Sunday, October 25, 2009

LiveStrong Challenge 09 - Day 3 (the 25th), the Ride

I left for Dripping Springs at about 5:45am. There was less construction this year on 290, about 1 mile's worth, but I did not want to rush. Hopefully, next year, they can finish up, finally. It's actually more trouble when leaving, the backups are worse heading back towards Austin. I parked at the same place as last year, the Dripping Springs ISD Administration building, away from the crush of the 'official' parking.

To the DOLT who almost ran me over as I left the parking lot, pay the least bit of attention, we'd all appreciate it. The 'vertical white lines' (in the center of the image) are concrete barriers, he managed to miss where he should have turned (he was heading west, to the left of the map) an pulled into the oncoming traffic lane where I was, +1 on the stupid meter. Now back to the important stuff.

Once I arrived at the high school, I got in line with the other 3800 or so cyclists, at least most of them were behind me as they stage the longer distance riders to the front. The start was on time, with the sun breaking through the clouds just as the ride began. It was a very nice day, eventually topping 80 degrees.

A big Thank You to my supporters and friends, it's your generosity that inspires me and makes my participation possible.

Just about 10 minutes after starting, I rode past a large group that had stopped and were off their bikes around someone who had presumably fallen, he was on his back by the side of the road. An medic on a motorcycle passed us heading in the opposite direction, I'm supposing to aid the fellow. All it takes is a slight distraction with so many people so close to have a problem.

Speaking of that, a bit later, I hooked onto one of the pacelines of riders that would come up and pass you, this one I hung on to. After about 5 minutes, the rider 3 up from me had a blowout. The riders behind him bailed to the sides, fortunately, no one went down, including the rider who had the blowout. The remainder of the ride was uneventful - a good thing.

There were plenty of hills, not too bad. The wind kicked up some from the south, which made the ride a bit more difficult than last year. The south wind made the end part of the ride downwind, I appreciated that.

After finishing, I left my bike at the 'corral' and got some grub, and also some beer over at the beer tent, although, there was not really a tent like the had the year before. It was warm and sunny enough that some shade would have been nice.

I headed back home at about 4pm, a bit tired, but looking forward to the Challenge next year.

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