BikeMS Training update #12: All trained up and ready to go!

Wow, I can’t believe next weekend is when I ride the Bike MS: Pedal to the Point in northern Ohio. It’s a 180 mile bike ride over two days.  The ride goes right through the best part of Ohio: the flat part and the part that I lived in for 18 years of my life. I can’t wait to ride in temperatures no higher than the mid-80s (according to the current forecast). It will be quite the change from the Austin summer heat.

This is my 5th year riding a Bike MS ride and my first time riding in northern Ohio.  With one week to go, I am at 40% of my fundraising goal.  Can you pitch in to help me meet by goal by making a donation to the MS Society? Every little bit helps. I continue to participate in this event because I’ve seen too many friends and family affected by the disease and I hope to see a cure in my lifetime.

Today I completed my last training ride, bringing my total riding distance over the last 12 weeks to 1,586 miles. Whew! On Saturday’s ride I knew that I was ready when I averaged 16.5 mph for a 75 mile ride with hills and a bit of wind. On the second half of the ride I was in “the zone” – riding was effortless and I was lost in my surroundings. It was a great day for a bike ride. My chosen route combined aspects of the Tres Burritos ride from last weekend and my long ride out Parmer Lane the weekend before. Riding out Parmer Lane, especially after getting past the heavier traffic, is a great way to spend a weekend morning.

A Texas country road

The sunflowers are still blooming. I passed a whole field of them on Saturday!

Beautiful shiny horses hanging out by the road

 

My Sunday ride ended up being 35 miles and I road a reverse route of last Sunday’s ride around a local golf course. After getting home, I started on bike maintenance so that I could get my bike packaged up for its travel to Ohio.

After cleaning the entire thing, including the chain rings, I was covered in grease. I also replaced my front brake pads which were quite worn. To disassemble my bike, I had to do the following things:

  • Remove my seat and handle bar bags
  • Remove the bottle cages
  • Remove both tires and deflate the tubes
  • Remove the skewers from the wheels
  • Remove the pedals
  • Remove the bike computer
  • Remove the seat (after I marked its height with masking tape)
  • Remove the handle bars (also after marking with tape)

Next I used a combination of foam tubes and bubble wrap to wrap up the bike safe and sound (or at least I hope it will be safe and sound). All the pieces then went into my hard-sided bike case and were strapped down with a combination of velcro and tape. When finished, it was hard to believe that there was a bicycle under there:

All wrapped up and ready to go.

Bon voyage, ma bicyclette!

My bike leaves Monday morning via FedEx (Bikeflights.com is how I set up the shipping). She arrives in Ohio on Thursday. I arrive in Ohio late Wednesday night. I’ll miss you old friend! I guess I’ll actually have to drive to work Monday, Tuesday, AND Wednesday, ugh.

 

Stay tuned for photos of the Pedal to the Point (and please consider a donation)!

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Bike MS Training update #11: Longest ride of the year (so far)

Two weeks from now I’ll have completed the 2012 Bike MS: Pedal to the Point in northern Ohio. It’s a 180 mile bike ride over two days.  The ride goes right through the best part of Ohio: the flat part and the part that I lived in for 18 years of my life. This is my 5th year riding a Bike MS ride and my first time riding in northern Ohio. I can’t wait to make the trip. I have one more training weekend to go. Next Sunday evening I’ll be disassembling my bike, packing it into a bike case, and trusting its care to FedEx so that I can have it for the ride.  If you’re able, please consider supporting my participation by making a donation to the MS Society. Every little bit helps. I continue to participate in this event because I’ve seen too many friends and family affected by the disease and I hope to see a cure in my lifetime.

