Kenda Janet caught trying on a new cycling jersey by Steve O. Have not heard much about the ride that originated out of Cyclist Connection but I'm sure it was fun.
Meantime, I figured the 9:30am start time out of Granville for John G's ride would dampen turnout and it probably did although there were 8 of us....no actually there were 7 plus one domestique to fall back and sweep the route, picking up anyone who became lost (me). At the start were John G, his friend Charles from MN, Pete C, Mitch T, Todd Mullens, dude in Radio Shack jersey and some other guy whose name I missed. After a spirited run through Granville and Newark we arrived at....yes, Blue Jay yet again. Actually, now that I have traveled it so many times this year, I'm starting to ease up on my enmity toward it and now greet it like an old friend who stole your girlfriend in high school.
I dropped back on the first climb and then sort of enjoyed the ensuing climbs and turns that brought us on to Pleasant Chapel, the big climb on Fairview, Balou, Flint Ridge, south on Cooks Hill to 40 and then a stop at the store in Brownsville where I watched a guy try to restart his 1930 Buick across the road. The others had kept going so I figured I would not see them again but after grinding through 668 and climbing Amish Ridge and coasting down to 204, there was Mitch, Pete, Todd & 2 others, trying to interpret the que sheet. From there, I guided them to Wesley Chapel where we rode hard into Fulltonham. We were greeted with a swarm of 20-30 Harleys in front of the market/bar. Must have been a poker run as Harleys arrived in increments and talk was next of hitting the bar in Jacksontown. John G made the observation that the average weight of a Harley riding woman was above the national average and it must be intentional to give the bike better traction in the snow.
The ride out of Fulltonham was a series of climbs and rolling roads via Rucker, Lower Kroft, Bagley, Wesley Chapel, Coopermill, Morgan and Ridge bringing us to 40...well....bringing me to 40 as they had slowly pulled away. We regrouped at the Flint Ridge Park and then cruised down Brownsville Road to turn onto Blue Jay. After playing possum for 67 miles and noting complacency amongst the peloton, I launched my attack. OK, I launched it in front of Charles so he never had a chance, then after a hill I caught Todd and left him spinning helplessly, I caught Radio Shack dude and dropped him, another climb or two and I approached Mitch T and....he was having none of this foolishness and sped away. My wad was shot and gasping, turned onto Beal where we were regrouping but I kept going, turning onto Watson and ending back in Newark and later Granville. 80 miles with 6000' of climbing. Another genius of a route from the mind of John G.
A few people this weekend are traveling to Monterrey, a remote corner of WV, dominated by seedy hotels, people without teeth and the location of the Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge. If sitting in a car for 12 hours to participate in a 100 mile, 10,000' climbing route punctuated by 9 major climbs (OK, it's a beautiful ride) isn't your cup of tea I am working to convince someone to come up with the "Mountain Papa Road Bike Challenge" as an alternative for those of us stuck in Ohio.
After missing for several weeks, Mick (right) made it back for the Thursday New Albany ride. Retired, he accept a temporary position that caused him to miss riding with our fun bunch. Not sure if this marks an extended return.
You know how when the naked guy emerges from some hidden location to sprint onto a football or baseball field, the cameras don't show it anymore, even if the knucklehead is fully clothed? Showing the interruption only encourages more of it and so, I suspect by identifying the guys who go to the front and blow up our peloton I may only be encouraging more of it, which is not in my best interests. But, what the heck, I'll keep doing it anyway. This is going to be a very short ride report because I'm so disgusted I don't want to dwell on the disgustedly disgusting facts.
Another surprisingly large turnout on a 90+ degree evening. There were 60 at the start and a huge group of "A's" that totaled 23-25. Some of the usual group agitators like Marty, John G and Dave C (although he arrived after we departed) were not there but those two evil Trek guys, Pete C and Chris G were there. We headed out old 161 and there were a couple of surges but fairly modest until about mile 6.45. At that time, Trek1 and Trek2 churned to the front and put down the hammer. As if a grenade had been pitched into our midst, the peloton exploded with Randy Brown flying backwards, Christian, Dennis, Katherine, etc... I was hanging in there behind Stefano but inexorably, the rubber band was getting stretched until....SNAP...I was done. Quickly, mini-groups formed up and chased but they came and passed to quickly for me to jump on and soon, yes yet again, I was riding solo with Randy B about 100 yards in front and Dennis another 100 in front of him. Then, the group got caught at the light on 310 and Randy and Dennis caught back on but I had stopped riding hard and missed the chance. That's about it. The lead group came in with a 23,5 average on the 44 mile route while I was a social butterfly, spending time with the A group again then a group of B's and finished with around a 21 average. Hey...there is the Fed Ex guy outside with my new Garmin cycle computer. Well, got to go but I've been asked to summarize the ride opportunities for Saturday:
Steve O, Jeff S, Flyin Tuna, etc.. will be at Cyclist Connection at 8:00am to participate in a group ride originating from Canal. John Gorrilla has one of his brutal routes which, only 5 miles from my house is too good to pass, but it starts at 9:30am so not sure how many will turn out for that. John Morgan is joining a ride out of the Amanda High School to ride the lower half of the Pelotonia route I think at 8:00am and then of course there is the beautiful COP ride out of Coshocton with a 9:00am start although the sign up begins at 8:00am for those wanting to start earlier.
Yes it's long, yes it's too long but damn-it, why should it be otherwise to report on a combination of cycling, running and swimming from my good friend Tri-Andrew.
Ironman Lake Placid 2011 Race Report
We left for Lake Placid at 3:30 in the morning on Thursday July 21. We had hoped to be out of the door by 3 but that’s how it goes when you are taking a family vacation. We planned for a 12 hour drive and hoped to get my ironman registration done by 4 that afternoon. On the way, we stopped at a lakeside picnic area for lunch and watched the boats on Lake Erie. We encountered some road construction on the way and that caused us to miss the 4 pm registration by about 15 minutes so we went ahead and checked in to our cabin. The temperature Thursday was in the upper 80s and windy, not unlike Ohio. This was not at all typical for the Adirondacks. Upon entering our cabin, we discovered that it did not have air conditioning and most places except for the fancy hotels did not have AC either due to the normally cooler dryer weather. Needless to say our first trip into town was to the hardware store to buy a couple of fans! After we got settled in the cabin, I received an unfortunate phone call from my sister-in-law that my brother Mike had died. I decided to do the race on Sunday anyway and as it turned out the funeral was not until Tuesday. Mike had suffered a series of strokes about 5 years earlier and his health was going down hill. He was only 54 years old.
By Friday the weather had started cooling off. In the morning, I met up with Luke and Michelle at the beach on Mirror Lake and we swam the course. If felt nice and easy. I got registered, picked up my race packet and we went putt-putt golfing at Pirates Cove. We had a good time but Nathan got scared by some skeletons on the course.
