Sunday, April 18, 2010

Burma Loop

The forecast for Saturday, April 19, was low 60's and thunderstorms, so we did the logical thing, and on Wednesday we called a Burma Loop ride for 12:30 p.m., Saturday. It rained Wednesday, Thursday, and into Friday. Friday afternoon we saw the sun for a short time, and then it hide behind clouds again. The forecast for Friday morning was rain from 3 a.m., Saturday, until past sundown.  By Friday evening, the rain was not to have started until 2 p.m., still interfering with the ride. Early Saturday morning the rain was pushed back to 3 p.m. By 11, the rain was pushed back to 4 p.m., and the ride was on. The above proves our adage: if you don't like the weather just wait around, and it will change.

Six riders took a chance on the weather and showed up: Brian Backlund, Christine Jones, Liz Rappe', Chad Freeze; not visible are Roy Jones and Rick Ogan.
Rick arriving after riding from his house.
Rick, arriving alone, threw off the routine of who was going to be the pace setter since Velma didn't show. A toss of the coin made me the pace setter, but since I am used to chasing, I had to think back to what Velma does. Oh yeah, point the bicycle down the road and ride as fast as you can. Easy to do on paper.

Chad was hot on my heels.

Brian picking up his pace.

Christine charging up the hill.

Rick and Liz enjoying the ride.
All too soon we were at the first re-group stop at the intersection of Arden Road and S. Burma Road. "Too soon" because as we turned right, we turned right into the wind. It was a very chilly 14 mph wind out of the north.
Although not shown, Rick was the only one in the group who didn't have on tights. I can guarantee the photographer was dressed warmly.

In past accounts of the Burma Loop rides, I have liked to emphasize the hills of the road since the route is popular because of the climb challenges. But this time, thanks to the rains we have been receiving, Burma Road was a show case of wild flowers. The hills took a back seat to one's attention. The flowers were in the spot light.

A  good thing about the ride that let us concentrate on the flowers was that there were no gravel trucks zooming past us. It was too wet and muddy at the quarry, so the drivers were off duty. The next few pictures are really San Angelo, and I can prove it.

The blue bonnet spreads in the pastures are San Angelo!! If in doubt, scroll back up and you can see our mesquite trees in the background. For any of the San Angelo riders going on Burma Road in the next few days or weeks, as you are going up the hill by the windmill before the rock quarry, look to the left out in the pasture. There is a good spread of blue bonnets along the road.

While Rick, Liz, and I were admiring the field of blue bonnets, the remainder of the group was waiting on top of the hill by the rock quarry. Nothing was blocking the wind up there.

But as most of the San Angelo riders know, the next part of the ride was the fun part. About three miles of downhill with little or no pedaling. At Carlsbad, the group split up as Rick had an appointment, Brian had to get ready to go to work, and Chad has a different route that he likes to take back to Arden Road. That left Christine, Liz, and me to enjoy Hwy 87 as the wind was to our backs and the shoulders were smoothish. And, since we were in no rush, we must have spent 20-30 minutes in the nice warm Grape Creek convenience store.

Liz still shopping. I had a picture of Christine but she was eating a nutrition bar and wouldn't let me use the picture.

As mentioned, we were in no rush, so I finally stopped to take a picture of the bison on the retaining wall across from the State Park entrance. I don't know how many times I have ridden past the wall and admired the ornaments but never stopped. 

Being in no rush had one drawback. Remember that the forecast had pushed the rain back to 4 p.m.? Liz and I were still on the road at that time and it started "spitting" on us. Thankfully it never turned into a shower, so we made it back fairly dry. 

Another good ride with good company came to a close.  

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