Once again, Saturday morning found me heading off to Zube at the crack of dawn. For once there was something on the radio for entertainment. The Houston NPR station, KUHF, just bought out the Rice University license and equipment and have moved their classical programming to their frequency, so now we have 24/7 NPR news on FM 88.7. They are still amusingly amateurish though - they managed an accidental mash-up of "The Splendid Table" and "All in the Game", so for a moment I thought that vine-dried tomatoes in Puglia was one of the main causes of violence in Ivy League Football in the early 20th century.
I got to Zube quite quickly and found Paddy in his usual parking spot. He was pleased to see me, as most of the other regulars had either opted to ride on Sunday of bailed out at the last minute. I was expecting Jorge to roll up but he texted me that he had got to bed very late and wasn't going to make it. Just then Kevin appeared, and I reminded them both of the last time the three of us were out together - the aborted Cheeseburger run. Hopefully we would do better this time around.
No-one else appeared so we set off. The Northwest Cyclery Club has rides every Saturday so we soon found ourselves in a largish group, going pretty quickly in two pace lines. At about the fifteen mile mark I got spat out the back and Kevin and Paddy dropped back to join me (All for one and one for all - wait, that's the Three Musketeers). We carried on at our own, still pretty hot pace, with some wind assistance, and reached the gas station with an average speed of over 20 mph. A very light rain started to fall but it didn't last - more's the pity, it's terribly dry round these parts.
Back on the road and the first stretch along Business 290 is in the teeth of the wind. I get low and grind it out until the first turn, only to discover that I had dropped the other two - that never happens! The rest of the ride was more typical, with me struggling to stay with the other two. At one point the NWCC peloton passed us again. The two women in the tail of the pace line - one blonde, one brunette - were too much for Paddy to pass and he jumped on. About half a mile down the road he rejoined us, a little sheepishly.
Back at Zube by 10.00am, a scorching pace for us. Home to watch as much of the Tour de California as we could before the Rapture. Meanwhile, up in the Woodlands Susan's cousin Grady finished Ironman Texas, doing the 112 mile bike ride at a little under 18.5 mph. Way to go, G-Man -