9:47 PM

Bluebonnet Express

Or Simple Rules to Follow When Doing an Organized Ride.
Or Don't Be Rude.

1.  Wait your turn.  When starting the ride, wait for your route to be called.  When the organizer calls for those who are biking the 70 mile route, don't start if you are only doing 40.  This is for your own good.  Although, you may think that it is a) unfair for those doing the longer ride to get an early start; b) unneccessary for you to have to wait; or, c) doesn't matter because you are important and need to be done riding early, don't do it! Out of respect for all that is holy, wait your freakin' turn.  This really does help the organizers and volunteers direct traffic along the route.  When the shorter routes have a turn only 3 miles into the course while the longer routes go straight, the volunteers don't expect the need to direct your 40 mile self to the turn when you weren't even supposed to have started yet

2.  Be alert.  So, you didn't follow number 1 and are now starting out with the 70 milers.  In this case, don't rely on the volunteers to direct you -- you aren't supposed to be at this turn for another 10-15 minutes.  Also, when you've missed the turn, pay attention to the riders around you.  Don't turn left directly into someone. Pay attention when people are trying to call out to you.

3.  Don't Be a Jack@ass.  Whenever you do turn into someone and cause a crash, you need to see if that person is okay.  Under no circumstancs is it acceptable to pick yourself up, quickly apologize and then head out to your short 40 mile route while the person you hit after breaking the above rules is still on the ground.  Don't be that guy...  No one likes that guy... you might think that its okay because no one knows that it was you -- you made a "clean" getaway but, your day will come.  Karma is a beatch... 

As much as I may be complaining, and yes, I am... I'm still pissed.  Not that it screwed up my ride, but because now I'm paying for it -- literally.  I JUST bought a new helmet 3 weeks ago.  My gorgeous new pink helmet is done.  That said, it did its job and it has the cracks and crumples to prove it (and I have the no loss of consciousness to go with it).  Also, I paid 35 bucks to ride 3 miles... kinda ridiculous.  Finally, I know there will be some cost for a bike repair.  I managed to take a pretty nice chunk out of my aerobars and am hoping that Andrew at Tri on the Run can just tape over it (or something)... That said, if you add in my bottle of water, a ride in the sag hummer, a nice chat with the fabulous ride marshalls from the Clay Walker Cycling Team, a Waller police officer, and the Waller EMS - it was 35 dollars well spent considering the circumstances. As an aside, the EMS paramedics noted that I was in excellant shape and were quite impressed with my low 50s heart rate.  Also, I got to spend some time in the massage tent.  When getting back to the ride start, I had some time to kill.  (I'd carpooled and was waiting for the crew to get back; then decided to take James on his offer to come get me).

To end on a positive note, this ride has excellent support and is a first rate event by Northwest Cyclery.  This is the same group that does Katy Flatlands in June.  Although, I did enjoy Katy Flatlands more, it had nothing to do with the ride organization -- in June, only the "real" riders are out there -- all of the MS150-only riders are gone.  Also, the ride marshalls were beyond caring.  The group of marshalls that helped me were from Band Against MS, a group that likes to eat, drink, and ride.  I cannot thank these people enough for taking care of me. 

In sum, I'm fine.  I wasn't hurt; just a bit shaken up and had (and still have) a bit of a headache.  And, even though I didn't finish the ride, Kathleen still gave me a brownie.. :-)