Yeah, I’m still here

I started this site and then promptly stopped writing and spent the summer riding.  The season is winding down and it seems like I haven’t gotten anything accomplished other than rack up a decent number of miles.  I still have a shot at 30 centuries, but that will be a stretch.  Logging 6,000 miles shouldn’t be too tough at this point, unless the weather does something unexpected. 

 CFC is coming up in a couple of weeks and I have to decide pretty quickly of I’m going to sign up.  It’s been a number of years since I’ve done that 2 day suffer-fest so maybe it’s time I do it again. 

Mt. Lemmon

I spent the first part of this week at a conference in Phoenix.  I brought my Ritchey BreakAway with me and added on a few vacation days to the trip.  Yesterday I did a 62 mile ride north of Scottsdale and never really got away from traffic, but I was riding in shorts and a short sleeve jersey, which was a pleasant change from Ohio.

Today I got up early and drove to Tucson to do the ride that was my primary reason for bringing the bike with me.  I rode to the top of Mt. Lemmon.  The ride started at the intersection of Tanque Verde and Catalina and finished 29 miles later in the town of Summerhaven at the top of the mountain.  The first 4-5 miles is relatively flat, but then the road kicks up for the next 2 miles.  It is a beautiful climb on a very smooth road.  There is a wide shoulder on much of the route.  I was expecting a tough climb and a great descent.

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Ohio 200K Brevet

This past Saturday I rode the 200K brevet from Alum Creek Dam to Loudonville and back.  I’ve had a good spring training season so I was looking forward to the ride.  I know that most of it would be flat and on roads I knew well.  We’d have 45 miles of hills between Mt. Vernon and Loudonville, but I didn’t expect any of them to be particularly difficult.

The ride started at 7:00 and, let me tell you, it was cold. I’ve heard various reports, but I know it was in the low twenties according to the thermometer in my car.  I knew the temperature was supposed to go up during the day and I didn’t want to be over dressed in the afternoon, but it was way too cold to take too many chances.  I did leave my heaviest gloves behind and went with 3 lighter layers on my hands.  My fingers were painfully cold for the first hour or so, but eventually it warmed up enough to be comfortable.

I started with Steve Gratz, Joe Giampapa, Dave Levy and Ned Williams and we picked up Kevin Swabb who had started late a ways up the road.  The pace was quick right out of the gate but we quickly got a group together and kept a steady pace into a medium headwind into Mt. Vernon.  After a quick stop to get our cards signed we headed out on the hilly part of the course.

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Tour of Ohio Routes

The routes for the 5 stage Tour of Ohio was announced today. 

The first stage will be a criterium in Mt. Vernon to be held in conjunction with the Great Ohio Bike Adventure.  

The second stage will be a 70 mile road stage in the Hocking Hills, including Jack Run, Cantwell Cliffs, Conkles Hollow, Chapel Ridge and Glick Rd.

Stage three will be a road race from Gambier to Coshocton and back and will include the climb up Hill Street in Coshocton.

Stage 4 will is a criterium in Worthington.  The Tour will finish up with a road stage from Granville to Utica and back, finishing with laps around the Denison University campus.

First century of the year, but . . .

I’m not worthy.  Yesterday a group of us went out for the first century ride of the year.  We rode the 2 Dog Leg route created years ago by Dave Buzzee.  We started with 10 riders and after a few took one of the cut-offs ended up with 6 people doing the 100 mile route.  The weather wasn’t quite as sunny as I had hoped and it was still in the 30s with some headwind after lunch, so it was a tiring day.  But, I can’t exactly feel great about finishing when Mike Perakis finished with us, but on his fixed gear bike.  At one point he said to me that if he finished the ride he would know that he never, ever has to try that again.  Apparently, once was  enough.

Snow is messing up my plans

The weekend before last I rode both days and got in 164 miles.  Nothing particularly difficult and certainly not at any record breaking speeds, but for early March it was a good couple of days and it looked like my training plans to be ready for the 200K on the 29th were working out quite nicely.  A week later and we had close to 20 inches of snow on the ground by Saturday morning.  It’s March for crying out loud.  Ok, I know that the seasons have changed a bit since I was a kid and we get a milder December and January and then pay the price in March and even April.  But, as much as I understand that, it still feels wrong.  In the month that sees the official first day of spring, we shouldn’t have to deal with shoveling snow and rushing to the store to stock up on junk food and milk.  But, that’s exactly how last weekend played out.  I managed a few hours indoors, but that’s really like fat free ice cream after the long outdoor rides of the weekend before.  It’s somehow similar, but not really.

To make matters worse, I made a short trip to Raleigh, NC on Monday and Tuesday for business.  It was sunny and pleasant and altogether unlike the white death covered city I dragged myself back to Tuesday night.  So, now we pray to the weather gods and hope that spring comes rushing back and this coming weekend doesn’t include tornadoes or fast moving glaciers or poisonous snakes raining from the sky.  I have riding plans, damn it.


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