Saint Jo 125K permanent

Steve, Peggy, Nelson, Ray, Greg, Paul, and I left Bolivar this morning at 6:30 am to ride Ray’s new St. Jo 125k permanent. This route an out and back that goes through Forestburg, then on to the turnaround control at St. Jo. It’s plenty dark at 6:30 am these days. Lights were definitely needed for the first miles.

It’s pretty steady elevation gain from Bolivar to Forestburg. I pushed pretty hard to keep from falling too far back, but lagged behind anyway. We made an unofficial stop at Forestburg, then rode on to St. Jo. There are some pretty tall hills between Forestburg and St. Jo, made even more scary by wildly driven trucks hauling some kind of wide load monstrosities. They looked poised to tip over at any second going down these hills. I didn’t see it, but heard that Ray got a closer look at one of them than he wanted.

Nelson had some bike issues starting in St. Jo. I struggled coming back on the hills to Forestburg, but there’s lots of downhill on the rest of the route, and I finally started to feel like I was moving decently. This was a truly beautiful day, mostly cloudy with a low in the upper 60′s and a high in the lower 80′s and not much wind, just great riding weather.

I was a tired camper by the finish, and a cheeseburger from the Valero that’s the start and finish control was very good. I finished in 5:35, ended up with 78.6 miles, and had an on the bike average of 16.8 mph. It was great company as usual with this bunch, thanks everyone. To rest and recover from this hard ride, I went home and hung a ceiling fan. Nothing like relaxing on a Saturday afternoon…

Paul’s video of the crazy truckers.

Sometimes there is justice

Between my move and the rain, my total riding mileage for the first 14 days of September was less than 60 miles. It was raining when I got home today, but I decided to ride anyway. If it’s never going to stop raining, I’ll ride in the rain. So I hopped on the SXP and took off.

I can get out of town quickly from my new place in Crowley, and I have worked out a 25 mile route for evening rides that I like (Greg, you’ll be happy to know that there are, indeed, some trailer houses on the route). You can see it on bikely here. It has a little over 800 feet of climbing, quite a bit more than the flat 25 mile Arlington route that I’m used to, but it’s not like I couldn’t use the extra hill work. It has even more blind turns than the new TTTT course, so it’s not a great speed route, but I still like the small county roads better than anything else. It’s going to be exactly 25 miles, if I can get to the point where I quit missing turns (got .2 in bonus miles today).

It starts with a mostly gentle incline for 5 miles, then has rolling hills until mile 18, then finishes with a long mostly downhill run. The elevation profile is shown below. Do you ever ride these county roads west of Burleson, DJ?

The rain was light, and on and off, for the first 12 miles, and the roads were wet enough in a few places to bother me a bit, but not too bad. Then the rain quit, and the pavement dried out very quickly. I thought I was going to get home dry, but it wasn’t to be. With 4 miles left, I was hit by sheets of rain while riding against a 30 mph north wind. I was drenched when I got home. If this had been the usual rain coming from the south and west, this route would have had me moving away from it at the end, but this strange backing in system had a howling NNE wind in my face at the end of the ride.

Why the title of this post? At mile 14.6, I hit a rock that squirted out to the side in such a way that it loudly hit the side of a pickup that had just passed by, coming from the opposite direction. I figure that’s revenge for all the rocks that trucks have hit me with over the years.

I moved from Arlington to Crowley this week. The big casualty of the move, it’s the legend of the headless cyclist.

Here’s the other main casualty of the move. When I take that tape off, the toenail will likely come with it. Ah, the joys of moving…