Nathan, my loyal cub reporter, furious over not being chosen to create the ride report, takes out his anger by wearing something that will cause me a headache just by looking at the image. Note too Mitch, tonight's ride leader, had access to the best parking spot, as is only right. Anyway, I was not able to make it to Tuesday so I asked Amanda, an ink stained wretch from the basement of this publication's printing department and aspiring journalist, to create something good. Barring that, at least put some words down so I could satisfy the craving of the loyal readers of the blog.
Tonight was a great night to ride in Canal as the weather was near perfect again. We had a nice turnout of about 20-25 riders, including GP, Nate, Ross, Donn, Eve, the Rossi tandem, Frans, Irish Mike, Oxley, Schleup, Mitch, Ryan, Pepe Le Pew (Kevin) and many others. Ric Noland also made it out to his first Tuesday night ride, as Kayla was recovering and watching the shop for him. I don't know the names of the A riders, but three of them were wearing white shorts. Oxley made the comment that maybe this was because it was labor day weekend. Dennis was wearing a blue and white kit, with his orange bike. I made the comment that this was not like the fashion forward Dennis I knew, but he said he simply did not have enough bikes to match his outfit. Nate was also wearing some kind of new "magic eye" jersey, apparently the viewer must diverge his/her eyes in order to see a hidden three dimensional image of Wilson creeping a pic! I just thought it was ugly. Frans, Eve, Logan and Ric all had their Cyclist Connection kits on and mine was dirty, there goes my discount. Ric did say my fuji went down to Lancaster, so hopefully I will have something different to ride soon.
Tonight's route was flat, and Mitch announced that the sooner we left the better as the longest route was near 40 miles. Most of the Bs chose the 33 mile route. The A riders took off, and I stayed behind to ride with the Bs. We took off shortly afterwards and on our way out, Mitch called "ok, C riders out!" The tandem was with us, and we had a nice pace going with Mitch and Ryan in front, Frans next to me, and me behind Mitch. I was thinking I would be able to stay with the group for the most part when the pace got up to 30 mph and people started passing me. I thought, stay behind the tandem. Stay behind the tandem. Then Irish Mike was saying, wow everyone's going up there! It's nothing but bare bones back here! I couldn't resist but try and stay with the group, and did ok but eventually they lost me, including the tandem. I could keep them in sight for a good time as we went down Winchester. There was a girl, Erica, who was behind me on a Felt F3. Eventually she caught up to me and pulled me at around 22-24 mph. That was nice, and eventually we caught up to Frans and Irish Mike waiting at the turn. We decided to ride the short route as well and made a wrong turn after Ringold Northern, but still ended up on Marcy and then took Sitterly in. I ended up with 31 miles and around an 18.3 average speed. I know that most of the A riders took a shortcut as only Oxley, Mitch, Kevin and maybe Ryan passed us on the way back.
Thanks to Steve Oxley for the images and a special thanks to Amanda for more then adequately covering for my absence.
Kenda Janet Reacts to Below
Kenda Janet has alerted me that she is going shopping for a new cycling jersey. We probably won't recognize her if she wears something other than a white/black Kenda jersey so if you see her in something new, send me the image. Then we can all post comments as to its appearance. Based on what she wears pre-ride, I'm guessing it will be something very weird looking but who knows, maybe it will be classy looking instead.
Sugar Grove Ride Report
Tri-Andrew's Sugar Grove ride is always a popular destination and I think what makes it especially so for me is that with Savage and Chickencoop only a couple of miles away, we don't have to climb them!
Here, Andrew barks out turn-by-turn directions and even recommends we eat at a place in Bremen that, unfortunately, is not open anymore. Hey, there's Peggy, arriving a little late with Gus.
Roughly 65 of us rolled out, including Jeff S, who revealed to me after consultation with COP's enforcement division, he has been granted "Black Cards". If a cyclist is given the "Black Card" he is banned from COP events and shunned. Now that the authoritarian Jeff is back for the Thursday New Albany rides, replacing the permissive Jeff, he will bring law and order back to the Dodge City of COP evening rides.
The first climb arrives soon enough and upon reaching it, Steve O and the dude with the white Mellow Johnny jersey surged to the front. I caught up at the top and was relieved they chose to ease up and we soon had a nice group rolling up and down the rollers that populate the ridge line along Horns Mill and Zwickle. Steve was content to ride at a pace that kept us together all the way to 93 where Steve, Gus, Peggy, Kevin H, Mark C, Mellow Johnny, Recumbent Dude, Andrew, around 12-14 of us steamed through various small burgs before reaching New Straitsville and Ed's Carryout, a classic small town cycling stop.
Here, Mark C with a Mountain Dew and not one but two Hershey chocolate bars, retreating to the fire escape to eat in peace.
Things were not so peaceful at street level. Five locals have their own chairs from where they spend the morning watching life, as they know it, pass by. I unfortunately did not get to witness the incident but somehow, Kenda Janet took one of the local's chairs or said something that enraged the man and he stomped off to his truck and left. Soon Janet wandered over to my spot on the sidewalk and began berating me for having created a negative stereotype out of the Kendaites. She wanted to know why shortcutting was a bad thing when done by the Kendaites but not when I do it which she claimed was just as often. The woman even called me a hypocrite! When arguing with Janet, one is mindful she is smart enough to be the president of the local MENSA chapter so strategies that would normally be successful when arguing with Flyin Tuna won't work with this brainiac. I considered her question and answered thus: "Janet, Kendas short cut because of weakness or fear of the route. I, on the other hand, am a humanitarian shortcutter and there is a large difference. I look to see which group, long routers or short cutters, would most benefit from my presence and then that group which would benefit the most is the group with whom I ride." You know you have won an argument when the person with whom you are arguing begins calling you names. Instead, Janet walked her bike across my foot and while doing so, shoved on the seat to cause extra pain.
So, a large group departed for the 96 mile route while Tri-Andrew, Tri-Luke, Tri Luke's wife, Brad the Dentist, SuperDave, Kenda Janet, Dave and Paul and a couple others, left on the 76 mile route. We briefly stopped at mile 38 in Moxahala, discussed the brutal stretch coming up on Marietta Road and then shoved off, arriving in Bremen at mile 57. Janet had recovered some and began verbally jabbing me when I asked if that is the only jersey she ever wears and if after each ride does she just take it off and stand it up in a corner or does she sometimes wash it? She's such a good sport. Beth and Evie arrived and told us Bauman Hill Road was closed so we all agreed to short cut the short cut route and head down Savage, which we did, finishing with 70 miles and 4000' of climbing.
