Cutting and Cycling
I missed the Saturday ride. Was it because I was afraid Steve and Jeff would throw me to the ground and give me a noogie? Ah, no. A neighbor had 19 acres of forest selectively logged and once the tree trunks were removed, gave me the opportunity to go in and cut as much as I wanted before the commercial guys come in and took the balance of the tree tops.
If you enjoy cutting, this was nirvana. There were huge oak, sycamore and maple trunks taken out. Probably 80% was red and white oak.
I cut Friday, Saturday and after riding out of Canal on Sunday morning, cut more Sunday afternoon. Cutting is the fun part, hauling and stacking not so much fun. A cord of wood is 128 cubic feet and by the end of Sunday, I had close to 4 cord cut and stacked.
Windy evening for a night ride but the actual winds were somewhat less than the forecast winds and too, the actual temperature was somewhat warmer than the forecast temperature, especially as the evening wore on into first the 7-o'clock hour, then the 8-o'clock hour and yes, even the 9-oclock hour. Flyin Tuna opined, when asked if she was going to participate in the night ride, "Are you guys nuts!?" With 20/20 hindsight I can't escape the fact, it was a really dumb thing to do. Even my wife uttered this not infrequently spoken opinion when I returned home, "That was a really dumb thing to do."
Jeff S had a tricked out bike with 3 front lights and a powerful strobe light in the rear. It appeared the bike had been reinforced with steel plates to withstand rear impacts from cars too so that was good. I was told there would be extra lights if my light failed to charge as expected and so, Jeff nicely stripped one of his lights and loaned it to me.
At the start were Steve O, Jeff, Amanda, Adam and Rick G. Rick G is an interesting story. He's been participating in the Sunday Canal ride and wears very baggy shorts and a very baggy jersey and when too chilly, wears an enormously very baggy jacket. Poor fashion sense or perhaps just modest about wearing tight fitting clothes? No, at 64, he claims to have ridden two century rides each week since March and in so doing, has lost 50 pounds this year to go with the 20 he lost last year. Down to 190, he wants to get to 165. That very baggy jacket was a very tight fit last year, as were the jerseys and shorts.
There are a couple of things different with riding at night. There is no map because you can't see it to follow it anyway. Shortcutting opportunities are out of the question, especially when there exists the possibility the loaned light didn't have fresh batteries. The field of vision is very narrow, confined to the width of the headlight so any animal crossings can only be seen at the last instant, just before you pinwheel over the handlebar, etc... Anyway, we shoved off getting onto Waterloo, then Slough, turning right on Sitterly, where I took this image with the sun on the horizon. By 6:45, the sun was below the horizon but giving off enough indirect light that only by 7:00 did we really need the headlights. We arrived at Amanda Northern via Ridge and followed that to Amanda where I took the Night Time Stop Sign Sprint. Todd would have been proud of me..
Here, Adam waves goodby to the sun. Note he is riding close to the centerline. Adam is a good guy who for some reason, enjoys riding left of the centerline at night, playing chicken with oncoming trucks.
We rolled into Amanda and stopped. So far, the ride had been fun, probably because we could still see the road and surroundings, including a herd of deer that had crossed in front of us on Ridge Road. We had 20 miles with a 17mph average. Steve had told me last week's average was 15 so I assumed we would head back to Canal, in the dark, averaging around 13mph. Seemed the prudent thing to do. We headed out Sand Hill Road at a fairly high speed. This being my first time riding at night I had some trouble orienting to the unusual environment but tried to focus on the stadium powerful light attached to Rick's bike. We got onto Rock Mill (yes, the return route was kind of hilly) and it seemed the pace was kind of high but I could not see the screen of the Garmin to confirm. Probably the speed seemed higher because of the environment but as Steve and I crested the hill at Royalton, I asked, "Aren't we riding kind of fast?" No answer.
We stayed on Rock Mill and got onto Lamb. Traffic was picking up as we neared Canal and I noticed that frequently, oncoming cars tended to drift toward the centerline, probably because the drivers were fixated on us, trying to figure out what we were. I also began to wonder, given the time of the day, how many of these drivers had a couple of "pops" before getting in their cars or trucks.
