Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday Rides--Seven Sisters and Mt. Nebo

Rick Ogan, Brian Bucklund, Liz Rappe, Christine Jones, Donna and David Durbin
The last couple of weeks have had balmy temperatures, so we have been able to do some social group rides. Saturday, March 12, we met at the little settlement of Knickerbocker for a "Seven Sisters" ride to Highway 277 and back. The initial ride would be 20 miles, and if desired we would go up Guinn Road for an additional 10 miles.
 The road starts out with a gentle slope

 which everyone completes with smiles. Christine, Rick, and Brian top the hill.
 The road takes a turn

 and it marks the beginning of the seven hills of FM 2335.

 The hills make good training rides as they average only 5-7% grade.
 Close to the end of the first leg. Donna cruising up the last gentle slope.
 Destination: Intersection of Hwy 277 and FM 2335. Correct, we still haven't had any rain to speak of.
 Group at intersection: Liz, Rick, Brian, Christine, Donna, and David. This was David's first ride of 2011, and he did quite well for his first ride of the year. Donna had just returned from being out of the saddle for a six-week period. Good to have them back riding with the group.
 Adjustment time, so Rick to the rescue again.
 I have mentioned to Rick that I could probably fill an album of shots of his working on someone's bike during a ride.
 Start of the return trip. The reverse of the gentle slope getting to 277.
Rick and Liz. Velma could not make the ride this day, otherwise I would have been talking about her two miles down the road ahead of us.

Brian, Liz, and Rick on a good roll to get them up the next hill.

 They easily crossed the last (14th) "sister".
 Christine finishes the ride with an "Of course I made it look."
Meeting up with us after the first leg was Leann and Dan Waldron. However, since our group decided not to do the second leg on Guinn Road, Dan and Leann rode off the Tankersley (the ghost town I still haven't found).

Mount Nebo
Saturday March 19, 2011

An invitation to ride the Mt. Nebo loop via Grape Creek was issued to various riders. Oops, Jerry still sick, Donna and David had a prior commitment, Liz was on spring break as well as Dorothy as I recall, etc., etc. And the changeable Texas weather did not help the situation. Between Wednesday and Saturday morning, the forecast changed four times. At the time of the ride, it settled on 70 degrees and a 21 mph wind.
The ride began from what we affectionly call "Whiskey City". For ages, San Angelo was a dry city so all the liquor was sold just outside the city limits. San Angelo changed its law some years back so the "city" is almost a ghost town now.
The first leg of the ride was a dream. The 21 mph wind pushed us up and over the hills between Arden Road and Highway 87. Although most everyone was waiting on me when I arrived at Grape Creek, my mph average made me feel like a big boy.
Waiting were Rick Ogan, Brian Backlund, Velma Ogan, and Doug Hackelton.
Last but not least, Christine rolls into the parking lot.
 Leaving the FM 2288 and Grape Creek intersection, the road is fairly level and the wind still to our backs.
 Mt. Nebo, the ride's namesake. From Mt. Nebo, Moses was given a view of the promised land. Our Mt. Nebo gives us a view of Grape Creek and San Angelo. Well, if you are biased as we are, we have a good view of the promised land also. (But we could use some rain)

The next part of our ride as you can guess, was into that wind. No pictures as everytime I turned loose of the handlebar with one hand, a gust of wind would hit me. Maybe next time.
On the return leg up FM 2288, Doug had a flat tire. What is wrong with this picture? Rick is WATCHING someone work on a bike.
Everyone who knows Rick also knows he can't stand not to help out. And two working on the flat would get us faster back into the headwind which we all enjoy so much.
As Doug and Rick were fixing the flat, I called Christine to determine her status and location. The wind was howling so much in her phone that I think she said she was past Grape Creek. Before we left, she rolled up to join us. The part I didn't hear in our conversation was that she was tired of fighting the wind so would I go on and get the car, return, and pick her up. I did and our Saturday ride of 14 pleasant miles and 16 miles of wind resistance training was over.

Next weekend we get to go on a race/ride at Abilene, Texas. Wind forecast is a measly 17 mph.


  1. I have to say that the more I read of your group ride exploits, I find that I am not only jealous of your weather, but also of your traffic as well!
    I can see where the winds would pose a problem though - definitely nothing around to give you a break from that.
    Best of luck in Abilene :)

  2. @Edie. Unfortunately we in San Angelo have had our share of cycling deaths and hospitalization from being hit. That is one of the reasons we try to choose a remote rural area ride.

    By reverse, we indeed are lucky with our traffic. For example, when we lived in the Washington, DC area, our rush hour traffic jams would be backed up for four miles. Then we moved to El Paso and our traffic jams were four blocks long. In San Angelo, we back up for four cars.

  3. My sister noticed the same thing coming from Chicago down to Wichita Falls - no traffic report.

    I sympathize with the problems of hazardous cycling in any city. Believe me. Unfortunately, some of the rural areas around here are notorious for having hostile drivers. We are sometimes better off with more drivers around.

  4. Christine! that is one amazing cycling jersey. No way would I bike into a 21 mph head wind. So you are amazing too, not just the shirt.

    I got a new camera for Olympic Stylus. it was under $175.00, good to 10 feet under water, 12 megapixels, and supposedly I am allowed to drop it from 5 feet up. :) I am very happy with the underwater pic. Unfortunately, the camera has a very slow reaction time, meaning, by the time the thing is set to take a picture, the moment has passed, the fish has moved to another ocean, and I am pulling my hair out. Still, it has no moving parts, is good in the dinghy, on the beach and almost anywhere. My son takes his skiing and says it does well in the cold temps too. Glad you are seeing the end of winter in your locale. We are super good here. Best winter in the Bahamas in the last 8 years.