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 ūüôā 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‚Äôn 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

Eventually I crossed 2338 which goes to Georgetown, the previous end of this road.DCIM100GOPRO

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

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Another country side cemetery:DCIM100GOPRO

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There were three different family cemeteries along this one section of road:DCIM100GOPRO

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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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‚Äôn 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

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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.

Bike MS Training August 22 & 23: Ride those hills

My Bike MS event is drawing closer, only two more training weekends left! The Bike MS Rock‚Äôn Hot Ride goes from Little Rock, AR to Hot Springs and back over two days, 140 miles, and 8,000 feet of elevation gain. I’ve been getting serious about riding the hills around Austin so I can be prepared for all of that climbing. This weekend I rode 112 miles with 6,900 ft of elevation gain to get ready. I ride¬†in memory of my godmother Barbara Hoffman who died of the progressive form of Multiple Sclerosis in December 2014. Please consider supporting my 8th annual Bike MS ride and helping me meet my fundraising goal by donating to the National MS Society.

Saturday’s ride was a new route to me, heading due south from home into a decent headwind. The winds have been light these last few weekends so I was definitely spoiled and sad to deal with stronger winds again. I rode two extremely steep climbs, one to get off of loop 360 at its southern end and the other was coming up Barton Creek Blvd to get on 2244. I think I would have fallen off my bike if I tried to dismount and walk up either hill.

I started off just after 7 am with the sun just beginning to show itself.

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Sunrise over Mopac

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Sunrise on Loop 360

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Part of my ride went along the very southern end of Mopac to where it ends, passing the Slaughter Lane Alamo and this awesome artwork on the side of the building:DCIM100GOPRO

Part of the southern end of Mopac is fittingly sponsored by the Salt Lick:DCIM100GOPRO

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I took a meandering route through some neighborhoods off of Southwest Parkway. Through these stone gates are where the really really big houses live:DCIM100GOPRO

What you can’t see about this enormous house is that to the left is a covered walkway connecting to a whole other building, about as big as my house. Huge!DCIM100GOPRO

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I turned on to Barton Creek Blvd and enjoyed some really nice rolling hill riding with beautiful scenery:DCIM100GOPRO

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And then came the climb. So steep I wasn’t sure if I would stay on my bike. Luckily I did and I made it to the top to 2244. This picture of the top of the hill does not do it justice.

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From there I headed over to loop 360 and back north to home for a 72 mile ride.

On Sunday I wanted to ride hills again, so I rode out and back on 360 for 40 miles.

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Bull creek from one of the bridges:DCIM100GOPRO

Midway Food Park, towards the southern end of 360:DCIM100GOPRO

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My legs were definitely worn out after Saturday’s hills, but I’m glad I got in good hills on Sunday as well. After warming up for a bit on a few hills they stopped complaining.

Bike training August 15 & 16: Riding surprises

Only three more training weekends left until the Bike MS Rock’n Hot Ride which goes from Little Rock, AR to Hot Springs and back over two days, 140 miles, and 8,000 feet of elevation gain. I ride in memory of my godmother Barbara Hoffman who died of Multiple Sclerosis in December 2014. Please consider supporting my 8th annual Bike MS ride and helping me meet my fundraising goal by donating to the National MS Society.

This Saturday I followed a similar route as last Saturday, doing a version of the Dam(n) Loop so that I could ride hills. Luckily, this weekend it was about 5 degrees cooler than last weekend when I complained about the heat in my post. That cooler (but still hot) weather was accompanied by some great clouds.

I started my ride at 7 am with the sunrise.

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There were lots of clouds around creating a picturesque sky hard to capture with my GoPro.

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Once on Bee Caves I realized I saw some spots of rain in the distance. First I thought “yay, rain!” Then I thought “Wait, I might have to ride through that…”

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And not too long after making the turn onto 620, it happened. I got rained on. But the sky wasn’t completely covered in clouds so I knew it wouldn’t last that long, and it didn’t.DCIM100GOPRO

I even got to see a rainbow behind me!

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Which was nice because not very long after that the annoying happened. Rear flat!

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After getting to the north end of 620, I snaked through some neighborhoods in Cedar Park to hit Lakeline Blvd and ended up in Leander.

