Monday, June 15, 2009

Tour De Braz 2009

I wasn't planning on doing this ride this year, but David told me he was doing it few weeks ago and asked if Liz and I were riding it. David hasn't ridden much with us this year, so what could I say? That, plus Liz loves organized rides when she can sit on the back of a back to back tandem and talk to riders as we pass them.

I wasn't sure Liz would be okay with getting up at 5am and leaving the house by 5:30, but she didn't bat an eye. So we saddled up and headed to Alvin.

We planned to register at the ride, but I am usually able to print off a registration sheet the night before and fill it out ahead of time. I couldn't do that with this ride since I was unable to access the forms once online and mail in registration closed. That ought to be changed.

The crowd at the start looked to me to be about the same as last year: 400-500 riders. We parked in a satellite lot and set the bike up for the start a little ahead of the start line. I did notice that there were no ride photographers on the route as there were last year.

I sold the Flevo a month ago so we were on the Barcroft this year. Weather conditions were about the same as last year...windy. The Flevo was an excellent bike in wind and the Barcroft is as well. The routine is pretty much the same. In downwind or crosswind legs of the ride we can hold our own and pass many DF's. On the upwind legs, however, we are able to pass most DF's without really trying. The ride was upwind for the first half and basically crosswind and tailwind for the last half. That's a perfect setup!
There were a couple of glitches with the route, but for the most part, it was well marked. There was certainly plenty of sag support and I don't think we went more than 15 minutes without being passed by a sag wagon or a ride official on a motorcycle. Just as last year, ride registration bought you lunch of Sloppy Joe's, chips, drinks, and Popsicles.
We completed 47.4 miles and crossed the finish line around 10:30 before it got really hot. We enjoyed this ride and will probably make it a regular part of our season.