Here, Jeff S sent me a view from a ridge from the long route, while they were waiting for others to form back up. They finished with 93 miles and 5800' of climbing
With a football game nearby, the parking lot was filled, forcing cyclists to park elsewhere but still they came, including Steve O. Earlier I had tried to persuade him not to come by describing a boringingly flat route but this only motivated him to still come but bring the fat tired bike with toe clips and tennis shoes.
Paul Stock gave me two free water bottles for plugging the "Pedal with Pete" ride a couple of weeks ago on the blog. It don't get no better than that.
John G arrives sporting light blue shorts with a flower pattern while riding a single speed bike with fenders.
A rare appearance by Rich Lewis, center, Tym Tyler, on the right, taking a swig of a pre-ride energy drink.
More people came....
.....and still more so the group swelled to 65. Leaving the parking lot was a modest A group of maybe 18, including Gus, Marty, Tym & Lisa T, Dave C, John M, Pete, Steve O, Paul S, Katherine, Stephano, Doug M, Rich L and....
....Claude, who had to take care of business at the last minute, in full view of those of us not riveted to Jeff Fallen's pre-ride instructions that included trying to send us out at 5:55 instead of 6:00pm. We headed out 161 at a high pace, soon arriving at the light at 310 where we turned left and then right on Jersey Mill. An emergency vehicle approached, soon followed by a second that served to stretch out the group. Those at the front hustled away while the balance of the group was still waiting for the vehicles to pass, causing a split in the group, nice. I think we regrouped toward the bottom of Jersey Mill and approached the dead-end at 37.
There is a stop sign here and a car was approaching from the left. As has been the practice recently, the stop sign was ignored so those getting through it prior to the arrival of the car formed one group while those of us having to wait for the car to clear formed a second group. We cruised through Alexandria, arriving at the left turn on Raccoon Valley Road with a truck driving toward us. Some were able to make the turn prior to the trucks arrival, some of us could not, creating an additional split in the group. There was some grumbling amongst us about the tactics used by those in front to create gaps. It can probably be summarized by saying getting gapped because a guy has better legs or better cardio capacity is one thing, getting gapped because someone is using a vehicle or stop sign to create the gap is another. It's only a matter of time before someone makes a split second decision to stay with the group and the consequence of running a red light, stop sign or turning in front of an oncoming vehicle will be demonstrated.
Paul Stock, Steve O and I headed out RV Road, turned left on Hardscrabble, passed Claude, then Ralph and toward the top of the climb, our average was still at 23.3. As we approached Northridge, we came up on a group who had stopped. Apparently, someone had touched Doug M's back wheel but had stayed upright so all was well. Doug and Stephano jumped in with us and we had a good working group out Concorde, into Johnstown. Doug split off there while we headed down a very knarly Caswell, right on Duncan Plains and left at Green Valley. Paul and Steve were doing most of the work as we reached Clover Valley, then right on Miller and eventually reached the parking lot with a 22.4 average and 36 miles.
Here's a radical idea, when you know or suspect the group is going to get split because of a vehicle or red light, how about looking back to make sure everyone got through before sprinting? And, get this, how about not running stop signs while a car is approaching? This stupid stuff is going to get someone hurt.
OK, setting aside the fireworks from last night, let's move ahead as if it did not happen to the semi-lucid ride report. After having chosen the route Tuesday morning, my buddy Ryan Roe, sent me an email and advised of a road closure. Rats. It was on my route. Being a cheapo from way back, I had 20+ maps leftover from a previous ride and I was determined to use them so created a workaround and headed for the library to make extra copies (home office printer is too slow) at a robust $0.10 each! Arriving at the parking lot, discovered some nitwit had again taken up the ride leader parking lot and the person twice as smart, a half wit, refused to do the honorable thing and move out of the back-up ride leader spot.
It was good to see Grand Poobah return to our group ride, there in the center signing up.
More people arrive and sign in and when it was all finished, only about 38 people so I was left with over 20 map copies again. Let's see.....what should next week's route be????
Early it appeared a relatively slow A group would be in play but soon Billy C showed, Patrick, Logan to mix in with Steve O, Mark C, Dennis, Claude, Jenis Nate, Tri-Andrew, Andrew Clayton, Dan Koska, Kayla, Kevin H, Ryan R, etc... around 18 total. We headed out, crossing 33 over the bridge, an unusual left on Hill and a right on Busey and took that all the way out to Carroll Northern. Along the way Billy and Logan took off but I screamed, "They don't know the route so ignore them" and it worked. No one chased and the two returned to the fold. We got onto Basil Western a right on Bader and soon hit the one kind of steepish hill and I stayed with a front group of 7-8 that got a small gap on the Ryan Roes of the group but unfortunately we eased up and then a stop sign enabled regrouping.
We kept going east and I found myself eventually trailing Jenis Nate. All had been well to this point but this skinny as a rail dude dropped and drilled it and I was in the unfortunate position of being in second and a rather poor drafting position. I held on for awhile but had to finally kick out and felt badly doing so until I saw Billy was behind and he'd not have a problem covering the gap. Normally, I chalk up these experiences to the usual, "I suck" but when I saw who was still in the group I deduced it was bad luck to have been in the 2nd position. Bet it was comfy in the back. This occurred at mile 14 but after rounding a corner I saw Ryan had dropped off and soon caught and passed him, made easier so by the fact he was off his bike panting on the side of the road.
At this point, I had a problem. I had to be back home by 9:00pm for a personal matter so after hitting Pleasantville Road, I turned right and soloed in with 33 miles and a mundane 20.4 avg. Of course, I missed the excitement but have more on it below.
A certain government employee, who reinforces every sterotype you ever believed about government employees and also rides with us, sent me the below. No surprise, I was 0-fer on the quiz.
YOU ARE A PARTICIPANT IN A RACE. YOU OVERTAKE
THE SECOND PERSON. WHAT POSITION ARE YOU IN?
ANSWER: IF YOU ANSWERED THAT YOU ARE FIRST,
THEN YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY WRONG! IF YOU OVERTAKE THE
SECOND PERSON AND YOU TAKE HIS PLACE, YOU ARE IN SECOND PLACE!
TRY TO DO BETTER NEXT TIME.
NOW ANSWER THE SECOND QUESTION,
BUT DON'T TAKE AS MUCH TIME AS
YOU TOOK FOR THE FIRST QUESTION, OK?
IF YOU OVERTAKE THE LAST PERSON, THEN YOU ARE....?
ANSWER: IF YOU ANSWERED THAT YOU ARE SECOND TO LAST, THEN YOU ARE.....
