Bike MS Training Aug 27 – 28: Riding to Treaty Oak Distilling

Riding the same routes from my house for long distance training starts to get monotonous after a while, so sometimes I convince my husband and our friends to meet me in an exiting locale so I can ride my bike there. This weekend, I planned a route to Treaty Oak Distilling in Dripping Springs. Treaty Oak turned some awesome ranch land into a distillery, an experimental brewery, and a generally awesome place to hang out. They have cocktails on tap!

This weekend, I rode 76 miles to Treaty Oak on Saturday, and then another 43 on Sunday, my longest riding weekend yet! Good thing, with only one month to go until Bike MS: The Road Divided. This is my 9th year riding in a Bike MS event and I’ve raised over $15K during the last 8 years for the National MS Society, thanks to many generous friends and family. I fundraise because I believe that MS can be cured in my lifetime and I’ve known too many people affected by this disease. Will you join me in the fight against MS?

The last two weeks in Austin have been cooler than usual. It’s still hot, but way less so than normal. I mean, we’re talking highs in the 80s sometimes! It’s August, people! I totally appreciate these lower temps though, because I don’t have to get out quite so early on my bike to beat the heat. Saturday was pretty sunny and I got some lovely photos.

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A bunch of vultures in a tree

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An old cemetery along Springdale Rd

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There are actually two cemeteries in a row along Springdale

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Creepy soldier statue in the bed of a truck, with a “Veterans for Trump” banner…

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Crossing the Colorado along 183

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Crossing on the bridge

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View from the bridge

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Santa in a tree, missing his head

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Trails and pedestrian bridge in Richard Moya park, near the airport

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Country road

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Another country road

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Bright pink trees

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Roadside flowers

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Longhorn statue

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Old farm building, along a major road in Buda

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Entering Old Town Buda Historical District

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A church in Buda (I think)

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Old fancy house

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Food truck lot, outside of Buda

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Coming up on the Salt Lick

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Fall Creek Vineyards, across the street from the Salt Lick

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The Salt Lick

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Crossing a stream

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Riding along a ridge

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Riding along a ridge

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Had to cross a flooded road, right before getting to Fitzhugh Rd

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Carl was waiting for me at Treat Oak!

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We had lunch, and a few delicious drinks at Treaty Oak, while hanging out with our friends

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And then, we stopped in at Argus Cider to taste test their latest ciders. It was on the way home, I swear!

Sunday’s ride started out cloudy, which kept the temperatures cooler.

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Cows in a very green field

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Everything is so green!

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White wildflowers in a field

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Building a new bridge

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The church on Cameron Rd from a distance

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More cows

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“Prinz Farms” has a semi truck logo

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Horses!

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The Cele Store

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Close up of the church – you can see it in this photo, but there is a large cemetery in the back

 

 

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A whole lot of Bike MS training is still going on…

I’ve not had time to post my latest training weekend updates, but that’s actually a good thing because many of my rides have been on the same roads, and I end up with the same photos. Seriously, who wants to look at the same photos week after week?

So, you’re spared because I put 3 weeks of photo into this one post! For this favor I must ask – will you be the first person (other than me) to donate to the MS Society in honor of my 160 mile, 2 day bike ride? Bike MS: The Road Divided is just over a month away! This is my 9th year riding in a Bike MS event and I’ve raised over $15K during the last 8 years for the National MS Society, thanks to many generous friends and family. I fundraise because I believe that MS can be cured in my lifetime and I’ve known too many people affected by this disease.

What training have I been doing you ask? Well, let me share some stats.

During the last weekend of July (3031) I rode a combined 105 miles. On Sunday I even did some hill training! The first weekend of August (67) I rode another combined 105 miles, and it was unbearably hot for the longer ride on Saturday. I then took a weekend off of riding while visiting family in Ohio and Pennsylvania. This past weekend August 2021 I increased my mileage and rode 110 miles. The weather this weekend was rainy which kept our temperatures WAY down – it was such a pleasant change!

Now, for my download of photos:

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Early morning, July 30

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This farm sometimes has horses hooked up to a pole that they walk circles around – you can see two if you look closely.

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Two more horses

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Theme of the day: horses!

