Gigantic turnout for the New Albany ride. Well over 50 cyclists, including Andrew from the Tuesday ride and even Group Wounder (Jamie) making a surprise appearance. Poor Jamie, he clearly misses us (didn't he retire from cycling back in June???) because the bike paths are soooo lonely with only a few dozen soccer moms out there trolling for afternoon entertainment....wait....I think I'll start that jogging thing too!!!
Get this, Rick came over on Wednesday and finally installed my new bearing in the bottom bracket. Before, a strong counterclockwise push sent the pedal traveling about 3/4 of a turn (no joke). Now, the pedals would go round and round. Ohhh la la!!!! However, we also discovered 3 cracks in the frame, probably from stress created by the bracket wobbling during each pedal stroke. During the ride, that damn clicking from the bottom bracket started anew. I have been promised I will definitely get a new frame now. I WANT THAT YELLOW ONE FOUND IN BICYCLE MAGAZINE!!!!
20-23 cyclists started with the A group. We headed east of course and eventually got on that damn Cable road with a pot hole every 2'. Things were very dicey so I dropped to the last person so I could better skirt the danger, not caring if I got separated. I hung on the back and we approached a dead end, with a left turn that would take us over to that nice uphill with sevreal ramps on the Col du Alward. I decided what the heck, better get to the front and so I cruised well left of center and by the time we turned onto Alward, I was in the top 5. Satan Mick led a furious charge up the steep first ramp and so there was the usual crush of exertion from everyone and soon the strongest began to emerge, miraculously including me, freed from the laborious past pedaling resistence. I slotted in behind Mick and Jamie and felt great, all the way to the top. A right on Dog Hollow or something like that and I looked back at the carnage. Some of my favorite people were strung out and I felt badly and ordered a slowdown, which everyone ignored.
We hammered out that road but slowed prior to 310 and there was some regrouping. A right and quick left continued the onslaught until mercifully we had to stop to cross 16. I was in the 2nd spot and acted like I was struggling with clipping in so I could slide back and avoid a pull (this trick works every time). We sailed east on Deeds but apparently someone behind me had a chain problem so Dennis and Retro George stopped with him, leaving me at the end of the line with Jeff S. The problem with being a backender on what was still a fairly large group of 11-12 is the accordian effect at the turns. Tim Tyler rode hard through the corner onto Gale and a couple of us got caught out and had to sprint, catching on just as the road turned up toward my house on Granview. The group rode hard through the Granview turn as a guy in front of me dropped off and I was unable or just unwilling to close the gap. Later, Jamie admonished me for my failing. I knew the route, know the turns and should have been closer to the front, like that cagey vetern Todd Lee, who I noted was always tucked in the 4th or 5th slot. Later, John Morgan fell, taking down Andrew but Andrew appeared to be ok, all too willing to show us his rashes, everywhere. The lead pack of 8 finished with a 22.9 average for 41 miles. After Granview, I eased up hoping Dennis would catch on but their repair effort took a long time and I never saw anyone for the rest of the route, finishing with a 20.7 average.
Hey, don't forget THE Tuna is hosting a roving ride out of Heath, come to 10 new red light cameras so be careful--Saturday.