We came around the sharp curve on Carroll Southern and approached the left turn up the steep ramp on Coonpath. A truck approached from behind. Steve and Jeff put their arms out signaling our intent to turn but that assumed the driver could see us. I stayed on the right berm while Rick and maybe Adam began to turn left. The truck went into the other lane to pass and some of us yelled "Car passing!" I thought those guys were going to get hit when the truck suddenly stopped. An idea began slowly forming in my mind....this is really dumb. Riding at night on roads shared by high speed cars/trucks is an added risk I don't need. We got onto Lithopolis Road, turning left on Benson and staying on that road to Amanda Northern, then Salem Church and into Canal via Waterloo. We ended with a 16.6 average, 1900' of climbing and 41 miles.
The Pumpkin Ride
Good turnout for the fun ride to Circleville's Pumpkin Festival. I had a legit reason, for once, for shortcutting the route, with a 1:30pm appointment to begin the agonizing picture taking process prior to my daughter's wedding. The wedding came off without a hitch, as did the reception. But, back to the action in the parking lot, including Recumbent Dude's sign that helps prevent him from forgetting the wheel.
Todd Lee, looking to the south and Nathan, looking to the north.
Tim F called us together to give the last minute instructions on where to park in Circleville, what pumpkin theme food is available and when he mentioned the availability of pumpkin Whoopie pies......
.....this dour looking woman lit up like a Christmas Tree.
We shoved off at an off-season pace with SuperDave, Grand Poobah, Tuna, Nathan, Kenda's Janet & Paul, Steve O, Jeff S, Canal Susan, The focus of this ride is getting to Circleville asap so the route was fairly direct, down Cedar Hill, over to Winchester via Duvall, and following Winchester all the way to 188. From there, I turned around at mile 19 and arrived back in the parking lot with a measely 38 miles but enjoyed the boost from a tail wind on the return. The group enjoyed a 30 minute stay in Circleville, eating doughnuts, hot dogs and yes, Whoopie pies. Steve O, SuperDave and 2 others skipped the stop to continue on the 65 mile route. Steve was able to talk all but the sensible Dave into adding an extra loop that included the climb up McDonald.
Hey, Whatever Happened to Beth Hale?
I heard Beth Hale was struggling with severe back pain and undergoing surgery soon so I asked for an update and received the below. By the way, I'm working on Saturday's ride report but been a busy couple of days with daughter getting married and then me trying to figure out the sense in spending thousands on a 4 hour reception/party. I just don't get it. Anyway, below is from Beth.
Hey, thanks for asking about me. Yes, I blew out a disc (L5-S1) and was supposed to have surgery last Wed. Had to be rescheduled literally at the last minute (had an IV going!) as I had an infection. When it rains, it pours. I’m now waiting it out until next Thursday 10/28– hopefully it’ll go this time.
The issue is not back pain (we all have that, right?) it’s the nerve compression, which really affects my left leg. I have good days and bad as far as pain, but the leg function is not getting any better. I will hope for full recovery after this microdisectomy. I had a really good year of cycling, and I will be back!!
Our Favorite Stop in Bremen
Larry Pesyna, Larry the Legend, sent me this information about our favorite stop in Bremen where we saw a deer carcus hanging earlier this summer.
Ohio - A Democrat who is running for election as Fairfield County commissioner has been charged with a misdemeanor count of illegally selling deer meat. George C. Hallarn, a Greenfield Township trustee making his third run for county commissioner, said yesterday that he didn't know he was doing anything wrong and was surprised to have been charged with a crime.
He said he processes the deer that hunters bring to him then has it made into summer sausage rolls that he sells.
"It makes me look like a bad guy, and, with the election time, it's going to hurt me," said Hallarn, 62, who lives in Carroll. "They couldn't have waited two weeks?"
Hallarn and four others were charged Friday in Fairfield County Municipal Court. The charges accuse them of illegal deer-meat sales after an Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Wildlife investigation into the owners of Rienschield Finer Meats, a Bremen butcher shop.
Kenneth L. Rienschield, 54, and Kathleen Jo Rienschield, 47, who own the shop, were each charged with three felony counts of prohibited sale of wildlife.
Mr. Rienschield also was charged with one felony count of theft, accused of stealing deer meat that was supposed to be donated to food pantries through the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program.
A plea deal likely will resolve the case, said Andrew H. Stevenson, the Rienschields' attorney. He declined to elaborate on the agreement being negotiated with the county prosecutor.
