Work commute

I rode to work all 4 days this week so far. It was some nice northbound with a tailwind rides to work in the morning darkness, but the afternoon southbound trip against the hot wind was a bit tough.

Just after I turned onto the shoulder of Crowley Road this afternoon, a very pimped out car pulled up beside me. The rap music blasting from it was deafening, even with the completely blackened windows all the way up. Before I had time to wonder what was going on, the passenger window came down, and a gangsta-looking young man behind the wheel turned the music down, leaned over, looked at me, and said, “Your kickstand’s down!” I thanked him, stopped, and raised my kickstand.

FWBA Bicycles Inc ride

I took off from the Bicycles Inc in Arlington this morning at 8:00 am to do the FWBA Bicycles Inc club ride. They had a big breakfast and lots of door prizes, and got a great turnout. I didn’t hear a count, but it had to be well over a hundred riders.

When they asked how many were doing the 100 mile route, 15 or so raised their hands, but after we all rode out on Sublett Rd together, when we got to Calender Rd, which is where all the routes except for the 100 mile route turn off, I was the only rider that went straight. I kept checking my mirror for people further back in the group who might stay on Sublett, but no one did.

Some of the roads on this route have too much traffic to be much fun for a lone rider, so since I was by myself, I just kind of made up my own route as I went, and used some quieter roads. I didn’t skip Texas Plume, though. I figured I needed the hill work there. When I got south of Midlothian on FM663 though, instead of turning left on FM875 like the route does, I turned right, then left on to Singleton Rd, and rode small county roads to Maypearl.

From Maypearl, I took the same route to Alvarado that Peachy Keene uses, then more of the same after Alvarado, until I had to cross SH287 to get back to Bicycles Inc. I finished up just after 3:00 pm, and ended up with 95.2 miles.

FWBA Goatneck Preview ride

I rode the FWBA Goatneck Preview club ride today. It started at the Cleburne High School at 8:00 this morning, and followed the route that the Goatneck Bike Ride will take in three weeks. It was another muggy day, but the rain held off until after the ride. I should do this route more often; these hills will give you a good workout. Stretches of the boulder seal were pretty rough, but much of it has been packed a lot now, and isn’t nearly as rough as last year.

Today’s ride became the first time that I’ve ever ridden up Goatneck Hill in my middle chainring. So, while I’m still painfully slow about getting myself up hills, I’m still improving. I only made one stop during the ride, in Glen Rose. I ended up with 69.9 miles and an on the bike average speed of 17.0 mph.

Goatneck 70 mile route.

Rio Vista Rumble 200K brevet

Today was the annual LSR 200k 4th of July weekend brevet. We left out of Lynn Creek Marina at Joe Pool Lake at 7:00 this morning to do the Rio Vista Rumble route. I didn’t get a count of riders, but there looked to be around 20. Recumbent riders in the group included Steve B, Daniel, Steve P, Peggy, and myself.

This year’s brevet had something extra, though. At mile 65, we stopped at a small country church 5 miles west of Covington, and had a short ceremony where Steve and Peggy, who recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, renewed their vows. Afterward, there was cake, fruit, and other snacks served.

Bryan and Shellene were there too, but both being off the bike, they drove the course, attended the ceremony, and took photos. Nice seeing both of you!

The entire ride, there were heavy clouds that looked like could turn loose rain any minute, but we got 120 miles with no more than sprinkles. The last 5 miles, though, I rode in a downpour. The last section of the ride has quite a bit of climbing, so as usual, I was behind quite a few of the riders. Coming down Lake Ridge Parkway on a Saturday afternoon is no bargain, on the best of days, and doing it by myself in a downpour had me pretty paranoid. I was hammering for all I was worth to finish the ride as soon as I could.

And I finished with no problem. My total miles were 125.0, and my total time was 10:02. My on the bike average speed was 16.1 mph, which is pretty good for me, for a 200k. I felt great at the end, but the peach margarita I downed afterwards pretty much finished me off. Great ride everyone, thanks! And congrats, Steve and Peggy!

Here is the poem Steve and Peggy asked me to read at the ceremony:

What can I say, in a positive way? How can I sway you to come out and play,
On a lean, clean machine in a beautiful scene? Who of you will dare to put wind in your hair,
Rain in your face and leave never a trace, of having ever been there?
When it’s all said and done, what makes cycling fun? Is it better in winter, or in the hot sun?
Do you like warm wherever you go? Or when your tires go “crunch” in the snow?
Do you like racing with crowds that cheer? Or touring along with a bird’s song in your ear?
I can ride for hours by beautiful flowers. Mile after mile with bugs in my smile.
I find rolling hills to be so sublime, and even the hardest, mountainous climb! Can you tell why my heart pines,
For quiet country roads with Burma Shave signs? Sometimes I get a thrill from “screaming down hills”,
Or a fog covered road laced with daffodils. It’s easy to see what it all means to me.
I’ve seen places and faces as fine as can be. Often at night, stars so bright,
I ride with my love in the pale moonlight, past farms with cows and stacks of hay.
Crickets and frogs cheer us on our way. We ride in the morning and then at sunsets,
And know that this is as good as it gets. Not even flat tires can alter our mood.
When I’m tired I dine on the best tasting food. What can I do to get through to you?
Why should you ride? I haven’t a clue. Sometimes after long rides in a group we might sit,
And all with agree, “IT FEELS SO GOOD WHEN WE ARE DONE.”

The bride and groom:
the bride and groom