Wow, perfect evening of sun, moderate temperature, light winds out of the NE but lots of no shows and our group only had about 53-55. Even worse, word must have gotten out that a creeper with a camera would be prowling the parking lot because there was a dearth of women cyclists, maybe 3-4 at the most. That's it, no more advance warning. I'll just bide my time, they have to return sooner or later and then I'll unleash a flurry of picture taking never before seen around that parking lot.
Retro George rode with the Westerville crowd on Wednesday but his bottle cage came off the frame. Today, I found him using electrical tape on another part of the bike.
Some guy kept doing circles in the field. I thought this may be a good way to warm up.
Euro Patrick showed up for the New Albany ride. Reynoldsburg Dan on the right.
The ageless wonder on the left, Farmer Mike, Style Queen in the middle and Mark Rossi.
What the A group lacked in quantity it had in quality. No Jon Morgan, no Marty S, no Mitch T but Billy Campbell was there. I glanced at him once and he was staring at me. Slowly he brought a finger up to his neck and drew it across. A sure sign of what was in store for me.
So, we shoved out of the parking lot, maybe 22 of us including Patrick, Rich Lewis, Dave C, Billy Campbell, Mick, Shannon, Pete C, Chris G, Terry G, Doug M, Mike Rea, Paul Stock (preparing for a trip to France next month to ride in the Pyrennes with Trek Travel), etc.... oh and George. We arrived at the first light in New Albany and George mockingly asked of me, "How long you think you can hang on?"...soooo funny. We made the turn on Kitzmiller and George said, "Are you still here?"......now that's a belly acher right there. We turned on to Jug and he asked, "How much longer can you make it?'....what a knee buckling laugh that caused me. Ho, ho, ho. Right then, My cleat unclipped from the pedal and the group began evaporating from me but good ole Dave Chesrown, saw my predicament, paused and said he pull me back up and did. What a great guy!
We cruised out Jug at a pretty fast clip, arriving at Mink where we turned left. I've never taken this route into Johnstown so was curious about the road, which had some traffic but not too bad. There are a couple of ramps going into Johnstown and the group began breaking up. I went left of center to get around a couple of guys, dumb move cause it's never that important not to get dropped. A van approached and honked and I ducked back into the line and hung on to the front group. We emerged from the village, making a left on Concord and I could see at the front the usual punishers taking turns, Billy, Shannon, etc... The pace was fairly intense and some guys were dropping off as we sped north on Nicols, then right on Sportsman Club. I thought, "Huh, I've made it this far, maybe I can hang for the duration because what else can they throw at me?" Answer: Lots. After turning left to get back on Nicols, there were a couple of wicked surges and just like that, on a ramp before Dutch Lane, I popped at mile 14 with a 23.5 avg.. Once I got onto Dutch Lane, looking back I saw no one behind so no secondary group with which to form, lost interest in riding and returned with 31 miles and a 21.1 avg. I guessed the route and wind would produce a big average for the front group and it did, 24.5!!!!
From Shannon, above is tonight's route of 53 miles for the A route, 43 for the B, 25 for the C.