I don't know these other people but the woman in grey/white is Amy, a reporter with the Columbus Dispatch. OK....
....Amy and photographer were here collecting information about Mark and Karen Rossi and I think by coincidence it was also the official debut of the new tandem. Checking in at 19 pounds, it is 25% lighter then the old tandem and note the belt drive rather than a chain. Tension of the belt is checked by sound given off by the vibration of the belt at different points. Tonight was the shake-down cruise with the B group but I hear Thursday it is a full on assault on the Thursday A group. Now, back to.....
....Amy. I'm not sure if Mark is happier to be out with his new bike or to be standing in such close proximity to Amy. Check out that grin. OK, seriously, the Dispatch is doing a piece on tandems participating in Pelotonia with the Rossi tandem part of the story. The article is supposed to be out Monday.
Corvair was leading tonight's ride but she was a little late so as soon as she arrived, there was a mad dash to sign in. Pretty good turn-out, around 35 for a flatish route to the east with maybe too many stop signs.
Mark C on the right, fresh off a century ride and ready for Mountain Mama. He plans to win the event this year. No more hanging back with Flyin Tuna. On the left, Dirty Dan, undecided if he will go to VA because work is cutting into his riding time and he is out of shape. Hey, who isn't this season? I'm hundreds of miles off my typical pace and fat too. On the other hand, Ricky G has ridden 4 century rides in the last 5 days and is ready. Sounds like the central Ohio participants are Ricky G and Rex, Steve O, Mark C, Flyin Tuna, Dan, Dustin, Rick Miller, John Day, Ted M, Kevin Swabb (still recuperating from a bad accident and likely not doing the full route), Greg Dubois, Mark Waites, Joe G, Marty is on the fence, Jimmy and Corvair may be without rides and doing Pedal with Pete instead.
Even in the parking lot, Grand Poobah prepositioned himself close to the tandem's wheel. The A group rolled out with 15, pretty good for a Tuesday group and appeared that there were a couple of new guys. Tonight's route, flat and lots of stops would keep each group together for the most part. Don't worry, we'll be back to the hills next week.
The A group rolled out and those that finished with the lead group, had a 22.3 avg...or was it 23.2, anyway pretty fast considering the quantity of stops. The B group had Jeff S, Mark C, Kevin H, Matt A, picked up Claude along the way, the Rossi tandem of course, Poobah, Corvair and plenty of others. As we rolled out Basil Western, the Dispatch folks rolled along side us and snapped a few pics. Poobah of course, unless they crop him out of the image, will be in all the images in the paper. You'd have thought it was a triple bike so close was he to the tandem throughout the image taking.
We eventually rolled into Pleasantville. This is where Steve O met his future wife when last year, as we rolled to a stop, a woman with plenty of body fat and few teeth, rolled off the sidewalk on a bike with no brakes, until she impacted Steve. It was obvious to us all that it was love at first sight. Speaking of Steve, he is conflicted, his new BMC, a 2014 model, will likely not be available until October. Meantime, there are 2013 models available as soon as tomorrow, so he could ride one in VA, rather than take the toe clip hybrid. What to do, what to do.
We got on to Lake Road, then a right on Carroll-Eastern and had a good run in to Carroll. Things were a little chaotic out on the road as multiple people surged to the front to take advantage of the descent in to Carroll. I stayed on the old veteran's wheel, Poobah, who was on the tandem, staying out of the way. We exited Carroll and approached the short but steep climb where suddenly and without warning, I saw my chance. For the first time in 30+ miles, Poobah had left the tandem!!!!! I dove for the wheel and rode up the climb, knowing it did not matter how far everyone got ahead, the tandem would catch on the descent. Sure enough, as we crested the climb, it was like following the Flying Wallendas on the back of a torpedo. We shot down the hill, blew through the stop sign and began overtaking those in front. First one, then another, then....the Rossi tandem had run out of gas. I urged them both to pull me through but they were tanked. So, the group rolled in to Canal, largely together, with a 21mph avg and 42 miles.
Sorry I'm late getting this out and I do not have a link to a gps file but here is tonight's route, led by none other than Corvair.
It was a lonely ride on Saturday for those of us who came out to ride. Ummm, not me of course but since the outbound route came close to home, I decided to go out and see who showed up. No surprise, John Day, having the passion of a newbie, was out and I think I saw Joe Giampapa, Evie and maybe 20 others. John said he was doing 100 miles and I'm sure he did. Probably reminded him of his days battling it out in the mud against the "big uglies" on the O-line.
Jon Morgan & company were riding at 11:00, on Sunday and doing the RRR route but my son reminded me our last "Parent/Child" golf league was at 5:00pm so I headed out alone, shoving off at 9:30. Got west of Alexandria and saw Dustin with a can of Old Chub in his back pocket, saving it for a rest stop I suppose. Got on to the RRR route eventually and arrived in Utica where I talked to 4 guys making a one way run from New Albany to Apple Valley. One guy told me about the "Holmes County Challenge" and it sounded like a great route, some time in September. The route continued, going through Martinsburg and then following #541 all the way to Bladensburg, a poor choice of road considering Divan and Henpeck is a better alternative to a state route. Ran in to two old, old cycling friends (Belinda & Glen) in B-burg and then kept plugging away, spending a head scratching duration on #79 when again there are great alternatives to a busy state route with little or no berm. Finished with 95 miles and 5000+ feet of climbing.
