As I have said several times, the Rocky Roving ride is my favorite with long stretches of valley riding punctuated by monster climbs. We rolled out and Flyin Tuna headed to the front for a pull, which I assumed would last to the outskirts of Circleville, but she stayed there for a long time. At mile 5, yep, still there grinding it out, mile 8, yep, doggedly guarding the front, mile 9, like a dog with a steak bone still.... Around then, Da Boss blurted, "Oh, that explains it" but refused explanation when I asked him for some specificity. For me, it was nirvana for a nice relaxed pace with plenty of opportunity to swivel the head and take in all the sights. At mile 10, Da Boss finally broke from the pack and others joined in and the peloton went to single file. Eventually, we reached the base of one of Tar Hollow's climbs and reaching the top. coasted to the bottom and worked our way to the aforementioned market.
We reached the bottom and the option of going straight to stay on the 68 mile route or left to do a 10 mile loop that repeats the Rocky climb but from a different direction. I had an obligation to get some images of exhausted cyclists reaching Rocky's summit so my plan was to hit the market and then retrace my path back to the top, before the others arrived after following the intended route. I thought the market was only a mile from the bottom of Rocky but it was much farther, almost 5. Now it was questionable if retracing was the quickest way but I did it anyway as the group stayed on the route. OK, I left once, realized I forgot the camera and had to ride back to the market to retrieve it from Steve O. How embarrassing. On the way back to the foot of Rocky, I passed Mitch and Ryan traveling on the route and in the opposite direction. I think Ryan had at least one flat but maybe he can fill us in, in the comments section.
At the top of Rocky following the steep and traditional route, there is a broken pavement road and for some reason, I thought this is the direction the group would approach for the second Rocky climb. Instead, as I began working my way up the back side, on which we had coasted down earlier, I could see a group of cyclists suddenly flash through a turn ahead and realized the group had gotten onto basically the bottom of Rocky from a side road and were now ahead of me and on the same approach as I was on. Oh well, I continued and upon reaching the top, made a right onto that broken pavement road and in fact, it peters out and goes no where. From there, I turned around and followed the marked route back to Circleville for 80 miles and 4400' of climbing. Seems like a lot more climbing then that.
Tonights Canal ride will be 92 and humid. One of the peloton's elite already sent me an email and urged me to form up a slower A group. Maybe I can get Poobah to do the senior start at 5:55 open to sub-50 agers too.