08/15/1998 - Hot Rocks - Rockwall, TX, S.French
43 miles - 16.5 mph

This ride was exactly one week after our last day of biking near Seattle on our Backroads vacation. We got up early and headed over to Rockwall this year instead of staying at the Clear Lake B&B. It only took about 50 minutes to drive over there. The organizers had changed the route again this year and also had changed the starting and ending points of the ride. It used to start and end at a high school, but this year was moved to another site (a new high schools?? we didn't look that close!). The parking at the new site was pretty far away from the registration desks, which is unfortunate. We arrived in plenty of time but ended up getting started late because of the walk required to get our packets. The route keeps getting better and better as the organizers refine it. This year we headed much further east and north through the small towns of Nevada, Josephine, and Royse City. The 43 mile and 62 mile routes stayed together until about 5 miles from the end. The was absolutely perfect allowing people to wait to decide whether to stretch their ride another 20 miles. Once you've got 40 miles under your belt another 20 doesn't seem so bad.

Anne and I only did the 43 mile because we picked up our pace a lot. We usually do 14 mph, but this time we really pushed and bumped our average up to 16.5 mph. The route helped a lot, being flat with reasonably good road surfaces, and the weather was very fine with moderate temperatures and _no_ wind. At a couple of points we spotted flags and they were completely limp.

This is the best we have ever done on a bike rally. We both felt very strong during the ride and very tired once the ride was over!

Things we remember: