Interesting day to be on a bike, as usual. Hell winds, heat, crash, Subway, visitor from Chicago, nude woman sunbathing, short cutting, etc... the day had it all. The Newark YMCA is a little out of the way and with another tough slog out Blue Jay, many of the Tri-types either chose not to come out or perhaps were competing elsewhere, yet we still had a good group, Poobah, March Mark, Kim Sada, Tim Tyler, Flying Tuna, Chicago Dude (he contacted me through the blog and had asked about available rides while visiting his son at Dennison), John from Crook's Cycle Right, a couple of John Martin's regular Tri-types and then a late arriving Matt, Gus & Peggy and Kyle Wingler, so around 24 in all.
Martin's route had us going out Blue Jay, hang a right at 668/Brownsville and follow that all the way to Somerset. Since he was unable to make the ride, we took the liberty of amending the route to get over to Poplar Forks/Mt Perry Road, avoiding the traffic and super rollers on 668. Naturally, things got stretched out on Blue Jay and after I got to 668, I kept going to the top of the big climb and stopped at Flint Ridge where soon, Mark, Kim, Flyin T, Chicago Dude & Poobah arrived, along with Matt who had started late but caught us (Peggy and Gus made a wrong turn out of the Newark "square" and were temporarily lost). We went east on Flint Ridge and eventually arrived at Cooperider, got onto 204 and decided to climb up Amish Ridge Road. In the meantime, Flyin T talked Chicago Dude into heading back and we were down to 5 and the others? Well, they made a left at 668 by mistake, arrived at Rt. #16, turned around, made it to Gratiot and headed back to the Y with around 50 miles. Tim T was riding with Lisa later in the day so he went off doing his own route .
We got back onto 668 and slouched into the Somerset Subway, beat down with 29 miles and 2700' of climbing. Soon, Gus and Peggy arrived to swell our numbers and we were at 7, then Matt announced he was heading home and then we were at 6. We discussed the return options and I suggested taking 757 to Glenford, then Geo Ice and Hopewell Indian back to 668, which would put us close to Rt. 40 and down wind all the way to Blue Jay Road. Todd began sweating profusely and by the time he finished browbeating me, we decided to head west on a flatish 204 after arriving in Glenford, taking it all the way to Thornville and Rt. #13. Todd distinguished himself by sitting in behind Gus, all the freakin way and making Peggy, Kim, Mark and I fight for the limited spots out of the wind. It got ugly back there with 30mph+ cross winds and I tried to pry Todd loose but the guy has no shame. At one point, Gus turned to Todd and asked, "When did you turn 75?" Now that was funny and in reply, Todd ducked back behind Gus for an extended period.
Reaching Newark, we got onto a bike path and then onto a road where we passed in front of a house where none other than Flyin Tuna was sitting on her porch sunning herself. Todd shouted something unkind to her, I may have shouted some things too and then Todd plowed into my back wheel, sending him to the asphalt. I blame the whole thing on Cindy. Todd picked himself up, examined the bike, all appeared ok and we finally reached the Y with 59 miles and 4300' of climbing. Fun day and I made up the part about the naked sun bather but everything else is true, or close enough.