Austin Hill Country Classic 2008 - 14th Annual

Liberty Hill, TX

AHCC 42 mile trip map for 2008 I missed last year, but Ferris and I made the ride last May 13, 2006. As I did then I set the alarm for 6am (been practicing getting up earlier and earlier all week), grabbed all the stuff I'd laid out the night before. The recumbent went onto the Nissan without trouble (!) and I was a Ferris' at a record time of 6:30. The traffic was light. The only worry was that since 2006 the toll roads are now in place I would get lost staying off of it, but having a laywer for a co-pilot dispelled that cloud. We were so fast that there was no line at all on the road leading into the high school.

check-in Things just went well. The bike assembling, the tire airing, the dropping by the check-in table (nothing to do). There was food there of which I partook and filled my FreeWheeling water container. No coffee though. Oh, well. After a short while we decided to go wait for the start out by the road. It was quite overcast, about 70 degrees. Ferris and I put on suntan lotion, then stood around. Hence these photos...

About 5 after 8 we were good to go, but gave way to the 75 - 100 milers so they make that #5 stop by 10:30am, lest be turned away for dawdling (I guess). As is usual with these sort of "lining up", it was really just a mish mash. We didn't really care. A couple minutes one way or the other is inconsequetial to us. Its 7 miles to stop #1. That is just short of my "regular" commute to work in north Austin.

AHCC Rest Stop #1

We did our most of our standing around here. Notice the clothes that I am wearing. That's the FreeWheeling water in my right hand and blue corduroy long pants.. and heavy brown shoes. Ferris waited through the line to use the potty, and I had breakfast: about 1 orange, half of a bananna, an oreo, and a water refill. The weather was holding. Lots of energy. We headed off for Stop #2.

AHCC Rest Stop #2
Here at stop number 2 is where most of the fun was. The volunteers behind the table are the most affable and we are really into the ride by now. I ate a lot more. More oreo-s, another orange worth of slices, a hand full of Pringles, more water. I skeptically read the label on the "Pickle Juice" that was being pushed.

We took the time to look at a couple of very expensive recumbents parked next to the stop's entrance. The over cast continues. Ferris started complaining about his saddle. We discussed about whether we wanted to continue on or head back. Who knows how long the cloud cover will keep us cool, or how much the road will beat our butts. But, "what the hey", this is the bike ride for us, so we reasoned that we didn't have to obey any mileage sign posts and could turn around whenever, but really, it was "Bertram or Bust" and we headed off.

Bertram

I don't know if that's a permanent critter or just setup for this occasion. I'll ask next time. Its staying cloudy, but the temperature is oouching up bit by bit. Seems like near 80 now. I certainly went after the water before anything else. It was somewhere near 11am. This is the out-post for us. Some other year will have to be our venture out to Rest Stop #4 on the 50 mile ride.

Looooong time ago we did a 50 miler trip from South Austin to San Marcos and back. It was hot and sunny that day. It took us WELL into the afternoon to get back. I remember being wasted that day. So... it is not impossible that we'll do another 50 mile trip one of these years.

This year ACA promoted a family ride around Bertram so we saw a lot of kids on bikes and some kid trailers.

We knew it could only get hotter and we didn't want to rest up too much and get more stiff than we were.

We retrace our path

Rest stop #2 We did encounter the hill of the trip. Ferris and I did our best to remember how much fun going DOWN that hill had been. I had to switch out of my largest chain wheel to the middle one to reach the top.

See that guy in the photo above standing in the road in the bright safety gear? He was part of the EMS, riding around on a motorcycle with a co-hort. Well the passed us up and stopped here at the Visitin' V stop. I'm thinking of adding a drink holder so I can comfortably drink my coffee while recumbent-commuting way to work, and this EMS guy had one on his motorcycle so we talked a while about it.

I finally tried the Pickle Juice. Nothing to write home about (another phrase sure to pass out of existance pretty quick now). I finished the drink. I don't imagine it hurt, ... might have helped. Couldn't say!

We didn't tarry too long. We did notice that our knees were starting to complain, so best we keep moving. Ferris said he must be getting used to the saddle. It was bothering him less.

Well, here we are back at rest stop #1. Seems kind of lonely now. I suppose the biggest group of riders did the 28 miles instead of the 42 we chos. The other 42 milers are probably all nearly back to Liberty Hill by now. We would still be ahead of those toughened souls that do the 68 - 75 - 105 mile routes.

The highlight of this stop was a long talk with Preston Tyree who regaled Ferris and I about his recumbent and 2 travel bikes + a regular road bike. He talked about the recumbent riding no more than 11 inches off the road giving him concern about getting his foot caught under it after slipping off the pedal, so he was happy to have those neat click-on pedal cleats. He explained how they work and also, at my inquiry, talked about the 27 pound travel bike. It unfolds in 5 seconds (maybe he said 3!), and comes with a cover for hefting the "container" onto a bus as the situation dictates. He broke off when another of the rest stops needed servicing.

Liberty Hill - home

Home base We rolled into finish just after 1pm. So, 8 to 1 is 5 hours for 42 miles. Assuming about 20 minutes per rest stop, that's #1, #2, Bertram, back to #2, then #1 (make that 30 minutes there), so subtract 110 minutes. So its 42 miles/((300-110)/60) hours for 13.2 mph average. I guess those hills really did knock our average down, because I average 15 on my work commute.

Eating here at home base was more upscale: Mike's Subs hit the spot. I hung around eating and drinking. ACA was selling T-Shirts from years past, 2006 in particular, for $2 each. I couldn't resist so I got one of the burnt orange shirts. Though the sun was finally shining, it was still very cloudy and finally up in the high 80s.

The end

sunburn through the clothes After loading the bikes the car looked just like it did in 2006. The return trip was uneventful. It was hot enough in the car we did run the Nissan's air conditioning. Back at home I reassembled the recumbent, drank some coffee that Carol, thankfully, had left from the morning, and took a much needed shower. That was when I discovered that my legs were sunburned! I had worn the long pants that entire time just so I wouldn't have to worry about that. Hah! Just think, it was never sunny today... maybe 10 minutes of full sun or so. Amazing what ultra-violet can go through.

About 2 hours later I got the bike out again and used it to go vote. Didn't feel bad at all. Guess I'm pretty much in shape.

About half these photos were supplied by Ferris.


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