I may be on to something here. The blog takes a brief turn towards titillation with the posting of that incredible video of the Aussie track star and the visit numbers zoom. 996 unique visitors and 1800 visitors altogether, both a new record, for a single day. Ryan R accounted for 500 of the repeat visits. Purely on a professional level I'm tempted to turn this into a cycling porn site but my wife may frown on that so it will stay the course as an irrelevant, silly cycling blog.
From Paul Stock, just back from a week in France where his times up the famous climbs exceeded that of the pro peloton, but barely, sends me this:
Put this on your blog or I'll kick your ass, take all the veggies from your garden, steal your wife and kick your dog.
Lastly, the Mountain Mama bike ride is this Saturday in Monterey, VA One hundred miles and around 9500' of climbing over 9 well spaced mountains. The times are not posted anywhere so it's an opportunity to enjoy the 6 food stops, finish with a crummy time and no one knows or cares. Or, if you want to ride hard and finish with a good time you of course can. I will ride the route but mainly I am there on assignment. I am planning an expose of a certain group of cyclists from central Ohio. By the way, spaces still available for the ride but lodging likely not. Among those going are Steve O, Mark C, Jimmy, Corvair, Flyin Tuna, Denver Dan, Mark V, Dustin, Mike Rea, & others.
As most of you know, 99% of this blog is pure silliness and that when I refer to someone as a chuckwagon, knave or fool, it's my way of expressing cycling friendship. However, a serious event came to my notice and I wanted to see what I could do to boost it along. From Donna Bush, she types:
There are a group of cyclists who are putting together a benefit ride for Dan Peters September 1, leaving OU Lancaster. Dan owns a bicycling shop in Lancaster, OH and was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. The benefit will be to help with his family's medical expenses. There will be three routes. 20, 40 and 60 miles. Registration and check in will be between 7:00 and 9:00 AM. Entry fee will be $1 per mile you ride. Dollar for Dan Ride. A trust account has been set up so you can also donate by sending a check to Sitterley & Vandervoort Attn. Jennifer Sitterley Baum at 123 S. Board St. Suite 211, Lancaster Ohio 43130. Make checks payable to Sitterley & Vandervoort and mark in the memo line Dan Peters. For more information contact: Ron Burris @ email@example.com
Circulating among the email lists of many of our cycling brethern today is this awesome and wholesome video of an Australian track star. As the perpetuator of the email said, whose identify should remain anonymous so as not to discourage him from bringing similar inspiring videos to my attention: We have all been enjoying the Olympics so I did not want any of my friends to miss this video. This young lady from Australia is the best example of athleticism and enthusiasm the web has ever seen. And the video is workplace friendly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltcCGd9zid8
Trust me, you will not be disappointed. I have watched it more than once, simply because her enthusiasm is infectuous.
Well, Amanda has chosen a route that will have some of you pining for last week's flat route. Starts with the climb up Slough, then on to the wind swept, sun baked slopes of Pickerington Road, then the long climb out of the valley on Lamb, then....oh just more hills. Only 44 miles but with the climbing, probably enough miles.
First, as a map aficionado, the map for Ridge Runner Ramble was the best yet, supplanting the Rocky Ride map. Mainly because the road names on the RRR map were easily readable while Rocky's was not. OK, the RRR route highlights were a little subtle and some of us both young and old had a hard time discerning which roads were "route roads" but still, an expansive 11" x 17" with both sides used???? wow!
Driving out old 161, I was struck by how many groups of cyclists were out on the road. Then I was struck by how stupid I was, forgetting several items I had washed the night before, causing me to turn around. Rats, that made me miss the 7:30 start but I sped into the parking lot ready for the 8:00am group. Except the 8:00am group left at 7:55, apparently intending to "stick it to me" for the many times I've referred to this group as slugs, schleps, duffers, misfits, has-beens, dubs, hackers, dorky, dingy, slow, slovenly....well, you get the picture. Someone told me it was Flabby Tuna's idea, egged on by others. I guess I had it coming to me.
Unfortunately, the early start left some others in the parking lot looking around wondering what happened to the 8:00am group but we were in luck, there was a group of "Roll" cyclists so Brian, SuperDave and I slotted in with Larry P, Mike Rea, Amy, Meredith, Rich Lewis and several others. Here we are at a happier moment, prior to the ride.
