Ben Wheeler 80 Mile Ride

After work this afternoon, ahead of the storms that are closing in now, I managed to get in a 30 mile ride. Between working out of town and continued flooding, I didn’t manage a single ride during the week last week. I rode my Ben Wheeler route on Saturday for 80 miles, my only ride of the week. Today’s ride gave me 453 miles for the month, not as many as I would have liked.

Most of my rides are done at an easy pace, but in the summer, I start picking up the pace to get myself ready for the Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred at the end of August. On Saturday’s 80 mile Ben Wheeler ride, I finished with a 16.3 mph average, my best ever average for a solo ride on the rough roads I ride around here. I have no explanation for that, but looking at my other rides this month, my average looks much better than it did at this same time last year, that, in spite of the fact that my weight is five pounds or so above what it needs to be for HHH in August. Whatever has me stronger this year, I’ll take it.

Saturday’s 80 mile Ben Wheeler route.

Martin Mills Metric Plus Ten

I ended up with a total of 531 miles ridden for the month of April. That’s a good April mileage for me, and I was hoping to get near the same mileage this month. But all the storms and flooding have made it tough. I got 120 miles the week before last week, but last week, after two 30 mile rides during the week, I had a 60 mile ride planned for Saturday, to give me another 120 miles.

But when I got up that morning, weather radar was showing a storm bearing down on Gun Barrel City from the northwest. My ride routes take me straight east, and it looked like I should be able to stay east of the storm, so I took off on the F5. I was staying ahead of the main storm, but a new cloud in front of me built up into a smaller storm with lots of lightning. I don’t like riding in the rain. Skinny bicycle tires and wet pavement aren’t a good mix. But if I don’t like riding in the rain, I REALLY don’t like riding in lightning. I cut off the route and rode to nearby Purtis Creek State Park to take refuge.

I hadn’t noticed it on the rough roads I’d been on that morning, but as soon as I reached the smooth state park roads, I could feel an unmistakeable thump, thump, thump coming from my front wheel as I rode. As soon as I stopped, I found the problem, a large knot on the almost new front tire on my bike. At that point, I gave up and called a friend to pick me up. I only had 19 miles for the day. I waited at home for the rain to clear out, put a different wheel and tire on the front of the bike, and just past noon, took off to try again. I rode another 31 miles to give me 50 for the day, and 110 for the week.

This week, between work and storms, I didn’t get a ride in at all until Friday. I rode 40 miles after work Friday, then got up Saturday morning and rode my Martin Mills Metric route, but added another 10 miles to the route to give me 70 miles for the day, and 110 miles for the week. There is more rain in the forecast for this week, so getting my rides in will continue to be a challenge.

Martin Mills Metric route plus 10.