Craig Butler, The Boss of Tuesday's Canal ride. During a pre-ride interview, this normally soft-spoken, humble, gentlemenly, unpretentious, unostentatious, unassuming and just one great guy, when queried about his ride ambitions for the Cheat Mountain Challenge, replied, "I will not be denied." When I asked for clarification, The Boss, who does not suffer fools gladly, clarified for me, "Let me put it simply for you, I will destroy them." Wow, how out of character to so boldly predict victory and how many will actually believe he said this with my reputation for inventing statements out of the blue???? Last year, Criag rode the 100 mile, 10,000 fett of climbing route in 5 hours and 35 minutes, finishing 2nd or 3rd. That's total time, not total time minus an hour of food stop time. And, that's riding against the best of the best of the best, coming out of WV, VA, SC and OH.
The great Peggster in nirvana-land, with Randy D to her right and boyfriend to her left. It don't get no better than that.
I arrived in Canal, having decided to take it easy and not ride with Criag and his band of marauders. Criag convinced me I had made the right decision when he said he was going to take it easy, which in bike-speak translates roughly into, "I'm going to hammer and drop everyone." But, he did take it easy and a large group stayed together on the unusually flatish and shortish route that even found a way to circumvent Cul du Slough.
Pastor Mark, proudly wearing evidence he participated in the Mountain Mama century ride in WV last weekend.
The start of the ride got off to an odd start with Sarge declaring all the A's to leave but no one did. Finally the C's shoved off and then too did the few A and B riders. Not sure why the turnout was low but probably the strong sw wind, humidity and high 80 degree temps had something to do with it. Mark V and I rode into Lithopolis and merged with Sarge, Peggy, Canal Susan, Andrew (soft pedaling in preparation for Cheat) and a few others. We mostly rode together until the 32 mile cut-off and only Mark V and I took the longer route. Soon though, a large group of strong B's, who had waited in the parking lot for a friend, approached and Mark and I jumped on. Greg H was in there and we all took turns pulling and then at the end, all drafted behind Mark Rossi and wife on their tandem. Fun night.
Jeff S on the left, asking Craig why he allowed everyone to hang with him. Andrew in the center, earlier telling me he would be nipping at Craig's heels all the way to the Cheat finish line. Wish I was there to watch the finish, where I expect the top 5 spots to be occupied by Craig, Andrew, Steve O, Peggy and Mitch, in that order. NOW THE SERIOUS NEWS: Margarita Rick has the Swine flu, this is, for once, a truthful statement. Rick had signed up for Cheat and apparently, is still going to go. The gang going to Cheat want the added challenge of seeing if they can avoid getting the flu, sounds like great fun. I heard 1-2 of them actually plan to drink out of the same bottle as Rick. These guys are hard core.