Monday, 10:15pm. Now 165 visitors but wait....what is that....another comment. Is it someone throwing more insults at me? BUT NO..........Classy Person #5 has posted a comment and instructed me to continue. Whew, that was close. My back up plan was to officially retire at midnight and then announce the comeback tomorrow. Thank you #5 whoever you are. The referrence to drinking was a small clue but does not sufficiently narrow the fireld. Maybe Kenda Dave. Anyway, I do kind of enjoy creating the blog posts and highlighting the silly stuff we do. Something for me to read when I'm in the old folks home some day. Thanks for helping while away a slow winter day.
Monday at 9:00pm, 140 visitors and 12 people have commented on the below question, "Should I continue for another year with the blog?" 4 classy people have replied in the affirmative. The other comments were hard to interpret as a positive. I need one more person to definitively state, "Yes, please continue with your stupid blog." by midnight, or I'll be forced to retire. Even Recumbent Dude was ambivalent about it, pontificating about this and that but not suggesting I keep it going. Please, I kind of wanna keep it going but if I can't pull out 5 positive replies then what does that mean?????
The Grand Poobah (right) strides towards his car to dig out the bike. Others layer on the clothes to prepare for the head wind and cold.
I wondered how many people would show on this cold and very windy day and once again, opted for the cheaper’s version of real doughnuts—the doughnetts, so as not to get stuck with large doughnuts I would feel obligated to eat should no one show for the ride. Surprisingly, there were 11 of us, including Todd L, Steve O, Kenda Stefano, Ginger, Franz, Jeff S, Blair, Kevin K, Cindy B and Ryan R. As a bonus, Steve cleaned out his kitchen of cookies and brought a large plate to give out. It appeared some had bite marks so I declined.
Where are the other Kendaites like Rick, Paul, Janet and Dave? What about Dennis and Amanda to show off her new winter shoe covers? What about Canal Susan and Pastor Mark? 11 is a good turnout but it could be so much higher to join in what is a lot of fun. We headed out on kind of a hilly opening stretch that included Slough and Pickerington Roads. I had wanted to avoid some wind when putting the route together but having those hills to start exaggerated the fitness difference and people got stretched out a little so we waited at the top of Pickerington to regroup. Earlier, Steve piped me at the summit of Slough after first allowing me to go around him. He loves to toy with me just like a cat does with a mouse.
We continued on via Rock Mill and Sand Hill Roads with Kevin K cutting it short. We arrived in Amanda and I felt that was the hardest 18 mile stretch of the year with the 10-20 mph winds. If the winds had suddenly shifted to blow from the north, I’m positive I would have begun weeping. We debated a little about turning north to ride the oh so appealing tail winds but we decided to head farther south via the long climb on Amanda Southern, then Gerhart and the rollers on Sixteen Road into Tarleton. There, Cindy curiously continued to wear her new Rudy Project sunglasses both on the bike and into the market, so as to either maximize the return on the investment or try to garner attention to the fact she was wearing something new. Most of us had enough of the head wind except Steve who also convinced Jeff to join him on a further excursion to the south and Laurelville. I desperately wanted to join them but had an obligation to shepherd my remaining pilgrims back to Canal Winchester. Damn responsibility!
Oh but what sweet relief to ride that wind back. The Grand Poobah himself, Todd, set a hard pace at the front for many a mile as we went north, hitting Justin and then Cedar Ridge on into Canal Winchester for 52 miles, 2500’ of climbing and a 17.1 mph. Many a calorie was burned on this ride but alas, not enough to counter the many calories I consumed in the days before the ride. Still, it was great to get out and maintain some minimum level of fitness with good friends.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It has been roughly a year since I started these silly ride reports. Last week, as many as 90 people hit the blog on one day and the daily averages shock me with 40-50 people. The pressure to come up with something other than…”we turned right here and left here and I got my ass kicked by so and so on this climb” is enormous. Should I continue????? Here’s the deal, if 5 of you post on the comments section that you want me to continue then I will. If not, I will sign off forever. It is entirely up to you!
We're on for Saturday at 11:00am from Cyclist Connection out of Canal Winchester. Headed to Amanda, Tarleton and Laurelville with a couple of short-cut options. Long mileage is 71 but again, much shorter options. Commited cyclists so far is a nice range of power so if you're an A, B or C rider you'll be fine.
Recent notes of some interest:
1. Recumbent Dude (Nathan) has given up for now the plane building hobby and has decided to become a tri-athlete and enter marathons, the real ones not the little ones. Word is he has lost a lot of weight and is going to kick my ass next season, a decidedly modest goal.
The Boss has found a new bike and has set high goals for the season. Considering where he already is, that can only mean he’ll be riding in Europe as part of the pro peloton.
John the Dentist bought a new Colnago with Shimano Di electric shifting system. He is headed to Florida next week to train and claims the new bike has added significantly to his wattage. The coupling of this technological advantage with time to train and good environment in which to train means only one thing….we are doomed.
