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As time permits, in-depth musings on myriad subjects will be posted. Abbreviated adages will be announced via Twitter.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Taking on Toutant

Way back in January of 2001, I did the all-club New Year's Day Ride here in San Antonio. Knowing I would be in no shape to ride 60 or 70 miles after a 3-week holiday hiatus from the bicycle, I signed up for the 40-mile jaunt thinking it a piece of cake. After all, I had taken on the MS150 a few months prior and I had just won a trip to the wind tunnel at Texas A&M, so, truly, how hard could it be for a cyclist of my caliber. Ask a stupid question...

Less than 20 miles into the ride, I was gasping for air, barely able to make it up the first major climb on Scenic Loop. Six or seven miles later, when we hit Toutant Beauregard, I had my first real introduction to hill country climbing. I completely fell off the back of the group and had to even get off my bike by the side of the road. Heck, I may have even cried, disappointed as I was in myself. After suffering up its inclines and turns in the freezing cold (yes, it was actually cold that New Year's Day), I vowed to myself that I would conquer that climb.

Luck was on my side for doing so, too. I had just begun classes at UTSA for my BA and had a nice, long mid-day break for my Tuesday/Thursday class. I used this time to head out on the bicycle and ride Toutant Beauregard. By the time Spring Break hit, I had mastered its first false flat, as well as its two major up-turns: the first is a long, steep incline takes a semi-switchback approach to making its way up, while the second is a shorter climb, but far steeper than the first. After that, it's almost all down hill, all the way back to I10.

I rode up Toutant Beauregard yesterday for the first time in a year or two (the ride I did on Veteran's Day came the opposite direction, a near-suicide-pace descent around its twists & turns -- the opposite in more ways than one) and was amazed at not only how much the area had developed (more houses and even a Starbucks at the corner of TB & 10) but also with what relative ease I made it up the climbs. While it wasn't freezing, it was misitng the whole time, which added to the memorable mystique of one of my favorite rides in the area. The mist did create some doubts for my safety, but everything was just fine on Toutant and the ride back in...at least until I returned to the UTSA parking lot. I went down pretty hard, due to the slick streets, but, again due to the slick streets, injuries to me were minimal: A few scratches & bruises & gashed handlebar tape were the worst of it. My helmet appeared to have survived (still waiting for a callback from Rudy, though), and my sunglasses survived without a scratch, as well; Rudy Project makes some awesome stuff.

The weather appears to be more cooperative today, albeit a bit cooler outside. Today's training has on tap for it a 50-mile ride, followed immediately by a 4-mile run. I'll get to top those off today at noon with a massage. Life, it seems, is pretty good right now. Of course, I'll need to come crashing back to reality immediately thereafter and get grades entered and a test or two (or three? Hmm...LOTF, CMC, and finish the modified vocabulary; yup it'll be a busy day!) after my three days of sluffing off during the Thanksgiving break. Oh well. It's but a three-week haul until the Christmas holidays, so I feel confident I can make it. After all, if Toutant Beauregard posed no problems...

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Scott McArthur said...

OUCH! Sorry you crashed man.