The cycling community is saddened to learn that Kenda Janet fell from her bike on Friday and now has a broken collarbone. But, cycling life must go on and so we gathered to head out on a beautiful morning on a 67 mile journey during which I learned of shocking and I mean shocking news (see below). There were twelve of us including Ryan in white, Jake in red, Porter in an OSU kit, Larry P, Eva, George, Flyin Tuna, Blair, Stefano, Chad and Gary.
We maintained a moderate pace until faced with a "Bridge Out" sign on Dry Creek Rd. Arghhh, I had forgotten about that impediment but after some discussion we decided to check it out and relieved to discover it is now crossable with a solid surface. You have to dismount but easy to cross. We hit Chatham Road pretty hard and there waited to regroup. No sign of the crazy dude and don't know if he survived the injuries from being struck a couple of weeks ago. At mile 30, we cruised into.....
....St Louisville and paused but not for long. A little after the break George announced he is taking delivery of a NEW bike next week. A Giant, carbon fiber and geared to be a climbing machine. George downplays the impact the bike will have on his climbing prowess but I suspect he thinks it will help a great deal. I had to ask how much was the bike but he could not answer. I asked if he planned to steal it and told him I will ride with just about anyone but draw the line at a criminal. He assures me he is buying it. Dang, He is going to kick my ass on the Stone Quarry rollers.
Ryan asked about the location of a restroom and Eva leaped at the opportunity to lead him to the ball fields where a Port-a-John is located. I've seen this scene play out before as the Black Widow lures an unsuspecting fella to a remote location and then only she returns. We decided to head to the ball fields and regroup and then....
....others too took the opportunity to also take a quick break while Chad, Ryan and the rest patiently waited the few minutes. All in all, little lingering and we got back into the route which included.....
....the rustic Berger Hollow Road on our may to Martinsburg Road and the beginning of the turn back to the west which included the climb over Welsh Hills Road where we were glad to discover the nastiest parts of the pavement have been patched. Not expertly but at least now there are only a couple of small holes to avoid. Arriving......
....in Granville, we thought about stopping to grab a snack but about half the group wanted to keep going and the half that wanted to stay didn't want to miss the drafting possibilities so we left intact. A few people began to wear down and rather than leave them alone, some of us scaled back the pace and kept almost all of the rear enders together.
Above, George makes the rounds prior to heading home. The Black Widow ponders whether to offer George a ride but too many witnesses. I rested a bit when I got home and then trudged to the wood pile to begin splitting where I saw some movement and....
....saw a Grater snake snag a frog. I did not think it possible the snake could swallow the frog but it kept moving up the leg and then the grog began emitting little squeeks. I was torn cause the snake needs to eat but those "eek". "eek" noises got to me so I grabbed the snake's tail and using a stick, pried the jaws and the frog got away. I carried the snake across the road where it can resume its search.
While I encourage participation at the Frank, there are some of us who would rather not suffer to that extent and are riding out of New Albany, in front of Starbucks, at 8:00am. Will be a good group, moderately paced ride and you can view the route here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7695716
I was walking Stella through the woods and noticed a lot of leaves have begun to fall. Soon, I won't be able to identify the dead ash trees from those still living. Since the temps were cool and I need to wear long pants for one of my favorite activities, I decided to skip a Tuesday ride and....
.....break out the chain saw and get after it. While I am not such a skilled cyclist, I have acquired the skill to bring down trees to avoid damage to live trees. Then the real fun begins, stacking the wood and....
...splitting it manually. I know, I should rent a log splitter but that would take the fun out of it. A little each day and it adds up. Probably have 3 cords split so far. Well, I will be at the Thursday New Albany ride to do my duty and some of us are planning a ride leader get together at the Rusty Bucket post ride either this Thursday or one of the remaining Thursdays. I'm even thinking of buying the first round.
The night started like many before it, our beloved ride leader, Rick, fixing someone's bike. If you enjoy this perk, I have good news for you below. It appears Poobah is arguing about who is next in line for a free bike overhaul.
Prior to tonight's ride, the octogenarians or is it the segeterarians, I get the terms and spelling mixed up but those in the parking lot over 60 gathered for a group image, Crazy George, Farmer Mike & Grand Poobah. Todd was making his first appearance of the season and I think he had a good time so if the route is agreeable, I bet he returns.
Jon Hastings. Last Saturday he was in Leadville, CO competing in a 100 mile trail run. Different route from what the mountain bikers follow. The trail runners go up climbs that are 20-30%, accumulating well over 10,000' of climbing. While the uphill sections were hard, it was the downhill sections that caused the most pain. Approximately 700 started, about 300 finished. Jon finished 59th, besting the 25 hour mark and is now the proud owner of the prize of a giant belt buckle.
Everyone mostly pays attention as Rick begins his announcements.
Attendance is slipping as only around 60 came out for tonight's ride, which was sure to be a fast one as we followed a very flat route. Earlier, I sent my super domestique, George, out early so he was already up the road as the A group....
