Before the usual silliness begins, let us pause at this grainy image and celebrate Tim Faigley on the right, todays monstrous ride leader. A COP Roving Ride is one that is described as just kind of show up, you get a map and good luck to you. However, most of the roving rides (likely with the notable exception of next week's led by Flyin Tuna) have had great maps on 11x14 paper, que sheets, gps file availability and even, like Saturday's, a route that has been painstakingly marked. And that route, 7 notable and painful climbs through beautiful countryside that even included a pass by what must be the only vineyard in Vinton County?
It was a good mix of fix and nearly fit, with Jon M coming down with Marty, Garth P and a couple of new guys, along with Randy Brown. No Steve O or Dustin, which is kind of unusual but someone said Steve had a date with someone off of Craig's List and Dustin has a passion for garage sales so he was probably tramping around in an old van looking for deals. And of course, Younger Phenom, Nick, forever now known as Euro-trash, headed to Wales next week with his newly arrived passport. Just think, some day he'll be standing atop the TDF podium and we can say we knew him.
So, so many issues does this guy have that I can't begin to list them. Someone got him turned around and he managed to make it out of the parking lot and probably even finished the route but who knows, we were all gone and probably eating dinner by then.
Good turnout for a ride so far from the center of the cycling universe, Columbus. I heard many people drove 1+ hour to arrive at 8:00am but it was worth it. I'd guess around 35-40 people at the start and so we shoved off. I rolled out with Kenda Janet and got filled in on her family vacation in the wilds of KY. This location seemed counterintuitive for the queen of the jetsetters but then she explained that because she spends soooo much time in Chicago, New York, London, Rome, etc.. that a week in the Kentucky woods was welcome.
John Day took off and then Randy so I checked in behind him and we reached the top of the first climb on Pleasant Valley Road with that nasty false summit 3/4 of the way up and a comfortable gap on all the others but soon, they began overtaking us, dragging both desirable and undesirables into our midst. After another climb and then getting on to #664, Marty & company came by and many of us tagged along until the gas station on the corner of 664 and 56. We paused long enough for one of our members to use the restroom and then off we went again, right on to a very difficult climb on Chapel Ridge Road. That one is a brute.
We continued on the route where in the distance a lone cyclist appeared. The conversation went something like this:
"Is that Nick?"
"No, that's impossible."
"It sure looks like Nick."
"Wow, this is worthy of a picture."
Turning a corner, we came to a hill...
"Ah oh, that is not in our favor, we might not catch him."
Nick stopped by the side of the road and Mitch stated:
"Hey that is Nick. We shall mock him."
However, he appeared a little wobbly so we did not mock, instead encouraging him to get back on the seat and ride with us. We climbed up Airport Road, having not yet stopped to refuel but it did not appear there would be anything at the airport so we kept going, eventually reaching the market at around mile 50.
I think the Thursday effort was having an effect on me because my legs felt like they did at the top of Monterey Mountain at the end of Mountain Mama, yuck. Probably Marty & Co. had already plundered the store's shelves because there wasn't much there. When Poobah walked out with what last week was a ham & cheese sandwich but had evolved into a ham salad sandwich, the bottom of the barrel had been scraped.
We got back onto the route, riding through Zaleski Park and onward until we reached Logan and finished with 74 miles, 5600' of climbing and the end of a great day of cycling.