For relatively new readers who are unfamiliar with the storied history of New Albany versus Canal/Fairfield County rivalry, a very brief history. Two great cycling communities separated by I-70. There used to be a COP sponsored group ride out of Canal Winchester on Wednesday and eventually a group ride sprang forth in New Albany on Thursday. The Canal routes are quite hilly so participants found it difficult to ride out of Canal on Wednesday and then ride hard in New Albany the following evening. So, the Canal rides were moved to Tuesday. Early, the stronger cyclists were from the south but the north invested resources in cyclist development and the tide began to shift, imperceptible at first but a tsunami at the end. Because I rode in both camps, I was witness to the shift and would tell my southern brothers that their dominant position was in jeopardy but they tut tutted the warning. They did not train as hard, became slothful, fat even and eventually, slow and inevitably, old.
The south talked smack which I gleefully reported as the blog stirred the pot. Passions were aroused and one year, the northern hoards descended on the south with a chip on their shoulders and fire in their bellies for a summer solstice ride. After laying waste to the south, the northerners retreated but a year later the south had rebuilt, reloaded, became uppity so the Yankees visited again and again, beat the southerners like a drum. The cycle repeated itself, over and over, year after year and tonight, I returned to Canal to check out the action and determine if a another thumping should be administered.
A strong group of cyclists, some shown above in this "murderers row" of strength, Matt Ashmore in the foreground.
Andrew Hall on the left and Keith on the right. Keith, all kidding aside, is probably the strongest 60+ year old cyclist with whom I have ridden in a long time and I think he is 71 or 72. He stayed in the B+ group tonight and did not appear to be in difficulty.
Beth and Eve, mainstays in the C group.
Ride leader, Ric Nolan announces the Summer Solstice ride is next Tuesday. Steve Hewitt is leading a C group out at 5:00pm, another group probably departs at 5:30 and then the main pack at 6:00. With 40 cyclists in the parking lot, the A's were called out and only seven departed with 2 of those turning around before exiting the lot. Steve Oxley, Paul Stock, Pete Ashmore and 2 others. I concluded the New Albanyistas could probably just send Joan of Arc (Lori Nedescu) south and she alone could dispatch this group.
I wanted to do the B route of 40 miles but someone told me the I would hate the pace and regroups so I went out with the B+ group that had Brent Jenkins, Matt A, Kevin, Andrew H, quite a few others whose names I do not know cause I don't get down here very often. We rode the rise out of Canal towards Lithopolis then hit that godawful climb on Slough, hung a left at Amanda Northern where there was another climb. made a right then soon hit the Pickerington Rad rollers..I mean one freakin climb after another and along the way...
...we picked up my old cycling buddy, Ryan Roe. Ryan called me out for not riding correctly in the pace line and other minor infractions, just like old times. Eventually we reached the town of Amanda arriving with a, considering the effort, low average of 18.9 but those hills....I soloed back to Canal and finished with 40 miles and an 18.6 average. I think the A group was a bit over 19 for their route. Well, I am surveying the Yankees to see if there is interest in next Tuesday and will let you know.
Next week's Summer Solstice route will be tough but this one, for this Tuesday, wow. On this Monday morning, as you sit in your office cubicle sipping your coffee and catching up on all things cycling, ponder attending this one. 54 climbing miles for the A group.
C (Todd Lee) Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14395312