I got up early today at 5:48 AM to get ready for the ride. I left home about 6:55 with the goal to park close to the start line and I pulled into the parking area at Humble High School but there were only a few parking spots left and mine was not too far from Wilson Road, further away than previous rides. It turns out the real goal I should have shot for was not waiting in line for the preregistration check in. I got in line about 7:20 and got my wrist band and number card for my bike about 7:55. The ride start was 8 AM so I figured I would catch up after I got the Stradalli out of the Jeep and wheels put on. (While doing this I came to realization that my headset needed replacing because it was “indexing”, a term referring to the bearings having a dent in them and the steering dropping into the dent and not turning freely.) I rode to the start area and surprisingly the cyclists had not left. One of the ride marshals walked by and said the started would be in about 5 minutes. I took some pictures and waited.
The weather before the start.
My wardrobe selection for the ride was slated towards being cooler than 72 degrees with shorts, thermal long sleeve jersey and my Texbiker.net short sleeve jersey on top. I would rather dress too warm since I am a temperature wimp. At the end of the ride the jerseys were soaked but that’s okay.
Pictures before starting.
We rolled out at 8:21 onto Will Clayton Parkway bicycling to the east. The wind wasn’t a problem so far. As I was waiting to move a woman cyclist in front and to my left toppled over but didn’t suffer any injury with a couple of other cyclists slowing her fall. She got upright and started riding. I heard one of biking partners ask how she was doing with clipless pedals. She said good most of the time but still learning.
The ride moved along well and I worked my through slower cyclists with little wind resistance. We went through the 5 mile rest stop and on to the 15 mile rest stop without much wind but the right turn onto Ramsey Road at the 15 stop put us square into the wind. Before the 15 mile rest stop I chatted with another cyclist who had complemented me on the Texbiker.net website. He was thinking about some out of Houston rides and I told him about the Jalapeno 100 in Harlingen.
Pictures at the 15 mile stop.
Once the route turned south the wind was a battle for many miles. On Lord Road I thought a couple of dogs would be a problem but they looked at me from their driveway as I rode by. The only other loose dog I saw didn’t chase me but I think he barked at some riders in front of me.
The route markings were signs on stakes in the ground. Most of them were where we needed them but on Bohemian Road at Kennings Road one biker wanted to turn right onto Kennings Road. After I rode through the intersection I stopped and checked the map. It showed staying on Bohemian road to FM 1942. This is the area where I got off course in previous years so I wanted to be careful on the route. At FM 1942 the 29 mile rest stop arrived and I took a few minutes break for water and a Kashi Trail Mix bar I brought. Weather screen shot and my Elemnt data at the stop.
The wind increased from earlier which explained why it was so hard bicycling to that rest stop. Fortunately the route from this stop started to move southwest and north making the wind not a direct headwind.
It was a relief to bike on Sheldon Road for a couple of miles with a tailwind. Garrett Road goes west and the wind came from my left, again not a headwind. More relief on Aqueduct Road bicycling north with a short stretch riding west on Lake Houston Parkway before turning north again on Deusenn Parkway with a loop into Deussen Park for the final rest stop. I stopped there for 10 minutes or so to drink some lemon lime Gatorade (not my favorite flavor) and eat some icing coated cookies for energy to ride the 11 miles to the finish.
From Deussen Park the route went north or northwest and I upped my speed with the help of the wind. This went great until the left turn onto Will Clayton Parkway for the last 5 miles to the finish. The wind came from the left but my legs struggled when the road went up some small inclines and the traffic lights turned red requiring a stop which I needed to re-energize my legs. Passing some other cyclists I arrived at Atascocita Road and waited for the light to change, more leg rest time. The light changed and a small group rode across Atascocita Road headed to the finish 2 miles away. By the time the cars between me and the small group ahead moved the light changed to yellow but the officers at the intersection waved me and a couple of others through.
Apparently my energy was higher than the small group as I passed them along Will Clayton Parkway and arrived at the last traffic light before the finish. The light changed and I rode the last few tenths of a mile and turned into the start location. That happened at 12:24 when I pushed the ride stop button on the Elemnt which showed exactly 55.0 miles. SportTracks calculated 54.97 miles though. Stopping at the building I walked over to get some cold water and a bagel. From there I rode back to the Jeep to pack up. The weather at the finish.
Notice the wind, much stronger than at the 29 mile rest stop. No wonder it was a battle finishing the ride. The 80 degrees helps to explain why my jerseys were soaked too. During the drive home I turned on the AC in the Jeep, not usually needed in February.
- 198.2 miles biking this week, most in a week so far this year
- 265.71 miles biking in February, 77% of my February mileage goal of 345 miles
- today’s biking time 3:41:02