start. Jeff S on the left, Red Head Dude behind and of course, Cindy in the middle who, it was observed by Franz, must have sore calfs from leaping in front of my camera all the time. That Franz is funny. Earlier, Tuna came skipping over to my car, making sure I knew she had arrived and I got a very unflattering pose, which I will hold and use for a later day.
After blowing up early on Tuesday's ride and forced to draft off Peggy for 30 miles, I was anything but opptimistic for Thursday's New Albany ride. In fact, I was down right despondent and expecting to have to draft off the Flyin Tuna for an extended distance. Now that would send me to the Dutch Kitchen ride forever. My legs felt fatigued or something while warming up and then Jon the Dentist rode into the parking lot and I saw the perfect storm approach, dropped from a group with Jon in it and drafting the Tuna.
George, looking a little unsteady at the return.
)Peggy, looking toward heaven in thanks that while her Rocky route produced a crash and heart attack (Al Moore), at least no one died on Saturday. Al is recovering after a brief hospital stay and should be cycling soon.
Mitch O, Peggy's co-conspirator, discussing how he plans to change the Rocky route with the goal to produce 2 crashes and 2 heart attacks for next year. By the way, Thornton Sprung has been renamed Heart Attack Hill.
The inimitable Randy Drum, dismounting from his truck, having thought up a menu of insults for all, some of which make sense.
I believe I set a new and dubious record of sorts at the Canal, COP ride on Tuesday. Large turnout for what one cyclist queried prior to the start, "Is this a really hilly route or a kick-ass hilly route?" In The Boss' absence, large group of people start with the A's. We cruise out Waterloo Eastern with Rob Rhodes and a 2nd Walker guy riding hard. We work our way over to Pickerington but instead of staying straight, we turn right onto Jefferson, over to a breif stint on Winchester before hitting Amanda Northern. The two Walker guys had gotten ahead of the group on Pickerington and missed the turn onto Jefferson and not sure if they ever regrouped. The stretch through the woods on Amanada Northern has several hills before coasting to a downhill stop at Slough. I was at the front but after coming through the stop sign I was done. Numerous cyclists streamed by me but I could catch the wheel of none of them. George was nice and even slowed but I urged him on, dropped #1. It seems on the weeks I ride Thursday-Saturday with a Sunday run result in dead Tuesday legs while not running on Sunday leaves me feeling fresh on Tuesdays. Or maybe a Sunday run is ok if I get out and soft pedal on Mondays??? Anyway, I took my first short cut and got out in front of what was left of the A group on Rock Mill but they soon flew by and I had nothing in the tank to jump on, even with Geroge babbling at me as he passed. Now I had been dropped once and passed once by the same group. I took another short cut and entered via Sand Hill to Amanda, where two other shortcutters were waiting, a Savage Hill and Walker guy. We anticipated being in front of the lead group and very soon they came through Amanda and we joined. North we went on Amanda Northern with three Jeni's, Steve O and our three. Then we turned left onto Ridge and I was still feeling ok but at the sharp turn right, prior to the hills leading up to Cedar Hill, I suddenly lost energy and dropped off for the second time. Thus the same group had dropped me twice and passed me once. A very dubious distinction. I wandered in from there alone for 41 miles and an average probably in single digets. Now the good news:
My porch corn, cucumber and red pepper plants are going great. Note the ear emerging from the stalk. I predict a giant ear of corn. The corn planted in the field has been nibbled by the racoons and not doing well.
At the start, Mitch and Peggy (back right) responding to someone asking if there was a workaround Rocky & Tar Hollow climbs. Also note Flying Tuna, having just thrust her bike into the picture. She is the all-time camera hog. Bring the camera up to the eyes to snap a picture and she races to get in it. Also note Mitch the Engineer recently stopped wearing jerseys with a front pocket, in which he would have his pens and caliper at the ready. He's a bit on the eccentric side but a great guy otherwise.
Nice turnout today for a great route. I like routes like this that, rather than constant up and downs like Cindy's inferior Blue Jay ride, have beautiful valley riding punctuated by a few long and steep climbs with long, rolling riding along ridges. The roads were good and just plain good people with whom to hang too. Probably had 38-40 at the start.
We arrived at a seldom visited market in the middle of nowhere on 327 and the women was a bit overwhelmed, as shown. Having just come out of Tar Hollow, we were ravenous and soon cleaned the store out of energy drinks. Rick Holt had to settle for a Hooters energy drink. Later, I noted he seemed mezmerized by the can and so I looked and it was a well endowed woman on the can's cover causing his in-depth study. Later he complained of cramping and Mitch suggested it was because the blood had rushed to the wrong part of his body while he was drinking the Hooters. That Mitch is funny.
Todd Lee seated on the left and from what I hear, turning 60 later this year...amazing. Franz on the right and getting stronger and of course Flyin Tuna, having just leaped into the center of the picture. All in front of the market, contemplating a return up to the top of Tar Hollow via Clark Hollow Road.
We left the market and quickly turned onto Clark Hollow Road for another ascent to the top of Tar Hollow. Gosh, that was fun but then another long ride along flat to rolling roads until we made a left onto the strangely named, Thornton Sprung Road. Whoa, a 20%+ ramp greeted us and Todd and I had a pitched battle to the top. Eventually we overtook Beth Hale and Frank Stinehart, behind whom we drafted for a little while since Frank is wide enough to allow two guys to draft side-by-side. More nice roads before turning onto the infamous Rocky Road, home to the most difficult climb, probably in the state of Ohio. Long and steep and really steep and long. Later I noted to Mitch that several road markings had been crossed out and changed. I thought he said Peggy had gone out to mark the roads and then he went behind her, fixing all her mistakes. I could be wrong about my interpretation but I thought that's what he said. We stopped briefly in Kingston before covering the final 12 miles back to Circleville for a total trip of 70 miles with 3500' of climbing. Great route and ride.
Jamie prepares while Dennis and I yell, "You look fat!" and "How much weight have you added?" Then Jamie stood up and we noted he had plugs in, listening to music and thus missed our very creative taunts.
Franz made a rare appearance. Seems that work is interfering with the important things in life--cycling. Appears he is ingesting a pre-ride substance to build endurance.
Left to right, Dennis, Dave and Jeff S, post ride.