Flyin Tuna bought a pair of Rudy Project sunglasses. She believes there is a slight aero advantage to the shape of the glasses and thinks this will add to her speed.
A box arrived today from Fuzzy Zoeller, a former winner of the Masters and US Open. How about that! A couple of years ago I designed a set of irons and driver for him to use on the Senior PGA tour so discovered today I'm still on his mailing list.
In the box was a bottle of Vodka with frosted glass finish and a clear window on the front of the bottle that showed a golf scene on the inside back of the bottle. I thought this very neat. A collector's item for my book shelf.
Today is a momentus day, as it is every year on this day. Momentous because today is the shortest day of the year as winter solstice. After a day or two lag, the amount of daylight actually begins to INCREASE!!!! Truly a reason to celebrate. I was never very tolerant of winter weather and have grown less so each year. I mark this day and 1/28 (the day when the average day time high temperature begins to increase) as part of a long march to Spring.
Pastor Mark collected Peggy & Butch and headed to the parking area on Big Pine Road. In the meantime, I headed out on a different route but with the same destination. Rounding a curve on #33, my rear wheels slid out and only by calling on my “Daytona 500” driving skills was I able to correct but with the car sliding across the lane. Fortunately, no car was there to stop my slide. The event did undermine my confidence in the traction of my tires. After turning onto Big Pine I came upon a fairly steep hill and decided the car may not make it so managed to turn around and head to the parking lot at Old Man’s Cave. By coincidence, as I crested a hill Mark happened to call and ask where I was and I was able to tell him I was going directly to the parking area at OMC. Earlier, after Mark learned the deer gun season began on Saturday, Mark had changed the itinerary from off-trail outside the park boundaries to on-trail to Cedar Falls and Ash Cave.
As normal, we were greeted with spectacular scenery enhanced by the snow and ice formations. We hiked over to Cedar Falls and then on to Ash Cave but stopped at the fire tower, where Butch and Mark climbed to the top and proceeded to hurl snow balls at Peggy and I. Fortunately, Mark and Butch failed at little league baseball and the surest way to avoid the bombs was standing still. I got my revenge after they descended. After we reached Ash Cave, I separated from them and ran back to the start. A good day of hiking and trail running 9 miles.
Saturday is looking good for another great ride. Yes, there may be scattered flurries but really, that stuff only adds character to the ride. We will meet at 11:00am at New Albany, at the school (same location as the Thursday evening COP rides) and ride to Granville for a stop at a coffee house. Currently there is fierce debate over stopping at River Road Coffee House and some other place that serves Grand Poobah's favorite cinnamon rolls, an argument that will be resolved nid-ride. Miles will be around 50 with shortcut options. We'll include Stone Quarry and its massive collection of summits on the route. I've heard the Kenda people will be out in force, with Kenda-Janet styling a new cold weather outfit. Large maps and doughnuts at the start for everyone (at least for the first 4 people to show up).
Yes, it is that momentous of momentous days, Cindy B (shown above), more widely known as Flyin Tuna, turns 50 years old. To celebrate, she is leading a group ride out of Gloryland Nazarene Church on Coonpath Road at noon today (Monday). Please send her a congratulatory email at email@example.com. Now, I still receive inquiries as to how Cindy acquired the nickname Flyin Tuna. Here’s the story: She and her very patient husband are big fans of Discovery Channel. A couple of years ago, while on a bike ride in the hills east of Newark, Cindy was droning on about a show they watched containing a story about the speed at which various fish swim. We began a steep downhill and, proving that heavier weighted bikes do coast faster, she began to coast away from me while screaming a line I will always remember, “Look at me, I’m a flying tuna.” Born on that day was the nickname of a life time, Flyin Tuna. Happy Birthday Cindy!
Above, The Grand Poobah Himself, Todd L.
The pre-ride session got off to a rocky start when, unable to find real large doughnuts at the store, I had to settle for a bag of small doughnets. This produced some major grumbling from Flyin Tuna, who is working tirelessly at building her own doughnut, if ya know what I mean. Thereafter, things began looking up with the arrival of Grand Poobah Todd, Amanda, Jeff S, Steve O, Dennis, Kenda Dave and surprisingly, Kenda Stefano for a total of 9 cyclists. The 9:00am group had only 2 show for the 22 degree start and that is 2 more than I would have guessed. At 11:00am, the temperature was a toasty 32. Before showing off, Todd volunteered he had an announcement and claimed to be Tiger’s 21st mistress, a claim some of us voiced was believeable.
We headed toward the Rushville Coffee House via the normal route that is kind of hilly with an extended stay on Rainbow and Plum and some small hills on Coonpath. Also a factor was a strong SE wind. We kept the ride social with some of us taking off to form a breakaway group while other times hanging back with those who are clearly working too much and riding too little. As we converged on Rushville, a group of Todd, Dennis and I battled furiously up that long, steepish climb to the Coffee House and the welcome warmth within. We gathered in the bottom floor, lounging comfortably on sofas and padded chairs. Life was good as we soaked up drinks and bagels. The Kendas had cut the ride a little short because of time pressures and we missed the opportunity to beg Stefano for free tubes. RATS.