On Saturday we made it a very easy relaxing day. In the morning, we drove part of the bike course, played in one of the beautiful trout streams and drove to the top of White Face Mountain, the site of the Olympic skiing during the 1980 Winter Olympics. We had a really good time, it was super windy and you could look down on the village of Lake Placid and see all the way to Vermont and Canada. At noon, I checked my bike and gear bags in to the transition area. In the afternoon, we took a leisurely train ride from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake. The train ride gave me a good opportunity to kick back and relax. Got to bed by 9:30 pm and stared at the ceiling for awhile until finally falling asleep.
Woke at 3:30 Sunday morning for my pre-race oatmeal. Got out the door by 5:00 am and took a shuttle bus into Lake Placid. Checked my bike special needs bag that contained my lunch for the day (tuna sandwich, Doritos, and Coke) and then we all headed over to the swim start. The atmosphere was electric. So much anticipation! After having family prayer, I slipped on my wetsuit and headed to the swim start and made my way into the water. The cannon went off at exactly 7:00 am and I had seeded myself at what I thought looked to be about the middle of the pack and as close to the course buoys as I could get. I knew this position would be "survival of the fittest" swimming for the first couple minutes, you could hardly move. Some people were yelling "no kicking" because it was almost impossible to get into a steady swimming motion. I got whacked in the head a few times and almost had my goggles kicked off twice. This swim was much more physical than the swim at Ironman Wisconsin in 2007. But once you got moving, it was just incredible to be surrounded by swimmers on all sides and literally swept along. The second loop thinned out a little bit and I was able to settle into a good rhythm. I felt like I was having a pretty good swim. I finished the 2.4 mile swim in 1:21.
Ran up the chute through the crowds to the swim to bike changing tent, put on my helmet, bike shoes. A volunteer got my bike for me and I was out onto the bike course for the first 56 mile loop. The course started out of Lake Placid with some small climbs followed by a very fast descent into the town of Keene. My max speed at this point was 47 mph. Then came a long steady climb from the town of Jay to Haselton. At this point, I had a 20 mph average. At mile 38 on the bike, there was a spectator with one of those big silly foam hands by the side of the road and some riders were slapping the hand. I was in a good mood and decided to do the same but in a split second, I lost my balance going uphill at maybe 8 mph and crashed. I fell on my left side and my left hand got crushed between the handlebar and the road. I quickly picked my bike up. The guy with the silly hand said he was really sorry. I told him it was not his fault as I surveyed the damage. My front wheel was out of true and rubbing the front brake, so I opened the front caliper. But on my left hand, the tip of my thumb was almost ripped off, chunks were tore off my other knuckles, and my pinky finger had about a 2 inch long deep gash to the bone and was bleeding a lot. I had a couple of paper towels so I wrapped it and kept going. I told one of the other athletes what happened and he provided that age old wisdom "Live and learn." I couldn’t agree more. I figured I had to stick with the plan and make my bike split really count as it is my strongest sport. That meant both keeping up a good pace and being smart with my nutrition. I continued to eat on the bike as planned for the first loop and stopped at the end of the first loop and met the family to eat my lunch. While I ate my tuna sandwich, Daphne hosed off my bloody wound with a water bottle and got some clean napkins. Then I headed off for the second loop. I stopped at the first water stop for an extra 5 minutes or so and got a volunteer to help apply band aids on my hand. I felt good on the second lap and pushed the pace although I could not tell how fast I was going because I had lost my wheel speed sensor magnet during the crash. I forced myself to keep eating…Hammer bar, peanut butter and jelly, etc. up until mile 90 and I kept drinking water and Perform up until the end of the bike. I finished the 112-mile bike ride with an 18 mph average which was a bit slower than I had hoped, mostly due to the time spent dealing with the hand.
At bike to run transition, I grabbed my run bag and that’s when things changed. For some reason, the pinky finger decided to start bleeding really good again. Apparently being in the aero position on the bike prevented a lot of the bleeding. Several volunteers said "you need to go to the medical tent." Actually, I had to agree. Although I knew it was going to add time overall to the day, I did not want to run a marathon with my hand bleeding all over the place. So I went to the medical tent. As they pulled my file while I sat on a cot and waited I looked around, and it was like a MASH unit in there. There were various types of injuries, including the lady on the cot next to me, who had crashed on a descent. Nothing broken, but just some real bad road rash (by the way, she ended up passing me later on the run). Others were hooked up to IV’s for dehydration and various other things. I felt pretty lucky as they just Steri-wrapped my finger so I could start the run and gave me a plastic bag with ice to ice it. The crowd support at Ironman Lake Placid is just incredible. Cow bells and signs everywhere and people yelling your name (since it is printed on your bib). I was amazed at how good I felt starting the run in large part because I got the nutrition right on the bike. I decided to hold back for the first half of the marathon and give whatever I had left at mile 18. I added ice to the bag for my hand at every aid station and started drinking Coke over ice the second half. I still could not believe how good I felt for the second half of the marathon. Tired yes, and did not turn the legs much over 10-minute miles but never felt in danger of not finishing. After doing a few quick calculations in my head at mile 20, I knew that a sub 12 hour finish was out of reach due to the extra time added as a result of the crash. But for the crash I would have been very close to my goal sub 12-hour finish. So at that point I decided to enjoy the moment and just finish the race happy to be alvive DOING IT. Ran the marathon in 4:26.
Rounded the corner in downtown Lake Placid and sprinted through the finishing chute in the Olympic oval to the roar of the crowd and Daphne and the kids screaming my name and crossed the line overjoyed that this part of my journey was over with a total time of 12:26:01. Considering the added challenge of the day I was very pleased with this result! [As a follow up: I revisited the medical tent upon finishing and, check out this blessing: I had a volunteer medical staffer examine my left pinkie finger, he turned out to be an orthopedic hand surgeon from the University of Rochester and (I kid you not) his name was Dr. David Mitten! He said the cut severed the central slip tendon on top of the finger, that’s why I could not (and still can’t) straighten it and it’s not just a trivial injury. So it looks like surgery will be in my future]
Ross signing in with Tuna and Dennis waiting. Dennis temporarily abandoned the pink look in favor of some serious orange/red clothing. He also claims the Barbie doll with the pink tu-tu from last Thursday was a plant. I find this hard to believe but will give him the benefit of the doubt. I suppose there are some in our midst who could stoop so low. As I waited for people to sign in, my cell phone rang and it was Steve O, calling from across the parking lot to inform me I had again put a road on the route that was closed. I remedied the problem by throwing in the Slough climb to avoid the road closure on Pickerington Road.
It could be the name of a band but no, not content to bring one ringer and then not two ringers but tonight it was three ringers who rode their bikes down with Gabe from OSU. Has he drained the talent pool at OSU and this is it or are there more acolytes to follow Gabe to future rides? Only he knows what he is plotting for us.
Here the ringers rest after riding down from OSU. I was under some pressure to come up with a better Tuesday Canal route after grossly underperforming with a flat 40 mile route 2 weeks ago (Engineer Mitch and I alternate Tuesdays). I studied various maps of central Ohio, spent hours looking through "Mapmyride", dragged out maps from back when Grand Poobah was the ride leader and took us on some very creative routes, I even looked at some routes Ryan Roe had created but found those very pedestrian and understandably uncreative. Out of this cocktail of information, I produced a route for the ages. The type of route that years from now people will still be talking about that Tuesday route that was the best ridden in years.
