It's not the best of times, it's not the worst of times, it's the in between times. Riding on a day like Saturday is better than a January day but not as nice as it soon will be. Large turnout for SPOT and with the forecast of gusts reaching 30mph, I emerged from my car with the goal of riding with whomever the Rossi's, on their windbreak tandem, rode. We had Recumbent Dude, Jill, Kevin H, Mark C, Jimmy, Flyin Tuna, Jeff S and the Rossi's for our 8:30am start.
The routes were many and there was considerable debate between taking the 72, 78 or 79 mile route. 100 miles were out of the question because a couple of us had to be back by a certain time but really, not much appetite for extending the ride later into the afternoon and facing stronger head winds. We rolled out and true to form, the tandem took a nice pull into the first windswept jog west. They were rewarded for this effort by Kevin H taking to the front and drilling it. As I was crouched behind the tandem I failed to notice a gap had opened but peaked around them, saw it and shouted, "Are you aware you have allowed a huge gap to open in front of you?" Mark R replied, "Yea and there's nothing I can do about it." I was certain my good friend Kevin a.k.a. Polish Pony, would not have inflicted this intentionally. I attempted to close the gap and did so only because a stop sign intervened on my behalf. We turned into the wind and Kevin glanced back, noted the beating to the group he had inflicted and bore on. Gone were Jimmy, Nate, Jill & the Rossi's. I rode beside Kevin and gently suggested he ease up so we could regain the tandem, at least. For this I was given the ultimate insult...he claimed I had lectured him using "Peggy's Voice".
What followed were long rides westerly into the wind and only until reaching Darbyville at mile 29 did the route head south and with the wind. We paused at a cemetary where a Port-a-John was located and huddled against a building, out of the wind, as some used the PAJ. We cruised into Circleville with 50 miles and an 18.4mph average. Stopping at Hardys, many of us refueled on hamburgers and fries. While there, John the Dentist and a guy I had ridden with on Wednesday's Westerville ride, arrived and I heard they are doing Calvin's Challenge in a couple of weeks and are preparing for it.
The ride back north to Canal was not fun and I was glad when it finally ended, 72 miles with somehow maintaining an 18.3 mph average and 2005' of climbing. Oh yeah, found two banana peels on my car when I got back. Funny.