Our usual Sunday morning club ride had a twist today. Instead of meeting at our neighborhood Starbucks and heading out from there, we went into Austin just south of downtown to Bicycle Sport Shop, one of the bigger bike shops in town. BSS has a club of its own called the Austin Flyers, and their Sunday ride today was the annual “Le Burrito” ride.
Yes, I know the correct article before “burrito” is “el,” but what big bike race is going on across the pond? They’re using the French article “le,” to add a little je ne sais quoi to the proceeding. Chipotle was a title sponsor of the Garmin-Slipstream team last year, and they’ve kept up their interest in bike racing. Everyone who came out for the day’s ride would get a free Chipotle burrito at the end, and could wash it down with free beer from an area microbrewery, Real Ale.
The parking lot at BSS is generous, but I figured the places would be gone soon, so I got there early. The first person I saw was Mike Weiland, he of Mike’s Bike Blog, which I read regularly. He was doing the 60-mile ride today, while I would do the 35. We caught up for awhile, then went about our ride preps.
By this time some of my club pals were showing up. It looked like we would have a good showing at the ride. I looked out over the crowd of bikers as they gathered in the staging area at the end of the parking lot, and my friend David mentioned that the BSS web site had said 324 riders had signed up. There looked to be some walk-ons, too. What we won’t do for free food and beer!
The ride itself went into the countryside southeast of the city, an area where we sometimes do our Sunday club rides. But getting out of town from BSS required a trip down South 1st Street. Not a big deal, except the street was a lot hillier than I’d remembered, and the hills came right away, before we were warmed up. That stretched out the peloton quickly. By the time we reached the gas station/convenience store rest stop at the 18-mile halfway point, I was ready for the break.
The day was quite humid, but not as hot as it’s been around here lately. Still, I felt drained, and managed to drop off the back of my group on the return leg, which would involve a route through the city I’d never taken before. I got caught by some Austin Flyers riders, and followed them back to the shop, where the burrito feed was well underway.
The Flyers assured us all that they’d bring back the ride again next year. I think we’ll be in the field for that one, too.