....was led out by Chris G and Marty and 18 followers. From the start, the pace was fast, despite the interruptions of intersections and stop signs. At mile 6ish, we stopped at the #605 crossing and between chest heaves, I spotted a 24.7 avg on my Garmin, yikes. At mile 9, we absorbed George into the group. All along, sensing, knowing, I was not long for this group, I had hung at the back getting worked over by the accordion effect so at mile 11ish, I popped off along with my domestique. I slipped behind him, preparing for 20+ miles of "I can't believe you are still with me" jabs when he reveals that he rode hard on Tuesday and Wednesday and his legs were dead!!!!! Any other freakin Thursday he's be riding tonight's flat route like a pro. So, I took a ceremonial pull with the instructions to rest and get ready to take over in a few yards.
During another pull, George tells me he has not eaten all day and is weak. Oh for the love of..... Fearing the Super B's were closing, I began taking more and longer pulls. How unfair, I probably pulled half of the distance, maybe more. My average plummeted of course but we pulled into the parking lot with a 21.3 average. Meantime, up ahead, the lead group, including Lori N, finished with a 24.6 avg. After the ride, while George talked and John listened, some of us headed to.....
....the Rusty Bucket to celebrate Rick's sacrifice of creating interesting routes, keeping our bikes running, no one was killed this year due to his safety instructions, spending time away from family, etc.... Once we got him liquored up, we signed him to a contract extension and he will be back next year! How about that? I even bought him a glass of water, how about that! Thirteen hung around for the event, including Ken Budzig, Peggy and Gus, Marty, Luke, the H&H guys, Pete C, Dave C, etc... Much talk about "The Frank" as Marty has rounded up a group to roll out at 7:30am. I hear Engineer Mitch and Rex are starting at 7:00am. Comments about the ride range from, "I like it" to "I think it is too contrived, has no flow, too many stop signs at hill bottoms, too much emphasis on elevation gain and not enough about creating an enjoyable route." I've been contacted by a few people who want an alternative so will do some digging and post what I can, soon.
The Grand Poobah of Ohio cycling, Todd Lee, will make his first and only appearance of the season at tonight's New Albany ride. A pro's pro, a man's man, a ladies' man why he even dresses in a full cycling kit to ride around the block and pick up a dozen doughnuts.
A route for the sprinters or the Group Killer or the Jon Hastings or anyone who can ride fast on flats. Remember to print a map or down load the file to your gps devise. More here: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/ The big news is Rick, our beloved ride leader, will stick around briefly after the ride to make an appearance at Rusty Bucket (like one minute walking distance from the parking lot where we start and finish). There, we will raise a glass to toast his selfless contribution to our season. There too, I may dip into my pocketbook, sweep away the moths and buy the first round. That alone should attract multitudes.
Barbara on the right. Strong cyclist but probably should not have chosen the time trial machine for today's route. Flyin Tuna with maps but her decision to deny Kenda Paul a copy (only 1 per family please) had unforeseen consequences later. Actually, given Paul's directional issues, it was easy to foresee.
Twenty-one of us gathered at what used to be called the "Sunrise Center" but a better name would be the "Sunset Center" due to the lack of any vibrancy. I remember coming here when it was very active with lots of retail options. Yes, I was born in Zanesville and having achieved some fame, billboards were erected stating it was my home town. Not on the main roads, not even on the secondary roads but on the tertiary roads, gravel mostly, they can be found.
For awhile, it appeared only the schleps would be in the group but then Ken Buddell, Dave Chesrown and Marty S rolled in. Good guys all and always welcome.
That building used to house the Sunrise Cinema. Long ago, I played golf with a group of guys who loved to play for money. Like cycling, I was kind of marginal although I got my handicap down to a 2 and was regularly shooting around par but the other guys were equivalent to Ken, Dave, Marty if they played golf like they cycle. I kept my bets low but watched others bet big, including the manager of the cinema, C Nasser. Nasser claimed to be a cousin or something from the Nasser that ruled Egypt. Anyway, the losses accumulated and one night, R Means, to whom money was owed and also who had a prison record and wore shirts while playing that said, "U Call we Haul" was waiting in the broom closet for the cinema to close. Nasser survived and most of us assumed the robbery was arranged. Eventually, Means was back in prison and Nasser left the state. Back to cycling, we.....
....departed and immediately things got screwy as Crazy George missed the right turn onto Pleasant Grove at, get this, mile 0.50, heading east on Route 40. Eventually he got turned around and rode an abbreviated route. I think he said Flyin Tuna denied him a map too.
At about mile 8, Marty, Dave, Ken, Brent Jenkins, Barbara and Gary had gotten away. Not that they were riding hard, they were not but a gap had been created. We hit a long, 300' climb on Clay Pike and the climbers in my group allowed me to get away and at the top, had Steve O alongside but I did not jump behind him to draft as he pulled away and joined the front group. I kept a steady pace and stayed between the front and back group all the way to International Drive where I stopped to wait for the others.
Regrouped, we cruised into Cumberland and were treated to an interesting set of signs. Along the way, we had also picked up Barbara. One of my goals today was to try to figure out how these folks turn a 5-6 hour ride into an 8 hour ride....
...ok, it's starting to make some sense. Two cans of Dew, Gatorade, sandwich....and this is just snack time. Mark had a couple of good lines. When I asked which way to exit the village so I could get going, he said, "Go that way and when you read the sign that says Welcome to WV, you'll almost be there." When I told Cindy I didn't want to spend 8 hours out here she said, "Your wife pays me to keep you out here as long as possible." So funny. Eventually, we headed out but....
