The bike left home at 9:14 am, not quite as early as I wanted but not too bad. The route selected followed the “Atascocita – Walden – Huffman” streets and roads. The weather was warm with 86 degrees though it didn’t feel that hot at first while I rode the shady streets before getting to more open roads. I ended up biking 32.3 miles moving me to 185 miles for the week, within reach of getting 200 miles with a Sunday bike ride.
The Stradalli continues to ride silently thanks to the valve stem nuts installed earlier this week. Now if I can solve the new brake pads screeching against the carbon fiber rims!
It didn’t take long to spot other cyclists. At the Kings River Drive and W. lake Houston Parkway traffic light a group of 10 or so were stopped when I rode through the intersection on W. Lake Houston Parkway. I didn’t way because they probably couldn’t see me due to the esplanade shrubbery. Later along the route I would see more cyclists probably bringing the total to 30 plus. The last three cyclists I saw briefly as they zoomed by me was on Atascocita Shores Drive just before it turns into Kings River Dr. They were on their aero bars pedaling strong. I heard the wheels spinning in the air just before I realized they were on my left. This reminded me of a conversation during the post stage interview on NBC Sports Network after Marcel Kittel won the stage sprint. The question was how many watts Marcel generated in the sprint and the QuickStep manager paused and then said around 2100 watts. He said this was because of Marcel’s physical size and then said that Mark Cavendish generates around 1450 watts but has a different body type. This makes my watts pale in comparison but I am also much older than they are.
A quick stop at the Huffman Chevron for ice and water was in order with the heat and humidity. That was at the 20.5 mile point. From there I rode 11+ miles to the end of the ride which I finished at 11:43 am, much earlier than yesterday’s ride. It was 89 at the finish but I think the sun was behind some clouds for a few minutes because it jumped to 92 after I was inside.
The plan is to ride 20+ miles tomorrow (Sunday) reach 200+ for the week.
I got a surprise when I checked the National Bike Challenge dashboard after the ride: number 2 in Houston! This was the first time I saw a Houston ranking.