We had 40+ for the ride with a seriously strong (by Canal standards) of A cyclists. So strong, it intimidated some into abandoning their plans to ride with the A group and instead slotted in with the B+ group. The A group of 15 left the lot with Gabe's Crew, Steve O, Mark C, Claude, Euro Patrick, Jeff S, Jeremy, Keith, Logan, Kayla, Nick, SavageHill Rick, etc... The SuperB's were comprised of Kevin H, Ted M, Dennis, Mark R, Mitch, Ryan R, Flyin Tuna, a bunch of people with Cyclist Connection jerseys, David, etc.. After I sent out the A group, the Super B's departed and then the leftovers of the parking lot in a B/C mix.
Things got exciting early as several police cars screamed at intervals towards us, forcing us to take to the curb. That is all of us except Walker Wannabe Ryan R who used this as an opportunity to attack. Yes, emergency vehicles with horns blaring and lights flashing simply provided Walker-Jr with the desire to put space between himself and us. Nevertheless, the advantage was short lived and we regrouped prior to heading out Waterloo and the long uphill topping out at Slough, where we made a left. By cutting in front of a van that had stopped to warn us of a street closing in Lithopolis, I had got ahead of the group but was soft pedaling while Ryan approached from the rear. Upon reaching me, he began making various statements about having caught the A group and how hard he had to ride to accomplish....
The pace was modest and most of us stayed together on this route of routes. Eventually we reached the outskirts of Amanda and in honor of Todd Lee, I bolted around Dennis to claim the sign sprint. Our average at that point was a little over 20 so that explained why the group was so large and hey, even Tuna was still with us. The group stopped at the gas station but I continued on the 44 mile B route while I think most of the other B's stayed on the 48 mile route, which included a stretch on Hopewell Church Road, later finishing with a 19.5 average and 2000+' of climbing. On Delmont, I caught up to a waiting Keith who had dropped from the A group. At 67, Keith is a cycling marvel and on a road bike, I think stronger then anyone else I have ridden with over 65 and probably 60.
Meantime, the B group turned onto Hopewell Church where Ted M and Dennis led up the hills but in a gesture of civility rarely seen, stopped to allow regrouping later. Meanwhile, the A group shrank to 10 as it closed on the Slough hill climb where the OSU fellers bolted to the top and led the pack back to the parking lot with a 20.7 average.
The "John Marten Sunday Ride", my new favorite ride mainly because it starts 5 minutes from my home which is not unimportant for an 8:00am Sunday morning ride. In addition to the usual suspects of John G & Adele, Jon & Kim Sada, Gus & Peggy there was The Mechanic himself, Rick Miller, Riley, a young kid, an assortment of tri-types around 15-16 of us in total. We headed to Newark, worked our way through the downtown and soon I found us back on....Blue Jay and the route followed the COP Blue Jay route all the way to Zanesville. On one of the major climbs I was overtaken by John G and Rick with Gorrilla giving me the, "Dropping back in the pack just like Thomas Voekler huh?" That guy is a laugh a minute! I arrived at the market with John S and Riley to a mocking cheer from John G.
At the market outside Zanesville I produced a map to show Peggy the remaining part of the route and share little known short-cutting opportunities should anyone have interest. Peggy said, "Oh this is that Blue Jay ride that Cindy and some other guy run isn't it?".......I recovered from the shock and informed Peggy I run the COP Blue Jay ride with some nominal assistance from Cindy, certainly not the other way around. There was the usual sharing of water and extra fluids and food were left on the picnic bench for the balance of the group who had not yet arrived. I looked greedily at the half eaten Baby Ruth bar and bag of corn chips but decided to leave it for others.
I declined the opportunity to start with the fastest group as my legs were still bleeding from the earlier effort and instead headed back with Peggy, Kim and Adele. Clouds had rolled in affording some relief from the heat and sun and when we arrived at 668/204, I headed on to Glenford to get in a few extra miles (OK, maybe I was about to drop from the superwomen) but did return to the route and arrived in Brownsville at Rt. 40 to find two of our original group standing in the shade with one guy slumped over his handlebars sweating profusely. Later they rolled in to the Flint Ridge park where we spent some time cooling in the shade by the water fountain. I left ahead of them and finished the route with 91 miles and 6000'+ feet of elevation gain. Good route and good people, for the most part.
John G came up with a good route that would intersect the "Rolling Thunder" COP ride by departing Granville at 7:00am and arriving in Gambier, 36 miles away, in time for the 9:00am sign-in. Scheduled distance was 101 and I was looking forward to doing the entire route, really. My wife and oldest daughter were in FL for a vacation and due to arrive Saturday but no worries, there were plenty of people around to pick them up until there were not. I reluctantly agreed to pick them up at 11:51am (how much is a cab ride from the airport to the Granville area?) but suggested after they get off the flight to head to the airport Max & Ermas and kill some time as I would likely be late. Here, Farmer Mike and Matt, who is recovering from a mountain bike race in Breckenridge, chat about the race. Hey, there's Muscle Dude (Craig) in the background. Haven't seen him in awhile. I suggested to him that body building and elite cycling were mutually exclusive but if anyone can pull it off it would be him.
Jon Morgan, Peggy, Adele, Dave C, Ralph, Mike, Matt, Craig, John G, me and Gus were in the parking lot at the start and all but one of us remembered to bring all our cycling gear except Gus, who had forgotten his cycling shoes. This has happened with an assortment of people so frequently that I'm going to start carrying an extra pair in my car as a loaner. Maybe even turn it into a positive cash flow event.
We were a little late departing the parking lot so forgot about merging with the COP start. We headed out Louden/Appleton, crossed Marion Road, got onto Mink, right on Johnstown Road and eventually reached Columbus Road or St. Rt. 3 for our entry into Mt. Vernon. Along the way, John G led a very moderate pace that kept all of us together yet our average was still at 20mph when on Rt. 3, I decided at mile 24 I should turn around. I retraced the route to Homer Road, taking that into Utica where I enjoyed a very cold Monster. Returned to Granville via Reynolds, Chattham, etc... and finished with 54 miles. Arriving at the car I saw I had missed several calls from my wife beginning back at 8:30am. Voice mail said their flight had been cancelled and they would not now arrive until 3:30pm......figures. Oh well, good route set for Sunday that will make up for what was lost today. As I was leaving, Mike rolled into the parking lot having separated from Adele and Peggy who were at Whits. These three had also shortened the route.
Finally, during the ride I spent some quality time with my reluctant financial advisor, Adele. I was not pleased that her suggestion for investing in Pakistani Rupees had resulted in a loss of 10% to my $100 investment. I believe my comment to her was something like, "I don't like losses, sport. Nothing ruins my day more than losses. Now you do good, you get perks, lots and lots of perks." I told her I would give her only a few more chances and asked for her next idea. Adele said European bank stocks looked attractive. I told her that was a dog with different fleas. Too much exposure to Greek debt. Adele scratched her helmet and blurted out Chinese companies who were publically traded on US exchanges. Now this sounded brilliant because if a company can't make money paying its employees $0.50 an hour then what can it do? She gave me a few stock symbols and on Monday, I will buy a share or two and hope for the best. High finance is so exciting.