Here we are at an unhappy time. Mike Rea, signaling to the emergency vehicles where to stop. Our group was riding on Jug Street, just after crossing Mink Road. I'm not sure exactly what happened but there was a largish rock in the middle of the lane. Brian, riding in front of me indicated with his arm, as did I but after that, I heard the sound of a flat, some yelling and upon looking back, saw cyclists down. Rich Lewis, Amy and Meredith all hit the pavement with the latter two's injuries appearing to be serious. See comment section for updates.
Once the emergency vehicles arrived, I hooked up with David Smith, Corvair and Brian aka Michelin Man riding into Utica, there catching up with 7:55 group. We did a touch and go in Utica and continued on to Martinsburg and then Bladensburg, stopping there. I audited my situation and decided, if I was going to do 100 miles, I needed to conserve my dwindling resources, dropping to the back of the pack. Even that didn't work much and so when the group decided to avoid Newark and move north toward St Louisville, I decided that seemed like adding too many miles and stayed on the route. An extended stop at Subway recharged the energy levels enough to get back to New Albany, after passing through a very cool street scene in Granville with dozens of Porsches displayed along a closed Broadway. Finished with 99.1 miles, 5300' of climbing and 0 interest in looping around the parking lot to watch 100 appear on the Garmin.
OK, so my route this Tuesday evening probably was one of the more boring this year, check that, it was the most boring of the year. Still, unlike certain other former ride leaders, at least I show up for the ride, actually ride the route and therefore have first hand knowledge of exactly how bad the route was. If your initials are R.R. you know I be a talkin about you.
Pretty good turnout of about 40 with a broad range of fitness so a good group of A, B and C cyclists. Here, Kevin H signs in while Steve O talks with Ted M, Michelin Man sits in his car readying himself and Patrick in the background prepares to apply a beat down.
Jon Morgan, gave me a nice compliment. After loading the route into Mapmyride, the "Big Hill" I described did not look so fearsome on the elevation chart but he concluded this pointed out more a deficiency in Mapmyride rather than calling into question my description. Probably after tonight my credibility has sunk below that of mapmyride. It sure seemed like a big hill from what I can remember of it but maybe I mistook it for a different climb.
They lined up in the shade, wafting to be called out and so, at 6:00pm exactly, I urged the A's to take off and momentarily, I invited the A/B group to go as well. Most of the parking lot took off, including the Rossi tandem, behind whom I planned to ride. Pretty pedestrian A group of Steve, Patrick, Nick, Randy B and Jon Morgan, with just a few others filling as pack fodder.
The A/B group looked stronger than normal with Ted M, Kevin H, Michelin Man Brian, Reynoldsburg Dan leading the way out, maybe 20-ish in total. Not much can be said about the route, it went straight east and then it came back straight west. Seems the A group missed a turn, added a few miles and ended with 53 and a 22mph avg. Our group mainly hung together, finished with 43 miles and a 21.3 avg. Kind of a boring evening but at least we did not get wet and the camaraderie is always good,
UPDATE--Forecast is looking GOOD so the ride is on!
Mark C led a group of us on a ride earler this year that included a monster climb somewhere outside Thornville. Wanted to try to get it on a Tuesday ride before diminishing sun makes it impossible so here it is. Flat to rolling route with one big climb in the middle. Sorry image is a little out of focus but will have maps in sharp focus on Tuesday.
Several ride options for Saturday but there was one close to home and so I took it, the Ride for Hope out of New Albany. For $15 you got a map with queue sheet, marked route and 4....that's right, FOUR food stops on the 75 mile route. So, I hooked up with Kenda Janet and Paul and off we went, passing Donn, aka Tall Dude who was a volunteer directing traffic. Later at a food stop, I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Tall Dude and Tall Dude junior.
We headed out into a beautiful morning with 150 other cyclists. Funny though, out of the 150, I did not recognize anyone other than Janet and Paul, thought I saw Doug McConahe at the top of Reynolds nursing someone along and I heard Stefano and Blair were there but that's it. OK, I'm sure I did not see a lot of those who did participate and may have missed some recognizable characters. It seemed like most of the cyclists are gearing up for Pelotonia and will probably disappear from the roads after that event. I think I have also figured out why my hunt for a sufficient quantity of females to be in the "Women of the Thursday New Albany Ride" feature has been frustrated. Many of the candidates are out doing their Pelotonia training ride with like minded people and skipping the Thursday parking lot scene.
