The laptop that I use for work, crashed. Spent way too much time visiting a computer repair place that was able to retrieve data so that was good but it all cut into my time during final week in Ohio. I did manage to build an industrial strength bird feeder, from cedar that will last years. Saturday morning, I took a flight to.....
.....Tucson and was able to......
.....watch the exciting 4th quarter of the Buckeye game. What a finish!!!! The following morning......
....a lone Javalina came around. Ugly beasts and best not to get too close cause they can be aggressive.Sensing he had ill intent, I did not linger.
I walked around the grounds and the area is know for the trees, which I am all for except when they grow to block the view from the patio so I am preparing a night time raid on the offending branches.
And then of course there is the blue sky and the mountains. Kind of hot the first day, low 90's but I got on the bike around 10:00am and one mile into the ride, a jogger inexplicably made a left turn as I was preparing to pass. She had ear buds in of course, did not look back and I had no opportunity to react other than plow into her. My handle bar caught, turned and I was sent flying over the top,landing on my right shoulder and hip. I laid there taking inventory, all seemed ok and bounced up! How bout that!!! Another cyclist arrived and said she had witnessed it all, the jogger just turned into me. Then a doctor, also a jogger, arrived, what great timing but I turned down the offer to assist as other than some pain I had full movement of my right arm, no broken clavicle, heck even the clothing was ok. That was yesterday,now I feel like I got hit by a bus but all will be good, except for the bike. Long story there.
Triple Nickel Ride this Sunday @8:30 a.m. from Howell Park in Bremen: the ride goes out Marietta road to SR13 to Portie Flamingo road to 555 in Portersville (27 miles to first stop at A&B carry out) continues on 555 to Bartlett (52.5 miles to second stop at Marathon//Country Corner Pizza). Return for a total 102 miles of fantastic fall scenery and plenty of climbing. It’s nearly impossible to get lost on this out-and-back route but thanks to Aaron Chancey for the GPS route below. Hope you make it! Andrew. 740.215.5863.
First off, I will continue to post Ohio ride opportunities. So you may as well check back end of each week for that alone. Secondly, I will post hiking reports having some very cool images, beginning probably this Sunday or Monday. There will also be some riding and although I have a Trek Madone out there, the fit is different so I may ship my OH bike out there. Still motivated to ride. It's been a different season since for the first time in memory, I did not get burned out by early summer. I just kept plodding along and enjoyed the group rides and many of you, more then I let on. I'll be back some time in December so no, this is not a winter long escape.
Enjoyable evening at Mellow Mushroom. I took several pics inside but had to omit from the report because of goofy facial expressions or washed out from the camera flash. I know what you are thinking, I excel at promoting images having goofy facial expressions but I want to leave town on a good note for once. New arrival from California, Jason on the left with Peggy and Meredith,
Because I tied my low weight of the year this morning, I decided to splurge. As the pizza crusts piled on my plate, I was shot several incredulous looks by those around me. Hey, soon I will be very active and not confined by the cold, wind and rain as will too many of you. Actually, at the table were 3 others who are heading out of Ohio within the week, Marty, Andrew and Farmer Mike.
Marty, wearing multiple layers of clothing, still chilled from kite boarding earlier in the day.
It was like a Hollywood gala after the stars exit the auditorium. Farmer Mike, Peggy and Mike's wife Norma. Also in attendance were Don Novel, Aaron C, Sokha, Andrew, Flyin Tuna, Eleanor, Marty, Gus Cook, Jason and Meredith.
Tuesday, October 24th, 6:30pm at the Mellow Mushroom in NewAlbany, a season ending get together for those who participated in the Tuesday or Thursday Cycling Club rides. OK, if you wanted to ride but never attended either ride, you can come too. Arrive and see what some of us look like without wearing our cycling gear (scary) or brag about how you are spending the winter in Tasmania or, just arrive, have a beer/soft drink/tea/wine, pizza and enjoy the camaraderie. This is not a Cycling Club sponsored event, just cycling people enjoying each other as we have done countless times pre and post rides. See you there!
