So, on this chilly morning, the day after Thanksgiving, eight of us gathered with many more having sent us well wishes with regrets as they were out of town. Flyin tuna, Larry P, Todd Lee, Steve O, Mitch O, Jeff S, Recumbent Dude and me shoved off on a gorgeous day with forecast temps in the upper 50's and sun.
Our destination was Bladensburg but more important, the pancakes at Butlers. To be sure, half of us would not have come out for anything other than them giant pancakes. We headed over to Hanover via a rather hilly route, then headed northwest via Hickman, coming out to #79, then left on Rimrock or something like that, then Henpeck, then freakin BLADENSBURG....then yipee!!!!! Butler's Restaurant.....then.....what the......the place was closed. Had Tuna been a man more than one bruise would have been absorbed over this unacceptable turn of events. We settled for the market with Todd tracking down ingredients for pancakes off the store shelves but alas, no stove.
At that point we had 26 miles and headed west then south to north of Utica, Cooksey to Martinsburg, into St Louisville, Hormns Mill into north Newark and then the YMCA, with 52 miles and 2900' of climbing. Good route, good group, good fun but no pancakes. This Saturday is going to have a cold morning and not sure yet what are the riding options. Hope to have something soon.
Below is from Marty Seluk , regarding his fantastic finish at the Horrible 100, a Florida bike race from this past weekend. If Dave Chesrown or Billy Campbell have anything to add they can do so in the comment field or shoot me an email.
I had a great time riding this fall with Dave and Billy Campbell. Dave and I planned on flying down together and Billy goes down early staying with his grandparents. We had fun keeping in shape this fall and talked about how we would have fun rides and ride well on the Horrible 100. Billy has been riding really well and kicks our ass on the hills. He kicks everyone's ass on the hills.
So I was in good shape and had some extra kick for the hills going down there. I was well rested when we got there. The 3 of us went for a ride on Saturday, about 75 miles, the day before the Horrible 100. I took it easy on the hills, Dave and Billy hit the hills hard.
Sunday was a beautiful day. It was 68-70 degrees at 8am. It was a windy day but that was nice later when it warmed up to 85 in the sun. It is fun to ride with all the pro/cat1/2 teams. Z Motion always has a strong line up and Florida Velo had a large team. Then Rivet Racing ect.. all group together at the start. One of the riders placed 9th in the Race Across America this spring, young guys that raced and placed well in the nationals were there.
Billy and I got stuck way in the back and had to catch up to the Peloton. I have never raced a criterium but it was almost like a 100 mile criterium. Lot of surging at every turn or hill. The biggest hill of the course is around 80 miles, at the top of that hill we had a 4 man breakaway and another 8 or so guys in front of me. I was rotating with another guy and we had a couple of guys on our wheel and had almost caught the group of 8 and we got swallowed up by a strong group of 12 or so riders. We caught the 8 that were just in front of us and soon caught the 4 man breakaway.
I think the wind had taken its toll on the 4 man breakaway. They were off the front for 25 miles. I let the teams battle it out over the next 15 miles. They would keep attacking each other but I think they knew some hills were coming. Around mile 88 a guy was riding next to me and started to get a bad case of the cramps at the crest of a hill. While he had his left leg unclipped he was pedaling with everything he had with his right leg to stay with the group. I figure that there were 25-30 riders in the group. I may have been the only guy without a team jersey.
The teams had their RV's in the park near the start, and they also had bottles given to them at the top of the hills. I did the ride with 3 water bottles, I was getting very thirsty near the end. It was around 95 miles into the ride when I was talking to a couple of guys, one recognized me from last year. The other was commenting on how we were coming up on the last section of hills and said they would be difficult. I should have been up near the front when we hit the first of the hills, but I was near the front by the top of the first one (mile 96). I had a few guys off the front but just started to get in a groove and did not look back. I could hear the guys behind me yelling but stayed focused on my riding.
On the next hill a couple of guys started to pass me but faded. I was riding as hard as I could. I could see two guys that had a nice gap on me and a handfull within a few bike lengths either way, this was around mile 97. By mile 98 one of the two guy in the lead had popped and now I was focused on the guy in front, his name was Eduardo.
Earl Bradly had the job of pulling the Z motion team up to me and Eduardo, he popped around 98. I still had one guy near me and we traded a couple of pulls, he was the same guy that I worked with at the top of Sugarloaf Mtn, after a stong pull he pulled way over and was done. I was getting pretty close to Eduardo toward the finish and the other guys were way behind. I crossed the finish line a few bike lengths behind Eduardo. It was fun that Mike was there to see it. He called out the time but I was more excited that I second place. Mike called out the next guy as a minute later but it was probably something like 30-40 seconds later. And then the finish line was crowded with 20+ bikes.
