Magical Mystery Tour 200K permanent

Steve, Mark M, and I joined Peggy for this easy pace 200K yesterday. Peggy is recovering from a stress fracture in her knee, but bound and determined to keep her R12 alive, so rode today. We left Lynn Creek Marina at 7:00 am, and the wind was already blowing hard, so we knew already that we were in for a tough wind day. Sure enough, the further south we got, the harder the wind blew. A lot of the county roads this route uses have lots of trees to block the wind, but it was still a lot of southbound riding the first 70 miles, and the open stretches from Maypearl to Italy were brutal. We were all glad to see the Italy control.

The route turns northeast out of Italy down SH 34, so there was a quartering tail wind, then it turns mostly straight north, so it was a great tail wind most of the rest of the way.

One of the nicest things about an easy pace 200k is that you get to converse more, and we took advantage of that, laughing and cutting up most of the ride.

In retrospect, a route that didn’t finish on Lake Ridge Parkway might have been a better choice. The traffic at almost dark thirty on a holiday weekend Saturday evening was a bit much for me.

But we all finished safe and sound, with the main worry being about how Peggy’s leg would feel today. The Oasis had great food, as usual, although we saw a cockroach there that was so big, I thought it was going to carry Peggy off.

Thanks for inviting me along, y’all, I had a great time! Take care of that leg, Peggy. The easy pace ride was great fun, but I won’t gripe at all when you drop me like a bad habit next time. In fact, I’ll have a big smile on my face, knowing you’re back to yourself.

Magical Mystery Tour 200K

Ride from home

With the Stratus XP now my designated commuting bike, I had added disc brakes to it on Friday, and decided to do a test ride on it this morning. I did my usual 25 mile route from home, heading out the the Johnson County roads just south of me.

I got a comment I hadn’t heard before. It was a dark morning, so I had my helmet Superflash blinking, and a lady in a standard issue SUV slowed beside me and said, “I like your little light.”

Total miles = 25
Average speed = Slow as mud

But the bike does stop well.

The Stratus XP now has disc brakes.
disc brakes

The Aerotrunk I got from Nelson holds a lot of work stuff.

A lean, mean, commuting machine! (Well ok, not that lean these days, neither bike nor rider…)

Prairie Hill Roundup 200K permanent

At 7:00 am this morning, Steve and I rolled out of Italy to do the Prairie Hill Roundup 200k permanent. Nelson was supposed to join us, but wasn’t there at 7:00 am. It turned out that he overslept.

Nelson, who is having knee issues, chose this route because it has a reputation as a fast and easy 200k, just what the doctor ordered for a problem knee, it would seem. But the route wasn’t that easy on this day. All but about 30 miles of the route has become boulderseal, and the wind made things tough, too.

The route leaves Italy and heads east, then southeast, to Wortham at mile 53. The wind, which wasn’t blowing very hard early, really started to pick up from the SSE by mile 25, which is where I had a flat. After I fixed the flat, and we started to ride away, there was Nelson, riding up behind us.

From Wortham, the route heads WSW to Prairie Hill. Right on cue, the wind changed from SSE to SSW. If the local weather reports here are to be believed, the wind was blowing much harder where we were. Nelson’s knee was already bothering him by the time he reached Wortham, and this long stretch against the wind was brutal. By mile 66, Nelson had decided to nurse his knee back to the start by a shorter route, and we parted ways with him. The remaining 10 miles to Prairie Hill, with the roads turning a bit more south, were really tough, and by the time we reached the control there, I was toast. I was glad there wouldn’t be hardly any more miles against the wind.

The Prairie Hill control turned out to be Mark M’s double secret ice cream stop, and Steve sampled that ice cream, while I ate my peanut butter and honey sandwich. After leaving Prairie Hill, the route soon joins more familiar roads, down FM 339, then FM 308, and US 77 back to Italy. It was much easier sledding on this part of the ride, but I was fried enough that I struggled on every small hill.

With .3 in bonus miles, from a wrong turn the only time I rode out in front of Steve and Nelson, I ended up with 126.0 miles, with an on the bike average of 15.7 mph. I finished in an overall time of 9:30. My Garmin showed 3,600 feet of climbing. We rejoined Nelson for Subway sandwiches at Italy, and called it a day. The wind and boulderseal made it a tough day, but for a November day, it was truly nice, and I always have a blast riding with these two. I hope your knee is better soon, Nelson. Thanks for the ride, y’all!

Prairie Hill Roundup 200K route