Nice evening for a bike ride and too bad the sun is setting so early that I could only come up with a 30 mile route. Anticipating a light turnout, I only made 25 copies of maps and thus was chastised by the senior ride leader, Mitch, saying he always prints 40. Maybe if I had access to free printing at work I too would be so profligate. Anyway, about 34 people showed up but the superstars have fled for greener pastures so the parking lot was the usual mix of minor league talent, led by Eve, Steve O, Peggster, Grand Poobah, Butch, Mark C (walking out of the frame while guzzling a Monster), Dennis, Jeremy, etc...
The sun was direct enough, coupled with low 70 temps that the shady area was sought for maybe the last time this year as next week is the final Tuesday Canal ride. I'm bummed by that prospect but welcome it too as my motivation for riding has plunged, due partly I guess to having not gone through a burn-out phase during the early summer as I usually do. It's catching up to me now. But, next Tuesday is significant as it is a celebration of Mitch's hard work as THE Canal Tuesday ride leader and to a much lesser extent of my own efforts. All the gifts and glory should go to Mitch as there will be a party at Kingys after next Tuesday's ride. Mitch will decide what he does not want and I'll get the leftovers, which is only right. OK, seriously, leading the rides is not heavy lifting and I don't understand why there are not more volunteers to do so. I'm in for next year as probably is Mitch but it would be good if 1-2 others pitched in, especially those who are normally critical of our routes (as is a certain resident of Carroll, OH). Let one of us know if you want to select a route once a month, make map copies, have the pre ride sign-up party at your car and then mail sign-up sheets to COP, it's pretty simple and if I can do it anyone can. I'm sure Jeff S would welcome some help on Thursday's too.
The final stage of the sign up process with Todd Lee, aka Grand Poobah, jumping to draw attention to himself. Later, I witnessed Todd taking both the Lithopolis and Canal W sign sprints.
A small group of A riders, maybe 6-7, left the parking lot and someone was heard to say, "That's a pretty weak A group" so I won't mention who was in the group so as not to embarrass them. With what was left in the parking lot, someone said, "There's at least 6 guys here who should be in the A group". So, I called out the B group and 20+ rolled out led by Dennis, Ryan R, Kevin H, Nathan, David, anonymous tri dude, anonymous Pelotonia jersey dude, new young dude in plain green jersey, Amanda, Mark V, Mark R & more. We headed out and worked our way over to Pickerington and then up the hill on Brandt, right on Kauffman, hitting the rollers through there, over to Mt Zion headed to Crumely where I, tired of the pace, made up an excuse to wait for Amanda. After circling a few times and seeing no one, I headed up Royalton, getting back on the route with a right on Betz.
Once I got on Alspach, here came the A group, comprised of Steve, Mark C, Todd, Jeff S, John S, Tri Andrew, Randy Brown, pretty much everyone who earlier left the parking lot. I jumped in with them and we flew.....well that is a bit much.....rode fast.....well something other than riding at a real A pace. I swiveled my head back several times to see if the B group was catching up, as they did last Tuesday. We made a right on Cedar Hill and then once in Lithopolis, got back into Canal, just ahead of the B group. I finished with 27 miles, everyone else at 30. My average was 19.6, the B group was 20.6 but I did not hear the A group's average speed, probably 20.5.
KCBC is this Saturday but I'll have to miss it, riding a hilly century ride in VA, something for which I am unprepared but what the heck, get to spend the weekend in Warm Springs, VA.