Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fulshear Fog

This past Saturday we only had three bikes on the weekly ride: Ken, Jim and Aimee and me on the Seavo. Yesterday we were down to two: me and Ken. I had no stoker so I rode my venerable V2. I've been riding in Fulshear for years now and the fog we saw on the way out was the thickest I've have ever seen. Neither Ken nor I had taillights on our bikes (I have one on the Seavo which I ride 90% of the time, but nothing on the V2) so we decided that the fog was just too thick to take a chance on anything but the back country lanes where there would be virtualy no traffic. We parked back in the Polo Fields and managed to get 41 miles in before noon. The fog stayed thick until around 10am. Amazing.

I'm at 2940 miles today and have hopes of getting past 3000 miles this week. I'm off until Monday. If I manage 3000 miles before then, I think I'll aim for 3500 miles for the year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Woodlands

Although there are many different routes to ride out in Fulshear to the west of Houston, repeating those routes over the course of the spring and summer can be monotonous at times. So when Coleman volunteered to lead a ride out of the Woodlands north of Houston I thought it was a great idea. I've never ridden up in the Woodlands before and it sounded interesting.

The Woodlands was the brainchild of developer George Mitchell. Beginning in 1974 Mitrchell and his partners developed approximately 24 square miles of timber land into a modern planned community utilizing many of the concepts and environmental design principals found in other well regarded new communities of that time. While the Woodlands is now primarily a bedroom community, it also contains several large corporate campuses, a shopping mall, six golf courses and the Cythia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, a reginal concert venue.

We met at the Woodlands Mall at 8am Saturday morning and were rolling by 8:20. Since none of us knew the roads, Coleman was kind enough to have printed out detailed directions for the whole 40 miles. This is where having a stoker came in handy. While my recumbent comrades struggled to ride and read their directions, stoker Aimee was able to easily monitor our progress and advise me of the next turn ahead.

We had a slow start during the first few miles. Z was riding his Barcroft for the first time and had to stop twice to adjust his seat. Then Aimee and I had a major drivechain derailment that took a few minutes to straighten out. With these problems out of the way, it was smooth sailing for the rest of the day.

If there was one disappointment in this ride it was the traffic which was, in a word, brutal. Coleman tells me the traffic is never this bad when he rides. The Rennaisance Festival is in town nearby so this may have accounted for the congestion. It's hard to enjoy the scenery when you're nervous and preoccupied watching cars and trucks.

Thanks to Debbie for her complete photo coverage.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Two Great Fulshear Rides

The weather and riding conditions out in Fulshear have been perfect the last couple of weekends. Clear skies, mild winds, quiet country roads and moderate temperatures. Who could ask for more? Yesterday Aimee and I met Ken at 8am for our usual Saturday morning ride. Typically we have 5-10 riders on Saturday morning, but today only three. The Fulshear City Hall parking lot was full, however. 20-30 Houston Randonneur riders, Robert and Gordon among them, were departing on a 200k brevet. With 120 miles to cover I think I would have started a little earlier, but that's just me.

The three of us headed south down Bois D'Arc, over to Settegast Road and then into the quiet neighborhoods and roads of Pecan Grove. It was actually a little chilly for the first few miles. We found ourselves back at the parking lot with 36.6 miles. We debated doing the Polo Fields for another 18 miles but Aimee's sister needed her back in town for pedicure adventure so we loaded the bike and headed home.

Last Saturday was just as gorgeous. We had a larger pack of riders: Debbie and Pat, Mark and his son, Ken, Coleman, Vic, Ben and Keith. 41 miles.

Miles This Year: 2804
Goal This Year: 3000 (I think I'm gonna make it with a few miles to spare.)