Saturday was a washout, just as well as Kevin got back from Faraday, Louisiana pretty late on Friday, and Susan and I had been at a Stevie Wonder concert until 10pm. Sunday was the Bluebonnet Express, a popular organized ride that we had all done in the past, so we decided to join the Madding Crowds and see if we could manage a longer distance. The ride starts at Waller ISD stadium, a magnificent temple to American football in the middle of freakin' nowhere, actually on one of the Zube routes, so we know the area pretty well. We still managed to get stuck in traffic for the parking area, even though Kevin, in a moment of highly non-Unitarian conduct, attempted to cut the line.
The ride uses a rolling start, basically you take off when you're ready, which eliminates a lot of the waiting around that is usually the biggest issue with these rides, so that was a plus. The weather was also very favourable, a cool and pretty morning with a decent wind out of the north that pushed us along nicely for the first ten miles. Lee and I had agreed that if Kevin was pushing the pace too much, we would call out "fetchez la vache", meaning slow the f&$@ down. Surprise surprise, he took off like an F15 with the afterburners lit, and I had to invoke the franglais after about five miles, sadly with no obvious effect.
The rest stops were further apart than usual, so we were actually 32 miles in when we took our first break. I was ready for it but didn't feel too bad. Last time we visited this fine city, we were forty-plus miles into the run and I pretty much cratered two miles further on. This time we had some wind on our backs, less miles in our legs and butts and I was able to hold a decent pace, although the other two were clearly cruising pretty comfortably. But I needed a quick break at the last rest stop.
While we were standing around eating trail mix, a young woman came up and shook Kevin's hand. He was wearing a top fundraisers jersey and she wanted to thank him for his efforts, as she actually has the disease. We talked about her progress and treatment and wished her well before heading out.
The last ten miles were easy enough, mostly flat and mostly downwind, and we finished strongly, 55 miles at an average pace of 17 mph. Not many weekends left now!