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Let's actually start with yesterday, Friday. Got into San Antonia, got the bike from luggage, all went very easy, to my surprise. Got the gate upgrade on the car rental to a Ford Explorer, much better for putting stuff into. Made my way to Fredericksburg and put the bike together, with one big gotcha. One of my spokes on my rear wheel had been damaged. There is a single bike shop in Fredericksburg, but they were closed. Luckily, another rider Tom had extra spokes and one actually fit. Got the spoke fixed and all was better. YES!
The next day came early when I woke up at 5:30 am and couldn't fall asleep! Got over to the ride start area about an hour early and just chatted with people. Cyclists are almost universally pretty good people.
Group getting ready to go...
LBJ Ramble was the ride of the day. 99 miles total distance, I clocked it off in 6 hours and 15 minutes of riding. There are breaks in this track from an unforeseen GPS issue. On fast descents on the road bike, there is a lot of vibration on the handlebars and the eMap kept on turning off! I finally just took it off and put it in my pocket. A little later, I figured I would try just turning it on and putting it in my Camelback. This proved to be very effective, except I lose the ability to navigate with it, oh well. (The nice thing about this approach is it will definitely work off-road on a mountain bike as well.) This map just doesn't do justice to how long these rides are. Note that all those names are actually different cities! (You can also see where I missed a turn here.)
This is Bill and Leonard, I rode with them for a long time on Saturday. Bill is an ex-cycling coach and he and Leonard have logged thousands of miles together.
Leonard knew about this place called Rabge's Meats. Yes, this is the "sales room". Got a bunch of turkey and beef jerky here, best damn jerky I've ever had. Gotta have some of this shipped up to Minneapolis.
There was only one serious climb on this ride (although the entire thing was riddled with "Minnesota Hills"). The Gypsum Mine Road was a good climb, pushing hard. All the veterans here keep talking about the hills on the Leakey-Death route, apparently we haven't seen anything yet.
Some nice fast descents. Texas seems to have a habit however of putting cattle gates at the bottom of hills, usually on a turn. So, you need to keep your speed in check or you will have a mishap on those things. Luckily no rain, so they weren't very slippery. Most of them you can just "float" over, but some rattle you pretty big!
Heart rate strategy was straightforward, stay around 130. Came in at an average HR of 125. This is well below my anaerobic threshold so I was limiting lactate buildup. Stayed aerobic through the majority of the ride. Consumed a little over 1,200 calories during the 6 hour ride, while burning around 3,600 calories. Ate like a horse when I got back to the hotel.
Tomorrow is a brand new ride, Harpers Bazaar. Another 100 miler. Stay tuned...