Sunday, June 01, 2008

Tour d'Temple 2008

Tour d'Temple took place on May 31st, starting, strangely enough, in Temple, TX. The route followed a NW direction up to Mother Neff State Park, and the returned in a SE direction back ot the start (I rode the 100K route). The inward leg used a slightly different route (some was shared). Unfortunately, this being Texas, and for all intents and purposes, summertime, the S/SE wind was present from the start, getting worse as the day went. Thus, the ride out to the Park was relatively easy, but the last half of the ride was much more difficult. The final 5 miles or so parallel I-35 heading south, and it seemed almost always uphill.

The route was not overly hilly, no worse than the rolling farmland country where I normally ride. There was one large hill, near the north end of Mother Neff. However, it was with the wind, so not as tough as it could have been. Once north of the park, I was alone except for one other rider I had passed on the climb. The "directions" were painted arrows on the pavement, and given I saw no one else, I started to wonder if I had missed a turn. I stopped and let the other rider catch up, she had a map and as it turned out, we were almost at the road to turn back south.

The time for the 100k distance was a bit slower than usual, I believe mostly due to the persistent headwind for the later half of the ride.

I had driven up to Temple the night before and stayed in my son's house. It's about an hour drive, so, it was easier to do that before and not have to leave so early from my house. Plus, I got to rest there some after the ride before driving back.

Trip to Trapp Family Lodge 2008

I spent a week up at the Trapp Family Lodge in May at one of the guest houses. The weather this year more rainy and cooler than last year. However, in May, this is normal. On Monday, it even snowed for a little while. The week was relaxing as usual, it's a very nice place to get away to. Last year was warmer even though the stay was one week prior compared to this year.

They had an open house at one of their Villas, these are larger than the guest houses. They are still in the process of building them. However, since they are fractional owned instead of being time shares, they may wait until the number of owners is sufficient being starting construction.

By chance, there was a meeting of Classic Bentley owners at the Lodge. I wish it had been less rainy for them. There were quite a few of them and each day they took a 'tour' around the countryside.

I purchased a new camera before the trip, so the pictures I took are much nicer compared to the photos last year with my phone.

Armadillo Hill Country Classic 2008

The Armadillo Hill Country Classic was held on May 10th starting in Liberty Hill TX, proceeding west and north up toward Bertram and Burnet before returning to Liberty Hill. The first 3 to 4 hours of the were overcast but warm and humid. The clouds eventually burned away and the temperatures were in the 90s by the end of the ride. There was a pretty large crowd there, we had to park in the empty fields next to the high school.

I ran into one of my friends from work before the start. He had ridden his bike there from his house, about 20 miles I believe. He said he'd do the ~60 mile distance to get a total ride distance of 100 miles for the day.

At the start, they did not organize the riders according to distance, but I imagine alot of the longer riders made their way to the front of the pack before the start. And shortly after, the stronger riders would naturally get past the slower riders, but dealing with that can be tedious and a little dangerous.

Along the way, at one of the rest stops was the 'Dillo Gate', you had to be past that point by a certain to be able to continue on the two longer distances. If not, they diverted you onto the 50 mile route. I was able to get past it in time. I proceeded to the rest stop that marked the turnaround for the 2nd longest distance, 80 miles. I felt ok so I proceeded to do the extra loop for the longest distance. There were some roads under construction in that extra loop, down to bare dirt, not the best surface for skinny road tires, I worry about getting a flat, or losing control on that sort of surface. Fortunately, neither happened.

By the time I finished, the bulk of riders had finished and left. There were a couple riders I passed toward the end that obviously had run out of energy, they were proceeding at a very slow rate. They had some subs and plenty to drink at the end, that was greatly appreciated.

This was the longest ride I've done by a just a little (the Outlaw Trail is just about the same distance).

A few pictures of the ride can be found here.

Red Poppy Ride 2008

The Red Poppy Ride was held April 26th starting in Georgetown, TX, and proceeding through the rolling farmland east of town. The weather was very nice, with a gentle northwesterly breeze. The night before, a large line of thundershowers had passed through, however there was little if any water remaining on the roads. The starter warned us of a parked car just after the start - his car. He placed it there to make us divert around a slick spot since it was at the apex of a curve that exited the parking lot.

The route was the same as last year. I ended up stopping at different rest stops this year, and they did not have the 'theme' at each stop as they had done the prior year. I thought that was a pretty good idea.

The ride was enjoyable, I made good time, not as good as last year though, but on that ride I was able to stay with a faster group for quite a while. On this one, there were some smaller groups I rode with for a while.

I had a few hot dogs at the end, probably not the best kinda food to eat, but after riding 100K, I could afford it.

The evening of the ride saw another set of storms, it was fortunate that ride occurred between some rather nasty weather.

I took a few pictures along the way, you can view them here.