.....a flat. Flyin Tuna was giving advise so I could see this evolving into a record breaking flat tire replacement so I decided to keep going, along with some of the others. Now the group was split and very spread out. Kenda Paul was farthest up the road and when he reached the top of that nasty climb on 83, he saw a sign pointing left for McConnelsville and stayed on 83. Big mistake. When I reached the climb, I passed Barbara pushing her bike. She indicated she was not feeling well but heck neither do I when I am climbing. We turned right onto 78 and....
...reached Big Muskie Bucket where I had my picture taken. So too but much earlier did....
....Dave Chesrown. I stayed at the Bucket with Gary, Eva, Janet and Barbara but then saw Mark C, Cindy, etc.. arriving. Spotting a soda machine, I figured this signaled a long break for at least Mark so I.....
...took one last look at the Bucket and kept going, arriving in McConnelsville and then quickly crossing the river into Malta where I stopped at a gas station.
I flagged Gary so he joined me then got a call from Janet and told her where we were and soon she, Corvair and Kevin arrived. Janet began receiving texts from Paul and he had taken 83 all the way to #60 and was now 10 miles south of Malta. While sympathetic to his plight, we convinced Janet to join us on the ride north so if needed, she could access her vehicle and drive to rescue Paul. Eventually, Paul finished on his own with 101 miles. Kevin told us he had passed Barbara and now she was throwing up, having eaten something in Cumberland that did not agree.
While at the gas station, I called Flyin T to find out where was the last of our group. She picked up right away which is never a good sign on a bike ride. In addition to hurling, Barbara now had a mechanical. A local man driving a golf cart came by and took her to his house. Someone said his name was "Leatherneck" but not certain that is accurate. Barbara left her two water bottles at the driveway to signal her presence at the house. Cindy and Mark stopped and with the help of Leatherneck (who actually was a very nice man) the bike became operational but only in the small chainring.
Up ahead, Ken, Marty and Dave finished in a total time of about 5 hours. Steve and Brent something more. Our group something morer except I got ahead on those brutal climbs on Millers Lane and missed turning right on Pleasant Grove Rd, continuing on Clay Pike. When I reached an abyss, I should have stopped but I rocketed down something like Savage Rd and eked my way up the other side, kind of like a Revenge Rd type climb. Then things did not look at all familiar and looking at the map, discovered my mistake so I turned around and went down "Revenge" and up freakin "Savage", finally finishing with 86 miles and 5500' of climbing.
Arriving at the parking lot, Janet was on her way out to pick up Barbara in Duncan Falls. Mark C and Flyin T finished around 5:00pm and yep, another 8 hour day. In all seriousness, a shout out to Cindy for what I think is the 4th consecutive ride, providing assistance to a cyclist in need. She is a modern day Florence Nightingale.
For unknown reason, the Thursday report fell below the Tuesday report so scroll down to see if you are in one of the images cause I know you would not put out the effort just to read the report. There is a good route Saturday, starting at 9:00am from the Sunrise Center just east of Zanesville. To get there take 70 east, exit at the Adamsville Rd exit, bear right at the stop and then an almost immediate right onto Route 40. You'll pass a bowling alley on the left and Sunrise Center is on the right with ample parking. The gps file is: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/9891727
Things were pretty quiet at the parking lot and then George arrived, indicating the start of the pre-ride entertainment phase. This evening he talked about Saturday's ride out of Heath, all the hills, how badly he beat everyone on the hills, wondered how I could keep up with him, etc.. There is a very good ride this Saturday, starting in Zanesville (more later) that includes a brief stop at the Big Muskie Bucket. I made sure George knew about this option as it too will have hills and plenty of them.
There was quite a bit of talk about last Thursday's New Albany B group and how rather than separate into a B and B+ group in the parking lot, it was done so on the road. Knowing this, the B+ types attempted to stay in the front of the group but some were in the back when the split was made. All seemed in favor of making up the groups in the parking lot rather than on the road.
Our ride leader, Gus, arrived along with Peggy and our group of 22 headed out but rather than exiting via the roundabout...
...we tried the more direct route and unfortunately got clogged up at the stop sign. Just no good way to get out as either faces a traffic hurdle. We took the usual good route into Alexandria at a modest pace, exited via Mounts, hit a few climbs and as usual.....
....paused at Battee to look westward and see who had yet to make the regroup point. Once regathered, we eventually got on to the Stone Quarry rollers where I like to ride alongside George and pip him at the final summit. Dude is getting stronger and the season, with about 6 weeks to go, should end just barely before I tumble behind him in our SQ race.
We make a final regroup at the end of Stone Quarry, prior to shoving off and returning at a faster pace to the parking lot where I had 37 miles and a 20.2 avg. Above, left to right, Jeremy in red, Pete, Axel with John in white/black kit. John thought my report of Saturday was a bit tough and yes, the problem with the format of a blog, without the tone of voice, leaves it open to interpretation but all that I write is with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Nevertheless, contact was made through Flyin Tuna's representatives and her and my reps are discussing terms of a vaguely worded apology.
The evening got off to a bad start. Flyin Tuna showed up and proceeded to seed doubt about the accuracy of my Saturday report, casting aspersions toward me, some of which were unfounded. Steve Hewitt, C ride leader. walks away, disgusted with what he heard. This season can not wind down fast enough for me. People have short memories. My integrity will be restored by next season.
