Yes, a foggy start to a day that looked very promising weather-wise. Here, Kevin H, aka Pepe LaPew, is ready and eager to go.
Looks like Roll had a large group and on the far left is Steve O, wandering the parking lot looking for someone to carry a 3rd and 4th water bottle so he could blitz the route. Many of us were curious about why he would want to arrive in Marietta so soon, since he was spending the night. Some speculated he had a woman waiting for him but David Smith disabused us of that idea when later, he confessed he was bunking with Steve. I told David maybe Steve wanted to get down there to get the bed warm for him but David did not think this too funny.
So, at 8:00, around 15 of us departed. I started the week thinking my cycling of long or hilly routes was over, the start of the off-season. I had put in two good trail runs and was preparing for a Saturday of watching lots of college football games but saw my buddy Kenda Janet needed a favor. Being the Clara Barton of the cycling community, what could I do but rouse myself out of seasonal retirement and volunteer to ride the Saturday route, meet her in Marietta, jump in her car while she jumped out and drive back to Sugar Grove so she could spend an evening of marital bliss with Kenda Paul at the elegant Lafyette Hotel and ride the Sunday route back with him.
So, off we rode, hitting the freakin Savage and Chickencoop climbs right off the bat! My legs felt very weird, yes they always feel strange when climbing these brutes but this time was different. At one point, a leg kind of collapsed inward at the knee and I got the sense the legs were "run ready" but not cycling ready and it was many miles before they started to feel kind of normal for cycling. Anyway, no one was pushing the pace too hard and we mostly stayed together on what for me were many new roads, all the way to New Lexington where I hunkered down at a BP gas station while everyone else enjoyed the well provisioned food stop. From there, I rode mostly alone until my buddy Mitch Tallen sped by and was in the "zone" so all he could do was yell a, "hey Mark" as he pulled rapidly away. Then Todd Mullens came by and eased up as we chatted about his visit to GA where he rode up Brasstown Bald, Hogpen Gap and others with Mitch, a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't until another 20 miles went by before Mark C came through from my original group and rode with him for awhile until we pulled in to the outskirts of Mcconnelsville. At the time, I was riding beside Greg Dubois and he recommended a great spot for lunch....
....this very cool place overlooking the mighty Muskingum River! What a view as I sat, ate and pondered the rest of the 190+ cyclists chowing down on cold cuts as I enjoyed well, a cold cut sub at Subway. After about 30 minutes, long enough to check in with Kenda Janet and make sure she was arriving on time via the Kenda mobile in Marietta, I shoved off and then hooked up with Dan and David Smith. For years I have heard of the "Malta Wall" but have never ridden up it. Been through Malta, heard people say how close we were to the Malta Wall but again, not experienced it. After crossing a bridge and arriving in Malta, it suddenly dawned on me we could be approaching the infamous climb and I asked David, "Are we about to go up the Malta Wall?" Not only were we about to climb it, we were on the opening ramp and soon, my front wheel lifted off kind of a gravelly surface and a sinking feeling not unlike that experienced by someone on the deck of a ship watching a torpedo approach must feel. It went on and on and reminded me of Rocky Road only harder but eventually, we reached the top, coasted down and WTF!!!!! Here was "Son of Malta Wall" immediately after. I admit, at some point in here, I began cursing Janet and myself for being such a "Clara Barton". I wondered if this is how the next 50 miles was going to be but thankfully, we got out onto a ridge and enjoyed some great views into an adjoining valley.
Above, the view from the 3rd and final food stop. After descending into yet another small town that struck me as being mostly populated by morbidly obese people (we must look like aliens to them) the route followed the Muskingum River at a slightly descending rate and I thoroughly enjoyed this until suddenly, there was another long climb but eventually got on to Route 60 where Larry P and Todd M passed me and I hopped on, planning to draft these ponies all the way to Marietta. Except, after a mile-ish, the road markings indicated what I surmised to be a very unnecessary turn towards a ridge. I thought about staying on 60, thinking it went into Marietta but after asking Larry, he claimed, "No, this goes into Zanesville."....which it does but way north. Groan, I followed these guys while Todd played me like a fiddle, telling me how the next climb was two Chickencoops on top of each other. So intimidated, I geared way back and soldiered on, plodding to the top, descending, then over I-77 before taking another turn that again appeared to be there only for an opportunity to do another freakin climb. Earlier, Mark Rossi had told me I'd know I was on the final climb when I saw a great, brick mansion at the top. Reaching the top of this climb I came across a trailer on cinder blocks and cursed both Mark and Janet (again), thinking this meant there was another climb to go. Soon though, I began seeing stately brick homes and concluded I was on the final climb.
