Burleson Honey Tour

I rode the 65 mile route of the Burleson Honey Tour this morning. The route had changed a lot this year. It had a new start location, the new Centennial High School off Rendon Road east of I35W in Burleson. The route was considerably different, too, though it still heads south to Alvarado first.

The 65 mile route then makes a loop to the east and back before continuing on south, then turning west through Grandview, then takes the same route as previous years back. There were some short gravel stretches on one of the southbound Johnson County roads, but the rest of the roads were in good shape. Traffic control was better this year, with most intersections covered.

There was a south wind again this year, but it wasn’t nearly as windy as last year. Scattered clouds kept it from getting nearly as hot as last year, too. I saw Greg, Dianna, Dan, and Kenny before the start of the ride. Greg, Dan, and I lined up side by side for the start.

I rode the entire 65 mile route without stopping. I didn’t get to draft much this year. Groups that passed me were too fast for me to hang on with long, and groups that I reeled in were slower than I wanted to ride. But, it was a fun ride and I’m very likely to be back next year. I ended up with 65.7 miles and finished the ride in 3:41, not a bad time for me.

The Burleson Honey Tour 65 mile route.

Goatneck 200k

I joined rando friend Vickie Tyer this morning and rode the Goatneck 200k permanent which starts in Cleburne. It’s 128 miles of mostly rolling hills, a tough route that I like to tackle at least once every year, just to make sure I can still pedal all those hills.

The route is an out and back route that goes from Cleburne to Glen Rose, then on to Bluff Dale, then back. There are hills the entire route, but the biggest climbing is between Glen Rose and Bluff Dale. What I didn’t know was that Vickie had done long rides two days in a row before this ride. Her only speed after all that riding was slow, so I rode an easy pace and stayed with her.

It’s easy to forget how much easier a tough route is if you ride it at an easy pace. I stayed in the middle chainring while climbing both County Line Hill at mile 101 and Goatneck Hill at mile 110. There’s no way I can do that when I’ve been hammering on the rest of the ride.

The winds stayed light and it was cloudy on and off, a beautiful day to ride, even if it did get a little hot this afternoon. I finished with 128.5 miles in 10:38.

Goatneck 200k elevation chart from a previous ride.

Goatneck 200K route.

FWBA Rusty Chain Gang Ramble and Benbrook visits

After becoming regulars on the Tuesday FWBA Rusty Chain Gang Ramble club ride, Rose and I had missed it the last two weeks, with doctor appointments and a job interview. Yesterday, we rode to the start and did the ride again. This time, we rode a longer version of the route, staying with the other riders until breaking it off to take a shortcut home at the end. We ended up with 50 miles even, our longest ride yet on the Screamer tandem.

Today, my COE annual pass got a workout. First, Rose and I took off and rode to Rocky Creek Park at Lake Benbrook on the Screamer, an easy pace recovery ride. We did a loop around the park, then rode back home. After I got back home, I hauled my boat back to Rocky Creek Park, and launched it there, to visit a few Benbrook crappie.

FWBA Rusty Chain Gang Ramble route.

At Benbrook Lake with the Screamer tandem.

Later in the day, with one of Benbrook’s nice crappie.

FWBA Ride Across Johnson County

I took off this morning to ride the 66 mile route of the FWBA Ride Across Johnson County club ride. It started in Burleson, so it was close to home for me. From Burleson, the route went pretty much south to west of Grandview, with a stop at the Sand Flats convenience store at mile 20. Then it turned east for its next stop in Grandview at mile 37. From there, it went mostly north back to the start.

It was cloudy and cool with a strong north wind at the start of the ride. That made for a great ride to Grandview. In spite of the small county roads, curving and rough in places, and lots of turns, I still had an 18 mph average and was with the lead group as we made the Grandview stop. With the rolling hills and strong headwind as we headed back north though, I fell back pretty quickly and was on my own.

A light rain was starting as I reached the next stop at mile 54. There were bicycles parked in front of the store which I assumed to be the lead group (although they could have been riders from the shorter routes, too). With the dark sky threatening, I decided not to stop.

I was pushing myself to try and get home before the weather got wetter and was assuming the route took the shortest way back from there. That caused me to miss a turn at mile 55, and only end up with a total of 63.5 miles at the end. The rain had stopped, though, shortly after it started, and it was truly a nice day for a bike ride.

FWBA Ride Across Johnson County 66 mile route.

2012 Hope Summit

This past Friday morning, I boarded a plane and flew to Washington DC for the LUNGevity Foundations’s Hope Summit, a weekend conference of lung cancer survivors. It was an amazing and inspiring event, probably the largest gathering of lung cancer survivors ever, with close to 60 of us in attendance.

I had met some of them at last year’s Hope Summit. Some of them I knew from the Lung Cancer Support Community online forum, and some of them I was meeting for the first time. LUNGevity had given me a travel grant and free room, and that enabled me to go again.

The Saturday and Sunday event sessions were held in the Capital View Ballroom on the top floor of the Key Bridge Mariott, which is where we stayed. It offers a spectacular view of DC and the Potomac River. There were speakers and panel discussions. Among Saturday’s speakers was Zachary Klint, who gave a speech on pulmonary rehabilitation. This topic was especially interesting for me. I think it’s an under-used tool for lung cancer survivors. I think I’m living proof of what is possible with surgery depleted lungs, if you aren’t afraid to tackle serious aerobic workouts, and that more doctors should prescribe pulmonary rehab for their patients.

Teri Simon was supposed to moderate the first panel, covering the topics of emotional effects of lung cancer, the stigma, scanxiety, and living with lung cancer. But, she was in the hospital and unable to attend, always a risk when a speaker is a lung cancer patient, I guess. Eric Byrne from Scotland, an LCSC forum member I really enjoyed meeting, filled in for her. Mel Majoros of Empower Radio moderated an afternoon panel on advocacy.

Sunday morning’s keynote speaker was author and speaker Doctor Lynne Eldridge. I sat on the last panel, on healthy living and exercise. I’m more of a doer than speaker, but always enjoy sharing my story in this kind of setting. If there’s anyone who needs reminding that an athletic, full life is possible after cancer, it’s lung cancer survivors.

I talked so much over the weekend that I was hoarse by the time I flew back home on Sunday evening. You just can’t imagine how enjoyable and inspiring it is to do that much mixing with other survivors until you do it, and hear their stories. Big thanks to Katie Brown, who hosted the event, and all the LUNGevity people and sponsors.