I made the long drive to Canal W. to cover the final Tuesday evening ride. Driving south I passed through a couple of rain showers and pretty much decided not to ride, until several people shamed me into getting on the bike. Above, Pete Ashmore with arms clasped closely to retain some body heat, with Matt A on the right and Brent in the foreground. It began misting, it was cloudy and felt like 40 degrees but was really in the 60's, strange. I dressed like it was in the 40's and regretted it later.
What a steady diet of Mt Dew, chocolate and chips will do to you. Mark C still says calorie intake has nothing to do with weight gain so we'll see how he looks in the Spring.
Brian on the left, Rick on the right, two guys that rode the A route while most took the measly B route.
I was told tonight's turnout of around 25 was among the largest this season. It must have been the party at Kingys that brought them in. I wanted to join in the after ride party but a reporter should not get too close to his subjects. It could cause me to cast something less than a critical eye at their activities.
Some of the C group gather to watch and listen as Andrew......
.....makes his final announcements, including that he will not lead next year's rides so someone needs to volunteer to step up. Grand Poobah in the middle, a new job as a consultant at Anchor-Hocking keeping him south for the rides, including the leader of this Saturday's Fall HOOT, a COP event.
So, the A's were asked to go....silence and no movement....then the super B's and everyone but the C group departed. A good group of B's including Dean, Rex, Matt & Pete A, Poobah, Mitch O, Brian, Rick, Corvair, Mark C, Andrew, Dirty Dan, the Rossi tandem, etc... about 18-20. There had been some talk about taking the 18 mile B route and when we arrived at the B turn on to Amanda Northern, most went north except for the men of the peloton who kept going on Marcy for the 21 mile A route. Suddenly it occurred to me, I was riding the A route so therefore it was the A group and looking around, I decided I could hang with these guys. What the....my last chance to start and finish with the A group for the season. Brent, Pete & Matt A, Brian, Rick and 1-2 others stormed on.
I made sure to cover every gap, including Pete A's very sneaky break prior to the "S" curve on Waterloo, well by covering I mean I drafted behind Rick who covered the gap. We did pause a couple of times to allow some laggards back on because it would not be a good idea to leave someone way out there as darkness swiftly approached. Arriving at the parking lot, I hit the button on the Garmin and stopped it at....20.5....ok, not a Thursday New Albany quality ride but all you can do is ride with those that show. And now, the central Ohio cycling scene casts its eyes to CA, where Marty and friends are competing in the Levi Leipheimer Gran Fondo. Will it be yet another podium finish for this underrated Cat 3 cyclist? Also, again, the COP Fall HOOT, weather and OSU kick-off permitting.
Luke and Marty during the warm-up ride on Saturday. Below, the results from Sunday's event and below that, Dave's image and message and then Luke's thrilling description of the ride. Leaves you on the edge of your chair in anticipation of the end.
At the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo, Ohioans Taylor Kruse, Marty Sedluk and Luke Russell swept to the top 3 spots. Note too that Lori Neduscu finished 3rd.in the female division while inhibited by a crash (she's ok). Others doing well are Dave Chesrown, (3rd in the short Alpine Loop route), Gus Cook, Philippe, Bob Swoga, Steve Fields and Rick Miller.
Dave Chesrown on the wheel of Team Sky's Joe Dombrowski. Dave says, "He later burned me off near the top of the climb. His pace was social and I should have been able to hang on but just don't have the fitness with the lack of rides this year. I did catch up on the decent and rode with them until 2 miles from the finish, slowed up by cramps. It was an epic weekend and a highly suggested bucket list adventure for any avid cyclist".
It was a big ride, with around 600 participants for all routes, nearly 400 in the Gran Fondo. A star-studded peloton (including pro riders Joe Dumbrowski, Jeremiah Bishop, and Ben King) set off at an easy pace for the first 20 miles to the base of the first KOM climb. Taylor shot off ahead and flew up the first part of the climb, while I rode with Team Sky's Joe Dumbrowski for a while, side by side. Pretty soon, I saw that Marty, who was riding near the back of the peloton, has zipped through the crowds to pull up alongside me. We decided to ditch Joe and hold a steady pace up the rest of the climb, pretty soon we were passing people left and right, and near the top, had Taylor back in our sights.
