The story of the night was Lori Nedescu, forefront, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, first I have to take a few good natured but well deserved jabs and make the usual insightful insights on the comings and goings of our parking lot scene.
Dirty Dan, attempting to set another personal best Strava segment. Dan has 3-4 different loops he does in the parking lot prior to the official ride. Someone told me Dan has two Strava accounts, one under "Dan" and one under "Daniele" so he achieves both KOM and QOM crowns, obviously most in the QOM category.
The cars line up with the cyclists to their rear, getting ready, including Nick, way in the background who races now as a Cat 2. Dang, the group Is so strong, so unlike what it was just 3-5 years ago when ordinary schleps ruled the roost.
The sun was intense, the humidity was high and the shade was welcome. Frank, in the middle.
The crowd builds, in the shade. I forgot to count but around 55-60 at the start including.....
.....Terry Griffith is back in action. There was some talk about the Columbus Fall Challenge (9/27) and the Ohio Bicycling Challenge (9/13) but so far, there doesn't seem to be the interest there once was in either event.
Rick Miller called us out of our shady spots and we emerged to listen to the comments before being sent off with Marty leading us out. Eighteen in the A group highlighted by Hendra, Terry, Chris G, Pete C, Marty, Ron B, Benton, Lori, Ken B, Nick, Jason, Brandon, Phillipe, Bart and a couple of others.
Upon a pause at the stop sign, we hung a left on a route that took us far to the north to avoid the setting sun on the return. Upon reaching the #62/Central College stop, which is always a bit chaotic at the light, we crossed and discovered a brief section of pavement had been removed but soon our tires were on normal pavement and with that, Pete C and Chris G two-timed us, working us over pretty good as we went north on Bevelheymer, west on Fancher and then a long pull on Miller Paul. I was behind Ron Budzig which is a mistake because he is too skinny for drafting (see last week's report for context) and Marty was again to my rear, distracting me because even though he did not say anything this week, merely the anticipation of a question had my mind wandering. OK, I could not hold the wheel and out the back I bolted, at mile 8, sad I know.
Looking back, there was Benton, not doing as well as usual, and so soon we hooked up doing a slightly abbreviated route and finished with 31 miles and a 20.7 avg. Meantime, up ahead, way up ahead, the group thinned but Lori N clung to the lead pack and while doing so, set 7 (yes seven) QOM Strava records. She, Marty and a few others stayed together and finished with a 23.3 average and 42 miles. I don't keep track of such things but I can't recall a woman hanging with the lead A group in a long time, at least not since the New Albany A group achieved its current status of badasses on bikes. Way to go Lori.
By the way, the COP Covered Bridge ride is Saturday and I hear Marty is organizing a group for an 8:00am start, which is when most people will depart, weather permitting. See the www.outdoor-pursuits.org website for more information.
Well, the routes are getting shorter and shorter but look on the bright side, at least we still have daylight in which to ride as we run the clock out on another season. Click the link below to find links to each of the 42, 32 and 25 mile routes. http://www.thecyclingclub.org/route-resources/c-o-p-thursday-night-cycling-club-ride/