Mitch presented us with a great route for the Canal ride, 48 miles and a stretch on Hopewell Church. I really respect the ride leaders that do not fall back on the same, relentlessly same, hopelessly redundant, boring routes, week after week after week. This Tuesday group of leaders comprised of Mitch, Craig C, Peggster and Ryan have done a nice job and right now my hands are furiously clapping in appreciation. Maybe only 45-50 cyclists showed up and that still included some new riders. Here, Nick in the foreground (age unknown) is standing next to a phenom, Luke from Sugar Grove and only 15 years old. He is a protégée of Grand Poobah (should someone this young be exposed to the kind of tricks Poobah can pass on?).
Canal Susan made an unusual visit, here with Kevin K.
The usual cycling bums were there and a huge group of A's left the parking lot, including Mark C, Steve O, Astana Dennis, Mitch, Walker Dude, Buckeye Dude with other OSU students, Nate on a blue Seven, Ted M, Nick, Jeremy, Paul Stock at least 22 of us. Then, a funny thing happened. Having exited the parking lot and arrived at the intersection with the light on E Waterloo, we paused for a car while the Walker Dude and 3 others appeared to hammer. Pretty sizable gap was created but for a warm-up pace no problem except we kept riding faster and faster and not closing the gap. ANOTHER VIOLATION OF THE UNWRITTEN RULES OF THE ROAD....you do not hammer during the warm-up phase. However, after turning right on Hill, it appeared the Walker Dude was still going at it hard and both Steve and Jeff put in long pulls and still not closing the gap. We crossed Winchester and proceeded up the hill, rounding the S curve and a couple of guys leapt from behind, we grabbed on and finally, just before the turn onto Slough, we latched on. I was not amused.
We turned right on Sitterley and right on Miller and then left on Cedar Hill. The pace had moderated, since we were no longer chasing and all the way out Cedar Hill, because the group was still so large, if one was at the back, one was not having to work terribly hard, a fact I discovered rather late but enjoyed it once I drafted back after a short pull. We finally cruised into Amanda with a 22mph average and 18 of us hanging on. Oh, get this. Before the start, I asked Poobah if he wanted to leave early as part of a "Senior Start Time". Oh No, he replied, "That would not be necessary." Well, we caught up with Poobah and Logan somewhere on Cedar Hill because they had taken off early. Poobah is so tricky. There are very successful grifters in New York who could learn a lot from Poobah.
We got onto Hamburg and headed toward Landis where we were to turn right, except I began asking myself, do I wanna suffer today? Ahhhh, no and skipped that turn to make a left on Delmont. Poobah and Ted each made a similar decision and off we went but not together. Poobah was going to wait along the route for the Long A's, Ted was anxious to get home and eat birthday cake and my pace was in between, arriving back in the parking lot with 43 miles and 2000' of climbing and a 19mph average. Meanwhile, the hills on Hopewell Church did what is expected and apparently the young phenom, Logan and Nate on the blue Seven led the way up the significant climbs, followed closely by Mark C, Steve, Buckeye jersey guy and a few others scattered not too far back. There was some regrouping and catching of other short cutters (like me) and a largish group finished with 48 miles and I think a 21.4 average.