I hooked up with a Tri Tech jersey wearing guy and he towed me around for quite awhile. Food stop #2 was at the orchard on Reynolds Road and while food and drink were more than sufficient, I coasted on to Utica to enjoy a Monster at the gas station before climbing back to the food stop and eating and drinking more. Pretty sure we all gained weight on this ride. Ended up back in New Albany with 75 miles and close to 4000' of climbing. Then on Sunday, I rode around south of Lancaster doing an old training ride that includes the Tarkiln, Snortin Ridge, Jack Run, etc... climbs. It's been awhile since I have ridden this route, mostly because I can remember what is my best average speed and figured if I rode it again, it would only confirm my suspicion that I've become slower, weaker....along with older. However, I was very pleasantly surprised, beating my old average by 0.5 mile an hour. Working on a new route for Tuesday's Canal ride and will post soon.
Perhaps the lightest turnout of the year, with only 40 at the start. For the middle of July, could not expect a nicer evening with a start temp around 80, light cloud cover, low wind, ok, that humidity was up there but still, ideal conditions. I spent the time leading up to the start to try to organize a strong B group of 6-8 who would work together, average 20+mph and ride the entire 61 miles. I was turned down cold by everyone but I was especially disheartened by Poobah's reaction. This former champion, once known as the Wapakoneta Stallion (born in that Ohio village), is but a shadow of his former self and told me he's already done lots of ambitious rides. To that I replied, "Yeah but that was 20 years ago. What have you done lately?"
Good B turnout of Poobah, these two, Kevin H making the long drive from the Canal area, Mark R, Farmer Mike, John Sada, David Smith, Astana Dennis, Tri-Mike, Retro George, Denver Dan, Mark V, Nathan, etc... Quite a bit of excitement out on the road with the B group, more on that later.
Shanon alerted the group that water was available at the end of my driveway at mile 30. I confirmed this and told all the property was easy to locate because there are pink flamingos and knomes in the front yard, scattered among two old cars sitting on cinder blocks.
Disappointed with my failure to organize a strong B group, I headed out with the A group, comprised of Rich Lewis, Marty, Dave C, Shanon, Euro Patrick, Muscle Dude, Tym T, Gus & Peggy, Ron, Jon Morgan, Kyle W, Doug M, Terry & others, about 20 of us. I carefully scanned the crowd for the purpose of calculating who I should not place myself behind because if they drop, covering the gap takes too much of my limited energy. I found only one person that may pose a problem and slotted in front of him.
We headed way north, via Green Cook, all the way to Duncan Plains and along the way, a couple of people were dropped but I was still in good shape and spent the time analyzing the group. Simplistic yes but there is a small group of guys who continuously rotate off the front, stay at the front and who are there at the end. There is a medium group of guys who hang in the back with me and who also are there at the end and then there are the hangeroners like me who are not at the end. Brilliant analysis, no? Oh, then there is a guy like Euro Patrick who takes pulls at the front, drifts back and then just rides out of the slipstream before riding back to the front, having not really taken a break. He's one of those guys who I suspect is probably stronger than any in the group but seems content to hang with the group.
We got on to Edwards where Gus had a flat. I got caught out but Patrick pulled me back to the group. We rolled in to Johnstown, got caught at a couple of lights and rolled out via Concord. So far, the pace had been fairly high but not killer or did not seem so, so I clung to the back. Surviving the rollers along Concord, we crossed Northridge, getting on to Hardscrabble and then bombed the mostly descent down to Raccoon Valley Road, turning left. Meantime, the B group approached the sharp right turn on Hardscrabble and this description from one of the cyclists best describes what happened:
It's pretty gravelly there so the normal shouts of "GRAVEL!!!" go up. As we're making the turn a car approaches rapidly from the right (the direction we're turning). Shouts of "Car Right" go up and just as I complete the turn a cyclist (On a Bianchi - Don't know his name) goes down and slides under the side of the still moving vehicle. I am not shitting you at all. The driver broke hard and stopped before bike and cyclist were crushed.
