Once upon a time, Hugh Grant was dating Elizabeth Hurley. Lucky guy indeed. Then, Hugh was arrested for soliciting a prostitute, while dating Hurley no less. This news left 99.9999% of males wondering, "What were you thinking." and in fact, when Hugh made an appearance on Jay Leno's show, Jay asked Hugh, "What were you thinking?" Tonight, on the ramps leading in to Johnstown, I too had a, "What were you thinking" moment. More to come, later.
Flyin Tuna returns for the Thursday New Albany ride, her first appearance since June. Eugene on the left, who was one of the workers at Lobdell mountain bike trail building project. Shut down for the summer, the project will reopen in a few weeks so sharpen your shovels and be ready to answer the call from John Gorrilla & Co.
Hendra signs in. Velonews had an article on the day's Vuelta action and one of the riders was called "Panzerwagen" which is a German term roughly translated as "badass". Yep, Hendra was a badass tonight.
More people line up to sign in, including, way in the back, the guy in the orange and grey jersey, John I think, who created a web site called "proambike.com". It's worth checking out, kind of a catch-all for cycling interests. Tonight's turn-out was really low for a Thursday, maybe 35 at the most. Guess it's the Pelotonia effect with people stop riding after that event?
Still though, there was a quality group of A's, led by Hendra, Marty, Dave C, Jon M, Pete C, Paul Stock, Luke Manning, Todd Mullens, Ron Budzig, Eugene, etc... About 15 of us rolled out, with the duration of the warm-up lasting from the parking lot to the final stop light. From there it was game on and even as we approached the Kitzmiller turn, there was already a gap that needed filled toward the front. It appeared Hendra was doing most of the work with Pete C and one of his compatriots working us over.
We turned right on Jug and I was in good shape as we reached Mink, with a 23.5 mph average. Stealing a glance forward now and then, I'd see Hendra working overtime up front and I thought about pulling the ole stunt, "Hey, there's an attractive women at the back of the peloton who wants to say hi." just to get him out of the rotation for awhile. But in order to do that, I'd actually have to ride alongside him so even if he is young and naïve enough to get sucked in by the trick, I had no chance. Mink is freshly paved, which encouraged speed and we bolted north towards Johnstown. Reaching the first ramp, Hendra was (again) pulling with Eugene in 2nd and me way to forward in 3rd. Eugene had to pull out of the line which left a gap to be closed.....between Hendra and me.....not good. I don't know what I was thinking but instead of just waiting for the swarm to go around me to fill the gap and then catching on the tail, I tried to fill the gap. Boy, was that dumb. Really, really dumb. I blew up about half way toward accomplishing the goal, pulled out of the line and had nothing for the tail catch.
Thus, once again and with a 24.5 average, I became a victim of the beasts.
Demoralized, defeated and disgusted, I needed a semi or nine to make a sudden appearance at #37 to stop the peloton's progress but alas, it was not to be and I soloed in, finishing with 27 miles and a 21.5 avg. I heard there was an incident in the B group but everyone is OK. On my drive out of town, I passed the remnants of the A group, down to 6 with the usual suspects in there including Hendra. Further out, just exiting Alexandria was Paul Stock with one other guy and this was 7:45 so not sure they made it back before dark.
Shannon is pressing the limits of the available daylight but an average of 22-ish will get you around in good shape. The sun sets at 8:07pm but with residual light....hmmmm....the Stone Quarry climb is in there.....ouch, Liberty Church followed by Sportsman Club....then the long down hill on Chatham where you'll make up some time. If you are riding the A route and struggling to stay on, think about making a right on 661 and rejoin the route and group at Dry Creek. Click here for a better view of the route:
The Tuesday ride is not frequented by many women but those who do show up make up for it in quality, if not quantity.
Dean shows off the T-shirt he received for having ridden "The Frank". Like most who signed up for the 100 mile option, Dean cut the route a little short. More to come on tonight's challenging route during which we were drenched in sweat from a very muggy evening but hey, it beats January weather.
Pretty good turnout for the C group and a total of 34 in all.
A small group of 7 A's roll out, led by Hendra, Steve O, Luke and Pete with new guy Andrew Eastman too.
