A good turnout for a ride that started on a cold but bright morning in central Ohio with starting temp around 31. There were no-shows, there were shows, there were surprise shows and then there was a show but forgot a bag of cycling gear, in this case Ted M. A reminder to us all that with the colder temperatures there is plenty of extra clothing to pack but also to bring with you. Ted had to abandon the ride before it started. In hindsight, the group probably could have patched together whatever clothing was missing but that would have required Ted to be willing to put on what was pulled out of the deep car trunks, not an inviting prospect.
At the start were Mitch O, Steve Oxley, John Morgan & Steve, Dustin (riding up from Pickerington on his bike), Jeff S, Hyper Kenda Janet and Paul, Amanda, Flyin Tuna, Dennis, Grand Poobah, Franz, Mark Rossi but disappointedly, no Recumbent Dude and no Rick Miller, both of whom would have upped the entertainment value a little.
So, I attempted to flatten the route to Bladensburg somewhat so after rolling out of the parking lot we bypassed the traditional climb up Thresher and got onto 661, a left turn on New Burg and later a right on Dry Creek. The sun made things seem warmer and I don't think any of us were too cold, at least I didn't hear any of the normal griping about under dressing. Upon reaching 661, rather than turn left and then a quick right onto Chattam, we stayed on Dry Creek, all the way to Marion/657. The group became split along Dry Creek when Grand Poobah took his turn at the front, proceeded to sprint, catching some off guard and so the back group of Kendaites, Flyin Tuna, Mitch and Jeff S was formed.
We turned right on St Joseph and had the pleasure of that climb but that is also where things began to go awry with a cable snapping on either Mitch's or Jeff's bike. Those two urged the others on while our group, oblivious to what was happening, kept going through St Louisville, up Dog Hollow and then left on Peatmoss. At the Blacksnake intersection we regrouped but I kept going, turning right and then left on Hull. I could see Dustin ahead of me but he kept going straight on Blacksnake and behind me, Steve O also went straight. I stayed on route and turned right on Bell Church and then left on Martinsburg road and waited in Martinsburg. Soon, Steve O and Dustin joined me and we began to speculate about what happened to everyone else. John M and Steve had left our bunch to head back to Granville, Pobah after waiting for 20 minutes for other to show up, led a group of Dennis, Amanda, Franz and Mark R to Bell Church but instead of turning left on Martinsburg Road, kept going straight.
Dustin, with 45 miles, headed back to Pickerington and then Steve O and I, having waited about 20 minutes, decided to continue on to B-burg. We approached the turn on Divan and here came Todd and his group from the other direction and so we regrouped (they with an extra 3 miles) and after Divan, made a left on Henpeck and in to Bladensburg with 31 or 34 miles. Soon thereafter, Mitch and Jeff joined us and we took up 4 booths as each of us laid out our extra clothing to dry, all speculating about where were the Kendaites and Tuna. Soon, we began to worry because for Cindy not to make it for the pancakes, something had to be seriously wrong. Those who had a cell phone with them and who also had Cindy's number, attempted to reach her but had no luck. Much less worrisome was the Kendaite situation because, well you know.... Had a great time poking fun at each other, as is the norm. Because it was reasonably close to lunch time, I ordered the cheeseburger and very greasy fries while I think everyone else had the pancakes or eggs.
Here, Todd and Steve busily stuff themselves. Thanks to Frans for providing the Todd/Ox and Amanda plate images.
Amanda's ample plate of food, which she furiously disposed of. Someone speculated that Cindy had turned around because Amanda had kicked her ass and we all laughed. Heck, we laughed at whatever anyone said while slightly exceeding the calories we had burned.
We left the diner and headed west on Beal, then south to 62 and into Martinsburg, at which point I began feeling the effects of riding previously too few miles and currently way too many climbs. Geesh, what a wreck am I. Anyway, we made it to Utica and then took the traditional route back to Granville via Reynolds (climb) Preston (climb), Weaver (climb), Chatham (climb) and then rolling roads back into Granville, finishing with 62 miles and 4400' of climbing. I called Cindy's home to find out what happened and discovered she had not been feeling well and turned around at the Blacksnake intersection with the Kendas.
Well, not sure what you all will be doing next weekend but I plan to head southwest to Tucson for a week. Still scheming on how I can spend the entire winter down there while also staying married. If anyone has any ideas let me know. Some have suggested we do a "Sunday Heat of the Day Ride" this winter while of course also doing a weekly Saturday roving ride type thing, weather permitting. Our "group" which is comprised of anyone who wants to ride, ride all winter as long as the start temp is 27-28 at the start (OK, winds can't be howling along with that temp) and the roads are reasonably clear. Start times will vary so we can accommodate needed temp increases to gain that start temp minimum.