In the interest of full disclosure, some wanted to promote this as a "Mark Going to AZ" event but I am way too modest for that and besides, how could I turn down all the offers of a free drink and still drive? So, it is officially a cycling get together but I won't turn down the first 8-10 drink offers. I am polite.
Approximately 11 of us gather for a ride out of Granville, 57 miles but my plan was to bug out and hit the market in Hanover at some point. John on the left, Beau and Jim. Beau and wife are departing Ohio for good, headed to CA I think.
Four of us, Sandy D, Beau, Jim and me, get away after the Jones Road climb, regroup then get away again and soon are steaming north and into Newark. I had a Garmin issue and pulled off to fix and amazingly, did so while the group was stopped at a light and thus able to rejoin. Jim had a flat on Dayton Road so I left the protective cocoon of the group and rolled into...
....Hanover. Soon, I was joined by Keith, John & Anthony Sada. We snacked and then they headed one way, me another that took me through that neat tunnel to the south of Hanover. I kept losing the satellite signal and while turning the unit off and on a few times, forgot to turn it on but finished with around 33 miles.
We gather for a cold start to following the 70 mile FallnLeaf route. Eva in blue, stylishly dressed as always.
Caution! If you don't enjoy scenes of idyllic country side with far reaching views, read no farther and never ride this route. Awesome. Larry P in front on the right. As usual, he was in front a lot, sometimes on the right, sometimes on the left but in front.
At about mile 15, we enter Malabar Farms Park. Wow an active place for sure. Wedding gatherings, horseback riders, ......
....weird looking trees, a place worth a visit.
Eric pulls away from me, something he does frequently. Today a ride in Ohio, tomorrow he would be in Tucson, AZ. Too bad he heads back to OH on the day I arrive in AZ. Would have been fun to show him a hike or two.
I thought the quality of the painting was very good. So things were kind of weird in a nice way so far and then.....
....things became weirder as Kenda Paul headed off route to see what he could see from a nearby ridge. Unfortunately, Kenda Janet was beset with flu-like symptoms so she was unable to make the ride. Without her calming influence, Paul was let loose.
And there he goes, closing on the ridge and then it was decided, what the heck, may be a worthwhile view so.....
....3-4 of us pursued. Flyin Tuna on the left with, if not a 360 view, at least 291. Another week or two and the leaves should be perfect for viewing.
Paul kind of just kept going, riding through a field of clover. Well, can't hang out here forever so we coasted down the hill and rejoined the road. Eventually, Paul rejoined too.
Damn! What a beautiful day! We regrouped a few times but not too frequently as everyone was of similar ability.
Closing on Bellville and the return to "Der Dutchman" restaurant. Finished with 70 miles and 4000'+ of climbing. Fun time on Saturday. It was a long drive for pretty much everyone and thanks for coming out.
I heard a lot of good things about the recent FallnLeaf ride out of Bellville so it was suggested that we organize a group ride doing the 70 or 100 mile routes. 9:00am start from the Der Dutchman restaurant on 71/97. Most of us are doing the 70 mile route at a conversational B pace with a couple of regroups. All are welcome (except squirrelly cyclists) to join and then head out on a faster or slower pace. Now to address the elephant in the room.....many have asked when I am finally going to leave Ohio for a visit to AZ. Next week so while this news will be greeted with relief by some and sweet relief by all others, this will be your final opportunity to have your pic published on this blog. Come out and fight back the tears while riding.
And there he was, Grand Poobah, aka Todd Lee, out to join the crowd while telling us numerous stories of when he raced back in the helmetless days.
We convinced a couple of New Albanyers to abandon the flat lands and check out....the flat lands to the south. Took about 30 miles before we began hitting the hills but got to them eventually. Seemed like the turnout was down some but it could be many were waiting for a later start time for a warmer start. As it was, we shoved off with 52 degrees......
