Dennis, Jeff S and I gathered for the 5:00pm ride out of New Albany. Meantime, there were many other rides leaving at the same time from other points in the village. As we exited the parking lot, a group of 6, led by Franz, rode by so we immediately abandoned our route plans and jumped in with them. OK, the pace was not fast but so what for this time of the year and they were on a 31 mile route, perfect. I don't recall all the turns but we got on some roads I had not previously ridden and got on some in directions I had not ridden so it was all good.
About halfway into the route, a woman wearing an orange jersey with "Alaska" advised us there was a rider off the back. I turned and sure enough there was so I rode forward and asked the front two to ease the pace for a moment. As I turned around again I saw it was Jeff S who was back there! Dennis said, "I've heard of people losing their fitness over the winter but after one week?" After we rode for a bit I asked Jeff if he had yet caught his breath or should we continue to soft pedal? Ha, ha. We eventually hit Cable and confirmed it is as crummy as ever but were not on it long.
Eventually we reached old 161 where Jeff had recovered and was leading us. I don't know what the heck happened but he ran over a beer bottle without warning us and so each of us followed suit......
.....causing Franz to have a flat. You know me, I want to make excuses for the failings of others but how Jeff missed the bottle is beyond me. Guess the slow pace led him to day dreaming or something. With the sun low on the horizon, we plodded on with Jeff resuming the pull but suddenly, the woman in the orange jersey went around Jeff and pulled away. This was a shocking development and both Dennis and I were embarrassed for Jeff. Never before in the history of New Albany rides has one so strong been passed by one so weak. Here I go again making excuses for Jeff but probably he thought his 15mph pace was warranted given the talent behind him, I guess. Suddenly, John Morgan led a crew around us that included Gus but I did not recognize the 2-3 others. Those of us could jumped on and rode into New Albany with 31 miles and a scintillating average of 17.6. I told Jeff he probably had similar ride averages but on very hilly century rides. Well, that;s all for now but tomorrow is the big golf match and I am excited to get out there and throw barbs at everyone and act like a clueless idiot.