Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Pedaling the Prairie"

Liz and I rode the "Pedaling the Prairie" ride in Katy yesterday while the rest of Team Bent headed to Angleton for a Brazoria County ride with Robert. "Pedaling the Prairie" is an annual ride benefitting the athletic department of Faith West Academy. I was excited about this ride. I haven't done an organized ride since the accident and Liz hasn't done one ever, at least not in daylight (she and I did the "Moonlight Ramble" a couple of years ago, but that ride starts at 2am). I considered riding in Angleton with the rest of the crew, but 55 miles seemed like pushing it at this point, so we opted to do the 45 mile route at "Pedaling the Prairie."

Debbie forwarded her pictures from the Angleton ride and they appear at the end of this post.

The ride started at 7:30 so we were on the road by 6am. The weather was cool and overcast. The skies threatened rain, but by an unusual stroke of luck the downpour didn't start until half an hour after we finished the ride. It was just cool enough that once we got the bike rolling I wished I had brought my wind breaker. Liz felt the same way.

One of the primary sponsors of this ride is Sun and Ski Sports at Katy Mills Mall. We registered the morning of the ride and were given tag number 531. I expected more riders. The start was staggered by ride distance, although with such a small number of riders it's hard to see how it made any difference.

This has to be one of the world's smallest bikes!

My happy stoker, glad to be getting back on the road.

The route for this ride was mostly familiar territory: Winner-Foster Road, Bois D'Arc Road, Poole Hill Road etc. These are all weekends haunts of Team Bent on our Saturday morning rides. I was impressed with ride support on this ride. Officers were at almost every intersection with traffic to wave us safely through.

Since we were riding the tandem we got the usual "Did you know she's not pedaling back there?" from 30-40 riders. Once I get the Flevo up and running I want to make a sign for my stoker to flash at bikes behind us saying: "Yes, he knows I'm not pedaling."

Rest Stop No. 2 in Fulshear by the barbecue place on 1093. The stops were well stocked with the usual fruit, Oreos, Chex mix and even homemade cookies and brownies.

My stoker-navigator checking our position and the route ahead.

We sighted a Cruzbike. This one looks a little awkward to me.

We made a stop at P Wall. I don't think I can pass this spot without getting off the bike.

Here we see some in-flight refueling. This is one of the benefits of the tandem recumbent: the stoker can enjoy hands free riding. Thus she is free to answer the phone, map read, eat, drink, take pictures, etc.

The last leg of our ride was down Old Katy Highway from Brookshire to Katy. This was the worst part of the ride with lots of traffic and rough shoulders. Not that bad though.

I would do this ride again.

Debbie's pics: