A good turnout of 15 cyclists for a hilly alternative to COP's flatish SPOT ride. There were a few fence sitters who opted for SPOT because they feared the hills, skeerdycats like Mark C, Pepe Lapew and a couple others. We had Dirty Dan, Katherine Graham, Jeff S, Engineer Mitch, Eva, Larry P and Lisa A, Brent, Mark V and son, Crazy George, Kenda Janet and Paul, Flyin Tuna...I think that's it. We shoved off into the cool morning air, heading east on Black. over to Canyon where we lost the Kendaistas and George. On through Granville, south on Jones and the hills and climbing were piling up. After 20 miles and 2000' of climbing, I began to ask legitimate questions about the accuracy of the amount of climbing. The intensity of Thursday's ride and then with Larry P and Dirty Dan driving today's pace, I was suffering.
We stopped at a gas station in Newark and as we readied to depart, I noted I was the last to get the cool weather clothing back on, having lost the knack for doing it as efficiently as the experts around me. We got over to St Louisville then the St Joseph climb, then eventually to the base of Reynolds where we stopped. I led a spirited effort to persuade the group to go the longer route into the wind and up the big climb. Mark V, Eva and Mark's son took the short route. Meantime.....
Katherire Graham tired of the discussion and walked over to a cow pen to talk to the animals. They paid rapt attention to whatever message she was giving them and it reminded me of Dr. Doolittle, talking to the animals. Hmmm, Dr. Doolittle, not a bad nickname. The long route group stopped in Utica at yet another gas station. As we shoved off, Jeff S had some trouble getting started and ended up losing his balance and fell to the ground but he is ok. Earlier, Mark V's son had fallen over at the steep ramp at the end of Jones Road. Poor kid is riding a sprinter's dream of a bike but for climbing hills, not so good.
Eventually we headed south on Northridge into Alexandria then farther south on York, crossing Morse Road where a sign warned of a bridge being out. A farmer yelled at us that we would not be able to cross the barricade but to avoid more miles, I was willing to backstroke with my bike on my stomach if necessary so I plunged down the hill with Larry to check it out. The barricade had been effectively constructed to not only keep out vehicles but also cyclists, walkers, joggers, really anything larger than a snake.
The destruction was impressive but Larry and I pioneered a route that included a leap of faith around a pole over a chasm. I wouldn't suggest this be on the Thursday evening COP ride anytime soon..
We finished with 71 miles and 4400' of climbing. We hooked back up with the Kendas, George, Mark V, son and Eva at the parking lot and exchanged stories. By the way, exciting news about Dirty Dan coming soon.