Lori Nedescu back after a whirlwind tour of Colorado, Italy, Puerto Rico and on the verge of joining the new Whole Foods at Easton as the cooking coach. That sounds like an interesting line of work. I don't know how someone in that position avoids becoming fat. I'd be at 400lbs and headed north.
Rich Lewis made a rare appearance, chatting with Danny, Marty and Dave.
Good turnout, over 60 but I lost valuable image taking time trying to convince people to sign the sheets. Mike gathered a large B group and while splitting them into two groups.....
....Marty led out the Rivet group. I had talked Dirty Dan into joining, explaining that both Jon Hasting and Shannon, two notorious guys who enjoy pummeling us, were absent. Not that there aren't plenty of others capable of doing the same of course. A large group of 25ish head out. No sooner had we escaped the village when the group went single file. No warm-up tonight, just hammer city from the start. I cast a glance forward and this time it was Luke and Marty turning the screws. Those two, then two others than a looooong line. Then crossing Kitzmiller things were ratcheted up a notch before we reached the Beech Road light. I looked forward, who could be doing this and it was.....
....dang, Group Killer was here. He must have been keeping a low profile in the parking lot. Wait a sec...is that a time trial bike with aero bars???? He didn't drop into the aero bars while pulling did he? That would be a group ride, unwritten, rules violation. Plus it sucks to draft behind. Surely not?
The group sped out 161, already shorn of a few people when we turned left on Mink and as we approached Beaver, I had not yet had to brake for the turn when I looked forward and caught a glimpse of Shannon, already through the turn and riding hard. I had a sinking feeling.....later, I hooked up with Philippe and I think he said his name is Alfonso as we rode through Alexandria. Philippe headed back from here while I continued on the route with Alfonso. My average was around 24 which makes sense with the tail wind and some down hill. It began to drop precipitously.
I was fighting a bout of discouragement. It sucks to get dropped so early, causes you to question every ounce of ice cream consumed in the last month. I combatted the anguish by....trimming the route. A right on Corner (rather than stay on Hardscrabble) and staying straight on Louden (rather than turn through the school) brought me to Raccoon Valley Road where I turned left, entering and exiting Granville and in Alexandria, was overtaken by a very small group of Luke, Marty and 2 others. I couldn't imagine what had happened to Travis, Pete C and others who should have been there but later learned a flat had slowed some and a touching of wheels some others with these four all who had escaped the carnage. It was then, while Luke pulled out of line, that I noticed he was riding a cross bike with, yikes, with matching wheels/tires. I was again dropped on the climb towards the Beech light and then later overtaken by a large group of Jon Morgan, Lori, Travis, around 15 and drafted them for the entirety of the ride back to the parking lot....
...where the group gathered to share experiences. As my experience was not so good, I had nothing to share. I finished with a 19.9 avg while the front four were at 22. Twenty-freakin two with that head wind and the climbs and one of them on a cross bike???? Got a good route coming in a few for Saturday.
But wait! Not going up the Thornwood climb but going down it. Bet not many of you have climbed the back side, medieval that one. If you make it to the top, you ride the brakes all the way down to the stop sign. The good news is Jon Hastings is involved in a modest run around the Leadville, CO area so won't be there to punish. Who will take up the reins? Oh, Rick will not be there so little ole me will be there to sign you in, pass on an inspirational message and Mike will be there to break up the B group in the parking lot rather than on the road. See you in less than 24 hours. Get a good night's sleep and be ready. Remember, print your own maps: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/
Dave Chesrown demonstrates the proper form for handling a cramp after a long ride. Crawl to the curb.....
....sit on curb and stretch affected leg. There should be a Youtube instructional video made out of this.
Meantime, there is this unusually painful ride coming up on the 29th, The Frank. Click here for more information:https://bike-ohio.wildapricot.org/TheFrank I am thinking about attending just one time due once again to journalistic obligation.
The Tuesday Canal route with more info found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/53811046325/
And of course there is also the New Albany ride put on by The Cycling Club that departs from behind Veloscience at 6:00pm.
The Queens of today's peloton gather prior to the ride, Kenda Janet, Corvair and Flyin Tuna. It was time for FT to go it alone as a ride leader, after being my unloyal lieutenant for many years at the Blue Jay ride. I arrived with a great deal of trepidation because I did not think her ready but we would see.
Hard route and remote location tamps down the turnout as about 35 arrived on a wonderful morning for a bike ride, way east in Heath, OH. Even "The Donald" was here, sporting his Fruit Loops jersey. The Don certainly loves attention. A new guy from France has begun attending the rides, in the "I Shares" kit. I told a couple of people he rode with Floyd Landis and they believed me.
Rather than start the ride at 8:00am, Tuna started her announcements about then and once the droning finished, we rolled out at about 8:10 but not for long cause our parking lot had no facilities so we rode about 1/2 a mile to....
....a baseball complex where people lined up. I am not one to criticize so let's just say I found this a curious way to start a ride. Anyway, we shoved off a 2nd official start at about 8:30. As I always look at the bright side, it allowed for socializing. But then, some of our group got off track and we rolled into....
....Somerset at about mile 35 where many studied the maps and began thinking about shortcutting...it's a hard route with upping and downing all the time. Being a positive kind of guy, I chose to think of all the coasting such a route provides.