This weekend I participated in the Tres Burritos ride sponsored by Bicycle Sport Shop, a very friendly and supportive local bike shop here in Austin. I chose the “Go the distance” route which left from their Parmer Lane shop, about 9 miles from my house. The longest “distance” route was only 60 miles so I knew I needed to add miles in order to continue to follow my training plans. With that in mind, I set out from my home on my bike at 6:35 am (!!) to make it to the shop in time to check in before we rolled out at 7:30 am. I made it in plenty of time. The morning was humid but nice.

At 6:45 am, the sun is just rising over the cars on Mopac

I don’t have many photos to share from Saturday’s ride for good reason. I got caught up in the intermediate pace group a number of times. In a pace group you ride close together to take advantage of the aerodynamics of the group and therefore it requires concentration and no one-handed picture taking while riding your bike. I made it out to Andice, TX in good time mostly on my own. The rest stop was at the Andice General Store and I paused there to grab some snacks and fill up on water and ice from the gigantic water reservoir and ice chest.

Glorious cold water

After that stop, I headed west into a decent headwind on a bumpy road. After crossing 183 with the assistance of an off-duty sheriff keeping a watchful eye on traffic, I headed into an area with some short rolling hills. At that point, the intermediate pace group passed me and because of their aerodynamic assistance, I was able to ride with them for quite some time, which made my speed increase considerably. I rode in this group of about 20 – 25 men for quite some time before being ejected out the back on some hills where I couldn’t build up as much speed as larger men on nice light bikes. During that time I realized what riding in the peloton must be like. Smelly! I could no longer smell the nice fresh air any longer and could only smell sweatiness. Thanks guys.

I made it back to the rest stop in Andice for another fuel stop. I caught the pace group again which had dwindled in number and rode with them for much longer, until about 12 miles remained at which point the riders stopped at a rest stop and I kept going. I knew I wanted to get back to Bicycle Sport Shop as early as possible so that I could grab my t-shirt and tacos and then ride the 9 miles home.  The pace groups make riding in wind so much easier and I was very grateful for their assistance. I am not fast or strong enough to lead a group that fast in the wind so I was sure to keep to the middle or back of the group to avoid getting caught in the lead position.

After making it back to Bicycle Sport Shop, I picked up my event t-shirt and two free veggie tacos from One Taco. With 9 miles to ride before making it home, I didn’t want to eat my tacos yet, so I rearranged all my stuff so that I could put both the tacos and my t-shirt into my jersey pockets. I’m sure I looked ridiculous from behind but it was well worth it. Those tacos were delicious! I ended up riding 79 miles that day. I expect that this is my peak training distance for this season.

 

On Sunday I planned to sleep in (and I did, kinda) but was still on my bike by 7:45 am because my body is so used to waking up early these days. It was another nice morning, although breezier than Saturday. I rode a more residential route so my pace was lower. It was also shadier. Part of my ride was in the Balcones Country Club area. I love riding through some of the older neighborhoods like this one in northwest Austin. The houses have interesting and eclectic architecture and are shaded by huge trees. My ride ended at 36 miles. A very good riding weekend.

Early morning view of the Balcones golf course

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Bike MS Training update #10: It’s about the numbers

This weekend was relatively uneventful as far as training goes. I was in Texas, I didn’t get rained on, and I didn’t crash. Success! So, I’d like to sum up some numbers for you.

  • 3: Weeks until I fly to Ohio for BikeMS: Pedal to the Point.
  • 184: Miles I’ll ride August 4th – 5th.
  • 400,000: The number of Americans who have MS.
  • 6,444: Dollars I’ve raised for the MS Society with your help over the last four years.
  • 5: The number of BikeMS events I’ll have participated in after completing the Pedal to the Point.  If you’re able, please consider supporting my participation by making a donation to the MS Society.  I’ve seen too many friends and family affected by the disease so I continue to choose to participate in these events.
  • 1,250: Miles I’ve ridden in training for this year’s BikeMS.
  • 320: Additional miles I’ll ride before the event.
  • 36: Miles I rode this Saturday.
  • 167: Number of cyclists I saw during Saturday’s ride. That’s almost 5 per mile! I saw cyclists on road bikes, mountain bikes, cruiser bikes, and even a folding bike!
  • 200: Americans diagnosed with MS every week.
  • 75: Miles I rode Sunday.
  • 3: Number of new roads I checked out during Sunday’s ride.
  • 17%: How far I am to my $1,000 fundraising goal for this year. Can you help me meet my goal?

