Pedal Thru The Pines 2010 Recap

Last Saturday was the annual Pedal Thru The Pines ride out in Bastrop, TX. One of the things that I really like about most of these rides, is they have some sort of beneficiary. PTTP was benefiting the Family Crisis Center. As I mentioned in an earlier post I had signed up for the metric century leg and was looking forward through the beautiful ride through the Loblolly Pines of Bastrop and Buescher State Parks. My miles have been a bit low lately, so I ramped up my training the previous week and was feeling good for holding a solid pace. Friday night my wife was having a ‘girls night in’ so it was fairly easy for me to sneak back to the bedroom and get some decent shut-eye for the ride. I met up with several other of my Team Austin Cycle Camp members at the start. There had been a little bantering going on regarding pace, sticking with an easy average and someone whose name shall not be mentioned who wanted a metric century PR for the day. Anyway, we were able to work ourselves up pretty close to the start line. The course started almost directly in the parks with some decent hills, which according to one of the race coordinators “makes people fall off their bikes in front of you.” We get rolling shortly after 9am (BTW is a LATE start for a ride) and head full force into the hills. For anyone that has done training with Austin Cycle Camp, these were nice little babies to keep you honest, but not full force Austin hills. It was a pretty good rolling stream of them through the parks, but the boys up at front kept a killer pace for the first hour. By then the heart rate was definitely staying at the top. Alexis and I had dropped back just slightly but were able to keep it going. We took a team stop for a couple of flat tires, and it gave me a good excuse to get the HR back down. We had just entered into the country highway stretch of the ride. Unfortunately for us, we got a nice headwind with it. I ended up dropping back from my AC2 group slightly, and just couldn’t muster up the force to bridge the gap. So I was content with being back a little, but still could keep them in view. That was until we turned heading east, when the REAL headwind appeared. I kept plugging along like the little engine that could. After a few miles a large group began to pass me. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I grab a wheel and join their peloton. It was such a relief from the wind, and I was getting to rest. I was towards the back of the pack when some voices in my head echoed things I had heard from my friend Mike, “bad things happen in the back of groups like that.” So I begin to work my way toward the front on the outside. Anyone that knows me, knows I’m a cautious (read chicken) rider to begin with. There were still about 10 rides in front of me when I see a wheel go sideways in front. I quickly slide over in the shoulder, then into the grass. I drop my bike and run back to the pile of carbon fiber, wheels and riders. We get everyone disassembled, and one guy is holding his arm saying that it’s probably his collarbone. Hopefully for his sake it’s not broken. Most everyone else that went down just had some scrapes and bruises. There was some catastrophic damage to the bikes however. To me it was very interesting because most of those riders were in the same group, and one guy just made a back mistake trying to come up on his teammate and crossed wheels. SAG and the police arrive, and I continue on my way. I reach the halfway and team AC2 was there waiting. I refill my bottles and we head out for the return trip. We were really looking forward to it because we knew we were going to get a tailwind. Wrong. Shame on us for trying to predict Texas weather. The wind shifted on us, again. One of our front end mashers Vince, got a flat so we all stopped at the corner to wait. I really hate to see anyone get a flat, but when it’s one of the front guys and it gives me a chance to catch up… well I won’t complain much 🙂 We press on, and contrary to what the guys were saying, they didn’t drop the pace from the first half. So I settle back into my rear position and continue pedaling away against the wind. We finally turn onto a state highway, and enjoy it’s smoother asphalt. There were a handful of rollers left for the final stretch as well. We regrouped at the final rest stop for a few minutes, then press on. We round in to the finish to the cheers of friends and family members awaiting everyone. All in all it was a great ride. We all had some discrepancies on our computers, but my runkeeper route was pretty close. I think the final mileage should have been right around 60. Final time with stops was 3:52. That’s over 45 minutes better than my last metric. The actual ride time averaged right above 17 mph. I’m pretty sure that I will keep Pedal Thru the Pines on my ride calendar, especially since it’s early in the year with no conflicts. The best news was the the next day I wasn’t anywhere near as sore as the last metric. Guess that means I’m improving… now just to do more of that so I can hold onto my teams wheel better 🙂

    • Alexis
    • March 8th, 2010

    I did get a PR….it’s hard to compare from ride to ride because of rest stops and flats, etc….but I think I was about 45 minutes faster than my last 60ish mile ride. I think YOU did great! See ya out there this week/weekend!

  1. Glad to see someone is paying attention… Good showing on the ride and best of all you had fun!

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