The day started with a mistake when I entered the Rockmill Brewery address into Mapquest but with a Canal Winchester location. Fairly straightforward directions, west on I-70, south on Gender and one other turn and I would be there except when I arrived I was not there, at least not at the Brewery. I was close to Lithopolis so stopped at a market and asked if there was a brewery around, got directions and viola!...I was there but too late to join the main crowd who had already departed. But, there yet to start were Kendas Janet and Paul and Caboose. They were nice enough to wait for me and we rolled out at 9:25-9:30. It should be noted that the Kendaites had been the first ones to arrive at the parking lot but intense negotiations about should they or should they not ride continued beyond when everyone else departed.
Early in the ride, Amanda revealed that Jamie Roberts, formerly known as "Group Killer" for his cycling exploits on the Tuesday and Thursday group rides, the guy who once lost 100 pounds and for a time was riding along side Buffalo Bill Butler (my new nickname for Craig Butler because, like the NFL's Buffalo Bill's from the 1990's, he has a long record of 2nd place finishes at Cheat Mountain, Mountains of Misery, etc...) will return to cycling in 2012. I called Jamie to confirm Amanda's statement but he was coy and evasive so I lack the absolute confirmation but suspect Group Killer will be back.
In the days leading up to this ride, I failed to look at the route but assumed it, given the time of the year and excess clothing we would be wearing, would be a flat to rolling route. Good grief! By the time we came out of the west side of #33, having ridden up and down and then up and down many more times, we were riding south on Old Logan Road when Paul said the next part of the route was Crawfis, Savage and Chickencoop. With that I had enough and swore when we got back to the parking lot I was going to punch Steve Hewit in the stomach and so, being a man of my word, did just that.
Prior to Crawfis, we had the privilege of being joined by Joe Giampapa, who seemed to enjoy soft pedaling as he rode at our scintillating pace. We summited Crawfis and eventually got on to Pumpkin Vine but not before a map check, which spawned numerous other map checks. As it turned out, only one of our group of 5 could read the road names through the dark marking that defined the route on a map that was many copies removed from the original. To make a longer story shorter, I assumed the route took a left where it instead took a right and we lost Joe. We got on to Rainbow and eventually back to the brerey parking lot where a feast awaited us after 42 miles and 3000' of climbing (everyone else finished with 56 miles). Our host had numerous cheeses, bread with olive oil, dark chocolate and Belgium style beer brewed on site.
One thing about that beer, as good as it was it had an alcohol content of around 9% so it did not take long to begin feeling the effects. We bought a couple of bottles but I assured our host the real drinkers would arrive soon and he'd have to roll out the casks to meet their demand. And roll in they did including Mitch O, Steve O, Jeff S, Mark R, Dustin, Tim F, Peggy, Flyin Tuna, around 15 of us. Kenda Janet made sure nothing went to waste.
The heavy drinkers line up.
Mitch arrived, let the partying begin!
Well, wasn't that fun? I staggered to my car and since Flyin Tuna and I share much of the same route back, we agreed in the event I was pulled over, she would race around and give the officer the finger, prompting him to give up on me and go after the real law breaker. Of course, as you can see from this, she wasn't in too good of shape either.