Saturday Ride & Updates
Saturday, from Carroll, OH is the COP Fall HOOT ride, beginning at 8:00am from the high school. Distances of 30 and 72 miles. If it is the same route that Grand Poobah created, you will be amazed at how you can ride 72 miles around that area and have few steep climbs but a very good route. $5 for COP members, $10 for non members. I regret not posting this sooner.
Farmer Mike about to go kiteboarding with Marty. For Marty, it's a bit of a come down considering.....
...a couple of weeks ago he was doing the same in far different circumstances in France. Speaking of weather....
....there has been a tropical low spinning southwest of here and for 4 consecutive days, its been pushing moisture into the area and with it rain. Not area wide and not everywhere but every day cells like the above have dropped precip, canceling one hike and one ride. In fact...
.....I have seen more rainbows this week then all of my other visits combined. Kind of a weak one above but have seen a few double rainbows and many single ones.
Friday, my wife wanted to go for a hike so we visited Sabino Canyon, walking along the tram road until we hit a trail that took us higher to the Phoneline trail and a return with a modest 4 miles. Big hike Saturday though.
Views to the west from the Phoneline.
Romero Pass Hike
The group hike to Romero Pass was cancelled due to rain. The rain passed by 10:00am and I got out for a hike and then decided to do the Romero Pass hike solo. It begins from Catalina State Park and crosses a broad wash that when full from monsoon rains, is quite the spectacle.
The first half mile follows a sandy trail until the mountain emerges from the desert floor and then it is steeply up.
The well worn trail is easy to follow as it continues to rise until abruptly dropping to....
....Romero Pools at mile 2.75, a popular day hike destination. Some good swimming spots up and down stream but now the trail grows more faint as few people go beyond this point, higher, higher and....
....higher. I can hear the stream far below as it cascades down the canyon. Meantime....
...the trail is over grown and while not really difficult to follow, I hate not being able to see where my feet fall. I have not seen anyone for several miles and my pace is slow as I walk, aware that I would not be the first to step on a rattler and receive a bite for the intrusion. I hope higher up the elevation change will bring a change to the trail conditions.
Since the trail visits a pass, it will be some where between peaks. To the south I can see Cathedral Rock way up there.
At mile 5, the trail drops into the canyon beside the stream to a named camp site but name is forgettable so I forgot it. Onward I walk.
Check out the burgundy color on this plant. I've seen there before but not often. The plant really stands out.
At mile 5.5, the trail drops into this boulder field and the destination, about 1 mile ahead, comes into view. I turn around here, not interested in hopping along a dry stream bed filled with boulders. On the way back....
...I am treated to fine views to the west and make it out unbitten and no mountain lion attacks.
Thursday New Albany Route
Time trialing to the east and back again. Ought to be a fast one.Route A/B 22 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16885255
Route C 15 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16885350
The last Thursday evening ride of the season. Wow, that went fast as usual. Stay upright gang.
Peak 5020 or is it 5024 or....
I was buried on a waitlist for a group hike when an email popped in from the group leader, "Mark, don't worry about the waitlist. Come out and hike with us." How nice. But, the start was 6:00am and a 90 minute drive so I thanked him and told him I'd probably start around 6:30 and maybe catch them at the top. Above, the sun rises and casts its light over the valley as I prepare to shove off from the Miner's Camp Restaurant parking lot...a back way into Lost Dutchman State Park and the west end of the Superstitions.
Yes, if you've followed this blog for awhile you've seen this before but today's destination is not the Flat Iron there in the middle but a peak above it, off screen to the left. The marvelous Siphon Draw where I caught the back end of the group of 15 and the group leader, David, who was sweeping. I kept going.
Steep and then really steep higher up. I reached a group of 5 and they asked if I was Mark. When I said yes they told me David said there might be a guy who would catch us, walk through us and see us at the top. It's nice to have a rep and I kept going until....
...at the top of a 12' wall, I sat and waited for the group to catch up.
To my left was the Flat Iron but again, not where I was going today. The others arrived and we took the group pics while a woman wanted to know if this was the lunch spot...no.
We began the next segment through towering hoodoos. At one point, a woman....
....kind of collapsed on the slope of a flat boulder. Clinging but unable to go up. A guy put his hand on her butt and shoved. It worked, she thanked him and he said, "It was nice to meet ya." funny moment. At last....
...we reached the peak 5420 do designated because of its height with Superstition Peak in the distance. Not every peak has a name.
I ate an energy bar, drank walked to the east end of the peak and looked...
