OK, setting aside the fireworks from last night, let's move ahead as if it did not happen to the semi-lucid ride report. After having chosen the route Tuesday morning, my buddy Ryan Roe, sent me an email and advised of a road closure. Rats. It was on my route. Being a cheapo from way back, I had 20+ maps leftover from a previous ride and I was determined to use them so created a workaround and headed for the library to make extra copies (home office printer is too slow) at a robust $0.10 each! Arriving at the parking lot, discovered some nitwit had again taken up the ride leader parking lot and the person twice as smart, a half wit, refused to do the honorable thing and move out of the back-up ride leader spot.
It was good to see Grand Poobah return to our group ride, there in the center signing up.
More people arrive and sign in and when it was all finished, only about 38 people so I was left with over 20 map copies again. Let's see.....what should next week's route be????
Early it appeared a relatively slow A group would be in play but soon Billy C showed, Patrick, Logan to mix in with Steve O, Mark C, Dennis, Claude, Jenis Nate, Tri-Andrew, Andrew Clayton, Dan Koska, Kayla, Kevin H, Ryan R, etc... around 18 total. We headed out, crossing 33 over the bridge, an unusual left on Hill and a right on Busey and took that all the way out to Carroll Northern. Along the way Billy and Logan took off but I screamed, "They don't know the route so ignore them" and it worked. No one chased and the two returned to the fold. We got onto Basil Western a right on Bader and soon hit the one kind of steepish hill and I stayed with a front group of 7-8 that got a small gap on the Ryan Roes of the group but unfortunately we eased up and then a stop sign enabled regrouping.
We kept going east and I found myself eventually trailing Jenis Nate. All had been well to this point but this skinny as a rail dude dropped and drilled it and I was in the unfortunate position of being in second and a rather poor drafting position. I held on for awhile but had to finally kick out and felt badly doing so until I saw Billy was behind and he'd not have a problem covering the gap. Normally, I chalk up these experiences to the usual, "I suck" but when I saw who was still in the group I deduced it was bad luck to have been in the 2nd position. Bet it was comfy in the back. This occurred at mile 14 but after rounding a corner I saw Ryan had dropped off and soon caught and passed him, made easier so by the fact he was off his bike panting on the side of the road.
At this point, I had a problem. I had to be back home by 9:00pm for a personal matter so after hitting Pleasantville Road, I turned right and soloed in with 33 miles and a mundane 20.4 avg. Of course, I missed the excitement but have more on it below.