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Countryside pond

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Country graveyard

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Falling apart shack

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What did I say about horses?

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Smiley faced water tower

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Big sky country

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“Lakeview Christian Center Church. All is Welcome”

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“Rev’s Resale Shop”

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Pretty day – can you tell how hot it was??

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Cows this time

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Presbyterian Church in Elgin

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This house always fascinates me

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A little park in Manor

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Sunday, July 31 I rode some hills on Loop 360 and saw the ever present peaches and tomatoes tent

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A sign for me

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Multi-colored cliffs

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View from the Pennybacker bridge

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Early morning Saturday August 6th – house with a patio above the carport

 

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Dog agility course

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Quiet country road

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Little pond and some cows

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Donkeys!

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Cow – in the same field as the donkeys

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Serpent

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oh hey, a horse

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Fancy ranch entry

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Old rail station in Elgin

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Sunday, August 7th – some new to me roads

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Little road, not so far from home

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Sad, closed Kiddie Acres on Howard Lane

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Early morning Saturday August 20 – is it going to rain? Also, cows.

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Cows enjoying the not so hot, damp weather

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Um, horses!

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Freshly paved 95

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Clouds appear more ominous than they really are

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Horses lay down!

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Small country road

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Pretty Elgin house

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Popular Elgin Post Office

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Another pretty yard at an Elgin house

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The sign says Elgin Cemetery, but it’s black and fades into the trees

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Sheep

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This big ranch is for sale!

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Lots of tags on the railroad cars along Littig Road

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Lots of hay

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Sunday, August 21 – a very flooded Brushy Creek

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Small country road

 

 

Bike MS Training: July 23 – 24

This weekend, it was hot. Again. So on Saturday I made sure to get out by 7:30 am on my long ride to make it home around noon. I rode north to Cele and then east towards Elgin for a total of 66 miles. You can see my route on Strava.

On Sunday I rode a shorter 41 mile route. One mile after leaving home, I got a flat in my rear tire. The same tire that was just replaced two months ago and then immediately got a flat the day after replacing it… makes me nervous for future rides.

This is my 9th year riding in Bike MS and this year I will ride Bike MS: The Road Divided. The ride takes place in Oklahoma on September 24 – 25, 2016 and goes from Norman to Guthrie to Stillwater. Can you support my participation in Bike MS by donating to the National MS Society?

On my way north on Cameron road towards Cele, I passed one of the many rural Texas churches:

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The Cele Store – still actually open at times:

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The expansive countryside:

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Good morning, cows:

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Big fields, big sky:

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Fields and fields…

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There’s a historical marker on the corner of this road – marking the tiny community of Carlson:

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Country roads:

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Barn and flowering tree:

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These hay bales are for sale, if you’re interested:

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Old bridge:

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I paused at this community park in Manor and filled my second water bottle with water from a lion shaped water fountain:

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One of the old stately houses in Manor:

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The last few miles of my ride include the Northern Walnut Creek Trail:

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Another old stately house from my Sunday ride:

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Bike MS Training: Rapha Women’s 100 Ride

For the third year running Rapha invited women the world over to join the challenge of riding 100km on the same day. Last year over 8,000 cyclists participated in the Rapha Women’s 100 either by joining Rapha or ambassador-led rides, organizing or participating in one of over 350 Women’s 100 rides run locally, or riding solo to complete the distance. This past weekend, Mellow Johnny’s hosted a 68 mile ride in Austin on Sunday that hundreds of women turned out for. I’ve never seen so many women cyclists at once before!

The ride started out in a giant group which was a little tricky and felt somewhat dangerous to ride in. At the first rest stop, I broke away with a small group of other women who felt the same way that I did. After about 10 miles we got sucked up in the larger group again, but then at the second rest stop we again broke away and stayed out in front for the rest of the ride.

The route was on many roads that I’ve been on before so I didn’t get as many photos, but I did make some new friends!

On Saturday I road 4o miles as part of my training plan.

If you missed my first post about Bike MS Training, this is my 9th year riding in Bike MS and this year I’ve chosen to ride Bike MS: The Road Divided. The ride takes place in Oklahoma on September 24 – 25, 2016 and goes from Norman to Guthrie to Stillwater. Can you support my participation in Bike MS by donating to the National MS Society?

