Kyle Z makes his first appearance, talking with Farmer Mike while Brandon Phillips takes a day off from the Reds to ride his bike.
Our leader, Rick, arrives with his three children who recognize many of us for our visits to Rick's shop in Utica. Family duties prevented Rick from leading a ride for new riders but that comes next week.
At last, George brings his cracked frame so Rick can get the replacement process going. He'll be a climbing machine in a few weeks. In the background in lime, Andrew said COP has about 1100 people preregistered for this weekend's TOSRV and Rick has two vans traveling to Portsmouth to pick up cyclists for the drive back to CMH.
We're all just hanging out waiting for Rick to begin his announcements.
Scott Billman, with helmet off, would lead a very strong B group out of the parking lot. Arm warmers were plentiful on this evening of strong, northerly winds and a start temperature of only 60 degrees but at least the sun was out so that made a positive difference.
Forty-six of us showed up. Again, because the parking lot is large, it always seems like the quantity is lower but once we gather, it's a different story.
David Smith in the foreground contemplating while Rick tells us the Rivet group must ride together to Beech and then release the ponies. He encourages really strong B cyclists to roll out with the Riveters and then when they drop out, they can regroup with the B's so.....
...naturally some really strong riders don't roll out with the Riveters but instead hang back with the B group. My fate is easy to predict but with that wind slicing through the Riveters, I may not even make it to Beech so I hang back and roll out with the B group which included Scott, Sokha, Jeremy, Mick, Gus & Peggy Cook, John & Anthony Sada, etc... The pace was high and shortly after crossing Beech, our group was down to 5. I rode alongside Jeremy and suggested we ease up cause it was too early to drop so many but after regrouping, we soon were down to a low number again. So much was dependent on where one was in the group relative to the wind.
We crossed 310 and at Watkins Road, one of the H&H guys hammered and I got popped while going down hill. Unfortunately when he pulled off the front he was unable to catch the tail of the monster he had created. Arriving at the York Road turn, I caught Jeremy, Mick, H&H and we hit it pretty good and were catching up with the group as we entered Granville (22.4 avg) but then instead of turning left on Beechwood, they went straight and milled around town for awhile while we stayed on route. I got the Beechwood KOM points and while heading out Louden into a strong wind, we eased up to allow MIck to rejoin. Sokha and also joined us so now we were at 5. Riding west on Connor we got spread out again and while Sokha and I waited, that lost group of B's came through so we hopped on board, eventually arriving in Alexandria. I figured I'd get popped on Jug but the terrain was now working in my favor as the sprinter types struggled and I was never in the red..hooray.
We arrived back at the parking lot where I had a 20.4 avg and 38 miles. Most of the Riveters were long gone. Luke tried to spin a tale of watching Ken Buddell lead a breakaway but in fact it was Luke and Travis who had attacked on Beechwood and had stayed out for awhile before a wrong turn caused them to be caught. The Rivet pace was 23+ so in that wind, that was really strong, as usual.
A perfect route for the expected wind, cold, clouds and perhaps (as of this writing) rain. You won't find weather weenies like me riding but probably I should be there to document the strong who arrive. Below are links to the routes.
Route A/B 41 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13529489
Route C 25 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13248380