Ride leader: Steve Palincsar
Members: Patricia Sanders, Harry Kidd, Jan Tucker, Walt Roscello, Sonja Newmann, Linda Bankerd, Ron & Barbara Haney, Jane & Jim Hudnall
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27039188 37 miles, 1843' of elevation. Down Martin (unknowingly bypassing the road paving work on North Keys and Molly Berry) to Candy Hill, Croom, up Van Brady, Cheltenham to Duley Station, Wallace Lane and a tour of Marlton to a rest stop at the McDonalds, where we observed dark clouds and feared rain was in the offing;. down Trumps Hill and up Croom and the rain arrived, mostly a light shower. Enough to get me to put on my rain jacket (mostly as a good luck charm, but I still haven't gotten over the two sudden Drowned Rats on Flooded Streets rides at the Classic Rendezvous Weekend!) for perhaps a mile on Croom, but it stopped well before we reached Mt Calvert Spur, so off it came as the sun came out and the skies cleared. Across Duvall, up Croom Airport and down St Thomas Church, and we arrived at Merkle to find Jan and Sonja had taken a short cut back.
There were more dark clouds on the horizon as we left Merkle and we briefly considered a short cut, but in the end decided to stay the course, even giving in to curiosity about the road construction sign we'd seen at Molly Berry & Candy Hill -- which turned out to signify complete repaving of Molly Berry between Candy Hill and North Keys, and around the corner onto North Keys all the way up to Cross Road Trail! In other words, the worst, most broken up, patched and potholed roads in the Rural Tier are now the smoothest: good news, even if it has taken since at least 2002 to get it done.
Weather: Mostly cloudy to partly cloudy, high 70s to low 80s with humidity above 70%, and a chance of rain of 15-25% until noon, changing to a 35% chance of isolated to scattered thunderstorms by 2 pm, according to the forecast. The ground truth was, impressive and threatening clouds giving way to a brief light rain shower followed by bright sun and an even more spectacular display of clouds, sun and blue sky. In the end, no thunderstorms and no further rain.
Mishaps & mechanicals: Ron Haney had a flat tire on Duvall.
AMS: 12.4 at the back, higher for the Killer Bees.
Photos at https://www.facebook.com/pg/ohbike/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2201114959904488