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Fort Davis Cyclefest

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Offline ggowins

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Re: Fort Davis Cyclefest
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2018, 09:58:18 AM »
Looks like the weather is going to be interesting for the ride.  I should know better than to look at long term forecasts, might as well flip a coin and say heads is sunny, tails is stormy.  :icon_biggrin: But now the forecast is for thunderstorms all through next weekend.  Will make for cooler temps for the bicycle ride, but not be much help for the star party.

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Offline ggowins

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Re: Fort Davis Cyclefest
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2018, 10:32:07 AM »
Getting ready to hit the road to Davis Mountains State Park.  The forecast has gotten better as we've gotten closer.  If you happen to see a black Jeep Grand Cherokee with custom plates, that'll be me!

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Offline ggowins

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Re: Fort Davis Cyclefest
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2018, 07:28:37 PM »
Got back from Fort Davis earlier this afternoon.  The weather (until this morning) was perfect all week.  I posted in the other thread about our adventure on Chispa Road.  We finally got to use the telescopes at the Star Party.  We'd been 0 for 3 on previous trips.  The weather for the start of the bicycle ride on Saturday morning was perfect.  In the 60s and calm winds.   I was feeling great, and made the first rest stop without any issues.  Same thing on the second rest stop.  But around the 35 mile mark, my right knee started acting up.  It got continually worse and worse, and I had to bail at the 42 mile mark, just short of the Bear Mountain climb.  This is the same place I had to call it quits last time I rode.   Gonna get an appointment with the knee doc this week and see if there is anything I can do about it. 

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Offline ggowins

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Re: Fort Davis Cyclefest
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2018, 10:28:31 AM »
Guess I might have to change my screenname to badknees2 :D  Found out that I've regrown numerous bone spurs in both knees, and that is what is causing my issues.  Especially on uphill sections, since the knee compresses more when pedaling.  Got a cortisone shot in each knee to help for now, and will regroup to see what my options going forward are going to be.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Fort Davis Cyclefest
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2018, 11:03:40 AM »
Guess I might have to change my screenname to badknees2 :D  Found out that I've regrown numerous bone spurs in both knees, and that is what is causing my issues.  Especially on uphill sections, since the knee compresses more when pedaling.  Got a cortisone shot in each knee to help for now, and will regroup to see what my options going forward are going to be.

Sorry to hear this, when the body parts start to rebel it is hard to get a handle on it!
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Offline ggowins

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Re: Fort Davis Cyclefest
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2019, 04:06:01 PM »
It is time once again to head out to Fort Davis for the Cyclefest.  I leave in the morning, and will be out there until Sunday afternoon.  My knees have been doing really well (knock on wood) in my last couple of months of training, but we'll see how they do with the climbing.  I'm staying at the State Park.  If anyone else is out there, and sees a black Jeep Grand Cherokee with custom plates, that'll be me.  We are also going to try and tackle the length of Chispa Road again, this time with tools and implements of destruction in case there are any washouts like last year.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Fort Davis Cyclefest
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2019, 07:43:25 PM »
Best of luck, may the knees holdup!
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Offline ggowins

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Re: Fort Davis Cyclefest
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2019, 02:13:36 PM »
Was worried about the weather.  On Friday the forecast was not looking good at all, with continuous thunderstorms forecast starting at 4am.  I told my aunt and uncles that if it was pouring rain in the morning, not to bother with following me on the ride.

I was pleasantly surprised to wake up to cloudy skies, and no rain.  It was a bit on the cool side.   Made it to Prude Ranch a little after 7am, and the ride started at 8am.  Right as we started it began to drizzle.  Nothing too bad, but the combo of rain plus wind from the downhill ride into Fort Davis made things a little chilly.  I met my aunt and uncles in Fort Davis, and they went in to have breakfast at the Drug Store (under new ownership, no more turkey sausage, back to the real deal!) and made plans to meet me after the first rest stop.   I continued down and made the left turn onto 166.    This part of the route looks flat, but it is an optical illusion.  It is a continuous 1-2% uphill climb for about 15 miles.  A few miles in it started raining harder, and was getting colder.  My leg muscles weren't loosening up at all, and riding was a chore.  But I powered through to the first rest stop.  I took a bit of a break, then continued on.

Soon, the rain stopped, and things started to warm up a bit, and my legs finally started to feel ok.  I met my personal support crew at the Point of Rocks, and they went ahead to wait for me at the second rest stop, with is just up the hill from the turn-off to Valentine.  I still had a bit more to climb to get to the downhill sections, and slowly but surely I made it.  The downhill section is a long and fun one, and I was feeling great by the second rest stop.  I took a break here and chowed down on bananas and cookies to refuel.   The last couple of years the section after the turn-off to Valentine did me in.  There are lots of ups and downs.  The overall elevation gain is comparable to the section from Fort Davis to Bloys Camp, but you climb a lot more due to the rolling terrain. 

I started down the road, and the first couple of climbs weren't too bad.  But I was going slower and slower.  My relatives were waiting at the top of each big climb.   On the next hill after San Antonio Pass, I called for a break, and they drove me to the top of the Bear Mountain climb, where there is another rest stop.  I rested a bit, and let my legs recover.  I hopped back on, and told them to meet me at the 118 turnoff, about 8 miles down the road.  This was a nice easy ride, through a very picturesque valley.  I always like seeing the Rockpile.  When I got to the intersection, I had them give me a ride to the top of that climb.  I rode a for a few miles, and they were waiting for me at the bottom of the next big climb.  When I got there, as I was putting my bike in the truck. another rider said that a sag wagon a little ways back was having car trouble.  So we turned around to go see if there was anything we could do to help.

We get there, and the truck had a smoking front driver's side tire.  We let it it cool down, and get the tire off.  Turns out that the front caliper has seized.  We banged on the caliper a couple of times, and it released, but any application of the brakes caused it to seize again.  The truck was a diesel, so he decided that he would drive it slowly back to Prude Ranch, using the engine as the brake.  We followed him for a bit, and a few miles down the road he gave us the all clear to go on ahead.   We had spent about an hour helping out, so I asked to be dropped off a few miles ahead at the observatory.   I thanked my aunt and uncles for helping me out, and told them I was good from here and I'd see them back at the state park.

As I started the downhill section, the guy with the truck came by.   I picked up a LOT of speed on the downhill section, and I ended up passing him.  But he caught back up on one of the inclines toward the bottom.  I made it slowly up Heartbreak Hill outside of Limpia Crossing, and once I crested that, it was all downhill for the last couple of miles to Prude Ranch.  So I did make it all the way around, with some much appreciated help.  I ended up riding 60.5 of the 72 miles, and even with the help still climbed just over 3,800 vertical feet.  My knees felt fine the next day, and while they are a little more sore today, that is probably because of all the sitting on the drive home yesterday.   

The bad weather that was forecast finally came in Saturday evening.  Totally blew any chance of having the Star Party.  There was thunder and lightning and heavy rain starting about 9am until the next morning.   The rain stopped just after sunrise, and made packing up not much fun.  But it still was a great time to spend out in one of the best places in Texas.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Fort Davis Cyclefest
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2019, 04:42:48 PM »
Great report with the usual West Texas drama, glad you made it around.

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