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May 06, 2003

Somewhere down the hairy river

This weekend, I’ll be riding a little over 200 miles on my bike, from Columbus to Portsmouth, Ohio on Saturday and back on Sunday. It’s part of the Tour of the Scioto River Valley, understandably shortened to TOSRV.

This will be my 11th time on this ride out of the last 12 (I missed it 2 years ago because Stuart was born May 7th). I have ridden every mile of every TOSRV I’ve ever started (knocks on wood), including a couple I really had no business starting, where I had trained fewer miles than the ride.

About 3000 people will be doing all or some of the ride this year, and the weather looks like it will continue the trend, making things, um, interesting. About five years ago, the East Coast had an early spring, and unseasonably warm temperatures through all of April. We drove up on Thursday, and went for a shakedown ride on Friday, 30 easy miles in shorts and jerseys, loving the sunny 75-degree weather. That night, the front blew in, and ride start temperatures were in the low 40s. Lulled by the early spring, I hadn’t bothered to pack cold-weather gear. That is a mistake I haven’t repeated. For this weekend, I’m bringing along:

  • 5 pairs of gloves: 1 heavy full-finger, 1 light full-finger, 1 knit, 2 half-finger
  • 3 short-sleeve jerseys, 1 long-sleeve jersey, 1 heavy long-sleeve jersey/jacket
  • 1 pair polypropylene lightweight long johns
  • 1 rain jacket, 2 windbreakers
  • 1 skull cap, 1 balaclava, 1 earband, 1 helmet
  • 4 pairs lightweight socks, 3 pairs Smartwool socks
  • Shoes & sunglasses
By the way, we learned in 4th-grade Ohio history that “Scioto” is the Shawnee word for “hairy”: they called the river that because so many deer bathed in the river that it was literally a hairy river.

May 6, 2003 in Cycling | Permalink