Don’t Rush Your Comeback

As readers know, I’m going to ride the MS 150 from Houston to Austin in April. It will involve 100 miles the first day and 77 miles the second. But my recent knee problems put a crimp in my training plans for the ride.

I hoped to get back on track with today’s LBJ 100, a ride at the ranch of former President Lyndon B. Johnson out in the Texas Hill Country. I opted for the 65-mile ride.

Conditions at the start were darn near perfect. Temp of 51°F (10.5°C) and a sunny morning. I forgot my camera, so had to make do with my crummy cell phone camera, but this is what it looked like at the start, as Luci Baines Johnson welcomed the riders.

Luci, the former president's daughter, is up there somewhere under the flags.

Several of my usual club suspects were there, and I looked forward to riding with them.

Joe and Donald (looking down), Joe's wife Judy and Donald's wife Pippa.

But it was apparent that my layoff and gradual resumption of biking after my knee trouble was going to keep me at the back of the pack. Joe and Donald passed me and disappeared at about three miles in. Pippa and Judy caught up to me, and I stayed with them for a little bit, but they pulled away at about six miles. So from then on out, it was just me — and all the other riders on the road.

Rest stop at the Willow City school, no longer in use. (See, I do stop at rest stops!) Local civic groups keep it going as a community center. I have no idea who the guy in the shot is.

After about 35 miles, I was getting tired. But there was no problem keeping on, because we had a nice tailwind and lots of downhills. I refueled at the rest stop in Sandy, Texas, and made the turn back to the west.

This leg was right into the wind, which had picked up throughout the day. In addition, the road was a gradual uphill most of the way. In Sandy, they said I had 12 miles until the next rest stop. I stopped on my own about seven miles down the road, and rested under a nice shade tree. By now, the temp had climbed to around 80 (26C). At 12 miles, there was no sign of a rest stop. But I saw another biker pulled off to the side of the road, and I joined him to finish off my water bottles.

It turned out he was calling his wife to come get him. He had planned on doing the 44-mile route, but missed a turn and wound up on the 65. She was there in minutes with a large pickup truck. He invited me to put my bike on the back, too. I took about two seconds to decide. I hopped in the truck with him.

So, my longest ride of the year so far, but something of a disappointment, nevertheless. Because the MS 150 is coming up in about three weeks, I rushed my training for longer distances. Increasing distance each week and the long ride each week by 10 percent is something I don’t have time to do, so I have to push it. But today, I pushed a bit too far. Tomorrow, a shorter ride, but I’ll ride hard.


  1. says

    My furthest (farthest?) ride this year has been 50 miles. I contemplated doing the LBJ ride and even went as far as to fill out the registration form and print out directions. However, when it came to “go, or no go” time, which by my estimate was approx 6am, I decided to roll over and go back to sleep.

    Instead, I ended up going to Reimer’s Ranch and doing a couple of “race pace” laps around one of the loops. I rode well, felt strong, and even crashed once. I’m glad I did it though, since I really needed the confidence boost after bailing out of the Warda race midway.

    Keep us posted on your progress throughout the MS-150. Consider spending $30 on a cheap digital video camera and shoot some footage from the ride. I’d love to see what it’s like on one of those long hauls.

  2. says

    I seriously need to get the miles in. I’ve only been doing 15-25 mile rides lately, and it’s nowhere near where I want to be. I want to be back into my 60+ miles in a day, and over 150 a week. I also need to up my speed considerably if I want to do any sort of competition this year. I only wish the weather would help…

  3. Joe Ferguson says

    I thought we were much further out when Donald and I caught up with you. Your first few miles must have been awfully quick. We had a hard time getting up to speed until we exited the ranch with it’s many cattle guards and mixed 30/44/65 mile participants. Donald and I missed a turn at 25 miles and didn’t get to take advantage of that rest stop (the first one was too close to do us any good). Then we had PBJ and gatorade at Willow City (no Willows, no city) before blowing off the next stop. I was good on liquids but Donald missed that hydration and it came at the point where we were fighting up hill against the wind.

    I found someone to draft and made it to the final rest stop (which was 10 miles from the finish) and blew past that one rather than stopping and having to overcome inertia all over again.

    Glad to be finished and looking all over for you at the end, Donald I and I got our pictures taken at the finish (he announced us as Terrence and Phillip or some such names) and then Judy and Pippa rolled in looking fresh as daisies (…under advice of counsel).

    Rest up (or ride more,whatever works for you) for the MS150. Good cause, good luck.


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