A large turnout of cycling types for the New Albany ride and all hailed the return of Jeff S as ride leader and note how attentive everyone was, once Jeff began to speak. The guy should run for office some day as a silk-tongued smoothy. 42-45 people attended but interestingly, A riders were under represented at the top with the notable absence of the Walker, Trek/Echelon, Savage Hill & other racers.
One could cut the tension in the air with a knife. On the one hand, there was Flyin Tuna, the clear cut Queen of Thursday's New Albany rides and the hungry upstart Belinda H. plotting her ascent to the Queen's throne. Man, I expected a cat fight to break out but the two decided to let their wheels and cranks do the talking.
Making a rare appearnce was the gal with the pink brush on top of her helmet. I don't understand the fashion statement but then I don't understand many things so no surprise. On the right is Mick.
Belinda had approached the ride with great trepidation, unsure if her fanatical exercise routine of the last several months had put her in a position to spank Cindy B. After the A’s left, then the B’s there were still around 15 C cyclists and yes, it was a strange feeling to have hung back but I had promised Belinda if she came out I would accompany her and make sure she did not get lost. Jeff S had departed earlier so with no one to announce the start, I yelled, “C’s out” and off we went. It became apparent, as we rode the opening uphill stretch toward Kitzmiller, that Cindy wanted to punish the hapless and so she set a pace that shelled over half the C group. One of the unwritten rules of cycling is if you are an A rider and drop back to the B group, or a B rider and drop back to the C group, you ride at their pace and not hammer them. Cindy, seemed to relish the opportunity to ride these people off her wheel but Belinda wisely tucked in behind and I noticed, drafted comfortably, happy to let George Foreman wear herself out pummeling her opponent on the ropes.
We headed out Jug, left onto Clover Valley, right onto Green Chapel and then down Duncan Plains into Alexandria, skipping a longer loop to stay on the 30 mile route. Early on, we were unsure if we could maintain a 15mph pace to make it back before dark but our average had been steady at 16-17 so it appeared we were in good shape. We were now down to 7 cyclists and heading out Jersey Mill and that long, slightly uphill stretch. Cindy continued to set a brutal pace, trying unsuccessfully to drop everyone. We waited at the top of the climb and while looking back, I noted a large group approach…………SWEET SALVATION!!!!!!!! THE A GROUP!!!!! Like a starving man having a steak waved in front of him, I impulsively jumped in and rode the remaining joyful miles with Dennis, Big Muscle Dude, Mick, Terry, Colnago Dude, et, al. They finished with a 22.5 average, my blended A and C average was 18.6 and the C average was 16.5. Feeling guilty………..
........I rode back to make sure everything was ok and missed the sign sprint, with the result signaled by Belinda's raised arm! There is a new Queen at the New Albany ride. Now, Belinda, suspecting I would twist certain facts, authored her own report, presented here:
Here is MY ride report….
Thursday night I rode with the COP group for the very first time to fulfill a promise I made to Mark Wilson (my so-called friend of 25 years) at the beginning of the year (my rookie riding year) that I would ride with ‘his’ group some time during the year. And his promise to me was that he would take one for the team on that night and ride WAY back in the C group with me. He even gave me this story about how he did a rugged trail run the day before so that I would not be detrimental to his rigorous workout regimen.
Mark meant well as the ride began. He loudly announced that he would lead the C group. Well, that lasted exactly 16 miles. When the A group passed us, he yelled back at us “find your own way back, you bunch of slowpokes!” and he was gone for good, grabbing the wheel of the unlucky rider that was last to pass. Luckily Cindy was true to HER promise to not drop me and she lead on. For anyone that was near me during the ride, you found out that I like to talk. Our little ‘lead’ C group turned into 6 riders and at least 3 of them at some point or another got close enough to me that I had a conversation and each was quite enjoyable.
Now I have a note for Mark. Have you ever actually read the COP guidelines for rides? C riders are between a 13 and 16 mph pace. So you lead us, but how many times did I look down and find the pace well over 20 mph?!? The others in the C group made comments about how aggressive the C group pace was tonight. I ended the night at 28 miles at 16.76 mph. Thank goodness it was a flat route.
Thanks to all the really nice folks I met tonight. Thank you Cindy for accepting the duties of ride leader after we were unceremoniously dumped. Thank you to those who invited me to The Eagle afterwards (sorry I couldn’t). And Mark, the best I have for you is…..Karma is a B$#@%.