It has been a couple of weeks, but the memories are still fresh from my 11th time to ride the Tour of Scioto River Valley - TOSRV. (That is 22 centuries, about a 5th of my total century rides). it was my first time to ride a single bike since my first TOSRV in 1979. It was also my first dry TOSRV in since 2005. After picking up registration materials, I helped Apres Velo, a client, with their booth at registration. They had a very good evening with the large crowd. From there, I connected for dinner with a friend from my Bellingham days, before crashing for the night. I woke up to 25 to 35mph winds of the west (cross winds) and temps in the low 50s. The winds would blow all day, but it would get warmer as we rode closer to Portsmouth.
After dropping my overnight bag on the Shawnee State baggage truck and parking my car, I added a layer (a good move). I also decided to ride with a CamelBak, to allow hands-free drinking. This was another good move with the gusting cross winds. I was on the road at 8:15. The first 10 miles from downtown were urban cycling, however, with many of the road projects of the last 5 years were complete, it was over smooth pavement with a lot fewer cones a barricades. I made my first stop at the Scout camp at 10 miles out, and then moved on for Circleville. The last 5 miles were brutal, and the wind break of town a welcome relief. I rolled into the rest stop to find the longest lines I had ever seen, probably 4-500 people. I still had plenty of water, and so I opened a cliff bar, and rod straight through; a good move, since those 4-500 would now be behind me in the lunch line!
The next 25 miles to to Chillicothe were probably the worst of the day. The cross winds (with gusts up to 50 mph) made drafting or coasting down a hill almost impossible. Much of the time i was riding leaned into the wind, like a tacking sailboat. Riding into the open past a grove of trees or buildings would expose to winds that push you toward the center of the road. The noise was mind numbing as well. The one good things was the prior weeks rain prevented the bare fields from turning into dust storms. I arrived in Chillicothe just before Noon, to find no lunch lines. I piled on fruit, meats and cheeses, along with a baked potato, before topping off water and Gatorade. Then it was on for the next leg to Waverly.
The rolling hills of Three Locks Road is my favorite scenic section of TOSRV. A bridge is being replaced at about the 70 mile mark, and the original plans were for complete detour around this section. But just before the start of the ride a new detour, adding 10 new miles, bypassed only 3 miles of this section. While it was an interesting change, there were 2 very good climbs in this new route, along with 5 miles directly into the westerly winds. I arrived in Wavery with almost 80 miles, and over 30 to go. (to be continued)