Here is a good report from a participant at El Tour de Tucson which includes riding with Barry Bonds:
Here is a good video of the lead group coming through the first wash/dry creek bed. The first wash is fairly easily managed. the second is where the carnage takes place but still a good view.
Come on out Friday for the Flyin Tuna, first annual, "Come Help Me Burn Calories Off My Fat Butt After Eating Too Many Calories on Thanksgiving" ride from the Newark YMCA at 9:00am. 50-55 miles to Bladensburg.
One evening, as we were returning "home", the sweep of the head lights caught an animal, the form of which looked something like a large pig, racing across the road. Wondered what it was but made a mental note, "No running at night with a beast like that running around." The next evening, as the sun was setting, my wife excitedly called me to the patio and geez, there were 8-10 of these pig like creatures, which I guessed to be Javelinas. I grabbed the camera and went down stairs and approached the pack. One of the adults, seeing me approaching, began running toward me and I noted it had large teeth and....I retreated at a pace that would make you sprinters proud, especially Todd Lee. Curious, I performed an internet search and discovered the Javelina (pronounced "have-a-leana") was known to be aggressive and attack in packs!!!!! Estupido!!!!! What next, try to pick up a large worm that had rattles on the end of it? The above image was taken the following morning when some of them came back as the images I took the previous evening were too dark. Below is an image taken off the internet....note the huge teeth.
So, having never seen one of the beasts before I didn't think I'd see them anytime soon but the next day, I rode my bike up to Oracle and a little beyond to old #77 and began climbing a hill. Suddenly, a Javalina rushed out of the bush just to my right. Both of us were startled so I yelled and it ran back into the bush.
Wow, Friday forecast to be 60 degrees and sunshine!!!!! What are the plans? I hear Jeff S has something planned. Any one else?
YES! There is now a ride planned. Flyin Tuna has stepped forward and wants to start from the Newark YMCA at 9:00am. Everyone welcome to join us. Destination not yet determined but distance will be around 50+ with a shorter option. Food stop mid way for those interested. Again, this is not for just Tuna's Peeps but for anyone who wants to get out for a ride.
Tuna says the ride goes to Bladensburg for pancakes! (or just stop at the gas station). Distance is 50-55 but because originating out of Newark, won't be nearly as hilly. There may not be maps so be prepared.
I'm jumping ahead in the week to today, Saturday and the Tour de Tucson. I decided early in the week not to participate because if I wasn't going to be fit for the 111 route, I wasn't going to schlep around on a shorter route or put in a crummy time on the long route. I was out early in the day and discovered radio stations were posting updates every 15 minutes and at around mile 25, the announcer riding in the pace car said, "There is still a large group at the front and no one is really pushing the pace yet." So I thought, "huh, probably 30-40 people right??? No!!!! they said there were still 1000, yes one thousand in the lead group.
The group was nearing a dry river bed crossing and at that point, may have had to cross another but not sure as I am not familiar with the route. Anyway, my wife and I walked to Oracle Road to wait for the groups to arrive. I have no idea what happened but when the cyclists arrived, there were two guys in front, then another guy, then a large group of around 15, then a group of 15 and then a group of around 20 and there was Tym Tyler, drafting at the back and I have that part of it on video. I'll try to put it on Youtube. Then, groups kept coming and coming and coming as 8800 cyclists had started one of 4 different distances. The 111 mile route had the largest contingent but I heard 1600 were at the 60 mile distance and 700 for the 80 mile and a huge crowd for the 40 miler. I jumped in the car and followed and eventually, on a climb, saw a cycling kit I recognized and hey! there was Lisa Tyler! I shouted out the window "Hey" but had to go as I was holding up traffic.
UPDATE: Tym finished 146 with a time of 4:19 and Lisa finished 362 with a time of 5:15.
I am unclear how far up the cycling food chain participants go but there is a large group of professionals and this is the real deal for a domestic cycling event. Former UCLA great, Bill Walton, baseball home run drug cheat Barry Bonds and others also rode in the event. A woman flew from the North Pole to participate and others representing 40 states participated too. I was impressed with what I saw. Much more to come, including my assault on Mt Lemmon, attack of wild animals, lots of hiking, etc...
