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.