Close to Reaching July’s Goal Bike Ride

Another Texas July weather bike ride today following my “New Caney – Tavola – Valley Ranch” route for a total of 33.5 miles. This pouts me within 20 miles of my 800 mile goal for July. Calm wind below scattered clouds awaited me as I started riding at 10:42 am. The temperature began at 90 degrees and by the time I finished at 1:15 pm it was up to 97 degrees. This is the type of weather that reminds me of what I thought Texas was like before I moved here in 1971. Crossing the state line in Texarkana January 1st 1971 I expected to see oil wells every where with jackrabbits roaming the pastures. It didn’t take too many miles on the way to Dallas to find out my ideas were wrong.

The ride to Tavola went easier than the return trip even with the supposedly “calm” wind. Stopping at the New Caney Mobil station for ice and water I continued south through Valley Ranch to the Stripes station where I stopped for a couple of minutes in the shade to drink some water before riding to the traffic light and onto Briar Tree. Usually I ride through Oakhurst but today I changed to Auburn Trails exiting on the I-69/US59 south bound service road. I stayed on the service road to Kingwood Drive making the u-turn and passing the new but unopened Kingwood Emergency Hospital. Not sure what is going on with the hospital. They advertised in one of the area newspapers about a hiring fair a few weeks back but today there were three cars in the parking lot which is behind a construction chainlink fence.

No other cyclists crossed my route today. It is rare to see them when I ride to the north.

I wore a new pair of Bellwether Endurance Gel shorts that I received as a warranty replacement for a pair that the seam holding the gel pad in place unraveled. These are very comfortable shorts and fit well too. My fleet of five pair is back to full strength now.

No biking tomorrow but I plan on riding Friday to reach my goal for July.

Link to my Strava.com metrics and map

Reversed Some Roads Bike Ride

I watched stage 4 of the Tour de Wallonie before leaving on today’s bike ride. I decided to ride the “Stroker Road – Huffman” route but changed the direction at FM 2100 to ride south to Stroker Road and then east to Ramsey Road to Old Atascocita Road west. The roads have different look when I ride them in the opposite direction. The distance was 40.2 miles, no change from the usual direction. I am closing in on July’s goal with 747 miles of the 800 mile goal.

The bike ride started at 10:53 am, a little later than I prefer but I saw another cyclist within a half mile of the start on Woodbridge Drive. Our rides crossed before.

The weather was typical Texas July, 90 degrees at the start and 93 at the finish (2:09 pm) with a partly cloudy sky and a south 12 mph wind. The wind was strong enough to provide some cooling effect when it was a headwind. On Ramsey Road biking north the tailwind allowed me to keep my speed around 18 mph with not many watts showing on the Elemnt.

Huffman Chevron provided a 20 minute rest stop arriving at 12:56 with 28.6 miles on the Elemnt. I refilled my water bottle with ice and water and ate some snack crackers I brought along. At first sitting in the shade the breeze didn’t cool me down but after 10 minutes or so it picked up and started to cool me down and ry up some of the perspiration. The Greensheet newspaper was wet when I stood up to leave. From there to the finish was 11+ miles with most of it not battling the wind. Biking across Lake Houston on FM 1960 the wind was coming from my left at an angle that kept it from being a headwind.

More Texas July weather on tap for Wednesday and I plan on biking.

Link to RideWithGPS.com map and metrics

Strava Ride Summary (click the image to go to the Strava page)

Strava Bike Ride Summary biking bicycling

No TdF Withdraw After All Bike Ride

After yesterday’s rest day I thought I would have TdF withdraw pains but when I checked www.cycling.tv the Tour de Wallonie was being streamed so I watched stage 3 while eating breakfast. After that I got ready and left on the “New Caney – Gene Campbell Road” route bike ride. Looking at the weather radar a severe weather alert showed for two counties to the north with a flash flood warning in effect until 10:15 am. Thinking this might slip south close my planned ride I kept an eye on the sky to the north but nothing came of it. I started the bike ride at 10:21 am with an overcast sky (probably from the weather to the north), 87 degrees and a light 9 mph wind. With the lower temperature I didn’t heat up until well into the ride as the sky started to clear off some.

Making a steady speed to FM 1485 where I turned west to northwest the wind helped me. Riding on FM 1485 I expected the wind to require extra effort but I pedaled with about the same energy. The move to Gene Campbell Blvd. pointed me more to the SW but the wind still didn’t bother me too much probably thanks to the trees lining both sides of the road. Cycling to the SE on FM 1314 I increased my speed some because the wind still wasn’t an issue. This allowed me to increase my average speed to 14.8 mph and keep it there until I rode back into Kingwood finishing the ride at 12:56 pm.

The plan was to ride 30+ miles and I ended up biking 36.2 miles boosting July to 706 miles just 94 miles away from my 800 mile goal.

More bike ride friendly weather on Tuesday and I plan on being on the bike.

Link to RideWithGPS.com map and metrics

Strava Ride Summary

Strava bike ride summary biking bicycling

3 Dozen Cyclists Along for the Bike Ride

Me and about 3 dozen other cyclists rode along the “Atascocita – Walden – Huffman” route today, mostly along FM 1960 though I saw of them in Atascocita. I almost got started before 9 am leaving home at 9:01 am for what ended up as a 31.3 mile long ride. It is interesting to see the wide range of bikes other bicyclists choose. Some are decked out in the latest carbon fiber while others choose the less extravagant bikes. One of the last cyclists I saw was Chris from Thursday’s ride in Atascocita. The last three passed me on Kings River Drive as I headed to the finish of my ride. They were stretched out on the aerobars pedaling smoothly up the small incline that I usually get out of the saddle to go up. They stayed seated and I could not see a big change in their pedaling rpm’s. Oh to be younger!

With today’s ride I reached 211 miles for the week and 670 miles for July. That leaves 130 miles to reach my goal for July. Unless the weather or my body get worse I think I will hit my goal. For the year I am at 4,335 miles according to Strava.com. My goal for the year is 6,800 miles and I am ahead of schedule.

An early start puts me in a slightly different weather setting with more humidity, lower temperature (85 starting and 89 at the end). I seemed to sweat more with my wrist bands soaked and gloves too. The 6 mph wind wasn’t enough to cool me much nor dry the perspiration. The sky was mostly cloudy keeping the sun in check.

I make a 5 minute stop at the Huffman Chevron for ice and water for the last 11+ miles to the end of the ride. This was at the 19.0 mile point in the bike ride. Later in Kingwood I stopped at the McDonald’s for more ice and water which I don’t do very often.

Since I reached 200+ miles for the week, tomorrow (Sunday) will be a rest day. Instead of riding I will watch the Astros and the end of the TdF. Monday I will experience withdraw from no more TdF.

Week’s activity recap

Strava biking Week to Date

Link to RideWithGPS.com map and metrics

Strava Ride Summary

Strava Bike Ride Summary biking bicycling