During Saturday’s ride, I made a pit stop at Bicycle Sport Shop on Parmer Lane for a rear derailler adjustment. While I was waiting, I admired these candy-colored cruiser bikes. Want!

 

I started Sunday’s ride at 7 am. Good morning sun!

While checking out a new road, I got to do a bit of off-road riding on my road bike while I traversed this dirt patch.

A new road that I checked out. Nice and smooth with good views.

Free water! It was even cold. This place was a life saver during Sunday’s ride because I managed to run out of water, even with my planned water stop.

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Bike MS Training Update #9: Riding from Texas to Iowa

That’s right, I rode to Iowa. Ok, I rode in a car from Texas to Iowa, but I did take my bike with me. My husband and I traveled up there to his family’s farm to celebrate his parent’s 40th wedding anniversary. The farm is just outside of Northwood, Iowa, a few miles south of the Minnesota border. While not all of Iowa is flat, north central Iowa is so I was excited to pack up my bike into the trunk of our car to take along with us. The event that I’m training for is only four weeks away so being able to continue my training during our trip was great. My training is for the 2012 Bike MS: Pedal to the Point in northern Ohio. It’s a 175 mile bike ride over two days.  If you’re able, please consider supporting my participation by making a donation to the MS Society. This is my 5th year bike riding to raise money for the MS Society. I’ve seen too many friends and family affected by the disease.

Before making the trip, I planned for my rides by requesting an Iowa bike map from the department of transportation. It was super helpful and up to date. It also arrived the day before we left. I used that map to chart out my routes along the very grid-like roads. The map was also key because on Google maps I couldn’t necessarily tell which roads were gravel and which were paved. There are many gravel roads in Iowa. My route on Friday ended up being a 75 mile loop. I planned to ride east and south at the beginning because the wind was forecasted out of the south / south east. Last week was amazingly hot for Iowa, hitting 100 degrees or more so it was basically the same weather I cope with in Texas. Friday morning I set out at 7 am and headed east of Northwood.

Setting out in the morning towards the sun on a flat road.

The first half of my ride consisted of my staring in wonder at all of the windmills. I’ve seen plenty of windmills in west Texas, but never from a bike and so close to me. The wind wasn’t too strong and about half of the windmills weren’t spinning. My assumption is that the grid didn’t need or couldn’t handle the power at that time, so some of the windmills were turned off. In Texas, the windmills typically go as far as you can see in places. In Iowa, they were more contained. I assume that individual small farms have installed the windmills while in Texas, they are installed on the HUGE ranches that stretch for many miles.

Windmills on both sides of the road.

A common site: a corn field, farm buildings, and windmills.

This small Iowa river is bigger than any river I see in Texas.

Around mile 48, I stopped in the small town of St. Ansgar to refill my water bottles and to enjoy a few minutes off of the bike while eating a granola bar. I sat on a bench located along the main street and took a few pictures.

Small town hardware store

Buildings in the main part of town. The red one is from 1891!

During the ride, I missed two turns due to unmarked roads. Luckily I was able to use the Iowa biking map to correct my mistakes before too long. Because not many roads were paved it was pretty easy to figure out that if it was paved, it was my turn.

Confusing sign on the road I was supposed to turn on but was unmarked. Made me think it was a dead end!

My second stop for water and a banana was a tiny market in Grafton, IA. I knew I wanted to ride through Grafton because my Mom lives in Grafton, Ohio!

Look Ma, I’m in Grafton!

Grafton also had some old buildings. The market shared the same space as the post office.