The Rienschields are accused of illegally selling thousands of pounds of deer meat from July 6, 2007, to April 4, 2010, according to authorities.
The illegal sale of deer meat is not unheard of in Ohio, but the amount that the Rienschields allegedly sold is unusual, said Kirk Kiefer, an investigator with the Division of Wildlife.
"The magnitude of this one is uncommon," he said. "I think a lot is going on, but just not this quantity."
The couple did not return telephone messages seeking comment.
Hallarn said he typically brought processed deer meat to the Rienschields' business, where it was made into sausage rolls that he then sold to the hunters who had dropped off their deer, as well as to others.
"I didn't realize what I was doing was wrong," Hallarn said.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. Also scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on similar misdemeanor charges are Cory A. Foraker, 20, of Somerset in Perry County, and Gregory S. Shull, 54, of Lancaster.
The Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde Ride
The early starting Thursday New Albany ride set an attendance record with Dennis, Jeff S, Cindy, SuperDave and Nathan all gathering with the wind howling from the west. The plan was to ride hard and fast straight out 161 before turning back into what we hoped was diminished wind. It worked perfectly except it didn't seem like the wind slackened at all. Oh, Nathan forget a pair of cycling tights but Cindy had a pair of pantyhose and Nate was happy to wear that instead.
We headed out old 161 with SuperDave putting in a super pull of 2 miles. Then, Dennis took over in the long, slightly uphill slog, hammering away with a steadily increasing speed that had us touching 30mph. After 2 miles of this I began frantically hoping he would tire soon but no, he kept it going for 3 miles, all the way out to 310. This was my fifth day in a row of riding or running and my legs were toast so when it was my turn to pull it was thankfully on the mostly glorious downhill, downwind sections with speeds barely out of the low 20'smph. After 2 miles of this nonsense, I turned things over to Cindy and maybe during her 1 mile pull we reached 35mph, finally slowing at York Road just south of Alexandria. Our average at that point was 24.4 and you may be wondering where Jeff was during this outward run. We were holding him in reserve. We headed south on York with Jeff at the front and soon, he had several gasping with the combination of crosswind and speed. We worked our way through the super rollers and emerged at Hollow Road for the turn directly into the wind. We had gone 4 miles since turning out of the comfort of the down wind and our average had dropped 4 mph.
During the ensuing miles, only two of us took pulls, Jeff and yes, me.
Dennis = 0 pulls.
Dave = 0 pulls.
Cindy = you can guess the pattern by now.
Recumbent Dude = who cares since when he pulls it doesn't count. It would be hard to say which of us took the longest pull but Jeff took one and I took one and that's all that matters. It was brutal at the front and even at the rear it was no day at the beach. We discovered Mark Vonderhar somewhere out there, having gone off solo from a park on Clarks State Road. We convinced him he didn't want to face the wind alone so he joined in. We eventually finished just as the sun was hitting the horizon with 29 miles and a 19.3 average.
The Woodchuck Attacks!
How much Craig can a woodchuck, chuck if a woodchuck could chuck Craig? Answer: All of him. Last week, Da Boss was riding and watching the activities in a nearby field and missed the fact that a woodchuck choose that moment to scamper in front and pause, just as Craig's front wheel T-boned the critter.
Here, it appears all is well but Craig suffered a couple of cracked ribs. Nevertheless, he doggedly continues to train for the 50 mile trail run double marathon, coming up in a couple of weeks. This morning, he ran 10 miles and then joined our little group, along with Recumbent Dude, Dennis and Steve O. Off topic for a sec, former Group Killer ran a 1:27 at the Columbus Half Marathon last Saturday.
We headed out Waterloo to Slough, then south on Sitterly, turning left at Marcy and right onto Amanda Northern. The wind had been out of the southwest, wearing on the people in the front as each of us took our turns pulling, although I may have missed a turn, or two by sheer accident or because Steve would ride alongside me, mocking me for everything ranging from me being too slow, being on the chess and golf teams in high school, not wearing appropriate clothing, etc.. After a moment of this, I drift to the back to avoid the constant haranguing. We made a right on Riegle, crossing Cedar Hill and on to Winchester. By now, the wind had shifted to the northwest and it was interesting to see pulling protocol in action. The benevolent of us would ride in the center of the right lane to afford drafting opportunities for the other 4. This would describe Dennis and I because we know well the benefits of the draft. Craig would ride slightly left of the white line with Steve drafting slightly right of the white line and me exposed to his left. At Steve's turn, he would sit right of the white line and I would be exposed, again. Thus, on my turns at the front, I plodded along trying to recover. Anyway, it was great fun to get out for a spirited ride, finishing with 33 miles and a 20.4 average. We're going to go at it again from New Albany on Thursday, weather permitting.
