We had perfect weather on Saturday a week ago so when I looked at the forecast for this past Saturday I couldn’t figure out how I was going to be motivated to ride. It looked like all the other bad weather days. I imagine that the conditions cause a lot of riders to roll over instead of rolling out. By the time I looked at the skies they were clearing so I figured that the ride was still on. We had 11 riders at the start so that was a little motivating.

After we left Wellington we came across something I’d never seen before. I first noticed a peculiarly tall fence around a wooded area of this property and then saw a huge, what I thought was a deer, running away. Its hind quarters were about 5 feet tall and much wider than a deer. Someone in the group immediately identified it as an elk. We were passing by an elk ranch. All of a sudden, 6 of them ran out into the road and we leaped off of our bikes and onto the elk and rode them for few miles and then… I’ll stop here because you will never believe the rest of this story.

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The winds were strong and we knew that we were going to be in for a tough day. It was tough indeed. When we travelled south it was windy, when we traveled east it was very windy, and when we travelled north it was very windy. By the time we got to the lunch break it felt like we’d been climbing hills all day. Later in the ride when we finally reached the one hill of the day our legs were spent. Leaving West Salem we took a wrong turn right away and had to immediately double back. I then asked, “How can it be windy in all 4 directions?” It was the truth.   The scenery and sunshine made up for the wind and it ended up being a good day overall. After our last stop our clothes were damp, the clouds had rolled in, and the cool winds from the north made the next few miles pretty uncomfortable. I was glad to be done with that one.

Riders included:

Bryan Sharp Mark Thomas
Chris Karpowicz Mike Hritz
Dave Frye Shelli Snyder
Eric Overton Tom Legeza
Jerry Golinski Tony Kascak
Mark Scheeff  

Newcomers included:  Tom Legeza

Riders 11
Max. Miles 108-110 miles
Temperature 40-50 deg. with winds at 5-20 mph with 26 mph gusts. (ENE)
Close Calls 0
Mechanical Failures 0
Mishaps Mark S. toppled over as we were taking off from the rest stop in Lodi.   He claimed that an elk knocked him over.  No injuries or damage.
Fixed Gear, Single Speed, Cyclocross, or Mountain Bike Chris was on a cyclocross bike.



Sunday was very similar to Saturday except that the forecast had called for clear skies all day. As for me, it didn’t matter because I wasn’t planning to ride. I was just going to sleep in. However, I did get cleaned up and dressed but I tried to hide my cycling gear with street clothes, hoping that no one would notice that I was dressed to ride. I thought that if 20-30 people showed up that would motivate me to ride at least 25-60 miles. Right before start time no one had showed up so I was thinking that the ride was off. Then a group of 5 rode up. L It looks like the ride was on. Joe O. and Marie sabotaged my plans when they said, “Come on…”

The start was very nice. It was sunny and it was starting to warm up. Little by little we started to realize that the ride was a little too easy-going out and we would be facing heavy winds on the return. I wasn’t quite ready to turn around and neither was Joe O. and he “tricked” me into committing to go the distance. It was a good thing because we ended up running into Dan and Tina on the route. When we turned northward we realized how brutal the winds were. By the time we got to Wellington we’d gone too far. If we would have turned back from there we would have been cutting the route short but we would have been facing the winds without much cover. By riding the rest of the planned route and heading south first, we would be digging a deeper hole but we would at least get a chance to see the elk again and we would be going through some interesting terrain with lots of trees to block the wind. We sort of took our time and suffered through it. At one point I said to Joe, “It’s rough out here but somehow it’s still 5% fun.” At least it was sunny and comfortable. We were pinned down to 12 mph for just about all of the northerly sections. One of the disappointing things was whenever we were going downhill we still had to work because of the wind. If we didn’t do the long route we would have missed out on seeing a wild turkey (or some pheasant looking creature) cross the road. By the time we got home it was still comfortable and sunny. Another good day!


Riders included:

Eric Overton Marty Schafer
Dan Maddock Matt Miller
Joe Ochmanski Rick Zamora
Kevin Kenning Ted Hoerig
Marie Rote Tina Maddock

Newcomers included:  Kevin Kenning, Marty Schafer, and Rick Zamora


Riders 10
Max. Miles 102-112 miles
Temperature 45-52 deg. with winds at 8-17 mph with 24 mph gusts (N)
Close Calls 0
Mechanical Failures Someone dropped a chain on a climb
Mishaps I spilled a little of my soft drink on the table at Subway. 😉
Fixed Gear, Single Speed, Cyclocross, or Mountain Bike 0

 Calvin’s 12 Hour Challenge is upon us. This Sat. May 2nd.


About Eric Overton

Long Distance Cyclist in the Cleveland area

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