Our average speed had taken a hit rolling through Johnstown and I don't have my Garmin set to pause when stopped yet our average was consistently above 24mph. As we approached the hill on Moots Run, now heading west, I told Ron my goose was probably cooked on this hill but about half way up the climb I still was in good shape so.....I......attacked!!!!! Well, not in the truest sense of the word but I did pass a few guys, reached the upper echelon of the group, suddenly lost all power and upon turning on to Outville, just ran out of gas....sad. So, at mile 26 and with a 24.1 avg, I soloed to the water break on Gale Road where I caught up with Ron. I endured insults from my son about why I was not with the lead group, parted with Ron who continued on the full route and limped back to the parking lot, finishing with a 21.7 avg. and 49 miles. Not sure how the front group finished but maybe some one will comment.
Check out this jaw dropping, awe inspiring route, developed by Shannon for the Thursday New Albany ride. 60, that's correct, SIXTY miles for the A route. I don't see any obvious places to refill water bottles unless it's in Johnstown at mile 11 or, the route goes by my house at mile 30 so I guess I can run a hose out our driveway to Gale Road. Feel free to stop, water will be turned on and just pull the handle. I'm on the corner of Gale & Granview on the left. I'll try to put a sign out front.
OK, a little out of focus but you can enlarge the image. Winds out of the SW and going to be hot so lets do flat at the start and then when it "cools" late in the evening, we'll (well you) will hit the hills, including Slough to create gaps with Steve Oxley rewarding the winner of the sprint with another great prize. Note the route also goes through Amanda, for a brief refueling stop if needed. Seems Euro Patrick has been a serial winner of the sprint so come out and establish a new boss of the peloton.
So, "She Who Must Be Obeyed" is in AZ with a daughter who had to go out there for work. Naturally, I thought they would be sweltering in the summer heat but nope, been a little cooler there than in OH and they have received more rain in the last two days then we have received in two months. Looks like Wednesday is our next best chance for significant rain fall. Hope we get a good soaking.
Kind of uneventful weekend. I allowed weather radar and the forecast to deter me from a planned ride on Saturday. I decided to ignore the Sunday forecast and ride a route north of Mt Vernon. This is the same route, part of which, I rode last Thursday. My reaction to the 40 miles I previously rode was no climbs were too steep or too long, just a rolling route that still managed to chalk up roughly 1000' of climbing per 10 miles ridden.
My reaction after Sunday's 74 miles was too many climbs that were too long and too steep! Especially the area north and east of Belleville. You could enter that warren of roads for a few hours and come out with 50 miles and 20,000' of climbing. Good heavens. Have never ridden around Malabar Farm or Mohican Park so that was good. Actually, had never ridden any of these roads so that was the good part, each turn brought new views and new roads. The down side to the experience is each turn brought new roads. I must have stopped 25-30 times to consult a que sheet and map and too many of the roads were missing signs so that added to the challenge. The most memorable climbs were on Alexander, German Church and Dill, where the Garmin popped 20-23% and my front wheel kept wanting to lift off the pavement. Well, that's it for now but will have the Canal route up soon.
Thursday morning I drove just north of Mt Vernon to check out a new route, sent to me by someone who probably wishes to be anonymous. I did not have time to ride the entire 100 miles but saw enough of it to know it's a good 1000' of climbing per 10 mile type of course and I was told this is where "The Others" train when getting ready for Mountains of Misery, Bridge to Bridge, Mountain Mama, etc.... Will get back soon for the entire experience. Mostly I cut the route short because....
....I can't miss the usual lively parking lot scene, typical prior to each Thursday evening New Albany ride. Good turnout of 55+ cyclists.
The B people hover in the shade, most notably Mark V, continuing his wear of outrageous clothing, this torn from the body of a highway worker.
Poobah passing along more wisdom to Danny A. Dude could write a book about everything he knows, or at least a comic book.
Strong group of A cyclists, led by Shannon, Garth P (riding in his 12th Leadville race in a few weeks) Marty, Dave C, Tym & Lisa Tyler, Danny A, Terry, Doug M, Pete C, Chris G, Jon Morgan, dude with Ohio tattoo on his calf, John Sada, Mike Rea, Claude, other usual suspects and all with the genuine bone fides, except George and I. The gang does not seem to mind me hanging at the back as long as I don't get in the way.
