Buffalo Gap, Texas
July 28, 2012
Saturday's line up had a lot of riders from San Angelo. Some were racing in the 77 mile route, some the 52 mile tour, and some the 27 mile. I was not able to see all before the start, but pictured above are Rick and Velma Ogan, George (in white) and Brian Backlund (# 351).
Jerry and Cindy Middleton lined up for the 27 mile. I'm proud of Jerry as he had some heart problems earlier this season that kept him off his bike for a long while.
236 riders lined up for the various rides.
Good start, feeling fine, sufficient energy to get me out of the city limits. George and Brian leading out.
Just out of the city limits, I noticed that a gap between the crowd and me was growing.
Right after the first rest stop, Brian, George, and Rick passed me. I thought I had better get a shot of them as I might not see them again on the ride. I was almost right.
Rest stop 3 had its annual winter theme. Not shown are some of the cute figures and sayings. One rider remarked that he had to stop as he was "hallucinating because he saw penquins" (cute figures lining the highway near the stop).
After rest stop 3, Liz Rappe' (who had been riding with Rick et al) took pity on me and stayed back as Rick, Brian, and others rode off into the sunlight.
I mentioned Jerry's heart problems, but my hat is off to Bill Huckabee (left). Bill recently had a quintuple by-pass and was doing quite well on the ride.
Lining highway 277 is a huge area filled with wind generators. This is on the "mesa" after some good climbs.
Gentle slope on 277. Soon we would hit the decline that would lead us into the next rest stop and last leg of the ride.
One could tell by Christine's face that we had just gone down a good decline.
But, one would not like to see Christine's face as we came upon this sight. Side note to Jerry, can you say 11%?)
Immediately followed by a mere 6%.
After cresting the two hills, we started going down into a valley.
My pick of the "neat ranch of the day."
I am not sure if anyone remembers that on this ride last year, around mile 25, I started developing cramps. Christine has griped at me for the past year for being too stubborn to SAG. Well, I went back and looked at my stats last year compared to this year. My total ride time this year was equal to just the pedal time last year. Last year's total time was embarrassing. I still remember how patient the SAG driver following me was as I would pedal a few miles, stop, stretch out a cramp, hop back on for a few miles--repeat the sequence.
Lake Abilene, just outside of Buffalo Gap was showing the effect of recent rains with the red clay run off.
The light at the end of the tunnel.
The friendly finish line beckons. Liz took pity again and instead of beating me to the finish, insisted that we ride in together. Everyone had timers so it would look as if we had equal time. However, truth be know, she pulled me most of the way from rest stop 3 to the finish.
I am used to the 52-mile riders waiting for me at the finish line. However, shown at the end of the table are Marlon Miller and, in the gray shirt, Mike Nesbitt, both of whom raced the 77. Marlon finished 4th in his age group, and Mike finished 7th in his group. Way to go guys.
Part of the 52 mile group (well rested by the time I got there). Eddie Trevino, Rick and Velma Ogan, Bill Yohman, and Brian Backlund. Near right is Debbie Yohman who rode the 27 mile route.
All's well that ends well. Christine arrived in great spirits (she says because she finished under her own power). And if Momma's happy, everyone is happy!