Don't forget, this is a very worthy cause and I was impressed by their web page. More information here: http://pedal-with-pete.org/events/columbus-ohio/
Sounds like most of us are shoving off for the Ridge Runner Ramble at 8:00am on Saturday and I think many are motivated to do the 100 mile route as we prepare for the Mountain Mama ride next Saturday in Monterrey, WV. However, if you are going to be around Columbus next Saturday, there is a very worthy ride called "Pedal with Pete". Paul Stock sent me the below notice. Note the link for additional information.
The Pedal-with-Pete ride will be Saturday, the 3rd, departing from Hilliard as always. If you have a chance, could you please mention this to your hordes of devoted followers? I know there are several other rides going on that weekend, but wanted to let everyone know about this option: http://pedal-with-pete.org/events/columbus-ohio/
See you at 8:00 or if you are going out with the Jon Morgan group at 7:30, see you next week.
Beautiful evening for a bike ride. Low temp, low humidity, low winds, not a cloud in the sky and not a lot of cyclists either. Must be vaca time with the family for some. Steve O arrives and several flocked to his car to see if he had his new bike but alas, no. ETA is unknown and in the meantime, he is riding the hybrid with toe clips and tennis shoes.
Shannon called to let me know he was on his way, ETA 5:55 but he was early, 5:50. No big deal.
Shannon's truck was swarmed by us as we signed in and grabbed a map, including Farmer Mike who is riding very strong again this year at age 70. Tri Andrew made the long drive up from Lancaster on the left, along with Luke. Several new people including a guy named Randy from Reynoldsburg and a guy.....
.....wearing a Savage Hill jersey. Don't see one of those jerseys very often. Think his name was Scott or Steve, there in the middle background.
Mark Rossi was here to announce the Calfee tandem, with Karen, will be out Saturday for the Ridge Runner ride out of this same parking lot. Sounds like most are shoving off at 8:00am and doing 100. I think Mark also said the new tandem is so fast that Poobah doesn't have a chance of hanging on to the back of it.
Tym leads out an A group of 25-26 so good participation for that league. Marty and Dave C are in MI riding around the state but here were Jon M, Paul Stock, Steve O, Nick, Pete C, Chris G, Ron B, Claude, Andrew, Shannon, Craig Rice, John Day (Muscle's Dudes), Tym and Lisa, Blair, Pete A, new guy in Ohio jersey John I believe was his name, and a few others. We got on to Jug Street and Shannon, riding his tri bike, dropped in to the aero position and hit the thrusters. Geesh. Later there was some grumbling in the parking lot (well, OK it was me) and one guy said if he had that advantage he too could stay in front (well, ok I was the only one who said that too).
The asphalt was melting as one long line blazed out Jug and the group began to splinter. Luke drifted back, then another guy, Claude drifted back and I had to cover a small gap, then we reached Mink for a pause, a left and a quick right and hammer time again. Wish I could have checked out the average at that point but no time to glance down at the computer. We bore on, reaching 310 and what's this? Freshly applied chip & seal so we kind of took it easy into Alexandria. Exiting town, we headed out Raccoon Valley Road with a moderate pace. I was at the back as we turned on to Hardscrabble. Ohio jersey John spun out on the gravel, I swerved to avoid and lost the peloton's tail........
.....rats, taken out at mile 15. Ahead, I could see the group breaking apart and by the top of the climb where the road swings left, the group was down to 8! Think about that. I rode alone on Northridge, Stone Quarry, somewhat troubled that I was not seeing anyone ahead. Reaching New Burg, I got on to the B route and went into and through Granville. Looking back on Moot's Run Road, the elite of the elite, the cream of the crop, the, well you get the picture, came chugging by me, Shannon, Jon M, Nick and two others. Pleasantries were exchanged between us, quickly and I settled back in to my solo effort, expecting a better fitting group to come by and sure enough, here came the super B's led by Mick, Brian, Matt A, Mark R, Savage Hill dude, new guy Randy, maybe 8 people and I gleefully jumped on. What a relief and word got around that GP was back a little ways so I thought about trying to slow the group so Poobah could jump on but nah, make him suffer. We arrived at the parking lot with 45 miles and I had a 20.8 avg. Shannon's team was at 22.4 I think and 48 miles. Steve O rolled in and had 51 miles so he had been led off route somewhat.
Shannon has the complete details of yet another great route through the countryside of Licking County. Read all about it here: http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/new-albany-cop-ride-thursday-july-25-2013/.
Mark C was tonight's ride leader. Still having maps from 2 weeks ago, I brought them down for him to use. Handed over, map possession was squarely with him but he laid them on his truck, the wind whipped through and dumped a good portion into a puddle. Some how, he blamed me for this. Later, he spent time in Shades and upon returning, found the wind had whipped through and deposited more of them in the water. The map casualty rate was at least 50% but with fewer then 30 people attending, I think everyone got a map. Note to Mark: The clipboards can be used for both sign-up sheets and maps.
Only 8 people rolled out with the A group, Muscle Dude, Paul Stock, Steve O, Dustin, Jeff S, Rick, Ricky G and Jr. Muscle Dude. Pretty solid B group, most of whom rode the 49 mile option. Ricky G gave me his account of last Thursday's event and he really is very fortunate to be riding and doing so on that bike.