From a friend of mine in the land of OZ I received this email:
Cadel Evans is from Coffs Harbour where we now live. If you want to know why he is so good on hill climbs etc we can arrange for you to come and stay with us here and get his Dad to show you the training roads and rides he uses for fitness.
Great day for those of you who watch Le Tour!
You know how flushed and sweaty everyone is at the end of a hard ride, that's kind of how everyone looked at the start of Thursday's ride with a temperature at 96-97 and some humidity in the air too. The parking lot was practically vacant until around 5:40 people began arriving and as I sat in the shade I told Jeff S, "I'll join the first person who suggests we pack it in and head to the Rusty Bucket to drink beer". Alas, no one suggested that, just a bunch of grim faced cyclists looking at a sensibly modest route.
So, extreme heat, at least by Ohio standards, cut into the turnout and the only person who fully embraced the "Pink Out" was the man (or maybe transgender) himself, Dennis. He had the pink tires, pink accented bike, black jersey and shorts with pink accent and attached this Barbie with a pink tu-tu to his bike. What more can or should be said about this guy?
A quick count revealed around 30-35. I heard some rumblings about taking it easy tonight so when Jeff called out the A group, I slipped in, turned the corner and "Oh No!, there was a major pack of wolves I had missed and these guys were not the "takin it easy" types even if the temp had been 150. So, now we were at around 40-45 cyclists and 18 or so in the A group with Marty, Dave C, Chris G, Pete C, Terry, Jon Morgan (back from a nice vaca in the south of France), Doug Lucas, Nate, Dennis, Savage Hill Rick, Doug McConaha, Christian, Rob Rhodes, etc...
We got on to Jug and the pace picked up fairly high, made the jog on Mink and then continued on Jug, cruising into Alexandria at 25mph avg, slowed a bit and exited the village at a measly 24.6. The pace out a newly paved Raccoon Valley rode was reasonable as the climb up Hardscrabble was likely on everyone's mind. I had already planed to bug out at the Hardscrabble turn, again not wanting to find out how hot I could get when I already was boiling. We made the turn, I sat up and so too did Doug M, stating what I had been thinking. We rode up together and found Dennis at the top waiting along with Rick. Meanwhile, a strong effort had been put in and Marty, Doug L, Pete C and Jon M reached the top as a first group and then worked together to stay out front the rest of the way in. I hear Chris G swerved into the berm to avoid a rock and was able to do some cyclocross on the way up.
While Marty & group stayed on the route, which crossed Northridge to Concorde before turning south on Castle to Duncan Plains and in, those behind turned south on Northridge and many followed. Ended with 36 miles and about 1000' of climbing. Lead group finished with an average around 22.5 (my usually trusty source forgot to turn on his computer so he was estimating). Plans for Saturday are mixed. Rolling Thunder ride out of Gambier with a 9:00am start, riding from Granville to catch the RT ride at 7:00 or Mark Clingan is leading a group out of his church on Coonpath at 7:00am.
A sizzler of an evening that caused many of us not to stand astride our bikes waiting in the shade but instead to sit in the cool grass in the shade. Here, I began making plans to go into Shades Restaurant and start drinking beer,
Amanda munching a banana and Jenis Dude signing in.
Mitch came up with a fine route but the devious Steve took the group off route, a clear violation of Tuesday ride rules, to satisfy his ambition to throw in the climb up Slough. Hey, there is Mark C on the left, back from his experiment with fishing. He discovered trying to catch fish is no easier then trying to catch the lead group so he has returned to cycling. My form of welcoming him back was to lean my bike's big chain ring into his leg so he'd have a nice greasy spot.
Nick won the state championship for 14 year olds this weekend and finished 3rd in the 13-16 group. Dennis suggested since cycling comes so easily he maybe should try sumo wrestling instead.
Mitch came up with a fine route but the devious Steve took the group off route, a clear violation of Tuesday ride rules, to satisfy his ambition to throw in the climb up Slough. Hey, there is Mark C on the left, back from his experiment with fishing. He discovered trying to catch fish is no easier then trying to catch the lead group so he has returned to cycling. My form of welcoming him back was to lean my bike's big chain ring into his leg so he'd have a nice greasy spot.
Most of the big names of Canal cycling gathered in the southeast corner of the parking lot. Considering the heat, we were surprised 40 people showed up, including 18 in the A group. Mitch came up with a route of 44 miles but took out the Pickerington Road climb to avoid that knee buckling stretch in the heat. Around 92 degrees at the start. You know the type of heat that you don't really notice until you brake for a stop and then it is obvious? This evening the heat was obvious even when coasting in the shade. We left the parking lot with the above group, as well as Euro Patrick, Ringer Gabe, Steve O, Jeff S, Mark C, Claude, Dennis (back from a great vacation in Costa Rica), Nick, John S & 3-4 others. The pace was moderate at the start and only after crossing Lithopolis Road on Sitterly did the group stretch out to single file, indicating the pace was freshening. One of us saw Gabe go to the front and begin sprinting, which set off the expectation some of us were not long for this group but most of us stayed together all the way to Marcy, where we made a left. So far so good but damn, have I already mentioned the heat? The pace picked up again and reduced us to a long string but we paused at the Amanda Northern intersection. My legs felt good but have I mentioned how hot it was? I looked at the long climb on Marcy to Rockmill and decided I did not want to find out how hot I would feel at the top of that and took a cowardly turn north and abandoned. I felt like a real loser and stopped to grab a dandelion and smear the letter "L" in yellow on my forehead as punishment. Upon returning to the parking lot with only 20 miles, I decided to stop at Cyclist Connection to spend some cash and passed Claude headed out of Canal on his bike. I pulled alongside and yelled, "Cyclists are gay" and inquired why he too had abandoned and he said it was too steamy. I don't know what else happened but maybe someone will post something.
Oh, Thursday is "Pink Out for Dennis" night. If you can borrow something with pink in it, wear it to honor the return of one of our group's most uninhibited cyclists. I think I found a pink thong and will wear it over my cycling shorts, even though it will make me hotter with a forecast high of 96.
This was sent to me and it sounds like a good deal. Contact Andrew if interested: Andrew Barlage, email@example.com .
This Sunday I continued my proud racing tradition of winning stuff I've got little to no use for. This time it wasn't 26 inch tires, bottles and jerseys for competitors, or women's clothing, but instead something of value AND no use to me - a HED Jet C2 clincher disc rear wheel. Yeah, my $30 entry fee paid off pretty well for me. Anyhow, as much as I hate to be the guy who sells the kick-ass prize he won at a race, I'm seeing if you, my riding friends who either a) Like to to do races that you might drown in, b) Do TTs, or c) Might know somebody who'll actually use this damned thing, can help me get rid of it. As it sits, it's brand new, never been ridden, set up for a Shimano/SRAM cassette, and includes a rim strip and skewer. Asking price is $750, a $400 discount off retail.
