A route was put out there for an 8:00am start, shoving off from behind the New Albany Starbucks. Certain people began talking (ok, in the interest of full disclosure, I was one of the people) about a later start, following a hillier route (full disclosure moment again; my contribution was only for a later start, not hillier). Moments later, a 9:00am route was put out there. As I drove for the 9:00am start I passed the 8:00am group and they too had a good turnout.
Among our group was Jay P, Larry & Lisa, Gus & Peggy, Sam (fresh off running in the Boston and NY marathons) Mike W, Isaac, Lori N, Cindy B, Kristian & Katherine, Brent J, Corvair, Aaron C, Tim F, new guy Alan (used to weigh 295 pounds but has lost over 100 pounds while being trained by Jon Hastings), Jeff S, Dirty Dan, Tym & Lisa, etc...
What a great route that included a few brief regroups. Isaac on the right, always one of the first to arrive at a regroup point. Dude must have a permanent crink in his neck from having to look back so often. His head can swivel 180 in either direction like an owl.
Great day to be on the bike. Our ride was not without incident as I may have been a bit to keen to catch an emerging break. There was an opening between Tym and Dan and then it closed as I was going through. Tym's handlebars touched mine, I swerved a bit right into Dan who fortunately was up to the task of maintaining control and stayed upright. It's bike riding, stuff like that happens but that I put my buddies' safety at risk bothered me for a second or two. Still, for what mischief he has created.....
Arriving in Utica, we ran into Travis & two others. I got Travis to describe his Cat 3 state road race win. good story.
Throughout the ride, we had been losing people to time mandated shortcuts so by the time we left Utica for the return, I think we were down to 9 people. As we neared New Albany, Gus' route kept us off the boring 161 in an interesting way. I suggest you check that out. We finished with 70 miles, 18.1 avg and 3200' of climbing.
At 8:00am, departing from the parking lot behind the New Albany Starbucks (usual Thursday shove off point) is a B paced ride following this route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21082734
Considering who is attending, you can likely count on a home made snack prior to or after the ride.
Then, at 8:30am, Joe Twelmeyer is starting a group ride, for you west siders, from the Whetstone Park of Roses. This is for road bikes although it will have about 2 miles of hard packed dirt/fine gravel. Meet at the bottom parking lot. I don't currently have a gps file for the route.
And then at 9:00am, from in front of Starbucks, is this route. The peloton frowns on competing routes that rip apart the peloton but no amount of persuasion from me could deter Gus from setting this up. I think partly he was motivated to provide a later, thus warmer and hillier route. The pace is a spirited B pace with some regroups and a stop in Utica at roughly mile 31. There the group may linger a bit, or not, depending on if Marty shows up. If you are wondering who will attend this event, I tend to attract the great unwashed (Dirty Dan among many others) so there is that but I understand some of the great washed will be there too like Isaac, Lori and their devotees.
Last but not least...is the COP option described above. I hear the Kendaites are attending this event so obviously only the really cool people will be in Delaware.