WRONG AGAIN. TELL ME SUNSHINE, HOW CAN YOU OVERTAKE THE LAST PERSON??
NOT DOING VERY GOOD AT THIS, ARE YOU?
VERY TRICKY ARITHMETIC! NOTE:
THIS MUST BE DONE IN YOUR HEAD ONLY.
DO NOT USE PAPER AND PENCIL OR A CALCULATOR.
TAKE 1000 AND ADD 40 TO IT. NOW ADD ANOTHER 1000 NOW ADD 30.
ADD ANOTHER 1000. NOW ADD 20. NOW ADD ANOTHER 1000.
NOW ADD 10. WHAT IS THE TOTAL?
SCROLL DOWN FOR THE CORRECT ANSWER.....
DID YOU GET 5000?
THE CORRECT ANSWER IS ACTUALLY 4100...
IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT, CHECK IT WITH A CALCULATOR!
TODAY IS DEFINITELY NOT YOUR DAY, IS IT?
MAYBE YOU'LL GET THE LAST QUESTION RIGHT... MAYBE...
MARY'S FATHER HAS FIVE DAUGHTERS:
1. NANA, 2. NENE, 3. NINI, 4. NONO, AND ???
2. WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE FIFTH DAUGHTER?
DID YOU ANSWER NUNU? NO! OF COURSE IT ISN'T.
HER NAME IS MARY! READ THE QUESTION AGAIN!
OKAY, NOW THE BONUS ROUND, I.E., A FINAL CHANCE TO REDEEM YOURSELF:
A MUTE PERSON GOES INTO A SHOP AND WANTS TO BUY A TOOTHBRUSH.
BY IMITATING THE ACTION OF BRUSHING HIS TEETH HE
SUCCESSFULLY EXPRESSES HIMSELF TO THE SHOPKEEPER AND THE PURCHASE IS
NEXT, A BLIND MAN COMES INTO THE SHOP WHO WANTS TO BUY A
PAIR OF SUNGLASSES; HOW DOES HE INDICATE WHAT HE WANTS?
IT'S REALLY VERY SIMPLE
HE OPENS HIS MOUTH AND ASKS FOR IT...
DOES YOUR EMPLOYER ACTUALLY PAY YOU TO THINK??
IF SO...DO NOT LET THEM SEE YOUR ANSWERS FOR THIS TEST!
PASS THIS ON TO FRUSTRATE THE SMART PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE!
HAVE A NICE DAY, ONE AND ALL.
Injury Update from Tuesday's Crash
As many of you probably know by now, during tonight's
Canal ride, Dan Koska's front wheel touched the rear wheel of another cyclist causing Dan to fall. Kayla Starr, immediately behind was unable to avoid running over Dan and flipping over her bike. Kayla lost consciousness for about 10 minutes while Dan was having trouble breathing. Both were taken to Grant and are doing ok. Thanks to Mark Clingan and Steve Oxley for providing updates as they drove to Grant and visited both cyclists. Thanks to Nathan Wolfe (Recumbent Dude) for the image. Dan has cracked ribs and either a broken or separated shoulder while Kayla has severe road rash but apparently nothing more serious, further confirmed by a CAT scan. As tonight's ride leader, I am gathering statements from witnesses and forwarding to COP (just fyi in case some of you are wondering). I should also remind everyone that signing the COP sign-up sheet and writing your phone number legibly is important.
I don't like having to depart for a ride in an hour beginning with the number "6" but if I were to make it to Logan, I had to but did see a great sunrise over light fog.
The Kenda team have an odd dressing ritual that always involves asphalt grinding.
Tim Malone on the left with Flyin Tuna and Kenda Janet. Still searching for Tim's story as I have heard it involves Olympic qualifying and a former successful cycling career. At 55, he is seriously strong, unlike the two to his left who are just seriously funny most of the time.
The title os this little ride was the Logan to Lake Hope ride, a COP aligned event. In the future, I suggest renaming it "Knee Buckler from Hell" or something like that. I admit, for a ride originating in Logan, one should be prepared for the climbing. That I was not suggests much about my mental limitations and Ryan gleefully pointed this out at my expense to whomever would listen. Ryan was late to the ride so while we waited, we decided upon which of us was going to be social and drop back with him during each climb.
The 74 mile route got started going over the Route 33 bridge and then turned left on Pleasant Valley Road. My experience with road names like this is they are usually very unpleasant but this was an exception that only offered up mostly downhill, nice rollers before we turned right on Star Route and then a left on Kreshbaum. It had been several years since I had participated in this ride so I was blissfully ignorant to the climb. We began going up a long stretch at 2-4% and I picked up the pace assuming the top was close but that was only the appetizer. The road kept going and steepening and after more than a mile of climbing finally reached the top. I was in way over my head when I looked around and saw only Steve O, Da Boss, Tim and Randy Brown near by so I eased up and waited for SuperDave and the Kendaites to come through.
First though, I was overtaken by Engineer Mitch, Ryan, Tuna, Amanda, Franz and soon thereafter, Tri-Andrew so I decided to hang with them for awhile. We got onto Big Pine and then made a left at 374 and were confronted with yet another 1+ mile climb...unreal. Andrew and I engaged in a spirited battle mostly because I kept assuming each bend in the road would bring the top and I could ease up but it kept going and going. I frequently thought this is where one should come to train for one of those ridiculous 100 mile, 10,000' suffer-o-rama events. Then we hit a nice rolling period on 664 and then got onto Chapel Ridge, 374, 56, Potter Ridge, etc... until we arrived in a little town named Creola. At this point we were at mile 36 and beginning to run low on lots of things, not the least of which was energy so using Andrew's vast knowledge of the area, he led us to a market about 1/2 mile off the route on 93. What a great find and curiously not on the map as a possible food stop.
While on the subject of the map, it was a great map. I love the 17x11" maps that give a nice view of the area and the roads were in fantastic shape too. We left the market and headed north on 93 before getting off that to pass the Vinton County Airport then onto 328 something Hollow Road then 278 where we stopped at mile 46 for more refueling. Here we ran into Gary and others. Gary was spreading rumors about the Kendaites short-cutting which I found shocking, mainly because the route was a rough circle so opportunity to short cut was nil but if there was a way to short-cut the Kendas certainly have the will to find it.