More people arrive as rumors swirled that Flyin Tuna had put out two gps files, one for the people with whom she wanted to ride and one for everyone else. Must have been a mix-up since I was in the former rather than latter group. Those who had down loaded the wrong route began to stumble in famished and short of fluids as....
....Flyin T spent most of the time bent over trying to avoid being noticed. We were at the gas station for so long, Kenda Paul stated that, "Rigor mortis has begun to set in." Quite a large group, Ryan, Matt, Dean, etc... headed out on the 55 mile return but by doing so.....
....they missed easily the best view on the route, Zion Road on the way to Bremen. Unfortunately, also on the route was that really nasty climb on Pen. Arriving in Bremen, some stopped at the Subway, overwhelming the lone worker while the balance of us hit the new gas station and sat and ate in the interior. Good food, good seats. We regathered and were headed out when someone realized Flyin T was not around so....
....we gathered in the shade and called her. She was still out on Marietta Rd, helping Corvair fix a flat. Such a selfless person that FT. The above gang decided to wait for her while those of us going out on the 72 mile option moved on. We got strung out a bit before regrouping at a market in Thornville. Studying the map, I noticed FT had us returning via Honda Hills and Fairmont. That is just cruel so I convinced the Kendaistas, Frank S and Bruce to join me on a somewhat flatter return to the west of the little Alps. We finished with 71 miles and 5200' of climbing. I discovered the group on the 84 mile loop did finish but around 4:00pm. Dang, 8 hours to cover 84 miles. Reminds me of my days riding in the Licking County club rides as a beginning cyclist.
Look at that ride profile! You will never ride a route that has more elevation gain with hardly no long climbs. You are either going up or going down but I must stop my description before I talk myself out of participating. This is Flyin Tuna's ride so you should come out for that reason alone. 8:00am start from Heath High School in Heath, Ohio!
Behold, the common rivet. Riding one is an expression of riding at maximum exertion to the point of almost giving up. It's also a throwback term to when bike seats had rivets and riding forward on the tongue, at least that's what a Google search told me. All I know is, the Thursday A group is just as often known as riding in the Rivet group because for most of us, we are pushed to and through the threshold of the rivet. But first.....
....we go to the beginning of yet another fantastic evening for a bike ride. Making his first appearance of the season was Kenda Paul, who will also be at the Saturday roving ride out of Newark.
Kristy Nation was here too and deep in that truck, that plastic container with the red top, were dozens of oatmeal/chocolate cookies which were to be served post ride. And I freakin forgot all about them post ride and drove out without one! Idiot.
Roy Burnham also made a first appearance and when asked, spoke briefly about COP and his resignation from the organization. Hmmmm, doesn't sound good but the good news is there are enough of us who will organize rides who can step in and provide at least a Saturday alternative throughout the year, if needed.
Geesh, even Larry Pesyna came out for the first time. Was great to see so many first timers come out.
Of course, a lot of old timers were there too and the ranks swelled with about 70 at the start. The parking lot seemed to have thinned out a bit from previous Thursdays yet on the ride out of town we passed 2-3 large groups of Pelotonia type cyclists so maybe they'll ride for a bit longer. On the right, Joe, new guy who spent himself later on 161.
Dirty Dan hydrates for the ride as Ron Budzig listens to.....
...our ride leader Rick make a few comments and announcements prior to sending out 20-22 of us....
....in the Rivet group. Quite a talented bunch. Sure, Jon Morgan, Shannon, Dave C, Chris G, etc.. were not there but the talent pool is so deep there is always Pete C, Luke, Jon H, Marty, Ken B, etc... to fill the void and keep the group humming. And boy did it hum. Jon H put in a dastardly pull prior to Beech that sent the cannon fodder scattered to the wind but the light allowed for regrouping. There, I begged Jon to not be "One of those guys", ya know, the ones who surge to the front early just to break up the group. Jon said he would be "Gracious" tonight which seemed like an odd reply. Did that mean he would smile while working me over, yeah probably.
As soon as the light turned, two guys just sped away, kind of catching us by surprise. I kept my cool cause I have no alternative and slotted behind Joe, who put himself inside out to catch and he did! We rocketed out 161 with the pulls quick and frequent and soon I was in the #3 position...not good. While still having some gas in the tank, I calmly moved out of line, sorry, coasted back and managed to catch the tail. Unfortunately, I immediately saw the two in front of me would for sure not last long and sure enough, just then they both dropped and I was unable to cover the gap. Gus Cook was caught out too so we grouped up with Crazy George and Joe and soon Dirty Dan caught on and we had a nice group going up Watkins. Up ahead I could see others had been spewed out the back and at Weslyn Church, we added Jeremy and 2 others. Dang, no solo efforting tonight for me and I was glad about that.
The group kept the pace high and we entered Granville at 23 and even at the top of that nasty Beechwood climb were over 22 for an average. There we added Paul Stock, Danny A and Ron Budzig, along with the Sada team who must have been out for a ride and slotted in with us. Eventually we came to the stop sign at Sadie Thomas/310 where Paul took advantage of a small gap in traffic to get across. Of course I can't help but scream, "Stop sign jumper" as the rest of us watched before I too jumped through a small gap and....
