Small turnout of course with the 96 degree heat, approaching storm, humidity but of the 35 who did come out, most of those were the stars of the New Albany A group. Probably they heard about the Kiwi challenge but as it turns out, their goal for the night had been grossly oversold. They already had gone through an intense training week, including earlier today, so they just wanted to sit in and do a recovery ride. Some of them knew Poobah so gathered around his Element.
Here, Poobah gathers them around him again and he gives instructions on gutter riding and drafting.
Another new bike in the parking lot with Nick looking on envious. This time it's from Astana Dennis but we worried that while a very nice bike, it not being the 6.9 model may cost him 1-2 mph.
Mark V makes his return from his crash last month down Rocky and on Saturday, he'll get a chance to ride up it again as this Saturday's Roving Ride includes the storied Rocky Road climb. Note Mark's garment choices are still a touch on the odd side so that knock on the head did not improve his fashion sense. Maybe we should try an electric shock treatment.
Yep, the Kiwi's said they had no intention of tearing anybody's legs off but nonetheless, everyone wanted to ride out with them and so a large group left the parking lot with little more than scraps left in the parking lot. Among the A's was Marty, Dave C, Jon Morgan, Chris G, Billy C, Paul Stock, Mick, Colnago Ron, John Sada + 7 Kiwi's, Young Phenom Nick, Poobah, Kim Sada, several new guys who apparently showed up to ride with the New Zealanders, Dennis, Retro George, Reynoldsburg Dan, woman with short hair cut, guy with OSU tattoo.....I need to learn some of these people's names, etc.....
We headed out old 161, left on Kitzmiller, right on Jug and the pace was not too hard and it appeared some of our usual agitators may have been somewhat intimidated as they did not sprint off the front. That changed when we turned left on Mink with Chris G taking off but everyone let him go and soon the group regrouped. A couple of ramps going into Johnstown cut a few out, including George with a racing heart rate, short haired lady and Poobah. We took off on Concorde and still the pace was not too high but some others dropped out and I was at the end of the line behind two who were behaving rather squirrelly, showing all the signs they were about to drop. Closing in on Northridge, a gap developed in front of these two and I could not cover so I was done, along soon with Ron and Dennis and so we rode out Stone Quarry with a 22.7 avg to that point. We passed Billy C with a flat and then Paul Stock, bent over his bike appearing to be in agony. He looked like I felt so I and Dennis hung a right on Louden and pedaled back with 36 miles and a 21mph avg.
Meantime and much, much more importantly, the group continued and I am told Sada was dropped a couple of times but always one of the Kiwi's pulled him back to the group. That group even had a SAG car that gave them water prior to Stone Quarry. As the peloton turned right on Louden and got on to Dry Creek, making a left at 661, John and his forces stayed straight on Dry Creek, leaving the group. Once the main group returned to the parking lot with a 23.4 avg, several people were heard shouting, "Sada got dropped again." and apparently taking some glee in the outcome.
Due to the extreme heat, tonight's route is under 50 miles. As much as some of us probably want to see how far we can hang with the New Zealanders, which counts at least one woman on the team, the high will be 98 degrees with higher humidity then last Thursday. Hydrate today and have a safe ride tonight.