Da Boss, fresh off his sub 3:30 marathon, was back at it again.
Mark C, wearing the most garish jersey ever. Even had his name printed on both sleeves. Jersey looked like it was made of burlap and uncomfortable but he wears it proundly because it was given to him after an epic ride to PA.
At 6:30am, after checking weather radar and noting yet another large blob of precipitation bearing down on Ohio, I decided not to drive all the way to Clear Creek Park for the Honeysuckle Roving Ride. However, a look outside revealed a gorgeous morning of blue skies and calm conditions. What the heck, I thought worst case I would end up doing hill repeats on Starner so I headed out. Reaching the parking lot, the turnout was light, as was to be expected, with Flyin Tuna, Mitch, Mark C, Tim F., Da Boss, Gary, Eve, Evie, Group Brawler, Randy Brown, Steve Hewitt (the host), Margarita Rick (arriving at 7:58 of course), Steve O, a couple of new female tri-athletes (one of whom wore the tightest fitting and shortest shorts outside of John the Dentist) and a few new people. Maybe 20 but no more than 25. No Kendaites, no SuperDave, no Dennis, no Grand Poobah......
Prior to the roll-out, Flyin Tuna had disappeared inside the Porta Potty and was in there for quite a while leg shaving probably as a line formed on the outside. Suddenly, there was a muffled scream. A wasp had begun building a nest in her shorts and when she pulled them up, the poor creature was trapped and did what any self respecting wasp would do, not once but twice. OUCH!
Gosh, the humidity hung in the air and I was perspiring just listening to Steve bark out various warnings. We headed out Starner and the two Amazonian women streaked by me as I settled in with Mitch, who seemed to want a relaxed pace like me. We began the climb and soon overtook and passed the tri-types, too bad. We caught up with Tuna and at the top we found Steve checking a map and so the four of us with Gary and another guy, headed on to what is a wonderful route of many hills but fantastic views, rough roads that added character and after churning along roads like Mt. Olive, Kreashbaum, Big Pine, Blackjack, Savings Hollow, Goat Run Honey Fork (?), Calico Ridge and Nickel Plate, we finally found ourselves in Logan at around mile 25. There, Mark C, Craig B, Jamie and Randy were preparing to leave. Interestingly, after Mark C checked radar, he claimed the rain, "was a couple of counties over and an hour to an hour and a half away". Craig, on the other hand, said the rain was one county over and coming fast....we believed Craig and made only a quick stop for refueling before heading back. Throughout the inbound route, the skies were sunny and bright. However, leaving Logan, the sky was overcast and darkening. Uh Oh.
The return route was fairly direct with Walnut Dowler, Horns Mill and Sugar Grove Roads bringing us into Sugar Grove. We had picked up a couple of strangers on the return and our group, although frequently strung out, was 8. At #33, the route had an additional loop out Pump Station Road and back Bunker Hill and Brush Fork but when we crossed #33, we looked to the northwest and there was a sheet of grey and rain appear imminent. We headed back on Old Logan/33 and Clear Creek Road for a modest 44 miles but with 3400' of climbing. After the ride, Da Boss went for a run and I headed for food and drink. Hey, we stayed dry (well, our clothing was soaked with perspiration) and you missed a good ride.