We Dine Only at the Finest Places
If you rode the Roving Ride last week and did not like the heat, humidity and relentless hills, then you liked today's ride of relatively cool temps, thin clouds to obscure the sun, low humidity....well...ok...lots of hills. Andrew gathered the 60+ of us together to give good ride notes. Note to Recumbent Dude--pay attention next time. And then off we went with options of 49, 76 or 96 miles through a very rural part of Ohio, starting out of Sugar Grove.
At the start, SupeDave, Todd Mullens, Larry P, Da Boss, Kenda's Janet, Paul & Rick, Canal Susan, Kevin K, Dentist Brad, Mitch et. al. were there and ready to go.
Recumbent Dude, prowling the parking lot above. We headed out Sugar Grove road on some flat to rolling terrain and as we approached the first significant hill, the eager beavers leapt at the start of the big climb led by Da Boss with Steve O, Mark C, Jeff S, me, Andrew and 3-4 others breaking away. What ensued was a series of climbs and drops across a ridge line, more up and down and relentless pace until we reached #93 and then at mile 25, rolled into New Straitsville, with a sign that greeted us stating it was an ATV Friendly town.
Our average at that point was 19.8mph and we stopped at the market, greeted by some of the town regulars. What a great bunch of guys who complimented us on our fit form and then began ragging on the local women, all of whom, if these guys are to be believed, lack teeth but not body mass.
We grabbed the usual mix of liquid and food and thus began the great debate, ride the full 96 or take the 76 route. Da Boss, Andrew, Steve O, Jeff S and Mark C went long, I think everyone else went "Short". Note the guy above on the left. He mostly hung with us all the way into New Straitsville. He is 66 years old!
I rode with Recumbent Dude and SupeDave into Shawnee and then into Moxahala. We stopped there at another decrepit market and grudgingly headed out for a 20 mile stretch on Marietta and into Bremen. Dave and I stopped at a gas station where I consumed a gourmet 6" Italian sub and as we headed out of town we decided to check the Amish Deli (Rienschields Meats) where we discovered a huge crowd so we stopped again.
Kenda Janet, while strolling to the restroom, noted an open door and, peering in, saw a dead cow hanging from a hook. This place really does have fresh meat! We eat at the finest places in Ohio, that's for sure. A large group of us rolled out of Bremen and headed west on Bremen Road, then Lake, Duffy, Baumen (ugh) but at the top of Baumen, several of us made a left onto Crawfis, then coasted down Revenge and back to the parking lot with 69 miles and 4200' of climbing.
Some of us have been curious as to why Steve O is making the long and arduous drive north, each Thursday, to ride with us out of New Albany. This evening, he showed up with his hybrid and tennis shoes, rather than road bike and cycling shoes. This prompted Dennis to speculate that Steve wanted to ride with the Thursday ladies and yet still get in a decent workout pushing that extra weight and rolling resistance. Thus began a debate among Dennis, Cindy & others as to what the appropriate title for the blog should be. It began as "Tuesday men who show up to ride with Thursday women" but that was too long and finally, we all agreed to the above title. You can guess why "Fast" is in italics.
Recumbent Dude is on the phone, begging his wife to bring him the missing front wheel. Nate leads such a hectic life with weekly trips to Boston that I must cut him some slack.
We all agreed that the sleeveless jersey would look better on Flyin and the sleeved would look much better on Steve O. Otherwise, they could be twins.
One of our regulars, Claude, who races as a Cat 3 (note to self--quit taking images with sun directly behind people, geesh)
The shady side of the building is an attractive place to hang prior to the start. Tri-Mike in the foreground.
Good gathering for the start but especially of the A group. 20 of us rolled out and not a weak link in there, well one anyway, with Steve, Jeff S, Dennis, Kyle Tingler, Colnago Ron, Terry, Mick, Muscle Dude, Jon the Dentist, Claude, Savage Hill Rick, Paul S, Marty, etc... We headed out Waltons Parkway to Beech, then hit Miller going east and all the way to 310. There was a fairly strong wind out of the north so that probably constrained Terry or others from making any vicious attacks. We hit Duncan Plains, topping out at #37 and then headed north on the freshly chip & sealed Castle. Stayed on that all the way to Sportsman Club before a quick left and then a right sent us farther north on Nicols. The pace through here was kind of high and after one particularly intense stretch, I looked back and damn if everyone was still with us. Almost everyone is in such great shape by this time of the year except....we made a right onto Dutch Lane and suddenly, boy, my legs felt really fatigued and no way to get out of the cross wind either, I slid back a few spots....slid out of the line altogether and could not catch the wheel of a chasing group of Dentist, Marty and Dave C. The dentist was even nice enough to shout encouragement but I was done, at mile 19 and a 21.9 average. Apparently my easy riding of the last few weeks has caught up with me but that's ok. I'm counting on the California mini training camp correcting this and when I come back....I'll probably still suck. I took Northridge south and came past a C group and then turned left on Hardscrabble, thus missing the Louden to Stone Quarry loop, which was on the original 45 mile route. A B group caught up to me but I was waiting for the A's to appear and continued to soft pedal into Alexandria, where I waited at the turn onto Jersey Mill. Meanwhile, there had been a lot of action out on the road. Jeff S dropped or broke his chain with Dennis stopping to help. On Hardscrabble, someone had a flat and forced Kyle T off the road and still the group did not stop.There were at least 4 flats this night among the groups. Eventually, Terry came roaring by, followed by Mick, Ron and 2 others but that was it. I waited but no one else appeared so I headed west on Jersey Mill and then on old 161, Kyle T came by and he, I, Peggy (New Albany Peggy not Canal Peggster) and another guy put in a nice run into New Albany where I finished with a 20.2 average. 39 miles and 1200' of climbing. There was some talk in the parking lot about that guy in tennis shoes on the hybrid. Get this Poobah, someone complained that the tennis shoe guy caused too many gaps in the line or something like that but everyone admired his strength. I think the Tennis Shoe Dude hung with the A group through Stone Quarry, an astounding feat.
Phenom Appears At Canal
Mitch presented us with a great route for the Canal ride, 48 miles and a stretch on Hopewell Church. I really respect the ride leaders that do not fall back on the same, relentlessly same, hopelessly redundant, boring routes, week after week after week. This Tuesday group of leaders comprised of Mitch, Craig C, Peggster and Ryan have done a nice job and right now my hands are furiously clapping in appreciation. Maybe only 45-50 cyclists showed up and that still included some new riders. Here, Nick in the foreground (age unknown) is standing next to a phenom, Luke from Sugar Grove and only 15 years old. He is a protégée of Grand Poobah (should someone this young be exposed to the kind of tricks Poobah can pass on?).
