A new feature has been added to the event calendar: a Google Map link to the ride starting city. Check out the first ride with this feature, the May 9th Rampage in the Redlands ride in San Augustine, TX. This feature can be a link to finding directions, hotels and local point of interest.
Over 1400 people registered for the Gator Ride in Baytown, TX, for today’s ride. The weather was brisk at the starting line with temperatures in the low 50’s offset though with a clear sky and bright sun. Wind was a factor all day as the 63 and 43 mile routes headed southwest across the Fred Hartman Bridge ove the Houston Ship Channel. Fortunately, there was a tailwind as the riders scaled the bridge. After riding on some back roads, the route took the riders to the Lynchburg Ferry for a short ride across the channel again. Because of the compact ferries, riders were sent in groups onto the ferry.
Once across the ferry, riders headed through Highlands and backroads to the north. Wind continued to be a factor for all the ride at 13 mph from the southeast. Most of the time it seemed to be a head wind.
The YMCA provided many SAG wagons but I did not see that many riders being scooped up. Reststops were plentiful and timely. The goldfish graham crackers were tasty. The blue Power Aid looks disgusting but the taste is better than it looks.
At about the 43 mile mark, I heard a loud pop as my threadbare rear tire popped. I though I was doomed to stop at that point but I patched the tube, inserted my boot I always carry, and causiously pedaled to the next reststop with the intention of catching the sag wagon back. The sag wagon was delayed so after some thought I switched the bad tire to the front rim – kept the boot in place – and move the front tire to the rear rim. I asked the bike mechanic at the stop if he had some duct tape but he had left his roll at home since he was initiating a new tool box. The finish was 18 miles away so I started out and as I was leaving the stop in pulled not one but two sag wagons. I was committed to going to the finish on the switched tire setup and off I went. The switcheroo worked and 18 miles later I arrived at the finish. Along the way, I found some duct tape at the last reststop and applied a piece for some extra insurance. Due to the delays most of the riders had finished as I arrived at 1:48 PM.
A few pictures from the ride starting point and the tee shirt.