If you rode the Roving Ride last week and did not like the heat, humidity and relentless hills, then you liked today's ride of relatively cool temps, thin clouds to obscure the sun, low humidity....well...ok...lots of hills. Andrew gathered the 60+ of us together to give good ride notes. Note to Recumbent Dude--pay attention next time. And then off we went with options of 49, 76 or 96 miles through a very rural part of Ohio, starting out of Sugar Grove.
At the start, SupeDave, Todd Mullens, Larry P, Da Boss, Kenda's Janet, Paul & Rick, Canal Susan, Kevin K, Dentist Brad, Mitch et. al. were there and ready to go.
Recumbent Dude, prowling the parking lot above. We headed out Sugar Grove road on some flat to rolling terrain and as we approached the first significant hill, the eager beavers leapt at the start of the big climb led by Da Boss with Steve O, Mark C, Jeff S, me, Andrew and 3-4 others breaking away. What ensued was a series of climbs and drops across a ridge line, more up and down and relentless pace until we reached #93 and then at mile 25, rolled into New Straitsville, with a sign that greeted us stating it was an ATV Friendly town.
Our average at that point was 19.8mph and we stopped at the market, greeted by some of the town regulars. What a great bunch of guys who complimented us on our fit form and then began ragging on the local women, all of whom, if these guys are to be believed, lack teeth but not body mass.
We grabbed the usual mix of liquid and food and thus began the great debate, ride the full 96 or take the 76 route. Da Boss, Andrew, Steve O, Jeff S and Mark C went long, I think everyone else went "Short". Note the guy above on the left. He mostly hung with us all the way into New Straitsville. He is 66 years old!
I rode with Recumbent Dude and SupeDave into Shawnee and then into Moxahala. We stopped there at another decrepit market and grudgingly headed out for a 20 mile stretch on Marietta and into Bremen. Dave and I stopped at a gas station where I consumed a gourmet 6" Italian sub and as we headed out of town we decided to check the Amish Deli (Rienschields Meats) where we discovered a huge crowd so we stopped again.
Kenda Janet, while strolling to the restroom, noted an open door and, peering in, saw a dead cow hanging from a hook. This place really does have fresh meat! We eat at the finest places in Ohio, that's for sure. A large group of us rolled out of Bremen and headed west on Bremen Road, then Lake, Duffy, Baumen (ugh) but at the top of Baumen, several of us made a left onto Crawfis, then coasted down Revenge and back to the parking lot with 69 miles and 4200' of climbing.