It was lucky that Grafton had a market, which I didn’t know in advance, because I managed not to pack enough food for the ride. Grafton was around mile 55 of the route. I finished my ride at 12:15. The last hour and a half was just plain hot but I still enjoyed every minute of it.

 

On Saturday morning, I was able to get out for a short 35 mile ride. The weather had cooled considerably and brought with it a stronger wind out of the north. When I left, I had some concern that it might rain.

The first thing I did was turn north into the wind on a road that I thought would take me into Minnesota. It took me right to the border and turned to gravel.

See, I rode to Minnesota! And then turned around.

I then turned south and completed a loop back to the farm. I passed the local grass airstrip where tiny planes take off, I imagine to spread water or chemicals on fields. The clouds are rather ominous in this picture, but they had all burned away by the time I finished my ride. It was a perfect way to start the day of the party.

The grassy runway

 

Riding in Iowa was better than I had even imagined. It was mostly flat except for long, low hills, the roads were amazingly well kept, and the drivers were very courteous. Not only did they move all the way over into the left lane to pass me, but many even gave a friendly wave. The waves from Texas drivers tend to be the unfriendly kind.  I wouldn’t hesitate to ride there again.

Bike MS training update #8: A rainy dam(n) loop

Chalk up another eventful weekend training for the 2012 Bike MS: Pedal to the Point in northern Ohio. It’s a month away! If you’re able, please consider supporting my participation by making a donation to the MS Society.

On Saturday, my husband and I attended a hands-on baking rye bread class at Whole Foods Market downtown. It started at 10 am so in order to get in a training ride, I headed out at 7 am. It was a great morning for a ride and after 32 miles I ended up downtown. This week I purchased a new helmet, my first super nice bike helmet. The airflow and weight difference were amazing. My supportive husband met me at Whole Foods with a change of clothes so that I could attend class in normal clothes rather than spandex.

Waiting at Whole Foods in my new helmet

Me and my rye bread

On Sunday we had some friends visit from out of town and we planned to meet them for a lunch date. I wanted to leave early enough to ride 65 – 70 miles before we met for lunch at 12:30. Once again, I headed out at 7 am. I knew we were due to get some wind out of the south so I decided to ride a dam loop which puts the headwind early and a tailwind on the way home. I ride Parmer Lane, Anderson Mill, 620 (past Lake Travis), Bee Cave Rd, and Loop 360 for my dam loop. There was a chance of rain according to the forecast but no rain on the radar when I left.

A dreary morning but a great view

The start of the Mansfield Dam

I didn’t get a picture of riding next to the dam itself due to speed and the attention necessary for a safe ride at that point, but you can see a nice ariel view of the dam and bridge on the LCRA website.

Poor low Lake Travis

After my first rest stop at mile 37 I realized that there was no way I was going to avoid being rained on. I could just see the cloudiness and rain to the east. Very soon after, I was drenched. The initial down pour was fairly heavy. The worst part was the rain drops in the eyes affecting my vision. I pulled over and sat under a bank drive through while the rain subsided. I was not the only cyclist I saw out in the rain. After that point it only rained lightly on me a few more times, but the road were wet everywhere. Luckily there was no thunder and not really any extra wind. Because the dam loop is quite hilly, I had to be extra cautious to make sure that I could stop if needed. Road bike brakes are pretty bad in wet conditions. I was able to make it through my training ride in time to dry and clean my dirty self for lunch, putting me at 68 miles Sunday for a grand total of 100 for the weekend and 150 for the week.

Stay tuned for next week’s update where I travel to a new and exotic locale for some bike training.

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Bike MS training update #7: Wait, how far did I just ride?

Unintentionally, this weekend became my first 100+ mile bike training weekend of the season. Unintentionally because my training plan (and what I planned in my head) had me riding 90 – 95 miles this weekend. Instead, I finished at 106 miles.