.....brrrrrrrr. There were 14 of us, Larry P, Eric, Janet & Paul, Dirty Dan, Rex, Sam, Jeff S, Eva, Todd, Don, Milt, Brent J and me. The first 30ish miles were flat and kind of boring but once we got south of Millersport, the rollers began to appear and soon, steeper things.
Mules! They were a bit standoffish but Eva rolled up to the fence and they scrambled to meet her. Wise mules or is it donkeys?
We got onto Boundries Road and that was fun, had about a 1/4 gravel section that was no problem at all as cars had impacted a relatively smooth path to follow, came through a section of Cujo country where dogs bayed and barked and then emerged on this nice road and soon....
....entered Bremen via a non traditional route. It was good and may be the first time I descended from that direction (see map below). We rolled up to the gas station/market at #37 and #664. The place was packed and at one point, a worker said they had never seen the line that long...maybe 20?
As it was noonish and at mile 52, we ate a variety of subs and sandwiches. Now, you can always tell when someone is ready to move on when they walk in with their helmet on....ok, Dan, we got the hint. We departed the official route to go west where we picked it back up at Lake and rode in from there, finishing with 79 miles and 3000+' of climbing. Good time and then some of us gathered around the Kenda SUV where I spotted....
....Janet's bike clothing bag. Only she would use a VS bag to store sweaty cycling clothing.
Some people wanted something less than 100 but more than 65 so I came up with this route, 75 miles: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26115074 It cuts off the lower loop which is rather hilly. Off season pace although if you want to join in and ride faster. have at it. Departs the official route in Bremen at mile 51.
Saturday, beginning from Bloom Carroll High School in Carroll, OH is the Fall Heart of Ohio Tour or otherwise known as "HOOT". Most will roll out at 8:00am, following one of the routes (102, 65 or 33 miles) below. This event is hosted by COP with a fee of $5 or $10 depending on if you are a member, or not.
And so my cycling buddies, the end of a season that was way too short is upon us. We are on the cusp of the final event of the 2017 The Cycling Club's Thursday rides. The good news is, there will be a 2018 season with some needed changes and I'll have more on that later. Kind of meloncholy to not be part of the parking lot scene for a long, long time during which we must endure cold, winds, snow, ice and more cold. Brutal stuff to be sure but hey! We have survived it before and so we will do so again!!! 5:30pm start following the below routes:
Dawn in Wellston, OH, a place far, far away from the roads we usually ride. I was here for "Mark's Fall Challenge" an event that kept alive the tradition of COP's "Columbus Fall Challenge" although it is a one day rather than a two day event. Distance options were 80 and 100 miles. Still mending a calf injury I chose the 80 mile option. I know how my calf feels at the 80 mile distance and don't want to know what it would feel like at 100 miles. Let's pick up the story.....
....at mile 2 where my fellow 80 milers, Janet and Brent, are waiting for the 100 milers to emerge from a 5 mile loop where we would rejoin them for approximately 55 miles of the 100 mile route prior to breaking ranks permanently. After a few minutes, here they came....
....led by who some are now calling "The Iron Lady". I kind of like that name but she might think it disparaging so I'll stick with Flyin Tuna. Same with Andrew on the right wearing a winter jacket. I kind of like the name "Lizard" referencing the cold blooded nature of the reptile but there too, I don't want to have to explain the meaning behind the name all the time so I'll stick with "Andrew". Soon, one of many highlights to the route appears.....
....a junkyard, the contents of which have crept to the edge of the road. The owner must be waiting for commodity prices to skyrocket before selling the aluminum, copper, etc... The image does not do justice to the length of the yard and no, no fence to block the view. Really kind of cool to ride through a tunnel of junk.
Ben in the middle, recently rode across the US with Brent, Eric and Andrew in front. We regrouped several times as today's pace was "Conversational B" given the 11 participants.
