Sorry this post is so late – heck it’s almost time for the next ride. It’s been a busy week.
Last Saturday we headed up to New Waverly, which is just south of Huntsville for a good practice ride. The area has many rolling hills and a few good climbs as well. Not to mention a ride through Sam Houston National Forest. I’ve been up in this area before – last year for the Huntsville Raven’s Revenge ride (coincidentally my first organized t-shirt ride). Also coincidentally, the Raven’s Ride was going on the same day – and our routes overlapped a little. I pedaled through some familiar areas.
I left my GPS at home and my wife’s didn’t track the whole route so here’s a general map of the area we rode through. We started at the bottom right in town, and crossed I-45, then went through the forest to the west then turned north toward the south side of Huntsville. We came back east on Veterans Memorial Parkway where the longest/steepest climb of the ride was, then followed the feeder road parallel to I-45 all the way back to the start in New Waverly.
IT WAS COLD.
We thought maybe we would luck out as it was in the low/mid 40s in Houston, but as we drove out of the city it dropped. The temp was around 37 when we started rolling out for the ride. The sun came out for about 30 minutes from 7:30-8am, then it was cloudy the whole rest of the way. You were warm enough once you got riding, but as soon as you stopped for a rest stop it got freakin’ cold again. It’s bad the weather was so gloomy and cold because on a nice day, the forest and surrounding areas can be beautiful.
We did OK on the hills. The whole way back south along I-45 was nicknamed the “roller coaster” as the road goes up and down almost the whole way. Makes for a good workout but also a lot of fun. Not much else to talk about I guess – nothing out of the ordinary happened. So, on to the pics I guess!
Taken from the car as we took the overpass from the Tollway to I-45 north. It gave us hope that the clouds would burn away and the sun would come out and warm things up. Yeah, we were wrong.
Parking! As you can see, the sun is out. But it was short-lived. Our car/bikes are on the right. Looking the other way from where we parked. It was New Waverly’s junior high school I think. Not very big! And our starting point was the parking lot of the elementary school.
There has been a photographer, Randy Ramos, hanging out for a bunch of the training rides, and this is a pic from us from his website. As you can see we are cold. Very cold. We also didn’t know he was taking out picture! He took another one after approaching us that we smiled nicely for – but this one is more fun. Check out tons of great cycling pics (along with his other photography) on his site: http://randyramos.smugmug.com
The sun washed out this pic, but it’s all of us lined up and starting off in waves. Better pic – though most of the riders have left already. We left toward the back of the pack. This was the only rest stop on our route. It was one of the Huntsville Fire Stations. Many thanks to them for allowing us access to their facilities and a little warmth. Also HUGE thank you to all the volunteers running the rest areas, keeping the coolers full of water and Gatorade, and the snack cups full! Here’s the I-45 feeder road, the “roller coaster.” It’s hard to make out in the pic I suppose but there are some rolling hills ahead. Also noticeable are the clouds and the distinct lack of sun. I might make pics like this a staple. #bikeselfie ?? Not exactly the safest thing I suppose, but, meh, whatever. I caught my wife mid drink apparently. More rolling hills.
Well that’s it for last week.
This week we are heading all the way out to Fayetteville, which is nearly to La Grange – which is the half-way overnight stop for the actual MS150. Damn I’m going to have to get up early. Ugh! It’s supposed to be much warmer though, and hopefully, just maybe, the sun will make an appearance.