Now, if you’re asking yourself why I would subject myself to riding more than 100 miles in the hottest Texas weekend so far this year, the answer is that I’m training for Bike MS: Pedal to the Point in August. For the past 5 years I’ve ridden in one of these events to raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society because the disease has affected a number of people in my life throughout the years. Each year it seems I learn of another friend or family member touched by the disease. I hope that researchers can find a cure for MS. I’ve kicked off my fundraising, as I do every year, by personally donating to the MS Society. If you are able, please also consider making a donation to the society. They use the money to provide programs and services to people living with MS as well to fund cutting-edge research.

So, back to my weekend training shenanigans. On Saturday morning, at 6:40 am (!!) I set out on my bike. I left as early as I could drag myself out of bed because I knew it would be hot hot hot. At 6:40, it was amazingly pleasant outside. In fact, the ride overall on Saturday wasn’t nearly as hot as I expected. I started north on Parmer Lane with the intention of doing a “Dam Loop”, a route that is damn hilly and passes the Mansfield Dam out by Lake Travis. This past week my hamstring has been bothering me and after about 10 miles out Parmer, I decided not to make the turn out towards the dam.  Instead, I decided to ride out to Andice, TX which involves hills, but less of them. To get to Andice, you have to ride to the end of Parmer Lane and then make a turn on to ranch road 2338.

Good morning, sun!

A stream seen from a bridge

On my way to the end of Parmer, I made friends with a nice gentleman and we chatted about different bike rides we done. He is training for the Hotter ‘n Hell 100 which lives up to its name from what I hear.  We split ways at the end of Parmer Lane when I turned out towards Andice. At that point, my odometer read 30 miles, I knew I needed water, and was pretty sure Andice wasn’t too far down the road where I could replenish at the general store. Sigh. Andice was more than 5 miles away.

The Andice General Store in my sight!

And more importantly, it was CLOSED. Austin cyclists: the Andice General Store opens at 8 am M – F and 10 am on the weekend. I was there at 9 am. Right after I pulled up, a large group of cyclists from the team in training showed up, also mightily disappointed. Luckily, someone found a spicket on the back of the building that I reluctantly used to fill my bottle. There really isn’t any other water source for many many miles.

Oh Andice General Store, how you have forsaken me.

Instead of turning around and going back directly the way that I came, I knew that there were back roads that would get me back to Parmer Lane. They were quite pleasant to ride on with almost no traffic and lots of shade.

A nice smooth, shady road.

One of the best parts of riding on Saturday was the very minimal wind I encountered. Even when the headwind started to pick up on my way back, it was still minimal and actually necessary to keep me cool-ish. It was just a great morning for riding in Austin. I ended up riding 69 miles for the day, a bit longer than I expected.

Someone turned off the wind!

Later that afternoon we went to the packet pickup for the Urban Assault Ride put on by New Belgium Brewing and stopped for a delicious treat at Bananarchy. Chocolate covered frozen bananas with toppings? Yes, please!

A well deserved amazingly delicious treat

And that brings me to Sunday’s ride. My husband and I participated in the Austin Urban Assault Ride. Last year’s Urban Assault Ride was about 18 miles when we finished. In order to get extra miles in, I rode the 13 miles to the start line at Fiesta Garden Park. To do this, I left at 6:20 am. It was noticeably hotter and more humid than Saturday despite the sun not even being up yet.

The ride is a lot of fun. You have to ride to different checkpoints and perform obstacles in order to collect a bead that proved that you completed that obstacle. You also have to figure out the location of two mystery checkpoints. The obstacles included fun things like riding a bike while catching loops with a foam sword, jumping into a pool and collecting rubber duckies, riding an adult big wheel, and sitting on a skateboard and being towed by a bike. The husband and I were able to easily figure out mystery point 1, where we got the clue for mystery point 2. I thought I knew the second mystery point but was wrong, leading us to check a few locations before figuring it out. Also, we somehow skipped a checkpoint on our ride and had to back track to avoid a huge penalty. Because of our failures, I ended up riding 37 miles for the day, also longer than I had planned. Oh well, we did have beer at the finish line. Next year we hope our friends / partners in crime for the UAR will be riding with us again.

