Sunday, April 28, 2013

Colorado River Bikefest

Ballinger, Texas
April 27, 2013
San Angelo had a respectable turn-out for the annual race/tour. Left to right: Chad Freeze, Brian Backlund, Rick Ogan, Marlon Miller, Eddie Trevino (393) and Troy Hosmer.
Cindy Middleton and Christine Jones.
Darci Stotts, a recent addition to the groups.
Rick and Marlon
Brian and Chad
Loyd Evans
    Jerry and Cindy Middleton
The ride began on 83 South. Of course, south meant we were mostly going downhill. (Editor's Note: This is Roy's Texan belief for which I have consistently mocked him since out first meeting. In actuality, I grudgingly admit, since a good deal of Texas is at sea level Texas does indeed slant downhill when going south.)
There were no "tough" hills, just what we call rollers.
As we passed this winter wheat field, Christine told me to take a picture. I asked "Why?". She stated "Because it is GREEN". We, unlike some parts of the country, are still needing rain.
There were long stretches of flat terrain--who's complaining?
Cindy and Loyd led the way.
Loyd had set a good pace for us. We rolled into rest stop 1 with over a 17 mph average. Can't speak for the world, but for me (six months post-op) that is good.
Then we turned into a cross wind. Didn't want to mention that my 17 mph was with the wind.
We were not participating in the race which is a good thing. I saw the first of many distractions--our ubiquitous yellow wild flowers.
Loyd and Christine crossing Little Concho River. Little River?
Yep, the sign was right. Around San Angelo we have the North, South, and Middle Concho. I had forgotten about the Little Concho "River". In Texas, the distinction between river and creek is that a river has water in it year round. Well, maybe almost year round.

Pretty distractions. Again, glad I wasn't pretending to race.

Close up of evening primrose.
Loyd and Christine continue on their journey ignoring my presence. At least I wasn't holding them back too much, although they would slow down to allow me to catch up every so often.
Fragrant gaillardia
Small-flowered verbena or Dakota vervain
Does this look like the previous picture of Loyd and Christine? It's not. And one of the reasons we like the Ballinger ride: no tough hills to wear one down. Just you and the wind.
A good patch of some kind of yellow flowers.
Has to be a native Texas flower, prickly leaves. (Prickly poppy)
And this is a "Texas dandelion". One may not be able to tell, but the radius is about 3". If anyone knows what this giant "dandelion" is called please feel free to tell us.
Not too much of a decision. Home was to the left, the car to the right.
Pretty but not designed to give to your wife or girlfriend. Editor's Note: We had Russian thistles in Illinois, too.)
Indian Blanket

Spindly long stem thingies.
Soon we turned onto 67 North. It was four lane. The shoulder was as rough as a washboard, so we took a chance and rode in the right lane. Most vehicles respected our presence.
Little house on the prairie in a field of winter wheat.
Pretty mixture of flowers.
My favorite: Nature's Mother's Day bouquet.Coreopsis, Indian Blanket, and verbena.
Soon we were in town and on the last leg of the journey.
Our Colorado River. It was rather clear this day. Normally it is muddy red; hence, colorado (red).
Finish line.
Loyd, Rick, and Brian were there to greet me. (All, including Christine, had finished and were rested by the time I got there)..
Including Cindy and Jerry. Wait until next year. I hope to beat a snail in--and still take pictures.
Speaking of pictures. Joy had an app on her phone that could track Marlon on his ride. Not sure how it works, but it is a neat toy. 
The 100K was a real race. The man on the left was the first in. Troy, middle, took second place.
Marlon finishing fourth. Not bad as a few miles back both legs cramped. Troy and the others thought he had to stop because of a flat. I think a flat would be easier to handle than both legs cramping. Been there, done that.
The winner's circle. A gentleman from Abilene (in red behind the green jersey) came in third.
Christine in her own little winner's circle. Maybe next year she can draft off of me rather than pulling me around the loop.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bike Tour, Palma De Mallorca, Spain Part 2

Palma bike tour continued.
City Council of Palma. The bench outside is for locals to sit and watch the world go by, however, it appears that weary tourists have found a resting place.
King James I the Conqueror
By one account, the name James was chosen by his mother after she lit twelve candles giving each an apostle's name. St. James's burned the longest, hence, his Spanish name Jaime.
King James reigned from 1213-1276 and was the most beloved king of Mallorca. His accomplishments were great and varied.

Passeig Des Born (Born Passage) is a favorite area for tourists and locals.
The entrance to the passage is "guarded" by a pair of sphinx. The sphinx is the classic form, a lion's body with a human head. The sphinxes were carved in 1833 and the passage was dedicated to Princess Isabel and called Salon de la Princesa. The name was changed later to Passeig Des Born.
The Passeig des Born is a tree lined promenade leading from the harbor and the cathedral to the downtown core.
Born Passage was originally a watercourse, a stream running through the old city. Normally the stream bed was dry but during heavy rains, flash floods were a problem. In 1403 a flash flood killed many people and destroyed property. The watercourse was diverted to a new channel and the original was filled in and became a wide passage through the city. It was used for jousting matches among other things. Born is from an old Catalan word for joust.
The passage is now home to florists, newspaper sellers, and fashionable shops.
Just as I was learning all the history and right after hearing of the "fashionable" shops, I spotted Christine digging in her purse. I held my breath until I saw her
head straight for the gelato ice cream store. Hey, get me one, also!!

Christine got each of us a nice big ice cream cone, and we were now ready to just smell the flowers.

I have never seen a flower such as above, but it was pretty as well as unique.
We also sat and took in the surrounding scenery. The stately houses were built by nobles. Now they are a combination of residences and shops.  
We enjoyed the various structures and architectural styles.

We could have stayed for a much longer time, but it was near the end of our bike tour.
Did Christine enjoy the tour? I think a picture is worth a lot of words.
 And back to our ship Noordam. 
 After settling back aboard the liner, we sailed off into the sunset to our next adventure.

And day is done.