Well, the ride with my bike club didn’t happen today. It rained overnight, and was misty this morning, but the forecast said it would clear, then rain again this afternoon. I decided to chance it, so rode over to Starbucks to see who would show up.
About 15, in fact. I was still a bit leery about riding in such wet conditions, but almost everyone else seemed fine with it. A couple seemed hesitant about going on a planned 45-mile jaunt and being far from home if the skies opened up.
The ride leader called us to get ready, when my cell phone rang. It was my wife, Pat. She’s training for the Hill Country Ride for AIDS again this year, and was going out with a group of riders she regularly trains with. But today, she was the only one to show, and didn’t know if she should ride on her own in the wet, or if she should just go home. I told her I would join her, and we would decide what to do.
I made my apologies to the ride leader, and headed out. She was just a mile or so from where we were going to start, so we met up quickly. We decided to do Mopac, and assess conditions as we went along.
Traffic on Sunday mornings is usually light along this stretch, and today it was even lighter. It was warmer today than it had been lately, about 70. But the mist made the going unpleasant. I pulled off at a cutout at the top of a hill, and waited for her to catch up to me. We decided to keep going. A convenient arterial street about two miles out would get us back home if conditions got worse. When we reached that street, we were fumbling with sunglasses we could no longer see out of, but agreed that we could head out to 1826, turn around, and when we got back to this spot on the return leg, assess again.
It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it was misting heavily at this point.
I reached 1826 well ahead of Pat, who struggles on hills. A group of club riders passed me and turned north on 1826. It’s a road I don’t ride in nice weather, let alone crummy days like this one. It’s narrow, curvy, and hilly with no shoulder, and cars travel it too fast. I suppose there’s safety in numbers. At least we weren’t the only idiots out today.
The rain picked up on the return leg. Still light, but now more of a nuisance. When we got back to the arterial street, we decided to head home. The road crud kicked up by my rear tire had spattered the back of my white jersey (what was I thinking?), and we both needed a warm shower.
At around 11 a.m., I drove past Starbucks on my way to the grocery store, and there were the club members back from their ride. It appeared they had cut it short, too.
FM-1826 is not a bike path. In your words, “narrow, curvy, and hilly with no shoulder”. The posted speed limit is 55 MPH. If you cannot obtain and maintain 55 MPH or something close to it, STAY OFF!