I was invited to join a ride called, "John Morgan's Saturday Ride" last week our of New Albany but was warned the group was still riding "race pace", which seemed odd for late Ocotber. I figured I would show up, grab a map, ride with them for a couple of miles and then fall back and enjoy the off-season base riding pace (slow). No maps so I suffered through 43 miles of way too intense riding but the upside was everyone was a Buckeye fan and wanted to get back in time to see the game. There were 9 of us that morning includig Crazy George riding a new Massi bike, (a gift from John the Dentist), Farmer Mike, the Dentist, and a few others I did not know. John told me he, George, Mike and others were riding 5-6 times a week, still! So, John called me a couple of days later and invited me to join the gang for a Thursday afternoon ride from Rick Miller's house in Utica. Rick of course is the former owner of A Gear Higher and repairing bikes from his van and barn.
So we gathered, George, Mike, John, Rick, new guys Steve, Marty, Daryl and Gus until a call from home required him to depart prior to the start. I'll describe the route in greater detail than normal because it was easily one of the hilliest rides of the year, covered many new roads, memorable climbs and would make a great training route. Again, for late October this route and pace were sheer madness but 3-4 of the group are preparing for the Horrible Hundred in central Florida.
Typically, my excursions are north/south when riding out of Newark or Granville so going east/west exposed me to new roads. At the start, we headed out Utica road before going east on Bell Chruch all the way over to Purity on which we made a right. Rick had intended to make a left on Pine View but the road was closed so we continued south to a road named Houdshell, a broken pavement, pock marked scar of a road with a wall that measured 22% on my Garmin, 24% on somebody else's computer. About there I began franticaly searching my vast database for the appropriate excuse to cut the ride short, although I was hanging in there in the middle of the pack but come on, it's OCTOBER! We made a right onto Rocky Fork Road and then a left on Pinewood Trail which has a very long and steepish climb. Next was a right on Reform and a right on Smith Chapel but instead of taking the quick turn to the right about 50 yards in we stayed straight on some county road until making a right on Floyd Boyer Road where a bus almost ran us over. We turned left on #79 and into Wilkens Corner and a small store. At that point I had 24 miles and 2200' of climbing and a strong desire to make the start of the Granville Wildwood Park ride at 4:30. Rick gave me directions to get back to Utica which was much flatter as they were to hit Techniglass, Loches and other monsters. Ended up with 36, arrived at Wildwood to catch Jeff S and Cindy and join them to finish the day with 58 miles.
Incredible Cycling Stunts
Check out this link to see a British guy performing "impossible" stunts with his bike. Especially jumping up a wall, balancing before riding the length of a narrow fence, riding up the trunk of a tree and doing flips... Amazing. http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1137883380?bctid=21337502001
Encore Presentation on November 12th!
There will be a second showing of Race Across the Sky on November 12th. Tickets go on sale on the 6th. Locations for showing not yet known. I may use this as an excuse to hit the Greek restaurant again.
Race Across the Sky Movie
What a great evening for a bike movie. The little promoted “Race Across the Sky” which chronicles the Leadville 100 mountain bike race was very entertaining with great scenery, a couple of human interest story lines but thankfully mostly about the 100 mile race with 14,000’ of climbing. First, we gathered at Feta Greek Kuzina restaurant in Pickerington for some great Greek food. There were Rick H, Steve O, Butch, Peggy, Cindy, Mitch O, Eve & Norma. The best line of the night was when Eve, observing Steve’s midsection said, “Steve, are those love handles?” That Eve. Later, at the theatre lobby we saw Kevin H, Craig B, Mark R and a smattering of wives & kids. Probably at that point there were 17. Anxious to acquire a good seat, I nervously watched the clock as we continued to talk, before finally heading for the movie at about 5 minutes prior to the start time. Wow, other than our core group, there were only a couple of other people already seated.
Well, those that would have liked the movie but were oblivious to its one-time showing, missed a great movie. OK, the Q&A at the start and end with the 5 principal characters (Armstrong, Wiens, Brown, etc..) was a little tedious and long but once the “action” started, wow. The length and elevation gain of the route is hard enough but the weather and trail conditions added a degree of difficulty to an already brutal challenge. 1400 people were accepted but at the start, they parted for what were expected to be the main protagonists, 6-time winner Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong. Accounts of the race are found at various cycling news sites but seeing it unfold on the screen, even if you knew the obvious outcome (Armstrong setting a course record and finishing almost 30 minutes ahead of 2nd place) it was still fun to watch. Should be available on DVD soon. To see a nice movie trailer, go to raceacrossthesky.com.
Afterwards, ran into Craig Butler and he described his current training as he prepares for a 30 mile trail run race at Burr Oak in November. 30 miles not 30k. Craig is running 60 miles on trails each week.
