So, a couple of the New Albany boys showed up tonight, not the full regiment, just a couple of conscripts like Marty S and Billy C. Actually, there was a rather intimidating phalanx of A types for a Canal ride and I felt compelled to go out with them and report on the action, insofar as I could stay with the action. Mitch T, Marty, Billy, Euro Patrick, Young Phenom Nick growing a beard that you can see if the sun is at a certain angle, Steve O, Dustin, Paul Stock, Randy Brown, Mark C, Claude, Jeff S, couple of new guys, Andrew C, 18 of us leaving the parking lot.
Mitch T wearing the jersey he won for winning KOM to the top of Revenge last Tuesday. Mitch confided to me that had others shown up like guys named Horner, Leipheimer or even a woman named E Stevens, the result may have been different. Mitch also was disappointed that my camera failed to record the KOM victory salute and tried to get me to meet him at the top of Revenge to recreate the scene. I'm negotiating the terms with him for the reenactment.
Opps, I had shared the route with "Roadmasters" Mitch O, Ryan R and Steve O earlier in the day for comment. They urged me to let the group know about a turn at the bottom of the route at Barr and Drum but I forgot. I also forgot to inform the group about the location of the new sign sprint coming back into Canal at the end of the ride to claim Steve O's very generous gifts. I need an assistant ride leader to remind me of these things so I am free to float around the parking lot snapping these compelling images. Above, David Smith and Karen Rossi. David is scratching his head over how Marty and David C can dominate Blood, Sweat & Gears and yet not win the Granville Climbing Challenge.
Beautiful evening for a ride but the winds were kind of strong, straight out of the north. Good, ride the winds going south and face diminishing strength coming back. We had a good turnout with several new riders and 4-5 others who showed up too late to sign up, which is too bad. Even the guy who bonked last week and arrived at the parking lot at 10:00pm came back again and this time took a map. Approximately 45-50 eventually left the parking lot.
Off we went on a flatish route, heading into Lithopolis, out via Elder, south on Winchester and then right on Duvall. The pace had been pretty high with the usual surges and a couple of guys dropped out. We hung a left on Lockbourne Eastern and somewhere in there Mitch T dropped back to give us bottom feeders a look. No doubt, he came back similar to the corporate guy who flies first class and drops back to see how his coach class underlings are doing, asking magnanimously "Can I get you some peanuts?" before going back front for his free wine. I blurted out, "Are you getting ready to drop off the back?" I immediately regretted this sad attempt at humor.
Some where in there, Jeff S fell back and I behind him but Marty came by and asked me to climb on and so I did. What a guy, pulling me back to the pack. We made a left on Campbell, right on Ward and left on Hagerty. Uh oh, I was behind Paul Stock and he was riding the white line and the cross wind cut me out of the line and I faded back behind the remaining 11 guys, 20 miles and a 23.6 avg to that point. I looked back and there was a group of Claude, Jeff and a couple others but I decided to head in via Hagerty and beyond finishing with 41 miles. Meanwhile, the front 11 hit Bell Station and a few rollers split the group into a lead six of Marty, Paul, Patrick, Mitch, Dustin and Randy. However, they got off the route by making that more frequently used left turn onto Barr and going up to Ridge, rather than staying straight onto Drum.
These guys finished with 47 miles and a 22mph avg, here trying to figure out where they got off the route. Next week, we've got a much hillier route of 49 miles and I'll put the map up in a few days.
Tonights COP Canal Winchester ride is 51 miles for the A group, 45 mile B route and 37 mile C route. Flatter than last week to give us a break before moving back into the mountains, hollows, crags and hills next week, including the infamous Hopewell Church Road.