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I know I'm a few days late with this but I'd like to thank the Kiwanis Club of Victoria and all support personnel for a great inaugural Riverside Ride on Saturday. There were a little more than 120 bicycle riders taking part in this first ride, I'm told.

 Bicyclists were treated to a pancake and sausage breakfast prior to the ride.

 The ride was supposed to start at 8 a.m from Riverside Park but the foggy weather wasn't cooperating, so the start time was moved to 8:30 a.m. The fog was still pretty thick 30 minutes later but I think ride organizers could see how anxious we were to get on the road so we were given the "ready-set-go" signal after a prayer and the singing of the national anthem. Police and sheriff's deputy patrol cars escorted riders out of the park and through Victoria.

 The ride featured four routes: 62 miles, 40 miles, 20 miles and 10K. I selected the 40-mile route, which took me from Riverside Park, through Old Victoria, past De Leon Plaza and across the Moody Street bridge. We 40-milers then went up the Lower Mission Valley Road, then left on Albrecht Road and then down the Upper Mission Valley Road. The fog burned off 90 minutes into the ride.

 Each route was color-coded so riders watched for their color arrows on the road or on signs near the roads. Rest stops were located every 10 miles or so and manned by smiling Boy Scouts and high school club members offering water, Gatorade, fruit and cookies.

 For the first 10 miles, I rode with a young woman from Thomaston who was doing the 20-mile route and training for an upcoming triathlon in Austin. I didn't get her name, but I would like to thank her for keeping me company on the first leg of the ride.

 After heading down the Upper Mission Valley Road, we riders were guiding through Saxet Lakes Park, which was a pleasant alternative to tangling with vehicular traffic on Moody Street.

 The ride ended back at the start point in Riverside Park near the Texas Zoo. No one got hurt, but I'm told that a few riders became lost when they wandered off the route. Fortunately, Kiwanis Club members found them and set them back on the right path.

 Next up is the annual Wildflower Ride in Cuero on Saturday, April 4. Anybody wanna come with me?

Eric