Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tour de Burma

Tour de Burma
San Angelo, Texas
Since the Tour de Burma is San Angelo's local event, I would like to begin with some of the event organizers and helpers. Gene Potter, Club President and Event Director talks to the local TV reporter before the event began.
Connie Dunagan, Club Secretary and Sherry Drysdale handled the registration desk. It was reported that 83 riders signed up.
Tony Wilson, Club Treasury did the signage and was all over the place getting things organized. Gary Walker, Vice President (not shown) was to lead the 5 mile group around the neighborhood.
I was trying to run all over the place trying to get as many pictures of people as I could. It was impossible to take everyone's pictures but I did get a few. Shown here are Christine Jones and Velma Ogan. Christine was last year's club president and Velma was the vice president.
Chad Freeze is our local randonneur. I think Chad puts more miles on his bike per week than we put on our car. Brian Backlund is checking out Rick and Velma's tandem.
Liz Rappe'. Liz rode the 40 mile route with Christine. I could not talk her into the 60 with me, and I think I am losing the battle to get her to go 100 miles at the Hotter'n Hell Hundred this year.
This cyclist has a unique endeavor. She is Judge Diane Henson, Texas Third Court of Appeals. Judge Henson has a goal of cycling in all 24 counties covered by her appellate court. I didn't get the count of how many she had completed to date, but Brian, Christine, and I first met Judge Henson on the Pedal thru the Pines ride at Bastrop. She told Christine of riding the Real Ale bike ride at Blanco. I personally didn't see her there as I was too busy trying to get up all those hills.
I had the privilege to get to pose with Judge Henson.
We thank her for including the Tour de Burma in her tours and wish her the best. Come back next year, the event will be even larger.
Lip Stick Lucy. Once again I was able to catch Lucy Jochum with her lipstick before a ride. She always has a smile and the lipstick just accentuates her glow.
Gene Potter briefs the riders before take off. We had some real fast riders show up from the Midland/Odessa area as well as from Abilene.
Shane Plymell (in black) is one of San Angelo's top racers. I wondered what he was doing way back in the pack with Lucy, Christine, and John (although John also is fast, he just doesn't race yet).
Jerry and Cindy Middleton. One may remember that Jerry and Cindy led us on last ride ride through the Dove Creek subdivision. I could be biased, but Jerry sure looks sharp in that Pedal Pusher jersey he won in the recent High School Mountain Bike racers fund raiser.
Behind Jerry and Cindy in the yellow jersey is Loyd who rides with us on our Monday/Wednesday rides.
And it is time to start. Then it was oops time. I left my sunglasses in the car. The astute noticed I did not have them as I posed with Judge Henson.  It was going to be a bright sunny day so I left the pack and went back to the car.
By the time I got my sunglasses, I was starting with the 5 milers. But that gave me a chance to start from the back and see more riders. I pass Christine and Loyd as they head out for the 40 miles.
 Lucy was as bright as ever as she began the 40K route.
I got to greet David Busker. David was going on the 40 mile route.
I finally caught up with one of the 60 mile group, Chris Keefer. Chris recently started riding, and he and his wife Megan have joined us on our Monday/Wednesday rides also.
I thought I would just settle in and ride along with John (left) and Chris as we traveled down Arden Road toward Burma Road.
All too soon (depending upon perspective) we were on Burma Road which is known for its good hill climbing training terrain.
Ironman riders like to ride the Burma Road out and back--out and back!--to get ready for their upcoming event.
Most of the hills are the short and steep type along with a few long inclines punctuated by a steep finish. (Jerry, you are just waiting for me to tell you the hill %'s aren't you?) 
All of the routes were an out and back type of design. Right after the turn around for the 60K and 100K routes, we met Liz heading for the rest stop down the road.
Deann and John. Sorry I didn't take a picture of your rest stop. I think the heat was already getting to me but we really appreciated the YMCA sponsoring the stop. The PB&J sandwiches, cookies, fruit, dill pickles, and drinks were superb. 
I have complained many times that pictures do not portray a hill accurately. The upcoming hill hits 11% and then has a short dip. After the dip, one immediately starts up the long 13% grade.  
Chris is just about to crest the 13%. Behind him is the dip after the 11% grade. (Jerry, I have pictures of another 11% grade but I will let you guess which it is rather than continue to give you cold chills).

