Can't blame you if you declined to show, given how ominous was weather radar. Paul Stock, after receiving a good soaking last week, was particularly interested in all of our forecasts, which ranged from rain being imminent to not arriving until after 9:00pm. Paul listened to the latter, rather than the former and good thing too as the rain held off. Here, Poobah, the dean of cycling somewhere if not anywhere, shows off his "John Travolta Saturday Night Live" imitation of 40 years ago. Later, he claimed he was impersonating Usan Bolt but we all knew better.
Tattoo Dude, or Wes, who owns a tattoo shop and other businesses. Strong rider but someone noted there was a spot behind his kneecap that was open for a tat.
A good "B" group showed up, led by Nathan, Poobah, David Smith, Mark R, Cindy, Ron, 3 OSU jerseyed guys, Peggy, Katherine, Farmer Mike & others. Here, Mark R appears unhappy that Killer Karen did not come along so he could take it easy on the tandem.
Ron, in the foreground while Flyin Tuna and her peeps in the background.
It's a vibrant scene in New Albany and by far my favorite parking lot scene. What happens out on the road usually makes it my least favorite ride, Dave C glances at his computer while others prepare to get going.
Shannon, who may be suffering from first year ride leader fatigue, as he is sending out routes via email later than normal and arriving at the parking lot later than normal. Been there done that but hang in there. You're doing a fantastic job and there's only a few weeks to go. So, about 19 roll out with the A group, Dave C, Muscle Dude, Billy C, Paul Stock, Steve O, Shannon, Gus Cook, Chris G, Pete C, Kyle Wingler (just back from a trip to Alaska),, Mick, Claude, Retro George, Colnago Ron, Wes & a few others. The first several miles were punctuated by missed turns and signed intersections so even though the wind was mostly favorable or a cross wind, it was hard to get the "Big Mo" going, which of course was fine by me! In fact, at one point we turned on to a road that was gravel but no worries, turned around, headed east and got onto Clover Valley. The fits and starts impacted our average but still, by the time we rolled into Hartford at roughly mile 17, our average was 24.5. Pretty much everyone was still in the hunt, including George who was incredulous that I was still there.
We shot out Benington Chapel, hung a right on Clouse Willison and then a left on Appleton. There were some rollers in there that eventually took George out of the action and exposed some weakness by a couple of others yet the group rolled on and most of the original 19 were still there. Of course, I knew the "DECIDER" was yet to come, the dreaded Stone Quarry. We drove on, as Appleton Road turned into Louden and finally, reached the Quarry Road. I had already decided that, now at mile 28 it had been a good evening and the Grim Reaper was hovering over me to cut me out of the group. We turned and hit the first hill and I'll be damned, I hung in with the lead group but there was Billy and Muscle Dude battling for KOM points which Billy won. Several guys were shelled on this climb, but I clung to Muscle Dude's wheel, preparing for the next climb and....I'll be damned, hung on through that and the ensuing climbs and reached Northridge with the blind squirrel still there (you know, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in awhile).
I was stunned to still be in elite company but probably the perfect storm had gathered to enable it, head winds on the return to keep the front guys in check, Patrick, Marty and Jon were not there to add power to the front rotation, frequent stops on the outbound leg of the route, you know, I'm not as dumb as I look. However, I began to think the implausible; I may just hang on to the end! Into Johnstown via Concord, down Caswell, up Caswell, eventually on to Jug but through the "S" curve, we passed a B group while I dropped my chain. I happened to be in the middle of the pack, got the chain back on and caught the tail end so that was lucky too. I was there to the sprint at the end, finishing with a 23.7 average, 47 miles and 1175'' of climbing. The front B group, apparently led by Poobah, finished with a 22mph avg.
Good route for COP's roving ride out of Logan, with lots of hills over to and back from Lake Hope. Also, have some bad news for some, good news for most to report, coming soon about one of our most beloved cyclists leaving Ohio.