OK, so here's how it got started. I was standing with Dennis and SuperDave when Dennis observed there were several good looking women riding tonight. I of course, had not noticed. Dennis then urged me to do a "Girls of the Thursday Ride" issue. I was very reluctant to do this since it will certainly offend some of the loyal visitors and further stain my reputation. After much brow beating and pressure from Dnnis, I took a warm-up lap of the parking lot but thought walking up to someone and asking if I could take their picture, was a little wierd so instead, I took the images surreptitiously, which is also kind of wierd. However, being weak-minded, I succumbed to the pressure and here are the "Women of Thursday Night Ride." Listed in no particular order of beauty or brains or riding strength also with a ride report mixed in.
Nice turnout considering the temperature was hoving around 90+ with around 60 people present. Surprisingly, Jeff made up for last week's short route with a 48 mile monster. Really good route over to Chattam/Chestnut Road intersection. I rode with the Westerville A group on Wednesday that had a nice group of 12 and we averaged 22 so I wanted to relax with the B group tonight. Anticipating an easier pace, I rolled the hem back on my cycling shorts to work on removing the sharp tan line. I was good to go with Dennis, SuperDave, Katherine and Husband, Tri-Mike, Gary, Dan, Jon the Dentist, Recumbent Dude, others totaling 18-20.
Meanwhile, Steve O made the long drive up from Carrol for another go with the A group. Unfortunately, the strongest A's have vanished. No John Morgan, no Billy Campbell, no Red Head Bill & posse, no Terry, what happened??? Anyway, there was Mick, two Walker guys, Colnago Ron and a few others to head out old 161 to Jug, to Alexandria, Racoon Valley, left on Louden and down the hill to Dry Creek Road.
My hope for a moderately paced B ride evaporated out of the parking lot. Dennis had no ridden for a few days and was not riding this weekend so he hammered. Katherine hammered, Dentist hammered and I grimly hung on with 0 interest in an intense ride. The B ranks thinned out considerably and when we reached Dry Creek, there were around 6 of us and I checked out, dropping back with Gary and Dan, who are riding 170 miles on Saturday across Indianna so they too were uninterested in a hard ride and Recumbent Dude too joined us. On we went to 661, up Chattam, left on Chestnut Hills and on to Sportsman Club Road.
The ride out Sportsman Club into the wind and heat was particularly, well....hot of course. I was thinking about the battles that were taking place on the road ahead but glad to be with these guys, riding easy and enjoying the scenery.
We reached Northridge and enjoyed the mostly down hill into Alexandria. I noted my average, which had ben close to 22 when I bugged out of the "B" group at Dry Creek Road, was now well under 20 and unlikely to average more than 20, which had kind of been a personal goal this year, not to ride a group ride under 20mph. Oh well. The route had us going west on Jug but no one wanted to ride that again so we took Jersey Mill, as did several others, I learned later. The Jersey Mill road is a long, up hill slog and we were glad to reach 310 and then quickly, old 161. We dropped Recumbent Dude on Jersey Mill but I knew that would not last once on the flatter streches of 161 and sure enough, he caught us and buzzed by.
We rode on out 161 and then noticed in the front yard of a home, a car on its hood with a cyclist standing near by. The cyclist gave us the thumbs up and so we contined and later learned he had been riding and saw a car swerve to avoid hitting a dog, lost control, flipped and slide off the road into the yard, all just 100 yards in front of him. Yikes. I'm getting desperate for that 12th women of the New Albany ride as you can tell.
We finally reached the parking lot with 46 miles and a 19.7 average. The B group I had abandoned had a 20,3 average and Steve O's A group had 22.3. Steve said he and Mick has sign sprinted into New Albany. After the ride, Dennis told Steve he could dominate the New Albany ride and I agreed, as long as the usual top 4-5 continue not to show. Well, that's about it. I promise not to do this sort of thing in the future. Not shown were Katherine and Amanda. Katherine was there but I was conerned her husband would think I'm strange if I post another image of her and Amanda, having shot her wad on the Wednesday Westerville ride (and impressively so) was a no-show.
So many options for Saturday. The Steve Barbour Memorial ride is a good option but frankly, the drive into down town Columbus and then riding into and out of the city is unappealing, there is the Land of Legend ride but the 100 mile option has 30 miles of bike path riding...ugh...an organized ride out of Lancaster and then there is an invitation only ride out of Canal that is supposed to be the hilliest ride of the year with something like 20,000 feet of climbing in 80 miles with Chickencoop, Firetower, Savage, etc... Probably do that and report on it later.