Good group of B's left behind, watching, waiting to be called out. Not much of a tale to tell about tonight but a very good route with plenty of hills and of course, the Becks Knob climb. The B group finished with 37 miles and a 19.9mpg average on a course that had 2000' of climbing. OK, there is a tale to tell but I'm painting the exterior of the house so got to get that done. Kyle Wingler was here yesterday replacing siding and it was good getting caught up with him.
Tuesday we venture afar to hit Becks Knob. At 42 miles, it is scraping against our available time but as long as the A group does not dawdle, you should be fine. The B route makes a left on Delmont, a right on Crumley and then rejoins the A route at the turn on to Becks Knob.. B route is 36 miles and C route is 33. You can find the link to the A route here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3206782. See you tomorrow at 6:00pm, behind Shades Restaurant in Canal Winchester, Ohio.
I was sent these images and thought it so uplifting that I decided to post for you all. Above, Corvair riding with her long time mentor and tutor, Flyin Tuna. You can see a lot of Tuna's mannerisms when riding or talking with Corvair. One thing Corvair has not yet acquired is Tuna's habit of eating and talking at the same time. Although, it's pretty rare when one is not accompanied by the other.
The good news is Windstream, after 4 days of no internet service, finally got us back on, Saturday afternoon, The bad news is, I was scribbling the turn-by-turn directions for getting to "The Frank" while in my car on Friday at a McDonalds and then the following morning, missed one of the turns. Alas, I spent Saturday morning wandering aimlessly on the roads around the country and missed the start at Malabar Farms State Park. At some point, around 8:30, I just decided to pack it in. Experiences of those who did ride have been coming in and it was what you would suspect of an 11,000+' route packed in to 100 miles. Up and down with maybe too many stops at the bottom of descents but otherwise, a very difficult course. 61 people showed up and it was a battle between Garth and Pete C for the winner's jersey. I hear Muscle Dude, aka Craig Rice, especially suffered but so too did others, whose sotires I have not yet heard. Meantime, 50 miles south, in the little city of Heath, Flyin Tuna was leading out a group on the COP Roving Ride and Andrew C filed the below report.
A number of Cindy B loyalists gathered around their glorious ride leader before 8 am, building up excitement for the nice ride she had laid out before them. Steve O brought some graham cracker refreshments that his mother had made for him, kindly sharing those with all of his bicycling buddies. What a great day for a bike ride! Due to another ride on the same day named 'The Frank', the Cindy loyalists decided to name this ride, 'The Cindy'. Around 15 started off from Heath HS and it wasn't long before the climbing began. Fortunately, Steve O had done 85 miles the day before and Mark C was still working on his form. So, the pace was moderate instead of cutthroat and made for an enjoyable ride. Our first stop was in Somerset at the Sunoco gas station. We had a Queen Eve sighting just before town and while she gave us some brief attention, she didn't have time to sign any autographs. I expected this to be a quick stop with only 25 miles in and Bremen coming up around 40. However, Mark C had other ideas, as he started on his Monster, chips, candy bar, and Gatorade. I think he must be starting his carboloading for winter early. After what seemed like eternity, we pulled out of Somerset and headed back into the hills until we reached Bremen. Most took this stop as their big snack, while Mark C had part 2 of his. Amanda O came out with a foot long sandwich and I'm pretty sure she shared it with Franz T. With half the hills and distance done and satisfied bellies, we took off for the 2nd half and headed back north to Heath, with lots more ups and downs. A nice long stretch before the next stop in Thornport, and getting warmer. And still the competitive boys were keeping their tempos in check and nice regrouping to keep everyone on course. Our stop at the TC Market in Thornport turned into another long one as Steve O found a comfortable rocking wood chair he didn't want to get out of. When he chewed on that banana, I couldn't help to laugh, thinking of Mark W's banana peel ordeal on Tuesday. I don't think Mark W has found the culprit yet. The last miles went quickly and we finished on the bike trail back to the school. Thank you Cindy B for another great ride! We aspire to your awesome ride leading skills!
So, Sunday morning rolled around and I slotted in with John Marten's ride out of Granville, populated by Marty Sedluk, Sean Gilligan, Tym Tyler, Lori, Kim Sada, Chris and a couple of others. Marty has many good qualities but not the least is, when he says he is out for a recovery ride and will ride easy, he really does it. I am grateful for he and Sean pulling me around a great route to Bladensburg and back a ways before I bugged out for some extra miles, finished with 80 and 5400' of climbing.