Canal Susan made an unusual visit, here with Kevin K.
The usual cycling bums were there and a huge group of A's left the parking lot, including Mark C, Steve O, Astana Dennis, Mitch, Walker Dude, Buckeye Dude with other OSU students, Nate on a blue Seven, Ted M, Nick, Jeremy, Paul Stock at least 22 of us. Then, a funny thing happened. Having exited the parking lot and arrived at the intersection with the light on E Waterloo, we paused for a car while the Walker Dude and 3 others appeared to hammer. Pretty sizable gap was created but for a warm-up pace no problem except we kept riding faster and faster and not closing the gap. ANOTHER VIOLATION OF THE UNWRITTEN RULES OF THE ROAD....you do not hammer during the warm-up phase. However, after turning right on Hill, it appeared the Walker Dude was still going at it hard and both Steve and Jeff put in long pulls and still not closing the gap. We crossed Winchester and proceeded up the hill, rounding the S curve and a couple of guys leapt from behind, we grabbed on and finally, just before the turn onto Slough, we latched on. I was not amused.
We turned right on Sitterley and right on Miller and then left on Cedar Hill. The pace had moderated, since we were no longer chasing and all the way out Cedar Hill, because the group was still so large, if one was at the back, one was not having to work terribly hard, a fact I discovered rather late but enjoyed it once I drafted back after a short pull. We finally cruised into Amanda with a 22mph average and 18 of us hanging on. Oh, get this. Before the start, I asked Poobah if he wanted to leave early as part of a "Senior Start Time". Oh No, he replied, "That would not be necessary." Well, we caught up with Poobah and Logan somewhere on Cedar Hill because they had taken off early. Poobah is so tricky. There are very successful grifters in New York who could learn a lot from Poobah.
We got onto Hamburg and headed toward Landis where we were to turn right, except I began asking myself, do I wanna suffer today? Ahhhh, no and skipped that turn to make a left on Delmont. Poobah and Ted each made a similar decision and off we went but not together. Poobah was going to wait along the route for the Long A's, Ted was anxious to get home and eat birthday cake and my pace was in between, arriving back in the parking lot with 43 miles and 2000' of climbing and a 19mph average. Meanwhile, the hills on Hopewell Church did what is expected and apparently the young phenom, Logan and Nate on the blue Seven led the way up the significant climbs, followed closely by Mark C, Steve, Buckeye jersey guy and a few others scattered not too far back. There was some regrouping and catching of other short cutters (like me) and a largish group finished with 48 miles and I think a 21.4 average.
There rides amongst us a small, super elite group of cyclists. Few know of this shadowy group. Rather than ride the COP roving rides with us shelps on Saturdays, this "special forces" group rides the routes on Sundays. I have known of their existence for a long time but like images of UFOs, presenting proof is challenging. This elite group of cyclists have a special route on which they train under the code name "FRANK". They use this route to prepare them for super rides such as"Mountain Mama", "Mountains of Misery", "Blood, Sweat & Gears", "Tour de France", "Giro de Italia", etc.... Long I have sought a map of this route. I have my informants and stooges throughout central Ohio but no one has ever provided me a copy of this super climbing & training route......until.....tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In order to protect the innocent, I will change the name of the hero who, at long last and finally, gave me a freakin copy, "Ted" who risks alienation from the group if not a bullet in the back of the head, bravely gave me a copy which I have posted above. This route is around 100 miles and well over 9500' of climbing. Do you realize how hard it is to come up with a century ride that actually has 10,000' of climbing, without doing endless repeats up Chickencoop????? Nearly impossible but now, I have that route. I strongly believe in "open content" so rather then selfishly keep for my own and use the Frank route to turn me into a super cyclist, I now share with you all. Frankly, I do not recognize any of the villages and towns so I'm not even sure this is in Ohio but further research on my part will reveal additional details, which I will share with you all.
I have received a couple of messages from members of the super secret cycling group regarding the publishing of their training route. I may have to go into hiding after Imam Dubois issued a fatwa against me but one member sent me this chilling warning: Like any good treasure map, this one might kill you. Mark, do not ride the blue line clockwise, it contains a hill that should only be climbed. The bottom is a one lane road, any car on it with a bicycle descending = crash. Cars do have the good sense to drive under 30 mph on it (cyclists do not) and when you're climbing you can get to an edge before impact with the descending car. Never mind the hidden stop sign at the bottom. There is no fence and plenty of corn for your off road adventure. Yellow line is about 75 miles.
We Went Up & We Went Down....Alot
Cindy's Saw Tooth Tour began on a sunny, humid and hot morning with a temperature of 94 forecast later in the day and winds topping out at 17mph, from the southwest.
For Dennis, the day started with the discovery that a tire was flat and so he quickly changed it and was able to leave on time with Larry P, Steve O, Poobah, Mitch, Mark C, Kendaites Janet and Paul, Scott, SuperDave (or just Supe to his friends), Dan, Astana Dennis, Jeremy an others totaling around 25.
Route distances were 55, 70 and 80 miles. Lots of optimistic people at the start with everyone claiming they would do the 70 or 80 mile route, until the hot reality of the hills and heat caused them to rethink their plans later. Anyway, Flyin Tuna called us together and announced she had generously marked the route all the way to Glenford, roughly 10% of the route. We were all unimpressed but she claimed she had run out of paint. After a short stint on the bike path, we rolled south on Licking Trails Road before heading east on White Chapel and then south on the very hilly and steep Fairmont, crossing 40. Soon I dropped back fro the lead group and was in between groups. I may have become a bit disoriented and gotten off the route unintentionally and arrived in Glenford ahead of everyone, shaving 2 miles from the route. I continued on 757 and was almost to Somerset before Mark C and Steve O caught me.
Wow, was it hot. Lots of people began making plans for the 55 mile short route and who could blame them? The route was described as scenic and so it was, if you like arriving at the top of one hill and looking up the road and seeing another 100 you must climb. In Somerset, Mark C pored ice into his back jersey pocket, which seemed like a good idea until later it began fizzing as it bled out of his shorts. Kind of gross and no one wanted to ride behind him. We left Somerset via 22 then onto Stage Coach and then Palomino and at the bottom of the hill where it dead ends, we turned right on Pen and immediately confronted a "wall". A hard climb for the tired and hot among us (everyone). By now, I had unzipped my jersey all the way and enjoyed the liberation of being released from the sweaty and tight confines of it. Gosh it felt great and I was enjoying it until Poobah reached over and tried to cop a feel. I asked him not to touch my breast and was shocked he had even tried, apparently the victim of the heat. I drifted back to seek advise from Tuna, asking her how she handled such situations. She told me, when that happens to her, she kindly asks the offending male not to repeat and that usually works. Now I'll know how to handle the situation in the future.