There was a whole lotta of this going on, riding while glancing to the right or left to see....
.....far reaching views. While there were many highlights to the trip, probably my favorite was a stop at....
....Four Mile Bakery. Wow!!!!! I consumed a hot dog but passed on the doughnuts which were fresh and warm. People kept walking by with boxes of doughnuts and I reached my breaking point. I loudly stated, "Every time someone walks by with a box of doughnuts I wish they would think to offer me one." Just then, a woman spun around, opened a box and offered me a glazed doughnut. I pretended to have been kidding but with some minor cajoling, I tore a piece and she then offered the remainder to Ben. Meantime......
.....a cat appeared and Brent demonstrated his tender side, as did we all so the cat received plenty of scratching. In the background, Cindy appears and after I told her of the doughnut acquisition scheme, she did everything but call me a liar. I had to rely on several eyewitness accounts to convince her I did not have to buy the doughnut I was at the time eating. We got back on our bikes and continued.....
....through "Cujo Country". The per capita dog population must set some kind of record in this county. They were every where or heard every where but fortunately, Mark has ridden the roads many times, sprayed the dogs many times so now they just bark and watch rather than chase, usually.
More variety in what we saw.
And more idyllic country scenery. In addition to the views, there was plenty of climbing and at the top of one climb, Andrew or Frank Seebode caught.....
...outside Chris Horner, the only other cyclist who is still smiling at the top of every climb. The rest of us have a look of anguish on our faces. So, I finished with 80 miles and 4700' of climbing while the 100 milers finished with 6900' of climbing. Big thanks to Andrew and Frank for providing some of the images used in this report.
Mark's Fall Challenge is a road bicycle tour of southern Ohio beginning and ending in Wellston, Ohio. MFC will begin at 8 am on October 7th from Mark's house at 2118 Finley Chapel Road in Wellston. This will be a scenic road bike tour that will travel through Jackson and Gallia Counties this year. The scenery is great and the road conditions are good overall. As with any bike tour you do need to watch out for potholes and bumps in the road in certain places so be careful. The distance is 100 or 80 miles. The route is hilly with around 5700 feet of elevation gain. There are also places to cut off miles and hills as well. Both the 80 and 100 routes are marked. There will be places to purchase food and drinks along the way. This is a free event, however donations will be accepted to cover the cost of SAG provided by the Wellston Church of the Nazarene. You are welcome to bring food and drinks for the SAG to carry which will meet us at designated points. At one point in Gallia County there is a natural spring where you can fill up your bottles with ice cold spring water.
Be aware that by participating you assume all liability for your own well being. This tour is not OFFICIALLY sponsored by any organization or individual. We are just a group of riders who enjoy riding and realize we are responsible for our own safety.
Probably there will be an option out of New Albany and once I learn of it I will post it here.
Headed northeast on a solo ride, beautiful day of sun and warmth while passing fields busy with activity. Went through Granville and then west and back east to.....
....Utica where, following the example set by Kenda Janet, Marty and Cindy, decided it is hard to beat a PB&J sandwich for an energy boost.
I headed out via Blacksnake but prior to reaching Martinsburg Road, made a right on to Stout Road. Seldom on this one but it is a good option going south rather than Martinsburg. Good climb on there too. Had to pay attention to the roads as there were.....
....hundreds of walnuts avoided over the 63 mile route. Actually, the above is from my driveway so I need to get busy clearing them.
Saturday ride option is coming although it's a drive to get there.
It's not over yet New Albaniers!!! 5:30pm start for the below routes. Please note that with sunset at 7:09pm, well, choose your route and group very, very carefully. And how about this concept!?!?! Don't drop someone at the point farthest from the finish. Look out for your fellow cyclist and be civil for one week out of the season...except the Riveters who are ruthless and cruel but that is to be expected. The routes:
I could not access the C route so will add later.