Reaching the YMCA, I called Janet, cursed her for good measure a few times while discovering she was already on her way. I had estimated I would arrive at 4:00 and did, a few minutes early. As we exited the parking lot, Janet rolled down the window and said hello to Mark V. I noticed other cyclists were exiting the Y with day packs on their back but it seemed Mark needed some help transporting his stuff to the Holiday Inn. We were glad to help but I did tell the uber-social one that if she saw anyone else, she was to keep the window up and drive, as I was running late for a date with my wife. Mark brought out a giant black bag and after putting it in the back of the Kenda mobile, the vehicle immediately dropped to its rear axel. As we drove to the Inn, with the tail pipe rubbing on the asphalt, I wondered what could be in this bag. Upon reaching the Inn, I went inside and got two volunteers to help me drag it into the lobby and advised them they should not look inside. Thereafter, I dropped Janet off at the hotel, sat through instructions on what to do if the check engine light lit, not to turn off the ignition, where the AAA card was, the registration, how to turn the steering wheel, very detailed info before finally being allowed to chug away with a belch of black smoke emanating from the tail pipe..
Finished with 105 miles and 8300' of climbing. I was asked how CFC compared to Mt Mama. You're kidding right? My average was much slower on Mama, more climbing on Mama, no 5+ mile climbs on CFC...not even close but everyone has their own opinion and that's just mine.
Yes, they arrived in a quantity less than droves, a bit less then enmasse, something south of voluminous....several would be an exaggeration. OK, for a time it was only David Smith, here receiving the congratulatory shake from Poobah who made clear he wasn't riding.
Then, others and others arrived, Mick, Dan, Bruce, Jimmy and, well, that's it. I opted to not ride. The real men headed out on a 20 mile ride to Alexandria and back. Too bad, after a great season of cycling, the Tuesday and Thursday rides ended with such a whimper. Make sure you take time to thank Shannon for his effort this year. Being a ride leader is a largely thankless job but he'd no doubt appreciate a simple "thanks".
Weather is clearing so I'm headed to New Albany and hope to ride the final Thursday ride. Have not heard from Shannon. Now for the big news of the day, Kenda Janet has purchased a spot in CFC but only wants to ride Sunday, with Paul who is riding both days. She was desperate to find someone who would ride the route on Saturday and drive the Kenda mobile back. So, I am going to ride Saturday's route, meet Janet in Marietta, drive the Kenda mobile to Sugar Grove, Saturday's start, leave the Kenda car in SG and drive my car home. The sacrifices I make for my cycling buddies knows no bounds. Also, a group comprised of the usual suspects, such as Mitch O, Mark V, Steve O, Flyin Tuna, Corvair, Mark C, Pepe LaPew, Andrew C, etc... are departing promptly at 8:00am. If you would like to start with this fun bunch then there you have it. Not sure if I am crossing any red line by not paying for a CFC spot or if it's reasonable to say I am using Janet's unused portion on Saturday so I'll probably stay out of the official food stops and hunker down at available markets.
Hey Tuesday Canal cyclists. It's kind of weather iffy for a ride this evening and since it's a 40 minute drive each way for me to show up with maps, for a 30 mile route, I'm going to cancel the official COP ride. If the rain holds off, probably some will still gather and those that do can map out something. Wait...... I just talked to Mark C and he's going to be there and will have a route in mind but no maps or official sign-up sheets. He also said there will probably be a gathering at Kingys and designated himself as the official host and collector of checks, at the end.
OK, she may not be as young as some of you or even may be older than me but it was the cycling outfit that caught my eye. This is a fashion related post only so take your minds out of the gutter for a moment.