Big news to report. The Rossi tandem is finished. Mark was here, the tandem was available but no Karen so Mark came out solo. The peloton waits for its debut, maybe Thursday, maybe Saturday but it sounds like a heck of a machine. Also hear that Steve O's bike shopping is completed and a BMC with Ultegra DI2 components is on order. Steve was torn between 3 different bikes but wisdom from Ryan R settled the issue, which was over the length of the warranty.
After the A group departed, everyone else did too and things got settled after the long climb to Lithopolis. Our group had around 12, Mitch O, Ryan, Brian, Katherine, Corvair, Kevin H, Luke, etc.... We regrouped a couple of times, not so sure everyone likes that policy but I keep reminding them it's the B group. There is no glory in B group domination. The first 20 miles was into a very strong head or cross wind out of the SW. There were some ominous looking clouds to the west but they appeared destined for area's north of us so we kept plugging away until we reached Hagerty, the southern most point of the route and were then pushed east until we summited at Ringold Northern, the highest point in Fairfield County. Ryan R is not riding with the Tuesday group very often but he must be riding some where as he flashed enviable form grinding up the Hagerty climb, as did Kevin H and Katherine.
Reaching Cedar Hill, we had maybe 8 people, Luke and I took the 42 mile route while the others went on the 49 mile route. Luke is a good friend of "Da Boss", aka Craig Butler. Both are preparing for another 100 mile trail run, this time in Great Seal State Park. I asked about the climbing and it will be 10,000'+. I just about threw up thinking about running 100 trail miles and climbing 10,000'. Luke suggested I come out and pace them saying, "You could do 15, 25, 30 miles, whatever you wanted." I looked at him as if he was some rare life form from Pluto. Craig is thinking about doing 5 of these century runs next year.
Paul, Muscle Dude, Dustin and Steve finished the 49 mile route with a 21.1 avg and to celebrate, Dustin pulled out a cooler containing "Old Chub" brand of beer. What a guy!!!!! Below, storms missed Canal by a couple of miles, skirting us to the north.
Recall that route, buried deep in your memory, from two weeks ago that we could not ride because of intense and immense thunderstorms that devastated the area's roads. Yes, dat one. Here it is again, hopefully to be ridden this evening, barring the unwelcome intrusion of yet more spectacular thunderstorms. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2834358
I'm thinking we need to start a victim's fund. Some of you deep pocketed types could pool a few thousand, put it under my management and whenever one of us goes down and is kept off the bike for awhile, the money would be used for a temporary subscription to Netflix, pay for 6-packs of favorite beverages, finance "Friday Get Well Soon" parties at Shades for the Canal injured and Rusty Bucket for the New Albany injured, all the essentials that are not covered by insurance. Wouldn't Terry G, Will Gleason and others enjoy seeing us at a party honoring them? Think about poor Mark V, broken thumb aching and unable to ride. Bet he'd like to be the center of attention at Shades, celebrating his injury. The fund could be used to pay for bike handling lessons for Ricky G. I think this idea has real merit so think it over and let me know.
Rick Miller came through for me and had a seat post that matched my old one perfectly. First, I want to thank all of you who reached out to me via phone, text, email and blog comments, offering various solutions. There is a special place in my heart for all of you who offered me your personal bikes, saying you'd rather me ride the route and create a report that you could read as opposed to riding the route and having nothing to read. Secondly, the person that called me from Mark C's house where a group sheltered from the Saturday rain and proceeded to call me "Lardo", well "Sticks and stones...." I endured a string of insults from this woman, i.e., "Is the new post reinforced with rebar", etc... As usual, I got in the last laugh when she asked how I would test the load limit to make sure it could hold me and my reply, "I'll have you sit on it first."
I hopped in with John Marten's Sunday group ride and it was a good one. 80 miles to Zanesville via Blue Jay and back. There at the start were around 15, including Tym and Lisa T, Matt K, John Sada, Lon Herrman and some new people I've not previously seen. Climbing up the first big hill, I snuck up on John and piped him at the summit behind Tym and Matt. By the top of the next climb I was in last place, mid way through Blue Jay I was laster yet and by the time I arrived at Brownsville Road, I was so far back that a new word needs to be invented to describe the distance between them and me. OK, guess there were a few others behind but geesh, I am in bad shape. Tym and the group waited in Toboso where Tym asked if I had taken the Blackhand Gorge bike path!?!?!?! For the record, no and I had a witness.
We stopped at the market in Zanesville and then shoved off on the usual route back via Kopchak Road but I swung right at Ridge as I enjoy that stretch along the ridge and regained the route by making a left on Morgan. Thought I would jump back in with the group but must have just missed them when I made a right on Coopermill or Cooperrider (I get those two mixed up). Soloed in via #668 for 80 miles and 5600' of climbing.
Once I finished the Thursday New Albany ride I had no idea of the carnage out on the road. From what I have pieced together, the B group and some A's that had dropped back were climbing the hill just before the 47 mile turn left on Appleton. Some wheels bumped, 4-5 guys went down and Ricky G swerved to the left to avoid. I believe he crossed left of the centerline and was struck or struck a car that had or was close to skidding to a stop. Ricky has road rash but is otherwise OK and even rode the 100 mile Hillacious Hill route on Saturday. Somehow, he put a hole in the fender of the car yet his bike was ridable so I'm scratching my head trying to figure that out. The Sheriff was called but after waiting 20 minutes, Ricky rode back towards New Albany with Mark V riding along with him. The Sheriff's car approached, Ricky slowed and Mark ran into the back of Ricky, falling and breaking a thumb.
