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It was a bit windy ...OK, very windy and there were a few climbs, but I completed most of the annual Wildflower Bicycle Ride in Cuero over the weekend.

I had signed up to do the 49.5-mile route and things were going well for me for the first 12 miles or so of the ride. That's when I had a ride buddy, Advocate Managing Editor Tom Martinez. He had signed up for a shorter ride but both our routes were the same for the first dozen miles.

There was very little traffic on the country roads and the weather was cooperative. At one point, a startled deer crossed the road from right to left in front of us, leaped a fence and galloping at top speed across a pasture.

Tom and I went our separate routes after the first rest stop at the Arneckeville Community Center. I was fine until about mile 20 when my little bicycling computer conked out on me. No big deal but I couldn't read my mileage, the time of day or my pace. That lack of knowledge made my ride a little less fun.

A challenge came when I turned onto U.S. Highway 183/77 from FM 2718, heading south, uphill and against a stiff wind. I surrendered to Mother Nature and walked up the hill on the shoulder of the highway. I also walked up the next hill, then turned left onto Hopkinsville Road and left on Old Goliad Road. After a nice downhill coast, I came across Laura, a ride volunteer patrolling the routes, keeping an eye on riders. Actually, at that point, I was the only rider around.

I felt myself starting to overheat and decided to call it quits after 38 miles. I asked Laura for a ride back to town but she didn't have room in her pickup for me and my bicycle so she called Clifford, another ride volunteer who took me back to the Cuero airport, where the ride began. As I was packing my bike into my car, I noticed my vehicle was the only one in the parking lot. Everyone else had finished their rides and went home. oh well!

On my next ride, I will drink plenty of fluids BEFORE I get thirsty, and find a ride buddy to keep me company throughout the entire ride.

Thanks to all Wildflower Ride volunteers and organizers. I look forward to doing it again next year.

Eric