So, the Harvest Moon ride out of Warm Springs, VA (about 25 miles south of Mountain Mama's Monterey, WV start) was officially cancelled. Since we like the area, we came down anyway and participated in a metric century group ride at which they gave away a long sleeve T-shirt, had 2 food stops, SAG support...what's not to like? I left the Inn at Gristmill Square, a very neat inn with good food and a good tavern and drove to the start in Millboro, pausing here to snap this image.
Part of the Harvest Moon festival weekend is judging the dozens of decorated hey bales set in front of homes/farms. All are very creative. I arrived in Millboro and was introduced to the group, all 8 of them. The organizer introduced me to each, there was silver haired, very bushy bearded Buck, there was Catherine, there was another Buck...what are the odds of 2 guys named Buck in a group of 8? A group of hunters, maybe but cyclists? The 2nd Buck had one of the strangest personalities, walking around the parking lot making inane comments (think of a very dumb downed, good ole country boy version of Poobah), each associated with a nervous giggle. There was a very fit looking young buck named Mike, another guy who described pushing his bike up Mountain Mama's final climb and said "walking is just another gear" and 1-2 others. This is my kind of crowd.
We headed west on 39 before turning on to a road with Mike just behind me. At the top of the climb I was alone and never saw another cyclist and very few cars for the next 60 miles. Unreal how many smoothly paved back roads there are around here, running between or over the mountains. This route was not that hilly with a neat "Tower Road" climb that was 2 miles with the first half at 18-21% before leveling out and the climb up to Millboro High School another good one. At the 45 mile food stop, I inquired where everyone else was and it sounded like Mike and one of the Bucks were working together not too far behind me. I admit, even though it was supposed to be a fun group ride, I did not want to come in behind anyone named Buck so reaching the final climb to the High School, I glanced back several times but arrived at the parking lot alone. I needn't have worried, I stuffed everything back in my car, drove down the mountain, followed the route a few miles before turning back to Warm Springs and never saw another cyclist. Finished with 62 miles and 4700' of climbing but the ride did not have the feel of a 4700' route.
Later, my wife and I explored Hot Springs, VA and walked around the Homestead Resort, visited a farmer's market, retail stores and enjoyed the rest of the day. We took a back way to Warm Springs, just another ribbon of perfect asphalt going through the village of Bacova and beyond.
Nathan finally participated in his first group ride out in California. Click here to read his report:
Our cycling community was once dominated by a nice guy who liked to rip our legs off, Craig Butler, who earned the nickname "Da Boss". True, he earned other nicknames too, such as "Da Janitor", Da Employee", etc... but I forget what motivated me, at times, to atler the one name that was really befitting the guy. Anyway, this season, other than riding with us a couple of times, Craig has been absent. I was sent this link which describes a 100 mile trail run, at which he finished 4th, The Pine Creek Challenge. Craig told me he'll be back in the saddle with us soon. For the story, click on this link:, it's a good read: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/WRTR-Newsletter--September-2012.html?soid=1102382229380&aid=qXVhUjTrwfg#LETTER.BLOCK7
Danny A, took receipt of a new Trek with all the fancy components but alas, the bike arrived missing a couple of bolts so we'll have to wait until next Thursday to see the new machine.
Paul Stock with helmet cam. We suspected he was recording our mindless comments prior to the ride and intends to use it against us at a future date. John on the right, who put the hammer down on the return via Jug, David Smith who did the same on the left and Mark Rossi.
Shannon made his return as the uber ride leader but following a tri event last weekend, he suffered from dehydration and the docs had not yet cleared him to ride. Around 35 people came out for the ride, kind of light but given the blob on radar rapidly approaching, it made sense that some did not show.
I went on a longish trail run yesterday and surprised at how sore my weak legs were so hoped to find an easier pace with the B group. OK, also did not want to go out with the A group and get blown out the back at the farthest point from the parking lot again. OK, I'm riding in Warm Springs, VA on Saturday and hoped to not have to push it too much tonight. Here, Poobah leads out a group of around 20 from the parking lot.
The first half of the ride was the easy pace I desired and pretty much everyone stayed with the group, as we rode through some light rain. Arriving outside Alexandria, we turned into a head wind and headed back via Jug. Suddenly, the pace quickened and soon after we had picked up Crazy George from the A group, he dropped out of the B group too. Maybe 5 of us survived to the top of Jug but there was some regrouping and we became largely whole again and arrived back in the parking lot with 29 miles, a 21.3 avg and darkness enveloping the parking lot. As I drove out, the A group was riding towards the New Albany sign, thus making it back late in the dusk.
