First, let's get the important stuff out of the way. I have been relieved of the burden of carrying and caring for Dan's Pump. Above, Dan is giddy to have his pump returned and I have the evidence to prove the transaction should Dirty make any claims otherwise.
It was an evening for wild outfits as Pete H wears an interesting design and then there must have been a soccer field nearby as a participant came through.....
.....looking for a ball that must have slipped by both the goalie and goal in an adjoining field.
Nothing like sitting in traffic on I-270, looking at your rearview mirror and observe the driver behind staring at their phone just before they slam into your rear end, as happened to Jon Hastings. That stinks.
They came early and often, including Mick on the left, Doug M with back to us and John on the right, helping someone with the map. Our 2nd consecutive good Thursday for a ride, a record for this season.
Shannon, aka Group Killer made a rare appearance. Later, on 161, I survived two of his pulls. He must not be quite as strong this season cause otherwise, I'd be out the back of the pack.
More of the heads of state rolled in; Pete, Marty and Travis.
Our beloved ride leader, Rick Miller, makes a few announcements as the parking aisle is packed, cyclists jammed between cars and even....
...stretching around both ends of the corner. It made counting difficult but at least 80 and maybe 90 in our group. Marty led out a large contingent of A's. I think I inspired others to join. They look at me and think, "Shazam, if that guy can hang with them then surely so too can I."
I post the above only to prove I did make it out of the parking lot. It was a bit chaotic getting out of New Albany as we merged with a large group coming from a different exit. As such and I should add, completely unbeknownst to us, our group was split at the light at #62. That light is very short and some of us should have looked back to see if everyone got through. Rick, after having made arrangements for someone to sub for him as the B ride leader, was one of those stuck, along with Dirty Dan and his pump and others. But hey, life goes on and....
....on we went. We rode two astride briefly and then it became one very long column of around 20 from the original group of , who knows, maybe as many as 30 in the A group. The pace was pretty intense as Group Killer put in a couple of good pulls that had me on the rivet. When we reached Alexandria, our average was 24.9mph. At the stop, a look of bewilderment crossed the faces of many as I turned left. My guess is most did not know the route, some saw me turn and figured I had just left the group to do a shortcut and now didn't know which way to go. Quite a gap was created and so I jumped on Doug's wheel and we kept going, making a right on Moots and almost reaching the summit before the gang caught us. We managed to catch the tail and hung on all the way to Granville, above rolling through the entrance. I know, you are probably thinking, "Dang, you rode that hard and even had time to take pics?" Ahh, no. As we approached the Thresher climb I just decided not to needlessly slay myself and was dropping out of the pack.
Simultaneously to my decision to sit up, so too did this guy, whose name I forgot to ask. He admitted to having found the blog a few weeks ago and get this shocker, also volunteered that he enjoyed it. Now that is a first! The curse of the blog will cause him to disappear, like all the others. Recall that guy from about 4 weeks ago who also said he read the blog? He gone. Never seen him since. The mad dash out 161 had thinned the herd a little as we....
...turned onto Thresher. I forgot to check my avg at the bottom of the hill but at the top it was still 23.6. I left the route, turning left onto Louden after emerging from the school property and pedaled to New Albany. There, I checked my phone and my wife had been trying to reach me. I didn't have to pick her up after all (see below). Meantime, Travis, Marty, Luke, etc... stayed on route and finished with a 22.75 avg. Dang, that is fast.
Arrggghhhh, the Thresher climb. My wife is going to Chicago on a bus with some buds to run the BTN 10K event and I have to take her so I am limited to 2 hours on the bike tonight before heading home to pick her up. Wow, it appears at the foot of Thresher I will have to turn around, a nice coincidence. Here are the details and remember, print your map and/or download the route: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/