...to the east. Gawd, how fabulous. Weaver's Needle above the standing woman.
I talked to a guy who was carrying a very neat hand gun. It shoots different rounds, one for maximum impact, one for snakes, it can shoot a flare, kind of a hiker's special. We took more group pics and then the same woman asked if this was the lunch spot. Ugh. I told David I had NCAA football games to watch and....
....made my way through the hoodoos and then on down where towards the bottom....
....looking across the west faceing slope I could see people hiking the Crosscut trail. Good day but my legs were beat. I did an easy ride on Sunday, took Monday off and now to Tuesday and the hike to Romero's Pass, a 14 mile hike.
I don't cycle much in the fall but there was a group ride on Thursday that was labeled as a C+/B so I thought that would be perfect. Of course it was a rocket start with a B+ pace that included going over Gates Pass. Later we stopped at Saguaro East National Park for water and then headed up Picture Rocks Road. As we approached one of many rises prior to the actual top, we saw a white suv parked off the opposite side of the road pointing toward us. Without warning, it pulled in front of us doing a U-turn. No lights mounted on the top but as it turned we could read the Park Ranger symbol on the side. We slowed to avoid running into the back while a member of the group through up a hand. The ranger pulled off the road and told us to stop. She claimed we were exceeding the 40mph speed limit (I wish going up a freakin hill) and that we failed to pull over when she was in an emergency situation (no siren, no lights, nothing). What complete BS but we for the most part swallowed our tongues and moved on, finishing with 45 miles. Then Friday....
...I drove to Sabino Canyon to do the Blackett's Ridge fitness hike. It starts flat but with about 2 miles to go, gets exceeding steep while finishing with 2.80 miles to the ridge. I do this each visit to see how my time compared to previous visits. The day was partly cloudy but clouds built as they often do in the mountains while the valley stays sunny...well on some cloudy days which are rare. As the climb began, it was spitting rain and soon it began raining harder.
By that time, I had too much effort invested in the hike so was determined to persevere as the cloud burst moved up canyon to my left. I ran into a hiking buddy so that gave me a rest as I stopped my Garmin to talk. So while I had a very good time to the ridge, that rest period no doubt gave me an advantage. The good news is we scheduled a great hike for 10/5.
In the above image, you can see the rain moving farther away and it remained dry for the balance of the day with brilliant sunshine later. Looking into Sabino Canyon far below...
....I could see one of the trams that departs the visitor center every 20 minutes (lower left) making its way up the road where it eventually turns around at a dead end.
Saturday Ride for you Ohioians
A Gus Cook production from Gus Cook LLC, 8:30am from in front of Starbucks. I think some of the survivors of the tour of France will be there to entertain you with stories. 50-60 miles.
Arches National Park
We stopped in Grand Junction, CO after driving 25 hours of which my wife grudgingly participated in about 30 minutes of that prior to nodding off so I fired her on the spot. I survived being in the passenger seat when previously she fell asleep while driving but doing it twice....the odds are not good. We, well I, drove south to Arches National Park just about an hour north of Moab, UT. There is a 14 mile drive inside the park and very cool. We first stopped to do a 2 mile hike to see the above and....
...above again. Retraced our path drove a bit more to the....
...Balanced Rock. You should see it in person!
Later we parked and did kind of a strenuous hike of 1.5 miles to this natural antitheater where lots of people were standing to wait in line to have their pic taken while standing in.....
....the Delicate Arch. Dang, that is awesome. We hiked back and drove, well I, south and how bout that....
....passed the Wilson Arch!!!!! Not a relative as far as I know. We, well again I, kept going south. The sky was overcast as we approached the turn to Canyonlands. I looked to my right and my wife's head was down, dozing.....I kept going!!!! The way to do this is not drive from OH to tour parks in UT but to fly to Salt Lake City, rent a car and then drive around the state touring parks. My butt ached from sitting, I was tired of driving and then it began to rain as we....
...cruised by Monument Valley. I've been here before and of all the parks I have visited, next to the Grand Canyon, the visual impact is 2nd best. Unfortunately it was not only cloudy but raining kind of hard. We stopped at every town to check in to a hotel but all were booked. Finding nothing in Tuba City, AZ, I made the snap decision to keep going south and arrived in Oro Valley, AZ at 1:00am, Monday. Good to be here and while groggy, I got going with activity and will report on that soon.
Thursday New Albany Route
Rick has made it official, this evenings route is the same as last week's route. Sorry for the late posting but I just found out.
