I got my gear together and set out with the crowd, feeling a little guilty about leaving Susan behind in the cold, with not much to do other than read the paper. The ride was OK, with a lot of elevation changes and rough road surfaces. At one point a farmer was blocking the road with a truck and trailer and we had to go off-roading to get past. We didn't help our cause by missing a turn, either - when we eventually worked it out we had added another 5 miles to the ride. I fell in with a kid who is a freshman at UT and we rode together for a while. He's a very impressive young man, I must say. I kept with him for a good distance but then younger legs prevailed and he dropped me like a hot potato.
I was glad to cruise in to Fayetteville at the end of the ride. I found Susan in the hut where they were serving lunch, sitting in a circle of chairs with some volunteers, spouses and riders. I ate a plate of excellent barbecue and then we headed home.
We opted for the scenic route back, rather than taking the freeway. It's quite a pretty trip, very undulating, with a number of small towns on the way. We went to the Brookwood community outside Brookshire for lunch (Susan didn't fancy bbq and it was too early anway) and a little shopping. They have a very nice nursery and a gift shop. I was a bit uncomfortable in the dining room, wearing my cycling gear (screaming yellow jacket, black tights, goofy cyclist's hat) when everyone else looked like they had just got back from church, but they were all too well-bred to stare.
I expect I'll take some flak from Paddy for choosing a 22 mile route over the 55 mile Frost Bike ride, but I bet I climbed a lot more hills than he did. Check out the elevation display below -