Please support my 2015 BP MS150 ride!

Please support my 2015 BP MS150 ride!
click on the pic to donate to Andy


Although this blog was originally created by Andy Brickell and continues to be updated by him, the design and layout of the page is credited to his daughter, Mary-Claire Brickell. She's pretty awesome.

Monday, February 25, 2008

harbingers of spring part 2

More signs of Spring this weekend. Susan had her first mocha frappucino of the season, and we planted our tomatoes.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

very windy, very Humble

Up at 6 this morning for the Humble Lions Club ride. Humble is 30 miles from home so I wanted to give myself plenty of time - and duly arrived one hour before the start. Oh well, that gave me time to get some coffee and pick up a T-shirt and a goody bag. I met up with Paddy the Navigator (who was once again changing a flat!) and was surprised to run into John, an ex-BHP buddy, who had parked his car next to mine. We moved up to the start line where they were organizing the riders by average speed, with the fastest at the front. Paddy wanted to get up there with the big dogs, but we settled on the 15 mph group. It was cold and overcast when we started, and once on the road it got to be quite windy too. A mile or two in sub-divisions and then we were out in the East Texas countryside - lots of farmland and pine trees, and quite a few trailers, too. Mostly quite roads, and with a fairly small field of riders I was quite often pretty much on my own. The sun came out about 30 miles into the 55 mile ride and we had perfect cycling weather all the way in. I got back to my car about 10 minutes before John, and we ate the Lion's Club spaghetti lunch together. Paddy hadn't stopped at all and finished about 30 minutes ahead of us - the man is a real horse these days.

95 miles this weekend takes my total over 1500 miles! Less than 50 days to go to the big ride -

Friday, February 22, 2008

rain and shine

Friday off, so after some errands I saddled up and rode Terry Hershey. A strong wind out of the north-west and into my face made the out-bound leg challenging but I plugged on, thinking about the ride back with the wind on my butt. We've had a lot of rain lately so I was half expecting the reservoir to be flooded, but the road was dry. Bizarre weather, though - the sun was out but it was also raining lightly. Anyway, didn't last too long. A brief stop at Fry road to collect myself and eat my orange, then back at it, this time with the wind, which made some sections a lot of fun. I started to get hungry just before the park and rode the last few miles debating whether to make a sandwich at home or get in the car and hit Taco Cabana. If I'd had my wallet with me I would have probably just ridden straight to TC. I got home to find Susan, who was supposed to be lunching out but her plans changed, so we picked up some sandwiches and had a picnic sitting in the sun at the Edith L.Moore bird sanctuary. No exciting birds, sadly. Tomorrow it's off to Humble for the Lions Club ride - weather should be perfect.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Harbingers of Spring

Our azaleas are budding, we have goldfinches in our yard and the Astros are reporting for Spring training (looking for an injection of fresh talent this year). Spring is in the air and I need to get on the saddle. Hopefully I'll ride this Friday (day off) and on the weekend.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

speed shopping in the snow

That was how Mary-Claire and I spent the last few hours of our Boston college-visiting trip last weekend. We looked at colleges on Friday, went out on an expedition to historic Concord on Saturday and toured the wonderful Boston Fine Arts museum on Sunday morning, so M-C was ready for some retail therapy after lunch. She hit Newbury street like a mini Texas tornado, and sudden snow flurries didn't hold her back at all. I was still trying to get my breath back when we arrived at Logan for the flight home. Next trip is Illinois - are they ready for us?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

short timer

Today was the last ride this week as Mary-Claire and I are off to Boston tomorrow, to look at colleges and freeze our buns off. We have two visits scheduled for Friday, then we'll do some tourism on Saturday and return late on Sunday. I'll have to catch up on my weekend miles somehow. Anyway, chilly this morning after a stromg front came through last night.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

head for the hills

This morning I loaded up and hit the freeway, bound for the bens and braes of Sealy. When I got there, the usual parking area around the downtown park was already pretty full and there were a lot of riders gearing up. Turned out that the Schlumberger Cycling Club was having an outing. I unloaded my bike and gear and decided that it was going to warm up, so I didn't need tights/jacket etc but could tough it out in just my jersey and shorts. After a few minutes riding I questioned the wisdom of that decision but it was too late to turn back. I missed a turn just out of town and found myself heading for the freeway, but it was only a minor detour and I was soon back on track. It was a beautiful morning (if chilly) and there wasn't too much traffic, especially after I made the turn onto the back road to Bernardo. The sun didn't seem to be helping much - until I rode into shadow, that is. I made it to Bernardo in good order and stopped for a bite of apple. The next section is a bit of a slog up a rolling road to Cat Spring. After that the hills begin to bite and I was starting to work up a sweat. I didn't help the cause by missing a couple of gear changes - that needs work. The hilly section was over surprisingly quickly, and then it's a drop down to Highway 36 for the last push into Sealy. I stopped again to finish my apple and chat briefly with a couple of the Schlum riders. The run down 36 is not pleasant, mainly due to the road. There's a wide berm, which is good because there's a decent amount of traffic, but the surface is very rough and it's very wearing. A few years back the MS150 went down a similarly rough section and at the end I heard a rider say to his mate "I was afraid to get out of the saddle in case my butt fell off". Inside the Sealy city limits the road is a lot smoother and it feels like you're riding on silk. Back to the car and I felt pretty good, considering this was the first really challenging ride of the season. I celebrated with a cup of Micky D's coffee (yuck) and a cinnamon roll (ooh baby!).

Friday, February 1, 2008

freezin' Friday

this week ended the way it started, with a jolly chilly ride under clear skies. I need a long ride this weekend so Sealy, here I come -

Bear Creek - Terry Hershey loop

Bear Creek - Terry Hershey loop

Daily commute to work

Daily commute to work
This isn't quite right but it's close. 9.5 miles, about 40 minutes.

Terry Hershey Park

Terry Hershey Park
10 miles of safe, paved cycling bliss - except for all the foot traffic

The Sealy ride

The Sealy ride
45 miles through very pretty Texas countryside. Looks benign but there's a very hilly section at mile 35.

The Katy ride

The Katy ride
It's on the Katy prairie - flat, flat, flat