Good weather and good turnout at the New Albany, Thursday evening ride. Seemed light at first and then as is the norm, the rush at the end brought the total to over 60 cyclists, including a late arriving Dave C who had to drive out to Beech to park his car and hook up with us.
Another interesting route that included a climb through the Dennison campus and down Thornwood, the climb up 661 off Dry Creek to Cambria Mill, Stone Quarry, Hardscrabble, yep, real group splitters on that route. Gary V brought the young phenom Nick up from Ashville so he could again experience the thrill of the NA ride. What a great dad! Mark V revealed that tonight's ride would give him 1200 miles for the MONTH!
Great group of A's and solid group of B's. What to do, what to do. I studied the make-up of the A group, not seeing anyone that would not kick my ass. I looked at the B group, kind of a disheveled, unkempt group of cyclists. The A group was comprised of 30+. including Shannon, Rich Lewis, Marty, Dave C later, John Morgan, Tim & Lisa T, Rob Rhodes, Kid Nick, Kyle Wingler, John Sada, Paul Stock, Gus, Christain, Danny A (won a recent Cat 5 race and now Cat 4), Mick, Reynoldsburg Dan, oh yeah, Dustin rushing out of the Porta John to just make it, Chris G and many others. The A's were called out and I thought, "What the heck, maybe I can hang to the 2nd light in New Albany and off we went. .
Nice wind out of the southeast....perfect! I huddled behind and to the left of a variety of people as we buzzed out 161, left on Beech, right on Jug and then IGNITION! I glanced ahead a few times and those guys on the front were working very hard and I want them to know how much I appreciate it. In fact, I turned to someone on my right and stated this to which he replied, "Yeah and I'm not going up there anytime soon." We crossed 310 and kept the pedal pressed all the way into Alexandria. The wind kept the average down, 22.1 at that point. Coming out of Alexandria, we hung a left on Raccoon Valley and I overheard some discussion about the Gran Fondo New York ride. Seems someone is making exaggerated performance claims. We arrived at Hardscrabble with a 22.4 avg and began the long slog to the top. Lots of people fell off the pace but I managed to hang on out to Northridge where we made a right and then a right on to Stone Quarry with an average of 22.2. I wondered what the return would be like with the wind behind, ferocious I suppose but I had to head back to NA from here. Middle child was home for a couple of days and I had promised I'd take her out for a glass of wine (or two) so missed the fun, finishing with 34 miles and a 21 avg.
Meantime.....the group came out of Stone Quarry, right on Burg, left on Dry Creek, right on 661 and the hill. Here, Marty and Dave got a gap on the group but on the long descent down Cambria Mill, there was some regrouping to 14. Many who got shelled there skipped the next Dennison climb, which came after the rollers on Hankinson down into Granville. After the Dennison climb, the group made a screaming downhill on Thornwood, right on Broadway, then Moots Run, old 161 and in with a 23.5 avg and 48 miles. Not sure who was in the final group, I passed them on the drive out of town but both of us were going too fast for me to check but certainly Dave C, Marty and Nick were in there.
Sounds like most people are doing the COP Spring HOOT ride with an 8:00am rollout on Saturday.