05/04/1996 - Fort Worth, TX - Cowtown Classic - S.French
18 Miles about 16 MPH

Anne and I got up about 5am, ate some breakfast, packed up and headed over to Fort Worth for the Cowtown Classic. I had hurt my back on Monday and was iffy to ride at all. But I decided that the short route would probably be ok. They had only setup 3 routes, 18 miles, 65 miles, and 100 miles. Too bad really, more people would ride if they had a 40 or 50 mile intermediate route. Anyway there were lots of people there doing all the different routes. We picked up our packets and pinned on our numbers. In the meantime the ride started with the 100 milers going out first. The route started at a new place this year, at a high school in south Fort Worth. It was only about 3 miles from Anne's brother, Tom's, apartment! We headed out going first west for a very short distance then straight south. There was (again!) a 20-30 mph headwind for the entire south route. Ouch! Since we were only going 18 miles we pushed pretty hard the whole way. There weren't as many hills as Muenster so we made pretty good time. We didn't stop at any of the rest stops this time, and really picked up speed (for us, anyway!) at the turnaround point. We rolled past the exit in a little over an hour. It felt a bit unusual to get done so fast. Normally we're out there for a few hours. Anyway, we put our bikes away, got our money and went to the sales tent. Last years ride was cancelled because of the terrible hailstorm that hit DFW. The ride organizers had taken last years T-shirts and water bottles and other stuff and recycled it for this year. So we have souveniers from the great hailstorm of 1995. Anne picked up some shirts and bags for Tom, Joyce, and their kids, I got another coffee mug for my collection, and then we went and picked up some water and bananas.

The ride was well organized with police at every major intersection. The road was OK, mostly smooth with a few rough spots. It was mostly flat with only a few mild hills to slow us down. Of course the wind was still bad. We heard on the news that the wind was unusually strong this year with April winds averaging 13.2 mph (which is very high for an average!).

We headed over to Tom and Joyces and picked them up and went to a very nice lunch. The short ride made for a very relaxing day. We arrived home mid-afternoon feeling pretty good. My back didn't give me any trouble.