Monday in Oro Valley, AZ dawned partly cloudy, kind of chilly and a good day to make a day trip to Bisbee, in the southeast corner of the state. I had heard this was a worthwhile daytrip and only 90 minutes away. Back in the early 1900's, Bisbee was the most populated city between St. Louis and San Francisco due primarily to the mining of copper. The two large copper mines were shut down around 2008 but likely will be reopened next year. Freeport McMoran has mineral rights to a huge swath of land and with the rise in commodity prices, including copper, it now makes economic sense to do so. The locals, cheer the prospect and the jobs that will return. In the meantime, the town is kind of a bohemian subculture of artists and musicians catering to the tourist trade with dozens of Victorian style homes dotting the steep hillsides.
OK, so worked our way through countless galleries, shops featuring pottery, leather, copper items, art, all made by locals, walked through old hotels, ate lunch at an ancient place that had great hamburgers and then.....wow, a bike shop and quite an unusual one at that!
The owner, opens the place only on Saturdays and Sundays, other times by appointment but we happened to find him at the shop and he let us in. Early in the conversation he is quick to let you know he is wealthy and works when he wants while collecting valuable bikes. I'm not knowledgeable at collectible bikes but he rattled off many names, only 2-3 are in the US, he could sell this one for "X", that one for "Y", Lemond rode this one, this one is a rare fixed gear 3-speed that operates at full gear, 25% less and 50% less, etc.. Probably think the guy was obnoxious but no, he delivers all this in such a manner that I could bear it but he also never shuts up. Loquacious he is not.
He also collects frames and cycling memorabilia. Never been in a shop like this before and he could care less about selling anything. One path around the perimeter just inside the counters and that is the extent of the allowable movement. He asked if I wanted to see a special frame in his workshop (really more like a dungeon) and I said yes but the uniqueness of the frame was lost on me. Something about a frame that is both a road and mountain or road and something that is very rare.
Oh yeah, had to buy his proprietary T-shirt.
My wife's half marathon started from the Chicago Cubs spring training stadium in Mesa, AZ. Kind of neat to be able to walk the field later and discover the outfield is very similar in condition and texture to a well maintained fairway at a golf course. Very smooth and no excuse for missing a ground ball. "She Who Must Be Obeyed" did not run well and was a little miffed but always falls back on the "just glad I finished" theme and became chipper again during the drive south. Can you guess who won the men's overall? Hint: Think of a holiday in October and the color of a vegetable that people carve into scary faces. This guy had matching orange running shoes too, shot out of the gate at the start and won easily.
Took a 6 mile hike/trail run into the mountains Saturday afternoon.
So, cloudy on Saturday and then, rain on Sunday. Nothing hard, just off and on and kind of dreary, very unusual. Oh yeah. wife announced she was running a second half marathon so she could say she had run them back to back. Another disappointing finish, who'd of thunk it, one day after running one and this time in the rain, but she finished and was quite proud of herself.
Raining too hard to ride or hike so went to local Chilis to watch the Bungals and eat and drink too much. Weather looks good for rest of the week
Greg Dubois sent me this link and info.
Did you see that Ted Meisky got a big mention on the PEZ cycling website? http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=9834&status=True&catname=Latest%20News
Arrived in Tucson under cloudy skies but still warm. Had to get up at 4:00am to make our flight and then I have to get up at 3:45am Saturday morning to drive my wife to Mesa for the half marathon. Not fun.
Hey, anyone planning a ride for Saturday outside of the 9:00am start from Cyclist Connection in Canal Winchester? Got nothing against the Canal ride but if I don't see Cedar Hill or Amanda Northern roads for a month or two that would be ok. Saw Saturday's ride is to Amanda and back for 45 miles. I tried to recruit Flyin Tuna to lead a Saturday ride but because she is fighting the grunge with antibiotics, she did not want to commit. Anyone else?
My father, at 92, fell about two months ago and spent time in the hospital. Doctors have no idea what was the cause as the aftermath of it left him with no leg strength but a stroke was ruled out as the cause. Some of you were aware of this so wanted to bring you up to date. He is making progress and going through therapy at a nursing home. It appears he may be able to return home in a few weeks if he continues to make progress. All of my relatives on both sides of my parents lived in to their 90's and 100's so with luck, I'll be creating content for this blog for another 40+ years! Think about that! Over 300 unique visitors have visited the blog for each of the last 7 days so I'm feeling pressure to provide content. One of you created a program to ping the blog on one day and I had around 1000 hits that day but that assualt had no impact on the unique visitor totals.
