Largish crowd of 21 showed for the ride including Todd L (Grand Poobah), Steve O, Craig B, Pastor Mark, Kenda Janet and Kenda Paul, Rick H, Canal Susan, Dentist Brad, Scott, Dennis, Flyin Tuna, Ryan R, Triathlete Nate & two friends, Engineer Mitch, Dude who rides a trainer before the ride start and joining us out on the ride was Triathlete Andrew and 1-2 others whose names I forget.
Pleasantly surprised to see Mitch there, having recovered from arthroscopic surgery to his knee but riding well and Nate unveiled his new Felt time trial bike. The bike is light and very, very fast, when ridden by a fast rider. Nate apparently is ahead of his triathlon training schedule and eyeing Andrew, I thought I heard him refer to Andrew as “low hanging fruit” to be dispatched in some future triathlon. I could have misunderstood and probably did but I thought that’s what he said but I am no pot stirrer and I’ll say no more than that.
I maybe created a route that was a little too hilly for the first half of the ride with the ascent of Slough, cutting over to Pickerington and taking that new road with big hill before dropping back down to Winchester via Kauffman. We motored into Carroll and proceeded out Plum and that nice hill and then made our way over to Rainbow. I was playing the good host and sweeping the route but I somehow lost Ryan R and could not prevent Susan, Brad and Scott from taking a small shortcut but otherwise did a fine job, if I say so myself. Todd later accused me of using this as an excuse to relax on the outbound route to be rested for the return but my motives are pure.
Stopping at the end of Mud House and Coonpath, we said our goodbyes to the Kenda Janet and Paul who had to take the cut-off. I noted Janet is riding particularly strong but so too are others who are clearly not relaxing much this winter. We reached the Rushville Coffee Shop and there, Steve O’s parents were waiting to join us for the break. I let Steve’s parents know that my association with him has made me a much better person and he is generally regarded as a saint by his fellow cyclists. They beamed with pride. At our booth, Dennis regaled us with stories about visiting prisons and observing shower routines while installing heating or alarm systems or something. That Dennis can be one odd dude some times.
We had been riding in some modest sunshine for the last half of the ride and exited the Coffee Shop in fairly warm temps. I got started first and after coasting down the hill turned onto Gun Barrel, was soon joined by Dennis and Todd and where the road dead ended, we found a Walker racing guy (forget the name) and the four of us drilled it from there, an effort I named the Grand Poobah Express. The four of us worked tirelessly with I, Dennis and Walker Dude taking 1 mile pulls and Todd, at his turn, riding in the gutter. I have so much to learn from the wily veteran. We stayed out in front of the others and rode a fairly strong tailwind, ending with 55 miles and 2850’ of climbing. NOTE: I will be unable to lead the Roving Metric Century Ride next Saturday but there will be one, weather permitting. If anyone wants to host the ride next Saturday then let me know.