What a day for those who had the time and initiative to show for what promised to be way too much for most of us. What was I thinking when, out of town on business, I asked Flyin Tuna to make up a map for going from Granville to Bladensburg? This is a ride we typically do in July, not March after most of us have been off our bikes for a month+. However, they came, car after car of victims for Cindy's hilly route. The Boss, Craig Butler was there, Jeff S, Dennis, Todd Mullens, Ginger, Recumbent Dude, Recumbent Dude's sister-in-law Jill, Larry P, Lisa, New Guy Steve, Kevin K, Kenda Dave and John Gorrilla, a total of 15 cyclists. There was a slight mishap when Kenda Dave backed out of his parking spot to get a better position and barely scraped Todd's car. Fortunately, Dave's bike, which was attached to the rear of the car, survived and Todd's car had nothing more than a scrape.
John G was an interesting story. Having moved from Minnesota to Granville last year, he had signed up for the Cat 3 division in a race in Mt. Vernon, which started at 1:30. He planned to start with us, split off at the appropriate location, arrive in Mt Vernon to race and then ride back....LONG DAY! Rather than starting at 11:00. it was 11:15 before we headed out with a starting temperature of 28. The parking lot had never been scraped clear of snow so it was king of mushy and we were forced to pushed our bikes to the street and shoved off. Lots of snow and grit had accumulated on our shoe bottoms and it made clicking into the pedals kind of hard. We headed out 661 to New Burg to Dry Creek and on to Chattam, making a quick right and left on to Weaver & Preston before slogging up Renynolds and into Utica. Kevin K had cut the ride short and Kenda Dave cut it short too after we moved through Utica.
We pressed on to Bladensburg and finally arrived at Butler Restaurant. I found it interesting that all of the remaining cyclists chose to sit in Butlers rather than hit the gas station market. I think, no I am certain, most of us were suffering from a route that was too hilly and too long with the hills. We ordered a mix of breakfast and lunch items despite arriving after 1:00pm. Todd ordered scrambled eggs and TWO of the monster pancakes and, predictably, was unable to finish it all. We had a great time kidding with each other during "lunch" but the return route was not to be put off for long and we eventually rode out of Bladensburg.
The way back was the usual mix of pain and punishment as we headed south on Henpeck, right on Long Run Road, a quick left and right onto Pine View and I was suffering from the frequent ascents. I had ridden the day before because I expected some C+ or B riders to show and I thought I could relax at a slightly slower pace as the route sweeper but it was not to be today. Everyone seemed strong and I was not. Ginger, Craig, Dennis, Jeff and Larry had gotten ahead of us on Pine View and instead of turning right on Eden Church, they continued south. We were oblivious to this until Larry caught us and let us know as we headed down Martinsburg into St Louisville and then 13 and a right onto kind of a monster hill on St. Joseph. We ignored a utility truck with flashing lights at the base of St. Joseph and just before the summit, we were told we had to turn back because crews were simultaneously cutting up a fallen tree and repairing a downed power line. DAMN!!!! We continued south on #13 and got onto Dry Creek then crossed 661 to stay on Dry Creek. In the meantime, our group had survived Cindy's chain becoming wedged between the frame and sproket and Larry losing a spoke. With these mishaps I begain to wonder which would come first, darkness or me falling asleep on my bike. I was yawning frequently and noted some very pained expressions on other faces too. Finally, we turned onto New Burg, rode through Granville and ended up at the mushy parking lot with 63 miles and 4600' of climbing. All I wanted to do was crawl into my car and maybe sleep but Larry P's van needed a push to gain traction and leave. Larry called for volunteers to jump in the back of the van to add ballast and some uncouth guy yelled, "Cindy, there's a job for you.". We heaved the van out, dug out and shoved Jeff's van, dug and pushed Todd's car and even had enegy left to push out a stranger's SUV that had become stuck. What a day and gosh what a revelation for some of us to discover we are as far out of shape as we suspected. To their credit, it appeared Craig, Todd, Ginger and Larry are ahead of schedule and kicked our butts all day. Someone even said," Dennis is drafting off Ginger even on the uphills!' But then, so were most of us. I think this was the first day since November that I burned more calories than I consumed.