After a forever stretch on Marietta Road, we coasted into Bremen for a snack and more fluids. Above, Astana Dennis and Poobah relax in the shade before heading back out. We split up from Bremen with Dennis I & II, Larry, Poobah and me opting for the 70 mile route and Mark C, Steve, Mitch, Jeff S and Cindy doing the 80. We reached Thornville and took refuge in the shade at the market, guzzling more fluids. While looking at the map, I noted we were to head farther east for a repeat on Fairmont and I suggested a flatter alternative that was quickly approved by the group. We finished with 68 miles and 4600' of climbing. It sure seemed as if we climbed much more than that.
Wow, great article from Nicoles Roche about a stage this week at the Tour. He is the team leader, flatted and team mate refused to give up his bike. http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/i-wanted-to-smash-his-head-in-i-couldnt-stand-to-be-near-him-2264978.html
Yeah, It Rained
Da Boss got word out that he would be at the New Albany ride and I hoped the best of the best would be there to challenge him. Craig was so into the challenge, when I arrived a full hour prior to the start, he was already there with his bike in a trainer and he seated on the bike, pedaling furiously with a towel draped over his head. I was horrified at the scene and so scampered over and convinced him he would not need this extra preparation and besides, it was embarrassing.
Farmer Mike rolled in and I was shocked to see his Civil War era beard was completely gone. I think the summer's heat was taking its toll on him and losing the facial hair made things better. I could not decide if he now looks younger or older but at 68, he remains very strong, for any age.
Early, it appeared few would ride because of rain in the area but slowly they came, including some good A riders like Mick (background) and Dave McConaha (foreground), as well as Tim Tyler, Jeff S, Nate Harner, Dennis, Jon the Dentist, Marty, Colnago Ron, quite a few new guys who looked and dressed the part but you never know. In total, there was a modest group of 45-50 with 18 rolling out with the A group. I felt like riding with the B group but thought I should suffer with the A so I could document the history of Craig's unique visit to New Albany.
Also there were SuperDave, Flyin Tuna, Katherine, Jeff F, Eve, Mark and Karen Rossi (pictured), Roy, Amanda (rolling in late) and others I see all the time but don't know. I need to spread my good cheer to an expanded group so I can ID them at the start.
Jeff came up with a good route through Granville and up the hill on Thresher and back via Stone Quarry, Northridge, etc.. so it was a good route to demonstrate the fine qualities of the area with flat and hilly mixed in. We headed out old 161 at a lively pace and Ron and I noted a black cloud east of us but not to worry, clouds always move west to east except this one did not. It either swung north and hit us or just waited for us because when we reached the intersection at Beech, it began to rain. By then, my glasses were so fogged up I could not see and removed them. As we headed east, the rain picked up in intensity and without my glasses, I again could barely see as water was constantly spraying in my eyes from the bikes in front of me. Whoever was at the front kept a very moderate pace so I spent much of the time not drafting into the rain/tire swarm of water blast. Still, it was kind of dicey and when we reached the turn at 310, Marty, Jon and I bugged out of the group.
We headed back toward New Albany and separated some where as they wanted to add miles. Closing back in on New Albany, I hit dry pavement so thought I would ride the route counterclockwise and pick the A group back up. When I reached Caswell off Miller, I noticed riders emerging from there but that was not on the official route. With the weather and also knowing the A group's propensity for choosing its own route, I gave up on trying to find them and jumped in with a small group and rode back in with 39 miles. As it turned out, Craig had, as expected, led the way up Thresher (cutting a path through water cascading down the hill), hooked up with Nate and rode most of the route back with others strewn behind or having taken weather induced short cuts.
Oh yeah, one of my creative advisers (Dennis) suggested I start a series about tips from different riders about riding or life. He got started with this gem, "When you run out of hair gel, Chamois Butter is a good substitute."
Don't Hate Me
I received word this week that I must travel to Vegas for a trade show in August. I immediately began plotting on what else to do, likely spend a few days hiking or backpacking in the Grand Canyon. For the heck of it, I did a Mapquest for my California training camp area in Santa Ynez valley and SHAZAMMMM, it's only a 6 hour drive away. Wouldn't it be neat to ride those mountains at midseason form rather than when I am a fatty patty in March? See how much time I can cut off my best times, see how much I can eat and drink again? The answer....heck yes. Rather than ship my bike, I found a Specialized Tarmac with compact crank I can rent so that sounds like a climbing machine. Also, for my birthday, my kids got me this neat little video device called a Bloggie. So, I'll collect some video "footage" and post it to Youtube via a link on the blog, as well as take some more neat images.
Although the radar looked a little iffy and the clouds looked a little ominous, we rode the route with no rain, just very humid. Probably only 45 people at the start and it appeared most of those would make up what would be a very robust A group. Included in the mix were 4 new guys, more OSU students or friends of students (do all 50,000 students ride in the Cat 3-5 range?) who rode down from around the campus area, including Nate Harner who made a very generous donation to the Pelotonia fund and who is also riding Pelotonia.
So far, I had received little flack over the decision to veer into the gutter with the "Women of the Thursday Night Ride", although Eve threatened to slug me if I did it again. Dennis and I were talking about the reaction and one of us came up with the idea of doing a "Men of Tuesday who Ride Like the Women of Thursday". The first featured male cyclist of this new series is Margarita Rick. Likely, out of fear of the consequences, this series will go no farther, despite the plethora of candidates.
Hey, there was Ty Jordan, making a rare appearance and continuing to lose massive weight. He said his goal is to challenge Jamie to a race when he too loses 100 pounds.
Donna had come up with a flat route for us Tuesday, which is ok to work into the route rotation once in awhile. There were close to 20 in the A group including Da Boss, Steve O, Mark C, Dennis, Ryan R, Ted Miesky, Grand Poobah, Jeff S, Tri-Andrew, the 4 new guys, 2 of whom were in Tri-Tech kits, etc.. We headed out Basil Western at a fairly high pace before reaching Bader and turning right, hitting a few rollers in there and than a modest rise on Leonard. Somewhere in there, Ryan R observed Dennis's cycling shorts had become very worn and the "see through" shorts even reminded us of women's lingerie. Of course, Ryan lingered back there a looooong time. Also somewhere in there, Poobah sat up and drifted out of line, leaving a gap. My typical reaction to such events is, "Uh-Oh" with a couple of profanities thrown in there for spice. We covered the gap and then later, Poobah sped forward and reclaimed a forward spot in the peloton...strange. As we hit Basil and approached the ramp into Baltimore, Poobah was pinched against the white line with Da Boss riding to his left. It appeared this would be a sign sprint Poobah could not contest but wait.....Poobah rode on the berm around someone and sprinted up the hill. Kind of dangerous move but you know what those sign sprint wins are worth in group esteem so I forgave him.