As I have widened my group of cycling friends it has brought in not only the usual schleps but also includes some very strong "Super A" types. Operating at the periphery of this group, as close as someone with my marginal fitness could ever be, has allowed me access to inside information. I can now share a shocking revelation with my fellow schleps. If you take off with the "A" group and you don't look like you belong based on clothing or body type, some of the "A's" will target you for dropping. This is why after a strong pull, there is sometimes a swiveling of the head as the puller checks to see if the targeted has yet been dropped from the group. This explains why I see a lot of "A's" staring at me during group rides.
Da Boss shows up for John G's Saturday morning Granville ride. Craig and I are great friends again and to prove it, we shared a bottle of sun screen. For two straight guys, this is as intimate as it can be.
Ahhhh, where to start on this unusual ride/route. Arriving for the start were Da Boss, John G, Marty, Pete (Thursday evening killer), Farmer Mike, Tym Tyler, Peggy, Kim Sada, Bob (friend of Mike), Adele, Alex (friend of John's), Kyle and me so 13 of us. We headed out of Granville and arriving at the base of...yes....Blue Jay again, the group quickly split into two bodies. The strong and the weak with the weaklings comprised of Mike, Adele, Peggy, Kim and me.
Even as I become aged, it is good that I can still learn a few things and today's ride provided quite the knowledge enhancer. 1) Just because a "road" has no road marking, is very narrow and nothing but stones and gravel, does not mean you are not taking that road. 2) Guys who are 200+ pounds can ride on gravel roads because the weight of the person and bike plows a furrow through the debris while the pencil-necked lightweights bounce around like in a pinball machine. We turned off Blue Jay at Unpleasant Chapel road, crossing Flint Ridge out to Fairview, then Ballou and back to Flint, south on Cooks Hill road to 40, stopping at the store in Brownsville. One thing about these obscure stores, they always seem to be staffed by the nicest people. Back on the bikes we jumped and headed south on 668, crossing 204 and going all the way to Cooperriders where we made a left. This part of the route was new to me and a great stretch of road that included a right turn on Amish Ridge. Soon after passing an Amish buggy, we came around a turn and there I noticed a gravel road with no sign, really looked like someone's driveway or a seldom used alley. We kept going until Adele announced her Garmin was indicating we had missed our turn. "No way" most of us exclaimed but sure enough, down the alley we plunged, which was not too bad until a steepish section caused some of us, who lack some bike handling skill, to get off and walk. We got onto 22 and soon made a left at Wesley Chapel and in time, cruised into Fultonham where we got off the route to coast down a long hill to a store where we refueled.
Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, Da Boss, Marty and John had gotten ahead of the others after getting through the first gravel section. In one of the sections, Pete had 2 flats so that slowed him down and I think John had one as well. The lead three missed a turn and that allowed some regrouping but again, Boss, Marty and John pulled away and had a spirited return to Granville.
Recharged, we plodded back up the hill and made a right at Cemetery and then a right at Workman. A series of turns revealed combinations of paved and unpaved roads having the names "Lower Kraft", "Bagley", a nice extended session on a different Wesley Chapel before finally reaching Coopermill road. Here something curious was noticed. The route had us making a left on Black road to get us out to 40 but Black appeared to be another gravel surface. About 100 feet away was Morgan road and from past experience, I knew it to be paved and would also get us out to 40. It didn't require much persuasion to convince the group to take Morgan and so we did, eventually getting back on the route at Hopewell by going north. We were on Mt. Olive and then a long stretch on the unpaved portion of Flint Ridge road. As fatigue from stone bouncing began sitting in, I began having irrational thoughts that included the suspicion that John G had intentionally put some of these gravel roads into the route to add some variety....what a guy. We paused at the intersection of Flint Ridge and Gratiot roads, each of which was unpaved. Then, about a mile later we paused at the intersection of Flint Ridge and Gratiot roads, this time each of them paved. Weird.
We rolled into Flint Ridge park for water and there was some discussion about an alternative route that would avoid a return on Blue Jay but I needed the climbing and miles so I stayed on the route, yes taking Blue Jay until Beal where I made a right and followed the route back to Granville. Finished with 84 miles, 6400' of climbing and a need for new cycling shoe cleats. Put in an appearance at the Sunday Granville ride with Marty, Dave C, Tym T, Kent R and a small group of tri types. Most of us abandoned the route after reaching Utica and returned to Granville with less than 40 miles.
The parking lot had a different aura about it as Nate, a member of "The Shaders", observed while seated in a prime spot under the parking lot's lone usable shade tree. It seemed a more subdued atmosphere assisted partly by a lower turnout of only 55+/- and the lack of the usual star power. No John G, neither of the Trek killers, Pete or Chris, no Terry, no Rich L, no Paul Stock and the stars that did show, took a curious spot at the back of the peloton but more on that later.
Tym and Lisa just back from Italy. I usually see them ride by my house about every day so this explains no recent sightings.
Mike Rea, patiently waiting for the ride to start.
The top of the Killer B food chain, Kevin (Pepe LaPew), Mark R, John and SuperDave. This weekend, as Jon Sada was describing his thrashing of the B group during last Thursday's ride, one of the listeners, a prominent A cyclist, interrupted with, "Quit talkin about the B group. Nobody cares what goes on in the B group." Alas, there is no glory for dominating the B group.
Jeff S, here in the white jersey bent over, came up with an interesting route of 46 miles that took us through Croton, Interesting routes however, create problems for the A group, members of which, prior to the ride, can't be bothered looking at the map. We took off with only 15 or so "A" cyclists, comprised of Marty, Dave C, Colnogo Ron, Kenda Stefano, Tym, Lisa, Kyle, Mike Rea, Claude, Jason (red shirted dude) Blair, Christian, some kid in a Trek kit who looked like he was 14 and a few other middling "A" riders. By mile 1.5, we were of course, off the route. Arriving at a stop light there were grumblings that we were off the route and so now what. Eventually we did an extended "U" turn and arrived at Jug & #62. A lot of heads were looking around at each other expecting someone to shout out instructions when Marty and Dave figured out how to get us on the route. Our detour probably only added a mile so not a big deal but with the stops, it added a lot of time.
We got on to Greencook with a head wind. The pace was not so hot as guys who normally are drafting behind the stars of the "A" group were taking pulls at the front and guys like me, kind of hangeroners. were thrilled with this outcome. Conspicuous by their absence were Marty and Dave who typically would have roared to the front and begun mashing but instead, were hanging at the back. Apparently, the Wednesday Worlds had taken the starch out of their legs and they were recovering. We eventually got on to Clover Valley, and as we approached a right on Foundation, we could see the killer B group about a half mile ahead. We entered Croton......figured out how to exit Croton and proceeded on Bennington Chapel, right on Crouse-Wellison and a left on Appleton. The pace had slowly been picking up and along Appleton there was a surge that split the group and as we reached Dutch Lane on Louden, the "B" group was in sight and I figured this would set off a testosterone fueled charge and it did. It appeared Marty and/or Dave were now at the front and my time was running out at mile 27 with a 22mph average. We pulled around the "B" group, I saw some really nice folks in there and decided (OK was forced) to pop in with the "B's".
