[Ed note: Special thanks to September's ride leader and special guest blog contributor David Curran!]
First of all - a big thank to the almost 70 riders who showed up for the September Year of Yay! ride! I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. I thought the ride went well despite it going long and having what I was told was a record number of flat tires and maintenance issues. This was not a record that I had hoped to break.
A big thank you to Molly Patterson and Columbus Architectural Salvage for hosting the first stop on our ride. It was great seeing so many bicycles scattered all over the front lawn. Some of my favorite comments were "I had no idea Columbus had something like this" and "Discovering this place is going to cost my husband and I a lot of money". This shop is really unique and I wish more people in Columbus were aware of it.
Maddy Davis was our guide for the tour of MAPFRE Stadium. Another big thank you to Maddy for cheerfully leading a group that was almost double the size I guessed it would be. It was an interesting experience to be in the stadium without the crowds and the noise of a game day. Getting to tour the locker rooms and stand on the pitch was a real bonus. Since the tour went long, some opted to head back after this stop.
One funny highlight of the ride for me was on our next leg through east campus. While going down 11th Ave, we passed a pre-football game college party on the front lawn of a house. They saw us coming and several came to the streetside and jokingly held out their red solo cups as an impromptu beverage station for the bike tour going by.
The ride got longer as we had more maintenance issues on the next leg of the ride and had an extended stop on Michigan Ave. Kudos to everyone who helped out with maintenance. Additional thanks to everyone for their patience as we worked to get going again. Since the ride's progress was slow at this point, more opted to head back after this impromptu stop as well.
Once we got going, the final 12 continued to the Toledo & Ohio Central Railroad Station at Broad and Starling. This is the last remaining downtown station in Columbus. Since we weren't able to tour the inside, I would encourage everyone to visit it if they are ever downtown during the day and have a few minutes to walk in. It's been well taken care of and the main waiting room has the original ticket windows and some railroad memorabilia and photographs.
The final 7-mile leg back to Whole Foods was without incident and was quickly followed by a well-deserved refreshment. Thanks to everyone who helped out as leads and sweeps and to Ken for planning a great route!