Smallish turnout of around 45 people and as we drew closer to the top of the hour, the parking lot was bereft of superstrong A's, with just a few exceptions like Paul Stock, here wearing a black jersey with pink accents and "FATCYCLISTS.COM" on the back......... Most of us can draft behind one SuperStrong but if that one can hand a pull off to another and then another, that's where most of us burn out our wicks and fall back. Lacking that potential tonight, some of us felt good about our chances of hanging in for quite awhile.
Ah Oh, Euro-Patrick arrives but he's not been riding much so not quite the threat he was. Patrick raced in Europe on one of the pro team development squads a few years ago but now labors in the medical field in some capacity, I believe as a doctor. He spent last year in NC before coming back to Ohio.
Creating these dumb ride reports carries awesome responsibility. For example, sometimes people begin conversations with me by saying, "This is not for the blog." and so I honor such requests, usually. However, the conflict is when I hear things, ok, some would call it eavesdropping, that I feel a duty to report to keep those of you who miss the rides kind of "in the game" so to speak. One such case occurred Tuesday when Tall Dude walked up to Eve and asked, "Are you riding hard tonight?"..... Dude, a man does not approach a woman and ask her if she is riding hard tonight, implying the man is not capable of hanging with the woman and you especially do not stoop so low as to have to ask Eve this question.
So, out of the 45, there was a group of about 16 who left the parking lot in the A group, including Paul S, Patrick, Steve O, Dennis, Jenis Nate, Mark C, Ted M, Claude, Ryan Roe, Younger Phenom Nick, John S, Jeff S and a couple others. Engineer Mitch came up with a fairly flatish route and so we headed out Basil Western. I found myself behind Nick and at the intersection on Pickerington Road, advised him his off-season routine should include adding 40 pounds to his frame. A mile or two later, Paul took a modest pull and as he drifted back I yelled, "I'm still here fat man." Paul took a spot in the back for a minute then burst out of the pack, went to the front and put the hammer down. Soon, I was not there but neither was anyone else other than Nate, Steve and 1-2 others. We regrouped at the Carroll Northern turn and I made a mental note to STFU from now on.
Prior to the ride, one of the parking lot's wise men consoled me over my recent failures and said that it was only the first person who dropped from the A group who should not really be riding with the A's. If I was not the first to drop then I deserved to be in there. During the ride, I was vigilant to watch for the first person to drop so I would know when I too could bug out. After a few more miles of some strong surges I began to panic as all were hanging in there, especially 1-2 guys I had mentally pegged as those most likely to drop first. We cruised into the town of Pleasantville and approached a stop sign. From the left, a women approached on an old Huffy, coasting from the sidewalk into the road. The woman, quite attractive despite the toothless smile and 200+ pounds, was not slowing and grazed my rear tire and then broadsided Steve. He was no match for the mass that collided with him and down he went, landing heavily on his knee. The women explained she had no brakes on the bike so I guess it was better she struck Steve rather than broad siding a car.
We continued east on Pleasantville Road all the way to Lake, turning south and then west on Carroll Eastern, left on Old Millersport and from there a circuitous route with some hills that eventually brought us back to Carroll Eastern. Here, Dennis brought to my attention that Ryan R was no longer with us, Wellllllll................ Anyway, once out on CE the pace picked up and we arrived in Carroll, crossed #33 and headed out Lithopolis Road, finally approaching the turn onto Benson which led to the Slough Road climb. I had planned to stay on Lithopolis but the old legs were still feeling decent and I stayed with the group. At the lead-up to the Slough climb, Nick took a flyer off the front but only Paul pursued and despite giving up a sizable head start, caught Younger Phenom prior to the top. We arrived back at the parking lot with a 21.7 average for 42 miles, 1800' of climbing and according to my new Garmin, 2700 calories burned. Here, Mark C quaffs a Mountain Dew while listening to Claude and John S.