The Drive to Arizona
I was informed by the higher power that I was driving, rather than flying to Oro Valley, AZ and oh, we'd be taking the long route and checking out some national parks. The drive from Ohio through Kansas is rather boring. Kansas has to be the least interesting state through which to drive but on the other hand, I've never driven through Iowa so I could be wrong. Even eastern CO is boring but then the Rockies loom into view, through Denver and then....
...the western side of the Rockies, way cool. Emerging from the mountains, we soon arrive at.....
.....Arches National Park about which I will have much more tomorrow. From there we stopped in Moab and ate at.....
...."The Spoke" restaurant and visited the.....
...Rim Cyclery. They had 15-20 proprietary designed cycling T-shirts and jerseys. I like that!!! Great shop. I looked for Garth Prosser but did not find him but in his place are thousands just like him. Seems like every other business that lines the street is something like "Adventure Bike Tours". Must be dozens of them. Bunch more to come including the Thursday route and weekend rides and a lot more about the drive and arrival.
The Knox County Bicycle Challenge (KCBC) is Saturday and begins in Gambier with people rolling out between 7:30-9:00am. . Ride the beautiful hills of Knox County with marked routes of 30, 60, 75, and 100 miles. Snack stops and sag support provided with a nominal sign-up fee at day of ride registration. Gambier Community Center, 115 Meadow Lane across from new Kenyon College athletic facility.
Then there is this interesting option to the south, called the Pawpaw Double Nickel ride. OK, only 55 miles but a great route. Ride start is in Albany, southwest of Athens and begins at the 2016 Pawpaw festival. Bikes begin rolling at 8:30 and there is no cost to riding. https://ridewithgps.com/trips/6473857
I suspect Gus will have a ride from New Albany Startbucks at 8:00am but I have not seen anything to confirm.
All things considered, not a bad turnout for a 25 mile route. I'd say about 35.
The always color coordinated Scott Billman sold his red bike, a 6 pound heavier one for this Trek, Project One version so the 6 pound loss compelled him to ride with the Riveters.
While Cookie Lady missed the last week's group photo, she made it to this week with Peggy and Milt. I have been unaware of the important role Milt plays in the confounding calculus of route decision making. Rick talks to Milt, Milt calculates the daylight minutes and maximum miles available and then Rick chooses the route. I officially nominate Milt to be next year's ride leader, assuming Rick's absences indicate he has abdicated the throne.
Prior to tonight's ride, the women in front coasted to me and asked if I was the C ride leader!?!?! I told her I completely understand why she might think so but no, it was not I. The usual C ride leader is touring wineries in CA so right now I wish I were him. I rounded up the group leaders and bade the Riveters farewell. A small group that included rarely seen Rich Lewis. Not sure what were Rich's expectations but like so many, the Riveters chewed for awhile before spitting him out the back.
Our large A group rolled out with some former Riveters including French Climbing Machine in our midst. Around 22 of us plowed a furrow east.....
...via 161 into Alexandria. With a head wind from the east, we arrived with just a bit over a 22mph avg. Then we hit Jersey Mill where Paul Djupe took over and set a torrid pace. I slotted in behind a tall dude to maximize drafting, of course. Unfortunately, he dropped out but I was able to cover the gap and kept churning. Then Mick and another guy dropped out creating a 2 person gap which I filled with great difficulty, pulling in behind Logan. I was of course, gassed and after a few pedal strokes, had to drop out too. Fortunately, I was close enough to the 310 crossover that I could reengage with the group who had eased up a bit. With the tailwind, even dropping out of the draft, I still hit a Strava PR for the climb so that says something about the influence of the wind. We approached the left turn on Beaver and I could see Paul sprinting up the ramp as I was braking to make the turn. I had a sinking feeling and sunk back too far to cling with the group. I soloed for awhile before caught by Ian and Eric and we finished together with a 22.3 avg. Meantime, the Riveters finished with an average over 23.
The route for this evening. Come out and help set a new land speed record .
Route A/B 25 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16594995
Route C 18 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16595035
Riding with the Canal Gang!
I needed a change in scenery so I drove deep into the south to check out the Southern Rebels and their kin around Canal Winchester. They breed like rabbits so next year a new crop of cycling talent could emerge. Bears some watching.
The Grand Poobah was describing his exploits at the Tour de Doughnut ride last Saturday.
Pretty good turnout, around 25 but when the A group was called out, no one moved. Large group of B's though.
Keith on the right. Strong for his age of around 72 or just plain strong.