After coasting through Baltimore, we approached the turn that would lead us to Canal Road. A car was approaching but I judged I had a few feet of clearance so I turned, while everyone else waited. After the group caught me, Da Boss called me "Clingan" a notorious nickname given to anyone who takes unfair advantage of the group. I was offended because I did not attempt to exploit the advantage. Very unfair and that one still hurts. Anyway, We sped out Canal, turning left on Lake and then left on Bickel Church. Da Boss was spending a lot of time at the front. Earlier, on Basil Western, with Da Boss perched on the right, four guys rode alongside him before burning their wicks and sliding back, with Craig just sitting there setting a pace none of the four could match for long. On Bickel Church, people kept making the mistake of allowing Craig to move off the front after a long pull and settle into the 2nd or 3rd slot where he would quickly reclaim the front and pull again. HERE'S A SUGGESTION--MAKE HIM DRIFT TO THE BACK!!!! Geez, having that guy rotate to the front after 1-2 1/4 mile pulls by others is brutal, although it is great fun to see if you can hang in there, which I was surprised I was able to do and felt unusually good this night, even taking my own 1/4 mile pull once in a while.
We eventually reached Basil Western and cruised back into Canal with 39 miles and a 22.6 average. The pace was higher than that but there are frequent stop signs that cut into the average a little. The final group had 8-9, including some Clydesdales, who were able to hang on because of the flat route of only 825' of climbing. Now for the drama, I quickly got the cooler out and as I thought, the good people of Tuesday Canal gave generously and I now have $83 to give to Paul Stock's Pelotonia fund with Steve Oxley of Oxley Financial Services, contributing an equal amount and raising it to $100. I could not help but notice Nate Harner contributed $20, while also attempting to raise money for his own Pelotonia fund. While we were standing around, a few of us saw an opportunity to incite and we began questioning the odd behavior by Poobah and Steve during the ride, while they were standing with us. I, of course, would never stoop so low as to stir things up but I was there and feel it my duty to simply report what I heard. To summarize, the unwritten rules of the peloton were violated. The exchange ended with this:
Poobah--Watch out. You're only going to motivate me to get in shape this winter and come out and kick your butt next Spring.
Steve--That's what you said last year!
Poobah--Your mom wears combat boots!!!
Steve--Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me.
Serious stuff and I hope the passions of the post ride have evaporated and these two old war horses will put it all behind them, as it appeared they had after 3-4 cold ones. Now for the super exciting stuff....Da Boss is on vacation in PA for the next week! Woooooohoooooo...no Boss for next week's ride. BUT....he said he would attend the Thursday New Albany ride this week.
After 45 minutes, we began to disperse. Not sure who that person is on the left but he/she spent a lot of time digging in the cooler for something. The dude on the left, when wearing helmet and glasses, looks just like Alberto Contador. Guy in the middle is another of the new guys who showed for the ride.
While I was in Munich, Germany for a trade show a couple of years ago, I stayed with a friend whose daughter worked at one of the beer gardens during Ocktoberfest. Alongside is an image of her working hard. I have a special surprise for tonight's final "Paul Stock Pelotonia Post Ride Beverage Bonanza" That's right....this young lady will not be there to serve the beverages but....I will and will have your faves. All drinks are free but should you choose to donate, all proceeds are forwarded to Paul for his Pelotonia ride and REMEMBER!!!!! Oxley Financial Services will match, dollar for dollar, up to $100, all money collected..
What Happens When You Quit Cycling
Yes, it's true. Jamie Roberts has again quit cycling, as confirmed to me via email this weekend. In fact, Kevin H sent me this image of Jamie riding around Buckeye Lake where Jamie has apparently packed back on that 100 pounds he lost. Let this be a lesson to others who may also be thinking of giving it up as we battle the heat and humidity of summer.
On Thursday, I received an invitation to join a ultra select group of climbers on a route that had road names that made me shudder almost as much as Da Boss' comment, "I'm looking forward to a good workout." Egads! Now, it is fair for you to wonder how I got on this invite list but just as cycling journalists are allowed to follow the first or last day of a pro team's training camp, I too was invited to witness these heavy weights in action. I had to promise not to put anything embarrassing on the blog, ask personal questions, take any compromising images and I had to sign an agreement that forbid certain other activities. With that, I was permitted to join the fun. One of the combatants, Steve O, coined this ride the "First Annual Ryan R Too Cheap to Donate to a Worthy Cause Ride". At the start were Mark C, Steve, Craig, Mitch, Jeff S and Ryan. OK, maybe some other special exemptions were handed out to allow some other non elite climbers. We were preparing to leave the parking lot until we observed Mitch engaging in one of the more extreme examples of compulsive behavior as he repeatedly checked to make sure he had locked his car. Finally we rolled out of Canal Winchester and went south on Waterloo where Mitch had a flat. As he unfurled his spare tube I noticed it had more patches then a 5-year old pair of hobo's jeans. The frugal one does not like to shell out $5 for new tubes, preferring to patch instead. I watched for a few minutes and then decided to push on so as to reconnoiter the route and make sure there was no road debris, road closures and maybe to get a head start on the route. Headed up Slough, east on Winchester and then right on Pickerington Road, where I waited at the top of the final large climb. Soon they came rolling through with Da Boss leading the way and Mark and Steve riding hard for 2nd.
We turned left at Coonpath then right on Plummer and then Lamb and then Mitch had another flat, this time on the other wheel. I monitored the situation for a bit and then sacrificed riding with this fun bunch to continue on with route inspection,,,and maybe to get a head start on what lay ahead. I worked my way over to Delmont and up that hill, left on Stoney Hill and then out Christmas Rock where the others finally caught up. When Mark and Steve came along, I joined them up the climb to the prison and since I had been conserving my strength just as Lance is doing during the Tour, I spanked them on that climb. We coasted down Blue Valley to 33 but then headed up Pump Station Road where, close to the top, Mr. Patchy had another flat. I coasted down Brushy Fork to find Ryan at the stop sign and let him know what was going on. Eventually, we regrouped and made a stop at the store in Sugar Grove, at mile 40.
