Greg and I rode the River Roll to Up a Creek Sports 205k permanent today. We left from Davis Drive, just south of Green Oaks in north Arlington, at 7:30 am. The route quickly gets on the bike path along side Green Oaks, between River Legacy and Village Creek, heading west, then takes some city streets to Gateway Park, goes through all sorts of stuff at Gateway (including carrying your bike up and down stairs at one point), finally getting on the Trinity Trail, and following it all the way west until it ends. It then goes to Benbrook lake, following the park road on the west side of the lake, then heads west to Aledo, does a loop to Willow Park then south on FM5, circling back around to Aledo, then takes the same route back to the start.
On a good day, this route would be slow, because of all the park and bike path stops and turns. But today, the wind was brutal, and I didn’t think Greg and I were ever going to finish it. There were lots of scary moments from the cross wind, and at one point going downhill while headed south on FM5, 11 mph was all I could manage.
There is nothing to block the wind in the Aledo area, and every time we topped one of the hills there, the wind was just incredible. Headed north, coasting down one hill southeast of Aledo, I reached 45 mph. That’s faster than I coast down either Texas Plume or Goatneck Hill. It wasn’t the steepness of the hill as much as the tailwind. But when we had to climb that same hill against the wind later in the ride, it was one of the toughest stretches I’ve ridden in a while. I was at 4 mph much of the climb, but I did reach the top without stopping.
The traffic on parts of this route, particularly FM1187 just east of Aledo, and FM5 just south of Willow Park are so bad that I won’t be in a hurry to do this route again. Of course today’s wind made the traffic even scarier. The finishing touch for the ride was when Greg flatted just three miles from the finish.
In spite of the fact that we were in and out of all the controls fairly quickly, it took us 11 hours and 44 minutes to complete this ride today. I finished with 129.1 miles. My on the bike mph average was a blazing 14.0. But we survived another epic adventure, with no major disasters and equipment in tact. Thanks, Greg.