Somewhere in there was another long climb, coming out of Zaleski State Park on 278 then left on 56, then onto Laurel Run before eventually rolling into Union Furnace for another nice food stop. Here, we sat on comfy chairs that had been welded to wheel hubs and talked to the owner of the market that informed us most people were taking a short cut by heading out 328 to Nickel Plate, rather than stay on route to assault another hill. I of course insisted we stay on the route and soon after leaving the market, we were grinding up another hill before getting onto Nickel Plate and finally on in to Logan, where we encountered dozens of Pelotonia cyclists going in the opposite direction. Finished with 74 miles and 4800' of climbing. Really a very good route with great roads and light traffic.
Close Call for Alex Okolish
Received this from John Gorrilla regarding one of our Thursday evening riding companions:
Alex Okolish, who works with me at A&F, got hit this morning on the way to work by a woman blatantly running a red light in New Albany. She swerved at the last minute and hit him doing 40 with the back quarter panel of the truck. Alex is alright after an ambulance ride and ended up with a broken thumb and some scrapes. His helmet was destroyed as was his bike. I attached some of his photos. Cross your fingers he heals quickly.
What's Not to Like?
Jeff F, nervously watching the crowd arrive as Jeff S was once again a no-show but Jeff F was prepared this time with maps and a nice 43 mile route that included the climb up Thresher in Granville. This ride had it all, rain, sun, more rain, kightning, climbs, surges, wreck, etc....what's not to like about this?
Mitch T and Kyle W. Discovered Kyle is a general contractor and very busy.
Is there a more weirdly dressed dude in the parking lot at any cycling event anywhere outside of Malaysia or Singapore? I asked Mark to elaborate on his plans at next year's Mountain Mama ride and he said he is renaming the event the "Crush the Tuna" ride. Sounds serious.
Green Caboose, aka Amanda, picked up a loaner bike from Kayla Starr after discovering her Fuji had a few cracks. Hoping to get a free replacement frame.
The pink color rage continues to work its way through the peloton among the least masculine members. I suspect Steve O will be the next to celebrate pink.
It's a startling scene when at 5:45 there are maybe 25 of us and at 5:50 there are 65+. Yet despite the large turnout, many of the usual suspects were missing like Marty, Dave C, John M, John G, Adele, Jon and Kym Sada, Tym Tyler, Peggy & Gus, Muscle Dude, Christian so not sure how we got to the swollen quantity. Anyway, those that were there were greeted with the usual route out #161, a survival of the fittest stretch that favors the sprinter types. Heading out of the parking lot in the A group was 21-22 of us including Pete, Chris G, Randy Brown, Dennis, Katherine, Kyle W, Mitch T, Canal Steve O, Lisa, Logan Leland, Billy C, Claude, Terry, Rick, etc... The challenge to most routes heading out of New Albany is surviving the no holds barred surges and attacks on 161, the first of which tonight occurred before Kitzmiller! No warm-up for us. Over and over it appeared Logan or Chris G would begin sprinting but this week, there were not the sustained attacks just spurts and soon the speed would return to the low 20's, pause there and then surge, pause, surge, pause...you get the idea. Kyle went to the front and maintained a good steady pace and so too did Mitch T, apparently trying to bring some consistency to the pace. Mitch T drifted back with the cannon fodder people at the back but something agitated him and he yelled something about not pulling through. This left us babbling amongst ourselves if his comment was directed at us or the people in front. As we are simply wheel dwellers all we backyardians can do is follow the wheel in front so probably he was exasperated with the stars of the peloton at the front.
Logan drifted back with us and began falling off the back, following a pattern I have noticed recently where he drills it but does not sustain and falls out of the A group. Maybe there is a wiser strategy out there then just trying to blow apart the group (hello....Coach Todd). I noticed a storm cell was positioned to the east at the start of the ride and damned if we did not catch it, enduring a steady rain as we reached the light at 310. Knowing how sketchy the group can be when it is dry, Dennis, Katherine and I discussed maybe not staying with the group down Jersey Mill and they fell back. I stayed with the front group but back 10 yards so I could react if needed. Fortunately, it appeared Chris G led the group at a reasonable pace given the pavement conditions and rain and we arrived in Alexandria with a 23.6 average. As we made the turn, I could see the town's only light was green and as it stayed green I anticipated it turning red so I slowed a bit but the damned thing stayed green until half the peloton went through. It was solid red when I reached the intersection so I stopped but Claude came through from behind and ran the light. Geez, it's never that important and there was a car entering the intersection from the left. Given the groups M.O., I knew not to expect them to wait and sure enough, they did not. Thus at mile 11, I headed out Raccoon Valley Road alone but wait......soon Dennis and Katherine caught up.
We worked together out Louden, Stone Quarry and up Northridge, now with the rain stopped but lightening to our south. Reaching Sportsman Club Road, we turned left and then left again at Castle. Reaching Concorde, we made the left and quick right and here mixed in with Kyle, Steve O, Logan & a couple others who had dropped off the lead A group. It began to rain again as we reached Duncan Plains, enough to create the irritating "fish tall" spewing from the back tires. We had a group of 7-8 going out Duncan Plains and then turned left on 310 and right on Miller. Chewing on tire sludge had become tiresome so I dropped back and soloed in. Close to New Albany, Terry and Pete passed me, likely all that was left of the lead group after Thresher surely shattered the group and if not that then Stone Quarry. Finished with 40 miles and a 20.6 avg.
The unfortunate aftermath of some rides. Here, Randy Brown submits to me taking an image of the damage to his arm and leg after his front tire touched the back wheel of guy wearing Inferno jersey out on Castle or Sportsman Club Road and down he went.
Guest Ride Report
After waiting for 2 months to have my cahinsaw faxed, I was finally able to pick it up on Tuesday and I had to get out in the woods and commence to cutting. About 20 years ago I bought 5.5 acres of mostly farm land with a creek running through it around which a few trees had grown. After a year of sitting on an old Ford 8N tractor recutting the same patch of scrub, I decided to plant trees, 400 red oak, 100 pine and an assortment of walnut, buckeye, beech, maple, etc.. Twenty years later, it became a forest, a vast area of trees but ok, still only 5.5 acres. There are quite a few ash trees and their long term outlook is not looking good so I have begun some selective cutting whereever an ash is crowding out trees that having a future brighter than an ash. So,,,,I missed the Tuesday ride but Nathan stepped up to provide a ride reports. Please, keep the predictable "Golly, Nate is so much better than the usual blog report" comments to yourself. It's a well known fact that is the case so no need to affirm the obvious. Now, on to Nate's report:
The normal Tuesday night ride was pretty low key this week with a late arriving crowd bringing in about 48 cyclists despite a huge chunk of the interstate system being out of service for hours due to an accident. Dennis the Style Queen, Jeff the Little Diesel, Mark V, Kevin - Pepe le Pew, Myself - Nathan - Recumbent Dude, Eve the Agent, The OSU ringers, Logan, Mitch and many others were all in the mix. I was told that Mark, the normal author of this Blog had purchased a chain saw and was home cutting his appendages off so that he could have the doctor install bionic replacements. Our ride-leader, Mitch, arrived early to find the shady spot taken but persevered in the thankfully less powerful sun with a relatively flat map delivering 40 miles of light climbing in mild 81F starting temps that waned into the mid 70s before the end. The A's were called to duty right on schedule and 17 rolled while the B+ group huddled and eyed them, calculating who would fall out, be swept up and summarily verbally humiliated as they fell into the rapid B+ pace line. This ended up being an extended session, as the A's got lost before they even left the parking lot, heading out the wrong exit and creating a mess as 1/2 turned around to head out the correct exit and others modified the route. It was good for everyone to see this in person so that they don't think that everything written here is lacking in truth.
