Monday, January 16, 2012

The Winds of Texas are upon us...

Yes, yesterday was a windy day here in NTX. 20-30mph steady out of the south. As I had a chance to ride in the afternoon, and it being the 3rd day in a row for a ride, I asked if Dave & the Monkeys would consent to picking me up, somewhere up North, when I got tired of riding. They agreed, and off I went. My goal was to get over to HWY 289, and run it as far as I could before dark. My mistake was in not making a beeline for Hwy 289, and instead I scooted out the usual roads we ride, and crabbed WSW on 455 into the winds for several miles. It took a lot more energy than I expected, fighting the wind at that time. Maybe it was just a mental thing, I don't know, but I think I would have done better riding 1461 due west to Hwy 289 instead of the path I took. But since I had told Dave the planned route, I did not want to deviate from it, lest it cause him concern.

Here is my route:

The temps were nice enough, and I was suitably dressed. At times I got a bit warm, but never too hot. Had I worn less, like Dave is prone to do, I would've frozen. He & I thermoregulate VERY differently!

Once I got to Hwy 289 I got my tailwinds on a great road. Wide shoulders, and reasonably smooth chip 'n seal surface. I was doing a passable impression of a fast rider there, with cruising speeds 18+ over a lot of it. My downhill tailwind max was 35.3mph which is the fastest I have gone on a bike in a LOOOOONG time! Not that fast since either CANDISC 1996, or one of my rides down Baldwin Hill...both of which were on the MASI, and hit the low 40's on speed.

In Gunter I called Dave and told him I was going to continue north on 289, but that he should start my way with the van. I had been eating powerbars, but was getting a bit tired, or so I thought.

I made it to Dorchester, which is not much more than a blinking yellow light at the crossroads, and soon had another rider in my mirror...oh great I thought, a RickyRacer roadie....but no! It was a roadie, yes, but a wonderfully pleasant gentleman, named Pastor Allen! He said he had been chasing me since Gunter! We started talking and the speed picked up, and the tiredness fled, and I had a great time riding with him.

As we were making good time, and he was stopping in Pottsboro, I decided I would quit in Pottsboro too, and wait for Dave if he had not caught up to me by then. That way I would have a secure place to wait, and call Dave from, so he could find me easily. Also as it was nearing dark I didn't wish to be out then as I had minimal night lighting with me.

Luck would have it, Dave caught up to Allen and I about 6mi short of the end. He honked and pulled over in front a ways, and I stopped, after confirming to Allen that this was my ride home. I waved goodbye and wished Allen well.

It was a lovely ride yesterday--almost 47mi in 3:14hrs. Avg speed was 14.1mph (tailwind enhanced), and I felt great. And to top it off, the scale said 167.4 when I got home! (it was still below 170# this morning too! YAY!)

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