Another Tuesday, another problematic weather forecast. At 4:30pm, a radar-based, large green blob approaching from the NW but looks like it may slide south of Canal so I jump in the car and head south. At the parking lot, Nathan, Little Diesel and Poobah have their phones out showing radar and have concluded we are about to get hit. Others must have concluded the same and so it was a desultory group of 26 who were there. Or, maybe the Tuesday Canal ride has lost its juice. Be nice to have our first good Tuesday weather day to find out and hey....where the heck is Da Boss????
Grand Poobah and Kayla took off on a flatter ride then what we were to do so then we were down to 24 and I missed out on all of Todd's on road antics to report.
The Young Phenom and the Younger Phenom, Logan and Nick, were at the ride for the first time, on the right. Mark V in the Reds jersey was also there. It has become obvious to me that he wears the Brandon P Reds jersey to every ride because he has run out of cycling jerseys (what other reason could it be?). Therefore, I want to hold a jersey drive. If you have any medium sized somewhat worn cycling jerseys that you were prepared to throw away, please give to me and I'll make sure Brandon gets it. Also, in anticipation he is on his last pair of cycling shorts and likely to begin wearing boxers or briefs, perhaps we should start a cycling shorts drive too.
Other newcomers were Claude on the right, who was a Thursday New Albany regular last year and is just emerging from his basement trainer (he shares my intolerance for the cold) and on the left, Pepe Lapew a.k.a. Kevin Hollingshead.
Having done nothing but sling mulch around every available minute since Saturday's TN ride, I decided to ride with the B group and bid the A's farewell as they headed out with Steve O, Mark C, Logan, Nick, Recumbent Dude, Claude, Jeff S, John S, Jeremy and probably 3-4 others. Speaking of Jeremy, beginning today, he becomes gainfully employed with a nasty schedule of 12 hour work days. He also may do some painting for Flyin Tuna but I warned him as a government apparatchik, she'll offer to help him out of some future possible IRS audit in exchange for the work, rather than actual cash for his efforts.
A very hilly route that would be a challenge for my fellow B's. Among us were Mitch, Kevin, Cindy B, Amanda, Nathan's brother, Mark V and really everyone who was left in the parking lot so probably 12-13 of us. We worked our way out to Slough and slogged our way over the first significant climb and I think the group got thinned a little so maybe we were down to 7-8 or so. We made a right on Winchester and soon a right on Kauffman with its many rollers and climbs finally summiting at Lamb and getting on to Rock Mill. We had picked up Claude, Jeremy and 2-3 other A wannabees along the way. Welcome to reality someone muttered. A flash of lightning lit the sky to a very dark sky to the south, just as we turned east and avoided the rain that was falling not too far to the south.
Mitch was turning the screws on our little band but he was always careful to check his mirror and when we began to fall back, he would ease the pace and keep most of us together. What a guy! After a long stretch on Rock Mill we turned left on Crumley (more climbing) then a left on Mt Zion and egads, a left on Royalton, gee I hate that road. First the modest climb, then a screaming descent with a sharp corner going left at the bottom then a steepish ramp where Jeremy attacked then that long false flat where Jeremy ran out of gas, then the real screaming descent where a pack of dogs attacked and then that steep climb up to Rock Mill....what a stretch of road! We regrouped as we approached Amanda Northern where we made a right and then left on Marcy, right on Sitterly, left on Salem Church and finally back to Canal. My Garmin, which is about to get replaced, bugged out again so unsure about elevation gain but had to be 2000'. Anyway, 34 miles and an 18.7 average. Meantime.....at the front......the A group was whittled down to Steve, Mark and the 2 phenoms. Nick fell off the pace along Royalton with the other 3 finishing together although one observed Logan could have taken off alone if he had wanted to.