And there he was, Grand Poobah, aka Todd Lee, out to join the crowd while telling us numerous stories of when he raced back in the helmetless days.
We convinced a couple of New Albanyers to abandon the flat lands and check out....the flat lands to the south. Took about 30 miles before we began hitting the hills but got to them eventually. Seemed like the turnout was down some but it could be many were waiting for a later start time for a warmer start. As it was, we shoved off with 52 degrees......
.....brrrrrrrr. There were 14 of us, Larry P, Eric, Janet & Paul, Dirty Dan, Rex, Sam, Jeff S, Eva, Todd, Don, Milt, Brent J and me. The first 30ish miles were flat and kind of boring but once we got south of Millersport, the rollers began to appear and soon, steeper things.
Mules! They were a bit standoffish but Eva rolled up to the fence and they scrambled to meet her. Wise mules or is it donkeys?
We got onto Boundries Road and that was fun, had about a 1/4 gravel section that was no problem at all as cars had impacted a relatively smooth path to follow, came through a section of Cujo country where dogs bayed and barked and then emerged on this nice road and soon....
....entered Bremen via a non traditional route. It was good and may be the first time I descended from that direction (see map below). We rolled up to the gas station/market at #37 and #664. The place was packed and at one point, a worker said they had never seen the line that long...maybe 20?
As it was noonish and at mile 52, we ate a variety of subs and sandwiches. Now, you can always tell when someone is ready to move on when they walk in with their helmet on....ok, Dan, we got the hint. We departed the official route to go west where we picked it back up at Lake and rode in from there, finishing with 79 miles and 3000+' of climbing. Good time and then some of us gathered around the Kenda SUV where I spotted....
....Janet's bike clothing bag. Only she would use a VS bag to store sweaty cycling clothing.
Some people wanted something less than 100 but more than 65 so I came up with this route, 75 miles: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26115074 It cuts off the lower loop which is rather hilly. Off season pace although if you want to join in and ride faster. have at it. Departs the official route in Bremen at mile 51.
Saturday, beginning from Bloom Carroll High School in Carroll, OH is the Fall Heart of Ohio Tour or otherwise known as "HOOT". Most will roll out at 8:00am, following one of the routes (102, 65 or 33 miles) below. This event is hosted by COP with a fee of $5 or $10 depending on if you are a member, or not.