What is a Whoopie Pie?
Like many of you who are not dessert experts, I did not know what is a Whoopie Pie. A Google search provided the answer to this and why some women need "Womens Wheels" with ultra wide rims. Also below are a couple of images Steve O sent me from the 100 mile loop on Saturday.
Mark C, digesting a week's worth of Mountain Dews.
A Roving Ride with No Name
Arrival at the parking lot of Gloryland Church, where there were maybe 30-40 cyclists for Fall's first sub-40 degree start. There was a lot of confusion as people debated how many layers of clothing to wear. I became confused and must have thought it was colder than it was as I settled on 3 layers on what was clearly a 2 layer start day. I hope with a few more cold starts, I'll sort out my clothing issues.
Prior to Jeff S calling us together, Mark C was making the highly unusual request that we ride as a group and call a cessation to hostilities to keep the group together. It is likely merely a coincidence that Mark spent the week at a conference, off the bike, eating and drinking lots of Mountain Dews. In fact, I am borderline ashamed to even imply that had he been riding a normal week, such a call for cycling civility would never have been made.
Hey, there's George, monitoring his heart rate as Jeff describes the route. We shoved off and soon the weaning process reduced our lead group to Dennis, SupperDave, Tuna, Steve O, Jeff, Mark C, Mark & Karen Rossi, Mitch and a few others. We worked our way through Lancaster and into Suger Grove. The route options were 100, 76 or 44. I intended to do the 76 but....... well......probably our guest writer of the ride, none other than Flyin Tuna, will pick up the story after I cut the route short and joining up with Mitch, Mark & Karen and another guy for a wonderful ride into Amanda and eventually the parking lot with 44 miles. Without further delay, here is Cindy's account.
But first, here is an image of Cindy, winning the sign sprint into Suger Grove. I caught her just as she was extending her arm outward for the victory salute. Without Grand Poobah to dominate the sign sprints, there is a plethora of people stepping up to win. OK, take it away Cindy.... At the decision point for the 44 mile route, Mitch stated that he had to ride the short route, since he had to be back early because Peggy's daughter was getting married. Most riders are swayed by others doing more than they had planned, Mark is the opposite; he cannot imagine that someone did a shorter route than him and went with Mitch. I know that he will try to say that he wanted to provide Mitch with company, worried about him on the roads alone, etc. Do note, for those who don’t know Mitch, that he could fix nearly anything on a bike with a piece of dental floss, if that was all he had, so Mark going with Mitch was only for his benefit. Jeff, Mark C, Steve O, John, new guy Ryan, Dennis and I took off on the 76/100 route. It was sad to see Dennis realize that his two 76 mile route buddies (Mark and Dave) had disappeared and he was alone with the 100 milers. He kept muttering, “Mark said on the blog that he was doing 90 miles”. After having said that 3 times, I told him that Mark had either meant 90 miles for the week, or you have to read the blog using the 20/80% rule; 20% is loosely based on true stories and the other 80% has no validity at all. I tried to encourage him to do 100 miles, promising him at the last stop in Tarlton, I had found the best pumpkin woopie pies ever. The pace was not too fast and we all stayed together, doing the long climb up Unger Ridge and stopping at Grandma Faye’s for food. Ron & Craig (also COP riders) were out doing the Top 10 route that Westerville puts on, and at that point had 40 miles in with 38 more to go. As we were ready to pull out, Jimmy and Chuck came in. Ryan went back on the 76 route, but amazingly, Dennis stayed with us to do the full 100 miles. The route was beautiful and after leaving Grandma Faye’s we headed to South Bloomingville; where we took a road called Goosecreek. Goosecreek heads west, into the wind, for probably 8 miles with a smooth surface and nothing large to climb. Very nice road and I wonder why we never had used it before. Second stop on route was at the store in Tar Hollow; it seems that any time we get there, the store is only partially stocked. Not sure how they remain open, but nice people working there. I’m also not sure why the restroom has the light switch on the outside of the room; I found it to be very dark in there when Steve turned the lights out on me…funny guy. After leaving the store, we did the climb up Tar Hollow at the main entrance. The leaves were supposed to be peaking in this area and it was very scenic. Tar Hollow was the last large climb of the day, and I was feeling pretty good after arriving at the top. We worked our way over to Tarlton and stopped for the long awaited