One of the year's saddest days arrived, the final Tuesday Canal ride....but wait, maybe not and more on that later. Good turnout of 38, including Younger Phenom Nick making a cameo appearance. Once high school started, Nick plunged into cross country (or is it track) racing and the meets and training has kept him off the bike. He finished 11th at this weekend's county meet while his team finished first. He has gained 2 pounds but has a long way to go before I can start drafting behind him. In the meantime I still have plenty of wide bodies like Little Diesel, Dennis and Flyin Tuna.
Nice turnout of B/C types including Butch, Peggster, Sarge, Rick, Gary, Richard, etc... Peggster is planning to organize a 5:30 B/C ride out of Canal for next year, riding at a non aggressive pace. We'll see how that pans out. Quite a bit of discussion at the post ride meal at Kingy's about how the Tuesday (previously Wednesday) Canal group ride has evolved from one of separate A, B and C groups that started and mostly stayed together rather than starting and splintering. Back in the day, the Wednesday Canal ride had plenty of guys who were racing (Chris Fisher, Paul Stock, Todd Lee, etc..) so maybe they used the ride as a warm-up rather than trying to spank all of us? On the other hand, as long as traffic laws are obeyed and no one pulling chickensh*t stuff, why shouldn't everyone ride as hard as they can and if people get dropped, they have maps. How does one become faster and more fit if he/she is not pushed to and then through their limits, if that is their goal? Anyway, sounds like their will be a more passive alternative for those who want a socially paced ride next year. Next year there will still be an A and B group departing at 6:00pm, riding as we currently do, assuming we have ride leaders.
Mitch had a friend who had a satellite dish but wanted it to be more creatively displayed (some may think it an eyesore also) so Engineer Mitch, using all the means at his disposal, created something worthy of a mad scientist. David looks on in awe.
So, a group of 14 A's headed out on a 26 mile, flattish route, after Mitch gave the final ride instructions of the year. One person and only one person announced how grateful he was for our efforts. There was restrained applause in support. Thnaks guys. I was obligated to go out with the A group after excoriating them the last couple of weeks over getting cuaght by the B group (probably the most embarassing moment of the year for some) and then allowing me to hang on during last week's ride after they came through and announcing they were no better then the New Albany B group. I was prepared to take my lumps and give them the opportunity to do so. So, Steve O led us out with Mark C, Grand Poobah, unsteady dude who pulls while in aero bars, Dennis, Ryan R (who berated me for 10 minutes about how unworthy I am as a winner of the Bath County metric century ride and not much I could say as argument there), John Swope, Jeff S, Nick, Jeremy, etc... We set a nonaggressive pace out the modest hill on Waterloo, turned left at Slough but upon turning right on Sitterley, someone pushed the pace and the line got strung out but most of us hung in there to the stop sign at Lithopolis Road. The pace picked up again and at some point, Todd went to the front and hammered for the duration his cardio level permits, maybe 45 seconds and then looked back directly at me but I was still good, drafting comfortably behind Jeff S. We made a right on Marcy and a left at Cedar Hill and the sky was looking very dark to the west. I began whining about taking a different route to avoid what appeared to be imminent rain but was ignored. I think I've been put on the "Do not listen to list" a long time ago, which is understandable. We hung a right on Royalton and Poobah hit it hard again and again I clung to the line and he appeared rather disappointed to see me still there. Then we turned right on Winchester and there were a few attacks that got covered and upon reaching and crossing the 674 crossing, most of us were still there although the loud one, Ryan R had drifted off the back on the hill leading up to the intersection. This gave me great joy after having endured his pre-ride mocking. We motored on it to Canal, with Todd taking the stop sign warning sign sprint with a 22mph avg. OK, there is talk of continuing the Tuesday ride at 5:00pm and already there is a group of 6-7 who have been going out for a warm-up ride at that time. I'll confirm things and keep you posted if interested.