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On The Road

Posted Jan 11 2009 5:41pm
Some pictures and observations for you from the MS150--single day iron-style version. If you're riding iron-style, you need an ironman to go with you. I had one. Triboomer ran the Boston Marathon on no marathon training the Monday before, but nothing would keep him from our appointed ride. That.Is.Iron.



start

Because we were going to be at it all day long, Mrs. Greyhound took us out to a spot on the course so we could avoid the mass chaos and delay of 12,000 cyclists taking to the road at once. This cut about 15 miles off my customary starting point, but we were still well east of the start in Katy, Texas. So, I don't feel like we cheated. She snapped this "shake and bake" picture before Triboomer and I saddled up and hit the road.


Cyclists

We started in a dense fog, but after the "lunch" stop in Bellville, the sun came out. Here are some riders strung out on the road west of Industry, Texas. Industry is an odd name for the area, because the rolling hills are BEEEE-YOOOOOUUU-TEEEE-FULLL.



Blue Bonnets
The wildflowers were so dense you could smell them while riding on the road. Just check out that carpet of bluebonnets.


Texas Landscape I
And this is beautiful, Texas countryside. God's country.




Texas Landscape II
Yes, you are in Texas now.



Fayetteville Break Point II
If I tried to explain how big this ride was, you wouldn't believe me. So, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is a mere fraction of the 12,000 riders at the rest stop west of Fayetteville, Texas.



Boomer and Kat Gurl
We met Mrs. Greyhound and our girls north of La Grange where the course turns back west toward Austin. Here's the Boomer with Kat Gurl, a triathlete in her own right.


Superpounce Harvests Flowers
The girls did girly things. Here is superpounce caught in the act of breaking state law--gathering wildflowers from the right of way. But she wasn't alone.


floral arranging
Here is the contraband--FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS.

We were very ready for a break when we met up with the girls. We thought it would freshen us up to get off the bikes and eat solid food.

WRONG.

When we got going again, we were dead. Dead legs. Dead asses. Dead lungs. Dead brains. Dead spirits. There was little or no talking for the next 20 miles or so to the top of the Smithville Hill. Each of us was just trying to find a rhythm that we could maintain, fixating on the little white line, and trying to put miles beneath the tires.

Just keep spinning. Just keep spinning.

Fortunately, we got a second wind about the time we hit Bastrop and made great time along FM969 into Austin. Boomer, however, saw his life pass before his eyes on FM969.

The road has no shoulder and limited visibility. Boomer was riding behind me. Without a lot of riders on the road, we were kind of sitting ducks. A pickup overloaded with firewood was traveling at a high rate of speed overtook us, went to pass on the left but had to hit the brakes because of an oncoming car. It fishtailed and had to bail off the road into the ditch to avoid taking Triboomer out. Thence, it screamed along in the ditch for several yards before passing me on the right and coming back onto the road.

As we got closer and closer to Austin, with no coned off lanes like one would have on Sunday, safety became more of an issue, if that is possible. Mrs. Greyhound took up driving behind us with her hazard lights on, but eventually that was not working either. So, right when our computers turned over at 150 miles, we were just reaching Austin. We called the ride in the interest of continuing to live.



our finish
We rode in the car the remaining 15 miles or so to the capital and staged this finishing shake and bake. Again, given the miles we had ridden and the safety concerns, it did not feel like cheating.


We were a "happy few" who we saw doing the ride in one day, and who gathered at the capital that evening. And gentlemen in La Grange then abed all thought themselves accursed they were not there, and held their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks of the one day, iron-style MS150.



mass finish II
But we were two of many who rode the ride, the whole route, for people who can't. Two of many who will have raised $11 million to fight multiple sclerosis, a disease that is on the run. Be some of the $11 million by hitting the donation link in the sidebar.
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