Well, tonight saw the return of Donn, aka Tall Dude, who is having to fly to New York for work most weeks, eat out of the snack machines and consume fatty hotel food and is temporarily named "Tall & Wide Dude". Glad to see him come out and hope it is more often. Also out was Kevin H with bulge in the right shoulder almost recovered from his crash of 6 weeks ago. Kevin said he was nervous about coming out and considering our erratic bike handling, I'd be nervous too. Also there was Katherine, making her first appearance for the Canal ride.
Good turnout of 43 cyclists (I'm always confused about counting the Mark & Karen Rossi tandem as one or two) on an evening that was quite a bit windier than what was forecast in the morning when I made the map. Oh well, with Poobah in Florida, there was no one there to lecture me about not taking wind direction into account. .
Another new guy, Randy. He began cycling last year, got struck by a car about a month later, recovered and on the recommendation of Cyclist Connection, joined our group ride. I told him to keep an eye out for the dude with the shoulder bulge.
Corvair insisted I take her picture to show unmatched tires on her bike but mostly I think she likes to see her image here.
Da Boss and Steve O stood off to the side, again, plotting their strategy and eyeing the other A's waiting in the shade, which included Mitch T, Young Phenom Nick, Muscle Dude, Dustin, Scott Scott (Scott who rides a Scott bike), Paul Stock, Mark C, Jeff S & a couple others. I sent off the A group, paused and sent out an A/B group. paused and sent out the B group, there was a pause and everyone rushed out with the hybrid B's. With the two hilly weekend rides, I headed out with the B's and our group comprised of Gary V, Amanda, two red shirted dudes and one white shirted dude. Two of our group had aero bars and they dropped into them frequently when taking a pull. I don't get that but Tri Andrew attempted to explain it to me later and I still don't get it. Anyway, I just settled in and enjoyed a nice, easy ride into Lithopolis, eventually on to Goodman, then St Paul and in to Ashville.
There, the lead group of A/B came from the right, having missed a turn. I decided to hop on with Katherine, guy who wears the "Don't Tread on Me" jersey, Tri Andrew, David Smith, Brian L (new young guy and very strong) and maybe one or two others. We headed south out of Ashville and then Campbell, where Andrew took a pull while dropping into the ultra aero tuck. I pulled alongside and asked about this practice as I am genuinely confused. He said it was to save energy, to which I replied he could do that after pulling, at the back of the pack. Instead, I said he should ride fairly upright to allow the next in line to draft and be ready when it is his turn. To this Andrew pulled out of the line and urged me to show how it's done (insert here an image of me whacking myself on the side of the head). We eventually got onto Hagerty where Brian turned the screws and I hung on but the others faded. We reached the top of the climb at Ringold and discovered Kevin H and Mark V and upon coasting down hill, came across another group of A/B's. Now a new group came together and we turned right on Royalton/Winter and reached Cedar Hill, turning left. Brian was still going strong and by the time we reached Lithopolis, there were 3 of us left and we then got in to Canal, finishing with 41 miles.
Now, of far greater interest was the front group. I hear Paul pulled very strong over the Pickering Road hills with Dustin clinging to him like an oyster to a pearl. Close behind was Scott, Nic, Mark C, and Oxley. Coming in to Lockville, Paul and Dustin regrouped with Scott and soon after the other 3. They came to the stop at Waterloo and the group broke up some with traffic violations. Mark tried to turn on a sprint but Paul had a lot in the legs and easily brushed it off. Paul finished with 49 miles and a 21.8 avg. Finishing just a little later were Mitch T, Da Boss and Muscle Dude, who had dropped off as the route moved into the hills.
Below, Tuesday's Route. Next Tuesday, The Summer Solstice Assualt on Mount Revenge. Will have the map up in a day or two.