Upon my arrival at the parking lot, roughly 9:40am, there was only Steve Oxley and Kenda Janet. Understandable since the overnight low was lower then forecast, as was our start temp, 28-29 degrees. I began contemplating heading to a coffee shop for an hour but then Flyin Tuna arrived, thus making my coffee shop stop idea no less appealing. Then, shocker of shocks, Todd Lee, aka Grand Poobah, the dean of the central Ohio cycling scene and warm weather maven, pulled in, soon followed by....
Corvair with her new bike, then Mark V, then....
....Kenda Dave appearing to be wearing a flak jacket under his vest, then Kenda Rick and then Arizona George and then...well that's it, 10, but for such a cold morning, a pretty good turnout. I distributed the maps, outlined the 60 mile route and off we rolled, with Kenda Janet jabbering at an intense rate. Some of us have guessed that she prepares for the rides by drinking a cocktail of Monster/5 Hour Energy/Mountain Dew/coffee but she was also excited about staying at "W" in San Francisco, arriving today so there were mitigating circumstances.
We headed out 161 but got off it quickly and over to Cable, up Col du Alward, out Hollow but then, something different, a left on Watkins and an extended stretch on Wesleyan Church. Kenda Rick was struggling a bit since he has been off his bike more then most. Off season is odd. During the season, I gaze around the parking lot and think, "That guy will kick my ass today", "That guy will grind me to dust", "She's going to make me cry", "I'll be in pain following that guy", etc... With the offseason, fitness level is sporadic and you never know except for one guy and that's Mark V, also known as March Mark because he's been on the trainer and he is already at peak riding stamina. Also, although the start of the ride was cold, after a few miles the sun had its effect and we were all toasty and the temperature was never an issue.
Kenda Dave dropped back with Rick while the rest of us reached Outville, made a left and a right on Goose Lane (who lives in that huge house on the left?), crossed 16, missed our turn right on Granview and instead reached 16 again and headed into Granville, cutting our route short by 6 miles. The uptown coffee house is closed on Sunday so we dropped down to the River Road Coffee Shop where service is always slow but there, GP actually ordered and consumed a Stromboli and Janet ate her mashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich and as usual we had a great time.
Flyin Tuna pointed out to everyone that the fabric of my jersey appeared to be stretched from the zipper, suggesting some great stomach was forcing the spread (actually just a defective jersey that I wear in the winter). Of course this produced howls of laughter from Janet and Amanda, who have it in for me for some unknown reason.
Kenda Janet ignoring us as she plugs in to social media, Arizona George on the left.
We headed northeast via Hankinson, left on Cambria Mill, down 661, left on Dry Creek, up Stone Quarry, right on Northridge, left on Castle and the hills and distance began to take their toll with some stretching out of the peloton. Grand Poobah recovered from the Stromboli and actually took a pull on Jug but with the wind coming out of the south, rode right of the white line and I simply pointed this out as I was next in line and getting eaten by the crosswind. For this I was called a whiner! We finally arrived back at the parking lot with 54 miles and 2300' of climbing.