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!).