Have fun at KCBC and I've got an assistant ready to file the ride report while I ride around the mountains of VA.
Hmmmm, not sure why the image is so small but the A route is 38 miles, which may be a little long, 30 miles for the B route. Next to last ride of the season so that sucks.
Corvair said she would let me know by 3:00pm if the ride would cancel, having received no notice, I posted the ride was on, then at 3:47pm, she cancelled. Something about rain coming in from the west? and a sore butt from riding too far over the weekend. Around 15 people showed for the ride and rode in light wind and comfy temperatures, following a route developed by Mark C. I'll be back for the last Canal ride this Tuesday and will come up with something creative, maybe multiple loops through the WalMart parking lot or something like that. The legendary KCBC ride is this Saturday and sounds like 8:00am is the official start time. Marty S is rounding up some of the Jets, also for an 8:00am start. Steve O will be there, Flyin Tuna will be there, I'll not be there....riding in VA instead. I have a somewhat reliable back-up for creating the KCBC ride report.
Well, comments have already described my change of plan for the Saturday Tour of Hocking Hills ride. I planned to do the 100 mile route but on the loooong drive to Circleville I began listening to a OSU pregame show and, well, the 50 mile route became attractive. Good turnout for the ToHH and as usual, Mitch O produced a great map and bright orange road markings.
Pepe LaPew showed off a color coordinated bike and clothing.
We shoved off on a glorious morning but nagging at me was the noon start of the game and so at the 50 mile cut-off....I was gone. However, I had an ace in the hole, a century ride out of Granville on Sunday and so showed up there, the group broke up and I spent a fun time riding 104 with Lon Herman, Hannah and I think Wes, an army helicopter pilot. We rode through Mt. Vernon, Howard, Millwood, got on to some of the KCBC route riding over the Mohawk Dam, into Warsaw, down to Newark and back to Granville. Then, to make me even more fit, I played golf on Monday, the first round of the year. Geesh, hard to maintain much of a game playing once a year. Shanked the ball (ball contacts the hosel simultaneously with the club face) 4 times on the front nine and recorded a very miserable 44 but then came alive on the back nine with a 37. May practice and challenge Flyin Tuna's hubby Rod to a game before the end of the year but probably not.
Tuesday not looking too good for the Canal ride but will know more in the morning.
The season is winding down, 7:40 sunset, fewer people turning out for the rides...kind of depressing. But those that do come out are having a lot of fun, at least until they have to climb on their bikes. John and Alyson going through pre-ride preparations.
Poobah assumed that I was the one who placed chamois butter under his car door handle but I have plausible deniability as while there were plenty of witnesses to the activity, no one will ever identify the chamois butter spreader. Tym Tyler, Farmer Mike and Kenda Dave study the route. I'm thinking another new rule should be in place for next year. Those who ride over from the Granville area and thus only ride half the route, are not allowed to take pulls. There is something not right that the full route riders who are marshalling their reserves for the full route, have to compete with those who bug out half way in to the route. These new rules, all of which by sheer coincidence are intended to advantage me, will be posted prior to next season.
Less than 35 people gathered for what is one of 3 remaining New Albany rides. Only 11 shoved off with the A group, including Dave C, Jon M, Muscle Dude, Tym T, new guy from North Carolina, Alyson & teammate, Crazy George, Kristian...who am I forgetting? Most of the balance went out with a strong B group, including Poobah, TriAndrew (making is only visit to New Albany this season), Mick, Dan R, Wes (Tattoo Dude), John Sada, Mark V, Axel, John, Katherine, etc...
Seems like rolling out of New Albany is becoming more difficult. Maybe next season we should shift the start to the "park-n-ride" just east of New Albany on old 161? The A group rolled out at a gentlemanly pace, turning left at Kitzmiller and then right on Jug where the intensity picked up before pausing at Mink and then bombing Mink into Johnstown. Dave C especially pushed the pace up the inclines leading into the town and I silently cursed him, which I do to most people, several times during each ride. Nothing personal of course, arriving in Johnstown with a 23mph average.
