Seven of us left the McDonalds on Green Oaks near I-20 at 10:00 am this morning to ride the Velo Venus 109k Populaire. Peggy, Steve, and I were the three recumbent riders. We were joined by four upright riders: Mark and Linda Metcalfe, Cheri Brown, and Debbie Breaud. For those of you who don’t know Debbie, she is a very accomplished long distance rider, who hasn’t been doing nearly as much riding recently.
The south wind was already blowing as we left, heading south toward Venus, and picked up more and became more southwest as we made our way along the route. This route stays mostly on small rural roads, and so has lots of turns. It seems a bit tough to me for a less than 70 mile route (that may be because the wind has been howling both times I’ve ridden it), but I do like this route. Lots of turns means lots on opportunities for bonus miles, and sure enough, we missed a turn at around mile 19, and did pick up about 4 bonus miles.
The route turns around at the first control in Venus, heading north, then west to the next control at Garden Acres Rd and I-35W. The wind had shifted southwest enough that this stretch wasn’t nearly as much of a tailwind as I had expected. In fact, the parts of it that headed straight west were pretty tough.
The last part of the ride did give us that tailwind, though. The day was warmer than forecast, and in spite of the wind, would have to qualify as a beautiful day for January. It was a great group of folks to ride with, and we had no flats or mechanical issues, so in spite of how tired I was at the finish, I had a smile on my face, and would have to call it a very fun day.
I ended up with 72.0 miles at a 15.1 mph on the bike average. My total time for the ride was 5:55. Thanks for joining me, everyone. I had a great time.