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  1. #1
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    The Half Century Half Century (Houston)

    Okay, On 8/28/08 I will be 50 years old. On 8/27/08 (that's a Wednesday) I'll be riding a 49.53 mile self supported fun ride from the Walter Branch Library at 7660 Clarewood (corner of Clarewood and Fondren) near my home (close to Sharpstown) going by mostly bike routes to Terry Hershey and George Bush Parks. It's meant just for fun and includes a stop for a pint on the return leg. The only thing I could think of that might make it more fun is maybe meeting up with some BF members.

    I know the Wednesday thing makes it hard for a lot of participation, and don't really expect a lot of folks to come. Just thought I'd throw the invitation out there. I'll be at the library parking lot around 6ish in the a.m. and leave not much later then 7:00 a.m. to take advantage of what passes for cool morning temps in Houston.

    I chose the library location to include car-free folks like me. The library is on the 25 Sharpstown and 82 Sharpstown bus routes and very close to Bellaire and Fondren. Of course throwing your bike on the bus racks will mean getting up real early. PM me and I'll give contact information before the ride so we can wait if you're going to be just a little late.
    Last edited by Tex_Arcana; 08-06-08 at 11:21 AM. Reason: added info and corrected info

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    Hmm, I will check my schedule, and also make sure I can do 50 miles in the heat. My usual Sunday night ride used to be 25-30 miles, but that was quite a while back, in the relative cool of the night. I have not ridden much in the past several months, and not nearly as far as I used to. Well, this gives me a fitness goal! BTW, I think I found your workplace, and spoke to one of your co-workers, during my ride earlier this morning, from 0400 to 0500.
    Last edited by Rex G; 08-03-08 at 07:15 AM.
    Have Colt, will travel...

  3. #3
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex G View Post
    Hmm, I will check my schedule, and also make sure I can do 50 miles in the heat. My usual Sunday night ride used to be 25-30 miles, but that was quite a while back, in the relative cool of the night. I have not ridden much in the past several months, and not nearly as far as I used to. Well, this gives me a fitness goal! BTW, I think I found your workplace, and spoke to one of your co-workers, during my ride earlier this morning, from 0400 to 0500.
    That would be cool Rex. Like I said the idea isn't to kill ourselves. The route includes store stops, and rest stops as needed and at a relaxed pace. I'll post the map soon. I had drawn it out on Bikely but it didn't save. By the way did you speak to the guy from Kenya? I think that was his shift. Surprised he was there.
    Last edited by Tex_Arcana; 08-03-08 at 10:33 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    He didn't really look Kenyan, or sound like a recent immigrant, by his speech. There were some very interesting creatures on Glenmont.
    Have Colt, will travel...

  5. #5
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    Okay, I've firmed up the plans for this ride. Here is the link to the route on Map My Ride: http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...ston/304110994

    The distance has been trimmed down to 49.53 miles. I can make up the whole 50 with a "victory lap" around the block. Note that there is a planned stop for a pint at around 42 miles here: http://www.thebullandbear-tavernandeatery.com/.

    While this is in no way a real organized ride but there are a few of rules:

    Traffic laws should be observed at all times.
    This is a no drop ride, let's stay together on this. Slowest person sets the pace.
    This ride is open for cyclists of all levels and bikes of any type.
    This ride is intended to be fun and not a competition.
    Because it is likely to be hot the pace will be kept pretty low key with frequent stops.
    This is a self supported ride. There is no official sag (you can provide your own).
    You should bring adequate water and food for the ride.
    While there are no fees, you should bring money for "the Pint" (about $3.50) and other needs along the way (Energy bars, Gatorade, etc. bought at store stops).
    Last edited by Tex_Arcana; 08-06-08 at 11:28 AM.