We rolled out Concorde to Northridge and I think Alyson and friend popped in there somewhere. We turned left on Northridge and then right on the dreaded Stone Quarry. Through the hills, Dave C and Tym really turned the screws on those of us who are susceptible to getting popped but I grimly hung on to Craig's wheel while silently cursing Dave and Tim, nothing personal of course. We emerged from this very painful stretch, making a right and then staying straight on Dry Creek and a right on New Burg. Heading into the final ramp before the top of New Burg, Kristian waved me through signaling he was done, which coincided with my capitulation too. All I could do was watch, while pedaling weakly, as Dave C, Jon, Tym, Craig & NC new guy disappeared over the top. At mile 21 along this route, this also happened to be the farthest point from New Albany and I didn't relish the balance of the ride.
Anyway, I rode into Alexandria, thought probably turning north to acquire old 161 may be a more direct route (checking the map later, it's not) and plodded on until reaching the parking lot with 38 miles and a 21.3 avg. The first 21 miles was fun, the last 17 not so much. The search crew, who had been assembled to come out to find me, was disbanded.
Wow, 45 miles for the A route, I think 32 for the B route and maybe 25 for the C route. With sunset at around 7:40pm, someone do the math for me on what the average speed will have to be to complete that A route....I think that's like 26mph! Hmmmm may want to think about turning right onto Louden off Stone Quarry, rather than turning left. Shannon will be out of town once again so I will again bring good cheer, sign-up sheets, maps and little else to the parking lot. I am requesting that I be officially designated as "Assistant to the Ride Leader" given my yeomen's service to Shannon.
Nic, fresh off his 1st place finish at a cycle-cross race in Mason this weekend. In the background, Grand Poobah. Once again, GP parks in the space reserved for the ride leader and after ample warning, punishment was finally delivered. Someone placed chamois butter under the driver side door handle while he was out on a warm-up ride. Upon returning to the parking lot, he did not open his car so we patiently waited until after the ride while he was a social gadfly, stopping to chat with anyone wearing lycra shorts. We finally gave up that he would ever return to his vehicle so we took off and no photo evidence exists of his reaction. Next time, we will collect used chamois butter if he fails to honor the parking lot rule.
Muscle Dude and Jon Morgan discuss strategy.
Decent turnout, considering how quickly the sun is setting. Here, on the right, Nathan reflects on the many good times he has had at the Canal rides, knowing this is the last one. Wednesday, he departs for California. He's driving, something he has always wanted to do once, and taking his bike and other important items. Will find an appropriate, multi, multi million dollar mansion with a guest room suitable for my visits. Nathan, make sure my room has an attached bathroom and wine cellar.
So, 35 at the start and after a smallish A group departed, a rather largish B group took off. The A route was 38 kind of hilly miles and just barely enough daylight to get it in. The B route was 34 miles and it too, barely short enough to return us to the parking lot in time. The B group is a congenial group that pauses once in awhile to regroup comprised of a good group of guys. Our average was 19.5mph with 1700' of climbing. Jon Morgan won the sign sprint and was gifted a nice cap and T-shirt from Oxley Financial Services and promptly gave the items away to those in need....I got the cap.
Jon had a wardrobe issue, a large tear in his shorts. We of course all averted our eyes, except for Poobah, who stared longingly. We exchanged the usual good natured ribbing and then, I jumped in my car and drove away. After awhile, it appeared I was being followed! I began taking evasive action to shake the tail, turning into alleys, making U-turns, wrong way on one way streets, gunning it through an intersection after the light had turned and yet I could not shake the stalker. Finally, I turned into a gas station and the car still followed. Oh, it was Jon M, who asked me to buy a gallon of milk for him as he could not enter a public place while wearing the torn cycling shorts.
Way, way out on the outskirts of the parking lot was the Kenda corner. Here, Paul, Janet and Dave had easy access to the Porta-Potties and seclusion so they could change into those Kenda outfits.
Good turnout for the Dry Run ride and Westerville Bike Club does a good job with the road markings and food stops. I rolled out with Muscle Dude, Billy C, Marty, David C, Steve Fields and Tym Tyler. We rolled through the Kenda gang and picked up David S, Andrew C, Jeff S, Alyson & friend. Fast pace but not brutally so and we rolled into Johnstown at mile 23 where Marty & Co kept going. Somewhere short of Johnstown we picked up Rick Miller, John Sada and John Gorrila.
