Ramble 2013 Four-One-One

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Pausing creekside for a coffee break, I pondered this year’s Ramble.  I’ve already announced the date…Saturday, December 14…so folks could set aside the day.  But no other details have yet been given.

Veterans of the ride have a pretty good idea on what to expect.  In many ways, this years ride will be very similar to what we’ve done for the last four years.  In fact, my description post from last year almost still applies word for word.  So below is basically the same information, with only a few minor edits.  However, there is one noteworthy addition to this year’s event.  See the very end of this post for that.

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When

This year’s Ramble will be on Saturday, December 14. We will roll out of my driveway at 10am. That means you should arrive in time to make all needed preparations BEFORE 10am.

 What

The Ramble is a ride I do each year on a Saturday near the very end of autumn. The primary objective is to spend a few hours riding a bicycle with others on rural north Texas roads.  A goodly fraction of the route is on gravel roads. Historically, it’s length has been in the 40-50 mile range. See prior Ramble reports for a little more insight (2011,2010, and 2009)

I actually have two route possibilities, and they are both close to 50 miles. Final route selection has not been made yet, and might ultimately be made based on the weather forecast (I generally like to avoid ending my rides with headwind slogs).

Speaking of weather, I always want folks to know that I’m not hard-core.  I can ride if it is a little cold, or a little drizzly, but I don’t like cold and wet.  On days like that, I will send you on your way with a cue sheet and my best wishes, and then spend the rest of my day by the fireplace.

The pace is what I call “conversational” because I think of this as a social kind of ride.  We might stop for snacks, photographs, or just because.  Like last year, I plan to have cue sheets available for those who might wish to ride faster or slower than me.

The other thing to emphasize for this ride is that you are responsible for you. This is not a T-shirt ride, there are no entry fees, and no sag services. Routes options have at least one place to stop for restroom, water, or snacks.  On one route that opportunity comes at approximately mile 19, and on the other route it comes at approximately mile 25. You should have a back-up plan for a mechanical problem, and beware…some areas on the Ramble route do not have cell phone service.  Yes, it’s rural.

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Who

Anyone who is interested in being a part of what is described above is welcome to participate. If you plan to join me, I would appreciate an email message or a blog post comment telling me that you will be here.  My preparation plans are dependent on the number of folks participating, so please help me with this.

Where

If you need my address and/or directions to my little place on the prairie, send me an email.

How

Plan ahead. If this Ramble thing sounds like a good time, block out the day and get it on your calendar now. Then make your contingency plan in case you can’t finish the route for any reason. Finally, let me know you are coming.

Any questions?

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New for 2013

To celebrate the five year milestone, I’m adding a photography contest. I’ll post more details later, but the idea is to encourage observing your surroundings and taking opportunities to get off the bike occasionally. In other words…RAMBLE. The general theme for judging photo entries will be how well they “capture the spirit of the Annual Fall Finale Forty-ish Mile Country Path Ramble.”

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8 thoughts on “Ramble 2013 Four-One-One

  1. Don’t think I’ll make the Ramble, but I took interest in your bike being fitted with the Albatross bars. After reading your posts on the RBW Google group, it sounds like you’ve become a convert to those bars!

    I may have to try some out myself, on my old Paramount…

    • For me the albatross bar isn’t “perfection” in the sense that I never have to vary my hand position (like I probably unrealistically hoped), but it seems as good as my drop bars. I have found enough positions to met my needs. The advantage is the back and neck comfort, the view, and the relaxed attitude I feel.

      If I were concerned at all with speed, I’d probably go back to drops. But since I wear floppy clothes, use platform pedals, and log hours instead of miles, I’m fine. That said, I seem to be using the same gears as usual.

      It’s worth the try for me. I’ll give it a few weeks or months, at least.

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