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A Friday local ride report.: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly(7 posts)

A Friday local ride report.: The Good, The Bad, and The UglyTig
Nov 1, 2002 8:47 PM
I had to get out and ride during Friday's wonderful cool weather (except for the 15-20 knot winds) after 10 days of solid rain followed by a stomach virus. The ride is a local there-and-back from Clear Lake through Seabrook, and over the Kemah Bridge that covers almost 38 miles. This is the first time I brought a camera along for a ride. Anyone who has one should do the same because it really opens up your eyes to the various sites and features of your area. I found myself looking for areas that represented the best and worst of the ride. The next thing I knew, I was composing titles for the pictures I already took while riding. It was a fun and wonderful ride. It may not be the greatest cycling area, but we all have to make do with what we have.

Your host for today's ride, leaning on his trusty steed. This is one of my old team jerseys that are good for the high visibility needs of a solo ride. That's a 52 cm Merckx Fuga, which is a work in progress. The cheap Rolf wheels and 105 shifters will be the next to be upgraded. The photo was taken towards the end of the ride at the park.

The entrance to the University of Houston, Clear Lake campus (UHCL). We once had a few miles of fun MTB singletrack in the trees and creek bottoms here before they came down with a case of liability-itus.

This canal comes through a megabuck neighborhood before it flows through the campus. It has a history of housing alligators. They usually don't capture and relocate one until it gets big and eats someone's dog in the neighborhood.

A scenic pond on the campus. UHCL hosts our annual century and a few fun run events.

The next two shots show the ugly side of a nearby area (the southern part of Pasadena, TX… one time home of "Gilly's" nightclub that was featured in the movie "Urban Cowboy"). Talk about rednecks?! It is unfortunately the gateway we have to ride through to get to some nice destinations to the north.

Friday local ride report, Part 2Tig
Nov 1, 2002 8:54 PM
"Mount Kemah"! It sure doesn't look like much of a challenge, but a strong head wind increases the perceived grade. The bad part is the heavy weekday traffic and trash on the shoulder. For hill training in the early spring, I'll do back to back repeats over it. The bridge over the ship channel is 3 times taller, so it provides a much better workout. This bridge is only tall enough to let the many sailboats gain access from the lake to the bay. This area harbors the 3rd largest concentration of sailboats in the US.

The view of shallow Galveston Bay from the top of the bridge. The water comes in two flavors: chocolate, and a rare mint green (only when the winds have been light). On the left side of the channel in Seabrook you can buy wonderful fresh seafood from a dozen shops. The right side you see the Kemah Boardwalk that was created by Landry's Seafood (you may have a Joe's Crab Shack in your town). It was designed by a former Disney architect and has eight excellent restaurants, a hotel, rides, live bands, and a "Vegas style" fountain that kids love to play in. The place gets really crowded with Houston tourists every weekend. I prefer buying or catching my seafood though.

A decent MUT in Seabrook. The gravel trails keep roller bladers away, and it is usually uncrowded except for weekends and after work when the runners take over. We have dozens of wild hogs in the area and their digging and rooting signs were everywhere.

I took advantage of the quiet and explored it.

What Texas photo essay would be complete without a shot of the local farm denizens? I missed a shot of a white tail doe and her fawn. We also have several dozen wild green parrots that live here all year. You never know what you'll see on each ride!

Almost home. A slow loop through Bay Area Park for a water refill and a few moments of recovery time. Armand Bayou is in the background. A kayak trip upstream puts you into an incredible wildlife area.

A scene no one likes. The end of the bike lane puts you into a busy divided two-lane road that passes between petrochemical plants. At least there was a nice 15-knot tail wind!
Very nice, pretty area. How do you like your Fuga? nmrwbadley
Nov 1, 2002 9:24 PM
Very happy with it.Tig
Nov 2, 2002 4:22 AM
I've had it since March and have enjoyed it better than expected. I can't think of any complaints. It fits my riding style and needs. Excellent power transfer without the usual aluminum beating, while not having a too fragile megalight tube set. The only other bikes I'd rather have are the usual high end glamour bikes, but that isn't saying much! The new version for '03 is called the "Race". It has a different, slightly improved CF seat stay, and a few of the tube shapes are a little different.
Friday local ride report, Part 2Mattso
Nov 2, 2002 8:40 AM
That's about where I ride, but I've been off about a month. Friday I was working in Magnolia, which likes a pretty cool place to ride.
Nice pix!js5280
Nov 2, 2002 10:22 AM
Nice shots there Tig. I've been in Austin this past week, it's very green here too but also a little soggy. Got some MTB riding in at Rocky Hill/Smithville, Emma Long, St. Edwards, Barton Creek. Lots of full streams to cross and soggy shorts and shoes to show for it :-)
Nice- always wanted to climb the Kemah bridge.MXL02
Nov 3, 2002 8:34 AM
Maybe next time we get some good weather, which will be who knows when?