Big turnout for a very difficult ride! Mike W on the right, Marty and Lori were some of the first to arrive. Lori rode from New Albany and would end up with almost 100 miles this day. No doubt some were attracted by the rumor of cash prizes but alas, it was only a rumor.
No ride is complete unless the Kendas make it out, above with Larry and Lisa too.
Meredith in the back with Cindy B, Philippe and unfortunately I don't know the name of the guy on the left.
More people roll in to sign in, Steve Fields and Steve Oxley.
With approximately 55 cyclists ready to go, there were some semi literate comments made by Cindy, I announced the first cyclist to arrive at the final summit of Blue Jay going out and then also coming back on the two longest routes, would be eligible for, but not guaranteed to receive, cash prizes. I know who are the winners now and will announce below.
Getting through Newark and it's 100 red lights, as a group, is impossible so above is the front group but where were the others? The host and co-host waited and waited but no one arrived??? We finally figured the back bunch must have found a different route through the maze so we began anew but now way back of everyone else. Eventually, we began to pick people up and organized a regroup at....
....Fling Ridge Park. Now a curious sight to be sure. A cyclist who shall remain nameless, entered the park, paused to take a drink of water, paused to walk one of the hiking paths, all while we patiently waited and then rode to the twin rest rooms where he dismounted, walked to the side of the building and,,,,let the image fill in the blanks. As Marty said in the comments section, maybe he feared a snake was in the room as we later did see at a less sophisticated restroom.
Earlier in the week, I had given the market people a head's up that around 40 of us would be coming through and so today they were ready. Cyclists came and went but the big talk was about the black snake in the Port-A-John. Peering in there to take a pic did not appeal to me so I have no evidence but it was there. A small cavity in the floor allowed it access. Eventually, a large group departed and upon reaching....
...the point where one must decide, do I go long (85) or "short" (66) we found Kim, Meredith, Deniece and Isaac. They all were going short. As part of our group arrived, we spotted them across the road in the shade. They yelled to us, "Hey bitches." I'm pretty sure that is a first for me but my memory is spotty so maybe not. Anyway, it was said in a friendly way so that is ok. Now, that Isaac.....
....had missed a turn and gone southeast into the small village of White Chapel. Eventually he got back on the route in Zanesville and now, with the other shorties,....
....headed south towards Texas Road with the aforementioned ladies, Larry P and Lisa A. I, extremely reluctantly and only under coercion, went the long route with Rex, Mitch, Cindy & Steve. There is this road called Pinewood Trail...one freaking wall after another. It makes Blue Jay seem flat or almost so. Every time we arrived at a road going south I would inquire, do we go left here but NOOOOO, always into the walls. Finished with 83 miles and 5600' of climbing. Now for the winners, pretty much it was the same group of 5 who arrived simultaneously, I am told, at the summit finishes, Marty, Ken B, Lori N, Philippe and Goeric. If any of them were destitute, a cash prize would materialize but they are all pretty well off so I will just keep the cash for me!