Sunday, March 24, 2013

Steam N Wheels

 Steam N Wheels
March 23, 2013
Abilene, Texas
Gene Potter, Current San Angelo Bicycling Association President.
I knew I had better run around and take as many pictures of San Angelo riders as I could, because just as soon as the ride started, I knew I wouldn't see them again until the finish line. 
 Karen Frembgen, San Angelo Veterinarian and frequent rider.
Loyd Evans, frequent group rider. 
Brian Backlund whom I think everyone knows.
Eddie Trevino, frequent group rider.
Mike Blakeman rides as frequently as his schedule will allow (working and pursuing a Master's Degree). 
Rick and Velma Ogan. If there is a ride, they are there.
Jerry Middleton whom I frequently tease about the grade of hills. (He has his own Garmin, just refuses to put the grade in any of his windows).
Mike--no worries--along with Cindy Middleton. We are hoping her back gets better so she can join us on rides once more.
Start time. Two hundred twenty five of us lined up for various distances. Those who chose to enter the race were to go 48 miles. Some of us who just were there for a good time rode the 32 miles. They had a twelve miler for beginners and families.
It was a damp, chilly morning. At first, it was punishment to try to draft off of anyone as the rear wheel would throw dirty water in your face.
Along the road I would spot something that looked as if someone had emptied his cooler. Finally it dawned on me that it was patches of hail that dropped along with the morning rain. 
Rest stop #1. I had already dropped behind the 48 mile crowd and was being joined by the 32 mile riders. Not that it was a tough ride, I just wondered why the rest stop was "25 miles" out. I was finally convinced by everyone that we were just at the 13 mile mark. 
At the rest stop, I met up with Mel Register from San Angelo. Mel had just started riding with our groups so I was happy to see him on the tour. We decided to ride together and just enjoy the ride.
The 32 mile route does not have any tough steep grades. Rather, there were several long inclines, the steepest of which my Garmin said was 5%.
Rest stop #2 (#3 for the 48 milers) seemed to come quickly upon the heels of the first rest stop. I think having Mel to talk with made the ride seem shorter. At the rest stop were the "lead" tandem riders with whom Rick and Velma were vieing.
Rick and Velma rolled into the rest stop while the other tandem riders were still there. I went over to encourage them to hurry before the other riders took off--as soon as I shot their picture of course.
While Rick and Velma were chasing the two riders, Mel and I continued on our lonely journey. We had the road to ourselves. 
Soon we came upon the Abilene airport control tower. That meant we had only 2-3 miles to go.
As the ride was soon to be over, I looked around in order to take a nice scenery picture of our ride. All I could find was the routine West Texas scene of scorched pastures (not withstanding the morning rain which certainly was not enough to end our drought), leafless mesquite trees. and cactus. For those who live in areas with a lot of pretty trees, hug one for us.
 By the time I got to the finish line, Rick and Velma had finished and had time to change clothes. Velma is giving a hint as to how they did. First place, tandem. They overtook the couple and beat them by an official 1 minute and 42 seconds. Congratulations!!
 Brian and Eddie finished their rides. Both had great averages.
 Jerry had finished and changed clothes by the time other 48 milers came in. Karen finished 4th in her category and Gene finished 2nd in his.
 Loyd finished and we asked him how he did. "Aw, I don't know. They wanted me to go over to the timing booth, but I didn't want to."
 Christine finished her ride. Was she glad it was over? Look closely at her smile.
 Unlike Loyd, we were curious as to how Christine did. First place in her catergory. (She is so humble, I will beat her to the punch line--she didn't have that much competition in her category--nuff said.)

We had stopped at a refreshment store and up drove Loyd. He had given in to wondering how he did. Third place in his category!! Way to go Loyd.
I can't wait until next year when hopefully my hip will just be a memory, and I can ride against the big boys. (If not with the big boys, maybe I can get them to increase my age category--).



No comments:

Post a Comment