Funny how what used to be major biking milestones now pass almost unnoticed. I completely missed it, but back on May 13th, I hit 1,000 miles for the year. Last year, I didn’t hit that magic mark until June 13th. Now I’m wondering what kind of mileage I’ll wind up with for the year. My total last year was 2,677. I should hit 3,000 with no trouble this year — but I won’t be making a conscious effort to do it. I’ll just enjoy my rides.
Like the ride we did today out in the Hill Country. A friend suggested we ride from Dripping Springs this morning, so he, Mrs. Noob and I, and three other friends drove the 12 miles out there and rendezvoused at 8:15 to hit the road.
Mrs. Noob — uh, Pat — and her friend Susie decided not to try to keep up with the rest of us, or to go as far. I’ve mentioned Pat’s bike before. Here it is:
She catches a lot of flak about having a kickstand, but she does ride clipless. The tires are 32mm, and she had the bike shop add a higher stem to give her a quite upright position when riding.
We hit the road with four other women we called “The Green Team,” since they all wore hi-visibility green vests. They stuck with us for the first seven miles, then we split off.
This is one of my favorite rides in the area. The country roads are in pretty good shape — a few rough patches — and on Sunday morning, traffic is light.
Here’s what most of the ride looked like to me: Scott, Dee Dee, and Tom lead the way along lightly-traveled country roads.
Clouds blocked the sun for most of the ride, and the temperatures held in the mid-70sF. Quite humid, though, as the forecast called for a 70 percent chance of rain. We hoped we would wrap things up before it got wet.
What vehicles there were are used to bikers on these roads over the weekend. We’re careful to move to single file along the edge of the road when we detect a car or truck coming up behind us. The animals are equally blase about bikers. This cow has seen it all before, and we didn’t interest her in the least.
Remark from Scott: “Isn’t it funny how a little bit of skunk odor actually smells good?”
Two minutes later, he amended his thought: “Oh, that’s not a little bit anymore.”
We climbed moderate hills in easy gears, keeping up our momentum most of the time. Tom had some derailleur trouble, which made smooth shifting a challenge. He’s a strong rider, but because he had to concentrate so much on his gearing, he described his ride as “hard work.”
But for every uphill there’s a downhill, and we got down in the drops as the road swept us along. As a result, none of us were at all tired when we got back to our starting point. The stats: 34.3 miles at an average speed of 14.7 mph. Pat and Susie had ridden a little over 19 miles, and were already lunching at a nearby cafe when we pulled in.
A good ride, a meal with friends, and we pulled the car into the garage just as the skies opened up. Can’t get much better than that.
Today’s ride capped off a week where I rode every day but Saturday, for a total of 125 miles. I can’t remember the last time I rode that many miles in a week. With two more weeks to go until summer classes begin, it looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time in the saddle. Can’t wait.