Well, headed to AZ early on Friday for a week. Our son loves this break from us and I love the break from Ohio weather although it doesn't look too bad next week. My goals are to climb Kitts Peak, a fairly steep and long (6 miles or so) climb, try to do Gates Pass and do Mt. Lemmon. Ted M assures me there is an eatery at the top that serves great food. The Little Woman has a half marathon this Saturday in Mesa and then may do another the following weekend in Tucson. As an accountant, she crams all her vacation time in this time of the year. I'll have images and reports all next week for my loyal readers who need their work day broken up by a visit to the goofy blog.
Amanda Orr has put new Fuji bike for sale, this the one with the brand new frame. Amanda, when asked about who would best fit the bike replied, "A woman about my size." Yes, that makes sense. See it on ebay and make your bid for this piece of cycling history, cycling lore, a bike that may one day hang in the Smithsonian Museum!
Amanda Orr 10:28pm Nov 4 Please put the word out :) for sale!
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fuji-C4-Carbon-Road-Bike-44cm-Ultegra-Dura-Ace-/200671632272 Fuji C4 Carbon Road Bike 44cm Ultegra/Dura Ace www.ebay.com Fuji C4 Carbon Road Bike 44cm Ultegra/Dura Ace in Sporting Goods , Outdoor Sports , Cycling , Bicycl...
Steve O requested that I post this notice. I've not been able to make any of the first 2 but hear it is a very good time. Hope to be there for this one but can't publically commit because a couple of sickos will begin plotting revenge. 3rd Annual Cyclists Christmas Party Thursday, December 8th at The Slate Run Vineyard. http://www.slaterunwine.com/ 6:00 - 9:00PM Pot luck - people last names beginning with a-b bring pop & ice or other non alcoholic drinks, c-h bring appetizer/salad dishes, last names i-r bring main course kind of dishes, and last names s-z bring deserts. Due to Slate Runs liquor license, no outside alcoholic beverages may be brought in. Spot tastings provided, purchase by the glass or bottle on your own. If people want to participate in a gift exchange, bring a $15 gift...serious or gag...no junk. Please RSVP your attendance and (guest ?) by Thursday, December 1st to Steve or Donna If anyone has some surge protector strips, we will need some for all the electric appliances.
Well, today is the annual Mark Clingan birthday ride. Steve O and Jeff S, not sure if anyone else can make it, accompany Mark on a route of his choosing and let him win all the KOM points and all the sign sprints (doubt Todd Lee would be able to honor that one so good he isn't going). During lunch in Bladensburg, Steve made several less than complimentary statements about Mark, calling him a "chunkster", telling us how much weight Mark has gained, how slow he has become (not sure if at this point of the conversation Steve was getting his Marks mixed up) and told us he told Mark, "Is that your rear end or a hay bale?" during a recent ride. Well, with friends like this..... Anyway, Happy Birthday Mark Chunkster!
A good turnout for a ride that started on a cold but bright morning in central Ohio with starting temp around 31. There were no-shows, there were shows, there were surprise shows and then there was a show but forgot a bag of cycling gear, in this case Ted M. A reminder to us all that with the colder temperatures there is plenty of extra clothing to pack but also to bring with you. Ted had to abandon the ride before it started. In hindsight, the group probably could have patched together whatever clothing was missing but that would have required Ted to be willing to put on what was pulled out of the deep car trunks, not an inviting prospect.
At the start were Mitch O, Steve Oxley, John Morgan & Steve, Dustin (riding up from Pickerington on his bike), Jeff S, Hyper Kenda Janet and Paul, Amanda, Flyin Tuna, Dennis, Grand Poobah, Franz, Mark Rossi but disappointedly, no Recumbent Dude and no Rick Miller, both of whom would have upped the entertainment value a little.
So, I attempted to flatten the route to Bladensburg somewhat so after rolling out of the parking lot we bypassed the traditional climb up Thresher and got onto 661, a left turn on New Burg and later a right on Dry Creek. The sun made things seem warmer and I don't think any of us were too cold, at least I didn't hear any of the normal griping about under dressing. Upon reaching 661, rather than turn left and then a quick right onto Chattam, we stayed on Dry Creek, all the way to Marion/657. The group became split along Dry Creek when Grand Poobah took his turn at the front, proceeded to sprint, catching some off guard and so the back group of Kendaites, Flyin Tuna, Mitch and Jeff S was formed.
