Cindy's Saw Tooth Tour began on a sunny, humid and hot morning with a temperature of 94 forecast later in the day and winds topping out at 17mph, from the southwest.
For Dennis, the day started with the discovery that a tire was flat and so he quickly changed it and was able to leave on time with Larry P, Steve O, Poobah, Mitch, Mark C, Kendaites Janet and Paul, Scott, SuperDave (or just Supe to his friends), Dan, Astana Dennis, Jeremy an others totaling around 25.
Route distances were 55, 70 and 80 miles. Lots of optimistic people at the start with everyone claiming they would do the 70 or 80 mile route, until the hot reality of the hills and heat caused them to rethink their plans later. Anyway, Flyin Tuna called us together and announced she had generously marked the route all the way to Glenford, roughly 10% of the route. We were all unimpressed but she claimed she had run out of paint. After a short stint on the bike path, we rolled south on Licking Trails Road before heading east on White Chapel and then south on the very hilly and steep Fairmont, crossing 40. Soon I dropped back fro the lead group and was in between groups. I may have become a bit disoriented and gotten off the route unintentionally and arrived in Glenford ahead of everyone, shaving 2 miles from the route. I continued on 757 and was almost to Somerset before Mark C and Steve O caught me.
Wow, was it hot. Lots of people began making plans for the 55 mile short route and who could blame them? The route was described as scenic and so it was, if you like arriving at the top of one hill and looking up the road and seeing another 100 you must climb. In Somerset, Mark C pored ice into his back jersey pocket, which seemed like a good idea until later it began fizzing as it bled out of his shorts. Kind of gross and no one wanted to ride behind him. We left Somerset via 22 then onto Stage Coach and then Palomino and at the bottom of the hill where it dead ends, we turned right on Pen and immediately confronted a "wall". A hard climb for the tired and hot among us (everyone). By now, I had unzipped my jersey all the way and enjoyed the liberation of being released from the sweaty and tight confines of it. Gosh it felt great and I was enjoying it until Poobah reached over and tried to cop a feel. I asked him not to touch my breast and was shocked he had even tried, apparently the victim of the heat. I drifted back to seek advise from Tuna, asking her how she handled such situations. She told me, when that happens to her, she kindly asks the offending male not to repeat and that usually works. Now I'll know how to handle the situation in the future.
After a forever stretch on Marietta Road, we coasted into Bremen for a snack and more fluids. Above, Astana Dennis and Poobah relax in the shade before heading back out. We split up from Bremen with Dennis I & II, Larry, Poobah and me opting for the 70 mile route and Mark C, Steve, Mitch, Jeff S and Cindy doing the 80. We reached Thornville and took refuge in the shade at the market, guzzling more fluids. While looking at the map, I noted we were to head farther east for a repeat on Fairmont and I suggested a flatter alternative that was quickly approved by the group. We finished with 68 miles and 4600' of climbing. It sure seemed as if we climbed much more than that.