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I hit a different section of the new paved trail along the 183 toll road. It is wide and pretty smooth except for when you hit some wood bridges!

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The trail goes by Cedar Park Center, home of the Texas Stars.DCIM100GOPRO

I exited the trail at the same point as I did last week, but coming from the north this time.DCIM100GOPRO

Saturday’s ride was not nearly as hot as last week’s ride because of the cloud cover and rain. I averaged 16 mph over the 72 mile, 3,500 fit elevation gain route.

On Sunday, I had a volunteer orientation at the Austin Animal Center so I used that as my bike ride. I rode there and back for a total of 37 miles round trip.

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Bike training August 8 & 9: Is summer over yet?

It’s¬†my 8th year training for, and riding in, a Bike MS event. This year, I’m riding the Bike MS Rock‚Äôn Hot Ride which goes from Little Rock, AR to Hot Springs and back over two days, 140 miles, and 8,000 feet of elevation gain. I ride¬†in memory of my godmother Barbara Hoffman who died of Multiple Sclerosis in December 2014. Please consider supporting my 8th annual Bike MS ride and helping me meet my fundraising goal by donating to the National MS Society.

This weekend I realized that this heat is here to stay. We had such a nice, long, mild spring with lots of rain and now we’re paying the price with 100+ degree days and brutal sun. I try to get my long rides done by noon (and even then it’s hot hot hot) so I have to start early, just as the sun is coming up around 7 am. Maybe next weekend I’ll slap on the bike lights and start earlier. Saturday’s ride was 70 hot, hilly miles to help me prep for lots of climbing in Arkansas.

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Riding along a ridge with good views:DCIM100GOPRO

Picked up my late grandfather’s favorite snack at the gas station since I didn’t have enough bike jersey pocket foods at home. Brought back some memories.DCIM100GOPRO

This picture doesn’t do it justice, but the lake was beautifully sparkly as I approached the bridge in front of Mansfield Dam:DCIM100GOPRO

After making it all the way north on 620, I took a turn to the north on Anderson Mill. Eventually I made my way over to the 183 toll road and took a brief turn onto the new pedestrian and bike trail. Pretty nice! Could use some more shade though.DCIM100GOPRONext I rode on a road I haven’t tried before, up in Cedar Park. It seems new with small trees and a very wide sidewalk:DCIM100GOPROThen I entered the land of the enormous suburban high school sports stadiums:DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO

I made it home right around noon, at which point it was definitely too hot.

On Sunday I rode 30 miles around town. I went over on Jollyville Rd and then through the Arboretum and used the bike path the connects from Barnes & Noble over across loop 360:DCIM100GOPRO

Mesa Drive has relatively fresh bike lines, including a dotted line wherever there is a driveway indicating it’s ok to turn through the bike lane. Seemed a bit overkill.

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Shoal Creek Blvd is having massive utilities work done and has a bunch of detours leading me down a road I’ve not been on before. Love the Purple Martin Houses and the pretty red standing cypress flowers at this house:DCIM100GOPRO

I will focus on ride more hills on my next few Sunday rides to make sure I can handle two days of decent climbing in a row!

Bike Training August 1 & 2: El Diablo Ride and a Birthday run

 

 

Only 5 more training weekends until the Bike MS Rock’n Hot Ride. The ride goes from Little Rock, AR to Hot Springs and back over two days. This year, I’m riding in memory of my godmother Barbara Hoffman who died of MS in December 2014. Please consider supporting my participation in the ride by donating to the National MS Society.

On August 1st, Bicycle Sport Shop hosted the El Diablo poker ride, which visited all 3 of their shops. At each shop and the finish we collected a card. Later that evening at the benefit party for the Texas High School Mountain Bike League we got the final card. My hand was definitely not a winner, but at least I got a pair of 8s. I rode 12 miles down to Bicycle Sport Shop before the ride started and then rode 58 miles on the El Diablo ride for a total of 70 for the day.

I started out from home as the sun was coming up. Good morning, moon!

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I checked in with the small crowd at BSS Lamar.

