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Old 07-11-10, 10:15 AM   #1
Kurt Erlenbach
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A Ride Report: A Flatlander Rides in Hills, with a Shoutout to A-Jet

My parents live in northern Ohio, so my wife and son headed up there for a week of visiting, traveling, and cycling. AlleghanyJet lives near Medina, not far from my parents home (which is also my boyhood home), so with a few PMs, we arranged a ride.

Coastal central Florida is not an area know for its hills. I have a few interstate overpasses nearby, which constitute the bulk of my hill climbing experience. I have at best a passing familiarity with my front derailleur. In 429.74 miles over the preceding weeks, my Garmin registered 2274 feet of climbing, or a whopping 5.34 feet per mile, which is probably within the range of GPS drift. So I asked A-Jet (aka Bill) to set up a 25-30 miler with a few hills, and he promptly agreed.

Now, A-Jet, if you are not aware, is a beast. Monday is his recovery ride day, and a recovery ride for him is a soul-crusher for me. He contacted Louis to ride with us, and off we went. Bill's recovery ride bike could be a 3-speed with coaster brakes and tassels on the handlebars, and he would ride circles, quickly, around me. So I'm looking for something tough and he's looking for something easy, which means we're both looking for the same thing, and we head for the hills near his house. I find out fairly quickly that I'm not too bad on the hills, so we head to the biggest in the area. After about a minute at 11%, with Bill way ahead, and my prayers for another, much lower, gear not being answered, I pulled over and headed back down (It's Ledge Road near Hinckley Reservation, for those who know the area). Louis did his best to make me feel better by staying behind.

Overall we did 30.4 miles with 1,397 feet of climbing. I know that's not much climbing for a lot of you, but it was an exhilarating, perfect ride for me. No pics, I'm sorry to say, but here is a link to the ride on Garmin Connect. Bill and his lovely wife were perfect hosts, Louis is a great rider, and it was a perfect way to start a vacation. My wife and son were skeptical about the whole idea of riding with someone I met over the internet (my son asked upon getting back to my parent's house whether when I got to Bill's house there was a crew from "Dateline" waiting), but it proved to me the enduring benefit of this subforum. Thank you Bill and Louis, and thank you to BF 50+ for giving me the opportunity to meet these fine folks.
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Old 07-11-10, 11:13 AM   #2
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I've not ridden with A-Jet, and I doubt I'll ever be able to, but I can attest to his helpfulness. I contacted him about my riding on the Allegheny River Trail next month, and he sent me TONS of information. Thanks, A-Jet!
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Old 07-11-10, 12:25 PM   #3
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Sounds like a great ride for a flat lander.
My wife is also a bit skepitcal about people met on the internet. I look forward to one day riding with other 50+ ers and when / if I make it home she will see that the internet is a normal modern day way of communicating and meeting people with like interests.
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Old 07-11-10, 01:42 PM   #4
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Nice post, sounds all good! Thanks for sharing. AJet sounds like a stand up guy. Glad you had a nice meeting and ride with him and Louis.
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Old 07-11-10, 03:05 PM   #5
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Sounds like you were strong enough for the hills anyway. Grades like 11% are as much mental as they are physical, I find it helps a lot just knowing that you have climbed the hill before - you know what to expect and you can will yourself over the top. Sounds like you may have to make more frequent visits to Mom's house. Another Mountain goat is born?
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Old 07-11-10, 04:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting - I enjoyed learning about the hille of Ohio. I have only driven through Ohio, never spent any time there!
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Old 07-11-10, 07:02 PM   #7
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I go up to Ashland two or three times a year to see an aging aunt. I can testify that there are hills a'plenty. They're like Kentucky: not super high or steep, but always coming at you.
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Old 07-12-10, 11:28 AM   #8
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While you and A Jet were attacking one of those hills and I was (slowly) spinning up in my granny, a neighborhood dog strolled up to me, lifted his leg and peed on my wheel.


But seriously, it was fun riding with you guys and meeting yet another BF 50+er. Thanks for the kind words, Kurt.

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Old 07-15-10, 06:54 AM   #9
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Sorry I missed your post Kurt. My wife and I were on a mini vacation in Western PA at our family cabin and were out of the internet range. I was doing the Tour of the Valley Stage Race in Youngstown and our cabin is closer to Youngstown than our home is. It was fun riding with you and Louis. My wife is also skeptical when I meet someone to ride with after internet arraignments are set up.

For the record I rode my vintage Raleigh 10 speed and not a three speed and the dog that visited Louis's leg was very large and menacing leaving Louis no chance of retaliation. I really enjoyed the ride and company of you and Louis. It should be noted that after the ride the three of us did sit down for refreshing drinks and pastries in true BF 50+ fashion.
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