Then the "B" group decided to try to keep up with the "A" group but my legs were not yet ready so suddenly, I was riding solo and expected to for the remainder of the ride. But then, something unusual happened. As I approached the big hill on Louden, just beyond Stone Quarry, I heard a voice behind state, "See, we're starting to catch them." and here came a 6 member team of ""A's" who had previously dropped including, Ron, Kyle, Claude and Jason. Rode the rest of the way in with them for 47 miles, 1150' of climbing and a 21.6 avg. The front group had finished with a 23.1 avg so the pace had picked up quite a bit in the latter half of the route.
Cat 2 Gabe, not satisfied with bringing one ringer with him, this week brought two, Kevin and Nathan. Also there were Ted M, Steve O, Da Boss, Patrick (former Euro racer who rode with us last year and then moved to NC but is back), Little Diesel, John S, Young Phenom Logan, Younger Phenom Nick, Randy Brown, ....a total of I guess around 18-20 A's out of a total of 49 cyclists who showed up for a hot evening of riding.
One of the parking lot's good guys volunteered to try to mend the rift between Da Boss and I by bringing both parties together for a meeting by the Ford Tempo. I arrived at the designated time but this was Craig's response to the entreaty....turning his back and walking away. However, later, Craig apologized for his crude behavior toward me, in his own way, and we are fast friends again.
Here, we listen in awe as Logan (on the left) describes his weekend exploits of finishing 3rd in the Cat 4 road race, 3rd in the Crit and 12th in the time trial. Lacking any time trial gear (no aero bars, no streamlined helmet and certainly no TT bike) Nathan volunteered to loan Logan his gear. Logan is normally fairly stoic but he was grinning when I asked him about the weekend rFor his part, Nick described kicking my rear end up each of the hills during last Saturday's Hillacious Hill ride, a feat not so uncommon so don't get cocky kid.
With a forecast high of the low 90's, I came up with a flatish route of 40 miles. With hindsight, I should have stretched it out into the upper 40's and will do so next time. We got into Lithopolis and then out Elder where it looked like Gabe's buddies took a flyer off the front but no one bothered to chase and since they didn't know the route, had to wait for us. We hung a right on Oregon where Logan took a flyer but that too was ignored and soon he too rejoined the fun bunch. A few more turns got us onto Walnut Creek Road and the pace had been moderate, in fact, at one point I told Steve, "We've got to get someone faster up there." To which Steve motioned for me to move forward but well, you know....
I noticed Da Boss was taking extended pulls but not strong pulls and here I realized this is how he was apologizing to me. After all, Craig is a man of few words, mostly because he doesn't know that many and party because he has a difficult time stringing them together so by riding slowly, he was trying to keep me in the group! What a great guy! We headed south on Walnut Creek and it's a long story but came upon the fast "B" group, which we passed but a couple of "B's" jumped in with us, Rick Holt and Nathan Recumbent Dude. This is a clear violation of peloton etiquette. If one starts with the "B" group one must finish with that group. There shall be no forward group jumping, only rearward fall back as required by lack of fitness.
We eventually turned east on South Bloomingfield Royalton Road, paused at the crossing of #674 and while doing so, the heat of the day had an effect and I thought of pulling the jersey zipper all the way down but the pace quickened too soon to afford the opportunity. We got onto Winter and approached Cedar Hill at mile 26. Along the way, Ted M, who had been drafting behind Nick pulled along side of me and said, "You think Cindy's hard to draft behind, you should try this." I had to admit, Nick is not nearly as broad in some spots so he may be a tougher draft. At Cedar Hill, I was still in good shape because of the modest pace but decided I had had enough and checked out, heading north on Cedar with a 22mph avg at the time. I ended up with 35 miles and a 20,7 avg while the lead group finished with a 22.2 avg.
Mark C Update: After suffering the serious beatdown of a couple of Tuesday's ago at the hands of the Damn Yankees, Mark has kept a low profile (OK, he had to attend a youth camp) but has been seen riding on his own several times so apparently he is training for a comeback and is planning a ride out of Logan for this Saturday.
As a creature of habit, I have been locked into the same cycling routine for a number of years, Saturday Roving Rides, Tuesday Canal, Thursday New Albany and sometimes hooking up back in Canal for the Sunday ride. I kind of knew there were other rides out there but I suppose there is a certain amount of reticence to parachuting into a new group. Would there be other slugs like me with whom to ride, would they extend the same affection (bordering on hero worship) towards me as Steve, Ryan, Craig, Dennis, Tuna, etc...
So, I thought a recovery type ride on Sunday would be good but didn't want to drive to Canal Winchester and instead, left the house at 7:45 for an 8:00am start at the River Road Coffee House in Granville. I had witnessed around 35 people participating in this ride last week and I thought I saw a couple of cyclists with whom I could hang if I really tried. Showed up and there (pictured right to left) were John G, Marty, Adele, Lon Herman, Tri-Stephanie (in the background), Jon Sada and not in the image were Kim Sada, John Marten and others, totaling around 20 because several of the tri-types were competing somewhere else.
We headed out on a promised social pace and I'll be damned but that is exactly what it was. So social that I was able to converse with Marty without breathing too hard and listened to him describe his prominent role entertaining Katy Perry last Monday, on a yacht at Put-in-Bay (OK, I admit I wasn't certain who she is but a Google search clued me in). I was able to snap this image mid ride so you know the pace had to be slow. Our group of seven soon separated from the others and we had a great ride out Louden, on to Appleton and eventually wound up in Centerburg where we stopped to refresh and Marty discovered Cornuts. What a beautiful day for a bike ride, huh? We left Centerburg and with every rise in the road, Sada would ride alongside John G and challenge him to a sprint, with the outcome never in doubt but nevertheless, we encouraged the activity. We finally hit Dry Creek and then made the right onto Burg and hit the ramps. I had been biding my time for the right opportunity and taking advantage of indifference, lapses in attention, drifting of focus......I ATTACKED! This drew Jon Sada out but my advantage at the start was too great and he failed to bridge the gap completely although it was close at the top. Immediately, both Marty and John announced I was the winner. How they could tell from the distance is beyond me but they were eager.....maybe even very anxious to name me the sprint winner and proceeded to rub it in with zeal. There is a history there I suppose.
We finished with 61 miles, 2100' of climbing and a nice 18mph average. I also want to pass along some valuable investment information. I pestered Adele to give me a tip and finally, having worn down her defenses, she advised me to go long on the Pakistani Rupee. I am wiring my broker $100 tomorrow and will see how it goes. Oxley, how come you don't give me great tips like this, you're in the investment field too.
Good turnout for Dave Miller's Hillacious Hilly ride from Canal Winchester. I was delighted to see a couple of the Yankees show up, Marty and Dave C, to give Craig and Steve some competition.
Thanks to Steve O for sending me this image of Kenda Janet, giving herself an asphalt massage prior to the ride.
Part of the Kenda Express, Dave, Stepfano and Janet. Also there were Paul and Todd Lee.