Here are the links for the COP Bremen Roving Ride:
50 mile ridewithgps.com/routes/3150952
70 mile ridewithgps.com/routes/2948140
80 mile ridewithgps.com/routes/2948006
and for the Frank:
74 mile route http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2659595
100 mile route http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2659566
That just looks ugly, just ugly. No valley riding, no ridge riding, just up and down like the profile of a saw blade.
Don't you hate it when you arrive for a ride, take your bike out and discover a flat tire? Although skies to the west were darkening, the rain never arrived but clearly the ominous looking sky impacted the turn-out.
Andrew Hall, back from a 10 day vacation and no time on the bike has decided to ride "The Frank" this Saturday. Frank Seebode is promoting it as the most difficult ride in Ohio and with 100 miles and 10,000' of climbing, ugh. Of course, there is also the COP Roving Ride out of Heath High School hosted by none other than Flyin Tuna but my journalistic obligations requires that I ride the "Frank", a route that will no doubt have me swearing at myself 100 times, once for each mile. Sounds like a large contingent of Marty & the Jets will be there, along with Ricky G, Dirty Dan, Rex, etc...
The blind leading the blind. George asks Poobah where tonight's route is going. What is the purpose of those glasses if not to enlarge the print for George? Garth P on he left.
Marty on the left with Meredith and not sure of the woman on the right but she was there at the end of the route with the front B group.
Samllish turnout and above pretty much captured everyone who came out. Shannon thanked me in a pejorative manner for all the help I have given him and have yet to do as he will once again abandon us next week. The usual strong A group rolled out but with the suffering I'm expecting on Saturday, I elected to roll out with the B group, as did Gus and Peggy and a couple others who usually roll with the A group.
The B group rolls out on what I expected to be the A route but strangely, they stayed on the short, 30 mile B route. What the heck?
As usual, we got held up at the light and then eventually got on to Jug, rolling in to Alexandria. After verbally passing out the route to those who asked, some of us prepared to turn left on Mounts but instead, we streamed straight through Alexandria. As we approached the turn on to Morse, Poobah warned everyone of the "S" curve at the bottom of the hill and for the most part, people eased around the corner and then hit the hill fairly hard, splitting the group. We emerged at the Outville stop sign with around 8 people, including Gus and Brian. From that point it was fairly straightforward out Morse, right on Harrison and then a left on old 161, arriving back at the parking lot with a 22mph avg, 38 miles and at 7:45 so lots of daylight left.
I imagine the A group, which I passed on the way home and shelled down to about 8 including Shannon, Marty, Jon M, Garth, etc... probably finished with 24mph+. Well, have a good weekend everyone and be nice as you pass me on "The Frank".
Here is tonight's New Albany route and I am happy to announce that our Dear Leader, Shannon, will be making an appearance. Here is a link to the routes: http://hfpracingnews.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/new-albany-cop-august-22-2013.pdf
While taking an image of Brian and Becky, I inadvertently caught an unknown cyclist probably just trying to get a closer look of the progress being made in the lot that adjoins our meeting place. Well, look, regarding the route and comments, Mark C was tonight's ride leader. He has been placed on indefinite leave after failing to observe the most basic ride leader rules: Check last week's route before deciding on this week's route. Further, Mark failed to send me the route early, forcing me to call him and find out where it was. Competent ride leaders, even Shannon who is barely capable, always send me the route early enough so I can get it up for the benefit of my many fans. On behalf of Mark C, I apologize for the confusion but once he completes additional training, this kind of snafu will not happen again. Anyway, tough route enjoyed, again, by all.
Claude, wearing an outfit that kind of matches his car. While he is a snazzy dresser as a civilian, his cycling gear does not quite match up other then he always appears to have a smashed banana in his back pocket. Speaking of bananas, Steve O placed a full peal on my bike seat. I tossed it off but one side remained on my seat and I pedaled around the parking lot, crushing it, for awhile before discovering the mess. Pretty funny.
Hey, there's Hendra down for a visit for the first time in a long time. Looks like he was involved in a crash recently, noting the shoulder.