We caught Taylor on the descent and the 3 of us made our way up to the big pros like Ben King (first up the climb) and a small group of others. Everyone stopped at the first rest station at 30 miles, and Taylor, Marty and I decided not to linger, and headed out to the second climb (1400 feet of gravel road at 9% average grade). Taylor, having incredible MTB skills, flew up the climb no problemo, as Bob Sowga and I rode up together. At aid station #2 (40 miles), Taylor and I paused together and saw Steve Fields, who hadn't stopped at aid #1, but not seeing Marty, decided again not to linger too long, and set off to the next set of climbs. This 20 mile stretch was perhaps the most beautiful bike riding I have ever done, through country roads with no traffic, up scenic climbs past farms, river valleys, and Shenandoah mountains. Taylor and I held a fast pace that no one else could match, and arrived together at the 60-mile aid station where we were told that we were currently 1 and 2, with no sight of anyone behind.
We fueled heavily on bananas and water because the second KOM climb was coming up soon. As we were getting ready to leave the aid station, a group of 3 arrived. Curiously though, still no Marty. Taylor and I arrived at the base of the second KOM while the organizers were still setting up the timing equipment. This KOM was 3200 feet of gravel climbing and 1000 feet of gravel descending, all built into one tough KOM climb. Taylor and I played leap-frog with a truck carrying the timing equipment for the top of the KOM as they stopped to take photos and then dusted us heading back uphill. I lost contact with Taylor when I got a flat about 3 miles from the top and after a few minutes of playing Mr. Fix-It, was passed by one of the 3 chasers from the rest stop and... Marty!! He asked if I was ok as he sped by, determined to catch the guy ahead.
I fixed my flat and slowly moved along, now losing motivation as I was sitting at a paltry 4th place with miles of pot-holed gravel ahead of me. Eventually the gravel ended and the road crested on a stunning overlook of the Shenandoah. as I headed down the (thankfully) paved descent, the timing truck drove up next to me to say that there was a right turn ahead, and that he hadn't had time to mark the route yet. I passed where the final aid station was supposed to be, but I don't think they had set anything up yet. We were too fast for the event. With around 15-20 miles to go, I caught the guy who passed me on the gravel KOM. he told me he was the current world master's time trial champion after winning in Austria, and that he had no idea how far ahead Marty was, but FAR.
I put the pedal to the metal knowing I was now sitting comfortably in 3rd place and dropped the TT champion. a few miles down the road with some hard riding into the wind, I saw what looked like Marty's jersey up ahead. I kept gaining but it took me about 5 miles to actually chase Marty down, and we rode the remaining 10 miles together to the finish, just 2 minutes behind Taylor who took the cake at 6:33. Eventually, when the TT champion finished, he told me that he could not hold my pace on the flats, I was too fast for him to draft.
For many, this weekend is the COP's Columbus Fall Challenge but for an elite few, it is instead the Aspen Gran Fondo. A seat opened up on the 6 seater VW bus that Marty is driving and he offered it to me but 100 miles, 12,000' of climbing and all I have on my legs is 67 miles as my longest ride for many weeks? Love to go but geesh, that would be suffering on a level I'd rather not visit. Marty, Steve Fields, Dave Chesrown, Philippe, maybe Luke are going. Apparently the event does not track overall time but instead times the hardest climbs.
I coerced one of Marty's personal business cards from him. Intentionally I have obscured the details because little people like you should not know these things but with this card, it will open doors heretofore unavailable to the unwashed, like me. I will start with the Hooters at Easton and work my way up. A busy weekend for me to be sure.
I was informed that fashion rules require that cyclists wear a sock with a 4-5" cuff. Unsure of what I use, glancing down I was relieved to discover I am fashionable, at least with this one item. Billy C is likewise in fashion but....
