Monday, January 31, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Back in the saddle. Lt to rt. Liz, Velma, Christine B., Brian, Roy, and Mark.
While the rest of the country has been having interesting weather, San Angelo has enjoyed about two weeks in the 70's. Nine of us (six pictured) got together Saturday for our first "long" ride of the year. The plan was to go to Knickerbocker and then up Guinn Road to the end of the pavement and return-a little over 30 miles. Christine J., Jerry and Cindy Middleton were to join us at Knickerbocker.

Before anyone is misled about idyllic weather conditions, the route out (15 miles) was into a 15-25 mile an hour headwind. However, the previous week when I was grousing about the wind during a ride, Liz stated she was riding for the workout. That put everything into perspective. As one cycling expert stated, the best way to deal with a headwind is to have a good attitude. Since the ballpark estimates are for a 5 mph of wind to equal a 1% grade, the 3% grade wokout (15 mph wind) was what we were all out to achieve. Sort of.

As Christine J. is still taking it easy due to her hip replacement, she was to meet us at Knickerbocker and ride the Guinn road with us. I had asked her to take the camera and get some "action" shots as we climbed Windy Ridge hill. 
 "The last shall be first". Liz and Roy make it up the long incline.
 Surprise, surprise who really made it up the hill first--Velma. Rick was helping out with a Friends of the State Park project and didn't make the ride.
 Christine B. doesn't even look winded.
 Brian's first ride since October. Looking good.
 Mark easily tops the incline. I think I see two riders somewhere in the distance trailing him.
Mark had another appointment and had to leave us at Windy Ridge Ranch. Liz is demonstrating the effects of the wind if you aren't anchored by a bike.

 Joining us at Knickerbocker were Jerry (lt) and Cindy Middleton (far- rt). Jerry and Cindy live in the area so just rode from their house. Christine J. in the blue jersey drove out to just ride Guinn Road. Christine B. (yellow jersey) joins the discussions.
 Velma has a well deserved smile of satisfaction of defeating the wind.
 Brian is still smiling at this point.
 Last year the smile on Liz's face meant "I am beating you up the next hill--watch out."

Knickerbocker, Texas had its beginning in 1877. A post office was established in 1881 (not the one shown).
Today, the post office and the Knickerbocker Community Center share the same building. In 1926 the above brick school house served the community until Knickerbocker merged with the Christoval school in 1956.  In the 1890's, Knickerbocker was the second largest town after San Angelo in Tom Green County.
 Line of cyclists heading to the end of Guinn Road.

 Above pictures demonstrate our need of rain. We have had 1" this year. We are hoping for moisture to ensure spring flowers. Pedal Power Wildflower Ride is coming up soon. I fear a Pedal Power Dead Weed ride if we don't get some relief.
Thank goodness for "evergreen" cedars.
Proud Texan on Guinn Road.
And a proud Christine. Hip? I got a new one.
Cindy Middleton and Christine take a break at the end of Guinn Road.

Best I recall, I got a smile from Jerry when I promised not to announce the grade of the hills. He still will not let me forget the Fredericksburg ride when I would call off the grade of a hill as we went up--"too much information." 
When we took off from the end of Guinn road we finally had the wind to our backs. And this is the last I saw of Velma until--
I finally got to Knickerbocker. Velma and Christine B. had time to rest and have a snack.
Liz and Brian re-group with us.
And Cindy and Christine J. roll in. Gangs all here.
Rested, we head out on the last leg.
After a ride. Always a good time discussing the wind, hills, weather, and just talk. I caught Liz, Christine B., and Christine J. in a good mood. Then someone mentioned "helmet hair" and I was banned from anymore pictures.



  1. Looks like a great ride. I love challenging hills (after I climb them). What's it like to not have to dress in layers?

  2. @Edie. What makes a good ride for me is the company. We have a great group who enjoys riding--and the faster ones do not mind waiting for the group to catch up. "No one left behind."

    Just as I was bragging about our weather--high 70's on Saturday, 81 yesterday--it snowed last night and now we are in the 20's. Texas weather for you.

    Dressing in layers--would you believe Christine and I put on layers when the temp is 65 or below? After one of our rides, I heard from a biker in Canada telling us about his riding in the teens. If I tried that, I would look like Randy in the movie Christmas Story.