Beautiful evening for a bike ride. Low temp, low humidity, low winds, not a cloud in the sky and not a lot of cyclists either. Must be vaca time with the family for some. Steve O arrives and several flocked to his car to see if he had his new bike but alas, no. ETA is unknown and in the meantime, he is riding the hybrid with toe clips and tennis shoes.
Shannon called to let me know he was on his way, ETA 5:55 but he was early, 5:50. No big deal.
Shannon's truck was swarmed by us as we signed in and grabbed a map, including Farmer Mike who is riding very strong again this year at age 70. Tri Andrew made the long drive up from Lancaster on the left, along with Luke. Several new people including a guy named Randy from Reynoldsburg and a guy.....
.....wearing a Savage Hill jersey. Don't see one of those jerseys very often. Think his name was Scott or Steve, there in the middle background.
Mark Rossi was here to announce the Calfee tandem, with Karen, will be out Saturday for the Ridge Runner ride out of this same parking lot. Sounds like most are shoving off at 8:00am and doing 100. I think Mark also said the new tandem is so fast that Poobah doesn't have a chance of hanging on to the back of it.
Tym leads out an A group of 25-26 so good participation for that league. Marty and Dave C are in MI riding around the state but here were Jon M, Paul Stock, Steve O, Nick, Pete C, Chris G, Ron B, Claude, Andrew, Shannon, Craig Rice, John Day (Muscle's Dudes), Tym and Lisa, Blair, Pete A, new guy in Ohio jersey John I believe was his name, and a few others. We got on to Jug Street and Shannon, riding his tri bike, dropped in to the aero position and hit the thrusters. Geesh. Later there was some grumbling in the parking lot (well, OK it was me) and one guy said if he had that advantage he too could stay in front (well, ok I was the only one who said that too).
The asphalt was melting as one long line blazed out Jug and the group began to splinter. Luke drifted back, then another guy, Claude drifted back and I had to cover a small gap, then we reached Mink for a pause, a left and a quick right and hammer time again. Wish I could have checked out the average at that point but no time to glance down at the computer. We bore on, reaching 310 and what's this? Freshly applied chip & seal so we kind of took it easy into Alexandria. Exiting town, we headed out Raccoon Valley Road with a moderate pace. I was at the back as we turned on to Hardscrabble. Ohio jersey John spun out on the gravel, I swerved to avoid and lost the peloton's tail........
.....rats, taken out at mile 15. Ahead, I could see the group breaking apart and by the top of the climb where the road swings left, the group was down to 8! Think about that. I rode alone on Northridge, Stone Quarry, somewhat troubled that I was not seeing anyone ahead. Reaching New Burg, I got on to the B route and went into and through Granville. Looking back on Moot's Run Road, the elite of the elite, the cream of the crop, the, well you get the picture, came chugging by me, Shannon, Jon M, Nick and two others. Pleasantries were exchanged between us, quickly and I settled back in to my solo effort, expecting a better fitting group to come by and sure enough, here came the super B's led by Mick, Brian, Matt A, Mark R, Savage Hill dude, new guy Randy, maybe 8 people and I gleefully jumped on. What a relief and word got around that GP was back a little ways so I thought about trying to slow the group so Poobah could jump on but nah, make him suffer. We arrived at the parking lot with 45 miles and I had a 20.8 avg. Shannon's team was at 22.4 I think and 48 miles. Steve O rolled in and had 51 miles so he had been led off route somewhat.
Shannon has the complete details of yet another great route through the countryside of Licking County. Read all about it here: http://hfpracingnews.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/new-albany-cop-ride-thursday-july-25-2013/.