Did you know it was hot on Saturday? Just askin cause if you didn't know, the high was to be in the low 90's and it began to feel like that about the time the meat of the route was imminent. We climbed Fire Tower Road, dropped down Swartz Mill and headed toward, you guessed it, Savage. Up Savage and then down Carpenter before going up Chickencoop. Some where in this stretch, the route creator, Ryan, began to criticize himself with Mitch and I willing contributors. In fact, I've never heard someone who created a route beat himself up so much over his route making decisions. After finishing the hills on Baumen, we were mostly cooked and headed into Lancaster and the CVS. The route had us going on Stump Hollow and other roads but a debate ensued, a vote taken and the weakest of us carried the vote and instead we headed out 22 to 188 and took the flattest route back to Canal that was possible. Finished with 79 miles and 5100' of climbing,
OK, so here's how it got started. I was standing with Dennis and SuperDave when Dennis observed there were several good looking women riding tonight. I of course, had not noticed. Dennis then urged me to do a "Girls of the Thursday Ride" issue. I was very reluctant to do this since it will certainly offend some of the loyal visitors and further stain my reputation. After much brow beating and pressure from Dnnis, I took a warm-up lap of the parking lot but thought walking up to someone and asking if I could take their picture, was a little wierd so instead, I took the images surreptitiously, which is also kind of wierd. However, being weak-minded, I succumbed to the pressure and here are the "Women of Thursday Night Ride." Listed in no particular order of beauty or brains or riding strength also with a ride report mixed in.
Nice turnout considering the temperature was hoving around 90+ with around 60 people present. Surprisingly, Jeff made up for last week's short route with a 48 mile monster. Really good route over to Chattam/Chestnut Road intersection. I rode with the Westerville A group on Wednesday that had a nice group of 12 and we averaged 22 so I wanted to relax with the B group tonight. Anticipating an easier pace, I rolled the hem back on my cycling shorts to work on removing the sharp tan line. I was good to go with Dennis, SuperDave, Katherine and Husband, Tri-Mike, Gary, Dan, Jon the Dentist, Recumbent Dude, others totaling 18-20.
Meanwhile, Steve O made the long drive up from Carrol for another go with the A group. Unfortunately, the strongest A's have vanished. No John Morgan, no Billy Campbell, no Red Head Bill & posse, no Terry, what happened??? Anyway, there was Mick, two Walker guys, Colnago Ron and a few others to head out old 161 to Jug, to Alexandria, Racoon Valley, left on Louden and down the hill to Dry Creek Road.
My hope for a moderately paced B ride evaporated out of the parking lot. Dennis had no ridden for a few days and was not riding this weekend so he hammered. Katherine hammered, Dentist hammered and I grimly hung on with 0 interest in an intense ride. The B ranks thinned out considerably and when we reached Dry Creek, there were around 6 of us and I checked out, dropping back with Gary and Dan, who are riding 170 miles on Saturday across Indianna so they too were uninterested in a hard ride and Recumbent Dude too joined us. On we went to 661, up Chattam, left on Chestnut Hills and on to Sportsman Club Road.
The ride out Sportsman Club into the wind and heat was particularly, well....hot of course. I was thinking about the battles that were taking place on the road ahead but glad to be with these guys, riding easy and enjoying the scenery.
We reached Northridge and enjoyed the mostly down hill into Alexandria. I noted my average, which had ben close to 22 when I bugged out of the "B" group at Dry Creek Road, was now well under 20 and unlikely to average more than 20, which had kind of been a personal goal this year, not to ride a group ride under 20mph. Oh well. The route had us going west on Jug but no one wanted to ride that again so we took Jersey Mill, as did several others, I learned later. The Jersey Mill road is a long, up hill slog and we were glad to reach 310 and then quickly, old 161. We dropped Recumbent Dude on Jersey Mill but I knew that would not last once on the flatter streches of 161 and sure enough, he caught us and buzzed by.
We rode on out 161 and then noticed in the front yard of a home, a car on its hood with a cyclist standing near by. The cyclist gave us the thumbs up and so we contined and later learned he had been riding and saw a car swerve to avoid hitting a dog, lost control, flipped and slide off the road into the yard, all just 100 yards in front of him. Yikes. I'm getting desperate for that 12th women of the New Albany ride as you can tell.
We finally reached the parking lot with 46 miles and a 19.7 average. The B group I had abandoned had a 20,3 average and Steve O's A group had 22.3. Steve said he and Mick has sign sprinted into New Albany. After the ride, Dennis told Steve he could dominate the New Albany ride and I agreed, as long as the usual top 4-5 continue not to show. Well, that's about it. I promise not to do this sort of thing in the future. Not shown were Katherine and Amanda. Katherine was there but I was conerned her husband would think I'm strange if I post another image of her and Amanda, having shot her wad on the Wednesday Westerville ride (and impressively so) was a no-show.
So many options for Saturday. The Steve Barbour Memorial ride is a good option but frankly, the drive into down town Columbus and then riding into and out of the city is unappealing, there is the Land of Legend ride but the 100 mile option has 30 miles of bike path riding...ugh...an organized ride out of Lancaster and then there is an invitation only ride out of Canal that is supposed to be the hilliest ride of the year with something like 20,000 feet of climbing in 80 miles with Chickencoop, Firetower, Savage, etc... Probably do that and report on it later.
Steve Barbour Memorial Ride
Kenda Janet suggested I remind people the Steve Barbour Memorial Ride is this Saturday. The ride offers a variety of distances and is a full service tour. For more information, click on this link. http://www.bikecolumbusfestival.com/events/memorial-challenge/
Two Men Enter, No Men Leave
Pretty depressing radar screen and no way we were going to ride tonight but I knew with certainty, if I did not make the drive to Canal, the sun would shine and they would ride...so I went. I parked to the side and observed something interesting. Craig arrived, appeared to be invited in to Mitch's car. They sat there for a long time. I wondered, what could be going on in there? Jeremy pulled up, chatted for a moment and left, with those two still in that car.....very strange....Ryan....you're very sensible, what do you think?
Steve O arrived and noted the same thing. However, he walked over to the car and asked loudly, "Hey, what's goin on in there?". Later, I invited them to come over for a drink from my bast inventory of various premium beers. Mitch took me up on my offer and asked if I could change a $100. Uh...no...sorry go ahead and take it on the house. Now, I have to wait until next Tuesday to finally sell off all the drinks for donations. Anyway, no we did not ride.
