Katherine G, showing off her new set of clubs. I am told she is becoming something of a legend at the local driving ranges. Hits a drive, starts running and can catch the golf ball before it lands. Spent last Friday at Muirfield following the pros around. Just a matter of time before the golf bug bites so deep she becomes a beer guzzling regular riding a golf cart at one of the courses we pass on Thursdays.
Elaine Schaaf, a first time Thursday cyclist who battled frequently with Kayla Starr in the Cat 1/2/3 races this year. She is the real deal and made quite an impression in the parking lot too. Dirty Dan, Dennis and I were standing behind my car chatting about nothing in particular when Elaine grabbed a towel, changed in about 15 seconds into her racing kit. Naturally, Dennis and I averted our gaze and repositioned our bikes so as not to watch but Dirty, well, that nickname fits now more than ever.
The splendid Farmer Mike, winning his age group, naturally, at the Mohican 100k race this weekend but also finished 14th among 44 in the 50+ category. Jeff in the background and Gus, sharing a laugh when I mistakenly congratulated Mike for winning the 80+ rather then the 70+ age group.
Our great ride leader, Shannon, turning to me for the answer to the question a cyclist posed, "What will we do next week when 605 is closed in front of the school". I'll be filling in for Shannon so we'll still meet on our bikes in the same place, since there is no way to get the word out to everyone but car parking will be wherever you can find a place. Plenty of parking options close by.
Very cloudy skies, which probably kept some away as only about 35 showed to ride. With no Grand Poobah to lead out a B group and no one stepping forward to take his place, we all shoved off together and let things sort themselves out on the road.
As we turned to line up and exit, Gus rides up to Muscle Dude and asks if that's a see-through jersey and are those really his ribs showing through. Some of the regulars were missing, Dave Chesrown is in Taiwan and now in China, touring factories, Jon Morgan not there, no Rob R, no Pete C, no Doug M, whatever happened to Chris Griswald? Marty was there but already had 110 miles on his legs from the day before, yep a pretty sorry bunch, well not really. Shannon, Terry G, Nick, Hasting, Gus, Mick, Muscle Dude, Surge and a few others.
All 35+ of us swarmed into the middle of town and then out old 161. The pace was kind of moderate with a strong pull or two put in by Shannon. We made a right on Mink, then Condit, south on Headleys Mill and still, a very easy pace, which usually means bad things. Yes, we turned left on Hollow and that series of hills. The green light was on and the group exploded. I hung with the main pack, crossing the intersection and going towards 310 when suddenly, and expectedly, my legs gave out and I gave up the chase. Quickly I fell in with Mick, Katherine, Jeff S, Dennis, Corvair, Farmer Mike and a couple of others. We missed the right turn on Morse, got back onto the route in Alexandria, making a right turn on Mounds, Turning right on Lobdell, the front A group passed us and here, Mick jumped in with them amid some shouts of alarm as maybe it was not the smoothest re-entry I've witnessed.
We turned on Battee and things got strung out where I caught up with Gus and Mick and thought maybe the three of us could work together and stay ahead of everyone but then, after turning on to Hardscrabble, we came across the scene below.
Surge was ok after a check by Gus, who sounded as if he knew what he was doing. Elaine too seemed to have experience looking for problems while Muscle Dude frequently asked people if they spotted any scratches on his new bike. Not sure who was at fault but it sounded that he almost stayed upright after riding along the grassy shoulder you see behind for about 30 yards but then went over the handlebars. Fortunately, he was ok. We approached Northridge and with the clouds and time spent at the examination, some of us went straight on to Concorde, including Surge, Elaine, Dennis, Jeff S, Katherine, Corvair and a couple others. Surge began to feel some discomfort in his shoulder and no doubt the road bumps were not welcome but he seemed to do better later in the route so hopefully it is nothing serious. We finished with 38 miles and a 21.3 avg......now.....mean while,,,,I have been sent this anonymous report of the action ahead.
It was very cloudy but no rain, the turnout was light. I had ridden 110 miles yesterday so that was fine, just wanted to burn some calories and have fun. Things were mellow early on which was great for me.
The group was smaller after Hollow and then we caught a few riders on Mounts that must have taken a shorter route. Then we dropped down that steep hill where Morgan over cooked it last year. I was up front with Hastings and we had a moderately
strong pace. Then Shannon and his sidekick Nick passed us with Craig in tow. I dropped back on Hastings wheel. I could see that Craig had dropped back a couple of bike lengths, that is a tough situation. He is no longer getting a draft but we were 5 bike lengths back. What do you do? When the hill started to pick up again I came around and passed Shannon and Nick and
only Nick joined me. The two of us kept up the pace and were joined by Shannon and Terry on Hardscrabble. Hasting was
chasing and although he falls back on the hill he was able to catch up when we stopped and turned North on Northridge. He was really excited that he caught us.
Then on the last hill of Stone Quarry, Terry got out in front and we dropped Hastings. I think that hill is a hard place to create a gap, they always catch up on the decent and turn onto Loudon. Then Nick really found some energy on Sportsman
heading East on the grade between Loudon and Northridge. I created a new segment and saw that we were only a few seconds off the KOM.
Here it is, this evenings A, B and C routes. While it is currently raining, do not despair, it may move through in time to ride.