Friday, April 20, 2012

Burma Loop

 Forecast cloudy, mid 70's, and wind from the south at 25-35 mph. Perfect training day--for what I am unsure unless it is for the Ballinger ride coming up soon. So a few of us chose to brave the wind and ride what is called the Burma Loop. Pictured are Rick, Velma, Loyd, Eddie, Curtis, Jesse, and Brian. Christine decided to go on a shortened route as she didn't want to fight the wind for as many miles as we were.
 At the start, we spread out a bit. Later as the wind started taking its toll, Rick formed us into a pace line.
 Regroup stop #1. Loyd had decided to take a shorter route also. Unknown at the time, Jesse had dropped his chain back on one of the hills. He rolled up shortly and then he too decided to take a shorter ride. That left the six of us to tackle the remainder of the ride.
 Pictured is the start of S. Burma Road and is an example of deceiving looks. One thinks, "Ah, a flat road until the small hump up ahead." Well, it starts flat, goes to 1% for a 10th of a mile, goes to 2%for 2/10ths mile, 3% for 3/10ths mile, and then 4% to get over the hump.
 The "hump" gets one warmed up as the "humps" become more frequent.
 And then the humps begin to get a little taller. Before getting to N. Burma Road, we go over two "humps" that range from 13-15% grade.  

 All who ride in the Texas winds know that the wind is in your face whether you are going N, S, or E, and W is a cross wind. This ride was no different. During the tougher parts Rick lined us up in a pace line again. That worked until the last part of the ride. Some of us (me) tired, Brian had a flat although most us did not know it until we got to the Grape Creek convenience store and Brian and Curtis were nowhere to be seen. Anyway, we had started to spread out and fight the wind on our on.
 I always like the Bison relief on the retainer wall near the State Park. First, I like the bison in the park. Second, it means that we are about 2 miles from finishing the ride.

 This is one of the last two miles. Still overcast as predicted. But what I really wanted to capture was the mesquite trees bending over in deference to the wind. One of these days when I remember it, I will try to take a short "movie" of the wind making the mesquites and other vegetation do the limbo dance.  
 The last of the two miles. The water tower is a beacon of  hope and encouragement.
 On the home stretch. Turn the corner and you are at the parking lot.
 Well, almost.
 We "survived the ride" podium pose.
A great endurance and dedication ride. Endurance just pedaling against that wind. Dedication because we all chose to ride on this day rather than sleep in.

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