Sunday, November 29, 2009

Group Ride

November 28, 2009

I learned another lesson not long ago; don’t call a ride two hours before the start time. ‘Nuff said. So on Wednesday, a Saturday ride was called giving people time to re-arrange their lives for a nice get together. The ride was to start at TxDOT at 1:30 p.m. The time was the start of the high for the day—74, I think, and the wind was to be a constant SSW 15. The route serendipitously was into the wind on the first half and theoretically a tailwind on the return.

Ten of us showed up at TxDOT: Rick, Velma, Donna, David, Ty, Christine B., Christine J., Roy, Mike, and Doug.

The planned route was to be from TxDOT, Ben Ficklin, Country Club Rd, S. Concho Dr., Mary E. Lee Park-Spillway Rd, and return. The distance was about 30 miles.

The pace setters mainly were David, Velma, and Mike and the group stayed fairly together,

although it was hard to find a slip stream behind anyone as the wind was angled most of the time with little stretches of in-the-face breeze. By the time we reached Country Club Rd, up rolled Dan and LeAnn on their tandem.

Now I thought our pace setters were doing a great job, so how did Dan and LeAnn catch us? Both are in great shape and, as later in the ride I found out, Dan and his daughter Jillian were among the 37,000 runners who ran in the Dallas Turkey Trot. Now what I didn’t know until way later was that the reason Dan and LeAnn caught up to us so quickly was that LeAnn had been sandbagging and didn’t run in the Turkey Trot. She caught up to us while Dan just steered. Note the sly grin on Dan’s face. And we all thought he was pedaling as hard as he could.

About 10 miles into the ride, S. Concho Dr. intersects with Knickerbocker. We crossed Knickerbocker into Mary E. Lee Park and as soon as everyone had safely crossed the highway, we started on the “routine” Monday evening group route. Familiar territory is comforting and there was a lot less traffic. As we arrived at the Spillway/Knickerbocker intersection, Mike and Doug turned right onto Knickerbocker, and we thought they assumed we were going to the village of Knickerbocker next. Ty took out after them to let them know that we were looping back and back tracking our route to TxDOT. We took on off as we knew that Ty could catch them, return, and over-take us.

Some time back, I had said that the return trip was to be wind at the back. This being Texas, we encountered the 360 degree wind that Texas is so famous for. Most of the return trip I was still looking for someone to draft off of but was unsuccessful.

The worst part of the trip however was the S. Concho Rd.. The road has many pot holes, broken pavement, and a bumpy surface.

When we finally got to the newly paved portion of Country Club Rd, it was like water skiing on a glassy lake—smooth gliding.

The ride ended at TxDOT and from all accounts, we had a good time. Hopefully we will have a fairly mild winter to keep the group rides going.

No comments:

Post a Comment