Ross signing in with Tuna and Dennis waiting. Dennis temporarily abandoned the pink look in favor of some serious orange/red clothing. He also claims the Barbie doll with the pink tu-tu from last Thursday was a plant. I find this hard to believe but will give him the benefit of the doubt. I suppose there are some in our midst who could stoop so low. As I waited for people to sign in, my cell phone rang and it was Steve O, calling from across the parking lot to inform me I had again put a road on the route that was closed. I remedied the problem by throwing in the Slough climb to avoid the road closure on Pickerington Road.
It could be the name of a band but no, not content to bring one ringer and then not two ringers but tonight it was three ringers who rode their bikes down with Gabe from OSU. Has he drained the talent pool at OSU and this is it or are there more acolytes to follow Gabe to future rides? Only he knows what he is plotting for us.
Here the ringers rest after riding down from OSU. I was under some pressure to come up with a better Tuesday Canal route after grossly underperforming with a flat 40 mile route 2 weeks ago (Engineer Mitch and I alternate Tuesdays). I studied various maps of central Ohio, spent hours looking through "Mapmyride", dragged out maps from back when Grand Poobah was the ride leader and took us on some very creative routes, I even looked at some routes Ryan Roe had created but found those very pedestrian and understandably uncreative. Out of this cocktail of information, I produced a route for the ages. The type of route that years from now people will still be talking about that Tuesday route that was the best ridden in years.
We had 40+ for the ride with a seriously strong (by Canal standards) of A cyclists. So strong, it intimidated some into abandoning their plans to ride with the A group and instead slotted in with the B+ group. The A group of 15 left the lot with Gabe's Crew, Steve O, Mark C, Claude, Euro Patrick, Jeff S, Jeremy, Keith, Logan, Kayla, Nick, SavageHill Rick, etc... The SuperB's were comprised of Kevin H, Ted M, Dennis, Mark R, Mitch, Ryan R, Flyin Tuna, a bunch of people with Cyclist Connection jerseys, David, etc.. After I sent out the A group, the Super B's departed and then the leftovers of the parking lot in a B/C mix.
Things got exciting early as several police cars screamed at intervals towards us, forcing us to take to the curb. That is all of us except Walker Wannabe Ryan R who used this as an opportunity to attack. Yes, emergency vehicles with horns blaring and lights flashing simply provided Walker-Jr with the desire to put space between himself and us. Nevertheless, the advantage was short lived and we regrouped prior to heading out Waterloo and the long uphill topping out at Slough, where we made a left. By cutting in front of a van that had stopped to warn us of a street closing in Lithopolis, I had got ahead of the group but was soft pedaling while Ryan approached from the rear. Upon reaching me, he began making various statements about having caught the A group and how hard he had to ride to accomplish....
The pace was modest and most of us stayed together on this route of routes. Eventually we reached the outskirts of Amanda and in honor of Todd Lee, I bolted around Dennis to claim the sign sprint. Our average at that point was a little over 20 so that explained why the group was so large and hey, even Tuna was still with us. The group stopped at the gas station but I continued on the 44 mile B route while I think most of the other B's stayed on the 48 mile route, which included a stretch on Hopewell Church Road, later finishing with a 19.5 average and 2000+' of climbing. On Delmont, I caught up to a waiting Keith who had dropped from the A group. At 67, Keith is a cycling marvel and on a road bike, I think stronger then anyone else I have ridden with over 65 and probably 60.
Meantime, the B group turned onto Hopewell Church where Ted M and Dennis led up the hills but in a gesture of civility rarely seen, stopped to allow regrouping later. Meanwhile, the A group shrank to 10 as it closed on the Slough hill climb where the OSU fellers bolted to the top and led the pack back to the parking lot with a 20.7 average.