An A group comprised of Jon M, Hendra, Steve O, Randy Brown, John Day and Muscle Dude rolled out. That left a pretty good B group, many of whom are pictured above, Kevin H, Jeff S, Claude, Matt A, Rossi's, Katherine, Corvair, David Smith, Brian, Ricky G, Rex, etc... We headed out on the, of course, same route as last week so I'll dispense with the route description.
Beautiful evening for a ride with not a cloud in the sky. We finished with 40 miles, 20.2 avg and 2000'+ of climbing. Meantime, Jon, Hendra, Steve and Randy finished with 44 and a 22.2 avg. Details coming on two awesome rides this Saturday.
My loyalty to you all is so strong that with the internet off until 3:30, according to
Windstream, I drove to the nearest McDonalds and am sitting in the parking lot, munching on a Subway sub, uploading the below route. Sorry, I don't have a gps link but you can see the que sheet below so you can create a gps file and maybe one of you retired types can post a link to it in the comments section. See you tonight.
Before the usual silliness begins, let us pause at this grainy image and celebrate Tim Faigley on the right, todays monstrous ride leader. A COP Roving Ride is one that is described as just kind of show up, you get a map and good luck to you. However, most of the roving rides (likely with the notable exception of next week's led by Flyin Tuna) have had great maps on 11x14 paper, que sheets, gps file availability and even, like Saturday's, a route that has been painstakingly marked. And that route, 7 notable and painful climbs through beautiful countryside that even included a pass by what must be the only vineyard in Vinton County?
It was a good mix of fix and nearly fit, with Jon M coming down with Marty, Garth P and a couple of new guys, along with Randy Brown. No Steve O or Dustin, which is kind of unusual but someone said Steve had a date with someone off of Craig's List and Dustin has a passion for garage sales so he was probably tramping around in an old van looking for deals. And of course, Younger Phenom, Nick, forever now known as Euro-trash, headed to Wales next week with his newly arrived passport. Just think, some day he'll be standing atop the TDF podium and we can say we knew him.
So, so many issues does this guy have that I can't begin to list them. Someone got him turned around and he managed to make it out of the parking lot and probably even finished the route but who knows, we were all gone and probably eating dinner by then.
Good turnout for a ride so far from the center of the cycling universe, Columbus. I heard many people drove 1+ hour to arrive at 8:00am but it was worth it. I'd guess around 35-40 people at the start and so we shoved off. I rolled out with Kenda Janet and got filled in on her family vacation in the wilds of KY. This location seemed counterintuitive for the queen of the jetsetters but then she explained that because she spends soooo much time in Chicago, New York, London, Rome, etc.. that a week in the Kentucky woods was welcome.
John Day took off and then Randy so I checked in behind him and we reached the top of the first climb on Pleasant Valley Road with that nasty false summit 3/4 of the way up and a comfortable gap on all the others but soon, they began overtaking us, dragging both desirable and undesirables into our midst. After another climb and then getting on to #664, Marty & company came by and many of us tagged along until the gas station on the corner of 664 and 56. We paused long enough for one of our members to use the restroom and then off we went again, right on to a very difficult climb on Chapel Ridge Road. That one is a brute.
We continued on the route where in the distance a lone cyclist appeared. The conversation went something like this:
"Is that Nick?"
"No, that's impossible."
"It sure looks like Nick."
"Wow, this is worthy of a picture."
Turning a corner, we came to a hill...
"Ah oh, that is not in our favor, we might not catch him."
Nick stopped by the side of the road and Mitch stated:
"Hey that is Nick. We shall mock him."
However, he appeared a little wobbly so we did not mock, instead encouraging him to get back on the seat and ride with us. We climbed up Airport Road, having not yet stopped to refuel but it did not appear there would be anything at the airport so we kept going, eventually reaching the market at around mile 50.
I think the Thursday effort was having an effect on me because my legs felt like they did at the top of Monterey Mountain at the end of Mountain Mama, yuck. Probably Marty & Co. had already plundered the store's shelves because there wasn't much there. When Poobah walked out with what last week was a ham & cheese sandwich but had evolved into a ham salad sandwich, the bottom of the barrel had been scraped.
We got back onto the route, riding through Zaleski Park and onward until we reached Logan and finished with 74 miles, 5600' of climbing and the end of a great day of cycling.
