Hopefully this missive will find everyone basking in the warm afterglow of Christmas/Hannuka (pick your own spelling)/Winter Solstice goat dances, or whatever.
Yesterday, Gil Jones (riding his shiny new Scattante 570 Prostate Crusher) and I did a 28 miler out to the northeast of Burnet, around to the south to Bertram, stopped at the Hungry Moose in Bertram, then on to the southwest to catch CR330 back into Burnet. Even in the dead of winter, the Hill Country is serious eye/soul-candy.
While grinding up a hill at about 8 mph, we overtook an armadillo that was trundling along in the ditch at about 1 mph. ‘Dillos are pretty near-sighted and I don’t think this one ever figured out what was making some noise nearby. It kept glancing over our direction without slowing, or speeding up.
For the first 2-3 miles I thought I might not last the ride as my body shifted from eating-Christmas-cookies-mode to having-fun-mode. I was suffering from acute out-of-shape-syndrome, having spent most of the last two months nurse-maiding Peggy after a couple of surgeries (she is doing very well now).
We enjoyed one hill that was steep enough to require dropping to 1:1 and lots of nice 2:1 to 3:1 climbs. Even two months ago, Gil would have had to walk his bike up part of that 1:1 hill, but this time he just chugged right up it! He is getting into scary-good shape for a 66 year old!
I am still running the smooth-riding, but less corner-friendly, Marathon Plus tires on my Catrike but plan on swapping back to the Marathon Racers for a few weeks. I will add a “sticker resistant” insert in each tire. With the faster, but harsher riding, tires it will be easier to get back on task of getting a 100 miler done. It is doubtful that I will get it done by year-end, as I am just too out of shape, having ridden less than 200 miles total in the last 2 months. But… Gotta get that done soon. I hate missing goals.
Among the many deep discussions, fairly oozing gravitas, that Gil and I had as we rode along the back-roads of Burnet County was how concerned we are that so few of our friends is in good enough health to be able to enjoy this ride with us. When considering those who we have known since our days in Big Spring High School, we concluded that the percentage in good health was likely much worse. We wish we could somehow get more of those old friends out riding so that they would live better, not just longer. Some health issues cannot be improved by cycling, but most can be made better.
At least this ride knocked off around 1,400 calories of the over-indulgence of the holiday season.
Read Gil’s post on this ride.
Now for us all to have a Happy New Year!
For new visitors, check out a recent, harrowing, descent of The Beast of Park Road 4 via youtube.