....Jon Morgan is not. Look at those tiny foo-foo socks he wears. He was in the running for "Best Dressed Cyclist of the Year" but not after this. Well, not sure where or if I will ride this weekend. I am obligated to be at CFC and have been invited to a cookout afterwards on Saturday but don't know.
What a welcome sight, Billy C arrived from Greenville, SC, to visit family and slotted in with us. Just like old times. Billy is a Cat 2 and an unofficial domestique for a pro cycling team that trains in the Greenville area. He'll be at the Hincapie Gran Fondo in October. Tonight we had 3, Cat 2's in the group, maybe a record for one NA ride?
I don't know these guys and I don't know why I don't know them. They've been at several of the Tuesday NA rides, as well as some Thursday NA rides. Well, there's always next year as we bade farewell to another season of entertaining Thursday New Albany rides. I thoroughly enjoy the parking lot scene pre-ride and so too does everyone else. OK, once on the road it's fun until I get dropped. It's now been 2 seasons since I hung all the way around with the A group. Is it age (check), is it genetics (triple check), is it equipment (ok, no check), is it lack of miles (check), is it weight (quadruple checkaroo), is it lack of motivation to put in the miles (check cubed and cubed again).
Correction from last week's report. I identified Hendra and Nick as both being 22 years old but was told they are 21. Also, Nick wanted it known that while he and Hendra are both Cat 2, Hendra is the #1 rated Cat 2 in Ohio. Will Hendra be yet another super strong OSU student who once graduated, moves on? He'll end his OSU career soon so we'll see.
New guy just arrived from MI, Pete on the left. Warning bells immediately began ringing. It fit the, "New Dude shows up on cyclecross bike and kicks our ass" scenario. He wanted to meet the strong cyclists so I introduced him to Jon. Too bad he arrived on our final night but, ya know, there is always next year.
The sun was intense so many sought refuge in the shade, of which, considering the angle of the sun now, there was plenty. It was as if the sun was already setting before we even shoved off. Philippe, foreground in orange/black, already contemplating how he'll do at the Aspen Gran Fondo this weekend. For the French Climbing Machine, it is just a couple of bumps in the road during a 100 mile bike ride.
Rick Miller called us together, made a few comments about this ride, the season and next year. He received a rousing round of applause and cheers for his effort and warns he will be back next year. Meantime, join the Cycling Club (www.thecyclingclub.org) to get on the email list.
Surprisingly, a large turnout of 55-60 with 22 in the A group. As Billy C coasted by, he said, "I'll use every trick in my book to keep you in the group." Nice but I told him he didn't have enough tricks to get that done and besides, I rode over so was bailing in Alexandria. Geesh, strong group and as we jetted out Jug, I told Philippe, "This is going to be a really fast ride." He said I was only stating the obvious and gosh, was I.
We reached the S curve on Jug and then barreled east but it was not too hard and Marty commented about how nice it was, brilliant sun, light head winds, nice temp with low humidity and just a great bunch of guys and gals (Lori and Maya). It don't get no better than that. We reached 310 on Jug and paused as part of our group got held by a car and then once regrouped, that cyclecross new dude went to the front and hit it hard! A bolt of lightning would have been hard pressed to keep up (excuse the hyperbole but you get the idea). Cyclecross dude began drifting to the back until reaching me, clawed his way on to the group and I clung to him.. We reached Alexandria with a 24.1 avg....yowza. I was spent and only the pause at 37 kept me in the group and no way was I going east on Raccoon Valley Rd so instead, headed north on 37 and then east on Moots......
......stopping at the top of the climb to see who had survived to that point. There was Billy C leading the group to the apex of the climb, then a gap and.....
.....the freakin cyclecross dude! Geesh, who is that guy and what a fine addition to the group for next year. He led this group back up to the first but finally dropped back on Outville Road Looking farther east, wtf.........
.....Marty Sedluk chasing? Actually, he had hung back to try to bring someone to the group but failing that, went solo and caught back on to the group. The leaders finished the 32 mile route with a 23.9 average. Reaching home, I had 33 miles and something a wee bit south of their average.
