John Gorilla had scheduled a 106 mile ride out of Granville on Saturday with a 9:00am start to go down to Christmas Rock, Starner, etc... 16 showed up and in fact, they shoved off at 9:30. As they moved south, the rain followed them and it rained for much of the ride that included as many as 10 flats with Jared accounting for 4 of those. It was a strong group that included Garth Prosser, preparing for the Leadville 100, "Race Across the Sky" mountain bike race. Garth has been a frequent participant in this race with a couple of top 50 results in the last 2 years and 16th as recently as 2008. That is pretty strong.
John had another ride set up for Sunday, also out of Granville with an 8:00am start and when I arrived, there were 35-40 people. Great. Unfortunately, all but 5 of them were there for the weekly ride organized by John Marten and once they left, it was John G, Marty, Dave Chesrown and Jon Sada......and lowly me. Uh Oh. After riding for so long and so hard Saturday, John had come up with a nice recovery ride of 130 miles and 8000'+ of climbing. I think I am beginning to comprehend why the gap is so significant between the top New Albany cyclists and the Canal Brewers, except for Steve O who also rides a lot. Hanging on during the warm-up to the foot of Blue Jay was hard enough but once arriving there, Jon and I dropped back. I don't know, but I suspect this ride was going to establish a new, New Albany pecking order for the near term and it would not surprise me if John, even at 215 pounds, is the new #1.
We made a left on Pleasant Chapel, left on Flint, right on Brownsville, crossing Route #40, then 668 south and then something that has me baffled happened. 668 is kind of a major road and following it obvious but somehow, I ended up on Snook and later dead ending at Mt. Perry Road, well east of 668. I was dumbfounded that I had gotten off 668. A couple of turns later I got onto #204 and then back on the route, south on 668. By the time I hit Somerset, everyone was long gone but I enjoyed a break at the BP station and when a deputy sheriff approached the front door, I asked if he could do me a favor and arrest me so I could spend some time in the air conditioned jail. Damn was it getting hot and already humid. I went off route and eventually ended up in Thornville and then did a very curious thing. Hoping to catch John, Marty and Dave coming back on Blue Jay as indicated on the route, I headed northeast. I calculated I'd be at about mile 65 by then and they'd be at about mile 110 so we should arrive at the same time.....sad.
Anyway, I did not see them and finally arrived back in Granville with "only" 76 miles and 5400' of climbing.