Free beer at the end of the Tuesday Canal ride and if you wish to make a donation to the Paul Stock Pelotonia fund, that is OK too. As a reminder, Oxley Financial Services will match, dollar for dollar, what I raise, up to $100. Now, the beer drinking crowd at New Albany was OK but everyone knows that is more of a wine and cheese crowd. Canal is a place where men are men and women are men. This is where the real beer drinkers are and so too will an assortment of soft drinks, water and beer.
Lost Boys (& Girls)
The talk prior to Tuesday's Canal ride was about a person wearing a Kenda jersey having been observed pushing a bike up Rocky. When I heard this, I was astounded that someone would be perpetrating such myths and worked my way up the rumor chain until I arrived at the originator of the story. I listened to the explanation and then called him a dirty rotten liar! Kenda Janet would never be forced to unclip under any circumstances. Fast forward to Saturday, I found myself parked next to the Kendamobile and from it popped Kendas Janet and Paul. After some small talk, I worked in Tuesday's rumor and assured Janet I had vigorously defended her. However, she was a bit circumspect with her response and even after specifically asking her, "Janet, do you categorically deny the claim?" her reply was so vague that it reminded me of a master politician who keeps talking and talking yet the listener having no idea on which side of an issue the politico stands. Then, get this!!! She verbally attacked me in front of a large group about putting too much personal information in MY blog. Apparently, Janet is also sly and devious and assumed I would put something about this exchange in here and of course I must. My duty is to search for the truth no matter where it goes. So, I am reporting only the truth, as I know it and I suspect, in fact, Kenda Janet DID unclip.
The turnout for Bruce's Gambier Roving Ride was pretty good with around 35 people showing up, including Larry P and Lisa. Here, Larry removes all their cycling gear because once he navigated the car into a tight space there would be no room to open the doors beyond a crack.
Jeff S, a high volume user of sun block, amidst some of the 35 other arrivals for the Gambier Roving Ride.
Recumbent Dude arrived with everything but his front wheel. How stupid is that?....oh wait....not very. I think this actually shows those of us with very busy professional and private lives can't always remember to pack everything. It is those of you who lead boring, uneventful lives who can remember all your gear, all the time.
We jumped onto the bike path and stayed on it all the way to Danville, about 9 miles. Grand Poobah took an extremely long pull and after the first 1/2 mile, I rode up and asked if he was feeling ok. The path is in great condition but I'm always jumpy when passing all the adults and kids on their hybrid bikes. You never know when little Johnny becomes distracted and veers left of center. Eventually, we reached real roads but then, had trouble staying on the route. I don't know when we left the route and I don't know when we regained it but at some point we got on Jelloway and stopped at rt. #3. Someone said Kenda Paul led us astray but that was just another baseless jab at a Kendaite. At some point, route making duties were turned over to Larry P and he led us on an odyssey of gravel/packed dirt roads. In this image, we are stopped (again) to try to figure out where we are and how to get out of here.
After turning onto and riding THREE "roads" we finally came out on a paved road and you won't believe me but on Wally Road we passed Wally World, some kind of motel/camping area. I swear, the Griswalds passed us at some point. Then we turned onto another gravel road but thankfully spotted a local couple who directed us to stay on Wally Road and after several transitions from packed dirt to pavement, we arrived in Greer and then later Glenmont where some of us stopped at a biker bar/restaurant and had some very tasty hamburgers. Here, Steve O, Poobah, Flyin Tuna, brain damaged Gary and Jeff S stopped for the high quality food while SuperDave, Kenda Janet and Paul, Katherine and 3 others snacked and continued. We finally packed up and headed up a long hill that will forever be known as Cheeseburger Hill because most of us felt like giving up the contents of our stomachs by the time we reached the top. Eventually, we reached 715 where Kenda Poobah headed west and I joined him to make sure he got back ok. We caught up with the other group that had not stopped in Glenmont and headed on to Howard and finally, finally Gambier. With the short-cut, we finished with 68 miles but it took around 6 hours to cover that with all the stops and starts. Steve and his small band ended up with 78 so by getting off the route, we added 14 miles since the original route was to be 64. Note to future roving ride leaders, when creating a ride in unfamiliar territory, it would be very helpful to have road markings since none of us can read a map. Ended up with 3900' of climbing. Beautiful route once we transitioned off the bike path.
Thursday in New Albany
Hot, hot, hot and humid for the early arrivals in the New Albany Thursday ride but then, a couple of high clouds moved in and then more and soon, at the start there was a nice blockage of the sun that kept the worst of the heat at bay. Shown here is Gary, recovering nicely from his crash while buzzing down Rocky Road last Saturday. However, there is some questions about whether the brain is back to normal since he arrived before 5:00pm and wondered why no one was showing up for the ride. Seems he unintentionally left work an hour early, arriving at the parking lot an hour early......
Steve O rode up to make sure his financial interests were protected and serving as my CFO for post ride money donations to Paul Stock's Pelotonia effort (more on that below). I had hoped the big guns would turn out to show Steve the speed/effort of New Albany rides is overall stronger than the Canal rides but the turnout was not what I had hoped. Still, we had Terry, a rare visit from Tim Tyler, Mick, Walker dude, Jeff S, Dennis, Muscle Dude (shown below) Colnago Ron, Savage Hill Rick, probably 16-18 A's rolled out of the parking lot from a total of 60 at the start. More new people keep showing up too, which is great. Not there were Billy Campbell, Red Head Bill and his posse of killers, Marty, Claude, John Morgan and some of the usual stronger A's.
An accident at old 161 and Kitzmiller forced a slight detour out Walton's Parkway before getting back onto old 161. Jeff came up with a flatter and shorter route because of the heat, which produced some grumbling but it was the right thing to do. The pace picked up dramatically out 161 and I was not long for this world if that kept up but when we reached Babbitt to make a right, the front 80% of the group kept going straight while Jeff, Steve, Dennis, a guy who kept asking if this was the fast B group, me and two others turned. We thought the disgruntled A rider had organized an alternative route so we kept going on the route, working our way over to Mink and then the rough stretch on Cable and in the process, dropping the guy who was looking for the fast B group. However, towards the end of Cable, the lost A's streamed by and we jumped on and headed out Headleys. In this stretch, the group went to single file and my legs felt very fatigued for some reason and I began making plans for bailing out when we reached the up hill sections on Patterson except then my legs felt fine, weird. I was in good shape out Patterson and then right on 161 and even down my all time favorite road, Jersey Mill, I was ok. After reaching Alexandria we headed up Northridge where at times, Mick would take a dig, Steve took one, maybe Terry did too but I was in good shape and even rode around Steve while staring at him on the final ramp up to Concorde.
