Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tour De Burma

San Angelo, Texas
June 8, 2013
The big local bicycle event finally arrived at San Angelo. And there bright and early were Cheri and Connie handling last minute registration.
After I received my number and tee shirt, I started circulating to see who all I could find before the event. And I found Cindy and Jerry all cheerful and smiling.
Shown here is the youngest rider.
And shown here is the oldest rider.
Marlon and Tony (in Concho Bike Shop jerseys) were ready for the big 100K over Burma Road and Arden Road.
Joy is getting ready to lead the 5 mile riders on their journey.
Karen was set to do the 100K.
Brian chose the 40 mile ride. He had a goal of making it back in a little over 2 hours. His total time as I recall was 2:26. He must have spent too much time at the great rest stops.
Robbie chose the 24 mile route and Ricky and Liz were set on the 40 mile.
Gene Potter, Club President and Event Director, was ready to call us together.
Gene gave us a briefing of the routes, stops, and at least one pot hole to watch out for on the 100K.
Bikers on the ready.
And we were turned loose.
Liz with her permanent smile. Who could complain since the first mile was on a decline.
Then the road started on its slight incline toward the hills in the distance. Suddenly, I was being left behind.
Have you ever felt alone on a "group" ride? At least I could enjoy the road side's greening up after a few recent showers.
The Mexican Hat cone flowers have matured and lost their "brim".
I forgot to mention that I was going to ride the 40 mile route. So if any local recognizes the sign, they know I was off course. At the 40-mile turn off onto Burma Road, I decided to go straight and visit with Christine who was helping out with the 100K turn-around rest stop. I told the Burma Road personnel what I was doing so they wouldn't report a sun-crazed person riding the wrong way.
Since the 100K riders were still on Burma Road, the ride was just as lonely as a few miles back when I was all alone; but, Arden Road is a lot flatter than Burma so I wasn't complaining.
All kinds of excitement happen out in the country. Here a group of buzzards are feasting on road kill.
Nearing the 100K turn-around point, there are a series of hills that are a little challenging. This one as I recall was a measly 7%.
Up ahead was the tough hill especially after going over the Burma Road hills. I think this one registered 9% and it seems to go on for ever.
After cresting the hill, one spots the rest stop alert sign, and notes that it is at the bottom of the decline. So? That means you turn around and go back up a hill. The event director must have a sadistic side to him as that is the same thing that happens on Burma Road.
Shortly after my arriving at the "Christine's" rest stop, I spotted a rider coming over the hill. I thought the first of the 100K riders had arrived, but it turned out to be Liz. She was at the Burma Road rest stop and heard me say I was going to visit Christine. Unbeknownst to me, she decided to do the same thing. 
Not long after Liz arrived, the first real 100K riders started coming in. Pictured are the first two. I did not know either of them so they were out of town riders. Since I had not been at the rest stop that long, it dawned on me that they were at least 12 miles ahead of me. And we all started at the same time. Humbling. 
This is the second wave of riders. They too were out of town. The green kit has PBBA on it so he was from the Midland/Odessa area.  
The first female rider. She too was out of town as she was visiting here from Austin.
 Riders were still coming in as Liz and I decided it was time for us to start our journey back.
The good part about a hill. The other side goes down. As one can see the road off in the distance, we were about to start out 2-3 mile decent. 
 Last chance to take a picture before I start the 9% decline which makes it too dangerous to be taking pictures hurtling down a hill.
Remember the first incline? Going up slowed me down enough to take a picture of the last part of the downhill portion. 
 Winner of my best gate on the ride. There are several good ones but I liked this best.
 Personnel at the Burma/Arden Road rest stop were very kind and held our bikes so we would not have to place them on the rough shoulder. Thanks! And the cookies were good, too!
 Forgot to mention that Karen joined us on our way back. Karen is our "good luck charm". Every organized ride she has been on with us has either been raining, hail storm, cold, or cloudy. This day was only cloudy as it had rained the previous day.
 Finish line with Joy and Rick. If anyone wondered why there was no previous mention of Rick, it was because he was helping out with the event while recovering from shoulder surgery. Maybe he will be back on his bike by the Fort Davis Bikefest in September. Wishing him speedy recovery.
Velma has been busy lately nursing Rick back to health. If she will stay off the bike long enough, maybe I can keep her in sight on the next ride. Marlon (left of Velma) is recalling his adventures on the 100K ride. Just a small warm up for his next big ride which will be the "MS 100" two day tour in July. Good luck.
Thanks to Gene Potter, all the volunteers, and club board members for putting on a great ride. 


  1. Great story and great ride! Glad we ventured off on a new course. Lets do it again. As soon as my legs recover.

    1. Thanks. Nice to get a comment that is not spam.

      You did great. We will have to do the ride again on a Saturday before HHH.

  2. WHAT do you do with all those shirts???? We usually ended up putting them in the charity box Your favs are never the ones with dates and sponsor logos on them. :)

    1. Yes, the shirts accumulate rapidly. I keep a few favorites and give the rest away.

      We know a lady who makes quilts and pillow cases from her husband's shirts. Christine is not interested in doing that, so we have to keep culling the shirts.