Nice turnout for the much anticipated but dreaded Blue Jay ride. Large green radar blog just west of Columbus did not look good but appeared to be dissapating as it moved east and instead of rain we had the good fortune of an overcast sky which kept the temperature down. Here, Da Boss is in a jovial mood and celebrating the news that Euro-racer Patrick is moving out of Ohio, thus preserving Craig's dominant status within the Tuesday Canal peloton.
Beth Hale, now living in Pittsburg, made an appearance, a little late because of a speeding ticket.
Steve O and Stephano Lumbaca, probably the highest ranking member of the Kendaite clan since he really works for Kenda. Speaking of my good friends from Kenda, they had their typical assortment of challenges as Kenda Rick forgot his cycling shoes and Kenda's Paul & Janet lost electricity the night before, making them late for the start. Kenda Dave, was also there and true to form, took the Rt. 40 shortcut back from Zanesville. I am going to work very hard to see that once this season, they all ride the complete route together. Oh, Kenda Poobah was not there, probably deterred by the climbing.
The 45-50 who were at the start gathered to hear Flyin Tuna denigrate my large contribution to the effort, before we all headed toward downtown Newark. I commented to someone that everyone seemed to know where they were going and was thus startled to see a scrum had formed at 2nd street, turning right and entering the Newark square from the 6 o'clock position, forcing us to ride counterclockwise to the twelve o'clock position to exit the square. OK, I won't make excuses, I screwed up and turned onto a dead end road where the large group following me had to make a u-turn. Most people would have been embarrassed by this but since I so rarely make mistakes, I think it good to show people I am something less than perfect. Anyway, we got back on the route and no harm done, although I did withstand more than a few catcalls.
We got to the end of Blue Jay with 800' of climbing and headed south on Brownsville. I rode with the Greg Dubois group, consisting of Kevin S, Joe G, Rich R and Ted M, for a little while and will be eternally grateful that they soft pedaled up one major climb to grant me KOM points. Eventually, I slotted in with Nathan and we rode down to Zanesville with roughly 35 miles and 3000' of climbing. I say roughly because my Garmin continues to behave erratically and I lost the data for the inbound route. Using the Saturday rides for a more relaxed pace put me into the food stop behind a large group, shown here well into their refueling effort. Had I been riding normally, I would have arrived before, well...not him, or him, or him, or her or even him.....oh never mind.
The inevitable could not be put off any longer and so we mounted our bikes and after the briefest of warm-ups, headed up Kopchek and then we began to see the effects of Tuna's insidious effort at flattening the hills out of the traditional Blue Jay route. Instead of continuing on to Coopermill and a few monster climbs there, we made a right on Ridge, which is a beautiful route but takes elevation out of the route. Later, we turned right on Mt Perry road, removing the super rollers on 668. Probably for the August version of the ride, Tuna will put us on the bike path and Rt. 40 too but I will fight hard to return the route to its past glory. Anyway, we enjoyed a nice rest at Flint Ridge Park before heading south on Brownsville and then in, via a flatter Staddens Bridge/East Main route as demanded by a highly winey Cindy who was complaining of leg cramps and a racing heart. Geez, everyone uses that excuse now. I think the elevation for the route was 5400' and 67 miles.