The good news is Windstream, after 4 days of no internet service, finally got us back on, Saturday afternoon, The bad news is, I was scribbling the turn-by-turn directions for getting to "The Frank" while in my car on Friday at a McDonalds and then the following morning, missed one of the turns. Alas, I spent Saturday morning wandering aimlessly on the roads around the country and missed the start at Malabar Farms State Park. At some point, around 8:30, I just decided to pack it in. Experiences of those who did ride have been coming in and it was what you would suspect of an 11,000+' route packed in to 100 miles. Up and down with maybe too many stops at the bottom of descents but otherwise, a very difficult course. 61 people showed up and it was a battle between Garth and Pete C for the winner's jersey. I hear Muscle Dude, aka Craig Rice, especially suffered but so too did others, whose sotires I have not yet heard. Meantime, 50 miles south, in the little city of Heath, Flyin Tuna was leading out a group on the COP Roving Ride and Andrew C filed the below report.
A number of Cindy B loyalists gathered around their glorious ride leader before 8 am, building up excitement for the nice ride she had laid out before them. Steve O brought some graham cracker refreshments that his mother had made for him, kindly sharing those with all of his bicycling buddies. What a great day for a bike ride! Due to another ride on the same day named 'The Frank', the Cindy loyalists decided to name this ride, 'The Cindy'. Around 15 started off from Heath HS and it wasn't long before the climbing began. Fortunately, Steve O had done 85 miles the day before and Mark C was still working on his form. So, the pace was moderate instead of cutthroat and made for an enjoyable ride. Our first stop was in Somerset at the Sunoco gas station. We had a Queen Eve sighting just before town and while she gave us some brief attention, she didn't have time to sign any autographs. I expected this to be a quick stop with only 25 miles in and Bremen coming up around 40. However, Mark C had other ideas, as he started on his Monster, chips, candy bar, and Gatorade. I think he must be starting his carboloading for winter early. After what seemed like eternity, we pulled out of Somerset and headed back into the hills until we reached Bremen. Most took this stop as their big snack, while Mark C had part 2 of his. Amanda O came out with a foot long sandwich and I'm pretty sure she shared it with Franz T. With half the hills and distance done and satisfied bellies, we took off for the 2nd half and headed back north to Heath, with lots more ups and downs. A nice long stretch before the next stop in Thornport, and getting warmer. And still the competitive boys were keeping their tempos in check and nice regrouping to keep everyone on course. Our stop at the TC Market in Thornport turned into another long one as Steve O found a comfortable rocking wood chair he didn't want to get out of. When he chewed on that banana, I couldn't help to laugh, thinking of Mark W's banana peel ordeal on Tuesday. I don't think Mark W has found the culprit yet. The last miles went quickly and we finished on the bike trail back to the school. Thank you Cindy B for another great ride! We aspire to your awesome ride leading skills!
So, Sunday morning rolled around and I slotted in with John Marten's ride out of Granville, populated by Marty Sedluk, Sean Gilligan, Tym Tyler, Lori, Kim Sada, Chris and a couple of others. Marty has many good qualities but not the least is, when he says he is out for a recovery ride and will ride easy, he really does it. I am grateful for he and Sean pulling me around a great route to Bladensburg and back a ways before I bugged out for some extra miles, finished with 80 and 5400' of climbing.