A worried Matt Ashmore gazes at Coonpath Road, on the lookout for late arriving Pete, who arrived just in time to roll out with around 15 of us. Unfortunately, in the background, Kenda Janet walking away after informing us that once again, she and Paul will not be able to roll out with us. Something about Paul not being able to get ready in time but it appeared he was dressed and good to go while the high powered executive was not, unless that is a new and very unstylish cycling kit she is wearing. So, we left the parking lot without one of our favorites.
The pace, coupled with the relentless winds and hills, caused an occasional gap between those who like to ride at an easier pace on Saturdays (or can't ride at a faster pace) and those who wanted to ride harder. Here, Dustin, Matt and Pete are far ahead while Larry P, Woody, Kevin H, Mark V, Chris, Mark C, Flyin Tuna, Andrew, Brian and the rest, hang back a bit.
We rolled into Amanda for a break and to check weather radar. At the start, it appeared the most we could ride was 50-60 but in Amanda, the rain had made no progress toward us so we began thinking of doing more, maybe the 80-100 mile route.
The Rookies, Matt and Pete, parked in front of the gas pump, oblivious to the drivers lined up behind them. They'll learn the finer points of break behavior. We shoved off and upon reaching the prison at the top of Revenge, took Blue Valley towards #33 and then.....
....in to Sugar Grove where Kevin H led an extended session of radar watching and map reading. The rain, when it arrived, would last a long time and no one wanted to get way east and be stuck so we jointly decided on a plan. After climbing Savage, we'd hang a left on Duffy and work our way back toward the parking lot.
Muscle Dude Junior or John, on the right if you are unsure. He looked at me and asked if I was "Mark". I said yes. He asked if I was "Mark Wilson, the blogger." I said no, never heard of the guy. By the way, the store in Sugar Grove is under new ownership and they treat cyclists like royalty. Good folks. Our ranks had thinned a bit but we picked up some new cyclists and headed north, got to Duffy and those who had intended to go farther east on the 80 mile route, gave up the chase and rode in with us, finishing with either 61 or 74 miles. Of course, that rain never materialized but the wind increased and contributed to a very long day, despite the limited distances, for a Saturday ride.
The Spring HOOT ride, that's the nasty looking thing above, is Saturday. Many of us are rolling out at 8:00am from the Gloryland Nazarene Church off Coonpath Road in Carroll, OH. Just take #33 south and hang a left on Coonpath and the church is about 2 miles down on the left. Lots of distance options so come on out.