What an odd day. First, these derelicts show up in my driveway demanding food and water. I refused and went inside for the gun. I figured the paintball gun would do the trick but when I came back out, armed to the teeth, Dustin, Steve O, Adam
and Ricky G had moved on.
Showed up kind of early in New Albany and there was the old ride leader, Jeff Schluep, returned for the first time since he retired from New Albany ride leadership two years ago. Also there early was Poobah, going out for a warm-up ride and then the three above, Farmer Mike, whose vast land holdings rival what the NPS has, on the left, John Miller and Crazy George. Note the sign they subconsciously gathered around.
When notified, they cracked up. George had a second procedure in January and is slowly rounding back into form. I think this second operation fixed the heart problem so now it's just a matter of regaining fitness and maybe losing a pound or two. Good to have him back.
I rode over to the football field to use the Porta-Potty and upon exiting it, jumped on my bike crossed the gravel driveway, front wheel rolled into a tire track, front wheel abruptly stopped, back wheel lifted off the ground, I lifted into the air and unceremoniously, toppled over the front of the handlebars to the ground. My first thought was to jump up, look around and see if anyone had witnessed this incredible display of ineptness but whew, no one watching. I wondered if this was a bad omen as I
got back on the bike, knee bleeding.
I returned to the parking lot when suddenly, Dirty Dan's back tire exploded. He fixed it in time to roll out with the A group and, looking at me, shout loudly for all to hear, "You won't last 2 miles with those guys." One day I must review my actions to see if I can figure out why I make people say these things.
Huge turn out for tonight's ride, including a substantial group of "C" cyclists. I know I take way too many images of the "A" folks so am trying to get more variety.
At about 5:50pm, someone suggested tonight would be a good evening for me to take images for the annual, "Women of the Thursday Night New Albany Ride" feature. Too late to undertake that jouney through the parking lot but probably next week. Above, Lisa T and Kim S share a laugh.
Other than winners of the Giro and Ron Budzig, few other men can wear a pink jersey and look fashionable. Don't recall seeing this guy in the Mt Dew jersey before. Quite a few new faces but hey, what ever happened to Kyle Wingler? Have not seen him out yet.
Some of the Team 614 hanging out in the outer parking lot. Parking spaces were rare with the hoards of cyclists and a high school kick ball team playing nearby. Still think that parking lot at the corner of Beech and old 161 would be a better place for ride starts. Maybe next year we'll have to move out there. Would allow routes farther east, including Reynolds Road.
At least 60 cyclists at the start. I rolled out with the A group, feeling pretty good not having a Tuesday ride wearing on my legs. Maybe 25 "A's and all the usual suspects but also Wes, aka tatoo dude, making a first ride. I don't know why but I thought the route would be ridden counterclockwise but it was clockwise so upon reaching Kitzmiller and turning left, I had no clue what would be the future turns. We turned right on Central College and on to Mink, making a left. The pace had not been too bad and I commented so to Mick but he told me to keep quiet. No sense stirring the beasts within the peloton.
Howeever, something stirred the beasts and the pace picked up dramatically. I was still in good shape as we approached Johnstown and survived the ramps into town. I bet we lost a couple after making the right turn because going through town the pace stayed very high and if you were not aware, you may have gotten caught out and dropped. We turned right on Concord, eventually reaching Northridge where we paused for a turning car. I looked back and there was Jeff S but no Dirty Dan. He was not the only person to have dropped. Our numbers had been culled and what came next would cut into us even more. Yep, a right turn onto the dreaded Stone Quarry, kind of a very mini Pickerington Road from around Canal Winchester.
I clung to Hendra's wheel, who had a rough race in PA last weekend, getting dropped on the first climb. Must have been a very fast group to drop Hendra that soon. We tore through the climbs, bombed the descent, hit the final climb and I had survived with the front group although Pete C and Jon Morgan put in a small gap on us. I was a happy guy, very, very happy and pleased with myself. Then we turned left on Louden, where I needed just a wee bit of let-up to recover just a fraction. But no, we turned quickly right on Liberty Church. I was a sad guy, very, very sad and displeased. By the second ramp, I was done. So, at mile 19 it was over for me with at the time a 23.4 avg.. Ahead, 3-4 guys turned left on Sportsman Club Road but I stayed on the route and hooked up with Mick, riding out to 661.
We decided to turn right here, cutting 2 miles off the route and hoping to rejoin the group but for some reason, Mick bombed that steep down hill prior to the right turn to Dry Creek and just kept going south. Never saw him again. I shouted to him to turn but a mower drowned out my warning. I got on to New Burg, looked back and here the beasts came. By now it looked like 14 were left, Doug Maconaha, Marty, Dave C, Jon, Tym T, Rich Lewis, Steve Fields, Terry G, Shannon, Pete C,... mostly it was a blur to me other than when Dave Chesrown came by he said, "Hey short cut cake."??????? I was bewildered that this would come from Dave. Before I got hold of Dave he was an anonymous cyclist but the exposure I have given him has turned him into an obscure cyclist and this is how he repays me? Et tu, Brute?
Oh well, a thick skin I have developed and I happily jumped in with the group, turning right through the school parking lot, left on Louden, right on Raccoon Valley Road all the way into and through Alexandria and out Jersey Mill. About 3/4 upp Jersey Mill I was flagging badly and dropped out, soloing the last 11 miles into the wind and watching the avg speed drop but still finished with 21.8 avg, 44 miles and 1500' of climbing. The leading A group finished with a 24.1 avg and 46 miles. Big thanks to Shannon for another creative route.
At the end of a ride, during which Paul Stock hung with the 24.1mph pace, he felt the need to polish his bike. Out came the Windex and ultra soft towels for the task of wiping the sweat from the horse.
Shannon Kurek has come up with another great route. In fact, I hear whispers that he is to be given early entry into COP's "Ride Leader Hall of Fame" based upon his parking lot behavior enforcement (some say similar to Patton), his rule of the peloton (some say like Armstrong) and his compassion for the weak and those afflicted with mechanicals (some say like Mother Theresa). I spend too little time with him during the ride to be able to comment on the latter two categories but he does rule the parking lot with an iron fist and no one gets out of line. To see more of the route, go to Shannon's site: http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/new-albany-cop-ride-thursday-may-2-2013-2/