Bluebonnets
Chas and post ride beer

This is the 2nd year I’ve done the LBJ 100 bicycle ride. I’m guessing the ‘100’ in the name would be for the 100K route because I don’t think there is a 100 mile route on this ride. There are routes of 30, 42, 62 and 85 miles.

I like this ride. It’s pretty well planned and the logistics at the start and finish out of the LBJ ranch work out pretty well. The last couple years they have also gotten a couple interesting booths to show up and the post ride meal and beer are very welcome after the ride. They also get points for arranging enough portable toilets and having really good rest stops.

We joked last year that there was an awlful lot of speechifying at the beginning of the ride. I recall Luci Johnson talked for what seemed like a long time. This year there seemed to be less of that but in its place was a staged photo/video op of a classic Lincoln Continental driving through the line up of cyclists followed by a set of ‘Wounded Warriors’. All that’s well and good but the reality is 98% of the folks in attendance came there to have hours of hill country cycling ahead of them and they just want to get on with it.

It’s a charity ride so you don’t feel completely put out by the $50 price tag for joining the ride (if you register on the day of) but it’s still pretty steep. Most people expect to do several of these charity rides in the spring and fall. At $50 a pop, I guarantee you that in some cases there are plenty of people that just ride, skip the payment and enjoy the open road. Like so many of these rides, there’s a shirt that comes along and often they throw in a water bottle too. This year’s ride had a shirt I might actually like. It was a technical material that I like better than your typical cotton t-shirt. Unfortantately as someone that registered on the day of – at full price – the only shirt I could choose from (at the conclusion of the ride, not before) was a XXL. You could fit 3 of me into a XXL. It’s a nightgown. With iffy Spring weather, I rarely register early. It’s irritating to shell out $50 on top of the $4/gallon hour+ drive. With this ride on the same day as the Rosedale ride, it’s impressive that they get upwards of 1400 riders on this ride. My advice: skip the shirts and water bottles and charge less.

Rest stops were good. All had ‘Gu’ (sponsor product) and things like water, gatorade, pickle juice, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and slices of bananas. There’s no place to stop out on these routes so your really rely on the support. If you packed a lot of water and food you could do it without the support but why worry about it.

Weather this year worked out fine. The morning started out gorgeous. Chilly but with a little ground fog (see picture) that made for some beautiful scenery at the ranch. Shortly after sunrise though the sky became completely cloudy, and a little misty. Not a full on drizzle or rain but just a little mist and cloud cover. Actually, not a bad situation to ride in at all. The temp was quite nice and the pace and hills at the start of the ride warm you up quickly so you appreciate a little mist.

There were plenty of wildflowers along the roads this year. The Bluebonnets were in abundance. I stopped and snapped a picture to make it official.

Post ride, there was lunch that included sausage, potato salad and a salad. It hit the spot. So did the beer provided by Pecan Street Brewing out of Johnson City. I tried the wheat beer. Mighty tasty after a ride.

Sunrise over the LBJ Ranch