Chris Grisvard wins tonight's award for most fastidious cyclist as he filled the early arrival with a very thorough cleaning of his bike. His technique differs from mine and I think I like his better. I always spray a cloth and wipe the bike. Chris sprays the bike and wipes the bike.
The French climbing machine, Philippe on the right, explained his decision to shortcut Mountain Mama because he had no century rides for quite awhile and the Mama ride is not one where you want to have your first 100 miler in awhile. Rick Miller on the left broke the news that he is probably coming back to be ride leader next year. I told him the thrill seekers, hearing this, would redouble their efforts to discourage him but I think he is committed.
Mick signs in with Ricky G in the background in red, checking his front tire. It's a tubeless tire and when it came off the rim he thought he was done for the night but Rick sprang into action and saved him. Ricky runs the pressure at 120 so that may have contributed.
It seemed like a lighter turnout but I still counted 65+, just a lot of the usual suspects were missing. Marty, Luke and Lori are in CO, others like.....
....Rich Lewis in the grey T-shirt arrived on a motorcycle, saving himself for Saturday's Pelotonia ride. In front of Rich were tonight's star cyclists, some of whom seemed new to me. When Rick asked for someone from the A group to volunteer to lead us out he was greeted with an extended period of cricket chirping but finally, I think it was Todd Mullins, riding a cross bike, who volunteered. We rolled out old 161, making a right on Mink and initially were greeted by crummy pavement but soon hit an extended newly paved section. The speed was curiously modest but picked up a little after turning left on Columbia and then someone hit it very hard on Courter, leaving me gasping when we turned right on Cable, slowed to the bottom of the hill before making a left on Headleys Mill and the quick right on the Alward climb.
Have you ever seen an anchor released from an aircraft carrier or battleship? No? I have and the rate at which I dropped out of the back reminded me very much of that. Riding up Alward I noted that no one else was dropping out of the pack that at that point numbered around 15 (sure, there were a few who hard dropped earlier). That was really discouraging, everyone else hung in there so at mile 13, alone and no prospect for forming up with a small group as usually happens. After a right on 310 and the quick left on Hollow, I looked back and here came Crazy George. He's a good companion on the flats, mostly because he likes to pull for mile after mile and so I settled in behind him, eventually arriving in Granville with a 22mph avg. Heading west on Raccoon Valley Road, I lost interest and bade George farewell as he stayed on the route and I headed back to NA, arriving with 40 miles and a 20.7mph avg. I need to ride more. Anyway, out in the serious cycling group, Ken, Luke, etc... finished with a 22.5mpg avg.