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.