The cookie lady, Kristie arrives. I sneak a peak in her trunk and am rewarded with a view of a container having post-ride snacks. Now there is a reason to ride!
I thought two alternative rides out of Hocking Hills would pull down the numbers but for most, it is too early for torture in the hills. Paul D looks on as a crowd of 38 gather, some of whom are the Lady Gnar Shredders doing their own thing.
Like last week's warmer temps, more hibernators came out including Michael. Check out the blue sky too!!!
Ric, another first timer, in the background listens as Gus urges us to ride together for a few miles before the laws of nature take over and we split. Jay P on the right with the Dew jersey.
And so we're off and although the pace was spirited, seems like everyone hung in there prior to turning left on Hollow Road for that undulating climb to Alward and beyond. I gave it my all, thus burning through all my reserves and despite being in the first 10 at the top, had nothing for the follow. I dropped back to the next group. We kept the first group in our sights all the way to Granville where we entered with a 19.1 average.
Brad on the left with Gus and Mike M. Mostly we milled around and contemplated the options, of which there were many.
Michael, Don, Kriby, etc.. line up for a pic.
Gus, Larry, Jay, Muscle Dude, Tym & Lisa, and more prepare to shove off. Others were still debating what next to do so I thought I'd get a head start on the Jones Road climb and depart with the fit, may of whom were going long, 59 miles. I lost them on the Welsh Hills return to Granville, cut into the school and....
....this is where things stood as I pedal along the school route with Don, Kristy, Kirby, etc... bearing down on me. As I coasted to Louden, I was pleasantly surprised to find Jay, Muscle Dude, Mike M, Jason and a couple others waiting. Soon, the back group caught us and we prepared to do battle with a strong wind out of the southwest. Mike organized echeloning and while I usually prefer to veg out in back while drafting, it seemed to make the miles go by faster and we....
....arrived in the parking lot with an 18.1 avg and Kristie's container of some kind of chocolate chip/caramel treat awaiting us.
10:00am from the parking lot behind Starbucks in New Albany 10:00am being the time wheels roll, not the arrival time in case you are wondering. Two other routes have popped up in the Hocking Hills area and those can be viewed at "The Cycling Club" Facebook page. Please note, this ride is open to everyone. Several opportunities to shorten this route...like cutting off the Jones Road climb being one. We seem to attract a nice crowd of people who have carried over their mid season fitness to the off season. That's good but it would be good to see people who, like me, have spent the last 3 months being slothful, indolent, lazy, idle, lacking in zeal, etc... Maybe a day where the high breaks above 60 will turn them out? Rote: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19042996