Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tour de Gap

Tour de Gap
Buffalo Gap, Texas 
July 22, 2017 
 Line up time for an 8 a.m. start. Jerry took some better pictures than I did so with his permission, I am using some of his start and riders shots. Thanks for your help, Jerry.
 It was reported that about 270 of us lined up for the start. Present from San Angelo in the line up were:
 Rick (Center)
(Had to add iconic pose by Jeffri started at the Tour de Agua)
David (Center)
Mel and Martha
Steve, Brenda, and Matteo (Not pictured but Marcus was somewhere in the crowd) 
and a group shot of Jerry, Brian, Jeffri, Rick, and myself back row.
Not many shots were taken for the first 30 or so miles as the terrain was flat for the most part or with slight inclines. And of course the forecasted 13 mph wind was in our face, so we just tried to pace- line and endure.
Rick to the rescue. Lady on the right had a flat tire. Seems just about every tour, Rick will stop and help someone with a flat. David, Brian, and lady are looking for a spring that sprang from her wheel housing. (Never found it). 
 Now the terrain became a little more interesting. Small but fairly frequent rollers such as the one ahead of us.
 Finally we turned onto Highway 277 and the rollers roll on into Abilene. Thank goodness we would eventually turn to the right toward Buffalo Gap.
 And roll.
 And up. In all fairness there were dome declines, but it is hard to take a picture while rolling downhill.
What is remarkable about this shot? Shade. First road shade in about 40 miles. Average temp while we were riding was 92. My Garmin showed a high of 105 off of the road surface.
And we had some traffic on 277.
Long false flat.
And a long up.
 As we turned toward Buffalo Gap, the statue marked a horse farm--and our last rest stop.
The Buffalo Gap road is infamous among riders for its two torturous hills.
 But first there is a "warm up" hill.
 Followed by a 11% climb.
Followed by another 11% climb.
Nearing the crest still climbing. 
But a good long downhill.
 Decline for the most part continued on into town as Buffalo Gap sits in a valley--a gap.
 Nearing the finish line. The sheriff's department assisted us to safely make the turn.
Another group of volunteers as they take note of the bib numbers to account for all of the riders.
Waiting for us was a rested up Christine as she did only the 27 mile race.
Afterwards there were food and drinks.
 David, kicking back after the long ride. I think I forgot to say that our group did the 100K.
Post ride of Jeffri. She fought the heat and won the battle lasting out the 100K.. Martha and Mel in the background looking rested after their 27 mile ride.
Once again we wish to thank the Abilene, Buffalo Gap, and Taylor County organizers, sponsors, and volunteers for all of their hard work in pulling the ride together and making the ride enjoyable and safe for all. Thank you!!

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