pumpkin woopie pie. I’m thinking about testing woopie pies in the area; I have just about tested all the pancakes and feel it’s time to move to another food group; so woopie pies it is. I went to the secret place in the store with Dennis following closely, only ONE pie remained. Dennis graciously told me I could have it, what else could he say? He’s heard how I like my food, after all. He opted for the pink snowballs as second choice. While eating, Dennis noticed a horse tethered by a fence and was considering swapping his bike for the horse. We did talk him out of it and eventually headed back for the 21 miles left. At this point, my legs really felt fatigued. Dennis and Jeff hung back and helped me in. We finished with 5800’ of climb and 102 miles. Steve, Mark and John had averages ranging from 17.0 to 17.3; I ended up with 16.5 as the anchor. With not many nice days remaining, it was good to get another 100 mile day in. Do note that my description of the ride does not include the routes and the races to the top of the climbs, as Mark’s does, that is because when you are back as far as I am, you don’t see these things. I did hear that Mark C took the final sprint in.
The New Albany Thursday Ride
Ohhhhh, that northwest wind made the 62 degree parking lot temperature feel like 35. Dennis and I stared at each other and had just about mutually decided not to ride when at 4:50pm, SuperDave pulled in and we decided to go, and glad we did. Dave was especially motivated, having just come from a work required physical that produced a hard to believe judgment about his weight. Of course, the blog never attempts to embarrass so I have to leave it at that but you may want to ask him. I suspect he'll be at all future rides. We headed out Jug, worked over to Caswell and the climb into Johnstown. To that point, I had managed to arrange my pulls to the down wind or neutral wind sections but found myself pulling up Caswell into a stiff wind. I don't like this concept of pulling and pine for the comfort of larger groups. This small group riding where you have to man-up, sucks. We headed out Concord and at the Castle intersection, turned right instead of left. My original route had 36 miles and a left turn on Castle, then Sportsman Club and Northridge before a return on Concord but with the wind and a sluggish average I thought it best to abandon that square. So, down Castle to Duncan Plains, 310 to Miller and eventually back on Jug. We passed an attractive woman standing in her front yard who yelled something pleasant to us. I'm so used to the lame, "Get off the f***kin road." shouts that I was startled by this. We tried to guess what she had actually said and all I can say is Dennis has a very vivid imagination. We pulled into the parking lot with 30 miles and 19.7 average. I hear Jeff's roving ride on Saturday is a spectacular route going through peak leaf viewing areas. With the Buckeyes kick-off at 7:00, I am debating doing the 100 mile route.
New Albany Ride is On and Sada's Tour
5:00pm out of New Albany. 35 miles with shorter option. Talked to John Sada today. He was headed out for an easy ride with George to get ready for a tour in which he and Kim are participating later this month. Check out this link that takes you to the specific tour they are doing. Spectacular images of Colorado and northern Arizona. Maybe give some of you an idea for next year. http://lizardheadcyclingguides.com/calendar-tours/road-cycling-tours/redrock-canyons-tour/
That Damn Schluep!!!!
We arrived, we looked around expectedly for a sign that the Big Diesel was with us but he was not. The cold reality that taking the majority of the pulls would fall on one of us was a sobering piece of news, causing one of us to blurt, "Damn that Schluep!" I guessed that since Jeff S had ridden 100 miles on Monday and was riding another 75+ on Wednesday, he was probably taking the day off. Recumbent Dude, volunteered to be the one who takes the longest pulls which is great if you can squeeze into that tiny slipstream. Oh and get this, Nathan is now shopping for a new recumbent that sits even closer to the ground. We waited until 4:58pm and then Dennis, Ryan R, Nathan and me headed out on a 36 mile route that headed into Lithopolis, out Winchester, turning left on South Bloomingfield where the rollers illustrated which of us have cut back on our hours on the bike. Reaching Cedar Hill, we turned right and then left on Reigle, which is a narrow, nicely paved road that took us to #188 where we hung a left and after 1/2 mile, with the gloom gathering, decided to turn north on Amanda Northern, rather than continuing on to Rock Mill. At Marcy, we turned left and then took Sitterly into Lithopolis and then back to the parking lot. Ended with 33 miles, 1100' of climbing and a 19.1mph average. Sounds like we'll ride again on Thursday, from New Albany, weather permitting. More on that later.
