What's this? Matt Ashmore, one of the Canal Boys up north for the New Albany ride? Could he be the lead element, maybe a skirmisher from the south, signaling the imminent arrival of the southern Rebs? Alas no, they are still licking their wounds from the summer solstice ride. Because the Canal Tuesday ride was rained out, Matt came north to get in some miles.
Dirty Dan showed up riding regular tires with tubes. He's weary of calling his wife and friends to pick him up around the counties every time his glued on tires failed him. Smart man, eventually.
Not every man has a body that can pull off this look, shorts with see through patches on the side of the thigh. Jeff S is one of the few.
They begin to arrive and gather in clumps. The elites with the elite, the schleps with the schleps, etc... Above, Kyle and Ken Buddell. Who is that guy in the middle? Seems I should know his name as I see him at enough rides.
The long aisles of the parking lot keeps cyclists spread out and makes my job of gathering gossip and rumor all that more difficult. Jillian on the left, then Tim, on up Farmer Mike, Jeremy and the French Climbing Machine.
Ringer Alert!!! Guy walks around with cycling jersey and Scottish kilt. I predict he will climb on his machine and kick our asses and we, or at least I, can say I was ridden off the wheel of a guy wearing a skirt. But no, the kilt came off soon after I took the pic.
Under thick clouds we gather to listen to Rick's pre-ride pronouncements. It was like a November ride only warmer as Rick made his usual good points. Tonight he suggested that if you are kind of a marginal A, you should begin with the A group, push the pace all you want rather than start with the B group and wreck their pace. Then, when you have worn yourself out, there is the B group coming through to pick up the carcass. Since my miles are down in June and so far in July, Rick's good sense direction had not swayed me from my decision to ride with the B group but then Luke pushed me so....
...off we went, around 26-28 in the A group. With only around 55 in the parking lot, the B group must have been pretty manageable. Jeremy on the right, with whom I would later spend quality time. So, off we went with a strong tail wind. Out 161, the pace was high yet it did not seem that we were working too hard. Things like this can be thought but never said. Just then, Dirty Dan pulls alongside and says this is the easiest paced A group in which he has ever participated. It just so happened, a lot of the pulls were being taken by kind of the marginal A's while the killers lurked, hungry, behind.
We reached 310 with a 24.9 avg. Then Ken Buddell took over and we went from two abreast to a loooonnng line. To my left, Luke Russell pulled through so I jumped on his wheel and he pulled even with Ken for awhile. Earlier, in the parking lot, Luke had predicted he would have a tough night and sure enough, he kind of like, well, blew up. I don't think that I am overstating things too much but Luke being young, as well as strong, he recovered quickly and pulled us back to the group as we reached the right turn on York with a 25.2 avg. Yikes, that had gotten rid of some, but not all (I was still there after all) of the marginal A's.
We headed north on York, left on Morse, dove into the valley and up the ramp on the other side, made a right on Outville, where only my location close to the front kept me from sliding all the way out on the opening ramp. Gawd I was beyond fried at that point. I recovered a bit on the downhill prior to turning left on Weslyn Church, received a too brief reprieve at the #16 crossing and at that point, just wanted to hang on until we reached my house on Gale. I did too but after making the left turn onto Granview, I lost the tail and thus the draft and I was finished. My average was 24.9 at that point and I wondered how far it would fall before reaching the parking lot. A bunch I concluded. I stayed on route but upon reaching Canyon, I rode up the hill, cutting off the 4 mile segment....
....and I waited to see who would reach the top first. None other than Marty, of course with Luke just a ways back in green and then....
....a couple more came through and then Dave Chesrown, flashing me the peace sign. I got back on the bike and joined a group of Kyle, Gus Cook, Mike, Danny A and a couple of others. I kind of felt like an interloper since they had made it through the crucible of Lee/Thornwood/Seminary while I was taking a break but I did not feel so guilty as to not take advantage but only for awhile as I dropped off on Blacks. At Outville Road, I stopped and waited. Soon, Jeremy approached and I suggested we cooperate. My definition of cooperating is I take 30% of the pulls and you take 70% but probably the mix was more like 50/50....ok, 60/40 as we eventually caught Paul and 3 others on Morse. From there we worked together in the true spirit of cooperation and I finished with 46 miles and a 21.2 avg. Up ahead, Travis, Marty and a couple of others finished with a 22.2 avg. Luke touched wheels with someone, managing to stay upright but in so doing, lost the tail of the group and fulfilled his prediction that he would not stay with the front group. Kind of lost it on a technicality.
An interesting new route that reaches all the way east to Thornwood, not to be confused with the Thornwood climb in Granville. Kind of busy road that one so take care on the right turn off Lees Road. Load the route to your gps unit or print the map cause few maps at the sign-in. For more info: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/