Ron Budzig about to be taken out by a car. We're competing with teachers and staff for parking spots again but there are plenty to go around. Perfect evening for a bike ride although things got off to a confusing start. Shannon sent an email out, alerting some people that the "nearly capable" Mark W would be leading tonight's ride. I admit that is funny but he sent the email with the insulting message by forwarding a previously sent email that had a link to a route that did not match tonight's route. Things got squared away on the road.
Garth Prosser tells us about his week in CO and the Leadville 100. His time was actually higher then last year when he and others were unintentionally routed off the course, losing valuable time. Sounds as if he indulged too much in the great riding opportunities each day prior to Leadville and may have ridden too much. Also got picked up for speeding in Kansas, going 82 in a 75 zone...and I thought the OHP was too anal (I was picked up going 71 in a 65mph zone on the interstate a couple of years ago).
Kind of a light turnout and early on, I wondered if it would be a repeat of Tuesday but as usual, they began rolling in in earnest and....
....the parking lot filled, eventually having around 50 people, including a really strong contingent of A's. I forgot to count but around 25 including Garth, Jon M, Marty, Dave C, Nick, Chris G, Pete C, Craig Rice, 2 new guys with "Mama Mia" on their jerseys, 3 NE Kendas, Todd Mullins, Gus Cook, Kristian, John Day, Claude, Jeff S, Dirty Dan, etc....
John Day, in the middle, reflected on his experience at Mountain Mama. It was a hard ride and we'll leave it at that. So, at 5:58, when Shannon normally squeaks out instructions in that effeminate/passive voice to which no one pays attention, the audience was in rapt attention as I went through the course correction to get us out of the parking lot and on to the route. With that, we shoved off, getting on Waltons Parkway, right at Kitzmiller and then a left at old 161.
The pace, pretty reasonable to that point ratcheted up and our first casualty was Corvair, who had rolled out with the A group, which is fine but dang, if you get popped once and catch back on, stay at the back. I barely have the energy to cover one gap, let alone two. We turned right on Mink, left on Condit and then got on to Headley's Mill where the pace slackened a bit. No doubt this was in anticipation of.....yep, the left turn on to Cul de Alward. By the time we turned right on Hollow, I was with a good group of Ron B, a NE Kenda guy, Claude, Jeff and maybe Kristian was there too. The front group was tantalizingly close and as I caught the first glimpse #310, they had ground to a halt and we latched back on. What luck!
We raced east on Hollow, left on York, right on Weslyan, left on Outville and then a right on to Moots and rolled into the outskirts of Granville with a 23.3 avg. Our stay in G-ville was brief as we quickly exited on Raccoon Valley and turned right on Hardscrabble. I was feeling pretty good until suddenly I was not. Ron B dropped off, then Jeff, then a Mama Mia guy with a beard began slipping back in front of me and at that I could not cover and was.....
......at mile 24, done. We again had a good group of Ron, Jeff, Claude but rather than turn north on Northridge, I continued straight on Concorde, leaving those guys, where I noted my average was down to 22.5. Coming through Johnstown and then on to Caswell/Duncan Plains and back on to Caswell for a lonely 10 mile ride, I looked back and there was the remains of the A group, what luck again! I jumped on the back and hung on for the final 10 miles, finishing with 44 miles, and a 22mph avg.
Meantime, thanks to Dennis G for sending me the above image and a brief description of the front B group. Sounds like they worked together with Peggy, Poobah, Jillian, Corvair and a few others, finishing the 32 mile route with a 21.2 avg.
That's right. Our beloved Thursday New Albany ride leader, Shannon Kurek, competed in the USA Triathlon, Sprint Distance Championship this past weekend in Milwaukee, WI and finished 5th in the Master's division with a time of 1:04:06. As a result of this, Shannon has been named to the Team USA which will compete in Canada in 2014.
More important to many of us is, what impact will this have on his willingness to continue to churn out the routes and maps most Thursdays in 2014. The eyes of the cycling community watch and wait for this momentous decision. Also, check out the results of the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, where Garth Prosser had a very high finish of, if memory serves, 62nd while Steve Fields finished a little further down the list but finished nonetheless, a heck of an accomplishment.
Here is the route for tonight's ride. More then this I do not have but you can probably get the gist of the route by careful study and examination under bright light. See you tonight.
