Thursday morning, 9:00am, I'm sitting on my bike on 669, a couple of miles west of Crooksville. Soon, Steve Oxley and Mark C come coasting down a hill and I hop on, for a wild ride. They are in the midst of a 160 mile route, I'm in for a more reasonable 92 mile route. We left Crooksville via 669 (note one of the Google cars with the odd looking camera attached to the top was driving onto each street). 669 heads east to the Muskingum River and is a hilly route on fresh laid asphalt. They were still laying it as we rode and our tires picked up lots of road debris. We commented to each other what a fun experience we would have later in the day on our return via this road. We reached the river, headed north on River Road staying to the west side of the river and upon entering Philo, ate at Subway. We then went farther north on Millers Lane (hilly), right onto Clay Pike (hilly) and passing a golf course I used to play as a kid, made a right on Pine Lake Road (more hilly), went through Chandlersville and got onto Big Muskie Road (hillier yet) but did enjoy sweeping views to the east and west before arriving at the Big Muskie shovel. Kind of neat.
From there it was into Malta for a very welcome fluid stop. The hills, the wind, the heat, the humidity and the hills again, made that Monster drink the best I've ever tasted. The Gatorade wasn't bad either. We headed north on 669 which borders the river before turning west, climbing out of the valley (groan) and following the hilly ridge into a head wind, on fresh asphalt that seemed to cling to our tires with the heat radiating from the surface.... arriving back in Crooksville with 92 miles and 5600' of climbing and just in time that I thought I could make the New Albany ride..
90 minutes in the car and I expected rigor mortis to have set in and jumped out of the car into a very active parking lot at 5:50. Lisa T on the left, Farmer Mike talking to Peggy.
Huge crowd of 60-70 cyclists.The A group was freakin enormous, at least 35 and too numerous to name everyone but all the usual suspects.
Here, Shannon jumped into the back of his truck and announced some common sense rules that must be followed, such as no more running red lights, no more stop sign jumping to create gaps.....
.....saying all this under the watchful eye of COP's ride chair, Suzzane B (no, not the one with a beard). Tonight's route was another creative one, ok, all the way out 161 to Granville but then, through Granville and up Jones Road, very nice and a return for 41 miles I figured I could hang on for a mile or two and after turning the corner onto old 161, an ICBM was ignited and off we went. Hey, my legs felt great for some reason and I was fine all the way into Alexandria where we turned left and then a right on Moots and finally, with a group that was now down to 20-22, we arrived in Granville with a 26.3 average. Here, I bugged out and returned via Raccoon Valley, Jug, etc... finishing with 31 miles and 123 miles for the day. Soon, the lead group arrived, Marty, Jon Morgan, Dave C, Terry, Mitch Tallen, Pete C and a couple others, with a 23.3 average....or 23.6, something like that.