Before long, the fallout candidates were identified, agreed upon and the horn sounded for the Bs to roll. And roll they did. A bit slowly at first, but the pace quickened as we headed up Lithopolis Rd breaking the Bs before a brief regroup for the turns through town and onto Elder. The pace stayed fairly rapid but not so rapid that Mark V's famous biting sense of humor started nipping at the heals of several cyclist in the pace line. I guess when you don't lead and feel comfortable wearing a Red's Jersey as a cycling jersey you have time for that sort of thing. I'm not saying that his jokes weren't funny though.. they were, and the good-natured ribbing continued for the next couple miles until the first of the mechanical issues of the day hit and created a huge gap in the pace line while people fell back to help... and there it was, the "forever forty". That forty yards that seems to last forever as you attempt to hook back on. Making matters worse was the fact that Kevin - Pepe Le Pew decided wind down his warmup and warm up his leadership skills at that very moment. Kevin is a solid A rider that consistently rides B and is the frequent cause of "selects" within the B group. The gap slowly closed, but having been off the bike for nearly 4 weeks, I was way into the red and it didn't take long for the mental game to play out... remember in the movie "Blazing Saddles" the charachter, Lil Von Schtupp? She sang a song in that movie called "I'm Tired" and it popped to mind at that moment of weekness and I gave in. She got me... off I popped and even worse, I short-cut, making the right onto S. Bloomfield Royalton.
Now technically, I was in the B group, and I did take the B route as my "shortcut" and that technically means I rode the entire route, but that would be Cycle Saddle Lawyering and I just can tolerate it... i just have to accept the ding on my man card and move forward.
Before long I reached the intersection at Winchester Rd and I waited for company. It wasn't long before I was joined by 5 others and progress continued for 3 miles until Mitch flatted and a halt was ordered and the longest tube change ever was watched over quietly. I actually think it's possible that Mitch saw the need for rest and my face and dragged his feet on the tube change to give me time to recover so that I could lead the rest of the way, but his plan was quickly foiled as I fought for the back of the paceline to keep in the best draft I could find.
It was pretty straight forward from then on. We returned via Cedar Hill where we swept up the first A's of the route, they received no ribbing as they were instructed to pull, then Lithopolis Rd in a brief backtrack of the trek out. Somewhere along the line I decided I didn't like this sport, popped off the back again and got to ride the downhill from Lithopolis in a 2 minute trail of the group. I returned to the parking lot with an average of 19.5 on 33 miles, which I'm reasonably happy with given my time off. I have no Idea what the A's came in at, It's always hard to tell since they abuse each other so much that they fragment heavily along the route, but if anyone knows, chime in.
Rambling Along the Ridges
Given all the cycling alternatives, it was a good turnout for the Ridge Runner Ramble. One of the alternatives was a Pelotonia route ride organized by John Morgan for Rick Paul and friends. Here, I lifted an image from the Columbus Dispatch site that shows Rick and hey, that's Muscle Dude (Craig) riding alongside.
Here is a shocking development, for the first time ever and I mean EVER!!!!! Kenda Janet & Paul were ready prior to the 8:00am start time. In another first, Kenda Dave was not wearing his Kenda gear so not sure what that means and I was reluctant to inquire as who knows where that line of questioning may go. I've heard all is not well among the Kendaites with lots of back biting and team unrest. Someone said Dave is mad because he was called a Jacobite by a Kendaite.
Mark V in red and recovered from Mountain Mama. He said after riding with Flyin Tuna for most of the Mama route now he too is setting a goal of thrashing her next year. She has that effect on people and I told Mark I would share my training secrets with him so he'll be good to go next August.
Maybe 15 of us rode out including Steve O, mostly recovered from that nasty stomach virus but he was taking no chances as the outline of an adult diaper was seen under his cycling shorts. Also there at the start was Kenda's Stefano, Paul, Janet and Dave (I think I can still call him a Kendaite), Steve, Jeff S, Tuna, Mark V, Kevin H, Dennis, Friend of Dennis, SuperDave, Engineer Mitch, another Jeff, Tim (bushy mustache and returning to cycling after 20 year sabbatical away from it) and Brian from Freemont.
The only rain cell in central Ohio perched itself over us and drifted northeast as we did so it rained lightly for the first 30 miles. Mark V and Jeff bugged out of the route at the top of Chattam and I was sorely tempted but hung in there to Utica that included a spirited climb up Reynolds. Those of us desirous of something less than 100 miles watched those wanting at least 85 head out of Utica.
Prior to the departure, there was a lot of chatter about who would ride what but SuperDave, also known as BrainiacDave or Cerebral Dave came up with a modest short cut to the 85 mile route so half way out Blacksnake, well beyond the churning chocolate wheel at the water treatment plant, Dennis, Dave, Dennis' friend and I went right at Peatmoss and then I persuaded them to cut a little more off and we arrived in Granville and after watching the many locals strolling the streets, we headed on to New Albany with 74 miles, 3200' of climbing. Because I have accomplished my primary cycling goal of the year, I am tapering back so 74 miles is good for now.
David (in blue jersey) kept things exciting on Tuesday when Engineer Mitch noticed David's truck was still in the parking lot, after everyone had come in. I was called to see if I could pull his phone number from the sign-up sheets and I did find a David B but upon calling him (sorry dude) it was not the David we were trying to locate. Other signitures were undiscernable scrawls so while David's name and number may have been on the sheet, I could not find it. Meantime, Mitch and Jeff S drove the route. The Little Diesel himself, passed a vehicle that had two bikes in it, turned around and discovered David was the passenger. Turns out David's chain had broken, cycling buddy came back to Canal and went back out in his car to pick up David. All's well that ends well and note how happy is everyone.
