A perfect evening for a bike ride and before me, the expansive parking lot of the Phillip Heit Center, sometimes referred to as "Healthy Phil's". Once again it did not appear there were many cyclists but at 6:00pm I counted 70.
Andrew Clayton and Flyin Tuna. Cindy and I have been at each other's throat since before the turn of the century. While I win 99% of our verbal and email exchanges, defeat does not seem to wear her down. like it would with a normal person. Andrew rode 200+ miles on Monday and on track to exceed 16,000 for the year.
Something has caught the attention of Farmer Mike and the other two, whose names I do not know but I am working on adding to the memory list. The problem is I forget two for every one I learn.
The highlight of the evening, week and probably the season. I was caught amongst a group of my detractors when Don not only admitted that he reads the blog but that it is a bastion of truth or something like that! That did not go over well with the others who were soon clucking like a herd of chickens in disbelief. I salute you Don.
Jared on the left rode with Andrew on Monday and he too put in a 200+ mile effort. David Smith in the background and apparently ready for the Garret County event in two weeks. Somehow he got in 700 miles in May, which is a lot considering the weather that month.
Ride leader Rick is absent for this and the following 2 weeks as he prepares for and participates in RAAM, driving a follow van and supporting a team. So, we gather around Steve Hewitt for sign-in. Last year, I was riding in a pair of shorts that had become a tad thin, unbeknownst to me of course. Jon Morgan rode alongside me and let me know the shorts had become a bit "sheer". The wonderful guy that he is did me a big favor, as well as for everyone who would be riding behind me. Now, you are wondering why I insert this story in here. Oh, I don't know....just popped into my head I guess.
Terri Griffith arrives, absent from the group for about 4 weeks. Strong group of Riveters made stronger when....
..."Socks" arrives, aka Luke Russell. Luke did something that certainly has never previously happened during the Rivet ride and probably not in the old A group either. More on that below. Of the 70 in the parking lot, 21 rolled out with the Rivet group and so too did I for the fun of it.
After the impediments of the lights were behind us, we burst forth from the confines of New Albany and sped out 161, turning right on Mink which for the most part has good pavement but that stretch south of Cable is really bad. We turned left on Columbiana Road and things were going swimmingly but then a bad omen. The group went single file which is always a bad sign unless there is a large tractor coming at us. Someone had taken over at the front and was railing it. I'd like to know who that was just so I can give them credit. Anyway, I popped at mile 10.4 (that extra .4 is important ya know) while being passed by those shouting encouragement at me, which was nice. My average was 24.4 and I pedaled along, getting up Alward and then stopping to wait for the A group with Mike Cauley who had stopped to check bike squeaks.
We were surprised at how long we had to wait but eventually, they rose above a rise and we jumped on. Good group of around 25-30 with Paul D, Scott B, Gus, Ryan, David S, Corey, Rick, Katherine, Meredith, Kim O, Mike M, Pete Ashmore, Ian, Denise, etc.... It may be my imagination but the A group is comprised of a very few people who are really squirrelly with how they handle their bikes while I see none of that in the Rivet group (yeah I know, cause I am with them for only a minute or two). Stupid stuff like riding left of the yellow line while going up a hill when you can't see an approaching vehicle, darting in and out of the dual pace lines with no warning, not riding in the left or right pace line but instead in the middle, etc.. Mike and Gus do what they can to police it without going overboard but there are 2 people who are completely oblivious.
We reached the top of Beechwood where we paused to collect everyone and headed west on what was a pretty challenging route. Along the way we picked up Ken Buddel who had flatted twice and I reached the parking lot with 50 miles and a 21.6 avg. In the parking lot, Jon and Ken were talking about the ride and how helpful a motor in a frame would be. Guess you can buy them for around $2200 and they put out about 200 watts for 30 minutes. Ken, looking at me said, "I can see myself using one of those when I get older." Of course I had to interpret that as a suggestion for me and we had some laughs but I was on ebay last night, searching. Now to the significant stuff....
.....Luke broke from the Rivet group on the Beachwood climb and then stayed away to the end while Marty, Pete C, Jon Hastings and until he flatted, Ken, chased. That Luke could stay ahead of those 4 while they worked together is a heck of an accomplishment. Above is a shot of Strava, each icon representing some of the cyclists with Luke maintaining his lead prior to the turn on Burnside, Marty's group just behind, then Jon Morgan, etc.. They finished with a 24 avg. That's with Alward, Beechwood, the climb up Louden, up Sportsman Club...wow.
Oh wow, the Alward and Beechwood climbs.
Route A/B 50 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/5545435
Route C 36 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/1430434
B Option 47 miles https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14304392