 The rest stop at the Arden/Burma Road intersection was sponsored by the Texas National Guard. We appreciate and salute your assistance.
The intersection was the deciding point of the 60K versus 100K ride. Turn right, 100K. Turn left, 60K and home. Chris and Jesse voted to turn right as that was our goal to begin with. It was just that we were going to evaluate how we felt to make the final decision for 100K.  
 As we were at the rest stop, I heard a swooshing sound coming up. On the far bottom left of the picture is Shane Plymell. He was right on the leader's back tires. Later I heard that he caught and over-took the racers. I don't know as he and the front riders were 33K ahead of me.
 Compared to Shane, he might seem laid back but Chad Freeze was actually not far behind the main pack.
 Marlon Miller was heading to the home base. Marlon seems to be in great shape for his upcoming MS 150 (250K) ride in July.
 Rick and Velma appeared to be in great spirits. I think they were only 15 miles ahead of me.
 Right behind them was Dan Willson. Dan rides with us on our Saturday rides. He did the Monday/Wednesday rides until his military duty hours changed blocking him from the afternoon rides.
 Jerry, you are just going to have to guess why I threw this picture in.
 Eddie Trevino was heading home after hitting the turn around point.
 As well as John.
 Brian Backlund was just leaving the rest stop on top of the hill as we were approaching it.
A friendly reception committe was awaiting Chris, Jesse, and me as we topped the hill.
 First class rest stop. David Durbin had a bike rack available so one did not have to lay his bike on the ground. Thanks, David. Good idea.
 And thanks also for not placing the rest stop at the top of the far hill. I wasn't sure where the turn around rest stop was going to be so I had dreaded the "big hill" throughout the ride. What a relief not to have to climb that one. Sorry Jerry, I can't tell you the grade %. The last time I went DOWN the hill, I didn't have my Garmin, so I don't have past data.
 The friendly rest stop crew. David Durbin, John Willis, who was a club president cira 1980's, Janis Potter, Jenny Hock, and Donna Durbin. Thanks guys. Terrific job.
 And a reverse route heading home. The Arden/Burma intersection rest stop off in the distance. Besides the day getting hot, the rest stop meant only about 12 more miles to go.
Since we only had a "few" miles to go, I put in a minimum amount of liquid in my camelbak. About three miles down the road, I ran out of water.

A SAG vehicle driven by David Behrend of REACT emergency services was up ahead of us. I went into a sprint to catch him to see if he had any water. As I would get closer, he would speed up thinking that I was just making a dash for the finish line.
Eventually my waving at him was beyond friendly so he stopped. Yes, he had some water, but it was hot. I didn't care. Then another SAG came up with cold water, so I took a bottle of it and poured it in my Camelbak. They offered another bottle, but I declined stating that we had only about 7 miles to go, so I was good.
Wrong. Within 2 miles I had drunk all of my water again. Chris offered me some of his water, but I declined. My rationale was that I had 16 oz in my stomach so that should last me 5 more miles.

Lesson learned: It is better to throw away excess liquid at the end of a ride rather than cut it close and run out--especially when my Garmin read 102 degrees.  

 Jesse approaches the last major intersection. David and Tony stopped traffic for us to get safely through.
 And the finish line is in sight!
 Deann, Rick, Janis, Donna and Gene cheer us as Chris, Jesse, and I crossed the finish line.
Which meant everyone could now pack up and go home. Except, it was decided that a bunch of us would go to a new dining place to eat lunch.
Pictured are Gene, Donna, David, Velma, and Christine.

If anyone is within driving distance of San Angelo, mark your calendar for the next Tour de Burma in June. Watch the San Angelo Bicycling Association club website for date, information, and sign up instructions. The routes go from an easy 5 mile ride, 24 miles that is not too bad, and a 40-60 mile route that will present just the right amount of challenge to allow one to complete and not get bored doing it.

A big thanks to the Girl Scout troop for providing support at the 40K rest stop.
Last but not least, thanks to Family Power Sports for allowing us to use their business location and parking for the event.  

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