It’s a good thing I rode the miles on Monday to reach my February goal of 370 miles. Since then the weather has not been biking friendly to me. As I write this the sky is overcast with a light rain that ended about an hour ago. The forecast 70 degrees is not happening being 62 now.
I planned on riding today wearing my new Texbiker.net jersey to add a few miles to February’s total. Instead I am inside looking at the wet street. Maybe the forecast will be real tomorrow.
Last year I rode the Gator Ride in Baytown on the 1st Saturday. This year I will not ride there. The reason is the $50 registration cost. I have noticed a few rides have increased their registration to $50 and I think this is too rich for many people. The next ride in my area is the Raven’s Revenge in Huntsville on March 8th Weather permitting I plan on riding there.
Thankfully spring arrives in March and warmer weather with it, I hope.
We drove to Wichita Falls on Friday, August 24th. This year I decided to use my Flipcam to record some of what we saw. There are three videos. The first one shows some of the cars along US287 on the way to Wichita Falls. These come in all shapes and sizes. some carry one bike and others have a whole team on the back.
Once we got to the MPEC area the first job was finding a parking place. We drove through the parking lot around the building but ended up in a grass lot across 5th Street. Walking from there to the MPEC building did not take long as we passed a multitude of vehicles most with a bike or more somewhere on them. Inside the building the people were going in all directions and purposes. My three goals were to pickup my registration packet, walk around the consumer expo to see what was there and find new gloves, and then pass out Texbiker.net business cards. I was successful in all of those. I found some fantastic Pearl Izumi gloves on sale at Sun & Ski Sports. After I cruised the expo I camped out at one of the exit doors to hand out Texbiker.net business cards. I handed out 250 cards, the most I have ever handed out at a ride. This video walks through the registration and expo.
After handing out the Texbiker.net cards we walked over to the criterium course. This next video captures some of the women’s race and the spectators.
Today was my first bike ride since September 2nd when we left on a 3 week vacation. I did not take my bike like last year so the legs and muscles had a long period of rest. I did use the fitness equipment at several of the hotels but not to the extent that I exercise while biking. The condition of the fitness equipment varies drastically from hotel to hotel. The best recumbent bike was at the Best Western B. R. Guest hotel in Zanesville Ohio. The worst was at The Comfort Inn in Chattanooga which had all of the buttons pushed in and I could not program anything other than to start and stop.
We started out with Hurricane Lee coming ashore behind us as we drove through Baton Rouge and up to Hattiesburg, MS. The rain stayed with us for a few days and while we were in Chattanooga they recorded the most rain in a single day: 9.85″. We visited Rock City while this was happening and with our yellow ponchos we walked the rock trails, wading through the puddles and soaking our feet. The next day we went inside to see Ruby Falls, deep inside Lookout Mountain.
All told we visited The Biltmore in Asheville, NC. From there we went to Pigeon Forge, TN for country attractions. Driving to Boston was the next destination and where we got the history lessons we forgot from school. It was different walking and riding trollies where these events took place. One of our tour leaders was Paul Revere as we went from Concord to Lexington. A different tour was to program the GPS for local roads only and pick a place along the coast. We visited and walked in Marblehead, MA, Glouchester, MA., and Rockport, MA. Manhattan was the next stop and then on to Ohio.
While we staying Chattanooga I noticed most of the bikes on racks were mountain bikes. One morning while we were getting ready to go a man and woman walked their mountain bikes through the lobby decked out in their riding gear so I am guessing they were not too far from a trail or other destination. In Asheville I saw a mixture of road and mountain bikes. There was a serious road biker on a street coming into Asheville as well. And then when we were in Boston out trolley tour went by MIT. Almost every building entrance had a sea of bikes waiting for their rider to return. In Manhattan I saw many people riding Dahon folding type bicycles probably because space is a premium in most apartments.
Back to today’s ride I was planning on a 28 mile ride but between my muscles complaining and a time limit I decided 25 miles was a better goal. So I ended up going 24.88 miles at an average speed of 14.8 mph with a max speed of 20.5 mph. This was pretty good considering that I have not ridden for so long. My average cadence was 78.6 RPM.
With the amount of time gone I was hoping the temperature had moderated some but after my ride my home weather station was showing 101 degrees. My ride though was somewhat cooler at 96 degrees when I finished. Partly cloudy skies and an 8.6 mph southwest breeze helped it feel plenty warm. It did feel like fall though. Later this week the temperature is supposed to let up some. Rain seems to be a forgotten event in these parts.
I have been slow getting these pictures up. The first gallery is a combination of walking up to the MPEC building and then entering. As you enter the hallway to go to the registration area there are booths for many organizations and rides. Once you register and pickup your number packet the next stop is the consumer expo hall where the rest of the registration bag is picked up. In this hall is where most of the vendors have booths but some are outside as well. This year the number of vendors in the hall seemed to be less because there was actually enough room to walk the aisles and not feel like a sardine. There were some vendors that did not have a specific bicycling connection but they are probably attracted by the number of people who could walk by their area.
The second picture gallery is a few shots of the Friday evening racers riding around the criterium course but not racing. I got there after a race or maybe before the race was to start but I could wait too long because my wife was waiting in the Jeep. She was not feeling well and we needed to check in at our hotel.