We turned right on St Joseph and had the pleasure of that climb but that is also where things began to go awry with a cable snapping on either Mitch's or Jeff's bike. Those two urged the others on while our group, oblivious to what was happening, kept going through St Louisville, up Dog Hollow and then left on Peatmoss. At the Blacksnake intersection we regrouped but I kept going, turning right and then left on Hull. I could see Dustin ahead of me but he kept going straight on Blacksnake and behind me, Steve O also went straight. I stayed on route and turned right on Bell Church and then left on Martinsburg road and waited in Martinsburg. Soon, Steve O and Dustin joined me and we began to speculate about what happened to everyone else. John M and Steve had left our bunch to head back to Granville, Pobah after waiting for 20 minutes for other to show up, led a group of Dennis, Amanda, Franz and Mark R to Bell Church but instead of turning left on Martinsburg Road, kept going straight.
Dustin, with 45 miles, headed back to Pickerington and then Steve O and I, having waited about 20 minutes, decided to continue on to B-burg. We approached the turn on Divan and here came Todd and his group from the other direction and so we regrouped (they with an extra 3 miles) and after Divan, made a left on Henpeck and in to Bladensburg with 31 or 34 miles. Soon thereafter, Mitch and Jeff joined us and we took up 4 booths as each of us laid out our extra clothing to dry, all speculating about where were the Kendaites and Tuna. Soon, we began to worry because for Cindy not to make it for the pancakes, something had to be seriously wrong. Those who had a cell phone with them and who also had Cindy's number, attempted to reach her but had no luck. Much less worrisome was the Kendaite situation because, well you know.... Had a great time poking fun at each other, as is the norm. Because it was reasonably close to lunch time, I ordered the cheeseburger and very greasy fries while I think everyone else had the pancakes or eggs.
Here, Todd and Steve busily stuff themselves. Thanks to Frans for providing the Todd/Ox and Amanda plate images.
Amanda's ample plate of food, which she furiously disposed of. Someone speculated that Cindy had turned around because Amanda had kicked her ass and we all laughed. Heck, we laughed at whatever anyone said while slightly exceeding the calories we had burned.
We left the diner and headed west on Beal, then south to 62 and into Martinsburg, at which point I began feeling the effects of riding previously too few miles and currently way too many climbs. Geesh, what a wreck am I. Anyway, we made it to Utica and then took the traditional route back to Granville via Reynolds (climb) Preston (climb), Weaver (climb), Chatham (climb) and then rolling roads back into Granville, finishing with 62 miles and 4400' of climbing. I called Cindy's home to find out what happened and discovered she had not been feeling well and turned around at the Blacksnake intersection with the Kendas.
Well, not sure what you all will be doing next weekend but I plan to head southwest to Tucson for a week. Still scheming on how I can spend the entire winter down there while also staying married. If anyone has any ideas let me know. Some have suggested we do a "Sunday Heat of the Day Ride" this winter while of course also doing a weekly Saturday roving ride type thing, weather permitting. Our "group" which is comprised of anyone who wants to ride, ride all winter as long as the start temp is 27-28 at the start (OK, winds can't be howling along with that temp) and the roads are reasonably clear. Start times will vary so we can accommodate needed temp increases to gain that start temp minimum.
There will be a Saturday ride out of Granville's Wildwood Park beginning at 9:00am and going to Bladensburg via a.....NEW route!!!! As an added bonus, Recumbent Dude is going to be there, along with Mitch O, Kendaites, Flyin Tuna, Amanda and probably lots of others. Will have maps but unsure of exact miles for now but will post later. The unofficial ride leader is Amanda which means nothing but it was her idea for the route so she is the leader. Upon reaching Bladensburg, you can eat pancakes, stop at the gas station or market or just keep going. UPDATE: The Steve Oxley has agreed to show for the ride. Yes, it required payment of appearance money but it will be worth it. I have made a master map with a route that is all new. Yes, the traditional route out of Granville but it gets different in a hurry, giving us 32 miles to Bladensburg and a total of 65-70. I trudge to the library on Friday to make map copies. These will be 11 x 17 so even Kenda Janet can read it. One important note. There is no food stop between Granville and B-burg so bring fluids and snack.
Update #2: Grand Poobah and Jeff S, aka Little Diesel, will also be at the ride. Enormous star power all coming, out of respect and admiration for ride leader A. Orr.
Update #3: Junior Muscle Dude is coming. Please note this is open to everyone, not just the usual suspects and a variety of speeds will be represented. Come on out and do the 50 mile option to Martinsburg or the 65 to Bladensburg. Lots of opportunity to extend the ride too out of Bladensburg.
Update #5: Rick Miller will meet us out on the road and while we snack or eat in Bladensburg he is going to do free bike tune-ups!!!!