The Sunday River Road Coffee Shop ride but for today, turnout was limited to 14 as none of the New Albany cyclists appeared. Farmer Mike was there but he is more of an Alexandria based cyclist as his vast land holdings practically encircle that town. Some of the other usual attendees were elsewhere such as, Luke & Lori were competing at the Roan Groan, others at the Franklinton Crit and others riding out of New Albany to our destination but avoiding the bike path. There were several strong cyclists, Beau Berkley, Sandy Donald and a new guy, John moved to Granville from Orange County. John volunteered he learned of the blog while visiting a bike shop in Athens. Yes, the fame of the blog has spread near and narrow (get it, rather than far and wide. I crack myself up sometimes).
Off we went to Bladensburg, not to be confused with Martinsburg but first, we enter the gloom of the bike path. Morning moisture coupled with overnight rain created nasty and slippery conditions. It is a mystery to me, with the abundance of lonely country roads at our disposal, why any distance is spent riding 5mph and picking up ounces of crud on the frame while....
...subjecting ourselves to the risk of very slippery bridge surfaces made of wood. One in our group went down here but she popped up and resumed, At last, after about 8 miles we exited bike path gloom and were now headed out Horns Hill Road. Then we made a right at Licking Springs by the golf course and hit that climb hard and so impressed was I by the nature of the climb (ok, and my performance on it) that I created a Strava Segment and after entering it....
...check out the names behind me, especially that Dave C guy. I know, each of them was riding it at a social pace (look at the power readings) but still, I can have fun lording over them when needed and the climb is remote enough, they may never pass this way again. Dang, that effort used up all the reserves and I barely hung on with Beau, Sandy and John and then at the Christmas tree farm on Martinsburg, I popped off. Later they waited and then I did something really stupid. I gave them the exact directions when I should have played dumb, thus keeping me drafting. Doy, doy, doy!!! Soon I again popped off the back.
I caught them in Martinsburg but kept going to B-burg where I stopped and was soon joined by Farmer Mike. Most of the rest of the group , upon arriving in B-burg, kept going south on Henpeck so Mike and I resumed and were joined by Todd. At Hanover, I left them and the route to avoid the bike path return and took a mix of roads and hills, finishing with 65 miles.
Starting at River Road Coffee Shop at 9:00am is the John Martin led ride. You can park one driveway down in the back of the business south of the Shop. Regarding the route, 541 from Martinsburg to Bladensburg is ok but better is Divan to Henpeck and then north to Bladensburg. We'll see. All are welcome and usually a broad range of fitness at these rides.