Rose and I took off this morning to test ride my new Mansfield Mambo 128k permanent that I’m working on. We left downtown Mansfield at 7:45 am. The route heads southwest from Mansfield, passing just north of Alvarado and continuing on to Rio Vista. It turns around there, but takes a more southerly route back, passing south of Alvarado, then going through Venus.
I made a lot of stops at turns on the route, making notes and corrections for the cue sheet. The next control after the start of the ride is at Rio Vista, the turnaround, and one of the concerns I had for the route was that there was no store anywhere between the start and the 39.5 miles to that control. But a last minute change I had made put the route crossing SH 67 three miles west of Alvarado, and there is a store at that intersection, at mile 19.5, which works out great for a quick stop half way to the control.
The first 26 miles of the route are rolling hills with quite a bit of elevation gain, and Rose was definitely feeling it at that point. But when you top the hill at mile 26, with its view of miles and miles of rolling hills to the west, the rest of the ride is much more downhill than uphill, and we made a lot better time the rest of the way, in spite of the fact that much of the return trip was against a mostly east wind.
There were lots of storms and showers around, the last half of the ride, but we dodged them all, only getting sprinkled on a few times, in spite of passing fairly close to serious rain several times. We made a stop at mile 68 in Venus, and as the raindrops started there, quickly headed north on FM 157, and were in the clear again. As soon as we got home, the rain poured here.
We missed an unmarked turn before we got to Venus (another note for the cue sheet), and got .4 bonus miles from that, to end up with 80.2 miles. The route has 3,050 feet of climbing. I think the route is going to make a very good permanent. Today was Rose’s new longest ride, and it’s a safe bet that this was also the most climbing she’s done on a ride. Good job, Rose!