As is normal, Cindy B approached and suggested we change the route to spend less time on Pleasantville road by taking Leitnaker and Leonard before jumping back on the route at Bader and Bish. I learned long ago it is best to just acquiesce and today was no different (actually, it was a better route). We all rode together up Gun Barrel and west on Pleasantville but somewhere on Leitnaker, Dennis picked up the pace and soon he, Todd, Steve and I were riding hard and kept up a furious pace all the way back with Todd sprinting from the back of the pack to claim every conceivable sign sprint. Going into Canal, Todd reached into his bag of tricks to claim the final city sign sprint when, upon appearing to lose ground to Steve, reached over and patted Steve on his rear, disrupting Steve into a spasm of laughter and Todd won, again.
Finished with 52 miles and 2700’ of climbing. 39 degrees at the end of a great day for riding. Sure, it’s cold and yeah the wind is a pain but the satisfaction of having participated is always great and we hope to see more of you in the future. We speculated on what has become of Craig “The Boss” and I opined whatever he is doing it is maintaining his distinct and decided advantage over me. Rumor is he is looking at new bikes and probably training diligently.
RED ALERT. TIME CHANGE!!!
Central Ohio's Grand Poobah, THE Todd Lee, has given me permission to offer an 11:00am start time for a ride out of Cyclist Connection in Canal Winchester on Saturday, when the expected start temp should be 31-32. We will ride to the Rushville Coffee House and there will be large maps and doughnuts at the start. Some of you know how devious I can be and probably think when you show up for a doughnut I'll point to Dennis' midsection and say, "Have at it." But no, there will be real doughnuts. Hope to see you there for a 55 mile ride with a short cut option. I believe the 9:00am ride from the same place is still in force but can't be sure.
On Wednesday, I flew to Wichita, Kansas where it was 13 degrees and also had the pleasure of traveling through Chicago on both the outbound and inbound routes. Get this...I actually made it out and back the same day!!! The flight was a little uncomfortable for my seat-mate since I have spent the last 2 months eating and drinking a lot. Above is an image a traveling friend of mine took of me. I don't think I will be the climbing great I once was or perhaps never was. Now, regarding the weekend, we once again will gather at Cyclist Connection at 9:00am for a leisurely paced ride of around 50 miles. Come out please. I'm getting tired of riding with Steve and Dennis evrey week and want some people woth personality to come out. Come on!!!! It ain't going to get any warmer so may as well come out with toe warmers in your shoes and hand warmers in your gloves and lots of layers everywhere else. GET OUT THERE!!!!
A good day for options. Jump on the bike at 27D or jump in the car and drive to Old Man’s Cave for a 12 mile hike….I choose the hike. So too did the hike organizer, Pastor Mark, Donna, Flyin Tuna and Kevin K. Kevin had been undecided but after seeing only Steve O and Dennis for the ride (two stallions or at least faster than plow horses) he decided he had a better shot at hanging with the hikers.
As it turned out, the 12 mile hike was not quite as advertised. From Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls it was only slightly over 2 miles and after pausing to admire the beauty and a photo, we continued on to Ash Cave where, upon reaching the rim, had only 4.5 miles. At that point, I elected to trail run back and left the group. Total miles were 9 (1174’ of climbing)but that was plenty and the area is always beautiful. Mark enticed us with stories of off trail routes that lead to fantastic places he has not yet shown us, but will on a future hike.
Back to the ride, Steve and Dennis were joined by a late arriving Rick H and also Bob A. It was noted as the group passed the car wash thermometer that the temperature flashed 23 and then 24 so there was a warming trend. For some reason, The Rushville Coffee House ride morphed into the Stoutesville Market ride again. The foursome stayed together for the most part and elected to stick with a 45 mile route.
On Sunday, with morning temps around 18, I opted to try the Gahanna Heat of the Day Ride. I thought perhaps since the morning had been so cold several would show for this ride but there were only 5 of us and the pace was true to the description of a C/D ride. The group even stopped at UDF at mile 20 and it took all my willpower not to order ice cream. We cut the route a little short since one member of the group had become cold. Finished with 29 miles.
Saturday Update. The forecast temperature for 9:00am is 28 degrees. I will be at Cyclist Connection as planned with large maps for a 60 mile route and 42 mile short-cut. However, Pastor Mark has stepped forward with an offer to lead a hike. Normally, Mark's hikes are off trail, leading to wild places never seen since Cro-Magnon man roamed the slopes of Hocking Hills. With gun season running through Sunday, Mark will instead lead an on trail hike. Mark will be at Cyclist Connection with a van, capable of holding 12 people, at 9:00am and drive to Old Man's Cave for a 10:00am start of the hike. If you want to drive seperately that is of course ok. The hike will go to Ash Cave and Cedar Falls on both the valley and rim trail for a total of 12 miles. If you can handle the cold for a ride, that's great but if you prefer a hike, that choice is there too.