And so it ends, the fun-filled, entertaining Thursday New Albany ride. Sad to see it go but fear not, the content continues with weekend rides and in a couple of weeks the scene shifts to Arizona while I still post about the sad little people who are stuck in Ohio. There will be "Special Reports" on Flyin Tuna's retirement as a government office drone and the start of the "Roving Rides for Retirees", the Luke v Marty battle at the Hincapie Gran Fondo in late October, the Levi Leipheimer Gran Fondo, and of course, the annual (although I skipped it last year) piece for announcing the "Cyclist of the Year", "Best Dresser", "Worst Dresser", "Best Newcomer" and many others. Then I return and become a sad little person in Onio in December. Lastly, a survey will be conducted (1st week in January) to determine if I should keep the blog going. This allows you, the reader, all 2-3 of you to vote, "Yes keep the stupid thing going" or "No, quit wasting my time by keeping it barely interesting and causing me to come here." Throughout, you can find cycling, hiking and cross country skiing events announced here. Oh, yes, here is the ride info for tonight and remember to thank Rick for being there every week except when you were blessed to have we as a sub:http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
The above letter is but one of many that have been sent to the judge who will decide the sentence of the driver who killed Joe Giampapa. The author of the above asked that I withhold his name but asked that I use it as an example and to encourage others to create their own letter and forward to the address shown on the above. I have thought of Joe often and miss his endearing personality at our rides. Joe's closest friends and especially his wife Thelma, continue to struggle with the loss and a letter, such as the above, sent on behalf of Joe is welcome by them.
Large turnout for the KCBC ride out of Gambier, OH. How many mornings remain on the calendar where you shove off at 8:00 with nothing on but the usual shorts and jersey? Oh sure, there were a couple of constitutionally weak types who had to pull on arm warmers (insert eye roll here) or a wind breaker (insert even larger eye roll here) but they were rare. We ascended the hill into Gambier and then plunged into the valley. Soon, I lamented not having a pair of arm warmers.
The sun being so low, we flashed into and out of areas of shade and sun frequently, bordered by vast swaths of corn, as we followed a rolling route, oblivious to the building wind out of the SW. There was the Rossi tandem and it made me wonder whatever happened to Grand Poobah, who used to spend hours behind the Rossi tandem.
Around mile 25, we pulled into the first food stop. Above, Frank S, Steve, Hendra and Eva surround the table while Marty looks on, probably nibbling on a kale/lettuce mix that he brought from home.
Benton, in the black/white kit center right, claims he is the fittest Ecuadorian and even rejected our invite to ride with the slow bunch. Instead he wanted to ride with Marty, Hendra and Philippe and he did, for awhile, before dropping back to ride with the Frank Seebode group. Marty on the left, lingering for too long while watching Mark C eat copious amounts of snacks.
Corvair, eating and watching.
Eventually, we shifted our attention from the food to the bikes, remounted and soldiered on to the east, still oblivious to the wind, building and building at our backs. Gosh, I so wanted to ride the century route but I had dog watching duties and so at mile 30, made the left turn on the 62 mile route and thanked myself over and over on the return into that fairly strong head wind. Below, our Stella being chased by my daughter's Doberman.
The next to last NA ride of the season. Yet another one at which I was glad to be present to document the facts and when that was not interesting enough, supplement where needed with fiction. Usually, the facts were better than the fiction. How could I make up what happened to Philippe during Sunday's Roll ride? Broken wheel in middle of nowhere, no cell service. Farmer comes along and asks what is the problem. Farmer takes Philippe to farm, opens a barn and there are bikes and bike parts everywhere, including wheels to fit a 10-speed set-up. Philippe rides off and rejoins the ride. Finishes and drives back to farmer to exchange wheels.
Marty announced he and others will be dominat.....errrr....riding the KCBC, rolling at 8:00am and all are urged to join.
Peggy Cook, stylin her new jersey. She and Gus were on the ground in Europe for 17 days and get this, rode for 14 days! Now that is an ideal vaca in my world. Also got in some hiking and sightseeing.
Rick rode 93 miles earlier in the day so just came out for the sign-up. Kind of a smallish turnout of 40-45.
