Farmer Mike on the right, Flyin Tuna on the left making a rare Thursday appearance. Mike was cruising to another category win at the Mohican 100 when his seat post broke. I would have so much to say if that happened to Flyin's bike but with Mike, well, it's just bad luck.
Last week it was cloudy and cool, this week they were headed for the shade. Looks like it is Kyle, Philippe, Doug and Glen there now but the group grew as each minute ticked by.
Kristie was busy today making..hmm....looks like around 48 Oreo cookies. Let's see, there were approximately 70 cyclists minus 48 cookies means some will go hungry after the ride. Therefore, showing extraordinary leadership qualities, I decided I would be one of the 22 who went hungry. Besides, although I ate nothing today that looked so good, I did eat plenty today that was the calorie equivalent of an Oreo.
Could this be a group of women out to try to catch Steve O? Alas, Steve did not make a repeat appearance after last week's ride.
Mick under the red helmet was tonight's B+ ride leader. Andrew Clayton was the B ride leader. As I departed after the ride out 161, I saw Andrew riding with only 2 others so must wonder if he adhered to B ride leader rules that seek to keep the group together or simply pounded the poor souls leaving them gasping and broken?
Mike Rea on the right. With about 5 minutes until 6:00pm, I yelled for everyone to come over so I could pass along instructions given to me by the absentee ride leader, Rick. Don't ride left of center and watch for the broken pavement on Wadkins. With that, Ken Buddell led out the A group and I followed but was alarmed by who did not come out. Glancing at.....
...our group of 18 as we waited and waited to exit the parking lot, I was absolutely convinced mine would be the first body blown out the back of the peloton. Jon Morgan on the left, Pete Ashmore on the right. Others in the group included Patrick W, Marty, Chris G, Philippe, Doug M, Jeremy, Joe I, Michael L, etc...
We finally got away, made the turn on to 161 and were off. With a headwind headed east, it appeared the guys in front were working hard as I basked in the draft at the rear. One guy rotated off and after pulling alongside me confirmed, yes it was taking some effort up there. We reached the 310 intersection with a 22.1 avg so somewhat muted compared to past rides. We zoomed down toward the Wadkins turn and I kind of coasted toward the front of the pack anticipating the charge up the hill but I hung in there and then after crossing Morse, the broken pavement kind of kept the speed down so I hung on a little longer.
A left on Hollow and then a right on York brought us to 16, followed by a brief pause before gunning down to Blacks where we made a left. Something didn't feel right...what could it be....oh, I was still in the pack as we reached 37 and then crossed it. I began to think the impossible, could I last the entire route with the front group? Short answer: NO. Upon hitting Canyon, I was well placed, at the back of course and when we reached the start of the climb, I clung on for about 6" before sitting up and enjoying watching the entire group ride away. A scene with which I am some what familiar but still, after 22 miles and a 22+ avg, nothing to be ashamed of...neither to be proud of though too. But wait, the group would have to cross 37 again and they could get stuck there for a verrrrry long time so I rode hard and upon reaching 37, oh well. Then I began thinking, but wait, the crossing at 16 could delay the group but upon reaching that, oh well. Up ahead, I could see a single followed by a foursome but I was unable to catch and thus soloed in with 47 miles (ok, I skipped a turn or two) and a 20.7 avg.
Meanwhile, and the reason you have rapidly scanned the above to get to this, the group shrank but those that finished first did so with 52 miles and a 22 avg.
The Thursday evening New Albany route with more details here: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/
Also noteworthy is this tip from Rick (oh if only it were that easy, to just remember to keep the pace rather than legs and lungs failing to do so):
TONIGHTS RIDING TIP On climbs remember to keep the pace of the guy/gal in front of you. If everyone does this no one can be in the middle or in the other lane where on-coming traffic has to decide on killing the group or potentially himself by veering off the road. Please be safe and make good decisions!
AND REMEMBER, Print Your Own Map!!!!