I was also informed that Silent Dave, inspired by my glorifying of Mitch's map from the Rocky ride, produced one that rivaled, if not surpassed, Mitch's. Of course, this information comes via an unusually unreliable source so I have some doubt but I would like to see the map to check it out and see if there is a new "Champion of Map Making". Dave also took the time to mark the route. I hope most of you thanked him for the effort and I regret missing the ride.
Soooooo, my seat has been making odd noises the last two rides and Thursday, I noticed the nose had tilted up a degree or two causing some discomfort. I thought the bolt was loose but tonight, discovered a freakin irregular crack extending 80% around the circumference of the seat post!!!!! Geesh, sure I am a bit of a fatty patty but come on. Well, I'm out for the Hillacious ride but maybe someone can take some pics and forward to me. Meantime, I've sent Rick Miller the details but it's Friday night so can't expect anything to get done for a few days. Have fun.
Our visitor from Denmark (not Sweden as I erroneously reported on Tuesday) via Florida, Mikkel, spends his last day in Ohio. Back to Florida after a stop in GA for a tour. Bet he enjoyed riding our roads.
Paul Stock, Euro-Patrick and Craig Rice finished together on Tuesday. Patrick said it's the hardest he's ridden yet finishing with an average in the 19's.
Randy Brown's famous socks. Once navy blue, through the years they have faded a little.
Shannon Kurek barks out the pre-ride instructions. Note how much room everyone gives him, just like in the peloton. So significantly do his shoulders bob and weave that the peloton always goes single file when he takes a pull. Riding alongside him is possible but one would have to ride left of center to avoid being bounced off his bike.
Grand Poobah accepts responsibility for leading out the B group. He does but soon flats and goes back to his car to replace the tire and then heads out counter clockwise to find the A group.
Around 23 roll out with the A group but overall the numbers were down because of ominous weather radar that overstated the rain and probably the heat and humidity cut into the numbers too. We rode out Waltons Parkway, made a few more turns and then had a very long stretch on County Line, going straight north. Rod Budzik and I were a little too close to the front, setting off the internal.....
....and so we drifted back to the back. The pace was not too high and without a major climb, I was not sure why but I am the last person to question reasonable speeds. We headed east on Wesley Chapel, then north on Clover Valley then, and I should have seen this coming, the lead guys hammered after turning right on Foundation. Gaps punctured the group but I was able to close and hung in there until I think Shannon began sprinting and.....
.....the beasts had devoured the Wildebeests. I was out the back at the village sign sprint and so formed up with Jeff S, John Day and one other guy. They behaved as if they intended to catch back on and may have as the group slowed going through town but I had enough at mile 17, riding the balance of the route alone. I thought for sure some A's or the B group would catch me but I suspect the other A's took the 47 mile turn while I took the 40 mile route. Finished with a 20.4 avg while the Marty, Dave C, Craig, etc... group finished with 23.5 avg. Sounds like quite a few guys will ride the Hillacious Hill ride on Saturday and then also Mt Mama the first weekend in August.
Here it is, from Shannon, for tonight's sweat-fest. Tonight is a 3 water bottle night and more can be found at Shannon's site: http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/new-albany-cop-ride-thursday-july-18-2013/
First, the quality of the images this week is sub-par. I dropped the devise on Saturday and that either contributed to the problem or maybe there was just a smear on the lens. I think it is the latter because the right side is in focus but the left side is not. Anyway, above is Jr Muscle Dude and I can confirm a rumor floating around the peloton at large, yes, he played for THE Ohio State Buckeyes as a defensive lineman, behind Mike Vrabel and Matt Finkes. Started at least one game but blew out a knee against Wyoming and that was that. About a year ago he acquired a bike so he could ride in Pelotonia and now, he is rising quickly through the ranks, a good guy and preparing for Mountain Mama, an August century ride with 9000' of climbing in remote WV. This year, Pelotonia will be a recovery ride.
The new tandem watch continues as Mark and Karen (on the right) patiently wait for the new carbon fiber tandem with electric shifters to be available. Have to give the bike shop credit for undertaking a build that is out of the ordinary and includes a part custom made to make the derailleur fit the frame, or something like that.
Ricky G in the middle, a recovering stop sign jumping addict. Although his muscles were visibly twitching when we slowed for a stop sign, he kept his urges in check, throughout the ride.
A visitor originally from Denmark and now living in the panhandle of Florida where the riding is not so much fun. Roads too flat, too busy and too many rednecks.
Euro Patrick and Paul Stock await the start. Smallish turnout, probably put off by the heat, humidity and hills. Around 35 total.
So, an A group of Steve O, Patrick, Paul, Muscle dude Jr. and Sr. (Craig Rice), Jeff S, Pete, Dustin, Dirty Dan and 1-2 others rolled out followed by the above B group and then only 3-4 C's. I had been outside most of the day, painting and was not at all motivated to ride very hard so when we reached the turn on Slough, I dropped back to wait for the Rossi tandem. Except, they were gone so I soloed my way around, which included passing a small brown car partially pulled off the road at the bottom of Pickerington. I didn't pay too much attention to it but later......
