What a welcome sight, Billy C arrived from Greenville, SC, to visit family and slotted in with us. Just like old times. Billy is a Cat 2 and an unofficial domestique for a pro cycling team that trains in the Greenville area. He'll be at the Hincapie Gran Fondo in October. Tonight we had 3, Cat 2's in the group, maybe a record for one NA ride?
I don't know these guys and I don't know why I don't know them. They've been at several of the Tuesday NA rides, as well as some Thursday NA rides. Well, there's always next year as we bade farewell to another season of entertaining Thursday New Albany rides. I thoroughly enjoy the parking lot scene pre-ride and so too does everyone else. OK, once on the road it's fun until I get dropped. It's now been 2 seasons since I hung all the way around with the A group. Is it age (check), is it genetics (triple check), is it equipment (ok, no check), is it lack of miles (check), is it weight (quadruple checkaroo), is it lack of motivation to put in the miles (check cubed and cubed again).
Correction from last week's report. I identified Hendra and Nick as both being 22 years old but was told they are 21. Also, Nick wanted it known that while he and Hendra are both Cat 2, Hendra is the #1 rated Cat 2 in Ohio. Will Hendra be yet another super strong OSU student who once graduated, moves on? He'll end his OSU career soon so we'll see.
New guy just arrived from MI, Pete on the left. Warning bells immediately began ringing. It fit the, "New Dude shows up on cyclecross bike and kicks our ass" scenario. He wanted to meet the strong cyclists so I introduced him to Jon. Too bad he arrived on our final night but, ya know, there is always next year.
The sun was intense so many sought refuge in the shade, of which, considering the angle of the sun now, there was plenty. It was as if the sun was already setting before we even shoved off. Philippe, foreground in orange/black, already contemplating how he'll do at the Aspen Gran Fondo this weekend. For the French Climbing Machine, it is just a couple of bumps in the road during a 100 mile bike ride.
Rick Miller called us together, made a few comments about this ride, the season and next year. He received a rousing round of applause and cheers for his effort and warns he will be back next year. Meantime, join the Cycling Club (www.thecyclingclub.org) to get on the email list.
Surprisingly, a large turnout of 55-60 with 22 in the A group. As Billy C coasted by, he said, "I'll use every trick in my book to keep you in the group." Nice but I told him he didn't have enough tricks to get that done and besides, I rode over so was bailing in Alexandria. Geesh, strong group and as we jetted out Jug, I told Philippe, "This is going to be a really fast ride." He said I was only stating the obvious and gosh, was I.
We reached the S curve on Jug and then barreled east but it was not too hard and Marty commented about how nice it was, brilliant sun, light head winds, nice temp with low humidity and just a great bunch of guys and gals (Lori and Maya). It don't get no better than that. We reached 310 on Jug and paused as part of our group got held by a car and then once regrouped, that cyclecross new dude went to the front and hit it hard! A bolt of lightning would have been hard pressed to keep up (excuse the hyperbole but you get the idea). Cyclecross dude began drifting to the back until reaching me, clawed his way on to the group and I clung to him.. We reached Alexandria with a 24.1 avg....yowza. I was spent and only the pause at 37 kept me in the group and no way was I going east on Raccoon Valley Rd so instead, headed north on 37 and then east on Moots......
......stopping at the top of the climb to see who had survived to that point. There was Billy C leading the group to the apex of the climb, then a gap and.....
.....the freakin cyclecross dude! Geesh, who is that guy and what a fine addition to the group for next year. He led this group back up to the first but finally dropped back on Outville Road Looking farther east, wtf.........
.....Marty Sedluk chasing? Actually, he had hung back to try to bring someone to the group but failing that, went solo and caught back on to the group. The leaders finished the 32 mile route with a 23.9 average. Reaching home, I had 33 miles and something a wee bit south of their average.
And so it ends, the fun-filled, entertaining Thursday New Albany ride. Sad to see it go but fear not, the content continues with weekend rides and in a couple of weeks the scene shifts to Arizona while I still post about the sad little people who are stuck in Ohio. There will be "Special Reports" on Flyin Tuna's retirement as a government office drone and the start of the "Roving Rides for Retirees", the Luke v Marty battle at the Hincapie Gran Fondo in late October, the Levi Leipheimer Gran Fondo, and of course, the annual (although I skipped it last year) piece for announcing the "Cyclist of the Year", "Best Dresser", "Worst Dresser", "Best Newcomer" and many others. Then I return and become a sad little person in Onio in December. Lastly, a survey will be conducted (1st week in January) to determine if I should keep the blog going. This allows you, the reader, all 2-3 of you to vote, "Yes keep the stupid thing going" or "No, quit wasting my time by keeping it barely interesting and causing me to come here." Throughout, you can find cycling, hiking and cross country skiing events announced here. Oh, yes, here is the ride info for tonight and remember to thank Rick for being there every week except when you were blessed to have we as a sub:http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/