Humble Lions Club Bike Ride

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.

Weather before the start
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 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 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.

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.

Some data:

  • 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

Links to and

Ride Summary

New Route Exploring to May Park

I was trying to think of a different route to ride today. A place I drove to but biked to is the May Park and Community Center north of Huffman. I biked past the road that takes you there so today I looked up the area on Google Maps to look at the roads. I knew there was a road from the park to Hargrave High School on Huffman – Eastgate Road but I wasn’t sure of the name and where it went to get there. The goal was to ride 40 miles or more but since this was a first time for this group of streets and roads the mileage was a guess. To help I added some extra streets in the early part of the ride and that was a good idea. I ended up biking 39.83 miles so the goal was almost reached.

Before leaving on the ride I installed my Father’s Day present DT Swiss RWS skewer. Removing the old skewer I inserted the DT Swiss one and turned the lever clockwise like the instructions said. The left chain stay got in the way of tightening as tight as it needed to be. Looking at the instructions I couldn’t see how to engage the ratchet so I went to Youtube. There were a couple of videos showing how to tighten the lever. I needed to pull the lever away from bike and then turn it clockwise. Silly me, why wasn’t this clear? After watching the videos the instruction graphic made sense. I tightened the lever and checked the wheel position between the chain stays. It was in the center. At the Huffman Chevron rest stop I checked the wheel again and it was right where it was supposed to be. Success!!! To loosen pull the lever away from the bike and turn counter clockwise.

It was hot again today. I left home (11:27) earlier than yesterday but I was delayed trying to figure out the skewer. My home weather station had it in the upper 90’s at the start and 94 when I got back home at 3:00. The wind was from the ESE at 13 mph. This made the headwind tough and slowed me. Until about the 25 mile point it was about all headwind. Once I got back on FM1960 near the Liberty County line the wind was from the left rear quarter. I picked up my speed at that point and my average speed started going up. I never did get it very high (15.2 mph was the highest average speed) maintaining it at 15.1 mph until the 37.6 mile point.

The weather forecast calls for 94 degrees and partly cloudy. Just like today. I hope to start earlier then.

A Break in the Weather Allows Bike Ride

February is off to a better start than January. My first ride in January was the 6th so I got an earlier start this month.

The weather forecast had rain but when I got home from church it was trying to be sunny and the temperature was 77 or 78. The clouds were thick in places but not enough to delivery any rain. I rolled out the drive way at 11:45 on the way to Huffman. I expected to ride about 30 miles and ended up riding 30.15 miles. It didn’t take too long to meet another biker on Tree Lane about 2 miles from my house. Our paths went different ways though. Earlier on Woodbridge Drive two bikers were going north while headed south. The last biker I saw was on Fairlake Drive.

I dressed somewhat lightly with shorts and a long sleeve jersey leaving the jacket at home. Most of the time I was comfortable but riding over Lake Houston the wind picked up the coolness from the water and I was glad the body heat from riding was just enough to keep me kinda comfortable.

At the beginning the wind was 13 mph was the SW but as the ride went along I thought it was stronger than that. When I got home my suspicions were correct with a 12 mph WSW wind with 21 mph gusts. Those gusts helped me riding east over Lake Houston on FM1960 but coming back it was like riding with a weight tied to me. Going east I rode at 22 mph and returning home it was 11 to 12 mph. The west bound traffic didn’t help much to block the wind. I thought I was going to be able to ride at 15 mph as I left the Huffman Chevron but by the time I got to Lake Houston I couldn’t keep that speed up.

Clouds were starting to get heavier during the ride home and the sun left leaving body heat to offset the wind chill.

I am still short of 200 miles for the year with 171.66 so far. The weather forecast does not bode well Monday through Friday with temperatures below 60 and some rain. When will this weather give me a break?

Links to Garmin Connect and RideWithGPS.

Texas Bicycling News Digest January 4th

Kingwood Fillies’ annual Bike Through Forest and Hills fundraiser set for Jan. 24

By Jacob McAdams

The Kingwood Fillies will host the annual Bike Through the Forest and Hills on Jan. 24 outside of the San Jacinto County courthouse in Coldspring, Texas.
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All proceeds for the event go to the Kingwood Fillies dance team of Kingwood High School.
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Bike Noob

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Sunday 01/11/15     Urban Challenge Ride    9:00 a.m.     Dan Lyons
Saturday 01/17/15     Pattison – Hempstead    8:30am     Ronald & Lilette Britsch
Saturday 01/24/15     Chappell Hill West    8:30am     Don Johnson
Saturday 01/31/15     Sealy West    8:30am     Don Johnson
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INVITATION: Bike the Woodlands Coalition 2015 Kick Off Meeting (Make 2015 a year to get involved)

by Alan Charley

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Fort Worth Bicycling Association

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January 2015 (pdf)

Cyclist in critical condition after being hit by a vehicle

By Leezia Dhalla, For the Express-News

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