Saturday morning local tour. Lined up at the beginning: Rick and Velma Ogan, Gary Walker, Eddie Trevino, Brian Backlund, Connie Dunagan, Dan Willson, Dorothy Langdon, and Roy Jones.
It was a chilly (for us Texans), overcast day, temp at 61 degrees, and wind from the NE at 10 mph.
Shortly into the ride, we made an unofficial re-group stop. Never leave a man (or woman) behind.
Rick surrounded by freshly planted cotton fields. Lately we had a few good showers so the fields were still muddy.
First official stop some 11 miles into the ride. Liz Rappe' and Donna Durbin were waiting for us at the "rest stop" and joined us to do the 36 out and back of the hilly part.
Connie wanted to do the 14-mile route so had already left the group. Riders at this stage: Gary, Rick, Liz Rappe', Dorothy, Donna Durbin, Eddie, Roy, Velma, Brian, and Dan.
Still quite overcast and at times we wondered if we were going to be rained upon. It brought back memories of getting caught in our best rain of the year last August.
Destination: The hills way off on the horizon.
Rocking Chair ranch marks mile 17 of the ride and the beginning of some good hills (for us flatlanders).
But first, we stopped to fix Liz's flat. At least Rick and Gary did. David Durbin met us with Donna at the Walling Pecan intersection and volunteered to be one of the SAG's. Lucky for us he had a pump in his truck making inflation easy.
Rick (left) is always a gentleman fixing other people's flats and mechanical malfunctions. Beyond the call of duty: notice the vest Liz is wearing to ward off the chill? If one "rewinds" to the first pictures, one would notice that Rick was wearing that vest. What do you expect from one of our men in blue? (police department).
Christine was also a SAG for the ride and raced on up one of the hills for some action shots. Rick climbed this hill easily as he has now twice completed the 17% climbing race of Mount Lock at Fort Davis.
Liz: I show this picture not to embarrass you but to point out that I had already demonstrated what would happen if you forgot to shift out of the big chain ring on a hill. (Beginners Page 9 1/2, "Do As I Say, Not As I Do").
And Gary--"What hill"?
Christine raced to the end of the ride to catch Donna's completing the last incline before the road's dead end.
Dorothy still looks fresh and in good spirits.
The end of the road had two long easy climbs like this one.
Well earned rest stop. The turn around point was at mile 30. The top of the hill with the northern wind was rather chilly--for all except Velma (shielded from the wind by the trunk of the car-and wrapped in jackets). David brought Ella to accompany him as he SAGed for us. She made the rounds asking for some of the snack food to be shared with her, however, David had brought special treats for her rest stop.
As everyone packed up and started on the return trip, Christine had to take a few more pictures of our wild flowers as they are beginning to be at their season's end.
Even our cactus was enjoying the recent rains.
As well as the Texas thistle.
The return trip idyllic and without incident? Not quite.
Some time back I had the local bike shop install tube protectors to stop flats "for all time." I chose Rhinodillos because of their guarantee that if something punctures the protector strip, return the strip and tube and they will replace them free. Back when Rick and Gary were fixing Liz's flat, I was smug as neither Christine nor I had had a flat since installing the protectors.
But, there is no guarantee against blow outs. This was about 5 miles into the return trip. The tire and tube blew but did not damage the strip. The SAG vehicle (Christine) was close behind and stopped. I thought I was going to have to SAG in, but Gary remembered he had put a spare tire in the car before we left this morning. Hooray! I would be able to finish the ride.
Accident waiting to happen. This is the inside of another split on the tire that had not blown through yet. If one doesn't get you, the other will.
But after the changed tire and tube, the rest of the ride was a pleasant end of a great ride with a great bunch of people.