More happy people. The parking lot is always full of happy people at the beginning of any ride. Seems like a shame to spoil the good mood by actually getting on our bikes and suffering. We were thrown a curve ball when upon arriving at the parking lot, found it closed but a close alternative was found and I think everyone managed to find us. Thanks to Jeff F for staying at the original lot to provide directions for those confused about what had become of us.
Probably around 55-60 for a beautiful evening. The A group was sent out comprised of 20-22 including Marty, John G, Dave C, John Morgan, Paul Stock, Pete C, Claude the alligator wrestler (ride behind him in a sprint and you'll understand), Chris G, Kyle W, Tym & Lisa Tyler, young guy Mike & others. Also a strong SuperB group having Gus, Dennis, Mark R, Flyin Tuna, SuperDave, Peggy, Adele, Axel, Jeff S, etc... We headed out the Parkway, left on Beech and then a right on Miller. Pace had been fairly moderate and everyone was hanging in there but on Miller, the surges began and the group funneled into a long, narrow line. I was at the back when there was some commotion at the front, a bike flying through the air and soon thereafter, a body. It happened so suddenly but one could not dwell on what was happening in the ditch because everyone came to a screeching halt and one had to make sure one stayed upright. Chris G's tire had touched Tym Tylers and that's all it took. Chris ended up in a ditch but amazingly, he was ok and more amazingly, so was the bike. We regrouped and who tore to the front to punish but Chris G! Note there was also a wreck in the SuperB group and later a guy drifted into a ditch after apparently being startled by a passing tandem.
We flowed through the "S" curve and paused at the stop sign before heading on to 310. Hey, my legs felt great and thinking the Mountain Mama experience had some benefit other than thrashing Flyin Tuna. After a left on 310 and then a quick right on Duncan Plains, I kept to the back of the group because things were still a bit sketchy with surges, people diving for the nearest wheel, some guy at the front screaming "car up" that at the back sounded more alarming and we were on edge. Kyle drifted back and we shared some wisdom about it being a good idea to either be at the front or at the back but not in the middle. However, someone had to be in the middle and that was mostly for the young guys. Crossing #37 we headed north on Castle and the speed picked up and the group was getting thinned a little but still a large group as we finally arrived at Sportsman Club Road at mile 17. Here, there were calls of "car left" but it is a blind turn so no car can be seen until you practically enter the intersection. I noticed if a guy saw the cyclist in front of him go then he would go but still there were the "car left" calls so I paused to look. Egads the car was close but I spurted through but now had a big gap in front of me. No problem because afterall, who would take this opportunity to sprint coming out of a blind intersection where others may have been caught back??? Everyone of course led by John Gorrilla...what the?????
Kyle too had a gap but closed it to his credit. I was not able so settled in for some soloing with a 23 avg that quickly drifted lower. After turning on Dutch Lane, I came across Claude who was panting under a tree and he asked if the B group would be coming. Hope he recovered ok as he did not look too good. I turned south on Northridge and rode that into Alexandria and then out Jersey Mill and got onto old #161, Just then, I turned to find the lead A group bearing down on me led by Paul S who was in an aero position and driving hard the train. I lept on and we motored all the way to Kitzmiller where I dropped off. Those that started, stayed and finished with the A group had a 24mph average, 1000' of climbing and 41 miles. Those that started, did not stay but finished with the A group (me) had a 22mph avg, 35 miles.
Hey, sounds like the Pedal with Pete ride described below is doing well with 400 preregistered and hopefully more day of sign-ups. The COP Ridge Runner Ramble is always a good route and John G has a great route having a combination of gravel and paved roads for those with moutain or cross or even a road bike. John Morgan is riding the Pelotonia route with Rick Paul, who is currently in the lead for money raised at $100,000 and a few others. Speaking of Pelotonia, it was suggested to me that I should check out Marty Sedluck's Pelotonia profile to see who had donated to him....Katy Perry.
Granville Grand Prix
The Granville Grand Prix is this Saturday and I want to see some of you weekend warrior types racing in this event. Specifically, Marty Sedluk, John Gorrilla, Dave Chesrown, Craig Butler, Steve Oxley, Pete C. etc... Come on, we know what you can do to schleps like me, Ryan Roe, Dennis, Claude, etc... and that has to get boring by this point in the season, correct? Get out there and race against the big boys. Heck, I'll even be at the top of the Dennison hill acting as your personal feed zone with water bottles so you don't have to carry them up the hill!
The Charmed Circle
Ryan R in the center with running buddy on the right. Ryan describes his experience with running buddy in the comments section and I commend Ryan for having one of his faster times on the Tuesday ride.
Amanda's 1st string bike is out of commission so she resorted to this beast which gives her too much of an advantage on the down hills but maybe not on the up hills.
I want all of the attendees to the Thursday night New Albany ride to know that I gave a severe tongue lashing to Jeff S, who last week failed to show with the maps, thus putting poor Jeff F into the untenable position of coming up with a last minute plan, to satisfy what had become a very unruly mob. I am certain Jeff S, aka Little Diesel, will never miss another Thursday ride
Unfortunately, I am running out of time and can not come up with the ride report for Tuesday. Too bad, I had formulated a story playing on the title, "A Charmed Circle" and it would have been one of my better efforts. To summarize Tuesday, it was another very low turnout until 10-15 minutes prior to 6:00pm, the parking lot was flooded and we ended up with around 45-50. The turnout was so low, Dennis was looking around and calculating he may be the top dog but the frown began showing as more.....
....and more stronger types began showing including Gabe & the Ringers, Billy Campbell, Mitch T, Patrick, Logan L,, Kayla S, Walker Dude wearing Olympus jersey, Jeni's Nate, Steve O, etc... Well, that's it but I'll try to make up for lack of a report with a better Thursday report.
Not a Good Time in Monterey
I spent a sleepless night anticipating the misery to which I was going to subject myself and thought long and hard about just staying at the Inn at Gristwell Square for a lavish breakfast followed by a more lavish lunch. Stared at the clock from 4:30-6:00am and then got up and was soon headed out through a light rain toward Monterey. Upon entering the forest, I startled this fawn which began running forward of my car for a few seconds, long enough to grab the camera and take this very blurry image.
