When I was a youngster, one of my favorite movies was "The Guns of Navarone" with Gregory Peck and other stars of that era. I know, by today's standards it is kind of campy but I was reminded of this movie by I think Dan or maybe Tri-Mike when, after observing Flyin Tuna's sleeveless and partially backless jersey, they spouted, "Gosh look at those guns", an obvious reference to the muscled limbs of Tuna. It was so hot and humid I kind of wished I was wearing a similar outfit. Even Dennis was affected by the heat, driving topless, having shown off for the women who drive 161 during rush hour before his arrival.
Mark V made a surprise visit, having begun to ease back into cycling and in the background is "Sumo". Sumo used to be a regular at the New Albany ride but class schedule interrupted his participation but he is back. Dennis once asked him why he rode and Sumo said it was because he was too small to participate in his favorite sport, sumo wrestling.
Now this is ironic. Recumbent Dude wearing a climber's polka dot jersey. Next you know I'll start wearing a solid white one for best young rider. The small shaded area became so crowded we began rejecting new arrivals if they did not have an invitation.
Another late arriving crowd and I forgot to count but over 60 and a strong group of a and A-/B+ people. I had packed my bike off for CA and as of Wednesday night, had no back-up since my secondary bike has been living in the back of Rick Miller's workshop for a couple of months waiting on a part. I hit the trail for a long run Wednesday night and then Rick called Thursdaymorning and had switched out the part from one of his bikes and so I was good to go on my winter beater bike, Legs felt kind of fatigued so I skipped the A group that looked pretty fast. However, after they left I looked around and the A- group looked too fast to. Dennis, Jeff S, Dave Chesrown, Kevin H (Polish Pony), few young guys I don't know but young and skinny always has potential for strong too, Tri-Mike, SuperDave, Tuna, Amanda, Dan, Brain Damaged Gary, Recumbent Dude, German Franz (not to be mistaken for Asian Franz), Sumo and as we left the parking lot, there had to be around 35. It was a huge crowd but one had to be careful in such a large crowd....don't get caught too far back as Dennis warned me. Actually, the thought crossed my mind that getting caught behind a gap would be a good excuse for taking a leisurely stroll around a fine route by Jeff.
We dropped south on Babbitt and the pace was fairly light. The highlight of this stretch was seeing Amanda take a pull on the left side and Cindy on the right. I drew everyone's attention to this rare pairing of two of the female titans of the peloton. I began taking bets on who would tap out first but also figured pride would cause both of them to blow up before being the first to fall back. Each put in a nice long pull and dropped back about the same time. We then got onto Cable and that rough stretch and by now the group had thinned somewhat but still, there had to be 25+. We made a left on Headley's Mill and a couple of attacks ensued and then a right on Patterson with that long stretch of mostly uphill. Dennis had gotten to the front at the bottom but did not push it and most hung on to the top where we turned right onto old 161, eventually reaching 310 and Jersey Mill. I drifted to the back here just in case the pace exceeded my ability to pedal but arrived with 11 others in Alexandria. We next hit Mounts and another long stretch of mostly uphill all the way to Hardscrabble and there we were down to 6 people, Jeff S (taking it easy prior to a hard ride in WV this Saturday), Kevin H (regaining his form), German Franz and those two young and skinny guys. We got to Northridge where Kevin did something curious, with a car approaching from the left, he bolted across with me yelling "Clingan!!!" However, instead of moving to the right side of Concorde, he stayed in the middle and the car turned and almost took him out. Some of the guys were muttering unpleasant comments about Kevin but I defended him by saying loudly, "Who brought that guy out" and "Man that dude is dangerous, let's ride alongside him and shove him over." What are friends for, right?
Kevin took a long pull but also a very moderate one and a few people managed to catch back on and we continued on to Johnstown, down Caswell, over to Green Chapel and on in with 40 miles, a 21.2 average and 1150' of climbing. On the way in, we passed Paul Stock, Colnago Ron and Gus, fixing a flat. Otherwise, I don't know what the A group did or if they even followed the official route.