Blogs » Bicycle » Conquered the Coast (again)

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Image I wasn't the last person to cross the finish line Saturday after successfully finishing the 65-mile Conquer the Coast bicycle ride in Corpus Christi but it felt like it. There were several more "slow poke" riders coming in behind me but that was OK. As I neared the course's end, onlookers cheered me on and pointed the way to the finish line. There, I was given a Conquer the Coast medallion and enjoyed a hot dog and two cups of cold Dos Equis beer. According to a Corpus Christi Caller-Times story, some 1,200 bicyclists signed up for this year's ride, two-thirds of those doing the 65-mile course. We started promptly at 7:30 a.m. at the Whataburger Field parking lot and then up the Harbor Bay bridge. Corpus Christi police had a lane sectioned off for us riders and provided traffic control as we whizzed through several intersections. At one intersection, 12 miles into the ride, between Portland and Gregory, I noticed traffic backed up waiting for cyclists to pass. Riding through that intersection, I gave a friendly wave at a driver in a pickup. He yelled, "Don't you wave at me! Y'all suck!" I laughed and told my ride buddies, John Rodriguez Sr. and Jr. what the driver had said. At the rest stop in Ingleside, I spotted a bicyclist I had seen on previous Conquer the Coast rides. He came rolling in with a trailer hitched to his bike. On the trailer was an ice chest and a boom box. This generous rider wanted to share his music with everyone. "Boom Box Guy" caught up with us at the Port Aransas ferry with his music still filling the air. The two-minute ferry ride across the bay to Mustang Island was a pleasant rest break (Sorry, Leslie, I didn't see any dolphins). After pedaling 18 miles or so across the island, we reached the last rest stop before the JFK Causeway Bridge. My ride buddies went on ahead as I slowed down. The last few miles were pedaled on the beautiful Ocean Drive with a lovely view of the bay. I finished the course in 6 hours, 56 minutes (including rest breaks). That's not a great time but I am glad to say that I completed the ride without accident or incident (other than some sunburn and a few mosquito bites). Next up is the Missions Tour de Goliad on Saturday, Oct. 17. They have rides of 10, 30, 50, and 85 miles. Anybody wanna come with me?