The Skyline Sham

^The Skyline Sham from James . Strava map here. Part 1 here.

More video from our ride on River Road. This is the first steep climb we did on this ride that hits double digits. The sign at the beginning says 22% which refers to the steepest part. Unfortunately it doesn’t last very long but it’s still nice. After the climb we hit rollers on FM 2673 and then down hill on RM 2722 to Bear Creek which is the second double digit climb.

Part 1 here. Go here for a list of all 5 parts.


River Road

^Slow and Easy from James . Strava map. Part 1 here.

A friend asked me about River Road. This video shows what it’s like  on the road during the winter. It was a warm day in February when we did this ride. As I’ve said before, you really can’t ride it in the summer unless you like traffic.

You can see Part 1 here. It shows the drop in to the part of the road that runs parallel to the river. It’s a very nice road with short shallow rollers. If you do only  River Road to the gas station it’s 30 miles round trip with 1,200 feet of climbing. More or less Tempo Monster territory.  The only real climbing is the drop in portion when you come back.

On this particular ride we did 2 steep climbs and the next 2 videos with show you those. Stay tuned.

Part 1 here. Go there for a list of all 5 parts.

Safety First

^Safety First from James . Strava map.

I was looking through the video of a ride we did on River Road a while back. There is a section of road that drops down to the river and then follows the river for several miles. The drop down is fun but when it reaches the bottom you’re going fairly fast, maybe even 40. The turn is at the bridge and the concrete is  slick. If it’s wet it’s even worse. If you went over the edge it’s enough of a drop to get hurt, maybe even seriously. The bridge has a guard rail but I never noticed where the railing was. I posted the video because I thought it was funny that there is no railing where you need it most. Go figure.

Anyway, River Road is a nice ride. You really can’t do it in the summer due to all the traffic but in winter, on a nice warm day, it’s great. If you just want to do River Road you can start in Gruene, where we did and go up to Satler on FM 2673 which is the 15 mile mark. There is a gas station there where you can rest and regroup and then head back. It’s mostly flat until you’re almost back and hit the drop in… going up. That’s about a 1 mile climb of about 100 ft. Just enough to be fun.

This video is the first of several from this ride. You’ll see River Road in the first two and then the two climbs we did. They’re steep, short and nice. The good thing is that it’s easy to skip them if you’re not in the mood. But when does that ever happen? If you really want to make it fun there are 5 more short double digit hills in the area that only add about 10 miles to the ride. I’ll show you those soon. Stay tuned!

Part 2 here.

Part 3 here.

Part 4 here.

Part 5 here.

And the Payments Started

^The Terminator Part II from James . Strava  map. Part one here.

We all know, cycling is about suffering. Sometime during the ride you will have to pay. What is really hard is when it comes early. We’ve all been there and we’ll be there again. I think it was Greg Lemond who said “It never gets easier, you just go faster.” How true!

This is part two of a ride on the Wild Dogs route with a club called 700c. Part one is found here. It’s mostly flat, perfect for all the tempo monsters. If you remember, we didn’t have much of a warm up that day, and in this video, at least for me, payments were due.

There are many different things that can tax you on your ride. Most people look at milage or speed. But how much climbing was there? Was it windy? Hot? What bike were you on? I remember going on a ride that I thought was just a casual gravel tour in our area. It turns out most of the people were gravel or cross country racers. At least that’s what it seemed like. It was a training ride for them and they stormed out of the gate. Anyway, it was hotter than hell and I was on my heavy cruiser. It was like I had a knife at a gun fight. Needless to say, I have never felt worse on bike in my life. At least I made it to the end. Barely.

Going on a challenging bike ride is like preparing for a fight. You do everything you can to get ready. You work on strategy and tactics, you develop your weapons and work on your weaknesses. Then you step into the ring and think on the fly. Once you’re there, whether it’s in the ring or on the start line, you hope all your preparation works, and that, at the very least, you don’t make any mistakes.  You just want to make it to the end. And not get yourself knocked out…..



Cheap Thrills


^Landa Lunacy from James on Vimeo.

This video is from a ride that the club 700c does that goes to Landa Park. It’s mostly flat but there is one short climb on Krueger Canyon Road that you need to do. I mean, come on, when the route goes right to the start can you really say no? It’s short, fast and….cheap.  It ramps up nicely to double digits and then it’s a gradual climb to the top. The ride is only about 35 miles and it’s an out and back so you’ll have energy to spare. The climb only adds about 2 miles and half of that will be down hill after turning around!  That’s cheap if you ask me. So watch the video and see what you will miss if you don’t do it.

Strava map of the ride.

The Strava map above shows the ride but the first and last 15 miles are extra. A couple of friends and I rode to the start and met everyone there. Trying to keep up with the Terminator was not cheap, by the way. He’s a Tempo Monster so I paid a high price.

There is another organized ride that goes there by a different route. It’s done by Lifetime Fitness. I have not ridden the Krueger Canyon route with them but have done some of their other rides. It’s another excellent group with some nice routes so I’m sure they do the road in the correct direction…. which is going up, right?

So Where’s the Warm Up?


^The Terminator from James . Part two here.

Have you ever been on one of those rides where everyone forgets to warm up? Whoever is up front just starts out hard and the rest of us, like sheep, just follow along. That’s what this ride was. Lucky for us, it’s mostly flat with some shallow rollers. The route is called the Wild Dogs Ride but, lucky for us, the wild dogs are gone. Unless they mean we are the wild dogs?

Click here for the Strava map.

The ride was with a local club called 700c. They have some great people and great routes including some that go on the Greenways. The ride leaders warm up but there are always hammer heads in every group that just take off and pay for it later. I’m glad I’m not one of those! Unfortunately, I happen to be one of those sheep that jumps off the cliff with them…..