....Amanda stop (note how whipped everyone looks) someone commented that the car had been occupied but the driver appeared to have been unconscious. Steve Hewitt and C group, paused at the car and called 911. They were asked to stay at the scene until an officer arrived. The woman in the car awoke, called one of the C's, "Fat", told another C, "You have fat legs.", told another, "How can the tires support you." and otherwise demonstrated she didn't like the fact the police were on their way. Seems she had drank in excess, passed out while pulling her car partially off the road (glad we were not riding through there at the time), had a suitcase in the back seat and a bad day was about to get worse.
We shoved off from the Amanda store and made it back to the parking lot just before the sun set. The front of the A group arrived at 9:05 with remnants of both groups coming in a little later. The distance was ok for the scheduled sunset but with so much climbing, it made things tight.
From Silent Dave, organizer of this Saturday's "Hillacious Hilly" ride:
You might let your readers know the Hillacious Hills routes are available on Ride with GPS. The routes are named 2013COP-HH40 or -HH60 or -HH80 or -HH100. The ride starts at 8 on Saturday from Cyclist Connection. The 40 and 60 mile routes are already marked, the 80 and 100 should be completed tomorrow. Cyclist Connection will be cooking hamburgers and hot dogs and
what not after the ride.
Andrew C is taking a turn as ride leader and has developed the below routes.
Are you ready for a challenge? This Tuesday brings you 'The Hills are Alive With the Sound of Bicycling'. For the A group, we have the 'Hilly Hurt Me Half Hundred', with 54 miles and 3900' of climbing. With 3 hours of light, the A group will have to average 18 mph on the bike to complete this bad boy! The B and C routes, while subsets of the A route and less formidable, are still not to be trifled with. With summer half over and all of us finding our great form, this will be a challenge worth taking! Hope to see you out there!
Click on the links below for route info:
A Route - 53.9 miles, 3,873' climbing - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2487531
B Route - 45.2 miles, 3,057' climbing - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2493270
C Route - 38.0 miles, 2,627' climbing - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2493338
Around 20 showed up for the Canal Winchester Sunday Morning ride. We started together as one group, but were quickly split up on the climb into Lithopolis. I settled in with the back group doing the whole route and we got pulled along by Tom at 20 mph towards Circleville. The 'A' group was screaming along faster ahead of us, with the likes of Steve O and Dustin R pushing the pace. Eventually we didn't see them anymore. Walnut Creek Pike was a nice road to Circleville with minimal traffic until we got
within 2 miles. A stop at Speedway in Circleville and we quickly discovered how humid it was. Out of town just like Saturday, we then turned onto Tarlton road. Tarlton was a another nice road with some rollers and some nice scenery. We made a stop at the Tarlton gas station to make sure they were open on Sundays. The humidity was staying and it was getting warmer. We backtracked and headed out on 16th, and were treated to a stair-stepping climb that after a turn on Gerhart took us to the top of a ridge with a nice view for the downhill on Hunter into Amanda. Doug W, Brent J, Scott B, and I found Ross G. and Dave S at the Amanda store and we got restocked with some water and food. The 6 of us rode out and pushed through the climbs, and eventually the 4 of us separated from the 2 of them before Carroll. We rolled through Carroll, not needing the last stop and
finished strong with 64 miles around 12:30 pm. Just in time before it got really hot! Was a fun ride with some different roads and great company!
The Rocky Ride, normally set for the 4th of July weekend, had to be put off until this weekend, creating an unfortunate conflict on the calendar with the popular "Tour de Cause" ride out of Lancaster. I think there were approximately 35-40 who showed up in Circleville, including Kenda Janet, shown above chatting with Peggy. The talk around the peloton, especially after I caught wind of it from "The Man in Red", was that Janet was seen unclipping and pushing her bike up Chickencoop, during last week's ladies only ride. It was in stunned disbelief that I heard this and attempted to confirm it through Janet but the normally uber-chatty one turned silent, which I interpreted as confirmation. You know she won the time trial up Starner during Pelotonia only 2 years ago but the jet-setter is struggling this season (thanks to Andrew C for the above image).
Dirty Dan on the left, Jeff S on the right, patiently waiting for me to get myself organized after I arrived at 7:55 but I was on the bike by 8:03 so not too much of an inconvenience. Once again, Mitch O created a marvelous map, having dimensions of 11x17, turn-by-turn directions on the back, helpful notes on the front...just an amazing piece of reference and inspiration. This is a free ride so thanks to Mitch and Peggy for the time, effort and expense of producing something akin to a work of art. Note to the "pay-for" rides like Spring HOOT, SPOT, etc... contact Mitch for a copy so you can see an example of how a route map should look. Cramming a 100 mile route on 8.5x11 is inadequate.
Rolling out of the parking lot, the hills around Tar Hollow pop up on the horizon. It gets my stomach churning, probably similar to how members of the Lewis & Clark expedition felt when they first cast their eyes on the Rocky Mountains. After the ascent up to the top of Tar Hollow via Tar Hollow Road, we rode the ridge for a bit before descending to the market. Above, Steve O and Dirty Dan hover on the road waiting for us while Doug prepares to jump on his bike.
Gary, in the foreground, crashed descending Rocky a couple of years ago and some say he is still not quite right in the head but he seems normal to me. The group split after leaving the park, a couple heading south for a loop and a re-entry to Tar Hollow via Poe's Run while most of us went back in via Clark Hollow. Dan, Jeff, Steve, Flyin Tuna, Brian, Mitch and a couple others stayed on the 70 mile route and finished the ride.