Everyone lined up and ready to race!

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Bike MS training update #6: So many bikes

I’m happy to report that I have continued to heal from last week’s bike crash. Which is good since I’m in the middle of training for Bike MS: Pedal to the Point, a 175 mile ride in Northern Ohio on August 4th & 5th benefiting the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Consider supporting my participation by making a donation today! This marks my 5th year fundraising for the MS Society. Every year it seems I learn of another family member or friend who has been diagnosed with the disease.

On Saturday I headed out at 7 am for a 58 mile ride. It was a nice morning for a ride, if a touch humid. I went north on Parmer Lane and eventually made a turn on to a very bumpy and scenic road.

Along that road I ran into a young boy and his grandparents. He was learning to ride his bike with training wheels. They were very friendly and full of smiles and waves.

I stopped at a little gas station with very friendly clerks around 9 am to fill up my water bottles. They were interested in my route for the morning.

Resting

Sunflowers still in bloom, seen from my rest stop

After the rest stop, I had the pleasure of a road runner running just in front of me for a few seconds. Awesome birds. After turning back on Parmer Lane to go south, the headwind had picked up (of course). I saw tons of cyclists out on Bicycle Sport Shop’s Women’s Day Ride. I overheard that they got over 150 people out on their bikes, which is great. I could tell some of them hadn’t been out on bikes in a while so I’m glad they were braving the headwind. For a while on the way home I was behind two guys that blocked the wind for me, enabling me to ride much faster than normal. Thanks guys!

 

On Sunday I got out on a 30 mile ride. I stuck closer to home, riding on Jollyville and loop 360. Not too windy and not as warm or humid. A great day for a ride.

The view on loop 360

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Bike MS Training Update #5: A wreck and recovery

Yes, you read that correctly. A wreck. Not during a training ride of course, but rather on a 3 mile ride from the office to the movie theater on Friday night. I was even riding in a skirt because I was hardly going anywhere! I had just crossed a road and the bike lane I was in ended. Rather than take the right lane of the two lanes (which I often do) I opted to go for the sidewalk / parking lot area since I was decently close to my final destination. I angled myself into the parking lot driveway and neglected to notice the large cement lip between the road and driveway. I hit it and went down on my right side going about 17 mph. Once my bike and I stopped I was laying on my back in the middle of the driveway with a car trying to turn into the parking lot behind me. My first attempt to get up was thwarted by the fact that my legs and bike were all tangled. I eventually made it up and out of the way after verifying no part of me was broken. The driver and passenger of that vehicle stopped to ask me if I was going to be OK. They didn’t get out to help me get up, just stared at me. I realized was dripping blood everywhere from my elbow and the chain had fallen off my bike. Another driver (who was a cyclist also) actually got out and offered to give me a ride somewhere. He put the chain back on my bike. I really only had to go one block more so I had to turn him down, but I was impressed with his kindness.

There is a bike store just next to the movie theater so I went in there with my bike because the brake and shifter handles were knocked out of position. Well, I did this as soon as I verified my work laptop was still working since I was pretty sure I heard it hit the ground in the crash. It works thankfully. The bike mechanics straightened the brake handles while I washed the blood off my right arm, which had finally stopped dripping, and cleaned four different scrapes on my left arm. When I finished they showed me that the rear derailer was bent and almost touched the spokes of the wheel. While they readjusted it, I headed to CVS, also in the same plaza, for bandages. I phoned my husband to let him know why I was late to the movie and he was sweet enough to ask me if I wanted to go home despite the fact that he really wanted to see the Avengers AND arrived an hour early to make sure we got good seats. I didn’t really see any point in going home so after fetching my bike again, I found his car, locked my bike up on the bike rack and proceeded inside. Besides, I could have wine and food in the theater.

