Several ride options for Saturday but there was one close to home and so I took it, the Ride for Hope out of New Albany. For $15 you got a map with queue sheet, marked route and 4....that's right, FOUR food stops on the 75 mile route. So, I hooked up with Kenda Janet and Paul and off we went, passing Donn, aka Tall Dude who was a volunteer directing traffic. Later at a food stop, I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Tall Dude and Tall Dude junior.
We headed out into a beautiful morning with 150 other cyclists. Funny though, out of the 150, I did not recognize anyone other than Janet and Paul, thought I saw Doug McConahe at the top of Reynolds nursing someone along and I heard Stefano and Blair were there but that's it. OK, I'm sure I did not see a lot of those who did participate and may have missed some recognizable characters. It seemed like most of the cyclists are gearing up for Pelotonia and will probably disappear from the roads after that event. I think I have also figured out why my hunt for a sufficient quantity of females to be in the "Women of the Thursday New Albany Ride" feature has been frustrated. Many of the candidates are out doing their Pelotonia training ride with like minded people and skipping the Thursday parking lot scene.
I hooked up with a Tri Tech jersey wearing guy and he towed me around for quite awhile. Food stop #2 was at the orchard on Reynolds Road and while food and drink were more than sufficient, I coasted on to Utica to enjoy a Monster at the gas station before climbing back to the food stop and eating and drinking more. Pretty sure we all gained weight on this ride. Ended up back in New Albany with 75 miles and close to 4000' of climbing. Then on Sunday, I rode around south of Lancaster doing an old training ride that includes the Tarkiln, Snortin Ridge, Jack Run, etc... climbs. It's been awhile since I have ridden this route, mostly because I can remember what is my best average speed and figured if I rode it again, it would only confirm my suspicion that I've become slower, weaker....along with older. However, I was very pleasantly surprised, beating my old average by 0.5 mile an hour. Working on a new route for Tuesday's Canal ride and will post soon.