A bright, crisp, sunny but yeah, a little cold at 34 degrees for our Christmas Eve ride. There at the start were Ginger B, Steve O, Kayla Starr, Jeff S, Jeremy, Mitch the Engineer, Flyin Tuna and me. Conspicuous by her absence was Amanda O, who is working hard at the title of "she who wants to ride the most but shows up the least". Someone said she is as reliable as a 1971 Corvair. Give her a break, the forecast was a start temp of 35 so since it was only 34, the cold deterred her. Here, Steve O shows off his new personalized license plates. OK, it was really Kayla Starr's plates.
Steve O was the nominal ride leader since he made the mistake of proposing the route and after some deliberation, we decided to head to Tarlton. We shoved out of the Lockville Park onto Pickerington and stayed straight to tackle the hills, then worked our way to Rockmill but somewhere in there, Ginger, recovering from a 3 week sinus infection, promotion at work, excessive work hours, bailed on us but hope to see her at this Saturday's New Year's Eve ride (more on that later).
We rolled into the village of Amanda with Kayla taking the uncontested sign sprint, rolled on through on maybe Gerhart? (long, debilitating uphill) to Sixteenth and there, we began checking our watches and discovered we may not have time to make it to T-ton and decided instead to go to Stoutsville. Our ride toward that town was highlighted by a near death experience with a red truck that sought to see how close it could come to hitting us without actually hitting us...ass! Our blood was boiling and some of us hoped we'd find this guy at the Stoutsville gas station but I urged calm, seeing as it was Christmas Eve.
After a stop filling up our tank, we headed north on Fosnaugh School road where Mitch told us he had been in touch with Buffalo Bill Butler and passed along he had impressive finishes at a 50 mile trail run in PA and another good finish at a trail run around Burr Oak. Hopefully he gives up the silly trail running marathons and returns to cycling to kick our butts this spring. Otherwise, it was an unremarkable return to Lockville where we finished with 41 miles and 2200' of climbing. I had gotten ahead of the group on the run-in to the parking lot so I could throw my bike into the trunk and escape with the bottle of wine, given to me by Tuna, for having let her use my FedEx account to ship her bike earlier this year. The wine, a varietal called "cheapbutgoodwhiteforbums" looked appealing when desperate so naturally, I did not want to share. I gunned the car engine, backed out and with burning tires, headed for the exit. Dang it, Steve O intervened and I brought the car to a stop.
Sheepishly, I re-emerged from the car and it just so happened I had a corkscrew and wine glass (something I always carry since you never know when you'll need them) and proceeded to open the bottle. Here, Flyin, who insists she always drink from a clean cup, holds an ample supply and we fill her cup first, then second and third before the rest of us get a chance at the wine, which was not bad if you like bad wines. I toasted everyone with, "I've had a lot of fun with you guys and had a lot of fun making fun of you guys!" For once, no truer words have I ever spoke. It's been another entertaining year and if I am stuck in Ohio for another year, which I am, well, gulp, it could be worse then hanging around with these knuckleheads. If Saturday turns out ok, we'll have the annual New Albany to Granville New Year;s Eve ride with a stop at the River Road Coffee House. More to come later.