Monday, June 5, 2017

Possum Pedal

 Possum Pedal
Graham, Texas
June 3, 2017
 Start time was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. but that didn't diminish Christine's enthusiasm.
Brian was ready to go also.
Marcus was ready also. Side note, Marcus did the 83 mile ride, whereas I did the 67. Point, he caught up to me about 7 miles out from the finish line. Sebastian from San Angelo was also there but I didn't get a photo. And I can't say how he did in comparison to Marcus, but Sebastian was loading his bike as I approached our car.
Added: Later I found out why I never saw him. He did the 83 miles in 3 hours, 50 minutes. In rain and hills.
I am not sure how many lined up, but previous riders stated that the attendance was low this year. The reason, I suspect, was the forecast--rain and thunderstorms.
 The ride started out fine and the crowd quickly spread out.
But 3 miles out, it started to rain on us. It was a heavy, steady rain, but I put away the camera as quickly my glasses were covered in water, and I had a hard time seeing. 
 Fast forward, it rained on us until about mile 40. I think we had just a sprinkle at this point.
 I am not sure the subtle change in the sky is detectable, but rain had stopped. A small raindrop was still present as can be seen on the left of the photo.
 Hopefully, the next few pictures will demonstrate three things: the outstanding, smooth roads; the scenic countryside; and some of the rolling hills.
 
  
 
I forgot to mention that we had a gentle 5 mph wind. One never noticed if going into the wind or with it.
  These are the best roads of any of the tours we've ridden during the last 10 years. And there were "yellow caution bicycle" signs on every route about every 5 miles. Most impressive.
 
 One may have noticed the previous shots of upcoming hills. My Garmin's grade indicator has gone haywire. I could be going up a hill and the grade indicator would say 1%, but my legs would say 5%. 
I think my legs were more accurate.
  
 19 miles out, almost home free.
 
 Tanks were full everywhere.
This was an "oop's"  shot, but when I looked at it, my ego said leave it in.
 We had great downhills also.
  
 The last rest stop before the finish line. The volunteers need a big shout out as they had volunteers to hold one's bike--even back when it was raining. The first rest stop was handing out dry rags. I cleaned my sunglasses and was finally able to see--for a little while.
When we crossed the Brazos, I had to stop and try to get a good picture. Later, in town, a local was telling me he lives on the Brazos and said it was 10 feet above normal. Side note, Throckmorton, a nearby community had to be evacuated due to flooding.
Always one more "1%" hill.
But just outside of town, there were two great downhills.
Finish line to a saturated ride as my kit was still wet and shoes were still soaked.
But, a treat by the ride sponsors and community eased the "pain." Graham was hosting a food truck championship.  We were given a ticket for a meal at any of the trucks.
 
 We chose this one and what a treat. BBQ sandwich that must have had over an inch of barbeque between the buns. And it was delicious.
 Statue on the town square. A tribute to the Goodnight-Loving cattle trail. What a wise cowboy following the old adage, "Don't squat on yer spurs."
 Really nice setting.
 Speaking of cowboys, at a dude ranch where we ate the previous evening, a nice herd of longhorns grazed in a field.
 


And now the treat that Christine loved. Graham has a still-operating drive in movie. She insisted that this be added as she was afraid some of the younger generation may have never seen a drive in.

Ticket office and part of the screen.

As "my generation" is aware, the little building contained the projection booth, concession stand, and rest rooms. The little white pickets in front of the screen were the lines of speakers that one would attach to a partially opened car window. Speakers had volume adjustment knobs and one could watch the film in the comfort of one's vehicle.
On the town square we were delighted to see Graham's little movie theater still in use. This isolated community was charming, well supported by sponsors and volunteers, and only about 3 hours drive from San Angelo.

We look forward to returning to the Possum Pedal next year to see the first 40 miles of the ride.


















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