By now, our group was down to 7-9 people as we went south on Castle, out Duncan Plains, 310 and then the multiple ramps on Miller. Here too I was ok and we clearly benefited from Terry being under the weather and not making any attacks. Each time someone did dart out of the pack, the combination of a slight head wind and hill quickly evaporated momentum and we always settled back in before finally reaching Beech and then in with 38 miles and a 22.1 average. Soon, the next group came in with Dan, Cindy, Katherine, Tri-Mike and a large following and they had a 20.6 average I think.
I quickly set out the cooler with ice, beer and soft drinks and people were very generous with their donations. The Asahi Dry was a hit and I want to apologize for having held 2 of them back for selfish reasons. Probably should have had more soft drinks and even diet was requested. I'll probably bring the left over drinks and supplement it with more soft drinks for the end of the Gambier ride on Saturday. Steve O really wants to match my collection, which stands at $32, with $100 so I have a ways to go.
Some drank more heavily than others, including this odd mix of Moutain Dew washed down with Bud Lite. Even Dan, in the background, did a double take over this public display.
Another Important Update!!! I just received a call from Steve Oxley (also known as Steve O.). Oxley Financial Services will match, dollar for dollar, money I collect tonight, not to exceed $100. I warned Steve that even if I collect $4.55, I will claim I collected $100 so as a bonus, Steve will ride tonight and probably act as my finance minister to prevent me from pocketing any of the cash rather than forward to Paul Stock.
UPDATE: I suspect 80-90% of you think this is a gag or if I do show up with beer it will be the cheapest of the cheap. I completely understand this thought but I just returned from shopping and included in the mix is: Asahi Dry (I used to drink this in Japan and surprised to see it available), Coors Light, Heineken and regular Bud, along with soft drinks too. If you want to donate which I will forward to Paul, that's ok but if you just crave a cold one after the hot ride and are low on cash don't hesitate to grab a can/bottle.
Paul Stock, will again be passing out free energy drinks after the New Albany COP Thursday ride. However, I (not pictured) will also be there with a cooler, ice and cold beer----FREE!!!! Now, some of you will assume I am doing this to undermine my good friend Paul.....not true. For every dollar donated to me for providing the free beer, I will donate THAT SAME DOLLAR to Paul's Pelotonia effort. To clarify, I ain't donating a dollar of my own for every dollar collected from you, that would be too much after buying some very expensive lagers and bitters. No, I will just pass on every dollar I collect. Special Note to Flyin Tuna: You may take one home for Rod but if you stuff the jersey again and put down only a buck or two, that is not allowed.
The Canal Furnace
Having previously stood in a foundry, just a couple of feet in front of a pot of molten steel just as a worker picked the pot up with tongs and poured the liquid into a mold, in July, I have a fair point of comparison to what it felt like at the start of the Canal COP ride....it was like standing in front of a freakin furnace! I got to the parking lot extra early to claim one of the very few shady spots but discovered Jeremy was already parked in the most coveted of spots so I found one in front of the bank. I had hoped Ryan would not be in charge of tonight's route because that sadist would have put us on the Revenge route or repeats out Pickerington Road. Instead, thankfully, the meek and kind Peggy produced a very reasonable flatish route with even an opportunity to add miles into Amanda for drinks. What a lady!
It was so hot and humid the turn out was very low and had I not been in need of the calorie burn, I too would have been MIA. The opportunity for interesting images was low so I put the camera away and then a bunch of people arrived late to swell the ranks to a meager 35. Peggy rallied the A group and a surprisingly largish group rolled out with Da Boss, Steve O, 2 Walker guys, Jeff S, Mitch, Ryan, Claude...maybe 8-10. Then the next group rolled out of Dennis, Recumbent Dude, Jeremy, Amanda (I hear the boyfriend slot has already been filled), Canal Susan and several others who I see some times but do not know. Also there was a tri guy with the interesting first name of Iyax (pronounced "eye X") who crushed my fingers when I made the mistake of introducing myself after the ride.
We rolled out to Lithopolis, then out Elder. Even riding in the breeze did nothing to moderate the heat. It was hot at rest, hot when pedaling and hot when coasting. We cruised out Winchester and for the most part, Dennis soft-pedaled and kept everyone together. We made a left on Royalton, jogged over to Winter before making a right on Cedar Hill. While a few rollers cut the group up a bit, we still had 6-8 people and Dennis still took pity on us. We turned onto Westfall and we're greeted by a layer of tar but by staying on the road edge for a hundred yards, we got around it and arrived at Amanda Northern Road. Here it was noted that Amanda had fallen off the pace. I wanted to pause for her but Recumbent Dude said, "Make her work for it." and so on we went, eventually making it to Salem Church. On this route, Recumbent Dude was king and we frantically worked to stay on his wheel. It became known as taking a pull behind Nathan if you were in the #2 spot and when he rotated off the front, the #2 person was rewarded with another pull. By the time we reached Salem Church, we were down to Dennis, me, RD and one other person who was always drafting but given my reputation, how could I object?
Now, in the mean time and slightly ahead of us, there was a little action in the A group. They too had taken an easier pace, reaching Amanda Northern where they turned south to go into Amanda for drinks. From there they went out Sand Hill and then Rock Mill. So far, as is usual, the Walker guys had tried to agitate a little in the first half of the ride only to then disappear on their own route. After the Amanda stop, roughly at Westfall, Da Boss suddenly took off on the climb, leaving Nate (in NU jersey), Claude and Steve O to ride in a small group and who knows what happened to everyone else. Our group caught one cast-off but he was unable to hang with Nathan's tire burning pace, as few could who are not ultrasuperamazingly fit. The front A group finished with a 21.2mph average.
We reached the parking lot with 37 miles and a 20mph average. I must say, Nathan has gone to getting dropped just after the warm up phase on his upright to now dominating the A-/B+ group. It's maddening to catch and drop him on anything exceeding a 1% grade and then watch him scream around on anything flat or slightly down hill. As I constantly drafted behind RD or Dennis it left me time to ponder these issues, which I observed during the ride:
1. Taking a pull while crouched in aero bars. Back in the day, it was considered bad form to take a pull while in the tuck position using aero bars. The thinking was this denied the opportunity for the person behind to draft, just before that person was expected to take a turn at the front.
2. Tucked into the aero position while in the middle of the group. Also back in the day, this too was frowned upon because the person using the aero bars was more unstable and not able to react as fast to an unplanned stop.
Do these unwritten rules still apply or a relic of the past?