So, 22+/- roll out old #161, into a light head wind out of the southeast. The 4-5 guys rotating off the front seemed to be working kind of hard but way in the back, it was calm and I had time to exchange pleasantries with a variety of folks. George popped out fairly early but surprisingly, Lisa T did too some where short of #310, where we caught the light and glancing down, I saw our average was 24.7mph. We restarted, arriving at the Outville Road turn towards Alexandria with a 25.2 avg. Maybe 1-2 others had dropped back but the peloton was hanging together, up and over the rise on Moots and on into Granville, with a 25.1 avg. after 17 miles My legs were starting to fatigue so when the group turned toward Hankinson Road off #661, I kept going straight, and arrived back at the parking lot with a 21.3mph average. Had around 80 miles for the day so that's not too bad.
Meanwhile, the A group hit Hankinson and broke up a bit. The lead group finished with a 24.2 avg.
As usual, the shade was popular and around 45 cyclists gathered to hear the pre ride announcements, to which few actually pay attention. Tonight's route, kind of flat, going east beyond Baltimore before a somewhat hillier return. I failed to put the route up earlier but will have the next couple of Tuesday routes. Planning something epic for next week. I continue to slouch toward mediocrity, further evidence being, did I go up to Euro Patrick and ask "How we going to attack this gang?", no. Did I ask Muscle Dude, "Can I lead you out for the Baltimore sprint sign?", no, did I tell Nick I'd sacrifice myself by riding in the wind so he could conserve energy and draft out of that cross wind?" Nope, I asked a notorious short cutter, gutter rider, drafter extraordinaire what he was going to do. I asked Poobah and he said, "I'm riding behind the Rossi tandem" and so, I decided to join in too with the B+ group.
Nick described his success at this past weekend's race, taking 3rd. In the background, Wendy Smith makes her first appearance at the Canal ride.
Nice evening for a bike ride, sun, light winds out of the north, low humidity, kinda hot but not too much so, etc... So, no surprise that quite a few people came out, including a couple of New Albanyites, Jon Morgan and Muscle Dude. Here, Paul Stock crams a bananna into his mouth but it was not enough, or maybe it was too much. More on that below.
Out the A group went. Forgot to count but maybe 15ish? Then our group went, maybe 18ish? I'll keep this brief because, no one cares what the Bers do so we headed out Basil Western, arriving in Baltimore with a slimmed down crew that included Poobah, Kevin H, Mark V, Mike Murphy, Wendy, Amanda and a few others. Arriving in Baltimore, Poobah suddenly hit the gas and we flew through town, kind of a curious move that separated the group but soon to reform. A few times, Kevin or Poobah would push the pace and there would be just the three of us but then I'd take a pull and the group would reform. Nothing reforms a group like me taking a pull. Somewhere out there, Todd gave the Rossi's a push to help get them over a hill. I warned Mark Rossi this is one of Todd's infamous pick-up moves toward our wives. He starts with a push on the rear and then moves up from there. I asked Mark to practice delivering a 4 knuckle sandwich and to give me the head's up so I could catch the image.
Arriving in Carroll and then heading west on Winchester Road, we were scheduled to make a left and tackle that hill off Pickerington Road but Poobah went straight while most of us made the turn. Kevin and Mike must have talked between themselves because they gifted me the KOM points on the climb but then we regrouped. Close to Canal, we came across Paul S, off the bike and looking kind of sickly. Someone said he had been throwing up from the exertion. I always throttle back way, way before that stage of effort. We soon arrived back in Canal with 44 miles and a 20.1 avg. Not sure what the front A group did or who was in it other than Patrick again won the Canal sign sprint and Steve O gave him a water bottle and towel.
Oh, this rear derailleur virus is catching. Steve O's bike had a similar problem as mine. Note the derailleur is supposed to be at the bottom, not pointed skyward. Looks like he'll be on the cross bike for awhile.
Easily my greatest regret on the activity side of life, occurred in the Grand Canyon. I'd hiked various trails including day hiking to the Colorado River and back via the usual trails and multi-day backpacking via Bill Hall/Thunder River/Deer Creek Narrows that I've described here, Hermit Trail, North Bass, etc... but I had heard the hike down Nankoweap Trail that included a view of ancient granaries.....