Thursday Afternoon Granville Ride
Weather may permit the very first running of the Granville Afternoon 4:30pm Ride, Yeah!!! Ahem, however, I will be there with maps for a 30 mile ride but because tomorrow evening is apparently the only showing of what looks like a fabulous Leadville 100 movie, I am meeting some cycling buddies in Pickerington and won't be able to ride. Anyway, should be a decent turnout of cyclists and again, I'll have maps and maybe doughnuts at the start.
The moderator of this blog asked Jamie Robert's to describe his experience and he kindly allowed it to be posted here.
I have mixed feelings on the subject. On the plus side, given current fitness, today went as well as it could have. I ran 1:33 flat which is a PR by 3:40 (last one was 1:36:40). I never had a really bad patch, and ran consistent miles though fading over the whole run. Fastest mile was about 6:30, slowest probably 7:20. While that's a pretty big gap, the 6:30 was mile 2 and down hill, and the 7:20 was mile 12 and uphill. The middle 6 miles were all 7 min miles +/- 5 seconds. I can't be more precise because I lost my watch and don't have lap times, other than the official 10k split ... the rest is from memory of when I passed each mile (they had elapsed time clocks for each mile).
On the negative side, it wasn't what I was hoping for, which was 1:29:59 or better. The organizers had an official 10k chip timed split, and that was 42:48, which is a PR by 1:30 over my best 10k race. So that's good. And actually, the 10k split is very close to the 1:29:59 goal. I think at that point I was just 1 second per mile off goal. The 8 mile split was around 56 mins flat, which is also a PB (not a PR because I've never raced an 8 mile). It was at that point that I knew I couldn't beat 1:29:59 (I think I needed to be 54:56 or better).
What I've kept kind of quiet is how I've been injured for about the last month. Back in mid August I hurt my achillies running out at Dawes. I kept running though, however by September I had to cut out tempo and all but 1 speed work run because of the pain. Then just two weeks ago, I hurt my right knee. In July and August I had been up around 40 to 42 miles per week...last two weeks I did 16 and 4 respectively (not counting today). Not sure how much this hurt ultimately. I think without injury I may have been 2 mins faster ... still short of my original goal (maybe too aggresive of a goal?)
The knee surprisingly held up for the race, and for the first 9 miles I didn't notice it at all. However going down in to German Village, and then back up High out of GV, it started hurting and got worse. By time I ran past mile 12 and Mark VH (who was a volunteer and cheering for me), I was hurting pretty bad. I managed to run consistent, though I did fade from 10k on. I don't think I ever ran slower than about a 7:15.
As I sit here typing though, I can barely walk. The knee is hurting very badly. I'm going to stop running until November 1, so about two weeks. In the meantime, I'll do spin classes during the week, and maybe some light cycling on weekends weather permitting. Assuming I heal with no issues, I'll pick up running again, start around 25 miles per week, and see if I can't get to 50 or 60 per week by March. All easy runs (~7:50 or slower). If I hold up, I'll introduce tempo and speedwork for March and April, and then see if I can't tear up the Cap City Half on May 1. On the other hand, I may eat all winter and return to my flabby self. Below is an image of me measuring myself last year. I think this will turn on Amanda and Cindy, probably Peggy too, heck maybe even Craig.
It was said by one of our brightest that the popularity of a ride leader can be measured by how many cyclists appear for an event bearing his or her name. And so, on this glorious morning, we gathered in droves for Jeff Schleup’s Granville Roving Ride, all 9 of us. There, were Steve O, Tuna, Canal Susan, Dentist Brad, Jeff S of course, Rick Holt and 2 other guys I did not recognize. The weather was the usual thick broiling layer of clouds, 37degree temp and threat of drizzle(or perhaps flurries). After mounting our bikes, Jeff guided us through a warm-up of perhaps 200 yards before me headed up Thresher. Suddenly, all those layers of clothing began to feel too much but felt ok again as we coasted down to New Burg and out into the country.
When riding, mentally drifting off is always a bad idea because of the constant threat of dogs, potholes, cars, squirrels, erratic steering by the unskilled and you never know when a deer may make a beeline through the group. When riding with Steve O, there it is also wise to stay alert for the frequent hocking and spitting which is usually not very well aimed (or is it???). I was riding behind him and out in front of the others when after glancing up I saw, like a hook extending from a fishes mouth, a particularly dense stream preparing to take flight on the wind. Having had practice at this sort of thing, I checked for oncoming traffic, abruptly steered left of center and managed to avoid the projectile.
The pace was somewhat relaxed and kept 7 of us together all the way to Utica. So I could return in time to watch the OSU debacle, I turned back to Granville with the others set to continue on to Bladensburg and pancakes before heading south and then west on the brutal Loches and Techniglass roads. Brad and Susan ended up taking the 45 mile loop and I think common sense prevailed and the others did a workaround that cut the miles a little and avoided some of the hardest climbs.
