Sunday, 18 July, 2004

Katy Flatland Century

Debra and I drove from Round Rock to Katy, Texas (it's near Houston) last night and got up early this morning to participate in the Katy Flatland Century. Our goal: 60 miles. I took the picture on the left while we were waiting to start. My friend Ben Trimmer, a 1990 graduate from the Marine MilitaryAcademy joined us for the ride, along with his wife and some of their friends.

Weather at the start was about 70 degrees with cloud cover and a light wind--perfect riding weather except for the high humidity. We rolled out at about 7:15 am. After the first 10 miles or so of picking our way through the crowd (there were about 2,000 riders), we were able to settle in and (mostly) enjoy the ride. Debra's longest ride up to today was just 42 miles, so the planned 60 was a challenge.

The wind picked up as the morning wore on, and the cloud layer burned off or blew away about 10:30. We were moving along a little faster than our goal of a 12 MPH average, and taking our time to refill water bottles and enjoy the snacks at the rest stops. Ben and his friends tended to go faster between stops, meet us there, and then pass us as they headed to the next stop.

Debra did a great job conserving her energy, kept fed and hydrated, and managed to finish the ride without hurting herself. The last 7 miles or so was difficult because of the headwind and the sun beating down on us. She was a bit disappointed when the ride turned out to be only 57 miles, and wanted to make a few turns around the mall to bring the total up to at least 60. I convinced her otherwise. She'll have the chance to make a longer ride soon.

The picture at right is us standing by the car after the ride.

We went to lunch at a nice little Mexican food place (hey, after burning all those calories, we can afford to splurge a bit) and then crawled into the car for the 3 hour trip home.

The Northwest Cycling Club did a great job organizing the ride and the volunteers at the rest stops were friendly and encouraging. The course is almost completely flat (hence the name), and an excellent place to introduce a new rider to the joys of organized rides. I hope to do the century ride next year.