.....was the hardest in the Canyon and included what is commonly referred to as the "scary section". I planned to do a day hike and check out that part while proceeding on at least to Marion Point so I could plan for a future multi-day hike to the river. I arrived at the scary section, where it disappeared around a corner with no guarantee of hand holds beyond, vividly remember thinking, "What the **** are you thinking" turned around and hiked out. I've thought often of that experience and about going back. Today, I learned the park rangers hiked to that spot a couple of years ago and opened it up a bit!!!! This image is after the rangers cut into the sheer cliff above, creating a scree slope through which a faint trail can be seen. Hmmmm, may have to do this later this year, hike down to the river, camp and then hike back out the next day.
Of course, a small turnout for the Rocky Ride in Circleville. Poobahs vehicle was strategically parked under a tree by the time I arrived at 7:15, probably he made good on his promise to depart at 6:00am. Here, Mitch O poses in front of an incredible map, authored by himself and Ryan R. Although, maybe the road names could have been larger now that I think about it.
Looked to be about 35 cars in the parking lot and many of those had chosen to depart with the "Flyin Tuna" group at 7:30, including Mike Rea, Miya (winner of the last place finish at the Granville Climbing Challenge), Denver Dan, Kevin H, Brad the Dentist, Dennis, Kendas Jan, Dave & Paul, Ron, Frank Seebode...I may have forgotten 1-2 people in there but anyway, 13 left the parking lot where it was already very humid if not yet hot.
The Rocky ride is my favorite COP Roving Ride with nice flatish stretches punctuated by climbs like Rocky, Clark Hollow, another climb to the top of Tar Hollow, Thorton Sprung, etc... Here, at about mile 25 and at the top of the first climb into Tar Hollow, we regroup and wipe sweat from our bodies except Denver Dan, who merely daubs a wee bit of perspiration from his brow while drinking a boxed apple flavored Perrier. This guy gives new meaning to the sophisticated cyclist. Later, he pulled a small bottle of Merlot from his pocket too.
Refueling stations were spotty on the route but the ride organizers had called ahead and asked the market at the bottom of Tar Hollow to open early and we filed inside for a blast of cold air, cool drinks and a watchful wooden Indian. Later, we went outside to sit on the benches while Dan took a seat at the two person swing. Cindy came out and while preparing to take a seat next to Dan, Dan said, "Watch out, it's kind of bouncy" to which some jerk said, "You'll find out just how bouncy once she sits down and better wear a helmet for the bounce off the rafters." Yuk, yuk, yuk. Retro George cruised in with Mitch and Jeff S as we were preparing to depart. George joined us and now we had 14 people. Exiting the parking lot, we headed south, back up a climb into Tar Hollow, made it over Thorton Sprung and then reached Dearth Rd, where a left off the official route would take us to a cooler sitting in front of someone's yard. Upon reaching this, all stopped but Frank and I, who kept going, now separated from the group but expecting to rejoin at some point. I had not been riding all that hard and still had plenty of fluids. Among the group that did stop, there was speculation that I would do a work around Rocky. While I understand those thoughts, Frank and I climbed this beast of Central Ohio where I saw a card table and fluids at the top but not knowing if it was meant for us, kept going.
Frank and I began following GOBA road markings that he assured me would take us in to Kingston, and they did but on a slightly longer route that put us into Kingston directly across from the 2nd gas station, where we stopped. Apparently the rest of our group stopped at the first station, off #159. Then Kenda Dave rolled in and we camped inside the market for quite awhile. Dave had gotten off the route, stopped just short of the front yard cooler on Dearth Road before turning around but found a farmer who refilled his bottles with water and ice. Each of us left the market separately, reluctant to go back out into what now was surely a temperature closing rapidly on 100. That last flat stretch of 10 miles into a head/cross wind was brutal. At one point, not wanting to risk getting off the route, I stopped at a farm and asked for reassurance that yes, this Kingston Pike road does in fact go in to Circleville. Finished with just over 70 miles and 3300' of climbing. I heard everyone got safely back to the parking lot, one way or the other.
I have talked to an esteemed member of the peloton and considered the comments of Steve & Cindy and concluded I did not make clear enough the "Who is Mitch Tallan" was, as always, an effort to poke fun at someone who has poken fun of me quite frequently both privately and in blog comments. So, after careful deliberation, I have decided to run a "Who is Mark Wilson" post. I'm thinking of a certain picture that I need to dig out to use and there will be some ground rules, such as not invoking my mother and no profanity. Anyway, I'll get that up in a few days and you can have at it, anonymously or otherwise.
