Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lake Colorado City Bike Tour

Lake Colorado City Bike Tour
Colorado City, Texas
May 2, 2009

If it ain’t one thing it’s another. But this time it wasn’t so much the wind. Loading the bikes at 6:30 am, it was a beautiful overcast 72 degrees. Wind was negligible. Scattered thunderstorms were forecast starting at noon but would not be a problem since we would finish the ride and be eating by the time a wandering thunderstorm might wander over Colorado City.

Colorado City is a mere 88 miles from San Angelo and was holding its 5th Annual Bike Ride. This was to be our third ride. We started attending their ride in 2007, and as a matter of fact, it had been our first organized bike tour. They served the best brisket BBQ and sausages that rival Coopers. So we have reserved the first weekend in May for Colorado City.

As we were about five miles out from Colorado City, a light sprinkle accumulated on our windshield. No problem, we believed the forecast, and this was a quirk.

We got to the Rail Head building and off-loaded our bikes in the drizzle as did everyone else.

Somehow the drizzle made the temperature drop to a chilly 56 with enough wind to chill you to the bones. As mentioned, it was really nice in San Angelo so Chris had unpacked our arm warmers and her leggings. I threw them back into the clothes bag with a, “We don’t have to wear them, just bring them.” First thing I did right in 2009. We used every warm piece of biking clothing we brought along.

Here I am purposefully trying to look miserable

Tour organizers are funny people. They advertise the show will go on rain or shine. This was the first time that we found out they meant it. So at 9 a.m. we peddled off into the sprinkle. My glasses quickly got wet so I followed the blurs in front of me until the first hill and the blurs disappeared. Thank goodness Chris was not far behind me to let me know we were still on the correct road. The Race Team there raced on ahead of us and left us mere mortals playing in the puddles.

This year Colorado City was to have four routes of 4 miles for kids; 9.5 for bigger kids; once around the lake for 24 miles for young adults; and twice around the lake for 43 miles for he-men and racers. We had planned for ages to do the 43 mile ride but the wimp in me came out with the rain, north wind, and temperature. My nose was freezing, my fingers were freezing, my legs were numb (Chris had the leg warmers-I just had the hair on my legs and that wasn’t protection enough), my toes were freezing, and my glasses had rain on them. So, we decided to do the 24 (actually 25.59 but who’s counting). Oh yes, the rain stopped after about 6 miles but my glasses were still splattered so everything is still accurate—my nose was freezing etc. is still valid. I forgot, and a wet jersey, shorts, socks, and shoes.

At about mile 12 there was a rest stop in the State Park, so I was able to clean my glasses. Hey, “everything is beautiful, in its own way.” I was able to see the Park, roads, the route directional markings painted on the highway, and there were wildflowers by the side of the road. And yes, we got to see bluebonnets. Now if it wasn’t for my nose, toes, fingers, and legs, it would be a great day for a ride.

And with all bike tours, sooner or later, you cross the finish line and its over. But wait, Colorado feeds you an outstanding lunch. As a matter of fact, they invite the towns’ people to lunch and the locals show up for the feed. That’s how good it is. If you ride the short route, you get back before the lunch is served so you can sit around and shoot the bull with other bikers and swap stories about other upcoming tours.

Now when we entered the Rail Head building, about three other bikers were already there having finished the ride before us. No way do you walk into the room with slumped shoulders, shivering, and letting your goose bumps show. So you swagger in grunting and snorting to let everyone know that it was a short easy ride. Because of the temperature drop, the tour personnel had turned on the heaters in the building. Well, when I swaggered past a heater and the warm air hit me, I lost all composure and plopped down in a chair right in front of the air. Chris, unmindful of any pretenses, went over to the other bikers table and started talking. I was going to wait until my jaws stopped clattering before I attempted a “Hi” that would have come out Hahahaeye .

The tour organizers, the Colorado City Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Colorado City State Park personnel, are really nice, friendly people. They and the volunteers go out of their way to assist the riders. And you really feel welcomed, not a polite welcome but a real one.

And finally the meal is served. It is serve yourself so you can pig out limited only by the amount you can pile on your plate without its running over the sides.

So ended another perfect ride. Christine drove home and I, in a warm cab, full stomach, tired from shivering, slept all the way home.

1 comment:

  1. i am interested in this ride, i talked with you all this past saturday at ballenger,tx ride. i have forgotten all i ever known about colorado city, tx. have not been there sense 1977. is the railhead bldg. easy to find? i assume from the pictures that will be the staging area for the start of the ride this comming saturday. i would also assume the ride will start at about 8 am. send your replys to cbdavis@suddenlink.net thanks for your time.