|how old is he in this shot?|
Saturday had the potential for more of the same, making our ride planning a bit more tricky. Kevin
wanted to ride the Sealy route, Lee was in and Larry a possible, but we agreed to look at the weather first thing and decide. This meant that I would get up at 6 with a very good chance of just going back to bed, not my ideal Saturday but I wanted to get a ride in this weekend if possible.
Came the morning and I crawled out of bed to check my new smartphone for messages from Kevin and the weather forecast. Kevin was good to go but it was a toss-up between Sealy or Zube (where the front would arrive a little later). The plan was to congregate at my house and take Kevin's car, presumably deciding on our destination by the time we hit I-10.
The sky was overcast but not very threatening and seemed to be clearing to the west, so we opted for Sealy. We were not to be joined by Mr.Larry Knox today - he had already cried off, expecting bad weather. How wrong he was, and how much ammunition for verbal abuse did he provide in the process?
We arrived at Sealy and geared up under a perfect, crisp blue sky, just great weather for a ride. There was a stiffish wind from the north that would make the outward leg a little difficult but would give us a "Golden God" moment on the stretch home.
One minor concern with all the rain was that one section that has a low creek crossing would be flooded. When we arrived it was indeed under water (never seen that before!) but we had no problem getting through. Lots of birds along the way including several scissor-tails (my fave bird ever!) and two large raptors on a power line that Kevin thought were caracaras. My bird book suggests that he was right, great spot Bassman!
We took a break at the feed store and for once the staff and clientele were moderately friendly. Normally we get the could shoulder but not this time. Back at it, all feeling strong, still not a cloud in sight. We encountered minor canine troubles along the next section but they weren't out for blood today.
I was doing my best to keep a high cadence and it seemed to help, particularly on the climbs, where I was able to at least pace Kevin. Soon enough we were back on the road to Cat Spring, running straight into the wind, so we formed a paceline (with Kevin in the front as always). We took a second water break at the usual spot just before the hilly section and then had at it.
For a while I kept in touch with Kevin by blowing past him on the descents and trying to work the climbs but soon enough he opened a commanding gap. Lee kept with me, though. The climbs that always kick my butt did it once again but I made it through reasonably well. We regrouped at the junction with Route 36 and settled in for a fun cruise downwind on smooth asphalt.
I made a joke about expecting a pro-style lead-out train, and as we reached the outskirts of Sealy Lee obliged, pushing the pace to 26mph so that I could blow by and take the sprint finish. Sadly though he was too strong and dropped me without realizing it with half a mile to go.
Back at the car (still under blazing sunshine!) we chatted for a while with a local who was very friendly and seemed pleased that we liked his city. Then off home for beers. You missed a great ride, Larry.