Grand Canyon Marathon Run
A friend of a friend did a rim-to-rim run of the Grand Canyon and sent this report..
I ran RIM to RIM – 24 miles on Friday & still recovering. Elevations: South Rim 6,860’Indian Garden – 3,800’ Colorado River – 2,400’ North Rim – 8,250’4 of us started at 6:15 a.m. running down the Bright Angel Trail on the South RIM. The temp was 30 degrees. The sun was rising & it all seemed very surreal. The trail down was well defined & consisted mainly of rocks & steps & cross backs about every 100 yards. It was more technical running as you negotiated your footing & watched for the edge of the ledge the entire distance. I felt great & was keeping pace w/group. After about 5 miles, we arrived in Indian Gardens then headed towards the canyon floor crossing the Colorado River by way of a foot bridge. Next stop was Phantom Ranch which was 9.8 miles from start. We took a break here for nourishment & to shed some gear. I am estimating that on some stretches we were running at a pace a little better than my marathon pace (10 min miles); however, it was mainly a lot of technical running, crossing small streams, sand bars & steep ascents/decents. It was difficult to even walk through some of the terrain let alone try & jog. I read a sign for the North RIM – 13.1 miles & I felt real good.It was at the “North RIM 7 miles” sign that I started to slow. Temp was in the 70s now & I was losing/taking in a lot of water. At this point, 2 of the guys wanted to keep running & 2 of us took a short break. About a mile later, I hit the trail face 1st when my right calf locked up. I was given 2 electrolyte pills & kept moving. Several miles later, on a very narrow part of the trail on the side of a cliff both my calf muscles locked & I went down again. My biggest fear now was muscles cramping & going over the edge of the trail where the drop ranged from 10’ to 1,000’. At this point, I did not think that I could finish this run/hike today. “North RIM 2 miles”: I told my running partner to go ahead without me as I needed to rest. The last 2 miles were a straight climb up to the North RIM. I was spent & didn’t see how I could possibly finish. My legs felt ok but I had to stop about every ¼ mile to catch my breath as I could feel my heart pounding through my chest. I was the last 1 out at 9 hours, the first to finish completed it in 8.5 hours.The next day we took a helicopter ride over the canyon. If I would have seen the trails we covered before the run, I would not have attempted it!
Tuesday 5:00pm Canal Ride
We're a go for a 5:00pm start from Canal Winchester, behind Shades restaurant, as is normal. I sent an email earlier and it appears Dennis, Nathan, Ryan R & others will make it. Not as fast as the COP A rides but still a good pace for calorie burning. Probably keep the group together with a couple of pre-determined stops. Don't want anyone left out past dark with a mechanical. Should be able to get in 35 miles with some hills. I'll have maps. Note Mark C is doing a night time bike path ride to Athens from Hocking College. You can contact him for details.
Fall HOOT & More From Nathan
Spectacular day for a bike ride. Too, too bad my beloved Buckeyes had a noon kick-off so I anxiously viewed the Hoot map for an appropriate short-cut and wala!!!! Found one or two. At the start, there were the usual shenanigans, including Amanda discovering she forgot her cycling shoes but bravely rode in these.
Also making a shocking appearance was a couple of members of that shadowy and secretive group of cyclists that normally ride the Saturday group rides on Sunday, otherwise known as "The Others" Ted M is kind of a hybrid, riding with both "The Others" and us normal folk but also here today was Joe G. The other "The Others" were riding the Hoot on Sunday.
Nathan was wearing his new jersey and Amanda was soon rubbing her hands over it, commenting on Nate's bony shoulders and doughy tummy.
The most poignant scene of the year. That humanitarian and passionate Dennis walking over to Steve O and giving him a hug with the words, "I'm so proud of you dude".
