The season is winding down, 7:40 sunset, fewer people turning out for the rides...kind of depressing. But those that do come out are having a lot of fun, at least until they have to climb on their bikes. John and Alyson going through pre-ride preparations.
Poobah assumed that I was the one who placed chamois butter under his car door handle but I have plausible deniability as while there were plenty of witnesses to the activity, no one will ever identify the chamois butter spreader. Tym Tyler, Farmer Mike and Kenda Dave study the route. I'm thinking another new rule should be in place for next year. Those who ride over from the Granville area and thus only ride half the route, are not allowed to take pulls. There is something not right that the full route riders who are marshalling their reserves for the full route, have to compete with those who bug out half way in to the route. These new rules, all of which by sheer coincidence are intended to advantage me, will be posted prior to next season.
Less than 35 people gathered for what is one of 3 remaining New Albany rides. Only 11 shoved off with the A group, including Dave C, Jon M, Muscle Dude, Tym T, new guy from North Carolina, Alyson & teammate, Crazy George, Kristian...who am I forgetting? Most of the balance went out with a strong B group, including Poobah, TriAndrew (making is only visit to New Albany this season), Mick, Dan R, Wes (Tattoo Dude), John Sada, Mark V, Axel, John, Katherine, etc...
Seems like rolling out of New Albany is becoming more difficult. Maybe next season we should shift the start to the "park-n-ride" just east of New Albany on old 161? The A group rolled out at a gentlemanly pace, turning left at Kitzmiller and then right on Jug where the intensity picked up before pausing at Mink and then bombing Mink into Johnstown. Dave C especially pushed the pace up the inclines leading into the town and I silently cursed him, which I do to most people, several times during each ride. Nothing personal of course, arriving in Johnstown with a 23mph average.
We rolled out Concorde to Northridge and I think Alyson and friend popped in there somewhere. We turned left on Northridge and then right on the dreaded Stone Quarry. Through the hills, Dave C and Tym really turned the screws on those of us who are susceptible to getting popped but I grimly hung on to Craig's wheel while silently cursing Dave and Tim, nothing personal of course. We emerged from this very painful stretch, making a right and then staying straight on Dry Creek and a right on New Burg. Heading into the final ramp before the top of New Burg, Kristian waved me through signaling he was done, which coincided with my capitulation too. All I could do was watch, while pedaling weakly, as Dave C, Jon, Tym, Craig & NC new guy disappeared over the top. At mile 21 along this route, this also happened to be the farthest point from New Albany and I didn't relish the balance of the ride.
Anyway, I rode into Alexandria, thought probably turning north to acquire old 161 may be a more direct route (checking the map later, it's not) and plodded on until reaching the parking lot with 38 miles and a 21.3 avg. The first 21 miles was fun, the last 17 not so much. The search crew, who had been assembled to come out to find me, was disbanded.
Wow, 45 miles for the A route, I think 32 for the B route and maybe 25 for the C route. With sunset at around 7:40pm, someone do the math for me on what the average speed will have to be to complete that A route....I think that's like 26mph! Hmmmm may want to think about turning right onto Louden off Stone Quarry, rather than turning left. Shannon will be out of town once again so I will again bring good cheer, sign-up sheets, maps and little else to the parking lot. I am requesting that I be officially designated as "Assistant to the Ride Leader" given my yeomen's service to Shannon.