  6. #6
    grand ninja Chaba's Avatar
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    awww wish i could make it i'm booked on weds. till 9pm.
    "Well, you live and learn. At any rate, you live."
    www.myspace.com/chabanista

  7. #7
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaba View Post
    awww wish i could make it i'm booked on weds. till 9pm.
    Bummer, It would be fun. I see you changed your avatar. Nice. I recognize your pic from your page.

  8. #8
    grand ninja Chaba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tex_Arcana View Post
    Bummer, It would be fun. I see you changed your avatar. Nice. I recognize your pic from your page.


    favorite photos include those with funny faces.

    I'll be in court thinking about you guys riding that half century that day.
    "Well, you live and learn. At any rate, you live."
    www.myspace.com/chabanista

  9. #9
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    Hmmm, court huh? You didn't get busted for assault with a water *** did you? Still a bad day on the bike is much better then a good day in court.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    Anyone else interested in this ride? Just figured I would give this a bump. Tex Arcana, it was good to finally meet you last evening.
    Last edited by Rex G; 08-18-08 at 10:33 AM. Reason: typo
    Have Colt, will travel...

  11. #11
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    Nice meeting you Rex. Did you get a new avatar? Took me a bit to realize it was a menuki on a tsuka.

    At any rate I do have a website with a blog that I posted some details of the ride in including some pictures I took on previous rides. The only problem is that it's still a work in progress and I'm not ready to be search engine spidered yet which will happen if I post the URL in the open here. If interested just post here and I'll PM you the URL.

    I'm sorta disappointed by how the map at Map my ride worked out. I made some really detailed notes on the route but they have gone somewhere leaving only basic stuff like turn left, turn right, and hazard.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    The avatar is a not-so-great close-up of the menuki on a Rob Douglas wakisashi I recently acquired. There is no "z" in the way he spells it, and he is Canadian, so perhaps that is the way they spell it. He aspires to be a mastersmith, and is apprenticing under Wally Hayes, Mastersmith. This is my first sword.
    Have Colt, will travel...

  13. #13
    Senior Member cpblue's Avatar
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    I'll try and get that day off and ride. I looked at your ride route and some of those are fairly busy roads.

  14. #14
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpblue View Post
    I'll try and get that day off and ride. I looked at your ride route and some of those are fairly busy roads.
    Hope you make it cpblue. I made some pretty extensive notes on road conditions when I made the map but after saving all the notes were gone. Almost every street that is on the route is either a shared lane bike route, or has a bike lane. The only exceptions are the neighborhood past Briar Forest and Seagler which is a pretty quiet neighborhood, the short length of Westhiemer Parkway going to S. Fry, and S.Fry. I've ridden this route solo twice and making the loop is not a problem really. I believe the regulars on S. Fry are used to bikes in the right lane. They gave me plenty of room going around me.

    Rex: You're a constant surprise. I've never studied iai or kenjutsu but intellectually at least thought that if I had a sword it would be a wakisashi. Ever try tameshigiri with it?

    Oh yeah, Thanks also for the fact I can't get the lyrics to "China Grove" out of my head now.
    Last edited by Tex_Arcana; 08-18-08 at 11:27 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    No, I have yet to practice tameshigiri, which is chopping soaked rolled mats, but a co-worker does it at his dojo, and offered to let me have some of the mats when I am ready; I hope to try it sometime. I have never studied the sword arts either, except to do some reading.
    Have Colt, will travel...

  16. #16
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    Pretty much my sword knowledge is limited to reading Go Rin No Sho by Miyamoto Musashi. Even then it was with an eye toward philosophical tenets.

    By the way. The ride is less then a week away now and I got a peek at the week ahead on my computers weather widget. I know these things can change between now and then but still... The forecast looks like this so far:

    WEDNESDAY
    PARTLY CLOUDY. A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND
    THUNDERSTORMS IN THE MORNING
    THEN A 30 PERCENT CHANCE IN THE
    AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE MID 90S.

