04/27/1996 - Muenster,TX - Germanfest - S.French
65 Km about 12 mph average

Maria, Alan, Anne and I rode in the Muenster Germanfest metric bicycle rally on 4/27/1996. The bike ride started at 11:00am which is pretty late compared to many rides. But it was nice for us because we had to drive up from Plano. We drove north on I-35 to Gaineville then west on 82 to Muenster. It took a little over 1 hour when we rolled into town. The ride north was beautiful because the wildflowers (mostly Primrose) were all over I-35. We parked at exactly the same spot as last year (beside the little house where the lady sat on her porch and talked with us, next to the little business that had big bushes that some of the campers used to their benefit) and prepared our gear. It was a bit overcast (which was nice) and very windy (which was definitely not nice!).

We lined up at the front of the 65 Km starting area (might have been a mistake) because a lot of TI folks were there and we talked with them while waiting for the ride to start. The ride went straight south into the wind for the 1st ten miles. It was very, very hard biking because of the stiff 20-30 mph south wind. At the 1st rest stop we took a break and Alan headed back (the regular 35 Km route) on a nice, wind-at-the-back ride. We headed southwest, turned northwest, then north, then east, then north again. The last 30 miles were _so_nice_ compared with the first 10! The ride itself was mostly gently rolling hills with a few steep hills, and a few long hills. We saw a lot of people walking their bikes up the hills, and, at about the 30 mile point, one of the sag wagons (a truck with a flatbed trailer) was loaded with people who'd given up and were being taken back for the free beer and food. Anne, Maria, and I rolled across the finish line feeling great. No serious pain at all, no cramps, nothing! Probably because we kept ourselves hydrated, paced ourselves, and had wind at our back or sides during the last 30 miles. (Later we heard from Richard B. that the turnaround point on the 100 Km was at about 50 miles, and from there all the way back was directly south, into the wind and was very, very difficult).

After we put away our bicycles and other stuff, we walked over to the fairgrounds and got into line for food. The lines were pretty long for everything. Alan and Maria got their food and went to stake out a place to watch the band "Brave Combo" (Nuclear Polka) which was scheduled to play about then. We joined them a bit later but Brave Combo didn't show, and we found out later that they'd canceled! Bummer.

We went over to the Biergarten for the Biker's free beer (Miller and Miller Lite were the only choices! No German beers!) The lines for the premium beer tickets (you get in line for the tickets, then get in line for the beer) were very, very long and we didn't have the gumption to stand in line for that long.

So we stood around for a while and then drove home. Here are the things I remember the most:

  • The wind... Oh boy, the wind!
  • The beautiful weather, partly overcast, warm (88 degree high).
  • The long rolling hills.
  • The great rest stops. Plenty to drink, lots of bananas and other stuff.
  • The friendly people.
  • Getting garbage stuck all over my bike (Anne called me the "garbage man" after the 1st rest stop when I got a plastic cup stuck up under my rack, and weeds stuck on my bike when I layed it down on the grass).
  • The wildflowers on I-35.
  • Filling one of my water bottles with PowerAde. A big mistake. It was a sticky mess. I had to wash my gloves in our clothes washer to get the nastiness out. I won't do _that_ again!
  • The great food. I got some red cabbage, sour kraut, sausages; Anne got all that and hot potato sald and homemade rye bread. hmmm...
  • Those folks near the car that had setup their chairs and tables and were sitting talking and partying when we started the ride, and hadn't moved when we left to go home 5 hours later!