Thursday, April 2, 2009
Oh oh oh What a day THIS was! Here we thought we had it all under control. Connie and Sherry and Jan and I had gotten ourselves all geared up, as usual, for what we thought was going to be a fairly easy last day of this stretch. I mean, the four of us made it all 111 miles the other day. The four of us had ridden all the miles the next day and the next day. And today was supposed to be just another little 50 miler. No sweat.
Except that in the middle of the night last night we heard a roar that turned out to be the wind coming in from the northeast. Well, our direction today was northeast. NOT a good combination. Yesterday we had a 40 mile day and much of IT was into the wind and up three very steep hills. But the four of us had done well on that section so, though we were AWARE of the weather, we all hopped on our bikes and headed off, bright and early.
The hills were completely doable. We've been riding on top of the Edwards Limestone plateau. Occasionally we drop down to the layer that is the Buda Limestone (I hope I'm reporting this correctly). And then we go back up. It's about a mile up or down. Fun down. Hard up. 8-12% grade. But we had a tail wind for that section and actually got a boost UP the steeps today. And at one point, on one of the lower flats, there was a herd of antelope and deer and KANGAROOS and Bison. Oh, and Longhorns too. And it was breezy but not overwhelming.
At mile 24 we stopped in Medina for Apple Pie. YUM!!!! With apple pie flavored soft ice cream and, for those who wished (I didn't) apple pie flavored coffee. As I'm sure I've said, we can and do eat anything we want, and as much of it as we want. Big breakfast at 7:30. Pie at 10? No worries.
But right after the pie stop the wind picked up and for about 5 miles we were all riding as hard as we could, going pretty much nowhere. The gusts were coming in really hard. REALLY hard. And a person of my size is, well, not so big, especially now, and the winds really took charge. We plugged on and made it to the bottom of the last climb. The SAG driver came by and said that four people had fallen, one was being checked out by a doctor (she's fine and is my roommate tonight and is fully herself) and for us to please be very careful. They have not told us to be very careful before.
Anyway, the four of us did all the miles today. Up the steeps. Down. Riding through the crosswinds. Riding into strong headwinds. Ocassionaly being shoved along by a tailwind. Rough riding for much of the day. There are some scary times here. Today, with those crosswinds, was one.
Tomorrow we have the day off. Fine by me. I could use a little bit of nothing for a day.
Oh, sorry about no post yesterday. Vanderpool, Texas has 22 people and no internet. Ah well. We all came out of our rooms and played stupid card games and laughed uncontrollably about absolutely nothing. Grand times. Grand.
That's it for now. Gotta go have dinner. It has been 3 hours since my last meal. Yipes!