Rolled into the Monterey High School parking lot and noticed quite a few open parking spots and overall, I'd have to say the turnout was down from last year. However, there was a huge contingent from central Ohio and in addition to Steve O, Mark C, Jimmy in the image, there was Mark V, Flyin Tuna, John Swope, Ted M, Joe G, Kevin Swabb (yes, easy to spell last names get listed), Rich R, Greg Dubois, Steve G, Mike Rea and Mark Waites. On the right is a very special man. This is Rod, Cindy Berard's husband. Most think Cindy to be a very lucky woman but few think the opposite is true. Before a health issue forced Rod to turn away from cycling, Rod was a dominant cyclist with whom I spent many hours drafting. You may notice that Steve O is not in his cycling gear. Is this guy snake-bit or what when it comes to these epic century rides? Got to feel sorry for him, this time felled by a stomach virus that kept him off the bike.
The forecast was ominous and so many of us left early, plus I had to be back in Ohio Saturday night so I was anxious to get this over with. As some of you may know, I have been subjected to months of verbal abuse by Flyin Tuna. After fighting a very serious, almost life ending flu this spring, I came out for a tour in a very weak state and subsequently she pulled away from me on a climb out of Utica and has never let me forget it. In fact, several times she has gotten lippy about what she would do to me on a real ride like Mountain Mama. One of us had to be mature so I just stayed silent and endured the teasing and insults. After finally deciding to participate late last week, I began scheming what my plan of action would be. Flyin usually leaves the parking lot 15 minutes before the 8:00am start so I planned to be ready then but upon arriving, I learned she was this time leaving at 7:30!!!!! If she came across the finish line ahead of me, all anyone would talk about was she finished ahead of me, no matter what was the preceding time advantage. Outwardly appearing calm, I gathered everything I needed and rolled out around 7:40 with Flyin, Mark V and Jimmy.
The first climb begins almost immediately from the parking lot and is a nice 1.5 mile climb with a grade that varies between 5-10%. Not hard, just a nice climb on which you can maintain a high cadence. My plan was to get a gap on Tuna, maintain it through the short valley section and if maintained, it would be all over after opening the gap on the second climb. Unfortunately, I had not eaten enough so I was already hungry when the first rest stop was reached and I stopped for refueling but upon leaving, no sign of Tuna so I was in good shape and never saw her from there, so there Tuna!!!!! Chew on that for a year (I hereby retire from ever doing Mountain Mama again).
Having safely dispatched Flyin, I concentrated on my primary goal, breaking 7 hours. Reaching the 50 mile rest stop in just under 3 hours, I was confident of the outcome but there was one very troubling aspect to this ride....no pace lines. Somewhere prior to rest stop #2, Mark C and 2 others came by and I caught on and drafted for 5 miles but the rest stop put an end to that mini pace line and the nice increase in speed. Prior to rest stop #3 at the 50 mile point, Mark C came by again and I latched on and he and I ham-n-egged it but after 2 miles the rest stop put an end to that. Still, 4 hours to ride 50 miles, who couldn't do that? Shortly after the 50 mile rest stop there is a bump in the road called the "Snowy" climb, a 4+ mile climb with grades between 3-10%. Mark c caught up with me and I had forgotten how long was this climb so I asked. "It's a long climb but you'll know you're close to the end when you start seeing fields of grass" was his reply. Ohhhhh, I eased up preparing to settle in for a longer than normal torture session. By the time I got to the top of this monster, stopped at rest stop and then got to the top of the Allegany climb, another 4+ mile climb I had 2 hours to cover 30 miles. Oh, did stop at a market for a Mountain Dew and more food, apparently finding 5 rest stops not sufficient.
Along the way I was riding completely solo, unlike Mountains of Misery where you can jump in multiple pace lines for the first 70 miles. My only opportunity on this ride was latching onto Mark Waites (yeah right), a 3 man pace line with Mike Rea, (for maybe a mile at the base of a climb then the road steepened so forget it) and Ted M and Kevin Swabb at the start of some other climb (not a chance). That was it, what a LONELY, long ride but hey, I'm no stranger to that experience. Then there was a long time into the wind on Rt. #250 where I kind of soft pedaled looking for someone to come along but nooooooooooooooo. Finally stopped at the next to last rest stop with 3 climbs to go at mile 80. Joe G spent some time throwing up in a gully but got back on his bike and rode away.
Half way up mountain #7, a 3.3 mile, 5-11% grade beast it began to pour. No warning it just began pouring. Soon my bike was cutting a path through deep water cascading down from the top. Toward the top, fog enveloped other cyclists a short distance in front and it was kind of eerie. Unfortunately, the descent is kind of technical and I braked all the way down on the wet pavement. Upon reaching the bottom the road immediately starts up again on a steep, 1.7 mile climb, also ridden in hard rain and glancing at the computer, saw the 7 hour mark was a pipe dream. The rain stopped at the top of climb #8 and then I stopped for quite awhile at the final rest stop where a nice lady made me a PB & J sandwich. At some point while chewing on the sandwich and gulping down a gallon or two of Gatorade, the 7 hour total ride time came and went but little did I care at that point, there was another mountain to climb.
The final climb is a little over 2 miles with an average grade of 8% and multiple switchbacks. Toward the top I began thinking, the only thing that would make this a worse experience is if Flyin Tuna came by me so I spent the final half mile looking over my shoulder but no sign of her, thank goodness. My total ride time was 7:20, It took me well over 4 hours to ride 50 miles but there are 6 tough climbs mixed in there, head wind, rain, no pace lines and weak legs...yeah, that's about the best I could do, 9900' of climbing and close to 6000 calories burned. Well, back to the fun at Canal and New Albany where I will turn this experience into slower riding and crawl to the end of the season.
Monterey Here I Come
The drive began as usual and eventually cruised through Charleston, WV with the distinctive gold-domed courthouse.
Normally, the drive towards Monterey is a mix of great natural beauty coupled with depressed small towns in various states of disrepair. Imagine my surprise when I approached from a different direction, south, and after passing through Hot Springs came upon The Homestead, a golf & tennis resort, and a very upscale country look.
Warm Springs, my ultimate destination, is only 10 miles north and populated with very nice inns, hotels, restaurants, etc... I highly recommend this over Monterey, Staunton or other areas north of here. The drive from here to Monterey is much closer than I thought, only 35 minutes. I'm staying at the The Inn at Gristmill Square. If any of you are familiar with the Buxton Inn in Granville this is similar but on steroids, especially the restaurant. Have the option of sitting outside on a deck or in the comfortable interior. Eclectic menu where anyone can find something to like. Cool courtyard with a pub!!!!!! Holy mackerel, hope I can ride tomorrow. Finally, get this, after I told them I was leaving too early to take advantage of the breakfast they said no problem, we'll bring it by tonight! Also, no add-ons for wireless internet, local calls, etc.. Great value.
