Once upon a time, Hugh Grant was dating Elizabeth Hurley. Lucky guy indeed. Then, Hugh was arrested for soliciting a prostitute, while dating Hurley no less. This news left 99.9999% of males wondering, "What were you thinking." and in fact, when Hugh made an appearance on Jay Leno's show, Jay asked Hugh, "What were you thinking?" Tonight, on the ramps leading in to Johnstown, I too had a, "What were you thinking" moment. More to come, later.
Flyin Tuna returns for the Thursday New Albany ride, her first appearance since June. Eugene on the left, who was one of the workers at Lobdell mountain bike trail building project. Shut down for the summer, the project will reopen in a few weeks so sharpen your shovels and be ready to answer the call from John Gorrilla & Co.
Hendra signs in. Velonews had an article on the day's Vuelta action and one of the riders was called "Panzerwagen" which is a German term roughly translated as "badass". Yep, Hendra was a badass tonight.
More people line up to sign in, including, way in the back, the guy in the orange and grey jersey, John I think, who created a web site called "proambike.com". It's worth checking out, kind of a catch-all for cycling interests. Tonight's turn-out was really low for a Thursday, maybe 35 at the most. Guess it's the Pelotonia effect with people stop riding after that event?
Still though, there was a quality group of A's, led by Hendra, Marty, Dave C, Jon M, Pete C, Paul Stock, Luke Manning, Todd Mullens, Ron Budzig, Eugene, etc... About 15 of us rolled out, with the duration of the warm-up lasting from the parking lot to the final stop light. From there it was game on and even as we approached the Kitzmiller turn, there was already a gap that needed filled toward the front. It appeared Hendra was doing most of the work with Pete C and one of his compatriots working us over.
We turned right on Jug and I was in good shape as we reached Mink, with a 23.5 mph average. Stealing a glance forward now and then, I'd see Hendra working overtime up front and I thought about pulling the ole stunt, "Hey, there's an attractive women at the back of the peloton who wants to say hi." just to get him out of the rotation for awhile. But in order to do that, I'd actually have to ride alongside him so even if he is young and naïve enough to get sucked in by the trick, I had no chance. Mink is freshly paved, which encouraged speed and we bolted north towards Johnstown. Reaching the first ramp, Hendra was (again) pulling with Eugene in 2nd and me way to forward in 3rd. Eugene had to pull out of the line which left a gap to be closed.....between Hendra and me.....not good. I don't know what I was thinking but instead of just waiting for the swarm to go around me to fill the gap and then catching on the tail, I tried to fill the gap. Boy, was that dumb. Really, really dumb. I blew up about half way toward accomplishing the goal, pulled out of the line and had nothing for the tail catch.
Thus, once again and with a 24.5 average, I became a victim of the beasts.
Demoralized, defeated and disgusted, I needed a semi or nine to make a sudden appearance at #37 to stop the peloton's progress but alas, it was not to be and I soloed in, finishing with 27 miles and a 21.5 avg. I heard there was an incident in the B group but everyone is OK. On my drive out of town, I passed the remnants of the A group, down to 6 with the usual suspects in there including Hendra. Further out, just exiting Alexandria was Paul Stock with one other guy and this was 7:45 so not sure they made it back before dark.
Shannon is pressing the limits of the available daylight but an average of 22-ish will get you around in good shape. The sun sets at 8:07pm but with residual light....hmmmm....the Stone Quarry climb is in there.....ouch, Liberty Church followed by Sportsman Club....then the long down hill on Chatham where you'll make up some time. If you are riding the A route and struggling to stay on, think about making a right on 661 and rejoin the route and group at Dry Creek. Click here for a better view of the route: