Bike MS training update: The Real Ale Ride

This past Saturday, at an ungodly early hour, I loaded up my bike and headed out to Blanco for the annual Real Ale Ride that leaves from the Real Ale brewery. The ride motto? “Up the hills, Down the beers.” Definitely fitting. I was hopeful as the ride started that maybe the wind wouldn’t get as bad as promised. And around mile 35, with a tailwind, I climbed a THREE MILE long hill that I hoped was the worst that I would experience. Ha. No such luck. Soon after climbing that hill, we turned again and were greeted with a gusty headwind. There were moments where I questioned my resolve. I even pulled over on the side of the road (not at a rest stop) to have a snack and rest, something I’ve never done on an organized ride. The hills were good training (see the Garmin route here), I suppose, for the Bike MS event Ride the Rim that I will participate in out in Canyon, TX on June 22nd. There is a very very nasty hill on that ride. In support of the fact that I will not SAG up that hill, please consider making a donation to the MS Society in support of my participation! (SAG = support vehicle that I could choose to ride in)

The good news is that I finished after 65 miles in one piece and got to enjoy lunch, beer, music and italian ice. By that time of day, it was downright hot and the humidity was still ridiculous so the italian ice from Rita’s was a special treat. The other fun part? I won a contest to be a “Beerbassador” sponsored by Real Ale and Bicycle Sport Shop. I got a free Real Ale Phoenix jersey, entry into the Real Ale Ride, a cool bottle opener and a very heavy case of Fireman’s 4.

Warning: this post has many pictures because I got yet another handlebar mount for my GoPro. This one is supposed to swivel but once I tightened the set screw, I couldn’t loosen it, so I couldn’t swivel the camera on my bike. Sigh.

Do you see me in the crowd of beerbassadors?

Classic cars, rolling down the main street in Blanco right after the ride started.

Classic cars, rolling down the main street in Blanco right after the ride started.

Classic cars, rolling down the main street in Blanco right after the ride started.

Classic cars, rolling down the main street in Blanco right after the ride started.

The day started out extremely humid and very hazy.

The day started out extremely humid and very hazy.

The haze slowly started to clear.

The haze slowly started to clear.

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Lots of wildflowers on the left side of the road.

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It’s hard to tell here, but you can see hills off in the distance.

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Pretty clouds and a great view.

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Small cliffs along the side of the road.

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Rolling into a small town, where the first rest stop I stopped at was located.

First rest stop! At a cute little general store type building.

First rest stop! At a cute little general store type building.

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Hills in the distance and the haze was back.

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This picture is for my father-in-law. There’s an old thresher on the left side of the road. Can you see it?

Tandem riders. Maybe I'll have one of those someday. I'll have to be the front rider through.

Tandem riders. Maybe I’ll have one of those someday. I’ll have to be the front rider through.

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Hills…

Wildflowers!

Wildflowers!

The second rest stop I paused at had a table with a high school boy serving Rita's italian ice. I think it's the only reason I got back on my bike to fight the headwind to the finish.

The second rest stop I paused at had a table with a high school boy serving Rita’s italian ice. I think it’s the only reason I got back on my bike to fight the headwind to the finish.

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The Blanco river is on the right side of the road. It’s hard to see here.

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That blue sign says “Ride your bike hard today” from Clif bar. Don’t worry, I did.

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When I first pulled up to the finish the food line was SO long. Luckily it moved pretty quickly.

The finish party had a band, dancers, food and beer. Plenty of tents to sit in the shade too.

The finish party had a band, dancers, food and beer. Plenty of tents to sit in the shade too.

After making it home with my prize, Mojo   was king of the Fireman's 4 beer mountain.

After making it home with my prize, Mojo was king of the Fireman’s 4 beer mountain.

Thanks for reading! Please consider a donation to my Bike MS fundraising!

 

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6 thoughts on “Bike MS training update: The Real Ale Ride

  1. Pingback: Making bread cakes for bike training season | Laura Makes
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  5. Pingback: Last 2013 Bike MS training update: East and South Austin | Laura Makes
  6. Pingback: Bike MS Ride the Rim 2013 Recap | Laura Makes

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