Bike MS Training: August 29 & 30 – Almost time for Bike MS Rock’n Hot!

Next weekend is my biggest training weekend, the weekend I ride 100 miles, all in one day! The Bike MS Rock’n Hot Ride is the following weekend and it goes from Little Rock, AR to Hot Springs and back over two days. Normally, Bike MS events have a 100 mile option for the Saturday route, but this ride somehow does not. What it does have is a lot of climbing on both days, for a total of 140 miles, and 8,000 feet of elevation gain between the two days. To make up for the lack of a 100 mile option, I will ride 100 next weekend, and it’s going to be a one way ride, so prepare yourself for too many biking photos. This weekend I rode 80 miles out east on familiar roads to get ready and then on Sunday another 40 miles of hills.

This year, I ride Bike MS in memory of my godmother Barbara Hoffman who died of the progressive form of Multiple Sclerosis in December 2014. She was diagnosed with the disease when I was young and I watched it progressively devastate her life from that point on. Please consider supporting my 8th annual Bike MS ride and helping to put an end to MS by donating to the National MS Society.

And now for some photos from my rides. I started out Saturday morning as the sun was rising to beat the heat. The sunrise was lovely because of some wispy clouds in the sky. None of my photos do it justice, of course.

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I headed southeast from home and hit a short section of the southern walnut creek trail. If you look closely, you can see a sliver of Decker Lake in this photo.DCIM100GOPRO

Throughout the ride, I saw these white flowers, which looked like wild garlic, except normally a wild garlic stalk is a single stalk. These flowers were part of a many branch stalk plant.DCIM100GOPRO

For the first time I went by the entrance to the Travis County East Metro Park. It was a very nice, new park. I think I’ll take my dog back there for a walk sometime.

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There’s a horse hiding in this photo. Can you find it?

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I rode on a few roads I’ve never been on before and was chased by 5 dogs! It always is saddening to see that people just let their dogs free range like that. What if they get hit by a car while chasing a cyclist down the street?? I also saw a few tied up to really short chains which makes me even sadder… poor doggies. I didn’t get photos of any of the dogs that chased me since I was busy worrying about whether they were dangerous (they weren’t). I did get a photo of 4 dogs that were properly fenced in and not on short chains. What, you can’t find the 4th? Look up on the porch!

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The same section of the ride that had all the dogs also had many chickens. It seemed like every house had a sizable flock. It was a challenge to get a photo of chickens in the yards with my GoPro, but I think this one worked out:

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Back to roads I’ve ridden before – and an old rusty bridge next to a new concrete bridge:DCIM100GOPRO

This field had so many giant round hay bales.DCIM100GOPRO

Wispy clouds over a giant country house:DCIM100GOPRO

I went through the small town of Elgin so I could stock up on water. It has a cute little train station in the downtown square.

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Saturdays are some sort of market days which were just getting set up when I rode by. On the right is some old canon with a plaque. I should go back and explore sometime.DCIM100GOPRO

Elgin city hall is a lovely brick building:DCIM100GOPRO

Texas country side roads, complete with cow.DCIM100GOPRO

Passed a large group of cyclists:DCIM100GOPRO

The water tower has a smiley face!DCIM100GOPRO

Small town church and water tower in Lund, TX.DCIM100GOPRO

My ride ended on familiar roads, so I didn’t take many more photos. I rode 80 miles, averaging over 16 mpg. It was a good ride and I was thankful for the cool temperatures and cloudy skies on the first part of the ride.

On Sunday, I rode a very familiar route on Loop 360. I’ve been using this for hills often lately so I didn’t take many photos.

At the corner of Amherst and Adelphi, there’s a really lovely new community garden:

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Loop 360 houses on the ridge, lit up nicely by the morning sun:DCIM100GOPRO

There looked to be a small brush fire on 360, a collection of fire trucks and police cars were around:DCIM100GOPRO

A small view of downtown:DCIM100GOPRO

Sunday’s ride was a hilly 40 miles.

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