Danny Alarcon injured himself in a wake boarding wipe-out 2 weeks ago but is almost healed. With Philippe and George.
Steve Hewitt again handles the sign-in chore while I am free to roam the parking lot, ear to the ground for news. Note Rick in red/white on the left, one of the superb bike handlers in the group. He rides a straight line, motions when changing a lane, courteous to those around him, predictable and riding very strong this year. Mick on the right.
Dirty Dan. Of all the nicknames, none is more deserving and it is not necessary to list the many and myriad reasons for "Dirty". However, beware. A strident follower, member and sympathizer of the Fairfield County/Canal cabal, it is easy to imagine Dan throwing himself and bike into a line of New Albany Yanks, taking 2-3 out during the warm-up phase at next Tuesday's Summer Solstice ride. He won't be riding this new BMC but a squeaky, 10 year old, rattletrap Trek so putting one more scratch or squeak into that machine is irrelevant to Dan.
Farmer Mike, Paul Djupe and Mick, left to right. Paul is looking at me the way a shark looks at a minnow. The confident look of one who is about to rip my legs off. Paul, Eric, Logan and 1-2 others made my life miserable for 2 hours in the A group. But, I hung on to the bitter end and finished with a 21.3 avg, which was not too far from the soft pedaling Rivet groups avg of 22.6. Luke, not wishing to earn a deserved reputation, hunkered down in the Rivet group and did not attempt an audacious solo as he did last week.
Dave Chesrown, back right, listens as George describes, as he did for everyone at one point prior to the ride's start, his performance during the humid and hot Saturday ride. He hung in there for 80+ miles and was rather proud that he finished stronger then he started.
Naturally, radar coupled with wind, cut into the attendance and I again forgot to count but probably only 55 cyclists. I used the last couple of minutes to whip the group into a fever pitch, some were even frothing at the mouth, as I described the many wrongs committed by the southern cyclists from Fairfield County/Canal and how an ass kicking was deserved. Gosh, I think we may have to rent buses to get everyone down there. Remember, Tuesday, from in front of Meijer's, Canal Winchester, 6:00pm start for their A and B group, a senior citizen start of 5:30 and a C start led by Steve Hewitt at 5:00pm. I'll continue to provide valuable updates leading up to the day of days.
The Rivet group headed toward the doors and soon, so too did the A group led by Gus Cook, Eric the Dispatch Photographer, Logan, Paul D, Ron K, Ron Budzik, Scott Billman, Mick, Christian, David Smith, Ryan, Axel, Nick a new guy with torn shorts hung together with safety pins, maybe 20-25 of us. The pace was, I thought, rather hard as we cruised out 161, right on Wadkins, eventually onto Blacks and then to the foot of the Canyon Road climb. I was not doing well so took the opportunity to tell each of the remaining 12-15 cyclists we would regroup after the climb. This was entirely and ashamedly self serving cause I was pretty sure I'd be last up that climb. That I was not is a testament to Gus' willingness to ride into the cross wind with room for me to draft to his right.
During the soft pedaling regrouping just after the #37 crossover, my legs recovered and I was ok from that point forward. We passed my house on Gale and where, later, my daughter spotted what was probably a B group participant peeing in my lilac bushes! WTF people! Use the woods but not my lilac bush!!!!! Anyway, we lost a couple more cyclists on the Raccoon Valley and Jersey Mill roads but finished with 52 miles and our average of 21.3 was skewed a bit from a couple of regroup soft pedaling so it really was a hard effort. Well, got to go but will put up a Saturday ride option later today.
It's 11:00am, Thursday and hearing nothing from Rick, I'm assuming he is tied up with RAMM responsibilities so I have posted this info on FB and here, assuming this is the route he would have chosen. It matches with what was ridden last year: Below the Rivet/A/B route and the C route.