Around 40 people showed up for the Canal Winchester ride, with temps around 70 and about perfect, other than 15mph winds out of the west. which consumed Poobah's attention for the duration of the lead up to the start. Mitch Tallen, on the right, forgot his water bottles but successfully cruised the parking lot to find an alternative. It's always good to see Mitch show up for the Canal ride. He raises the intensity level just enough to ensure I get my ass kicked..
By the title of this ride report, naturally you assume Poobah put me into the gutter again but no, easily the second worst abuser of the practice is Steve O, who does it not because he needs to because he does not, but because he likes to make me suffer. More on that later. Among the 17ish A's leaving the parking lot were Muscle Dude, Euro Patrick, Steve, Mitch T, Younger Phenom Nick V coming off a nice spring series of racing, Mark C, Poobah, Tri Tech Scott, Nathan, Jeff S, visitor Jeff from Indy, John S, Reynoldsburg Dan, Ryan R (Attempting the daunting leap from the C group to the A group) and a few others. Good B group too with Mark V (ordered a new Jamis bike on Monday) leading a largish group that included Dean, Kevin K and others.
So, we rode out Basil Western, making a left on Carroll Northern and then a quick right to get back on BW and here my difficulties began. Indy Jeff dropped out so I closed the gap and found myself behind Steve. Earlier, Steve voiced concern about the route because there had been a crash on the same route last year. He mused that he was not going to stay with the A group but he did, while keeping a 4-5 bike length between he and the cyclist in front of him. So get this, he wasn't drafting yet still rode on the white line....what the..... With Mitch T and Nick taking turns turning the screws at the front I don't need to be out of the slipstream. I pulled out of the line, looking back at Nathan who was sitting comfortably behind me and shouted, "Why is that guy guttering me, he's not even drafting?" Nathan urged me to retake my place and shut up, which I did.
If your energy level at the start of a ride is equivalent to $1, by the time we arrived at Bader, turning right, I had spent $0.99 of it. After a short distance, we turned left on Leonard where I soon dropped off at the hill. Not sure how many remained in the front group, maybe 8-10. Riding alone for awhile, I reached #37, turning right, picked up Indy Jeff and turning left at Leitnaker, Jeff S and Ryan R closed from behind and now we had a good working group of 4. Quite a few turns later and around Election House Road, we picked up Mark C and John S. The main climb on the route was at Brandt and here, Mark C and John gifted me the KOM points, we regrouped and rode in together, finishing with 42 miles, 21 mph average and 1200' of climbing. The lead group of 5, Mitch, Scott, Nick, Euro Andrew and Gutter Boy, finished with a 22mph average.
A couple of people have asked about an alternative ride for Saturday. There is one, leaving from around Lithopolis at 8:00am, led by Mark C on a rolling route to Chillicothe and back for 100 miles. Those already saying they are coming is Nathan, Flyin Tuna, Dan Farley and anyone else is welcome but there will be no maps. Seeing that this ride follows 2 days after Mark and Gutter Boy are riding 200 miles, this has been deemed a relaxed pace ride. If interested, let me know and I'll send you more details.