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Austin Hill Country Classic

Liberty Hill, TX

A 42 mile bicycle jaunt to Bertram and back

Ferris and I did this last May 8, 2004, too.
Ferris and I made our plans after bridge the night before. I'd show up about 6:40 giving us a good 45 minutes to get there, leaving 30 minutes for airing tires, adjustments, suntan lotion and getting in place.

I slept poorly, but I saw Carol was already up when I turned over to see the clock reading 5:14am. I forced (can you do that?) rest until the alarm went off at 6. On went the shorts and official shirt + long pants and a long sleeve shirt. Breakfast of sausage and an egg. Carol rescued it while I was out bringing the Altima out into the road and parking my recumbent behind it with bungie cords at the ready in the street. Gosh, it was still dark, but people were out wandering around. Ugh. Maybe poor sleep is prevalent? It was kind of still cold.

I didn't forget anything and headed off. Ferris was ready and the recently finished next section of US 183 made it a breeze getting all the way out to Lakeline Mall. I showed Ferris about where Bruce's house is. I intend to stop off there to give him a birthday present (Thursday, the 5th) and pick up some stuff he found that ought to go to whoever superceded SMS (CITA Systems).

Guess we needed that breezy ride out to the high school entrance because it was a long wait in line to turn left into there. Maybe 10 to 20 cars went on by to do a U-y further down to come in from the reverse direction. However, there was only 1 lane so they were really que jumpers, but maybe they were unaware of that.

We didn't feel any need to drop by the official tables and so headed straight to the starting line. It was 8:04 but nobody was going anywhere. It was very much like the Capitol 10K (and all such events I am sure) with false starts and slow acceleration to a slow initial speed. It stayed that way all the way to the 1st stop. Ferris commented that it didn't seem to be spreading out like in the past. Later we heard there were about 150-250 more cyclists than the year before and were a suprise to the event organizers.

Its still fully overcast and I'll bet not more than 65 degrees and a bit of wind which is serving us at the moment.

We anticipated the rest stop and parked beyond the stop, walking back. 8:45. Oranges, banannas, pickles, Clif's bars and we're off again. The wind, coolness, overcast and gentle hills brought us to #2 at the 14 mile mark about 9:30. Fig Newtons was the culinary highpoint here. I got an education in the 3 fluid dispensers: blue, red and clear. Clear is water. Blue is Gatoraide because of what Ferris said and he carried some away.

This is where we turned around last year. The decision to go on was based purely on, "Does the rest stop 7 miles away seem a long distance?". Nope, so on we went. I put my long sleeve shirt back on. It was genuinely windy and the temperature hadn't really risen (but who can tell after you been riding this far?).

I attracted a fan in Bertram was asked me a number of questions about the recumbent. I'm sorry I didn't think to urge the guy on over to EasyStreet Recumbents, but I didn't know he'd keep showing up. This rest stop didn't have any pickles. I'd gotten to liking having a pickle followed by a bananna piece. Sure made that bananna sweet. Only at the time of this photograph we took it as a good omen that the turn around was for the 42 and here we are planning to go see H2G2 as a group Monday night.

My left foot and Ferris' tail end kept going numb in the 7th mile of each section so we think this 7 mile separation is perfect. We were both still filling great as we started homeward.. a short 20 mile trip home.

The wind didn't switch directions as we hoped, but since we were also having to climb the hills we so much enjoyed coming down, we weren't going that fast anyway and it just felt good. Ferris pointed out all the tandems and their coloring: orange, avacado green, white and a gray blue one of the folding variety. Recumbents weren't hard to see either. I saw only one other "sit in a chair" kind as most were the more lying down type.

We pulled in to the finish something like 1:15 and didn't take 'em up on the spaghetti and boom box music. As we idled up to the registration (which we'd passed up this morning) two guys were in the street standing astride their bikes talking. As I started to pass by at about 1 mile per hour the nearer guy leaned way forward and threw his fancy right shoe up over the seat and perfectly karated my right handle bar mirror knocking me completely over into a crumpled mess. Ugh. I note that I didn't hit my helmet on anything. Nothing that 15 minutes straightening and readjusting didn't correct. This must by my month for accidents (see April Accident).

By 1:30 we were heading home. Ferris got a picture of our bike packing. We saw other creative bike carrying solutions, too. The sun was just starting to warm things up. Using Ferris' cell phone I found out my brother chose to work today so we let Linda have her Saturday afternoon nap and just left his present on the front porch. As on other AHCC rides the ride back into central Austin was stop and go until just about Oak Knoll. It was definitely sunny by then.

Back home, a shower, a root beer and then back on the bike to go vote. I don't know if my inner pride shown that I had biked 42 miles and chose to bike some more for the heck of it.

[Note next day: Never did get sore. I remain surprised.]


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