I invited myself along to ride with M and her friend D that are training for the Mamma Jamma ride in October. I still haven't decided to do this ride, mainly because of the timing with Longhorn, but also the $500 fundraising minimum. We met out at It's a Grind on Parmer at 7 am, and were off right about 7:05. M had warned me that they average about 10 mph on their mountain bikes, and I said that would be no problem because I'm normally around 12. So I was expecting to have some troubles, but really, it worked out perfectly. After a five mile slow warmup, followed by a bathroom break, I started going ahead on the downhills, then taking side trips. I would pick a street to the right, ride down a little ways, sometimes only 100 yards, sometimes a couple of blocks, turn around, and head back. If I timed it right, at the turn around, I would see The Girls riding by on Parmer, so that I would work hard to catch up, then rest for a couple of minutes riding with them, then move ahead and repeat the process. I was able to explore some side streets, shopping centers, and the RRISD athletic complex that was hosting a women's semi pro football game. So it was perfect: fun people to talk to, a relaxed pace when I wanted, a faster pace when I wanted, and exploring. And even better, D's girlfriend is the Snackwagon- she showed up around half way with water and snacks and encouragement, and then went ahead about 10-15 miles and waited until we came by. It was a roving rest stop. It really makes me want a wife, too bad I'm not a lesbian!
So really, it was a fantastic ride- reasonable temperature, nice breeze for the most part, wide shoulders, good scenery, friends, and the Snackwagon. I wound up going 36.5 in 3:15. Not my fastest, but that wasn't what this was about at all. Now I probably can't do every ride this way and get the proper training in, but it sure was fun today!