Apparently, judging by the turnout today, there were a lot of people who wanted to burn calories prior to an overactive evening of eating, if not drinking. 19 of us rolled out of the parking lot and others were left behind waiting on others to arrive, including a late arriving Kenda Stefano. At the start, several who had said they would ride were not there including Da Boss (wickedly sick said his email), Recumbent Dude, Ginger & others. However, there were plenty to pick up the slack including Steve O, Mark C (riding a Gary Fisher mountain bike with XXX Lite carbon wheels), John, Mark V, Rick G, Cindy B, Kendas Janet, Paul & Dave, Dentist Brad, Mike Rea (I think he is the real deal judging by how remorselessly he wore us down), Jeff S, another John (new guy and friend of Ginger), friend of John, Jeremy, tandem Rossi's, Ryan R & Blair B. Oh yeah, my zipper front on the jacket was broken and failed to cover all of well rounded tummy and my good friend Flyin Tuna alerted everyone to the fact. I assure you, the broken zipper is a function of overuse and not pressure from a rising stomach! Here, Kenda Janet shows off the new Kenda jersey for 2011.
As I passed out maps, it began to lightly rain and in a millisecond, Janet began making noise about not riding in the rain and just as quickly it stopped. So, we rolled out at a relaxed pace, making a right on Babbit, working our way over to the ultra-bumpy Cable and then to the Col du Alward where Steve O.....attacked!!!! Mark C was quick to his wheel and I to his and I got around them to the first summit on the multi-summitted Alward. I expected the weight of their mountain bike and cross bike would wear on them but they just kept going without breathing heavily. I put in another good spurt and turned and....there was the entire freaking peloton. How disheartening, even Flyin Tuna was right there. Reached the turn at the top and there had been some minor slippage of the peloton and at that point, Steve O and Mike R showed the off season was no excuse not to turn up the screws and off we went on Hollow, right at York, across #16, left on Deeds, left on Gale and then right on Granview. We passed my house but I am reluctant to allow some to know where it is (Steve O) for fear of stalking.
We finally arrived at the River Road Coffee House in Granville with 25 miles and some sun had broken out too. The coffee, crumb cakes and (for me) chicken salad sandwich were great. Road grime was obvious on all of our faces but I noticed for some, black gritty spots made them look better.Unfortunately, we had to ride back. Here, Steve O explains how his 8000 road miles had made him the storngest cyclist in Ohio, with a few caveats. I desperately wanted to go the long route but the crushing burden of responsibility forced me to escort the Rossi's, Mark V and Kenda J back on the most direct route to New Albany. So, we separated with our small group taking the direct route of the new bypasses finally hooking up with old #161 while everyone else took a somewhat hilly route back.
Not wanting to miss out on a final accomplishment for 2010, I bided my time riding on 161 while Mark Rossi spun himself into exhaustion. Then, on the climb up to Kitzmiller, I ATTACKED!!!! After drafting for 15 miles it really was not much of a contest. I captured the summit finish and the sign sprint, capping a nearly perfecto year. In the meantime, the others completed the 54 mile route and I guess had a good time. Our group had 42 miles and that was enough. As I drove home I saw quite a few other cyclists and get this, my front tire exploded while in my car. My ears are still ringing and can't figure out what caused it. Oh yes, Kenda Janet cemented her reputation as the worst pre and post ride cyclist, sporting this raccoon skined coat.
Well, it's 11:42 and I lost all my cash playing Texas Hold-em with the boys from Cambridge (wife's side of the family) and I am into my second bottle of wine (New Zealand Sauv Blancs). As I look back on the year I have concluded I am a very lucky guy. I have some great cycling buddies...well...ok....I have a couple of cycling buddies and I have a heck of a time riding with all of you...well most of you... If this blog continues for 2011 depends on your vote, which I hav eput off for next week when you are all back to work. Watch for the "Keep the Cycling Bog Alive" challenge next year. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!