Saturday is the annual and my personal favorite, Rocky ride out of Circleville High School on Clark Drive. Lots of climbing but not the constant up and down, Instead, magnificent climbs up Rocky Road, Tar Hollow, Thorton Sprung, etc... with long stretches of valley riding. 70 and 50 mile options with all leaving the parking lot at 8:00am. Also, Jon Morgan is organizing a ride out of Starbucks in New Albany of 100 miles, starting at 7:30 but this is Jon Morgan, not to be confused with John Smith and there are no maps so if you go, be prepared for an "A" paced ride for the duration. Andrew C sent me the below for Sunday:
The main route will be going through Lithopolis, Circleville, Tarlton, Amanda, and Carroll, before heading back to Canal. The cutoff route will skip Circleville, and Tarlton. If you didn't get enough of Circleville on Saturday's roving ride or would just like to have some fun in the sun, come on out and join us. Temps are predicted in the upper 80s, but hey, no rain so far. The ride leaves from the Cyclist Connection parking lot in Canal Winchester at 8:00 AM. Click on the links below to preview the route, and if you want, you may be able to use the website to download them to your GPS. Hope to see you out there!
Main Route - 64.0 miles, 2,502' feet climbing - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2842549
Cutoff Route - 51.9 miles, 2,058' feet climbing - http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2842684
During the early minutes of the pre-ride parking lot scene, I have the opportunity to spend time with my people, briefly. The modest Katherine, contrasted with the very immodest Grand Poobah, mentioned that she had been invited to try out for the Latvian Olympic team, a few years back. Hearing this I grabbed my camera but seeing this, Katherine clammed up. All I could get out of her was she had been invited to try out for both cycling and running events. Impressive but now she is a homeowner and all the responsibility that comes with it so her days of being fit are fading. Oh well kid, some day you too will be approaching 60 and able to get back out and play, whenever you want, like Poobah.
Soon, they begin arriving in waves, to sign up, here Mark V on the right and Axel on the left.
Paul Stock's knee is healing.
Soon, a tidal wave of signees gather in the corner by the lone shade tree. Does anyone know how long construction will last in front of the school? It appears it will be a left turn only out of the parking lot for a long time.
Dave Chesrown on the left, back from a tour of factories in China with stop-overs in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Once a company sends you on this type of trip, it's an indication you'll be going back again and again. Maybe Dave enjoys karaoke so it will be fun for him.
Mick looks on as Chris G, Doug M, Poobah and Dave discuss something. Tym Tyler was here too, having arrived Wednesday night from a trip to France with Lisa. Hey, what ever happened to Stefano Lumbaca? How can you work for Kenda, be involved in marketing and product development and not come out to get our thoughts about both subjects?
By the time everyone who wanted to sign in had signed in, we had 50 signatures but there were at least 60 in the parking lot with around 25 rolling out in the A group. Dennis led out the B group and I named Poobah as his special assistant for enforcement of cycling rules. I exclaimed to Paul that my fitness was off a little to which he replied, "How would you know?" Ha, that's funny. Well, one way to know would be this route. We rode it back in May and I hung on to Northridge at mile 26 but I suspected tonight would be a different story.
A left out of the parking lot then a right on Waltons Parkway, right on Beech and left on 161 put us on Shannon's route and we followed it making a right on Mink, to Condit then Headley's Mill. Seemed like a sketchy evening of passing cars honking their horns and numerous areas of broken pavement. The pace was not too high either, probably everyone storing reserves for the Alward climb. Yep, I was at the very back of the pack when we hit the climb and although I picked through a couple of people, most of us were broadly strung out. Turning right on Hollow, I struggled to stay on Ron B and Axel's wheel and fell back. I could see the crafty veteran Mick, a couple bike lengths ahead, having slotted close to the front when the group hit the Alward climb. Soon, I formed up with Jeff S, Brady, Dirty Dan and Claude. On Alward, Tri Andrew had pulled to the side with a flat and Doug McConaha suffered through a bout with asthma, hope he's ok.
We eventually got on to Moot's Run where we passed Paul Stock fixing a flat and soon, I was fixing a flat too. Dirty, Jeff and Brady turned around to watch me perform the repair while Claude headed back to the barn. The B group came through and I tested a theory of mine. When they yelled out, "Do you have everything?", I yelled back "No, help me." and they kept going. I always thought the offer to help was purely symbolic. Anyway, I got everything back on within about 15 minutes and we shoved off, soon passing Jon Morgan, also with a flat. The rest is a blur of turns and perspiration. I left the mini group at Concorde with a "splashy" feeling rear tire and soloed in, finishing with 43 miles and a 20.1 avg. Now here's a sight.....
.....the ladies' man, George, after the ride, surrounded by Allison, Katherine, Corvair and one other. George was explaining his latest set-back. He was riding when his pedal broke, causing him to wrench his knee and keeping him off the bike for a couple of weeks. He's back and slowly regaining his form. He said he's had to start over and start at the bottom, where I am! What the????
I regret that I have no better reference for tonight's route other than this out of focus image. Shannon got behind and was unable to post the route on his site. Shannon is on his way to Caesar Creek for an event and I will be filling in for him with maps and sign-up sheets.
So, I was out trimming some branches on several trees when I spotted movement in front of me. Yikes, if it had been a Black Mamba I'd have been writhing on the ground in pain and dying from a bite to the nose but instead, it was just some non venomous type.
