When you re-google-search "Mind the Gap" looking for images you are served a smorgasbord of not so family friendly photographs accentuating the lack of contact between the thighs of the fairer sex. I was not expecting that and will now spend the rest of the evening deleting cookies and search history. I'm glad my wife didn't walk in while I was looking for images. That would have taken some explaining.
With that taken care of, and for lack of appropriate segue, we move on.
I didn't get a ride on Wednesday. We had kind of decided last week that it would be the last Wednesday nighter for the year. We may have an occasional ride here and there but nothing regular until the time change in the spring. Thursday I had endoscopies all morning and a conference in the afternoon. I had a couple of hours between the two so I snuck home for a quick 20 mile bike ride. I rode easily, 220W, or so. I had a single hard effort from Boerne Stage Rd up to Babcock breaking exactly zero records. I had to do a quick shower and head back to my conference, leaving just enough time to grab some lunch to go and shoot the breeze with Ed at Ride Away.
My major accomplishment on Friday was finishing up a small research project I had been procrastinating on for several days and it felt good to get it out of the way. That all led up to today's ride. The last Saturday of the month the Lifetime Cycling ride leaves from Bike World. I had initially not planned on going as they sometimes pick a route that stays on the access road of the 1604 loop for about 15 miles, doing a brief ride near Helotes and Scenic Loop before coming back on the access road. Not an ideal route. When it was announced that they would be heading up Blanco Rd I decided to join. Before the ride left I picked up a Bike World kit from Aaron. I think it's last year's version but it fits and I was happy to be riding in team colors.
|The Freetail Brewery is one sponsor I'll have to be visiting more often.|
Once we were all back on the road again I found myself on the front, leading over the last hill on Blanco and down the other side. Shaun came around me on the flats leading up to our right hand turn and then put in a strong pull on Specht to the first corner. I took it from there with a decent 1.2 mile pull at 26 mph and 316W. We finished the first half before the rest stop roaring down Old Boerne Rd. The group set some top 10s on Strava; I came away with 7th overall. That was pretty good but it was nice to see Shaun pick up the KOM and know that I had set a good pace over the harder first half of the segment to make that happen. That's teamwork. It's not a very good segment, because it crosses an intersection with a stop sign at Bulverde Crossing. We had to come to a stop due to cross traffic and still set records. We were flying.
Speaking of Strava and KOMs, I've long thought it would be nice to repurpose the "Come and Take It" motto that plasters the back of so many pick-up trucks here in Texas (Confederate flag not required). The short version of the story is that Mexico had given Gonzales, Texas a small cannon to defend itself. Four years later relations between Texas and Mexico were poor and Mexico requested the cannon be returned. The residents of Gonzales refused so Mexico sent troops to collect the cannon. The Texans opened fire on the troops at the Battle of Gonzales, the first battle of the Texas Revolution. Mexico retreated and the "Come and Take It" battle cry has been the pride of Texans ever since. It is usually used to defend very loose interpretations of the second amendment to the US Constitution.
I appreciate that firearms can be responsibly owned and used even without this macho "Come and Take It" mentality. This motto can be better utilized in the cycling community by deleting the cannon and adding the Strava KOM crown. Afterall, I don't expect anybody to come to my house to take my guns. I do, however, know that there are people out their gunning for my KOM titles. They probably out scouting segments right now. So I issue a challenge to them:
The second half of the ride was much like the first. Thundering down Stahl Rd then a brisk tempo up Lower Smithson Valley. Shaun had to turn off shortly after that and there was the misplaced idea that the ride would get easier with his absence. Ben, Jacob, and I made sure that wasn't the case and we had fun pushing the pace on Obst, Specht, and Blanco. I had one close call on Blanco. We were approaching a light where a road enters from the left but the bike lane continues straight through. There's not much need to stop, nobody is going to interfere with traffic going straight in the bike lane. The lead rider was slowing right as Stuart was pulling off to the left to turn onto the intersecting road and ride home. I had turned my head to say good-bye to Stuart and hadn't noticed that the rider had slowed. I was third wheel behind Ben and the other gentleman. I glanced up and saw Ben's rear wheel coming at me quickly. There was a brief brush of wheel on wheel but no harm, no foul. It got my heart rate up a bit, though.