Today I had to look at Google Maps to refresh my memory of the streets to turn on when I got to The Commons of Lake Houston. The last time I rode this route was about a year ago and I think I got lost then. The route took me around Lake Houston north of FM1960. I started out on US59 north after exiting Kingwood. The light 4 mph breeze ws not much of problem no matter which direction I biked.
When I got to FM1485 I turned east and the sun started hiding behind some clouds which kept the heat down some. During the ride the temperature ranged from 89 to 93. I maintained a good pace during the entire ride. At the 40 mile point I checked my average speed to find 16.2 mph. The route totaled 42.39 miles and the final average speed was 16.1 mph thanks to all of the residential streets in the last 3 miles.
Overall the surfaces of the roads are good. Except for a section on FM1485 from mile 19.8 to 21.4 there is a shoulder. During this short section the first 300 yards has a steep drop off where the shoulder would be. After that the dirt levels up with the road in case you need to exit the road. There was a dust storm in the same section today. The dryness combined with a pipeline construction site to stir up the dust. The worst dust happened when the trucks hauling wooden road pieces covered with dirt drove by me. The dust was so thick it almost obscured the road for a short time. I stopped for a minute when a flagman held us up to let two trucks back into the construction area. Once I passed this place the trucks and dust went away as I turned into the side streets to go through The Commons of Lake Houston. One of the reasons I took this direction was the lack of shoulders on FM1485 until it meets FM2100. Traffic is not too bad since this road shortens the distance getting from FM1960 to US59 north. Back in the 1990′s I biked this route frequently and the log trucks traveled it a lot. I never had any problems though.
Day 2 of July and the weather lightened up some more from what we experienced on Saturday. The humidity rested at 37% as I rode out of the driveway at 11:05 and 28% when I pulled in at 1:52. During the ride my perspiration evaporated nicely keeping me cool. When the sun ducked behind the clouds I felt a coolness from the moisture leaving my jersey.
To not loop back over any of my route I went north to New Caney via the “back way” out of Kingwood. At New Caney I turned to the northwest on FM1485 going to Gene Campbell Road. Up to this point the 10.4 mph breeze offered no resistance as it came from the north. I enjoyed the cooling effect as I made the left turn onto Gene Campbell and pedaled toward FM1314. All this time I expected to be greeted by the usual headwind once I started on FM1314 but not the case. Not to complain spinning along FM1314 was a breeze until I stopped at the Stripes store for a break to drink a Diet Pepsi, eat some crackers and Kashi cookies.
Normally when I take one of these breaks the sweat drips from my body for awhile until I cool down but today was different and I barely dampened the paper towels I sat on. The temperature range while I was biking: 85 to 92 which is not too bad for July.
After finishing the rest I moved to the traffic light to cross FM1314 to Old Sorters Road. Unfortunately the sensor does not recognize a bicyclist so I stood there for several minutes until several cars pulled up behind to activate the light change. Finally getting through the light I continued to Briar Tree subdivision and back streets to land at the southbound US59 service road. Traffic was light on the service road and I stayed at a steady pace to Kingwood Drive. My speed was no where near the TDF team time trail though. They averaged over 40 mph while I was at 18 to 20 mph. Over the 34.16 mile route I averaged 16.0 mph which is not too shabby for me. July mileage increased to 70.32 and 3396 year to date.
My the temperature did an abrupt change. When I got up this morning my weather station showed 69 degrees (6:30 AM). I thought biking now would require a long sleeve jersey for warmth rather than sun protection; not necessary for a couple of months. Due to volunteering at HAAM I was not going to be able to bike until the afternoon. I wondered if the heat would return by then but it was only 88.9 when I left on the ride at 1:53. Not too hot so I wore a long sleeve jersey for sun protection. The humidity was super low too at 31% falling to 27% at the conclusion with 91.6 degrees.
While I waited to leave for my volunteering I watched the Tour de France. Exciting racing over some gorgeous terrain. I did not get to watch the end until I got back from HAAM. Doing this I always have to be careful to avoid spoilers but I get to skip the commercials.
The route today is one I never tried before. I biked most of the roads and streets but not in this combination. I started off on the back streets to exit Kingwood to the southwest to get to the US59 south service road and into Humble. I was not certain of the distance for this route so as I approached FM1960 on the west side of Lake Houston I was 3 or 4 miles short of my goal so I rode east over Lake Houston to just beyond East Lake Houston Parkway where I stopped at 24 miles to drink and eat before turning back over Lake Houston and heading home. I ended up riding 36.16 miles; a good start for July. The wind was 10.4 mph with 16 mph gusts. this slowed me down riding to the NNE but not so much to impact my overall average speed of 15.6 mph. This ride moved year to date up to 3361 miles.
Now that I have this route under my tires when I repeat this direction I will have a better idea of the mileage.
Tomorrow the weather should repeat today. I can ride earlier if I don’t watch too much of the TDF.
Yesterday was a scorcher in the Houston area topping out at 107 degrees at Bush Intercontinental Airport, not far from where I ride and live. Imagine my relief when I got up this morning to 76 degrees, 31 degrees lower. Driving to church in my Jeep Wrangler with the top down was quite pleasant. Fast forward to 11:31 when I rolled out of my driveway it was 90.5 degrees but with some cloud cover to hold the sun at bay. The humidity dropped very low to 28% and to 26% when I got back home. I noticed my bandana was not soaked like it has been every other ride this week and perspiration did not drip or roll down my arms as I rode. Tomorrow it should be in the high 90′s.
Wrapping up June’s biking I chose a north route to Community Drive and then back home through Valley Ranch and some other subdivisions. I rode an even 27 miles (not often I ride a distance with no tenths of a mile). June ended up with 885.97 miles well over my 524 mile goal. For the week the miles totaled 227.55 and year to date moved up to 3325 miles. Check out the June to date slide below for all of the metrics.