Still, I don't want to be too laid back about the encounter. It was a large snake and probably capable of strangulation if it had launched itself on to my neck. To put it in perspective, those are limbs from a 200 year oak tree so you know the snake had to have been ginormous to make the limbs appear so slender. Well, see you in New Albany.
Very nasty storm just rolled through here and is now hitting Canal. While it may not be raining at 6:00, the aftermath of flooded streets and more rain coming in later makes cancelling the ride an easy call. See you all next Tuesday.
I received a call from one of the New Albany Yankees, who made the very good point that more of them would drive down to dominate if they could load the route on their ultra expensive and deluxe super computers. So, here is the link to the A route and also note, due to flooding, Waterloo is closed so the "Ridewith GPS" route shows a different exit out of Canal: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2834358
Here it is, a route of such fantastic awesomeness that it will bring tears to your eyes. It's the type of route that Shannon Kurek would create if he had even a modicum of imagination. Not too hilly, not too flat, just right...... One note, I forgot to mark out a C route but it should be easy enough to figure out by the Dean of C group, Steve Hewitt.
Upon receiving the map, the studying, calculating, devising, plotting and planning begins at the Tuesday COP Canal ride.
Todd Mullins rolls in on new wheels. Purchased them via E-bay, spent hours cleaning off the old glue then glued on the new tires. The tires stayed on the rim but Todd did not stay on the bike, crashing for the first time, ever, going up McDonalds, the hill not the fast food joint. Todd was ok, even after riding over Paul Stock, who had ridden into the back of Pete who slowed near the top of the climb. Paul, being a guy of high character, took full responsibility because he was the trailing cyclist. Later Pete crashed close to the finish when his hands slipped off the handlebars. This was Steve Oxley's responsibility because Steve added a loop to the official route, adding just enough exhaustion to cause riders to do things they would not normally do. Remember, the routes are chosen carefully, taking into account wind speed and direction, sunlight, humidity levels, angle of sun to equator and what are the limits of the people likely to be riding that night. It is a very complex calculation and messing with it is bad luck.
Randy Brown confers with Todd before heading out with a smallish A group of around 10. Now, a rare serious point and having nothing to do with the guys in this image who are experienced bike handlers. QUIT STOP SIGN JUMPING! It happened in both the A and B group on Tuesday, several times, in front of oncoming cars For the inexperienced who don't understand, while you will make it across the intersection before an oncoming car, others see you go and some follow, behind you. Think about it. What could possibly go wrong in that situation just so you can gain an unfair advantage during a group ride, on an open course where there are cars and trucks sharing the same road?
Good turnout of B and C cyclists. It was my return to the peloton after a couple of weeks off. I have regressed and barely clung to the C group before fading. My summer swoon has begun. Here, we stop at Amanda to top off the water bottles. A very humid evening caused fluid levels to become low so why not take a couple of minutes and refill?
Then Thursday rolled around and I met Meredith, Ryan, Michael, Flyin Tuna and Allison in Utica for a hellishly hilly route. Interesting ride. Ryan and Michael would hammer up the hills, we'd catch up then Allison would give it the ole Blitzkrieg on the downhill and flats. Nearing exhaustion, I'd reach the next hill and there would go Ryan and Michael to be followed by Blitzkrieg on the flats and over and over again.. Geesh, can Allison hammer on the flats and a pretty good climber too, having spent 6 years cycling around Santa Barbara. After 40 miles and barely able to stay upright, I signed off as we closed back on Utica, foregoing an additional loop. Everyone else had enough and they came in too. Think I had 3700' of climbing. Now my legs were thoroughly fried and headed home to prepare for the 4th of July party. One of my tasks is to mow the base paths and foul lines for the front yard wiffle ball game. I did something really stupid and ran over one of the bases, thinking it was too low to be effected. A sharp pain hit both my shins and looking down, base parts had shot out the back of the mower and sliced through both legs. Although my legs were hanging on with little more then tendons and a vein or two, I played the game and watched the first ever, triple play to end the game.
Saturday morning, radar looked ominous but it appeared east it was going to be ok so headed to Newark for a ride out of the Y with John, Shawn, Jeff Webb, Flyin T, Mark V and Jeff S. What was I thinking, yet another hilly ride? Cloudy at the start but by the arrival in Bladensburg, the sun was out and turned into a nice day for this 73 mile route. Several people who planned to come abandoned because of weather radar but all was well for those who came. I hear Dennis, aka Style Queen, showed up for the Wednesday Westerville ride. A possible comeback in the making? Ahhhhh, probably not, He was seen turning around and quite winded. And what about Dirty Dan? He attended an orientation seminar as part of a new job and a complete stranger asked Dan if it is true that his nickname is "Dirty Dan"? Seems the fellow attendee, curious about with whom he would be attending, did an internet search on each person and came across Dan R's name in the blog.
Saturday morning, at 9:00am, Cindy B is leading a ride out of the Newark YMCA, going to Bladensburg with distance options of 50 and 70 miles. In B-burg, you can either do a grab-n-go at the gas station or market orrrrrrrr indulge yourself in a pancake at the restaurant. All are welcome with maps at the start.
