David (in blue jersey) kept things exciting on Tuesday when Engineer Mitch noticed David's truck was still in the parking lot, after everyone had come in. I was called to see if I could pull his phone number from the sign-up sheets and I did find a David B but upon calling him (sorry dude) it was not the David we were trying to locate. Other signitures were undiscernable scrawls so while David's name and number may have been on the sheet, I could not find it. Meantime, Mitch and Jeff S drove the route. The Little Diesel himself, passed a vehicle that had two bikes in it, turned around and discovered David was the passenger. Turns out David's chain had broken, cycling buddy came back to Canal and went back out in his car to pick up David. All's well that ends well and note how happy is everyone.
More happy people. The parking lot is always full of happy people at the beginning of any ride. Seems like a shame to spoil the good mood by actually getting on our bikes and suffering. We were thrown a curve ball when upon arriving at the parking lot, found it closed but a close alternative was found and I think everyone managed to find us. Thanks to Jeff F for staying at the original lot to provide directions for those confused about what had become of us.
Probably around 55-60 for a beautiful evening. The A group was sent out comprised of 20-22 including Marty, John G, Dave C, John Morgan, Paul Stock, Pete C, Claude the alligator wrestler (ride behind him in a sprint and you'll understand), Chris G, Kyle W, Tym & Lisa Tyler, young guy Mike & others. Also a strong SuperB group having Gus, Dennis, Mark R, Flyin Tuna, SuperDave, Peggy, Adele, Axel, Jeff S, etc... We headed out the Parkway, left on Beech and then a right on Miller. Pace had been fairly moderate and everyone was hanging in there but on Miller, the surges began and the group funneled into a long, narrow line. I was at the back when there was some commotion at the front, a bike flying through the air and soon thereafter, a body. It happened so suddenly but one could not dwell on what was happening in the ditch because everyone came to a screeching halt and one had to make sure one stayed upright. Chris G's tire had touched Tym Tylers and that's all it took. Chris ended up in a ditch but amazingly, he was ok and more amazingly, so was the bike. We regrouped and who tore to the front to punish but Chris G! Note there was also a wreck in the SuperB group and later a guy drifted into a ditch after apparently being startled by a passing tandem.
We flowed through the "S" curve and paused at the stop sign before heading on to 310. Hey, my legs felt great and thinking the Mountain Mama experience had some benefit other than thrashing Flyin Tuna. After a left on 310 and then a quick right on Duncan Plains, I kept to the back of the group because things were still a bit sketchy with surges, people diving for the nearest wheel, some guy at the front screaming "car up" that at the back sounded more alarming and we were on edge. Kyle drifted back and we shared some wisdom about it being a good idea to either be at the front or at the back but not in the middle. However, someone had to be in the middle and that was mostly for the young guys. Crossing #37 we headed north on Castle and the speed picked up and the group was getting thinned a little but still a large group as we finally arrived at Sportsman Club Road at mile 17. Here, there were calls of "car left" but it is a blind turn so no car can be seen until you practically enter the intersection. I noticed if a guy saw the cyclist in front of him go then he would go but still there were the "car left" calls so I paused to look. Egads the car was close but I spurted through but now had a big gap in front of me. No problem because afterall, who would take this opportunity to sprint coming out of a blind intersection where others may have been caught back??? Everyone of course led by John Gorrilla...what the?????
Kyle too had a gap but closed it to his credit. I was not able so settled in for some soloing with a 23 avg that quickly drifted lower. After turning on Dutch Lane, I came across Claude who was panting under a tree and he asked if the B group would be coming. Hope he recovered ok as he did not look too good. I turned south on Northridge and rode that into Alexandria and then out Jersey Mill and got onto old #161, Just then, I turned to find the lead A group bearing down on me led by Paul S who was in an aero position and driving hard the train. I lept on and we motored all the way to Kitzmiller where I dropped off. Those that started, stayed and finished with the A group had a 24mph average, 1000' of climbing and 41 miles. Those that started, did not stay but finished with the A group (me) had a 22mph avg, 35 miles.
Hey, sounds like the Pedal with Pete ride described below is doing well with 400 preregistered and hopefully more day of sign-ups. The COP Ridge Runner Ramble is always a good route and John G has a great route having a combination of gravel and paved roads for those with moutain or cross or even a road bike. John Morgan is riding the Pelotonia route with Rick Paul, who is currently in the lead for money raised at $100,000 and a few others. Speaking of Pelotonia, it was suggested to me that I should check out Marty Sedluck's Pelotonia profile to see who had donated to him....Katy Perry.