....hooked up with Paul while Danny and others eventually got across and joined in. I became apprehensive about the right turn on Miller with the ensuing climb yet managed to hang on with Danny taking the KOM points. We lost a couple of guys there while the rest bunched together for the return, finishing with 43 miles and a 21.6 avg. Arriving at the parking lot....
....remnants of the front group were still there with their 22.7 avg formed in a small circle. As a late arriver, I hung in the second tier, listening respectfully to my betters. Hey a good ride Saturday and more on that soon.
Well here we go again, another Thursday route as we march toward season's end, whhhaaaaaaa! Let's make the best of it and you can see the above route and others here: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/ Remember, print your own map and/or download the route.
Michael looks on as George explains to John his most recent ride exploits. Twenty of us gathered for the ride as we waited for our ride leader Gus Cook to arrive but soon Peggy Cook pulled in to advise us Gus was in MO and we would have to fend for ourselves.
Tym Tyler and the H&H guys arrived followed by some discussion about the appropriate speed for the ride. Apparently last Tuesday's average speed was over 22 so we agreed to keep it friendly and headed out led by....
...who exited the roundabout too early, requiring that we cut through a parking lot to get back on route. That was pretty funny. We headed east, got into and out of Alexandria and paused at....
...Battee to briefly regroup. George appears shocked that he was not the last to arrive and peers into the sun to see who could possibly have been behind him. George is channeling Dirty Dan and now also wearing all black.
Just another pause image as we waited and finally gave up on one guy who did not appear, Greg. I later saw him on 161 headed back to New Albany as I was departing so he made it back ok.
What the heck, we paused at Stone Quarry too as Jeff S, George and me brought up the rear. Once resumed, we made it back to the parking lot with a 20.2 avg and 38 miles. Good time and a good evening for a bike ride. As I was changing, someone alerted me to a family of.....
...rabbits frolicking next to my car. Must have a nest under the platform of the light.
A flat, fast track for tonight's Canal Winchester ride. I'll probably be at the New Albany ride instead, not that anyone particularly cares, just throwing that out there.
Shannon Kurek, infamous for shredding the peloton of the undeserving ones, finished first out of a field of 117 in WI this weekend at the USAT Sprint Triathlon National Championships, men's 45-49 age group. Shannon's time would have been good enough for a top 5 finish in a number of younger age groups. Now that I have provided this valuable coverage, maybe he will show some mercy in upcoming Thursday New Albany rides.
Meanwhile, south and east of WI, Beth Hale participated in the Pittsburg Triathlon, finishing first in the sprint distance, women's 50-54 age group. Beth put in an almost 5 minute gap on the 2nd place finisher.
Rick was there as usual but parental duties required that he limit his participation to signing us in and giving a pep talk prior to our departure.
Dirty Dan dressed in black on a black bike, probably so he would not stand out when he pulled one of his nefarious tricks out on the road (more to come). Check out Andrew's attire for what was admittedly a cool night but leg warmers? Real men do not wear leg warmers in August, regardless of the temperature. Jeff S arrives earlier and earlier as he has found more and more stuff to buy at the farmer's market.
Typical scene during the sign-in process with Axel, Farmer Mike, etc...
Small turnout on this cloudy and cool day during which radar suggested rain was imminent but it always stayed just to our south. Above, Rick stands in the back of the van to address around 50-55 of us about the dangers on the road and each group's responsibilities. He also called out a couple of people who are guilty of dropping below their class (an A cyclist to the B group for example) and then riding at an A pace, destroying the B group, which is supposed to stay together. I give Rick a lot of credit for continuing to identify the problem and if a couple of guys contribute to the problem after Rick's many mentions of it, call them out.
Team Sada attended and other than a band aid, John is fully healed from his crash of two weeks ago. Way in the back, Jon Hastings, who took over Shannon's role as the lead group killer during this evening's ride.
Good number of cyclists in the A group, around 20-22, including Muscle Dude Jr. who just got back from 16 days in France which included climbing Alpe d'Huez the same day as the pro peloton. He had a great time. So, we head out of town into a pretty stiff breeze on one of the more moderately paced A group departures when Jon Hastings streamed from the pack and took off, followed by another followed by Dirty Dan who allowed a sizable gap to develop. Now, no doubt you all think Dan was gassed, his legs screaming, his lungs bursting but I know better, Dan was blocking the peloton just to be mischievous. That guy. Fortunately, the light at 310 intervened and we all came together.
Jon was not finished putting me on the rivet. I survived the dual pulls of Pete C and Ken Buddell then Jon took over for awhile, dropped back a couple of spots and roared again to the front for yet another pull. This time a really vicious effort. I was spewing hydraulic fluid and the needle had broken the gauge when he finally came back and then I did something really dumb; I invited him to take a spot in front of me, thus guaranteeing I'd be done sooner rather than later. Some time later, glancing forward I saw the summit of 161 approach, identified by the cell tower on the left. I was so very happy knowing that the road flattened and then would go down hill and I began celebrating my arrival in Granville. Then Jon took over.
Looking back at York Rd to see if I could regroup with someone (you don't really need me to explain what happened after Jon took over do you) I saw Dan and George behind, caught on with them and we soon arrived in Granville. Now the only game to play was don't get caught by the B+ group and we played the game well with Dan taking the majority of the pulls, George talking the majority of the time and me, shouting encouragement as I drafted. Up Jones Rd, left on Welsh Hills, and back into Granville where we found Mick but lost him in the confusion of the bridge replacement light. Arriving in Alexandria and departing it via Jersey Mill we had to stop three times while emergency vehicles overtook us. Soon the mystery was solved....