Dave barks out the instructions prior to the start. Never heard a ride leader state he had to give up marking the route because it was so tough, he could not finish it but that's what he said. Actually, the route was marked pretty well and all turns appeared to be marked so he may have been telling a story about having to quit but the statement had its effect on me, my legs began quivering with fear, not excitement. As we departed the parking lot, I eventually slotted in with the Kendaites and SuperDave although the route was not conducive to keeping a group together.
We climbed Slough, Pickerington, the Rainbow hills and Stringtown prior to dropping into Lancaster. Here, I witnessed something alarming that I will post here as a warning to the dads and moms out there who one day have a son or daughter who get into cycling. As is normal, the Kendas gathered around a map and began the usual practice of calculating a modification to the route. "How much will this cut off", "How much will that cut off", "What if we short cut there.", "What if we just turn around", etc... Younger Phenom Nick and dad Gary were standing in this circle too and it alarmed me to have a young, impressionable mind like Nick's influenced by this defeatist discussion. Won't surprise me to read Nick is DQ'd from a future race for short cutting....Gary, what waz you thinking?!?!? Look at the impact it has had on me hanging around this gang!
We left and proceeded to grind our way up Stump Hollow and soon after crossing #33, got onto Duffy and I could not believe how steep was this climb. I've never gone in this direction on Duffy and am quite sure I will never be there again. I got ahead of the group a little and after turning off Duffy, got caught in with Nick, Gary and Ricky G. Later, I learned the Kendas had stopped at the top of the Duffy climb for another short cut meeting and I never saw them again. We crossed #33 and headed toward the climb on Tarkiln. I warned Nick and Ricky to stay away from the right side at the top of the Tarkiln climb as there is a dip there and the grade coming out of that dip is 30%. There is an urban legend that one cyclist made the mistake of entering the dip, as the bike rose on the steep grade the front tire lifted off the ground, the bike spun around and the cyclist found himself riding back down the hill. I think last year a chip and seal effort filled it in a little but most people still ride left of center. Anyway, I intimidated Ricky so much he got off his bike and walked it up the hill. We coasted down Blue Valley and proceeded on to Sugar Grove, passing some good climbs on Beck and Pump Station roads, an outcome that made me happy.
By the way, the store in Sugar Grove is under new ownership and they are happy to allow us to use their rest room. Meantime, up ahead, Marty, Steve, Dave and Craig had whittled their group down, eventually dropping a stranger who supposedly tried out for the Olympics, stopped cycling for 20 years and started back up again this year. Steve, carrying a few extra pounds also dropped out but they regrouped in Sugar Grove. After romping through Savage/Carpenter/Chickencoop, it was again down to Craig, Marty and Dave and eventually, just Marty and Craig rode side-by-side the rest of the way in with an 18.8 average and 4400' of climbing. A few miles back, the schleps were working their way slowly through the route but eventually I found myself alone and the heat forced me into a rash decision, go for 100 miles. Yes, that's right, without one of my cycling buddies there to talk sense into me I got onto Lake and kept going north, north of Pleasantville, north of Baltimore yet stayed well south of the Artic Circle. Eventually I got west of Baltimore, dropped down to Carroll, did the climbs off Kaufman and Slough and dragged into the parking lot with 94 miles and 5200' of climbing.
I don't know why, but tonight's turnout was a little light, at around 55-60 cyclists and a very light turnout among the killers....until about 3 minutes before the start when many of the missing rolled in. Still, the legit "A's" usually wait in their own spot out by the main driveway and at about 5 till 6:00pm, it was pretty sketchy.
Meanwhile, back in the expansive shade of the shade tree, the killer B's brooded and planned....their short cut of a marvelous route of 51 freakin miles that included the climb out of Alexandria (Mounts), then eventually crossing #661 to that dreadful Chattam, then, get this, continuing all the way out to Marion Road and that tough climb before finally turning back west.
The Little Diesel, Jeff S called out the A's and a group of around 17 rolled out that included a late arriving Dave Chesrown, Terry, those two Trek guys Pete Czerwinski and Chris Grisvard, Ron, Jason from "The Others", Mike (tri guy who is the real deal), Paul Stock, Doug Maconaha, Stefano, Blair, etc... It was a rather modest pace at the start, enough so that I was able to talk to a couple of guys. Dave C drifted back and said tonight he was going to bide his time and not attack early but about that time, Pete began sprinting as did everyone else, the group fractured a bit and yes, I was gone and I mean long gone in a matter of seconds. Thus I was riding solo again at MILE 4.5! Groan....riding out #161 I could see some others strung out in front but I was in no mood or rather ability to catch them so waited for the inevitable, being swallowed by the Super B's who always have a less than encouraging word to spew at me.
Sure enough, coasting down Jersey Mill they caught me and I heard, "Riding solo again?", "Hey everyone, make room for the C rider", etc... Through it all was Tuna's cackling laughter. Nothing in cycling is more humiliating then dropping from the "A" group and being enveloped by the Super "B" big mouths. In this group was Dennis, Glen Gardner, Gus, Flyin Tuna, Mark V, SuperDave, Axel, Sada, friend of Sada who swims for OSU, Kevin H (Pepe Lapew), Nathan, eventually Jason and quite a few others. We rolled into Alexandria then up Mounts, left on Hardscrabble, right on Corner, left on Louden, right on Dry Creek and then we reached #661. I was begging for an alternative to Chattam, my least favorite road in the US but no one was buying that so I sat in with Tuna and suffered through this 5-6 ramp grinder up to Chesnut Hills Road. It appeared Axel, Sada and Dennis were battling it out for the lead through Chattam with Jon getting the brass ring.
Here, common sense prevailed and rather than drop down to Marion, we turned left losing a few cyclists who either turned around or went straight. We set a nice pace west before turning north on Louden to reacquire the route before going south on Northridge. Here, I unfortunately slotted in behind the lowest profile cyclist in Ohio, Flyin Tuna. Mark Twain was attributed with the famous quote, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" and I can now say, "The hardest pull I ever took was drafting behind Tuna". A squirrel on a bike may be able to draft but anything larger, forget about it. Anyway, we reached Alexandria then out Jug and approaching New Albany there were a series of attacks that reduced the group, finally to Dennis and me battling for KOM points at the highway overpass on Beech. We reached the parking lot with a 21.4 avg while the lead A group had a 23.7 avg. Did anyone get the elevation gain from the long route?
Lastly, Dennis is headed to Costa Rica for a week but upon his return, we are going to have a "Pink Out" to honor him. Surely, everyone has a wife or girlfriend who has something in the color of pink and we will wear it proudly to support our buddy, who bravely wears a pink accent colored bike and pink cycling gear. Or, as Nathan observes, a cycling jersey having the color pink is a blouse, not a j
In case you missed this route for the climbers out there, here is a good oneHillacious Hills:
Saturday: July 9 at 8:00 AM,
Class A, B, C. Cyclist Connection,200 Cemetery Rd., Canal Winchester,
OH. Hills, hills, and more hills. If you like hills this is the ride
for you. 80 miles of hills with many shortcuts available for those
not up to the challenge. Numerous food stops available. Some of the
better known hills: Slough, Pickerington, Rainbow, Stump Hollow,
Tarkiln, Savage, Chicken Coop, and many others.
