The late afternoon began like most other late Thursday afternoons, the early birds gathering for the sign-in at Rick's truck. Above, Bruce Rogers, if I had to guess, pointing in which direction the gas station is so a restroom could be accessed. I get that question a lot and the only down side to having this as our gathering place.
In the background, the official pace car of the Westerville Bike Race, being held Saturday. In the foreground, Rodney, making his first appearance this year at the New Albany ride. Only third time riding outdoors this year too so I think his expectations were low.
I find that I take too many images of the "stars of cycling" and not enough of the little people so above, some of the "little people of cycling".
Corvair shows up in a new jersey. I asked what is "Twin Six" and someone said it is a brand rather than a team name.
Rick on the left, preparing a couple of pre-ride announcements. Marty Sedluk in the Garmin jersey on the right, now ranked 8th overall in the state of Ohio. Hendra I think is 6th. Beyond Marty in the image is Jon Morgan, out for the A group ride so officially back in the action after injury recovery.
New guy, Kyle in front, decked out in full UK racing team kit. So, on with the action. A small group of only 15 left the parking lot in the A group. Not sure why their numbers were down because in total it was a large turnout. Looking back I saw Gus Cook, John Sada, Katherine, etc... so it was to be a very strong B group chasing us. We zipped out to Kitzmiller, hung a right on Jug (where Dave Chesrown came streaking through to join us), reached Mink, made a left and right back on to Jug and pulled in to Alexandria with a rather pedestrian 23mph avg. I thought the coming hills may have had an influence on the opening section or maybe the guys just wanted to keep me in there to disappoint me later. Who knows what their conspiratorial minds are thinking?
We made a left on Mounts and Dave encouraged me to get to the front so if I did fall back, I'd fall back within the group but I don't like to get in the way so stayed in the back but, good news, the group did not really attack the hill and I stayed in, making a right on Lobdell Road. For some reason, I thought the route would turn right at Battee and warned Lori N about the descent but dang, bad information from me as the group kept chugging along although Pete C did turn on to Battee. That was it for me, I had slowed, anticipating the turn and then unable to catch back on. In the same predicament was Lori and up ahead Dave C dropped his chain so he was out too. So, at mile 14 we formed a sub group, turning right on Hardscrabble, left on Battee, left on Burg and then a right on Dry Creek, eventually reaching 161 where a left and a quick right brought us to the bottom of Chatham, one of my least favorite roads.
I encouraged Dave not to wait but he was a good sport and spun up the long road while Lori and me struggled to stay in contact but while doing so we caught Kyle, the UK dude and now we had four. Rather than continue on the A route out to Dutch Lane, we turned left at the top of Chatham and recrossing 161, got on to the Sportsman Club Road rollers. Agony for me along there as Dave and Kyle took turns pummeling me. We began to discuss how we really did not want to endure the humiliation of being caught by the "Super B's" so we made Dave stay at the front as we all drafted. Actually, I took a pull but after 50 yards, Dave sped by with a look of disdain and I returned to the back Turning left on Nichols Road, I began to think we may stay clear of the B's because the route now returned to mostly flat roads. As we neared New Albany, many glances shifted to the rear to see if we would be caught in our own version of a Tour de France breakaway group with the peloton storming towards us for the disappointing catch at the end.
I rewarded Dave for his almost continuous pull of 20+ miles by cutting inside him and taking the sign sprint at Kitzmiller and old 161. Above, that's Dave on the right, describing my devious behavior. Just as we turned in to the parking lot I looked back and there were the front A group of Marty, Hendra, Pete C and 3 others bearing down followed soon thereafter by the Super B's. We finished with 45 miles and a 20.8 average. Good fun as usual.
Here ya go, a leap forward in the mileage, now over 50 for the A route. For all the routes go to: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/
Remember, print your own map.