First, as a map aficionado, the map for Ridge Runner Ramble was the best yet, supplanting the Rocky Ride map. Mainly because the road names on the RRR map were easily readable while Rocky's was not. OK, the RRR route highlights were a little subtle and some of us both young and old had a hard time discerning which roads were "route roads" but still, an expansive 11" x 17" with both sides used???? wow!
Driving out old 161, I was struck by how many groups of cyclists were out on the road. Then I was struck by how stupid I was, forgetting several items I had washed the night before, causing me to turn around. Rats, that made me miss the 7:30 start but I sped into the parking lot ready for the 8:00am group. Except the 8:00am group left at 7:55, apparently intending to "stick it to me" for the many times I've referred to this group as slugs, schleps, duffers, misfits, has-beens, dubs, hackers, dorky, dingy, slow, slovenly....well, you get the picture. Someone told me it was Flabby Tuna's idea, egged on by others. I guess I had it coming to me.
Unfortunately, the early start left some others in the parking lot looking around wondering what happened to the 8:00am group but we were in luck, there was a group of "Roll" cyclists so Brian, SuperDave and I slotted in with Larry P, Mike Rea, Amy, Meredith, Rich Lewis and several others. Here we are at a happier moment, prior to the ride.
Here we are at an unhappy time. Mike Rea, signaling to the emergency vehicles where to stop. Our group was riding on Jug Street, just after crossing Mink Road. I'm not sure exactly what happened but there was a largish rock in the middle of the lane. Brian, riding in front of me indicated with his arm, as did I but after that, I heard the sound of a flat, some yelling and upon looking back, saw cyclists down. Rich Lewis, Amy and Meredith all hit the pavement with the latter two's injuries appearing to be serious. See comment section for updates.
Once the emergency vehicles arrived, I hooked up with David Smith, Corvair and Brian aka Michelin Man riding into Utica, there catching up with 7:55 group. We did a touch and go in Utica and continued on to Martinsburg and then Bladensburg, stopping there. I audited my situation and decided, if I was going to do 100 miles, I needed to conserve my dwindling resources, dropping to the back of the pack. Even that didn't work much and so when the group decided to avoid Newark and move north toward St Louisville, I decided that seemed like adding too many miles and stayed on the route. An extended stop at Subway recharged the energy levels enough to get back to New Albany, after passing through a very cool street scene in Granville with dozens of Porsches displayed along a closed Broadway. Finished with 99.1 miles, 5300' of climbing and 0 interest in looping around the parking lot to watch 100 appear on the Garmin.