A huge turnout for the Blue Jay ride in a parking lot that was scheduled to also host a couple other events later in the day. As president and CEO of the Blue Jay Ride Commission, I had instructed one of the Commission's low level flacks (Flyin Tuna) to check for conflicts before committing us to this date but.... Anyway, since our group was first there, we got the plum parking spots. Here, Logan downs a pre-ride snack. Logan recently came in 2nd in the Ohio 15-16 Junior Road Race Championship. The murmurs in the crowd are his coach made a tactical error that cost him 1st Place. I heard Logan focused too much on guttering the guys behind him and forgot to sprint for the finish line.
Kenda Janet in her pre-ride garb, establishing a new fashion statement. I saw Cindy and Rod shopping at Wal-Mart for a matching burgundy with leather elbow patches.
Too bad Mark C was not here. Marty sporting a Mountain Dew jersey, Mark's favorite pre, post and during the ride drink.
Geez, a full team of Dewers.
There were 60 signed up for the ride, including 10-15 who normally don't show up for the Saturday Roving Ride but word got out there was going to be a race pace group and this had Da Employee licking his chops. Rather than the usual routine of riding ahead of us, waiting, ride, wait, etc... he might be pushed at least a little.
A few people paying attention to Cindy's last minute announcements before shoving off. After June's humiliation of leading people into a dead end in Newark's downtown maze, something of which I was reminded by several people, I drifted to the back and meekly followed. My bike, which I unaffectionally refer to now as "The Edsel" had arrived back from CA and I put it back together late Friday. Early I noticed something was rubbing but typically, I accepted it as another challenge to be surmounted as we headed out Blue Jay Road. The chain was clacking in between the rear sprockets but usually found one to cling but I was unable to advance the chain to the 27 but what the heck, it's only the Blue Jay route. Not to be missed, was the usual squeaking and ticking noises too.
The route is the route and no one needs a turn-by-turn description but something was not right and my legs were very fatigued as early as the turn onto Brownsville Road. My thighs ached and so, I drifted to the back of a group with Kevin H, Cindy, Dan, Beth, let a gap develop and then....exited to the bike path. I won't lie although I am tempted to. Some say this section of the bike path is just as hilly as the road route so it's not like it is flat, plus with tree roots popping through the asphalt, it's very rough so some would say my route was even harder than the road route. Somewhere in there I picked up a mighty thorn and later, my tire flatted. Oh, you should have heard the squeals of delight as people passed me and recognized who was sidelined. Cindy's group passed and I heard "Wish I had a camera" followed by Cindy's horse whinny like cackle which passes for laughter. I checked the tire and did not find anything so installed the new tube and began pumping but nothing. By this time, two of the finest in the peloton, Mitch and Ryan, stopped. Meanwhile, Kendas Todd, Paul and Janet approached separately and I was thrilled to see them approach, figuring at the most I would be loaned their bike or at the least they would fix mine but no....they just squealed with delight like everyone else. Oh, how I have alienated the group and I can't figure out why???? Ryan found what I did not, a 1" spear that had also flatted the new tube. Mitch gave me a spare and they took off and I finished and began riding. By now, every one had passed and I was last out on the road. I eventually caught up with a few people and coasted into the market in Zanesville. Craig and company were long gone but lots of good people were still there.
Now this is funny and so typical of my beloved Kendaites. Paul forgot his cycling shorts and jersey. Fortunately, Janet had an extra set and so Paul squeezed in but one could not help but notice the tan line on the legs.
I headed out with Mitch, Ryan and John and we had a nice ride over to the turn onto Morgan, going south. By now, my adjustments to the derailleur had made the situation worse and the chain was only holding in 2 sprockets while also jumping out of them for no apparent reason. I urged my small group on while I fiddled with another adjustment and.....looking at the map.....saw if I went straight I would be on Rt. 40, thus bypassing that southern stretch. I jumped on the Edsel and eagerly headed to the short-cut with my creaking bike and aching thighs. I felt like a 50-year-old going on 82. This really sucked (maybe it has something to do with riding in the scruntched up position after the seat dropped on Thursday). I eventually arrived back at the Y with 58 miles and 3800' of climbing. I ran into Da Employee and he briefly described his ride before heading out for a 3 mile run via the bike path. Sounds like he was not pushed too much as he said the pace was moderate with Logan hanging on until Flint Ridge, John Gorilla and Marty hanging in there other than when the hills got steep but typically, Craig does not like to brag so I couldn't get much out of him, although he did say his average was 20.5.
Later, Steve O called me and was lost, apparently being the only person to have taken the 95 mile route. By using Mapquest, I was able to guide him in to Newark. Hey, did you know Jeff S' birthday was Saturday? Well, time to throw more money down the bike mechanic hole and try to patch (I've given up on fixing) the Edsel.