Beautiful day for a bike ride and around 35-40 showed for Andrew's Sugar Grove ride. Prior to the start, Steve H and Andrew commented on Steve Barbour's passing and a moment of silence was observed. We started out on a kind of flat to rolling couple of miles but that was sure to change on this fantastic route of mostly smooth, quiet, country roads through 4 counties. After many hills, we were spit out onto 93, where I hooked up with Mitch O and Jeff S and after exchanging pulls we finally arrived in New Straitsville at mile 25. We overwhelmed a mini-market as usual with our demands for energy drinks and I listened to proposals for doing the 96 mile loop but as soon as someone said they were doing the 76 route, I hastily volunteered for that. While sitting in a chair outside the mart, Mark V noted today would be his 12th century ride of the year!!! Others mingling were The Boss, Mitch, Jeff, Jimmy, the Kenda crew, Stefano the Kenda product development guy, Beth, Frank S and several others.
By the way, before I forget, Nathan Recumbent Dude has posted several more comments attached to other reports and his luck is holding out as he evades capture in India.
Eight of us headed north and for the most part, stayed together to Moxahala where we hit another mini-mart. The mart had no restroom but did have a port-a-john in the back that had a door that closed within 3 inches of the frame. Gosh I love the small town charm! We headed toward the brutal stretch of Marietta Road that has the distinction of having more ups than downs and we all got stretched out. Somehow I got to Bremen first, followed soon thereafter by the others, except for Kenda Rick and Kenda Paul. After 15 minutes we decided to head to the gas station, assuming the missing Kendas would go there to refuel, which they did. However, Paul had been going down hill into a turn with his inner foot down, the pedal clipped the pavement and flipped his bike. The good news was, the sleeveless jersey was ok but the arms were not. The shorts were ok, but the legs were not so at least his clothing appeared to survive. But the blood and screams as Paul rolled around the gas station lot in agony was tough to take. I found an old shoe and tore the upper part from it and Paul clenched the leather in his mouth until the pain subsided. Janet too was running circles, screaming hysterically, arms winging wildly and finally, someone stepped forward and slapped her and then she too calmed down. It was quite a scene.
Demonstrating bravery seldom seen, Paul decided to ride the rest of the way, even though he was a good candidate for a gurney in the back of an ambulence. Four of us created a protective cocoon against the wind and sheparded Paul the balance of the route. I engineered a shortcut and we finished with 70 miles and 4500' of climbing.