Wow, low turnout. As proof, check out the parking lot and you can tell it's late because Corvair is already there. Note too that Poobah stole the ride leader's spot yet again. Someone is bringing Vasoline next week and will give each door handle and wiper blades a good lathering.
Rex and Dean were there to give the B group some quality.
For awhile, it appeared Steve would be the lone A cyclist but UPS Scott and Randy Brown rolled in late so the A group shoved off with 5 guys. The B group had a decent turnout of around 15 that included Claude, Eric the Dispatch photographer, Katherine, Corvair, Rex, Dean, Poobah, the Rossi's, Andrew C, etc... so we headed out on a very hilly route.....
....until having survive the hills, we reached the Ridge Road and Cedar Hill Road corner. The way back would be flatish and into a strong head wind so we waited and waited, all eyes glued to the east where a spot began to take on greater mass and shape and sure enough....
.....the Rossi tandem came chugging through. Why fight that wind as singles when we can just slot in behind the tandem? Finished with 39 miles and a 19.3 average.
Tonight's route, the A version shown below, can be found here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2487089. There are B and C routes too.
Kenda Janet was one of 30+ who rolled out of the parking lot at Cyclist Connection, Saturday for a very good route in to the foothills of Hocking Hills. Once known to push the pace and blaze trails, now Jan-o barely hangs on but the peloton would be a poorer place without her.
Poobah. Once he looked like this crossing the finishing line but now, he satisfies himself with celebrating the start, rather than the finish.
Ginger made a rare appearance and I heard later bonked in Laurelville. The Polish Pony looks on too.
None other then the legend, Ricky G. After finishing Mountain Mama, this 670 year old drove back to Ohio after Mama, woke up Sunday morning and rode yet another freakin 100 mile route. It's one thing to have the time but to have the time and motivation to ride centuries just about every time out is admirable....or crazy, depending on your point of view.
So, we rolled out, Steve O on his Mean Machine and a bevy of Liliputions. Things sorted out within the first few miles and a core group of the usual suspects, around 12, coalesced and headed on a rolling route that did not stop in Sugar Grove but continued south to the gas station on Clear Creek Road. A couple of weeks ago, my daughter's car was rear ended by an illegal with of course, no insurance and so with her car in the shop for repairs, my family was down a car and I had to motor around today's route as quickly as I could and I skipped the stop at the gas station. Continuing on to Laurelville via multiple climbs, I kept expecting to be caught and then stopping at the gas station in L0ville, still no one caught me.
I stayed on the route and upon reaching Canal Winchester, headed back out and visited.....
....the under repair bridge south of Canal before heading back to Lithopolis where I ran into Poobah. Continuing on with him and finding out what happened to everyone else, I rode back to Canal and finished with 93 miles and got back home to bring the car inventory back to 3 for a family of 4.
Steve O and his "Mean Machine" were out, basking in the well wishes of everyone, well, except for some snipers in the parking lot. For example.....
....while I was gushing over Steve O and Dustin's performance at Mountain Mama, others were not so impressed, including Kevin H, who told me he and Jeff S rode the 100 mile Pedal with Pete ride in 5:19.. I was impolite enough to ask how much climbing was on the PWP ride and Kevin mumbled something that I could not discern. Regarding Mama, John DeLong won the event with a time of 5:08 and in so doing, set most of the fastest times on each climb. He climbed the final climb, Monterey Mountain, listed as a Cat 3 climb in 10 minutes. Meanwhile, Sarah G, who was in the top 10 when she flew by me made a clean sweep of all the mountain climbs, according to Strava.
Another new rider joins our group. She rode out with the C group and was the first to gravitate to the shady area.
Younger Phenom Nick showed up after his tour of the Midwest to various cycling camps or races. Euro-Patrick showed up tonight as well.
Mark Rossi and Karen were back out, famous now after the Dispatch article. Many people sought his autograph but he said he and Johnny Manziel are no longer giving autographs.
Poobah was embarrassed. He had bragged to all of his friends that he was going to be in the Dispatch picture but some very clever image altering removed him. He also parked in the official ride leader's spot and was rewarded with a banana peel on the windshield.