At that point I knew my training plan for the weekend had to change. On Saturday morning I needed to test out my bike and my badly bruised knee somewhere that I could easily bail to the car if needed. My husband was out of commission at a bee keeping class an hour away so he would be unable to rescue me if something happened. I headed to the Veloway in south Austin to ride loops around the 3.1 mile course, closed to cars and pedestrians. My knee felt pretty good, if a bit weak, so I roade 8 laps easier than I otherwise would have. The rear shifting was a bit off so I stopped by Bicycle Sport Shop for an adjustment on my way home. It turned out that the rear derailer hanger was ruined so I had to head to another local bike shop to get a new one. They had it swapped out and I was on my way in no time.

That afternoon I put the bike up on my bike stand and finally cleaned it after many months of neglect. I washed off multiple drips of blood. I learned to adjust the rear brake as that had gone out of whack.

Poor bike. Shifter all scraped up.

Blood on the rim. A “badge of honor” as the bike shop employee put it.

 

On Sunday I knew that I could ride longer again. I left home a few minutes before 7am so that I could beat the wind and the heat. Unfortunately the wind forecast was wrong and the wind started super early. I turned around to face the headwind earlier than planned because I wasn’t sure that fighting a strong headwind for 25 miles was a good idea with a weak knee and bad shoulder. I made up for it by riding in town a bit for a total of 53 miles.

Seen on the ride: a cow at the dead end of a road.

 

During the ride: Stopping to wait for a train

 

Anyhow, I promise next week to return to my regular short ride updates because there will be no crashing to go on about.

Thanks for reading and remember –  I’m training for the 2012 Pedal to the Point Bike MS ride in northern Ohio on August 4th & 5th. Consider supporting my participation by making a donation today!

 

 

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Bike MS training update #4: These people are riding to Anchorage!

This past weekend was a great weekend for bike training. Saturday I rode the Atlas ride which is the kickoff ride for the Texas 4000 riders. The Texas 4000 riders are UT students that ride from Austin, Texas to Anchorage Alaska over a 70 day period and more than 4,500 miles. They spread hope, knowledge, and charity while raising funds to fight cancer. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, no rider can ride more than once. I know, I’m jealous too. Day one goes from Cedar Park to Lampasas on either a 53 or 70 mile route. This year, I rode the 53 mile route. The day was gorgeous and the route was generous – it went mostly north with decent wind out of the south and seemed to be more downhill than up. My average speed was quite speedy and I finished nice in early, in time to go back to Austin for a brewery open house.

At the start line, the supply trailer waiting to pull out after the riders.

Texas 4000 riders waiting to start

Tiny little church in Joppa, across from a rest stop.

In early at the finish line, barely no one in the tent

Bike racks waiting for the riders to roll in at the finish

 

On Sunday it was pretty windy, with wind out of the south again. I stayed on a mostly sheltered route through town for about 21 miles. The sunflowers are gorgeous this time of year.

I call this one sunflowers and railroad tracks

 

Thanks for reading and remember –  I’m training for the 2012 Pedal to the Point Bike MS ride in northern Ohio. Consider supporting my participation by making a donation today!

 

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Bike MS Training update #3

Well, I’m a little behind on this update, but I did get out on my bike last weekend. Luckily, it was a rather boring bike weekend so I don’t have a lot to say.

Saturday it was windy of course, so I rode in a bunch of random directions for 42 miles. I stopped along loop 360 to take some photos because it’s peach season and some tents were set up along the side of the road.

The wildflowers are still in bloom, giving me a great view:

 

Sunday was a pretty laid back day, also windy, so I just cruised the neighborhood for 20 miles.

I’m training for the 2012 Pedal to the Point Bike MS ride in northern Ohio. Consider supporting my participation by making a donation today!

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