The cyclists were anxious, riding around the parking lot, eyeing the setting sun but 28-34 miles before they could put their bikes to sleep. Rick called us together and then.....
....sent us out with Marty in the lead. I think 18 in the A group which included Gus, Chad, Hendra, Nick, Kyle, Brandon, Luke R, Philippe, Retro George, etc....
We rode out old 161. Now there is a potent pair, couple of 22-year olds, both I think Cat 2's, Nick and Hendra. We turned left on Kitzmiller, right on Jug with a light wind brushing us from the NE. I made a point to get behind the big fella, Luke Russell, to maximize drafting opportunity. We buzzed through the "S" curve and rocketed eastward before turning left on Clover Valley, right on Miller, I survived the other "S" curve on Miller and welcomed the brief pause at Mink before proceeding and soon arriving at Caswell. Making a left there then a right onto a newly paved Duncan Plains but quickly a left on to the gravelly Caswell and it's long climb to Johnstown.
I somehow clung to the bunch all the way to the top where my buddy Luke flatted but assured us he had everything and so the train rolled on, making a right on Concord. Here, Brandon pushed the pace and I began leaking oil and hydraulic fluids and had to drop out, just shy of Castle Road, with 13 miles and a 22.7 avg. What luck! Castle is where the B route departed the A route and better yet, there was Chad and Gus just ahead. Only Chad made the right on to Castle so we quickly formed and ham and egged it back to the parking lot, motivated to stay ahead of the B group and did, finishing with 28 miles and a 21.7 avg.
Meantime and meanwhile, the A group began to disintegrate under the intensity as Hendra and Nick took turns turning the screw to the group. By the return on Raccoon Valley Road, only Marty, Hendra, Nick, Kyle and Brandon remained and soon Kyle and Brandon dropped out as Hendra, Nick and Marty put in a huge gap to finish with 34 miles and a 24mph avg. As I was leaving New Albany, I saw the threesome, two 22-year old, Cat 2 racers and Marty, riding comfortably alongside, a mere Cat 3, somehow.
Well, here ya go. We're down to 34 miles with sunset at 7:30. Check the Cycling Club web site for full details and remember, print your own map: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
The Tuesday Cycling Club group ride. We begin to gather. I'm always curious to see how many show up when daylight is a diminishing commodity. Tonight's sunset was 7:37.
Retro George demonstrates how Lisa A crashed on Saturday. A small stick popped up, lodged between the tire and brake pad and over the handlebars she went. Such a bad thing for such a nice person. She should be back out soon.
Craig, Gus, Jay and around 12 others, giving us 15+ for our ride. I rode over as usual, looking back several times to see if I could catch a ride off Tym but alas he left late, arriving later than usual. We shoved off.
Geesh, reaching Jersey Mill Road, note the long shadows so soon after departing. Unbeknownst to us, we had left Benton and Larry at the light in New Albany. to their credit, they caught us in Alexandria because we had smoked 161 before easing up on Jersey Mill. From there, I headed home with 35 miles.
Whoa, wish I had participated in the previous 3 Roll rides but only for this one did I receive one of the coveted invitations. You have to be someone or know someone who is someone to find yourself in the parking lot, preparing for a ride on a rather chilly Sunday morning with a 41 degree start temp. Above, Gus showing off one of his new kits, purchased while traveling Europe.
Get this. The sign-up process was painless too. Initial here, there and sign and I was good to go. Roll provided nice que sheets with a color front, the route was marked, food stops, food at the end and all for no charge. After today, I am compelled to drive to the nearest Roll store and buy stuff even though I don't currently need anything.
Phillipe in the background. The French Climbing Machine is up for the "Newcomer of the Year" award and a welcome addition to our peloton. After moving from Texas, I have my doubts he'll survive our winter but wish him luck.
I wish I had taken more images but I spent most of the time looking at what others were wearing. It takes me a couple of cold weather rides to settle in on what I should wear. Most were not wearing ear covers, some wore tights, some did not, some jackets so I made a final wardrobe change and as it turned out, guessed well.