The Rapha  100 started from Mellow Johnny’s:

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Lots of women had “Team Snacks” kits on, which I now know is a local cycling club.

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We rode on many of the roads that I often ride on weekends, so I didn’t actually take that many photos, especially when part of the large group.

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My breakaway group after the first rest stop:

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Pausing at the second rest stop:

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Another Independent Fabrication bike!

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After the third rest stop, we got on the Southern Walnut Creek Trail to make our way downtown. Thank goodness for the shady parts, because it was HOT by then.

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Bike MS 2016: Let the training begin!

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to overload you with photos taken while riding my bike, because I’ve started my annual Bike MS training! This is my 9th year riding in Bike MS and this year I’ve chosen to ride Bike MS: The Road Divided. The ride takes place in Oklahoma on September 24 – 25, 2016 and goes from Norman to Guthrie to Stillwater. In case you don’t get the name, the ride starts at Oklahoma University and ends at Oklahoma State University… and they are Big 12 rivals.

I hope to have a great fundraising year – can you help get me started? I’ve kicked off my training and my fundraising page by making a donation. For training, my husband and I took a trip to his family’s farm in Iowa over the 4th of July and I was able to get in many miles of lovely bike riding! 170 miles over 3 days in fact. The Iowa riding was relatively flat, much cooler than Texas, and quite windy at times. Because all roads in Iowa are basically a giant grid, I was able to plan my routes to take advantage of a tailwind on the second half of each ride. My routes: day 1, day 2, day 3

The first day started off cool enough that I *almost* put on my arm warmers! The sky was a gorgeous blue. The Northwood fire department had a giant flag out for the holiday.

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Flat road evidence:

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Many windmills are found in this area:

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Quite a few cemeteries too:

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Mini waterfall:

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Quaint little towns:

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More cemeteries:

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Tractors all lined up in a row:

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Another town. St. Ansgar I think:

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Best slip’n slide ever!

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Little playground in Bolan:

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Welcome to Bolan!

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Wildflowers and windmills:

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Returning back into Northwood:

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Government building in Northwood:

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Day 2 was cloudier than day 1 so the photos aren’t as pretty. But look at those wildflowers!

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I took a swing through Grafton:

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Stopped at a park in Plymouth:

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Downtown Plymouth:

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Can you see the yard art? Hint: a giraffe and a killer whale…

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The round building in the middle caught my attention:

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A herd of horses hanging out:

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Iowa barns often have quilt patterns on them:

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Elk Creek Cemetery:

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Day 3 was sunny again and the weather a bit warmer.

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Elk Creek Churg has a little mini church next to it…

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Crossing I-35. Yes, the same I-35 that runs just a few miles from my house in Austin.

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Rode through Joice:

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Found a Norwegian immigrants memorial (unsurprising really):

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A church in Lake Mills:

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Pretty golf course:

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Rice lake looked more like a marsh than a lake:

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And that’s it! I’m very thankful to my in-laws for letting me move an old bike up to the farm so that I can experience this great riding on all of my visits 🙂 Stay tuned for more bike photos throughout this summer!

Bike MS Rock’n Hot Ride 2015 Recap – thank you donors!

One week ago we drove 488 miles up to North Little Rock so I could spend Saturday and Sunday riding the Bike MS Rock’n Hot Ride from Little Rock to Hot Springs Village and back. Thanks to all of my friends & family I’ve currently raised $2,791 and am the 4th highest fundraiser for this event! That’s without the $500 match that my employer will make this fall. It means the world to me that so many people chose to donate to the National MS Society in my honor, as I rode in memory of my godmother Barbara Hoffman who passed away last December after a very long battle with progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

Thank you donors! This year’s fundraising brings me up to a lifetime total of $15,460 over the last 8 years!

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We arrived in Arkansas on Friday night at Garver LLC, an engineering firm in North Arkansas that graciously hosted the start on Saturday and the finish on Sunday. This ride only had about 200 riders, so the swag bag was pretty stuffed. The best thing was this awesome top fundraising jersey:

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Early Saturday morning I put on that same jersey and we headed back to Garver to the start line. It was just under 60 degrees so I broke out my arm warmers for the first time in many months. They didn’t stay on very long after I started riding.