In Johnstown, I ran into Rick Holt, a long time Canal cyclist who has been missing for awhile because of work but also recently got married.
I'm running short of time so I'll hit the highlights....I finished. 101 miles, 4100' of climbing. Ride time was 5:15 with an 18.7 avg. David and Alyson took long, remorseless pulls that put some of our group in difficulty. Alyson has a heck of an engine and can stay up front for miles and miles. Andrew Clayton, having ridden a 200k on Saturday struggled on the back half and despite my urging the group to slow and let him catch up, the two horses were having none of it. Pretty staunch head wind coming back on the long and kind of boring Sycamore Road. Might want to change the route a bit on that last 30 miles and forego the little southern loop prior to Johnstown that causes a very early split between the 100 and 70 milers.
Lighter turnout than last week, at least among the B group, so the "seasoned" cyclist who intended to give some pre-ride pointers decided to let it pass. Here, Betsy, Brian and David Smith sign in.
Nathan on the left, reflects on the many good times he's experienced on the Thursday New Albany rides. This time one week from now he'll be in San Francisco (Pleasanton actually just over the mountain from San Fran) and missing our fun group. Dave C checks in, in the background.
Prior to the ride, Paul Stock gave me two "Pedal with Pete" water bottles (and a T-shirt too) for plugging the ride on the blog. Being water bottle rich, I immediately thought who may need one and recalled that Retro George usually rides with a bottle of Gatoraide or water so I donated one to him. Here, he graciously accepts. Now, the guy really needs a new frame. Someone out there Shirley has a 56cm frame or bike that they want to give to the guy to get him off that steel frame. Come on, step up and help this character out!
Well, the parking lot was abuzz about John Sada's Colorado exploits while sometimes riding with the Lizard Head tour group and sometimes mixing it up with the pro peloton as the tour group followed the pro peloton's route. One person claimed on one day, John started with the tour group's B group, caught the A group, kept going and caught the pros. Another said John had a hired hand along serving as a domestique whose role was to pull him in to each finish town first. Others speculated about what the benefit would accrue to someone who had spent a week training at altitude and is also rumored to have an altitude tent at his home. I don't know what is the truth to any of what I heard but it sure is entertaining. Here, a different John in the foreground, than Christian and Mick signing in.
Unfortunately, all the good times had to come to an end at 6:00, as I got on the bike and shoved off with a group that included Marty, Dave C, Kyle W, Jon M, Gus Cook, Muscle Dude, John Sada, Mick, Ron, Tym & Lisa Tyler, Danny A, Steve Nelson, Steve Fields and a few others, totaling about 18. Not there were Chris G, Billy C and Rich Lewis, who usually punish at the front, so I didn't miss them much, no offense intended, good guys all.
We headed out Jug toward the village of Alexandria and the ride out had an unusually high number of interruptions that included a truck pulling out of a driveway towing a pontoon boat, which caused our group to compress as we skidded to a stop. We exchanged well intentioned remarks with the driver but as I was at the back, I got most of the verbal abuse as the driver passed. Life at the back of the peloton reminds me of what NBA centers say about playing the post position, it's described as "Hell in the Hole". Sure, life at the front is no day at the beach as you are working harder than me but as the intensity builds people start drifting back. There I am, usually the last outpost of the peloton and the back drifters make a final effort to catch on, usually fighting me for that last wheel. Elbows are thrown, helmet butts are common, cursing is the norm, aggressive behavior with one's bike, the surges and slowdowns are more pronounced......it's hell to be at the back.
Anyhow, we arrived in Alexandria with a rather modest average speed of 23 mph. We turned on to Mounts and hit the opening ramp. I struggled but clung to the main group until roughly half way to Hardscrabble Road, I was done. Sada was the first to catch me and we rode together briefly before Steve Nelson came by, at which point John jumped on his wheel. At Hardscrabble, Lisa and Mick came by and I jumped in with them but I did not make the eastern turn on to Battee, instead going straight and riding with John S down to Raccoon Valley Road. We split there and I rode back into Alexandria, out Outville to Morse where I planned to catch the A group coming back through, which I did and enjoyed the ride back into New Albany. Finished with 34 rather than 38 miles as prescribed by the official route and a 21.8 avg.