Seemed like a large crowd of 60+ at the start, including Nate of Jenis but he slipped out ahead of our group. Starting with us were 15+/- including Legend Larry and Lisa, Theresa, Amanda, Flyin, Dennis, Steve O, Mark C, SoupDave, Recumbent Dude riding a very uncomfortable time trial machine, Kenda Janet & Paul, Jeff S, etc... As we pulled out of the parking lot, a red truck swerved around me, roared off and then cut in front of Steve. To Steve's credit, he rode after the truck, caught him at the light, stood alongside and stared at the driver who refused to look at him. An image of the license plate was taken.
We rolled out and had a good pace going all the way to Amanda. Everyone is so strong after surviving the cauldron of CFC and the rides that precede it. Add to that mix the boost new technology provides and heck, even Tuna hung with us. The roads were well marked and after a long stretch on Rockmill, we rolled into the village of Amanda. From there, I headed east on a shorter route and soon shortcutted the short route, ending with a robust 33 miles. Of course, all the others took the longer routes and now, without further delay, here is the balance of the ride as described by Recumbent Dude, Nathan.
The first part of the ride proceeded with a nice neutral pace out to Amanda where there was the briefest of stops to top off water bottles. This part of the ride is quite flat and the group stayed together except for the occasional light attacks on a couple of the larger rollers. The Amanda stop was the demarcation of those going long and those cutting off. I won't mention who cut off at this point, but from his long history of doing so you might be able to guess. There were a few words exchanged about football and kickoff and bits and pieces of this and that but they were largely covered up by jeers and cat calls and chicken sounds from the larger group headed out the long route.
After our recovery from the exertions of making fun of “Cut-Off” (Hey! Maybe he will get a moniker after all?!! - You should comment if you think that this is a good nickname for he-who-has-not-been-named) The group headed east into the hills where there was a small select and the group spread out a bit... it was at this point that the ride become a bit fuzzy for me. I recall that there was quite a lot of whimpering and thinking bad thoughts at Rick N. for not allowing me to purchase a compact for my time-trial bike. I spent quite a lot of time switching back and forth on Savage and Revenge hills and finally rolled into Sugar Grove for the lunch stop with about 44 miles in at this point.
Lunch was shredded chicken and pulled port sandwiches on top of the normal selections of power bars, Cokes, Oatmeal Cream Pies and the usual fodder at a small country store. The weather had also heated up to about 68 degrees and there was a vast amount of undressing going on while we ate. It was also noted that Amanda was riding in tennis shoes because she had forgotten her cycling shoes. After about 30 mins we wandered back to our bikes and headed out with the knowledge of many hills to come.
At this point I fell back into that half-awake state that protects you from massively traumatic events when they occur and awoke again in the parking lot with legs that I wasn't certain would be able to support my weight after I clipped out. I also made a firm decision never to ride that bike again... EVER. I'm going back to my recumbent. It loves me, and I love it.
The normal wrap-up ensued in the parking lot, where discussions of key parts of the ride were relived and I couldn't participate due to lack of memory of the actual riding part past Sugar Grove. I forgot to set my altimeter before we started but I know we climbed at least 5000 ft.
Cindy checked in with the news her new "Women's Wheels" have been installed by Rick Miller. The outcome is the bike is, "now 1 pound lighter" and "I notice I'm using one gear less when riding" and "There is a little more road vibration" and finally, "The bike feels like it wants to surge forward without me compelling it to do so". Wow! Also, the Fairfield gang is departing Saturday on Hoot at 8:30am, not 8:00am.
The Informal Thursday Ride
What the group lacked in quantity it made up for with quality. Jeff S, SoupDave, Dennis and I rolled out of the parking lot at 4:55, wanting to get a small head start on a 40 mile route with official sunset at 7:03pm. We had hoped Kevin H and Tuna would make it but it's a long drive for Kevin and I think Tuna gets scared off these things because of concerns about holding the group back, which is, of course, irrational.
