The day began unlike most, fortunately, as I cut down yet another ash tree. This one I planted when our house was built and I had some sentimental attachment to it. But, dead is dead so down it had to come. Cutting and persuading it to go where you want is the easy part, it's the cleaning, burning, cutting, stacking that is a pain in the ass so when I arrived for the New Albany ride, my back ached and I wasn't sure I was going to ride.
Before arriving, I swung by the New Albany pool to see if I could get an image of Dave Chesrown and sure enough, there he was, wearing dark glasses and staring at the "hotties". I fear we have lost Dave until the pool closes.
The parking lot energized me so I went in to my normal routine of taking unflattering images of people. Above, Ricky G on the left made a rare Thursday appearance, standing with Farmer Mike who is waiting on a new road bike having Dura Ace Di2 as part of the package.
Todd Lee asked if I could photoshop the image to give him large muscles but the computing power to pull off that feat would be to great so we'll just have to go with the unedited image.
Some of the ordinary cyclists who make up the vast majority of our rides.
Yet more ordinary cyclists. So many names for me to learn. I try to add one a week but never catch up with everyone. Or maybe I have but have forgotten so many.
Kristian stretches while more gather.
Rick called us together and read some prepared remarks about cycling safety. He also mentioned that he has the right to ban the craziest among us. I wondered if some had already been banned because the turnout was light. A round of applause signaled the end of the statement and 28 of us shoved off in the A group, including John and his son, Anthony. Seeing this made me nervous mainly because Anthony is not big enough for me to draft behind, always a concern of mine but his bike handling is at times erratic and too unpredictable. This will change in time of course but for now, he should stick with the B group for another season, although riding with that group ain't no day at the beach if you know what I mean.
We headed out 161, managed to get across 62, made several turns and at mile 12 or 13, we made a right on Vans Valley Road. Here there was a modest climb and I was in good shape but arriving at a sharp turn to the right, I saw a gap opened in front of Anthony. Fortunately, Rich Lewis and another pulled me over but then looking ahead, a large gap had opened in front of Katherine Graham. Three of us began to close but I could not hold Rich's wheel and soon found myself with Ron Budzig, John Sada, guy decked out in all red and one other. Our average at the breaking point was close to 23 so the frequent stops had skewed the average down a bit but our group of 5 kept the pace high as we took turns pulling.
Reaching Clover Valley Road, my back barking at me, I lost interest and cut out of this good group, heading south all the way to Jug and in with 42 miles and a 21.5 avg. Now for Saturday, Tri-Andrew is once again hosting the COP Roving Ride out of Sugar Grove at 8:00am. This route is one of the best on the schedule and all are welcome. You can find the routes here but paper maps will be available and the ride is free:http://ridewithgps.com/users/57043
Check this out. We head in to uncharted waters, at least for the Thursday ride, going way north and even west. Get the details, gps files and everything else here: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/ While there, take less than a minute and join the Cycling Club. It costs nothing and gets you on an email list for ride notices. With the heat and humidity at bay, temporarily, should be a great evening for a bike ride.