Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Hotter 'n Paris TdP!

Yes, Virginia, I've been to Paris!  With my bicycle!  No, Virginia, not THAT Paris, this one--and a picture to prove it, complete with the local Eiffel Tower.  That's my Giro recumbent on the left.

Yes, I spent yesterday in Paris, TX, not Paris, France, and not going as fast as those guys in the TdF either, but still, I didn't do too badly--Avg speed was 14.2 for most of the ride, and slipped in the last 10mi or so to 13.9mph.  Considering the heat in excess of 100F yesterday I am pleased.

I rode the 28th annual Tour de Paris TX, on the 110K route.  With about 20K to go, I began to question my thought processes that led me to bypass the 90K cutoff.  Had I taken the 90K cut, I would've been "home in the barn" by the time I hit 20K left to ride...  Still, suffering has a certain value, and makes for a better story!

I had a lot of fun on this ride.  The SAG stops were well manned, and exquisitely supplied with ICE!  Yes, ice was the order of the day yesterday, especially after I figured out I could load ice straight into my arm coolers and it would dramatically lower my core temp.  Plus with the ice, the evaporative cooling effect of the arm coolers was enhanced for a longer time.  The routes were clearly marked, and there was excellent LEO support at critical intersections.  There was a pancake & sausage feed in the hours before the ride started, and all riders could get a fresh made fruit smoothie, potato chips and a really tasty hamburger after they finished.  They even made sure there was plenty of food left for the folks on the 110K circuit.  The city of Paris even gave us an entire road lane, coned off for almost 8mi, all to ourselves!  These folks KNOW how to put on a bike ride!

Another neat aspect was seeing what appeared to be the entire population of Paris TX turn out on the streets to cheer us riders on!  There were Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts at attention, with Anerican flags, there were townsfolk with cowbells (just like in the Tour de France!) and was a fun time, riding through town.  For a split second, with the sound of the cowbells in my ears, I could imagine I was riding the TdF...then reality set in and I found myself in Texas in the heat, on a recumbent!

I was debuting a new set of wheels on the TdP.  A set of 700c Velocity Deep V rims with Deore XT hubs, and 700x23 Conti tires.  I had only ridden the Giro with the 700c wheels on one other weeknight ride, but they'd worked out so well, I couldn't wait to try them on a long ride, and they did NOT disappoint.  I was still 1.5mph avg faster with the 700c wheels than with the stock 559's on Formula hubs.  A number of times, I found myself able to pass roadies, even on the occasional hill!  Once Dave gets his 700c wheelset built up, I imagine I will leave the white 700c set on my Giro until winter.

Here's a link to my ride.

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