The wonderful ride leader Ric Noland of Cyclist Connection. Tirelessly works his craft during the day and then almost always makes it to the ride or sends one of his shop lieutenants. The opening of his second location is soon. Big thank you for providing maps and routes every Tuesday.
We listen to Ric's announcements and then head out on a very flat, 30 mile route that at one point put us on a road so newly paved that they finished just two hours prior to our arrival. A fine sand like material was kicked up, swallowed and presumably digested over time by the wheels in front of us. Good idea to keep the mouth shut during this mile portion of the route. Since there were no A riders, the Super B group, comprised of all B's, was 19-20 strong.
We went north toward Pataskala, a little east and then south, finishing with 30 miles and a 20.5 avg. The pace was surprisingly moderate and the group watches at all intersections to make sure everyone makes it through prior to ramping the speed. Kinda enjoyed it.
As many of you know, Marty, Jon, Luke, Lori and Patrick W are in France, riding around the countryside where day time highs in the lower elevation are in the 70's but higher, for example at the top of Le Col D'Izoard, it is much colder. Our group of Yankees were involved in an epic ride today......
At mile 30 the group stopped for drinks but there was some recalculating as there may not be enough daylight to do all 90 miles and 13,000' of climbing. Oh and the weather at the top of the climbs was rainy and windy.. Soon the group split with those going the longer distances and climbs eventually having problems with hypothermia and having to hire a car for the return. Along the way, Lori achieved the 8th best climb among Strava users on the D'Isoard. If you follow Jon M on Strava, his complete story can be read.
A decent but not great turnout for the COP Covered Bridge ride. Probably the strong winds and chance of thunderstorms kept a few away. Wow, this season is limping to an end for me. Frankly, the only reason I came was to.....
....catch a look at another great bike introduction. Kenda Janet poses behind the "Red Bike". First Marty's White bike and now we have this unique machine. Check out the wheel set and it is a climbing machine.
People had been rolling out since 7:00ish but at 8:00am, our group, got in with some others and headed out of Canal Winchester. Our group had Steve O, the Kendas, Flyin Tuna, Mark R, Larry & Lisa, Brent Jenkins...hmmm hope that caught everyone. The wind was one of those events where it seemed it was always buffeting you from in front or either side but never from behind. That there are those who completed the 100 mile route, wow. I began thinking of turning around while still within the city limits. After slogging up Slough and the Pickering Road humps, we turned east on Lithopolis Road. I spotted Plummer Road to the left. The left is a way back. I took the way back. 22 miles total. A week from today I will be headed west and am really looking forward to a change in scenery and activity. Will definitely hike the Grandview Trail into the Grand Canyon, a first for me and lots of hikes and a few rides with reports for each. The ride postings, especially for Saturday's, will go on. Looking back on this season, I should have taken a week or two off in July when burnout really struck. I had to push myself to attend most rides since that point and that was no fun.
Saturday Ride Options
The big one on the calendar is the COP Covered Bridge tour at 8:00am from Cyclist Connection in Canal Winchester. Members of COP pay $5, non-members pay $10 with multiple route options of 35, 50, 75 and 100 miles. I have it on good authority that tomorrow is Kenda Janet's maiden voyage on her new Masi. The bike represents a technological advantage that will propel her into the top ranks of the peloton so be there to witness the unveiling.
Now, there is also a Gus Cook Enterprises organized event departing from in front of Starbucks in New Albany at 8:30am, headed to Utica on a 60 mile odyssey through the flats and hills of northwest central Ohio. Described as "conversational pace" which means only B to B+ or higher fitness levels need apply. This is where the cool people will be while the great unwashed, probably like me, will be in Canal Winchester, unless I get a late start to the day.
Larry P and Flyin Tuna. Larry had a birthday a couple of weeks ago so Cindy and I invested in a special gift for someone who has distributed more banana peels than a herd of monkeys. Of course, monkeys distribute their peels indiscriminately while Larry prefers the exterior or even interior of fellow cyclists cars. Note the understandable wary look by the gift recipient.
A plastic banana protector. What a great idea and I have to grudgingly give credit to Cindy for the idea but without my financial assistance, it would have remained in China (freight & duty was a killer). Larry placed it in his jersey pocket, with banana inside and we'll check in later to see if the protector worked.
On to the next big event but first checking in on a bike fix...looks to be doing ok.
