Rick Miller had to scratch himself from his ride leader duties so he assigned the task to me. I am happy to cover, inadequately of course, but it did cut into my promise to take a pic of everyone but I'll make up for it in the coming weeks. Above, Mike Rea signs the register, as does Farmer Mike while Andrew and Steve talk about TOSRV.
Good guy Danny Alarcon begins to unload his new machine. Very high end, very fast, very expensive but with his Audi association, he got the discount.
While a large contingent gathered in the center of the parking lot, waiting anxiously to hear my pre-ride comments no doubt, lots of sub groups form too, usually the elites and not the schleps, why is that? Hey, there is Muscle Dude on the left (obviously) with Doug McConaha.
Some of tonight's cream of the crop, Jon Hastings, Terry G, Luke, Marty & Lori. Four of them would comprise about half of the first group to hit the parking lot at the end of the ride with an incredible 24.4 avg.
David Smith signs in and with the minutes ticking rapidly toward 6:00pm, I made a final call for sign-ins. I announced that Rick was going to start a 4th group next week to attract those who maybe are intimidated by our usually large group or by group rides (get the word out) and with that, hopped in with the rivet group purely for reporting obligations.
Of we go, around 20-22 of us, left out of the parking lot, through the final town stoplight and breezing out 161. Initially, we were the usual two abreast and then, soon after crossing Kitzmiller, we were single file. This is a bad sign. It means (for the uninitiated) that the pace was too high for someone to hang to the left or right of the lead cyclist so everyone ducked somewhere in the extended line. Someone up there was killing it (I was so far back I'd need the Hubbell Telescope to make out who). With the wind coming in from the left, there was a limit as to how far right one could draft unless you're comfortable riding in the gutter or through yards.
I was not the first to drop, nor the 2nd, nor the 3rd..well who is counting but I tapped out at mile 5, yeah, that's right, freakin mile five. I sat up and settled (cause I'm a settler) for getting rolled up by the B group but then...Dirty Dan rode by and I jumped on his wheel. With a nickname like "Dirty", naturally he pulled but on the right side of the berm...that dirty, dirty Dan so I had to work a bit to keep up. We made it to Watkins. where we made a right to stay on the route. Ahead, a couple of guys wrongly turned left on Morse but we kept going to Wesleyan Church as planned (disappointed though to not be able to bridge to those two). We rolled into Granville then out Raccoon Valley, right on Hardscrabble and continued until we reached a soft pedaling Lori N on Beaver.
All along, our goal was to stay ahead of the B group so adding Lori was good and then soon thereafter, Danny Alarcon, Nick and 2 others came by, having missed an earlier turn and adding to their route. We gleefully jumped on a rode all the way back, finishing with a 20.8 avg for the 38 miles.
Coasting in, we ran into the beasts of the peloton who as previously mentioned, finished with a 24.4 avg. Unreal.
After packing my bike in the car I headed out and there came the B group. I later talked to one of them and they had a 19ish average and a very strong group, Kim, Mick, Andrew C, Denise D, Anthony S, Peggy, Flyin Tuna, Farmer Mike, etc....
First, to answer the question in everyone's mind, yes, I will be there to report on the serious business of what happens before, during and after the ride. I will endeavor to get an image of everyone cause I know that is the only reason you visit this site, to see what you look like on a bike. Secondly, you expect me to lead out the A group and dominate the Jon Morgan's of the peloton (cough, cough) but anticipating rain today, I rode Wednesday so I will settle in with a group far down the roll-out parade. Or, I may go with the A group to report on what happens during the warm-up phase, which is only a mile or two shorter than where I would otherwise get dropped. Dirty Dan called to tell me he is taking the red eye flight from Phoenix so he can make tonight's ride. Amazing how much this ride tugs at people. The place to be on a Thursday evening if you are a cyclist. Note tonight's routes are the same as last week.
Route A/B 38 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13248286
Route C 25 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13248380