Ryan Roe, Steve Oxley, Kenda Janet and Kenda Paul, twelve in all, prepare for a nice route of 47 miles to Granville and back. Of course, everyone was overjoyed at seeing me again. The emotion was somewhat analogous to seeing your first born for the very first time. Tears were flowing but that could have been from the strong winds, not sure.
Not satisfied with a beard that would make a mountain man proud, Ryan says this look is but a way station to......
....a slightly more complex look. Yes, it will take many years of grooming but he is committed to the project.
Meredith was here, along with Dustin aka Old Chubb, Flyin Tuna, Mitch the Engineer, Kenda Dave, Amanda and Jeff S. We shoved off at 10:00am and headed out Walton's Parkway, Beech, Jug, Burnside, Miller, Duncan Plains, Castle and east on Concorde. We regrouped a couple of times and reaching Northridge, an offer was made to those who wanted, to go straight on Hardscrabble and avoid the Stone Quarry Hills. Surprisingly, only one person selected this option so the rest of us hit SQ.
Towards the final climb, Dustin, Steve and I got away from the others. I was pedaling along side Dustin, setting him up for the Summit Kill Shot when suddenly, just as we were below the crest, a car came flying over and I instinctively swerved. I had figured losing to the likes of me would not go well so had given Dustin plenty of room in case he threw an elbow or pump at me. Alas, it had put we in the path of the car and thus I lost the big "M" and lost the hill sprint.
We broke up in to small groups after that with Meredith putting in some nasty pulls into the head wind going south on Louden. Here we also passed Jon Morgan, Muscle Dude, Rich Lewis and one other going the opposite direction. We pulled in to Granvile and....
....while our bikes rested, we had a brief stop in the "up town" coffee shop rather than the one on River Road. Well, all of us stopped except for Dustin, who was so alarmed by the near loss on Stone Quarry and determined to never experience that humiliation, stayed out doing hill repeats. Or, stopped at Brews for an alternative to coffee, who knows. Anyway, he rejoined us as we were headed back.
Flyin Tuna stares into the case piled with tempting snacks. Good thing there is thick glass, otherwise she would have gone after the items with both hands. We headed back, mostly into a kind of strong wind with the Kendaites unable to pass on the shortcut as we came through Alexandria, heading back via old 161. Meantime, the rest of us soldiered on via Hollow, Headley's Mill and other roads, finally also emerging on old 161 at Mink Road and then back to the parking lot. Good ride, good group and a good respite from what has been a miserable winter so far. Maybe January will be warmer than normal?