Most cyclists who participate in rides do so without knowing the feverish work behind the scenes by whomever is the ride leader. OK, I am exaggerating the effort to lead a ride and those of us who have, have made mistakes. At least once, each ride leader has prepared a route without road names (see below), each of us has at least once included a road on the route that was not a road but an unmaintained Forrest Service road (see above), each of us has yelled at the start that the route is clockwise when instead it is counterclockwise, at least once, we have put a food stop off the route but if you did not know the stop was off the route you would have missed it and all of we ride leaders have put a turn on to an unsigned gravel road leading through a creepy cemetery.
The challenge of getting through Lancaster is a daunting one. Go around or go straight through? So all ride leaders have made the mistake of creating a meandering route through the city rather than a direct one and finally, all ride leaders have asked to borrow a pair of cycling gloves because we forgot to bring ours, even though the missing pair of gloves is sitting on the hood of the ride leader's car. BUT, have any of us ride leaders committed all of these mistakes on the same ride? Until today, April 27th, a day which will live in infamy, nope, never happened before.
Happier times, in the parking lot before the ride. Mark & Karen Rossi are in a good mood because their 40 pound tandem is about to be replaced by a custom made, carbon fiber bike that is 15 pounds lighter. I am very excited about this news because now they can pull us on the flats and up the hills. Steve O on the left, munching a banana and just now I am thinking I should go see if I can find the peel on or in my car.
At the start was Steve O, Jon Morgan, Marty S, Tym T, Steve Fields, Blair S, Mike M, Flyin Tuna, Jeff S, Rossis, Evie, John Sada, Mitch O and Scott Henningsen. We set out in bright sunshine, light winds and got onto Rainbow, through Lancaster where some of us became lost, eventually out of Lancaster, up Christmas Rock, Snortin Ridge, followed by a series of state routes that eventually brought us to a point on the route that if you knew Grandma Fays was a turn or two further off the route, you knew to stop. Fortunately, we all have experience in the area and we stopped....for a very long time cause that was a lot of climbing for April. Tym, Steve, Marty and Jon got away from the pack and were on their own while sub groups formed behind.
Leaving the food stop, we got on to more fantastic roads including Culp, Unger, 374, Big Pine, Kreashbaum, Starr, Wildcat Hollow, Pleasant Valley, 180, etc.... including Sullivan, the rock strewn road up the back side of Firetower Road. Actually, Sullivan is not the back side but probably more like the "side side" and I am sure the home owners have never seen a bike on that road before today. As we all pushed our bikes, Steve O yelled to me, "You better filet Dan over this" and I am all to happy to do so, tongue firmly in cheek and appreciative of his efforts at putting together the ride. After the ride, some of us stopped at a local pizza place that is a favorite of Steve O's. It was easy to see why it would be a favorite. Good food, good atmosphere and lots of women with missing teeth. Oh, we finished with 86 miles and 6000' of climbing. Others finished with 98 miles and 7500' of climbing.
Steve Oxley and Dirty Dan Resatar are training for the 3 State 3 Mountain ride and need distance and hills for Saturday. They have been kind enough to extend an invite to anyone who wishes to join them. The route is 98 miles with a 86 mile option and the long route will have about 7000' of climbing. I plan to attend and ride at my usual leisurely Saturday pace and I hear several others are going to join in too. You can ride with Steve and Dan or you can hang back with the likes of Mitch O, Jeff S, or hang further back with Flyin Tuna, Evie or even farther back with me. At least a couple of others will join but probably should not mention their names. I will have a few maps and give them to those most deserving. Below is more information from Dan:
The starting point is Bloom Carroll HS (same as Fall HOOT). We roll at 9am.
Regarding the pace...It will be like our typical Saturday rides. I'm sure some will want to attack some hills and spin up others. No worries either way. We can regroup at the top of each climb and keep everyone together. We did this on the Great Seal ride last Saturday and it worked out great. Steve and I just want the hill work and miles and its always more fun with more people!
I'm going to load the route into my Garmin, so between this and the limited supply of maps Mark will provide, we should be good. Hope to see you there! Note the refueling stops are at mile 42, 65 and/or 80.