Pedal Thru the Pines
March 9, 2013
Bastrop (Smithville), Texas
Pedal Thru the Pines was our first organized tour of the year. It was to be my inaugaration as the first "long" ride after I broke my hip back in October.
Christine and Wilbur (remember this "before picture").
Not to be left out, Wilbur volunteered to document that I did indeed show up.
And off the riders go. The 100K fast riders started first, some of us just hung back--everyone would just pass us anyway.
Speaking of passing, this was about the only time I was close enough to Christine to take a picture. But one can tell by her relaxed, touring look, she was in no hurry. Yet.
We had started at Smithville about 11 miles from Bastrop State Park. It may be recalled, the 2011 fires destroyed a good portion of both Bastrop and Buescher State Parks. The sign is a reminder that restoration is still ongoing. Take a good look at the greenery, it was the last through both Parks.
As we had already traveled 11 miles, the first rest stop was not too far after we entered the Park. Christine was no where to be found. Wilbur (left in between the two lady bikers) and I assumed (correctly) that Christine had already been there and kept going.
Good thing we chowed down at the rest stop. As soon as we got started, the hills started also. At first, they were only 6-8%. Still a piece of cake as the previous Saturday we had practiced on some 6% hills.
Then the hills got steeper. Note how the trees look lifeless. And they are "evergreen" trees badly damaged by the fire.
One rider already decided to conserve his strength and push up. On three straight hills my Garmin registered 19%. Or maybe the Garmin registered the incline as I was doing wheelies up the hills. (Brooklyn bridge is also for sale).
Slight reprieve as we changed from Bastrop to Buescher State Park. Note that some of Buescher's trees escaped complete damage. The wind must have blown the fire too fast at this location and jumped to the next site.
As one can tell, this portion of the Park was highly damaged, also. And speaking of damaged, at this point my left leg (the one with the hip replacement) had become tired, and the right leg was doing all the work.
So, the three 19% hills were followed by a 11% grade and a multitude of 6-8% hills. At about the same location as the two riders pushing their bikes up the hill, I dismounted and pushed. : (
As a matter of fact, the next three hills had me dismounting.
Luckily, our next rest stop appeared. I limped over and pigged out on all the goodies. All of the sugar, sweets, and candy helped everything except my left leg. It was killing me.
Christine had arrived at the rest stop well before Wilbur and I got there and was well rested. She didn't even show sympathy or pity when I whined about my leg. I guess wives learn that it exacerbates a husband's injuries if they show any sign of concern. (Editor's note: It really does, you know.)
Finish line as I just finished talking about the SECOND REST STOP! Yep. After the rest stop my leg continued to trouble me even after stretching and resting. Christine and Wilbur were way ahead of me, so I just called Christine and told her I was turning around and heading back to the staging area.
While waiting for Christine to finish her ride, I will pass the time with trivia. The above is my choice of Kit of the day.
And above is my choice of a comfort bike. The guy has a comfortable seat and can ride upright. He said it was an "after back surgery" bike.
And then Christine victoriously finished her ride.
Wilbur was not too far behind even though he had stopped to help out a guy suffering from cramps.
Christine was caught in a candid moment displaying her helmet hair.
When asked if she would like to return next year regardless of wind, temperature, or helmet hair, her answer was obvious.