Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Frostbike Windy 50
Last Sunday was the Frostbike 50 ride, a charity event out of Cy-Fair that supports the local high school's drill team. The weather forecast looked decent enough and Jorge was in, so we planned to try the 55 mile route. Our plans changed a bit! Jorge was supposed to pick me up at 6.40am, but messaged me at 6.15am to say that he'd been out until 3am and wasn't going to make it. Oh well, off on my own then. Paddy had already arrived when I got to the start and was setting up the stable. I picked up my new, hot pink and black shirt and got organised. The temperature was still pretty comfortable, skies were overcast and the wind was already whistling. The Mules gathered and moved to the start, but I got separated from the pack and found myself beside Kathy, a friend of the Mules who was demo'ing a very nice Trek Madone. The Marshals started the riders in waves, so Kathy and I got pushed further back. We talked about catching the Mules but immediately hit a concrete headwind and decided to take it easy instead. Quite a long run into the wind before we turned around and found ourselves cruising along at 21 mph without breaking a sweat. It's fun but you always pay for it. Kathy was good company, though, and we had fun chatting about Life, the Universe and Everything. But we were smart enough to opt for 45 miles rather than 55, given the powerful breeze. We turned onto a familiar route from the Zube run and I got a flat in my rear tire. With Kathy's help I changed out the tube pretty quickly, even using a CO2 bottle to reinflate. This was about the halfway mark and just about where we turned south, into the wind once more. The first few miles were OK, with lots of zig-zags to get some rest, but when we hit a long straight, Kathy ran out of gas and I nearly dropped her. She caught up and we rode in together, with me taking point all the way. We finally got back to the start and pulled up at the stable, by now full of Mules drinking beer, eating pizza and sharing a few laughs. I grabbed a slice of pepperoni and a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (ambrosia and nectar!) and joined in the badinage. I hung around long enough to help Paddy strike camp, then headed home for lunch, more beer and a good long nap.