After several months of discussion, planning, promoting, etc; the Dallas Vintage Bike Ride is now in the history books. I want to send out my thanks to everyone who came out today to make this a great ride. I got a rough head count of about 20 riders on bikes ranging from 70's steel Raleigh's and Hetchin's up to early 90's Colnagos and a Serotta. The riders consisted of members of the PBA (Plano Bicycle Association), BikeForums members, and also readers of the Classic Rendezvous mailing list.
The wind was once again very strong out of the South this morning, and by the 9am roll time it had already gathered up steam to about 17-20mph with stronger gusts. After a few late arrivals got geared up, we headed out, almost due north to McKinney and then on to New Hope. With as strong of a south wind as we were having, I feared that the rest stop was going to be too early on the route. Placed only 12.5 miles in, all of which we had that tail wind, we stopped nearly without breaking a sweat. Well, almost, it was also rather humid and the fact we were traveling with the wind meant that we were getting little air flow. The group stayed together pretty well considering what I suspected were a wide range of fitness and endurance levels in the group. Also, some of us were more used to the heavier bikes than others.
After the rest stop in McKinney, BF'er monogodo led the shorter (planned 25mi) group east before starting the run south into the wind back towards Allen. I think about 8 riders went with that group. The rest of us headed back north towards New Hope. After a minor last minute route modification and a little detour around the McKinney downtown square due to an event shutting down streets, we crossed 380 and hit the rural roads of New Hope. The roads started having some rolling hills, and the riders starting reaching for those downtube shifters with more frequency! We finally ended our last stretches with the tail wind and turned south. The wind was strong, and several members of the group were nice enough to take some pulls at the front to let me catch my breath out of the assault. The group started to spread out and we stopped to regroup often, ensuring that no one missed a turn.
One member of the group started showing some signs of over heating, and after waiting to regroup a couple of times, he and two other riders choose to hang back and ride together and allow the rest of us to go on after I insisted that he not be left alone on the rural roads. About this time also I discovered that my headset had come loose and was having to hand tighten it at every stop. (really must get that clamped down hard!) The rest of the group pushed on, picking up the pace slightly. Car traffic was very light, which I was thankful for. The last couple of legs into the wind I was starting to feel the drain of the heat, wind, and the miles. We finally turned out of the wind and at last the last right hand turn which put the wind to our backs for the last quarter mile sprint back to the parking lot!
Several people from the 25mi route were there waiting for our return. Ends up they did 32miles due to a missed turn (the one I'd warned monogodo about a couple of times, its easy to miss so don't feel bad Dan) I hopped in my truck and started to back-track the route looking for our last riders who had hung back. I found them at a church only a few miles from the end of the route, the rider who was over heating was inside refilling on water. One of the three felt good enough to push on to the end. The other two took me up on my offer to catch a ride back to the park.
I finished the ride with 35.55 miles, a reasonable pace of 15.2 mph considering the wind and the easy conversation pace we were keeping even when we had the wind to our backs. Most importantly we had no real problems, everyone kept the rubber side down and the bikes had no real mechanical issues other than my headset and a seat post that wanted to slip for another rider.
And now... after you read all that... the good stuff: Photos!
Pre-ride gathering of riders and steel bikes. A number of Bianchi's and Centurions as well as a couple Raleigh's were in the mix.
We were thankful that the wind and some hills were protecting us from the wind at this point in the ride. Enough that I was able to get the camera out of my pocket and snap a few photos.
Back at the parking lot, safe and sound! An enjoyable ride for all!