Sunday, March 27, 2011

Steam N Wheels

Abilene, Texas
March 26, 2011
This year's Steam N Wheels was dedicated to Susan Gerred who was struck by a car and killed while cycling in Abilene last May. Susan annually organized the Steam N Wheels Ride/Race for the Abilene Department of Parks and Recreation. 

 Susan Gerred (Abilene Reporter-News file film). From all of us, thanks for the many years of great rides.
Last year's Steam N Wheels was cancelled due to a snow fall, so all of us were watching the forecast closely this year. We seemingly had a routine forecast, 67 at the start of the ride going to 79. The wind was to be WNW at 15 going to 17. Forecast stayed steady except that the wind at the start and finish was 20 mph. However, many of us had ridden the past Thursday with a 20 mph wind gusting to 30, so we had put in our wind resistance training time.
Quite a few from San Angelo made the trip to Abilene, and I knew I had better get pictures fast as after the start line, we would all go our separate ways. Some would go for the 21 mile ride, some for the 32, and others would participate in the 48 mile race/ride.

 Brian Bucklund, Christine Jones, Marlon Miller

  Mark Seals

  Donna Durbin, Velma Ogan, Debbie Yohman

 David Durbin
 Lucy Jochum getting ready for the ride.

  And she is ready. All prettied up for her first tour of the year (and first ride I think)
 Velma and Rick Ogan were going to race riding their tandem.

Brian is lined up close to the front of the pack. Way in the background is Bill Cullins from San Angelo.

  I forgot to ask what the attendance was but it was a good crowd.

  And we are off. The first part of the ride was great as the wind was to our backs.

 Following are some random shots of the road/scenery of the ride.

The horses did not even look up as we passed. 

 Brian was kind enough to hang back with me. Made the ride enjoyable.

 Looks like a fall picture, not spring. No rain in these parts either.
The stretches of highway that I chose to take a picture did not tell the story of our ride. Above is an elevation chart of just our first 25 miles.

Finally a little color along the road.

 A nice couple from the Lubbock Bicycle Club.

  Brian giving me encouragement to hurry up. He made a good pace setter for the course. 

The last rest stop. It dawned on me that I hadn't documented the friendly volunteers at each of the stops. We really appreciated their services.

 Heading up Highway 36, our last leg, and the most "wind resistance training" stretch.

The cows, as the horses, were not impressed with our efforts.

The figure in a white shirt to the right of the SAG truck was a little girl and her dad on the ride. To have been on this return route they would have had to have ridden at least the 32 mile route. She was having a bad day. A bug had hit her in the face which distracted her and she ran into her dad's bike. She was not a happy camper but had plenty of heart.  

The sign of civilization was Abilene's airport which meant we were getting close to the zoo which was the starting point of the ride. 

We finished. Christine was waiting for us as she had gone on a shorter route. I still can't figure out if I had a smile or grimace on my face. My bottom had enjoyed about all it could stand about 35 miles back.
   Kathy Walker had finished the ride, changed clothes, and was just hanging out by the time I got in.

The same with Neil McSpedden. From his performance, you would never guess he has just recovered from a broken collar bone from a mountain bike accident.

 I had mentioned that the 48 mile ride was a race/ride. So we went to the pavilion to observe the award ceremonies. 

  Rick and Velma were first place in the tandem bike category.

Kathy Walker placed in her age category.

 Kevin Dierschke was first in his age category. 

 Lance Bowers is from Midland but we claim him as an adopted San Angeloan. 

 Bill Cullins, two time State Champion in cyclocross racing, of course placed in his age group.

Thank you Brian for setting the pace for me. 
 Winners from San Angelo. Roy Jones, Kathy Walker, Rick and Velma Ogan, Kevin Dierschke, and Bill Cullins. Not pictured are Marlon Miller and Fernando Coronado.

Good job San Angelo!!!