Forecast for Saturday's COP, Covered Bridge ride not looking too good but don't forget there is Westerville Bike Club's Dry Run ride on Sunday. Sounds like 8:00am is the start time when most will be shoving off.
Terri Biafore, John Martin, John Sada and others attended a tour hosted by Lizard Head Cycling in Colorado, which coincided with the pro tour event. Terri has begun to post her reports for each day, accompanied by fantastic images of the scenery, which you too can view and enjoy by clicking:
Shannon is in New Jersey, hosting an event and so, once again you will be treated to having me as the sign-in & map dude. If the B crowd is anything like last week's, we need to break it up into a "B+" and "B" group. Recognize what are your current abilities and choose wisely the group you join. A seasoned cyclist told me he wanted to address this week's group with common sense instructions for the less experienced who, last week, demonstrated the need for a quick educational message, such as "What the heck were you thinking when you went left of center on #161 dumbass?" and that type of thing. Also note, the return route for the A group includes the steep descent just after the turn off Outville. The bottom of the descent includes a sharp turn to the south after the bridge is crossed. Very dicey so be careful.
Yes, it looked not worthwhile to make the drive down to Canal for a ride, given the rain and imminent rain but there was the Nathan going away party at Shades, with or without the rain. The rain passed by 5:30, radar suggested more rain maybe a couple hours later so, we rode. Our original route would have taken us into the teeth of the rain, that was only slowly moving off to the southeast, but Kevin H came up with a new route going west and then south before a return.
Dustin, Randy B and Steve O gritted their teeth and hung with us, roughly a total of 15 cyclists taking a circuitous route around the countryside before.....
.....heading into Shades. Here Poobah and Flyin Tuna mug it up for the camera. Thanks to Cindy for organizing this event.
Kenda Janet and Paul drove down just for the party, here in the back. Cindy tried to organize a group picture but our side of the table was too busy sampling beer so we obviously had better things to do. Andrew, on the left, examines the contents of his wallet, just after a moth flew out of it. That's Nathan in the middle.
Good times and good food. Wish more people were leaving so we could throw more parties.
Medium hilly route of 38 miles for the A route. More importantly, there is the "Nathan Going Away but Be Happy Cause He's Relocating to CA and Wish I Was Goin Tooooo!" party, immediately following the ride at Shade's Restaurant. If there is a rain-out, we will start the party at 6:00pm. Don't know Nthan that well? come on in anyway and enjoy a beverage and appetizer or pizza.
The Dan Peter's Benefit Ride, Saturday, was well attended, despite kind of a gloomy looking radar and forecast. People were seen giving donations far in excess of the miles they intended to ride and if you decided not to come because of the weather, you can find how to donate by looking back a few posts.
TriAndrew was there, with his son, who demonstrated some bravado when, after being told, "Good luck on the ride today." said, "Luck's got nothing to do with it." Yes, a chip off the old block.
Our group was comprised of Mark C, here with the rain jacket attached to the bike until peer pressure forced him to remove it, Poobah, Dan, Jeff S and Flyin Tuna. Later, Greg Dubois, Kevin S, Rich R and Joe G caught up to us and rode along too. A few miles into the route, we turned west on Carroll Eastern Road and soon, heavy rain ensued, drenching us but with the high humidity, it hardly made a difference. To the south and west, the skies were much brighter so upon turning north and seeing a sheet of rain and dark grey, some of us stopped, reconnoitered the situation and decided to go off route.
I began to get nervous that our pace and decision to go off route would cause me to miss the OSU game so at some point, I departed the group and a good thing too! After getting back on route and rolling into Amanda with 31 of the 32 miles that those that stayed on the original route had logged, I enjoyed a Monster while talking to Todd Mullins, Nick & Gary V and others. Meantime, Mark C had a flat, Poobah reminded Mark that he should be using Kenda tires, then soon after Poobah had a flat and Mark reminded Poobah he should be using a different brand, Jeff S had cable problems, a three legged dog chased the group, etc.... These guys finished with around 67 miles, some time prior to darkness.
From Amanda, I took generally a straight shot back to the parking lot via Hamburg and finished with 46 miles and arrived home 5 minutes prior to kick-off.