    If it rains I'm still planning to go. At least along Terry Hersey's trail there are lots of underpasses to take shelter under if things get really bad. Short of hurricane, tropical storm, or super cell conditions I'm going. Also yesterday I confirmed with the manager at Walter Branch Library that it's okay to use the parking lot there for you folks that want to bring your bikes by car.

  17. #17
    Senior Member cpblue's Avatar
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    I'll be there on Wednesday at 0700 hours.

  18. #18
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    Glad to have you along cpblue. With you, Rex, and myself this is shaping up to a fun, compact little ride. I'm really looking forward to this.

  19. #19
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    Well, it's the day before the ride. Busy, busy especially since I'm on vacation from work and have been having a couple of days of utter slackness, but now I have some house work to do and some last minute prep. The weather says to expect 20% chance of showers tomorrow which under normal conditions means if you really want it to rain it probably won't but if you are planning a fun outdoor activity that would be ruined by rain then it will produce a thunderstorm. No problem if it cools things down a bit.

    At any rate I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Got a couple of folks willing to accompany me and I think it's going to be fun.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    Well, I didn't get to try a 25-to-30-mile dry run as planned, largely due to puppies being born Saturday night and into Sunday morning, but I plan to give this half-century a try. At worst, I will have to bail out part-way; it won't kill me.
    Last edited by Rex G; 08-26-08 at 05:31 PM.
    Have Colt, will travel...

  21. #21
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaba View Post


    favorite photos include those with funny faces.

    I'll be in court thinking about you guys riding that half century that day.
    Good luck in court, whatever the case may be. We will be thinking about you, too!
    Have Colt, will travel...

  22. #22
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex G View Post
    Well, I didn't get to try a 25-to-30-mile dry run as planned, largely due to puppies being born Saturday night and into Sunday morning, but I plan to give this half-century a try. At worst, I will have to bail out part-way; it won't kill me.
    It will be no problem for you Rex. After all if a clyde can ride it unintentionally on a 7 speed comfort bike there should be no problems. Besides, I'm not into to set any speed records or show that I'm every bit as good as a 20 year old. This is just fun. We'll take it easy.

  23. #23
    grand ninja Chaba's Avatar
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    Woot woot!
    Thinking about you guys. At work now...and I was in court for not putting my turn signal on when I was pulling into my drive way.

    It's hot out there hope you guys had a blast!

    V-chabs.
    "Well, you live and learn. At any rate, you live."
    www.myspace.com/chabanista

  24. #24
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    I missed the ride; my neighbor was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, and I drove his wife and mother-in-law to the hospital, and stayed with them until they were given the sad news and all the paperwork had been handled. His name was Wesley Nam, if anyone wants to offer prayers or send positive thoughts. He was 42 years old, was suffering from pancreatic cancer, and his son just started ninth grade.

    Whether it was fortune, karma, or Divine intervention, a combination of events compelled me to be at home at just the right time this morning, to see the emergency vehicles arriving, and I was subsequently available to assist the family. Had it not been for my preparations for Tex Arcana's planned ride, I might not have been available for Wesley's family.
    Have Colt, will travel...

  25. #25
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear about Wesley Nam. I'll keep his family in mind during my devotions.

    The ride is over now. Cpblue showed up for the ride. He's a real nice fella so y'all say howdy. It didn't quite go as swimmingly as I had hoped. A frustrating time was to be had when the left crank arm fell off my bike. We went back down the trail and found the bolt that secures the arm in the middle of the trail. We just couldn't seem to get the bolt tightened down well enough. We went on like that for a while with frequent stops to tighten down the bolt until I got back to the constables garage and borrowed a socket wrench and finally got it cranked down tight enough to finish the ride with no more mechanical trouble.

    Due to the the bolt problems I didn't follow the exact route set in Map My Ride. I didn't feel comfortable riding on S. Fry Road if the bolt might fall out again so we kept to the trails. Basically I rode a straight out and straight back on the trails at Terry Hershey and George Bush Parks. Now that I've had a chance to cool off a little I think I'll go soak in the tub a bit now.

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