Bike Through the Forest and Hills

The drive to Coldspring was in the dark and fog. Once I arrived around 7:25 the fog was still hanging heavy and it was almost like walking in a mist. Making my way to the registration table I filled out the form and walked to the line to pay and get my packet. They were out of medium shirts so I opted for the small rather than the XL size. I did not pass out any Texbiker.net business cards today because when I left home I thought I might not have time. As I walked to the registration area I took these photos.

After I walked back to the Jeep I pinned my number on (40) and unloaded the Stradalli. I put my jacket on and then added the wheels to the bike. One thing I forgot though was the water bottle. I did not notice this until i reached down to get a drink around mile 10. Because of this I stopped at rest stop 3 going and again on the return leg. On the return leg I took the break to drink and eat some mini muffins. Hills were coming and I would need energy to pedal up them. With the bike ready I rode to the start line area. These are some photos along the way.

I didn’t realize when I took the picture above but the biker in the yellow MD Anderson jersey is Ronnie Clark. A couple of years ago we did a number of Saturday rides around the Kingwood area. When I pulled up beside him he recognized me and we chatted while waiting for the ride to start. He has a nice looking new blue bike he bought in Palestine, TX.

The ride got underway at 8:08 with no change in the fog. The roads were wet from the rain we received around midnight but not many puddles. The first 5 miles went quickly going downhill but these same hills would not be so fast on the return when we ride up them. I did skipped the first rest stop no knowing I didn’t have my water bottle. A few miles past the rest stop I found out the bottle was back in the Jeep. The roads to the first rest stop were not that smooth with some spots covered in sand from high water. On FM222 the road surface improved quite a bit with some sections looking brand new.

At Shepherd the routed turned right onto SH 150. Surprisingly the road surface on SH 150 was a lot rougher than FM222 but there was a wide shoulder but it was usually chip’n seal. I stopped at the number 3 rest stop for fluid. Also on FM222 I remembered I didn’t take a screen shot of the weather at the start so I took one at the rest stop.

The fog had soaked my gloves and I was glad I wore a jacket to keep the moisture from soaking my long sleeve jersey. Also the leg warmers kept my legs dry and warm too. While i was at the rest stop a young lady held my bike while I went for water.

Rest stop 3 photo.

Leaving the rest stop it was about 8 miles to the turn around. The fog seemed to get thicker but fortunately the traffic was not too heavy. Most cars had their lights on so I saw them and moved to the shoulder. With the shoulder not as smooth as the main lane I tried to stay off the shoulder unless necessary. After the turn around the ride was not much different. I stopped at rest stop 3 for more water and mini muffins. From there I rode back to the rest stop about 5 miles from the finish and stopped to give my legs a break, drink more water and eat a few mini muffins for the hills. A picture and video while I was stopped.

The road for the 5+ miles from the rest stop to the finish was rolling hills with a couple of steep hills. Look at the RideWithGPS.com link to see the elevation change. Surprisingly I set a couple of personal records on the stretch at Strava.com. The sky brightened some during these last 5 miles but the road was still wet. I made it the last hill and finished at 11:30, which is what I guessed when I was at the rest stop.

Today’s bike ride put me past my mileage goal fro January with 312.2 miles. The goal was 300 miles. The bike ride summary from SportTracks.

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Rain Ended Bike Ride

My last bike ride was on January 14th. I stayed off the bike due to weather most of those days. Monday started out wet and rainy but dried out around noon. I had a meeting that day and didn’t finish in time to ride. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday it rained keeping me inside. Today the weather changed and after the overcast sky burned off the bike ride started at 12:24 on the “Atascocita – Walden – Huffman” route for a total of <strong>33.39 miles</strong>. The weather at the start and finish:

Three other bicyclists crossed my path during the bike ride, all west of Lake Houston. I waved at them and two acknowledged me but the third rider was not looking my way.

Nothing out of the ordinary on today’s ride. The light breeze was not that chilly coming off the lake when I rode over it on FM1960.

I am closing in on my January mileage goal of 300 miles with 265.69 miles so far.

Tomorrow the weather looks good to ride the Bike Through the Forest and Hills ride in Coldspring. Usually it is cold and/or raining but it looks like a high of 74 and mostly clear sky. It might be in the 50’s at the 8 AM start time but i can work around that. First organized bike ride of 2017.

Links to RideWithGPS.com map and metrics and Strava.com metrics.

Warm Here But Chilly Elsewhere Bike Ride

Weather can vary a lot in Texas. Around the Houston area today the temperature was in the 70’s while in the Austin area it was in the upper 40’s to low 50’s. I took advantage of the warm weather to go on a bike ride using the “New Caney – Tavola – Valley Ranch” route for a total of 33.54 miles. This map shows the wide range of temperatures at the end of the bike ride.

Houston and Austin temperatures

Space City Weather blog had forecast this saying the cold front would not make it to the Houston area. Even with the warm temperature I wore a thermal long sleeve jersey and a short sleeve jersey over top. I am a temperature wimp and the wind still felt chilly as I biked through it. The wind was from the SE at 10 mph which was great on the ride to Tavola but the ride back was when the chill became noticeable.

I started the bike ride at 12:07 and finished at 2:29 under overcast skies most of the time. No other cyclists crossed my path during the ride. I am making progress to meet my 300 mile goal for the month with 232.3 miles so far. I am thinking about riding the Bike Through the Forest and Hills – Coldspring, TX ride next Saturday. It has been several years since I rode that ride and the weather looks favorable so far.

Link to RideWithGPS.com map and metrics. Link to Strava data.

Today's bike ride summary

Warm January Weather Bike Ride

Warm weather continues to rule southeast Texas. Today’s bike ride followed the “Atascocita South – Walden – Huffman” for a total of 34.18 miles. Not trusting the temperature I wore my thermal long sleeve jersey with a short sleeve one over top and shorts. This worked well especially riding over Lake Houston where the 15 mph SE wind carried the chill from the cooler water. I don’t know how many days of 70 degree weather it will take to warm up all of the water in the lake, maybe by March it will start to warm up. Weather from the big airport at the start and finish of the ride.

No other bicyclists appeared while I was biking. I waved at several people along the route who were out in their yard and walking along the street. This route takes me by several schools but I passed all of them before school let out.

January’s goal is getting closer with 198.76 miles so far towards the 300 mile goal. The chart as of today’s bike ride. The red goal line is the whole year 2017.

Tomorrow’s weather looks like a repeat of today so I should go bicycling.

Link to Strava metrics and map.