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Once we rolled out, the route quickly turned onto miles of nicely paved hike and bike trails along the Arkansas River.

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I was very impressed by the large pedestrian bridge spanning the river near the dam.

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After crossing the long bridge, we rode along the south side of the river before crossing a shorter pedestrian bridge.

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After getting off the trails, the cyclists spread out quite a bit and I rode by myself for long stretches. It was a beautiful day for a ride, cool, with very little wind and shady roads.

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I was impressed by the number of cyclists I saw out riding on Saturday, including this large group. Given the small size of the MS ride, I hadn’t taken Little Rock for much of a cycling city.

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In addition to this Ferrari, there were a ton of motorcycles out driving around. We came to find out later that the Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally was taking place.

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Arkansas likes fancy bridges on the country roads.

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The first rest stop was at mile 36, basically the half way mark for Saturday’s ride. It was the “lunch stop” so it had a lot of food inside this small little school building.

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Look at the small class photos lining the auditorium walls!

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Pretty roadside yellow flowers:

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Graveyard tucked in under the trees:

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Arkansas country side church:

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Guys, liquor store 6 miles ahead!

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As I mentioned, there were tons of motorcycles out on Saturday, including quite a few trikes and even one weird motorcycle that looked like a sports car in front, sat two people, but had only a single back wheel and looked like a motorcycle from behind. No photo of that unfortunately.

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I didn’t realize before Saturday morning that most of the hills on this ride were at the end, after you make the turn into Hot Springs Village. I made the turn, and even then the hills were mild until after the next rest stop.

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Hot Springs Village is a gated, huge, retirement community with a ton of amenities and outdoorsy activities.

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It had nice bike lanes throughout.

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The last few miles just seemed to go up and up, but with a few downhill rollers thrown in to keep my spirits up. At the last rest stop, a boy handed me an orange lei as I pedaled by. I managed to get it over my helmet while riding.

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I was so excited to see this sign telling me only one more mile on the Hot Springs Village road!

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Shortly after I left the gated community, I made a turn down into a parking lot by the Village Inn where the finish line was setup.

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I got off my bike and stopped my Garmin bike computer to be greeted with a message that I set a personal record for climbing, 4,587 feet in one ride! It sure felt like it was concentrated in the last 10 miles. My grand total was 69 miles with an average of 17.5 mph. It was such a great ride!

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For the rest of Saturday, we explored Hot Springs in the middle of a crazy motorcycle rally. We had lunch at a brewery in the Superior Bathhouse and then took hot baths at the Buckstaff bathhouse. It was definitely an interesting, and hot, experience that left my body feeling relaxed.

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On Sunday morning we woke early and headed back to Hot Springs Village to the start line. It was only 48 degrees! I haven’t ridden in those temperatures since April. Luckily I had packed a few layers to wear along with my Bike MS Sam’s Club Round Up Ride 2014 top fundraiser jersey from last year’s ride.

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After a quick round of announcements, we were on our way back out of Hot Springs Village. The hills out of Hot Springs Village were more down than up so we were really flying. I exited Hot Springs Village with an average speed of over 19 mph!

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I might have to retire to this place. So many outdoorsy things to do!

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Someone was out early on the golf course playing in the dewy grass.

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After exiting Hot Springs Village we turned north and my average speed slowed. Saw a donkey and his friends:

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I pulled into my first rest stop at mile 32, at the same school as Saturday. Carl met me here so I could shed some extra layers.

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I saw 3 deer high-tailing it across a field towards the road I was riding on. You can just barely make them out between the two trees behind the little pond. While the GoPro takes nice landscape photos it does not zoom at all.

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Saw some old fancy cars on a trailer:

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Luckily it turned into a warm and lovely day. I rode through a lot of shaded roads.

