5:00pm, in front of Meijer's for the kick-off to the Canal Summer Solstice ride otherwise known as the Assault on Mount Revenge". Here, the C groupers gather with Steve Hewitt leading them out, around 12 of them and the parking lot was then empty save for Grand Poobah who had ridden from his home in Lancaster and reported the winds bending the trees in half were no joke.
Soon, the first of the Riveters arrived, The French Climbing Machine as David walks to greet him. Philippe was the first of many who told me I needed to improve my Photoshopping skills. I admitted that actually, I was using Microsoft Paint and it's kind of limited as are my skills with or without better software.
Then, at 5:30, Todd Lee led out those who wanted to get a head start but first they sang a rousing version of happy birthday to me. I even received gifts, totaling by the end of the night, one can of Monster and some kind of Fig bar. This group had around 10 people.
Pete Ashmore discovered that the water bottle holder he had removed for the Grandview crit had not been reinstalled. Yikes, 90 degrees, winds usually associated with a typhoon, hills and a mountain, got to have that 2nd bottle so I think he stuffed it into a back pocket.
More Riveters arrived, Dave Chesrown and Lori.
How about that? Mitch Tallan on the right and also Chris Fisher, wearing one of the old Savage Hill kits on the left with another Savage Hill clothed Chris in the middle who hung with the Riveters throughout.
One of the best hopes for the Canal group, Paul Stock with Betsy Thompson who has been teaching Paul tri skills that have made him a better swimmer and runner but there has understandably been a slight diminution of his cycling prowess.
At 6:00pm, 26 or so of us head out. It was kind of strange with the parking lot full of Riveters and near Riveters as other then some late arrivers, all the B and C cyclists had already departed. Among the New Albany visitors were Tym Tyler, Dave C, Marty, Luke, Lori, Kyle, Philippe, Jon Morgan...an armada that I thought would be a challenge for the Johnny Rebs of Canal. There was a 57 mile route and a 52 mile route. I chose the 52 mile route for a lot of reasons that are obvious to the seasoned reader.
Luke Russell in blue/orange. Later, Luke would storm Revenge and take the KOM title. There used to be a jersey passed year to year to the KOM champ but after one guy won it, he kept it. If you are wondering why I am using two images of our escape from the city it is because coming off the bypass, the 52 mile route went left on Waterloo and everyone but Mark V and me kept going. I assumed their route would join mine from the right a mile up the road at Winchester Road, no, then I thought they would rejoin at Slough, another mile up the road but no. I later learned they were going parallel to me on Cedar Road as I went south on Amanda Northern. Not until mile 13, as I approached Westfall Road did I see them stream east as I continued south. Upon reaching the center of the village of Amanda, our routes finally met and...
...I got in with David, Chris Fisher, Betsy, Scott Young and Eric the Dispatch photographer. I enjoyed my group ride but of course with Revenge looming on the horizon, it would break us up. Eric and I emerged together at the summit behind Scott and David. Eric towed me to Christmas Rock Road where he paused and I kept going.
Mean time, we were spread out over a variety of routes back. Some were on the 57, some were on the 52 and Dave Chesrown was doing his own thing on Crumley Road. For me, the balance of the route was a torrent of head and cross wind, heat, hills accompanied by solo misery. Mercifully.....
...it was eventually over and Jon Morgan celebrates the fact that they did not have to call 911 for me. The front group finished with a 21.5 avg, mine was 18.3 but hey, with some more group riding I easily could have been 18.4. Glad that one is over.