Jeff S, our dedicated route maker and leader who arrives at least an hour before the start time to claim a coveted spot at the school's parking lot in New Albany. Jeff is one of the most considerate cyclists I know. For example, when pulling at the front, he will not shout, "Car Up!", unless the vehicle has already gone well over the center line and is making a beeline for us, or at least for him. I guess he doesn't want to worry us. As far as road debris, his focus is so extraordinary that he ignores everything except for boulders that would stop a cyclist cold, road holes that would swallow a bike or deer, bear, Sasquatch or similar sized carcus. Ordinary pot holes, road kill, stones, rock, gravel and that sort of thing is ignored because he doesn't want to bother those behind him. What a guy. Oh, he also likes to take long pulls and then drop back only to become impatient and roar back to the front for another long pull. He likes to sacrifice his comfort for ours. Some are offended by the manuever but they don't understand the kindness and self sacrifice by this man.
Dennis of course, polishing his steed. Next to Steve Oxley, Dennis is the most fashion conscious cyclist I know. Note the rims match the jersey and how about that bright orange Orbea frame? Black shorts match black bike accents. One cool dude who continues to ride solely so he can finally drop me, as he always does at some point in the year. This year taking a little longer because the big goof ate too much over the winter.
SuperDave. A nickname given to him by others, several years ago when he was, well, super. Never saw the guy stand to climb, preferring to ride while seated, no matter how difficult the climb. He's been domesticated and is now just like many of us who have been tamed by wives, family, work and other obligations. Always good to see him come out.
Given the forecast, heat, humidity and GOBA, I was surprised to see a nice crowd of 30 show up for the ride. With GOBA especially competing, it seemed there were no B or C riders. Lots and lots of racer types and strong A's, with probably as many as 25 starting out with the A group. We motored out old 161 and a nice pace that kept everyone together then Terry, who has made rare appearances on Thursday but who is clearly just as strong as usual, went to the front and pulled hard for a long time. This shelled many with maybe 8-9 of us making the turn onto Jersey Mill and that long, downhill section. The group hammered and the speed quickly sent me out the back, unable to maintain the constant low to high 30mph descent (the only downside to having a compact crank). The gap was so large I could not catch on and soft peddled until a nice group of Dennis, Greg H, Kevin & another guy came along and we rode together into Granville. Kevin had dropped back so I waited for him, intending to go up Thornwood on to New Burg and catch back up with Dennis' group. Unfortunately, I did not see Kevin so took the 1/4 mile shortcut and regrouped, which included Jeff S. We rode back to New Albany on a nice route and many complimented Jeff for his fine route making. Now, not to be a backbench critic but I do wonder why our routes stay at 40-42 miles when daylight would allow for a 50-55 mile epic. We arrived back in the parking lot with 43 miles and a 20.3 average. Jeff showed us a weather radar screen that had an upside down shaped "U" of green and red surrounding us but other than a very brief sprinkle, we had stayed dry.