I think the young woman had just turned from 310 onto Jersey Mill and it's a real head scratcher but lost control within a couple hundred yards of 310. Rod Budzig, John Day, David Smith and a couple others had first arrived while the car's wheels were still spinning and called 911. Dang, those guys could have been wiped out if not for better timing. We grouped up and arrived back at the parking lot with 43 miles and a 19.8 avg. Meantime, the lead group finished with a 22.5 avg and were long gone when we arrived.
Another magnificent jaunt through the countryside. If you begin with the A group and get dropped, drop back to the B+ group, dropped from that, you get collected by the B group. Those in the B group, don't be self absorbed and fail to pay attention to your fellow cyclists. There could be a whacko out there in a truck with malicious intent toward a lone cyclist. Regroup and stay together as you are the broom wagon. Details of the ride found here:
As I eagerly await the details of Rick's route for tonight's ride, the above image was taken yesterday of a new fire from a lightning strike in the Catalina Mountains, not far from our place in Oro Valley. Pretty spectacular. They are again allowing nature to take its course unless the fire descends toward the city.
Seems like a lot of rides originate from Sugar Grove or surrounding area and why not with all the challenging climbs, scenery, lonely roads and pain. Steve Hewitt had originally scheduled this ride earlier in the season but rain forced him to reschedule. For those not participating in Pelotonia, having the ride today provided a nice alternative. I was surprised at how many came out, about 34, including a few people never before seen, by me, or that I can remember.
Left to right, Flyin Tuna, Eva and Andrew staring at something. Probably watching people go into and emerge from the Port-a-John.
Dave C and Marty also came down and here led the group out of town. Dirty Dan, Man in Black, on the right but a puncture would put him off route early but he would catch back on eventually.
Crossing #33, we head north on Sugar Grove toward today's first major climb, Pump Station Road. Much has been said about the condition of the pavement but the first half was not bad. Soon it began to deteriorate, including a hole into which you could bury a body with room to spare. Brushy Fork is a little better but still lots of broken pavement or gravel, then a brief ride on 33 before a right on Clear Creek and then the next big climb, Starner. Some were surprised when I stated the Pelotonia route used to include this road. No way would the organization have been able to attract anything close to 8000 cyclists if they had to climb this beast. The route continued putting us briefly on 180 but quickly arms extended from bikes indicating a upcoming left onto, ugh, Mt Olive. Learning this I could not help but scream, "Noooooooooo!!!" Up we went and slowly worked the route to arrive at Calico Ridge Road. It seemed as if we were on that road long enough to encircle the city of Logan multiple times but finally we.....
....arrived in Logan at the Speedway gas station at mile 35. Dan pulled in soon thereafter, we had our break in the shade and folks began standing around, ready to head out while the smart ones....
...stood around, ready to head out while in the shade. The balance of the route was a mix of suffering and pain. This route just seemed to really take it out of me and I noted some others too were riding unusually slow but I am above pointing them out in print. There was an optional loop which would add 35 miles to our 53 mile route but I think only Steve O, Corvair and Brent J took advantage of that opportunity.
I'm supporting Pelotonia (well, my wife gave generously) but am not riding in it and I bet there are a lot of others who are looking for any alternative and you are in luck. http://ridewithgps.com/trips/5108554 The route is only 53 miles but there are lots of ways to make it longer. NOTE THE RIDE START IS 8:30 from Berne Union High School in Sugar Grove. I understand many will be there ranging from Flyin Tuna to Marty Sedluk. Yes, that is a heck of a range and covers pretty much everyone who rides.
With Ric Noland absent for a few Tuesday rides, he asked for volunteers to sub for him and ride with the B group, his normal role, so I jumped at the chance this one time to lord over my charges, abuse my authority, shepherd my flock, enjoy the thrill of absolute power etc.... Arriving, I found the Grand Poobah, dean of central Ohio cycling, holding court among the many. Todd claims he is coming to a New Albany Thursday ride but only when the route suits him and suitable appearance money paid.
While Ohio participation at Mt Mama this past Saturday was down, one newcomer was Jenn, who unlike some of us, rode the entire 100 mile route and claims to have enjoyed it. She and three others shared a home rental for two nights, cooking meals and having a great time.
Engineer Mitch explaining how he uses the Pythagorean Theorem to calculate short cuts. My kind of guy.
Mark C had some explaining to do after he ditched Cindy for a younger woman during Saturday's ride. All his excuses ("I thought she was still with me", "It's the fog of war excuse", "If I rode that slow my bike would fall over from lack of inertia") sounded pretty lame to me.
Brent Jenkins and Matt Ashmore share a laugh, probably at my expense.
Steve Hewitt was unable to ride but handled the sign-in process. Dang, those Veloscience kits are everywhere. Wonder by how much I have to raise my game before I can qualify for one.
A pretty good turnout, maybe 30-35ish but still the A group is not so many but a very good B+ group rolled out. I rolled out with a group of 11 B's and enjoyed the 38 mile route. The group stayed together until the B+ers rolled by on the way back and there some of our group jumped on the tail and rode in with them. Now some of you need to sacrifice one Tuesday and cover for Rick by leading the B group. As Ric explained, keep the group together, decide on when to pause to regroup, hold up the pace if people start falling back too much, that sort of thing. Contact Ric to volunteer.