Sunday’s ride out of Canal at Cyclist Connection was well attended by the hardy who can hack the cold weather, For the first time in recent memory, I did not follow a route that included names like Savage, Revenge, Snortin Ridge, Reynolds, etc… as we followed a flattish route to Millersport and back for 50 miles but with a nastily brisk wind out of the northwest.
He Who Quit Cycling to Run Update
Jamie Roberts, who some of you may still vaguely remember, came out of last winter in prime condition and blitzed the peloton's of New Albany and Canal (when Da Boss wasn't there) and became such a dominating cyclist it earned him the name GroupKiller. Then, having accomplished all his goals (grinding me into dust) he suddenly retired from cycling in July, proclaiming he had fallen in love with running and was going to train for a half marathon. Well, the race day approaches and on the 18th, he will compete with a goal of 1:29:59 or better. Apparently, his training runs are producing times that are putting him on track. Jamie is far, far too modest to promote the outcome, if favorable, so I'll let everyone know. Craig Butler is also training for a 30 mile trail run race coming up soon and I'll try to pry information from him as well.
The link below takes you to a 5 minute movie trailer for an upcoming showing of the Leadville 100 movie, the content of which covers this year's event, won by Armstrong. Fantastic scenery and very good content in the trailer.
Thursday Evening Ride & Tuna Flu
The new Thursday Granville 4:30 group ride got off to a troubled start. First, Jon the Dentist left a voicemail telling me he, Retro George, Farmer Mike and another were riding in the morning because of the forecast for rain in the afternoon. Then, the ride leader, Cindy B, let me know she was home with the Tuna flu, something less serious then H1N1 but also worse than a typical cold virus. I grew weary of listening to her litany of symptons and had to hang up. Still, the forecast had remained steady at only a 30% chance of rain, despite a green and yellow blob bearing down on us according to radar. I arrived at Wildwood Park at 4:00 and spent the 30 minutes until ride time watching a guy hit golf balls. Still no rain so at 4:30 I shoved off and at 4:35 the rain started. I headed back to my car and packed it in.
Thursday Rides For October
Beginning on October 8th, and then again for every Thursday, Cindy B is hosting a ride from Granville's Wildwood Park at 4:30pm. We will take advantage of every shred of daylight to ride as many miles as possible with maps provided. All levels of cyclists are welcome. Judging from the response to an earlier email notice, I was surprised by how many people are able to make this time. The Park, site of an infamous winter ride earlier this year, is on the main street of Granville on the west side. On Thursday New Albany COP rides we cruised by it all the time.
It was proposed that we start later for Saturday's Fall Hoot and so a few of us, Mitch, Jeff S, Cindy, Steve O and Kevin K, showed up for a later 9:00am start and the promise of a relaxed pace. Many had departed before us and it appeared the turn-out was good despite the promise of 15-25mph winds and perhaps even some rain, which did not materialize. It's surprising how temperatures in the 50s seem so cold when coming out of summer.
At the sign-up, a seminal event in the history of route markings was revealed. Dave, rather than painting mileage markings at the turns denoting a 30, 55 or 77 mile route instead used the lettres "S", "M" and "L" (short, medium & long). This way, if the route maker gets out there and discovers a bad road or other conditions requiring a change to the route, he is not required to find a workaround that yields the mileage markings on the road. Dave calculated the final mileage, printed it on the maps next to the S, M or L. Cyclists could combine a S with a M. a M with a L to create other mileage options. Brilliant. Roy was at the sign-up providing managerial expertise and it appeared he and Dave combined for good sign-up crew.
We headed out on what was a very hilly route with climbs up Savage and Revenge and many other significant climbs. My computer had not taken an overnight charge so I'm unsure of the elevation gain but the route we took was 55 miles.
Towards the end of the ride, I paused to take the above image of the new pipeline that started in the Rocky Mountains and ends in easter Ohio. This $6.7 billion project is nearing completion, sadly, as is the cycling season. But many of us will soldier through the brutal cold, wind, ice and snow of winter to keep riding. By the way, Cindy is hosting a Thursday late afternoon ride, starting at 4:30 from Granville's Wildwood Park. That will give us at least 2 hours through October and ride mileage that maximizes the available time. Maps will be available with multiple distances.
The FFC award (Fastest Female Cyclist)--New Albany goes to Cindy B, THE Flying Tuna. Despite always seen shoving copious quantities of calories into her mouth, Cindy some how (maybe it was the new bike) rose through the thin ranks of female cyclists to emerge #1 in New Albany. Runners Up--Ginger (you needed to appear more to qualify) Eve (you needed to ride faster to qualify) Dennis (you needed an operation to qualify).
FFC-Canal Winchester award goes to none other than Amanda, who, besides riding a bike kind of fast, also rides other inanimate objects as shown above. Amanda, who prefers to go by the nick name "Fast Panda" or "Hot Mama" achieved the award as fastest female cyclist despite working two jobs. In all seriousness, riding as strongly as she does is a heck of an accomplishment given the hours she spends driving or working. Runners Up--Peggster, Steve O.