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