A The parking lot was swamped with cyclists, at least 75, but the seas were parted when this guy made a grand entrance at a few minutes before 6:00pm with a derisive shout of, "This guy wins the richard cranium of the night award" as he caused a massive shift of the two wheel group to provide a path..
From my perch in a dwindling area of shade (someone had cut down several of the trees that surrounded the parking lot) I observed SuperDave signing in while Kevin H picks his nose.
Also signing in was Dennis, noticeably void of pink these days for some reason. However, once a reputation is established it is hard to rid and I noticed at least once during the ride a guy reached over to grab Dennis' bicep.
The parking lot is always enhanced when the young and beautiful show up too.
Dave Chesrown in white, one of way too many A cyclists to describe. With our group's ride leader missing in action, it fell on Jeff F, Jeff S' apprentice, to scramble for a back-up, which came down to just sending everyone out on last week's route. Today, I made a snap decision to make the excruciating drive to Monterey, Va and participate in the Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge, a simple 100 mile, 10,000' of climbing, event in which a lot of people from central Ohio participate, on Saturday. Therefore, I decided to just ride kind of easy and so took off with the Super B's. A group of 25+ A riders were sent out and behind them at least that many Super B's.
Not much to describe as I rode with the Super B's only until a little beyond the turn onto Louden where I suspected the pace would put me too far into my red zone and so I dropped back and rode with an assortment of people, eventually slotting back in with the B group on Duncan Plains and riding the rest of the way in with them. The A group average was 24.5 I was told and the fast B group was 21+. Well, that's it as I am packing up to take the blog on the road and will report later from Warm Springs, VA where I found an Inn with an available room and then on Saturday, I will spend 6+ hours wondering why I am doing what I am doing.
The 10th annual Ride for Pete's Sake is a week from Saturday and Paul Stock told me in exchange for posting here, he will not blow up the Tuesday peloton for the rest of the season, so here is the link to the site with a summary below: http://pedal-with-pete.org/events/columbus-ohio/
The Columbus “Ride, for Pete’s Sake!” begins and ends at Hilliard Heritage Middle School (across from the Hilliard Municipal Park) on August 13, 2011. There is NO mass start. Riders start anytime between 7am and 9:15am. The 7 mile route follows along the Heritage Rail Trail, passing through Homestead Park. The 18 and 35 mile routes are mostly flat jaunts to the scenic Big Darby Creek. The 48 mile route follows flat to gently rolling terrain on lightly traveled township roads, following the Big Darby toward its source. The 62 mile route is for those wanting that metric century! The 80 and 100 mile courses follow the same route with additional loops featuring longer grades. View maps of routes here.
Smallish turnout of around 45 people and as we drew closer to the top of the hour, the parking lot was bereft of superstrong A's, with just a few exceptions like Paul Stock, here wearing a black jersey with pink accents and "FATCYCLISTS.COM" on the back......... Most of us can draft behind one SuperStrong but if that one can hand a pull off to another and then another, that's where most of us burn out our wicks and fall back. Lacking that potential tonight, some of us felt good about our chances of hanging in for quite awhile.
Ah Oh, Euro-Patrick arrives but he's not been riding much so not quite the threat he was. Patrick raced in Europe on one of the pro team development squads a few years ago but now labors in the medical field in some capacity, I believe as a doctor. He spent last year in NC before coming back to Ohio.
Creating these dumb ride reports carries awesome responsibility. For example, sometimes people begin conversations with me by saying, "This is not for the blog." and so I honor such requests, usually. However, the conflict is when I hear things, ok, some would call it eavesdropping, that I feel a duty to report to keep those of you who miss the rides kind of "in the game" so to speak. One such case occurred Tuesday when Tall Dude walked up to Eve and asked, "Are you riding hard tonight?"..... Dude, a man does not approach a woman and ask her if she is riding hard tonight, implying the man is not capable of hanging with the woman and you especially do not stoop so low as to have to ask Eve this question.
So, out of the 45, there was a group of about 16 who left the parking lot in the A group, including Paul S, Patrick, Steve O, Dennis, Jenis Nate, Mark C, Ted M, Claude, Ryan Roe, Younger Phenom Nick, John S, Jeff S and a couple others. Engineer Mitch came up with a fairly flatish route and so we headed out Basil Western. I found myself behind Nick and at the intersection on Pickerington Road, advised him his off-season routine should include adding 40 pounds to his frame. A mile or two later, Paul took a modest pull and as he drifted back I yelled, "I'm still here fat man." Paul took a spot in the back for a minute then burst out of the pack, went to the front and put the hammer down. Soon, I was not there but neither was anyone else other than Nate, Steve and 1-2 others. We regrouped at the Carroll Northern turn and I made a mental note to STFU from now on.
Prior to the ride, one of the parking lot's wise men consoled me over my recent failures and said that it was only the first person who dropped from the A group who should not really be riding with the A's. If I was not the first to drop then I deserved to be in there. During the ride, I was vigilant to watch for the first person to drop so I would know when I too could bug out. After a few more miles of some strong surges I began to panic as all were hanging in there, especially 1-2 guys I had mentally pegged as those most likely to drop first. We cruised into the town of Pleasantville and approached a stop sign. From the left, a women approached on an old Huffy, coasting from the sidewalk into the road. The woman, quite attractive despite the toothless smile and 200+ pounds, was not slowing and grazed my rear tire and then broadsided Steve. He was no match for the mass that collided with him and down he went, landing heavily on his knee. The women explained she had no brakes on the bike so I guess it was better she struck Steve rather than broad siding a car.
We continued east on Pleasantville Road all the way to Lake, turning south and then west on Carroll Eastern, left on Old Millersport and from there a circuitous route with some hills that eventually brought us back to Carroll Eastern. Here, Dennis brought to my attention that Ryan R was no longer with us, Wellllllll................ Anyway, once out on CE the pace picked up and we arrived in Carroll, crossed #33 and headed out Lithopolis Road, finally approaching the turn onto Benson which led to the Slough Road climb. I had planned to stay on Lithopolis but the old legs were still feeling decent and I stayed with the group. At the lead-up to the Slough climb, Nick took a flyer off the front but only Paul pursued and despite giving up a sizable head start, caught Younger Phenom prior to the top. We arrived back at the parking lot with a 21.7 average for 42 miles, 1800' of climbing and according to my new Garmin, 2700 calories burned. Here, Mark C quaffs a Mountain Dew while listening to Claude and John S.
Look who showed up at the last minute to jump in and win the Alpine Odyssey Leadville qualifier. Good story. http://singletrack.competitor.com/2011/07/news/lance-armstrong-rebecca-rusch-win-alpine-odyssey-leadville-qualifier_19072