After Tuesday's Canal ride, in anticipation of the Thursday New Albany ride getting rained out, Poobah and I decided to tackle the Westerville Wednesday ride. When I entered the parking lot, hard by the banks of the wind swept lake, there was Dennis and I recognized a few others. Maybe 35 people with lots of B and C, maybe even D cyclists milling around.
The ride organizer handed out COLOR maps! How cool is that? I hung off to the periphery of the group chatting with Dennis and a couple other riders and missed the pre-ride announcements but heard the order for the A's to head out and so joined a group of 10-11. In that group were Poobah, 3 Walker guys, "Mike" with the Jelly Bean kit on, Joe Niccum, Dennis and others. We all stayed together for the first 15 miles and the pace was not too difficult, but of course we were riding with the wind, heading north and east.
We turned to the south on Clover Valley road for a long stretch and began to do the echelon thing, fairly effectively, but a few guys dropped off and we were down to 6. We headed west on Jug with a nasty cross wind and continued to echelon. I took my turn at the far left of the right lane but one of the Walker guys next in line did not rotate to my front but instead, stayed on the white line and drilled it...wtf I uttered. I swung to the right but there was no room in the inn for me, just another guy riding right of the white line and I sat up, gasping. There are no written rules in our group riding but that move was at least unsporting, right? I soldiered on into the wind but a light had stopped the 5 at #62 and I caught back on. A couple of others also caught up and we headed back into the cross wind but this time, I selfishly held the #2 or #3 spot, always guaranteeing some protection and was able to cover all the attacks, usually initiated by this young Walker dude. The protection kept me in a group that reduced to 4, including the rejuvenated Poobah. We crossed the dam and returned to the parking lot with a 19.8 average for the 33 miles. See everyone on Saturday for the Woodstock ride. We've got a group leaving at 8:00am and one at 8:30 for those wanting a slightly warmer start or who need a little more time to drive. Grand Poobah is leading the 8:30 ride and I believe the Kendaites are coming for that time too, with Dennis and others. I have to keep my participation time secret because if I announce it, it will drive too many to the other start time.