Although the radar looked a little iffy and the clouds looked a little ominous, we rode the route with no rain, just very humid. Probably only 45 people at the start and it appeared most of those would make up what would be a very robust A group. Included in the mix were 4 new guys, more OSU students or friends of students (do all 50,000 students ride in the Cat 3-5 range?) who rode down from around the campus area, including Nate Harner who made a very generous donation to the Pelotonia fund and who is also riding Pelotonia.
So far, I had received little flack over the decision to veer into the gutter with the "Women of the Thursday Night Ride", although Eve threatened to slug me if I did it again. Dennis and I were talking about the reaction and one of us came up with the idea of doing a "Men of Tuesday who Ride Like the Women of Thursday". The first featured male cyclist of this new series is Margarita Rick. Likely, out of fear of the consequences, this series will go no farther, despite the plethora of candidates.
Hey, there was Ty Jordan, making a rare appearance and continuing to lose massive weight. He said his goal is to challenge Jamie to a race when he too loses 100 pounds.
Donna had come up with a flat route for us Tuesday, which is ok to work into the route rotation once in awhile. There were close to 20 in the A group including Da Boss, Steve O, Mark C, Dennis, Ryan R, Ted Miesky, Grand Poobah, Jeff S, Tri-Andrew, the 4 new guys, 2 of whom were in Tri-Tech kits, etc.. We headed out Basil Western at a fairly high pace before reaching Bader and turning right, hitting a few rollers in there and than a modest rise on Leonard. Somewhere in there, Ryan R observed Dennis's cycling shorts had become very worn and the "see through" shorts even reminded us of women's lingerie. Of course, Ryan lingered back there a looooong time. Also somewhere in there, Poobah sat up and drifted out of line, leaving a gap. My typical reaction to such events is, "Uh-Oh" with a couple of profanities thrown in there for spice. We covered the gap and then later, Poobah sped forward and reclaimed a forward spot in the peloton...strange. As we hit Basil and approached the ramp into Baltimore, Poobah was pinched against the white line with Da Boss riding to his left. It appeared this would be a sign sprint Poobah could not contest but wait.....Poobah rode on the berm around someone and sprinted up the hill. Kind of dangerous move but you know what those sign sprint wins are worth in group esteem so I forgave him.
After coasting through Baltimore, we approached the turn that would lead us to Canal Road. A car was approaching but I judged I had a few feet of clearance so I turned, while everyone else waited. After the group caught me, Da Boss called me "Clingan" a notorious nickname given to anyone who takes unfair advantage of the group. I was offended because I did not attempt to exploit the advantage. Very unfair and that one still hurts. Anyway, We sped out Canal, turning left on Lake and then left on Bickel Church. Da Boss was spending a lot of time at the front. Earlier, on Basil Western, with Da Boss perched on the right, four guys rode alongside him before burning their wicks and sliding back, with Craig just sitting there setting a pace none of the four could match for long. On Bickel Church, people kept making the mistake of allowing Craig to move off the front after a long pull and settle into the 2nd or 3rd slot where he would quickly reclaim the front and pull again. HERE'S A SUGGESTION--MAKE HIM DRIFT TO THE BACK!!!! Geez, having that guy rotate to the front after 1-2 1/4 mile pulls by others is brutal, although it is great fun to see if you can hang in there, which I was surprised I was able to do and felt unusually good this night, even taking my own 1/4 mile pull once in a while.
We eventually reached Basil Western and cruised back into Canal with 39 miles and a 22.6 average. The pace was higher than that but there are frequent stop signs that cut into the average a little. The final group had 8-9, including some Clydesdales, who were able to hang on because of the flat route of only 825' of climbing. Now for the drama, I quickly got the cooler out and as I thought, the good people of Tuesday Canal gave generously and I now have $83 to give to Paul Stock's Pelotonia fund with Steve Oxley of Oxley Financial Services, contributing an equal amount and raising it to $100. I could not help but notice Nate Harner contributed $20, while also attempting to raise money for his own Pelotonia fund. While we were standing around, a few of us saw an opportunity to incite and we began questioning the odd behavior by Poobah and Steve during the ride, while they were standing with us. I, of course, would never stoop so low as to stir things up but I was there and feel it my duty to simply report what I heard. To summarize, the unwritten rules of the peloton were violated. The exchange ended with this:
Poobah--Watch out. You're only going to motivate me to get in shape this winter and come out and kick your butt next Spring.
Steve--That's what you said last year!
Poobah--Your mom wears combat boots!!!
Steve--Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me.
Serious stuff and I hope the passions of the post ride have evaporated and these two old war horses will put it all behind them, as it appeared they had after 3-4 cold ones. Now for the super exciting stuff....Da Boss is on vacation in PA for the next week! Woooooohoooooo...no Boss for next week's ride. BUT....he said he would attend the Thursday New Albany ride this week.
After 45 minutes, we began to disperse. Not sure who that person is on the left but he/she spent a lot of time digging in the cooler for something. The dude on the left, when wearing helmet and glasses, looks just like Alberto Contador. Guy in the middle is another of the new guys who showed for the ride.