Well, with the only difference between last Saturday and this Saturday being about 25 degrees, the hibernators came out in force. Thirty-one or so plus others who joined in during the ride. As usual these days, I cast my eyes around the parking lot and did not see many who are as unfit as am I but the obligation of journalism (I kid of course) required me to be here.
Another group was there too, a gaggle of Lady Gnar Shredders hosting a group ride for ladies only.
The man of the hour, ride leader Luke R, got us going on a route. Note the blue shoes and blue gloves.
Those that were here are too numerous to name but it was good to ride with people I had not seen since late September like Gus & Peggy, Soku, Logan P, Jared, Ryan R, Dirty Dan (told me his goal was to inflict more pain on me then last year), etc.. Above, Gus chats with Larry Van Gogh while we wait for the light to change and then.....
.....we sprang into the countryside like a coiled spring. Above, Paul D taking a rare break from the front where he set a pace intended to break me. However, I clung to the group as we followed a circuitous route, entering Alexandria at mile 13. I regret not looking at my Garmin at that point as the pace had been spirited. Knowing the Mounts hill was coming, I spit the bit, as did Jared. We share something in common, we are mostly taking advantage of the off season by not doing much, other than eating and drinking. Sooooo, off went what was left of the group...like practically everyone and now lets see what happened next.....
Jared and I eventually reached Hardscrabble Road and stopped to wait for those behind us. A few minutes previously, the group had reached the same point where Dave C left the group, the people who are nearly in mid season form stayed on the route well ahead of us and others were behind.. Paul D supplied....
...the above excellent image to emphasize the situation.
We did not know whether to turn left or right so Jared checked the route while I.....
....looked for survivors. None appeared so we continued. We reached Moots Run Road and I was starving and wanted to turn left and go into Granville but Jared wanted to go right. Since he was doing most of the pulling, this put me in a quandary but I stayed with him.
Toward the top of the hill I told Jared I would wait again to see if some others would come along. He wanted to stay on the route and get in the 50 miles so he kept going. Soon, John and Anthony came by, then remnants from the Lady GS group but no one else. I guess the others of whom I was thinking had opted for a different return.
I selected a direct route back, pausing in Alexandria to check on a Lady GS who was stopped on the bridge. She was kind of discouraged as had been expecting a group ride experience. It's a tough balancing act, meeting everyone's expectations. I arrived at the parking lot with 38 miles. The front group, who had overtaken me on the way in, were in a good mood but so too was I. Yes, I suck but in two weeks, I'll be on the path to slightly less suckiness as I head to AZ.
Luke R created the above route. I'm thinking I'll pause in Granville rather than ride straight through the 50 miles. 10:00am start from the parking lot behind Starbucks in New Albany. The basement dwellers who have been slumped over their trainers are likely itching to get out and ride hard. Those of us who have been slumped over the TV remote can ride at an off season pace. Regroup if you want or not as there is a mix of goals in the group. Should be a strong turnout. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18939161