Some of the New Albany boys came down, Marty, Dave C and Jon Morgan. Sounds like they are all for coming to Monterey next year and taking out the top 5 spots. I have heard some of them are not riding Pelotonia this year because "racers" are being discouraged from participating or at least from riding fast.
Corvair, unofficially, probably has been a member of more cycling groups then anyone. Savage Hill, Roll, Cyclist Connection and Team 614 are only part of her vast resume. She's riding very well this year. Andrew Cayton on the right and next week's ride leader.
A small but quality group of A's headed out, maybe 7 and then a large group of B's some of whom observed the A group and decided to drop back a category. Around 25 in our group including Eric the Dispatch photographer, Jeff S, Claude, Poobah, Kevin H, Matt A, Dane, Katherine, Corvair, Ryan, Mitch, Dirty Dan, new guy Chris, Andrew, David Freakin Smith, etc... Pretty good route tonight and we all made it around with plenty of time to spare. The way south was uneventful with most of us staying together. As we rode through Amanda, I let everyone know we would regroup at the stop sign after the Delmont climb. Ryan could not resist interpreting this as a stopgap measure for myself to stay in contact.
We rolled out of Amanda, got on to Hamburg and then turned left on Delmont. It always surprises me how fast the group hits this portion of the route, as if they don't know what awaits them around the corner. We hit the opening ramp of the Delmont climb and Ryan and I discussed unclipping and just pushing our bikes. I noticed the front guys were not pulling away too quickly so I put in a dig, caught Eric near the top and he gifted me the KOM points cause he's a good guy. We regrouped at the stop sign and eventually got on to Crumley where Nick rode by with Marty on his wheel, a couple of bike lengths later came Jon, a few more bike lengths and the Mean Machine came by with Patrick, then Pete A and a couple others. They finished with a 22.3 average and our group finished with 19.6 and 44 miles.
The story about the Rossi tandem, along with features on two other tandems, can be found by clicking on this link: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2013/08/06/for-some-couples-pelotonia-bike-event-is-a-tandem-effort.html.
Distances are 48, 44 and 38 miles. May be at the ridable limit for all 3 distances but there are options for cutting short. The A route can be seen here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2999288. Note we are doing Hopewell Church Road and while the outbound leg is fairly flat, there is a lot of climbing in the back half. See you Tuesday at the usual time and place.
Unburdened of his toe clip hybrid, Steve O showed up in Monterey, VA with the "Race Competition" version of a new BMC bike (some say he did not buy the "Team Competition" version because he didn't want anyone to think he was riding for anyone but himself). Riding unfettered by the weight of the steel hybrid, Oxley was, as Phil Liggett would say, "Free to fly" and fly he did, passing all of the Ohio boys and girl and storming to a 3rd place finish and riding away from Dustin on the final climb. For Dustin, he was left to wonder, what one or two fewer Old Chubs could have done for him, finishing 4th. O's time was 5:23, almost besting "Da Boss' time set in 2010 of 5:19.
For the rest of us shleps, it was the usual story but we had a few newcomers this year, Ricky G, Rex and John Day. Although I did not see Day all day (I heard he was late arriving), I spent quality time with Ricky and Rex. At 7:45, the Flyin Tuna group of Cindy, Mark C, Rex, Ricky and me shoved off. Quite a few people leave early because the first climb begins within the first mile so there is usually a mass of cyclists on the first descent and it can get kind of hairy in there. A few years ago a woman went left of center on the descent and died, after running in to an oncoming truck.
Mark C and I arrived at the top and figured the rest of our group would catch on the descent but half way down, the two in the front (image), Tim and Cynthia, rode by and so I jumped on and enjoyed being pulled around with Rex catching on too. Eventually, Ricky also caught us and we hung together for a couple more climbs, stopping at the 2nd rest stop. Climbing the 3rd hill, probably the most difficult up to Moyer's Gap with several steep pitches and an average grade of 7.3%, 2 miles long, I heard someone coming from behind and a guy in a VA Tech jersey flew by. Soon, so too did another and then I was harassed by Dustin and Steve, a few more and things became quiet again.. I spent the 8 miles prior to the 50 mile rest stop in a group having Rick Miller and Joe G. While resting a bit at this 3rd rest stop I did the usual check of my condition and determined, as usual, the next 50 miles was going to be horrid. Also as usual, I had reached this point well under 3 hours so let's see, 3 hours in 50 miles, do that again......forget it. The back 50 is just brutal, 5 climbs, 3 in the last 18 miles and they are the hardest climbs save for the Moyers Gap climb already climbed.
