Sunday, June 23, 2019

Pedal for Paws

 Pedal for Paws
Hosted by the Heart of Texas Cyclists for the benefit of the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center
Brownwood, Texas
June 22, 2019
 The Corinne T Smith Animal Center is just across from Festival Park where we registered and staged for the ride. The dogs were excited and serenaded us as we got our bikes ready for the ride.

 I didn't get a count but I estimate there were a hundred or so riders for this event. The ride choices were an 8 mile route, 25, 45, or 63 miles. Pictured above are some of the riders from San Angelo--Brian, David, and Jerry.
 Most of the San Angelo riders chose the 45 mile route. The 63 milers had already left.
 I didn't get a photo of all the San Angelo riders (9), but pictured are: Brian
 Christine--with her "I'm going to beat you" smile--and she did.
We're off. I learned last time not to shoot into the sun but again wanted a shot of our first climb. I was trailing David watching for the other Angelo riders.
Yes, we're "off," but did we leave Christine behind? No, she likes to leave last and then play catchup.

I dropped back a little and found Mel and Christine (always sightseeing). Didn't take her long to "catch up."

Not far from the ride start was an old dogtrot house. As it was located close to a Criminal Justice establishment, it was probably relocated to its present location. Popular in the 19th and 20th centuries, dogtrot log cabins were essentially two log cabins separated by an open area. The opening is referred to as a trot and the function was to create a breezeway to keep occupants cool, but note that each cabin also had its own chimney. Many of the western books will have people sleeping and eating in the trot as it would be in the breeze of the prevailing winds.

Back to the ride.  I went back to David to ask if he knew where Brian was. Yes, he is up there somewhere.
 I took off to find Brian and sure enough, found him right in the middle of the lead group, grinning and having a ball.
 Brian and I rode with the lead group until--refreshment time.
 Since the rest stop had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cookies, fruit, pickles, etc. we decided to stay there for a while and "let the others catch up to us."
 David was the first to pass the rest stop so we took out after him.
 After catching David, we formed our own little pace line as we were straight into the wind.
Brian and your author courtesy of Heart of Texas Cyclists.
Down the road another old structure caught one's eye.
I learned from Charley Bob, a friend from Brownwood High School (from which we graduated a loooooong time ago, that the building was the old Indian Creek gymnasium. Indian Creek school was built in 1876. Not sure when the gym was built but the school consolidated with Brookesmith in 1948-49. If Brownwood has the ride next year, we can talk about authoress Katherine Anne Porter who is buried in the Indian Creek cemetery.                                                  

Sheep dog with his flock well under control. Wonder if he came from the Corinne T Smith shelter?
Pretty gate caught my eye.
Many nice distractions.

Bringing me back to focus was another rest stop. The Pedal for Paws had well spaced rest stops, good selection of snacks/fluids, and super friendly volunteers.

The ride had plenty of good long hills also as will be seen.

There were some downhills but it seemed two hills to one downhill.
And wind, what wind? It was only 12-14 mph. Piece of cake.

I like to include a lot of shots of the ups and downs of a ride as we often refresh our memory about a ride before repeating it the next year.
Refreshing our memory doesn't make the hills less steep although my Garmin indicated the steepest hill was 7%.

6-7% grades in and of themselves aren't too bad. It is just when they go for 1/4 or more miles, it is about as taxing as a short 11%.
Another old rock structure. Cabin(?) The rock buildings all look like they used the same rock quarry.

As we rounded a curve at Brookesmith, a temperature sign indicated 81 degrees, but as it was overcast with a "nice" breeze, it was quite comfortable.
While going through Brookesmith, Staci, the photographer, was taking pictures of riders. Christine in this one.

This was not in Brookesmith but a good place to showcase other San Angelo riders: David here.

And me. Thank you Staci for the great pictures of the ride.
Right outside Brookesmith was a running low water crossing. The gentleman is pointing out to Brian the path to take through the water. He had scrubbed a trail through the algae to make it safer. Thank you, thank you.
You can sort of see the trail behind Brian. I was told that only one person fell. Was not hurt but was plenty wet. (No, not me).
Part of the ride was on a one lane stretch of road similar to the old Fredericksburg ride.

Should have used zoom as the cows had interesting horn shape and body structure.
Would this be another upcoming hill?
However, we were well rewarded with this upcoming downhill.
Brian and I were riding along at about 20 miles per hour when a sweet sounding, taunting voice said "On your left." Christine passed us as if we were standing still.
I chased her for a while but see the start of a good downhill. Anyone who knows Christine knows that you can't catch her on a downhill, so I shortly gave up and just went back to riding for fun.

Proud of this shot. I noticed this scene too late for a normal point and shoot picture. I had already passed the field/pond so I aimed the camera behind me and clicked. It came out reasonably well.
I agree with the owner--Four Star Ranch.
And four star farm.
On a "four" theme--four cows in a pasture. Personally, I would have moved over to the tree shade but then I do not have cow logic.
Shot of another hill? No, I got excited when I saw a water tower as that generally means civilization.

Nope, just another hill.
This is the thrill of the ride. We used to call this Brady Hill. It is long and steep.
Thing of it is, at the bottom of Brady Hill is a right turn back toward the staging area. Need good brakes.
Not a good picture but on the left is the Corinne animal shelter and across the street by the lamp poles is Festival Park-the start/finish line.

After lunch debriefing. Jerry is demonstrating how the hills were. Lunch provided by the H.O.T. Cyclist Club was a choice of hamburger or sausage hot dog. Christine had the hamburger. I had the hot dog. Both of us were happy.
Festival Park is in part of the old WWII Camp Bowie training grounds, and just down the road is an outstanding memorial to Brownwood veterans and the fallen who served in all wars since the Spanish-American War.

As stated earlier, we hope that H.O.T Cyclists and the animal shelter put on another ride next year which will give us an opportunity to talk more about the Memorial and Katherine Porter. And talk about the good hills, good rest stops, good food, and outstanding volunteers. 

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