Someone posted annonymously with a comment and accused me of being a "Fred" or "Phred". I have studied the style of writing and determined it can be none other than Mitch Tallan. On the Echelon web site he gave himself the nickname "Pretty Boy" which in my day was a name to be avoided rather than cherished, plus, not sure that is an apt description of my friend Mitch anyway but who am I to say? If any of you can give me additional information on Mitch, so we can all better understand who is this strange man, I would be grateful.
I have heard from several people and start times range from 6:00 to 8:00 although one thing is common, the pace will be appropriate to the temperature. It's a long drive for me so I'm striving for being on the bike at 7:30 and I think Flyin T is doing the same..
So, this Saturday is the annual Rocky Ride out of Circleville High School. The official start time is 8:00am but Mitch and Peggy, the hosts, will be there at 6:00am with maps for those who want to start sooner. Variety of distances, including 100 miles.
Small turnout of course with the 96 degree heat, approaching storm, humidity but of the 35 who did come out, most of those were the stars of the New Albany A group. Probably they heard about the Kiwi challenge but as it turns out, their goal for the night had been grossly oversold. They already had gone through an intense training week, including earlier today, so they just wanted to sit in and do a recovery ride. Some of them knew Poobah so gathered around his Element.
Here, Poobah gathers them around him again and he gives instructions on gutter riding and drafting.
Another new bike in the parking lot with Nick looking on envious. This time it's from Astana Dennis but we worried that while a very nice bike, it not being the 6.9 model may cost him 1-2 mph.
Mark V makes his return from his crash last month down Rocky and on Saturday, he'll get a chance to ride up it again as this Saturday's Roving Ride includes the storied Rocky Road climb. Note Mark's garment choices are still a touch on the odd side so that knock on the head did not improve his fashion sense. Maybe we should try an electric shock treatment.
Yep, the Kiwi's said they had no intention of tearing anybody's legs off but nonetheless, everyone wanted to ride out with them and so a large group left the parking lot with little more than scraps left in the parking lot. Among the A's was Marty, Dave C, Jon Morgan, Chris G, Billy C, Paul Stock, Mick, Colnago Ron, John Sada + 7 Kiwi's, Young Phenom Nick, Poobah, Kim Sada, several new guys who apparently showed up to ride with the New Zealanders, Dennis, Retro George, Reynoldsburg Dan, woman with short hair cut, guy with OSU tattoo.....I need to learn some of these people's names, etc.....
We headed out old 161, left on Kitzmiller, right on Jug and the pace was not too hard and it appeared some of our usual agitators may have been somewhat intimidated as they did not sprint off the front. That changed when we turned left on Mink with Chris G taking off but everyone let him go and soon the group regrouped. A couple of ramps going into Johnstown cut a few out, including George with a racing heart rate, short haired lady and Poobah. We took off on Concorde and still the pace was not too high but some others dropped out and I was at the end of the line behind two who were behaving rather squirrelly, showing all the signs they were about to drop. Closing in on Northridge, a gap developed in front of these two and I could not cover so I was done, along soon with Ron and Dennis and so we rode out Stone Quarry with a 22.7 avg to that point. We passed Billy C with a flat and then Paul Stock, bent over his bike appearing to be in agony. He looked like I felt so I and Dennis hung a right on Louden and pedaled back with 36 miles and a 21mph avg.
Meantime and much, much more importantly, the group continued and I am told Sada was dropped a couple of times but always one of the Kiwi's pulled him back to the group. That group even had a SAG car that gave them water prior to Stone Quarry. As the peloton turned right on Louden and got on to Dry Creek, making a left at 661, John and his forces stayed straight on Dry Creek, leaving the group. Once the main group returned to the parking lot with a 23.4 avg, several people were heard shouting, "Sada got dropped again." and apparently taking some glee in the outcome.
Due to the extreme heat, tonight's route is under 50 miles. As much as some of us probably want to see how far we can hang with the New Zealanders, which counts at least one woman on the team, the high will be 98 degrees with higher humidity then last Thursday. Hydrate today and have a safe ride tonight.