Some of the ladies had purchased, at the urging of Kristie Boltz (cookie lady), CAF kits and had planned to wear them this evening and surprise Kristie. Alas, Kristie was out of town but the show must go on and now we are patiently waiting for Katherine who is stuck in traffic. I move on, planning to come back for the official pic taking.
Kristian and Katherine just came back from an 8 day back country canoe trip in Canada. Opps, Katherine just rolled in so....
...all together for the official group image. Too bad Kristie missed it. Note Peggy was wearing the CAF shorts.
The group was small, maybe 35 in total with only 6 in the Rivet group, Shannon, Travis, Ken B, Dirty Dan, Pete B, Kyle Z and with relatively small A & B groups, we combined those and rolled out....
....with around 28. The route was posted late, around 4:00pm and some of us had already planned to do last week's route so there was some confusion but we got things squared away and got onto Rick's 30 mile route. Note Steve Hewitt will not be at any of the remaining Thursday rides so there will be no COP sign-in sheets, just fyi but I expect Rick will continue to post routes. Maybe even do so on Wednesdays?
The pace was pretty moderate out 161 to the right turn on York and it seemed that everyone kept up, which was not the case with the Riveters who got down to a core group of four, red clad, Audi teammates, eventually finishing with a 24mph avg. Our group had a bit over 22 avg at the York turn and then things got spread way out through the York rollers and ensuing miles on Hollow Road where the cross wind did its thing. I got in with a good group of.....
...Hector, Kristian, Larry P, Deniece, Kim, Milt, Dan R, Rick and a couple others. We finished with a 21.1 avg. Now how did that banana do.....
...perfect. What a great gift.
Fall Challenge Ride
It appears that Columbus Outdoor Pursuits will not organize the traditional CFC event this year. However, Rick Miller is interested in hosting a similar event either on October 15th or 22nd. It would be a one day event departing from Granville, following a route to Marietta with a return back to Granville via plush, chauffeured drive prior to the kick-off of the Buckeye game at 8:00pm. The vehicles depart from Marietta in staggered times so you won't have to wait around for the last cyclist to arrive. The field would be limited to around 30 cyclists. Price yet to be determined. If this sounds interesting, contact Rick and let him know at email@example.com
Wow, that was fast. Daylight seems to diminish by many minutes each day, distance we can ride is diminishing and the quantity of cyclists is dropping fast. Tonight only 8 but a quality group of Gus, Ron, Ian, Koji, Aaron C, Rick, Eric and me. One thing that has not diminished is the heat or humidity. Too few cyclists so few opportunities for taking pics. We decided on a route that would shave a few miles off the traditional route of 37 and so at 6:00pm.....
...we were headed out 161 at a modest pace. At 6:05 I began to lose interest. At the left turn to 310, I left the group and soloed back to the parking lot. Pretty boring report but this Thursday, you should be there as there will be something special going on, more than that I am sworn to silence and no, I am not joking.
Saturday Ride to Breman
Over time I have noticed that the Kendas prefer to put on some clothing while seated on asphalt rather than while in their car. I interpret it as a testimonial to their toughness. Many of us came to this grueling ride because we thought Janet would unveil the new Massi bike but alas, it will be one more week of test rides, tinkering, adjustments and fine tuning. Maybe this Saturday.
Decent turnout of around 25 including new guy in the center, Marty, who has recently moved from Dallas, TX. He has previously experienced winters up north so that which arrives all too soon will not be too much of a surprise. Now I have some bad news, at this point, my camera battery died so all the embarrassing pics I usually post of you will have to wait until the next ride. What transpired in the following 25 miles was plenty of ups and downs until....
...we rolled into Somerset where I got off one shot before the battery breathed its final breath. Steve O, on the right, set a new Strava KOM on the Fairmont Road climb while Brent J, on the left, was part of our gang that headed back to Heath from here. Along with Brent, Farmer Mike, the Kendas and Scott E joined me on the 50 mile route that did, as planned, permit me to catch all but the opening kick-off of the OSU game. I hear the rest of the crowd made it around ok too. On Sunday I went for a modest 4 mile hike and then surprisingly, got the urge to ride on Monday so rode around the neighborhood where I paused at the Lazy R RV place on Dry Creek Road....
...where the film crew is still camped, apparently still filming scenes for the Willis movie.
COP's Roving ride, hosted by Flyin Tuna, departs at 8:00am from Hoback Park in Heath, OH. Maps at the start with links to routes below. If you are a Buckeye fan and want to watch the game, join me on the 51 mile route.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15895870 51 mile
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15895297 72 mile
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15894621 84 mile