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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Community Ties Ride - review by Brett Allen

Had an interesting adventure Saturday doing the Community Ties Ride put on by Delaware County Friends of the Trail. Got up at 5am and first thing, checked weather radar. No red blobs in sight...no rain predicted until late in the day...dispensed with my rain gear and left strap-on fenders at home. Rode up to the start point at Freeman Rd & Rt 3. But what was that big thunderhead doing coming in from the west? Shortly after 7am a heavy storm broke. I laid low for 40 minutes and started out at 8am. It was still sprinkling, the roads were wet, but no downpours for the time being. Overall an enjoyable 33 miles to the first snack stop. This ride was well supported and the route was well marked and easy to follow. Up toward the top of Alum Creek Reservoir a bunch of cars were stopped. People were checking out a bald eagle nest with chicks out on the water. The ride continued into Delaware to the Breakaway Bike Shop where there were more goodies to eat and repairs if you needed any. At this point you could turn back for the 62 miler or continue on into northwest Delaware County for the 100. I joined up with someone doing their first century and headed off for the thriving metropolis of Prospect, Ohio. There was a strong south wind, so we just sailed on up. Meanwhile, looking over our shoulders, a huge storm was forming to the south - we found out later it drenched Delaware were we had just been. In Prospect my companion took the SAG back and I joined up with four bikers who kept up a relentless pace and totally kicked my butt. Heading south we bucked 30mph+ winds. We set up 30-second rotations. We had to walk over one especially bad rail crossing. If you were a rim, this was the Grand Canyon. More wet roads and sprinkles coming into Delaware, but the big downpour had moved on by the time we got there. Back in Delaware we rested at the Breakaway. Heading out of town the road was blocked by several 8-inch fire hoses, the local Days Inn was up in flames. Made it back to the start at 3:20pm. I was wet wet most of the day. My bike was all gunked up. Looked like I had been out mountain biking. Had to hose it down. Totally exhausted and miserable. Loved every second of it!

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