Upon receiving the map, the studying, calculating, devising, plotting and planning begins at the Tuesday COP Canal ride.
Todd Mullins rolls in on new wheels. Purchased them via E-bay, spent hours cleaning off the old glue then glued on the new tires. The tires stayed on the rim but Todd did not stay on the bike, crashing for the first time, ever, going up McDonalds, the hill not the fast food joint. Todd was ok, even after riding over Paul Stock, who had ridden into the back of Pete who slowed near the top of the climb. Paul, being a guy of high character, took full responsibility because he was the trailing cyclist. Later Pete crashed close to the finish when his hands slipped off the handlebars. This was Steve Oxley's responsibility because Steve added a loop to the official route, adding just enough exhaustion to cause riders to do things they would not normally do. Remember, the routes are chosen carefully, taking into account wind speed and direction, sunlight, humidity levels, angle of sun to equator and what are the limits of the people likely to be riding that night. It is a very complex calculation and messing with it is bad luck.
Randy Brown confers with Todd before heading out with a smallish A group of around 10. Now, a rare serious point and having nothing to do with the guys in this image who are experienced bike handlers. QUIT STOP SIGN JUMPING! It happened in both the A and B group on Tuesday, several times, in front of oncoming cars For the inexperienced who don't understand, while you will make it across the intersection before an oncoming car, others see you go and some follow, behind you. Think about it. What could possibly go wrong in that situation just so you can gain an unfair advantage during a group ride, on an open course where there are cars and trucks sharing the same road?
Good turnout of B and C cyclists. It was my return to the peloton after a couple of weeks off. I have regressed and barely clung to the C group before fading. My summer swoon has begun. Here, we stop at Amanda to top off the water bottles. A very humid evening caused fluid levels to become low so why not take a couple of minutes and refill?
Then Thursday rolled around and I met Meredith, Ryan, Michael, Flyin Tuna and Allison in Utica for a hellishly hilly route. Interesting ride. Ryan and Michael would hammer up the hills, we'd catch up then Allison would give it the ole Blitzkrieg on the downhill and flats. Nearing exhaustion, I'd reach the next hill and there would go Ryan and Michael to be followed by Blitzkrieg on the flats and over and over again.. Geesh, can Allison hammer on the flats and a pretty good climber too, having spent 6 years cycling around Santa Barbara. After 40 miles and barely able to stay upright, I signed off as we closed back on Utica, foregoing an additional loop. Everyone else had enough and they came in too. Think I had 3700' of climbing. Now my legs were thoroughly fried and headed home to prepare for the 4th of July party. One of my tasks is to mow the base paths and foul lines for the front yard wiffle ball game. I did something really stupid and ran over one of the bases, thinking it was too low to be effected. A sharp pain hit both my shins and looking down, base parts had shot out the back of the mower and sliced through both legs. Although my legs were hanging on with little more then tendons and a vein or two, I played the game and watched the first ever, triple play to end the game.
Saturday morning, radar looked ominous but it appeared east it was going to be ok so headed to Newark for a ride out of the Y with John, Shawn, Jeff Webb, Flyin T, Mark V and Jeff S. What was I thinking, yet another hilly ride? Cloudy at the start but by the arrival in Bladensburg, the sun was out and turned into a nice day for this 73 mile route. Several people who planned to come abandoned because of weather radar but all was well for those who came. I hear Dennis, aka Style Queen, showed up for the Wednesday Westerville ride. A possible comeback in the making? Ahhhhh, probably not, He was seen turning around and quite winded. And what about Dirty Dan? He attended an orientation seminar as part of a new job and a complete stranger asked Dan if it is true that his nickname is "Dirty Dan"? Seems the fellow attendee, curious about with whom he would be attending, did an internet search on each person and came across Dan R's name in the blog.