Saturday, May 05, 2007

And the Ditches on the Highway, Read Between the Seasons, Under the Bridges in Valleys, Till the Winds out on the Prairie, Wipe the Tears from My Eyes

86 miles on the bike. I must say this was no picnic, intense headwind the entire trip, Texas humidity, and a route that seemed uphill the entire way, for us non-traditional bikers, well, it spelled disaster, Here's a how it unfolded rest stop to rest stop.

1 -- Beginning to Fiesta Market -- The crew was yippie, we're doing the GASP, this is cool, giddy out of the starting block, surprisingly, lots of puke around mile 10, I saw it least 4 different piles along the way. You also notice all the roadkill around 183 and the other big highways. First rest stop, 100's of people, signs of achievement, etc -- and the saving grace, the 'power bar goo' with caffeine and carbs and all that other stuff athletes need (I guess). First song played on the antipod, Weezer, and 'The World Has Turned and Left Me Here.'

Here was the crew out of the starting block, left to ride, my nephew Alex, Red, Garth and Bob.


2 -- Fiesta Market to Rest #2 -- This is the part where I'm thinking, 'yea, this is going to be the 'hilly part,' and 'eventually this has to level out,' as the hills brought on more hills, you see a hill in the horizon, and think, geeze, this is gonna be tough. Here's where the separation takes place, Bob blazes the trail with Garth close behind, me hanging about 500 yards back, and Alex no where to been seen in the background.

3 -- Rest #2 to McMahon General Store -- This the part I had to prove that I was cool and 'lead' this portion of the race, so for hype music I popped in Greenday's Dookie and paved the trail, thru the hard drizzle. I even kept up and 'drafted' with some computer geeks who worked for a consulting firm in Austin.

On arrival to the general store ahead of the pack, I'm beat, I see Bob coming and tease him about how red he was, well, I wasn't much better.


4 -- McMahon General Store to South Texas Wood -- My O my, this is when it got interesting, just tough conditions, and a few massive hills left me fighting it, I see all the 'sag wagons' picking people up, and I kept thinking, I gotta make this, we're more than half the way there. I lose all my compadres, so as I head up a hill, I notice this other dude struggling, we befriend each other and make our way to the next rest.

5 -- South Texas Wood to Cistern Church -- The ride gets better, the power goo seems to be holding me up, I got a new buddy that rides at a leisurely pace, the road is good, it's in the county so no exhaust spilling SUV are blowing sut in my face, very scenic landscape, I'm thinkin, yea, things are good from here on out, peace, tranquility and a coast to Shiner.

6 -- Cistern Church to Downtown Flatonia -- All it takes is a turn, and hell comes with it, that's the oddball Highway 95 for you. Sinister uphill, wind blowing so freakin' hard that you actually have to pedal downhill, and the road, let me tell you about the road, its one step up from gravel, and it's pounding the hell out of you the entire time. It's not fit for man nor beast.

This is me, around mile 72, ain't no joy on my face, and for the most part, I'm riding alone, not too many peeps in site, my buddy 'sags' and the others I pass look absolutely miserable, almost like this self portrait I took on the camera phone.


7 -- Flatonia to Moulton -- I've probably done this drive in a car 1 million times, but on a bike, it truly makes you respect geography. After a 45 minute meditation session to 'wish the pain away', I partook in this 9 mile journey to Moulton, still bad road, still big hills, I think I can I think I can I think I can.

8 -- Moulton to Shiner -- Like the song 'runnin on instinct,' that me at this point, not too much on my mind, just remember I put on 'Travis's' The Man Who album to coast me in to Shiner. A woman passed me, said I was doing great, and said, 'Just remember, the mind gives out way before the body. I roll into Shiner, a LOT later than most, but I finish, the 'welcome wagon' of clappers has thinned down to a spatter as I roll in, unhook from the bike and grab me a Shiner Light.

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Well, the muster was tested and I survived, yea, I'm proud of myself. I wouldn't consider myself a hardcore biker, and I did something that I felt was a bit hardcore in that realm, and that a lot of people wouldn't even attempt.

I'm getting 'nice biker legs,' but I don't want to turn my already fat legs into fat muscular legs, so I'll find the proper balance, and probably move on to another hardcore thing to do in another discipline and see what sticks, hopefully I'll have a lot of my life defined by 40 or 45 with this mentality.

Lots goes on in your head when you're tired and pushing your body to the limits, and I'm glad to say that for a spatter of time I'm content, maybe even a bit happy.

1 comment:

Shannon Gillar Of The Sugarland Gillars said...

Congratulations on making it..
I enjoyed reading about it, maybe one day I will join you.