Sunday, October 13, 2013

In Austin, Texas for work and riding hills

Wow, first and foremost I had forgotten how hot Texas can be, but it's a different heat than Ontario.
I flew down on a Tuesday evening with Robert Brehn, with a layover in Chicago we arrived at midnight. We were up at work a little later in the morning. The store was ready for us, and we managed to get a lot of work done, despite the scaffolding company had given us the runaround about delivery, in the end it was delivered to the Houston store and they sent it over to us.
Back at the "house" after work the first task of the day is to assemble my bike, I was quite tired from Tuesday being a long day so I just pedaled around the neighborhood, which is very hill, to make sure the shifters were going to work. The route I had planned for Austin is from epicRides a cycling training video company, and epicAustin literally passed outside of our house. So I had it all setup for Thursday and after grocery shopping Robert and I went out for BBQ brisket. On to Thursday where we had another very productive day at work at the store. I then headed out on my epicAustin ride, in 33°C (92°F) heat, which is not bad for flats but it takes so much effort on climbs it is very hot, some of the grades are at a max of 20% and I'm about 10 pounds overweight so I felt every percentage point and every pedal stroke.

You might observe in the route a lot of "pig tails" in order for epicAustin to punish you and get the steep climbing they head off of main roads. The video/Map my Ride route also starts and finished under the MoPac by the river, not in front of my house. Texas has a rugged beauty and I do miss it a lot.

Friday was another day at work and rest in the afternoon then Robert and I went downtown to watch the bats come out from the bridge and he then treated me to a fantastic Mexican dinner... Some bosses are "OK". :P
Saturday I ran Robert off to the airport and I went out for Mexican breakfast. All this for under $5 including a 15% tip! BTW that's eggs with cactus 
Back home, and I did a little bit of office work, try and fix my map so I could find my way around the Colorado River, Garmin Connect likes to have a good internet connection and we don't have much more than a fast dial-up at this rental, ARGH! I then got ready for my ride and grabbed my flashing rear light as it might rain at 2:00 p.m. and out to do the full epicAustin.
And it sure did look like rain when I got down to Westlake drive...
So I attached my flashing rear light and headed into the clouds the rain held off till I was on Riva Ridge at the end of the climb, which was nice. For those of you who are not cyclist climbing on steep hills in the rain is very difficult because your wheel will slip on the tarmac especially on grades over 7% and Riva Ridge is one of the climbs that has a max of 20%. It poured rain I could not see anything in front of me on the shoulder of North Capital of Texas Highway. When I turned off the hill at Hidden Valley was a sit in the saddle the whole time to keep the rear wheel from slipping too much, it has gone from down pour to a sprinkle and by the time I got to the top of that it had stopped all together. City park is an easyish downhill all the way and an easy return 4% or less, so I was in a nice rhythm and working on my mental skills for getting up Jester, it's long, and it's at the end of my ride so this time I wanted to be prepared for it, and I just started a bit slower at the bottom, because I knew that it would slow me down anyway, climbs like that are best when your done with them, the last tail home is not hard and as I was coming up Smokey Hollow the Taxi was dropping Jared off. I met him, took a shower and a nap.
For the evening I had planned on going to the Pecan Street Music Festival, and Jared was game. Great fun and we got to hear some good music.

The rest of the week was a bit more work and cooking at home. Because of Austin's hills I just could not ride every day. Tuesday I rode on "flat" and Thursday I made a run to Mellow Johnny's as Jared went golfing. Some how my bike computer did not charge up and did not record all of Thursday's ride.
We went out one night to Rudy's and had more Brisket... sitting outdoors drinking Iced tea.

Saturday was an all day trip home... then Sunday was church, and the church picnic at Mohawk Park, with a great fall day, and in the evening I took the dogs out for a run, then off to work in Burlington on Monday.

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