We shoved off, behind a lead group of 10-15 led by Rick Miller. Our group, about 12, contained elements that made me confident, in time, we would catch Rick's group. Our group contained Hendra, Marty, Luke R, Lori, John Sada, Phillipe, Katsu, Steve Fields and others. The pace was one to keep the group largely intact and so Rick's group dangled out there even upon reaching Amanda and beyond. We made a right on Hamburg, a right on Meister and soon after crossing Hopewell Church, the catch was made and we became one large group.
There was a shortish, steepish climb along Meister and there at the base of the climb, someone crashed, apparently because he just hit some road slime. We continued on, a long line of cyclists, eventually reaching Clearcreek and then turning on to McDonald and that nasty climb. A couple of guys challenged Hendra and some thought it funny, wondering if the two had any idea who they were chasing. Predictably, Hendra reached the top first. Then we turned left on to Clearport Road and around mile 23, hit a gravel road that wasn't bad if you stayed in the wheel tracks. I found myself behind someone with little experience on gravel and we quickly lost the group, which was ok considering what came next, a big climb on Clearport and soon thereafter, the turn for the 107 route. I stayed straight of course, hooking up with Benton, the fittest Ecuadorian I know, Blair and a couple of others.
So far, the roads had been very familiar but from Middlefork, we passed the traditional left on Blue Valley for a left on to Carroll, a road I am certain I never previously rode and gosh is there a good climb there. Then we got on to Clapper Hollow for the descent down to 180, eventually climbing out of the valley for a left on 374, past Cantwell Cliffs before descending the ridge line via Starner and a brief stop at Clear Creek for water and bananas. This was a "climby" route so naturally we went up Snortin Ridge before coming right back down via Rich Hollow, up Revenge where it is always good to pass the prison and wave to my many family members who are staying there, down Christmas Rock and eventually back to the parking lot where we were treated to a bountiful display of food. OK, actually I did not go inside but later heard Roll served smoked salmon and many other delights. Good thing I did not go in as I would still be there, eating.
Pete C and Jon Morgan, probably discussing how they are going to put it to the marginal players at tonight's ride. Would be fun to be part of the strategy sessions, "Pete, let's let the cannon fodder hang until Wadkins then we'll pound them." "No Jon, I want to turn the screws on them right from the parking lot. I love the smell of panic in the evening."
Wow, what a difference a week makes. A "cold", windy and cloudy evening brought the arm warmers and tights out for some, although it was 69 degrees at the start. However, compared to yesterday, it was chilly.
Kristie just returned from a grueling ride out west, something like 200 miles and 12,000 of climbing. That's all well and good but when will she bring out more baked goods? Just once she has presented us with a post ride snack and that was a Tuesday, never a Thursday.
Good turnout, maybe 55. After looking at the route, I decided to ride over since the group would be within a couple of miles of my house at the Outville Road turn.
Among the crowd was Gus and Peggy, speaking fluent French after their weeks in France. Once the pre-ride announcements were made.....
.....22 left in the A group, including Hendra, Ron B, Ken B, Muscle Dude, Marty, Pete, Jon, Benton, Crazy George, Luke R, Lori N, Phillipe, Jon H, John Sada, Jason, etc...
We paused briefly at the Beech Road light and blasted off with a fairly strong wind coming from our left, north. The group went from two abreast to a single line and I found myself behind Phillipe, the French Climbing Machine, who was sitting comfortably to the right of someone on the asphalt's edge. Surprisingly, maybe shockingly, I maintained my place in line, in the wind, taking comfort that maybe someone was able to draft off me. Once we got through the 310 light, Hendra lit things up toward the right turn on to Watkins. As we slowed to make the turn, Ron B rocketed to the front, smart move and I too was in good position so survived the ascent to Morse Road. Then we continued toward Weslyn Church and in there I spit the bit, forming up with Benton, John Sada and one other guy. As the group turned on to Weslyn Church, we kept pace with them, seemed to gain a little but then the afterburners were lit by someone and our goal was toasted. At the time, my average was 23.5 so you know, not a slow pace. As the 3 turned north on Outville, I bugged out and headed home. Later I heard the front group finished with a 23.6 avg for the 38 miles.
