Kevin and the gang did the Chappell Hill ride yesterday and it was a butt-kicker - a hilly course with a strong wind on the way in. Sadly for me (or perhaps not ...) my bike was in the shop for some preventive maintenance so I had to pass.
I planned to take a gentle run around Terry Hershey and George Bush this morning, with a view to a longer ride with Kevin on Sunday. I didn't set my alarm, expecting to sleep in until a reasonable time. When I woke up it was still dark but I felt pretty good so got dressed and got going. It was only after I'd started the coffee and turned on the radio that I saw it was only 5.45! Hence the seasonal madness...
I took the lights off my commuter, put them on the newly-maintained, freshly bar-taped, new-chained Madone and set off down Memorial. The donut shop was baking, a very enticing odour but their coffee isn't up to much. By the time I hit the Dam the sun was more or less up and we were off to the races.
A fair amount of traffic (bicycle and runner) on the trail but everyone knows the drill and keeps to the right when you pass. I had a good run all the way to Highland Knolls, under grey skies with the occasional splash of rain.
On the way back I kept pace with another rider, a young woman who was cooking along pretty well. At a convenient point I moved ahead and cranked it up for the last half-mile of George Bush. She hung with me and we exchanged smiles when I eased back and she passed.
The day was marred a little by a very rude rider on a 29-er mountain bike. He blew past me while I was waiting for some other riders to come through a gate, then after I passed him (calling out "on your left" very loudly) he went by without a word. Very rude, very dangerous, very obnoxious.
I finished the ride on Terry Hershey rather than back down Memorial, basically to take it easy and wind down a bit. Wildflowers are out in full force!
Monday, March 18, 2013
|what my domestique did on his day off|
I rolled up at 8.30 or so, no sign of the Mules trailer but Sean's truck (complete with "running sucks" sticker) was there. He of course was long gone. I got all dolled up, turned on the Garmin and hit the road, straight into the teeth of a screaming wind from the south.
I didn't have to fight it for long though, the route is mostly north and I flew along in fine style, with of course a sense of impending doom - before too long I'd be coming back, probably one entire chain ring slower.
Not many wildflowers to be seen, sadly - a little early in the year but we've had so little rain, I suspect they won't get much better. Halfway down Laneview, normally wildflower paradise in the spring, I got "chased" by perhaps the crappest dog I've ever seen on a bike. He looked like a collie/chihuahua cross, with a normal-sized torso suspended on teeny-tiny little legs. He barked at me and gave chase - but from the other side of the road, clearly he was not allowed to cross. I yelled at him half-heartedly and put on a bit of a spurt but we were both going through the motions.
After the usual gas station break I put my best pedal forward and prepared for the upwind slog. It was a grind but in the end not that bad, clearly all the saddle time is having a beneficial effect. I got back with an average speed of just under 16mph, really not bad under the circumstances.
I later learned from Kevin that he had spent the day helping right over-turned canoes in the Buffalo Bayou regatta. Once a domestique, always a domestique, even on his day off.