Sunday, February 12, 2012
A bad start to the day
For another rider probably also on his/her way to the Waller County Fairgrounds for this year's Pedaling the Prairie ride. I saw some wreckage scattered across the freeway that looked suspiciously like bike parts - and then a little further on, a Porsche Cayenne pulled over in the left hand shoulder, with an empty bike rack. Another good reason to transport your bike inside rather than outside your vehicle. It was a beautiful, sunny morning, but cold (for Southeast Texas) and windy. Paddy, Marian, Paul, Tom and Gunilla were at the start when I finally got there. Jorge showed up soon after. The initial plan was to ride the 55 mile route, but Jorge had a mandatory bike safety clinic that afternoon and decided to ride the 45 mile routs instead, with some other friends. I was experiencing the "borrowed bike" syndrome because I'd had a custom fitting session with Tad Hughes the day before. He'd raised my saddle considerably, as well as rotating the handlebars, in order to create room for my freakishly long torso. He had also changed out the insoles in my shoes and recommended cinching the straps down a lot tighter. All this was meant to eliminate post-ride back pain, and in-ride foot pain - we'll see how well it works. When we finally got going, the first 10 miles were downwind, so we formed a peloton and blew past the fanny-pack set. The fun was soon over, as we turned west with a strong cross-wind. I was feeling pretty strong and so was Paddy, but the others were struggling in the wind (not Paul, he'd gone ahead with the shaved-leg set and was probably half-way round the 71 mile route). Paddy and I agreed to share the lead but we had to ease the pace frequently to avoid dropping the others. We got to the 19 mile break point and stopped to regroup. 55 miles was going to be a challenge for Marian and Tom, especially if we had to go into the wind for any distance, so we decided to modify the route, with the option to add miles if everyone was up for it.