Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred

It was a beautiful day for HHH, not hotter ‘n hell at all this year, but the south wind got up earlier than I would have liked. I took off at a 22 mph pace with a paceline of tandems and recumbents, but by mile 20, I couldn’t hang any more and fell back. By mile 65, I had really hit the wall, and by mile 80, I was hardly moving at all. The only riders I was passing at that point were the ones stopped at rest stops that I pedaled by.

I only made one five minute stop at mile 70, and finished the 101.7 miles in 5:42. I wasn’t very happy with that time; I’ve ridden HHH faster twice. I thought I was stronger than that this year. Last month, I had finished the 70 miles of hills at Goatneck with an 18 mph average, and thought I could do much better than that on the flatter HHH route, but couldn’t do it, ending up with the same 18 mph average.

I guess it’s all relative, though. Shortly after I first started riding, I decided that my biggest goal was to some day do a 6 hour century, and I wondered if I ever could. Now, I’m an almost 60 year old lung cancer survivor, and complaining because I can’t do a 5 hour century. I probably shouldn’t complain.

I rode down with DJ, and the trip was a blast. I always love the consumer bike show at the convention center, even though I never buy much. And cutting up with old friends at the community center gym is always fun, as well as meeting new recumbent people (email me, Andy; I’d really like to have your regular commentary on the forum).

I was passed by a lot of recumbents that I didn’t know. For those who don’t know me, I was on a black Corsa with HED wheels, and was wearing a red Bacchetta jersey. As always, I had a blast at HHH.

Here’s the gym at the Lamar Baptist Church community center where we “camped out”. That’s me in the gray Lungevity t-shirt.
the gym

Getting ready to roll out in the morning. That’s me, #2362, with friend Greg in white behind me.
morning

The pre-dawn ride to the start. That’s me out front.
riding to the start

Sitting with 14,000 other riders, waiting for the start.
waiting

Friend Paul Brown and I. Paul took the rest of these photos, but handed the camera off for this one.
Paul and I

And we’re off, with the local tv camera crew above us.
we're off

Tooling along at 24 mph at mile 7.
mile 7

Mile 11 at 31 mph. Did I mention that we started out too fast?
mile 11

Delicious looking stuff at one of the rest stops. The food wasn’t bad, either.
rest stop

The wind is up, now. And the paceline is long gone.
flag

Rolling along, 20 miles from the middle of nowhere.
middle of nowhere

Friend, and fellow cancer survivor, DJ Boyd.
DJ

FWBA River View Backwards ride

I did the FWBA River View Backwards ride today, and Steve P came over and joined me. Mark and Linda M rode it, too.

It started at 8:00 am in Rio Vista, and Steve and I drove over there without having any idea where the route went. Some of the roads ended up being very familiar, while others were roads I’d never been on.

It first headed over to Glen Rose, where it did a loop of the TTTT course, backwards. When Steve decided to join me, I’m thinking he had no idea he’d end up on the TTTT course again……LOL.

The other part of the route was a loop in an area where I’d always wanted to try a ride, but never had. After going up Goatneck Hill on the return from Glen Rose, the route cut off on CR 1117 and went along the Brazos river, passing Painted Rock and Hamm Creek Park, before heading back to Rio Vista on FM 916 and CR 1106.

Painted Rock is a favorite fishing spot of mine, and looking at it from my boat on the river, I’d always seen bicycles riding on the road that passes right by it, and wanted to give it a try. Today ended up being the day that I did. It’s a very scenic and low traffic area, a great ride if you don’t mind a hill or two.

I enjoyed the ride a lot, but with this heat and those hills, 75.2 miles of it was definitely enough. Thanks for joining me, Steve!

Work commute

I rode to work today. It was my 93rd commute by bike of the year.

Remind me to never take a whirlwind lightly again. I was blown down by a really strong one on the ride home. I was southbound on Lubbock Avenue, about a half mile from work, when I saw a whirlwind cross about a block in front of me. Like most, this one was moving west to east. It had cleared the road and I thought it was gone, but for some reason, it turned and crossed the road again, hitting me squarely before I knew what was happening.

I didn’t have a lot of speed, and the strong swirling winds instantly stopped me completely, then blew me over on my left side. In a moment that made me glad I was on a close to the ground bike, I put my left hand down and stopped my fall, feet still clipped to the pedals. There I was for an instant, using just my left arm to keep me off the concrete. I managed to unclip, got my left foot on the road, and used my left leg to upright myself, without anything other than my hand and foot ever touching the concrete. It was a strange feeling maneuver that I’d never attempted before. My handlebar had been tweaked crooked, but there was no other damage to either bike or rider. I quickly straightened my handlebar and continued on my way.

Did I mention that 103 degrees makes for a very hot ride home?