I had an excellent day, riding this 200k brevet. Steve, Peggy, and Ray are great company, and it was so nice to be doing the ride with a pack of recumbents who’s uphill and downhill speed characteristics match my own. This ride starts in Italy, goes southeast to Groesbeck, then takes a more westerly loop back to Italy.
As I loaded my bike onto the rack this morning, I noticed how cool it was, and turned around and grabbed my arm and leg warmers, and tossed them into the truck. That was a good move. In Italy, the temperature was 57 degrees this morning, with a stiff south wind, and even after I put the arm and leg warmers on, I was still shivering. It’s hard to believe it made it up to 91 degrees in the afternoon, and with a big time tail wind, it was downright hot the last bunch of miles.
Within a few miles from the start, the four of us settled into a group by ourselves. We passed Nelson. He was doing the 300k, and conserving energy with a modest pace at that point. The southwest wind, which had been blowing at 10 mph or so when we started, kept picking up, and shortly after we turned west on SH-31 at mile 24, it really started blowing. The eleven miles down SH-14, from Mexia to Groesbeck, mile 52 to 63, were just brutal, against a wind that was really howling by then. Everyone arrived at Groesbeck tired.
But most of the miles after that were with the wind, and we really started moving down the road. At the last control stop, mile 93 at Mount Calm, Ray decided to wait for his friend, Dennis, who had had a blowout and another flat, so Steve, Peggy, and I took off by ourselves from there. We had started the ride with intentions of keeping our pace moderate, since it was Steve and Peggy’s first 200k, and I’ve tended to crater myself lately, when I try to hammer too many miles. For most of the ride we did a good job. We would get the pace a bit fast, then catch ourselves, and slow a little. At this point, however, we just kind of took off. There were a few miles west, against a quartering wind which really slowed us down, but once we turned north on FM-308 at mile 101, we really cranked it up.
After we turned onto US-77 in Milford at mile 125, we made a quick stop at an outdoor pop machine, wanting a rejuvenating soft drink for the last few miles, but the machine was out of order, so we just rested a few minutes, and continued on. I can’t believe how strong Steve and Peggy still were as we pulled into the finish! Congrats on your first 200k, you two, that was a great effort!
We finished with 132.2 miles, and a time of 9:30. Average speed was 16.6 mph, for an on the bike time of just under 8 hours. This ride was just too much fun; I look forward to more brevets with these bent riders!