Well, we gathered behind Starbucks, 12 of us when at 7:50 I rode to the front of the coffee house and saw no other cyclists. Isaac rode by a couple of minutes later and said there was, "A Veloscience group with a map" so it seemed that bunch had their own plans so we shoved off, riding toward the front of Starbucks. But wait, there was Lori N who had helped set up this ride so we pulled in and everyone was there to ride Isaac's ride. Too many to mention here but in total about 31 of us headed out old 161.
The pace was I guess "Moderate+" and we lost a couple of people on the ride in to Johnstown where we managed to avoid several large trucks before....
.....turning onto Concord and heading east. We eventually got on to Sportsman Club, then Dutch Lane and at last, the turn left onto #657 with the Reynolds Road climbs beyond. Sensing an embarrassing performance, I just hung back and rode in the vicinity of Crazy George, Jeff S and Corvair. Arriving in Utica I immediately.....
....marched into the gas station to grab a Payday and a Monster. Looking around outside, initially it appeared I was the only one with such an unhealthy combination. Above, Ron Buddell appears to have just been punched in the arm as Isaac, with black head cover looks on.
Then I noticed Lori N was quaffing a Red Bull and Andrew Clayton had a Rootbeer so I was in good company. Exiting the market, I had asked Marty what the linger factor was, to which he replied "low". I took that to mean no real urgency but gosh was I wrong. Now, to set the record straight....
...I was raised in a family of 21 children so at meal time, I learned to eat rapidly. I also can not describe my eating habit as savoring each bite. Far from it. Instead I wolf down every bite. I don't walk around and tell my fellow cyclists, "Oh you must try this. It goes especially well with a '75 Chateau Lafite." I stand, rarely talk and focus on cramming each bite down as fast as possible. Suddenly, Marty calls out "Two minutes to go." and with still half a Payday to go, my spirits sank, secure in the knowledge my appetite would not be fully sated. I walked to the trash can and dumped half a Monster and nearly half a Payday. I just need to start carrying Gels or something (or maybe arriving at the food stop sooner?) to allow for these lightning breaks. Oh well, with stomach growling, we shoved off.
The meat of the route was before us. I got in with the lead group as we powered up Blacksnake, made a right on to Stout, hit the climb hard, coasted to Martinsburg, got on to Hunt, then Graceland Lane and eventually Loches (pronounced "Locks" I am told). Here I drifted back and soon rode past Jon Morgan and a couple of others as they fixed a flat. Arriving in St Louisville, we waited for the flat fixers before proceeding to, ugh, the St. Joseph climb. Our group had fallen to maybe 10 with some having departed the official route earlier or just dropped off the pace. After the climb, we climbed up and then down Chatham, hit Dry Creek, Louden, right on Raccoon Valley and entered Alexanria. Here I dropped from the group, obviously my strength waning from lack of nourishment to wait for Jeff S and Corvair, gathered Gary, Kenda Janet and Paul and headed out with a good group, finishing with the 72 miles and stayed dry. Fun day.
OK, we have a route and organizer, Isaac. 8:00am from in front of the New Albany Starbucks. Here is the link to the route and print your own map: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/8118078