look! i'm caught up!

....otherwise known as that Monday ride report, which means that dang, I've written a lot of blog today, so none of you can ever complain again.

Anyway. This morning, Day 3, dawned cool and cloudy. Cool enough that I really should have been wearing arm warmers, but didn't want to have to carry them with me when the clouds burned off, so I sucked it up and shivered. The entire Bella team, minus Belgian Bella (of course), had decided to rest their legs a bit and do the "C" ride (there are three distance options each day -- one 100ish [A], one 60ish [B], and one 40ish [C] -- we've been doing B's), so at the start we were down to me, Nate, Belgian Bella, Sascha, and Scott. The latter two were doing their own thang so we waved goodbye and took off.

Now, I had been planning on not riding with Belgian Bella today, given how wasted my legs were at the end of yesterday, but with the other half of the crew bailing on me, I found myself hammering to keep up for the third day in a row. However, without the snap in my legs it wasn't as fun as the last couple days, so after 14 miles I decided to drop back, and Nate dropped back with me. Belgian Bella stayed with the group that we'd fallen in with and went on ahead.

Today was the windiest day yet. For a long time we were buffeted by cross winds, but once the clouds burned off it was sunny and 70 and the wind almost didn't matter. Almost. I kept thinking to myself, this would be a perfect day if I wasn't riding a friggin' bike. Then we turned into the wind, and it definitely mattered. A lot. The thing about a strong steady headwind like that is that you can't move no matter how much you want to. For two solid hours I was desperate to stand up, stop pedaling, and stretch out a bit, but every time I tried my bike just stopped moving, so I stopped trying. I was ready to kill someone by the time we got to the gas station. Fortunately, there were a number of triathlete-type men with tree trunks for quads who were suffering just as bad as I was, and you know what they say about misery and company.

At the gas station I inhaled a king size Snickers (my second in two weeks, if anybody's counting) and stretched my back a bit. Belgian Bella was there too, having arrived just five minutes ahead after her group blew up in the wind, and she waited for us to finish eating so we could all leave together. A guy named Jeff joined us, and since the course was a long thin loop bearing a suspicious resemblance to an out-and-back, we got a tailwind soon after that. I still found myself working harder than I wanted to, so after 20 or 30 minutes Nate and I let them go again. They must have been really flying, though, because between the tailwind and the slight downward tilt we were going crazy fast. It was great. After a while it even made up for the two hours of misery on the way out. But like climbing and descending mountains, the fun part is always so SHORT compared to the crappy part! We were back to the EconoLodge in no time.

Now, personally, the second I walk in the door after a four-hour ride, I'm tearing clothes off and flinging them everywhere as I run straight to the shower. Nothing in the world is a higher priority than the shower. But when Sascha and Scott rolled in about an hour later, Scott was far more concerned with beer than with bathing, and I'm not sure what Sascha was doing but she wasn't in any hurry either. So now you know, guys. Those two are dirty. (I joke. They both showered eventually. But I think their priorities are messed up.)

Then we dilly-dallied so long that the front desk actually telephoned to see if we were ever going to leave so that the housekeepers could get in, so we had to leave, and the boys went to a coffee shop to play with their computers and Sascha and I wandered around downtown Fredericksburg trying to find some fun. Fredericksburg, it turns out, is a pretty crappy little town. It's very touristy in the sense that the buildings are styled Old West but everything inside the building says MY GRANDMA WENT TO FREDERICKSBURG AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT. Along those lines, anyway. Ultimately we ended up at a winery sampling shit that tasted like it came from a box, then at a salsa store sampling about forty kinds of salsa. But Fredericksburg, besides being lame in the first place, also shuts down entirely at 5:30 P.M., so Sascha and I got kicked out of the salsa store and Nate and Scott got kicked out of the coffee shop and we all went out for Mexican food. You'd think there would be good Mexican food in Texas, but no. Nothing of the sort. We ordered a pitcher of "top shelf" margaritas, then watched the bartender dump some tequila in the bottom of the pitcher and fill the rest with some greenish stuff from a water cooler. I'd hate to see the house margarita if that was top shelf. We may continue the quest for the good Mexican later in the week, but we may have to leave town. Fredericksburg is too proud of its German heritage to serve anything but sauerkraut.

And now we're sitting in the EconoLodge with the door propped open to get some fresh air, which means that everyone who walks past stares at us. As well they should, since all four of us are sitting in a line on the two beds typing on laptops, looking like the biggest nerd squad this side of Austin. I'd stare too.

Nate's trying to get the photos somewhere useful so I can post them here. All 3 of today's posts should be updated with photos by tomorrow night at the latest.


Blogger Bobster said...

Hey Ladyvelo-

You guys should look for a Mamacitas. It's a Mexican family owned chain that is pretty good that has places up in the hillcountry. I know there's one in Kerrville which isn't that far from where you are and there's a good loop that goes out by Mo Ranch and some other pissant little towns, but there's a beautiful part that goes along the river. Y'all should check it out. Sunday House is a great place to stay if so inclined.

From Bobster the third Caloi rider on the net (I pray not as heavy as the yellow bike) who lives in San Antonio and is dying to come up and join y'all, but is too afraid to get smoked so badly, plus is trying to recover from a 100 miler on Saturday where he got close to y'all up to Comfort. I'm sleepy right now and all I did was sleep yesterday and repair tubes. Y'all have fun! Thanks for posting!

3/14/2006 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Stan said...

Once more I'll put in a plug for the Admiral Nimitz Museum. And the LBJ Ranch is interesting, even if it's all about a time before you guys were born. (Boy do I feel old right now...)

Reading about this reminds me of when I was in college in Houston. I guess the thing about spring bike training in the Hill Country started back in the '70s, and they used to have a race in Houston at the beginning of April. This was the only race in Texas that was ever any good, because all the good riders were down there. The rest of the year's races were crappy.

3/14/2006 11:26 AM  
Blogger Gilby said...

Call me dirty, but I have to eat or drink something as soon as I get done riding or I risk passing out in the shower.

3/14/2006 12:16 PM  
Blogger Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

Drama + Comedy = Dramady!

Great pics and commentary though... waiting for more and more.

3/14/2006 1:04 PM  
Blogger annie said...

Bad news, bobster, that was a Mamacita's. And it was terrible. Maybe it's a better place in San Antonio than it is here.

3/14/2006 3:54 PM  
Blogger Sascha said...

We actually ate at a Mamacita's and it was chain mexican food at its worst. Also, don't get annie started on the quality of the margaritas!

We were looking for that authentic, family run place where people almost don't speak english and the mexican population actually goes there for dinner. What we got was Don Pablo's only worse.

3/14/2006 10:00 PM  
Anonymous kiecker said...

You got it all wrong. There's nothing better then beer in the shower. You really don't think those storage things that hang from the head for for shampoos do you?

3/15/2006 10:16 PM  

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