What a spectacular day for a ride. It's a cliché to say, "You couldn't ask for a nicer day than today." but you know what, on Saturday, you could not ask for a nicer day. Low humidity, low wind, reasonable temp and a sky having a range of spectacular blue hues from horizon to horizon. Pretty good turnout of 40-50 cyclists, beginning to gather around Peggy for the announcement that the one store at the bottom of Tar Hollow had enough water for half of us so you better get there quick. OK, she didn't say that but I wish those of us who organize rides would think to notify a restaurant or market of the onslaught so they could adequately prepare. I always think of it after a ride (remember the 1 hour wait at the restaurant on my Bladensburg roving ride?) so I'm as guilty as anyone.
As I have said several times, the Rocky Roving ride is my favorite with long stretches of valley riding punctuated by monster climbs. We rolled out and Flyin Tuna headed to the front for a pull, which I assumed would last to the outskirts of Circleville, but she stayed there for a long time. At mile 5, yep, still there grinding it out, mile 8, yep, doggedly guarding the front, mile 9, like a dog with a steak bone still.... Around then, Da Boss blurted, "Oh, that explains it" but refused explanation when I asked him for some specificity. For me, it was nirvana for a nice relaxed pace with plenty of opportunity to swivel the head and take in all the sights. At mile 10, Da Boss finally broke from the pack and others joined in and the peloton went to single file. Eventually, we reached the base of one of Tar Hollow's climbs and reaching the top. coasted to the bottom and worked our way to the aforementioned market.
Must have caught the market in between stocking inventory. The liquid choices were bleak, cheap beer, cheaper beer, sody pop and water bottles. Our large group found what we needed but I heard some of the late arrivals found their choices limited to the beer and pop. We left the market and went back up Tar Hollow on a different road. I hung back with Kenda Janet and Paul (Kenda's Rick and Dave had taken the short cut earlier) and was surprised to listen to Kenda Janet privately admit to fear of having to get off her bike and push, either on this climb or later on Rocky. There is something about discussion of unclipping on a hill that is unsettling. It is just like golfing and having a member of the foursome start talking about shanking, a condition when the ball is struck from the hosel rather than the club face. Just talking about it can cause one to begin shanking the ball or as golfers put it, "Getting the shanks." It's a terrible condition that comes and goes and no one really knows why. So, as I listened to Janet express her fear of unclipping, doubt began creeping into my mind too and I thought about getting the cycling equivalent of golf's shanks. I shuddered.
We reached the foot of Thorton-Splung and the thought of having to watch Janet go through the humiliation of unclipping (and knowing my urge to catch it on camera would be too great to pass) I picked up the pace and left her to the challenge. Eventually, I caught up with SuperDave and Dennis and we had a great time exchanging stories about experiences with other cyclists and openly guessing if the next turn was Rocky. We were always wrong until we were right and there it was. What a grueling stretch in which 700' is gained, equal to the 5 mile stretch on Blue Jay but this 700' gain is achieved in less than a mile and at the top, I thought I saw 29% on the Garmin. This is easily the toughest climb in our area, I think. We coasted down and were surprised to see Gary standing by the side of the road, having crashed. This is understandable since one is near delirious at the top of the climb and then the road narrows on the down hill and gets a little twisty so if you don't have all your mental faculties about you.... Anyway, Gary appeared to be ok other than road rash.
We reached the bottom and the option of going straight to stay on the 68 mile route or left to do a 10 mile loop that repeats the Rocky climb but from a different direction. I had an obligation to get some images of exhausted cyclists reaching Rocky's summit so my plan was to hit the market and then retrace my path back to the top, before the others arrived after following the intended route. I thought the market was only a mile from the bottom of Rocky but it was much farther, almost 5. Now it was questionable if retracing was the quickest way but I did it anyway as the group stayed on the route. OK, I left once, realized I forgot the camera and had to ride back to the market to retrieve it from Steve O. How embarrassing. On the way back to the foot of Rocky, I passed Mitch and Ryan traveling on the route and in the opposite direction. I think Ryan had at least one flat but maybe he can fill us in, in the comments section.
At the top of Rocky following the steep and traditional route, there is a broken pavement road and for some reason, I thought this is the direction the group would approach for the second Rocky climb. Instead, as I began working my way up the back side, on which we had coasted down earlier, I could see a group of cyclists suddenly flash through a turn ahead and realized the group had gotten onto basically the bottom of Rocky from a side road and were now ahead of me and on the same approach as I was on. Oh well, I continued and upon reaching the top, made a right onto that broken pavement road and in fact, it peters out and goes no where. From there, I turned around and followed the marked route back to Circleville for 80 miles and 4400' of climbing. Seems like a lot more climbing then that.
Tonights Canal ride will be 92 and humid. One of the peloton's elite already sent me an email and urged me to form up a slower A group. Maybe I can get Poobah to do the senior start at 5:55 open to sub-50 agers too.
MORE BREAKING NEWS!!!!
Nathan has returned to riding his recumbent and in so doing, has kicked the traditional road bike to the curb. The return of Recumbent Dude began on Sunday with a quick tune-up of the recumbent at Cyclist Connection before departing on the Rushville Coffee House ride out of Canal. I have observed Recumbent Dude struggling with a slight decline in cycling power as he placed more emphasis on running and swimming as he prepared for the next triathlon. Having moth balled the uprights, Nathan has also, for now, passed on tri's for the balance of the year. Please everyone, adjust your helmet mirrors downward to once again picl up this normally under the radar projectile. Also note RD bought a new van and is no longer wearing traditional cycling shorts.
BREAKING NEWS 4:00PM; SUNDAY; JULY 4TH!!!!!!
Amanda Orr, who once nick named herself "Hot Mama" (thus violating unwritten nicknaming rules about self nicknaming) and also tried nicknaming herself "Fast Panda" (I later changed it to "Fat Panda" as punishment for self nicknaming and really torqued her off) has made a MAJOR change in her life. Old boyfriend has been kicked out!!! Eschewing future millions by possibly marrying a doctor, Amanda instead chose to put her pole back in the pond and is again seeking a mate. Here are the qualifying items:
1. The man must be a person of means. This attractive and personable woman has gone the poor boyfriend route too many times.
2. Age is not important as long as the prospect meets point #1.
3. Man must understand that Amanda's love of bike will always trump love for the man, whoever he is.
4. Man must understand that Amanda's love for cycling will always pre-empt love of spending quality time together.
If you think you qualify, you can post your prospects here for review for group enjoyment or contact Amanda directly. GOOD LUCK!!
Lastly, another breaking news announcement is forthcoming later today. I am checking with multiple sources to confirm.