So, turned on to the Snowy climb, about 4.5 miles and kind of cool to eventually break through the tree cover into open fields as we near the top. I was thankful for the cloud cover and cool temps that persisted all day. The next climb is about 9 miles, not steep but come on, 9 miles with an average grade of 5.6%. Some where in there, Ricky G caught and passed me and I did not think I'd see him again. I stopped at the 4th rest stop (mile 66) and saw Rex steam by and I began to wonder if I would be the last Ohioian, I began to wonder where Flyin Tuna was and panicking, jumped back on the bike. Riding at a speed that is best described as plodding, I got to the top of the next climb and did not pedal on the descent, just sat and coasted to rest the out-of-shape legs. I had plenty of fluids so I skipped the 5th rest stop where I spotted Ricky G and as it turns out, Rex too was in there.
Grinding up climb #7, Allegheny, I began losing my mind. I thought I saw an oasis on the horizon, I saw stars, well actually, I was just a broken man. If being interrogated, at this point you spill the beans but I didn't even have that as an outlet to remove the pain. A quick descent and then.....yep, Allegheny 2. I don't remember much other than Mark C overtaking me. That he was the only one to pass me on the hill speaks much to how everyone else was struggling. I wondered what Rex and Ricky were thinking and always, I wondered if Tuna was gaining. Having her catch me would cap a perfect day. I stopped at the final rest stop at mile 94 and a final climb, Monterey Mountain, to go with an average grade of 7.8% and 2 miles. On the first ramp I glanced back and speak of the devil!!!!!!! It looked like Flyin T was back there. Not wanting to look a 2nd time, which would appear that I was panicking and only spur her to ride harder, I went through a couple of switchbacks before looking back again.......hmmmmm......could be so I took a harder look but no, it was Cynthia, the woman in image #2 above. Whew. I reached the summit, experienced the sense of euphoria, descended through Monterey, finishing with an overall time of 7:14, 9980' of climbing and look at that, 6500 calories burned. I'll have to eat hard to make up that deficit. Rick Miller called later and said he'd try to get Marty, Jon Morgan, Craig Rice, etc... to come next year.
Not much to say about the Thursday New Albany ride, GP told me, with the Mt Mama ride looming, to hang at the back of the B group so that's what I did. Todd agitated things a bit and seemed to win most of the KOM points against John Sada so good on you at your age for taking out the youngins., Finished with 32 miles and a 21.1 avg. Leaped in my car Friday morning, called Rick Miller, Steve O, Flyin Tuna and Mark C to get their whereabouts and drove 6 hours to the hilly countryside around Monterey, VA.
Ted M is not coming down so I agreed to pick up his package at registration and give Greg D the cash. Here, Joe G says once I started talking about Ted's "package" he lost interest in the conversation. Funny! Greg. Joe, Rick Miller and unknown guy take off for a warm-up ride. Their ranks were decimated by late abandons and so too were ours. Only 186 pre-registered and that's kind of low. Dustin and Steve were disappointed that Marty was not coming down.
I had a drink at the Waterwheel restaurant and then went to the Warm Springs Inn for another drink, having a good time talking to the locals. then went back to.....
.....the Inn at Gristmill Square where I had salmon on risotto with yet another drink. 40% chance of rain tomorrow with showers in the morning and thunderstorms in the afternoon. I didn't drive all this way to watch it rain so I'm riding no matter what....unless it rains.
When Farmer Mike and Grand Poobah get together, it's time to bring out the notebook and begin taking notes. The wisdom, vast knowledge, experience, etc... to be learned....WOW! Unfortunately, they spent the entire time talking about bowel movements and AARP membership benefits. Doug McConaha rolled up and I warned him not to ask. Oh well, maybe next time they'll have something to talk about that us youngsters can enjoy. More to come, later.
Shannon has produced the above A route that can be found by visiting his site, where you can also find the B and C routes: http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/new-albany-cop-ride-thursday-august-2013/. Also note Shannon will not be attending tonight's ride but not to worry, I will be there to sign you all in, distribute maps and offer encouraging words and support.