Mixed Bag O’ Nuts – The Texas Time Trial

Speed-wise, I was already pretty slow at last year’s TTTT, and that was when I had two lungs, so I had pretty much ruled out riding it again. But when Nelson had to cancel three days before the event, I couldn’t bring myself to refuse Ray, Steve, and Peggy on the mixed recumbent team, Mixed Bag O’ Nuts.

Ray, Steve, and Peggy are great teammates, and I thank them for their support and encouragement, and having me on the team. As for me personally, I guess this was a good test to let me know where I stand. With smart bike riding, I had managed a personal best at the Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred, but with these hills in a no-drafting event, there’s just no faking it, and I was 31 minutes slower than last year, doing the same six twenty mile laps. Part of it was missing lung tissue, no doubt, but part was also lack of hill training, I suspect. It has been such a monumental feat to drag myself up hills this year, that I just haven’t sought them out as much as I did last year. I have recovered further than I thought I would this year though, so I won’t complain.

Volunteer DJ seemed to be everywhere helping everyone again this year. Thanks, DJ (but you really need to be riding this event next year, instead of me).

And here are the holders of the TTTT 500 mile mixed recumbent team course record: The Mixed Bag O’ Nutz, Ray, Steve, Peggy, and me.
Ray, Steve, Peggy, and me

OBS Streak

After Rose got off work Saturday afternoon, we headed to Oklahoma City and spent the evening visiting my sister. I got up Sunday morning and headed to Mitch Park in Edmond (16 miles from my sister’s place), and rode the OBS Streak.

The first 40 miles of this ride were constant rollers. Most were not as long as those on the Goatneck route, but they were plenty enough to have a hill slug like me huffing and puffing. The route flattened out a bit for the last 25 miles.

This was a very good ride. I don’t know exactly how many rode it, but it had to be several hundred. There were a few rough stretches of road and some chipseal, but most of the roads were good, and the traffic control was very good. Johnny Corino’s provided a pasta lunch at the end of the ride, and that truly hit the spot. I left just as the live band was getting started.

It was great seeing you again, Trey, and meeting Mrs oumed. Trey also has two of the cutest kids you’ve ever seen. I ended up with 64.5 miles at a 17.3 mph average. The Garmin showed 2650 feet of climbing.

The Bike Clubs Invade Venus ride

This ride, hosted jointly by FWBA and GDB, rolled out of the Venus town square a few minutes after 8:00 am this morning. There were a little over a hundred riders, not as many as the last time I did this ride, but still a nice turnout. richardr joined me on the hundred mile route, ready to tackle his first century. We rode a pretty brisk pace the first 10 miles down FM157. As I turned into the store parking lot at Maypearl for the first stop, my average was 19.2 mph. Hardly anyone stopped there, so Richard and I swung right back out of the parking lot, and headed south onto FM66.

At that point, Richard and I were pretty much by ourselves, but FWBA members Don and Susan on a tandem caught up to us on one of the hills there, and we did the rest of the ride with them. The next turn was onto FM308, going to Milford. I had forgotten what long hills there are on that stretch. When we got to Milford at mile 26, the store we were supposed to stop at there was closed down. That would become a theme for the day. We were also scheduled for a stop at mile 62 at Avalon, but that store was also closed down, so we just took a shade break there.

We turned east on SH22 at Mertens, straight into the east wind, which had started to pick up. We finally reached Blooming Grove at mile 43, our first real stop. Gary and Dana on their tandem rolled in a few minutes later, and joined us for the rest of the ride. The route next turns north and heads toward Waxahachie, giving a scenic view of Lake Waxahachie before you get there, for the last stop of the ride at mile 81.

Then comes FM875, with the rollers and tough traffic until you top the hill at mile 91, and it’s a 40 mph downhill followed by a relatively flat finish. At the top of that hill, I couldn’t resist taking off and hammering the rest of the way in. Like first centuries usually are, Richard’s first century was tough, especially when he hit the wall at around mile 75. I’ll let him tell all the details in his report, but just say that he finished the ride strong. Congrats on the first century, Richard!

Most of the roads on this ride are low traffic roads, but like so many rural low traffic roads in this area, there is a lot of chipseal on the ride. It also needs to be modified some, because of the two closed stores. I ended up with 98.3 miles at a 15.3 mph average. I sat in the shade and chatted with several FWBA folks after the ride, and was reminded that this club has a lot of really nice people. I grumble about their routes now and then, but I really can’t say enough good things about the club members.