Traffic made exiting the parking lot a problem and we were confronted with a long line of cars all the way to the left turn. If this becomes the norm, we'll have to look at relocating maybe to the parking lot at the corner of Beech and 161. It was a bit of a mess. Upon making the turn, the pace went from 0 to 30 as quickly as would a used Toyota. No warm-up, just hammering out to Kitzmiller where guys were already dropping out. Beyond that, the cross wind was roaring at 20mph with gusts to 35mph and quickly more dropped. A two bike gap opened in front of me as some guys dropped and I could not catch the pack. Dave Chesrown said something like, "This is crazy. We should start a second echelon" and I hung back with him but just ran out of gas, before freakin Beech. Later I heard Kevin Henschel had been the instigator of this but it certainly culled the herd as the lead group went from 26 to maybe 12 in no time.
I cruised along and soon, here came Dan R, Mick, Tri-Andrew and then we picked up Steve Fields and had a nice working group, first to Alexandria where our average was 24 then into Granville where our average was 25. Throughout, the lead group dangled out there and clearly they had slowed but we were no threat to catch. We hit the Thresher hill, regrouped at the top and then found Kevin H fixing a flat on Burg. We added Craig, aka Muscle Dude to the group but made a wrong turn right on Louden, rather than a left and added to the route. Out Louden to a left on Sportsman Club then a left on Northridge got us back onto the route. We cruised out Jug and made it back to the parking lot as the sun was setting with 42 miles and a 21.5mph average.
Meantime, the lead group stayed on the route and finished with a 23.7mph average. Unbelieveable for the first New Albany ride in April and with all that slashing cross wind. Unreal.