Posted by: Budger | June 16, 2007

March 25 Bluebonnet Express Ride

So today was the Bluebonnet Express ride out of Prairie View A&M University. I live pretty close, so I actually got to sleep in today to 5:30. I had my new pair of bike shorts, and I was ready to go. The ride was around Prairie View to Hempstead and back. I was not anticipating many hills, although I figured that there would be a few. I was hopeful that it would be a pretty ride, and I was right. The wildflowers are out, even the Bluebonnets, and it was a beautiful ride. There were a few more hills than I anticipated, but I did EVERY SINGLE ONE. This was a large ride. It is sponsored by Northwest Cycling Club and it is one of the oldest BP training rides. This year was the 21st annual. They had well over 1700 riders. It was the largest ride I’ve done since the MS150. I was very nervous, but I found some people I knew at the start, and hung out with them. I met John and Susan at the 2nd BP ride I did in January in Katy. John rides an upright bike, and Susan rides a recumbent. John has to help Susan on and off her bike. Something that I could relate to since I’m so famous for my mounts and dismounts. Susan does amazingly well on the recumbent, and I’ve run into them on 3 other rides, and she has passed me more times than I’ve passed her. They were telling me today that they met in 1976 in school when they were both training for the Bike Centennial cross-country ride. Susan told me that there was a 70 year old woman riding and that she was Susan’s inspiration.

I learned that recumbent bikes may be slower going uphill (I would pass Susan), but they are amazingly quick going down (she would pass me). When Susan passed me on one of the downhills, I told her that she was inspiring me. We road together for the first half, and then we got to a flatland, and she told me to go ahead as the recumbent isn’t as fast as my bike on the flats. As I was riding I was thinking of why do I do this to myself every week, when I could be sleeping in, going out to breakfast with Eric, and being a couch potato. And then I remind myself that I’m a woman on a mission. I want to be able to ride a bike when I’m 70, maybe not cross-country, but around the nursing home would be nice. So I pedal on, as I remind myself that I WILL NOT be dead of a heart attack at 46 and I know Dad is rooting me on. Maybe someday I can be an inspiration to someone like me, doing the best they can with what they’ve got.

After the last rest stop, there was another series of hills, and as we came upon the larger one of the day, I saw a young woman ahead of me struggling. I had seen her at the rest stop. She is very overweight, and struggling on the bike. She was telling me that she wasn’t sure she was going to make it to the end. I told her to just keep pedaling. She made it about halfway up the hill, and then she finally stopped, got off and walked her bike the rest of the way. As I passed her going up, I yelled to her that it was OK, everybody has to walk the hills sometimes, and then I reached the top, and flew down. Winning the lottery could not have been as sweet…Look at me, I’m defying gravity.

Here are my stats for the day. I’m probably parked for a few weeks as I go through my next round of Lymphedema treatments, but we’ll see what they say tomorrow. However if it’s like last time, no bike for a month. I’ll miss it.

Distance: 25.73 miles

Max Speed: 24.9 mph

Avg Speed: 10.6 mph

Avg Cadence: 65

Hills: About a Dozen

Hills Walked: ZERO

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