At 2:30 with the rain raging I saw no hope for riding. Forecast was typical, 7 out of next 9 days with rain so if there is a chance of riding this evening..... Headed south and horizon improved but alas, only 13 of us at the start, including the 2 Walker Dudes, there behind the car being inconspicuous.
At virtually every ride, there is someone who forgot his bike, her shoes, his water bottle, her front wheel, etc... and today was no different. Nate's brother forgot his shoes and had to watch us depart without him.
Actually, there were 2 Walkers and a Walker wannabe, Ryan on the right who dresses in the Walker green and then attacks relentlessly except he hangs in there for the entire route. He was nominated for the most aggressive rider of the day award. The A route was for 40 miles but with the clouds...the conscience of the peloton wondered aloud if we could get all that in and there was some consideration given to cutting a couple of miles off, which ultimately we did.
Here, Mark V with his Red's jersey. Nathan showed up with the Fruit Loops jersey and also wearing a Fruit Loops T shirt. Wherre one buys these items is anyone's guess.
Steve O, Mark C, Ryan, Mitch (Man in Black), Nathan, Mark V, Keith (guy must be in mid 60's and very strong), John S, Ross, 2 Walkers and Beth S. Ross and Beth started early and soon the rest of us shoved off. As we rode out at a warm up pace out Hill Road, noted Waterloo was under water but we were headed for the #33 overpass and out Basil Western. At the bridge, the Walkers, who had burst out of the gate, were off their bikes examining something and were never seen again.
Wind was light out of the SE and we stayed on BW all the way to a right on Bader and a left at Leonard where sitting water and debris caused a brief slowdown. Walker Ryan attacked out of the water, which was not the first of the night. At the short but steepish hill on Leonard, there was a surge but unusually, it appeared everyone was kind of petered out and unable to press the advantage over those who lagged a bit and we regrouped. Steve O, who could have ridden off on his own whenever he wanted, was being unusually timid and hung with us. Soon, Walker Ryan yanked his bike out of the pack and surged ahead but the attack was covered and we cruised into Baltimore. At that point I think we still had the core group that had left the parking lot except for one who had dropped back.
We took the long stretch on Canal and upon reaching Millersport Road, hung a left rather than continuing to Lake. I began to notice that whenever I took a pull, at the finish of it, Ryan would spring from the pack and it took some effort to catch him so I learned to pull at something significantly less than the max in anticipation of the attack. The long haul back west on Bickel Church was a series of attacks by....you know who. My strategy was to wait for Mark C to react and then jump on his wheel. I knew Mark could never allow Ryan to get away and so I could count on him to carry me up to Ryan. Worked beautifully.
We worked our way over to south on Stoudertown and then back onto Basil Western and in. There were still 6 of us at the end, including Keith. Our average was 20.8-21mph depending on the cycling computer. 800' of climbing so a fairly flat route. There is a lot of talk about doing a tour out of Nelsonville on Saturday, weather permitting. Something called "Tom's Trillion" which is a sort of hilly route with a century option. Forecast doesn't look good.