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Many lovely yellow wildflowers along the road:

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I met up with two other riders, one of whom works for Orbea, a Spanish bicycle manufacturer that recently set up US headquarters in Little Rock. After many hours of solitary riding between the two days it was nice to chat with friendly locals. In general the volunteers and cyclists in Arkansas were less friendly / talkative than the ones I’ve met in Texas. Approaching the first, smaller, pedestrian bridge:

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Crossing the Little Maumelle River, just as it comes into the Arkansas River:

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After crossing the bridge we were riding on a combination of bike / hike paths and closed roads:

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Riding up onto the second, longer pedestrian bridge spanning the Arkansas River:

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Very impressive architecture – the bridge is quite high over the river:

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After the bridge, we were almost to the finish line. The route differed from Saturday at this point, curving around behind the Garver building.

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And just like that, I was finished!BikeMSRockNHot-8-2

Day 2 was 67.8 miles, 3,684 ft of elevation gain with a 17.2 mph average. I definitely felt the climbing but was able to finish strong and collect my finisher’s medal to add to my collection.

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We celebrated with lunch at a brewery in Little Rock (surprise, I know) and a stop at a state park for a short hike.

Thank you again to all of my donors, I am honored by your generosity and am so happy to help the MS Society on the quest to find a cure for MS!

Bike MS final training weekend: Century ride attempt

The Bike MS Rock’n Hot Ride is next weekend and I’m definitely ready! Not only have I hit my fundraising goal thanks to my friends and family, I also rode 100 miles in one day this past Saturday. It was a very tough ride. The heat index over the last few weeks has been reasonable but that all ended in time for my ride this weekend. Saturday’s overwhelming heat and humidity forced me to break the ride into two parts – I stopped at 86 miles of my 100 mile route out to Ink’s Lake State Park when I realized I was battling heat exhaustion, no longer able to eat or drink. My support team (AKA Carl) picked me up and drove me to our appointed meeting spot for swimming and relaxation with our friends. After we made it back to Austin that evening, I rode another 15 miles so that I could officially ride 100 miles in one day. Maybe later this year after the heat calms down I’ll try another 100 mile ride.

Next weekend’s Rock’n Hot ride will be 70 miles with almost 4,000 feet of elevation gain on each Saturday and Sunday . I’d be honored if you would consider making a donation in support of my ride, and in memory of my godmother Barb who passed away in December from progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

In my failed attempt to beat the heat on Saturday, I left our house at 6:30 am, about 45 minutes before sunrise. The sunrise wasn’t particularly exciting, some dreary clouds muted the colors.

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The Hutto Lutheran Church:

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I saw two different water towers, far apart from one another, labeled Jonah. Must be a brand of water tower?DCIM100GOPRO

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A lonely longhorn cow:

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The Weir Cemetery:

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It’s hard to see, but I saw the banana bike again! Look closely behind the street sign, there’s a normal cyclist and then a yellow oblong shape close to the ground, that’s the banana bike. I’ve seen him on a number of different roads and organized rides. This was just after I passed through Weir.DCIM100GOPRO

Just north of Weir is Walburg, where the main attraction as far as I can tell is the Walburg Biergarten. They take reservations!DCIM100GOPRO

Around mile 40 I turned west and crossed over I35 and rode on the new section of the Ronald Reagan Blvd.

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The road has a nice shoulder and many cyclists were out taking advantage of the smooth riding. DCIM100GOPRO

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This pasture had a donkey, sheep and goats all in one spot:

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Crossing a small stream:

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Bertram was having some sort of festival and there were a bunch of people waiting for the steam train. You can also see a nice new library building to the right of the train station. I had my final water / rest stop in Bertram where Carl called to tell me that the road I planned to ride was a gated, private road (thanks Google!). Heat exhaustion symptoms had kicked in at mile 68, so I was beginning to doubt my ability to make it to 100 miles. DCIM100GOPRO

I went about 10 miles passed Bertram along my route and saw some more churches of course:DCIM100GOPRO

I began to not be able to consume food or drink and was just dumping my water bottle over my head to try to stay cool. Next, I was beginning to feel ill so rather than press my luck I called Carl who was not very far away by car and he picked me up at mile 86. From there we drove to Ink’s Lake to meet friends. It turns out the road I planned to ride into the park on had some extremely nasty hills so I was grateful to be in the air conditioned car. We had a nice time floating in the water, swimming with our dog Molly, and then stopping at Save the World Brewing in Marble Falls. After making it back to Austin and letting the sun go down a bit, I rode around our neighborhood for the final 15 miles.

Some pretty views along the park road:

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