Not since the Soviets vs the US have we seen an arms race of this magnitude. Area bike shops have been busy. Seems as if all of the peloton's participants have spent the winter investing in the most sophisticated cycling technology, looking for an advantage or at least to keep them current with their peers. Kyle Zander's bike has a neat paint scheme. Kyle graduates soon and is looking forward to a month or two off prior to becoming a working stiff like the rest of us.
Good turnout of 15, including Philippe, Doug McConaha, Kim & Anthony, Peggy & Gus Cook, Sergey, Ken Buddell, Aaron C, Ryan O'Rourke, Mike McClinchie, Ryan Havlicek, Benton B, Kyle Z and me. I regret that wearing lobster gloves cuts into pic taking so I have few to share. The talk prior to shoving off was about the windy conditions of last Saturday's return from Utica. With gusts over 50mph, it wreaked havoc on the group, pretty funny and glad I went south for a ride.
We had a good route but made frequent in-ride adjustments, heading east, making a left on Beech, then right on Jug and north on Clover Valley rather than going north on County Line so if you intended to catch us on the way north as I suspect someone did, we slid to your east. We were on Clover Valley just short of forever and at mile 8, the thinkable happened, I popped off the back. I found the intensity a shock to my system even though every member of the group probably thought we were soft pedaling. A stop sign intervened and I caught back on, hung on until mile 13 when, there I went again.
Arriving in Hartford, the group was waiting. How nice but I insisted they not do that because it's not fair to the others who are out for something more ambitious then I....just finishing. We again left the route, exiting Hartford via Bennington Chapel, then a right on Appleton and on to Louden. The cross winds were fierce but since I was positioned pretty well, I was able to hang on while a couple others, denied the advantageous spot, could not so the group sat up a couple of times and regrouped. Somewhere on Louden a couple of pigs sprinted across the road. I asked if they were wild pigs and Doug confirmed that since they were outside their pen, yes they were wild. Funny. From studying the route, I knew we were to make a right on Stone Quarry prior to coming back east and entering Granville so I.....
.....stayed on Louden to shave a couple miles off the route and took a spot on a bench in front of CVS to await the arrival. Minutes ticked by, I talked to locals, I enjoyed the warmth of the sun, I munched on a snack and then it struck me like a 2x4 against the head...Noooooooooooo, the group is not coming and I am going to be a pilgrim into the wind, solo. Thinking it was a mechanical, I retraced part of the route, went through the Granville middle school and with that, got onto Raccoon Valley Road and began the return to New Albany. I passed the hours thinking about what I would do each day in AZ when I arrive on Tuesday, trying to visualize what it would be like to be entering New Albany, fantasizing about being really fit and not in my current predicament, you know the usual stuff. I passed the golf course so slowly I was able to watch multiple shots and diagnose swing flaws. I marveled at a worm, crawling west and distancing itself from me and yet, I finally made it!
54 miles and in the parking lot discovered Philippe and found out the group, after dead ending at Northridge off Stone Quarry, had just continued west and ended with less than 50 miles. Shortcutters!
Beginning behind the New Albany Starbucks, 11:00am, Saturday for a ride of 60 miles. The link for the route is:
Looks like there will be a good turnout. Note you should know the route and not arrive expecting the group will wait if you drop behind. It's the time of the year when some have ambitious goals that require a faster pace and no one should expect them to stop when I drop...errrr. when you drop. With what is likely a largish turnout, probably some will not mind pausing once in awhile but come prepared. Among those coming, are Gus & Peggy Cook, Dave Chesrown, Mike McClinchie, Aaron Chancie, Tanya Cool, perhaps Amanda if she can make it in time, maybe Luke & Lori and other stars and anonymous members of the central Ohio peloton.