Christine was excited as she was to break in her new bike, and I was going to test out my new bike.
Christine was breaking in her 2011 Specialized Ruby Compact with new gel dampening technology, and I have acquired a 2010 Specialized Roubaix Pro Compact. Both of us have an 11-28 cassette that we had been repeatedly assured by our friend Ty could climb any hill with a 50/34--11-28 that we previously could with our triple rings. Ty was careful to say "any previous hill" rather than zipping up Mt. Lock at Fort Davis (17% grade). We were soon to find out that we could make it up the 11% grades of Allen Lane.
We made it!! First impression is that 34-28 is a little easier than 30-25. One would have to get someone else to explain why or how. After the first big hill, there is a series of 7% grades, and the "pace line" spread out for miles.
On the hill that was coming up, Brian Buckland, just in front of a group of us, noticed a noise in the back wheel area.
At first it appeared a spoke was loose. Upon closer inspection, he had broken a spoke hub. After a few adjustments, we hoped that he could slowly go back and safely end his trip.
Liz Rappe'. Christine has given me such a hard time about always taking pictures from behind, that this is about the only pic of riders, other than scenery, that I have. So, for Christine the rest of the pictures will be scenery and countryside.
We tipped our helmets at this rancher's efforts to clear the cactus from his pasture. As we haven't had a good rain in so long, he will have to wait a while before he can burn the piles.
Another example of our dry pastures, but I really like the stand of oak trees just off of Highway 277.
The low branches of the oak brought out the kid in me and I wanted to go over and climb the tree. However, by this time we still had over 10 miles to go and it was getting hotter by the minute.
Christine had spotted these flowers on our way to the end of the road and at the turn around was telling us about all the butterflies on the flowers.
Most of the butterflies scattered as she approached, but two came back to display their beauty.
I hope some of the riders who chose the 75 mile ride stopped every once in a while to smell the flowers. There are some real pretty scenery and interesting things off to the side of the road if one looks around every once in a while. I will acknowledge that our pace and style of riding this day would have never gotten us to Hell's Gate in time to complete the hundred. But fiddle de de. That's two weeks off so I will worry about it tomorrow.