Sunday, March 26, 2017

Grape Creek

Grape Creek
San Angelo, Texas
March 25, 2017
Grape Creek is a little community just outside of San Angelo. It is one of the favorites of cyclists as it has good roads, few loose dogs, a lot of flat areas, and just enough inclines and rolling hills to keep one interested. 
 Smooth, smooth road in the elementary and high school area. I wish Texas and Tom Green County would use this pavement company. It is like Hwy 277 USED to be. 
 As we left Grape Creek, the roads were still good.

 Off to the left is Bean Hill, elevation2290 feet. 

 Example of long incline. Not steep, just long.

 Coming up on our right is Mt. Nebo, elevation 2329, reportedly the highest elevation in Tom Green County.

 After intersecting with March Road, there were a lot of rolling hills, one up to 10% per my Garmin.

 As "always," one has to take my word for the rolling hills as my camera insists on making the roads look flat.
 To prove a reverse point, upcoming was a good long decline...that looks flat.
 After a few more rolling hills, March Road is a steady decline back into Grape Creek. When we got to Grape Creek, half of the group wanted to do the circle again, only this time take the road that has Mt. Nebo on our left side.
 Unfortunately, there were very few wild flowers on the route and I had to stop and take this picture in order to make sure I captured them.
 Mt. Nebo coming up on our left side. 

 After intersecting with March Road once more, the road becomes a decline--but you will just have to take my word for it.
 Turning on Wren Road to go back to Grape Creek proper, Mt. Nebo can be seen off in the distance.
Wren Road before intersecting with Grape Creek Road is flat as depicted in the photo. Finally an accurate shot just before the end of a very nice ride with a great group of riders. Undoubtedly, we will ride this route again this summer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Steam N Wheels

 Steam N Wheels
Abilene, Texas
March 18, 2017
Steam N Wheels is the annual race/tour in Abilene. If you finish either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, it is a race. If you come in 4th or above, it is a very nice ride through the Abilene country side.
 Quite a few riders from San Angelo came into town. Marlon (Center) finished first in his age category.
 David is a frequent rider in our local group rides. He is fast.
 Part of the Nelson Park from which we started. I broke my long time tour camera and was using a "throw away." I couldn't see what I was shooting and the shutter time was slow. I am making my excuses early as to the quality of the hit and miss shots. I have deleted mass quantities of shots of the road, my tire, Garmin, handlebars, and some of "What was I shooting at?" pictures. So give me some slack.
 Brian is another fast rider who frequently joins the local group rides.
 Loyd (center) also frequently joins the local group rides, and, came in second in his age group.
 Mel from San Angelo
 and Mel's wife, Martha who finished her first ever 32 miles.  
 Jerry, ready to kick off. Jerry is the President of the San Angelo Bicycle Association.
 And a frequent rider, my wife, Christine. She came in 1st in her age division for the 32 mile ride although she will not let me reveal the age group. (Editor's note: I was the ONLY one in my age group.)
 Mel and Brian join the line up for the race/tour.
 I am not sure of the registered participants but with the nice weather forecasted, the crowd I think should have been larger.
 The first leg of the journey is mostly climbing to a higher elevation.

 Up ever so slightly, that is if you are not having to pedal it.

 After we turned right, we settled into a relatively flat stretch. 
 And then some more inclines slip up on us.  
Loyd is undaunted at the upcoming series of rollers. 


 The splotches of wild flowers were far and few. 
 I had to stop in order not to miss this little fellow. Yes, I know it was a "race", but a race can be fun also.
 Loyd was still ready to take on the constant rollers of the third leg.


 Well, trust me. The redbud was real pretty.
 I remember taking this shot just to remind myself that it wasn't all up hill. This decline was from 1 to 1 1/2 miles and a prelude to the last leg.
 As we passed the third rest stop, the fun part of the ride began.

 It may not look it, but the last 12 miles was a slight decline and with the wind (S 10). It was a welcome change after 30 plus miles of inclines, rollers, and some hills. 
The sign on the right announced our turn off and the short stretch to the finish line. And as all riders know, AFTER a tough ride, the sentiments were that it was a very good ride. And what made it even better, I do not think anyone from San Angelo came in more than 5th in their age group, so, as Bill (who placed first in his age group), frequently signs off his San Angelo Standard Times articles with "Ride on, San Angelo".