Rick Miller came through for me and had a seat post that matched my old one perfectly. First, I want to thank all of you who reached out to me via phone, text, email and blog comments, offering various solutions. There is a special place in my heart for all of you who offered me your personal bikes, saying you'd rather me ride the route and create a report that you could read as opposed to riding the route and having nothing to read. Secondly, the person that called me from Mark C's house where a group sheltered from the Saturday rain and proceeded to call me "Lardo", well "Sticks and stones...." I endured a string of insults from this woman, i.e., "Is the new post reinforced with rebar", etc... As usual, I got in the last laugh when she asked how I would test the load limit to make sure it could hold me and my reply, "I'll have you sit on it first."
I hopped in with John Marten's Sunday group ride and it was a good one. 80 miles to Zanesville via Blue Jay and back. There at the start were around 15, including Tym and Lisa T, Matt K, John Sada, Lon Herrman and some new people I've not previously seen. Climbing up the first big hill, I snuck up on John and piped him at the summit behind Tym and Matt. By the top of the next climb I was in last place, mid way through Blue Jay I was laster yet and by the time I arrived at Brownsville Road, I was so far back that a new word needs to be invented to describe the distance between them and me. OK, guess there were a few others behind but geesh, I am in bad shape. Tym and the group waited in Toboso where Tym asked if I had taken the Blackhand Gorge bike path!?!?!?! For the record, no and I had a witness.
We stopped at the market in Zanesville and then shoved off on the usual route back via Kopchak Road but I swung right at Ridge as I enjoy that stretch along the ridge and regained the route by making a left on Morgan. Thought I would jump back in with the group but must have just missed them when I made a right on Coopermill or Cooperrider (I get those two mixed up). Soloed in via #668 for 80 miles and 5600' of climbing.
Once I finished the Thursday New Albany ride I had no idea of the carnage out on the road. From what I have pieced together, the B group and some A's that had dropped back were climbing the hill just before the 47 mile turn left on Appleton. Some wheels bumped, 4-5 guys went down and Ricky G swerved to the left to avoid. I believe he crossed left of the centerline and was struck or struck a car that had or was close to skidding to a stop. Ricky has road rash but is otherwise OK and even rode the 100 mile Hillacious Hill route on Saturday. Somehow, he put a hole in the fender of the car yet his bike was ridable so I'm scratching my head trying to figure that out. The Sheriff was called but after waiting 20 minutes, Ricky rode back towards New Albany with Mark V riding along with him. The Sheriff's car approached, Ricky slowed and Mark ran into the back of Ricky, falling and breaking a thumb.
I was also informed that Silent Dave, inspired by my glorifying of Mitch's map from the Rocky ride, produced one that rivaled, if not surpassed, Mitch's. Of course, this information comes via an unusually unreliable source so I have some doubt but I would like to see the map to check it out and see if there is a new "Champion of Map Making". Dave also took the time to mark the route. I hope most of you thanked him for the effort and I regret missing the ride.