Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tour Autauga

Prattville is not known as a biking town. Montgomery isn't either, for that matter, although it has a cadre of very good riders. Prattville does have 1 cycling event each year, the Tour Autauga, which is the brainchild and 100% project of local Bill Duke. He and his family do it all. Today was the 3rd year running, and I've ridden all three. The area is familiar of course, I ride the Autauga hills twice a week in season and sometimes at greater length on the weekends. Only 25 pre registered this year, and Bill was afraid that it would not be a good show up. Proceeds from the event are donated to cancer charitible work. When I arrived at Spinners Park for the ride, the lot was full! Providentially, 50 more riders came down and registered day of, so the concern then became, "do we have enough food for the rest stops?" Bill's sweet wife was manning the sign in table looking like she just went 10 rounds with a heavyweight contender. Turns out she rolled her Xterra on I-65 recently and was airlifted to the big time hospital for repairs. I don;t think they airlifted the Nissan though.

I signed on to do the 62 mile route (my usual choice for these things) but a fellow club member mentioned wanting company on a 30 mile ride, so I did the shorter edition this time. With 2,500' of climb or thereabouts, my legs don't feel slighted in the exercise dept. Bill asked me which route I was on, and I told him. He made a face and said something about having a little "surprise" for me at mile 40. Hmmm. Water balloons? I do poke fun at my companions on rides and I can understand a little revenge :) We'll never know now. There were plenty of Montgomery Bicycle Club jerseys in the parking lot, maybe one of my buddies will give me the scouting report for the 40 mile secret.

The day started out cool and damp. About 63 F, dead calm, and cloudy. Rain was forecast for the afternoon. I wore wool base layers top and bottom. This was the trial run for my new "Steep & Cheap" merino tee shirt. $14.95 and worth a try, I figured. British Army surplus wool boxers down below. The wool worked GREAT. It kept me warm when it was cool and damp, and comfy when I started to get hotter and sweatier. Afterewards, I peeled off the jersey and the wool tee dried right up, and doesn't smell. Since it was a cancer support ride, I wore Amici Veloci colors today: jersey and socks. A cancer survivor in CA started this online club of cyclists who ride to support the effort to battle the disease and help the sufferers. It's the jersey in the picture you see of me for this blog. It translates, "Fast Friends." Not very fast here, but yes on the friend part. The ride starts uphill and generally climbs for the first 10 miles. Then you're up and down for 10 miles and finally mostly down on the return. I don't like to start uphill. My muscles need a while to warm up. Today they started complaining right away, and I labored for a while, reminding Peggy that she wanted ME to go with her! Finally, after the first rest stop at 10 miles, the iginition turned on and it was pretty comfortable from then on. My avg speed climbed all through the ride in fact and I highballed the last couple of miles in the 20s, which is heady stuff for me and my duffle bag under the saddle, type bike. The colors in the clover are fading, and the clouds kept it from being a pretty day. Peggy saw a sheep dog at work, with sheep. I saw some young foals, and the usual bird activity.

I think my best memory will be the peanut butter and honey sandwiches at the last rest stop. MMM, MMMM, good! I'm back on the bandwagon, diabetes wise, after ignoring it and pretending to be immortal since December. I've felt like crap and been tired, so I got back to the proper diet this past week, cutting out the stuff I shouldn't have. The high energy output of riding allows me some sweets though. (I started back up with my finger sticks and have decent #s again. I feel better too. Funny that should follow, eh?) If there are any ride pictures for the event, I'll link to them.

It was good to see some people not ridden with in a while. Frank is still on the old school tires surplus out of my parts box and he likes them a lot. Phil gave me more info on the condition of the other Phil (who wrecked 2 weeks ago on a Thursday night ride). Fairly new road rider Robert is trying his first ever century, and a hilly one at that too. Ahh, to have those young legs and a can do attitude! Richard, Bill, Patty and Bilee of course, Roger (The prez, not the other one) was there and finally we spoke about the Ride of Silence (that will be another post) that we're trying to get some momentum under.

I do some charity rides all through the year, but as many of you know, the Multiple Sclerosis MS Ride is my big one. I actively raise funds for that ride. A number of my readers have already pitched in, to my great appreciation. If others are interested, email me for more info and a link to my MS donations page. Pen Friends alert: There will be the usual Pen auction this Summer. The proceeds will by a donation to the MS ride.

1 comment:

Fully Lugged said...

Two other riders have checked in with further info:

Robert writes

"The surprise from Bill was that he had painted in big letters at the 40 mile mark "Go Bruce Go". I laughed out loud when I saw it, especially since I knew you weren't on that route and weren't gong to see it."

I suppose he realized that my flagging legs might need a crack of the whip at that point! :)

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