Dave Miller - dave.miller011 AT gmail.com.
Cat 2 Gabe showed up again and brought Nathan, another ringer. When a Cat 2 ringer brings a ringer he was probably the last one not making the TDF team of RadioShack or something.
Da Boss-Lite, Craig Butler, was a little miffed when I told him I had heard some talk at Thursday's New Albany ride that seemed to indicate some of the New Albany thugs thought Craig was ducking them by not showing up last Tuesday. As one of Craig's staunchest defenders, I assured those making the claim it was certainly possible that Craig was ducking but it would have been kind of out of character, sort of.
Dennis, Style Queen, continues to model outrageous cycling outfits tied to bike and tire colors.
Good turnout of 50+ with a solid group of 18-19 A's that included Jared of New Albany, Mitch Tallen making his first appearance, Da Boss-Lite, Steve O, Walker dude, Jeff S, Gabe & friend, Keith, Dennis, Randy Brown, Young Phenom Logan, Grand Poobah, Paul Stock, Claude, John S & others. Curiously not there was Mark C who after last week may have followed through on his threat to take up fishing. There was a strong group of B cyclists too with Kayla Starr (recently elevated to Cat 3), Nathan, Ryan R, Kevin H, Mark V, etc...
So, we left the parking lot and my goal was just to hang in there until the #33 overpass and then until Carroll Northern where we made a left. Here, I rode alongside Gabe and told him I was going to hang onto his wheel and see if he could drop me. Overhearing this, someone told me to shut my piehole. No worries, Gabe was out tonight for a tempo ride, having already ridden earlier in the day and so he spent most of the time chatting with others who were breathing too hard to respond. After making a right on Basil Western, the intensity picked up but I survived to Baltimore with a 23mph avg and Grand Poobah took the sign sprint too.
We got over to Canal St and continued east, all the way to Lake where we hung a right. By now our numbers were down to 13-14 with some well timed stop signs helping to keep the group together. There were also some really odd moves, such as attacking before stop signs, attacking at a railroad track, attacking just after someone took a pull....all this caused those who did take pulls to do so somewhat conservatively so they could respond. At some point, Butler looked over at me and expressed surprise I was still with the group. We headed west on Carroll Eastern, hung a left on Millersport then Marquette and Fremar. Here, Butler had just taken a pull and as we approached a stop sign I asked if that was the best he could do. He's really more the "Boss-Lite" right now.
We got onto Ginder and worked our way back to Carroll Eastern. By now we had gone 35 miles and I was feeling pretty good. Then, at mile 35.1 I was not. An attack was initiated, my electrical grid went into brown out and I was done with a 22mph avg, roughly, since my antiquated Garmin had shut off a couple of times so exact average is unknown. The group cruised through Carroll and made a left on Kaufman but I stayed straight on Winchester and then got back on the route by making a left on Benson and a right on Slough and here the group caught we at the base of the big climb. Butler was leading the way but Paul Stock jumped from the back and just blasted up the hill well ahead of a charging Gabe and others. I was concerned about Butlers unresponsiveness to the attacks so upon arriving in the parking lot I inquired if he had even been in the top ten at the top.
They finished with 46 miles and a 21+ avg, I finished with 44 miles and a 20.7 avg and 1300' of climbing for a relatively flat route by Canal standards.
John Gorilla had scheduled a 106 mile ride out of Granville on Saturday with a 9:00am start to go down to Christmas Rock, Starner, etc... 16 showed up and in fact, they shoved off at 9:30. As they moved south, the rain followed them and it rained for much of the ride that included as many as 10 flats with Jared accounting for 4 of those. It was a strong group that included Garth Prosser, preparing for the Leadville 100, "Race Across the Sky" mountain bike race. Garth has been a frequent participant in this race with a couple of top 50 results in the last 2 years and 16th as recently as 2008. That is pretty strong.
John had another ride set up for Sunday, also out of Granville with an 8:00am start and when I arrived, there were 35-40 people. Great. Unfortunately, all but 5 of them were there for the weekly ride organized by John Marten and once they left, it was John G, Marty, Dave Chesrown and Jon Sada......and lowly me. Uh Oh. After riding for so long and so hard Saturday, John had come up with a nice recovery ride of 130 miles and 8000'+ of climbing. I think I am beginning to comprehend why the gap is so significant between the top New Albany cyclists and the Canal Brewers, except for Steve O who also rides a lot. Hanging on during the warm-up to the foot of Blue Jay was hard enough but once arriving there, Jon and I dropped back. I don't know, but I suspect this ride was going to establish a new, New Albany pecking order for the near term and it would not surprise me if John, even at 215 pounds, is the new #1.
We made a left on Pleasant Chapel, left on Flint, right on Brownsville, crossing Route #40, then 668 south and then something that has me baffled happened. 668 is kind of a major road and following it obvious but somehow, I ended up on Snook and later dead ending at Mt. Perry Road, well east of 668. I was dumbfounded that I had gotten off 668. A couple of turns later I got onto #204 and then back on the route, south on 668. By the time I hit Somerset, everyone was long gone but I enjoyed a break at the BP station and when a deputy sheriff approached the front door, I asked if he could do me a favor and arrest me so I could spend some time in the air conditioned jail. Damn was it getting hot and already humid. I went off route and eventually ended up in Thornville and then did a very curious thing. Hoping to catch John, Marty and Dave coming back on Blue Jay as indicated on the route, I headed northeast. I calculated I'd be at about mile 65 by then and they'd be at about mile 110 so we should arrive at the same time.....sad.
Anyway, I did not see them and finally arrived back in Granville with "only" 76 miles and 5400' of climbing.
Denver Dan sent me these images from the Tour of Colorado, from which he just returned. Below is his commentary:
The 2011 Bicycle Tour of Colorado was amazing. We rode 450 miles in seven days. That includes a day off from riding. On the second day of the tour we rode up Trail Ridge Rd. through Rocky mountain National Park. We started the day in Estes Park and rode by the Stanley Hotel. It was a 25 mile climb to the summit of Trail Ridge Rd. The elevation at the summit is 12,183'. The temperature at the summit was 34 degrees. On our way to the summit we rode through rain, sleet and the snow. Due to whiteout conditions we were not allowed to descend the mountain. Cyclist were transported off the mountain by bus to the town of Granby.
After that experience the weather improved. The first pcture is at the summit of trail Ridge Rd. The second picture shows the friendly nature of the tour. We were riding from Steamboat Springs to Glenwood Springs. The temperature at the finish was in the upper 80's.
I don't know about you but one look at radar early this morning was enough to keep me in. Geez, green, yellow and red blobs were sweeping through the area out of the north until noon. Something about starting a ride in the rain deters me but some did ride. Around 40 showed up for the Rocky Ride out of Circleville and some rode the longer routes. I've got something in store for me tomorrow that should make up for what I did not do today, unless I chicken out which is entirely possible.