that's all, folks

Well, we're done. 501.39 miles, 30 hours 26 minutes on the bike. No crashes, no major saddle sores, no major sunburns, nobody got lost, and out of the four of us in the non-Bella crew, no flat tires. And 25 hours in the van still ahead of us.

This morning I woke up to a faint drizzling sound. In my half-asleep state, I figured Sascha was already in the shower, since she has a strange habit of showering before going on a sweaty bike ride, but a minute later I looked over at the other bed and she was still sleeping. Only one other thing that drizzling could be. Yep, it was raining.

Sascha took one look at the weather and said "I can ride in the rain in Minnesota. I'm not riding in the rain in Texas." So Nate and Scott and I got all our rain gear on and headed over to the start, where we met up with.... one guy. What a crowd, eh? Nick Gerlich came out, having not gone on the A ride, and when I asked he said there hadn't even been an A ride -- nobody showed up. I guess seven days is enough for most people. So Nate and Scott and I and this Ben guy rode off in the rain and fog.

Ben stayed with us for the first thirty miles, but he was a local and had some sort of responsibility that afternoon, so he went back to Fredericksburg and the three of us went on. The rain let up for a while, then came back for a while, then let up, then came back, off and on all afternoon. When it wasn't on there was a thick, oppressive fog that just sat on the ground. I've ridden in nicer weather, but my feeling on the matter was that I came here to ride, so dammit, I'm going to ride, and it turned out to be a great ride anyway. We rode moderately hard for about the first sixty miles, then Nate started getting silly and stopping to take pictures of everything. At one point we rode past a cow pasture, and the cows all ran to see what we were. Nate stopped to take pictures of the cows, and more cows came to check us out, until there was a whole crowd of cows pressing against the fence, staring. Scott said "So are you going to go pet them?" Nate thought this was a good idea, but the cows did not. Nate is apparently a pretty scary thing with all his orange spandex. The cows backed away fast. So Nate gets some grass and tries to offer that to the cows, who had lots of grass in their pasture and were not fooled by this, and Scott is standing next to me singing "Here, cowey cowey cowey," and I'm hollering at Nate that if he gets mauled by a vicious Texas cow I am not toting his sorry ass home on my bike, and nobody was pedaling anywhere. There are many pictures of these cows on Nate's picture page if you like cows.

The ride was supposed to be 85 miles, but somewhere along the way we took a wrong turn that turned out to be an accidental shortcut, so I ended up with 80.13 for the day -- just enough to break 500. Yes, even after the cow incident we eventually got back to the EconoLodge. Sascha was waiting with a fresh pot of coffee and extra towels, which was pretty cool. Maybe we should leave somebody behind on every ride. Then we cleaned up fast -- I washed my legs and my washcloth turned BLACK -- and booked it downtown to the salsa store, where there is a sample bowl of everything they can sell and you can eat yourself into a salsa coma if you're so inclined. And for dinner we went back to the brewery for a third time, and I ordered the exact same burger for the third time, and since we had spent so much time there we had the waiter take a commemorative picture.

So that's it. Tomorrow morning we hop back in the van and head out, just the four of us this time since the Bellas all took off today. My next post will probably say "work sucks, I want to go back to Texas."


Blogger Caloi-Rider said...

Hey, c'mon, that just solidified Hell Week, right? Good for you. Congratulations on the aerobic base. It's snowing way too hard here for me to keep up with you.

3/20/2006 1:36 PM  
Blogger Shawn Kielty said...

Wow - That's a lot of miles.

3/21/2006 9:27 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

You are bad-ass, girl!

Foggy, drizzly, and 60' does sound like the heaven to me, though!

3/21/2006 10:22 AM  
Blogger annie said...

That is a lot of miles. Unfortunately, I am back in the land of the ice and snow, and will not have so many miles in the next few weeks, so you all have plenty of time to catch up. Shawn, that means you and your shiny new bike. Get pedalin'!

3/21/2006 10:50 AM  
Blogger Shawn Kielty said...

I'll be right there (just give me a minute or two here).

3/21/2006 9:31 PM  
Blogger Caloi-Rider said...

Forgive me, for I've never seen a Salsa before, but I must say that that's a pretty sweet rig. Your seatstays are carbon, no? The handlebars are looking pretty sweet as well. Hope they figure out how to fix that one crack. Maybe the manufacturer would be willing to replace it.

3/23/2006 4:21 PM  
Blogger annie said...

It is pretty sweet indeed. But never fear, Caloi, I'm sorry I confused you by directing you to so many old posts at once, but the Salsa is not cracked. The Salsa replaced the cracked GT. The old cracked frame is in the hallway next to the bathroom, for lord knows what reason, but in any case it is not being ridden.

Here is the manufacturer info on it. Salsa's a pretty cool company, and local to boot. It's kinda fun to be able to say my bike was made about 10 miles from my house.

3/23/2006 4:32 PM  
Blogger Caloi-Rider said...

Tres chic. Very smooth. That is cool. I have a ti frame builder in my home town, so if I ever need a new frame that's where I'm headed. He often does the carbon seatstay thing too, and he's starting to get some pretty smooth paintjobs.
UNfortunately, he hasn't touched his website in years--, so I can't really show you what his stuff looks like.

3/23/2006 4:38 PM  

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