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The route took me on a number of roads I haven’t been on before and had a good amount of climbing. Spicewood Springs road west of 360 has nice shady curves, but a decent amount of traffic and no shoulder. Also, a cemetery.

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Cool cliffs sometime before making it to the Parmer store.

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After the Parmer store, we rode some big hills in the Spicewood / Balcones neighborhoods and went by the golf course:

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Riding along a ridge:

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Pretty neighborhood:

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You can’t really tell, but this was after making it up a giant hill on Rain Creek Parkway:

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Stopping at the Research Store:

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Going back downtown we crossed the pedestrian bridge:

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At the end of that ride Carl met me downtown and we had lunch before he drove me and my bike back home.

Sunday, August 2nd was our friend Jordan’s birthday. He¬†runs his age in miles each year for his birthday. Since he’s approximately my age you can assume that this is quite an impressive feat. I decided to ride part of his route with him so I set out from our house early.

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I met him on the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. Carl met up with us on his bike shortly thereafter and we rode together and chatted with Jordan while he ran.

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We rode down to the end of the trail with him where Hannah was waiting to run the rest of the way with him (about 8 miles).

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From there Carl and I rode back to his car and joined the runners at Barton Springs Pool for a quick swim before lunch. I rode 30 miles for the day.

Bike training on the Dam(n) Loop: July 18 & 19

It’s official! I’ve set up my fundraising page for the Rock’n Hot Bike MS Ride¬†and made the first donation, so now you can too! I’ve been training for this ride for most of this summer and I’ve got 6 weeks left until I ride from Little Rock to Hot Springs, Arkansas and back. The ride is an out and back with the Saturday overnight in Hot Springs. 70 miles each direction with 3800 ft of climbing.

This year I’m riding in memory of my godmother Barbara Hoffman who passed away from Multiple Sclerosis in December 2014.

On the weekend of July 18 & 19 I rode a total of 93 training miles. On Saturday, I rode a particularly hilly 60 mile route known locally as the Dam Loop although this time I modified it to take Southwest Parkway instead of Bee Caves road to add some miles.

Me and my shadow on Loop 360:

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The cliffs are stained from all of the rain this spring:

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Bridge over Lake Austin:

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Such a pretty day:

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Nice fountain and view from 620:

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The lighthouse:

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You can just barely make out the lake in the distance. It’s so nice to see it so full!

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Crossing in front of Mansfield Dam:

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On Sunday I rode a route south from home and picked up the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. First I was greeted by a terribly torn up road, miserable to ride on:

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View of Decker Lake in the distance:

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The trail:

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Handful of sunflowers:

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A bit overgrown in places:

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Very modern house next to a very run down house in east Austin:

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Sunday’s ride was 33 miles.

Check back soon for my latest ride update!

Bike Training: July 11 & 12

After two weekends off from bike training due to vacation in Saint Martin (rough, I know), I finally got back home to Austin to put in some good miles on my bike. Bike MS Rock N Hot Ride is only 6 weeks away! My fundraising page will be up soon, I promise. On Saturday July 11 I planned a route mostly east from my home, 64 miles in total with a 15.7 mph average. The morning started out thankfully without much sun so the temperatures were mostly pleasant. I rode part of the Southern Walnut Creek Trail:

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On the north end of the trail, it just ends and you have to ride through grass / gravel to get back on the road. I assume that has something to do with property ownership, but it’s super annoying especially if it’s muddy.

 

 

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Visibility wasn’t that great for the first part of the ride – usually I get nice views on this road:

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Then the sun came out and it got hot.

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I like this old abandoned farm house out in the countryside:

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And the sunflower field next to this cute little olive green house:

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Railroad bridge!

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Tree tunnel on Littig Road:

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A train was blocking the road, not moving. It moved slowly out of the intersection as I approached. When I crossed the tracks I could see the engineer dressed in a long sleeve button down bright green shirt with white polka dots and a red hat. I guess if you’re a train engineer, you better dress the part!

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It was a lovely day for a photo of this Asian temple I see coming back into town on North Lamar:

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On Sunday I did an around town ride of 30 miles, but the GoPro battery failed me again… Stay tuned as I continue to catch up on my bike training posts and get my fundraising page in order!