Susan Peak Road
San Angelo, Texas
January 9, 2018
The first part of January was quite cold with some moisture making icy conditions. Hence, this was our first ride of the year. It was a nice day, but Christine was taking no chances and dressed warmly. In the background is one of many large bales of cotton still in the farmers' fields. Typically it is well into February before all of the cotton is processed.
Our plan was to start from Walling Pecan and travel out Susan Peak to the gated end about 18 miles down the road. The ride starts out in the cotton fields, so there is no wind break. Forecast said 15 mph wind; felt like 20.
Quickly the terrain goes to ranches with their mesquite and cedar trees. The road is a false flat and one really doesn't notice until the return trip and the miles per hour increase with little effort.
About 4 miles into the ride, the rollers begin.
I had stopped at the Rocking Chair Ranch gate (lead picture), and Christine was just finishing the long-but not steep-incline to the gate.
The Garmin download reflects most of the rollers from 4-6% grade.
Along with some pretty good downhills.
This is the hill that keeps us riding on this road for hill practice.
Christine is at about the 11% grade. The hill takes a steep increase just yards in front of her but it is so short that it doesn't register upon downloading the info. In the past I have glanced down and have seen 12-14%, but it rarely is reflected on Training Center.
There is enough distance to make it a good climbing practice run.
One is then rewarded with a good downhill.
Right after the good downhill, this spot in the road was ominous.
Shortly this part of the road was really torn up.
It appeared to be the tracks of heavy trucks sinking into the road, most likely when our roads were wet, iced over, and then thawed. Not sure though.
The road continued to be damaged for miles.
One more hill. Parts of this I pushed my bike through as it was not very safe to ride, and my forearm and shoulder still have not totally healed from my October fall.
We turned around at what we call the Green Gate about 12 miles out as we could see that the road continued to be damaged as far as we could see.
I stopped to take a picture of the reverse of the "tough" climb. From this point on, the road was in normal condition so we made up for the lost time of weaving and dodging ruts, chunks of asphalt, and scattered gravel. Until the road is repaired, we will be turning around after the big hill for a shorter 16 mile ride.