Mansfield Mambo test ride

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!

Bobcat Bite 100K permanent

Rose and I traveled to Celina this morning to tackle Steve’s Bobcat Bite 100k permanent. We rolled out at 9:00 am, along with seven other riders. I rode my Stratus XP, and Rose and I rode our own pace, watching everyone else soon disappear off in the distance in front of us.

It was Rose’s first 100k, and the first time I’ve ridden that kind of distance on the SXP. Its more upright seat is less comfortable for me for a long ride than the Corsa’s Euromesh seat, but it’s more comfortable for this kind of distance than the Nimbus was (RANS mesh seat vs Sun EZ mesh seat). I have to work to keep up with Rose, when she’s on the Xstream and I’m on the SXP.

This route starts in Celina, heads northeast to the next control in Howe, a bit more north, then west and south to Tioga and Pilot Point, then east back to Celina. The first leg of the route to Howe isn’t very hilly, but it is a pretty steady elevation gain, and it was against a stiff northeast wind this morning, making it pretty tough for Rose and I.

Soon after Howe, though, we turned west and then south, and the tailwind was great. On one southbound uphill north of Gunter, we carried enough speed from the last downhill that we barely dipped below 30 mph before cresting the hill.

It was tailwind fun all the way to Pilot Point, then 12 miles of boulder-seal and rolling hills against the wind to get back to Celina. Rose was starting to fade on this stretch, and struggled with those hills, but then finished her first 100k strong. Big congrats on your first 100k, Dear! Smiley

I ended up with 64.2 miles, and we finished the ride in 5:30. Lunch at Lucy’s afterward was great, and we really enjoyed visiting with Steve, Peggy, Mark M, Linda, and Greg after the ride. Who understands the thrill of your first 100k better than other randonneurs?

After the ride.
After the ride

Peachy Keene 200K permanent

Seven of us rode my Peachy Keene 200k permanent this morning, leaving out of southwest Arlington at 7:30 am. Besides me, there was Steve, Peggy, Ray, Greg, and Mark and Linda M. This route goes southwest through Kennedale, then Keene, before stopping at Cleburne. Then it heads pretty much straight south, turning east a few miles west of Covington, going through Covington and on to Itasca. Then it goes over Orphan Hill, and down the other side to the next stop at Maypearl. Then it turns back north to Alvarado, then back to Arlington.

After all the dire forecasts from yesterday, it turned out to be a beautiful day. The front had already arrived at the start, and we had a north breeze, but we soon seemed to move ahead of the front as we headed south. It was mostly cloudy, and did get a bit warm with all the humidity, until we turned to head back north. By then the wind was from the north, and starting to pick up, and it was much cooler the rest of the way.

It was not a hammering pace among the group today, and I was able to stay with everyone for most of the ride. A couple of the bigger hills found me off the back for a while, but that’s the norm. The roads were in good shape for the most part, and with everything so green, some of these Johnson county roads with their canopy of trees overhead, were really beautiful.

I ended up with 124.2 miles, and finished in 9:59. Thanks, everyone. I really enjoyed the ride and especially the company.

Peachy Keene route