Yipee!!! Before the Tour began, Jamie Roberts, a.k.a. The Rookie, bet me a steak dinner, Armstrong would not finish on the podium. Ho, ho, ho. These youngsters who think just because they can grind me into dust on rides, that translates into knowledge about the pro scene. I am embarrassed to have picked Jamie's pocket but let this be a lesson about the evils of gambling!
OK, at 7:00am Saturday morning, I checked out radar and saw a very ominous and threatening line of green, yellow and red heading toward Columbus and especially Heath, Ohio. I figured no one would show for Cindy's roving ride but I had an obligation to go and take a picture of her standing forelornly in the parking lot. Geez, despite the forecast, when I arrive there was Mitch, brothers Randy & Kevin, Nathan, Mark Wells, Bremt and a guy with half of Home Depot's lumber yard on the front of his bike. Nathan had the phone radar, a few calls and we decided if we waited untiul 9:00, the rain would pass and we could still ride. It began to rain and we all retreated to our cars, with Randy D asking me to join he and Kevin in their truck, I declined. It started to rain and shockingly, through Randy's truck window, I saw a flurry of arms and legs, shirts flying off and then nothing but foggy windows....glad I declined that invitation.
Soon though, the rain passed, we all regathered and Nathan assured us the next batch of rain was somewhere back in Wyoming so off we went. Cindy and others are headed to Mountain Mama next Saturday but I don't know why since we ride the equivalent of that every freaking Saturday! This tortuous route was nothing but up, sometimes down, but never flat on roads like Flagdale, Pen, Fairmont, Midland Oil, etc... I played the sweeper role and I was exhausted by the time we stopped at Marietta Road. To the south the clouds were gathering and it did not look good. We rode into Bremen and stopped at that brick restaurant. We stayed a long time as the equivalent of a North Sea squal raked the area. We brought our bikes inside and over the course of an hour+, Mitch managed to eat 3 ginormous pancakes while rushing to the restaurant's bar whenever radar came on. We had a great time and once again I was reminded how much this cycling thing provides great opportunities to enjoy the company of some really neat people. Get this, Nathan is taking his daughter to India for a 3 week vacation. Now that's creative.
Several calls to friends and family convinced us that we were past the worse of the weather and so finally, just before dinner menus were passed out, we left the restaurant. It was still raining lightly but what else could we do? The really great news was the strong winds were now behind us but when we turned west on #37, it was a cross wind and the rain seemed very cold. Then we turned north and soon the rain stopped and damn if it was not pleasant, even though we were SOAKED TO THE BONE by then. Soon, it began to rain again and soon we were miserable,,,,,,again. Fortunately, the return was much flatter than the outbound trek and we arrived around 3:00, with 70 miles, soaked clothing and just under 5000' of climbing.
The Mountain Mamaians are Tuna, Kevin H, Randy, Amanda, Franz Mark C and several others who will tackle a 100 mile century with 10,000' of climbing.