The weekend has a good crop of rides, Frank's OFC, the COP Hocking Hills ride and on Sunday, Roll's Rockmill ride and John Martin's ride out of Granville.
Well, well, well. A certain member of the peloton, inspired by Lori Nedescu's historic ride of last week proclaimed to me that he too will make it around with the A group, having never done it before. I told him I would alert HFT Racing Man and put a quick end to that idea but promised him anonymity even though I am sorely tempted to out him. After looking at Rick Miller's route, I can see right away my friend's biggest challenge will be on an innocuous little street by the name of Thresher. Hang in there and the left turn to the top of the hill and he could do it. We'll see. Anyway, the sun is dropping so rapidly that only 38 miles for the A route. Be careful, you don't want to be way out in Granville, riding utterly alone if dropped from the A or B group. Here is the link to the Cycling Club page for all the routes: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
The day began like most others, turning this into.....
....this. I know what you're thinking, a sophisticated guy like me probably has an upright splitter and merely has to roll a log into it and let the machine do all the work but nooooooooo, it is with a maul and my spindly cycling arms that do the work. I am hopeful it gets cold enough this weekend that I can start burning some of the many cords of wood stacked around here. It's less than a month before I'll be basking in the sun in AZ so come on cold temps. I've got wood to burn.
The Navajo Nation rec department called me to say the permit for which I applied for the Salt River trail that leads to the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers has been declined for insufficient payment. They raised the fee from $5 to $12 back in April but did not update the on-line form so would I be so kind as to send another money order for $7?
I was late getting on the bike for the ride to the New Albany Tuesday ride behind Veloscience. About 3 miles into the route, Tym Tyler pulled alongside and after exhausting the conversation I could think of nothing better to do then pull in behind him and ride him like a pony for about 12 miles. Arrived in plenty of time to gather the valuable information you rely on me to gather and post here. Don't press me to provide any examples of my assertion it just sounded good.
The Tuesday New Albany route is the same each week. I don't mind because I take different routes to ride over there and then it is always fun to talk to the usual suspects before riding out 161 and bugging out of the ride in Alexandria. Having the same route each week does not require an official ride leader who has to plan routes and all that accompanies that. Just show up and ride. However, tonight, Jon Morgan did the inexplicable, he decided we would ride the route in reverse. That suggestion had many of us blinking our eyes in shock. It took a few minutes for us to get our hands around the concept. You mean we can ride the route in the opposite direction? Why yes, let's give it a go. We departed as Doug McConaha and Joe scrambled to get ready, running a bit late.
So, upon reaching Mink off 161, we turned left, then right, eventually going up Caswell in to Johnstown and east on Concord, arriving at Northridge Road at what had been a moderate pace that kept everyone together. Only 12 of us on the ride and the last ride will be the last Tuesday in September. At Northridge, I turned right while the group continued on to Hardscrabble. I finished with 43 miles.
Ric Nolan of Cycllist Connection greets us as we arrive to sign in. The dog is friendly toward everyone although it did growl at me. Seemed like a kind of light turnout for the ride. It's poor service to not make the GPS file available prior to the ride. Everyone downloaded a previous year's version and discovered that route differed from the 2014 route.
Pepe Lapew (brown jersey) made a rare start due to extensive work related travel. Pepe can only dream of executive travel such as Kenda Janet enjoys. Pepe rides prop planes to near-off destinations and eats at Pancake House, Waffle House and House of Pancakes wherever he goes.
We roll out with Steve Oxley casting an eye back to see if Dustin joined our group and he did. Dustin is conflicted. He wants to run the Columbus marathon but is not training for it nor signed up for it. Steve's weight loss goal has been met and is under 160. He said he wants to get down to Flyin Tuna's weight but I told him he is already well south of that.
Marty, Luke R, Steve, Dustin and Ted M got away from us and we cruised along for awhile before deciding to regroup after coming through the Rockmill covered bridge. The Rossi tandem had a mechanical and decided to head back to the parking lot. Later we heard they had identified the problem, called Ric Nolan and he drove the part to them and fixed the bike. Now that's great service. Those who remained, rolled in to Amanda to stop while Andrew Clayton fixed a flat. Naturally, as we waited, some of us hit the market including.....
