Sunday, March 18, 2018

Steam N Wheels

 Steam N Wheels
Abilene, Texas
March 17, 2018
 Good News/Bad News. Some of us thought the ride started at 9 a.m. If it had, Christine and I would almost have been late. Couple of unnamed others also thought it was 9, some knew it was a 10 a.m. start. From the picture, can you tell who thought it was 9 and the one(s) who knew it was 10? 
 Slowly the parking lot started to fill.
 Some of the San Angelo attendees:
Angie and Jodi
 Bo, Brian, Jerry, Marcus, and Ben
Christine is still on the injured list with her unhealed shoulder/arm joint (Editor's note: I wondered why it wouldn't get better after 4 years). Scheduled for shoulder replacement in May.
Group pic just before line up. Told you I was prepared for 50 degree weather. Can't help it that the others are more tolerant of chilly weather. 
 Lined up close to the front are Brian, Bill, and Marcus.
Not sure how many registered but Steam N Wheels had a good turnout.
 And we are off. A lead pack quickly established. At this point, Bill, Marcus, and I were hanging in at the start of the 48 mile race. 
 I was so impressed with these guys. If I stopped pedaling for a heart beat to take a photo, they were in the distance. Sometimes I would glance down at the odometer to ask myself why we are going 27 mph? This isn't fun. 
 Fast forward to the next photos. At the 24 mile rest stop I stopped. Of course the lead group continued at their impressive pace.
When I stopped I had something like a 22 mph average. Upon resuming, I considered whether it was worth it to try to catch them.

 The answer was no, just ride your own pace and try to have fun. As I had declared that I was riding an Ebike, no matter in what place I finished, it wouldn't be counted.
There was one other consideration to ride alone. If one has seen the excellent cycling movie "Breaking Away," one would recall the reception Dave got when he tried to ride with the visiting Italian team.             
               When I pulled up to the outside of the group, it seemed a "blocker" would emerge. 

When I went to the inside, I was crowded to the point of going off the shoulder or backing off. I backed off.

I do not want to overplay the actions, but I got the very distinct feeling that no old man, especially on an electric bike, was going to join the group.
I guess I should have ridden with my friends.

Bit I had a nice leisurely ride by myself, occasionally passing a rider who was dropped from the group. 

The ride continued to be normal. Solitary road shots by myself.
Nearing the end. Right after the underpass we are close to the finish line. 
The end is in sight. By this time I had dropped my average to 20.2 mph. Good enough for me, and I had more fun on the last half of the ride.
Some of the San Angelo riders and family formed a cheering squad for finishers. Nice to be welcomed in. Thanks to the volunteers and friendly San Angelo crowd for making the race/ride an enjoyable time.  

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