Because a smallish group was expected, I put together a route that had a few dicey spots to which one would not want to expose a typical large COP Thursday crowd of various riding abilities. We headed out old 161, making a right on Babbitt and worked our way over to Cable and then up Alward, before going out Hollow and after that long stretch, making a right on York and crossing a very busy Rt. #16. We got on to Deeds and made a left at Gale and approached the route split where we could go right on Granview to make 40 miles or go straight for a shorter 34 mile option. We paused (in front of my house but no one noticed the pink flamingos, car on cement block or various other porcelain figurines that populate the front yard) and briefly contemplated what to do. With the wind coming out of the west, we turned to the Little Diesel and waited for his thought since the burden of pulling us would fall on him. Jeff grunted a, "Let's go that a way" and we embarked on the 40 mile option.
We flew down Granview to Silver, making a right and quick left to bring us back onto #16 where we rode the berm, crossing the on-ramp and over the bridge, into Granville. At the light, I suggested to Jeff that if he needed help at the front during the long ride in, I would be the 1/4 mile fill-in, Dave the 1/2 miler and Dennis the 3/4 mile man. Instead of making a right onto Raccoon Valley Road, we stayed straight onto the new bypass, Moots. Mostly flat with one longish hill and where we discovered Dave, having hit his peak last week and failed to get in a good ride this past weekend, has begun the off-season decline. We hit #37, briefly going south before making a right onto the other new bypass, an outreach of old 161 signed as Worthington Road. Not a good stretch of road with the wind coming still strong out of the west/northwest but as long as I stayed behind Jeff, I didn't notice too much.
161 is closed after 310 but earlier I had scouted the road closure and discovered bikes could get across, and we did without incident and continued on to the parking lot, arriving at exactly 7:02 with 40.5 miles and a 20.1 average. Discovered two other cars I recognized from past rides and the maps I left on the windshield were gone so others had ridden but started later than we did. OK, probably will try this next week on Tuesday if some of the Fairfield boys/girls can make it. Sounds like Dennis and Jeff are game.
Cindy B and Rod have been searching for a RV or pull behind and finally found the camper of their dreams. Originally bought to haul cycling buddies to far off tours, after remodeling it will be one cool place.
With a spectacular forecast for Thursday, a group of us are gathering in New Albany at the same place the COP ride started, at 5:00pm for a 40 mile ride with a shorter option for those who can't ride that far. Will have over 2 hours of daylight. If weather cooperates, we will also ride out of Canal Winchester next Tuesday and continue the Tuesday/Thursday rotation as long as practical. Or, we will ride on Wednesdays if either of the other days does not work. Anyway, check back for updates but for now, this Thursday at 5:00pm from New Albany is a go. Among those planning to attend are Dennis, Flyin Tuna, Jeff S, etc... Please note, this is not a COP event but will have maps. Will leave extra maps if you are
Update on Jeremy
One of our newer participants in the fun at the Tuesday Canal and Saturday Roving Rides is Jeremy. For a long time, he was relatively quiet and I preferred him that way because after witnessing the vicious, unprovoked verbal attacks I endure, month after month, he was emboldened enough to recently take one of his own pot shots. Anyway, Jeremy was transferred to Wooster, OH and thus has been missing from our final few evening Canal rides and the weekend roving rides. I've been to Wooster a few times because a brother-in-law lives there. Not a bad little town even having a Chipotles to go with the Wendy's and McDonalds. Jeremy is probably becoming lonely up north so take a minute and shoot him an email once in awhile, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday Canal Ride Report
During the Thursday party after the New Albany ride, during which we heaped praise on Jeff S for his ride leadership throughout the season, Nathan, SupeDave, Dennis and I made a pact that if it was not raining on Sunday, we would hook up with the Canal ride out of Cyclist Connection. As expected, the stalwart Nathan was there but weenies Dennis and Dave were not. I got a good look at the new CC jersey and then......
......Nathan sent me another that he had taken of himself and performed heavy Photoshopping to remove the doughnut.
Anyway, 14 of us at the start and we all rode out Basil Western until Janet went to the front and blitzed the field, leaving only Nathan, a tandem of Stuart and Mary Beth and me able to hang in there. Blustery day and we all were glad we were here rather than riding out of Marietta. Not much to tell today other than 43 miles to/from Millersport with a stop for drinks at "The Upper Deck". I'm hearing some good stories from CFC participants but nothing worth reporting, so far.
Why is This Woman So Skinny?
Flyin Tuna, doing what she does best, eating and sometimes from her own plate, during CFC on Saturday. Keep those images coming to me.