EHCT Report

I’d like to let everyone know how much my crotch hurts. It’s bad. Pain management specialists may be in order.

This morning at 6:00 sharp my alarm went off, informing me that it was time to grab some coffee, munch down some breakfast, toss my luggage into my car and drive up to Kerrville for the Easter Hill Country Bike Tour. And like any devoted cyclist, I hit the snooze button.

Thrice.

Then I finally dragged my lazy ass out of bed, suited up in my best lycra (seriously, it really was my best lycra), grabbed all my gear, mounted my bike on the car’s bike rack, and headed up to Kerrville. I got there about a half hour before my buddy (also named David) arrived, so I chatted with a friend of mine who was manning the registration station.

Wait, I skipped a very important part. It was balmy in San Antonio this morning – mid 70s at least. By the time I got to Kerrville, it was 65. Apparently the cold front rolled through as I was driving up. And then when I was waiting for David to arrive, the hailstorm hit. Then came the rain and the high winds.

Not to be deterred by anything so mundane as inclement weather or intelligence, got on our bikes and David’s girlfriend drove to the first town on the route to wait for us. We immediately hooked up with a few other folks who had the good sense/good luck to start after the hailstorm struck and together we pedalled towards Medina.

Along the way, the others stopped to handle a flat tire, so David and I were on our own when we got to Eagle’s Nest. What is Eagle’s Nest, you ask? Well, consider where eagles like to lay their eggs. (Hint – it’s way up high.) Eagle’s Nest is a short but very steep hill that you have to crest to get out of a valley on your way to Medina. As we started climbing, the rain picked up.

When we got to the top and began looking for the first rest stop on the ride, we discovered that it had been abandoned by the crew that was supposed to be manning it because they were afraid their car would be damaged by the hail. And they took all the supplies with them. Luckily, another cyclist and his wife had picked up on the problem and had come back with some supplies from another rest stop, so there was water and banannas to be had. We cursed the souls of the original staffers and moved on.

We descended from Eagle’s Nest and rolled through the adjacent valley along the Medina river. The sun broke through the clouds for a little bit and warmed our frozen legs. (The temperature was now 55°.) We got to the second rest stop at Medina and were greeted by David’s girlfriend and another abandoned rest stop. This time, howerver, the staffers had the decency to leave behind the boxes of cookies, oranges and banannas. So we all fed ourselves, stretched a little, and headed to Camp Verde. We figured the weather was really going to brighten up on the way.

Meanwhile, God was looking over the litany of our lives thus far and discovered that while we were both essentially good-hearted men, we had some really heinous shit in our pasts which required some adjudication via divine smite.

The clouds closed up again over our heads and the headwind picked up. We were both still a little wet from the earlier rain and our socks were soaked. The constant cold wind in our faces made it feel like our legs were encased in blocks of ice. It was blowing so hard that we could not coast downhill without pedalling, so there was no respite. At one point we caught up with another pair of riders who were suffering even more than we were. With traditional co-cyclist friendliness, I called out “How’s it going?” as we passed. The man next to me looked over and said “Terrible. You?”

“My feet are frozen and my ass hurts.”

“Sounds about right.”

Having thus satisfied the requirements of civility, David and I rode on.

I didn’t look at my watch, but I figured it took us over an hour to span the ten miles between Medina and Camp Verde. When we finally got to the rest stop at Camp Verde, we found one that was fully stocked with cookies, fruit, power drink, water, and port-o-johns. Even people! There were a couple of sag wagons there and several people from the various rides that were going on today. Unfortunately, there was very little shelter from the stiff wind. David and I stretched some more and contempated suicide while David’s girlfriend hopped up and down to stay warm. As we went about the stations of the rest stop, I noticed with growing fear that the flock of 50+ emu in the adjacent field were slowly advancing on the rest stop. Figuring that at least one of them had seen either The Birds or Jurassic Park, I hurried our group along and got back on the road to Center Point.

At this point I have to gloss over about twenty miles, because I honestly don’t remember them. I remember thinking about how cold my legs were and how incredibly painful it was to either lift my butt from my saddle or replace it. There was also a bit about this beautiful blue-skinned woman who wanted to take me back to her planet of Femina Prime to father a new race of starfaring beings, but I’m pretty sure that was a hallucination.

Finally we rolled back into the starting point of Schriener College, 55 miles and almost 5 hours later. (This is not very good time, btw.*) My sister’s in-laws graciously allowed us to stop by their house and use their showers, and even forced plates of deviled eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches upon us. Not a bad ride recovery.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a date with a hot tub.

*Note: This is not a very good time for a competitive cyclist. David and I are both still training, and I’m very impressed that he conquered both the 300-foot climb up Eagle’s Nest and the whole 55-mile course.

No Responses to “EHCT Report”

  1. Suzy Says:

    David,
    I am soooo glad that someone had some fun this Easter weekend! You are a true, blue cyclist. Crazy also comes to mind! :) You are definitely a well rounded guy: a knitter AND a cyclist.

  2. Tweeks Says:

    Hey David..
    Glad to hear that you all made it back alive.

    Biking in the rain isn’t so bad once you’re totally soaked through and as long as you don’t slow down or stop. As soon as you stop… the shakes set in and then you might as well go get a room (or call the Van). ;).

    Fenders REALLY help keep the cold stuff out of your crotch too… 😉

    Tweeks

  3. LynnH Says:

    This is what you do for entertainment? On your day off? Either you are seriously devoted, or you tuck your good brain in a back pocket on your days off.

    I’m glad you have bragging rights, now. I would not have gotten as far as one raindrop!!!

    Congrats.

  4. Kaetchen Says:

    That was a LOT of information.

    Remind me to tell you all about last night’s Comtrex-inspired dream: we were at the Robert Mondavi vineyard, so somehow had become your cousin. It just got weirder from there.