Kenda Janet caught trying on a new cycling jersey by Steve O. Have not heard much about the ride that originated out of Cyclist Connection but I'm sure it was fun.
Meantime, I figured the 9:30am start time out of Granville for John G's ride would dampen turnout and it probably did although there were 8 of us....no actually there were 7 plus one domestique to fall back and sweep the route, picking up anyone who became lost (me). At the start were John G, his friend Charles from MN, Pete C, Mitch T, Todd Mullens, dude in Radio Shack jersey and some other guy whose name I missed. After a spirited run through Granville and Newark we arrived at....yes, Blue Jay yet again. Actually, now that I have traveled it so many times this year, I'm starting to ease up on my enmity toward it and now greet it like an old friend who stole your girlfriend in high school.
I dropped back on the first climb and then sort of enjoyed the ensuing climbs and turns that brought us on to Pleasant Chapel, the big climb on Fairview, Balou, Flint Ridge, south on Cooks Hill to 40 and then a stop at the store in Brownsville where I watched a guy try to restart his 1930 Buick across the road. The others had kept going so I figured I would not see them again but after grinding through 668 and climbing Amish Ridge and coasting down to 204, there was Mitch, Pete, Todd & 2 others, trying to interpret the que sheet. From there, I guided them to Wesley Chapel where we rode hard into Fulltonham. We were greeted with a swarm of 20-30 Harleys in front of the market/bar. Must have been a poker run as Harleys arrived in increments and talk was next of hitting the bar in Jacksontown. John G made the observation that the average weight of a Harley riding woman was above the national average and it must be intentional to give the bike better traction in the snow.
The ride out of Fulltonham was a series of climbs and rolling roads via Rucker, Lower Kroft, Bagley, Wesley Chapel, Coopermill, Morgan and Ridge bringing us to 40...well....bringing me to 40 as they had slowly pulled away. We regrouped at the Flint Ridge Park and then cruised down Brownsville Road to turn onto Blue Jay. After playing possum for 67 miles and noting complacency amongst the peloton, I launched my attack. OK, I launched it in front of Charles so he never had a chance, then after a hill I caught Todd and left him spinning helplessly, I caught Radio Shack dude and dropped him, another climb or two and I approached Mitch T and....he was having none of this foolishness and sped away. My wad was shot and gasping, turned onto Beal where we were regrouping but I kept going, turning onto Watson and ending back in Newark and later Granville. 80 miles with 6000' of climbing. Another genius of a route from the mind of John G.
A few people this weekend are traveling to Monterrey, a remote corner of WV, dominated by seedy hotels, people without teeth and the location of the Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge. If sitting in a car for 12 hours to participate in a 100 mile, 10,000' climbing route punctuated by 9 major climbs (OK, it's a beautiful ride) isn't your cup of tea I am working to convince someone to come up with the "Mountain Papa Road Bike Challenge" as an alternative for those of us stuck in Ohio.