While participating in the Thursday New Albany ride, Brian White was struck from behind by a pickup truck. The story can be read here, along with an opportunity to donate to assist in Brian's recovery: http://www.gofundme.com/sprg5w9h
Here are the routes for tonight's Canal Winchester ride Steve Hewitt will be there to lead the C group and I, yes little ole me, will be there to sign you in, repair a bike or two, offer encouragement and inspire as only I can:
Yes, a beautiful day for a bike ride as about 290 cyclists descended on the tiny hamlet of Monterey, VA. With breakfast brought to my door at 7:00 and promising to hook up with The Donald and Flyin Tuna at 7:50, all I could do is grab the breakfast sandwich and head to the car for the 30 minute drive from Warm Springs. The place is surrounded by mountains and beyond those ridge after ridge of more mountains. You just know there are places up there never set foot by man or woman.
The ride starts at the foot of a mountain so lots of people choose to start early so you are not caught in the descent with a mass of people. A few years ago on the descent a woman went left of center and was killed by an oncoming truck. Above, Greg Dubois, Lisa and The Donald, aka Mark. Mark, Flyin Tuna and me started at 7:50. The Ohio contingent was down this year but Rick Miller was there, Frank Seebode, the above 3, Tuna, Rick's friend Mike, Kirk, Jen...think that's about it.
The first food stop is like at mile 17 and way too early. At the top of the first climb, about 2 miles with an average grade of 7.2%, Mark waited for Cindy while I kept going, thinking they'd catch me on the descent. Reaching the next climb, similar to the first, I got to talking with a guy from the UK and we worked together, added 2 others and had a nice working group as we arrived at the next food stop where I waited for Mark & Cindy. The 3rd climb is a beast and considered by many the hardest. Several spots over 12% and I was cross-eyed when I reached the top
It was a day for firsts. After the ride, a black bear bounded from the brush and crossed the road as I drove home which was starling but not as shocking as seeing Cindy take a pull on the 4th climb. I had to take a pic of this.
Ahhhhh, the summit. I had planned to do the 100 mile route as normal but I also wanted to get back to Ohio today and had been calculating the return time doing the 100 vs 70 route. I discovered my legs were not helpful with the decision making process so at the top, seeing the 70 option, I leapt for it!!!!!
I arrived at the infamous rest stop #3 at mile 50 on the century route, 35 on my route. Rick Miller suddenly came riding in, scattering cyclists in his wake as he paused to fill bottles before heading back out. Rick wanted to break the 6 hour mark but found, like all of us, your time on the first half can not be duplicated on the 2nd. There are 5 significant climbs in the back half starting with Snowy Mountain, an almost 5 mile climb followed by another of similar distance. Rick finished the ride with a total time of 6:20 so very respectable.
Leaving the food stop, I was relieved to find my route did not take me up Snowy, instead putting me on a long ride in a valley bordered by mountain ranges. Really a beautiful setting that I shared with a guy wearing a Virginia Tech jersey and whose 2nd favorite team is Penn State. We did not have much in common. Finished the ride with 5075' of elevation gain and on the road by 1:00pm and home by 7:00 in time to do yard work.
During the drive out, I counted cyclists and saw Rick was 9th on the road. Large gaps between each of the preceding cyclists and everyone riding alone. Without the benefit of a group draft due to the small quantity and make-up of the route, it makes breaking 6 hours difficult. I continued to count and found Mark at cyclist 80 but he ditched Cindy for a younger woman. I pulled alongside Mark and gave him some grief for abandoning a friend. I found Cindy at cyclist #85 on the road. and also paused, shouting encouragement. Well, I have to be honest as integrity is my middle name so rather than shout, "You're lookin good", clearly not the case as she looked rather frazzled, I shouted, "You're not lookin good" a few times. I inquired if she had a bike light, if she wanted to cheat and have me drive her up the road a mile or 10, if I should call husband Rod and have him come and get her...ya know the usual uplifting comments for which I am famous.
The day started with confirmation of what I suspected. It is the raccoons that are disturbing all the mulch I carefully laid down this spring as they dig for worms. Seems like worms love mulch as when I pull weeds they are plentiful. A .22 is within arm's reach but I leave the critters alone and put up with the inconvenience of restoring the damage they do. MapQuest shows me 3 different ways to reach Monterey, VA. I select the most zigzag route just to break up the boredom of the drive and it only adds a few minutes. Somewhere in WV, a road dead ends where it was supposed to continue. A stop at a market puts me back on track and soon.....
.....am driving through the mountains. Above, #250 descends into a valley where tomorrow there will be a food stop in front of one of the white buildings before the road goes up and over the final climb, Monterey Mountain. Arriving at.....
....Warm Springs, which is 30 miles south of Monterey and 5 miles north of Hot Springs. I check in at the "Inn at Gristmill Square" where I kill some time exploring the wine cellar. This is a great place to stay with a really good restaurant. My only problem is breakfast is not available until 7:00am which causes me to depart for Monterey later than I would like for the start of the ride.
Can't get a table until 8:00pm so what to do, what to do. Oh, start properly hydrating for the ride. Coming soon, the ride.