One year ago today, our Marty Sedluk was on a luxury liner on Lake Erie entertaining Katy Perry and dancers and this year, poor Marty was had to settle for something less than that thrill. That;s Katy on the right, unknown vixen on the left.
Jon Sada checked in to report a team of Pro/Cat 1 New Zealanders have been staying with him this week and they are coming out for the Thursday ride to, "Tear the legs off those Thursday boys." There are 7 of them and they are here to take no prisoners.
Very light turnout for the Canal ride, due to falling on the 3rd, electricity issues for some so about 27 cyclists. Euro Patrick on the right. Note the arm sleeves. I've been doing some research on these and it appears they are the real deal, providing protection from the sun. Patrick recommends them so I ordered a pair to try.
Beth on the right. Seems she is a C group Reaper. We passed her a couple of weeks ago going out Waterloo and she was putting the hammer on the C's. Time to move up girl!
The line-up tonight was not what you'd call formidable. Glancing around the parking lot, there were only 3 obvious A's, Patrick, Steve O and Young Phenom Nick, with a beard that is growing fractionally each week. So, the A group was called out and they plus the marginal players jumped in so maybe 12-15 rolled out as a hybrid group. Patrick soft pedaled away at the outskirts of town, Steve joined in followed by Nick and so it was down to Kevin H, Mitch O, Ryan R, Brian, Andrew C, Jeff S, new guy, Eric the Columbus Dispatch photographer, David S and a few others.
Going south on Slittery, Eric had a flat. I asked of no one in particular if we should stop and Mitch said no, the policy was changed and we no longer should wait for flat fixers, so we kept going. Going east on Westfall, Mitch had a flat and so while Jeff and Ryan stopped, those still in the group.....
Brian, Andrew, new guy and I kept going and pulled into the gas station to refuel. These three decided to go the long route, shoved off and I decided to sit around and wait for the others. Yep, my summer swoon, happens every year, has kicked in again with a vengeance of unmotivation to ride. Soon, the others arrived, they too decided to go the long route and I took the B route via Delmont. Half way out Westfall, my chain came off, I tried to throw it onto the large chainring in front to put the chain back on, met some resistance, which was the chain tearing the chain guard off the frame, met more resistance which was the chain guard going through the derailleur and then met no resistance at all. Uh oh.
I've thought that I've been very fortunate with mechanicals, probably benefiting from having quality components on my bikes but my luck ran out. Patrick and Steve stopped and a big thanks to Patrick for guiding me through shortening the chain to turn the bike into a single speed, while also removing the appropriate components. What a great guy! It just so happened, Aaron, who lives on Amanda Northern and was out on a solo ride, stopped too and offered to go get his vehicle and come pick me up. What a great guy! Patrick and I got my bike in ridable condition and took off. He was riding with me but I urged him to go on, telling him Mitch and those guys would come by soon and they would not abandon me, so Patrick took off.
Once I got on Amanda Northern, Mitch and those guys approached, passed, there was some laughter and they kept going. In fairness, how were they to know I was having a problem. I mean, that motley crew pass me like I'm standing still, all the time, well no, not really. With a ridable bike I was ok but the chain was jumping around on 3-4 different cogs and once lodged between two cogs, forcing me to remove my back wheel to dislodge. About the time I began wondering if I was going to get back before dark, Aaron came by, picked me up and deposited me in Canal.
So, my bike has been fixed but it is only temporary. Part of the frame did break when the derailleur snapped off. I've heard Trek continues to have bottom bracket issues on their new frames so reluctantly, I'm going to have to quit that bike brand and try something new. Let's see, I see a lot of Massi frames but most of the people who ride those are notorious short cutters and I don't want to take the chance the frame is contributing. Rick Miller sells BH frames, so maybe that's a good option. Of course, at my level, it's not like the frame makes a bunch of a diff anyway so maybe a Huffy is in order.
It's a cruel world out there save for two outstanding individuals. More to come and ahhhh, Rick Miller, check your voice messages.
Tuesday's route is quite a lot hillier than last Tuesday with the McDonald climb and Hopewell Church in there. Long route is 49 miles, I forget the middle and short route distances but they'll be on the map that you receive at the parking lot. Ohhh, the B route has the climb on Delmont, ouch. See you out there.