Rise Across Texas Challenge Day 4

Monday – Day 4 of the Rise Across Texas Challenge.  Wow – I gotta say that today…was challenging. Actually, it sucked. It was much harder than yesterday and 25 miles less.  Wet and painful.

We had it all:  rain, bad traffic very close to the shoulder, rolling hills into Brenham, 30 mile-per-hour head winds, and 18 flat tires (EIGHTEEN!!!) across the entire group.  Grrrr.

In this picture, at the start of the day, you can see the wet streets on the highway; we were on this highway for 30 miles at the start of the day.

Basically, in about 30 minutes, you’re entirely wet, there’s mud all up and down your back, and your shoes are soggy.  When the trucks go by, they blow mist and wind at you that come close to knocking you over. nice.

In the picture below, Jim Crow changes one of THREE flat tires for the day. In a group of about 20 riders we had 18 flats. Which is probably a record.

And in the picture below that, you can see the flags at the Comfort Suites in Brenham standing STRAIGHT out in a 30 MPH headwind that was absolutely miserable.  This is what we rode into for the final stretch up to the hotel.  arg.  It was blowing hard…but hey: “hot breakfast!”

Finally, the stats for the day: 60ish miles and 2300 feet of rise and fall. The little break in the map is where I forgot to turn RunKeeper back on…but it seems like it wasn’t that big of a gap. Off to the right is Conroe (see previous map).

I’d write more but I’m going to bed; tomorrow we ride at 8:15!

Rise Across Texas Challenge Day 3

Sunday was Day 3 of the Rise Across Texas Challenge, the second and biggest day of riding, and took the group from Kountze, Texas to Conroe over the course of 85 long miles and nearly six hours on the bike.  It was without question the farthest I’ve ever ridden in a single day…that’s probably true for most of the folks on the ride (except Jim Crow who has done much longer rides).

And, unfortunately, the group had it’s first big fall and injury: Al Koehler hit my back wheel while we were drafting and took a significant spill while we were riding at about 21-22 miles per hour:

Despite the fall, Al completed the day’s ride and is the well-deserving star of the day’s segment that you can watch HERE.  Day 1’s episode is equally well done and you can watch it here.

Stats for today are as follows:

Nearly six hours on the bike covering just over 85 miles at an average speed of 14 miles per hour…which is a pretty good average pace.  The rise and fall of the road was 2673 feet and we theoretically burned about 3900 calories. We stopped for lunch in Cleveland, Texas which you can see right around the 50-mile mark below.

Over all, the 85 mile ride felt pretty much like yesterday’s 59 mile ride…although I don’t know how many more miles I could have gone after that 85th mile.

After a night in Conroe’s Best Western, we’re off to Brenham, Texas which is about 61 miles away. There are threats of thunder storms that may cause a change in plans but we won’t know until later in the day.

there ya have it.

Rise Across Texas Challenge – Day 2

Day 2 was the first day of riding; the group went from Orange, Texas at the Texas-Louisiana border to Kountze, Texas.  Some of the early circles near Orange were due to the kick-off ceremony.  We had beautiful weather and the wind only kicked up towards the end of the ride.  I’ve got a feeling these were probably the best conditions we’ll see during the entire trip…but we’ll see.

Stats for today are as follows:

59.9 miles in about 4 hours (the chart below says 4:53:30 because of starting and stopping the RunKeeper iPhone app).  As a side note, I like RunKeeper – if you bike or run – it’s highly recommended…although, it helps the iPhone eat batteries so I’m trying a variety of things to prolong the battery life.

RunKeeper says that, in total, we climbed 1900 feet; the “Trek guide” suggests that it’s closer to 1000 feet of rise and drop.  Finally, it looks like about 2700 calories were burned.  Not sure if that’s accurate, but I’m starved at the moment.  Here’s the route marked with 10-mile increment on top of Google Maps from RunKeeper:

Rick Perry, The Governor of Texas, joined us for the entire ride today (see picture below).  Two thoughts:

  1. Lesson learned:  whenever possible, ride with the Governor…the police escort rocks
  2. The Gov can ride for real (wish I could say the same for me).  He led the pack for good bit and finished strong.

The people were great – especially the crowd in Orange; the ride was not as hard as I was fearing…but tomorrow is 83 miles compared to today’s 59 as we head off to Conroe.

So far, the two most common things to see along the ride are road kill (all variety) and Chihuahua’s (alive & in yards; no, I don’t know why).  For day 2: One flat tire; no injuries; and a Super 8 Motel in Kountze…all good.

A bike ride across Texas

For the next few days, this blog will be focused on a bike ride across Texas.  Myself, Al Koehler, Jim Crow and a bunch of other folks will be biking across Texas for charity. In particular, for the Rise School / Austin.

In particular, The Rise Across Texas Challenge is a bike ride that will cross the state from the eastern border to the west.  Starting tomorrow morning (March 6th), approximately fifty cyclists will cover 850 Texas miles from Orange to Presidio, Texas.   I’m in Orange right now doing this blog post.

Over the next few days, I’ll document the route and details of each day’s ride.  Hopefully, using the RunKeeper iPhone app, I’ll be able to document each segment in details.

For now, here’s the main bus:

While the next set of posts will all be basic information, here’s the background on the ride:

The non-profit Rise Schools provide the highest quality early childhood education services to children ages 18 months to six years with special needs focusing on children with Downs Syndrome.   The Rise Across Texas Challenge will push its riders to extremes for a cause that’s worth the sore muscles: to raise money for the Rise Schools of Texas! Our goal for this ride is to raise $5,000,000 of which $3,000,000 will come to Rise Austin to kick off our Capital Campaign for a permanent home.

If you would like to learn more about the Rise Across Texas Challenge click here for a video message from Mack Brown and Lance Armstrong:

http://riseacrosstexas.org/site/PageServer?pagename=HOME_Rise_Across_Texas

To Donate: http://bit.ly/RiseRide