"Freedom and responsibility we speak of easily, nearly always without recognition of the iron courage required to make them effective in our lives." j. glenn gray

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ready to Go

OK. My gear is packed and I'm ready to get underway but, first things first... food and sleep. I'm cooking a large pot of Irish stew for dinner. A piping hot bowl of stew with some good bread ought to be just the thing to send me off right. Yesterday a cold front came through and along with the rain came a 45 degree temperature drop and 30mph gusts of wind. The cold and wet made for miserable company last night causing my back and legs to ache and twitch. The pain and muscle spasms kept me awake most of the night. I feel better today though as the sky cleared, the humidity dropped and the quick silver climbed to 65F. A full belly and a soft rack should allow me to be plenty rested for my journey. This time tomorrow, if without incident, I will be in Ft. Worth.

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by TXPeddler

Sunday, March 2, 2008

'08 Gator Ride

First t-shirt ride of the year and it came off without a hitch. I was pleasantly surprised at my performance. Rafael, Colin and I managed to keep a pace of 18-19mph throughout the ride finishing up with a 16mph average for 63 miles. I love the sound that several well-tuned bikes make as they hum along the black top on a quiet country road.

The morning started out foggy and mild in the mid 60's. I left my jacket in the truck and was glad I did (for once). I was happy to see Bill at the start and again when we finished as I hadn't seen him in about a year. The ride start was delayed about 30 minutes while we waited for the fog to clear a little. The first 11 miles to the ferry were fun. It was like riding in a cloud; the sounds were muffled and condensation built up quickly on my glasses and rained down from my helmet. I had no troube spinning up the Fred Hartman and took it slow coming down because of the limited visability, wet pavement and lots of other riders of varying skill levels. We went through TXPWD San Jacinto Monument Park and passed the Texas and it too was very pretty in the fog. I could only see about 60 feet up the monument as it disappeared in the fog. The wait for the ferry was about 15 minutes and by the time we got across and deboarded the sky was clear and a beautiful blue. We even managed to catch Chuck, Roy, Stephanie and Susan who had started before us. We road with them for a while talking and enjoying the company. The wind did not blow very hard settling in around 8mph out of the SSE. We only made one more stop at No. 4 Rest Stop (thanks out to the VFW folks) for some quick water and a cup of cheez-its. We finished the ride at 1214hrs, which made me happy as I had set a personal goal of finishing by noon... close enough for me. We loaded up and enjoyed some chili dogs and a nice cold coke. The ride was well organized and supported.

Lastly, Sun Block! Sun Block! Sun Block! At the end of the ride I happened to look at my arms and found 2nd degree burns. Last Sunday we had gone for a ride and I forgot the sun block. I turned quite a nice shade of lobster pink on my arms, knees, ears & nose. Friday my arms began to peel. Saturday I, el stupido, forgot the sun block...again! A nice young lady at the beginning of the ride let me have some of her sports block and I applied it to my arms and nose. Still, with the sun block applied I burned. I have not had a blistering sun burn since I was about 7 years old. So, today I picked up 2 containers of sun block while at the store... a 45spf to apply before the ride starts and 70spf spray to apply during the ride as needed. I really should have known better but I haven't had a problem with sun exposure since I was a child. If this doesn't ameleorate the problem I will go to wearing all white, long sleeve coolmax shirts.

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by TXPeddler