Also a rare appearance by Astana Dennis in the background.. A smallish A group, 22 at the start. Some new faces, Rob Rhodes, with many of the regulars, such as Marty, Hendra (learning more about him, from Indonesia and Cat 3), Dave C, Muscle Dude, Shannon, John Sada, Pete C, Doug McConaha, Gus Cook, Kevin, etc... We headed out old 161 at a civilized pace until crossing Kitsmiller then the gun sounded. By the duration of the pulls, it appeared the SE wind was having an impact. Turning right on Harrison, a kind of unfit looking guy I had been monitoring, bailed on the group, creating a gap but fortunately, Marty was in front of me and slowly reined in the group.
We hung a left on Morse and once through the stop sign, continued east, where there are a few rollers. I somehow found myself in the 2nd spot, was exposed when a guy in front pulled out and there I dropped out, mile 8, sad. However, the pace and hill had taken it's toll on others and so I grouped with Kevin and Gus. Crossing at the light on I think Hazeltown Road, we spied Shannon off his bike checking his seat. At that point, it appeared the front group may have set up a little and we actually were gaining as we turned south on Wadkins and kept them in sight all the way to #16, where they hit green and then we hit red. The game was up for us and we commiserated about how it's not enough that those guys have cardio advantage, power advantage, fitness advantage but to also have dumb luck on their side, it isn't fair.
Gus and Kevin continued at a race pace and we ham-n-egged it pretty good, out Blacks, up Gale, then picked up Coffee Grinder dude we called Surge because he would draft, take his turn at the front, blow us off his wheel, draft, kill us, etc... He probably thought he was making us stronger. Eventually we went east on Moots and as we approached Granville, I anticipated turning left on Raccoon Valley Road but Gus said, no, we were going up Beechwood/Thornwood. I couldn't help myself but exclaim, "You've got to be kidding me." but nope, up that hill we rode, through the Granville Middle School drive, then onto Raccoon Valley Road, into Alexandria and out Jersey Mill.
Rather than make the turn to get out to 161, we stayed straight at 310 and went west to Burnside and then left to 161 where we hooked up with Craig Rice. At Beech, gus bugged out, at the New Albany light, Craig, Kevin and Surge went off the route and I returned to the parking lot alone, to be greeted by Poobah with shouts of derision. Finished with 46 miles, 21mph avg and about 1600' of climbing. Not sure about the front group, I asked Hendra and he gave me 30+ as the kph result. Oh yeah, the route passed my house. Out of concern there would be a group pee break on my driveway, I kept quiet about it. However, Poobah said he brought toilet paper with him and would take appropriate action when passing the property. I arrived home to the below scene.