Yes, that's right, not one but two rides for Thursday, a day/night doubleheader!!! First, at 9:00am, Meredith is hosting a 53 mile route with 5600' of climbing at 9:00am out of the Subway in Utica. She assures me there will be 2 food/drink stops, each of which is open along the route. Not sure if maps are available so go here to view the route:http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2795835
Then, at 6:00pm is Shannon's Thursday ride out of New Albany, as usual. Shannon is desperate to see me and admits the parking lot just isn't the same without me, after I have been gone so long and generally admits it on his blog, which also has the route:
I plan to ride Meredith's route but then, my mother, who turned 93 this week, is coming to our house for a 4th party and fireworks. I am conflicted but think I can disappear for a few hours in the evening, as long as I can make it back to set match to fuse.
Finishing up the trip, I hit the Sombero Peak trail that the guidebooks say is specifically known for rattlers. It certainly looked like a good environment for rattlers but I got started late, about 10:00am so they were probably all in the shade and I never saw one. Also took the wrong trail, a spur trail around a chapel called Sanctuary Cove, which was a nice mile diversion.
Then got on to the correct trail but after a couple of miles, it reaches this rather formidable wall. I went left and right but could not find a way to the peak. Plus, by now the rocks were very hot to the touch so grabbing them to hoist up was unthinkable. Oh well, back down but forgot to freeze any fluids the night before so my water was boiling and undrinkable except I drank it because of course I was thirsty. Have to come back another time to tackle the peak.
No shade on this trail other then many large specimens of cactus, but they don't give off much shade.
Thursday, I headed up Mt. Wrightson, via "Old Baldy Trail" This would be the hardest hike to date, a 5.5 mile climb with 5400' of elevation gain. Great views after coming out of the trees and I assume the trail is called Old Baldy because no trees grow up here.
At the peak, I signed in at the register, an old notebook stuck in an ammo container bolted to a rock. Also here was the foundation of a fire lookout tower, long gone. And with that, my trip to AZ came to a close. I was not thrilled about coming out in June but discovered by making adjustments (starting early or going up the mountains) the heat was not all that bad and still plenty to do. With four mountain ranges ringing the valley, I've only scratched the surface of available trails and rock climbing may be worth getting involved in and I hear there are plenty of caving opportunities too.
Flew back to Ohio on Friday and then Saturday, hooked up with Mark C, the Kendas, Flyin Tuna, Jr. Muscle Dude John, Corvair for a good route out of Zanesville. Kenda Paul above with a new bike. Paul is not the most efficient user of pre-ride time but he eventually got everything organized and we shoved off. 83 miles with 5500' of climbing. An ideal day except for....
.....the comedy routine of Mark and Cindy attempting to change a flat. It took them so long, even the ticks managed to take advantage of the glacial pace of tire changing with Mark having 2 and Cindy 1 and then.....
....there were three rain episodes, two of them soaking rains. The non soaking rain was a soaker but we managed to find this hut along the route so we did not get soaked, this time. John ponders why he came out as Kenda Paul pulls in. John has lost 60 pounds and turning into a real climber.
Of course, the highlight of the trip was talking the uber sophisticate Janet into walking into the Big Muskie bucket. I promised no image of this unsophisticated act would appear in the blog. So, so naïve is she. Well, back on schedule and ready to put up the Tuesday report, which includes Todd Mullen's first crash ever on a bike but he is ok. Paul Stock has a bloody knee but he too is ok. More to come.
It is a 65 hour drive from Oro Valley to our overnight stop at Jacob Lake, AZ. A must stop along the way is at the Navajo Bridge, which crosses the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry. A beautiful spot for sure.
On the road at 5:00am with a half hour drive south on paved road then an hour drive on forest service road brings us to Monument Point and the shoving off point for the Bill Hall Trail off the North Rim of the Canyon. That's Briger's Knoll in the foreground and the trail routes to the right of it. After an initial down climb through the Kaibab limestone, there is a long......
....traverse before continuing the climb down, highlighted by.....
...."the wall", a near vertical 15" cliff that must be negotiated while staring into an abyss. Very cool.
Finally, we reach the start of the Esplanade but I notice an improvement has been made to the trail. Several years ago, Greg Dubois and I reached this point on the death march out of the Canyon but it was unsigned. I plodded right past the right fork, oblivious to it and kept going, now on the wrong trail. After half a mile or so I noted Bridger's Knoll was getting farther away and realizing my mistake, turned our train around. Since then, the park service put up the above sign. Good move.
The Esplanade, a wild place and mostly flat. The way ahead over the slick rock is marked by cairns.
After 6 miles, we reach the rim of Surprise Valley, today's destination. I so much wanted to drop through the red wall, hike across the Valley to see Thunder River, a marvel of water roaring from a limestone cave under hydraulic head. Spectacular, just spectacular. Beth even said she would wait for me but that would be really stupid, splitting up. In the center, if you look closely is the Colorado River (it's the white sliver which is rapids with a touch of emerald).
So, back across the Esplanade, then the climbing begins, about 2 miles of 18-20% grade. Brutal but we emerged from the Canyon, 12 miles and 4500' of climbing. Then, maybe the highlight of the trip.....
.....an overnight at Cliff Dweller's Lodge with Vermillion Cliffs in the background. Surprisingly great food out here in the middle of no where. It caters to groups coming in to fish the Colorado. I was told the fish are so plentiful, you can pull 40-60 out per hour but it's all catch-and-release except four fish can be kept. Had a good time talking to two groups of Germans.
The sun sets on a fun day of hiking.