.....Mark Clingan who loaded up on a Mountain Dew, Hershey bar, Gatorade, etc... Mark claims there is no correlation between calorie intake and weight gain. This explains a lot.
As we passed the time, Larry P and Lisa A showed up and they joined us, briefly before heading on. Soon, I lost motivation to ride and joined Pepe, Pepe's friend and Denise on an abbreviated route back to Canal and finished with 47 miles. Marty and some or all of his group finished the 100 miles in 6:05 so they did not hit it too hard. I planned to participate in the Dry Run on Sunday and kind of did, riding from my house on to the route, riding it in reverse for awhile before going off route and finishing with only 40 miles. Returning home, I cut down more dead ash trees and had a good fire going when Tym and Lisa Tyler stopped. No amount of persuasion was getting them off the bikes to help me stack wood. They put in a 110 mile effort.
The story of the night was Lori Nedescu, forefront, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, first I have to take a few good natured but well deserved jabs and make the usual insightful insights on the comings and goings of our parking lot scene.
Dirty Dan, attempting to set another personal best Strava segment. Dan has 3-4 different loops he does in the parking lot prior to the official ride. Someone told me Dan has two Strava accounts, one under "Dan" and one under "Daniele" so he achieves both KOM and QOM crowns, obviously most in the QOM category.
The cars line up with the cyclists to their rear, getting ready, including Nick, way in the background who races now as a Cat 2. Dang, the group Is so strong, so unlike what it was just 3-5 years ago when ordinary schleps ruled the roost.
The sun was intense, the humidity was high and the shade was welcome. Frank, in the middle.
The crowd builds, in the shade. I forgot to count but around 55-60 at the start including.....
.....Terry Griffith is back in action. There was some talk about the Columbus Fall Challenge (9/27) and the Ohio Bicycling Challenge (9/13) but so far, there doesn't seem to be the interest there once was in either event.
Rick Miller called us out of our shady spots and we emerged to listen to the comments before being sent off with Marty leading us out. Eighteen in the A group highlighted by Hendra, Terry, Chris G, Pete C, Marty, Ron B, Benton, Lori, Ken B, Nick, Jason, Brandon, Phillipe, Bart and a couple of others.
Upon a pause at the stop sign, we hung a left on a route that took us far to the north to avoid the setting sun on the return. Upon reaching the #62/Central College stop, which is always a bit chaotic at the light, we crossed and discovered a brief section of pavement had been removed but soon our tires were on normal pavement and with that, Pete C and Chris G two-timed us, working us over pretty good as we went north on Bevelheymer, west on Fancher and then a long pull on Miller Paul. I was behind Ron Budzig which is a mistake because he is too skinny for drafting (see last week's report for context) and Marty was again to my rear, distracting me because even though he did not say anything this week, merely the anticipation of a question had my mind wandering. OK, I could not hold the wheel and out the back I bolted, at mile 8, sad I know.
Looking back, there was Benton, not doing as well as usual, and so soon we hooked up doing a slightly abbreviated route and finished with 31 miles and a 20.7 avg. Meantime, up ahead, way up ahead, the group thinned but Lori N clung to the lead pack and while doing so, set 7 (yes seven) QOM Strava records. She, Marty and a few others stayed together and finished with a 23.3 average and 42 miles. I don't keep track of such things but I can't recall a woman hanging with the lead A group in a long time, at least not since the New Albany A group achieved its current status of badasses on bikes. Way to go Lori.
By the way, the COP Covered Bridge ride is Saturday and I hear Marty is organizing a group for an 8:00am start, which is when most people will depart, weather permitting. See the www.outdoor-pursuits.org website for more information.
Well, the routes are getting shorter and shorter but look on the bright side, at least we still have daylight in which to ride as we run the clock out on another season. Click the link below to find links to each of the 42, 32 and 25 mile routes. http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/